Saturday, December 26, 2009

Aromatherapy - Pillow Mists To Enhance Sleeping & Dreaming

I hope everyone had a most Merry of Holiday Celebrations and I wish you all a Happy New 2010!! In the midst of all this celebrating, family, and rush-around hub-bub, it is expected that you might feel a bit fatigued or experience a tad of insomnia . . . well, never fear, I've got a handful of aromatherapy remedies that will help gently lead you to the Land of Nod and possibly encourage a few sweet dreams in the process.

The following recipes are easy to make, smell wonderful, are great to take when you travel and your schedule gets askew, and also make great gifts.

To make each recipe below: Add the drops of essential oils directly to the 2-oz. glass spray bottle (plastic is okay). Fill the bottle with distilled water - to within 1/2-inch from the top. Screw on the lid. Shake well to blend. The essential oils will not infuse into the water and will separate and float to the top - so the bottle must be shaken each time prior to use. Lightly mist your pillow with the aromatherapeutic formula before bedtime. No refrigeration necessary, but for maximum freshness and potency, please use within 6 months.


1. For Deep, Peaceful Sleep and Gentle Dreams: 3 drops lavender, 2 drops neroli, 1 drop tangerine or 1 drop pink grapefruit essential oils

2. For Dreams You'll Remember: 3 drops rosemary & 3 drops lavender essential oils

3. For Dreams of Brilliant Clarity: 2 drops peppermint & 4 drops lavender essential oils

4. To Soothe A Headache: 3 drops lavender, 2 drops rosemary, 1 drop peppermint essential oils

5. To Soothe A Tummy Ache & Relax Cramping (also relieves tension headaches): 3 drops Roman chamomile, 2 drops marjoram, 2 drops cardamom essential oils

6. To Prevent Nightmares: 3 drops pink grapefruit, 2 drops lemon, 2 drops rosemary essential oil

7. For Dreams of Love: 4 drops rose geranium, 1-2 drops rose attar or rose maroc, & 1 drop patchouli or 3 drops lavender essential oil

BEFORE USING ESSENTIAL OILS: If you are new to the use of essential oils and/or are unfamiliar with how your skin / respiratory system may react to them, please read an introductory guide to the art of aromatherapy and use a patch test prior to applying the product to your pillow. The above mists are very, very gentle and extremely diluted and should not, under recommended use, cause any adverse problems.

NOTE: The above information is true and complete to the best of Ms. Tourles' knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for personal use and educational information only.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Prevent Winter Skin Woes

Granted, there are many enemies of skin during the winter - dry indoor air, freezing temperatures, crisp arid outdoor air, moisture-sapping winds - you CAN prevent itchy, dry, flaky winter skin from taking hold. Here are a few tips:

1) Never use hot water when showering or bathing. It dehydrates the skin and depletes its moisture level, leaving your skin tight, dry and prone to itching. Instead, use lukewarm water and limit your shower or soaking time.

2) Eat vitamin A and C-rich foods. These potent free radical scavengers are known for their preventive and corrective benefits for environmentally-damaged skin.

3) Don't forget to care for your lips. The skin on your lips does not contain moisturizing oil glands. So, it is up to you to regularly apply a soothing chapstick or lip balm several times per day to seal in moisture and prevent chapping and flaking.

4) Keep a pair of mittens or gloves with you at all times to protect your hands, which also have minimal oil glands and are prone to winter dryness.

5) Slather on a rich hand cream several times per day to moisturize cuticles and keep hands soft and supple.

6) Try to get at least 7 to 8 hours of solid sleep each night to allow the skin to renew itself. Invest in a quality humidifier for your bedroom if your house is especially dry. If your heat source is a wood or coal stove, then by all means add extra humidity to your home environment.

7) Include a hydrating, creamy mask in your skin care regimen. Try to apply this mask at least twice per week.

8) Wear quality sunglasses to protect your eyes from winter's snow glare and wind. Squinting encourages premature wrinkles.

9) Remove flaky skin by exfoliating your face and body regularly. Use a gentle facial scrub one to two times per week. For your body, I recommend using a damp loofa or sissal cloth in the shower. Or, you can use a body brush and "dry brush" your body prior to showering. Follow your bathing time with the application of your favorite, quality body oil. Apply another layer of lotion if necessary. Layering of moisturizers will really keep skin soft, moist, and supple.

10) Nourish your skin, deep down, by consuming at least 1 tablespoon of flax seed oil, cod liver oil, or extra-virgin olive oil daily. This will add the necessary fats to your diet that will encourage moisture retention in your skin and give you a healthy glow.

NOTE: The article above was sourced from the book, "Organic Body Care Recipes", by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Publishing, 2007. The information is true and complete to the best of the author's knowledge. The author disclaims all liability in connection with this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Aromatherapy to Relax or Recharge - Part 2

I just love essential oils: their benefits, their intriguing fragrances, and the fact that they can be used in a myriad of ways whether it be physical, mental, spiritual, or for the home. The following formulas are what I call my "harmonizing aromatherapeutic oil blends" which can be adjusted to suit your particular emotional and physical needs. You may want to create all three versions so that you'll have the appropriate one on hand when you need it. CAUTION: These formulas are for inhalation only. Do not apply directly to the skin; they may cause irritation.

Base Ingredient:

1 tablespoon unrefined almond, jojoba, apricot kernel, or hazelnut oil. Jojoba oil will have the longest shelf life of several years. The other oils will keep, unrefrigerated, for up to 1 year.

Calming Blend: For excess stress, restlessness, or trouble sleeping, or if the weather outside is cold, dry, and irritating to your body, add 1/2 teaspoon lavender, 1/2 teaspoon sweet orange, 1/2 teaspoon sweet marjoram, and 1/2 teaspoon bergamot essential oils.

Cooling Blend: For times of irritability, impatience, fiery disposition, or chaos, or if the weather outside is hot and uncomfortable and your skin is extra sensitive, red, itchy, and inflamed, add 1 teaspoon lavender, 1/2 teaspoon German chamomile, and 1/2 teaspoon rose geranium essential oils.

Stimulating Blend: If you're feeling slow and lethargic, in need of an energetic lift, and maybe a bit congested, or if the weather is dreary, cool, and damp, add 1/2 teaspoon basil, 1/2 teaspoon lemon, 1/2 teaspoon peppermint, and 1/2 teaspoon rosemary essential oils.

Blending Directions: Combine the base oils with the blend of your choice in a 2-ounce, dark-colored glass bottle and cap tightly. The blend needs one week to synergize and develop, so shake your formula vigorously twice daily for 7 days. After one week, place a few drops on a soft handkerchief or tissue and inhale the comforting herbal aroma as needed. The aroma can also be inhaled directly from the bottle.

NOTE: The information for this article was sourced from the book, "Organic Body Care Recipes", by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Publishing, 2007. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of the author. The author disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only. Please use appropriate caution when working with essential oils.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Aromatherapy to Relax or Recharge - Part 1

The word aroma, meaning "a pleasant or agreeable odor arising from spices, plants, or flowers," combined with the word therapy, or "the remedial treatment of a disease or other physical or mental disorder," gives us the true definition of the word aromatherapy: a healing modality that involves the use of aromatic essences or essential oils of plants.

Incorporating essential oils into your life is a pleasurable way to enhance your physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being. Aromatherapy can beautify your complexion, reduce stress, stimulate creativity, lull you to sleep, and pep you up, as well as help heal burns and minor cuts and scratches, reduce scar formation, and aid in cold and flu prevention . . . plus a myriad of other uses. The study of aromatherapy is an intriguing and amazing science! One I suggest that you delve into if you are even remotely interested in plant-based healing methods.

Below are three simple recipes for using aromatherapy to improve your life. Next week I'll share a few more formulations with you.

Strike A Balance

1. One of the easiest and most pleasant ways to benefit from aromatherapy is in the bath. At day's end, add 8-10 drops of your favorite gentle essential oil, such as lavender, Roman or German chamomile, marjoram, clary sage, or rose geranium, to 2 teaspoons of jojoba oil, almond oil, or any bland vegetable oil. Pour this blend into a full tub of warm water and swish with your hands to mix. Slip into the water and breathe deeply. Relax . . .

2. Intensify the potency of your peppermint tea. Give it a little energizing zing by adding 1 or 2 drops of essential oil of peppermint. Inhale the invigorating vapors and sip it slowly. This tea is super for a midmorning pick-me-up, or to relieve a stuffy head or case of indigestion. Makes your breath minty-fresh, too!

3. To ease the pain of muscle cramps, sore tendons, arthritis, or overexertion in general, the clean, fresh familiar scent of eucalyptus radiata, wintergreen, rosemary, or sweet marjoram makes a soothing addition to massage oil. Add 25-50 drops of essential oil to 1/2 cup of almond oil, hazelnut, jojoba, apricot kernel, or bland olive oil, mix well, and massage away the discomfort. Enlist the help of a partner or good friend if possible, and promise to return the favor.

NOTE: The above article was sourced from the book, "Organic Body Care Recipes", by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Publishing, 2007. The information given is true and complete to the best of Ms. Tourles' knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. The author disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information - it is for educational purposes only.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Keep Your Pearly Whites Gleaming - Part 2

As promised, below is a recipe for an easy-to-make natural toothpaste. It is a great alternative to chemical-laden, commercial sweetened toothpaste! It truly freshens your breath plus helps prevent plaque build-up and gum inflammation. This recipe yields approximately 10 applications. All ingredients are available from better health food stores or a "Whole Foods" type market. Enjoy.

Homemade Herbal Toothpaste

4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
1 teaspoon powdered myrrh
1 teaspoon white cosmetic clay
2 tablespoons vegetable glycerin (adds a sweet taste and smooth texture)
10 drops of one of the following essential oils: orange, tea tree (anti-bacterial & healing), anise, fennel, spearmint, or peppermint. If you want to use cinnamon or clove essential oil, use only 5 drops as these flavors are very strong and may possibly irritate the gums.

Directions: In a small bowl, thoroughly blend all ingredients until a spreadable paste forms. Store in a small jar in either a cool cabinet or on your bathroom countertop. Dip a dry toothbrush into the mixture and brush normally. Use within 6 months or discard.

NOTE: The above article was sourced from the book, "Organic Body Care Recipes", by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Publishing, 2007. This information is true and complete to the best of Ms. Tourles' knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of the author and she disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Keep Your Pearly Whites Gleaming - Part I

We're going to talk about natural care of your smile. What do people notice when they first meet you? Your smile, of course. Who wants to be remembered for having yellowy-brown teeth? No one. Everyone wants gleaming white choppers. They simply brighten your face.

Most dentifrices available today contain harsh abrasives, saccharin, sugar, detergents, and/or bleaches. Combine these ingredients with the twice-daily use and misuse of toothbrushes (especially the use of "firm-bristled" toothbrushes) and the result is tooth enamel and gum tissue suffering from extra wear and tear. Additionally, if you frequently use commercial, chemical-based bleaching solutions to whiten your smile, these too, can cause thinning of the enamel and gum sensitivity.

You can make simple, yet effective and pleasant-tasting, natural dentifrices at home that will leave your teeth sparkling, breath fresh, and your gums in the pink. Here are 3 recipes for you to try. I'll give you one of my favorite herbal toothpaste recipes in my next blog.

Step Back Plaque

1. In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 1 drop of essential oil of orange, anise, fennel, spearmint, peppermint, or cinnamon. Dip a wet toothbrush into this mixture and brush your teeth as usual to fight plaque buildup, gently whiten teeth, and neutralize mouth odor.

2. Try strawberries for a whiter smile! Mash a very, very ripe strawberry into a pulp. Dip your toothbrush into the pulpy liquid and brush normally. Strawberries produce a slight bleaching action from the mild fruit acid they contain. Rinse thoroughly after brushing. This procedure can be repeated up to 3x per week.

3. Out on a weekend camping trip and forgot your toothbrish? Never fear . . . simply peel a 3- or 4-inch twig freshly cut from a sweet gum (tupelo), flowering dogwood, sugar maple, or sassafrass tree and chew on the end until it is frayed and soft. Now, gently rub your teeth and gums. The twig can also be dipped in water and baking soda, if you desire.

NOTE: The above article was adapted from the book, "Organic Body Care Recipes", by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Publishing 2007. The information is true and complete to the best of Ms. Tourles' knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Take A Luxurious Milk Bath

Dry skin season is upon us, so why not take a preemptive strike against potential dry skin irritations by using the skin-pampering benefits of milk as an additive to your bath . . . instead of drinking it?? Milk includes many components, such as proteins and fats, that are particularly good for soothing and moisturizing the skin, plus lactic acid that acts as a gentle, natural chemical exfoliator.

Milk - For Softer, Sleeker Skin: 4 Easy Recipes

1) To relieve itchy skin due to sunburn, windburn, or poison ivy or oak irritation, add 1 cup of instant, powdered whole milk, 1/2 cup of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of olive oil to running bathwater. Step in and soak for 15 minutes.

2) Make a milk-bath bag. In a medium-size muslin drawstring bag, old knee-high stocking, or in a 12-inch square of doubled cheesecloth, place 1 cup of instant, powdered whole milk, 1/2 cup of cosmetic-grade borax, 1/4 cup of ground lavender flowers, and 1/4 cup of ground rose petals. Tie the ends together or wrap with an elastic band to secure. Drop into the tub as it fills with water, step in, and rub the bag over your skin to soften and lightly scent.

3) To combat dry, super-sensitive skin or to bathe an infant's delicate skin, add 1 cup of instant, powdered whole milk, 1/4 cup of finely ground raw almonds, 1/4 cup ground oats, and 1/4 cup of marshmallow root powder to a bath bag (see instructions above). Drop into the tub as it fills with water, step in, and rub the bag over your skin.

4) Try this version of Cleopatra's famous bathing ritual and see if your skin doesn't feel softer and smoother. Add 1 cup instant, powdered whole goat's or cow's milk, 1 tablespoon apricot kernel, jojoba, avocado, hazelnut, or extra-virgin olive oil, and 8 drops essential oil of German or Roman chamomile, lavender, rosemary, spearmint, or rose together directly under running bathwater. Step in and relax.

NOTE: The above article was written by Stephanie Tourles, lic. holistic esthetician, herbalist, aromatherapist, and author of "Organic Body Care Recipes", Storey Publishing, 2007. The information provided is true and complete to the best of the author's knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of the author and she disclaims any liability in connection with the use of said information. It is for educational purposes only.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Testing Your Age

Want to know your skin's biological age? To some of you, that might be a scary question, especially if you've lived the "party life" or seen too many days lounging in the sun! But, to others of you who have taken good care of yourself and pampered your skin, the test results might reveal that your skin is in fact functioning at a more youthful capabity than your calendar years. Let's see . . .

In her book, Natural Hand Care (Storey Publishing, 1998), Norma Pasekoff Weinberg offers this experiment to test the elasticity or stretchability of your skin.

Pinch the skin on the back of your hand and then release it after a few seconds. If you're under 30 years of age, the skin will quickly return to its original contour. If you are between 30 and 50, you can begin to see the skin stand up for a second or two before recovering. At age 50 and beyond, the skin may stand up for a number of seconds, a sign that its support network (elastin, collagen, and subcutaneous fat layer) has been altered or that the body as a whole is undergoing changes that are visible at the skin's surface.

I must add this bit of a "hand aging disclaimer": . . . If, over the years, you've asked a lot of your hands by participating in hobbies such as gardening, sailing, or spinning pots or careers such as landscaping, floral design, house cleaning, house painting, or nursing where your hands are exposed to dirt, sunshine, chemicals, or perhaps you've had to, for sanitation reasons, wash your hands quite frequently, then this test will probably not apply to you. Hands that are exposed to the elements - be they natural or man-made - will age faster and their skin is not usually indicative of the health and youthfulness of the skin on the rest of the body.

A Handy Tip: Try to remember to wear gloves whenever possible to protect your precious hands and frequently apply a thick cream or body butter or protective product that acts as a "glove" to seal in moisture and keep out bacteria.

NOTE: This article was adapted from the book, "Organic Body Care Recipes", by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Publishing, 2007. The information is true and complete to the best of Ms. Tourles' knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles and she disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational use only.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Simple Ways to Add More Fruits and Veggies to Your Diet

Did you know that most people in the United States do not consume the basic daily recommendations of fruits and vegetables? According to the National Health Association, only 10 percent of the population eats the daily USDA Food Guide Pyramid's minimum recommendation of 5 servings of fruits and veggies each day. Eleven percent consume no fruits or vegetables in any given day, 45 percent of adults consume no fruits per day, and 22 percent of adults consume no vegetables per day. Surprised? So was I!

Eating less than the recommended amounts of these food groups can leave you deficient in fiber, vitamins, minerals, important immunity-boosting anti-oxidants, and cancer-protecting phytochemicals. Fruits and veggies fill you up, not out, which is a boon to your waistline, too. Today many nutritionists advise that you even increase the Pyramid's serving recommendations to 3-5 fruits per day and at least 4-8 veggies per day. Don't be a statistic - eat more fruits and veggies - it's easy - they're delicious! Your body will function better and the appearance of your hair, skin, and nails will radiate with improved health.

Not sure how to integrate all those servings into your daily diet? Follow my suggestions below for 12 easy ways to eat more health-promoting produce.

12 Easy Ways to Eat More Produce

1. Freeze small chunks of bananas, strawberries, raspberries, melons, mangos, or peaches in resealable freezer bags and add to fruit smoothies for a refreshing snack or quick breakfast. You can also purchase these fruits (except bananas) in pre-frozen bags at the grocery store.

2. Make vegetable kabobs and cook on the grill.

3. Take a large bag of raw veggies to work everyday for low-calorie finger food. It sure beats hitting the vending machine or doughnut shop for a snack.

4. Make frozen fruit kabobs and serve as a light snack or refreshing dessert.

5. Drink freshly extracted vegetable juice (available at health food store juice bars or make your own at home with your juicer) instead of soda or fruit juice drinks.

6. Keep a colorful fruit salad in your refrigerator at all times for convenient, healthy nibbling.

7. Keep bags of dried fruits in your purse and car.

8. Be adventurous! Try one new fruit or vegetable each week.

9. Experiment with international vegetarian recipes that include lots of flavorful vegetable combinations and use interesting herbs and spices. Curry, Italian/garlic blend, and garam masala powders are a couple of my favorite seasonings.

10. Eat whole fruit for breakfast or double the amount you ordinarily add to your bowl of cereal or porridge. Here's a favorite breakfast of mine: Add a chopped MacIntosh apple to old-fashioned oatmeal while it is cooking, stir in a sprinkling of cinnamon and a dash of sea salt. Toss in a 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts. This fills you up and tastes fabulous!

11. Enjoy delicious cold fruit soup or gazpacho as a light lunch or appetizer.

12. Cook a big pot of vegetarian chili or stew accompanied by a chunk of hearty, whole-grain bread.

NOTE: This article was adapted from the book, "How To Feel Fabulous Today", by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Publishing 2001. Ms. Tourles is the author of this and many other holistic personal care books including, "Organic Body Care Recipes", Storey Publishing 2007. The information in this article is true and complete to the best of Ms. Tourles' knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Aromatherapy For Mind, Body & Home - Part III

This blog is the last of a 3-part series on basic uses for essential oils. Today I'm going to give you a chemical-free, bathroom and kitchen cleaning recipe that is easy to make at home. Use this general, all-purpose cleanser for greasy hands and dirty bath and shower stalls, ceramic tiles, sinks, or ovens. It is totally non-toxic, won't clog your drains, and leaves your hands, bathroom, or kitchen smelling fresh. Here it is:

All-Purpose Citrus Cleanser

1 cup plain soap flakes (available from retailers of homemade soap supplies or crafting supplies)
1 cup borax (get the pure, unadulterated mineral powder from Mountain Rose Herbs Co.)
1 cup baking soda
2 teaspoons orange essential oil (sometimes labeled sweet orange ess. oil)

1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the flakes, borax, and baking soda. Stir gently.
2. Slowly add the essential oil, one drop at a time, stir ever-so-gently to incorporate. Do not stir rapidly or whip the powder with a whisk or it will cause dust to rise into the air and will make you sneeze. Store in a tightly sealed container.
3. To use, blend a tablespoon or more of the formula in a small bowl with enough water to form a slushy paste-like texture. Use it to wash hands or apply with a sponge to scrub bathroom or kitchen surfaces. Rinse with water.

Yield: 3 cups

NOTE: This article was adapted from the book, "How To Feel Fabulous Today!" by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Publishing, 2001. The information given is true and complete to the best of her knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles and she disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Aromatherapy For Body, Mind & Home - Part 2

Labor Day Weekend Blessings To Everyone!

Already . . . fall is in the air here in coastal Maine. Sunny, breezy, 68 degrees - fabulous! Today we will continue our discussion of essential oils. I'll tell you how to do a "patch test" to check for potential allergic reactions prior to the usage of these oils and I'll describe 11 basic essential oils that you can use for skin and body care, healing of minor ailments, and also to clean and sweeten your home. Enjoy!

Essential Oil Precautions

Essential oils are highly concentrated, natural products and must be used with caution. To test for potential allergic reactions, try this patch test prior to using a new, unfamiliar essential oil on your skin or in your home for fragrancing and/or cleaning purposes.

1. In a small bowl, combine 1 or 2 drops of the essential oil in question and 1 teaspoon of base oil (jojoba oil, almond oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, apricot kernel oil, hazelnut oil, safflower oil, etc.).

2. Apply a dab of the mixture to the underside of your wrist, the inside of your upper arm, behind your ear, or behind your knee. Wait 24 hours.

3. If no irritation develops such as a rash, redness, or itching, after 24 hours, the oil in question is generally safe for you to use. If irritation develops, do not use the oil and find a substitute if possible.

11 Basic Essential Oils

The following essential oils have many uses and should be included in the family medicine and cosmetic cabinets. I highly recommend that you use a few of these oils to replace harsh, environmentally unsound household cleaning products, too.

- Clove Bud (Eugenia aromaticum). A strong antibacterial, analgesic, and antiseptic. It is best known as a remedy for toothaches or as a scent in fall/winter potpourri. Place a single drop on the offending tooth and surrounding gum area for fast, temporary relief of pain - then see your dentist as soon as possible. Do not use this remedy more than 3x in 24 hours as clove essential oil can cause gum irritation. Clove can also be used, like orange and lemon essential oils, in household cleaning formulas.

- Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus). This deeply penetrating, camphorous oil is a must-have if you're suffering from a head cold or respiratory infection. For relief of stuffiness and congested lungs, boil 4 cups of water, then remove from heat. Place pot onto a safe, stable surface. Add 4-6 drops of essential oil, make a tent over your head and pot with a towel, and inhale the healing vapors for 10 minutes. Be sure to close your eyes and avoid touching the hot pot. Keep face approximately 12 - 24 inches away from surface of pot.

- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) or Spike Lavender (Lavandula spica). A mild, multipurpose oil that smells like an old-fashioned floral perfume. Simply inhaling this oil calms the mind, relaxes the body, and soothes the spirit. This antiseptic healing oil should be kept in every kitchen as a burn remedy. Immediately after receiving a burn, immerse the affected area in cold water or cold aloe vera gel, then apply a thin layer of lavender essential oil - undiluted if you wish. It will assist in rapid skin cell regeneration and help keep scarring to a minimum.

- Lemon (Citrus limonum). Has a familiar clean, fresh, invigorating scent. Use in the same applications as orange essential oil, mentioned above - in homemade household cleaning formulas. I'll give you a formula that you can make next week. Lemon essential oil is also beneficial for oily, acneic skin because if its astringent, antibacterial, and antiseptic properties. Add 10 drops to 1 cup of witch hazel extract, shake well, and use as a toner to remove excess sebum and residue after cleansing your skin. Avoid use if you have sensitive skin and substitute lavender essential or rose geranium essential oil instead.

- Moroccan blue chamomile (Tanacetum annuum). This is a blessing for those suffering from itchy, rashy, dry, or inflamed skin, or roseacea, as well as hives and poison oak or ivy. I like to add 10 drops to a 2-ounce container of skin cream and apply to affected areas as necessary. You may also use this blend as a daily facial moisturizer to keep skin clear, calm, and supple.

- Orange, sweet (Citrus sinensis). This oil is a great degreaser. You can also add 10 drops of essential oil to 8 ounces of witch hazel for an oily skin toner. Shake well before each use. Orange oil makes a great bathroom cleaning additive. Simply add 20 drops of essential oil to 1/2 cup of liquid castille soap and 1 cup of purified water. Use the solution to scrub the tub, sink, and toilet bowl. Makes a great kitchen sink and greasy grill cleaner as well.

- Peppermint (Mentha piperita). One of my favorites! Place a drop on your tongue as a breath freshener, or add a drop to a cup of peppermint tea for prompt indigestion relief. Add a few drops on a cotton ball and place on your car floor mat to keep your car smelling fresh! For an invigorating, stimulating antidandruff shampoo, add 20 drops to 8 ounces of quality natural shampoo; shake well, then shampoo as usual. It will leave your scalp feeling cool and tingly. To awaken a dull brain in mid-afternoon, inhale deeply directly from the essential oil bottle a few times.

- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis verbenon). The verbenon chemotype is a terrific oil (very gentle form of rosemary) to stimulate your mind as well as your circulation. Add 20 drops to 8 ounces of moisturizing shower/bath gel or body lotion, shake well, and apply as usual. This antiseptic oil acts as a skin-cell regenerative and wound healer and opens sinus passages.

- Rose geranium (Pelargonium graveolens). Smells like a rose garden - only a bit more sharp. I like to inhale the aroma directly from the bottle when I feel the need for revitalization. The oil has a balancing quality and helps relieve mental stress and fatigue.

- Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia). A powerful, yet gentle-on-the-skin antiviral, antifungal, and broad-sepctrum antibacterial. To prevent or heal infection, apply a drop directly to scrapes, scratches, acne pimples, boils, or insect bites. For toenail fungus, apply a drop to affected toe(s) daily until healed. Fungus is stubborn and difficult to eradicate. This treatment may take several months to remedy the problem. Consistent application is key. NOTE: Please do not attempt to treat wounds / infections on your pets with tea tree oil. They - especially cats - can have violent reactions resulting in seizures, acute sickness, and even death. Please check with your vet or an experienced animal aromatherapy practitioner prior to using any essential oils on your pets.

- Thyme (Thumus vulgaris linalol). The linalol chemotype is a powerful - yet gentle to the skin - antiviral, antibiotic, and antiseptic. I recommend keeping the oil around during cold and flu season. Add a few drops to your vaporizer to cleanse and purify the air or purchase a nebulizing diffuser to slowly release the volatile oils into the surrounding atmosphere. Put a few drops onto a damp sponge before wiping down bathroom and kitchen surfaces; it will kill germs.

To help dry and heal pimples, combine 1 drop of thyme essential oil with 1/2 teaspoon of aloe vera juice. Then dab on each pimple with a cotton swab.

DISCLAIMER: The above article was adapted from the book, "How to Feel Fabulous Today!" by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Publishing, 2001. Additional essential oil information and formulations are available from her other book, "Organic Body Care Recipes", Storey Publishing, 2007. The information given is true and complete to the best of her knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Stephanie Tourles. Ms. Tourles disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only. Please use common sense when dealing with essential oils - read up on the subject matter and study any applicable precautions.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Aromatherapy For Body, Mind, & Home - Part I

Hello All! So sorry for my long "blog" absence! These past several weeks, I've been either attending the Community Herbalist Program classes for my own personal, on-going herbal education, completing another book proposal, writing speeches, or teaching herbal body and hair care classes at the BIG Women's Herbal Conference in New Hampshire. Whew! Hopefully life will give me a bit of a reprieve for a few weeks before I have to teach again.

Anyway . . . This blog will be PART I on the topic of aromatherapy for the body, mind, and home care. Hope you enjoy it:

Lately the word aromatherapy leaves a bad taste in my mouth. In the name of commercialism and profits, it's become tainted. Seems everyone in the industry who utilizes fragrances in their products slaps the word aromatherapy on their label to increase sales and tells you that the aromatic ingredient(s) contained within will whisk away your cares and physical problems with a mere whiff. Hogwash . . . I say!! The term is being applied to a vast array of products ranging from cheap grocery-store scented candles, bubble bath, air fresheners, bathroom soap & scum removers, and carpet cleaners to expensive salon shampoos and cosmetics. I can guarantee you that most of these products contain synthetic fragrance oils and/or inferior quality, highly refined/diluted essential oils whose fragrance will temporarily tantalize your nose - may even possibly even make you sneeze & wheeze - but contribute nothing toward healing your psyche, easing your physical illness, or cleaning your home environment.

True, effective aromatherapy utilizes real, minimally refined, pure essential oils that are of pharmaceutical and aromatherapeutic grade, and they are often processed from plants that are organically raised or ethically wildcrafted. The practice of aromatherapy has scientific roots. The various chemical components in each particular essential oil have been studied to see how their usage can affect the body on an emotional and physiological level. Many essential oils also contain antiseptic and degreasing qualities, which make them superb household cleansing additives. To guide and educate you in this fascinating mind/body healing modality plus teach you how to blend essential oils into effective home care products, I suggest that you purchase an aromatherapy book that outlines the properties and uses of essential oils. Kathy Keville & Mindy Green write terrific scientific aromatherapy books! There are also wonderful books on the market, including my, "Organic Body Care Recipes", that will provide you with aromatherapeutic personal care formulas for you to create at home. Plus I recommend that you find one of Sandy Maine's books on formulating natural home care products . . . effective, chemical-free, and oh-so-fragrant.

Next week I will discuss 11 basic essential oils for home, health, and body care plus tell you how to test yourself for potential allergic reactions - prior to making a full-size product. We'll discuss doing a "patch test". Stay tuned and have a Blessed Day!

AUTHOR DISCLAIMER: The above information is true and complete to the best of my knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of me, the author. I disclaim any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for education purposes only.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Get Steamed

Anytime of the year is a good time to partake of a herbal facial steam. Herb-infused steam will hydrate your skin and allow your pores to perspire and breathe. As the steam penetrates your skin, the various herbs will soften the surface, act as an astringent or toner, and aid in the healing of skin lesions. Also, any clogging from dirt or makeup will be loosened for easy removal afterward.

Herbal steams can be used regularly, say once or twice per week, by those with normal, dry, or oily skin. Those of you with highly sensitive skin, dilated capillaries, rosacea, or sunburned/windburned skin, however, should abstain. Always cleanse your skin prior to steaming.

Steams For Pore Perfection

To prepare a facial steam, boil 4 cups of distilled or purified water. Remove pan from the heat, add herbs, cover, and allow to steep for about 5 - 10 minutes. Place the pot in a safe, stable place where you can sit comfortably for about 10 minutes. Use a bath towel to create a tent over your head, shoulders, and steaming herb pot; allow at least 10 to 15 inches between the steaming herb pot and your face to avoid burning your skin. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and relax.

All of the herbs in the following blends are in dried form. If you're using fresh herbs, double the quantity.


1. For Normal or Oily Skin: 1 teaspoon yarrow leaves, 1 teaspoon sage leaves, 1 teaspoon rosemary leaves, and 1 teaspoon peppermint leaves.

2. For Normal or Dry Skin: 1 teaspoon orange flowers or orange peel, 2 teaspoons comfrey leaves, and 1 teaspoon elder flowers.

3. For All Skin Types: 1 teaspoon calendula blossoms, 1 teaspoon chamomile flowers, 1 teaspoon raspberry leaves, 1 teaspoon peppermint leaves, and 1 teaspoon strawberry leaves (optional).

4. Wrinkle Chaser: 1 tablespoon crushed fennel seeds and 2 drops essential oil of rose or rose geranium. Add the essential oil to the water immediately before you steam your face.

NOTE: The above article was written by Stephanie Tourles, certified aromatherapist, licensed holistic esthetician, herbalist, and author of "Organic Body Care Recipes". The information is true and complete to the best of my knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee and are for educational purposes only. Ms. Tourles disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. Use your common sense and seek medical attention should you have an adverse reaction to the use of herbs on your skin.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cleanse & Condition Your Complexion

Simple, natural cleansing creams, fruit pastes, and grain blends can be used to effectively and economically remove makeup and everday dirt and grime that collects in your pores. Unlike soap - which has a tendency to dry the skin's surface - these products are very gentle and nourishing and do a thorough job of cleansing without stripping your skin of its natural barrier of protective oils.

If you happen to wear liquid foundation or mineral powder makeup, or tinted moisturizers, you will probably need to wash your face twice. Once to initially remove the makeup and a 2nd time to thoroughly deep cleanse and condition using one of the following recipes. I like to use a super-fatted goat's milk soap or olive oil-based cleanser first to remove my makeup. Just make sure to use a natural product suited for your skin type and one that doesn't leave your skin "squeaky" clean. If it "squeaks", then it's been stripped of essential oils and will have a tendency to look and feel dehydrated on the surface.

Restore The Radiance

1. For smooth, soft skin, wash your face everyday with plain, organic yogurt or buttermilk. It can be the full-fat variety, low-fat, or skim. Use it as you would ordinary cold cream, avoiding the eye area. It's gentle enough for all skin types and as a bonus, it contains naturally occurring lactic acid. This acts as a mild exfoliant to remove dead skin buildup.

2. For positively glowing skin, mash a third of a very, very ripe banana in a small bowl. Use the pulp to wash your face and throat, avoiding the eye area. If your skin is especially dry or dehydrated, leave this on for approximately 5 minutes. Rinse, then pat dry.

3. To pamper mature, thin, dry skin, mix 1 tablespoon of heavy cream with 1 or 2 drops of essential oil of rose or rose geranium. Use as you would a cleansing lotion, massaging well into your face and throat. This can be used on the eye area to remove eye makeup and mascara. This blend smells exquisite and if a drop happens to drip into your mouth, it will taste like a rose shake!

4. Instant oatmeal makes a wonderful cleanser and gently bleaching facial scrub. Simply pour one-half of a packet of oatmeal into a small bowl. Add enough warm water to form a paste. Stir and let it set up in the bowl for a minute or two. If too thick, add a bit more water. Massage onto your skin in circular motions for 60 seconds. Rinse with warm water.

NOTE TO READERS: The above article was written by Stephanie Tourles, lic. holistic esthetician, certified aromatherapist, herbalist, nutritionist, and author of "Organic Body Care Recipes" plus many other books on natural skin and body care. The information is true and complete to the best of my knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee and are given as educational information only.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Make A Splash - Herbal Facial Toner Recipes

Nothing is more cooling and invigorating to hot summer skin than a chilled splash or spritz of a freshly made, fragrant natural skin toner. Like a summer breeze that soothes your parched skin and revives your senses, these lightly scented toners can be customized to your particular skin type and fragrance preference.

Give Your Skin A "Drink"

Natural skin toners have been used for centuries to refresh, pamper, and gently scent the skin and air. The following toner recipes can be applied as a splash, a light mist from a spray bottle, or with cotton balls. Use at any time of the day or immediately after cleansing to remove traces of cleanser and prepare your skin for moisturizer. Store in the refrigerator and discard after 5 days unless otherwise indicated.


1. For normal to oily skin, brew a cup of strong peppermint or lemon balm tea. Chill it, and use it to remove excess oil and shine from your skin.

2. For itchy, rashy skin, pour a cup of boiling water over 1 teaspoon of crushed fennel seeds. Steep for 10 minutes. Strain and chill.

3. For all skin types, brew a cup of strong chamomile tea, chill, and use to soften and moisturize. This is particularly good to use during the winter, when skin dehydrates and chaps easily.

4. For normal and dry skin, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable glycerin to 1/2 cup of rose water or rose hydrosol (the watery byproduct of essential oil extraction). The glycerin will act as a humectant and draw water vapor from the air to your skin. This makes a super, light floral summer moisturizer that can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six months. Shake before each use.

NOTE: The above blog was written by Stephanie Tourles, lic. holistic esthetician, aromatherapist, and herbalist. The author disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only. Please use your common sense when applying new herbal formulations to your skin. Discontinue use immediately should you develop a rash or irritation.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Stress & Skin Health

Is stress wreaking havoc with the appearance of your skin? It probably is! If you're like most Americans, you find yourself feeling stressed quite often. We tend to stress out about our health or lack of it, our diet, insufficient exercise, our weight or body image, the economy, our job, finances, our relationships, our kids, upsetting news - war, crime, death, global warming, etc. The list could go on and on.

Not only can stress lead to fatigue, tension headaches, and irritability, but prolonged stress can have long-term negative effects on the body and skin. Acute stress of any form will cause a lowering of the immune system's defenses - albiet a temporary one. Chronic stress, on the other hand, whether due to lack of sleep, poor nutrition, tension at work, loss of job, severe illness, daily hassles such as long lines, traffic congestion, road rage, ill-behaved kids, lack of exercise, overwork, emotional challenges, outdoor pollution, heavy metal exposure, indoor chemical pollution, or noise will, over time, significantly lower the immune system's defenses or response mechanisms. This puts us at greater risk for health problems down the road, for sure!

Stress can and does have a significant impact on your skin's health and appearance. A stressed out mind or body can exhibit this "distress" on the skin's surface with a wide range of symptoms. What are these symptoms? Red, itchy, mysterious rashes; myriad inflammatory reactions; roseacea on the face; acne; eczema; psoriasis; a dehydrated complexion; accelerated formation of "liver spots or age spots" on the face, arms, legs, or chest; accelerated aging of the face - sagging jowls and deepening creases; and lackluster tone to the skin.

Stress can either cause your skin to flare up and look red and "angry" or it can have the opposite effect and lead to a sallow, pale, lifeless complexion that makes you look as if you will wither away and die. I'd rather learn to deal with my life's stresses than opt for one of these looks - wouldn't you? Don't let stress zap / sap your energy and good looks!

What is a stressed-out individual to do? Here's my list:

- Slow down - life is not a race to the finish line.
- Breathe from your lower diaphragm - remember life is too short to run around exhausted.
- As the saying goes, "Don't fret the small stuff"!
- Eat right and exercise regularly - treat yourself as the king or queen that you are.
- Be cheerful - it calms those who are stressed-out around you.
- Unwind your mind. Take a moment and focus on something that makes you smile.
- Always remember . . . someone else's situation(s) are worse than yours.
- Handle the heavy and important tasks first - when energy is greatest - and do the minor tasks later in the day.
- Be flexible - a flexible mind and body are healthier in the long run.
- Don't get too stressed when your expectations are not met.
- Take a yoga class once a week - at least.
- Pamper yourself - you're all you've got.
- No one is perfect - not even you - so quit pressuring yourself. Just be your best.
- Remember, you can only change your own behavior - quit trying to change others.
- Laugh, love, and hug more.
- Kiss your kids and your mate everynight before you fall asleep.
- Watch what you say to others and how you say it. Tongues can be sharp and cutting. Master your communication skills.

On the nutrition side of things . . . I will recommend that you add goodly amounts of a quality barley grass powder to your daily diet, plus chlorella and blue-green algae tablets or powder, omega-3 oils from raw, fermented cod liver, and eat plenty of cold-water, fresh fish. I love what mega-amounts of chlorophyll does for the skin. Chlorophyll is concentrated sun energy and loaded with vitamins A & D and micro-minerals. Quality fish oils help soften and heal the skin. A diet of 50% or more raw foods will do wonders for your energy level and appearance. If you add all of these ingredients to your daily diet, I guarantee that you will see a significant improvement in the texture, tone, and color of your skin. It will "youthify" right before your eyes. Be consistent with a good diet, supplements, daily exercise, and practice low-stress living. No one is immune to the negative effects of stress, but you can fortify yourself so that you can successfully deal with the big blows that life will inevitably toss your way.

NOTE: This article is by Stephanie Tourles, lic. holistic esthetician, herbalist, and certified aromatherapist, and author of, "Organic Body Care Recipes". This information is for educational purposes only. The author does not assume any liability in relation to the information given. Please use your common sense when adding supplements to your diet or altering your lifestyle and seek professional guidance if you have any questions.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Your Skin's Functions

We just marked the summer solstice yesterday, June 21, 2009. The longest day of the year. Can you believe it, already?! Here in northern, rural, coastal Maine, it is daylight at 4:00am . . . the birds sing to herald the morning, the wild turkeys run through my slowly growing garden - wreaking havoc on my seedlings as they gobble with delight amongst themselves! - the local red fox, sitting atop the massive granite boulder in my back yard, decries with his eerie voice, that he's caught yet another rabbit and all is well in his fat belly, and the tree frogs give up a throaty trill. Early morning is full of life. The sun sets nigh 9:00pm, with a trace of orange in the sky remaining at 9:30 - if the night is clear. Amazing place . . . northern Maine!

Well . . . that has nothing to do with skin or its functions, I realize, but I just had to tell you about my surroundings that I am blessed to be able to inhabit. I might add, that living in a beautiful, peaceful setting, with minimal stress (most of the time), can do wonders for your skin's health, though. Think about how you look and feel after a long weekend spent hiking or camping, or attending a yoga retreat, or strolling the beach searching for rocks or seashells - doesn't your skin just exude a healthy glow? Something to think about . . . minimizing stress.

In the last blog, I discussed the structures that are contained in one mere square inch of skin. This weeek, I'm going to tell you about the skin's functions. Think of your skin as a beautiful, satin robe that you wear night and day. It presents your external beauty and health to the world and at the same time protects your inner being. The skin, or integumentary system, is an actual living system, that also comprises the hair and nails, various glands, and several specialized receptors. As a complex structure, it performs nine essential jobs for the body. The skin:

- Protects us from physical, chemical, biological, thermal, and electrical damage.
- Helps the body maintain a steady temperature.
- Acts as a moisture regulator, preventing excessive entry and evaporation of water.
- Prevents excessive loss of minerals.
- Converts ultraviolet rays into vitamin D3, part of the vitamin D complex that helps us maintain strong bones by enhancing absorption of calcium and other minerals.
- Serves as a highly sensitive sensory organ, responding to heat, cold, pain, pleasure, and pressure.
- Metabolizes and stores fat.
- Secretes sebum, an oily lubricating substance.
- Assists in processes of excretion of salts, urea, water, and toxins via sweating.

Pretty amazing, your skin. Remember to treat it as the important bodily organ that it is. Give it daily care and it will reward you with a lifetime of beauty and comfort.

NOTE: Portions of this blog were adapated from the book, "Organic Body Care Recipes", by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Publishing, 2007. The information provided is true and complete to the best of my knowledge. The author, disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What's Contained In One Square Inch Of Skin?

If you regularly follow my blogs and have visited my website,, then you know that I'm a licensed esthetician - a skin care specialist. I write books and articles about holistic skin and body care, create chemical-free skin care and personal care products, and teach and lecture about proper skin care plus the topics of herbalism, nutrition, and aromatherapy as they relate to skin care. I'm all about skin, you see.

I thought that in this blog, instead of talking about a particular skin / health concern or offering you a nutritional tidbit or recipe to feed your skin, I'd give you the inside scoop on what one square inch of your skin contains. The following is pure structural information - anatomy and physiology 101. I'm sure you will find it fascinating! Your skin performs so many jobs - a good reason to always keep it in tip top shape.


The complex structures of the skin contained within one square inch:
- 65 hairs
- 9,500,000 cells
- 95 to 100 sebaceous (oil) glands
- 19 yards (17 meters) of blood vessels
- 650 sweat glands
- 78 yards (70 meters) of nerves
- 78 sensory apparatuses for heat
- 19,500 sensory cells at the ends of nerve fibers
- 1,300 nerve endings to record pain
- 160 to 165 pressure apparatuses for the perception of tactile stimuli
- 13 sensory apparatuses for cold

(Adapted from Joel Gerson, Milady's Standard Textbook for Professional Estheticians, 8th edition)

NOTE: Portions of this article have been adapted from the book, "Organic Body Care Recipes", by Stephanie Tourles. The information is true and complete to the best of my knowledge. Ms. Tourles disclaims any liability in connection with this information. It is for your educational purposes only.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Edible Skin Care Recipes - Part V

Hello All . . . This is the last blog in the series of "Edible Skin Care Recipes". The following recipe is super yummy and great for your skin, energy, and health. Hope you enjoy it!


Convenient and portable. One hundred percent better for you than a candy bar or chips! I often keep a baggie of this mixture or a similar one in my purse so I don't feel tempted to visit the nearest drive-through window when the munchies hit! If you frequently travel via airplane, this makes a terrific snack to carry with you on the plane. Beats airport food any day!

This dried fruit and nut trail mix contains the essential fats, proteins, and complex carbohydrates your body craves just before that midafternoon slump kicks in and all the nutrients your skin demands to stay in tip-top shape.


1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raw hazelnuts
1/2 cup dried, unsulfured, pitted cherries (cut in half if large)
1/2 cup large, unsulfured raisins
1/2 cup raw Brazil nuts
1/4 cup lightly salted sunflower seeds, toasted (or use raw and unsalted)
1/4 cup lightly salted pumpkin seeds, toasted (or use raw and unsalted)
1/4 cup dried, unsulfured, chopped, apricots
Dash of cinnamon or nutmeg powder (optional)

To Make: Place all ingredients into a plastic freezer bag or food storage container and shake well. Keep tightly sealed in the refrigerator unless consumed within 2 weeks as raw nuts become rancid quicker than roasted ones.

To Use: Consume a handful or so whenever the snacking mood strikes. Try to remember portion control here as nuts and seeds contain a lot of oil and if you are trying to lose weight, these calories can add up quickly. One serving is generally a 1/4 cup or so.

Yield: Approximately 3 1/4 cups of snack mix.

To Toast or Not To Toast

Toasting nuts, seeds, and coconut does enhance the flavor of cookies and this snack mix, but also diminishes their nutritional content. If you decide to toast, here's how:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the ingredients in an ungreased baking pan - in a single layer - and bake for 12-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the contents of the pan begin to turn slightly golden brown. Your kitchen should smell quite yummy!

NOTE: This recipe was adapted from the book, "Naturally Healthy Skin" by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Publishing, 1999. The information is true and complete to the best of my knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of me, the author, and are for your enjoyment and educational purposes only. I disclaim any liability in connection with the use of this information.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Edible Skin Care Recipes - Part IV

Hello everyone! Sorry I've been away so long! It's gardening season in coastal Maine and I've been busy planting my veggies in my smaller 25' x 55' organic garden and enjoying watching my husband create/construct a new, crescent-shaped, terraced, - much larger - garden outlined with native boulders. We live along the Penobscot River as it opens to the Atlantic and our property slopes down towards the water. The view from the new garden is spectacular. In this new garden, I plan on planting "things that vine & need space" such as winter squashes, pumpkins, black raspberries, blackberries, high-bush blueberries, strawberries, and corn. It's so exciting!

Today, I'll give you another recipe for "skin-beautifying food". These no-bake, semi-raw cookies are super yummy! Hope you give them a try.


Each day, eat something that, if planted, would grow - such as the seeds in these no-bake cookies (if left untoasted). Apricots and raisins add iron, necessary for the hemoglobin that transports oxygen to cells, giving you a healthy glow. Lecithin granules, available in most health food stores, sharpen the mind and improve memory. Rosemary adds a peppy finish.


12 dried, unsulfured apricots, chopped
1/2 cup raisins or currants
1 cup apple juice, natural or fresh squeezed
1 sprig or rosemary, minced or 1/2 teaspoon dried
3 tablespoons almonds, coarsely ground or slivered, raw or lightly toasted
3 tablespoons low-fat granola cereal
3 tablespoons lecithin granules
3 tablespoons raw or toasted wheatgerm
2 tablespoons bran cereal
1 tablespoon dry milk powder or soy milk powder
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut, raw or toasted
2 tablespoons sunflower seed kernels, raw or lightly toasted
3 tablespoons sesame seeds, raw or lightly toasted
Raw or lightly toasted walnut halves for garnish

To Make:

1. In a small saucepan, pour apple juice over apricots and raisins. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Drain.
2. In a food processor, puree the fruit and rosemary.
3. In a separate bowl, blend puree with almonds, granola, lecithin, wheatgerm, bran, milk powder, coconut, sunflower kernels, and sesame seeds.
4. Place mixture on waxed or parchment paper or aluminum foil. Using sides of paper, form mixture into a 10-12" log. Wrap and refrigerate for an hour or longer until firm. Slice log into 12 pieces. Press a walnut into the center of each slice.

To Use: Wrap individually with plastic food wrap and refrigerate to keep firm. Enjoy!

Yield: 1 dozen, approximately 80 calories each

NOTE & Disclaimer: The above information has been adapted from the book, "Naturally Healthy Skin" by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Publishing, 1999. It is true and complete to the best of my knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on part of the author. Ms. Tourles disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only. Please see a nutritionist or health professional should you have any medical questions or feel free to research this topic further on your own.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Edible Skin Care Recipes, Part III

These next two recipes, Honey Pecan Cookies & Apricot Chews (which I will give to you in Part IV), were graciously donated by Bill & Sylvia Varney, owners of the Fredericksburg Herb Farm in Fredericksburg, TX. This herb farm and restaurant is simply beautiful - an oasis under the hot Texas sun.

The Varneys say, "For healthy hair and skin, what goes in the body comes before what goes on it. The skin, like every other part of the body, receives its nourishment from the bloodstream. Overload your body with caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes, refined sugar, saturated fat, emotional stress, and guess what? Poor color, circles under the eyes, blemished skin, and a never-ending bad hair day. Take a nibble, boost your body and your spirits with a cookie.

"Surprised? ask the Varneys, "Our cookie recipes are different! They are dense in nutrients, without the abundance of fat and refined sweeteners found in ordinary cookies. They're rich in B and E vitamins to nourish your nerves and put a spark in your eyes; rich in calcium to strengthen your bones; rich in iron for your blood; rich in fiber to clean out your insides; and rich in potassium for your heart, too. Best of all, you'll find that in the pursuit of health, vigor, and beauty, your taste buds never had it so good!"

RECIPE: Honey Pecan Cookies

Full of vitality-boosting minerals and vitamins B and E, that help keep you calm, cool, collected, and beautiful, these lemon verbena-scented cookies perk up those afternoon slumps. Nibble one and resist empty-calorie temptations.

1 cup whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached flour
2 tablespoons wheat germ
2 tablespoons bran
2 tablespoons organic powdered milk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup honey
1 organic egg
1 4" sprig lemon verbena, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon dried or 2 teaspoons minced fresh lemon balm leaves, or 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup organic fresh buttermilk or reconstitute from a dried buttermilk mix
1/2 cup pecans, raw or toasted (your choice) and finely chopped
Raw or toasted (your choice), chopped pecans for garnish

To Make:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit
2. Stir together all dry ingredients in a bowl.
3. In food processor, beat the butter and honey together, then add egg, lemon verbena, lemon juice, and buttermilk and process until smooth and creamy. Add dry ingredients and mix briefly until incorporated. Pulse in chopped pecans.
4. Drop batter by heaping spoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Garnish with pecans. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Check cookies frequently, they do burn easily. Remove to wire rack to cool.

To Eat:

Enjoy one for a sweet breakfast or anytime for a quick, energizing, skin-healthy snack.

Yield: Approximately 1 dozen large cookies, 200 calories each

NOTE: The above has been adapted from the book, "Naturally Healthy Skin", by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Publishing, 1999. The information is true and complete to the best of the author's knowledge. The author disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Edible Skin Care Recipes, Part 2

This is another of my skin-beautifying formulas that I consume on a regular basis. I refer to the following recipe as my "anti-stress breakfast boost" formula. It's loaded with complexion-enhancing, stress-reducing B vitamins, plus vitamin E, calcium, potassium, zinc, iron, magnesium, manganese, fiber, protein, and complex carbohydrates for sustained energy. It is also chock-full of healthy, skin-softening fats.

I love the taste, but if you're not crazy about brewer's yeast, the flavor will take a bit of getting used to.



1 frozen banana or 1 cup frozen strawberries
2 cups raw cow or goat milk, or fortified soy or almond milk
1 tablespoon brewer's yeast
2 teaspoons blackstrap molasses
2 teaspoons raw sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon raw sesame seeds
10 raw almonds
1/4 cup raw oat flakes or cooked oatmeal
2 teaspoons raw honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2-3 ice cubes (optional - makes a nice thick, frosty drink)

To Make: Combine all ingredients in blender and whiz on high until smooth for about 30-60 seconds total.

To Use: I usually consume the entire batch throughout the morning hours, taking sips between my work projects. Alternatively, pour half of the recipe into a mug, cover, and refrigerate the rest until later in the day.

Yield: Makes approximately two, 1 1/2 cup servings or 1 large meal.

NOTE: The above recipe was adapted from the book, "Naturally Healthy Skin", by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Books, 1999. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of the author. The author disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this recipe/information. All information dispensed by the author is for educational use only. Consult a knowledgeable, wholistic nutritionist if you have any questions about food/nutrition.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Edible Skin Care Recipes, Part 1

Ever visit a lovely, tranquil farm and see the beautiful vitamin-pill trees growing in the orchard down by the brook? Of course not! We're so busy these days that we've become a nation of pill poppers. We swallow our "once-a-day" in an effort to ensure that we get a nutritious and balanced diet - instead of paying close attention to what we actually eat. We consume so much fast food and junk food that many of us seem to think that a fractionated, synthetically-derived pill will fill the gaps in our diets. Not so!

Sure, laboratory-made vitamin and mineral supplements have their rightful place in certain disease conditions and deficiencies - for short-term usage only - but for general health and well-being and the prevention of disease, consumption of whole, unprocessed foods as Mother Nature presents them is the way to go. Additionally, naturally-derived supplements such as herbal capsules, tinctures, teas, and herbal syrups, plus brewer's yeast, spirulina, blue-green algae, chlorella, and barley and alfalfa grasses,to name a few, are wonderful, nutrient-dense foods to include in your beautiful-skin regimen.

The recipe that follows and the future edible skin care recipes that I will share with you in the next few weeks, are chock-full of easily absorbable vitamins and minerals. They'll also provide you with a delicious way to boost your energy level as well as your natural immunity.


This herb tea, also referred to as a herbal infusion, is a tasty blend that, hot or cold, helps replenish a deficient system and restores lackluster skin, hair, and nails. All herbs in this formula are in dried form. Please purchase organically-grown herbs whenever possible.

2 tablespoons lemon balm leaves
1 tablespoon lavender flowers
1 tablespoon peppermint leaves
1 tablespoon chamomile flowers
1 tablespoon rose petals
1 tablespoon nettle leaves
1 tablespoon alfalfa leaves
1 tablespoon rose hips
2 teaspoons dandelion leaves
2 teaspoons raspberry leaves
1/2 teaspoon ginger root

To Make: Combine all herbs in a medium-size bowl and stir to blend. Store in a tightly-sealed tin, jar, or plastic tub or bag away from light in a cool, dry location. Best if used within 6 months.

To Use: Bring a cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon of dried tea blend. Cover and allow to steep for 10-15 minutes or longer. The longer it steeps, the more nutrients will be infused into the water. Strain before drinking. Add honey, cream, or lemon if desired. Drink 1-2 cups daily.

Yield: Approximately 30 cups of tea

Disclaimer: This article was adapted from the book, "Naturally Healthy Skin" by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Publishing, 1999. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of the author. The author disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only. Please seek the advice of a qualified herbalist if you have any questions regarding herb usage.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Herbal Treatments For Toenail Fungus - Part III

Today, I will give you another herbal remedy for treating toenail fungus. You can use this recipe in conjunction with the "Antifungal Toenail Liniment" recipe previously given. Apply this oil after the liniment has dried. Use this oil consistently for at least six months or longer or until the fungus has disappeared.

"Tough On Fungus Toenail Drops"

2 teaspoons tea tree essential oil
2 teaspoons thyme essential oil
2 teaspoons clove or thyme essential oil
4 teaspoons jojoba oil (used for dilution of essential oils)

To Make:
Combine all ingredients and pour into a 2-ounce glass bottle. Shake well.

To Use:
Place a drop or two on each toenail morning and night and rub in well, then dress as you normally do.

Store bottle in a cool, dry, dark cabinet. Do not refrigerate as the jojoba oil will harden.

NOTE: This information was adapted from the book, "Natural Foot Care - Herbal Treatments, Massage, And Exercises For Healthy Feet", by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Publishing 1998. The information in this article is for educational purposes only and any recommendations for health care are made without guarantee on the part of the author. The author disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. Please use common sense when self-treating with herbs and essential oils and consult a professional herbalist/aromatherapist when appropriate.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Herbal Treatments For Toenail Fungus, Part II

As promised in Part I of this topic on natural toenail fungus treatments, the following is a recipe for herbal treatment of this problem:

AntiFungal Toenail Liniment

4 tablespoons dried black walnut hulls or 8 tablespoons fresh and chopped fine
2 tablespoons dried, chopped goldenseal root or Oregon grape root
1 tablespoon powdered myrrh gum
40 drops tea tree essential oil
40 drops thyme essential oil
40 drops tincture of iodine
2 cups vodka (must be at least 80-proof or 40% alcohol by volume)

Yield: Will make approx. 1.5 cups of liniment

To make:
1) In a quart-sized (liter-sized), wide-mouthed canning jar, add the black walnut hulls, goldenseal or Oregon grape root, myrrh gum, essential oils, and iodine, then pour in the alcohol. Cap jar with plastic wrap first, then screw on the metal lid. Shake daily.
2) After at least 14 days have passed (I really recommend 4 to 12 weeks; it makes for a stronger formula), you may strain the mixture through hosiery-lined cheese cloth or through a coffee filter, then squeeze and twist the cloth or squeeze the filter to wring out all of the liquid.
3) Pour the finished formula into two, 8-ounce bottles or four, 4-ounce bottles with dropper tops (if available).

To use:
Morning, noon, and night, if possible, apply a few drops to all toenails, rub in thoroughly, and allow to dry before putting on hosiery, socks, or footwear. Repeat this procedure daily for as long as it takes to rid your toenails of fungus. The herbs in this recipe have potent antifungal and antimicrobial properties. Remember that toenail fungus can be difficult to eradicate whether using herbal treatments or conventional medications. Please be consistent and persistent with your treatments in order to obtain success.

Refrigeration is not necessary. This product will keep for up to 5 years, easily. Do store bottles in a dark, cool, cabinet, though.

NOTE: This recipe was adapted from the book, "Natural Foot Care: Herbal Treatments, Massage, and Exercises for Healthy Feet", by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Publishing, 1998. All recommendations are made without guarantee on part of the author. The author disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information. Please use common sense when working with natural healing therapies and ask questions from qualified professionals when need be.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Herbal Treatments For Toenail Fungus, Part !

Ugly, unsightly, and embarrassing - that's how best to describe the condition of toenails infected with fungus. People with toenail fungus often avoid social situations that call for baring their feet, such as summer pool parties, strolling on the beach, or an evening out in your best dress and high-heeled sandals.

Onychomycosis is caused by microorganisms called dermatophytes, which are similar to those that cause athlete's foot. These organisms are ever- present on your clothes and in your shoes, the gym, and even your organically fortified garden soil. They're practically unavoidable.

Symptoms: One or more of your toenails will begin to look a bit abnormal. Color changes can appear, such as long, yellowish streaks or white patches that can be scraped off. The nail can lift and begin to separate from the nail bed, thicken, and become brittle and flaky. It can also become distorted in shape and begin to twist. This fungus can be transmitted easily to your fingernails, or to other members of your family for that matter, if you constantly pick at your toes without washing your hands afterward. It sounds disgusting, but lots of people do it unintentionally.

Treatment: In order to treat toenail fungus, you have to get underneath the nail, which can be difficult. The fungus lives on the soft skin of the nail bed. The herbs and oils in the recipes that I will give to you in the next 2 blogs have traditionally been used by herbalists with much success if applied at least once a day. Twice is best, though.

Prevention: Since toenail fungus is infectious, take the same precautions as you would with athlete's foot and wear the appropriate footwear when in public bathing places. Observe proper daily foot hygiene; keep feet fresh and dry with powder and clean changes of socks/hosiery; wear good-fitting, breathable shoes; and never trim toenails too close to the skin or cut the skin.

See A Physician If: Toenail fungus is difficult to treat and eradicate. It can be a persistent, nasty bugger - so to speak. If the above measures fail and you've tried the herbal recipes that I'll list in the next two blogs, visit your foot specialist / podiatrist. He or she may want to prescribe a topical or oral medication to combat the fungus or perhaps remove the diseased nail, depending on the severity of the infection. Medications are not without side effects, and do not always work, either.

Whichever treatment you choose - herbal or conventional medicine - remember that toenail fungus treatment takes time and consistency of treatment. Do not skip meds or herbal applications.

NOTE: Portions of this article were adapated from the book, "Natural Foot Care", by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Publishing, 1998. All recommendations are made without guarantee on my part and I disclaim any liability in connection with the use of this information. This article is for educational purposes only and I recommend that the readers use their common sense with all herbal knowledge.

Monday, March 16, 2009

How Dry I Am: What To Look For In A Natural Moisturizer

It's that bewitching time of year for your poor skin . . . the end of winter and the start of spring. The time of year when the humidity is still relatively low, the house is still being heated with forced hot air or a wood/coal stove, and your skin, fingernails, and feet are yearning for warmth and moisture. Basically, most of you are feeling parched and itchy - all over. What to do?

Firstly, you need to exfoliate your body at least once per week so that you remove the outer layer of dead skin cells - in order for your moisturizer to best penetrate and be absorbed. This exfoliation can be done using a gentle body scrub, a body brush, or a loofah sponge. For facial exfoliation, a very gentle facial scrub made with jojoba wax beads, ground oatmeal or almond meal or sunflower seed meal can be used or you can apply a homemade papaya pulp or yogurt mask. A good quality wash cloth will suffice - especially if you have sensitive skin - if you wish to keep it simple. Recipes for exfoliants are given in my book, Organic Body Care Recipes.

I'm going to share with you a list of key ingredients to look for when purchasing a natural, chemical-free (if possible) moisturizer for either face, body, or feet.

Emollients and Occlusives - These ingredients are used to soften, coat, and smooth the stratum corneum (outer layer of skin) and hold water / moisture inside the skin: beeswax, cocoa butter, shea butter, organic almond oil, evening primrose oil, squalane, grapeseed oil, avocado oil, macadamia nut oil, sunflower seed oil, lanolin, olive oil, wheat germ oil, vitamin E, linoleic acid, kukui nut oil, jojoba oil, non-petroleum jelly, organic soybean oil. You may find products containing mineral oil, dimethicone (silicone), and petrolatum, but those are best avoided as they are not compatible with human skin.

Humectants - These are ingredients that have high water absorption capabilities (attracting water from the atmosphere to your skin) and are water soluble. They will not clog your pores: vegetable glycerin, hyaluronic acid or sodium hyaluronate, amino acids, lactic acid, honey, urea, sorbitol, algae or seaweed extract, marshmallow root extract, comfrey root extract, polysaccharides (sugars), peptides or proteins, panthenol, NAPCA (sodium PCA). There are others such as propylene glycol and butylene glycol that are synthetic chemicals and irritants - best avoided.

Here's to soft, radiant, beautiful, moist skin. Happy Spring!

(NOTE: All recommendations are made without guaranteee on the part of the author, Stephanie Tourles - lic. holistic esthetician, aromatherapist, and herbalist. The author disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information and recommends that the reader use their common sense. This information is for educational purposes only.)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Maximize Your Nutrition: Part IV

Essential Fatty Acids: Raw Sunflower & Pumpkin Seeds

I realize that at the beginning of the "Maximize Your Nutrition" segment . . . I told you there would be three parts to the discussion . . . but I just had to add a "Part IV" regarding the importance of essential fatty acids to skin care.

There is a simple snack mix you can make that will boost the vitality of your skin and health. Mix equal parts of raw, hulled sunflower seeds and raw pumpkin seeds (sometimes called pepitas) in a plastic container or bag and carry this tasty, crunchy treat with you as a healthy fast-food snack or toss it in your daily salad in lieu of white-bread croutons. For a zestier taste, sprinkle a bit of your favorite salt-free seasoning on the mix.

These seeds have essential fats and substantial amounts of iron and zinc. Raw, unprocessed, unheated omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids may be two of the most powerful tools in your anti-wrinkle arsenal. Fat preserves your skin's suppleness and youthful dewiness. Raw fats also have potent anti-inflammatory properties, promoting heart health, relief of pain, and reduction of roseacea in the skin.

Other sources of essential fatty acids include daily consumption of a tablespoon or two of fresh flaxseed, extra-virgin olive, fish, or unrefined coconut oil. Try to mix them up and have a different one every day or so. A quarter-cup of raw walnuts is also a good, crunchy vegetarian source of omega- (or take a few capsules if you can't stand the fishy taste).

(NOTE: Portions of this article were adapted from the book, "Organic Body Care Recipes", by Stephanie Tourles, Storey Publishing, 2007. The information in this article is true and complete to the best of my knowledge. The author disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information and recommends that the reader use his/her common sense. This information is for educational purposes only.)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Maximize Your Nutrition - Part III

"Whole Food Supplements - OPCs (Oligomeric Proanthocyanidins)

OPCs are another of my daily natural supplements that I swear by! My health and clarity of my skin wouldn't be what they are without this tasty, reddish-purple supplement. Yes, the long scientific name for OPCs is indeed a tongue-twister, but here's a short explanation: OPCs are becoming recognized as one of the most potent categories of anti-oxidants (which act as anti-aging or youthifying agents). They fight the free radicals that cause oxidation, the process responsible for the rusting of metal, the browning of a cut apple, or the appearance of brown age spots on your body. OPCs are present only in plants and have blue-green, yellow, red, and purple pigments.

An OPC supplement is available in liquid, capsule, or powdered form at any good health food store and often includes: red wine, purple and red grapes, prunes, raisins, blueberies, blackberries, red bilberries, lingonberries, raspberries, spinach, kale, currants, rose hips, turmeric, ginger, pine bark, grape seeds, green tea, gingko leaf, hawthorn leaf, and oregano. It's recommended that you include many of these foods in your daily diet. An added bonus: Liquid OPC formulations are usually quite delicious, tasting like fruit juice.

NOTE: Portions of this article were adapted from the book, "Organic Body Care Recipes" by Stephanie Tourles, 2007, Storey Publishing. The information in this article is true to the best of my knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of the author. She recommends that readers use their common sense. This information is for educational purposes only.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Maximize Your Nutrition, Part II

This is Part 2 to last week's blog regarding "eating for health and beauty".

"Whole-Food Supplements"

Along with a whole-foods diet, nutritional supplements also have their benefits towards your well being. No matter how balanced you think your diet is, virtually everyone has a deficiency or low-intake of one nutrient or another. Supplements help fill in the nutritional gaps so that you look and feel your best - giving you the appearance of youth (or actually prolonging your youth) from the inside out.

While many professionals believe differently, I believe that the most effective supplements are derived from whole, real foods (as opposed to being entirely synthetic). I take my three favorite supplements on a daily basis - a green drink blend, OPC's, and a mix of raw sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Combined, they contain all of the specific nutrients that help combat aging, nourish skin, hair, and nails, and promote well-being.

This week, I'll discuss my Green Drink Blend and next week I'll conclude this three-part series with a discussion of my other two favorite supplements. Every morning, I toss a handful of frozen raspberries, strawberries, mango chunks, or a frozen banana into the blender, then add a cup or more of freshly-made almond milk, raw skim cow's milk, or unsweetened soy milk, a dollop of raw goat or cow's milk yogurt, and two tablespoons of an organically-produced, green plant powder. The powder I use contains "powerhouse plants" including chlorella, a single-celled green algae; blue-green algae; barley grass; wheat grass; and alfalfa.

When cloosing a green-plant powder blend, make sure the product label states that the ingredients were organically grown and were processed rapidly, immediately after harvesting to preserve the live enzymes and vitamins they contain. The grasses taste the way a freshly mowed lawn smells - sweet and green. The blend is also available in easy-to-swallow capsules.

Green drink blends are ideal for those of you with with digestive difficulties in that the live enzymes aid digestion and enable proper assimilation of vital nutrients. Here's to your health.

(Note: Portions of this article are adapted from the book, "Organic Body Care Recipes" by Stephanie Tourles, copyright 2007, Storey Publishing. The author disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information and recommends that the reader use their common sense. This information is for education purposes only.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Maximize Your Nutrition

Pizza; French fries; iceberg lettuce; lifeless, unripe tomatoes; jelly beans; hamburgers; chips; processed frozen dinners; ketchup: What does this group of "foods" provide? White processed flour, fatty meat and cheese, excess sodium, trans-fatty acids, preservatives, white sugar, minimal fiber, and artificial coloring. A diet of these foods is void of all nutrient value and is a recipe for health and beauty disaster. Yet, these are some of the most commonly eaten "foods" in the American diet today. The four veggies on the list - iceberg lettuce, French fries, unripe tomatoes, and ketchup - describe the narrow variety of produce consumed by many children and adults in any given week. Sad, isn't it?

We are often overfed and undernourished. The average American these days is overweight and out of breath, certainly doesn't look his or her vibrant best, and is aging prematurely - inside and out. Most Americans appear and feel older than their years, proving "You are what you eat."

If you belong to this group, you'll continue to suffer from lack of energy and vitality and a variety of aches, pains, and illnesses. What's more, what we eat directly affects how we look. At some point, your outward appearance will reflect this insufficient nutrition, with lifeless hair, brittle nails, and pallid, problematic, toneless skin. Remember that if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got.

The quickest and least expensive way to change your looks and feel better mentally and physically is to clean up your diet. You can make effective improvements easily.

Much of the mass-produced food today is not raised or made with an eye toward your maximum fuel potential, but instead for corporate profits. Intensive farming practices and poor soil management produce foods that tend to lack taste and nutrients. Add synthetic chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and genetic engineering to the mix, and you've got additional woes.

Your diet should consist of foods that are moderate in complex carbohydrates, low in omega-6 fats but with ample omega-3 fats, high in fiber, and moderate in lean protein. You should consume daily a wide variety of foods in their whole, natural, preferably organic, unprocessed state, including several servings each of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans; a few tablespoons of fresh, raw nuts and seeds; and a little extra-virgin olive, flaxseed, or unrefined coconut oil . . . plus a bit of cod liver or fish oil blend (for your omega-3 fatty acids).

Consume eggs from certified, organically raised chickens in protein shakes and fruit smoothies or cook them any way you like. You can even enjoy them on a daily basis or several times a week if you avoid other animal sources of protein. I don't really worry about the cholesterol content of eggs, especially if the balance of your diet and lifestyle is healthy.

Meat, poultry, and seafood eaters should limit their consumption to three to four ounces per day (about the size of a deck of cards or size of your palm) and try to buy only organic, free-range chickens or turkeys; wild, deep-sea fish (such as salmon, cod, mackerel, sardines, smelts, or haddock) and shellfish; and grass-fed beef or pork from cows and pigs raised without hormones, steroids, and antibiotics. Alternative animal sources of protein such as lamb, venison, goat, and buffalo are frequently untainted by chemicals. Remember to avoid excess consumption of animal proteins; they're often high in fat and totally void of fiber.

Your can also meet protein requirements with vegetarian choices such as non-genetically-modified soybean products (tofu, tempeh, soy burgers, and so on), rice and pea protein powders, nut butters, seeds, sprout breads, bean sprouts, seaweed, and bean and grain combinations.

A wholesome, balanced diet containing these products nourishes the inner body and is reflected on the outside.

In next week's blog, I will continue on the subject of nutrition with - "Whole-Food Supplements".

(Portions of this blog were adapted from my latest book, "Organic Body Care Recipes", by Stephanie Tourles, lic. esthetician and herbalist, Storey Publishing, 2007.)

NOTE: The information in this blog and in "Organic Body Care Recipes" is true and complete to the best of my knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Stephanie Tourles. The author disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information.

Welcome To My Blog Beginnings!

Welcome all to my Blog beginnings and hello to my treasured readers! This is the first of future weekly blogs covering a range of topics including natural chemical-free skin and body care, herbal health issues, seasonal concerns, nutrition, aromatherapy, raw food diets, organic gardening, and wellbeing through healthy living practices.

I welcome your questions and comments which you can send via my e-mail address: I'll try to answer as many as I can. So . . . come aboard and let's begin our journey towards a life of natural health and body care together.

Blessings To You All,
Stephanie Tourles