Dandelions - Guest Blog post by Tricia Baxter

Dandelions Welcome!

A yellow flower in the grass

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I saw some dandelions in my yard the other day, and I say that’s great!

My neighbors may not be so happy with me about that, but too bad.

While others call them weeds, I say not so fast, because they really have a lot of positive sides.

Be honest. Who, as a kid, used to love dandelions? I remember rubbing the flower on my chin or cheek. I know it sounds silly, and the “game” could have originated with buttercups, but if the pollen rubbed off and left a yellow spot, you liked butter. Even those who don’t know that one, however, probably remember blowing the seeds all over as they made a wish – the idea being you were blowing your wishes into the wind so they would come true.

It’s full of vitamins A, B, C, and D as well as iron, potassium and zinc. Although I didn’t find scientific studies, there are articles on organic and homeopathic websites, and even on the website for the University of Maryland Medical Center about some of the medicinal uses of the plant. They include as diuretic, liver problems, weight loss, stomach problems, appendicitis, diabetes, and a whole host of other things. Some sites even mention the cosmetic use, citing their benefits in skin and beauty care.

How about as a food source? You’ve probably heard of dandelion wine (in fact, I believe my grandfather used to make it). And I know some folks who pick the young leaves as one of the now popular “baby” greens for salads. They can also be served cooked, a lot like spinach. But every part of the plant can be used for one purpose or another. Even the root can be roasted like a root vegetable or to make a coffee substitute.

But far, far more important than as a game for kids, or a food source for the rest of us, is the role dandelions play in our ecosystem.

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These bright flowers are one of the earliest flowers to bloom in spring and, as such, are an important source of food for several pollinators, including honeybees and several butterflies. Goldfinches and other birds eat the seeds, too. Each flower is 40-100 florets, each containing nectar, so pollinators don’t have to search for several flowers to feed on. Plus, dandelions bloom just about the time many of the species that feed on them emerge from overwintering sites.

Okay. So some still think of them as an annoying weed and wonder why they should give a care about all this.

Easy – our pollinators are important to us. Without them, we wouldn’t have the flowers we enjoy, nor many of the crops we use for food.

I can hear some folks now thinking I’m being a bit over dramatic. But consider this – at the time of writing this post, the US Fish and Wildlife Service and WorldWildlife.org have 8 species of bees on the endangered species list. Yes, most of those bees are native to Hawaii, but common to many parts of the US is one species of bumblebee that is a key pollinator of blueberries, tomatoes and many wildflowers (which in turn feed other pollinators). Also common to many areas are the 25 species of butterflies already on the endangered species list. As of December 2020, the USFWS decided that adding monarchs, a butterfly dear to many folks, to the endangered species list is warranted because of its drastic decline in population size. It is currently officially listed as “considered” because of some higher priority listings, but their population is being closely monitored while higher priority listings are handled. Because the monarch is so easily identified and popular, there are even folks who believe that as the monarch population goes, so do the populations of ALL pollinators. 

Granted, the dandelion is only one small factor among many in the decline of some pollinator species, but it is a factor.

So in a society that prizes perfectly manicured, weed-free carpets of grass, I’m glad to see a few dandelions in my yard. I may not have enough of a crop for any of those medicinal purposes nor even a small glass of wine, but I am more than happy to let the few I have feed some bees, butterflies, and birds.

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"Chillin' Out" just got a whole new meaning...

"Chillin' Out" just got a whole new meaning...

BLOG REPOST: This is a repost of my first Cryotherapy session. I wanted to share again to encourage a new group of readers to go try it! Since this post, Cryon7 is under new management and has a new name: Naturally Rooted, and my friend Cassie McDowell and her husband Grant are co-owners. They are located at 920 US 287 Frontage Rd in Mansfield, in the Tom Thumb Shopping Center.

How has your Thursday been? Mine, oh, you know, I got frozen in a vat of nitrogen down to -250ºF.

Seriously! Well, sort of.

Yup, that's me there in that cryo chamber. So, what craziness is this you ask? It's called Cryotherapy, and my friend has been encouraging me to try it for awhile now. I admit I was nervous which is why I kept putting it off. However, the nerves were for nothing and I'm glad I tried it. And yes, I will go back.

I took this directly off of their website:

What is Whole Body Cryotherapy?

Whole Body Cryotherapy is the use of extremely cold temperatures that triggers the body’s natural healing process. This was originally developed in Japan in the 1970’s to treat inflammation caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
There are a wide range of benefits from better sleep, faster recovery to sore muscles, improved skin and many more. These results are very quick and long lasting. Many people have experienced chronic issues resolved with regular use.
So, when you go in there are the necessary forms to fill out. They need to make sure you are okay to take the treatment, you know the risks, and then you sign the waiver. From what I remember you want to make sure you don't go in with wet skin or clothes, and they explain why you should avoid inhaling a big breath of the nitrogen to prevent fainting. No big deal. They will check your blood pressure and you are off to the room!

So once we were in the room, I got a pair of knit gloves, was asked if I wanted tall or short socks, and was told I would also need to put on a pair of slippers. She made sure I knew exactly what to do - then told me my goal was to undress as quickly as possible, get in the chamber, shut the door and ring the bell for her to come back. So I went fast - put on the tall socks, undressed quickly, put on the gloves and fluffy slippers and got in and shut the door. WHEW! Done.

At this point I was already cold because I am usually cold and I was thinking I had made an error in judgement with this crazy idea. But, as she said, it was too late to turn back so I was kind of at her mercy, HA! I was standing on a platform and she raised me up where my head was above the chamber wall. I asked her about the nitrogen thing, and she explained all of that to me and assured me my head would be at the correct level and to just blow away any that I felt was too close. No big deal. So then it's time to go!! FREEZE TIME! And let me explain something about this - they are not really "freezing" you. It's hypercooled air that is circulated around you. It's dry, and no tissue ever actually freezes. You just feel cold. Really cold. Let's continue.

I'd like to say how awesome my friend was at her job! She explained every single thing as we went along. She told me what to expect, how long I had left, what all good things were happening to my body in response to the cold. She gave me clear instructions and lots and lots of encouragement, 'cuz it is a little concerning when you can feel your skin getting that cold. She asked if I wanted a picture and got my phone and took a few for me. (They do have some props so you can take funny picts, but I had neglected to grab any for this time.) She answered all of my questions and kept me assured that things were going great, and told me to just keep turning.

And then all of a sudden I was done! And yes, I was cold, and I was shivering a little, but I did it! Once I got dressed, I realized that the sharp pain in my neck was gone, which was awesome!

So - how do you get this awesomeness? Go see my friends at Naturally Rooted Wellness Club. Besides Cryotherapy, they offer other services, most will help minimize the pain in your life:
•  NovoThor Red Light Pod
•  Normatec Compression Massage
•  Kangen Water FREE REFILL PROGRAM
•  HU=GO
•  BEMER Therapy (PEMF)
•  Cryoskin Slimming or Toning
•  Hocatt Ozone Sauna
•  Oxygen Bar with Aromatherapy

They have a new, wonderful program where you get to set your prices in exchange for becoming a member and coming in on a regular schedule. Call them right now - or go see them! 817-225-2929
Again, the address is 920 US 287 Frontage Rd in Mansfield, TX.

Let me know when you go - I want to hear what therapies you try!
Health and blessings!
Sarah C., ND

DIY Essential Oil Infused Dry Shampoo

DIY Essential Oil Infused Dry Shampoo

Did you know that washing your hair too often can leave hair prone to dryness and breakage? It’s easy to keep your locks looking lustrous and lifted and extend time between washes by applying a dry shampoo! Using ingredients you already have in your cupboards such as corn starch and baking soda, this DIY Dry Shampoo is free of harsh parabens, dyes, and perfumes that can damage hair and cause breakage. Cornstarch absorbs excess oil, while baking soda and Cedarwood, Rosemary, and Tea Tree essential oils make hair smell fresh and support the qualities of a healthy scalp.

You can experiment with your own blend of essential oils to find a scent that works best for you! We love Lavender, Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood, and Peppermint for their wonderful aromas and various skin-care benefits. If you decide to add cocoa for dark hair, try using oils that complement the scent of chocolate like Orange, Peppermint, or Cinnamon.

DIY Essential Oil-Infused Dry Shampoo

Ingredients

Directions

  • Combine all ingredients.
  • Put in a container of your choice, such as an empty salt shaker or baby powder bottle.
  • Sprinkle on roots of hair and massage into scalp.
  • Leave for 2–3 minutes to absorb hair’s natural oils.
  • Brush through hair.

Quick Tips for a Healthy Liver

Quick Tips for a Healthy Liver
Spring brings with it signs of renewal and hope. And for many - spring cleaning is top of their list!

And while many people regularly think about cleaning their cars and houses - what about your body? Like other things, your body collects sludge and grime and needs to be cleaned at least once a year.

I've read a lot over the years about detoxes and cleanses, and as with everything health related, there are a lot of theories and recommendations. Health is NEVER one size fits all, so you need to read up and see what is going to work best for you and your body and lifestyle. It has to be doable and sustainable or you won't get any benefits.

One particular book I've read talks about the need to clean your body along with certain seasons. It starts in the fall with a colon cleanse, which is actually a really important step. Before you do ANY sort of cleanse or detox, you have to make sure you are having regular bowel movements. You don't want to start pushing out toxins when they have nowhere to go! You'll just compound your problem. So whether you do a "full" colon cleanse first or not - at the very least make sure you are going to the bathroom regularly - several times daily.

So why is a healthy liver even important? The liver handles over 50,000 chemical functions. It's a workhorse and does everything from converting food to fuel, to filtering toxins and producing bile. It produces enzymes and helps regulate hormones and cholesterol and balances sugars and numerous other functions. Liver health is a good indicator of overall health.

Some hazards to liver health are eating a poor diet high in processed foods, excess alcohol consumption, high use of acetaminophen and other OTC medications, vaccinations, pesticides and use of other environmental toxins like chemical cleaners. 

The good news is the the liver can actually regenerate itself up to a point. So even a "sick" liver can recover when given the proper tools, but you must give it a fair chance and proper time. You didn't get sick in a day and you also won't heal in a day either.

So when healing your liver, you need to reduce as much of the toxic load as possible. Ditch the processed, box foods. Look at what you are putting on your body as well - do you use highly-fragranced lotions and soaps and shampoo? Look for clean versions of those products. What are you using to clean your house? My personal favorite is Thieves Household Cleaner which is totally clean, safe and works wonders for every surface of your house. Look at my other blog articles for DIY tips with this amazing product!

Clearly, reducing or stopping alcohol is a must. Give your liver a rest - fasting is a great way to let your liver heal. Some people love intermittent fasting daily, for others, doing a simple 24 hour fast occasionally works well. And then feed it with nutritious foods! Carrot juice has long been known as an excellent liver cleanser. Beet juice is also great, and has a high mineral content and is great for the gallbladder and kidneys as well. A good rule of thumb is "bitter is good for the liver". So increase your intake of bitter herbs like cilantro, watercress, mint, parsley and dandelion. Foods rich in B and C vitamins like celery, spinach, cucumbers and cruciferous veggies along with citrus fruits are great for your liver. When it comes to proteins, stick to organic, pasture-raised animals and eggs. And drink that water!! Your liver needs adequate water to function, and generally you need to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces each day. Adding in fresh lemons will provide vitamin C and will also help the liver produce bile.


This is not meant to be a complete guide to doing a liver detox, but merely a starting point. Do more research. Find a plan that works for YOU! Along with the lifestyle and food changes, you may want to add in specific herbs and supplements that support liver health. Personally, my favorite company for supplements is Young Living because I trust their sources and ingredients. The addition of essential oils to their supplements makes them more absorbable, more bio-available to your body. If you'd like more information on their product line, I'd love to help you!

Thanks for stopping by to learn a little bit about liver health. I hope it's been informative, and I hope to keep writing more consistently to share with you. Be blessed!

Sarah Claburn, ND

Natural Spring Cleaning

Natural Spring Cleaning
It's that time of year! Here in Texas we are definitely coming out of the cold and the tree in my front yard is starting to bud out nicely - even after the historic ice and snow storm we endured last month.

That always puts me in the mood to clean up and clear out. And many people even take the 40 days of Lent to do a "40 days of cleanout" and get their houses back in order.

And while this all makes us feel better - using traditional, off the shelf cleaning products can actually be making you sick. A 10-country study of more than 3,500 individuals who were initially free of asthma found that nine years later, those who used spray cleaners at least once a week to clean their homes had a 30-to-50 percent increased risk of developing asthma during the study period (Zock 2007). Household cleaners can also increase your risk of cancers, hormone/reproductive toxicity and poisonings.

White vinegar makes a great natural cleaner, but let's be honest - it doesn't smell that great!
Thankfully, there's Thieves Household Cleaner from Young Living. It's a powerful, super-concentrated plant-based cleaner infused with essential oils. It doesn't contain harsh chemicals and is safe to use all around the house, it's even safe for your children and pets. And if you're a mom like me who wanted to teach their kids early on to do chores - that's super important to know they can grab a bottle and there's no concern about them getting it on their skin while they clean.

Thieves Household Cleaner is so concentrated, you can use it at ratios as little as 60:1, but you may prefer a stronger mix depending on the use. It's generally safe for most surfaces, even fabrics, but always do a spot test in an inconspicuous area before using. I personally generally use 2 capfuls to 2 cups distilled water in a spray bottle for most of my household cleaning.


And it's great for DIY cleaners like a baking soda based scrub for bathtubs and other areas that need scoured:
Mix the following in a small glass container:
  • ½ cup baking soda
  • 5 tablespoons liquid castile soap
  • ½ capful Thieves Household Cleaner
  • 3 drops Lemon essential oil
  • Apply the mixture with a damp cloth or brush and scrub away.
Glass Cleaner
In a spray bottle, mix the following:
  • 3 cups water
  • 5 drops Citrus Fresh™ essential oil blend
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 capful Thieves Household Cleaner
  • Spray onto glass and wipe away streaks with a soft cloth.
Wood Floor Cleaner
In a bucket, mix the following:
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 1 capful Thieves Household Cleaner
  • 5 drops Orange essential oil
  • Mop your wood floors
These are just a few of the ways to use your Thieves Household cleaner. I hope you'll give it a try - your house will have a fresh, clean smell that won't harm your lungs.

If you aren't a Young Living member yet, I'd love to help you! It's easy to set up your shopping account, then you'll be able to simply log on and order what you need and have it delivered conveniently to your doorstep! Simply email me at   sarah@escentiallivingtx.com or text me at 682-400-4555 and let me know you are ready to set up your shopping account!

Health and blessings!
Sarah
 
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