How to Apply a Castor Oil Pack (and why you’d want to)

Castor oil comes from Ricinus communis, the castor plant. Castor oil has many health benefits.  It can be applied topically or taken internally (in this post we will not be covering internal use). The main active component in castor oil is RA (ricinoleic acid).  RA relieves pain and inflammation. Because it is inexpensive, widely available, generally regarded as safe and effective, let’s talk about how to apply a castor oil pack (and why you’d want to)!

 

BENEFITS OF TOPICAL CASTOR OIL PACKS

 

HOW TO APPLY A SIMPLE CASTOR OIL PACK

  • Rub 1 tsp-1 Tbsp castor oil into the skin in your area of interest (liver, abdomen, lungs, joints, etc) or Saturate a small piece of cloth with castor oil and place over your liver or area of interest
  • Cover the area with an old towel or wrap the area comfortably with an ace bandage.
  • Throw on an old t-shirt (castor oil stains fabric, so wear something that is not precious to you)
  • Apply hot water bottle or a heating pad to the pack area
  • Sit or lay down, relaxing for 45 minutes to 1 hour (safe to wear for a few hours or overnight as well — NOT with the heating pad)

 

WHEN AND HOW OFTEN TO APPLY A CASTOR OIL PACK

Apply castor oil packs 2-3 times per week for general detoxification.  A castor oil pack can also be beneficial:

  • before an enema, colonic, or liver/gallbladder flush;
  • during chelation treatment;
  • for abdominal pain;
  • in addition to abdominal visceral massage.

DO NOT APPLY CASTOR OIL PACKS IN THESE INSTANCES

  • over an open wound
  • on abdomen when menstruating
  • on abdomen during pregnancy (castor oil can induce labor and should only be used during pregnancy if indicated by your physician or doula.)
  • if you are currently being treated for any medical condition, it’s best to check with your doctor before using castor oil.

BONUS USES

Castor oil can be very nourishing for the hair and scalp.  It is used as a serum to promote hair growth.  Eye lashes can grow in stronger, thicker and longer!  Ricinoleic acid is the compound in castor oil that may cause this benefit!  Ricinoleic acid can increases PGE2 in the scalp (and on other skin). PGE2 is a fatty acid, which seems to be vital for follicle health and hair growth.

When applied to the skin, castor oil is known to increase penetration of topicals and make it easier for things applied next to be absorbed. This is one of the reasons I love pairing castor oil with essential oils!  Interested in my favorite combinations?  Email me (sarah at yourholistichealthcoach dot com) if you’d like my Castor Oil Pack cheat sheet with essential oil blend bonus — and let me know where to email your copy!

Here’s my favorite hexane-free castor oil:

Two Surprising Reasons Behind Belly Bloat

Belly bloat is uncomfortable and, often, embarrassing.  While some common causes of bloating can be obvious (overeating, drinking carbonated beverages, constipation), others may be more elusive. Whether it’s acute or chronic, it is good to know why bloat is happening. Let’s look at two surprising reasons behind belly bloat that you may not have explored yet.  We’ll also cover a few of my best tips for dealing with bloat (no matter what’s the cause.)

Surprising Reason #1:

SIBO.  Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth.  It sounds complicated… and it is!  So often, we hear about using probiotics as a way to ease belly bloat and digestive issues.  In SIBO, too much bacteria ends up colonizing the small intestine.  Common symptoms include INTENSE bloating after any meal (even water).  Nausea, constipation or diarrhea can also occur.

If you’ve ruled out common causes of bloating, see your doctor to check for SIBO.  Testing involves a breath test that measures the amounts of hydrogen and methane in your breath over the course of a few hours.  Treatment can include dietary modifications and/or a short course of antibiotics.

 

Surprising Reason #2:

Endometriosis!  Persistent gas and bloating is one of the most common things women with Endometriosis encounter.  Because these symptoms are commonly caused by other issues, women are often dismissed and given antacids.  When the pain and bloating persist or worsen over time, doctors may begin to look for other causes of inflammation in the gut.  Still, SIBO and IBS diagnoses are common among women with Endometriosis.  If a gastroenterologist has diagnosed you with SIBO or IBS and treatment including specialized diet or antibiotics and it is not working, it may be time to see an endometriosis specialist.

 

Figuring Out What is Causing Your Bloat

Figuring out what is actually causing you to be bloated can be harder than a 10,000 piece puzzle. While it may seem overwhelming, there are a few things to look at first.

 

Where is your bloat?

You may think that it’s your stomach causing issues, when the bloating may be coming from your intestines.  Take a look at the images below to see if you can determine the location of your bloating or gas pains. 

Notice that the stomach is positioned low in the chest cavity or at the very top of the abdominal cavity.  In women, the stomach is basically just under your ribcage below your breasts.  The small intestine is the next stop after the stomach.  If you pain and bloating happens shortly after meals, it may be in your stomach or small intestine.  Several hours after a meal may indicate the lower part of your small intestine or the start of the large intestine.  Where most people hold low on the abdomen for gas pain is actually intestinal pain rather than stomach!

 

Digestion begins in the mouth.  After chewing, the food bolus travels down the espohagus (long blue tube) and enters the stomach (kidney bean shaped blue pouch under the breasts)

In the stomach, food continues to be broken down by digestive juices.  When it leaves the stomach, ideally, food is liquified and considered “chyme” as it enters the small intestine.

Chyme travels into the large intestine.  Water is reabsorbed through the colon wall.  Bacteria continue to break down food particles and form stool that is excreted through the anus.

 

Think about your diet.

Are you eating anything new?  Is there anything different about when, where or how you eat?  Sometimes a new food or a food cooked in a different way can be the culprit.  If you normally sit to eat and find symptoms happen when you’re eating on the go or when you’re rushing, then you can likely make simple modifications and ease your symptoms.

 

Get to know your response.

Do you know how you feel after you eat eggs?  How about caffeine, gluten, dairy, sugar, etc?  Do certain foods increase your bloating response?  Do certain foods increase constipation?  Are your symptoms different at various times of the month (hormonal cycles, moon phases, deadlines, etc)? By recording your symptoms along with your intake (food, drink, stress, work, exercise, etc) and output (bowel movements, emotions, energy level, etc) you can begin to assess your body’s response.  You can use a notebook or use a form like this one that I use in my practice

Whether you figure out what’s causing your bloat or need to take the next step and see your doctor, 5-10 days of journaling can provide some insight for your clinician.

 

Seek support

If your bloating doesn’t ease after some simple shifts then you may want to seek the support of your doctor.  A general practitioner can assess your overall health and guide you to a specialist if needed.

 

Tips for Relieving Bloat

If you’re tired of being bloated all the time, here are a few things that may help:

Chew — Chewing food until it’s liquid is needed for proper digestion.  Chew smoothies and soups so your stomach gets the signal that food is coming and so digestive juices are stimulated.  Simply slowing down and chewing can drastically help digestion!

Sip still water – Still water (rather than carbonated) may relieve bloat.  Avoid drinking too much with meals.  Instead, sip during meals.

Get regular exercise – Walking is one of the best exercises to help relieve bloating, but there are also some yoga poses that can be great.  Child’s pose, gentle torso twists, etc.

Try peppermint or ginger teaPeppermint and ginger do wonders for bloating and the gut in general. Try drinking 1-2 cups of either tea each day and see if it helps.  Fennel tea can be another ally for gas and bloating.  This blend from Traditional Medicinals can be helpful: https://amzn.to/3yKwTGu

Address your medical conditions – Of course, if your bloating is from medical conditions like SIBO, Endometriosis, IBS, Crohn’s or Celiac, then you need to address those before your bloating will ease.

6 Strategies to Reverse Autoimmune Disease

  Autoimmune disease diagnoses are rising.  Psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, multiple sclerosis, Celiac disease, and autoimmune thyroid disease are no longer rarities.  There are now more than 100 diseases classified as as autoimmune in nature… and the list is growing.  In this article, I”ll be sharing 6 Strategies to Reverse Autoimmune Disease

In the United States alone, over 50 million people are living with Autoimmune disease. That number doesn’t even include people who have undiagnosed, strange or difficult to classify issues like chronic inflammation, pain, moodiness and general sickness symptoms that are not attributed to any known disease.

What are autoimmune diseases?

Your immune system is your defense mechanism.  It protects against germs, viruses, bacteria, allergens, and foreign matter that can harm your health.

When your immune system gets confused it can attack your own tissues, shut down and attack nothing or ramp up and attack everything!

Autoimmune diseases can affect skin, bones, joints, brain, nerves, gut lining or sometimes entire organs and organ systems.

Traditional Treatment Approach for Autoimmune Issues

Conventional medicine usually looks to manage symptoms.  For example, anti-inflammatories and basic pain relievers like Naproxen, Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen are used for swelling and pain.  Steroids like Prednisone, immune suppressants like methotrexate, or TNF-a blockers like Enbrel may be prescribed next.  While those can ease symptoms, they can also cause a host of ugly side-effects (just read the fine print on any of the drug ads!)

Don’t get me wrong. Some medications can save lives.  They can slow or stop disease process and help people get their lives back.  They can also trigger a cycle of endless pill popping and injections, new or different symptoms and a cascade of subsequent issues.  What if there was a different way to approach autoimmune imbalance?  And, what if that way focused on more than just symptoms?

What If We Take a Different Approach?

You wouldn’t use a band-aid to treat a broken bone, so why use medications to mask/patch autoimmune issues.  While some of the newer therapies target specific genes, the traditional approach is to suppress, block, or mask the problem WITHOUT understanding the cause.

Cholesterol medication, for example, blocks the enzymes that produces cholesterol but doesn’t address why cholesterol may be high in the first place.  Those meds deplete the body of CoQ10 (which is key for heart and brain health) and give people a false sense of success.  Cholesterol may drop, but the body is no better balanced than before.  Without addressing diet, stress, physical activity and genetics, the traditional approach is basically band-aid for a broken bone (again).

What would happen if we dig in and ask the right questions?

  • Why is the body out of balance?
  • When was the last time you felt well? (How long has this been going on?)
  • What role does nutrition, exercise and stress play in your life and health?

A Functional Approach

Instead of suppressing and masking the issue, how different would our plan be if we could understand the roots of the imbalance?  A band-aid is not going to mend your arm if your bone is broken.  You need to align and set the bone and let it heal.

If you are one of the 50 million Americans who suffers from an autoimmune condition, I bet you would like to find REAL answers and get off the hamster wheel of meds, appointments and frustration.

The conventional approach does not necessarily look in the right places or or ask the right questions.

A Functional approach looks at everything.  We take steps to clear the muddy water, THEN assess and map out the points of assault or imbalance.  This approach not only asks what you are experiencing but also, why is this happening, how long has this been going on, where does your body need support?

When we know the cause of inflammation, we can support the body so foundational healing can happen.  Stress, food allergies, food sensitivities, gut permeability, parasites, blood sugar issues, toxins, genetics, nutrient deficiencies, sleep issues, constipation/gut imbalance can all be parts of the equation.

To cool inflammation in the body, you must find the source and understand why the body is inflamed. Again, conventional medicine and the traditional approach asks “what” but not necessarily why, what else, or how long?

Functional Nutrition, like Functional Medicine, teaches practitioners to assess and understand the body as a system in addition to it’s parts.  The Functional model looks for causes, holes, stressors and assaults.  The goal is to restore balance by understanding the interconnectedness of life, stress, body and mind.

Working with a Functional Nutritionist

If you have an autoimmune disease, I strongly encourage you to work with a Functional Nutritionist. Together, you can identify root cause(s) and take steps to sure up your foundation.  The process often feels like detective work.  It involves trial and error… patience, practice and trust (but I’ve never had a client say it wasn’t worth it!)  People who see me have often seen many practitioners already, had a ton of labs and tried what feels like everything.  They come in feeling defeated and wondering if anyone can help.  After the initial assessment, most people report feeling heard, finally feeling as though someone is looking at the big picture while also caring deeply about the details and about the connections.  Hope is a feeling that people talk about when working with me.  There is also frustration that other practitioners don’t work this way.

6 Strategies to Reverse Autoimmune Disease

When clients see me about autoimmune imbalance, we often start with these 6 strategies.  They help calm, clear and firm up a healthy foundation.

Eat a whole food, anti-inflammatory diet. 

Focus on dark green leafy vegetables, garlic, sweet potatoes, berries (these are rich in polyphenols), wild salmon and other sources of omega-3 fats, seeds and nuts. Enjoy herbs like turmeric, ginger, and rosemary. Eliminate inflammatory foods including refined oils, processed foods and sugar.

Address food sensitivities and food allergies.

Whether through an elimination diet*, standard allergy testing or IgG food testing, we can determine what foods are not working well for your body.  Test specifically for Celiac Disease. This is a blood test any doctor can do.  Gluten is a common cause of inflammation and autoimmune imbalance. *My Seasonal Detox can get you off to a good start!

Support your gut.

80 percent of your immune system is in the lining of your gut. If the gut is irritated or if the gut lining becomes too permeable then your immune system can think something is up and activate improperly.  The easiest way to support gut health is to reduce toxins and triggers, then rebuild by focusing on a nutrient-dense whole food, anti-inflammatory diet.

Exercise regularly.

Research shows that exercise is a natural anti-inflammatory. Do not add stress or overexert yourself.  Start moving in whatever ways you are able.  Take a short walk or do seated arm raises and leg lifts.

Work on your stress.

Stress makes your immune response worse. Whatever you can do to identify and ease stress in you life, do it! Some people find yoga, breath work, time in nature, exercise, a warm bath or massage helpful.

Sleep for 8 hours every night.

The research is in! Lack of sleep or disturbed sleep impacts metabolism, memory, recall and focus, causes cravings for sugar and carbs, makes you eat more (and feel less satisfied with what you’re eating) and drives up your risk of all major illnesses. Getting enough sleep and sleeping well are essential for vibrant health and reversing inflammation.

 

If you are suffering from an autoimmune disease or suspect that you have an autoimmune imbalance…

Are you frustrated with the conventional-medicine approach?

Feeling ready to finally get to the bottom of it and get your life back?

Are you already using one or more of my 6 Strategies to Reverse Autoimmune Disease?

 

Click this link and schedule a free Discovery Call.  When you schedule your call, you’ll get instant access to a 7-Day Anti-Inflammatory Meal Plan to get you started.  Let’s talk about what else we can do to help you feel better.

The Deal with Vitamin D, Health and Immunity

The Deal with Vitamin D, Health and Immunity

 

Vitamin D is an overachieving, jack of all trades, hands-into-everything Casanova. D’s relationship with your body is complicated, but full of love.

So, what is the deal with Vitamin D, health and immunity?  To understand that, let’s look at what Vitamin D actually is!  “Vitamin” D is not actually a vitamin at all, but rather, a fat-soluble hormone that directs processes in the body rather than just supporting them.

 

6 Reasons You Can’t Live Without Vitamin D:

  1. Proper levels of vitamin D are needed for your cells to use the thyroid hormone.
  2. It helps cells form correctly and cleans up any misbehavers.
  3. Vitamin D facilitates the absorption of calcium.
  4. It regulates insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity and balances blood sugar.
  5. Vitamin D is critical to the success and function of your immune system.
  6. Therapeutic doses of vitamin D are helpful in managing chronic pain and depression.

 

Get the picture? Vitamin D is an inside operator. The big deal about the big D is, without it, you risk your body tanking in a variety of ways. We are talking about increased risk of autoimmune disease, colon and breast cancer, depression, and chronic pain.

 

The Bad News: 

 

According to this article, in 2014 an estimated 50% of all people worldwide are deficient in Vitamin D. Almost 70% of adults in the U.S. were deficient. Whoa!

What is more troubling now is that reports show that 80% of the people who are ending up hospitalized with moderate to severe cases of Covid19 are Vitamin D deficient!

 

When many people lack enough of the stuff that directly modulates almost every single cell in the body, we have a global health problem.

 

For my friends with thyroid concerns, it is important to note that inadequate Vitamin D may be impacting thyroid hormone production. People suffering from autoimmune thyroid conditions, such as Hashimoto’s or Graves’ Disease should get their Vitamin D status evaluated.  Vitamin D deficiency is also a major factor in thyroid cancer.

 

The Good News:

 

That same 2010 study showing the link between Vitamin D deficiency and thyroid cancer also found that Vitamin D is protective of thyroid cells, and is actually preventing cells from becoming cancerous. 

 

Plenty of vitamin D is a sunbeam away!  Bikini and speedo clad bodies exposed to enough UVB sun rays just to pink you up a bit can manufacture enough Vitamin D to reach an equivalent of 25,000 IU. Incredibly, your body is a Vitamin D factory not only when exposed to enough sun, but also the Vitamin D that you make lasts at least twice as long as supplemented Vitamin D in your bloodstream… But there is a trick to it!

 

How Do You “Make” Vitamin D?

 

Want to be the best D-maker you can be? Of course, you do! There are a few things you need to know. When UVB rays hit the surface of your skin, your skin begins converting a cholesterol derivative into vitamin D3. The problem is that the D3 formed on your skin does not immediately make it to your bloodstream. The absorption process takes up to 48 hours and requires that you do not scrub or soap it off (you are thinking about stinking, I know).

 

Healthy Action Steps:

  1. Start by getting your blood level of 25-hydroxy so you have a baseline number established.
  2. Next, begin trying to catch some rays every day.  10-15 minutes may be all you need.  Make the best decision based on your location and your personal risk for melanoma.
  3. Post sunning, in the shower, wash pits and private bits. Just rinsing off the rest will do.
  4. Finally, re-checking your levels in a few months and seeing if you are making a difference.

 

How Much Do You Need?

 

The Institute of Medicine recommends 600 IU daily for adults through age 70 and 800 IU daily thereafter. Intake does not really do much for you if you do not know your blood level though, so ask your doctor for that 25-hydroxy test. Blood levels about 30 ng/mL are considered adequate. However, for people with chronic illness and autoimmune disease and for COVID-19 protection, many integrative doctors recommend blood levels of 60-80 ng/ml.

 

Supplementing

Talk to your doctor about a good starting amount for supplementation if your numbers are not in range with sun exposure or if you can’t sunbathe because of a history of skin cancer or if you’re at high risk for melanoma.

  • A good Vitamin D supplement will be oil-based Vitamin D3.
  • You can choose liquid drops or capsules.
  • Re-check your levels every other month to avoid toxicity.
  • 500 mcg Vitamin K2, in the form of MK4 or MK7, has been shown to enhance the absorption of Vitamin D and helps prevent any calcium liberated by Vitamin D supplementation from being deposited in muscle tissue rather than in bones or teeth.  Note: do NOT supplement K2 if you are on a blood thinner or if you have Factor V Leiden.
  • If you cannot get your level to raise above 30 with adequate supplementation, consider getting tested for a defect on the VDR gene that could be prohibiting your body from absorbing Vitamin D.

 

Food Sources of Vitamin D and K2

graphic depicting Vitamin D sources

sunlight, raw milk, cod liver oil, salmon, caviar, sardines, mushrooms, eggs, mackerel, tuna

One of the few great sources of Vitamin D as far as food goes is mushrooms. Here are some other ideas:

  1. Adding a handful of ‘shrooms to a beautiful miso broth or sautéing them in a stir-fry with other veggies!
  2. Making a tall glass of your favorite juice or smoothie and go enjoy it while lounging in the sun under a gorgeous blue sky.
  3. Tapping in to Vitamin D in eggs to make omelets or scrambles.
  4. Enjoying a Caesar dressing made with sardine instead of anchovy (if you eat fish).

 

A vitamin K rich diet includes lots of cabbage, kale, spinach, Swiss Chard, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, wheat bran and sauerkraut.  Eating these foods with a little healthy fat, like that from olive oil, coconut oil or avocado will help boost absorption.  Like K2 supplementation, be cautious of a major increase in K-rich foods if you have clotting issues.

Conclusion

Do you feel like you have a better understanding of the Deal with Vitamin D Health and Immunity?

Are you struggling to get your Vitamin D status into the healthy range?

Are you more concerned that your Vitamin D level is low now that Covid 19 is such a huge factor in world health?

If you want to dig in more deeply and get personalized support, let’s get you on the schedule.  Email sarah@yourholistichealthcoach.com and we can get started!

More information

 

4 Simple Nutritionist Approved Ways to Get Started when You Feel Stuck

4 Simple Nutritionist Approved Ways to Get Started when You Feel Stuck

Do you have a desire to improve your health, but you find yourself not knowing where to start?

Does a holistic mind, body, and soul approach feel good to you? Let’s walk through some basics that may be just the thing you need!

Making small changes and shifting based on how your body responds is a simple way to get started on your health. The goal is balance, right?  Having the energy to do the things you desire, while feeling really good and being productive so that you can be your best self… You deserve that!

Now, you may think that untangling health imbalance is complicated… and it can be!  But, getting started is quite easy.

Here are my 4 Simple Nutritionist Approved Ways to Get Started when You Feel Stuck:

#1. Identify Areas That Need Support

The very first thing you need to is to identify the areas where you need support. Do you struggle with digestive issues or acne or PMS?  Are you getting enough sleep? Do you need to lose a few pounds? Or maybe you need time management strategies to help balance time for work, home, social life and self-care?

#2. Track The Basics

Jot down how you sleep, how you feel, your energy level, when you poop (and the quality of your poop).

Why journal?  Easy – taking a mental note doesn’t let you review and assess. Actually jotting down the basics lets you actually SEE what’s going on rather than guessing.  It may seem overwhelming to journal like that… and if it does, I want you to ask yourself what’s more overwhelming: jotting down a couple things during the day or continuing to feel off your game and not knowing what to do about it?

The beauty of this step and this “ask” is that it’s all about your individual path to wellbeing; no one else’s.  You

#3. Track Your Diet

Before you raise your hand and point out that this is another thing to jot in your journal, know that I get it… this is a slightly bigger ask.  Thing is, this is no more difficult and really doesn’t take much time.  Just jot down what you eat in addition to basics or use an app like MyFitnessPal, to track your diet each day (BONUS points if you track what you’re doing for fitness too!)

Thing is, you don’t have to track forever.  This is a for now thing.  This is a couple of weeks thing.

Doable, right?

#4. Assess and Respond with One Shift

  1. You made a list of a few things that you think need support.
  2. You tracked the basics for a few weeks.
  3. The next thing to do is review your work and assess the situation.

It may surprise you to see that you feel snippy the day after you eat dairy or have less energy on days when you drink less water.  Be on the lookout for shifts in focus and memory when you have a difficult night’s sleep and look for changes in your poop around your monthly cycle (yep, that’s a thing).

Once you have the data, one or two things will probably stick out.  It may be obvious what action to take to support yourself.  For example, if you bloat or breakout after eating dairy, then the logical step would be to ease off the dairy.

If nothing sticks out, go back to your list of things that you know need some work.  My suggestion is to experiment for a few weeks and see what happens if you avoid gluten, dairy, caffeine and processed sugar.  Those four things are known troublemakers that can disrupt hormones, sleep, digestion/absorption and blood sugar.  So many health issues are rooted in those four factors.

Why This Process Works

This process is similar to the model I use as a Functional Nutrition & Lifestyle Practitioner.  The ART of Functional Practice includes Assessment, Recommendation and Tracking.  Basically, we can’t know what steps to take until we have a clear picture of what’s happening.  It’s why I don’t recommend particular supplements or targeted strategies to people in the produce aisle and the same reason neurosurgeons don’t diagnose people at the dinner table.  Trusted practitioners take the time to use the tools and training that we know will get results and ensure your safety.

Tapping into the Functional process provides you with a framework not only for action, but for success! Take the four simple steps outlined above and get started. You’ll see that it’s easy to step out of overwhelm when you break it down and start slow. Track your basics and use that information to improve your quality of life as you continue your journey to overall wellbeing.


Start your journey from stuck to health savvy.

Action Steps:

  1. Download your free journal page by clicking here (no strings attached – it’s instant access!)
  2. Print as many copies as you need AND commit to use them for at least 2 weeks.
  3. Post below and let me know if you like the worksheets and if this strategy is helpful.

Making a ton of changes all at once can actually cloud the picture!  Try the 4 simple ways I outlined above and get started when you feel stuck… your mission is to start small, keep it simple and keep it up!

The Secret Bedtime Drink For People Who Need Better Sleep

In a world where more people are turning to prescription and supplement sleep aids, a whole food solution for sleep and health may not be the first choice.  However, as a Functional Nutrition & Lifestyle Practitioner, whole foods and natural options are my go-to.  If a good night’s sleep is a challenge for you, join me.  I will share my secret bedtime drink for people who need better sleep.

 

Turmeric is one of the most researched plants on the planet. Over 8000 scientific studies explore and confirm turmeric’s medicinal properties. Everything from depression and diabetes, to inflammation and blood pressure regulation; even liver detoxification and immune system support! 

 

This is an ingredient that you definitely want to have on hand.

First, the good news: turmeric is affordable and available.  Second, it has a neutral taste.  Third, it is easy to incorporate into your daily routine.  Hint: it’s the star of our bedtime elixir recipe!

 

Traditionally, turmeric is used in teas, curries, broths and herbal supplements. Those are great ways to get turmeric into play. But, as a healthy foodie, you are probably familiar with adding turmeric to a meal. 

 

Here’s my truth:

I’ve had a relationship with turmeric for years. It’s been in my soups and stews. I toss in with my potatoes and pasta sauces. It even gets added into my morning smoothies! As a student of Ayurveda, I learned that daily use of turmeric could have a profoundly positive impact on my health.  So, we’ve been in a hot little relationship ever since!  

 

Turmeric tea sipped throughout the day is a go-to if I’m feeling bloated or at all inflamed. I simply slice a piece of turmeric root and a piece of ginger. Then, I grate them and add to a pot with water. Finally, simmer, steep and sip. 

 

Incorporating turmeric into my nighttime routine has been magical. You deserve something magical, too!  

 

Turmeric And Coconut Milk Bedtime Elixir

Servings: 4

Turmeric-infused coconut milk is delicious and warming. Try this before bed to improve digestion. It can calm the nervous system and help prepare you for restful sleep. Best results will be seen over time. The ingredients work to nourish and replenish your body.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • 2 tsp powdered turmeric or 2 tbsp peeled, fresh turmeric 
  • 2 tsp powdered ginger or 2 tbsp peeled, fresh ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup, raw honey OR a squirt of liquid stevia
  • 12 peppercorns, gently crushed

Directions:

  • First, combine everything except the coconut oil into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. 
  • Next, let the mixture bubble gently for about 5 minutes, then shut off the heat.  
  • After about 5 minutes of cooling, strain the mixture through cheesecloth (or a fine strainer if you prefer a smoother texture).
  • Stir in the coconut oil.
  • Finally, taste and add maple syrup, honey or stevia if desired! 

 

The Amazing Benefits and WHY You Should Consider This Turmeric Coconut Bedtime Elixir:

  • Coconut Milk And Coconut Oil – The fiber and fat content of coconut are what help coax sound sleep. Fiber and fat support balanced blood sugar.
  • Ginger Natural anti-inflammatory that can help relieve symptoms of arthritis, bursitis and other musculoskeletal issues. Particularly calming for the digestive tract. For sleep, it’s the melatonin present in ginger that seals the deal!
  • NutmegActs as a natural relaxant in small doses.
  • Black Pepperpiperine in pepper enhances the absorption of curcumin. It contains nutrients, including manganese, iron and vitamin K. Also, commonly used to calm digestive issues.

 

Bonus Tip –

Some golden milk recipes include cinnamon. As a Functional Nutritionist, I encourage you to skip cinnamon at bedtime. Why? Because cinnamon is more of a stimulant. Traditional aromatherapy uses cassia and cinnamon oil to promote alertness. While the scent is warm and comforting, the spice helps stimulate digestive fire. So, save cinnamon for the morning cup!

 

Sources:

http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART03511/Dr-Weil-Anti-Inflammatory-Golden-Milk.html

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=78

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