Friday, December 30, 2011
Sunday, December 25, 2011
The use of tea tree oil for medicinal purposes dates back centuries. Eastern Australia aboriginals discovered the oil from the leaves of the Melaleuca alternifolia plant could treat a wide variety of ailments including skin cuts, burns, infections, and sore throats. This powerful traditional medicine even holds up to modern science. Tea tree oil contains organic chemicals called terpenoids which have antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, and antimicrobial qualities. Many claim topical application can cure almost anything from athlete’s foot to yeast infections to head lice. However, the recent buzz surrounding tea tree oil is about its ability to treat acne.
With its antibacterial and immunostimulant properties, tea tree oil boosts the body’s natural defenses while fighting pathogens. This makes tea tree oil especially useful in treating bacterial infections of the sebaceous glands, otherwise known as acne. The first clinical study of tea tree oil’s treatment of acne was conducted in 1990 by the Department of Dermatology at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in New South Wales. Researchers compared the effectiveness of 5% tea tree oil and 5% benzoyl peroxide (the most common agent in acne treatment) in 124 people. Over three months, they found both treatments “had a significant effect in ameliorating the patients’ acne by reducing the number of inflamed and noninflamed lesions.” While the tea tree oil had a slower onset of action, it was found to have far fewer negative side effects than benzoyl peroxide. Seventy-nine percent of patients who used benzoyl peroxide experienced itching, stinging, burning, or dryness. Other than a few mild allergic reactions, patients’ negative reactions to tea tree oil were negligible.
A 2007 study conducted by the Department of Dermatology in Iran had similar findings. One group received 5% tea tree oil while the other group was given a placebo. After 45 days, researchers determined the tea tree oil significantly reduced the number and severity of acne lesions. A smaller scale study in 2002 by the British Journal of Dermatology also concluded tea tree oil works as an anti-inflammatory agent against acne.
Like all acne treatments, tea tree oil will not work for everyone. Use of all essential oils including tea tree oil is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. People with eczema or sensitive skin should be cautious when using tea tree oil. The risk of developing an allergic dermatitis from tea tree oil is rare; however, discontinue tea tree oil use if prolonged negative side effects occur. Most importantly, tea tree oil is toxic when swallowed and should be kept safely away from children and pets.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Everyone knows housework is work, but is it also a workout? It certainly can be. The following are common household chores based on calories burnt over 30 minutes of continuous activity.
Cooking: 85-100 Raking Leaves: 146-225
Unloading Groceries: 190 Scrubbing Floors: 100-200
Dusting: 50-85 Scrubbing Tubs: 150-200
Dish Washing by Hand: 160 Sweeping: 112-125
Ironing: 69 Vacuuming: 90-119
Loading Dishwasher: 105 Washing Windows: 102-125
Making Beds: 130 Washing Car: 143
Mowing Lawn: 187 Weeding: 115
Friday, December 16, 2011
|Photo Credit: benthegroom.com|
I had forgotten about this trick until this morning when I walked in my daughter's room and saw she was going to throw away a white skirt she obviously let dry next to something dark and probably black. I sprayed that skirt with Tilex Mildew Remover as well as a white t-shirt I remembered seeing in her closet that was in desperate need of armpit revival. I put both in the washer and what do you know...PERFECTION.
Monday, December 5, 2011
Here's a yummy, low calorie, fat, sodium and cholesterol version of your favorite Chinese Restaurant's Sweet-n-Sour chicken dish. Please don't let the "low" fool you because it's anything but low flavor; and is sure to delight your taste buds. I stole the original recipe from fitness4her but made a couple changes to increase the health as well as the yum factors. If you don't feel like making your own sweet and sour sauce, you are welcome to use your favorite store bought brand, but I warn you to be mindful of labels. Store bought anything will have extra sugar and sodium as well as a whole lot of other not-so-good for you stuff.
|photo credit: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross|
Ingredients: Sweet and Sour Sauce
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 green bell peppers, seeded and cut into strips
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 to 21/2 lb cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Directions for Sweet and Sour Chicken
Melt a dab of coconut, grapeseed, olive oil or cooking spray in a large skillet over medium heat. Over medium heat saute onions, green peppers and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and sweet and sour sauce, continue cooking 3 to 4 minutes or until chicken is cooked thoroughly. Spoon over rice and choice of vegetables. Serves 6 to 8.
Low in fat, sodium and cholesterol while high in muscle building protein. Lean proteins like chicken are key for muscle development and optimal hair,nail and skin health.