People holding corporate jobs spend around 10 hours of a day in commercial buildings with little or no exposure to natural environment. Most of the corporate buildings are designed so as to improve energy efficiency, thereby reducing the outdoor air ventilation. In addition, gadgets like computers, televisions and microwaves emit electromagnetic radiation that ionizes the air. Bad acoustics, absence of sunlight and improper humidity increases the psychological problems like work stress or dissatisfaction, poor interpersonal relationships and bad ergonomics at work place.
Moreover, no interaction with nature for longer periods of time in a day is going to have its repercussions psychologically.
Being an employer or an employee you practically can’t do much about the building infrastructure if it has poor ventilation and bad acoustics. But you can surely do a lot at personal level, more so at your work desk and in your office zone.
Indoor plants can relieve you from work stress:
Place indoor plants on your office desk. Studies involving office workers proved that active interaction with indoor plants can reduce physiological and psychological stress. Participants were asked to interact with indoor plants by engaging in some transplantation activity and it was found that interaction with plants suppressed sympathetic nervous system activity and diastolic blood pressure. It also had soothing and calming effect on their persona.
Tip: Every time you feel stressed and disorganized, spend some time nurturing and caring for the little plant on your desk. As they grow transplant them to bigger pots and place them at your home or permissible areas in your office. Secret lies in you doing the entire transplanting and nurturing work of your plant.
Simply gazing at flowers can relieve you from work stress:
The calming effect of nature on us is indisputable. The relaxing effect of natural stimuli is considered more advantageous compared to any other stimuli. Stimulating the parasympathetic nervous activity is effective for the relief from stress and gazing at roses has found to stimulate the same. Flower arrangements are best way to bring nature into daily life as it offers contact with nature within the constraints of time and space.
Tip: When stressed gift yourselves roses. If you are allergic to them then good news is that even gazing them from a distance will do the trick, provided you place real flowers not artificial ones.
A walk can relieve you from work stress:
A brief walk in park shifts sympathetic/parasympathetic balance and improves mood state.
Tip: Your work deadline is approaching and you feel like you are all over the place with absolutely no idea on how to deal with the stress. The best therapy is to leave aside the work, get out of your work place for a few minutes and take a stroll in an area with trees and lawns. You can also have replenishing drink offered by nature
Forest bathing at your rescue:
This is something you ought to take up at weekends. It is also known as shinrin-yoku which was originated in Japan. You don’t literally have to take a bath in forest; it is just taking a short, leisurely visit to a forest for health benefits. An experimental study reported that forest bathing increased natural killer cell function and improved immune function.
Tip: You need not fret if visiting forests are practically not feasible for you. Basically just being in the presence of trees drinking coconut water does the trick.
So, start off with a trip to a nursery and decorate your office desk with indoor plants. Make it customary to gift each other plants and roses rather than the banal stuff.
You can check this links if you wish to order few indoor plants right now!
What is Pre-eclampsia?
As the name suggests Pre-eclampsia is a condition that pregnant women develop prior to eclampsia, if left undiagnosed it leads to eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia is marked by persistent hypertension during pregnancy, decreased blood platelets, and increased protein in urine. Women with pre-eclampsia who experience seizures are considered to have eclampsia.
Why regular checkups are mandatory?
Pre-eclampsia is one of the major causes of maternal mortality and morbidity, stillbirths and death of newborns in first week. It usually appears after 20th week of pregnancy in women who have not experienced high blood pressure before. However it mostly resolves by 6th postpartum week. Few women don’t show the symptoms and therefore pregnant women should get regular antenatal check ups.
What are the symptoms of Pre-eclampsia:
Consult your doctor if you experience severe headaches, dizziness, reduced or no urine output, rapid weight gain, excessive nausea and vomiting.
What are the risk factors for Pre-eclampsia:
- Women with PCOS can be at risk for pre-eclampsia
- It is more common in women who are pregnant for the first time and also if there is greater interval between pregnancies.
- Pre pregnancy obesity
- Women with chronic kidney disease, insulin-dependent diabetics
- Women who are pregnant via IVF
- Those having a family history of pre-eclampsia.
- Stress and environmental factors such as living at a high altitude.
However, there are no concrete measures to predict the risk of Pre-eclampsia in women who are pregnant for the first time with no previous history of hypertension.Hence early detection with periodic frequent checkups helps in managing pre-eclampsia.
- Appropriate dietary calcium intake in women deficient with calcium reduces the risk of developing preeclampsia. However it is to be noted that calcium supplementation doesn’t treat preeclampsia.
- According to WHO guidelines use of Vitamin D in prevention of preeclampsia has been rejected as there is no sufficient data. However pregnant women need to make sure they get the recommended amounts of vitamin D during pregnancy.
- Use of Vitamin C and E supplementation for prevention of preeclampsia has also been strongly refuted.
- There are no substantial evidences proving link between high salt intake and preeclampsia nevertheless healthy dietary practices are recommended which includes dietary salt restriction.
- Health of women prior to pregnancy is vital in preventing preeclampsia. Maintaining optimal pre-pregnancy health may reduce risk of developing pre-eclampsia
- It is a suggested idea for women planning pregnancy to lose excess weight and be as healthy as they can. If they have diabetes or hypertension then proper management is recommended.
Note: Women should first consult their doctor before taking any supplements, vitamins or medications.
Long term implications: Women diagnosed with preeclampsia during pregnancy are at higher risk of developing hypertension and cardiovascular diseases later in life. Hence personalized diet and exercises should not be neglected.
Your skin reflects your inner health:
We often come across several brand endorsements of anti aging creams and serums by celebrities. In real, the celebrities we look up to take to botox treatments.
But that doesn’t implicate anti-aging creams don’t work, as research has proved that hyaluronic-acid containing anti-wrinkle creams when used over a period of three months showed clear and positive effects on wrinkle-depth and skin-tightness.
That being said the biggest indispensable fact is our skin reflects our general inner health and aging.
Intrinsic skin aging is a natural process where skin ages in the same pattern as all internal organs do.
Whereas extrinsic aging is result of several external factors like pollution, sleep deprivation, prolonged periods of exposure to sun and poor nutrition.
Your skin needs micro minerals:
Combating free radicals with anti oxidants for anti-aging and other benefits is widespread knowledge. However what very few of us know is that our body naturally synthesizes antioxidants that work by breaking down and removing free radicals. This process requires micro minerals like copper, zinc, manganese, and iron.
Zinc deficiency results in skin, nail and hair problems.
Manganese deficiency causes raises glucose levels in blood, low immunity and hormonal imbalances.
Best natural sources: Milk and cheese are the best foods for zinc and manganese deficiencies.
Your skin needs micro nutrients:
Vitamin C and E:
In human beings brain, pituitary and adrenal glands, skeletal muscle and liver have the highest concentrations of Vitamin C. Deficiencies of vitamin C leads to decreased natural detox mechanisms of the body.
Natural sources: Citrus fruits, blackcurrant, rose hip, guava, chili pepper or parsley.
Does external application of Vitamin C help in preventing skin aging:
Vitamin C degrades very fast in presence of air even before it is applied onto the skin and hence contrary to the popular belief of using topical creams of vitamin C for its anti-aging, anti-oxidative properties, it may not be of much use compared to daily intake.
Skin exposed to sun rays accelerates cell damage. Vitamin E acts by stopping the bio-chemical reactions involved in cell damage. However, in this process Vitamin E gets oxidized and therefore requires presence of Vitamin C for its regeneration.
Does external application of Vitamin E help in preventing skin aging:
Unlike Vitamin C, Vitamin E when applied topically has more beneficial results. It reduces erythema, the redness of the skin. It heals sunburned skin areas and prevents skin cancers.
Vitamin E intake sustains the natural and healthy aging of skin:
Collagen protein present in skin imparts elasticity and firmness to it. In a healthy naturally aging skin the cross linking between collagen molecules occurs naturally and that sustains the elasticity of the skin. Whereas exposure to sun’s harmful UV rays induces forced cross linking of collagen molecules which causes premature aging of skin. Therefore, topical and oral intake of natural vitamin E helps against collagen cross linking induced due to external factors
Carotenoids: Vitamin A derivatives are carotenoids. Lycopene and β-carotene, the Vitamin A derivatives found in skin protect against sun burn.
Sources of β-carotene: Carrots, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, mangos and papaya
Sources of lycopene: Tomatoes, red carrots, watermelons and papayas
Retinol, the carotenoid that can’t be synthesized by the body plays a major role in skin tissues regeneration.
Sources of retinol: milk, egg yolk, cheese and fatty fish.
Your skin needs polyphenols:
Polyphenols present in green tea protects skin from signs of photo aging. These polyphenols also known have anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties.
Best way for enhancing skin protection from free radical damage is to support the inherent antioxidant system of our body, with antioxidants containing products that are normally present in the skin.
At the same time our skin needs to be infused with natural oils to balance the sebum production. Head on to read:
The above mentioned needs of skin covers the micro nutrients, micro minerals but our body needs even the right measure of macro nutrients. Read our easy- to- follow guide to healthy eating and mindless snacking. to make the right choices for your meal plans.
To receive newsletters from Mywellspring fill in the form below.
Lavender Essential Oil: Distillate prepared from flowering tops of lavendula species. There are many species of Lavandula out there. Of which the most commonly used Lavandula angustifolia is the classic lavender that most people are familiar with. It can also be found on the market as Common Lavender, French Lavender (when it comes from France), True Lavender, or Lavender. Lavendula Latifolia is well known as Spike lavender.
In case you are looking for health benefits you should not purchase oils labeled as “Scanted” OR “Fragrance” OR “Perfume oil” as they are synthetically prepared products.
Wonderful Benefits of Lavender Oil:
- Sleep Better with Lavender Oil: Putting a small amount of lavender oil to insomniac’s pillow helps troubled sleeper fall asleep fast. As this oil is known for its calming effect on nervous system.
- Treat Anxiety and stress: It has been found to have anxiolytic effects comparable to lorazepam (anti-anxiety drug) in small clinical studies. Marketed drugs for anxiety are known for withdrawal symptoms , drug dependency and abuse. Whereas opting aroma therapy with lavender oil will benefit even in long run
By inhaling 2 to 4 drops of lavender essential oil in 2 to 3 cups of boiling water anxiety symptoms allievate. It is known to improve depression in some people. You can also mix 1 to 4 drops of lavender essential oil with almond or olive oil and then use it for massage or to apply to pulse points on your body. You will have the scent with you for hours if you do this.
- As antiseptic: Due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties it is used as antiseptic since ancient times. Linalool present in lavender oil has analgesic and anti inflammatory properties so it can be used for cuts, scrapes , bug bites and as first aid for minor burns due to hot water accidents.
- For skin and scalp infections: Of all essential oils lavender oil is highly potent against (Methicillin-resistant) Staphylococcus aureus forms of infections. Staph is one of the principal bacteria causing acne. Lavender oil is also effective against fungi causing ringworm infection and athlete’s foot
For dermatitis or eczema: Mix few drops of lavender oil in coconut oil and massage regularly.
For athlete’s foot:
a) Soaking your feet a couple times a week in hot water that has Tea Tree and Lavender Oil added really gets rid of the fungus fast. Just add about 10 drops of Lavender and 7 drops of Tea Tree Oil to a basin large enough for both feet. Soak for a minimum of 20 minutes. Add more hot water if needed
b) Make a natural preventative spray using 1 cup of distilled water along with 10 drops of Lavender. Put this in a spray bottle and spray on feet after leaving the shower or gym prior to putting on socks and shoes.
For Dry and itchy Scalp: Add few drops of lavender oil in your shampoo and conditioner and use it.
For Acne: It is useful for treating acne caused due to bacterial infection. Applying undiluted form as spot treatment may cause skin irritation and exacerbate your acne. So add few drops in your moisturizer and use it. Lavender oil is more effective for acne scars than acne.
- Boosting hair growth: Studies have shown lavender oil’s effectiveness in treating alopecia. Regular massage for several months after admixing it with coconut oil stimulates hair growth.
Review of Lavender Essential oil:
I have been using this oil for quite some time. My first purchase was from Soulflower brand. I used around 3 bottles each 15ml for more than an year. I purchased it to treat acne and dandruff. Here is my experience with it
For acne I initially tried spot treatment without dilution. I couldn’t tolerate the strong smell of it and felt nauseous. From then I started using after sufficient dilution. 5drops in 1ml-2ml of grapeseed oil. Though It didn’t work for my acne it worked well for my acne scars. This I believe was also because of grapeseed oil which I used as carrier oil.
For dandruff : As long as I used it regularly dandruff was under control but the moment I stopped using it flakes reappeared. But it is much better and advisable than the newly marketed D-free lotion. The latter had horrible smell that made me nauseous. Moreover didn’t work for me in treating dandruff. So lavender oil any day over any marketed dandruff lotions.
AS sunscreen: I am completely averse to the idea of using Chemical sunscreens which have one or more chemicals including oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. Though they effectively protect from UV rays they are known to form cell damaging radicals on absorption of sun rays
So I prefer using 5 drops of lavender in coconut oil or olive oil. This mixture acts as natural sunscreen and you are good to go under sun!! Unless you have plans to spend on a beach I suggest you to opt for natural sunscreens for daily use.
My later purchases were from the brand Aroma magic:
Hands down!! Lavender oil from aroma magic is pure bliss. Not just me even my mom loves it. She says It is very effective and soothing to treat headaches and relieve stress compared to soul flower lavender oil.
Coming back home from your work after travelling for more than an hour amidst heavy noisy traffic you would surely love to have a relaxing bath followed by a cup of coffee or tea. So do add few drops of lavender essential Oil to your bath water and it acts as complete stress reliever and also as anti microbial.
You can purchase it from Amazon. Here are the links
For US based people please check this link :Lavender Essential Oil
Disclaimer: The information contained on this blog is general in nature and for informational purposes. It is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional.