Monthly Archives: June 2018

Summer & Mosquitoes

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Who wouldn’t love the sun and warm weather? Summer is probably the most awaited season, but it brings not so wanted things too, such as mosquitoes. No matter whether you are in Lapland or Costa del Sol, there are mosquitoes around especially in the evenings and places with water and leafy greens.

There are so many different repellents against mosquitoes, most of them with full of chemicals and toxics. Of course, those can be very effective and give good protection against mosquitoes, but to have all those toxic ingredients on my skin, makes me wonder if it is the best way to protect or should I look for a healthier way.

On the previous blog post we told about natural remedies, especially essential oils and how they work against mosquitoes and other insects. I love essential oils and how multipurposely they work. Saying that I was also extremely glad when we at Anni’s Vital Shop found a whole range of natural anti-mosquito products by Incognito.

Incognito is a British brand and has been on the market for exactly eleven years. The idea came to Howard Carter’s mind after he got bited several times during his travels around the world and got malaria and Dengue fever from these bites. His aim was to create a truly effective, natural insect repellent, which would protect people from insect bites all over the world.

After 2007 when the first product went on the shelves, Incognito has won the Queens Award for Sustainable Development. This tells that they take it seriously what comes to ethicality, responsibility and sustainability.

At Anni’s vital Shop we have now the whole family of Incognito protections and repellents.

Sunscreen & Insect Repellent SPF25

  • 3 in 1 – sunscreen, repellent & moisturizer
  • Natural & organic ingredients, the active ingredient is PMD
  • Light citrus fragrance
  • Protection against bot UVA (aging) &UVB (burning) rays
  • the tube is made of sugarcane plastic and is fully recyclable

Roll-on Insect Repellent

  • Tested to be effective 100% against mosquito bites
  • 50ml bottle fits into airplane hand luggage
  • Fresh scent

Hair & Body Wash

  • Contains rare organic Java citronella to boost your protection against insects
  • Fresh citrus aroma
  • Free from parabens

Anti-mosquito Repellent Spray

  • Tested to be 100% effective* against mosquito bites
  • Fresh citrus aroma
  • 50ml bottle fits into airplane hand luggage
  • DEET- & Picaridin-free formula (no synthetics)
  • Awar winning formula

Room Refresher

  • 100% natural; non-toxic and free from irritants, parabens and SLSs
  • Use indoors to keep insects out for up to 3 months
  • Fresh pine and citrus aroma
  • Winner of the Platinum Award Home & Garden category 2016

 

My favourite is the room refresher which I can use instead of toxic plug-ins.

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You can order all of these repellents also at our webshop. During this summer you get free shipping within Europe when you buy for 80€ or more.

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Essential oils to rescue the summer

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Summer is coming and bringing light, heat, and life with it. Various seasonal challenges are emerging at the same time – Mosquitoes wake up to otherwise enjoyable summer evenings, ants conquer the kitchen cupboards or tables and the skin may react to the burning rays of the sun.

I graduated as an aromatherapist 15 years ago, since then essential oils have followed me everywhere. Essential oils used in aromatherapy are made of flowers, leaves, fruit, leaves, and roots. In addition to relaxing massage technique, the heart of aromatherapy treatment is the mixed oil blend based on the interview and the goals of the client.

Therapeutic, clean oils have both physical and emotional effects – they can either relax, revive, enhance mood or, for example, help muscle tension, support immunity, help control high blood pressure, balance and cleanse the skin. In addition to massage, oils can be used at home in a diffuser, bath water or a few drops of your favorite scent can be used under the armpit with some coconut oil instead of deodorant. Also in the home cleaning a few drops of essential oil in the filter of a vacuum cleaner or mixed in the floor washing water to give a natural, clean and fresh scent for the whole house. Some essential oils can also be used internally, for example, to calm down digestive problems or to remove unwanted bugs.

Essential oils to repel mosquitos & other insects

With the summer heat, various insects become alive and start to disturb our summer fun. Essential oils can be used against them – safely, naturally and non-toxic. Lavender, citronella, eucalyptus, mint and tea tree oils are excellent for insect depletion. You can mix the scents of your choice either in a spray bottle in boiled and cooled water or in a base oil, with a ratio of 1:15. Some suitable base oils for skin are e.g. cold pressed coconut, jojoba, almond, argan or olive oil. Pure essential oils are mainly recommended to use diluted, but if a mosquito has already managed to bite you, then a drop of pure lavender or tea tree oil applied directly into the area will calm the itching and disinfect the skin area preventing it from inflaming.

Essential oils to repel ticks

A green grass or a beautiful flower meadow is also a home for the ticks. A good idea is to eat a clove of garlic every day if you know the area you’re on has ticks in there. You can add some essential oils of lavender, lemongrass, eucalyptus and lime on your boots and legs. Also, a dog’s fur can be sprayed with diluted lavender oil. Remember that a dog has a very sensitive nose and smell compared to humans.

Essential oils to repel ants

The little ants sometimes roam their path through our gardens, terraces or kitchens. Most of us don’t like it really – so it’s good to know they don’t like cinnamon, clove or mint. Powdered spices can be sprinkled on their paths or essential oils sprayed as diluted with water.

Essential oils for sunburns

If you spend time relaxing in the sunshine for more than a half an hour, remember to protect your skin with sunscreen. If it already happened and the skin becomes red and hot in the evening, gently spread some aloe vera gel with a few drops of lavender oil on to the burning area. The skin will calm down quickly and the burned area will not peel off after a few days. Also, take 1000-1500 mg of vitamin C if you got the skin burned. It works as an antioxidant, protects the cells and helps to calm down the skin for the following day.

Have a sunny, warm and relaxing summer everyone!

Tiina Rouvali

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Inflammation & Anti-inflammation

By Anni Dahms
Owner of the retail chain
ANNI’s VITAL SHOP.
Nurse- & Health specialist,  Biopath and Nutritional Adviser.

Español * EnglishSuomi * Dansk


Infection and inflammation are often used interchangeably, but they’re not the same.
The difference between an infection and an inflammation is that an infection is an attack by microorganisms; this could be a virus, bacteria, or fungal attack on the body, as with colds, sore throats, and pneumonia.
Inflammations are non-bacterial: an irritation, pain, swelling, fever, etc.

Both conditions are often categorized as inflammation, and this can seem quite confusing.

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Inflammations are an extremely vital part of our immune system, and they often disappear rather quickly. However, sometimes an inflammation can become chronic. This might be a result of mistreating your body: Too little exercise, smoking, contaminated air, stress, poor diet etc., which means the immune system has to take on more than it can handle.

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It is the opinion of many medical researchers, that inflammations can lead to a myriad of illnesses. For instance, it affects our bodies negatively and advances our aging process.
New research suggests that inflammation can be linked to many of our modern-day epidemics, such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, joint problems, and psychological illnesses. There are even scientists that are linking inflammation to depression.

By making sure that we have healthy lifestyles, we can improve our everyday and feel strong, happy, and at ease. We can, by living healthier, slow down aging and reverse the deterioration of the body.

When I say healthy lifestyles, I don’t just mean healthy foods. I mean the whole package: a proper way of life with plenty of exercise, gratefulness, and good eating habits…combined with good sleep patterns.
Ayurvedic medicine says that stress is diminished through a proper circadian rhythm. This entails that you go to bed at 22:00 and wake up with the sun.
Speaking of—I have recently read a powerful quote from the father of Indian medicine. He announced, “Ayurveda is the holy science of life and benefits all mankind, both in this life and the next.”

It’s alright if it is challenging for you to change your lifestyle, but it should never become another stress factor. There must still be room for a normal life.

If you have many things that you would like to change, split them into smaller bites.

Also, for instance, tell yourself that you are on your way to an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, then you have a better chance that your changes will be permanent. If the changes feel difficult to maintain, then think of the upsides of preventing a sickness rather than curing them.
You can get a degree of inflammation measured with a CRP(C-reactive-protein), it is a substance, which is formed by inflammation in the liver. CRP is measured in the blood, so a blood test could give some clarity.

 

The diet

Your body and mine—the bodies of everyone, are built by the food we consume and absorb. Going all the way back to Hippocrates, who wisely said, “We must consider our food medicine, and our medicine food,” shows us just how true this is.

You will experience that an anti-inflammatory diet will do you good, and strengthen your immune system, whilst making you feel better, both physically and mentally.
Personally, I tend to eat my emotions from time to time. Especially when I’m worried, stressed, sorry, or just plain tired. I’m constantly working on getting more discipline into my food habits and think I’m seeing progress. The good thing is that I feel it as a negative experience when I mess up. On the other hand, I also instantly feel good when I’m eating correctly.
It might be a good idea to plan your meals one week ahead of time.
Eat plenty of fiber rich foods, such as vegetables. The fiber in your food, will help stabilize your blood sugar.
Most vegetables work as an anti-inflammatory. Make sure that you get lots of colors into your everyday meals. It is a joy for the eye and therefore a joy for your digestive system. Vegetables also have their own healthy properties, like eggplant, broccoli, all kinds of kale, onions, peppers of all colors, tomatoes, all types of lettuces, and beets.

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Use the vegetables in smoothies, as raw food, baked, roasted, or in vegetable soups, and perhaps mixed with red lentils, which will fill you up and tastes lovely. Vary your approach as you see fit, and consider using almond milk for your smoothies.
Make sure that your food has a delightful taste, preferably with a variety of spices.

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You can make many great sauces with avocado, tomato, garlic, plenty of herbs, olive oil, and lemon juice. There are many herbs that have an anti-inflammatory effect (for instance thyme, oregano, rosemary, ginger, basil, chili, turmeric, coriander, and capers) on your body. The options are only limited by your imagination.

Consume nuts and almonds together with seeds such as sesame (perhaps in the form of tahini) that are rich in omega-3. Be aware that you can also get almonds through almond milk and almond butter. The same is true for a variety of other nuts.

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You should also enjoy berries, fruits, and legumes. They do not only work as a natural anti-inflammatory, but are also a source of antioxidants. Anti-inflammatory fruits and berries are: pineapple, apricot, blueberry, lemon, cherry, melon, apple, raspberry, papaya, and others.

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For your general health it is beneficial to eat 5 – 6 small meals daily. It is good to start your day with a glass of warm water with some lemon.

Make sure that your meals are prepared with quality ingredients, homecooked and chosen with careful consideration. Include quinoa and chia seeds in your daily cooking. You can find many easy-to-follow recipes online.
When I gave courses on nutrition, I always asked the participants to write down what they had eaten and drunk in the 3 days prior. From that we could often discover what our weaknesses and strengths were, and where it was important to change.

It can be a good idea to do the same for yourself, and perhaps one or more of you friends, whom are also interested in eating a inflammation lowering diet. It is very likely that as a group following the diet, you have a higher chance of success.
Stay away from foods containing gluten, dairy products with lactose, and sugar. Feel for yourself which dairy products you can tolerate, such as yogurt.

Don’t drink too much wine, but it is beneficial to enjoy a single glass occasionally. Red wine is anti-inflammatory.

Do not drink more than one cup of coffee daily, but instead enjoy one of the many interesting tees, such as green tea, matcha, turmeric, nettles, dandelion, rooibos, and licorice.

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Using olive oil is very healthy, use the one that is as dark green as possible. Also enjoy ecological butter on your bread responsibly. This also contains omega-3 oils.
Avocado and coconut oil are also great and healthy sources of fat.

Eat a little bit of light meat and fish, preferable fat fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and herring.

If you need some bread, then consider baking it yourself with, for instance, buckwheat, desiccated coconut, or almond flour.

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Dietary supplements

  • Make sure to get plenty of omega-3 oils. Experts believe that 3 – 5 grams of fish oil, can help reduce inflammations. Omega-3 oils are basically miracle oils. They help with many things, from being anti-inflammatory, to fighting wrinkles, stress, and anxiety. Omega-3 oils are seen as essential. This means that we cannot form them in our body ourselves, but they have to be supplied with food or as a dietary supplement.
  • Stay away from the many bad omega-6 oils, which can start to create inflammations in your body.
  • Probiotics are living microorganisms, also called lactic acid bacteria; they, too, have an anti-inflammatory effect. It is important to strengthen your intestinal flora. When you buy probiotics, then it might be a good idea to change the labels, which often contain different intestinal bacteria. There are new discoveries being made every day about the importance of the intestinal flora. 80% of our immune system originates from our intestinal system.
  • Take a high quality and versatile vitamin/mineral product.
  • Supplement with extra vitamin-C, ideally with bioflavonoids.
  • Vitamin-E is good for antioxidants.
  • Selenium works especially well with vitamin-E.
  • Ginger is anti-inflammatory.
  • Curcumin from turmeric is generally strengthening, and anti-inflammatory.
  • Garlic is also part of the anti-inflammatory family.

 

Tips

To live an anti-inflammatory lifestyle has been a long and interesting journey for me. It came with many experiences, quite a few stops, and a few too long breaks, before picking up where I left off. I have discovered that it really pays off to keep a low level of inflammation in the body, which has become realistic for me, even with a busy lifestyle. I have neither the time nor the energy for a great health revolution, but I try my best in my daily life.

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  • Even though food and supplements are important, there are also many other factors, which play a role in an anti-inflammatory lifestyle.
  • Exercise is important. Exercise strengthens the immune system and works anti-inflammatory as well. You should get some sort of exercise at least once a day. It could for instance be a mix between strength training and stretching exercises, which improves your flexibility. Make sure that all your muscle groups are moved.
  • It should be exercise that suits you – the exercise should not be exaggerated; this could have the opposite effect. It might be worthwhile getting a personal trainer whose focus is on you. If you have a trainer once a week, you can continue on your own 3 – 4 times a week.
  • If you are more stressed than you ought to be, stop what you are doing and revisit your approach to the situation. Perhaps you should start doing yoga. Speak to your yoga teacher about which kind of yoga could be beneficial to you.
  • Be grateful. Use your eyes and senses to notice all the beauty that surrounds you.
  • Make a conscious effort to bring joy into your life.

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