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Hypertension by Anni Dahms

In panic, I call my son five minutes to midnight on a Sunday evening. Luckily, he isn’t far away. With terror in my voice I tell him that I can’t breathe and that he must call an ambulance.

He quickly calls 112 and explains the situation, all whilst my breathing is getting worse and worse. He calls again, and they calm him and inform him that they will arrive shortly.

Ten minutes after the first call, three large paramedics arrive, who quickly assess how severe the situation is. One of them starts to give me oxygen, whilst the others move the furniture out of the way, so they can move me into the ambulance. I was told all of this later, my only focus at the time was to continue breathing.

My son was instructed, in the ambulance, that he could follow them in his car, as long as he drove in a proper manner. Somewhat jokingly they said they didn’t want anymore accidents.

In the ambulance I’m given the most wonderful oxygen, which is the only thing I perceive. I hear the driver ask if they should speed up, but the guy who is next to me says “no – put on some music”.

The whole process was very calming and professional. I wish I knew the names of the three men, so I could bring them a box of chocolate and a bottle of wine. I sadly don’t know how to reach them. If any of them should happen to read this, they should know that they are more than welcome to visit the store in Los Boliches, as I would love to thank my three heroes.

I’m expected when I arrive at the hospital Costa del Sol, everything is ready for me. I’m transferred from the stretcher into the bed, with the help of moving mattresses, which I hardly notice. The treatment is completely professional here as well. An IV drip is administered, I’m given different injections, and X-rays are taken. The oxygen mask is also changed and becomes permanent.

The diagnosis is, that my heart, due to some conduction disturbances and an elevated blood pressure level, had filled my lungs with water, therefore I couldn’t breathe.

When the first aid was completed, I was taken to intensive care and my shocked son had in the meantime informed the entire family, who were permitted to come in.

I laid in intensive care for around a day, and was attended by a cardiologist and another doctor. I demanded to be sent home, whilst wearing my oxygen mask and being hooked up to all kinds of IV drips! I suddenly felt that it was unbearable to lie in the hospital. The treatment was again very professional. One of the doctors told me, that my health was very poor, but if I insisted, then would always treat me if I returned. My son and I discussed it, and we both thought that the doctors were very skillful, so I decided to stay for further tests. Afterwards I was taken to the cardiology department.

Hypertension

Hypertension is one of the most common illnesses in the western world and it brings along a severe risk of heart attack, kidney disease, eye disease and strokes. Hypertension is the most common cause of strokes and blood clots in the brain. It is the blood pressure that decides how hard the heart needs to work, and pump the blood around in the body. The blood pressure is measured with many different devices, as the systolic and the diastolic, meaning when the heart is resting and when it’s working. The condition of the heart is approximated from these measurements. There are often no symptoms of hypertension but in some cases, may occur a slight headache and/or a flickering before the eyes. So, it might be a good idea to have your blood pressure measured on a regular basis. The heart can handle the increasing work for many years, but with time it will eventually fail. 

The diet

I now have a huge wish that, the food and drink would be prioritized substantially higher in the hospital. While I laid in intensive care, I received plenty of oxygen, so my mouth and throat were completely dry. I also got sores in my throat. I was fasting in case something might happen, which made perfect sense to me. As a former nurse I would like to offer an hours’ worth of free education in nursing, on how to handle patients with permanent oxygen masks. The loveliest nurse came, after my request, with a pack of wet gauze. It was like the most wonderful champagne. When I succeeded in drawing the attention of the nurses, by shouting, which by the way was quite difficult, they only brought a syringe of water, which hardly made the gauze wet.

During my young days as a nurse, we were always allowed to give the patient a small ice cube they could suck on.

When my fast was over, I was finally permitted to eat again, before leaving intensive care. I opened the two bowls, filled with joyful expectation. One of them was a gooey overcooked fish, and the other was a large bowl of curry rice without a single piece of meat. Even though I was hungry I just couldn’t eat anything. With dry humor, I convinced myself that it would probably be healthier to continue the fast. As a trained nutritionist I freely make myself available to whomever is in charge of the food budget. In my understanding, the food should provide you with nutrition to better your overall health. I assume hospitals exits to better people’s health, not to worsen it.

The manager of the section, a beautiful and empathic man, made sure that I was given a bed as quickly as possible.

I was transferred to a two-bed room. My neighbour was an amazingly friendly Andalusian woman, around the same age as me. Despite our large cultural differences, we quickly connected. There were no communication difficulties, because of the steady supply of oxygen, which I had available until shortly before I was released, my brain was working at maximum capacity, and I could remember all the Spanish verbs and words I hadn’t used in years.

I will never forget her. She was very concerned about my poor appetite. She thought the food was wonderful and proudly ate all of it. Happy and in a pleasant mood the whole time.

I had to get my coronary arteries examined and had to sign an agreement, stating that I was fully aware of the risks involved. My neighbour overheard it and quickly crocheted a bracelet for me, shaped like a rosary. Love without limits.

Recommendable diet

If you suffer from hypertension, then eat your food without adding additional salt. Many people pour salt on their food without even tasting it first. If you’re a coffee drinker, don’t make it too strong and reduce the number of daily cups.

Avoid foods with white sugar and sodas, even the artificial ones.

You will benefit from eating garlic and onions every day, they reduce the risk of heart attack and strokes.

Only consume small amounts of alcohol. You should consume a maximum of 1 – 2 glasses of wine and remember to drink plenty of water in between.

Vegetables are filled with antihypertensive dietary fibers, so eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Let nuts become a part of your daily diet.

Ease up on the dairy products and choose the low-fat ones.

Eat fish and cold fish cuts. Eat potatoes, wholegrain rice, and wholegrain pasta.

Quench your thirst with water and herbal teas.

Medication

Luckily the examination of my coronary arteries, showed that they were surprisingly healthy. Hence my doctor saw no reason to conduct further tests on my heart and blood pressure. I was administered quite a bit of medication, which I take with the utmost gratitude, even though I normally don’t consume any medications. I get a diuretic medication, betablockers that aids the heart’s work, and of course antihypertensive medication. I intend to take them, at least until my next control and then we will see what the cardiologist has to say.

I feel fine on the medication and I also take my normal daily dietary supplements.

Dietary supplements

  • It’s great to take certain herbal remedies in tea form, such as linden tree flowers, which expands the blood vessels and thereby lowers the blood pressure.
  • Dandelion works as a diuretic and lowers the amount of liquid in circulation, which in turn lowers your blood pressure.
  • Eat ginger daily.
  • Consume stevia, but it should be the entire plant, which also has blood pressure lowering qualities.
  • Take a vitamin-B supplement, which has all the different vitamin-Bs.
  • Make sure to get an extra magnesium supplement.
  • Supplement with quality omega-3 oils.
  • Get lecithin, possibly as a sunflower extract.
  • A Q10 of high quality must not be forgotten.
  • Garlic also lowers your blood pressure.
  • Hawthorn is one of my absolute favourites. I love the liquid hawthorn called Craetagisan. After the above-mentioned experience it has earned a new permanent spot on my night stand. It has been of great help to me earlier, when my heart was causing me trouble. It is an excellent remedy against weak heart muscles and hypertension. It’s completely safe.

I only have a slight idea of what might have caused my heart attack. It has been a teachable moment for me, and I will never again take life for granted. I have no private health insurance, but I’ve learned that the Spanish public healthcare system, functions amazingly in emergency situations. I have nothing but admiration for how the entire medical system worked.

The nurses were wonderfully compassionate and exact. You could trust their timing and medication.

The three days of bedrests, with catheter and plastic linen, were unfortunately enough for me to develop bedsores on my bum. I was bed bathed every day, which was very lovely, but a tiny bit of massage on my bottom, could’ve kept me from developing the sores. The girls seemed more interested in applying plenty of perfume on me. I’m a natural redhead, which means that my skin is quite delicate. Given that I’ve been a nurse, I would love to give them a small lesson on preventing decubitus ulcers (bedsores).

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Back To School

 

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Finally the long summer holidays are over and school starts again! I have been dreaming of this moment the last two and half months… Don’t misunderstand me! I love being at home with my two kids but I think every mother can feel related with me, the few months start to feel reallyyy long after the first few weeks… Especially here in Spain where it’s so warm during the day that you basically stay inside until 5-6 in the evening. It’s worse than rainy days during the winter!!

But as I said, kids are back to school – or at least one of them. Younger one is just 9 months old so he stays at home with me. But even so it feels so good to have a few hours a day some mother&son quality time while sister is at school.

It’s nice to get back to our routine and my daughter is happy to see her friends again after so many months, but starting school brings also some other issues to think about.

Kids get sick. Like all the time, especially younger ones. I think I read once that kids age 3-5 are ill almost half of the year! So when school starts again, it’s good time start giving some supplements to your children.

Two years ago when my daughter started school, I decided to give her Strathdrops. I didn’t want her to be sick all the time and I heard that this product might help her. Strath is a highly nutritious whole food yeast supplement containing vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and trace elements in an herbal base. It is highly recommended by practitioners for anyone wanting to increase energy, endurance, and mental performance. And the best is that it suits the whole family! You can have it in tablets, elixir and drops. The liquid ones are best for children cause you can just add it in their juice. My daugher has been taking this the last two years and luckily she hasn’t been sick so often than the other kids at her class!

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Even if I try really hard, I have to say that my daughter doesn’t always eat enough vegetables.. It’s not the end of the world but of course I get a little bit preoccupied if she gets all the vitamins and minerals she needs to be a healthy little girl. Just to make sure that she doesn’t lack any of the essential ones, I started to give her MiviTotal Plus. Also in liquid form as I prefer, it’s just so much easier than playing with the tablets.

“Kids should eat fish at least twice a week …”. I know, I know.. It’s really good for you and my kids and I love to eat fish. But if you hate cooking it?? I can’t even touch it, yaiks. And don’t even talk about the smell! Luckily in Spain it’s quite cheap to eat fish in a restaurant so we try to do it at least three to four times a month. I also give some extra omega-3 to my children and luckily someone has invented the chewable Omega-3 tablets for kids! Kids can be quite tough when it’s time to take some vitamins, especially if it smells and tastes like fish.. But these ones are odorless and with a taste of orange!

I remember the first time when my daughter came from school with a note that said “Please check your child’s head, there has been some unwanted visitors at school!”. The word that every mother is scared of – lice. Immediately I checked my daughters head and luckily didn’t find any.. But never say never. Since that I’ve always had some Tea Tree oil at home. I add few drops behind my daughters ears before she goes to school, lice don’t like the smell so they normally stay away from the head with a bad smell. If your child gets lice someday, tea tree oil works also to get rid of them. Add 10 drops to a normal amount of shampoo and wash carefully and repeat.

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With these remedies I hope we survive another school year without colds and lice!



Saludos
Suvi

The Liver & Your Drinking Habits

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

Español * EnglishSuomi * Dansk


 

The liver has a tough life in most of us. When the liver is overloaded, the rest of the body also suffers. One of the many functions of the liver is to detoxify and destroy toxins. If the liver is overburdened and stressed, it loses its ability to detoxify, and the toxins must find other ways throughout the body to eliminate this waste.

The liver is affected either positively or negatively, depending on what you put in your mouth. It is summer, warmth, vacation, and party time, which mostly are accompanied by energy drinks and alcohol in large quantities. Stop before it is too late. The liver must endure your entire life, and preferably, in good shape, so we can feel our best. The liver stands for joy, so it is worth taking care of.

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On the 30.05.2018 there was a broadcast from the Danish National TV station, in the series called “Kontant”. The broadcast was called “Energy drink – unsuited for children”.

As a former school nurse, doing my best to take care of the children’s health, I chose to see the broadcast, which left me frustrated and deeply saddened.

In these days its “in”, both among adults and children to drink the so-called caffeine – and sugary energy drinks.

Children who play videogames, or elite sports, are heavy consumers of these drinks, so  many are enjoyed in large quantities in schools, clubs, and among adults at work.

In the broadcast it was shown that children who drink these energy drinks, often have panic attacks, suffer from stress, allergies, depression, headaches, insomnia, and especially overweight.

The same symptoms are present for adults, but as adults, it is up to us to make the decisions of what we choose to pollute our beautiful bodies with, but for children, it can be difficult to leave these drinks out.

In many countries energy drinks are prohibited for children below the age of 16, but not in Denmark despite all the warnings about the side effects. It is expected that every third child between 10 – 17, will be affected by these side effects. It is often mentioned, that increasingly more children are hospitalized with side effects from energy drinks.

It is said that it is responsibility of the parents. However, I wonder how you would stop your child being around other kids and be the only one not consuming energy drinks. It is difficult, if not impossible.

The consumption of the above-mentioned drinks is increasing rapidly, both among adults and children. It is reported that the sales have gone up 41% in the last year alone.

Many adults resorts to a couple of energy drinks, when they need to get pumped up for something. A cold energy drink in the warm summer heat tastes delicious and instantly gives you energy. But be careful and think about whether you should treat your body this way. An investigation has shown that 42% of people who drink energy drinks regularly, has experienced side effects.

When I step into the supermarket, my eyes  capture   the many different colorful and tempting large cans, situated either at the entry or near the cash register.

A can that contains 250 ml of energy drink, will also roughly contain 80 mg of caffeine, a cup of coffee contains roughly 90 mg. Caffeine affects young people more. There are other additives in these drinks, that we don’t have much knowledge about.

Moreover these drinks are also filled with sugar. In every energy drink there is between 14 – 17 sugar cubes (roughly 50 g).

Sugar is very addictive, and the next step is to combine the energy drinks with alcohol, especially when there are summer parties to attend. It is a poor cocktail both for young and for old, and many heart attacks have been attributed to it. Some researchers compare the combination of energy drinks and alcohol to cocaine, in the way it affects the brain.

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Alcohol is a risky intoxicant. Energy drinks, both with and without alcohol can temporarily derail our blood sugar balance, our nervous system, circulation, brain, and heart. It is not far from attracting diabetes 2 or other inflammatory illnesses either.

Diet

If you sometimes choose to drink the above mentioned, then make the decision with much consideration and self-discipline. Make sure to supplement with blood sugar stabilizing food and drink, this will benefit both your liver and by extension, your entire body.

Different energy drinks are also available in sugar free editions. This is perhaps better in terms of calories consumed, but your brain is triggered to continually seek sweet things, and it is only very few artificial sweeteners that are healthy.

In august 2009 there was a team of Israeli researchers, who warned children about the dangers of drinking sugary soda, lemonade, and juice. The Israeli researchers stated that both regular soda and fruit juice in large quantities, can lead to a fatty liver, because the metabolic functions of the liver are affected by all the sugar. According to the researchers, you shouldn’t switch to  “Light” products either, as they are also believed to be dangerous.

Trade in the sweet drinks for a piece of fruit, and perhaps stick to a single cola as a weekend indulgence. Cut down on coffee and alcohol, if the liver continues to be in a fatty state, it might eventually turn into cirrhosis of the liver and in the worst cases, liver cancer.

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Drink plenty of water. If you are tired of plain water, then put a jug of water in the fridge, with a slice of lemon in it, the water will get the most delightful fresh taste.

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Drink liver friendly herbal teas, such as milk thistle, horsetail, dandelion, or licorice root. Make your own smoothies with plenty of vegetables such as carrots, broccoli, celery, and kale. Sweeten the drink with apple, liver friendly berries, or unsweetened juice from healthy berries and add a bit of lemon, also liver friendly and enhance the flavor of water.

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It could be a good idea to drink a glass of beetroot juice daily, if it is too strong to drink on its own, you may  have it diluted with water. As much as possible, eat and drink ecological. Let vegetables be a large part of your diet and supplement with nuts and almonds, plenty of berries and perhaps a bit of light meat.

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Dietary Supplements

The most important dietary supplement for the liver is milk thistle, with its high content of silymarin. It has been used as a natural remedy, to strengthen the function of the liver for thousands of years. It strengthens the membranes in the liver cells, and contributes with lowering poor cholesterol, and strengthens the immune system, and it is also a great antioxidant. Some researchers believe that it furthermore might help the liver and kidney functionality if you are undergoing chemotherapy.

Make sure to consume a good vitamin/mineral daily.

Supplement with an extra vitamin-B. Make sure that the product contains choline, which is healthy, both of liver and brain.

 Lecithin is a fat, which is present in all our cells. 30% of the brains dry weight and 70% of the livers fatty tissue is made of lecithin. It can be a great help to take lecithin daily, in a shorter period.

It can be a good idea to drink Kombucha daily. Kombucha is a fermented probiotic tea, which after it has been fermented, becomes a lovely drink with fizz, which tastes a bit like white wine. It contains lots of great bacteria. Kombucha is a powerful detoxifier and can play a vital role with keeping the pancreas and liver healthy, it can also help to keep the blood sugar level stable. If your liver is ill, then it is better to wait some time before drinking kombucha, as the powerful detoxifier might be too rough for a sick liver. You can make your own kombucha or choose to buy it at an herbalist store. Kombucha is available in different taste variants. The doses should be fitted to what fits you best, but around 1 – 2 dl. daily, is what most of us would benefit from. There are many suggestions as to how to best consume kombucha. Kombucha should not be consumed by people whom are pregnant or breastfeeding. You can read more about kombucha on Kombuchasvampen.dk.
Keep in mind that kombucha contains a tiny bit of alcohol, less than 1%, so alcoholics must stay away from the drink. There is still slight amount of sugar in the drink Most of it has changed during fermentation.

Molkosan is a popular whey drink, where the taste has changed in the last years, so the drink now tastes a bit like buttermilk. It tastes slightly acid, but it actually turns alkaline inside the body, and it can be a great counter to our acid forming foods. It can be used as a drink to enjoy, where you mix a couple of teaspoons in a glass of water.

Tips

You often see a correlation between the eyes and the liver. If your liver is suffering, then your blood circulation will also be reduced, and not enough blood will reach your eyes. You must be conscious of everything you eat and drink, as it influences your body. Therefore, you should choose your summer drinks with consideration.

According to the Chinese teachings of your inner clock, if you often wake up around 1 to 3 in the night, your body might indicate that you need to take better care of your liver. This is the time where the liver works at maximum capacity.

You can get tips about your general health, by taking a C-rp blood test (C reactive protein). It is a protein, which is produced in the liver and serves as a general indication of the level of inflammation in your body and by extension, your general health.

Be mindful of the importance of happy thoughts. Happiness is the most important remedy for the liver. Let love, peace, and joy be the driving force in your every day. It can be a difficult task, but practice makes perfect.
Perhaps you could start with just 10 minutes every single day and then increase the time every week. Our bodies functions are controlled by emotions, and they are also affecting the organs in our body. It is therefore important to be conscious of your thoughts. The best possible way to fuel good thoughts is to make great choices when it comes to eating and drinking.

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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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Why to wear sunscreen?

Summer is finally here! And so are the bright and burning rays of the sun. Beautiful tan looks healthy, but unfortunately tomato red skin seems to be more common year after year. Besides the look and feel, burnt skin is also a health risk and can develope skin cancer.

It’s not easy to avoid the sun, and not necessary if you protect your skin by applying sunscreen. By protecting from harmful radiation from the sun sunscreen reduces your risk for skin cancer, premature aging and sunburns. Wear it regularly and you can enjoy the sun and get a nice tan.

A cooler weather is not an excuse to skip sunscreen. I did that and the result was catastrophic. I went for bicycle trip near the ocean wearing shorts and a long sleeve shirt but no sunscreen. Obviously back of my hands and front of my thighs got burnt. Not a nice experience. But now I do remember to add sunscreen every time I go out.

Always use a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher. When the weather is getting warmer the sun is getting stronger, so don’t leave your home without protecting your skin. SPF 15 filters out approximately 93% of all incoming sun rays, SPF 30 keeps out 97% and SPF 50 keeps out 98% of the rays.

Check that the sunscreen you choose protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are the ones that cause premature skin aging and wrinkling, and suppression of immune system. UVB rays burn the superficial layers of the skin, and plays a key role in developing skin cancer.

Conventional sunscreens often have different kinds of toxic chemicals. Natural sunscreens are usually made of minerals which reflect the sun’s rays rather than absorb them like chemical sunscreens. You may find the natural sunscreens a bit thicker in consistency and whiter than conventional ones. They may take longer to apply and fully rub in, but you will get the convenience of conventional while feeling good about the products you are using on your body.

When choosing your sunscreen, look for these:

  1. Mineral sunscreens with Zinc Oxide and/or Titanium Oxide
  2. Naturally scented sunscreens with essential oils such as coconut oil, lavender or green tea
  3. Paraben free
  4. Eco-friendly recyclable packaging

Below you can find some natural sunscreens which are available at Anni’s Vital Shop.

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JĀSÖN® sun care products provide the broad spectrum protection you need to protect you from the sun’s rays. The formulas are non-greasy and absorb quickly and all of them are biodegradable. Award winning and the best sun cream for natural beauty. For all the family,  babies (earth’s best) kids and face.

JASON SPORT SPF45

JASON FACIAL SPF20

 

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With safe, non-toxic UV-filters and a blend of antioxidant-rich green tea, rosemary and edelweiss, you can naturally protect your skin from the sun with Green People sun lotion. It is marine-friendly, natural sunscreen with broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection, free from harsh chemicals and artificial fragrances, suitable for sensitive skin and in prickly heat.

GREEN PEOPLE SCENT FREE SUN LOTION SPF30

 

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Lotion, pump spray or continuous spray, P20 sun protection gives you up to 10 hours reliable sun protection with just one application. P20 is very water resistant and easy to apply. No added fragrance, colourants or added preservatives.

P20 SPF50+

P20 SPF15

20180514-IMG_9914Derma Sun provides the whole family with waterproof protection against sunburn and possible skin discolouration. The Derma Sun line protects your skin from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays and meets the new EU recommendations for optimal UVA and UVB protection. It is pure and effective sun protection – without any self-tanning ingredients or other unnecessary ingredients.

DERMA SUNSPRAY SPF20

DERMA SUNSPRAY SPF30

DERMA FACIAL SUNSCREEN SPF50

DERMA SUNSCREEN STICK SPF50

 

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Danish Mellisa sunscreen with UVA and UVB filter. Contains organic aloe vera and avocado oil. Free from perfume and titanium.

MELLISA UNSCENTED SUNSCREEN SPF30

 

 

Sun friendly foods:

  • Red & orange fruit and veggies
  • Green tea – try this!
  • Fish rich in Omega-3
  • Dark chocolate – try this!
  • Coffee with caffeine – try this!

Recommended suppliments:

 

If your skin already got burnt, use Aloe Vera!

 

Photos by Tiina Arminen