Monthly Archives: December 2013

BENEFITS & HOW TO: THE CASTOR OIL PACK

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castor oil packThe castor bean, also known as the Palma Christi due to its shape and healing properties, is a strong laxative if taken internally.  However, a more gentle use for the castor oil is in the form of a pack placed externally on the abdomen. The oil is absorbed into lymphatic circulation providing a soothing, cleansing, and nutritive treatment which aids the body’s detoxification and elimination functions, enhances liver metabolism, balances the immune system, and improves lymphatic circulation.

The castor oil pack can be used for numerous symptoms and disease states. It can be used for almost all digestive disorders (such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, liver diseases, and gallstones), male and female pelvic complaints (such as uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, premenstrual syndrome, and conditions of the prostate), conditions related to hormonal imbalance (such as infertility and menstrual disorders), almost all inflammatory conditions, stress management, and most importantly general detoxification.  Because of all these benefits, in addition to using it myself quite often, I recommend it to many of my clients as well. happy

Here’s what you will need:

  • Organic castor oil  – it is important to use organic castor oil which will not contain pesticide residues
  • Cotton or wool flannel large enough to cover your abdomen
  • Old towel or plastic wrap
  • [easyazon_link asin=”B000BHDLQM” locale=”CA” new_window=”default” tag=”reaheafit0c-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” nofollow=”default” popups=”default”]Hot water bottle[/easyazon_link]

How to make the pack:

  1. Drizzle approximately 1/4 cup of castor oil onto the flannel, and then fold it in half to saturate it.  (Some people recommend boiling the flannel first to remove any impurities).  During the first several weeks you will have to apply a tablespoon of oil about every 3-4 days. Eventually the pack will be saturated enough that reapplication of oil should only be needed every couple of weeks. The pack should not be dripping with oil. As an example, it should have just enough oil tomake a slight oil mark on furniture as if you were going to polish it.
  2. Lie on your back and place the saturated flannel onto your abdomen.
  3. Cover the flannel with an old towel or plastic wrap (saran wrap works well), as castor oil can stain other fabrics.
  4. Place a hot water bottle filled with hot water over the castor oil pack to aid the penetration of oil into the skin.
  5. Relax for 45-60 minutes.  This is an excellent time to practice visualization or meditation, do deep breathing exercises, listen to relaxing music or sleep. You can also wear the pack all night long, using an ace bandage to keep it in place.
  6. Afterwards, you can remove the oil with warm water and soap in the shower or you can allow any remaining oil to absorb into your skin.
  7. Store the pack in a large zip lock bag. Reuse it many times, adding more oil as needed to keep the pack saturated. Replace the pack after it begins to change color (usually several months). Do not wash the flannel.
  8. For maximum effectiveness it is necessary to apply the pack as often as possible. Try using the pack for at least 4 consecutive days per week. The more often you use it, the more beneficial the results.

Caution:

Do not use during pregancy.  May be used during menstruation if desired but only without heat.

If you have used the castor oil pack or would like to try it, I would love to hear your feedback!  If you have any questions on how to use the castor oil pack, feel free to post them here and I will be happy to reply.

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THE BEST RICE COOKER

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[easyazon_image add_to_cart=”default” align=”right” asin=”B000I5UEQM” cloaking=”default” height=”202″ localization=”default” locale=”CA” nofollow=”default” new_window=”default” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21f8LN%2BMHYL.jpg” popups=”default” tag=”reaheafit0c-20″ width=”250″] I’ve had a few rice cookers over the years and all have worked reasonably well. There was the [easyazon_link asin=”B002RWJN7A” locale=”CA” new_window=”default” tag=”reaheafit0c-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” nofollow=”default” popups=”default”]Cuisinart 7-Cup Rice Cooker[/easyazon_link], the [easyazon_link asin=”B007WQ9YNO” locale=”CA” new_window=”default” tag=”reaheafit0c-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” nofollow=”default” popups=”default”]Aroma 8-Cup Digital Rice Cooker and Food Steamer[/easyazon_link] and the [easyazon_link asin=”B0048BPWQO” locale=”CA” new_window=”default” tag=”reaheafit0c-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” nofollow=”default” popups=”default”]Sunbeam 16 Cup Rice Cooker[/easyazon_link]. The problem I found with the Aroma digital rice cooker is that you have to set it for the type of rice you are cooking and it doesn’t always turn out the way you want it to, especially if you add any other ingredients besides rice, as I often do. The Cuisinart and Sunbeam models have a button that you push down to cook and when the water is absorbed and the rice is done, the button pops up and automatically sets the rice cooker into warming mode.  I find the button style much easier to use because it doesn’t matter what type of rice or quinoa you are using and you can stir-fry onions or other vegetables directly in the rice cooker before adding the rice and water to the pot.

The issue with the above rice cookers and most other ones on the market today is that they are Teflon coated in order to make them non-stick. Whether or not you agree that heating Teflon can be hazardous to your health as well as the environment, the fact is that after some time the Teflon will flake off and bits of it will be going into your food. Do you really want to be ingesting that? Using Teflon coated pans at low heat temperatures with an exhaust fan and not using it at all once it begins to flake off is generally accepted as “proper use” by the manufacturers; however, rice cookers are boiling your rice so the temperature cannot be considered at a low setting.

Because of this I began searching for a rice cooker that was non-digital such as the Sunbeam and the Cuisinart, but not coated with Teflon. I also wanted the ability to steam vegetables in a basket on top, which most rice cookers have, but many are made of plastic and I didn’t want that leaching into my food either.

What I found is the [easyazon_link asin=”B000I5UEQM” locale=”CA” new_window=”default” tag=”reaheafit0c-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” nofollow=”default” popups=”default”]Stainless Steel Rice Cooker by Miracle Exclusives[/easyazon_link] which has all the components I was looking for – push button, stainless steel, no Teflon, and a large stainless steel steaming basket (not shown in the picture). I’ve had it for several months now and I am extremely happy with it. The only negatives I have to say is that I wish it came in black or silver in addition to white. That being said it actually looks a lot nicer in person than it does online. The other slight negative, depending on your expectations, is that because it is stainless steel it is not 100% non-stick. Sometimes rice does stick to the bottom a bit, but you just soak it for a few minutes and it comes off quite easily without any harsh scrubbing.

I’ve made quinoa, brown rice, white rice, sushi rice, and even steel cut oats in there and they all come out fluffy and delicious. For some recipes I’ve used my rice cooker with, check out:

COLORFUL QUINOA

STICKY SWEET BROWN RICE

MISO BROWN RICE

DELICIOUSLY SIMPLE RICE

I have used the steamer basket for all types of vegetables and even put raw eggs in the basket when cooking brown rice to make perfect “hard-boiled” eggs.

If you have this rice cooker or plan on buying one, I’d love to hear your comments below!

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