Fear into Flow
A breathing + affirmation mindfulness practice

Written + Recorded by: Andrea Ashley

Monday Morning Meditation

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Beautiful Kindness Meditation

Audio by: Andrea Ashley

Light Hatha Practice


Host: Andrea Ashley
Instructor: Katie Bushie

Ground to Rise Meditation


Host: Andrea Ashley
Instructor: Diana Premnarine

Metta (Loving Kindness) Meditation

July, 9, 2020
By  Mona L. Warner, Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner

Also known as ‘Loving Kindness’ meditation, metta meditation is a form of Buddhist awareness and compassion practice.

In this form of meditation the practitioner recites specific words and phrases as a way of cultivating “loving kindness” and “boundless open-heartedness”. It is important that you pick words and phrases that feel like a fit for you and your own experience. Know that these can change over time.

There are various forms of metta meditation. Here is a common approach to this practice:


1. Metta is first practiced towards oneself, for example:

May I be happy.
May I be safe.
May I free from suffering.
May I find peace and ease.


2. Metta can then be practiced towards someone we care for. Bring them to mind and continue the meditation:

May you be happy.
May you be safe.
May you free from suffering.
May you find peace and ease.


3. Metta can then practiced towards someone we have neutral feelings for (cashier at a store, post office clerk, person across the street). Bring them to mind and continue the meditation:

May you be happy.
May you be safe.
May you free from suffering.
May you find peace and ease.


4. Metta can then practiced towards someone we have ‘negative’ feelings for (someone we dislike, misunderstand, or are resentful of). Bring them to mind and continue the meditation:

May you be happy.
May you be safe.
May you free from suffering.
May you find peace and ease.

5. Metta can then practiced towards all beings. Bring them to mind and continue the meditation:

May all beings be happy.
May all beings be safe.
May all beings free from suffering.
May all beings find peace and ease.


6. Sit for a few quiet minutes to notice the effects of the practice.


The practice can also be adapted by changing the phrases. Examples include:

May all beings find freedom from doubt.
May all beings practice forgiveness.
May all beings experience spaciousness.
May all beings be safe and protected.
May all beings be healthy.
May all beings be loved.
May all beings experience compassion.
May all beings find patience.
May all beings be abundant.


You can also make up your own phrases that fit with what you’re feeling and the emotional states you are looking to cultivate.

You can also add layers to whom we are meditating for. For example you might choose to cultivate compassion for your whole family, a group of friends, etc.


Enjoy!

DIY Skin Care for Inflammed, Sensitive Conditions

July, 7, 2020
By: Solange Trotman, Holistic Esthetician and Health Coach
DIY Bee Pollen Face Mask

Bee Pollen has anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial benefits. This makes this mask is great for acne, reducing redness and irritation. The antioxidants protect and repair your cells which helps combat signs of aging and make skin look healthier. Try applying a mask once a week.

Ingredients
-1 tsp of ground bee pollen
-1 tsp of unrefined coconut
-1 tsp of honey (preferably manuka)
-a mixing bowl
-a measuring spoon

Instructions
Place all ingredients in a blender or just mix it all in a bowl until it is smooth. Apply after cleansing, toning and exfoliating, then leave on for 20 minutes before washing off with warm water. Your skin will be glowing and hydrated!





DIY Healing Hand Salve

Since we have been washing our hands and sanitizing them more often than usual, our skins natural protective oils are being stripped, which causes more dryness and irritation. Try making this healing hand salve and apply a thick layer with bamboo gloves and leave it on overnight. The ingredients in this salve are highly moisturizing, anti- inflammatory, softening and they also calm irritation.

Ingredients

-3 oz olive oil
-2 ounces coconut oil
-1 tablespoon of calendula petals
-2 ounces beeswax pellets
-2 ounces shea butter

Instructions


    • Gently heat coconut and olive oils in a glass measuring cup and place it in a small pan or simmering water.
    • Add the dried calendula petals. Let stand for 30-60 minutes then strain. (Warm again if it's too thick to strain.)
    • Place the infused oil back into the measuring cup and add the beeswax. Melt again in a pan of simmering water.
    • Remove from heat and add the shea butter. It will melt quickly. Stir well to combine.
    • Let it cool down and pour into a clean jar with a tight-fitting lid. 






DIY Healing Himalayan Salt Bath

Pink Himalayan salt contains 84 essential nutrients and electrolytes. It has antibacterial and antimicrobial benefits. It is great for detoxing, exfoliating, softening and hydrating the skin.  Helps with skin conditions like eczema and acne. The ingredients in this salt bath are great stress relievers.

Ingredients

-1 cup of Pink Himalayan Salt
-4 drops of Neroli (great for stress and anxiety)
-1 teaspoon of apricot kernel oil
-1 teaspoon of lavender buds
-1 small mason jar

Instructions

    • In a medium mixing bowl combine 1 cup of Himalayan salt and 1 tsp of apricot oil. Mix well.
    • Add 5 drops of Neroli essential oil and blend.
    • Add in Lavender Buds. 
    • Pour DIY mineral bath into a glass mason jar. 
    • When you are ready to take a bath just add 4 tablespoons into running bath water.

By: Solange Trotman
Holistic Esthetician and Health Coach
Founder of Discover Bliss
www.discoverbliss.com 

Chronic Stress Can Affect Your Immunity

July, 7, 2020
By: Ismat Dhala-Nathani, DNM, CAP,
Founder & Director of Centre for Ayurveda & Indian Systems of Healing.

Co-Contributor
Roza Moradi.MD
Ayurvedic Health Educator


If you’re like most people, you’ve read a lot of tips on avoiding COVID-19. You likely know the basics: Wash your hands; keep a safe distance from others; avoid travel and quarantine yourself if you have traveled; and don’t go out at all if you experience any symptoms.

Staying Healthy Starts On the Inside

However, it’s also important to acknowledge that staying healthy starts on the inside. The defense system we all need to take care of in these crazy times is our immune system.

Yet here’s the irony: When we are stressed, our immunity becomes weaker. And right now, we’re all stressed about sickness among other things. Just when we all need a strong immune system, chronic stress has the potential to weaken our defenses.

How Stress Affects the Immune System

Why does stress weaken immunity? The process makes perfect sense if you think of how we lived for most of human history.
Not too long ago, if we perceived a threat, such as a predatory animal in the wild, we had to respond – and quickly! In that sense, our body is primed to protect us.

Fight or Flight

Let’s take a look at the “flight or fight” response and how stress changes us on a physiological level.

    • Blood pressure goes up.

    • Heart rate goes up.
    • Serotonin levels drop, because you need to stay awake.
    • Insulin sensitivity is impaired.
    • Digestion slows down to preserve energy.
    • Cholesterol goes up.
    • The body pumps stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol into your bloodstream. 

All of these changes are designed to make sure that you have enough energy in the right places - i.e. the arms and legs - to respond to stress appropriately - i.e. fight or run.

Resource Hoarding

That’s because your body wants to put all of its resources into dealing with the immediate threat. This response is actually very helpful – if you need to escape a predator. However, in today’s world, stress is typically more chronic and, let’s face it, unrelenting.
And that’s where the problems start.

Adaptive Physiology

Our body’s ability to respond to stress is called “adaptive physiology.” To understand this, it might help to think of your nervous system as actually two systems:

  • Your sympathetic nervous system powers the Fight or Flight response that you need in the face of danger.
  • Your parasympathetic nervous system is behind the “Relax and Recharge”, aka “Rest and Digest” response you need in between periods of stress. Without this response, your body’s systems would stay in overdrive.

Essentially, the way in which these two systems work together is not unlike the brakes and gas pedals in your car. One speeds you up, and the other slows you down.
Ideally, your body adapts depending on the situation. The Relax and Recharge period is essential to restoring balance in mind and body.

Putting The Breaks On Stress

Right now, many of us feel like the “gas” is always on, which is a perfectly understandable response when faced with a global crisis.
However, that kind of constant stress can lead to a long list of health problems if the sympathetic nervous system never turns off.
What happens to a car if you only touch the gas and never use the brakes? There’s a high likelihood of a crash.

Don’t Crash Your Immune System

Is when you’re heading for a crash. All the things that happen during your flight or fight response can lower your immunity. And that’s exactly what you don’t want to happen right now.

6 Ways to Switch Your Body to A Healthy Immunity.

So, what can you do? Isn’t stress inevitable at this moment in history? A good starting point is thinking of the two states of your immune system and doing what you can to reach a state of rest and restoration.

  1. Look at your mindset. 
How you perceive a stressful situation will affect your body’s response to it. Perhaps you’re social distancing and feeling trapped and restless inside your home. That’s stressful. However, consider the difference between feeling stuck at home and feeling safe at home. That simple mental shift can help your nervous system remain in a restorative mode.

Don’t forget: You always have the opportunity to change your attitude.



When we feel anxious or overwhelmed, as a result our mental performance can be the first sign of distress. Adaptogens are a class of herbs, which have the ability to regulate the body’s ability to ‘adapt’ to stressors when taken during this time. The herbs listed have a long history as traditional remedies in Ayurvedic medicine:

  • Holy basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum)
  • Holy basil is a highly revered herb for connection with higher states of consciousness. It calms our mind in a most beautiful state and especially help us to ‘tune in’ to the present moment. It is an herb of meditation, assisting us in receptive states. Holy basil will also lift mental fog and helps for clarity of mine.

  • Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)
  • Gotu kola is regarded as one of the more spiritual herbs in Ayurveda ,as it improves mood and cognitive function, while balancing relaxation with increased energy. it offers a more balanced, non-stimulating effect. This makes it perfect for focusing at night.

  • Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)
Lemon balm is considered as an uplifting and joyful herb for the mind. It is gently calming and simultaneously improves cognition, attention span, and mood. This herb can also be used for relieving anxiety, and insomnia during this time and helps the mind and brain function to develop in a most positive way possible.

  • Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri)
Brahmi is another Ayurvedic herb known to support memory, concentration and clarity of mind. Often used to support meditation, Brahmi considered as a bifunctional herb which other than helping a tension release in the body calming the mind it also supports healthy immune function. This adaptogenic herb can also reduce emotional stress and helps with insomnia.

  • Ashwagandha
This adaptogenic herb is especially helpful when you’re feeling overworked and overwhelmed (which makes it perfect choice to use during pandemic) Traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha is believed to help treat brain fog, increase focus, and balancing mood. This great herb supports healthy cortisol levels, concentration, supports healthy blood sugar levels and can even support healthy immune function.


  1. Seek connection. 
In times of stress, you should be close to people who restore your sense of wellbeing. It’s important to feel connected and accepted, because a feeling of connection can boost your immunity.  However, how can you connect to others while also social distancing?
Fortunately, we’re lucky to live at a time with many options for video chats. Set up virtual herbal tea, cooking together or fun dates and regular meetings to touch base with those people who make you feel connected.


Turmeric tea (Latte)

Ingredients
1cup whole milk or unsweetened almond milk + 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
+1/4 teaspoon ginger powder +1/2 tsp ghee+ 1/8 tsp cardamom powder

Almond with saffron or Rose drink

Ingredients
15-20 soaked raw almonds + 10 soaked raisins +2 cups pure water
1 tsp organic rose petals (optional)+1 tsp. Ghee+pinch saffron

Ashwaganda milk tea

Ingredients
1 cup milk of choice (whole, almond, coconut, etc.) +1/4 tsp. ground ashwagandha powder+1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon+1/4 tsp. ground ginger +a pinch of ground nutmeg

Tulsi Tea

Ingredients
1cup of water+ 4 tulsi leaf or ¼ tulsi powder+1/4 coriander seeds+ 1 teaspoon of honey


3) Honour your body’s natural rhythms.

Many people are having trouble sleeping right now. However, it’s more important than ever to try to get between seven and eight hours a night. Even if your normal routine is disrupted, try to stick to a regular sleep schedule. That means going to bed at the same time every night (yes, even on weekends). As well, don’t dismiss the restorative powers of a good nap.


Other than sleep patterns, your eating habits also shouldn’t be disrupted during this time. Remember eating healthy will also Nourish the Soul. Foods that are whole and unadulterated contain more of the intelligence of nature, and thus create more vitality, alertness and happiness when you eat them. having seasonal fruits and foods that are high in nutrients and fresh will always be a wise choice over canned or packages or frozen foods. Always try to follow your hunger and eat only if you feel hungry, Allow Adequate Time Between Meals Because The metabolic function works best when it is allowed to completely digest one meal before it starts in on another. And lastly pay attention to your bowel movements during the day. Elimination patterns and the stool qualities can be the best indicator of our health so focus on the foods that may give you constipation or diarrhea or effect your elimination cycle in any way.

3. Don’t overcommit. 

We’re all under a lot of pressure right now. Take a close look at your commitments and think of how you can eliminate any unnecessary stress. Remember that the goal is to rest your nervous system.
What makes you feel refreshed and restored? Those are the activities to focus on.

Having too much stuff can lead to more stress. The more “stuff” you have in your life, the more your attention are consumed, and the more your stress is triggered. If you want to feel less stressed, decluttering your life is a good place to start. The goal is to simplify your environment by clearing out things that you no longer need or that no longer bring you joy, and cleaning up the areas where things tend to get messy and disorganized.Your room, your kitchen, your car and even the extra applications on your phone needs to be de-cluttered and be in more organize shape so you can reduce the feelings of stress, fatigue, and depression.

4. Eat to optimize your immune system. 

Many studies backup the importance of essential nutrients in protecting your immunity. The ideal diet and supplements for you will depend on your unique health profile, but important nutrients include selenium, zinc, and vitamins A, C, and D. such as beans, nuts, root vegetables; carrots,
     
               
  In addition, don’t overlook the importance of maintaining a balance of “good bacteria” in your gut. More and more research points to the connection between a healthy gut and a healthy immune system.

  • Fermented Asian food (kimchi) or any other kind of fermented food.  
  • Certain types of cheese like Cottage cheese, blue cheese and Roquefort French cheese. 
  • In fact, up to 80 percent of your immune cells are found in your gut. The interaction between your gut microbiota and your immune system helps protect you against foreign pathogens.

5. Move your body. 

Exercise can help your body’s nervous system maintain equilibrium. It can slow down the release of stress hormones and increase the number of disease-fighting white blood cells. As well, movement helps to regulate the communication between your brain and your body.
However, it’s important to move in a safe way – any irregularities in your body’s alignment can affect this process. Focus on doing something you love and making exercise a part of your daily routine. Consistency is the key! If you’re not sure exactly how to work out with gym closures, check out the multitude of workouts you can find online.
Did you know that Spices and culinary herbs are amazing to help lighten the body a support to kick start you for exercises like metabolic building?

Ginger
Cinnamon,
Rosemary,
Oregano,
Thyme
Black pepper

Prioritize Self-Care
Even in stressful times, it’s possible to optimize your immune system. Focus on your body’s need to restore and repair itself and prioritize your self-care. Taking steps towards staying healthy can help you gain a sense of control in an uncertain world. And that will ultimately strengthen your response to stress.





By: Ismat Dhala-Nathani, DNM, CAP,
Founder & Director of Centre for Ayurveda & Indian Systems of Healing.

Co-Contributor
Roza Moradi.MD
Ayurvedic Health Educator


https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/107673
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2869337/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3150158/
https://neurohacker.com/how-the-gut-microbiota-influences-our-immune-system
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095254618301005
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6480557/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4552454/
https://ayurvedichealthcenter.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/AHCWS-Food-Brochure-Kapha.pdf
https://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=a1LgFw09t88&offerid=401472.110&subid=0&type=4&subid=[[at106265_a148822_m12_p13197_cCA]]&u1=[[at106265_a148822_m12_p13197_cCA]]&RD_PARM1=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.mayoclinic.org%2Fhealthy-lifestyle%2Fstress-management%2Fin-depth%2Fhow-decluttering-your-space-could-make-you-healthier-and-happier%2Fart-20390064

https://www.netmeds.com/health-library/post/bolster-your-ojas-5-powerful-ayurvedic-herbs-that-keep-you-healthy-fit

Beyond Sustainability: Living in Harmony with the Planet

July, 7, 2020
By Stefani Chan-Wright
Yoga teacher & co-founder of Ahimsa Eco Solutions

Perhaps more than at any other time in human history, our attention is now being drawn to critical issues like climate change, plastic pollution and the corona virus pandemic--and it is becoming increasingly clear that it is more important than ever to breathe consciousness into our daily lives. With the world coming to a standstill, mandated by governments everywhere, now is the perfect time to reflect on our fast-paced lives driven by the need to achieve and consume more, and the resulting destruction that has been wreaked on our lives, bodies and the planet.

As consumption and activity grinds to a halt around the world, we are starting to hear reports of nature coming back to life, wild animals roaming city streets and heavy veils of pollution lifting so that we can all breathe a little easier, and mountain peaks that can once again be seen for the first time in a long time. While many are suffering from stress and anxiety as a result of the pandemic and related social isolation and economic shutdown, others are experiencing increased wellbeing from slowing down, spending more time connecting with family and loved ones, and incorporating more restfulness into their day-to-day lives.

This restfulness is a potent antidote to fear and anxiety, and essential for us to cultivate metta (the Buddhist concept of loving kindness) into our daily lives. It is also the key to living a sustainable and regenerative life, one that is full of metta, in harmony with oneself, others and the planet.

When we spend our days rushing from one activity to another, we simply do not have the time, energy or inclination to pay attention to what we are doing, and why we're doing it. A lot of times, we rush through our day on auto-pilot, and consume unthinkingly from a place of stress to fill the void caused by a lack of presence. Most times, we simply don't have the time to evaluate our choices and to see if there are better, more sustainable options. However, taking the time to pause and reflect can guide us toward our own inner wisdom of making choices that bring us to a place of harmony within and without. It is easy to feel helpless when we think about melting glaciers or oceans full of plastic islands.

We often don't know where to start or if our actions will even make a difference at all, but just as our body is made up of many individual cells, our planet is made up of many individual beings. One person can have a profound effect, simply by influencing others with their intent and actions. After all, a forest-worth of trees can start from a single seed. If we choose to live our lives with simplicity, integrity and mindfulness, we start to notice that we can reap many benefits from being in harmony with nature, because we start to see the interconnectedness between all life. We are not separate from nature, nor from life itself.

Here are four simple ways you can start incorporating metta towards yourself and the planet into your lifestyle:

One

Mindful consumptionMahatma Gandhi made a very simple and powerful declaration that “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed”. Nature provides enough to sustain the basic needs of our daily lives, but certainly not enough for our rising levels of mindless consumption. With the world's population having passed the 7.5 billion mark in 2019 and fast approaching 8 billion, and developing countries racing to achieve Western standards of living, it is safe to say that the Earth is not able to sustain this level of growth.

Now, more than ever, what is needed most is not our continued addiction to fossil fuels, or even the next technological innovation that will allow us to continue at this breakneck pace, but rather a slowing down and a move towards simplicity in all facets of life. We have been conditioned by carefully crafted marketing and advertising campaigns to attach our self-worth and happiness to our possessions.

 However, rising levels of anxiety and stress are the result of constantly having to strive more, and when we define ourselves by external objects, we soon experience the suffering that arises from this quest for bigger, better, sexier. Very soon after we buy it, the dress that we thought would make us more attractive finds itself forgotten in the back of our wardrobe.

Our iPhone needs to be replaced by the next model with more bells and whistles. This does not mean that we should live austerely, forgoing abundance and the pleasures of life; rather, it means that we can redefine what abundance means to us, and examine what truly makes us happy. Oftentimes, it's the simple things that make the biggest difference, such as a walk in nature on a sunny day, time spent with loved ones, or a good night's sleep. Good health, gratitude and a feeling of peace and contentment are some of the most profound indicators of abundance.

Of course, this doesn't mean that we should feel guilty or ashamed for purchasing or owning nice things. It simply means that we could all use a moment of awareness before we buy or consume anything to examine if we truly need it (or just want it), and if we will use it. We can also make more mindful choices by supporting small, local, ethical and environmentally conscious companies. We can choose products that are made sustainably with upcycled, recycled or repurposed materials supporting the circular economy and fair-trade practises, and food that is grown organically with regenerative agricultural practises. When the demand is great enough, we will start to see shifts within larger organizations towards more sustainable and humane manufacturing practises, as demand drives supply in a free market economy.  

Two

Reducing pollution and toxinsOur oceans and waterways are full of plastic and garbage, our forests and jungles are being destroyed at an alarming rate, our soils have been depleted of nutrients and pumped full of toxic fertilizers and pesticides, our air is downright unbreathable in many parts of the world from particulate matter caused by construction, automobiles (and other forms of transportation) and factories spewing toxic fumes. When we pollute ourselves internally with processed food and personal care products full of additives, preservatives and other chemicals, drink polluted water and breathe polluted air, it is no wonder that we find ourselves sick and unhappy as a society, despite having higher levels of material wealth.

It stands to reason that whatever we do to the planet, we also do to ourselves, and if we make more mindful choices to consume food and use products that are chemical-free and non-toxic, this would also result in greater health for ourselves and for the planet. Unsure where to start?  if the ingredients list includes a bunch of long chemical words you don’t understand, it’s best to look for something else.  

If you see “fragrance” listed in the ingredients, best to skip it—fragrances often include cancer-causing phthalates, which are added to nail polish, hairspray, aftershave lotion, soap, shampoo, and perfumes to help make the fragrance linger. Skip the processed food aisle and stick to whole, natural foods grown locally and organically wherever possible. In the words of Michael Pollan, "Eat food, mostly plants, not too much."

Three

Reducing our use of disposables and single-use plasticSingle-use and disposable plastics were introduced to society as a means for convenience. They are often used for minutes, if not seconds, and then disposed of without a second thought. For years, we all thought we were doing the right thing by recycling, which absolved us of having to think about these items ending up in landfills or even worse, in nature.

Unfortunately, it has recently come to light that most of our recycling (which used to go to China) is now ending up in the ocean or polluting countrysides all over the world. Plastics include endocrine disruptors which if ingested can affect our hormones and health. When these materials are introduced to the natural world, they have been shown to also have devastating effects on animals and marine life. In many cities around the world, Zero Waste and packaging-free shops have been popping up to help us reduce our consumption of plastic packaging.

Many great eco brands carry reusable products such as cups, bags and cutlery that we can bring with us to help avoid disposables. My husband Wes and I founded Ahimsa Eco Solutions after we went travelling around the world, and saw disposable plastic items littering remote beaches and roadsides. We were moved to do something to provide a solution for all the devastation that we say, so we started carrying a line of reusable products made from upcycled, repurposed materials.

At the end of the day, it's not about being perfect, but it is about doing your best. It may be impossible to avoid plastic altogether, but it is certainly possible to cut down as much as we can simply by remembering to bring our reusables with us whenever we head out for the day. And one single reusable item can  displace thousands of disposable plastic items over the course of its lifetime!

4) Growing your own food / being a steward of the landMany people are talking about the need to live sustainably, but at this point, the entire human race needs to shift beyond sustainability towards mindful, regenerative living.

The corona virus pandemic has led us to realize how fragile our supply chains are, and how vulnerable we all can be during these challenging times. One of the biggest concerns that many people face is food security, and climate change will only serve to worsen the issue in coming years.

One thing we can all start doing that will benefit both us and the planet is to start regenerating our soils by composting our food waste and even trying to grow some of your own food. If you’re new to gardening, don’t worry—you can start small with only a couple plants in a pot. Don’t forget to water them!  If you use bunches of fresh herbs, you can plant the leftover roots. In time, you’ll get more lettuce, basil, etc.

Growing your own food is empowering, fun, and super healthy because you can feel safe knowing that no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers were used to grow the food you’re eating.  Not only does this benefit you, but the soil it’s grown in benefits too since no harsh chemicals were added to it.

The next step would be to take your food waste and turn it into beautiful, rich compost which you can add back into your garden, rather than sending it to landfill where it doesn't break down and instead generates greenhouse gasses!

One of our favourite items that we carry at Ahimsa Eco Solutions is the Urban Composter, a mighty kitchen countertop composter that composts your all food waste, producing compost in as little as six weeks, allowing you to keep all the nutrients onsite to grow healthy, organic veggies! Your food will taste that much better when you’ve included something you grew yourself.  

Try it and see for yourself!



By Stefani Chan-Wright
Yoga teacher & co-founder of Ahimsa Eco Solutions

LEARN TO LOVE YOUR LUNGS with TCM + HERBS

July, 7, 2020
Kriss Grcic
Registered Chinese Medical practitioner and acupuncturist

Your lungs bring oxygen to every cell in the body, however, in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) the lungs are more than just a respiratory system.

Chinese Medicine uses organ names to describe an entire system of connections within the body. The "lung" system from a Chinese perspective describes the physical lungs to the lung acupuncture meridian, diagnostic patterns (i.e. Lung Yin Deficiency) and any number of western conditions from allergies,asthma, frequent colds and flus to related emotions.

In order to better understand TCM diagnosis and lung vitality it’s important to include its additional relationships:

1. The lungs open to the nose; this means sinuses, bronchial, air passageways andthe nose itself are all influenced by the lungs

2. The health of the skin, including mucous membranes and sweat glands

3. The lungs are associated to the emotion, grief. When the lung energy is deficient you can experience an overwhelming sense of grief that does not ease.This deficiency then can lead to what we know as depression and related conditions in western terms.

These lung systems and relationships are all further explored when determining diagnoses and treatment.

In the event of an illness or attack on the lungs the pattern is often described as an environment such as wind, heat, cold, dryness or dampness (phlegm).

A common ailment, such as cold or flu, can be described as an External Wind Cold or Heat. This can occur when the lung system is too weak and the protective layer of our body (also called the ‘wei-qi’) allows the ‘cold’ or pathogen to enter into our body.

A patient’s specific TCM diagnosis also requires and in-depth look at their health history such as digestion, sleep patterns, lifestyle to even their family’s health status.

It’s important to establish prevention by strengthening your body’s own line of defence. The key is to supplement the ‘qi’ (chee) energy of the lungs with not only herbs, but foods and preparation methods.

Choose a diet that boosts that lung qi and improves the absorption of the food qi,which is associated to the spleen and stomach energy.

We help our lungs by avoiding foods and irritants that affect the lining which in turn affect mucus production. This relates to common food and environmental allergens causing inflammation (i.e. gluten, diary, dust, heavy cleaning products, perfumes).

Here are blend of eastern and western recommendations that can not only boost lung and respiratory health but can also repair it.



How To Nourish The Lungs With Chinese Herbs

Licorice Root - Gan Cao

One of the most widely used herbs in Chinese medicine, Licorice Root is very soothing and softens the mucous membranes of the throat and especially the lungs and stomach. It reduces the irritation in the throat but also has an expectorant action.

Astragalus Root - Huang Qi

In Chinese medicine, Astragalus is thought to build up immunity to protect us from external pathogens. It is most useful for those who frequently come down with a cold or the flu, have difficulty breathing (such as asthma), and who tend to sweat too much or not enough.

Schisandra - Wu Wei Zi

Helps keep the lungs moist by retaining clean lung fluid, so it’s best for those with weak breath function, such as people with asthma and chronic wheezing.

Marshmallow Root

Appears to act as an enzyme to loosen mucous and inhibit bacteria. Lozenges containing marshmallow root extract help dry coughs and an irritated throat.

General disclaimer when taking herbs:

Start with a low dose and gradually working your way up to a full dose can help reduce your risk of side effects.Introduce a new herb or formula four weeks at a time taking a one-week break before resuming, unless otherwise instructed.

It is very important to seek guidance from a regulated healthcare TCM practitioner for Chinese herbs. You can also consult a Naturopath, homeopath or herbalist for other holistic treatments that may work for you.Inform you doctor of any herbs you may be taking to further avoid any contraindications.

All of the above herbs are available in various forms such as pill, tincture and tea.I generally work with classic TCM to custom formulas in pill or granular form.Singular herbs can be effective but formulas consisting of 3-10 herbs are generally compounded to work synergistically for optimum benefits.



How To Nourish The Lungs With Nutrition:

The character of our lungs prefers moisture and does not like the dryness. The dry-hot season does not always suit the lung function and can be adversely affected through the airways (ie. nose & throat), especially for someone who is already experiencing a weakness in the lungs.

Pear & Ice Sugar Cube Soup This traditional Chinese soup helps to cool to add moisture to the lungs.

1 whole pear, chopped into chunky pieces
3-4 Sugar cube pieces (can use 2 tbsp cane sugar)
2 cups water

Combine the pear and sugar cubes in the water, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Once cooked, you can drink the liquid and eat the pear. Discard the pear core, this is not to be eaten.

For best therapeutic results, refrigerate or cool the desert before eating or drinking. You can also add a handful of fresh mint leaves to simmer at end for additional cooling. Enjoy this dessert 2-3 times a week -generally in the summer months or with heat symptoms such as a fever.

ADDITIONAL DIETRY RECOMMENDATIONS

Overall Lung support:
clean white foods (cauliflower and potatoes), turnips, parsnips, almonds, daikon,apples, pears, rice, oats, sesame seeds, garlic and white peppercorns

Foods for healing and drying mucus:
Onions + bone broth

Loosening mucus:
Limes + lemons (Their sour and astringent properties cause the mucous membranes to tighten up and decrease fluid secretion.)

Natural Expectorants:
Ginger, garlic, thyme, horseradish

Kriss Grcic
Registered Chinese Medical practitioner and acupuncturist
Traditional Today