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The Ultimate Guide to Ayurvedic Medicine

The Ultimate Guide to Ayurvedic Medicine

Ayurvedic medicine is a traditional natural healing system which has been practiced for more than 5,000 years. The most important goal of Ayurvedic medicine is to help people live a long, healthy and balanced life. Ayurvedic medicine can address many issues, ranging from infertility to serious diseases. As a result, Ayurvedic medicine is gaining more and more popularity throughout the world.

Ayurvedic principles dictate that health problems occur when there is a disturbance in the balance between your body, mind and spirit. Ayurvedic principles dictate everyone is comprised of three different kinds of doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha) which, when working together in harmony, support good health. Ayurvedic medicine is intended to bring balance and harmony to your body with a view to helping  prevent and cure diseases.

In this post, we discuss various aspects of Ayurvedic medicine, including the different kinds of Ayurvedic medicinal herbs, the different types of Ayurvedic medicine, as well as the different kinds of Ayurvedic medicinal tea which you can brew at home.

Ayurvedic Medicinal Herbs

Plants that are used for Ayurvedic medicinal purposes are known as Ayurvedic herbs. Ayurvedic herbs are an important part of Ayurvedic medicine. In fact, Ayurvedic practitioners often recommend these herbs to cleanse your body and boost your immune system.

Using Ayurvedic herbs for treatment is generally considered safe as there are generally no or minimal side effects. In many parts of the world, these herbs are used as a home remedy for various health issues. In order to prepare Ayurvedic medicine, practitioners typically use a single herb or a combination of herbs. Each herb carries a unique quality which can be used to treat different health ailments.

1. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic medicinal herb, which means that it helps your body to adapt to its surrounding requirements. Ayurvedic health practitioners consider ashwagandha to be a  asayana (a Sanskrit word that translates to “path of essence") which can have the effect of boosting energy and improving overall health and longevity.

Health benefits:

  • Relieves stress
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Boosts immunity
  • Helps muscle growth
  • Increases fertility in men
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Antibacterial properties

In fact, a scientific study has revealed that ashwagandha has anxiolytic properties, with the result that it can be effectively used in treating anxiety disorders. With multiple health benefits, ashwagandha can potentially improve the quality of your life.

2. Brahmi

Brahmi (which is also known as bacopa monnieri), acts as a tonic that is helpful for the brain and nervous system. It has a cooling essence with a bitter and sweet taste. Brahmi protects the brain cells from stress-related aging, with the result that it can be used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Health benefits:

  • Powerful antioxidant
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Enhances brain function
  • Helps to reduce ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder)
  • Prevents anxiety and stress

    In fact, a 12-week study conducted on 46 healthy adults revealed that Brahmi supports high-order cognitive processes thereby leading to improved learning and memory.

    3. Shatavari

    Shatavari (also known as sparagus racemosus) is a nourishing tonic which can help support the female reproductive system. In particular, it can help enhance a woman’s fertility by regulating hormones. This Ayurvedic formulation is available in pill or powder form and can be consumed as a tea or with milk.

    Health benefits:

    • Helps support female reproductive health
    • Helps with menopause symptoms
    • Antioxidant effect
    • Anti-anxiety effect

      In fact, a study has suggested that shatavari improves female hormonal balance and can be used to treat polycystic ovarian syndrome.

      4. Shilajit

      Shilajit is a traditional Ayurvedic medicinal herb that is rich in nutrients and minerals. It is also believed to be an effective supplement for overall health and well-being. Ayurvedic practitioners believe that shilajit rejuvenates the cells in the body with its nutrients.

      Health benefits:

      • Anti-stress and adaptogenic properties
      • Anti-aging effect
      • Helps in the treatment of iron deficiency anemia
      • Reduces the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome
      • Improves heart health

        Research suggests that shilajit preserves the mitochondrial function. This is important because mitochondria are the powerhouses of our bodies and are necessary in order to maintain healthy energy levels. As a result, shilajit can help reduce fatigue and increase our energy levels.

        5. Amla

        Amla (also known as Amlakai) is an antioxidant tree fruit which is a rich source of vitamin C. Because of its cooling nature, it is especially advised for the treatment of pitta dosha. Amla is available in powder form, tablet form and also as a liquid extract. Amla is one of the three fruit present in triphala (an herbal remedy that has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years) and is a main ingredient of chawanprasha (a nutritive jam that has been used in Ayurveda medicine for thousands of years).

        Health benefits:

        • Promotes healthy metabolism and digestion
        • Balances digestive fire, also known as agni
        • Nourishes tissues and organs
        • Supports healthy immune response and youthfulness
        • Antioxidant

          In fact, a  research study has revealed that alma has high vitamin C content and resulting antioxidant properties.

          6. Turmeric

          Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is well-known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric balances all of the doshas, purifies the blood and has a cleansing effect on the liver. Ayurvedic practitioners recommend consuming turmeric on a regular basis in order to support good health.

          Health benefits:

          • Promotes good digestion
          • Aids in the proper functioning of the liver
          • Supports blood circulation and heart health
          • Has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
          • Improves brain function
          • May help reduce the risk of cancer

            In fact, a study conducted on turmeric has shown that it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and that it also acts as an anti-cancer agent.

            7. Manjistha

            Manjishtha is one of the best Ayurvedic herbs available for the purpose of purifying the blood. In particular this herb helps cleanse the blood and lymphatic system and also improves skin complexion. It also helps in the overall rejuvenation of the body. Manjishtha is available in a powder form which can be taken as a supplement or used to make  tea.

            Health benefits:

            • Useful in treating skin diseases
            • Helps in treating gout
            • Strengthens circulation
            • Used in the treatment of arthritis, diabetes, irregular periods and acne

              In fact, studies have shown that manjistha helps improve immunity and also has an anti-inflammatory effect. Manjistha can be used externally to soothe the skin during acne breakouts and can also be used to help enhance the skin’s complexion.

              8. Tulsi

              Tulsi (which is also known as holy basil) is an Ayurvedic herb with healing properties. It relieves stress and helps support the immune system. Tulsi tea is a fresh and flavorful beverage used as a relaxant. The essential oil present in tulsi can be beneficial in treating many health ailments.

              Health benefits:

              • Helps to relieve the symptoms of respiratory diseases
              • Helps in the treatment of asthma
              • Can help prevent lung disorders
              • Reduces stress

                In fact, a study conducted on the effects of tulsi has revealed that it normalizes glucose levels and blood pressure and also helps to address psychological and immunological stress.  

                9. Triphala

                Triphala (which is also known as triphala churna) is an Ayurvedic formulation which contains three different Ayurvedic herbs: amla, bibhitaki and haritaki. It is available in supplement form, as a pill, and as a liquid extract. Triphala supplement is effective when taken with warm water.

                Health benefits:

                • Purifies the blood and reduces cholesterol level
                • Stimulates gut enzymes, thus helping with food absorption
                • Relieves constipation and bloating
                • Antioxidant properties
                • Nourishes the tissues

                  In fact, a scientific study has revealed that Triphala improves immunity and can be used as an immunomodulator in treating various diseases.

                  10. Gotu Kola

                  In Ayurvedic medicine, gotu kola (also known as centella asiatica) is prescribed as a tonic used to ease anxiety, enhance mood and reduce mental stress. This Ayurvedic herb has a stimulating effect that helps with depression and Alzheimer's disease.

                  Health benefits:

                  • Improves mental function
                  • Enhances blood circulation
                  • Used to treat anxiety and fatigue
                  • reduces scar tissue when applied externally
                  • Also improves wound healing

                    Recent studies have shown that gotu kola has neuroprotective and neurogenerative properties. This Ayurvedic herb is also used to support the central nervous system and treat  various nervous disorders.

                    Types  of Ayurvedic Medicines

                    Ayurvedic medicine is an integral part of Ayurveda which mainly focuses on the root causes of diseases. Ayurvedic medicines are prepared based on a patient’s specific therapeutic needs. One of the most important advantages of Ayurvedic medicine is that it does not contain any harmful ingredients. Ayurvedic medicine utilizes a holistic approach that is believed to help contribute to a long and healthy life.

                    The following discussion summarizes some of the more generic forms of Ayurvedic medicine.

                    Kashayam (also known as Kadha or Kwath)

                    This type of Ayurvedic formulation is prepared by boiling a group of medicinal herbs in water. Different herbs are prescribed depending on the patient’s therapeutic conditions. This formulation mostly contains water-soluble herbs which can be easily absorbed by the intestines, providing quick relief. This formulation can also be helpful in treating the common cold, flu, indigestion and cough.

                    Arishta and Asva

                    This Ayurvedic formulation is prepared through a natural fermentation process using herbs, water, and jaggery (which is a traditional non-centrifugal cane sugar). These preparations have a longer shelf life and are believed to be very beneficial. These preparations also stimulate the agni, which is the digestive fire which enhances the digestive system. These preparations may also be helpful in the treatment of digestive problems, anemia, heart disorders and depression.

                    Choornas

                    Choornas are prepared by grinding medicinal herbs into a fine powder. It is advised to consume this powder with water, milk or honey. Triphala choorna is one of the most common choorna made with a unique combination of three fruits used effectively in treating indigestion, headache, constipation and eye related problems.

                    Vati or Gulika

                    Vati or Gulika refers to Ayurvedic tablets or pills. These formulations are made using single herbs or multiple herbs, with or without purified minerals. These pills are generally easy to consume and easy to store. This Ayurvedic formulation is typically prepared using minerals and herbs. These formulations can help in curing diabetes, respiratory disorders and arthritis.

                    Lehyams

                    Lehyams are herbal jam-like formulations prepared in a medium of sugar or jaggery. Based on a patient’s needs, certain herbal concoctions and herbal pulps are used in the preparation of lehyams. They are considered excellent medications for strengthening the immune system and for improving stamina. One of the most popular kinds of lehyam is known as chyawanprasha, which is a nutritive jam that has been used in Ayurveda medicine for thousands of years.

                    Ayurvedic Teas

                    Ayurvedic teas are herbal teas made using Ayurvedic herbs, spices, flowers and dry fruits. There are a wide array of delicious Ayurvedic teas which come in a wide range of flavors and suit a multitude of different tastes and preferences. These traditional teas offer natural remedies for various health ailments. In addition, these teas can enhance digestion and help in the overall functioning of the digestive system.There are many attractive choices for tea lovers, including the following:

                    Chamomile Tea

                    Chamomile tea is a popular herbal tea known for its calming effect. It is used as a sleeping aid to treat insomnia. It is also a good relaxant and stress reliever and can be used to reduce menstrual cramps. It is loaded with antioxidants and helps lower the risk of diseases. It also promotes digestive and heart health.

                    Peppermint Tea

                    This fragrant tea supports the digestive system and is commonly known for its antioxidant, antibacterial and antiviral properties. It is a great natural remedy for digestive problems like indigestion, cramps and nausea. It also freshens up your breath and can help relieves headaches.

                    Ginger Tea

                    This spicy, flavorful tea is made using the roots of the ginger tree. It is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It fights inflammation and enhances the immune system. It also helps relieve dysmenorrhea or period pain.

                    Hibiscus Tea

                    This Ayurvedic herbal tea is made from the colorful petals of the hibiscus flower. It has a unique flavor with anti-viral properties. Hibiscus tea can also help lower high blood pressure and reduce oxidative stress. With a sharp and refreshing flavor, hibiscus tea is also rich in vitamin C.  This herbal tea improves the immune system and can also help to relieve symptoms of the common cold.

                    Echinacea Tea

                    This Ayurvedic tea is made from the bright flowers of the echinacea plant. With a bright and fresh flavor, it helps to build a strong immune system. This herbal tea can also soothe your throat during a common cold. It fights against viral infection, helps to control blood sugar, assists in managing anxiety and aids in healthy cell growth.

                    Conclusion

                    As discussed in detail above, Ayurvedic medicine offers us an alternative path to supporting good physical and mental health.

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                    How to Balance Copper and Zinc for Optimal Health

                    How to Balance Copper and Zinc for Optimal Health

                    Copper and zinc are two of the most important minerals needed by our bodies. Both of these minerals can be naturally supplemented by the food we eat and the water we drink. These minerals work hand in hand in many bodily functions like immune and nervous system response and proper digestion.

                    However, many people tend to forget the need to achieve balance when it comes to copper and zinc. In this article, we discuss one of the most commonly observed mineral imbalances in clinical practice, copper and zinc's individual functions in the body, the factors that affect copper and zinc balance, and how to balance copper and zinc intake.

                    Functions of Zinc in the Body

                    Zinc is considered one of the most important trace elements in the body. Within the past five decades of scientific research, it has been determined that there are more than 3,000 zinc proteins present in the body. Later discoveries have linked zinc's importance to the proper functioning of more than 300 enzymes and 1,000 different kinds of proteins essential for coding human DNA.

                    The most prominent processes for which zinc is an essential ingredient include DNA coding, cell division, anti-oxidation, brain growth and development, immune system function, protein synthesis and wound healing. Zinc-deficient newborns can have birth defects and metabolic disorders, and in older people zinc deficiency can be linked to learning disabilities, mental sluggishness, delayed wound healing, diarrhea, growth retardation, hair loss, eye and skin lesions, poor immune function, weight loss, impotence, as well as depression and anxiety.

                    According to the Food and Nutrition Board, the average recommended dietary allowance of zinc is 11 mg/day for adult males (14 to 70 years old and above) and 8 mg/day for adult females (14 to 70 years old and above). Other life stage groups such as infants, pregnant and lactating women, and children have varying zinc requirements. The body stores zinc for only a short period of time before it gets excreted through urine and fecal matter, so it is important to have a continuous zinc intake.

                    Functions of Copper in the Body

                    According to research, copper plays a pivotal role in the different chemical processes of the body. Processes such as oxidation reduction (or the transfer of electrons between living cells), iron absorption, defense against oxidative stress (which happens when the amount of free radicals overwhelms repair processes of the body) and immune function all require copper. Additionally, copper contributes to carbohydrate metabolism and is found in the tissues of body parts such as the liver, brain, kidneys and hair.

                    Although rare, copper deficiency can occur and cause a decline in mental performance, as well as create mood and behavioral disorders. In fact, a recent study correlates sufficient copper intake with the normal formation of brain neurotransmitters in the nervous system. Clinical signs of copper deficiency may include anemia (the type that is unresponsive to iron supplementation), an abnormally low number of white blood cells (neutropenia), osteoporosis and other bone development abnormalities.

                    According to the Food and Nutrition Board, the average recommended dietary allowance of copper for both adult men and women (19 to 70 years old and above)  is 900 ug/day. Other life stage groups such as infants and children have lower copper requirements, while pregnant and lactating women have higher copper requirements.

                    Risk Factors and Symptoms of Copper and Zinc Imbalance

                    Zinc deficiency is more common than copper deficiency. Some people are also more likely to have copper overload compared to others, especially people who have or are suffering from chronic stress, slow metabolism, adrenal insufficiency or high estrogen levels.

                    According to research, the ideal zinc to copper ratio is 8:1, with an acceptable range from 4:1 to 12:1. Maintaining this ratio is essential to maintaining good health. Although there is no quick way to determine your zinc to copper ratio aside from conducting laboratory tests, assessing symptoms can be a good way to determine whether you may possibility have a copper to zinc imbalance. The following, which were enumerated in recent research studies, are the most likely symptoms of copper and zinc imbalance:

                    1. Age related macular degeneration;
                    2. Frequent panic attacks and headaches;
                    3. Mental lethargy or chronic fatigue;
                    4. Emotional disturbances;
                    5. Slow recovery rate from wounds;
                    6. Skin problems such as blisters and roughness;
                    7. High rate of chronic infections and sickness;
                    8. Gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea;
                    9. Reduced appetite and weight loss; and
                    10. Night blindness.

                    The same research also found that when an 8:1 zinc to copper ratio is properly achieved, zinc may help block excess copper intake and absorption.

                    Copper to Zinc Ratio in Relation to Areas of Health

                    A balanced copper to zinc ratio plays an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system, and a lack of balance can potentially act as an early indicator of certain health disorders. First, the ratio can be used as a measurement of a person's oxidative stress levels. In fact, a recent study revealed that the body becomes unable to produce superoxide dismutase, an enzyme primarily responsible for fighting oxidative stress, when there is an imbalance between copper and zinc. The same study also found that zinc levels drop significantly during a chronic illness.

                    Proper copper to zinc ratio is also vital to brain health. A recent study correlated Alzheimer's disease to high levels of copper and relatively low levels of zinc. The findings were made by screening approximately 407 different scientific investigations from 1978, 44 of which met all of the inclusion criteria. Statistically, it has been found that there is a stronger relationship between copper and zinc levels and Alzheimer's disease, as compared to iron and zinc levels and Alzheimer's disease.

                    ADHD and ASD in children are also correlated to a higher copper to zinc ratio. A recent study investigated the relationship between the levels of certain trace elements like copper, zinc, selenium, lead, as well as the copper to zinc ratio using 108 children, 58 of which were diagnosed with ADHD. The study found that there were lower levels of zinc and a higher copper to zinc ratio in children with ADHD compared to the healthy group, indicating a relationship between copper and zinc levels and ADHD.

                    A different study was conducted using 120 children, 60 of which were children with ASD, to determine the relationship between a copper to zinc ratio and ASD. It was concluded that there is a strong relationship between the severity of autism and increased copper to zinc ratio, as researchers found that children with ASD had a significantly higher average serum level of copper and a lower average serum level of zinc compared to the healthy group.

                    More studies have been conducted suggesting that having a high copper to zinc ratio can influence other areas of health, particularly that of elderly people.

                    How to Balance Zinc and Copper Intake

                    It is essential to consult with a health provider if you suspect that you have a copper and zinc imbalance. By doing so, you will have a clearer picture of your current mineral balance status. There are also various tests available, such as serum, urine and hair mineral analysis.

                    In addition to consulting with a health provider, you may also start making positive lifestyle changes to maintain your health and resolve any issues. Keep in mind that it is important to make such changes cautiously and with the advice of your health provider, as everyone has a unique physiology.

                    Here are the things  you can do to balance your copper and zinc intake:

                    1. Increase or decrease your intake of the following copper-rich foods, as needed: liver, seeds (sesame and sunflower), oysters, cocoa powder, beans (soybeans, adzuki, kidney, white and mung beans), nuts (cashew, brazil, pine and hazelnuts), lentils and buckwheat.

                    2. Increase zinc intake by asking a certified health provider about zinc supplements. Avoid consuming substances that deplete zinc such as alcohol, sugar and grains.

                    3. Increase or decrease your intake of the following zinc-rich foods, as needed: oysters, organic grass-fed beef, seeds (sesame, pumpkin and sunflower), beans (adzuki, navy, black and white), wild rice, nuts (peanuts, pine and cashew), teff, split peas and lentils.

                    4. Manage your stress levels to maintain optimum health of the adrenal glands. The adrenal glands work hand in hand with the liver in producing ceruloplasmin, which is an enzyme that binds with copper and transports it within the body through blood plasma.

                    5. Make sure you are consuming other essential nutrients that can be taken to help deal with excess copper intake, such as manganese, vitamin A, C and B6. Antioxidants such as alpha-lipoic acid and glutathione may also help in removing excess copper from the body. The body's glutathione levels play an important part in immune health and detoxification. When there is a high copper to zinc ratio, the body’s natural ability to produce this antioxidant is decreased.

                    As you may have noticed, many of the foods listed above contain both copper and zinc and have a good ratio of both minerals. For instance, a 100-gram serving of Brazil nuts contains approximately 4.7 mg of zinc and 2 mg of copper. Eating these foods in moderation can help maintain a healthy copper and zinc balance.

                    Final Thoughts

                    Zinc and copper are essential minerals that work hand in hand for many different beneficial processes of the body. Consuming them and making them a part of your regular diet is important; but bear in mind that it is also important to maintain a proper ratio to avoid any potential health issues. To do so, always make sure to get adequate amounts of each mineral, primarily from natural sources. Lastly, if you feel that you have a zinc and copper imbalance, it is best to consult with a health professional as soon as possible, as there are many tests available that can accurately assess both your zinc and copper serum levels.

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                    Copper Pitchers and the Oligodynamic Effect

                    Copper Pitchers and the Oligodynamic Effect

                    Remember when doorknobs were made from copper or brass and cutlery was made from silver? As it turns out, these frequently touched items were made from these metals quite deliberately and for a very good reason. In this blog post, we’ll describe the amazing anti-bacterial properties of copper which are a result of a natural phenomenon known as the “oligodynamic effect”.

                    Copper has been used since ancient times to disinfect and purify water. In addition, several recent studies have established that copper surfaces may have practical applications in healthcare as well as in the food industry. Copper is an essential element in the human diet and is considered safe for humans when consumed at low levels. However, while humans are not susceptible to copper, microorganisms such as harmful bacteria are very sensitive to the presence of copper, and, in fact, show rapid inactivation when exposed to copper surfaces. As a result, copper pitchers can be very effective at purifying water and eliminating water-borne pathogens.

                    Various studies have shown that water pitchers made from copper were effective at removing bacteria from water. For example, in one recent study scientists studied the effect of a copper pitcher on drinking water contaminated with dangerous bacteria including E.coli and salmonella. The scientists stored the contaminated water in the copper pitchers for 16 hours at room temperature, and to their amazement, were later unable to recover any bacteria from the water.

                    In another recent study, researchers studied the best method to remove biological contamination from drinking water for domestic use. In particular, the researches stored contaminated drinking water in a variety of different water pitchers made from copper, silver, clay, and plastic. The study revealed that the copper pitcher was the most effective at removing the bacteria in the water and that there was a very significant inhibitory effect on the bacteria after only a few hours of storage in the copper pitcher.

                    In yet another recent study, scientists contaminated water with bacteria and then stored the water overnight at room temperature in both copper water pitchers and glass bottles. When examined in the morning, the bacteria was no longer present in the water that has been stored in the copper water pitchers, although the bacteria was present in the water stored in the glass bottles.

                    This phenomenon is known as the oligodynamic effect, which one recent study defines as “the ability of small amounts of heavy metals to exert a lethal effect on bacterial cells.” In particular, certain metals including copper have been found to effectively sterilize themselves after a certain period of time, which makes them ideal metals for water pitchers and doorknobs. Copper is a unique metal in this regard, as certain other metals, such as stainless steel and aluminum, do not have a significant effect on harmful bacteria.

                    But how does the oligodynamic effect work? While the mechanism is not yet fully understood by modern science, studies suggest that copper ions cause membrane damage to bacteria by affecting the protein in the bacteria’s cell walls thereby resulting in their precipitation and inactivation.

                    The results of these studies support the ancient ayurvedic practice of storing water in copper vessels. Significantly, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has registered copper as the only solid surface material able to kill bacteria that may pose a threat to human health. As a result, copper is now being considered in further applications where bacteria control is a concern, such as hospitals. In fact, many hospitals have begun equipping their patient rooms and operating rooms with copper alloy surfaces, replacing bed rails, tables, and door knobs. In fact, studies have shown that such changes can help reduce the number of healthcare-acquired infections in patients by more than half.

                    The next time you touch a stainless steel doorknob, be warned that this metal can be a major source of bacteria, some surviving for more than a month. In fact, recent studies of hospital doorknobs have found that copper doorknobs impeded bacterial growth, while aluminum and stainless steel permitted bacteria to run wild. In fact, within 15 minutes the copper doorknob had already partially disinfected itself. Perhaps copper doorknobs will become popular once again, all thanks to the ogliodynamic effect.

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                    Using Copper Infused Water in Skincare

                    Using Copper Infused Water in Skincare

                    While there are many benefits associated with drinking water from a copper pitcher, including healthy skin, did you know you can also use water from your copper pitcher externally as part of your skincare regime to treat and prevent acne? In this blog post, we discuss the research and science behind the soothing and healing properties of copper when applied to the skin and also share how to make your own colloidal copper facial mist easily at home.

                    Copper has been shown to increase skin cell division and tissue remodeling, which means that it is able to help heal acne lesions. In fact, a recent study explored infusing wound dressings (essentially bandages) with a copper solution and found an increased rate of healing which started in mere minutes.

                    In addition, copper also has excellent antibacterial and antifungal properties, and can therefore be a safe and gentle way to inhibit acne-causing bacteria. In fact, a study conducted in 2015 found that copper was able to eliminate up to 70% of P. acnes bacteria. Copper is also proven to reduce skin inflammation. For instance, copper is an essential component of the antioxidant Superoxide Dismutase (SOD). When applied to the skin, it soothes inflammation reducing redness and swelling.

                    The benefits of copper for skincare are becoming more popular and widely recognized. Creams and serums containing copper peptides (essentially copper attached to a protein) retail for upwards of a hundred dollars. Unfortunately, those creams often also contain chemicals that are not ideal for your skin. Fortunately, there is a simpler, healthier and more affordable way to experience the soothing and healing benefits of copper at home by making your own colloidal copper solution using a copper pitcher like ours.

                    What is a "colloidal solution", you might ask? A "colloid" is  essentially a mixture in which one substance of microscopically dispersed insoluble particles is suspended throughout another substance. A colloidal copper solution can be created through the Ayurvedic practice of storing water in a copper pitcher for a period of 8 to 16 hours. When you store water in a copper pitcher, the water naturally and safely absorbs very small amounts of copper which are suspended evenly throughout the water.

                    To make your own colloidal copper facial mist, simply follow these simple steps: 

                    • Fill your copper water pitcher with filtered room temperature water;
                    • Let the water sit in your copper pitcher for 8 to 16 hours;
                    • Pour the copper infused water into a clean misting bottle (preferably glass as plastic misting bottles can leach plastic into the solution); and
                    • Spritz the copper infused water on your face in the morning as a toner or make-up setting spray and throughout the day as a refreshing and hydrating mist.
                    • If you experience a breakout of acne, try spritzing your entire face with the solution on clean skin before bed.

                    To add a scent and additional benefits to the facial mist, try adding a few drops of your favourite essential oil such as tea tree or lavender which also have soothing and antimicrobial properties.

                    The colloidal copper facial mist is an inexpensive and natural way to prevent and treat acne. Get your own copper pitcher today to begin reaping the benefits of copper infused water!

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                    How Much Water Should You Drink?

                    How Much Water Should You Drink?

                    How much water do you think you need to drink on a daily basis to maintain optimal health? Chances are the first thing that comes to your mind is the standard refrain: eight glasses of water per day.

                    But is eight glasses of water really the ideal amount of water that you should be drinking on a daily basis? Perhaps that amount is too little or too much for your body’s unique composition, the needs of your lifestyle, or the environment in which you live.

                    In fact, we are all different, and significant variability in water requirements makes it difficult to pinpoint one single level of water intake that will guarantee adequate hydration and optimum health for all.

                    In this blog post, we explore how much water you need to drink and the factors that can affect your required water consumption.

                    Recommended Water Consumption

                    First, let’s consider what health authorities say about recommended water consumption.

                    Based on the World Health Organization’s report entitled Domestic Water Quantity, Service Level and Health, a 70-kilogram adult male, and a 58-kilogram adult woman, who are living under average conditions, would need an estimated daily water consumption of 2.5 liters for him and 2.2 liters for her.

                    The recommended amount increases to approximately 4 to 5 liters in environments with increased temperatures or in circumstances where the subject is undergoing physically intense activities.

                    The United States' standard for dietary consumption, known as the Recommended Daily Allowances, suggests the amount of daily water intake based on age:

                    • 0 to 6 months: 0.7 liters per day, assumed to be from human milk

                    • 7 to 12 months: 0.8 liters per day, assumed to be from human milk
                      and complementary foods and beverages

                    • 1 to 3 years: 1.3 liters per day

                    • 4 to 8 years: 1.7 liters per day

                    • 9 to 13 years

                      • Boys: 2.4 liters per day

                      • Girls: 2.1 liters per day

                    • 14 to 18 years

                      • Boys 3.3 liters per day

                      • Girls 2.3 liters per day

                    • 19 to 70+

                      • Men 3.7 liters per day

                      • Women 2.7 liters per day

                    The World Health Organization notes that there is not yet a solid scientific knowledge base that dictates a hard rule on how much water we should drink. However, the World Health Organization does recognize that there are scientific efforts that are being carried out to determine the optimum amount of water to drink. This amount is perhaps even greater than present recommendations.

                    Most scientific studies have focused more on the contaminants that drinking water may contain and the diseases that can be contracted from consuming too much of those contaminants. For more information on that subject, see our blog post about assessing the purity of your water.

                    The Body’s Need for Water

                    The body's normal physiological processes result in a loss of water. Respiration, perspiration, and body temperature regulation all result in considerable water loss. In fact, it is estimated that an average of 50 milliliters of water are lost from the body each time it burns 100 kilocalories of energy.

                    The type of food we eat also greatly influences the amount of water we need to drink. Dry food, such as dried fruits, vegetables, chips, and seeds, can cause the body to require greater amounts of water so as to be able to digest and process such foods. On the other hand, moist and watery foods are likely to cause the body to require only limited amounts of drinking water.

                    Factors such as temperature, humidity, and altitude can also influence water intake. Water consumption can increase when you reside in a place where the temperature is at least 27°C, which is typically when sweating begins. Drinking more water in such environments can help replace water lost through sweating.

                    Although there have yet to be studies conducted to confirm the effect of humidity on the amount of water required by the body, it is hypothesized that lower humidity encourages increased evaporation of sweat and therefore greater water loss.

                    Persons with medical conditions may also have a need for greater amounts of water. For example, if you have diarrhea or are vomiting, it is crucial to keep yourself from becoming dehydrated. On the other hand, there are also health conditions that may require a person to limit their water intake, such as heart failure, kidney, liver, and adrenal diseases.

                    Breastfeeding may cause mothers to feel dehydrated and tired. The average amount of breast milk produced by mothers and consumed by infants is around 750 to 850 milliliters per day. This is not to say that drinking water will produce more breast milk. Mothers need to pay attention to their biological cues, especially thirst, so as to determine when to drink more water and to keep themselves from becoming dehydrated.

                    Keeping it Balanced

                    The key to keeping your hydration levels in check is to look for signals that your body is becoming dehydrated. The first sign is thirst. Other signs of dehydration include dry mouth, chapped lips and skin, weakness in muscles, headaches and dizziness.

                    Remember that there is no firm rule that you need to drink a particular number of glasses of water to satiate your thirst. When you feel quenched and refreshed, stop drinking.

                    Some of the signs that you are overhydrated include frequent trips to the bathroom, clear and above average amounts of urine, restlessness, irritability, and fatigue. If you are experiencing some of these signals, you may want to cut back on your water intake.

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