How to Make at Home

Have you ever been worried about what the beauty creams contain that you are rubbing on your face? Have you ever wondered whether you can make at home? To be honest, it does not matter how many times manufacturers write ‘natural’ or ‘organic’ on their labels, the only means that you will know that you undeniably are getting is by making them yourself.

Making your own at home will have two clear advantages: it will help the environment and it will save you money.

How will it help the environment? Well, most commercial cosmetic products have detergents and toxins in the cream. You put the cream on some cotton wool and then on your face and you throw the soiled cotton wool in the basket. But where does it go from there? Into the sea? Into the ground? Into the air in smoke? Who knows?

How will it save you money? It will save you money because the you make at home will be created from household items, such as powders, oils, fruit and vegetables.

The most common items that you will use to concoct your at home are: avocados, bananas, eggs, milk, olive oil, Epsom salts, yoghurt, oatmeal, brown sugar and real mayonnaise. There are others too, but this is a good start. Beeswax, you may not have, but you can buy it in drug stores or health food shops.

It is surprising how resourceful olive oil is. It can be rubbed directly into dull, lifeless hair to perk it up and it will put moisture back into dry skin. If you have dandruff or dry patches of skin on your elbows, rub in olive oil regularly. It is also beneficial for cuticles, knees and feet. Just rub it in with your fingers.

Olive oil also makes a good exfoliant. Mix olive oil and brown sugar into a thick paste and exfoliate before a shower or a bath. By the way, the soap that you use is critical too. It should be mild and unperfumed. It is better to spend a little more on your soap because it has such a lot of contact with your whole body.

Olive oil is great at binding items together or making them runny enough to rub in. If you are having problems with dry skin, mash a banana and mix a little olive oil into it. Rub this onto your face and leave to soak in for as long as you like, then wash off. The same goes for avocado. If you have a small skin problem of any kind, you could try smearing the inside of a banana skin on it and eating the banana.

These are just a few instances of that you can make at home without spending a lot of money or wasting a lot of time. A quick search on the Internet will reveal hundreds more recipes for how you can make at home.

Some Medical Tests Could Save Lives Of Texans

With the great advances in medical care in recent years, many of them related to early detection of disease, it makes more and more sense for residents of Dallas, Houston, Austin and throughout Texas to take advantage of what is available, Those who do so are more likely to live longer, some experts say.

History supports the idea with at least one example, the death rate associated with cervical cancer. Fifty years ago, cervical cancer was responsible for killing more women than any other form of cancer. When medical science developed the Pap test, which can identify cervical cancer before it starts, the death rate began going down; today cervical cancer is number 15 on the list of cancers that kill American women.

Not every test is perfect, say experts, and that goes for the Pap test. For every five women who have cancerous or precancerous cervical cells, at least one will have a test mistakenly reported as normal, according to the National Institutes of Health. Because this type of cancer develops slowly, a woman’s next test should be a better indicator, but a so-called “false negative” can result in a delay, which could be dangerous when it comes to diagnosis and treatment.

Another common test that can have lifesaving benefits for Texans is the colonoscopy, which is performed by a doctor inserting a flexible, lighted tube into the rectum and guiding it into the colon to look for and remove growths called polyps, the source of most colon cancers.

While the Centers for Disease Control reports a drop in deaths from colon cancer from more than 57,000 in 2000 to 53,580 in 2004, one problem identified by some researchers is that doctors who do the exam too quickly won’t see the full benefit of the screening.

In doing colonoscopies, experience is seen to be a factor. Some experts suggest asking the physician how many colonoscopies are done in a typical morning. Ten is a reasonable number, the experts say.

Another test known to be effective in saving lives is the screening for human papilloma virus. Commonly referred to as an HPV test, the procedure indentifies the virus responsible for most cases of cervical cancer. The HPV test is used with the Pap to screen women over the age of 30, and is used to assess whether they have been infected with any of the 13 HPV types that are linked to the cancer. The HPV test is also suggested for younger women if a Pap test shows there is a possible problem.

Testing for breast cancer includes having a mammogram, one of the more basic methods of screening. While mammograms have generated some controversy, the result of a Danish research study that said there was no good evidence behind its widespread use, both the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute have since come out in favor of the test for women, starting at age 40.

For women 50 and older, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force reports that an annual mammogram cuts the risk of dying of breast cancer by at least 16%. The test does have its flaws, however, including the potential for it to indicate an abnormality when one isn’t really there. While the argument can be made against getting a false alarm, what is more worrisome are surveys showing that, in about 20% of cases where cancer is present, a mammogram doesn’t detect it.

Patients who remain concerned are sometimes encouraged to ask for a double-check of an x-ray. Another strategy is to ask the testing facility about its reading practices. Some experts say that x-rays should ideally be read by two radiologists or scanned by computer-assisted detection technologies which can improve the accuracy of the tests.

Some experts also suggest that women who are at higher risk have an MRI done each year, the idea being that higher detection rates typically come from the MRI versus a mammogram. In a study by Ellen Warner, MD, a medical oncologist at Toronto Sunnybrook Regional Cancer Centre in Ontario, the MRI found 77% of cancers, compared with 36% detected by mammography. At the same time, women at average risk are not encouraged to get an MRI because of a high false-positive rate — it often signals cancer when none is present.

Not all news on the cancer front is good news.

One standout point of concern is with melanoma, a dangerous form of skin cancer that has the distinction of being the only cancer that can be screened for that is on the increase, both in the number of new cases and in the death rate.

The American Cancer Society suggests getting a once-over for melanoma at every checkup. Because melanoma can occur in surprising spots that are difficult to examine yourself, like the eyes, gums, and genitals, experts say a full-body check is the best protection. Patients should take advantage of routine exams by asking their dentist, eye doctor, and gynecologist to look for pigmented lesions or other suspicious changes.

Early detection of cancer can be one of the more effective ways of remaining healthy. If you’re a young individual who tries to keep informed and maintain a healthy condition and lifestyle, you should take a look at the revolutionary, comprehensive and highly-affordable individual health insurance solutions created by Precedent specifically for you. For more information, visit us at our website, [http://www.precedent.com]. We offer a unique and innovative suite of individual health insurance solutions, including highly competitive HSA-qualified plans and an unparalleled “real-time” application and acceptance experience.

Organic and or – How Europe Manages the Beauty Industry

Before digging into how Europe manages the ingredients used to manufacture cosmetic products, it becomes necessary to understand why this is so important. Personal care products, otherwise known as beauty products or cosmetic products, are known to contain over 10,500 chemical ingredients. Many of these ingredients are toxic in nature. Toxins are poisons and when used over long periods of time, can cause serious damage to one’s health. Women use an average of over 5 pounds of lotions and creams annually. The skin is the largest organ of the body and is very porous, allowing over 70% of what is applied to the skin to seep into our bodies and into our bloodstream. Through clinical studies, it has been proven that the very same toxins found in a mother’s blood have been found in the umbilical cord of the fetus. Many of these toxic (poison) ingredients are carcinogenic and can be linked to cancer as well as respiratory problems in infants, birth defects, liver and kidney disease, etc.

Perhaps now it is clear as to why it is so important to know what is being done around the world to monitor what goes into the manufacture of cosmetic products and why it should be so very important for consumers to use only certified organic and/or .

Europe, Asia, and Oceania have taken major steps in controlling the ingredients used in beauty products. In this article the focus will be on Europe, while future articles will tackle how other parts of the world address this issue. Having said that, one might ask what about the US? Unfortunately, with the cosmetic business being such a large (50 billion) and extremely profitable business, the US cosmetic companies employ lobbyists in Washington to prevent changes in the laws regulating the industry. Shocking as it might seem, the Cosmetic Industry is self-regulated. It can determine what it wants to bring to market without any pre-testing by any government or private agencies.

Currently Europe has one Government authority that controls the ingredients of beauty products, the European Union (EU). However, there are private institutions operating in five countries that provide independent laboratory testing to the many cosmetic companies operating throughout Europe. These independent organizations use the authority of the EU to manage the process, but in some cases, go beyond the regulations required by the EU to determine and qualify products as certified organic and/or . These organizations are:

-BDIH operating out of Germany;
-ECOCERT & COSMEBIO from France;
-SOIL ASSOCIATION from the UK;
-ICEA from Italy;
-BIOFORUM from Belgium

These six organizations combined also make up what is known as the COSMOS-standard. The COSMOS-standard has not yet achieved legal status, but that will be delved into later in this article. At this juncture, let’s look at how the EU manages this process.

What is the European Union? What are its aims and results? How does it work? In summary, the answers to these questions are:

-27 democratic countries participate in the EU economically and politically;
-498 million citizens in these 27 countries look to the EU for safe, consumable products, including beauty products;
-It’s results in the beauty category provide for not just safer products, but a greener environment as well;
-It works because each country sets up bodies to adopt and manage the EU’s legislation.

The COSMOS-standard represents the European cosmetic organic standards working group. It is made up of the previously mentioned organizations. It is expected to be legalized by April, 2010 by the pronouncement of the Belgian Royal Decree. Excerpts of the main objectives of the COSMOS- standards and taken directly from their final document dated January, 2010, can be summed up as follows:

“Establishing a ‘sustainable development’ that would reconcile economic progress, social
responsibility and maintain the natural balance of the planet is a project in which the cosmetics
sector is willing to be fully involved… the organic and natural cosmetics sector clearly shows its ambition to go further in setting a new standard for organic and natural cosmetics.”

The following represents a summary of a set of simple rules that will be used to manage the organic and natural beauty industry. The main focus is on prevention and safety in all segments of the manufacturing process, that is, from raw materials to market ready final products.

The rules will focus on human health through:

-Organic agriculture and natural resources always with respect for the environment;
-A manufacturing process that is environmentally clean while, at the same time, utilizing and expanding a more green philosophy that ultimately will create a higher standard for organic and .

The six organizations making up the COSMOS-standard, namely BDIH, ECOCERT & COSMEBIO, SOIL ASSOCIATION, ICEA, and BIOFORUM, each have their own set of standards for certifying organic and/or . It would take a book to delineate each agencies processes. Suffice it to say that Europe has taken a lead position on this subject through the EU and continues to improve its status by moving forward with the COSMOS-standard. One of the results of the EU’s legislation is that they have already banned over 1100 chemical ingredients used in the manufacture of beauty products, while the US has banned a mere 10.

The US, with its lack of leadership in this industry, has left the consumer vulnerable to the poisons we already know cause harm to pregnant mothers, their babies, and to the millions of consumers that have used these toxins for decades. Over time, with many countries around the world coming together to prohibit these toxic ingredients from being used in beauty products, hopefully the US will change current legislation and demand pre-testing of beauty products before they are released to the public. Further, hopefully the US will also permit independent agencies to test products to qualify them to be labeled as certified organic and/or . In the meantime, when shopping for certified products, simply look for the logos of the aforementioned companies out of Europe. In doing so, you will be assured of using safe, non-toxic beauty products.

Women’s Hormone Replacement Therapy – Are You In Balance?

It has been two years since the Women’s Health Initiative Estrogen plus Progestin (WHI) arm of this large trial was stopped early because it caused harm. The WHI showed the opposite of what was expected–Estrogen (Premarin) plus Progestin (Provera) caused heart disease and breast cancer as well as blood clots and strokes. WHI results show that estrogen does not improve the quality of life for women. WHI estrogen plus progestin results are “evidence-based.”

We now have evidence-based proof that “HRT” is harmful to women. But people are still taking Hormone Replacement Therapy and are concerned about estrogen deficiency. Why? “Little has changed because the fundamental, negative ideas about women and about menopause have not changed. Universal menopausal hormone therapy … (is) based on a cultural belief that women are inferior and need fixing. For over twenty years I have been saying that menopause is a natural part of women’s life cycle, the low estrogen levels after menopause are healthy and not abnormal. This made me unpopular–I have been labeled as “way-out” or worse. Therefore the WHI results for me were a vindication”, says Jerilynn C. Prior BA, MD, FRCPC Professor of Endocrinology, Scientific Director, Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research, University of British Columbia. And, she is correct.

Two years after the WHI study little has changed. If you go to your doctor today and request HRT most will prescribe it for you. Despite the fact that The Women’s Health Initiative, the largest controlled trial of ovarian hormone therapy ever performed, provided the strongest proof that Medicine (which has been strongly influenced by the Pharmaceutical Industry) causes harm for women. The website for the WHI study said, “Women should stop their study drugs immediately.” Following that order led to hot flushes in many women who were on hormone therapy because their body had adjusted to that higher level of estrogen. Women who heard the news of the study in the media also often stopped their therapy abruptly. That led to severe hot flushes in hundreds of thousands of women and in virtually all women who had previously experienced them. “Because it is well known that rapid withdrawal from estrogen causes night sweats and hot flushes, all physicians should have been ready with advice for women wanting to stop estrogen.” Says Dr. Prior.

For Lack of helpful information, and because the resulting symptoms of night sweats/hot flushes were so miserable, many women, in desperation, reluctantly restarted unwanted HRT treatment. It seems logical to now say that the WHI results require re-thinking of the concepts on which menopausal “replacement” and “estrogen deficiency” were based. The primary assumption that all women needed estrogen because they were deficient still needs to be addressed. I like what Dr. Susan Love said, “If estrogen deficiency is a disease, all men have it!” Destroying the concept of estrogen deficiency will be hard and may take many years to achieve. In the mean time where does that leave you and I?

Estrogen Dominance not estrogen deficiency, according to Dr. John Lee is at the crux of our dilemma and bringing our hormones back into balance will be the key to hormonal health.

STEP 1. Become informed. The “Let’s Talk About Hormones” video provides valuable information on hormone balancing. Dr. Lee’s “What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause” has just been updated. Information is the key to your power!

STEP 2. Evaluate your own hormones with a saliva test whether you are on hormones currently or not. Find out if you have adequate hormone levels or are truly deficient.

STEP 3. Work with someone who understands the issues. Dr. Lee felt that most women can themselves oversee their hormonal challenges. If you must select a healthcare provider choose one who like Dr. Prior says, “I will never again prescribe estrogen as a pill. There is now overwhelming controlled trial evidence that pill forms of estrogen cause unacceptably high rates of clots and perhaps, through clotting, also increased strokes and heart disease. There are not yet strong data but it is likely that estrogen given through the skin (as a gel, crème or patch) will be less likely to activate liver clotting factors and thus safer. To me it means “bio-identical” or “natural” kinds of estrogen and progesterone both given in physiological doses.”

STEP 4. Just know that balancing hormones is not just about taking additional hormones but about diet and lifestyle changes. I believe that we have a unique opportunity, right now, as women on this second anniversary of the initial WHI results. We can become pro-active about our own hormone health and share with those women around us who are struggling with their hormone challenges. Women reaching out to other women will have a greater effect than waiting for the research to catch up. Each of us must practice living with these important ideas. Then hormonal health will be ours.

This Article Is Copyright 2006 Jackie L. Harvey & Saliva Testing com