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When life gives you Lemon Oil…

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It’s Tuesday and that means another Top 5 list! This week, it happens to feature March’s ACL Oil of the Month: Lemon essential oil!  This delightful citrus oil is one of the top immune boosters, and boasts a plethora of other practical uses (all of which will combine to build up your immune system.) Keep reading to find out some of my favourites, and get some ideas to improve your Spring with Lemon!

1. Forget that artificial stuff that you buy at the grocery store! Pure lemon essential oil is a tasty and healthy option to add to your favourite morning beverage (or at any time of day, really!) Lemon is also useful for cutting down phlegm, and an amazing supporter of digestion so if you tend to fall victim to those nasty seasonal allergies, or stomach problems (chronic or acute), this oil has got your back.

2.  You can easily combine several drops to any cleaner (I suggest a natural one) for some extra elbow grease  – and to save you a little scrubbing. Other cosmetic household uses include: Furniture polish – mix with olive oil/bee’s wax for an impressive shine; Stain remover – add to carpet cleaner or laundry detergent to help get rid of hard-to-remove stains; Air freshener – rather than use store-bought spray that contains harmful chemicals (whether they admit it on the label or not), mix with water in a spray bottle and spritz away that stench!

3.  In today’s fast-paced world, it can be incredibly easy to get distracted when you are trying to focus. The brain benefits from Lemon oil in two major ways: Increases alertness and aids concentration. Inhale directly from the bottle; use in a diffuser; or rub it on your forehead and bottom of your feet to help you focus. There’s nothing gray about that…okay it’s all grey up there, but you get the point.

4.  Has this winter gotten the best out of your skin? Frigid weather is notorious for drying out the ol’ epidermis, but this versatile oil just keeps surprising us! Mix with coconut oil and use as a natural moisturizer (try it in your hair too at night). Also, if you have particularly oily skin, try adding a couple drops to your foundation or apply directly to the face to reduce oiliness.

5.  If you’re like me, you tend to get overly zealous at the supermarket and buy produce in bulk, leaving you in a panic to use it all up before it goes bad. Or perhaps you’re going out of town for a few days and have a refrigerator full of unused veggies. Here’s a hack to save on waste: Give your fruits and veggies a lemon bath by adding a few drops of the oil to a bowl of water. Then dunk your produce into the water for a few minutes and you’ll be eating the benefits for days!

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Like this article? Lemon know! (See what I did there?) Also be sure to SHARE this article with a friend who loves citrus!

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How do I maintain my mental health?

 

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With Bell Let’s Talk Day recently behind us, there is still so much on the subject to talk about. If you’ve been experiencing seasonal blues; chronic depression; or consistently battling any mental health issues, here are 5 things you can do every day to help bring the sunshine back into your life to stay!

1. Increase your tryptophan intake.

Tryptophan is an amino acid that travels to your brain to be converted into your ‘feel-good’ hormones like serotonin (your happy hormone) and melatonin (improves sleep quality). You can get this through means of certain foods, and by taking a supplement.

Foods high in tryptophan include: Nuts and seeds, soy foods (soy beans and tofu), oats, certain meat/poultry, lentils and eggs. Try to eat them with a carbohydrate and non-saturated/non-trans fats as this will increase the amount of tryptophan that reaches your brain, thus increasing your serotonin/melatonin levels.

2. Get at least 20 minutes of fresh air a day.

A study done by the Journal of Environmental Psychology in 2010 found that being in nature is a strong contributor to one’s sense of vitality, happiness and energy. (davidsuzuki.org)

“Our internal biology rewards us when we do something important for our survival. That reward is a feeling of well-being, rejuvenation or pleasure, and it is mediated by our brain’s neurochemicals. Anyone who has ever felt better by going outside in nature has experienced this reward. It is biology’s way of telling us to do it again—being in nature is important for our survival.” -Dr. Shimi Kang (davidsuzuki.org)

3. Exercise (in conjunction with #2)

We all know that exercise is good for us. But it can be hard to get motivated, especially when feeling blue or even clinically depressed. However, researchers are finding more and more about the connection between getting our sweat on and our overall mental health. Here’s one unexpected factor that just might help get us off the couch:

Exercising (especially between the ages of 25 and 45) can be a deterrent of mental degeneration later in life.

“As aging and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s kill off brain cells, the noggin actually shrinks, losing many important brain functions in the process. While exercise and a healthy diet can’t ‘cure’ Alzheimer’s, they can help shore up the brain against cognitive decline that begins after age 45” -Sophia Breene (huffpost.com)

4. Sing!

It doesn’t matter how good you are! Sing in the car, the shower, or loud and proud for all to hear – singing has often been linked  to raising moods, through the release of endorphins. So crank that radio and let it all out!

5. Inhale “Happy” Essential Oils

Who doesn’t love the scent of some sweet Lavender to calm and uplift? Other oils that are known to be grounding and mood raisers are peppermint, frankincense, and wild orange. Inhale; put a drop on a necklace pendent, or rub on the bottom of your feet! You can purchase essential oils locally in Moncton at Sequoia Organics at any of their three locations. Breathe in, and enjoy!

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I sincerely hope these tips are helpful! Please do no hesitate to reach out for more info or support! Don’t forget to sign up here for the monthly ACL newsletter if you haven’t already! Here’s to a cheerful month ahead!