Thursday, 20 March 2014

Saffron Tea to Brighten Your Day

Saffron Tea, aka "Liquid Sunshine"
Saffron is prized for easing digestive and menstrual pain, lifting your mood and preventing wrinkles.

Studies say it can even lower high blood pressure and prevent the onset of some cancers.

Though saffron is one of the world's most expensive spices, you need so little that this sunny infusion will likely cost less than a cup of tea at your local coffee shop.

What to do:

Place 3-4 saffron threads in a cup. 

Add a little hot water and allow the threads to steep until the brew is bright yellow. 

Add more freshly boiled water to fill the cup.


Note* You can refill your cup once or twice and still enjoy a flavorful and colorful tea. 

Optional* You can sweeten your tea, but I find the flavor pleasant all on its own.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Ten Benefits of Burning Incense

Selection of Japanese, Tibetan and Ayurvedic Incense
"- Incense can move even a merciless god.
- Incense can cleanse and purify one.
- Incense removes poisons from one's body.
- Incense can help one stay awake.
- Incense can be a good friend when one is alone.
- Incense can help one find moments of leisure even on the busiest days.
- Incense may be used in large quantities.
- Incense may be used in small quantities.
- Incense may be kept for a long time, as it never goes bad.
- Incense may be used every day."

Stated by Ikkyu, a priest of the Rinzai sect of Japanese Buddhism in the Muromachi Era

Translated by Michiko Kohama

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Care2 Reaches 25 Million Members

Image Source:
Today I became a member of and helped them reach 25 million members!

Care2 is "the largest online community for healthy and green living, human rights and animal welfare."

Its free to join, and as a member you earn Butterfly Rewards for commenting on articles, starting and signing petitions, sending free e-cards and more. 

Butterfly Rewards can be redeemed to make a difference in the world by protecting the rainforest, providing food, water, and education for children, protecting wild, shelter and farm animals, and even helping farmers grow food crops and organic cotton!

Here are just a few links to recent articles you yogis and yoginis may find interesting:

The New and Improved Vegetarian and Vegan Food Pyramid

Gender Discrimination and Child Mortality in India

Ayurveda: Oil Pulling Heals Gums and Whitens Teeth Naturally

Thanks to Care2 for offering one more way to "Be the change you wish to see in the world." 

Monday, 3 March 2014

White Tara, by Betsy Schott

White Tara by Betsy Schott

Wow!  Check out this gorgeous new painting by my dear friend Betsy Schott!  Jai Betsy!

Natural Beauty: DIY Sugar Scrub

My homemade Vanilla Sugar Face and Body Scrub
Ugh, winter skin.  Need I say more?

You can do something about it without a trip to the beach, the spa, or even the mall. 

Creating and customizing your own Lip, Face and Body Scrub is easy and fun.  The main ingredient?  Sugar! 

Yes!  Sugar (when used externally) is alpha-hydroxy rich which promotes healthy glowing skin. 

Sugar scrubs gently clean and exfoliate, promote healthy circulation, moisturize and soften the skin.  They eliminate the need for separate body wash and moisturizer, and are far less dehydrating than salt scrubs. 

Making your own bath and body products from natural, food-based ingredients means no yucky toxins absorbed into the skin or harming the environment.  You'd be surprised how many commonly used cosmetics you can make at home.  Check out these 15 DIY Beauty Recipes from Food-based Ingredients from Care2. 

This Sugar Scrub is safe for all skin types and gentle enough for use on body, face, and even lips. 

What you need:

1/2 cup sugar.  You can use white sugar, raw sugar, brown sugar, whatever you've got.

2 Tbsp. oil.  My favorite is coconut but any will work.

1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional).

You are welcome to use essential oils instead, but I like to use food grade extracts for this recipe.  For one thing, they're less expensive.  After all, you're just going to rub this on your skin and wash it down the drain.  And second, they're edible.. you know... ummm... just in case a little bit of your sweet, yummy smelling lip scrub accidentally gets past your lips...

What to do:

- Mix the sugar, oil and vanilla together with a fork or your fingers. 

- Put it in a non-breakable container.  (No glass or ceramics in the shower please.) 

- Gently scrub all over wet skin a little bit at a time. 

- Rinse off and pat yourself dry.

This recipe makes enough for two full-body scrubs.  Enjoy!