Soothing Honey & Cinnamon Tea

Everywhere you turn, it seems someone is battling a cold, allergies, or sinus infection. It’s that time of year again! The summer season has faded quickly, and we are experiencing some big dips in temperature. For some reason, every season change I get allergies. Itchy ears, sneezing, itchy roof of mouth, runny nose… all those fun things. And eventually my throat starts to feel sore. I know what is coming next if I don’t get a handle on things.

I run to my cupboard and grab a few ingredients. That’s all that I need to make a soothing, hot drink that will relieve my symptoms temporarily. This tea is made up of 4 ingredients, with water being included.DSC_1014

While you put the tea kettle on to boil, fill a spoon (teaspoon) with honey (raw is best) and put it in a very small mug. I use a small cup so that I can quickly finish it and feel relief. You want it somewhat potent, since it is meant to coat your throat. My cup fits 4 ounces, so half a cup.

Next, add 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice. It does not have to be fresh, but if you have lemons on hand it will definitely be more potent by using them. Sprinkle just a bit of cinnamon into the cup. Don’t go overboard, but also don’t just barely shake any out. The cinnamon is an important part of feeling better, as are the other ingredients. It also tastes super yummy. I love cinnamon!

When your water has reached boiling point, take it off the burner and pour over your other three ingredients. Carefully stir so your honey dissolves and everything is combined.

There you have it. Let it cool for a minute, and then enjoy the instant relief once you take a sip. I’m telling you, it is for real! Not only is it a comforting, hot drink going down (you may be experiencing the chills or body aches), but it has wonderful anti-inflammatory agents as well as anti-bacterial.

The honey works to coat your throat, but is also your natural antibiotic! There are so many benefits to honey, especially in treating colds. Check this website for more information about honey. Who knew something that tastes so good is also exceptionally healthy for you?!

The lemon juice is high in Vitamin C, which helps to support and strengthen your immune system. It has anti-inflammatory effects that help to sooth asthma and respiratory infections. This is just one of the many benefits of lemon juice.

The cinnamon works as an antibiotic as well. The combination of cinnamon and honey is dynamite. Meaning, using both of them together works wonders for not only the common cold, but other diseases as well. There is much information out there regarding this common household ingredient.

Drink this tea throughout the day if you can. As I said, it will not only soothe, but will help treat your cold. I also suggest supplementing with vitamins such as Vitamin C, Echinacea and probiotics three times a day. Try to get a grip on your cold before it really gets a grip on you! It is possible to kick off a cold before it really settles in, and this is one way to help.

I hope those of you who are sick right now find some relief soon… starting with this drink! Try to avoid over-the-counter antibiotics (unless you are beyond sick), and get some good, wholesome, natural FOODS into your body! Letting your body fight off sickness on its own without antibiotics is better for you, making you even stronger and less susceptible later on. If you really do need a prescription (and by all means, please take it if you are really sick), you still can drink this tea. Also take some probiotics to keep your body strong during and after taking antibiotics. Antibiotics fight to kill off bad bacteria, but they also kill off the good too. So restoring your healthy bacteria is important to staying healthy afterwards.

Soothing Honey & Cinnamon Tea

by The Happy Homemaker

1 tsp. raw honey

1-2 tsp. lemon juice

1/4 tsp. cinnamon (roughly)

1/2 cup. boiling water

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I’m off to make myself another cup. :)

The Happy Homemaker

Giovanni Shampoo & Conditioner Product Review

TTS-8Not too long ago, I was checking out the “natural beauty” section at Target and came across Giovanni brand shampoo and conditioner. At the time, there were $1 off coupons on each of the bottles, so I was even more motivated to try them out. Over the last year and a half, I have really tried to be careful what I bathe and wash my hair in, especially avoiding anything with sulfates, parabens, dyes and fragrance. Straight from Giovanni’s website, they state that their products contain: “no parabens,  sodium lauryl/laureth sulfate or animal by-products. Cruelty-free-never tested on animals, pH Balanced and biodegradable formulas with recyclable packaging”.

Both my husband and I use this shampoo. We use the Tea Tree oil blend and love how invigorating it makes your scalp feel. 

“Giovanni was one of the first “natural” salon hair care products and today is the #1 selling Natural Hair Care brand in the United States Natural Products Industry”. 

While it can seem pricey for a 8.5 fl.oz. bottle of shampoo at $7.95, it is worth every penny because of how it works and what it does not contain. Believe it or not, I found a huge bottle of this shampoo at the Marshalls just down the street, and it was HALF the retail price. We were so excited to find such a great buy, because we love this shampoo. They do have quite a variety of other types of shampoo and conditioner to choose from, as well. We stuck with the Tea Tree Triple Treat because we loved it so much. It makes your scalp tingle and feel so clean!  

I am recommending this product to anyone looking to go more natural, but not break the bank. There are so many other products out there that are over-the-top expensive. This stuff is quality, and you know you are doing yourself a huge favor by keeping it natural.

The Happy Homemaker 

 

“Fragrance”, the Hidden Toxin

DSC_0861Over the years I have done a lot of reading on many different topics found online. There is so much that we have in our life that we don’t really even know about. Like, what is really in this shampoo I just used? Or, what are those ingredients in my body lotion? How do they get this to smell SO GOOD?!

This led me to research the ingredient “fragrance” found on the back of most beauty product ingredient lists. I had known that things with too much fragrance were not really great, but I had not realized how detrimental it is to your health. It began to irritate me when I read that companies do not have to list what their fragrance is made of, to keep their special formula a secret from other companies that may want to “copy” them.

So what exactly is fragrance? Fragrance is made up of synthetic chemical compounds, and there can be anywhere from dozens to hundreds to make one “fragrance”. These compounds may smell lovely, but in reality they can cause many problems to the human body.

Why is fragrance bad for my health? These synthetic chemicals that make up fragrance can lead to many health issues, with the biggest one being allergens. Those with asthma should especially avoid products that contain fragrance. It is one of the top allergens that can spur on an asthma attack! Also wonder why your skin tends to “break out” with certain products? That can be linked back to the fragrance as well. It is not good for your skin, and it is not good for you. Anything you are applying to your body or smelling (like cologne or perfumes) most likely contains fragrance. Just check out a bunch of ingredients labels on a few of your beauty products. Then look at your hand soaps, laundry soaps, dish soaps, home cleaners, and especially those smelly car fresheners and room scents! Absolutely loaded with this secret ingredient and most people don’t have a clue about it.

Phthalates are a key component in some fragrances. What are phthalates? This chemical is used in all sorts of things, but is in fragranced body products for the purpose of helping the scent to last longer. Can’t find phthalates on the back label? That’s because it is a key component hidden under the ingredient “fragrance”. Is this starting to make you mad? Want to know what it does to your health? It majorly bothers the endocrine and hormonal system. Wow. That hit me when I read that. It is especially harmful for pregnant women and their developing baby. Read here for more details: http://safecosmetics.org/article.php?id=290

Well if fragrance is in everything, how do I avoid it? It may seem easy to buy items that say “fragrance free” right on the front. But be warned! Some products contain masking fragrance. Now that is brilliant, right? They use a masking fragrance to cover the scent of the ingredients!! So while you may think that purchasing a fragrance free laundry soap is going to be better, you are actually just buying the same thing with a different fragrance formula. Tricky, yes, but there are items out there that you can buy totally fragrance free.

– Look at the back of the product to read the ingredients label. Don’t just take for granted that it is good if it says fragrance free on the front.

– Try to find products that contain essential oils, and plant and flower extracts.

– If you can’t part with your favorite perfume, try to use it less frequently and for special occasions.

– Start slowly. Don’t just throw out all the items in your house that contain fragrance. I know this information can seem alarming (and it is definitely important to take note of!), but don’t go extreme. Take baby steps towards filtering out the smelly products in your home.

– Don’t fret! There are many natural and organic products out there that smell just as good, if not better, than products with synthetically made fragrance.

– Not to bash Bath and Body Works, but their oh-so-yummy-smelling products are where I started. For years I used BBW products! When I got pregnant, I decided to stay away from those smelly lotions because of the petrolatum and parabens… and fragrance.

– I recommend Shea Moisture as a great alternative for body lotions and hair products. They are one of the only products I have tried so far. That is mostly because they last me so long. I use the baby lotion on Layla, and it has lasted months. It is expensive up front, but definitely not the most pricey “natural” line out there. Another brand I highly recommend is Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps. I am going to switch over to his baby-mild soap for Layla once we run out of BabyGanics. Thankfully my body wash for her is free of fragrance, but I was very upset to find out that some BabyGanics products contain fragrance as well as other ingredients I steer clear of.

 

So there is a bit of information on this problem ingredient. I know there is only so much we can do in our day and age, but we might as well start somewhere! Especially since this is a big issue and a lot of people just don’t know about it. Please let me know in the comments about any other products you have tried that do not contain synthetic fragrance.

The Happy Homemaker