“Magic” Herb that kills STRESS + Ashwagandha

There’s a new herbal superstar in town! I’ve been using it for about 3 years and recommending it to clients with outstanding results. Why do I love it? Because it’s one of the most effective stress relieving substances I’ve ever tried. And it’s legal!

This little marble is called Ashwagandha and the people in India and those in the West who follow Ayurveda, have known about its amazing properties for decades.

It also happens to be an all-around health tonic (meaning, it helps your entire system, not just your stress levels). Learn more about it and get some of the herb here!

If you’re interested in trying this marvel herb, check out the ones from Lost Empire Herbs! I love it in tincture form and this company offers a truly high quality one!

Restore Gut Health with This ONE ingredient

Have you heard of Reishi mushroom? You may not want to toss your next salad with some reishi mushrooms (yeah, they are really bitter), but when you hear what all this little ‘shroom can do, you may decide to add it to your supplement regiment!

The Reishi mushroom, also known as ganoderma mushroom, has been used in Eastern “medicine” like Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda for many hundreds of years. And now, the Western World is slowly recognizing its healing properties.

But for the purpose of digestion and gut health, how does it help? Check the video below to learn how!

How To Improve Your Vision Naturally

So I work long hours and plenty of those are spend on the computer, writing, creating scripts for videos, researching. SO my eyes get very strained and I think I’m starting to use my eye sight. Went to the doctor who confirmed about a year ago that I was “just a few months away” from needing my first pair of glasses.

Don’t get me wrong, I think glasses are totally sexy but I don’t want to have to rely on them unless I absolutely have to.

Here’s what I did to improve my vision naturally:

As you know, I’m passionate about Ayurveda and so I went to my ayurvedic practitioner and friend Saadia who recommended I use this really popular herb to wash my eyes with. TRIPHALA!

Triphala is an ayurvedic herbal formula that comes in pills and powders and it’s used to support digestion, maintain regularity, assist natural internal cleansing and nourishing the entire body.

I take it regularly and love it. But the thing is awesome enough to help me strengthen my eye sight. Here’s what I did:

  • Boil ½ teaspoon in 12 ounces of water at low heat
  • Let it cool off
  • Drain using a coffee or almond milk strainer
  • Keep in the fridge for up to a week
  • Use an eye wash and rinse your eyes for a few minutes
  • Do it daily for a few weeks and see how you feel.

I can focus better, see smaller print and my eyes don’t get tired any more. It’s fantastic!

What Is SHILAJIT And How It Can Help You!

I had abdominal surgery a few months ago to remove benign (but pesky) tumors in my uterus (also known as fibroids). I’ve been using a few alternative treatments to help me recover faster and more effectively. Taking Shilajit was one of the main things I used to manage pain and reduce the inflammation associated with major surgery.

Check out the video to learn what is Shilajit and how it helped me recover in just 3 weeks!

Now tell me, have you tried Shilajit? Are you willing to try it? What was your experience? Let me know in the comments below the video!

The Best Of All Yoga Breathing Exercises

Also known as alternate nostril breathing, this is a wonderful practice that you learn in yoga classes and all.

Pranayama is an ancient practice concerned with breath control. Research has shown that practicing Pranayama can relieve symptoms of asthma. It is also beneficial in treating stress related disorders, such as anxiety and depression. There are various types of Pranayama practice but the one I like the most and the one I will demonstrate here is the alternate nostril breathing.

Do you have any questions about Pranayama? Share your question and comments in the comments section below the video!

Moxibustion for Injury Healing

I had abdominal surgery a few weeks ago to remove benign (but pesky) tumors in my uterus (also known as fibroids). I’ve been using a few alternative treatments to help me recover faster and more effectively. Using a moxa stick or moxibustion is one of the ways I’m managing pain and reduce inflammation associated with major surgery.

Check out the video below for details of how to use it and its amazing benefits!

Have you tried Moxa? What was your experience? Let me know in the comments below!

Recovering from Fibroid Surgery the Holistic Wellness Way

As you know, I’ve been home with friends and family recovering from abdominal surgery to remove a pesky fibroid (myomectomy) that sort of died inside of me and was wrecking undo havoc in my life.

I’m getting stronger and feeling better every day and today I’m strong enough to write (not ready for video though) and I wanted to share here some of the alternative holistic treatments I’m doing from home to help speed my recovery.

My Diet

Major surgery that requires full anesthesia shuts down your system for hours and it could take much longer for those systems to wake up. Since we now know that digestion is at the cornerstone or your health and immunity, it is key that my diet is easy to digest, properly combined (to avoid constipation, indigestion, gas, bloating) and densely nourishing. Some of the things I’m eating include:

Kitchari – an Ayurvedic meal made with basmati rice and mung daal (yellow split peas)

Green Smoothies – Loaded with greens and fruit

Veggie Juices – A staple in my diet for yearsbutternut squash11

Hearty Soups – lentil soup, butternut squash and root vegetable soups are my favorites

Acai Bowls – high anti oxidant content and really comforting and yummy.
The idea is to keep my digestion smooth and flowy and avoid the crazy constipation often associated with anesthesia and the pain medications.

 

My Supplements

The supplements I’m taking in the days and weeks after my surgery were suggested by my Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic practitioners and are designed to help the body reduce inflammation, prevent infection and purify the blood. Here are some of the things I’m taking:

Aloe Vera – awesome tonic to the reproductive system, digestive system and bladder

Oil of Oregano – powerful antibiotic, taken only for 5 days after surgery to prevent infections

Liquid Chlorophyll – a blood builder and purifier, taken as I had uterine surgery and had some blood losssurgery post 2

Aromatherapy – amazing to help manage discomfort, pain and energize your chakras (the amazing scents also make you feel really great)!

 

My Teas

Herbs have amazing medicinal properties and can help your body feel whole and energized without side effects. Here are the teas I’m taking while I recover:

Ginger – perfect to reduce inflammation in the belly, soothe your stomach and restore digestion

Fennel, Coriander, Cumin – this is a traditional Ayurvedic blend that also heals digestion, allowing you to prevent gas/bloating and helping you absorb nutrients more efficiently.

Red Raspberry Leaf – This plant is traditionally used to strengthen the womb and reproductive system in general. It was recommended to me by a friend who is also a doula.

Turmeric Tea – highly anti-inflammatory, from the first time I took it I started to feel the inflammation in the wound area start to decrease.

 

Alternative Treatments

I follow some of the principles of Chinese medicine and Ayurveda in my practice with clients and on myself. Surgery recover is no different. For my recovery, I’m using 2 specific treatments not very well known in the Western world but that people in Asia have been using effectively for hundreds of years.

Shilajit – A resin common in part of northern India and Asia known for its ability to accelerate and improve regeneration of tissue faster, making the healing process shorter and more effective. It is also known as an adaptogen, helping you cope with stress easier.

If you’d like to know more about it Click Here!

Moxi (or Moxabustion) – An herbal remedy commonly used in Chinese medicine used to increase circulation to a healing wound area or an area with inflammation, reducing inflammation almost immediately and speeding up the healing process. I plan on creating a video showing you how it’s done in the next week or so.

Tender, Loving, Care

And last but not least, TLC. Between mommy feet massages, sister feeding soups and friends bringing me an occasional coconut ice cream, I am blessed to have an incredible family and circle of friends. I amassed a small army of loving souls that without hesitation volunteered to help me in the first few weeks after surgery. I’m also sharing some of my process on social media to keep in touch with the outside world and in hopes that this experience can help others recover faster and better. surgery post 1

You can check out my Instagram and Twitter posts or follow me on Facebook to learn more!

 

I’ll be spending the next few weeks resting comfortably at home, allowing my mind to be present and working on a couple of amazing projects that will be birthed in early 2015.

I hope to share them with you very soon!

Natural Remedies For Dry Cough

Last January I caught a mini cold, which was promptly healed with my trusted green juices, an alkalizing plant based diet and lots of self-TLC. The cold was going in about 3 days but it left a bit of a cough, which went on for weeks and weeks… in fact, 4 months later, I still had that stupid little cough.

That constant dry cough still irritates and causes fatigue, which can weaken your immunity, making you susceptible to more problems. See the never ending loop?!

So here are my tips and home remedy for getting rid of that nasty dry cough!

Have you experienced those pesky coughs that last for weeks? What did you do to make it go away?

 

I Healed After Years Of Pain And Stiffness With This AMAZING Product!

I’m an avid yogi and crazy about salsa dancing. Years ago I push my body too far on an advanced yoga class and hurt some of the tendons in my groin. I went home and put some ice on the injury, alternating it with heat to help the tissue heal. Many months, X-rays, steroids and other prescription drugs later I was stiffer and more in pain than ever.

I even went to weeks of physical therapy, which ended up aggravating the injury and setting me back months! I couldn’t dance or practice yoga and since I wasn’t a professional dancer or athlete, the doctors gave up on trying to heal my injury and instead focused on simply managing the symptoms.

THAT’S WHEN I WENT INTO OVERDRIVE!

I wasn’t going to let an injury keep me away from shakin’ my booty and enjoying my passions. I started to find natural alternatives to steroids (for pain) and therapy (for tissue regeneration and healing). After months of searching I found something called Shilajit and my life was forever changed.

What Is Shilajit?

Shilajit is a type of resin, similar to tar in look and consistency. It grows naturally in mountain regions in India, Russia and other parts of Asia. It has a proven history of health benefits from energy and healing to detoxification powers. Doctors in Asia and Eastern Europe have been using this mineral substance to treat injuries and other ailments for many years.

Why Is It So Effective?

Shilajit contains over 85 different minerals, which together, which gives it strong antioxidant properties, higher than blueberries! This helps the body not only prevent cellular degeneration but potentially restore and heal tissue at a cellular level. Shilajit is also considered an adaptogen, which helps your body adapt to environmental stressors more efficiently.

What Is It Know/Used For?

There are countless studies done on the health benefits of Shilajit. Yet somehow it is still fairly unknown in the Western world. Most of the studies conducted have shown that the traditional claims made about Shilajit are actually true. Here are just some of the benefits:

  • Restore And Regenerate Bones And Tissue Faster
  • Improve Sleep
  • Reduce Inflammation
  • Natural Performance And Memory Enhancer
  • Reduce Stress And Anxiety
  • Anti-Oxidant
  • Relief Debilitating Pain

Click on this link to learn more about the studies done on this amazing substance.

How It Helped Me

I started using just a pinch (about ½ a pea size) twice per day. The resin is thick and semi hard so I would put it in about ½ a glass of warm water and let it dissolve (it would turn the water a dark brown color) and drank it like a tonic first thing in the morning and then late at night.

After 3 weeks of using Shilajit the stiffness in my groin started to go away and I could finally stretch without pain. About 8 weeks later, I could stretch my legs farther than I could in over 3 years and I slowly want back to salsa dancing and yoga. I used the product every day for 3 months and my body never felt stronger, more flexible and healthier.

Click here to check out more awesome information about the benefits of Shilajit and how to try it.

Have you ever tried Shilajit? How was your experience with it? Let me know in the comments below!

The Food For Thought Summit Coming Soon!

For the last 4 months, I’ve been working on a little project that I’m really excited about and now I’m ready to share with you!

It’s called Food For Thought: The Mind, Body, Spirit Summit!

From April 14th-18th, I’ll be interviewing top wellness experts (doctors, nutritionists, therapists, coaches, best-selling authors) on how they manage to sustain a healthy lifestyle. All interviews will be available online at the Food For Thought website.

Since I know you’ve been searching for practical ways to live a healthier, more active lifestyle, the Food for Thought Summit is here to help you!

The #1 reason why people struggle to keep a healthy lifestyle is overwhelm. There’s just too much information out there! This summit will help you cut through the clutter, learn ways to stay motivated and create your own personal wellness revolution!

Click Here to check out the website and more details!

As a loyal member of my community you have immediate access to the summit and the Facebook Group Absolutely FREE!

SHARE this post with your friends so they too get FREE access to the summit.

Foods I (Still) Rely On To Prevent An Upset Stomach (Interview)

When going out to dinner with friends, do you feel anxiety while looking over the menu, as you search for an option that won’t put your digestion in turmoil?

Maybe you even feel like there’s something wrong with you, because you have so many “food issues.” You constantly worry about what to eat, because you struggle almost daily with constipation, bloating, or heartburn.

Not just that, but your energy lags and brain fog stop you from being productive towards your big dreams.

If this is you, know that you are part of the 91% of women that say digestion issues get in the way of their daily life! That’s why I’m so glad that my friend Nadya Andreeva is on a mission to end the bloating and constipation epidemic spreading among women in the Western world in her new book: Happy Belly: A Woman’s Guide to Feeling Vibrant, Light, and Balanced.

Nadya is a fellow wellness expert, specializing in digestive health. I’m super excited to share a special interview I did with Nadya, where I reveal my own story and issues with my belly, the foods that I still rely on to prevent an upset stomach and lots of tips to help you in your journey. Check out the interview here!

5 Best-Kept Secrets To Help Your Tummy Feel Great

We’ve all been there and hate it:

The bloating, the gas, the distended abdomen, or having to untie your pants to get some a bit more comfortable.

And if your diet has been particularly poor, you are under a lot of stress or suffer from PMS it can get a lot worse: trapped gas that causes a lot of pain, fatigue, constipation, foul body odor… Ugh!

While bloating, gas and constipation can be the result of some serious health conditions, most people suffer from them because of poor eating habits and improper combination of foods.

These symptoms were part of my weekly routine since I was 6 years old. Back then, I was eating improperly combined food and lack specific nutrients in my diet.

My parents had the best of intentions and did the best they knew about but like many of us, they were misinformed about the right foods and eating habits.

It wasn’t until I learned about Chinese Medicine, Food Combination and conscious eating that all these symptoms started to disappear. And now, many years later I can proudly say that the days of stomach discomfort, bloating and painful gas are behind me.

So how did I do it, you wonder? The answer is fairly simple.

But First, it is important to learn how to prevent this from happening in the first place.

Preventing these issues from happening altogether is a much better strategy than scrambling to find solutions once the problem is there.  Some preventive measures include:

  • Listen to your body/belly and start to recognize the early symptoms of bloating and gas.
  • Wait at least 4 hours before your next meal/snack. This allows the previous meal to digest fully and leave your stomach before you stack more food on top of older food.
  • Do not talk while chewing; instead focus on fully chewing the bite before swallowing.
  • Only eat fruit alone and on an empty stomach. Fruit combined with any other food produces gas and bloating
  • Have a digestive enzyme with every meal.
  • Avoid saturated fats. Apart from cardiovascular problems, saturated fats are known to cause bloating and gas.
  • Reduce consumption of dairy and processed flour foods like white bread. They are very hard to digest and cause irritation in the intestines
  • Do not drink during a meal. Drink 30 minutes before or 45 minutes after a meal. If the food is properly chewed, you will not have the need to “chase the food down”. Liquids dilute the digestive juices, making it a lot harder to digest the food

These preventive measures will certainly help you reduce the pain, gas and bloating significantly.

But if you still suffer from these from time to time, there are some well-kept secrets in the plant world that will rock your world and will get your tummy feeling grrrrreat in no time:

Ginger: Ginger is a super root. It is a wonderful overall healthy herb that aids digestion, reduces inflammation and alleviates heartburn. It is very antiseptic, helping get rid of parasites and helps relax and soothe the intestinal track, helping manage cramping and pain.

Fennel [Seeds]: The phytonutrients in fennel give it an antioxidant quality. But it’s top quality lives in its ability to reduce gas and bloating. Chewing the seeds or making a tea will stimulate secretion of digestive juices, reduce inflammation of the stomach and intestines and helps your body absorb the nutrients better. Fennel has been a Godsend for me and I bet you it will be for you as well.

Peppermint: Cooling plant that literally soothes your stomach, relieving heartburn, indigestion, and bloating. Menthol (the active ingredient in peppermint) is both a carminative (reduces gas) and antispasmodic (reduces cramps). It is also well known for reducing nausea.

Cumin: Ayurveda considers this herb a great overall tonic for the body. And the fact that it’s delicious makes it very easy to incorporate into your diet. Cumin seeds can be made into teas that are known to help secrete enzymes in the pancreas to aid digestion and proper nutrient absorption.

Black Pepper: This is a very popular seasoning spice. But, did you know that it reduces inflammation and helps stimulate production of enzymes and digestive juices? It is also been used to treat diarrhea in India and part of Africa for hundreds of years.

In my personal experience, each and every one of these herbs have been more effective to relief stomach discomfort, bloating and gas than any over the counter remedy I have every tried (and I’ve tried them all). Try these herbs one at a time.

Remember, follow your intuition and listen to your body. It is the best way to determine which ones of these work best for you and your constitution.

Once you do, please leave a comment, letting me know which of these herbs you have used and how was your experience. If you’ve never used them, give them a try and let me know how they worked.

 

Ayurveda 101 With Nadya Andreeva

Ayurveda is an ancient practice that literally means “Science of Life”. It has been practiced in India for thousands of years and it is becoming increasingly popular in the western world as people move towards finding alternative treatments to compliment western science and prevent diseases.

I have always been very curious about the benefits of Ayurveda, Ayurvedic body types, Ayurvedic products and its wonderful uses.

So I asked my fellow health coach and friend Nadya Andreeva, a self-described modern Ayurveda girl, to come to my aid and help answer my (and probably your) basic Ayurveda questions here.

Nadya has gracefully agreed to let me pick her brain so you and I both can learn a little bit more about Ayurveda and how it can help us.

Check out the video here!

Amazing, right!?

If you’re still curious about Ayurveda, please leave a comment below. I’ll make sure to ask Miss Nadya and share her answers with you here!

About Jovanka

Jovanka Ciares is a former entertainment executive turned Wellness expert, detox specialist, nutrition educator and author. She is the creator of the Wellness Smackdown™, a proprietary detox and weight loss program for natural weight loss which was featured on the first season of ABC’s “My Diet Is Better Than Yours”...

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