How Do You Get Your Teeth So White?
The Secrets of Oil Pulling
I love my teeth. As a matter of fact : one of my favorite personal care activities is brushing my teeth! So, it goes along to say that I am a big advocate for a healthy mouth which equals a healthy body.
I'm often asked how I keep my teeth so white. My little secret is ... oil pulling.
Oil pulling is easy. It's fast. It's economical. It's uber beneficial to your oral hygiene as well as your overall well-being.
Here's what it is and how to do it :
What is Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic technique dating back about 3000 years. It involves swishing oil in the mouth for a short period of time between 5 minutes and 20 minutes each day or as a weekly ritual. It is mentioned in the Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita where it is called Kavala Gandusha or Kavala Graha and is referred to as medicinal gargling. It is a very important element to oral hygiene that has other benefits to the body's overall health and well-being.
If we agree that the mouth houses millions of bacteria, fungi, viruses and other toxins, then the oil acts like a cleanser, pulling out the toxicity before they get a chance to spread throughout the body.
It's kind of a miracle how it works.
If the bacteria, fungi and other toxins are not passed through the system, then the immune system is free to activate other elements and helps the body reduce stress, curtail internal inflammation and other more immediate "attacks" on the system. This all equals a more vibrant body and system in present time.
Oil pulling has many benefits and I encourage you to do your research. There are many books and information written on the topic.
I would also encourage you to just start doing it and see how you feel. Be your own physician and test the process.
How does Oil Pulling Work?
First thing in the morning on an empty stomach and before drinking any liquids (including water), take one tablespoon of sunflower or sesame oil or coconut oil into your mouth. Do not swallow the oil but swish it around for 5-20 minutes. You can multi-task here and check your emails, social media, make breakfast for you kids or hang with your pet. Enjoy the swishing and DO NOT SWALLOW!
When the time is up, spit out the oil in a napkin and discard in the trash.
DO NOT SPIT THE OIL DOWN THE DRAIN UNLESS YOU WANT CLOGGED DRAINS IN YOUR FUTURE!
Rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth. And that's it!
Continue with your day. It's as easy and beautiful as that.
Which Oils to Use
Ayurveda traditionally recommended certain oils for oil pulling depending on your dosha : kapha, pitta and vata.
Personally, I love sesame oil but many people enjoy coconut oil.
Sesame oil is more warming than other oils and may be more gently detoxifying than other oils that are “colder” energetically. It has a somewhat strong sesame flavor, which is a familiar food taste for most people. Sunflower oil has a milder taste if you prefer that. Coconut oil is a familiar taste for many people. It has a cooler energy than sesame oil, so it’s good for people who tend to have a warmer constitution or condition of heat. Some people have reported that coconut oil is more strongly detoxifying, which isn’t always a good thing for some people, so it’s best to be cautious and go slowly
You can experiment, trying different types of oils to see which one feels best to you. You can also experiment with oil pulling for a longer or shorter duration, and doing it more or less often. It is recommended to use organic, unrefined, cold pressed oils.
Benefits of Oil Pulling
1. WHITENS TEETH
Top of the list! The oil has natural antibiotic and antiviral properties that brighten and clean teeth, keeping them quite white. Try it for two weeks and test the results.
2. INCREASES ENERGY
Oil pulling lowers the amount of energy the immune system has to generate to continually clear out toxicity. This naturally helps us to feel better holistically.
3. DETOXES THE BODY
One of the gateways of germs into the body is through the mouth. Taking out the germs at the source helps to prevent the spread within the body.
4. AIDS HORMONAL CHANGES
Without having to compete with other elements, hormones can function better.
5. REDUCES HEADACHES
Oil pulling is a big time help with headaches and migraines. All I can say is try it the next time you wake up with a headache from having drank too much alcohol the night before and see how you feel.
6. KEEPS THE SKIN CLEAR
Removing toxins from the body that would otherwise make it into the bloodstream means the skin has a chance to shine. Rashes and skin issues often reduce dramatically, or even clear up completely, when oil pulling.
7. PROMOTES ORAL HYGIENE
Oil pulling is highly effective at reducing tooth cavities and at eliminating bad breath.
When you start this technique, you might experience some of the positive effects immediately, or it may take a few days or even weeks. It will be personal and particular to you and it will also depend on the state of your immune system.
Try it! It's easy. And, then let me know how it goes!!!!
Are you an Oil Puller? Share your experience in the comments!
share with hashtags #stephanieculen #mydailyom #iloveoils #healthandharmony #secretagentstephanieculen
An Invitation to Your Health
I wasn't always a health nut or a yoga "guru". As a matter of fact, I was a really sick kid.
From the time I was a baby, I have suffered from allergies and asthma. Except I was not diagnosed with these conditions until I was about 9 years old.
Every Spring and every Fall, my mother was told by our family physician that I had bronchitis. I was put on heavy duty antibiotics for weeks at a time. Antibiotics my mother came to understand many years later, adults should only be on for a maximum of 3-5 days. I missed weeks of school every year, stuck in bed watching I Love Lucy and Bewitched and I never really felt "sick".
It was a kind of nightmare.
I wanted to play in the leaves in the Fall and smell all the flowers in the Spring. I missed out on Halloween trick-or-treating and fun country flower-picking and frolicking events in the Spring. Every year, it was the same old tune.
Until one day, my mother, who worked at a hospital bumped into the Allergy Specialist. Then things started to change for me.
She made an appointment with the Ear, Nose and Throat specialists at the hospital and I started allergy testing. In the 70's allergy testing consisted of making tiny scratches on your back (all over of your back) and putting tiny drops of live allergens onto the scratches. If there was a reaction on the skin, then you were allergic. Guess what happened next?
I was the poster child for allergies! It turned out that I was basically allergic to EVERYTHING enviromental and almost everything animal (especially cats, dogs and horses). And not only was I allergic, I was 10 times the normal patient...whatever THAT meant. As a child, I took it to mean : I had been sufferig for a long time unnecessarily.
And so a new cycle began for me. Oe that included allergy shot 2 times a week and a whole new paradigm of nutrition, supplemeents and education.
As my mom took in all this new information, our lives and circumstances started to make a whole lot more sense.
There was a reason I was getting "sick" and it was allergies. I was allergic to feathers, dust, mold, grass, dogs, cats, horses...you name it...I was allergic to it.
I remember the first morning I ate my cereal before school and I could actually breathe and eat with my mouth shut for the first time. I was 9 years old. Before that, eating was challenging especially when I was trying to follow manners and "eat with your mouth shut." You see, I always wanted to do the right thing but I really struggled with simple tasks. And now not only could I breath and eat simultaneously, I could TASTE food and flavors. WOW!!!!!
It was around this time in my life that I was introducted to my step-father's sister, and then things got really interesting. My step-aunt also had her own existential health crisis and she was a advocate for macrobiotics and all things natural. She was seen as a strange lady who cooked all her own food and brought along with her (outside of the home) all of these teas and tinctures and oils and many other "weird" concoctions for her health and well-being.
As everybody else was making fun of her, I was watching and learning. I believed she had the information and knowledge that I needed to be healthy and grow. She taught me yoga exercises and massage techniques and Qi Gong movements that would be helpful for my asthma. She taught me about foods that created phlegm and discomfort and foods that were better for my body. She tuaght me about cooking and spices and herbs and it was a huge awakening. I was buying everything she was offering. I was ten years old.
At that time my mission was to get healthy and feel better so that I could hang and play with my friends, go to school and not get behind on readings and homework and be "normal" like everybody else.
Little did I know, this was the beginning of my life's purpose : to learn how to heal myself and help others learn how to do the same.
Since I was ten years old, I have learned supreme self-care because I know the value in being healthy and staying healthy. And as a very small child, I made a secret vow to myself to do whatever I could to keep myself out of hospitals, to stay off of pharmaceuticals, to stay out of a sick bed and to be out in the world : laughing, loving and living.
This commitment I made to myself remains true to this day and my wish is to help others learn how to help themsleves throgh the many techniques and options that are available today that include the disciplines I have known to be of service to me: yoga, reiki, nutrition, meditation, creativity, movement, and essential oils.
There is a time and place for doctors and hospitals and Western medicine. And I am totally in favor of the dedication of our modern world and its advances in medicine. However, I also have experienced that many chronic conditions can best be served through a variety of healing paradigms and that our bodies are powerful and capable of doing the work. Being well-informed and curious and inquisitive about what works for each one of us and what doesn't takes patience, persistence, and presence. Paying attention to what is working and what is not and knowing when to seek Western counsel and when to seek alternative methods and when to combine the two pardigms.
It's up to you. Always. To make the choices for your body and healing. Gather the information and feel out what is best for you. And remember, that was works for somebody else may not work for you and vice versa. Perhaps it is why there are so many different options to explore and it can be comfusing. Using your intuition about what might be best for you and feeling your body and how it works is a really good start.
I love you.
And care so much about you and what happens to you.
Please take supremely good care of yourself.
The Remarkable Benefits of Turmeric
What is Tumeric?
Turmeric is a popular spice in India used for curries and mustards. It is a deep yellow, earthy spice.
Studies have shown that curcumin, a compound found in turmeric that gives it the dark yellow color, may block cancer growth and decrease tumor size. In addition, turmeric naturally detoxifies the liver.
One of the most comprehensive summaries of turmeric studies to date was published by the respected ethnobotanist James A. Duke, Phd., in the October, 2007 issue of Alternative & Complementary Therapies, and summarized in the July, 2008, issue of the American Botanical Council publication, HerbClip.
I suffer from inflammation in my joints, also known as arthritis. I have found adding a dropper full of turmeric tincture to a glass of water each morning to be an extremely helpful additive to my daily routine to ease my suffering naturally.
I have known turmeric to be a helpful anti-inflammatory and I've also known people who have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and cancer and when they used turmeric, their symptoms were alleviated.
I did some more digging about the medicinal benefits of turmeric. And you may be surprised at the many uses of this gorgeous spice!
Here's what I found.
Tremendous Turmeric : Hail To Thee!
How To Use Turmeric
1. Tinctures ~ I love Banyan Botanicals Turmeric Tincture and use it daily. It's very helpful.
2. Teas ~ Here is Dr. Weil's version of turmeric tea as well as information about useful studies of the benefits of the spice.
3. Tablets ~ There are also extracts in tablet and capsule form available in health food stores. Please ask a homeopath or naturopath the best way for you to take tablets.
And, of course, eating more yummy curried dishes is a great way to add more turmeric to your meals.
P.S. Here is another wonderful article on the remarkable uses of turmeric that also includes skin, beauty and health treatments.
Happy reading! Please share! xoxo
Why I Love Castor Oil
Castor Oil : Retro is the New Wave
Castor oil has been a household health remedy for centuries. And it still should be a staple in your home medicine cabinet. Here's why: It is super inexpensive and works wonders in the body both internally and externally. I recommend finding a good quality cold-pressed castor oil to use and pour it in a beautiful glass bottle. It is an oil that deserves a high seat of respect and admiration.
Castor oil is a pale, yellow vegetable oil derived from the castor bean seed (Ricinus Communis) in its purest form. It is an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant oil which has been used for centuries for its therapeutic and medicinal benefits. It strengthens the immune system and is a wonderful healer.
It is believed that most of castor oil's benefits are derived from its high concentration of unsaturated fatty acids. Although it has a strong and rather unpleasant taste, castor oil is used in many everyday products including cosmetics, soaps, massage oils and medicines.
The history of castor oil goes back a long way, with Ancient Egyptians allegedly using it for their lamps around 4000 BC. Greek travelers like Herodotus recorded that the Egyptians also used it as an ointment. Cleopatra reportedly used it for brightening the whites of her eyes. Over the years, castor oil has earned a phenomenal reputation for being a laxative, cathartic, and purgative medicine.
What Is Castor Oil?
My Top 5 Uses of Castor Oil
1. Helps with Arthritis: the anti-inflammatory properties of castor oil make it very helpful in relieving pain from arthritic joints, nerve inflammations and sore muscles. A little goes a long way. Use it as a massage oil and rub it on the body where you feel pain.
3. Healthy Bowels : it is a very strong laxative, and typically what this oil is known for healing. Take a teaspoon of castor oil in the morning will be extremely effective. Mixing it with some juice like orange or cranberry is nicer. Just don't overdose on it. If nothing has "moved" after 3 days, then it's best to seek another remedy.
2. Wrinkles Be-Gone : apply castor oil directly to the skin for a shimmery glow. This oil helps eliminate and prevent wrinkles. It is a natural emollient that penetrates the skin and helps stimulate the production of collagen and elastin which softens and hydrates the skin. Wow! Like yes, for real!
4. Hair Growth : massage castor oil into affected areas of balding or thinness on the scalp every day to stimulate natural hair growth. This technique also works with eyebrows and eyelashes. Just use a few drops for the smaller areas around the face.
5. Sleep Better : rub castor oil into your feet at night before you go to bed and your sleep will be much deeper and sounder. You can also rub some oil on your eyelids and temples.
To learn more about the many beautiful uses of Castor Oil, visit CastorOil.org.
Essential Oils and Castor Oil
You can add delicious and delightful essential oils to the castor oil when using it for external use. Great oils to use for many different purposes include Frankincense, Rosemary, Lavender and Oregano.
To learn more about essential oils or to build your own collection of high quality therapeutic grade oils, visit Oil of the Day.
The Power of a Whisper
Valentine's Day is upon us….
… and it is a "holiday" that creates mixed emotions and expectations for many of us. Personally, Valentine's Day is one of my favorite days because it is a reminder to love everything and everyone, and to honor our connection to love and be loved.
I guess you could call me a a kind of love gangster!
One of my "get real with life" mentors is Danielle Laporte.
She inspired this "love gangster" practice based on her Desire Map work.
Here's a practice to do at the end of each day:
As you lay in your bed wandering off to sacred dream land, ask yourself,
"How do I wish to Ultimately feel?"
You will want to choose an aspect of your day to focus on : body, work, relationship, home, spirit, etc.
And go there….wherever that place takes you. Do you wish to feel held, acknowledged, nourished, passionate, sexy, playful, radiant. You name it. Go there!
And then create experiences in your day that allow those feelings you desire to take shape.
Want to know more about the Desire Map?
Some of the feelings that most often radiate through my spirit are qualities of warmth, grace, passion, soft, sweet and sexy.
I take small moments in my day to make sure that those qualities are nurtured. And, one of the ways I conjure experiences for myself daily is through essential oils.
The scent and quality of certified pure therapeutic grade essential oils are amazing and incredibly healing.
One of my favorites is doTERRA's Whisper. Whisper is a delicious blend of my favorite oils : ylang yang flower, vetiver root, cinnamon bark, jasmine flower absolute, rose flower, Hawaiian sandalwood, bergamot peel, patchouli leaf, cocoa bean absolute and vanilla bean absolute all based in fractionated coconut oil. Pure Yum!!!
Whisper works harmoniously with each person's unique chemistry and I personally love it as an everyday oil. It's intoxicating and also incredibly calming and nourishing.
Another one of my favorite perfume lines that uses essential oils is The Goddess Line.
The oils are named after deities and they are all so gorgeous. Simply divine.
Lastly, another amazing blend that is absolutely exquisite is Young Living's Lady Sclareol™.
This blend was designed as a fragrance and is made of essential oils : clary sage, jasmine, vetiver, ylang ylang, Idaho blue spruce, spearmint, hinoki, geranium, Royal Hawaiian sandalwood, orange, Spanish sage, coriander and bergamot.
A beguiling and alluring blend of most of my favorite essential oils!
Whatever your pleasure takes you, whether it be scent or taste or touch or sound, may your Valentine's day be filled with beauty, bounty and bliss!
Wishing you a day of sacred love … today and everyday. You are loved!!!!
Note: I am a distributor of doTERRA essential oils and I use (AND LOVE) oils from all of these brands.
There is never any pressure to sell or be a part of a team when you buy from me.
I simply wish to share the joys and pleasure of these oils and I hope you will find benefit in using them.
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