Evening primrose oil comes from the seeds of a yellow wildflower that grows throughout the United States.
In a study from the Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics, researchers tested the effect of evening primrose oil on 56 menopausal women aged 45 to 59 with hot flashes.
The women were given two capsules per day of evening primrose oil (500 mg per capsule) for a continuous 6 weeks. The results showed there was a 42% improvement in the severity of hot flashes, as well as beneficial improvements in their life activities.
Mineral supplements such as magnesium and calcium are also of good benefit to menopausal women with hot flashes and night sweats. One example is a 2011 study from the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System. Women with at least 14 hot flashes a week received 400 milligrams of magnesium oxide for 4 weeks, increasing to 800 mg. per day if needed. At the end of the study, the magnesium supplements had reduced their frequency of hot flashes from 52 to 28 per week, a 41.4% reduction. Fatigue, sweating, and distress were also significantly reduced.
One insomnia remedy that also helps with hot flashes and night sweats and is increasing in popularity among women in menopause is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. This natural sleep aid contains highly absorbable forms of calcium and magnesium, the best minerals for sleeplessness and insomnia, as well as for heart health, restless legs syndrome, bone strength, and menopause insomnia.
Anita L. of New Caney, Texas says: “I was having hot flashes every 30 minutes to an hour through the night and was so miserable. After about two weeks of taking the Sleep Minerals, I noticed an incredible difference with my sleep. I have much less interruption from flashes, I’m sleeping much better, and I’m a lot more comfortable.”
Valerie H. of Santa Clarita, California says: “I had such severe menopause insomnia it took me hours to fall asleep even though I was extremely tired. My legs also had crawling and tingling feelings at night. I got the Sleep Minerals and after several days, it started to work really well. I fall asleep now within 20 minutes and no more restless legs.”
Natural menopause remedies are a healthier option for women with hot flashes, night sweats and insomnia. For more information, visit the Sleep Minerals II page.
A team of researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine in California recently conducted a study to help determine the causes of insomnia among premenopausal and postmenopausal women. The team conducted phone interviews with 982 women and gathered information about their sleep history, hot flashes and overall health.
They found that 51% of postmenopausal women experienced hot flashes and 79% of premenopausal women had them. Among the women with the most severe hot flashes (based on their intensity and frequency), 81% of them experienced sleeplessness and insomnia.
The lead researcher said: “In this paper, we have observed without any doubt and in a significant way that hot flashes are associated with insomnia. This is the first observational study showing the link between insomnia and hot flashes while controlling for other factors that could account for insomnia in women.”
Comment from the Blog Author Nutrition Breakthroughs:
The pioneering nutritionist Adelle Davis discusses the many roles of calcium in women’s health in her book “Let’s Get Well” and says: “During the menopause, the lack of the ovarian hormones (estrogen and progesterone) causes severe calcium deficiency symptoms to occur. At these times, high amounts of calcium should be obtained and every step be taken to insure its absorption into the blood. When these precautions are taken and the diet is adequate in other respects, the woman at menopause usually loses her irritability, hot flashes, night sweats, leg cramps, insomnia, and mental depression.”
One natural insomnia remedy gaining popularity with women and people of all ages is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs in Glendale California. Sleep Minerals II contains powerful forms of the best known minerals for relaxation and sleep — calcium and magnesium, combined with vitamin D. The ingredients are formulated in a softgel with healthy oils, making them more quickly absorbable than tablets or capsules, and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Anita L. of New Caney, Texas says: “I was having hot flashes every 30 minutes to an hour through the night and was so miserable. After about two weeks of taking the Sleep Minerals, I noticed an incredible difference with my sleep. I have much less interruption from flashes, I’m sleeping much better and I’m a lot more comfortable.”
Valerie H. in Santa Clarita, CA says: “I had such severe menopause insomnia, it took me hours to fall asleep even though I was extremely tired. I also had crawling and tingling feelings in my legs at night. I got the Sleep Minerals II and after a week of taking it, it started to work really well. I fall asleep now within 20 minutes and no more restless legs.”
These tips are for those of us who have sweated in our sheets on hot summer nights, unable to sleep. In an ideal world, we would all have multiple air conditioners throughout our homes or central air conditioning to keep us cool.
In the actual world, not everyone has these, or even if they do, they may be looking for other helpful options in the case of being away from home or traveling to hot climates.
One question to ask would be whether or not any research studies have been done on the effects of body temperature on sleep. Yes, in fact there have. Researchers from the Cornel Medical Center in New York did a study showing that a cooler body temperature does indeed help sleep. They identified the time at which the participant’s body temperature fell most sharply. This point almost always occurred in the two hours before sleep began.
So without further adieu, here are the creative tips for staying cool at night and sleeping well.
Tip #1 – People with trouble falling asleep might benefit from taking warm or hot baths about 90 minutes before bedtime, per the New York research study noted above. When they get out of the bath, their body temperature will drop rapidly, and this should help them to fall asleep faster. Another option for those with less time is to take a cool shower before bed.
Tip #2 – Stick to loose clothing of cotton, linen or rayon and avoid synthetic fabrics and wool. Check into ‘Wicking Nightwear.’ These nightclothes are designed to whisk away sweat and moisture and keep you dry and comfortable while you sleep. Cotton sheets are best, rather than silk or other fabrics, as they stay cooler.
Tip #3 – Keep a thermos of ice water next to the bed and drink as needed. The ice water can also be poured onto a washcloth and used on the forehead, legs, feet or other areas. Another option is to put a hot water bottle in the freezer and use it as needed to stay cool. Feet can set the pace for the rest of the body, so this may be a good place to put a cool washcloth.
Tip #4 – Try a ‘Chillow’ pillow insert. The Chillow is filled with water and placed inside the pillowcase, on top of the pillow. It absorbs and dissipates heat to keep you cooler and doesn’t require refrigeration. It is comfortably cool, rather than cold and it always stays dry.
Tip #5 – Use some smart strategies for box fans and other fans. Point a fan facing out the window so it will push the hot air outside, leaving cooler air in the room. A do it yourself air conditioner can be made by putting a shallow pan of ice in front of a fan. A cooling breeze will be created from the cold water as the ice melts.
Tip #6 – Put a blow-up air bed on the ground with some sheets and blankets and sleep on it. This puts you closer to the floor where the air is cooler, as hot air rises. If your bedroom is on a second floor, go the first floor to sleep.
Tip #7 – Keep the oven off and eat light meals that are cooling to the body such as fruit and vegetable salads, pasta salads, cold rice and veggies, or rice cakes with a slice of cheese, etc. Delicious cold soups can be eaten such as split pea or lentil.
Tip #8 – Calcium is known to cool, soothe and relax the nervous system according to Chinese medicine. In their system, a food’s temperature refers to the heating or cooling effect it has on the body once it has been ingested – rather than the temperature of the food when it is eaten.
For a cooling effect on the body during the night, take a well-absorbed form of calcium and magnesium before bed such as Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs. This natural sleep remedy contains unique forms of calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and zinc. It is formulated in a softgel with healthy carrier oils, making it more quickly absorbable than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.
Hot flashes and night sweats can be brought on by hot weather, as well as other causes such as hormonal changes, spicy foods or alcohol. Anita L. of New Caney, Texas says: “I was having hot flashes every 30 minutes to an hour through the night and was so miserable. After about two weeks of taking the Sleep Minerals II, I noticed an incredible difference with my sleep. I have much less interruption from hot flashes, I‘m sleeping much better and I’m a lot more comfortable.”
Some other healthy advice would be to eat more of the calcium rich foods like cheese, almonds, spinach, parsley, beans, kale and broccoli.
In summary, make use of these tips to stay cool on hot summer nights, and you can also come up with some other similar ones of your own. You’ll be happier the next day that you did!
Those of us who have experienced insomnia know what its like to toss and turn through the night trying to get some good sleep. And then the next day can be filled with brain fog, irritability, exhaustion and just not quite feeling like one’s usual self. Some will turn to sleeping drugs, only to find the effects wearing off over time and the side effects strong.
On the other hand, nutrition can be one of the most essential supports and defenses in winning the battle to achieve calmer, deeper, longer sleep. There are some vitamins and nutrients in particular that have been shown in research studies to soothe a person’s frequent awakenings and improve overall sleep.
B vitamins can come in very handy for those experiencing insomnia or restless leg syndrome (also known as RLS). Those who have restless leg syndrome undergo unpleasant sensations in the legs described as creeping, crawling, tingling, pulling or painful. They often suffer with chronic insomnia and sleeplessness due to the strong urge to walk or do other activities to relieve sensations in their legs at night.
One study from the journal “Sleep Medicine” published the results of 28 elderly patients who had severe RLS with night time leg cramps that disturbed their sleep. They were given B complex capsules containing B-1, B-2, B-6 and B-12. The study authors observed that after 3 months, 86% of the patients taking vitamin B supplements had prominent remission of leg cramps, whereas those taking the placebo had no significant difference.
In this study, treatment with vitamin B complex significantly reduced the frequency, intensity, and duration of night time leg cramps. Because vitamin B complex is a relatively safe and effective alternative to quinine, the main drug used for RLS, they feel that doctors should reconsider using drugs and change the usual treatment of choice for night time leg cramps.
One’s overall brain health is closely related to healthy sleep. From the same study in “Sleep Medicine”, the authors noted that thiamine or vitamin B-1 deficiency can cause fatigue, weakness, intestinal symptoms, memory loss and disturbed sleep. They also point out that Parkinson’s disease sufferers generally have low levels of niacin or vitamin B-3, a deficiency of which can also cause insomnia and sleeplessness.
Another point from the article is that vitamin B-6 is a necessary co-factor in the creation of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. The importance of this is that brain chemicals such as serotonin and melatonin are made out of the amino acids tryptophan. Serotonin and melatonin have key roles in supporting good sleep and cannot be produced without enough B-6. Even a mild deficiency of B-6 results in inhibited activity of these brain nutrients and may create insomnia.
Magnesium and calcium are long-time proven sleep remedies. A study on magnesium from the University of Medical Sciences in Iran was done with 46 adults who were experiencing insomnia. Two magnesium tablets twice a day (250 mg. each) resulted in significant increases in sleep time and reduced cortisol levels in the body, which is a stress hormone that can keep people awake.
Calcium is known to soothe sleeplessness and provide a deeper sleep. In a report called “The Nutritional Relationships of Magnesium”, the author notes that the type of insomnia associated with a calcium deficiency often causes difficulty with falling asleep. This same study says that: “Muscle cramps associated with calcium deficiency often occur at night and without exertion. Such cramps usually involve the calves and thighs, but not the hands or feet.”
Jobee Knight, a nutritional researcher and founder of Nutrition Breakthroughs in Glendale, CA., is someone who fought her own battle against sleeplessness and insomnia. She decided to put her background to use by searching out effective natural ingredients for relaxation and deeper sleep.
The result was Sleep Minerals II, a natural sleep aid which contains highly absorbable forms of the best minerals for sleep and relaxation: Calcium and magnesium, along with Vitamin D and zinc. The ingredients are delivered in a softgel form along with healthy carrier oils, making them more easily assimilated than capsules or tablets and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep. These minerals are also proven to help with restless leg syndrome, bone and muscle strength, teenage insomnia and menopause insomnia.
Kimberly B. of Troy, Michigan says: “I have been taking Sleep Minerals II for about a month now. I have tried everything out there and this supplement is amazing. I have suffered with insomnia for 2 1/2 years. I have also had restless leg syndrome my entire life and this is the first relief I’ve ever had…gone for a month now.”
In summary, make good use of natural vitamins and minerals as the first line of defense in the war against sleeplessness and insomnia.
By Dr. Joseph Mercola, a physician trained in both traditional and natural medicine
Shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs,
maker of the effective calcium and magnesium based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II
While multiple companies manufacture and market “new and improved” fast-moving consumer goods that we use every day, such as soap, toothpaste, deodorant and body lotion, one of the best and most natural products has been right under our noses, so to speak.
Coconut oil has a pleasant scent, and besides being very economical, it’s an amazingly versatile and therapeutic substance. Since the mid-1990s, roughly, coconut oil has been used for a number of applications, such as cleansing, deodorizing and healing, and this has been growing on the larger population.
Questions like “Where does coconut oil actually come from?” and “What does it smell like?” are apropos. Coconut oil, like butter, is a solid substance, melting to a liquid form when it reaches about 76 degrees.
Insoluble at room temperature, it takes on a creamy consistency when blended with water using a whisk. If not treated to processes such as bleaching, refining or deodorizing, coconut oil exudes the mild fragrance you would expect — like coconut.
2 Kinds of Coconut Oil — Commercial Grade and Virgin
The relatively recent interest in the many uses of coconut oil also elicits questions regarding its production. There are two basic types: Commercial-grade and virgin coconut oil.
Commercial grade coconut oil — This product is made from copra, which is the dried meat of the coconut. It’s usually smoke-, sun- or kiln (oven) -dried or a combination of the three. But when standard copra is used to make coconut oil, it’s not sterile and therefore unsuitable for human consumption.
It’s “purified” or refined through a process known as RBD — refined, bleached and deodorized. According to Coconutdiet.com:
“High heat is used to deodorize the oil, and the oil is typically filtered through (bleaching) clays to remove impurities. Sodium hydroxide is generally used to remove free fatty acids and prolong shelf life.
This is the most common way to mass-produce coconut oil. The older way of producing refined coconut oil was through physical/mechanical refining. More modern methods also use chemical solvents to extract all the oil from the copra for higher yields.”
Virgin coconut oil — In comparison, like olive oil, coconut oil is best when “first-pressed” and “virgin.” Like pressing a teabag that’s been steeping in boiled water for a few minutes, the first water released will contain the most actual extracts.
The second time it’s pressed, as in the teabag analogy, the result isn’t as concentrated. Coconutdiet.com continues:
“Virgin Coconut Oilcan only be achieved by using fresh coconut meat or what is called non-copra. Chemicals and high heating are not used in further refining, since the natural, pure coconut oil is very stable with a shelf life of several years.
There are currently two main processes of manufacturing Virgin Coconut Oil:
Quick drying of fresh coconut meat which is then used to press out the oil. Using this method, minimal heat is used to quick dry the coconut meat, and the oil is then pressed out via mechanical means.
Wet-milling. With this method, the oil is extracted from fresh coconut meat without drying first. ‘Coconut milk’ is expressed first by pressing.
The oil is then further separated from the water. Methods which can be used to separate the oil from the water include boiling, fermentation, refrigeration, enzymes and mechanical centrifuge (swirling around).”
Why Keep Coconut Oil in the Bathroom?
Raw, organic coconut oil, besides being good enough to eat (which we’ll discuss in a minute) has a plethora of benefits apart from actual ingestion. Here’s a list of 15 benefits of coconut oil, in no particular order:
1.Smooth shave — If you’ve been plagued by red, irritated and razor-burned skin after shaving, coconut oil is both soothing and antibacterial.
2.Rash recovery — Other rash problems from diaper rash to mild allergic reactions can be remedied using coconut oil. Propylene glycol is one chemical found in commercial moisturizers that can cause skin irritation and dermatitis.
3.Lip balm — Use coconut oil to moisturize, nourish and hydrate chapped lips without inadvertently eating endocrine disruptors.
A study on the metal content in lip balm revealed lead, aluminum, cadmium, chromium and manganese in high concentrations, some associated with reproductive, developmental or other adverse health effects.
4.Facial cleanser — Effective as a face wash, mixing equal parts coconut oil and castor oil is known as oil cleansing. Massage it into your skin and remove gently with a warm washcloth.
Ninety percent of the body washes and cleansers you buy contain harmful chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate, which, in combination with other chemicals, can form cancer-causing nitrosamines (harmful chemicals). Coconut oil can even improve acne.
5.Makeup remover — Not only can you cleanse your face, you can remove use it as a natural makeup remover — even stubborn mascara and eyeliner.
6.Night cream — While you may not want to use coconut oil under makeup, applying it lightly before bed will hydrate your skin because its fatty acids form a natural emollient. If the skin around your nails is hard and peeling, treat your cuticles to a soothing coconut oil rub to keep them soft.
7.Deodorant — A tiny dab of coconut mixed, if you desire, with an essential oil such as lavender is very effective — so much better than the antiperspirants containing aluminum, which is linked to Alzheimer’s.
Another deodorant recipe combines 3 tablespoons each of coconut oil, arrowroot powder (or cornstarch) and baking soda.
8.Foot fungus fighter — Because it’s antimicrobial and antibacterial, coconut is very effective in combating athlete’s foot. Rub it on the bottoms of your feet after every shower.
Antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal compounds in coconut oil have been shown to inactivate microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast and fungi.
9.Soothing bath — As an alternative to bubble baths that may induce urinary tract infections, especially in children, drop a dollop of coconut oil in your bath with a few essential oils. It’s both moisturizing and helps kill bacteria.
10.Body scrub — Combining equal parts coconut oil with sea salt, sugar or baking soda to make a homemade scrub softens, smooths and moisturizes your skin.
11.Body lotion — Moisturizers you buy at the store typically contain harmful chemicals such as aluminum, phthalates, parabens, formaldehyde and propylene glycol. Coconut is a fragrant, moisturizing alternative containing none of these.
12.Toothpaste — To combat tooth decay and even whiten teeth, make a DIY coconut oil toothpaste by mixing 1 teaspoon with 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 2 drops of peppermint essential oil. Just brush as usual.
13.Oil pulling — An oral rinse works much like a mouthwash, only you shouldn’t gargle with it. As you swish vigorously for five to 15 minutes, it penetrates the soft tissue between your gums and “pulls out” bacteria that causes cavities, plaque and bad breath.
14.When applied to infected cuts or wounds, coconut oil develops a layer of naturally protective chemicals that also keep out dust, fungi, bacteria and viruses. Applied to bruises, it speeds up the healing process in damaged tissues.
15.Frizz fighter — People with hair that tends to frizz often turn to silicone- or alcohol-based gels and mousses, which coat the hair, prevent it from absorbing moisture and dries out the hair shaft. Just a few drops of coconut oil are all you need for a natural hair conditioner for smooth, silky shine.
Healing Properties of Coconut Oil
Virgin coconut oil has been described as having a “haunting, nutty, vanilla flavor (and) even milder and richer-tasting than butter.” A New York Times article noted that coconut oil, while once demonized by the “all saturated fats are bad for you” camp, has now become accepted:
“The main saturated fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, a medium-chain fatty acid (easy to absorb). Lauric acid increases levels of the good fats, “HDL”, or high-density lipoprotein, and also bad LDL, or low-density lipoprotein (cholesterol), in the blood, but is not thought to negatively affect the overall ratio of the two.
… Any number of health claims have been made for lauric acid. According to proponents, it’s a wonder substance with possible antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral properties that could also, in theory, combat H.I.V., clear up acne and speed up your metabolism.”
Even applied topically, coconut oil has healing properties. One interesting factoid is that while antiperspirants containing aluminum are associated with Alzheimer’s, coconut oil actually prevents it because of the medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA) that are easily absorbed and metabolized by the liver and can convert to ketones. One study noted:
“Ketone bodies are an important alternative energy source in the brain, and may be beneficial to people developing or already with memory impairment, as in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) … (It may also) be beneficial in the treatment of obesity, dyslipidaemia (higher fats in the blood), elevated LDL (cholesterol), insulin resistance and hypertension — these are the risk factors for (heart disease) and type 2 diabetes, and also for Alzheimer’s.”
Alzheimer’s is projected to affect 1 in 4 Americans in the next generation, rivaling obesity and diabetes, but evidence suggests that ketone bodies in coconut oil may help restore and renew neurons and nerve function in your brain, even after damage has set in.
Unhealthy Alternatives to Coconut Oil
Regarding coconut oil in the kitchen, even as a household cleaner, there are a few points to consider:
•Virgin coconut oil has a smoke point of 350 degrees, so for cooking, it’s best used at lower temperatures. Olive oil overcooks even as low as 250 degrees, which may cause oxidization, doing your body more harm than good.
•You can substitute coconut oil for butter or olive oil, and most definitely instead of so-called vegetable oils. Here’s why:
Multiple studies reveal coconut oil to impart amazing benefits when used in nutritional applications. One of the most dramatic changes you can make in your health will be to replace the so-called “healthy” vegetable, soy, corn and cottonseed oils such as canola when sautéing food or baking cake or cookies.
It’s interesting to note that Polynesian populations, who’ve been using full-fat coconut oil as a diet staple for untold generations, have no heart disease to speak of. Why? It’s a direct contradiction to what conventional medicine touted for a few decades, that saturated fats are bad for you, and will lead to obesity, high cholesterol levels, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
The truth is, saturated fat like that of coconut oil and olive oil is natural, not the concocted substances created in a laboratory using methods like hydrogenation and partial hydrogenation that convert polyunsaturated fatty acids to unhealthy trans fats. Vegetable and seed oils undergo the double whammy of hydrogen atoms and high heat, creating a cheaper oil with a long shelf life that’s very bad for your health.
Further, when vegetable oils are heated to a high temperature, the chemical compounds break down, get “stuck” in your cells, oxidize (create excess oxygen) and create dangerous free radicals (molecules with oxygen) that can lead to disease.
So, make good use of coconut oil in your bathroom (and also your kitchen!) and benefit from its many effective uses. This article is shared by Nutrition Breakthroughs, maker of the effective calcium,magnesium and vitamin D based sleep aid Sleep Minerals II.