Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Relieve Stress and Hormonal Imbalance With the Amazing Adaptogen: Maca Root

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(Maca root pic taken from Wikipedia)

Do you feel like your hormones are out of whack? Ever suffer from panic attacks, stress, or low energy levels? That was me 4 or 5 years ago. I suffered from constant fatigue, occasional panic attacks, extreme PMS related symptoms, and other stuff like that. If you're like me, though, and try to avoid doctors' offices and prescription medications, you might want to consider taking a wonderful supplement that has been a huge benefit to me: Femmenessence MacaHarmony®.

Femmenessence MacaHarmony® is a maca root supplement. Let me stop here because you might be wondering, what in the world is maca root? First of all, maca is a plant that is native to Peru and is also known as Peruvian Ginsing, although it is not related to ginsing. The maca plant is actually related to the radish plant and supposedly smells like butterscotch. While the plant has been cultivated for thousands of years as a vegetable crop, the root is used in medicine. (Web M.D. & Wikipedia)

Maca root is considered to be an adaptogen which is such a neat thing!  Here's a definition according to an online dictionary:

  1. (in herbal medicine) a natural substance considered to help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes. A well-known example is ginseng.

According to Dr. Frank Lipman:

"Adaptogens are a unique group of herbal ingredients used to improve the health of your adrenal system, the system that’s in charge of managing your body’s hormonal response to stress. They help strengthen the body’s response to stress and enhance its ability to cope with anxiety and fight fatigue – slowly and gently, without jolts or crashes. They’re called adaptogens because of their unique ability to “adapt” their function according to your body’s specific needs. Though the effects may initially be subtle and take time to make themselves felt, they’re real and undeniable."

Medicine Hunter says, "To qualifiy as an adaptogen, an herb must be completely safe and non-toxic, it must have broad uses for health, and it must specifically reduce stress, both mental and physical. To put it simply: Adaptogens help you adapt."

You can read about all kinds of maca root benefits all over the internet, but I like this easy-to-read list from YoungandRaw:

•    balances mood
•    strengthens the skin
•    increases energy
•    increases libido and fertility
•    better sleep
•    helps your body adapt to stress
•    increases memory and brain power
•    anti-aging properties
•    anti-acne properties
•    increases endurance and stamina
•    reduces symptoms of PMS and menopause
•    helps to reduce aches and pains
•    strengthens hair and reduces hair loss

Now that you know a little about the amazing little adaptogen, maca root, let me tell you about the product I mentioned earlier: Femmenessence MacaHarmony®. 

(Maca root has nothing to do with New Age meditation - I, personally, ignore the picture on the cover.) ;)

Femmenessence MacaHarmony® is a concentrated maca root supplement taken in the form of powder contained in swallow-size capsules. The recommended dosage is 2 pills per day: one in the morning and one in the afternoon. It lasts for 60 days and costs roughly a little over $15.00 per month. Small price to pay considering all of the benefits!

My sister-in-law turned me on to this product when I was complaining about insomnia, low energy levels, racing heart, PMS that lasted for about 3 weeks per month, and then some. I had like one good week every month - seriously.

According to the pamphlet inside the box, it can take 1-4 cycles to rebalance your system. I don't remember having to wait that long to start feeling results. A few of the physical benefits I noticed early on were:
  • better sleep
  • calmer heart
As time went on, I noticed even more benefits:
  • less tired
  • less irritable
  • fewer PMS days
Did you catch that last one? Huge for me! Get ready for some TMI, but I've always been the kind of girl who suffered immensely with cramps. I would start taking Advil before I even started just to keep from experiencing labor-like cramping. I know it sounds too good to be true, but taking maca root keeps me from having to take Advil. I know it's the maca root that keeps cramps at bay because I quit taking it for a few months, and the cramps returned in full force. I couldn't order a box of Femmenessence fast enough! Maca doesn't take away every single PMS symptom entirely, but, overall, it has given me MUCH relief. 

Now that I've been taking the maca root supplement for over 4 years, I only take one pill per day to maintain balance. Directions say that after 4-8 months you can try cutting your dose in half to one pill per day. It is also recommended that you take breaks from using the product - everything is explained thoroughly in the pamphlet included in your box of supplements.

I told you some of the ways in which maca root has helped me - here's what the back of the Femmenessence box says maca root can do for teens and women during their reproductive years:

Insomnia is one of those "thorns in my flesh" so after a while, I found that I needed additional help in that area at times. I rarely, if ever, experience a racing heart for no reason, though. Benefits are still amazing, so I keep taking my maca!

I highly recommend this product because it truly works for me. If you decide to try out maca root for yourself, I really hope it helps you as much as it has helped me. Just remember that as an adaptogen, it may affect each person differently. Be sure to familiarize yourself with all of the instructions. :)

*Femmenessence is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women.


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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Big Shoes to Fill

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I don't know what it is about babies wanting to slip on their parents' shoes, but it's so stinkin' cute to watch them hobble across the floor without losing their balance. Trying to walk in my mother's too-big shoes, and even on the wrong feet for goodness' sake, wasn't exactly easy.

My mom's shoes aren't so big anymore, in fact, they're almost 3 sizes too small for my big ol' feet. But, wow, I had no idea just how difficult it'd be to figuratively fill her shoes.

I've been so blessed to have been a mommy now for almost 16 years. Besides my wedding day, the 3 happiest days of my life are August 12, January 12, and June 22. Being a mom has been one of the greatest joys of my life, but some days are really hard. Over the years, I've often thought, If I can be half the mom that my mom was, I will have succeeded.

I never doubted my mom's love for me, and that's something I'm extremely grateful for. I truly hope that my children never doubt my love for them, and my prayer is that their love for me will cover all my flaws, or multitude of sins, as 1 Peter 4:8 puts it.

I love my mom and am feeling blessed to live so close to her now. I love my kids and am so blessed to be able to spend my days with them. Thanks, mom, for being such a wonderful, loving example of what it means to be an awesome mom!

~Happy Mother's Day~

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

The Benefits of Owning an Earscope

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I can remember suffering from ear infections as a child and having to drink that refrigerated, pink medicine. The medicine wasn't so bad, but the ear infections were. Can anyone else relate?

When I was a young mommy, I wanted to do everything I could to keep my kids ear infection free. I researched tons of information about preventing ear infections, and while I instituted those findings, I also wanted to be prepared in case my children ever did get ear infections. So, I bought my very own Earscope - an otoscope you can use at home for a pretty reasonable price. I also bought Ears: An Owner's Manual which teaches you about ears and how to properly use an otoscope.

Ears: An Owner's Manual

The 130-page owner's manual is a must if you've never used an Earscope before. Like I said, it teaches you how to use an otoscope, but it also teaches you so much more such as:

  • Anatomy of the external, middle, and inner ear
  • Causes of ear pain
  • How to select an otoscope
  • How to complete a home examination
  • What a normal middle ear looks like
  • What an ear infection looks like
  • Different types of ear infections
  • How to prevent ear infections
  • Complications in middle ear infections
  • Medications used for ear infections and their side effects


It's been several years since I've had to use my Earscope, but I am SO GLAD that I was armed with such an amazing medical tool when my kids were younger. A few of the benefits to owning your own Earscope if you have young children are:
  • It's super easy to use.
  • You don't have to run to the doctor every time your child complains of an earache.
  • You can monitor your child's ears if he does get an ear infection.
Tip: It's good to practice using your Earscope on your kids when they aren't sick, so you know exactly what your children's healthy ears look like.

Two Examples of When My Earscope Came in VERY Handy

#1 When my second child was about 6 months old, I took him to the doctor for one of those well check ups. From the outside, he was perfectly fine, however, the doctor told me that he was beginning to get an ear infection. While he was writing a prescription for an antibiotic, I asked him if my son's ear infection was bacterial or viral. I knew he wouldn't be able to tell me this information just by looking in my son's ears. He sort of gave me one of those looks doctors are known to give moms who ask questions. ;)

From the book I mentioned above, I learned that about 30% of ear infections are caused by viruses which means an antibiotic would be pointless, and in my opinion, even harmful. There was no way I was going to start giving an antibiotic to my baby son who had shown zero signs of having an ear infection. (I had done enough research about antibiotics to be cautious about using them unwisely.)

Anyway, I did take the slip of paper with the prescription on it home with me, but, thankfully, I never had to call it in. Because I owned an Earscope, I was able to monitor my son's ears on a daily basis. Honestly, I don't remember even seeing any type of infection, but I kept a close watch. I knew I was no doctor and that I could have been missing something. My son never showed any signs of having an ear infection, and nothing ever came of it. I can't tell you how glad I was that I didn't give my son the prescribed antibiotics.

#2 I admit, even though the ear manual says you shouldn't use cotton swabs to clean out ears, I did clean out my kids' ears on occasion. I was always super careful and never went into the ear canal - just around the outside to get rid of that nasty yellow gunk. Ugh.

Well, one day while I was sitting on the floor with my second child in my lap (he was about 4 at the time), and with my other 2 kids beside me, I was ever so gently cleaning out the ears of the child who was sitting in my lap. Unexpectedly, he turned his head pushing the cotton swab further into his ear canal. It all happened so fast - he started crying, and I panicked. I remember thinking, NO! Not his eardrum. Oh, please, no!

I ran and got my Earscope to check his ears. There were no signs from the outside that his eardrum had busted, but since he was crying, I wanted to make sure. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw his eardrum - a perfectly shaped little hole! My mother's heart almost failed me at that moment. But, after a trip to the doctor's office, my fears were relieved. Turns out, a perforated eardrum isn't the end of the world. This time I did use the (non-internal) antibiotic drops to keep out infection. It was so neat being able to watch my son's eardrum heal itself, and I am so thankful that there wasn't any permanent damage! He's 13 now and can hear just fine, well, at least when he chooses to. ;)

Thankfully, my young children didn't really suffer from ear aches much. I can honestly only think of a few times that my children complained of ear pain, but I was so glad to have an Earscope with which to monitor their ears. I've never given my children antibiotics for ear issues (other than that one time mentioned above), but I did give them Hyland's homeopathic earache tablets to soothe pain.

Truly, owning an Earscope works for me! I've provided links to all of the products I have mentioned in my post below. Looks like both books are the same with the second one pictured being a more recent version, I believe. I own the one pictured in the graphic above.

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