From Fuerteventura with love…

Well… I’m not actually writing from Fuerteventura, I am back in the UK but wanted to share some of my holiday with you.

Fuerteventura is one of the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa. It is politically part of Spain. When people visit the Canary Islands they go to the more popular Tenerife but hubby and I wanted something relaxing and we were not too interested in clubs so that’s exactly what we got.  We spent mornings jogging along by the beach, followed by long indulgent breakfasts, I snorkelled in the clear warm waters and we went on few tours.

Goat's Milk Soap

Look what I found on one of the tours, 100% Natural ingredients, Goats Milk Soap I haven’t tried it yet though.

One of the tours I have to tell you about is when we went to visit the Aloe Vera Factory.

The tour started with the guide telling us how many illegal immigrants they get from Africa each year and pointed out the army barracks/detention centres these poor people were put in. The Island is only 20 hours by boat from North Africa and one of the most popular routes into Europe. So people from many countries in Africa give it a shot.  Sadly not many survive the journey; the boats are often ill equipped and overcrowded so many people end up at the bottom of the sea with their bodies washing up on the Island. Or their motors run out, so they end up drifting in the ocean for weeks eventually dying of thirst.  Despite this, sometimes the reasons to leave outweigh the reasons to stay imagine if you are fleeing from war. Of the boats that do arrive or are intercepted safely the inhabitants are interrogated and often sent back home (Sigh).

Anyway….Fueteventura is a volcanic island and some years they get only 7 days of rain, some years 3 and some years nothing. The perfect climate to grow Aloe Vera organically.

The Aloe Plant's

The plant farm

It really is a Volcano the whole Island! Look at me picking my way over the rocks in sandals!

It really is a Volcano the whole Island! Call this a beach?

Now to be honest I have never taken much notice of the plant. As a Jamaican many of my family members own one and claim that they use it for medicinal purposes. This tour gave me the opportunity to learn properly what it is for and why you would use it.

The Guide Giving us the info

The Guide Giving us the info

So here is the lowdown.

Of the 300 varieties of Aloe Vera (Which is actually a lilly not a cactus) Aloe Barbadenis Miller is the most superior of them all. So if you are going to get one get that one.

The leaf of this plant contains 200 separate ingredients including: 13 Vitamins, 13 Minerals, 16 Enzymes, 21 Amino Acids, Natural Aspirin, and Acemannan (google it) but you need it to be at least 7 years old to get all that good stuff.

So when you pick your leaf how what do you do with it? Peal it as you are looking for the slimy jelly part inside which you put in the blender.

You need to peal it like this

You need to peal it like this

Its this Jelly you need. I rubbed this into my skin and it sank in straight away with no slimy residue

Its this Jelly you need. I rubbed this into my skin and it sank in straight away with no slimy residue

How to use it Internally:
Aloe Vera strengthens your immune system and detoxifies your body (it also is a gentle laxative so be careful).  have 1-2 teaspoons daily pure or mixed with a cold drink or a yoghurt.

How to use it externally:
Its a rapid skin moisturiser, it also has anti inflammatory, antibacterial, antibiotic and astringent ingredients so you can put it on a cut, a bruise a mild eczema even sunburn. It stimulates natural cell renewal and sooths irritated skin.


How to use it on your hair
Aloe vera has been used for hundreds of years on the hair. Be careful if you buy readymade products check the ingredients list as many only have a small amount of the stuff in.

Aloe is an amazing product for hair. It helps with the following: Promoting hair growth, hair loss, dandruff and itchy scalps, restoring balance to either oily or dry heads. Restoring the sheen, softness and strength of your hair and with no buildup it also combats frizz.

As a deep conditioner you can strain the blended jelly so that the white bits don’t get stuck in your hair. Then saturate your hair with it from root to tip. Put on your plastic cap and leave it on for a while or sit under the steamer with it on. Then wash it out as usual. Some people use it as well as their normal deep conditioner.

It can also be added to your spritz as a moisturier.

So that’s everything I learnt! You know I am now about to hop on Google to see if I can buy an older plant. Do you ever use Aloe Vera, how, in what form and have you found any benefits?

 

 

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Can you really reverse Grey Hair?

Just before Christmas I discovered my first grey hair. I wasn’t feeling it at all, I felt old and I wasn’t ready to be old yet. I tweeted about it where I asked my followers if I should rock it with pride or dye it. Some had been grey since their 20’s and just dye their hair or use henna; some said rock it with pride.

I actually think when a woman is all grey it’s beautiful like below  but I am not quite ready yet.

This is so beautiful though

This is so beautiful hair

 

This particular little hair was irritating me so, (she says in a small voice), I plucked it out. It is yet to return and to reassure you all, five more did not come in its place.

One follower said that she had grey hairs but she managed to reverse them with her diet of Adzuki Beans.  I had never heard of this so had to do my own research.

 

You can get them from any supermarket

You can get them from any supermarket

Well apparently people who eat these beans in their diet have reported that their grey hair has reversed, there are even shampoos made out of it.

The only thing scientific I could find was references to a study done 2005 by a Japanese company. I could not find the name.   They found that when they fed mice hot-water extract from boiled adzuki beans it stimulated the melanin production in their hair. However this was on mice.

It’s enough for me to give it a try; these beans can be bought from any supermarket and can be made into soups added to rice, salad or lots of delicious recipes.

Image Credit: azeliaskitchen.net

Made them into salads. Image credit: azeliaskitchen.net

Yum - Image from nourishingmeals.com

Make them into lovely nourishing meals. Image Credit nourishingmeals.com

Make them into soup. Image Credit breadetbutter.wordpress.com

Make them into soup. Image Credit breadetbutter.wordpress.com

They are high in soluble fibre, and rich in many different nutrients, including potassium, niacin, thiamine, riboflavin and several other members of the vitamin B family. They’re also a fantastic source of magnesium, zinc, iron, copper and manganese so to be honest, whether you want to reverse your onset of grey or not they are a fantastic thing to add to a healthy diet.  Bring on the beans..

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Seriously, planes dry out your hair! – Time to Spritz

Hello I am back and feeling fantastic, I hope you have all have been well. My next few posts will be all the things I discovered about my holiday. I have to say it was my first real natural holiday as the last one I had twists in with a little extension hair.


So first things first, the flight is around 9 hours so that dry air circulating the cabin around and around (you know the stuff that makes people catch colds) was not doing me any good. I did drink lots of water but my skin and hair was starting to get really dry in fact my scalp starting itching. For those of you that saw me the day before I had rows in the front with the back of my hair loose. But I decided to twist up the back the night before so it was not as if my hair was loose. One thing I really really needed (but didn’t have) was my spritz bottle.


So that’s Lesson 1 – Pack your spritz bottle in your hand luggage.

It would have to be a small one like this because you know they have restrictions on the way out. Make sure it has a lid because on the way back we were not allowed any liquid, gels or creams in our handbags at all! Every country has different rules.


Many naturals swear by spritizing, some even have a bottle on their desk at work. Spritzing adds moisture to your hair and scalp and you can use it on loose hair or twists. Once I started spritzing I noticed that my hair did soften up and felt great so in my spritz bottle at home I have (and I don’t measure I just put them all in a bottle and shake)




Leave in conditioner
Water (it should be distilled but I will get there one day)
Jojoba oil
Vegetable glycerine
and a few drops essential oil (At the moment its peppermint)


On my website – the video of the fortnight shows you how to make it as they use exactly the same ingredients as me.


Do you spritz?
What do you have in your spritz bottle?

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