Natural Remedies For Headaches

If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from headaches on a regular basis, this article is for you. Before you decide to reach for the medicine cabinet, try these all-natural remedies the next time you have a headache. Here are the best non-drug remedies for the three most common types of headaches.
Tension Headaches
Of the three main types of headaches, tension headaches are the most common. With this type of a headache, the muscles contract and it feels like something is literally squeezing your head. The pain can run from one ear to the other and back around. Tension headaches are usually caused by a lack of sleep and/or stress.
Natural Remedies For Tension Headaches:
Ginger Tea
Fresh ginger can easily be found at your local grocery store. Crush up no more than an inch of ginger and put it in a pot of boiling water. This homemade remedy will help reduce inflammation and ease your headache. It works just as good, if not better than an aspirin and is a completely natural plant-based remedy.
Peppermint has a plethora of all-natural solutions for the body, home, and mind.  To use peppermint oil for headaches, take the oil and apply it to your hairline. The cooling sensation created by the oil will help relax the muscles in your head and neck.
Cluster Headaches
Those who suffer from cluster headaches often describe it as an ice pack in their head. This is because the pain is very concentrated and it feels like someone is stabbing them in the head. Cluster headaches usually occur in a cluster of days, hence the name cluster headaches. They are most common in the winter.
Natural Remedies For Cluster Headaches:
Capsaicin Cream
Cayenne pepper is the main ingredient in Capsaicin cream. Put a dab on your finger and apply it to the inside of your nostril. Be sure to place it on the side where you are experiencing the pain. Once applied the cream will go to work. It works by blocking pain signals.
Chlorophyll Supplements
Chlorophyll is used by plants for photosynthesis in the process of turning carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates and oxygen. Chlorophyll supplements promote the flow of oxygen to cells, while also protecting the cells from oxidation damage and can naturally help with cluster headaches. Placing ten drops of liquid chlorophyll concentrate on the tongue several times throughout the day and then drinking some water will help with these types of headaches and can also provide natural energy to get you through the day.
Migraine Headaches
Last but not least, we will cover migraine headaches. Migraine headaches are very debilitating and can have you in bed, unable to move for extended periods of time. Migraines cause a throbbing pain to occur on one side of your head. As a result of this pain, individuals are usually sensitive to light and sound. It some cases it can even cause nausea.
Migraines can be genetic as they are found to run in certain families. The bad news, however, is women are three times more likely to have them than their male counterparts. Many experts believe migraines are a result of nerve signals being misinterpreted by the brain. Instead of interpreting them for what they really are, they interpret them as pain.
Natural Remedies For Migraine Headaches:
Acupressure Massage
Acupressure massage has been around for hundreds of years. It is an ancient Chinese healing method that centers around applying pressure to certain points on the body. The pressure is applied to help relieve pain. Doing this type of massage on yourself is very easy.
First, take your finger and place it in the groove between your first and second toe. Press firmly and apply pressure for at least three minutes. If you can, hold it for a total of 5 minutes before letting go. If you would prefer not to do this yourself, you can always go see a massage therapist.
Feverfew is an herbal supplement that comes from the sunflower family. It has been tested in clinical trials with great results. During these trials, Feverfew was shown to be a very effective treatment for migraines. It works by decreasing the amount of inflammation in the area where there is pain. When inflammation is reduced, it eliminates pressure on the nerves. As a result, the migraine starts to subside.
Changing Your Diet
As you can see, there are many different natural remedies for the various types of headaches. However, one remedy can be applied to all headaches no matter what type. That remedy is to simply change your diet because certain foods can trigger a headache.
Start paying close attention to the foods you consume on a daily basis. Keeping a journal and jotting down everything you eat for at least 7 days is helpful so you can track any specific foods that cause you to have an adverse reaction. Once you identify a pattern, you will know which foods should be removed from your diet.
I know how hard it can be to change your diet.  It is something I have personally struggled with my whole life.  I love food.  And all kinds of food, including the unhealthy kind.  One way to get started is to utilize supplements or superfood products.  Heart & Body Naturals offers amazing products that are all organic, and undergo a rigorous quality assurance process.
Some foods that have been known to trigger headaches include:
  • Wine
  • Caffeine or the lack of it once one drinks it regularly.
  • Cheese
  • Cold Cuts
Headaches can also be a result of skipping meals. Anytime you skip meals your blood sugar levels drop. The best way to prevent this is to make it a point to always eat your meals on time and never let hunger lead to a headache.
Lifestyle Changes:
There are so many things you can do in your everyday life that reduce harsh impacts to your body, reduce stress and create a state of homeostasis in the body that helps reduce inflammation that could be leading to your headaches.
Reduce Exposure to Harsh Chemicals
You would be shocked at how harmful the products you use every day are to you and your family.  Check out my article, ‘Keep Your Family Healthy and Reduce the Risk of Illness‘ to learn more about how these chemicals harm your body and how they may be causing headaches and pain.
Take a daily CBD Supplement
CBD is a nutrient of sorts, that is derived from hemp.  It has no side effects and helps promote homeostasis in the body.  It has been proven to reduce or eliminate symptoms of pain and can reduce inflammation in the body that could be contributing to your headaches.  To learn more about CBD, click here for my online web store.

The Health Advantages of Meditation

When meditation was first suggested to me to help tame my anxiety, the practice seemed near impossible.  I started with guided meditations to try and get the hang of it, and opened up a whole new world of self-healing.
How Meditation Works
Practice makes perfect with meditation.  At first, it might just seem like you are sitting alone, trying to not think about your meeting later this afternoon or what you need to pick up from the grocery store tomorrow.  In the beginning, it’s more about building the habit and creating a ritual.  Your skill will grow in time and practice, but the first step is to actually establish the practice.
People often use certain postures, breathing techniques, and even chants to help facilitate the process, but these are not required, and they are not the act of meditation itself, just support tools.  If you use the Mindspace app, they talk about counting your breath.  By counting, you are not completely clearing your mind, but you are focusing intently on something that you can come back to when last night’s episode of The Bachelorette pops into your thoughts.
It is not as easy as you may think. Achieving a profound, deep sense of self, a “thoughtless alertness,” requires guidance at first.  I suggest starting with guided meditations so you can build a habit and get used to breathing and focusing.
Specific Ways That Meditation Improves Health
Meditation one of the very best ways to reduce stress.  Stress is linked to a whole host of health issues and according to the Benson Henry Institute, 60-90% of doctor visits are for conditions that are caused by stress.  Harvard University researchers conducted a study that connects deep relaxation to genetic changes in the body.
They found that “disease-fighting genes” are more active in people who regularly practice meditation, compared with people in the control group.
These genes protect the body against a number of health issues, including:
  • Heart Disease
  • Asthma
  • Infertility
  • Arthritis
  • Various skin conditions
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Meditation even helps to boost immunity, and studies show that cancer patients have recovered more effectively due to meditation and are less at risk for developing another tumor.
  • The benefits of stress reduction cannot be overstated.
Meditation makes the body less responsive to stress hormones, which lowers blood pressure, improves blood circulation, improves digestion and immunity, and establishes an emotional and neurological “balance.”
How does this work exactly?
It largely comes down to hormones. Stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline increase blood pressure and heart rate, while “feel good” chemicals such as serotonin, which are released in a state of relaxation, work to repair cells.
More Health Boosting Benefits Of Meditation
  • According to the Benson-Henry Institute, Chronic pain patients reduce their physician visits by 36% when they practice regular meditation.
  • The Journal of Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, a journal of the American Heart Association, reported in their 2012 issue that a 5-year study on patients who had coronary heart disease found a 48% reduction in deaths, heart attacks, and strokes in those subjects who regularly practiced Transcendental Meditation versus those who did not.
  • An analysis of a controlled trial, published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine on October 2013 reported a significantly greater effect of Transcendental Meditation in reducing anxiety over conventional medical treatments and other forms of meditation and relaxation practices.
  • According to Behavioral Medicine, Volume 16, a 50% reduction in visits to HMO doctors was found when a relaxation-response based practice, like meditation, is used.


How To Incorporate Meditation Into Your Life
Here are ideas for incorporating meditation into your own life. Beginners should focus on numbers 1 and 2, and over time experiment with the other ideas.
  1. Participate In A Group Class. You may be able to find a class in your community specifically dedicated to meditation, but due to popular culture, it may be easier to find a yoga class that heavily focuses on meditation, such as Kundalini Yoga or Ananda Yoga. Many people prefer taking these classes long-term as opposed to meditating by themselves because the group setting helps them to better focus or because they enjoy the sense of community.
  2. Use A Video To Guide Your Meditation. Some meditation videos can be found for free online, such as through YouTube, or you can order a professional DVD or online subscription. If you prefer a mix of yoga and meditation, the best types of yoga to focus on include Kundalini, Ananda, Jivamukti, and Integral.
  3. Devote 20+ Minutes In The Morning Or Evening. Research shows that just 20 minutes of consistent meditation sessions can have tremendous health benefits. Make time before your day starts or before you go to bed to meditate. Some people find that their minds are clearer at these times.
  4. Use Free Time To Meditate In Nature. Many people find that sitting in nature – under a tree, on top of a mountain, or in a quiet place in the sunshine – helps them to facilitate the meditation process. It’s also a great way to get outside for Vitamin D.
  5. Meditate While At Work. This is certainly the most difficult way to meditate because distractions at work can interrupt the process, but many people have been able to achieve a state of meditation while performing job duties. Talk about being dedicated to the cause!
Everyone is different. Experiment with different ways of meditating to see what you like and what comes easiest for you. Also, try experimenting at different times of the day and for different periods of time, but aim for at least 20 minutes to reap the most benefit. The health effects on your body are well worth the effort!
If you are interested in learning more about meditation, self-healing, holistic modalities, metaphysics and women’s wellness become a member of The Matriarch Collaborative for events, workshops and content to help you  heal.
Ivory Couple Cross Lines Wedding Pinterest Graphic

Keep Your Family Healthy and Naturally Reduce the Risk of Illness

In the last year, several people I love, have been affected by cancer personally or they have lost someone close to them as a result of this terrible, deadly disease. It’s an unpleasant reminder that tomorrow is not promised.
With so much talk about all natural products and their benefits, I had to find out for myself why this was so important. The more research I have done, I have learned that what these chemicals and pollutants are doing, is changing the way our cells react within our bodies. This weakens our immune systems which leave us at risk for illness.
I am currently on a mission to learn and experience as much as I can about keeping myself and my family healthy. I want to share what I am learning with other families so we all have the opportunity to keep our bundles of joy happy and healthy.
Healthy families = a healthier world for everyone.
So here are the details…
What Are Free Radicals?
An oxygen free radical is a molecule containing oxygen, that has at least one unpaired electron. This isolated electron makes the molecule extremely reactive with other molecules inside the body. They scavenge for molecules to share their unpaired electron with, which creates molecular fusions. These fusions alter the structure and function of the cells they are reacting with.
I know, it’s all super scientific. I have found some great videos that help explain this and posted them in The Matriarch Community Facebook Group – request to join by clicking this link.
Keep reading below this very scientific infographic…
So as you can see, free radicals create a reaction with a healthy cell and when there is a lack of antioxidants present, the excess of free radicals leaves your body at risk of Oxidative Stress.
What Is Damaged By Oxidative Stress?
When free radicals start creating a chain reaction with healthy cells and there aren’t enough antioxidants in the body to prevent the reaction, you experience oxidative stress.
This stress can create a slew of health conditions.  Some of these include inflammatory diseases, heart attacks, heart failure, atherosclerosis, blood vessel disorders, fragile X syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, cancers, genetic mutations, and neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s dementia and Parkinson’s disease.
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants provide free radicals something to bind to, in a much safer way than binding with our healthy cells. In the absence of antioxidants, the healthy cell is exposed to serious damage, including becoming cancerous.
Antioxidants take one for the team and protect your essential cells from being attacked and taken over by free radicals.
Here are a couple of things I am doing now to better protect myself and my family against free radicals and oxidative stress. Antioxidants can come in many forms like supplements and food. You can also reduce the risk of exposure to chemicals that can leave you more susceptible to oxidative stress.
1. Supplements – One of the supplements I am currently taking is derived from the hemp plant and provides a full spectrum of compounds that have been shown to improve things like anxiety, depression and sleep issues.  It is even used to treat many serious issues like epilepsy and some autoimmune diseases.  It has all natural pain treatments that are safe and non-habit forming.  If you want to learn more about the CBD oil that I prefer and the benefits I have experienced, learn more by clicking this link.
2.  Clean and Natural Products – It is inevitable that we will be exposed to harmful chemicals and free radicals.  They are everywhere.  You can walk outside here in California and just immediately feel all the toxins in the air.  Prevention is key and can be achieved by protecting your body and making it as a strong and healthy as possible.  Heart & Body Naturals is a company I am partnered with and they literally speak to my soul with their products.  They have essential oils, CBD Oil, Supplements, Health Products and so much more.  By using these science backed and curated products regularly, you can support your body being in tip top shape to fight against free radicals and avoid illness, preserve your youth and just feel all around great.  Click here to check it out.  
3.  Eating more foods that are antioxidant-rich:


I have to sneak in the fact that coffee (yes, coffee!) is also an antioxidant, but that’s another topic – 10 Reasons To Drink Coffee Every Day.
What Are Some Oxidants you should avoid?
You will find these ingredients in more of the products you use everyday than you will actually believe. From cleaning supplies to face wash and shampoo. A lot of these on the shelf products in stores have these chemicals that are harmful to our body. There are several types of oxidants, including the following:
  • O2- (superoxide anion) This is an oxygen molecule that has one extra electron. It is a part of the electron transport chain. While it isn’t very reactive, it can release the iron from ferritin and from iron-sulfur proteins.
  • H2O2 or hydrogen peroxide This is formed by the dismutation of O2- or by the direct reduction of the oxygen molecule. It can diffuse across cell membranes, as it is lipid soluble.
  • OH- or Hydroxyl radical This is formed by decomposition of peroxynitrite and the Fenton reaction. It is extremely reactive, being able to attack most cellular components.
  • ROOH or organic hydroperoxide This is formed by reactions with cellular structures, such as DNA and lipids inside the cells.
  • RO or ROO These are organic radicals that have oxygen-centered in them. Lipids participate in lipid peroxidation reactions. It is produced along with O2 by the radical addition to hydrogen abstraction or by radical addition to double bonds.
  • HOCl or hypochlorous acid This is formed by a reaction between myeloperoxidase and hydrogen peroxide. It is highly reactive and lipid soluble, meaning that it can cross cell membranes.
  • ONOO- or peroxynitrite This is formed in a reaction between oxygen and nitrous oxide. It is soluble in lipids and is as reactive as hypochlorous acid.

To learn more about health and wellness, check out our women’s members only events, workshops and content that are meant to  inspire prosperity and self-care for women.

10 Reasons To Drink Coffee Every Day

Do we really need 10 reasons? Morning is enough of a reason for me!
There is really nothing better than the sweet smell and taste of coffee in the morning.
Each day my initial motivation lies within that cup.
54% of Americans drink coffee daily; but is it safe to drink coffee every day?
Let’s take a look at 10 reasons you should drink coffee on the daily:
1. Coffee Is Rich In Antioxidants
Antioxidants are your body’s first line of defense against rogue free radicals that leave your body more susceptible to illness and aging. I am currently focused on replacing any harmful products in our home that expose our family to free radicals, for safer and healthier brands. I was excited to find out the online wellness shopping club I am a part of, carries an awesome line of premium coffee.  Let me know if you want to learn more.
2. Coffee Can Reduce Your Risk Of Developing Diabetes
Over 9% of American’s now have diabetes, and the number one factor behind its development is a poor diet and overall bad lifestyle choices. According to the American Diabetes Association, it is the 7th leading cause of death.
Although drinking too much coffee is itself a bad lifestyle choice, drinking a couple of cups daily is not only okay, it also reduces your risk of developing diabetes.
Scientists at Harvard School of Public Health evaluated data from 128,000 healthcare professionals who were surveyed about their diet choices for more than 20 years. During those two decades, 7,300 of them were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, but the ones who drank more than one cup of coffee daily had an 11% lower risk for the disease.
One thing to worry about with this is the creamers and sugars you are using in your cup of joe. I use Stevia quite a bit in my coffee to curb the sweet tooth.
3. Coffee Can Prevent Cavities
One main health benefit of coffee is that it decreases tooth decay. Several studies have shown that roasted coffee beans are antibacterial against the S. mutans, the bacterium that causes tooth decay.
Studies also show that roasted coffee prevents the absorption of such bacteria by the teeth. In the studies, various types of coffee beans were used, both roasted and unroasted, Arabia and Robusta and while all of them provided similar benefits, the roasted varieties seemed to be more active in preventing bacteria from sticking to the teeth.
Wow, the more you know!
4. Coffee May Reduce Your Risk Of Developing Alzheimer’s
The cases of Alzheimer’s disease are growing at a scary rate, but there are preventative measures you can take to lower your risk and drinking coffee is one of them. By blocking inflammation in the brain and having natural positive memory and brain function impacts, drinking coffee can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in older adults.
5. Coffee Improves Your Mood
Coffee contains caffeine, a nootropic that improves your mood and cognitive functioning. In short, it makes you more alert, but it also boosts your mood.
This is especially noticeable if you’ve been drinking coffee each day for a year and suddenly stop. You might experience a downshift in your mood, and only by drinking more coffee are you able to raise your spirits.
6. Coffee Is Good For Your Liver
Avoid alcohol and drink more coffee is the advice here. While the former can damage your liver beyond repair, the latter just wants to protect it.
7. Coffee Could Prevent Skin Cancer
Skin cancer is now one of the fastest growing cancers in the world, and more and more people each year are being diagnosed with it.
There are things you can do to cut your risk, and this includes drinking more coffee. Scientists have theorized that caffeine is responsible for this, though no final conclusion has yet been reached.
8. Coffee Improves Your Cardiovascular Health
We’re always being told that coffee is bad for our heart.
True, too much coffee is bad for your heart. If you drank 30 cups a day, as the great French writer Balzac was reported to have done, you are putting yourself at massive risk of having a heart attack. However, if you drink coffee each day in moderation, you can actually improve the health of your heart.
9. Coffee Strengthens Your DNA
You might be wondering why you’d need to strengthen your DNA. But why wouldn’t you?
DNA strands can break. To prevent this rather alarming thing from happening all too often, you could drink more coffee, as caffeine tightens DNA integrity.
10. And, Yes, Coffee Could Help You Live Longer
Okay, let’s expand on that carrot at the top of this article. We’ll let Ming Ding, M.D. explain this one:
“Bioactive compounds in coffee reduce insulin resistance and systematic inflammation. They might be responsible for the inverse association between coffee and mortality. However, more studies are needed to investigate the biological mechanisms producing these effects.”
So just in case you needed a reason, a cup of joe a day helps keep the doctor away!

Intro to Bullet Journaling

One of my favorite self-care activities is bullet journaling.  I have had an obsession with notebooks, writing utensils and stationary for my entire life, so finding a hobby that utilized all these lovely things was extremely appealing.  What I didn’t realize when I started in the craft, was how significantly it would help me stay organized.
In bullet journaling, you are essentially combining all of your thoughts, finances, schedules, to-do lists, and miscellaneous life notes into a journal.  I have seen a few approaches to it.  I use multiple journals (one for work, one for my blog) and then compile each of these into one journal at the end of the week.  I do something called a ‘brain dump’ several times throughout the week, so it is necessary for me to bring all of that madness together at the end of each week.
Benefits of Bullet Journaling
Remember, there is really no right or wrong way to bullet journal.  I am a part of several Facebook groups in the BuJo community, and everyone has a different approach.  Some get super fancy and decorative.  Some are amazingly artistic and some use a bullet journal to organize and prioritize in a minimalist and strictly functional way. It is supposed to make life easier for you, not more difficult, so don’t be pressured to do it any way that isn’t natural to you.
Here are some different ways you can benefit by having a bullet journal:
  • Everything is in one place – First of all, all your different to-do lists, schedules, and notes can be kept in a place where they can be revisited. A lot of bullet journals such as the Leuchtturm1917, come with an index so you can organize your topics or page spreads.
Bullet Journal
A shot of my contents page in my Leuchtturm1917 bullet journal.
  • It is easy to do – A bullet journal is also very easy to put together. All you need is a cup of coffee, a notebook and a pen to get started.  Some people chunk their Bujo’s into spreads by month, week and day.  I usually try to get a new notebook started at the beginning of a new week.  I create a weekly overview with my schedule and goals for that week and then brain dump on my daily pages.  At the end of the week, I go through each brain dump and create a weekly summary to organize my thoughts and prioritize my tasks for the following week.
  • Trackers and Trending – Since you are writing in the bullet journal daily, you are able to track your habits and see what needs to change. I have seen some awesome and really artistic trackers out there.  Mood trackers and weight trackers are really common. My daughter and I set a goal at the beginning of the summer to go to the pool at least every other day.  I track our visits in my bullet journal so we can look back and see if we achieved our goal. (This has also helped with getting chores done and good behavior!)
  • List Making – I love making lists.  Not just to-do lists but all kinds of lists.  Most recently, I have started creating pages with a list header, noting the list title in my index, and then adding to these lists over time.  I have been doing this quite a bit for keeping track of my blog developments. Here is an example:

    Bullet Journal Blog Post Ideas
    Example of a List Header Page.
Choosing the Journal
There are a couple of things to consider when picking a journal.  My first bullet journal, I picked up from a local bookstore.  It was the only one I could find that had the dotted pages and wasn’t over $20.  It actually turned out to be a great journal.  The pages were thick which was a must have for me in the beginning.  It helped me easily cover any mistakes.  Journals with a lot of ghosting (or ink showing through the pages) can be unforgiving, so in the beginning, I would recommend getting a thicker page.
Also, look for one that can stay closed when needed, but when you open to individual pages, the spine isn’t so tight that it is hard to write in it.  Having the flexibility to bend the covers back on either side was a huge gain for me when I upgraded to my Leuchttrum1917.  Because of the quality of this Bujo, I can be more flexible with it and know its quality will withstand my frequent use.  I also really like the journals that come with pockets either in the front or the back.  You can store keepsakes here or travel souvenirs as you journal about your experiences.
Components of a Bullet Journal
Here are some components to try and include in your bullet journal:
  • Index – Every bullet journal should preferably have an index. This lets you know where different sections of the journal are located, such as grocery and meal planning, or finances so you can easily locate them and add to them later. Being able to pull out an old bullet journal and quickly find what I’m looking for by checking the index has helped me stay organized and keep track of all of life’s projects.
  • Page numbers – Naturally, since you have an index, you also need to have page numbers. Some people like to create their own numbered pages.  For me, I need things ready to go out of the box. The less preparation I have to do, the faster I can get started. The Leuchtturm1917 comes just how I like it, with the pages already numbered.
  • Signifiers – Signifiers are symbols that you assign to different types of notes. I utilize signifiers by creating a shape for my tasks, delegated tasks, ideas, notes, and meetings.  I then update each task by using a check mark to signify it is completed, a strike through for a canceled item, an arrow to signify an item that moved from a previous list (maybe something I didn’t have a chance to finish the day before) or something that needs to be moved to next week. The most important thing with signifiers is using something that is familiar and workable for you.  You don’t want to spend more time trying to remember what your signifiers mean, than actually using them.
The best part about a bullet journal is there is no wrong way to do it.  It is all about staying organized and keeping your thoughts and genius ideas all in one place.  It helps you stay focused and can encourage mindfulness in what you are utilizing your energy on while creating quiet time for yourself to reflect (which is something we can ALL use more of).
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