January has been a month of planning for me, a time to ground and centre, allow my mind to wander as I consider what I want to create and experience this year and make note of what inspires me as well as what action I need to take.
I love to try new products that support my health as well as rediscover those I have previously enjoyed and forgotten about or was unsure of and now feel called to use again. Whether these are beauty items, food products, homewares, self realisation books or recordings, I think it is helpful to share what I have come across as it might speak to or inspire a need or want in your life. *Some products have affiliate links. °Some products in this post were gifted.
Here is what I have been loving in January:
In aromatherapy, mint is used for its restorative benefits, to clear tension and enhance clarity and focus. This naturally sweet blend of ethically sourced peppermint, spearmint and fieldmint leaves is grounding, cleansing, purifying and uplifting, perfect at the end of the day to calm and relax, hydrate and aid digestion or throughout the day for energy and alertness.
Pukka Herbs are fairtrade, fair wild, carbon neutral and part of 1% for the planet and B Corporation. Their plastic free tea bags have two chambers to allow the full potency of the herbs in their teas to be released and their flavours to be dispersed which means one bag of this delicious mint can make a whole pot of tea when left to brew.
I love molasses, I feel it is a good source of iron for me and I am energised when I include a tablespoon a day in my diet which I have felt called to this past month. Of course, every body is different and we all have unique and ever changing physical requirements so if molasses doesn’t make sense for you, don’t eat it.
Molasses is a syrup that is made when sugar cane is processed to create sugar. Separated from the granules, it is a natural byproduct of traditional sugar cane production that contains many essential minerals and nutrients. This molasses is made from the most nutritionally important third extraction which is the lowest in sugar and has the highest concentration of minerals.
When I first became interested in organic and raw foods many years ago I was stunned to find out how some of my favourites foods, including olives, were treated in order to be sold. Strange and frightening sounding chemicals were used to ripen and prepare many of the foods I enjoyed so I was relieved to find that there were companies processing these foods naturally and organically.
With an emphasis on quality, sustainability, education and community, Sunfood Superfoods bring to market raw and natural foods of optimum nutrition that taste amazing and that I feel are trustworthy. Their delicious and succulent pitted Peruvian black Botija olives are certified organic and fully raw, naturally ripe, hand selected, sea salt cured and dried at low temperatures using no chemicals or preservatives.
Oranges are in season during the winter months and as nature is so adept at providing for our needs, we often find we are drawn to more vitamin C rich foods at this time. During winter, oranges are sweet and full of juice and brightness which we crave when the days are short and dark.
Oranges are antioxidant rich and provide anti inflammatory, antiviral and antimicrobial support. They are a good source of calcium, potassium, B vitamins and fibre and orange zest can act as an anti histamine and anti inflammatory.
Over a decade ago I stopped using conventional toothpaste and since then have been on the hunt for a product that would clean and support my teeth whilst not compromising my health in any other area. After much experimentation, I have ended up almost where I began with a toothpaste I used and loved until I read that glycerin should be avoided in oral health care. Although I would prefer a product that is organic and does not contain carrageenan which can have adverse health effects, I have now come back to this toothpaste, deciding to ignore the advice about glycerin because my mouth is happy with it.
You must follow the advice that resonates best with you but after trying all oil toothpastes, herbal toothpastes and even just kitchen ingredients, I have come back to this calcium rich toothpaste which is free from GMOs, sls, preservatives, artificial colors and sweeteners, propylene glycol and gluten and made with blue green algae to naturally strengthen teeth and gums, spearmint and parsley extracts for cleaning and freshness and a blend of natural polishers and stain fighting botanicals including bamboo powder and silica to help prevent tartar build up while gently brightening.
Apart from my toothpaste, this conditioner is the only product I use that is not organic and I use it because I trust that it is natural enough, it works wonderfully, is extremely long lasting and vegan, fragrance, paraben, sulphate and gluten free.
Enriched with Australian avocado, shea butter, macadamia and jojoba oils combined with antioxidants, vitamin B5 and oat protein, this mild and gentle conditioner is anti inflammatory, soothing, healing, hydrating for scalp and hair and non comedogenic. I can water it down for use as I have fine hair and it still works wonderfully.
I have been using the sea buckthorn oil free version of this home made, beautifully scented, moisturising body oil as a face serum this month and not only is it quickly absorbed, immediately hydrating and extremely nourishing, it leaves my skin soft, smooth and fragrant and blemish free.
For someone with sensitive skin I have always had to be mindful of the products I use and to discover that this blend works so well for me, evens skin tone and leaves my skin glowing and healthy has been a very welcome revelation.
I first read this book around five years ago and was drawn to it again this month. Adaptogens are frequently included in products from tea to skin care with brands promising improvements in every area from these miracle ingredients. Adaptogens and their tonics have been used for centuries to support the body’s stress response and balance and improve mental and physical health and as they become increasingly popular in helping the modern world cope with a fast paced lifestyle, information that explains what they are and how to use them is essential. This book offers a concise yet interesting history of these herbs before discussing extraction and elixir methods for recipes that include extracts, teas, snacks and syrups with information on how to tailor recipes to suit individual needs.
Adaptogens are not just useful for helping us deal with life but when incorporated into our everyday diets, can help us thrive. Non toxic and safe for long term use, adaptogens can increase vitality and restore and revitalise health. Notes on the safety of herbs and their dosages is helpful and insightful. Noveille warns that whilst these herbs have excellent properties, they must be taken in moderation, treated with respect and are not a substitute for self care practices. Eating well and sleeping enough are still priorities and these herbs should not be relied upon to replace the body’s basic needs. Rather they compliment a healthy lifestyle and aid wellbeing when health is monitored for signs of change and need.