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Ways to Keep Your Immune System Healthy During COVID-19

aloe hand sanitizer

 

By now, we have all familiarized ourselves with two effective ways to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus: washing your hands thoroughly and avoiding high-risk points like your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Washing with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds helps eliminate what may be already on your hands. If you don’t wash your hands, the virus can be transferred to the respiratory system by touching your face.

In addition to the above precautions, here are some important steps you can take to try to ensure you stay feeling well in both body and environment.

 

Eat Right 

Fruits and vegetables should be your best friend right now! Choosing prebiotic and probiotic foods will help your body produce healthy gut flora for better digestion and regularity. Eating foods rich in micronutrients (particularly Vitamin A, C and E) and zinc will also help keep the immune system functioning properly.

 

Get Proper Rest

Did you know sleep is crucial in fighting off infectious diseases? It can also help quicken the recovery process if you were to become infected. Your immune system releases proteins, known as cytokines, while you sleep. Cytokines must increase while you are sick to fight infections and inflammation. 

During periods of inadequate sleeping, those antibodies are reduced in the body. Make sure to get your required sleep to keep your immune system prepared to face an attack.

 

Exercise Regularly 

A healthy immune system often relies on a healthy amount of exercise. When you move your body, it allows bacteria to be flushed from your lungs and airways. Antibodies and white blood cells circulate more rapidly during times of exercise and could potentially cause a faster discovery of the bacteria. Additionally, the brief rise in temperature during a workout could help kill bacteria (similar to the effect of having a fever).  Maybe give some of these a try.  

 

Stay Hydrated

Ensuring your body is properly hydrated is good for more than just battling dehydration symptoms. Hydration helps the mucus membrane and reduces irritation from coughing, sneezing, and breathing. Help your body flush out toxins and perform at peak shape by drinking lots of water throughout the day. Learn how you can get your vitamins while staying hydrated.

 

Use Proper Hygiene

Washing your hands is key, but there are other hygiene measures to employ. Make sure to shower regularly and scrub your skin, as the virus could be on other parts of the body. Wash your clothes often to keep them clean as well. Sneeze and cough into your elbow to avoid air droplets containing the virus to spread more easily.

 

Utilize Social Distancing

Avoid large gatherings and crowds during this period of time. If you do have to leave your home for work, grocery shopping, or a doctor’s appointment, please maintain a safe distance of six feet from other people. Social distancing allows us to “flatten the curve” and cut down on potential exposure.

 

How To Make Hand Sanitizer At Home

It’s no secret the spread of COVID-19 has caused a serious strain on the availability of hand sanitizer. Fortunately, there are safe and effective ways to make your own with just a few simple ingredients. Before you stress about those empty shelves, see below for our method of making your own personal-use hand sanitizer for times of need.

 

Important Safety Tips

As a reminder, washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds is the most effective way to rid your hands of germs. Hand sanitizer is primarily meant to be to be used when you do not have access to soap and water.

Make sure you are following the recipe exactly. Improper balances could result in injury. All tools used to make the sanitizer must be properly sanitized or you risk contaminating the gel.

Hand sanitizer requires a minimum of 60% alcohol to be effective. 

 

How to Make Hand Sanitizer Gelly

You need three ingredients to make your hand sanitizer. These items are found at your local store or through online ordering.

The isopropyl or rubbing alcohol will be one of the key ingredients. The 99% alcohol ensures germs and viruses are killed when applied to your hands. Aloe vera gel is an emollient that keeps your hands moisturized in order for the alcohol not to dry out your skin. Essential oils (ie. tea tree, lavender, etc.) provide a nice bit of fragrance and potential anti-microbial benefits to the sanitizer. 

To create the mixture, grab these items out of your cupboard.

  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Liquid Measuring Cup
  • Funnel
  • Bottle (To place mixture into when done)

Please make sure all items used to create the gel are sanitized. Contaminating your mixture will render it ineffective.

 

7 Simple Steps

  1. Take your liquid measuring cup and pour a 3/4 cup of 99% Isopropyl Alcohol into your mixing bowl.
  2. Measure 1/4 cup of 99% Aloe Gelly and combine with the alcohol in the mixing bowl. 
  3. Whisk the alcohol-aloe mixture for at least a minute, making sure to combine the gelly and alcohol thoroughly.
  4. Add a few drops of your tea tree or lavender essential oil to the mixture.
  5. Take your funnel, place it into your bottle, then pour the sanitizer inside.
  6. Make sure to label your bottle as hand sanitizer so no one mistakes it as something else.
  7. Let your bottles rest for 72 hours

 

After you are finished creating the sanitizer, it is important to let the bottles rest. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends you “place the bottles in quarantine for 72 hours before use. This allows time for any spores present in the alcohol or the new/reused bottles to be destroyed.”

 

At-Home Health

Once your bottles have rested for 72 hours, you are free to use your new hand sanitizer! 

Lily of the Desert is the #1 seller of aloe vera products in the natural products industry. All of our products feature Aloesorb™, our patent-pending nutrient delivery system that gives a bigger boost to the naturally-derived benefits of aloe vera.

Use our 99% Aloe Vera Gelly for your next batch of homemade hand sanitizer and take care of yourself over the coming weeks!

Holiday Detox Smoothie Recipe

Detox Smoothie Recipe with Aloe

 

The Holiday season is upon us, and with it comes wonderful time spent with friends and family, eating delicious foods and treats piled on top of each other in ginormous mounds, forcing us to loosen a few buttons on our pants.  We all do it, even though we know we shouldn’t and it is not good for us to pile on the calories like that, but it only comes a couple times a year, so we just let ourselves go.  But then the guilt comes; “Why did I have 3 helpings of stuffing ladled on top of mashed potatoes?!”.  But with all the goodies that come during a holiday meal, it is easy to get way off course. Our bodies are in overload, shocked that they could fit that much food into one meal.  You need to bring balance back your system so that it can go back to absorbing the necessary nutrients to keep you healthy.  Time to detox.

Toxins play a big role in keeping your cells from absorbing nutrients when they need them, causing your body to have oxidative stress and be more susceptible to illness.  And this time of year, with cooler temps and everyone else around us getting sick, we have to keep our health in check even more.

Here is a simple recipe for a detox smoothie that includes our Aloe Vera Juice made with Aloesorb that has been clinically proven to help reduce toxins in the body.

LILY DETOX SMOOTHIE

-1 apple, cored and roughly chopped

-1/2 of a cucumber

-3 stalks of celery

-1 slice of avocado

-1 cup of spinach or other leafy greens

-Squeeze of a Lemon

2 ounces of Lily of the Desert Preservative Free Whole Leaf Aloe Vera Juice

Add items to blender and blend until smooth.  Ice and cilantro optional.

 

FIND OUR ALOE VERA JUICE NEAR YOU!

 

 

Sugar Crash and Burn

Like it or not, the candy-coated Halloween festivities are over and November is here. If you are like me, you may or may not have over-indulged in a few too many spooky s’mores sandwiches or poisoned caramel apples. (I know how you feel … I also was under some kind of “Just One More” spell over the past few days.) This weekend is a great opportunity to consider how your general health is faring in the wake of all those enchanting treats. But don’t just stop there — take the next week to focus on adding nutritious antioxidants to your diet that will help kick any bad-health juju to the curb.

Antioxidants are a key part of helping to defend our bodies’ cells against damage. On a day-to-day basis, our bodies come into contact with a wide variety of elements that, when left to build up in excess in our bodies, can have an adverse effect on our health. Lily of the Desert’s aloe vera juices and gels are clinically proven to reduce nitrates and ammonias by 11%. Reducing these from the body will allow room for more nutrients and benefits to be taken in by the cells, helping to maintain normal balance in the body. Our Aloe Herbal Detox Formula is a special blend of certified organic aloe vera and trusted herbs that are known to aid the body in this detoxification process.

How else can you boost your antioxidant levels? Add more fruit and vegetables to your diet. The three major antioxidant vitamins are beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E, which means that when you’re in the produce section, be on the lookout for colorful fruits and vegetables, especially those with purple, blue, red, orange, and yellow hues. Need a head start on what to take home? We’ve got you covered…

detoxifying foods for a balanced diet

Trick? More Like a Treat.

Happy Aloe-ween from Lily of the DesertI’ve never been much of a Halloween person. Some people look forward to this holiday all year-round. Me? I could take it or leave it. But this year I have, for whatever reason, gotten a little more into the spirit. I’ve also decided to throw a spooktacular little get together this weekend for some friends and their kids. As the party draws nearer, the time has come for one of my favorite things — putting together the menu. It’s going to be pretty casual, so I’m not looking to make the fanciest hors d’oeuvres on the block. And while I do want to invoke the hallowed holiday theme, I definitely have no interest in pouring a bag of mini candy bars into a bowl and calling it food. That’s why I’ve decided to put my own healthy spin on a recipe for pumpkin cookies.

The best thing about these cookies is that you don’t have to feel tricked into giving them as a treat. These fall cookies will delight anyone at the party, especially when they find out how natural the ingredients are. This recipe should yield around 40 cookies, and each cookie is approximately 50 calories a pop, so you can feel good about sharing it with the adult and kid guests. Eat it and weep, guys. Welcome to your new addiction.

Spiced White Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies
2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Allspice
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla
1/8 tsp Salt
1 Cup Organic Pumpkin Puree
1/2 Cup Organic Applesauce (unsweetened)
1 Cup Good White Chocolate Baking Chips (or semi-sweet if you prefer)
1 Cup Chopped Raw Walnuts

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, applesauce, and vanilla. Stir in pumpkin and set aside. In another bowl combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and powder, salt, cinnamon, and allspice. Add slowly into wet mixture and mix well. Last, fold in the nuts and chocolate bits. Finally, drop by spoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet and bake for 18 to 22 minutes.

Looking for some creative and healthy treats for your Halloween event? Let these inspire you:
http://spoonful.com/halloween/best-halloween-recipes-gallery
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/holly-b-clegg/halloween-healthy-snacks_b_1024201.html

Achy Breaky Parts

Lily of the Desert's blog Aloe TodayWho doesn’t love fall—the colors change and the temperatures finally cool down.  But many of us actually feel the weather changes down to our bones with the occasional muscle and joint pain that colder weather brings. No matter the age, our bodies naturally experience wear and tear that can really be a setback in our daily routine.

This pain can often involve more than one muscle or joint, and can be caused by many different types of injuries or conditions. But you can look to nature to find a helpful remedy.  Aloe vera naturally offers a soothing effect to inflamed tissues, not to mention that eight of the amino acids found in aloe gel have natural anti-inflammatory properties, as well as several of its enzymes.

We always think of Aloe vera as a summertime necessity, slathering it on our sun-kissed skin after a too-long afternoon in the garden or at the seaside. In reality, aloe has also long been a natural source of aid to non-chronic joint and muscle pain. According to a published study, researchers in Korea claim that Aloe vera showed strong antioxidant effects and potentially blocked pain messages.

If you find yourself needing to take a break because your muscle and joint pain is slowing you down, consider mixing 2 ounces of Lily of the Desert’s Aloe vera Juice in with your morning glass of orange juice.  Aloe vera naturally has 200 nutrients, including essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals and enzymes that help keep your body healthy, and our polysaccharide-rich enhancement Aloesorb will help amplify those benefits, so that you’re not giving up the things in life that you want to do.

 

Orange You Glad It’s October?

Pumpkins are a healthy seasonal addition to your balanced lifestyle.I don’t know about you, but around here pumpkins become a staple this time of year — and for good reason. They’re beautiful to look at, a healthy and versatile ingredient to use, and better yet … they’re so much fun to play with! (More on that in a later post.) As we barrel full-speed ahead into October, let’s take a moment and exercise some appreciation for the humble vine vegetable that truly symbolizes this season.

Pumpkins are members of the cucurbit (gourd) family, which includes other fall harvest favorites like squash, cucumbers, luffas, and melons. As a matter of fact, the word “pumpkin” originated from the Greek word “Pepõn,” which means “large melon.” They are thought to have originated in the ancient Americas, and once corn was introduced there, farmers began practicing an early form of sustainable agriculture using the “Three Sisters” method of farming*.

There is evidence to suggest that Native Americans used pumpkin in a multitude of ways to keep them fed through the long, cold winters: they dried strips of pumpkin and wove them into mats; they roasted long strips on the open fire and ate them; they ate the seeds and used them as a medicine; the blossoms were added to stews; and they even dried pumpkin to later be ground into flour. Perhaps most fascinating is that the origin of pumpkin pie can be traced all the way back to the 17th century when Natives and colonists sliced off the pumpkin top, removed the seeds, filled the insides with milk, spices and honey, and then baked it in hot ashes. It kind of makes you feel like that old saying, “as American as apple pie” should be amended, right?

Fast forward to today. Take a look at a pumpkin and what’s the first thing you notice? It’s iconic and vibrant orange hue. The beautiful color is a telltale sign that these puppies are loaded to the stems with beta-carotene. Not only that, but pumpkins are low in calories, fat, and sodium, high in fiber — (those are magical words, aren’t they?) — and they’re good sources of Vitamin A, Vitamin B, potassium, protein, and iron. A pumpkin’s seeds are an excellent source of dietary fiber and monounsaturated fatty acids, which are good for heart health. In addition, the seeds are concentrated sources of protein, minerals, and health-benefiting vitamins and are an excellent source of the amino acid tryptophan, which is converted to GABA  in the brain.

If there’s anything to be learned here today, it’s this: the pumpkin is good for more than just sitting on your front porch awaiting it’s doomed fate come November 1. Take a note from its resourceful past and discover the many delicious ways you can incorporate it into your diet. Need some help finding a recipe that suits you? These websites have enough healthy dish ideas to feed you through the month of October, and then some:

*Interested in starting your own Three Sisters Garden next spring? Read about it here.