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Sheep placenta is thought to boost collagen.Photo / Thinkstock

Sheep placenta is thought to boost collagen.Photo / Thinkstock

Eating the placenta after giving birth is not a new phenomenon but using the organ for a facial is one of the latest beauty trends in Hollywood.

Los Angeles dermatologist Annie Chiu says the placenta is a super-potent ingredient and has a lot of growth factors and proteins that boost collagen production.

"I carry out facials using sheep placenta, because their DNA has been found to have the closest structure to that of a human.

"There has been a huge boom in Hollywood since celebrities started using it and people saw the incredible effects. You need to use it every day for two months to see results."

Last year, Mad Men actress January Jones admitted she ate her own placenta as part of a healthy post-natal regimen.



What is Kombucha?Kombucha, or probiotic tea, is a fermented tea drink that is naturally rich in friendly probiotics, not to mention high in antioxidants and nutrients. I find that this is a great drink for people who are are trying to steer away from sodas to drinking a more beneficial beverage (yet has a similar taste and feel to soda). While both are typically sweet and effervescent, the healthy bacteria in Kombucha can help us by fighting on our behalf against the bad bacteria inside our bodies. Though you can drink kombucha any time of the day, the best time to take any probiotic is in the morning just before you eat. Kombucha is know as "champagne for Life" since it heals so many issues such as hair loos, fatigue,weight loss, immune system and PMS.

So keep kickin butt and allow Kombucha to do some of the work for you!






With razor sharp spikes that line the leaves, the aloe plant seems to be protecting itself, but what would be so valuable inside to require such a shield? The Egyptians didn’t call it the “plant of immortality” for nothing. Each leaf contains a myriad of vitamins and minerals including: vitamins A, C, E, sulfur, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, chromium, fiber, amino acids, enzymes, sterols, and lignins -- just to name a few. When we take a look inside the plant we find a clear, jelly like substance that can then be extracted and used both topically for skin conditions or ingested internally for a flush of vitamins and overall health. Those with sensitive skin might be well aware of the benefits of aloe vera.

Aloe acts as both a skin enhancer as well as a protector of its homeostasis. Cleopatra gets ancient credit for using it as part of her beauty regimen. It wasn’t just baths of milk and honey that left her with soft skin, but application of the aloe that left her cells hydrated in the hot desert. Speaking of desert, spending too much time in the sun and achieving that not so pleasant burn may require something as cooling and helpful as aloe. It heals the skin while supporting the replication of healthy epithelial cells. [1] Not only does aloe help with sunburns but it is known to be helpful to countless other skin conditions. In Ayurveda tradition, it has been used to effectively heal chronic skin problems such as psoriasis, acne and eczema”.[2] In addition, those with stretch marks or any other type of skin wounds should try applying the leaf directly to it and watch the plant restore and repair your skin, as if by magic.

These are only a few of the skin benefits of aloe plant and if you want to take it a step further you can ingest the aloe to experience its internal benefits. It’s long chain polysaccharides boost the immune system, add flexibility and aid weight loss for the body. The fresh aloe vera in preferable to the bottled or powdered form, and you can purchase it at your local supermarket, order it online or even grow it at home. Once you have your leaf, filet the aloe and now you are in action! You’ve unpacked a magic bullet for both your skin and your body. If you are using it for a skin condition, try placing the gel on it (or even the inside of the leaf) for several hours. If you want to use it internally, try it in smoothies or drinks. This is a very condensed biography of this magnificent plant but I hope that it inspires you to stay cool, Cleopatra-like and try it for yourself.




So now that I've got your attention I would like to educate you about a cruciferous, root vegetable grown in the high altitudes of the Peruvian Andes that has been cultivated for over 2,000 years. Yes, you guessed it, it's Lepidium meyenii, known to the rest of us as maca. This high nutrient packed vegetable is full of calcium, zinc, iron and magnesium, phosphorous, amino acids, Vitamin B1, B2, B12, C and E. Talk about packed. This helps with mood balance, libido, energy, endurance, strength, memory and can even help us with stress. Yes please! What is interesting about the food is that it grows high up in the mountains where plant a dramatic temperature fluctuation ranging about 40 degrees and changing around every 4-6 hours. Interesting enough, it has been found that maca may help your skin withstand extreme weather conditions. Go figure. What is true of this awesome plant may be true for us human beings. What if you are traveling from a very cool to a very warm one? This superfood might be a good in-flight snack for you. Once you get to that tropical place, Maca can help you with something else, UV protection. It has been shown to scavenge free radicals and to protect cells from oxidative stress. Maybe it's time to add it to your smoothie because it's got a taste like none other! It has a delicious carmel malt flavor so it mixes great in drinks and desserts. Please be aware when combining maca with high heat because it will loose its benefits if you go to crazy with the flame.

Note: When consuming maca for the first time start small with a teaspoon(5 grams) and see how you feel.

Alexa Gray



Chocolate. Cioccolato. Sjokolade. No matter where you are in the world, chocolate is a food that will likely turn heads and set off chemical reactions of happiness in our bodies.There are few foods that are more desired by both humans and animals than chocolate. When I say chocolate I really mean the cacao plant because that is the it comes from. It's actually a nut that that grows inside beautiful pods of all shapes, sizes and colors.  I am describing chocolate to you in its original form because that is where the power is. In case this is your first time reading about the benefits of chocolate (aka cacao) then this is your lucky day. How often are we told that there is something amazing for us that is incredibly delicious and is consumed all over the world? I will let you answer that one for yourself.

Dark chocolate is high is epicatechin, which is an antioxidant knows as a flavonoid. Long term ingestion of flavonoids found in dark chocolate provides photoprotection meaning it protects skin from the suns UV rays. Note, this does not mean you should apply less sunscreen, it means eat your dark chocolate before you hit the beach. In one German study following a group of individuals who consumed flavonoids in dark chocolate found an increase of skin density/hydration, greater blood flow in the skins' tissue, and a decrease in the roughness of the skin. In the group that did not consume chocolate there was no improvement in these areas of skin health.

Cacao contains a medley of minerals such as magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, copper, manganese; These minerals set us up for a healthy nervous system, proper blood building and strong bones. Also it contains the magical phenethylamines that give you those blissed out feelings of joy. However, if the chocolate encounters too much heat it will lose its mineral potency. That is why it is crucial to know what is really inside your wrapper.

I suggest that you start reading the ingredients and go after the best chocolate you can afford. Remember, quality over quantity. I would much rather have you eat less chocolate with higher quality of ingredients than gorging down hershey bars every day because I told you chocolate was healthy. This is a blessing, something delicious is good for us! Let's not go overboard with this gift, let's be smart, use it wisely and tastefully.


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