Natural Holiday Gift Ideas from The Natural Nurse®
Ellen Kamhi, Ph.D. R.N. THE NATURAL NURSE
Gifts show loved ones we are thinking of them, that we care about their health, happiness
and well being. This year, consider giving the gift of good health. Vitamins, Herbs and
Natural Beauty Products not only make thoughtful gifts, but they may also help people
follow through with New Year’s Resolutions!
Americans, as well as citizens all around the world, may be cutting back on their holiday
budget this year. This can have an upside- such as returning to the more simple pleasures
of life. Family and friends may spend more time entertaining at home, renewing
acquaintances and sharing good times. Whether you are serving a full meal or munchies
during a holiday get together, Mother Nature's bounty of colorful fruits and vegetables
provides a cornucopia of healthful vitamins and minerals for the body, mind and spirit
to enjoy. Think about tossing a salad and bringing a gift of Oil and vinegar. The market
is full of exotic varieties of excellent , high quality Organic Olive Oils and rich tasting
Balsalmic Vinegar, which can really spice up a party, while imparting extra health!
Here are a few suggestions on how to help yourself, your ‘cells’ and your family, while
enjoying the holiday spirit: treat yourself and your guests to a cup of hot herbal tea, take
a brisk walk, enjoy a healthy snack made from fresh ingredients, light an aromatherapy
candle, take a bath with soothing bath crystals.
Herbal teas that can spice up the holiday include immune supportive herbs such as
Echinacea and Elder, as well as spicy choices like Ginger and Cinnamon. These teas can
fill the room with delightful aromas while they brew, and have the added advantage of
helping the body ward off colds and flues, as well as aiding digestion.
If you or your significant other is getting a little broad in the beam, consider an all-around
herb with weight loss benefits, which also helps with sore muscles after all that holiday
shopping and Tree or Menorah Decorating. Try turmeric, the yellow spice found in curry.
Turmeric has been proven to have very strong anti-inflammatory effects, which helps
aches and pains as well as providing a beautiful bright orange color to all your holiday
cooking. Chromium picolinate, available alone, or as an active ingredient in some multi-
vitamins, can help with weight loss by balancing blood sugar and reducing carbohydrate
cravings. Need an appetite suppressant? Garcinia cambogia extract may do the trick.
Green tea is also a great thermogenic agent-which helps to burn fat. For a gift that ‘keeps
on giving’ remember that relaxation has maximum health benefits. Scientific studies
have confirmed that relaxation techniques decrease the release of stress hormones such
as cortisol. This allows muscles to relax, cells to rejuvenate and ‘worry lines’ to be
swept away! Consider helping yourself or your loved one by getting a gift certificate for
a massage, or a yoga, dance or Tai chi class. A membership in an ‘organic fruit of the
month’ club can guarentee that healthy snacks will arrive all year.
One Natural Nurse® trick is to literally fill up with healthy food BEFORE going to
a holiday party, where you know there will be a lot of high calorie and high sugar
temptations. Then you can enjoy a small bite of each food, just for taste, and already feel
satisfied in terms of a healthy full meal.
In addition to focusing on a diet rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber, along with daily
exercise, another healthy lifestyle tip is to consider all natural personal body care
products. Although they may cost a little more than their chemical laden commercial
counterparts, they provide a much higher quality experience, as well as having the
benefits of being all natural and free of toxic chemicals. Holiday gift giving may be the
perfect opportunity to try some of these products. Very often, although they may have
a higher initial price tag, they last longer and deliver superior quality, which actually
provides a much better value in the long run!
Aromatherapy products such as candles and bath salts, herbal hand and
body lotions, herbal teas and organic snacks - all make wonderful items
to place in a stocking or gift basket for that special person.
You can continue to bring outer beauty up to the level of inner beauty by giving the gifts
of hair and skin care. Blue chamomile for skin care contains the reknown ingredient,
azulene, which bestows benefits that will linger, like its sweet smell. Natural soaps
come scented with the stress relieving essential oils of lavender, honeysuckle rose and
other delightful fragrances. These gifts won’t bankrupt you, since they are available at
an affordable price. Dead sea salts make a great wintertime gift. They can be used to
make a normal bath into a spa-like experience, complete with exfoliation. In addition,
the minerals in the sea salts can be energizing to the system. I often recommend using
Dead Sea Salts along with Epson Salt which is actually a magnesium salt. That makes the
Dead Sea Salts last longer, and provides a relaxing magnesium rich bath, which can be
enhanced with a few drops of all natural lavender oil!
Relax and Enjoy- Happy Holidays!