You know the saying, “there’s plenty of time to sleep when I’m dead”? I used to use this as an excuse to justify my erratic sleeping habits. When I was in naturopathic college I would stay up all hours of the night studying, or working late hours as a waitress to pay the bills. Coffee was literally my lifeline – if I couldn’t have it, I couldn’t make it through the day. Period. Does this sound familiar?
I would be foggy and groggy in the mornings, trudging around like a zombie until I had my cup of Joe. Then in the evenings, it seemed as soon as the sun went down I had a miraculous bout of energy that wouldn’t allow me to fall asleep. So I’d toss and turn, becoming tangled up in my sheets worse than an old telephone cord! I came to dread those long, desperate hours, feeling so exhausted but unable to drift off into Dreamland.
That’s when I learned about the simplest of sleep practices that totally changed the game for me. Gracias a Dios!
Eye Masks for Better Sleep
I learned that wearing an eye mask to bed helps us get a deeper, more restful sleep. The eye mask blocks out all light and promotes melatonin production1 in the body; our sleep regulating hormone!
The soft compression of the eye mask over the face also supports hormones that makes us feel all warm and fuzzy and relaxed, like oxytocin2 and dopamine3.
I was absolutely blown away by how much this simple practice helped me sleep.
Castor Oil for Beauty Sleep
Around this time was when I began falling in love with castor oil and castor oil packs. Through research, I quickly learned that castor oil was a beauty staple in Egyptian and Greek cultures, and that Cleopatra herself used it to enhance her eyes. I found that castor oil was commonly used as a treatment to help eyelashes and eyebrows grow, and found it in the ingredient list of dozens of lash growth serums.
This makes total sense! Castor oil improves circulation to where it is applied via nitric oxide stimulation4, so when applied to the lashes and brows it ensures that the hair follicle is getting a good blood supply. Castor oil is also anti-inflammatory5 and provides nourishment for the skin and hair follicle like vitamin E, polyphenols and omegas6. It’s antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant.
These properties also make it the perfect anti-wrinkle eye cream. The oil is exceptionally emollient and nourishing for the delicate skin around the eyes and can help with dark circles, puffiness, redness and fine lines.
Watch this video below of my friend Kitty Martone and I talking about our Nightly Castor Oil Routine, including how to do a castor oil face wash.
Is Castor Oil Safe Near the Eyes?
There is a wealth of research supporting the use of castor oil in the eye as a treatment for dry eyes789 and prevention of cataracts10. In a study done on rat lenses, castor oil was shown to preserve levels of glutathione exceptionally well11 (glutathione is one of our most powerful antioxidants!).
So castor oil is 100% safe and even beneficial to use in/around the eyes. This made me adore it even more because we have to be so careful with the products we use around our eyes – always read ingredients carefully!
Pair It With Your Castor Oil Pack
The most important part of my nightly castor oil sleep routine is putting on my castor oil pack. It immediately relaxes the nervous system1213, getting it ready for a deep night’s sleep.
Quality of Castor Oil
I just want to quickly note that not all castor oil is created equally. You want to use the best quality, especially when using it near the eyes. Castor oil should be certified organic, cold-pressed, 100% pure, hexane-free, extra virgin and ALWAYS packaged in a glass bottle. If you have castor oil in a plastic bottle, throw it away! Castor oil can absorb toxins and there are many compounds in plastic such as nonylphenol14 and benzophenones15 that can mess with our hormones, immune and nervous systems.
Sweet Dreams, Sleeping Beauty!
So this became my bedtime routine. I dab a little bit of castor oil in the palm of my hand and apply it to my lashes and brows with an applicator brush. Then I dab the excess oil around my eyes, put on my organic cotton eye mask and crawl into bed, easily drifting and dancing off into Dreamland.
I’ve never slept better in my life, and I’m always being complimented on my bright, beautiful eyes!
Get your Castor Oil Pack and Beauty Sleep Eye Kit together in a bundle that I like to call The Original Cleanse with special bonuses. Click the links below!
13 Rolls ET et all. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17.
14 Kim H1, Oh S1, Gye MC1, Shin I1,2. Comparative toxicological evaluation of nonylphenol and nonylphenol polyethoxylates using human keratinocytes. Drug Chem Toxicol. 2018 Oct;41(4):486-491. doi: 10.1080/01480545.2017.1391829. Epub 2017 Nov 10
15 Amar SK1, Goyal S2, Srivastav AK3, Chopra D3, Ray RS2. Combined effect of Benzophenone-2 and ultraviolet radiation promote photogenotoxicity and photocytotoxicity in human keratinocytes.Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2018 Jun;95:298-306. doi: 10.1016/j.yrtph.2018.04.003. Epub 2018 Apr 4.
In 1918, the Spanish flu pandemic threatened the world population which was at about 1.8 billion people. 500 million people (about 1/3 of the population at the time) were infected.
Mass graves had to be dug around the world as a result. Since then it seems we have been living in a state of fear and on high alert, for not IF but WHEN the next deadly mutated virus will hit again.
The fear is even propagated and heightened because of our fixation; as evidenced in all the TV shows and movies about pandemics and zombie holocausts, like Outbreak with Dustin Hoffman, Contagion, and AMC’s The Walking Dead.
Well that day may be here again, with the ever-increasing cases of the new death-causing coronavirus, where Canada is sending planes in, Britain is banning flights, the U.S. is on top of it all and for us, well, it’s time to do something about it. Differently, wouldn’t you say?
There have always been accounts of flu outbreaks. Remember SARS, the plagues of leprosy that stained faces, and those vanishing populations like the legendary Spanish flu of 1918?
The Spanish flu was the perfect example of what happens when a mutated virus meets malnourished, stressed, injured and inflamed soldiers, who jumped on boats at the end of the war to get home, and brought with them more than big hugs for their family – they brought the virus back to their homeland.
These soldiers lived in less than sanitary conditions. Food options were limited to those that lined an aluminum can or those that were dried, requiring the simple addition of water (if you could find water, that is).
With limited hydration and good quality food the body suffers, plus add insult to injury of the severe mental stress that accompanies war-torn locations and PTSD, that many soldiers suffer from. I’m sure that not much can compare to living through that. Their physical bodies were wounded, inflamed and tossing and turning in their sleep.
In essence, they were the perfect debilitate jalopy, the very best vehicle to propagate this deadly virus around the world.
At home, many countries were ravaged by war, and once again, we see malnourished mothers and children who were stressed out and overworked. Trying to make ends meet and manage a household; the perfect receptacle to welcome the gift from their loved ones returning from war.
Likely to Get Sick | Conducive Conditions for Disease
What conditions are ideal for diseases like influenza or the coronavirus to flourish in? Think of it this way; our body is no different than a garden, or an ecosystem.
This is contrary to popular belief where many define the body as a machine. A machine can get pieces taken out of it. An ecosystem cannot; when one aspect is ripped out, it can be devastating to the entire system.
There is one thing that is notorious for throwing off the beautiful balance in the ecosystem of our body. This one thing is STRESS, and in our bodies, this causes the “dis” in dis-ease.
Here are a few of the many possible types of stress:
Nutrient deficiency stress
Inflammatory and immune stress
Mental and emotional stress
The list goes on and on…
We know that when we are weak and devitalized from repetitive, non-ceasing stress we are more prone to sickness. This is why influenza typically affects elderly populations, children and those with “dis-ease” or immune-compromised conditions more often.
Notice the spelling of “dis-ease”.
The meaning of the prefix ‘dis’ is a body or system that is not in balance.
This is the same as a garden. One that lacks proper nutrients in the soil, adequate sunlight, water, or love messages won’t grow and is likely to develop infestations and disease.
It only makes sense that the Spanish flu reached such staggering proportions and infected 1/3 of the world’s population at the time.
The true epidemic, in my opinion, may not have been one of the virus, but rather the overall state of health of the population of the world at the time.
How about them apples? They should have been eating more!…
It was World War I, after all. Living in that time would mean constantly feeling an inner sensation of imbalance, that the ‘dis’ could come upon us at any time, and stress became programmed into the makeup of our bodies. Stress was the norm, not the exception as it should be.
Why We Focus On The Bug
You may be familiar with Louis Pasteur, who in the 1800s popularized the idea of The Germ Theory and made it mainstream. The bug (virus, bacteria, yeast, parasite, etc), became the enemy to attack. Kill it and life is good. It was widely accepted as the main tenet that permeates medicine to this day; including in cancer treatments with the bug being our own tissues.
But what most aren’t privy to, is that at the same time, Claude Bernard was promoting and proving the terrain theory, or physical vitalism. He postulated that the body is an ecosystem and that an ecosystem in health, has a vital force and can beat all disease1.
The difference, it was said, was that Pasteur had friends in high places that moved his philosophy forward. These have served us well, as we have learned an incredible amount about the bug and how it affects an unhealthy body. On the other hand, vitalism went backstage once Bernard was out of the picture.
However, there is hearsay that Pasteur, on his deathbed, recanted his theory and said: “Bernard was right, it’s not about the bug, it’s the terrain”.
Why We Should Focus on Terrain, Vital Force, and Physical Vitalism of The Body
The ancient doctors of the past, Hippocrates, Galen, and Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctors always searched for ways to support the system as a whole. They focused on the foundation, the pillars that would create health.
This is the mechanism of wellbeing, of positioning for success in spite of what is going on around you.
You really can’t control what is happening around you but one thing is for sure, you can control what you do.
A healthy, well-balanced body with a solid foundation is in the right position to overcome anything that may come its way. This was the work that Bernard was so passionate about.
If you have ever seen a naturopathic doctor, functional medicine doctor, or any other holistic healer, this is the premise of their work.
A resilient, strong, balanced foundation in the body prevents all disease.
The reality is that it’s about both the bug and the terrain, and keeping them in balance.
Balance means we want a little bit of acute stress, not longterm constant stress as that becomes damaging, but a little goes a long way2, because it is actually protective, especially to the digestive tract and gut.
As Hippocrates stated:
“All disease begins in the gut”
How to Prevent the Flu (From a Functional Perspective)
Our goal then is to support the foundation, which begins in the gut. To keep the body and its foundation well supported every day so that it can be healthy.
Here I introduce to you The Original Cleanse. The formula used by the ancient doctors who knew the vital importance of making sure that a system can:
Bloat less and digest well
Stress less and feel well
The simplest of functions and by far the most important is to feel better and be resilient against anything that comes its way.
The Original Cleanse is the combination of two ancient, powerful, time-honored practices; the castor oil pack and castor oil sleep mask routine.
The doctor dresses the wound and God [nature] heals it.3
As such, they would use the simplest of therapies such as a compress in the areas that needed help, in order to invigorate the vital force within to heal! Just like you do with a bandaid for a boo-boo.
Why do you think it’s so natural to simply put a bandage on it, or wrap it up? It is literally instinctual to us that it will help us heal. This is why they call it The Original Cleanse. It’s part of our origin story. It is that which will help us regain faith in our healing.
The fact is wearing a compress, such as a castor oil pack, eye mask or bandage, stimulates the receptors of the skin that transfer information to the nervous system to put the body into the relaxed state.
The skin provides the ‘on’ switch to the relaxed state by promoting the hormone oxytocin4, which reduces cortisol (the stress hormone).
So the reason soldiers in World War I were so susceptible to the Spanish flu, was simply that wounds (whether an actual wound on the skin, emotional wound, or a misbalance in the immune system), don’t heal under stress5. It’s an impossibility. The system needs a calm, relaxed state that is flooded with oxytocin6 to heal.
Wounds occur when the “equilibrium between synthesis and degradation has been shifted toward degradation”7.
The Natural Law of Balance
The body follows a natural law of balance, otherwise, dis-ease predominates. The Original Cleanse works on setting up the foundation so there can be balance and no dis-ease. It is the simple practice of wearing a castor oil pack and eye mask with castor oil to bed every night.
My first experience with the castor oil pack was transformational, and later clinical experience with thousands of patients proved the same result. And it’s why I’m here teaching everyone about them.
For my patients and I, the first thing The Original Cleanse did was bring back FAITH in our ability to heal and feel better. It helped us to believe that balance could be achieved again, despite many failed attempts.
Very appropriately, I use the acronym FAITH to describe the five main foundations of health that castor oil packs support, which help to prepare it for any bug that comes its way.
F: Function of the digestion, absorption, and elimination
Research demonstrates that castor oil enhances prostaglandins8, nitric oxide9 and stimulates capsaicin-sensitive sensory neurons10 in the presence of acute glucocorticoids (the hormones of stress), which actually has a protective effect on the gastric lining, thus improving its function.
Castor oil can enhance defensive mechanisms such as gastric acid as well as digestive enzymes, that serve as a barrier for bugs entering the body.
Castor oil packs have been shown to improve the frequency of elimination11, and via prostaglandin stimulation of smooth muscle and nitric oxide electrolyte shifting, reduces food sensitivities thus relieving the immune system.
A: Antioxidant support
Castor oil is a source of vitamin E, omega 6, omega 9, and the end result of what you get from fish oils12. It has also been shown to preserve levels of one of our most important antioxidants, glutathione13, which is required for detoxification in the liver. Wearing a castor oil pack over the liver supports circulation and flow to this area, allowing it to cleanse more efficiently.
I: Inflammation & Immunity
Inflammation must be reduced in the body to make space for healing. Castor oil is a strong anti-inflammatory14 and wearing a castor oil pack is an excellent way to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract. Castor oil packs have also been shown to support white blood cells of the immune system15 which protect our terrain from the bug.
Stress is another key factor that must be reduced in order for healing to take place. Castor oil packs create a gentle compression that helps to move the body into the parasympathetic state16 and that stimulates feel-good hormones like dopamine17 and oxytocin18. Wearing a sleep mask helps to further support the reduction of stress by improving sleep via melatonin production19.
H: Host Microbial Balance
As mentioned earlier, the terrain is just as important as the bug. Part of the terrain of the body is the trillions of bugs (microscopic bacteria), known as the microbiome. A healthy balance of good bugs and bad bugs is a key player in the balance of our digestion, hormones and immune system function. Castor oil packs support the microbiome by helping to breakdown biofilm created by bad bugs202122.
The Original Cleanse for Physical Vitalism
The Original Cleanse is a nightly practice that only takes 2 minutes, and helps to strengthen and balance the terrain of our bodies so that they are prepared for the bug, should it come-a-knockin’.
Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Prepare your castor oil pack by applying 1-2 tbsp of oil in the center of the soft cotton side of the pack, then tie it onto the body over the liver.
Step 2: Pour a dollop of castor oil into the palm of your hand. Use an applicator brush to apply castor oil to eyelashes and eyebrows, then dab the remaining oil into the delicate skin around the eyes. Cover with the eye mask and go to sleep.
That’s it! The Original Cleanse revitalizes, strengthens and balances your body as you sleep. Click the links below to get started now, with some special bonuses.
1 Normandin S1. Claude Bernard and an introduction to the study of experimental medicine: “physical vitalism,” dialectic, and epistemology. J Hist Med Allied Sci. 2007 Oct;62(4):495-528. Epub 2007 Jun 18.
2 Filaretova LP.[Contribution of glucocorticoid hormones to gastroprotection]. Usp Fiziol Nauk. 2014 Jan-Mar;45(1):44-56.[Article in Russian]
10 Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8
11 Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 18.
When I was younger, I suffered severely with anxiety. In fact, what dictated a lot of the damage done to me in my youth was an actual misdiagnosis of asthma instead of anxiety. This put me on a trajectory of being drugged up with prednisone, supremely overweight, constipated and losing faith in my body’s ability to heal, or do what I was supposed to do in this world.
I look back on those times, grateful, because they moved and motivated me to where I am now; educating and empowering others in their health. That feels good, I’m so happy to be of service – and it’s all because of those painful situations when I was younger.
We didn’t know it was anxiety until years later. I was frustrated with never feeling better, especially when I was taking all of these medicines that were supposed to fix me. My mother decided to take me off of everything. So we did, and we learned to sit in a corner in our home and relax. It was the first form of cognitive behavioural therapy that I got, a well known method of dealing with anxiety.
Patterns in Anxiety
As I got older, still struggling with anxiety, mood swings and the sequelae of an irritable bowel, I noticed that the severity of the anxiety was really based on certain locations where I was at.
The home I grew up in was a place of major anxiety for me. I thought it was just because I was part of a Spanish family, full of piss and vinegar and passion.
But at the beach or in South America at my extended family’s homes, I would be in complete balance. Feeling better than ever, uber creative and in the zone, my vibe. So it couldn’t be the family dynamics? It had to be the house I was living in.
The condo I was living in while I was going to school in Toronto also caused me to be severely overwhelmed by anxiety, but only in the last two years I was there.
Location Based Anxiety
I put two and two together and realized that the places where I felt the worst, for example my condo in Toronto, had a common denominator. You see, in my third year of school, a cell phone tower was added to the top of my condo building. Years later I realized that the home of my youth where I grew up, actually had an electricity farm in our backyard that powered the mines of Northern Ontario.
I realized I always felt much better by the beach, it was actually my safe haven where I felt so wonderful. Years late I learned that the sand and salt actually neutralizes EMFs – A.K.A. electromagnetic frequencies.
So what are the EMFs that had me in an anxiety frenzy?
In the simplest of words, they are the frequencies of electricity and energy. They follow what is known as a sine wave pattern. Energy is all around us, wherever there is electricity or wires, cells phones or cell phone towers.
In fact, I was so in the know about how these affect me that when I found the location for my clinic, I made sure, I actually physically mapped out where all the nearest energy towers and cell phone towers were and tried to stay between 1-3 km away. I was successful, and it’s one of the reasons that my clinical space is such a sanctuary. It’s got good vibes that aren’t corrupted by dirty electricity.
Even though the wires are insulated, energy still escapes and radiates around it. They call this energy ‘dirty electricity’. The stuff that doesn’t stay in the insulated areas. The closer that you are to the power towers, wires, or cellphone towers etc, the more you may notice an impact on your body – if you’re sensitive (not everyone is). But if you are, you notice it greatly.
We are energetic beings, we have a frequency, a vibration. Everything does, because at the root of it all we are made up of atoms, electrons and protons, and they all have a vibration. So imagine it like this; if the ground is vibrating underneath you, like in an earthquake, heavens to Betsey you are going to vibrate too! It knocks you off your rocker, so to say.
Therefore anxiety, and other such symptoms can become the result.
The tools that helped me overcome were these:
1. Staying away from locations with EMFs
Obviously I couldn’t do this every time, but I try my best! I also have my wifi router set on a timer to shut off every night to limit the amount of time it’s on.
2. Castor oil packs
Because they set the foundation for better health, you are more resilient with what comes at you, including EMFs! Get your’s here.
3. Wearing a sleep mask to bed
This helped me to naturally increase my melatonin which is one way that you can get better sleep and have more resistance against dirty electricity. Get your’s here.
Since I couldn’t wear my castor oil pack or my eye mask all day, I found this amazing tool that has been shown to reduce the impact of the EMFs.
4. Wearing my Harmoni Pendant
My great friend and detox expert Wendy Myers has a beautiful chain, that looks much better than anything else that is available on the market to protect from EMFs! It is easy to put on every day and helps you feel better!!
The Harmoni Pendant was designed to harmonize the body’s natural electrical frequencies and energetic pathways. It works so well that it’s worn by many professional athletes (and yours truly!). The pendant’s unique properties also convert harmful manmade EMFs that come into the body’s field into gentler and more harmonious frequencies.
By wearing an EMF protector on your body, you are not only protecting yourself from the EMFs emitted from by your own devices, but also all of the harmful EMFs around you.
Also – fun fact, the jewelry designer of the Harmoni Pendant is the same designer who made jewelry for the Game of Thrones cast for the TV show. So cool! They are stunning.
So you see there are many roads that lead to Rome, the important part is to find out what are your personal triggers, what irritates and bothers your natural predisposition and to get educated and empowered to do something about it.
I hope you take action here and enjoy these wonderful tools for your health! Plus they make great presents for those you love. xoxo.