Natural Living

By Irene Fogarty

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Toothache vs. Heartache?
There’s probably no pain as bad as tooth pain. You can ignore a tummy ache, a headache, a pulled muscle, but anything to do with your teeth gets on your nerves…can make you crazy. Didn’t some tyrant in some world war torture prisoners by…? Ouch! So when I got two wisdom teeth extracted over a week ago, I was suffering big time.

It wasn’t that I could only eat soft food (soup and sushi every day), but every morning it would throb…like I had a new heart in my left gum. And since I don’t like to pop pills at all (Advil? What’s that?), I really wanted something that wasn’t chemical to rid me of the agony. I must admit however, that I did breakdown to get a prescription for strong painkillers the dentist recommended. Thing is, they made me dizzy and although they numbed you so wouldn’t feel a thing, the pain still came back.

But it all went away when I asked Susan Ciminelli. You’ve heard the name before. Either here at BeautyNews (I wrote about her incredible spa above Bergdorf’s back in June), or maybe your read about the stars (J Lo, Nicole Kidman, Al Pacino to name a few) who drop in frequently for the Ciminelli “glow.”

Susan had a simple suggestion: clove oil (eugenia caryophyllata). I got it immediately, dipped a cotton bud in, applied it on my teeth or the big gaps where my teeth used to be, and after a few seconds, the pain was gone. In addition, it helped disinfect my gums and my toothache, tooth pain, whatever you want to call it, is gone. Once again reassuring me that natural remedies are always the best. Plus, I love the clove smell and it didn’t taste that bad – not that you want to drink it!

So C-lovable
I started reading more about clove oil and I discovered it has many uses. Clove essential oil is a strong anti-bacterial agent that naturally gets rid of toxins and reduces swelling. As a result, it’s ideal for zapping cystic acne and even those bumps and irritations on the bikini line. It also packs a punch in eliminating pesky pimples wherever they may crop up.

NOTE: Be cautious about using essential oils on the face, making sure that you use no more than 5 drops per ounce of the oil base. And be very careful to keep away from your eyes.

Best of all, you can get it anywhere, health stores or CVS, and it’s less than $5.00!

Soup for the eyes?
I’d love to say this is one of my recipes, but it’s not. It is one of Susan Ciminelli’s. It’s an amazingly easy one, that takes very little time and not only is the soup delicious but it will help remove dark circles around your eyes by cleansing the body form the inside out.

Adzuki Bean Soup:
Adzuki beans are wonderful for the kidneys and when the kidneys are dirty, the result is dark skin under the eyes. Adzuki beans are growing in popularity. They can be found at health food stores and a growing number of gourmet food markets.

Serves 4:
– Soak 3 cups of beans in a large pot of cold water for 24 hours or overnight. Drain.
– Add 2 quarts of cold water with the beans to the pot and bring to a boil.
– Drain the beans, then add 2 quarts of fresh cold water again.
– Simmer for 30 minutes, then add 2 tbsp. of cumin and 1 tsp. white pepper.
– In a frying pan, sauté the following ingredients in 1 tbsp. of olive oil until tender:
– 2 diced carrots
– 2 tbsp. of finely chopped fresh ginger
– 3 cloves of garlic, minced
– 1 large, finely chopped sweet onion
– Add the ingredients to the soup, then cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until beans are cooked through.
– During the last 15 minutes only, add sea salt to taste. (Adding the salt any earlier will harden the beans.)
– Just before serving, add juice of 1 fresh lime and 3 tbsp. of fresh cilantro.

Bon appetite!
Eat this soup at least once a week for best results. This is also a great diuretic and women need this at least once a month.

Impressed? Check out Susan’s spa. Get a facial, then try her skincare line. Your skin will thank you forever, and you can thank me later.

Susan Ciminelli Spa
754 Fifth Avenue, 9th Floor (In Bergdorf Goodman’s)
New York, NY 10019
p: 212.872.2650
fx: 212.872.2655

You only get one skin – so look after it!
Finally, before I pack my bags for Brazil (I leave tomorrow!), here are few pointers and recipes for those who’d like to give their skin a lift – without getting one.

To keep your skin looking well-toned, you have to do more than slather on a cream. Sorry Crème De La Mer users, but that layer of grease only gives the appearance of faded lines. Do the following and you’re sure to see a real difference, without spending a fortune.

1. DRINK H20
Sounds obvious, but if you drink water your skin will show a different tone, complexion and look more replenished. Plus, it flushes out all the toxins and keeps your skin clean. Because remember, your skin is the body’s biggest organ. It needs water to live. Have a bottle on you day and night. Forget about the 8 glasses, drink it whenever you’re thirsty.

Whenever I drag myself to Clarence’s (Crunch on Lafayette) cardio-sculpt at 11pm on Sunday mornings, I always congratulate myself after the class when I look at my skin. Having jumped around for over 45 minutes, my skin looks rosier and has a glow about it. Getting the blood moving isn’t just good for your circulation – it’s great for your complexion. Now go pump some iron for those cheeks – the ones in your face, of course!

You hear it all the time, exfoliate. But it’s true, exfoliating rids the skin of old cells and helps keep your skin clean and clear. Thing is, you should be careful what you use. Here are some easy ways to make a gentle exfoliant for more youthful skin using cornbread. Try them. They’re simple and effective, and they cost hardly anything to make. You may have most of the ingredients in your home already.

Easy Exfoliant
Make a paste with cornmeal and water and apply to face or body, then rinse. This is a great way to smooth your arms and legs as well as your face.

Exfoliant for Sensitive or Dry Skin
If your skin is dry like mine, try this. Simply combine 2 tablespoons each of cornmeal, oatmeal, and wheat germ. Then add enough water to a tablespoon or so of the mixture to make a paste. Apply to face, massaging gently, then rinse off. Mixture may be kept in a sealed container for quite some time.

Sweet Nourishing Facial Mask
Mix cornmeal, yogurt (natural) and honey to form a creamy paste. Apply to skin and allow to remain on for 15 minutes, then rinse with warm water. Hmmm, doesn’t your skin feel delicious!

Next month!
I’ll tell you which all-natural spfs and haircare treatments can keep the fairest skin fair in the hot sun of Bahia, Brazil!

Originally published December 2004



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