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Commercial hair care products contain surprisingly many chemicals and synthetic ingredients, but it is easy to treat your hair naturally at home. These home treatments use simple, affordable ingredients: apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, olive oil and herbs. They nourish the hair and the scalp, condition and moisturize dry and damaged hair, and give your hair new shine.

Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse

Apple cider vinegar adds shine and removes chemical residue from hair care products. Mix a cup of warm water with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Pour over wet hair and comb through. Leave for five minutes, rinse well with water, and condition and style as usual.

Apple cider vinegar is anti-fungal and can remove dandruff. When treating dandruff, make a stronger solution and mix equal amounts of vinegar and water. Apply to your scalp and leave for a few minutes before washing and conditioning your hair.

Chamomile Hair Rinse for Blond Hair

Chamomile tea gives blond hair new shine and natural highlights. Make a cup of chamomile herbal tea using fresh or dry herbs or a chamomile tea bag, and let the tea cool down. Use as the last rinse after washing and conditioning your hair.

Coconut Oil Conditioning Hair Treatment

Coconut oil is one of the best treatments for dry or damaged hair. Coconut oil is solid in cold temperatures but becomes liquid if you place the container in hot water for a few minutes. Massage the oil into your hair, wrap your hair inside an old bath towel or a shower cap, and leave for at least 15-20 minutes or longer if you have time. Shampoo well (you may have to shampoo twice). Coconut oil adds moisture, protects hair from damage and is another good home remedy for dandruff.

Hot Oil Treatment with Olive Oil

Olive oil is a natural, affordable alternative to commercial hot oil treatments. It is ideal for dry and damaged hair or hair that has a lot of split ends. Pour a few tablespoons of olive oil into a bowl and place the bowl in hot water for a few minutes. If you have rosemary essential oil at home, add 1-2 drops to boost circulation in the capillaries and to stimulate hair growth. Comb the warm olive oil through your hair, cover your hair with a shower cap or a towel, and leave for at least 15-20 minutes or longer if you have time. Shampoo and condition as usual.

Jojoba oil is a good alternative to olive oil. Alternatives to rosemary essential oil include tea tree oil to treat dandruff and lavender oil to treat itchy scalp. If your scalp is oily, avoid the scalp and apply oil only in the hair, but if your scalp is dry, you can massage oil into your scalp too. Massaging your scalp regularly boosts blood circulation and helps to stimulate hair growth.

Homemade hair treatments are affordable and easy to do. Most ingredients can be found in grocery stores or natural health stores. Using natural ingredients and avoiding chemical hair treatments is also better for the environment.

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The Nutritional Value Of Honey

Honey is the delicious, all natural sweetener that homesteaders can’t resist. But what’s the difference between honey and, say, sugar from the store? Is honey really healthier than regular sugar? Learn about the nutritional value of honey–both the good and the bad.

The bad news

It’s easier to start with the bad news, isn’t it?

The downside to honey is that, yes, it’s packed full of sugar and calories. It’s a sweetener, after all! One cup of honey can contain over 1,000 calories; that gives you about 65 calories per tablespoon. Since honey is a sweetener, it does increase blood sugar levels, albeit not as much as standard sugar.

The other downside is that not all honey is created equally. The honey on sale at your grocery store probably isn’t as good as honey harvested from your own bees, for example. The quality of the honey will determine how healthy or unhealthy it is for your body.

The good news

Never fear: we have lots of good news about honey!

Honey is naturally high in fructose, which means it tastes sweeter than sugar from the store. That’s great news, because it means you can use less honey to get the same desired level of sweetness.

Quality honey is healthier than other sweeteners because it contains plant compounds and antioxidants. If you’re looking for antioxidant-packed honey, you can usually tell by color. Go for darker honey to get more nutrition.

The antioxidants in honey may play a role in cancer prevention and even eye health. Honey also raises HDL (good) cholesterol and lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol, making it a heart-healthy alternative to other sweeteners.

But you don’t have to eat honey to see its benefits. You can even use honey to treat cuts and lesions; many studies found topically-applied honey speeds up the healing process.

The bottom line

Honey is an amazing addition to your homestead. Although it should be considered a treat since it’s still a sweetening agent, swapping sugar with honey can improve your health. Consider switching to honey for a more nutritious, natural alternative.

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