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Everybody wants to be happy and indeed there are so many reasons for one to feel joy. However, as ironic as it may seem, happiness seems to...

True Cinnamon versus Cinnamon Cassia

Many people who are interested to use cinnamon are confused about its two kinds – there is what they call true cinnamon and then there is the cinnamon cassia.
What is the difference between these two? What should I use if I want to take advantage of its nutritional benefits?
Cinnamon and Cassia: Different in Every Way
Cinnamon and cassia are from the same plant family (Lauraceae) and the same genus, Cinnamomum. However, cinnamon and cassia are not from the same plant family so people should not confuse them as one and the same. Their nutritional and health benefits are also very different.
The scientific name of the true cinnamon is “Ceylon cinnamon” and it is obtained from Cinnamomum zeylanicum plant. This kind is also known by the name Cinnamomum verum, which means "true cinnamon."

Cassia on the other hand is from a different species of cinnamon that includes Cinnamomum cassia(also known as Cinnamomum aromaticaum) and Cinnamomum burmannii.
Cassia is also often referred to as Chinese cinnamon, Saigon cinnamon, Java cinnamon and Padangcassia.

How to make a distinction between the two?

The true cinnamon or Ceylon cinnamon is rolled like a cigar and it is thin and brittle. On the other hand, cassia is thicker and harder because it is double-rolled. You will also find that Ceylon cinnamon cost more than cassia.

Those who want to use cinnamon for its health benefits especially in regulating blood sugar should use the Ceylon cinnamon

Cassia contains coumarin, a naturally occurring plant component that has anti-   coagulant properties. Too much intake of cassia with coumarin may cause health problems because our blood needs to maintain its ability to coagulate in times of injury.

If you buy cinnamon powder, then it would be hard to tell if it is made from Ceylon cinnamon or cassia. The only thing you can do is to buy from a manufacturer that clearly states its source.
If you are buying stick cinnamon, then you need to examine the texture of the sticks downward. In cassia cinnamon, you will notice it is just a one-piece bark without multiple layers. If the stick shows multiple layers at the end, then it is made from true cinnamon.

True cinnamon is recommended for those who plan to use it regularly as they do not pose any adverse health effects.

Cassia cinnamon is for those who only want to consume it on a limited basis because too much consumption can be harmful. It is best to choose organic cinnamon.

How to Use Cinnamon at Home

One element of good housekeeping is making sure that the house is not lacking in basic essentials. These are stuff that one should always have a stock at home; simply because of the variety of ways it can be used. Examples of these essentials are spices and condiments such as salt, pepper, vinegar, soy sauce and yes- adding cinnamon to that list is definitely a good idea.
Cinnamon is a very useful house product and listed below are some of the reasons why:
Instant air freshener: Walking into a room with fresh scent boost the mood and make relaxation easier. Instead of buying air fresheners that can be costly, why not put a dish of ground cinnamon in a room and enjoy the sweet scent.
Make an Incense. Use a match to ground cinnamon and you already have a pure incense. Just remember to put it in a heat-resistant container.
Make Your Own Moth Repellant Sachets. You will need small square pieces of fabrics as this is where you will put the cinnamon insect repellant mixture. Just combine cinnamon sticks which have been broken to small pieces (at least 4 sticks), half a cup of whole cloves and half a cup of black peppercorns (whole). You can put it in your closet to keep moths away.
Do you know other ways to use cinnamon? Please share by leaving a comment below

What Are the Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Why is Cinnamon Good For You

Can you eat and drink something delicious and still be healthy? People who will answer No are certainly unaware of cinnamon and its various benefits to one’s health. Cinnamon is a spice that is often an ingredient in many tasty recipes and desserts but do you know that aside from its value as food taste enhancer, adding cinnamon in your diet can also do wonders to your health.

Listed below are some of the reasons why you should consume cinnamon

Cinnamon is good for the heart because it can lower bad cholesterol and promote cardiovascular well-being. Thus cinnamon can prevent or cure heart problems.
People who are suffering from diabetes and hypoglycemia would also benefit from cinnamon because it can regulate blood sugar.

To use cinnamon to regulate blood sugar and lower cholesterol, try adding ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder to regular meal.

The smell of cinnamon also has healing properties because the aromatherapeutic properties can instantly uplift one’s spirit.

Regular intake of cinnamon can also be a pain reliever as it can make pain from arthritis and menstrual pain more manageable. Studies have proven that cinnamon can lower cytokines- a compound that trigger discomfort in body parts with arthritis problems.

Important: Please be aware that cinnamon also has some side effects so before using cinnamon for health purposes, one is strongly advised to first consult a physician

What Is Cinnamon?

Cinnamon: A spice that is everything nice

Cinnamon is produced from the evergreen tree that belongs to thecinnamomum family. It is actually the dried inner bark of the evergreen tree that is harvested during the wet or rainy season because at that time, the bark would be more flexible and easy to handle.

The most common type of cinnamon is produced from thecinnamomum zeylanicum or Cassia Cinnamon plant that is a native tree in Sri Lanka. This explains why the name of the tree is actually derived from one island in Sri Lanka which is Ceylon.

Though the tree that produce cinnamon originates from Sri Lanka it can now be found in many countries such as IndiaBrazilEgypt and Vietnam. Cinnamon is also produced from the Ceylon Cinnamon plant. The cinnamon produced from Ceylon Cinnamon is said to be the True Cinnamon. True Cinnamon is lighter in color and cost more than the Cassia Cinnamon.

It originates from Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia but cinnamon is now a valuable spice that is used all over the world because it makes countless dishes and pastries more delicious.  

Cinnamon is more popular for its use as a spice but aside from making food tastes better, it also has lots of health benefits. Cinnamon can lower blood cholesterol, regulate blood sugar, relieves arthritis pain,etc. Cinnamon is also a good source of iron, fiber and calcium.

However, cinnamon intake also has some side effects. It is not recommended for pregnant women and people with diabetes because it contains coumarin which is a compound that can thin blood.

Buying Tips Fruits in Packs

My whole family loves fresh fruits and vegetables so these are always a part of my grocery list. And whether in a supermarket or a stall market in our neighborhood, I would always see fruits and veggies that are already neatly wrapped whether in a plastic or other attractive packaging.

I have bought some of those and almost every time, there would always be several pieces of fruits or vegetables that are stale or not fresh. It is easy not to notice them when buying because these fruits/veggies are hidden in the middle of the package. I am sure these are done on purpose and I always felt cheated by this strategy.

TIP: So I learned that in buying fruits and veggies it is wiser to just choose the unwrapped ones and though it may be time consuming, it is best to pick the fruits or vegetables by piece.

Remedy for White or Gray Hair

Look younger by preventing the growth of white hair. Do it naturally:

You need a pure honey and grated ginger. Mix the two ingredients in equal parts. Store it in a bottle and then take one tablespoon of the mixture every morning. You will notice that your gray hair will darken.

Natural Skin Moisturizers

Regular moisturizing is a must to maintain a young looking and healthy skin.
There are so many creams and facial moisturizers in the market that can be costly or may not b effective. Try this simple natural moisturizer

All you need is 2 teaspoons of milk and 2 tablespoons of honey. Just apply it on face (you can also apply it in the neck area) and leave it there for 10 minutes. Rinse face with warm water.   

Easy Way to Get Rid of Crow’s Feet

Who doesn’t hate crow’s feet? Aside from the fact that is one of the earliest signs of aging, it is also hard to erase. Once crows feet appears, it seems that it will stay forever. The best remedy against crow feet is prevention. One way to prevent it is by putting on an eye cream regularly.

One an also try this natural crow’s feet remedy and hope it will deliver positive results.

All you need is egg white and virgin coconut oil. Just gently dab egg whites on the lines under the eyes before going to bed. After putting egg white, top it with few drops of virgin coconut oil. Lave it overnight and rinse in the morning. Leave it overnight and repeat the procedure until crows feet disappears.

Natural Cure for Sunburned Skin

Summer is a time when everyone heads to the beach or a pool or to some exotic locations to soak in the summer sun and have fun. After the vacation, everyone has fond summer memories to treasure and some of them has --- sunburn.

Sunburned skin can be painful but it will be cured in time. To soothe the pain and to hasten healing naturally, one can use aloe-vera. Aloe vera is an effective solution for sunburned skin because it contains aloectin-b which is antibacterial and strengthens immune system.

Just squeeze the juice of fresh aloe vera leaves and apply it on affected skin. You can refrigerate the aloe vera and re-apply the juice on skin until it is healed.

Quick Natural Remedies for Acne

Say bye-bye to unsightly acne or pimples and say hello to a blemish-free skin by trying out these simple acne solutions:

Baking soda for acne: Apply baking soda on pimples and gently massaged it. Be careful not to overscrub. Then rinse with water. 

Garlic for acne: Apply grind garlic on pimples. This will hasten healing and stop infections.

Aloe vera for acne: Use the juice of the aloe vera and apply it on pimples overnight.

Baking yeast for acne: Baking yeast and tea tree oil can be applied on acne.

Cure Your Oily Skin

Oily skin is not only unsightly and embarrassing, it only makes you prone to pimples. So it is best to control oily skin. Here’s a simple recipe ypu can try for oil-free skin:

Recipe 1: You will need 1 egg white and 3 tsp of oatmeal. Just beat the egg white and add the oatmeal. You will then apply he mixture on skin and leave it for 15 minutes. Then rinse with cold water.

Recipe 2: All you need is milk of magnesia. Just put a thin layer on your face and leave it there for 15 minutes. Then rinse.

Make your Own Make-Up Remover

People who know the basics of skin care are aware that sleeping without removing your make-up is a big no-no. Dozing off with a make-up is one of the easiest things one can do to have bad skin. As almost everyone wants beautiful skin, there are many make-up removers available in the market. Most of them are expensive and may even contain harsh ingredients.

So why buy when you can actually make your own make-up remover easily. Here’s how:

You just need to prepare the following: about 1 tablespoon of full cream milk, cotton and almond oil. Put the milk in a bowl and then add a few drops of almond oil. Use cotton to dab the mixture on your face to gently remove the make-up. Then use a new cotton to remove the oil and milk on face. Then rinse the face with water to avoid any bacterial residue.

Want Glowing Skin? Go Bananas and Papayas!

Do you have to go to an event where you want to look your best? Then make sure you have glowing skin. If you don’t have the time to afford a special skin treatment, don’t worry. A glowing skin is really not so difficult to achieve. Just go to your kitchen and grab a papaya and banana:

Glowing Skin Recipe 1: Just mash one ripe banana in a bowl then apply the mashed banana on your face and neck. Avoid the eye area. Wait for 5 minutes before rinsing.

Glowing Skin Recipe 2: Mash a ripe papaya in a bowl. Leave the papaya on the face for a few minutes then rinse.

It is recommended to apply banana and papaya on skin regularly to maintain your beautiful skin.

Get Younger Looking Skin Naturally

Most of the time (if not all), beautiful skin is a result of good health. So it follows that those who want to have a young-looking and beautiful skin should pay attention to what they eat and their overall health.

So one natural and effective way to achieve young skin is to improve one’s digestion as it will flush out toxins in the body that causes skin problems and other diseases. This is a natural solution one can try:

Just mix the following: 1 tsp honey, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and 1 tsp of extra virgin coconut oil.

Drink the mixture once or twice a day for one week. Expect great improvements on your skin and digestion.

Make your Own Lip Gloss

Want luscious and kissable lips but you have run out of lip gloss? Try making your own lip gloss at home:

What you need:  
beeswax (about ¼ cup, sesame oil (2 tbsp), castor oil, beet juice, jar, essential oil (not required) and double boiler

  1. Using a double boiler, melt the beeswax.
  2. After the beeswax melted, remove it from heat then add the oils.
  3. To add color, add beet juice. The amount of beet juice would depend on your desired lip gloss color.
  4. Then store the mixture in jar and wait till it solidifies.
  5. You now have a homemade lip gloss.
  6. You can also transfer some of the mixture in a small container so you can use it anywhere you go.
  7. One can also add essential oil for fragrance

Natural Hair Conditioners

Everyone who wants a smooth and shiny hair knows the importance of hair conditioners. For those who want a natural conditioner, you can easily make your own hair product. Try the hair recipes below:

Hair conditioner 1:
For a do-it-yourself hair conditioner, all you need is plain yoghurt. Wash your hair with a regular shampoo. Rinse your newly shampooed hair and wring out excess water, then simply massage the plain yoghurt in the hair. Leave it for more or less five minutes. Or leave it on hair while you are taking a shower. Then rinse your hair with warm water. You now have a smoother and more beautiful hair.

Hair conditioner 2: Mix ½ cup honey and ¼ cup olive oil (or virgin coconut oil). Apply the mixture on hair gradually. Make sure the whole hair is coated before putting on shower cap. Wait for 30 minutes before rinsing hair with your favorite shampoo. 

Natural Way to Get Rid of Blackheads

Blackheads are unsightly and if you go for a facial to get rid of it, it can be costly and even painful. Here’s a natural remedy for blackheads that is pain-free and effective:

Anti-Blackheads Recipe 1: You will need a cornstarch and vinegar. Just mix the two ingredients and apply it on area with blackheads. Leave it for 15-30 minutes. Wash your face by gently scrubbing the face with a washcloth and using warm water.

Anti-Blackheads Recipe 2: You will need an egg white and cotton. First soak the cotton in the egg white. Then use the soaked cotton to cover the area where there is a blackhead. Wait until the egg white dries and harden. Carefully remove the dried cotton and expect the blackhead to come off with it.

How To Make Candles Last Longer

The month for Halloween is almost here and as much s this is a season for trick and treats and costume parties- it is also a peak season for flowers and of course candles.

To keep up with the candle season here are some tips on how to make candles last longer.

Put candles in the refrigerator. Cold candles would last longer so you can first put your candles in the refrigerator before lighting it. Remember we only want the candles to be slightly cold, not frozen so do not put the candles on the freezer as it might not light at all.

The candle wick should not be too long or thick. Check the length of the candle wick, if it is to long and thick, cut a few inches of it before lighting. This is because candles with long and hick wick burns up faster.

How to Get Better Credit Card Deals

Credit cards and their zero percent interest offers are indeed very tempting. Some people may also find it hard to forego these offers with the thought that they are passing up on an opportunity to save.

But every credit card holder should know –that there is no such thing as zero percent interest rates. Whenever you are considering zero percent interest offers, always ask for the amount of the item if you are going to pay it on cash. You will notice that cash payers always get a discount. That discount is actually the interest they charged in card payments. The only convenience about zero percent is that one can stretch the loan to the maximum period allowed and there will be no additional charges.

But there is a way to enjoy real zero percent interest rate. Just purchase the desired item after your cut-off date then pay in card but choose straight payments instead of an installment basis. You get to have credit card points, avail the cash discount, and you get to pay the item after two months.  

How To Save Money Easy Steps

They say one sure-fire way to earn more is to save more – which makes sense right? Financial independence can really be achieved by living below one’s means and mind you it doesn’t really mean that you need to forego some luxuries. In more ways than one, it is just being extra mindful of how one spends money and other resources.

Based on my own experience, here are some easy ways that has helped me save lots of money:

  1. Bringing packed lunch to school or work – Food in school or work can be expensive that it can occupy a big chunk in my allowance. Once I start bringing packed lunch, I get to save so much from food and I also tend to eat healthier.

  1. Bringing bottled water. It has become a habit of mine and aside from keeping me hydrated- it has also kept me from buying expensive bottled water or other drinks in stores.

  1. Always look for promos and discounts or sales. When I am about to purchase something, I always check out special rates or would research if that store would have a sale soon.

  1. Buying a rice cooker with steamer. Rice cooker with steamer lets me cook my food faster because while the rice is cooking, I can also steam veggies or fish. That helped lower my electricity bills.
  2. Keeping a piggy bank. Make sure you have a place for you loose change or coins. It is an old method but it sure still works for me. 

How to Make Money Online

I have not earned much online so I am really no expert, but I can say that I have earned quite a decent amount with my online pursuits. By decent, I mean it is equivalent to an amount that I would usually earn for a part time work. The only difference is that my online activities are much easier to do and doesn’t require much time. Right now, my online earnings can’t rival my income from my full time job. But my earnings help me save some money and make it somewhat easier for me to pay some bills. For others who also want to make money online, here are some of the online activities that will make you earn money, based from my own experience:

Start a Blog: A quality blog can really earn some bucks thru Adsense and other advertisers but it is not so easy. Blogging requires time, effort and passion so it is not recommended to start a blog just for the goal of making money. The best way is to start a blog on a topic you are passionate about- then you will sure post great content that others will be interested to read and soon you might end up earning money from it.

Buy and Sell sites. Make use of sites that offer free advertisements such as where you can set some of your old stuff (or new stuff) for sale to earn money. If you have an existing business, you can reach more customers and promote your product for free by using these sites. Of course, you have to be cautious of scammers to avoid being victimized by scams.

Paid Surveys. There are survey sites that really pay but I think they are not so many. Plus those who pay don’t really give surveys frequently so earning money here is slow. It is usually a slow but sure process so answering these legit paid surveys is still worth it for me.

Paid to Click Sites: Earning takes so much patience but there are a lot of paid to click sites.

Paid to Post sites: There are websites like ezines, mylot, squidoo and forums that need people to post something to keep the sites or the forum alive. For those people who loves to write, earning will come easy here.

Do you know other ways to make money online? Share them here by leaving a comment:

Effective Headache Cure But Use in Moderation

I recently experience bouts of terrible pounding headaches that left me almost in tears. It can be described as severe migraine that gets worse as I move around. A very low blood pressure or excessive loss of blood or iron deficiency is one reason for the bouts of severe headaches.

I tried taking pain reliever just to ease the pain but it didn’t work. In my desperate attempt to find relief, I asked my husband to do some research on the net and we tried one of the suggestions that we saw. They say that one effective remedy for severe headaches like migraines is a strong cup of coffee. I am a coffee drinker so that suggestion is very much welcome. I’d rather drink coffee than take meds anytime. So I tried it – drank two strong cups of coffee and guess what-- it works like magic! The pain disappeared almost in an instant.

According to what we have read, coffee is an effective remedy for migraines because it stimulates blood flow and dilates the blood vessels, so more oxygen reaches the brain and the pain stops.

So if you are having a severe headache, you can try drinking a cup of coffee. However, coffee should not be treated as a regular cure for headaches. It is still best to consult a doctor especially if you are someone with special health conditions such as hypertension or heart disease.

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