Good Plant Guide - Tips For Healthy Plants

Live aquarium plants have a range of needs which can only be met through continued maintenance and an understanding of what is necessary to keep them healthy. There are a couple of important things to consider if you are keeping aquatic plants.

1. Choose a good substrate - This in itself will save you a lot of trouble further down the line. Different plants have different need for nutrients and the more demanding your plants, the more important a good quality becomes to keep them in top health.

2. Understand basic water chemistry - When things begin to go wrong in the aquarium environment, the better you understand what makes up the water, the easier it is to respond to in-balances. There are a wide range of nutrients found in the water and a lack of these leads to deficiencies.

3. Mimic natural light conditions - It is vitally important that plants receive enough light to be able to photosynthesise properly and less obviously, they also require a dark period in order to respire. Where possible, try to replicate the natural conditions of the plant.

4. Mimic natural heating conditions - As with lighting, it is important for plants to be grown in an environment close to what they would experience where they can be found naturally in the world.

5. Research common problems - Different species of plants not only will have different requirements where light, heating, plantation and nutrients are concerned, but may be prone to various deficiencies and problems. If you are aware of these, you will be able to react faster if things go wrong.

6. Combine plants with similar needs - If you are keeping several different species of plants together, then it is a good idea to keep plants which have broadly similar needs. You are far less likely to experience problems this way and it allows a little freedom when using fertilizers or changing other aspects of water chemistry.

7 Research, research, research - This is perhaps the most vital aspect of aquarium keeping generally, knowing what you are doing before you even get close to cycling or stocking the tank. The more you know, the easier it is to respond to problems which arise and the early you will be able to spot them.

The more that you can learn about the inhabitants of your aquarium and ways in which to keep on top of maintenance, the better your aquarium should fare generally. The time and effort taken in the start will pay off many times over in the long run.

With live aquarium plants you can overcome all the problems of a non-planted aquarium. You can improve the quality of your aeration, filtration, food and algae control. You can improve the lives of your fish.

Find out how live aquarium plants can help you, help them.

Sean Norman is an environmental science student and freelance writer with a deep love of ecology.

Tips for Buying Lemongrass Oil Online - Cosmetology Supplies for Aromatherapy

"Lemongrass Oil, known for its fresh lime aroma, is a ""must have"" for Aromatherapy and various other applications. This article tells you as to how you can buy good quality lemongrass oil from an online cosmetology store or an e-supermarket dealing in Aromatherapy Supplies.

Lemongrass Oil is obtained by steam distillation of the leaves/herb of Cymbopogon Citratus grass. It grows in equatorial or sub-equatorial climatic zones. There are about a dozen genotypes, but the one which is most suited for Aromatherapy is Cymbopogon Citratus.

To buy good lemongrass online, from a cosmetology supplies store-

Please ensure that the genotype is Cymbopogon Citratus. This can be easily found out by the aroma or note. Cymbopogon Citratus has a ""Fresh Lime Note"", rather than the ""metallic"".

Next, have a look at the color of the oil. It should not be dark.

You must request for a copy of the Material Safety Data Sheet which details all physical and chemical properties of lemongrass oil, including the species and genotype.

Ask for a copy of a Gas Chromatograph too. A genuine supplier should have all supporting documents. If you are buying bulk, it is always better to buy directly from a farmer. You may want to verify the credentials, for which you could use Andrea Butje's Distillers Database, which is a handy tool.

As a farmer and distiller, we always provide an MSDS and a GC for all Essential oils we distill and sell. You can check up our e-cart for all details.

Typical MSDS [Material Safety Data Sheet] of Lemongrass Oil derived from Cymbopogon Citratus is as follows-

1. Identification:
Commercial name: Lemongrass essential oil.
Botanical Nomenclature: Cymbopogon flexuosus and/or Cymbopogon citratus.
INCI name: Cymbopogon flexuosus or Cymbopogon citratus.
CAS number: 91844-92-7 and/or 89998-14-1 (EU) -
TSCA- 8007-02-1 (USA)
EINECS number: 295-161-9 and/or 289-752-0
NAFTA number: 3301.29.6000
FEMA number: 2509 and/or 2624
FDA number: 182.20
ISO standard: ISO4718 (Cymb. Flexuosus)

2. Composition:
Main components: Citral, Citronellol, Geraniol.
Additives (e.g. carriers, preservatives, antioxidants): Nil.

3. Potential Health Hazards:
Inhalation: None identified.
Skin: Concentrated liquid and vapors irritating to skin by prolonged exposure.
Eyes: Irritating to eyes with possible damage.
Ingestion: Harmful if swallowed.

4. First aid:
Inhalation: If discomfort is felt, remove person to a well ventilated area with plenty of fresh air.
Skin: Remove contaminated clothing. Wash affected area with plenty of soap and water.
Eyes: Flush immediately with plenty of cool water for 10 to 20 minutes. Seek medical advice from a Medical Doctor.
Ingestion: Seek immediate medical care.

5. In case of fire:
Extinguishing Media: Foam, Carbon dioxide.
Do not use: Water.
Special precautions: Wear breathing apparatus as toxic vapours may be released during fire.

6. Spill and Leak Procedure:
Individual precautions: Eliminate sources of ignition. Keep area well ventilated and isolate the spill.
Environmental protection: Prevent the liquid from entering the drains and sewers.
Cleaning methods: Soak up the spill using inert absorbents. For large spills use pumps.

7. Handling and storage:
Store in a cool, dry and dark place in suitable containers (aluminium cans or lacquer lined steel drums).
Handle in a well ventilated area.
Keep away from sources of heat and ignition.

8. Personal Protection / Exposure control:
Respiratory protection: Wear breathing apparatus when working in an area of high vapor concentration.
Skin protection: Use protective gloves. Wear protective clothing when possibility of contact exists.
Eye protection: Wear goggles.
General precautions: Use good industrial hygiene practice.

9. Physicochemical properties:
Appearance: yellow liquid
Odor: strong, lemony, herbaceous
pH: Neutral
Boiling point: 224°C @ 760 mm
Flash point: 72ºC = 160°F
Vapor pressure: 0.05mmHg @20°C
Vapor Density: >1 (air=1)
Specific Gravity (25ºC): 0.872 to 0.905
Optical Rotation (25ºC): -5º to + 1º
Refractive Index (25ºC): 1.485 to 1.493
Solubility in water (20º): Negligible
Evaporation rate: <1 (Butyl Acetate=1)

10. Stability and Reactivity:
Chemical Stability: Normally stable. Not reactive with water.

11. Toxicological Information:
Rtecs number: OG8257000
According to RIFM- Monograph:
Acute Toxicity: Oral LD50: 5 g/kg in rats.
Dermal LD50: 2 g/kg in rabbits.
Irritation: Tested without irritation at 4%.
Sensitization: Tested without sensitization at 4%.
Phototoxicity: No phototoxic reaction reported.

12. Ecological information:
Prevent contamination of air, soil, ground- and surface water.

13. Disposal Method:
Check national and local regulations.

14. Transport Information:
Not hazardous if transported in suitable containers.

15. Legislation:
R10 - flammable
R43 - may cause sensitization by skin contact
R65 - harmful, may cause lung damage if swallowed
S24 - avoid contact with skin
S37 - wear suitable gloves
S62 - if swallowed do not induce vomiting. Seek medical advice immediately.

US: This material is intended to be used as a cosmetic ingredient and is exempt from Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) regulation (40 CFR 710) when used as such. Do not use for other purposes.
EC: This material is not classed as ""Dangerous"" according to the health and physical properties criteria of the EU Directives on the classification of substances and preparations."

Beauty and Cosmetology Supplies

Tips on Easing the ISO Audit Stress

An audit to receive certification for an ISO quality management system, or an environmental management system of roughly the same kind is one of the most stressful times for any company, its workers as well as its executives. Some people in the corporate world refer to it as "hell week," and with the unease and stress an audit brings, it's really no wonder why. Fortunately, you can take the stress off, or at the very least, minimize it, in order to pull off a successful audit. Like we always tell our clients, the keys to your success are in your hands. All you have to do is pay attention and use your common sense.

Here are some tips to help you pull off a successful ISO certification audit. All of the pointers below are based on our clients' experiences, many of whom have met success by following a simple, yet effective strategy we here at CG Business Consulting like to push. Bear in mind that these tips are applicable to most ISO audits, such as the rystems under the ISO 9000 to the 14000 series.

1 Relax
In all my years in the business consulting industry, I've seen countless executives and employees experience anxiety and episodes of up-tightness all because of an ISO registration and ongoing surveillance by an auditor or registrar. The best way to ease the anxiety is to make the appropriate preparations before the auditing process takes place. If you think you've done all you could to make sure things go as smoothly as possible, and you still feel anxious, then you're just being silly.

2 Brush up on your work description
Not only should you do this, the people working under you should do so as well. Know what your job description is, know what your respective roles are, and know what your responsibilities in the organization are.

3 Be Clean and Sharp
I'm not going to mince words with you. Appearances count, a lot. So be sure your employees are at least presentable, workstations are clean, and any records of any kind are just a few minutes away from being found-nothing puts an audit more into perspective than organization.

4 Don't be on the Defensive
Auditors are not your enemies. An audit is not an adversarial situation, so don't be too defensive, and above all, don't argue with the auditor. Ask for questions if you want to make clarifications, but don't argue with points your auditor makes.
Watch out for next installment of this 2-part article for even more tips come auditing time.

Caroline Geoghegan is the Managing Director and Principal Consultant of CG Business Consulting Ltd.

We are one of the leading business management consulting company's in Ireland offering a step by step consultancy service enabling companies of all nature and size to achieve certification.

We offer ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems, ISO 9000, ISO 14001 Environmental and OHSAS 18001 Health & Safety Management Consultancy Services, from the start of the project to Certification, through to maintenance and continual improvement. Visit us at

Health Tips for Nurses to Prevent Getting Sick

As a physician, I sincerely appreciate all that nurses go through. You put up with cranky patients and arrogant doctors day in and day out. You are on your feet running the halls all day which turns into foot problems years later. Hours are long yet hardly boring. Then you go home and likely prepare meals, prepare your kids for school and, if you're lucky, you can go for a walk with your partner or get some exercise in. That isn't even the half of it.

Nurses are exposed to radiation, cleaning chemicals, sterilizing chemicals, infectious agents, insane patients (and doctors), sharp needles, noxious gases, latex, formaldehyde, heavy metals, dangerous medications and emotional roller coasters - the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. You love your job. You're passionate about what you do and wouldn't trade it for the world. There are few jobs like it and you kick ass at it. Let's keep you healthy. Your question asks 'tips for us nurses to stay healthy' because you're 'exposed to so many illnesses.' You forgot to mention that nurses are also exposed to so many chemicals. As a naturopathic physician, I always aim for prevention and education.

That said, there are the core nutrients which are needed by all, especially nurses and other people who are exposed to chemicals and other hazards in the workplace. Beneficial supplement choices for nurses to prevent getting sick:

* Vitamin D3: If I had to pick one nutrient for a nurse, it would be vitamin D3. Why? Because it supports mood, bone health, immunity, cardiovascular to name a few.

- Get your blood levels of vitamin D3 tested.

- If they are below 60, you need to load up on vitamin D3. Consider taking 10,000 IU of Vitamin D3 per day and then measuring again at 3 months time.

- If your levels are near 80, then you need to supplement with 5,000 IU per day and measure your vitamin D3 blood levels every 3 months.

- According to John Cannell of Vitamin D3 Council, 5,000 IU of Vitamin D3 is the suggested daily maintenance dose during the low sun exposure months.

- For daily maintenance during summer months or if you do not feel comfortable taking 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily, then take 2,000 IU of Vitamin D3 daily.

* Adrenal Support: Given the amount of stress nurses are under, nurses should support their adrenals. Nurses can feel calm in the most intense moments if their adrenals are balanced. Nurses can feel consistently energized without having to resort to 10 cups of coffee a shift or drinking corn syrup laden energy drinks. Sleep is also deeper and waking refreshed is possible.

- I recommend nurses take 2 capsules of Adrenal Support Plus in the morning on waking and 2 more in the afternoon.

- Do not take Adrenal Support of any type within 5 hours of going to sleep as it will keep you awake.

* Potent Multivitamin/Mineral: Obtaining nutrients from food is next to impossible due to corporate farming methods, pesticides, herbicides, lengthy improper handling and transportation and depleted soils. Then one adds the fact that grocery stores and restaurants no longer serve 'food'. Food is now all conveniently stored on shelves for long duration and not requiring refrigeration. The amount of processing has destroyed our foods. Monsanto needs to simply vanish from our planet. I wish they would genetically alter themselves and screw up. I digress...

- Nutrient 950 with NAC is a complete multivitamin with extra antioxidant support. NAC is essential for lung health and detoxification.

- For optimum effect, take 3 capsules of Nutrient 950 in the AM with breakfast and 3 more capsules at lunch time. There is no reason to take all 8 capsules.

* Probiotic: Given that nurses are exposed to so many chemicals and infectious agents, it is essential that nurses have protection on board. Probiotics assist and act as key players in the enteric immune system. Did you know that most of our immune function stems from our innate immunity which is located in our digestive system. When I say most, I mean 70%. If your gut associated lymphatic tissue is not functioning properly due to pathogenic bacteria, chemical exposure or radiation, nurses become ill.

- Help protect 70% of your immune system by taking 1 capsule of ProBiota 12 Maximum Strength every night at dinner.

* Detox Support: To help bind all the toxins that you are exposed to from the cleaners and sanitizers, I highly recommend you supplement with nutrients.

- BioCleanse capsules is a phase 2 liver support product which helps mobilize toxins that are already circulating in your blood and helps gets them out via the urine and stool.

- Consider taking 2 capsules anytime and then 2 capsules again about 5 hours later. Anytime is fine.

* Calming Support: Take the edge off at work, improve sleep, maintain energy in a calm and collected fashion with Ashwagandha.

- Stress stops detoxification and actually creates more load on your liver. By remaining more stable and calm, you are able to detox more effectively.

- Improved sleep allows for decreased stress and anxiety thereby improving immunity and effective detoxification.

- Consider taking 2 capsules of Ashwagandha each evening before sleep and 2 capsules before going to work. You won't notice any difference but your co-workers will. They will ask, "You are so much calmer. What's up?" The power of subtle changes in mood with Ashwagandha is incredible. I would not have survived medical school without it - nor my extremely fast growing company. Ashwagandha is my favorite herb by far.

Protect your Feet and Knees You are on your feet all day. I highly recommend you look at the MBT shoes. Sauna There is no better way to detox quickly than using a sauna a few times a week. Ensure that you have electrolytes and some detox nutrients on board like BioCleanse capsules. If one gets into a sauna without electrolytes and phase 2 liver support, you will simply be moving toxins around and into your brain. Make sure you get the toxins out and the phase 2 nutrients found in BioCleanse and the electrolytes will both help with this. Having an infrared sauna myself and being a specialist in Environmental Medicine, I have tried numerous protocols for effective sauna therapy. Weigh yourself before getting into the sauna. Make note of it. When done, you should weigh the same. If not, drink more filtered water.

At the first sign of feeling 'odd' or 'ill', get out. Toxins are affecting you and you need to stop the sauna treatment. Do the sauna again tomorrow or a few hours later in the day. It is not a competition of how hot you can get the sauna. Lower heat such as 115 degrees F is a good temperature. This lower temperature allows you to stay in the sauna longer which means you'll be able to sweat out toxins more effectively. Further questions about sauna therapy, please do schedule a consult or submit a health question - or a comment below.

Effective Sleep If you find it difficult to fall asleep, take 2 Ashwagandha 30 minutes before sleep along with 2 capsules of Magnesium Plus. You'll fall asleep. Magnesium is a key deficient mineral which is often low in individuals who cannot fall asleep.

Vitamin B6 is found in Magnesium Plus and vitamin B6 plays a role in neurotransmitter creation. Balanced neurotransmitters allow for balanced thought processes and getting relaxed and calm before bed is part of this. If you find it difficult to stay asleep, then you need to have a protein snack before bed. Almond butter on celery, bowl of low sugar granola, hummus and veggies, something with protein in it. Low protein is the most common cause in patients that cannot stay asleep. The reason? Simple physiology. If one lacks protein before bed, blood sugar tanks in about 3-4 hours. Tanked blood sugar triggers the sympathetic nervous system which is the fight-or-fight response. BAM. You're awake.

Why? Your body wants you to eat. So go eat some protein. Do not get sugar even though your body says to. Having protein before bed will solve this. Chemical Exposure to Nurses The Environmental Working Group has published a report about Nurses' Health and it is on going. If you are a nurse, I encourage you to read the EWG's Nurses' Health and Workplaces Exposures Report. Should you have any specific questions, please do schedule a 15 minute phone consult with me. I wish you well. Comments are highly welcomed and encouraged. What helps you cope and stay healthy as a nurse? In health, Dr Ben

Dr Benjamin Lynch, ND received his doctorate in naturopathic medicine from Bastyr University and a BS degree in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Washington. Visit Dr Ben's natural health product store, HealthE Goods. We are here to help serve the public with proper health information and effective products. Products described in the article are available at HealthE Goods.

Importance of Using Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Solutions

One thing is for sure; more and more people are finally seeing and acknowledging the importance of protecting the environment. This is not only about protecting one's health but preserving the environment especially the ozone layer. Global warming is upon us and recent catastrophes have proven that if the environment is not protected and cared for, this world is not a safe place to live in anymore.

Everyone has an important role in preserving one's health and the environment. Even with the simple act of cleaning our home and work space, important factors should have to be considered. There is an on-going awareness campaign in regards to using environmental friendly cleaning solutions to help preserve health.

In fact, it is important to use environmental friendly cleaning solution to clean our surroundings.

Why use environmental friendly solutions? This is because conventional cleaners tend to contain harmful chemicals that release what is commonly known as Volatile Organic Compounds or VOCs. These are gases that is harmful to the body because of the toxin in contains and it also depletes the ozone layer. According to a study made by Boston University School of Public health, there are 80,000 different chemicals contained in conventional cleaners and there are almost 12% work-related cases of asthma caused by the use of these chemicals. It contributes to health problems in the eyes, skin, respiratory system, headaches, nausea and allergic reactions causing complains from workers, resulting to being absent and lower productivity. These phosphates, bleach and strong fragrances may be effective in cleaning but if ingested or inhaled is poisonous.

This is the reason why professional cleaners and homeowners are switching to using environmental friendly cleaning solutions more than ever. There is an increase of production and development of green products over the years. You can find soaps and cleaners made from natural ingredients and you will be quite surprised that they are as effective as conventional cleaners. It is also important when shopping around you need to take into account all the ingredients it contains which can be easily found in its packaging. You can even look into making your own natural cleaning solution b using non-toxic agents like baking soda, vinegar and liquid soap. You can add sodium carbonate, lemon juice, essential oils like lavender, clove and tea tree oil. This mixture can help you disinfect your surroundings, kill molds, cut greases and leave the place smelling good. All in all, you feel good knowing what you are using is not only safe for the body but the environment as well.

One thing to expect once you decide to go environmental friendly that the products you will be buying is much expensive than the conventional ones. Hiring professional cleaners who use this type of cleaning solutions charge higher compared to those conventional ones. Although in the long run, the cost is worth it and you are actually saving more money than you can imagine. Go green now.

Save yourself and save the planet!

Michael Wahhab is in the business cleaning homes and offices in Sydney for 20 years and loving it. He has a small team of cleaners who are handpicked by him and are passionate, honest and proud cleaners who'll leave your property sparkling clean. Know more about his work at Cleaning Service Sydney and learn about their rates on home and Office Cleaning Sydney.