WILDCRAFTED HERBAL PRODUCTS
Your Natural Skin & Personal Care Solution
Natural Skin Care Newsletter: May Issue
Welcome to the May Issue of the Natural Skin Care Newsletter. Susan and I hope you'll enjoy the articles we have put together for you this month and welcome any feedback or suggestions for future articles.
(You can click on the topics below which will take you to the article of choice on this page, or simply scroll down and read each one)
Article: Herbal Teas and Their Benefits
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)
About An Essential Oil of Interest: Sandalwood Oil
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)
Kitty's Corner - Dealing With Owning and Being Allergic to Cats
(by Kitty the Cat)
Newsletter - May 2008
Facial skin care is considered a must by most women and the cosmetic industry is worth billions of dollars world-wide. In other words, women and to some extent men are spending significant amounts of money on their skin from the neck up, but are largely ignoring the rest of their body’s skin. Why?
I suppose, the answer is that we want the skin that we present to the public to look good and don’t really care so much about the skin they can’t see. Whilst this is perfectly understandable, it is not very clever. Here’s why.
The health of your skin is not just determined from the neck up; after all, the face and neck make up only a small percentage of the skin’s over-all area. Neglecting the skin from the neck down may well end up being a costly mistake.
Have you ever noticed that most of the common skin conditions do actually not occur on the face? Even acne is often not isolated to the face and neck but can involve the chest, upper arms, back and other areas of the skin.
The various forms of eczema and dermatitis too are more often found on the body’s limbs rather than the face, although it may also present on the face, neck and scalp.
The point is that our focus should not just be on our exposed skin areas, but should also include the skin that is usually covered by clothing such as the arms, legs, back and abdomen.
Granted, you might not want to use the same intensive daily skin care regime on your body as you do on the face, after all you’re not putting makeup on your tummy, but a daily moisturiser, a weekly all-over body scrub and the occasional body wrap is a good idea and makes a lot of sense.
Using an all-over body moisturising lotion that contains nutrients and ingredients that benefit your body’s skin has the same benefits as the moisturising day/night cream you put on your face. Similarly, using an exfoliant to rid your skin of excess dead skin cells will help your body’s skin to ‘breath’ better and absorb the nutrients from the moisturiser more readily. Your skin will look and feel much healthier and not have that ‘silvery’ dull look to it.
Obviously if you’re still in your early to mid-twenties you might not see these signs yet, but if you’re over 45, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. The key here is not to wait until you see these signs, but get started now on your all-over body skin care program.
Remember, it is much easier to keep your skin healthy and looking good, than wait until you develop skin problems and unhealthy looking skin before you start caring for it.
Total skin care starts from the inside out.
These days even some cosmetic companies are latching onto what we’ve been saying for decades. But providing nutrients for your skin should not come in the form of a pill. It should come in the form of healthy, unprocessed food. Meals should contain primarily fresh vegetables, salads, whole grains and lean meat, fresh fish and some quality dairy food.
In addition, you need to consume sufficient amounts of water (over 2 litres) each and every day. Why? Simple, because your body requires this amount to work properly and perform all of its metabolic functions well. If you do not provide this amount of water (and I don’t mean in the form of tea, coffee or alcohol), the body will take it from tissues inside the body that are high in water content. One of these tissues is the skin. Sub-clinical, chronic dehydration is actually very, very common... Dry lips ring a bell?
Getting the Most From Your All-over Body Moisturiser
The primary objection to using good quality, natural body moisturisers is that they’re not cheap and because you need to use quite a lot, they don’t last very long.
Here’s a little trick or two on how you make your natural moisturising lotion last longer:
So, next time you look at your bathroom shelf and don’t spot a natural all-over body moisturiser, put one on your shopping list. Your skin will be ever so grateful.
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Natural & Organic Skin Care Products
Natural and organic skin care products are becoming more and more popular. Why? Simple, because both women and men are starting to recognize the potential health benefits from using skin care products that contain natural and organic ingredients.
The health benefits of using natural and organic skin care products are more than skin deep. It is not by accident that good health is associated with natural substances rather than artificial/synthetic chemicals.
Skin care products that exclusively use natural and organic ingredients are simply better for you than the ones that don't. It is as simple as that. It is just like the food we eat. After all, you wouldn't think of eating meals that were made from synthetic ingredients, would you? No.
In fact the health food industry has boomed for the last few decades as we have become more aware of the potential health problems that may arise from eating foods containing artificial colouring, flavouring, preservatives, and other harmful chemicals.
The same positive health benefits can be gained from changing to natural and organic skin care products. The herbs and essential oils, as well as other natural ingredients such as mango butter and the like, simply do not pose the same health risks as some of the ingredients found in other well-known brands.
Susan Siegenthaler, the founder of Wildcrafted Herbal Products, started making natural skin care products over 20 years ago when nobody was particularly interested in natural anything. There were no other Australian made natural or organic skin care products in the market place and anyone shopping in a health food store was considered a hippie.
How times have changed...
Today, consumers are becoming more aware of what is healthy and what's not. We are almost over-informed about the many health issues facing us, ranging from obesity to allergies and from smoking to binge drinking... The list goes on. We hear reports about potentially toxic ingredients in our personal and skin care products as well as in the foods and drinks we consume.
As a result more and more people are paying attention to what they eat, drink and put on their skin - and rightfully so. The skin absorbs many of the chemicals (natural or otherwise) that are contained in skin and personal care products and as this is becoming more widely known, concerned consumers are starting to ask questions, read labels and change brands.
Our bodies are sensitive to chemicals and will react to them - if these chemicals are good for our body then we get a favourable reaction if not, well, we know the answer to that.
The amount of chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis is staggering and few of these are of benefit to our health. As a result we are seeing more and more people becoming allergic to even the most natural of substances such as Pea nuts and Strawberries! You've heard the news reports of people having to be taken to hospital because they ate Pea nuts...
The ever increasing number and amounts of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and whatever else that is floating around in the air we breath all day and night is almost unimaginable. Our bodies have to cope with this in the best way it can. Our immune systems are therefore challenged all the time. Is it any wonder that some people develop allergies, cancer and other diseases as a result?
Just to prove this point, as I am writing this article, a news report on Channel 10 (Australian Television, 16th April '08) just reported that a chemical, known as bisphenol A (BPA), which is contained in some plastic food and drink packaging, including baby bottles, may be tied to early puberty as well as prostate and breast cancer.
As a result the Canadian health ministry is ready to declare BPA a dangerous substance, making it the first regulatory body in the world to reach such a determination. - Need I say more...
For these reasons choosing natural and organic skin care products is a step in the right direction and doing so is a bit like taking out a health insurance policy - putting less non-natural chemicals into your body has got to be the right choice.
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Herbal Teas and Their Benefits
Herbal Teas are possibly one of the most over-looked and underrated remedies sitting right there in your kitchen or growing in your garden.
We have all at least heard that drinking Chamomile tea before going to bed can help to promote relaxation and sleep. That lemon tea with honey is great to help overcome a cold or that peppermint tea can help sooth an upset stomach. But did you know that damiana tea is the herbal equivalent of Viagra? That hawthorn berry tea can help with heart disorders or that dandelion tea can help clean out your liver?
That’s right, herbs drunk in the form of tea have many of the medicinal properties that herbal extracts have. Herbal teas might not be as strong in many cases, but herbal medicine using teas instead of extracts has been a long established, and by some herbalists preferred, form of treating disorders and diseases.
Here are some examples of the types of disorders and diseases specific herbal teas can treat:
The benefits of Chamomile tea are widely recognized and have been acknowledged of centuries. They include:
Obviously, chamomile may need to be combined with additional herbs to treat various conditions, but just on its own it packs quite a punch.
Ginger has been used by the Chinese for thousands of years and still plays an important role in Chinese medicine today. Its benefits and medicinal applications are many, too many to list and discuss here, but include:
Rosemary is a powerful antioxidant and has been found to be a stimulant as well as a mild analgesic. The following health benefits are attributed to the rosemary tea:
Dandelion root is often used as a coffee substitute, being slightly bitter and not dissimilar to coffee. However, its health benefits are much greater than that of coffee.
The bitter compounds in the leaves and root help stimulate digestion and are mild laxatives. These bitter principles also increase bile production in the gallbladder and bile flow from the liver, which aid the digestion.
As a consequence, dandelion tea may be used for:
Damiana is native to America and has been used by Native American Indians for thousands of years. Damiana can be found growing throughout the southern United States, Mexico, and well into Latin America. Yep, they too needed some help under the hides occasionally.
It looks much like oregano. The whole stems are harvested when the plant breaks into bloom. Once dry, they are stripped of their leaves and buds, and the result is the product you use to make damiana tea.
Apart from its aphrodisiac qualities, the health benefits of damiana include:
If you find that your herbal tea could do with a little honey, just go ahead and ad a spoon. Not only is honey good for you, it will take some of the bitter qualities out of teas such as dandelion and rosemary tea.
To make a herbal tea, use 1 teaspoon of the dried herb to a cup of boiled water, let it sit for 10 minutes then sit back and enjoy your herbal tea.
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Biological Name: Santalum album L.
Parts Used: Wood
Sandalwood and its oil, is one of the oldest known perfume materials and has a long history (more than 4000 years) of use as mentioned in Sanskrit manuscripts. Sandalwood is still used in religious rituals in India and is also used as a medium from which to carve deities and temples. The ancient Egyptians imported the wood and used it in medicine, embalming and ritual burning to venerate the gods. The oil has been in public use since the early 1800s 2.
Traditional Applications in Aromatherapy:
According to Tisserand (1992) 3 Sandalwood has the following properties:
Antidepressant, Antiphlogistic (Counteracts, reduces, or prevents inflammation), Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Aphrodisiac, Astringent, Carminative, Diuretic, Expectorant (an agent that increases bronchial secretions and facilitates their expulsion through coughing, spitting or sneezing), Sedative, and Tonic.
Tisserand (1992) attributes the following uses to Sandalwood.
The Essential oil of Sandalwood is used in the following Wildcrafted Herbal Products:
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We hope you enjoyed these articles and invite you to send us suggestions of topics you would like to see us cover in the coming months.
Your suggestions are always welcome and we endeavour to cover the topics you would like to know more about - so don't be shy, drop us a line or two!
In good health
Danny & Susan Siegenthaler
© Copyright: Wildcrafted Herbal Products, 2008
Hello to you all, and a hearty Miau.
I hope you found last month's article interesting and helpful.
This month we'll look at:
So you have an allergy to cats, but love them and want to have your cake and eat it too. Well, the good news is that you can have a cat and your allergies, as long as you are not extremely allergic to them.
Designate one room (usually your bedroom) as "cat-free". Do not let the cat sleep in your room or on your pillows.
Wash your hands with soap after petting/grooming your cat.
Most people are not allergic to the fur - they are allergic to the dander the cat produces or to the cat's saliva.
Keep the cat away from your face.
Wipe down your cat every other day with distilled water. This will neutralize the allergens in the fur.
Invest in a air purifier for your house/apartment.
Try to avoid touching your eyes after petting your cat.
Some people say that longhair cats are less allergic to people then short hair as they don't shed the same. So try a persian or himalayan type.
Rex cats, which only have the undercoat, are less likely to trigger allergies, as they do not shed like ordinary cats.
People with cat allergies are often sensitive to the FelD1 protein present in cats.
Many cats of the Siberian breed test very low in this protein and may be tolerated by some allergic people. This is a rare breed, but it is becoming more popular.
Beware of breeders claiming their cats are "hypoallergenic" - there is no such animal - all cats can trigger allergies, even the hairless kind. If you are allergic to saliva, then even the hairless kind will produce an allergic reaction as the cat does wash itself. In fact you might be more allergic (for that reason) to a hairless cat than to one that has fur!
As you can see, it is possible to have a cat and be allergic to cats at the same time - My dad's allergic to me...
For now, Miau from me, until next month.
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