Natural Skin Care Newsletter - April 2009

Natural skin care products by Wildcrafted Herbal Products


Your Natural Skin & Personal Care Solution

Natural skin care products by Wildcrafted Herbal Products

Natural Skin Care Newsletter: April Issue

Natural Skin Care Products by Wildcrafted Herbal Products


Welcome to the April 2009 Issue of the Natural Skin Care Newsletter.

Once again we've put together a hopefully interesting set of news items, articles, hints & tips for you to look at and contemplate. The Sun, or rather its ultra-violet rays, has made it into the news again - this time however for all the right reasons... and, Kitty takes a look at what's involved in getting that puppy dog to dog school.

You can follow us on twitter - we're not exactly sure what we're doing with it, but with your help, we might be able to get some interesting things to happen...

We hope you'll enjoy this issue of our newsletter.

Happy reading....



Index of the April Issue of the Natural Skin Care Newsletter:

(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)


Vitamin D and Sun-light: Essentials for a Healthy Life
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)

Day to day things that can irritate your skin: How can you identify the cause of your skin problem?
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)

What's the Big Deal with Natural Skincare?
(by Susan & Danny Siegenthaler)

About A Medicinal Herb of Interest: Chickweed (Stellaria media)
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)

Kitty's Corner - Training and Socializing Your New Puppy Dog
(by Kitty the Cat)


Newsletter - April 2009










Vitamin D and Sun-light: Essentials for a healthy Life

For decades now, both Susan and I have been telling our patients, and anyone else who would listen, not to stay out of the sun, but to use the sun to help maintain their general health, avoid osteoporosis and auto-immune diseases. When used correctly there is little chance of causing skin cancer, but incorrect use of the Sun and therefore over-exposure to UV-rays can of course be dangerous. We've even published an article "Sunlight, Vitamin D and Your Skin" on this very topic.

Traditional naturopathic medicine has always used short-time, early morning (before 9am in Summer and 10am in Winter) exposure to the sun as part of any health regime to treat a range of diseases.

The following transcript, of a news story televised on Australia’s ABC, confirms what Natural therapists have been preaching for years; but now even the scientists confirm this – so, it must be right…(sorry about the sarcasm...)

Transcript from Catalyst: Vitamin D - ABC TV Science: (12/03/2009)

Have we taken our fear of the sun too far? We’re told to keep out of the sun – so what are you to think when your doctor tells you that you’re not getting enough of it and as a result you now have a serious vitamin D deficiency? Dr Norman Swan soaks up some rays to find out what is really going on.

The sun’s ultraviolet rays produce most of the vitamin D your body needs. But it’s a double edged sword – too much sun can cause skin cancer and too little can lead to vitamin D deficiency.

Our summers were spent basically down the beach but now of course life is different
because of John’s melanomas we’ve had to stay out of the sun and I guess that’s what’s led to the vitamin D deficiency.

Dr Norman Swan:
Sophie and John’s story isn’t unique there are lots of Australians with vitamin D levels that seem to be too low and that has enormous potential implications

GP, Dr Larry Light, routinely tests his patients for their vitamin D levels.

Dr Larry Light:
Your vitamin D levels….

And almost 80% of his patients over 60 are vitamin D deficient.

Dr Larry Light:
It's almost unusual to find someone over the age of 60 with normal Vitamin D levels.

Dr Norman Swan:
Dr Lights approach to people like Sophie and John could well be on the money low vitamin D levels have been associated with an increase risk of colon cancer schizophrenia diabetes multiple sclerosis falls and bone fractures not to mention heart disease. It all seems too amazing to be true but is it? And it’s all for something that’s not even a vitamin.

It’s actually a chemical messenger – a hormone. Vitamin D is produced in your skin when it’s exposed to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. It then goes through a series of chemical processes in the liver and kidney where it’s converted to it’s active form – the hormone, calcitriol.

Prof. Rebecca Mason:
Now the most important thing that calcitriol does is help calcium and phosphate absorption from the environment into the body. Particularly important for strong bones and good muscle function. What we've found out though, that there are proteins that respond to Vitamin D in just about every cell in the body. And Vitamin D has effects in most tissues in the body.

In recent years low vitamin D has been associated with the development of autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes… but Dr Jenny Gunton and her colleagues have found a link with all types of diabetes.

Dr Jenny Gunton:
It looks like people with diabetes are more likely to be vitamin D deficient. It’s not clear why it covers all types of diabetes but we think that it plays an important role in the function of beta cells and they’re the cells that make all the insulin for your body. The beta cells don’t work as well if you don’t have enough vitamin D. We don't know whether or not you can use Vitamin D to treat diabetes but it's a question that we're starting to look at. We're certainly treating people who we find to be Vitamin D deficient and it looks like it's helping their diabetes.

The real scientific test to see whether vitamin D is truly of benefit is to give it to people in a trial.. and a recent study is taking trials involving 57,000 people taking vitamin D supplements and what they showed was that supplementation was associated with a lower risk of dying of any cause.

Dr Jenny Gunton:
I think Vitamin D deficiency is becoming a public health issue. It's becoming incredibly common in people who are otherwise healthy.

Prof. Rebecca Mason:
The groups who are really at risk are the people who are older. People who have dark skin. The people who cover up. And anyone who's chronically ill.

Dr Jenny Gunton:
Normal levels for vitamin D are a controversial topic but its very clear if your levels are below 25 that it’s very bad for your bone density and increased risk of osteoporosis and breaking your bones; up to 50 which is the current cut off for normal you still have abnormalities in calcium handling in the body.

Dr Norman Swan:
So if you’ve got a low level of vitamin D what’s the best way to replace it? Sunlight’s pretty good, 90% of vitamin D is made by sunlight having an impact on your skin, but sunlight also causes skin cancer do we really need more sun?

Rebecca Mason and her team have made some remarkable findings – getting your vitamin D levels from the sun can be safe and may also have a protective effect.

Prof. Rebecca Mason:
What we've shown is that Vitamin D compounds used topically both in human skin and in animals reduce UV induced DNA damage and in animals reduces the immuno suppression and the skin cancers. We think that this reflects a natural protection in the skin that Vitamin D is giving you.

Some experts recommend exposing 15% of your body to the sun every day for six to eight minutes before 11am or after three pm; and double this time during winter, if you live in Tasmania, or if you have dark skin.

How does this sit with the Cancer Council’s Slip Slop Slap campaign?

Professor Ian Olver:
It’s very important that the sun protection message during the summer remains and the vitamin D message can complement it for times when the sun is unlikely to burn you skin.

But getting out into the sun at a particular hour of day for just the right length of time is not practical for everyone….

John Biggs:
I've had two melanomas and do my best to sort of keep out of the sun.

So for people like John, supplements have their place. But what’s the recommended dose?

Prof. Rebecca Mason:
The only supplements that are generally available here are about a thousand international units and most of them are in the Vitamin D3 form. In the same form as we make in the skin. If you've actually got significant levels of Vitamin D deficiency. So most people now are recommending a loading dose of at least say five tablets a day for a couple of weeks and then going back onto the one thousand units a day.

Dr Light:
Your vitamin D levels have risen from the original 23 up to 82 nanomoles per litre. So taking those capsules, I think it was about four at night paid off.

But what about diet? With only 10% of the vitamin D your body needs coming from food is it a realistic source?

Dr Jenny Gunton:
We don’t get enough vitamin D from the diet unless you take supplements in nearly all cases, because you only get it from oily fish or cod liver oil and I’ve never had cod liver oil but I’m told it tastes memorably awful.

So if you just want the maintenance dose of vitamin D, you would have to eat the equivalent of one large fillet of oily fish, or one tablespoon of tasty cod liver oil every day.

I’ll be taking vitamin D now for the rest of my life one capsule a day just to make sure that my levels don’t drop and that I can get on with life

Dr Norman Swan:
So what are the main messages here - well a lot of us are low in vitamin D and we don’t even know it, you can have your levels checked but they’re expensive to do, for some of us just being out in the sun for a few extra minutes a day particularly if we’re exercising that’ll be good, 15% of your body uncovered, many people though are going to require supplements sometimes in quite significant doses so it’s probably a good idea to have a chat with your doctor first.

Story Contacts
Dr Jenny Gunton
Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Prof Rebecca Mason
Bosch Institute, The University of Sydney

Boy, it's nice to be vindicated.

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Day to day things that can irritate your skin: How can you identify the cause of your persistent skin problem?


Recently we have been receiving many questions about unknown skin problems/reactions and how to identify the causes of them. Often time it is not an easy task to identify what caused such a reaction. For this reason we thought we would address some of the reasons to common skin irritations in this article and hope it will help some of you to identify possible causes of such skin reactions and how to avoid them in the first instance.

Skin Problems: What can you do? How can you find a solution to the skin problem you’ve been battling with for months or even years?

Well, there are quite a number of things you may not have thought about. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How long has this problem existed?
  • Did I change anything around the time this problem started? For example:
    • Did you change the soap or the washing powder you’re using?
    • Go on a diet? Started using a new perfume?
    • Did you have a medical problem at that time? Or change medication?
    • Take on a job with more responsibility and stress?
  • Does anything you do make the skin problem worse or better?
  • Does weather have an influence?
  • Do you come in contact with potentially toxic chemicals on a daily or regular basis?

Every single day we expose ourselves, knowingly or unknowingly, to literally thousands of different chemicals. These chemicals can be as inert as Water (hydrogen and oxygen) or as potentially poisonous as lead, or many other potentially harmful chemical compounds.

We find potentially toxic chemicals everywhere from food and food additives to cosmetics, from air pollutants to bacteria. The list is endless as are the potential effects to the health of our skin.

Skin disorders will affect most of us at some point in our lives. Acne is a very common teenage skin condition almost everybody has to deal with at some time. Women entering menopause commonly experience middle age acne. Men often have blackheads and other rashes frequently associated with the type of work environment they find themselves in. People with diseases such as diabetes may suffer from skin ulcers or other skin afflictions.

Our skin is a very complex and important organ and needs to be cared for just like any other organ if we want it to perform at its best. Unlike our other organs however, the skin is at the frontline of defence and forms a physical barrier between our inside and the outside environment. It is in this outside environment we encounter many potentially harmful chemicals and often our skin, particularly sensitive skin, will be adversely effected by some of the chemicals it is exposed to.

Which chemicals will cause you problems will depend on your particular skin’s sensitivity. Some people will react to contact with certain metals, others won’t, but they may react to the caustic in soap, or some additive or colour in make-up, shampoos, conditioners, cosmetics, skin care products, food colouring, flavouring, preservatives or even foods such as the humble strawberry.

There are even less obvious reasons as to why skin problems may occur. For example, if you use commercially available soap to wash your skin, you will almost certainly destroy your protective acid mantel of your skin, resulting in a change of the pH of your skin. This leaves your skin wide open to being affected by bacteria or other pathogens. As a result you may end up getting some sort of skin infection and wonder why.

In addition, there are other factors such as stress, which has a very strong effect on the health of your skin. Dry, sensitive and itchy skin is very often associated with high stress levels and if these are sustained, they can cause skin problems such as dermatitis/eczema.

Furthermore, the amount of water you drink will either positively or negatively affect your skin. Your skin is dependant on sufficient levels of water for hydration and cell function. If you do not drink sufficient quantities of water, your skin will not be provided with adequate amounts and thus your skin will become dehydrated. Again, this will leave your skin more sensitive and vulnerable to attack from pathogens, and your skin will be more sensitive to various chemicals.

It is widely accepted that we need to consume at least 8 glasses of water. This is approximately equivalent to 2 litres of water. Less than this amount will invariably lead to dehydration and this will be reflected in the health of your skin. Coffee, ordinary tea and alcohol are no substitute for water and or fruit/vegetable juices. Coffee and non-herbal tea will rob your body of more water than these drinks contain, leaving you with a deficit of water. Furthermore, alcohol is known to dehydrate the body and this is not the aim we are trying to achieve.

Similarly, the foods you eat may or may not provide you with all the necessary nutrients your skin needs to retain its health. Vitamin and Essential fatty acids need to be consumed and absorbed in sufficient amounts for your skin to stay healthy and perform its vital functions adequately. The less processed foods you eat the better and the more variety your diet has the better your chances are that you are getting the nutrients your body and skin needs. Don’t skimp on the quality of the food you buy, you’ll pay for it one-way or the other.

So take a close look at what has changed in your life at around the time you started noticing the problem with your skin. Take a look at the stresses in your life and see if these started to increase at about the time you first noticed a change in the health of your skin. Ask yourself - do you really drink enough water every day? Chances are you’re not, but measure it, analyse it, make sure. Does it really ad up to 2 litres a day, every day? Look at the foods you eat, are they highly processed or as fresh and natural as if you just got them from your garden?

With a little effort and patience you should be able to identity one or more possible causes of your skin problem. Eliminating these and observing resulting changes or lack thereof in your skin will soon tell you what is possibly causing or contributing to your skin condition. Be patient, change one thing at a time and give your body enough time to react, then, if this did not work change the next thing, give it time and watch for results. Keep doing this until you notice a change.

Try to remove as many chemicals as possible from your day-to-day life. Use natural skin care and other products that use 100% natural ingredients as much as possible. While this is not a guarantee that you may not be allergic to a natural substance, it is more likely that some man-made synthetic chemical, rather than a naturally occurring one, is causing your skin problem.

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Ever wondered what the big deal is about natural skincare?

Let's have a look at some very good reasons why using natural skincare products is a healthier and more environmentally friendly choice than using the non-natural alternatives.

Truly natural skincare products are usually composed of natural and organic ingredients such as herbal extracts, essential oils, natural cosmetic butters, and so on. These ingredients also contain naturally occurring vitamins, essential fatty acids, minerals and other 'skin foods' that are absorbed easily and quickly by the skin.

Well formulated, natural skincare products give your skin the nutrition it needs to maintain a healthy, youthful complexion, without exposing you to the potentially harmful ingredients contained in many of the popular non-natural skin care brands.

However, quite apart from the health benefits to your skin, there are several other direct and indirect benefits to using natural skincare products. One of these is the effect they have, or rather don't have, on our environment. You see, the ingredients used in natural skincare products are far less harmful to us and our environment than the synthetic or potentially harmful ingredients used in many of the well-known department store brands.

Natural ingredients usually break down more easily and do not cause any stress on rives or the environment as a whole. This is unlike some of the other types of products that contain ingredients such as formaldehyde, DEA, EDTA, Diazolidinyl Urea, and other nasty chemicals, which can build up in the environment and cause pollution in our rivers and the surrounding ecosystems. Not to mention the real possibility of these chemicals entering into the food chain and ultimately on our dinner plate.

Natural skincare products also have other additional benefits. Because the ingredients are usually extracted from herbs and essential oils, etc., they do not require to be manufactured by chemical companies. Herbs and essential oils are easily extracted from the plant and the pulp that remains, after the medicinal properties have been extracted, can be reused to produce fresh, nutrient rich compost. No potentially toxic waste products here...

As demand for organically grown herbs and essential oils increases, more and more farmers are switching to sustainable and organic farming methods. Again this benefits us because there are less pesticides and herbicides being sprayed and the fertilisers used on organic farms are mostly natural and/or organic. This is better for the soil and resulting plants, the surrounding environment, the air we breath and of course you, the end user of the product.

Another, additional benefit is that most ethical manufacturers of truly natural skin care products do not test their products on animals. Why? Because the herbs and essential oils used in their products have stood the test of time and have been used in herbal medicine and Aromatherapy for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. They are known to be safe and effective and therefore there is no need to test them on animals.

When we consider the number of chemicals we use just to have a shower and wash our hair, which get flushed down the plug and end up in our waterways, I think you'll agree that the less harmful these chemicals are, the better for the environment. Sewage treatment plants are simply not designed to remove these types of chemicals and invariably these slip through the system into our rivers and dams from where we get out drinking water...

So you see, natural skincare products are not just great for our skin, but they are also much better for our natural environment - that's what I'd call a win-win.

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About A Herb of Interest: Chickweed (Stellaria media)


HerbBotanical Name:
Stellaria media


Other Names:
Addre's mouth, Indian chickweed, satin flower, starwort, stitchwort, tongue-grass, winterweed, starweed, star chickweed, tongue grass, chickweed.

Parts Used:
dried herb (above ground parts)


Chickweed is an annual or biennial weed found in abundance all over the World in gardens, fields, lawns, waste places, and along roadsides. The usually creeping, brittle stems grow from 4 to 12 inches long.

Uses in Natural Skin Care Products:

Cuts, Wounds, itching and skin irritation; Skin diseases, boils, scalds, burns,

Uses in Traditional Herbal Medicine:

External Uses Include:

  • Eczema
  • Insect stings and bites

Internal Uses Include:

Traditionally used for all cases of bronchitis, pleurisy, coughs, colds, hoarseness, rheumatism, inflammation, weakness of the bowels and stomach, lungs, bronchial tubes, and any other forms of internal inflammation.

Therapeutic Wildcrafted Therapeutic Products that Contain Chickweed:

Chickweed Cream

Therapeutic Indications:
To relieve the symptoms associated with mild eczema and psoriasis where there is itching, swelling, and redness.

Directions for use:
Apply as required to relieve symptoms.

Natural cream base, Stellaria media, Chamomile blue, natural preservative.



The information provided here is not for the purpose of self diagnosis or self treatment. It is provided for the sole purpose of providing general information about herbs used in herbal medicine. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.

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Susan and I hope you've enjoyed the articles and information provided in our Newsletter and look forward to any comments and feedback you may have. We'd also like to encourage all of you to suggest topics you would like to see us cover.

In good health

Danny & Susan Siegenthaler


© Copyright: Wildcrafted Herbal Products, 2009

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Kitty's Corner


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:

Training and Socializing Your New Puppy Dog

So you got a little puppy-dog for Christmas and now it’s time to teach it how to behave and get it socialized with other dogs. Where do you go and what can you expect?

This is a great time to plan for attending the obedience and dog training classes held at your local dog-training club throughout the coming year. Regular dog raining has some great benefits. The obvious is that (hopefully) you’ll have a more obedient, socialized puppy dog at the end of some regular sessions.

Regular training has both a social and learning element for you and your dog and helps you to bond with your pet. Social interaction at the end of the lead also reinforces canine manners and your dog will learn that you are the boss. In addition, you’ll meet all sorts of people get to know some different breeds and both you and your dog will make new friends.

Most dog clubs only charge a nominal yearly joining fee and thereafter you pay a couple of dollars for each session you attend. Usually, you won’t be expected to book your slot in advance-just turn up on the day and pay your session fee. A rough guide would be an annual joining fee of around $15-$20 and each session $2-$4. Your vet and local newspaper are great sources to find a local dog training club.

Most clubs operate their training on Sunday mornings, rain or shine. Before enrolling you’ll have to prove your dog is fully vaccinated, so bring along your certificate from the vet.

Many of the trainers you find at dog clubs are very knowledgeable and can give general training advice. Most will be able to refer you to good dog behaviourists or vets in the area, should you have more pressing or serious health and behaviour questions.

Dog clubs are open to any one wanting to participate, so you can make it a family activity. Responsible children over 12 are actively encouraged to participate and learn good dog-handling skills. Lessons in how to train your dot to sit, stay, heel and drop are just the basics. Many clubs promote other dog sports like agility and fly ball. Introduction to these sports may well bring out your competitive edge and spur you on to seek out regular dog sport training sessions.

What to bring to training:
• Sun protection,
• Bum bag or training bag to carry treats, poo bags, money, phone, etc.,
• Motivators for your dog – squeaky toy, training treats, etc.,
• Poo pick-up bags,
• Appropriate leash and collar – many clubs won’t allow retractable or extendable leads as they’re deemed unsuitable.
• And of course, your puppy dog.

The time and money invested in ensuring your new puppy dog is well socialised, well behaved and obedient is well worth it considering the alternatives.

For now, Miau from me, until next month.


Source: Kitty-the-Cat

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Natural Skin Care Products - NEWS
What's New at Wildcrafted Herbal Products.

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Give your skin an advantage by using natural organic skin care products that nourish, protect and pamper your skin - naturally.

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Natural Facial Cleansers

Cleansing, toning and moisturising the skin is part of any good skin care regime.

Natural Hydrating Facial Cleanser

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Facial Skin Toners

Wildcrafted Herbal Products make Toners specific for your skin type. They are designed to tone and invigorate the skin before using your moisturiser.

Milk of Roses Natural Facial Skin Toner

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Natural Facial Skin Moisturisers

Wildcrafted's Moisturisers nourish, hydrate and help to repair your skin.

Rose Day Cream

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Age Defying Essence

The Age Defying Essence is part of our Anti-aging System. Use it separately, or as part of a whole systematic approach to aid in preventing premature aging of your skin.

Natural Organic Age Defying Skin Care Products

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