WILDCRAFTED HERBAL PRODUCTS
Your Natural Skin & Personal Care Solution
Natural Skin Care Newsletter: February 2009 Issue
Welcome to the February Issue of the Natural Skin Care Newsletter.
With the new year already well on the way and Summer (in Australia) being rather on the warm side, we thought we'd provide you with some interesting news/articles so you can put up your feet, enjoy a long cool drink (or maybe a hot one if you're in Chicago... we shiver for you) and enjoy our Newsletter.
Once again the news have been warning us of toxic this and that and we've included two articles that talk about cancer causing substances in products many of us use every day - well, maybe no longer.
Kitty provides some good hints and tips on how to rid your roof of those noisy Possums (this is probably one for Aussies), but hopefully will interest some of our Non-Australian readers also. She's excelled herself on this one and it is quite long, so if you'd like to read it in a full-page format, you can just use the link below the title in the contents list and a new page will open with the whole article in an easy printable format.
We hope you will enjoy our February Newsletter and as always invite you to send us feedback and comments or even ideas for future articles.
Sun Protection (Part II): Nanotechnology in Sunscreens - a Probable Cancer Risk
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)
Are Natural and Organic Skin Care Products Too Expensive?
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)
Mouthwash linked to Oral Cancer
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)
About An Essential Oil of Interest: Clove Oil
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)
Newsletter - February 2009
News At Wildcrafted
Changes to Email forms and Contact forms
Launching our Non Alcohol-based, 100% Natural Mouth Refresher
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In Part I, we looked at sunscreen factors (SPFs) and their possible health risks and in a previous article we looked at the use of nanotechnology in the cosmetics industry. Today, scientists from the CSIRO have shown, under laboratory conditions, that nano particles of metal oxides (as used in sunscreen lotions) can penetrate cells and damage DNA.
Below is a transcript from the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) reporting on the potential cancer risk resulting from the use of nanotechnology in sunscreen lotions.
So, what does it all mean?
Well, we know zinc cream is a great, safe sunscreen that’s been used by Australians for decades.
The problem is that it forms a white, sticky film on the surface of the skin and this is considered ‘unsightly’. So, the chemists went to work and figured out that by reducing the size of the SPFs (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) they still have the same function of reflecting and blocking harmful UV-rays from the sun, but do not form a white sticky film on the skin.
Here’s the problem, the skin, a natural barrier, will not readily absorb everything we put on it. The skin will however only absorb molecules that are small enough to penetrate through the dead skin layers – this is why the traditionally used zinc cream, which contains large molecules stays on the skin.
However, nano-particles do get absorbed into the skin and worse, according to the CSIRO, into the living cells. They have shown that the cell’s DNA is damaged as a results. What this translates into is that there is a real risk of developing cancer as a direct result of damage to the DNA.
In a nut-shell, what researchers have shown is that the reduced size of these sunscreens (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) have a potentially serious health effect on your skin.
What about your skin care products that contain SPFs?
So far we’ve looked at sunscreen lotions, but what about the skin care products that contain these sunscreens? Well, there’s no difference. If nano-particles of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are used to provide the sun protection, then these are absorbed into the skin. What is worse, a moisturiser is designed to ‘transport’ molecules into the living layers of the skin and therefore the titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are aided in their absorption.
Natural ingredients in skin and personal care products that are not derived, synthesised, or manipulated are simply the safest choice. That’s why Wildcrafted Herbal Products does not use any sunscreen factors in our products and relies on the effectiveness of antioxidants.
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There is occasionally discussion among consumers about the retail prices of natural and organic products. Some people wonder if they are being charged a fair price for the goods they purchase or if they are just being ‘taken for a ride’ on what could be the latest fad for ‘natural and organic’ products. This article hopes to shed some light on some of the main factors that influence the retail prices of natural and organic products.
We are asked daily in our business about the cost of our products: some people want to know, given that our products are based on organic and natural ingredients, why they are so inexpensive and others ask why our products cost so much. Two different questions asked from two different perspectives.
The first question is asked from the belief that organic and natural raw ingredients are frequently high in price and so it is expected that products based on these types of ingredients would be expensive. The other perspective is asked from the belief that the production of natural and organic ingredients (well, they do grown on trees don’t they?”) should cost less than the manufacture of synthetic or mass-produced ingredients and thus products based on these should be inexpensive.
The first question is probably closer to the truth than the second in its assumption about the cost of ingredients that are natural and organic.
The production of natural and organic goods, be they foods or raw materials used in further manufacturing, is labour intensive and the demand is currently relatively small compared to the mainstream. In addition, organic producers must go through a cost intensive process to achieve organic certification of their products. These three factors are primary contributors to the basic gross costs of natural and organic products.
Leaving aside global economic crises, the cost of essential oils can significantly influence the ultimate price of natural and organic skin care and personal care products that contain these ingredients. Growing, harvesting, oil extraction, quality testing, market demand and availability all play roles in this.
Essential oils are extracted from the leaves, roots, flowers, fruits and nuts of plants that may be grown as commercial crops or may be wild-harvested (although the latter occurs less and less frequently today due to conservation concerns). Extraction processes vary according to the part of the plant from which the oil is to be extracted and the quality of the oil required at the end of the process. In keeping with increasing demand for pure and high quality essential oils, extraction methods have become more sophisticated and technology-based on the one hand whilst growing and harvesting techniques have returned to more traditional, sustainable and labour-intensive methods.
For the most part, the amount of plant material required to produce a kilogram of essential oil can be huge. For example, it has been estimated that it takes about 500kg of rose petals to produce 1 litre of rose oil (and individual rose petals don’t weigh very much!).
Climatic conditions have a major influence on essential oil prices. For example, a bad season in which there is insufficient rainfall or the occurrence of natural disasters such as storms, hail, floods and fires, can affect the amount of plant material available for harvesting and therefore, the amount of essential oil that can be extracted. In this scenario, a limited amount of essential oil available to the market can cause a dramatic increase in price. Man–made disasters such as wars also have a detrimental effect on the availability of many of our much-loved essential oils.
Australia has a relatively small essential oil producing industry, with most of the essential oils sold in Australia imported from elsewhere. Included in the list of ‘elsewhere’ is Hungary, China, India, Egypt, West Indies, Thailand, Italy, USA, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, France, Somalia, Madagascar, Spain, Brazil, United Kingdom, Paraguay, Bulgaria and Tunisia. On average, of the most commonly sold essential oils available in Australia, only 16% are produced here.
We won’t even bother to factor in costs like import duties and other taxes on the imported essential oils.
Market forces also exert an influence on the cost of essential oils. One of the most useful and sought after essential oils in the perfumery and cosmetics industries is Rose Oil and this of course, increases its demand in the market place. The average cost of 1 kilogram of Certified Organic Rose Otto oil is AU$12,000!!! Amazingly, this is not the most expensive of the essential oils.
It is true that essential oils from plants that grow abundantly, easily and have a high essential oil content are less expensive. However, these are also often the essential oils that are less useful in skin care and body care formulations.
The average price of a 25ml bottle of pure certified organic essential oil is currently AU$72.00, so it can be seen that skin and body care products containing pure certified organic essential oils may have a good excuse to be more expensive than the average mass-produced, synthetic-based Brand X product.
Why then, you may well ask, do manufacturer’s put certified organic essential oils into their products? Why not leave the nice aromas out altogether?
The answer is simply that essential oils are not in the products solely for their wonderful aromas. Essential oils have amazing and often profound direct beneficial effects on the skin and hair as well as producing beneficial psychological and psychosomatic effects via their influence on the nervous and hormonal systems.
Natural and organic skin and body care products that contain essential oils are not just exerting a superficial or cosmetic effect on your skin but also have the potential to positively influence your health and well-being, with effects that are definitely more than skin deep.
So, to return to the original question of whether the cost of organic and natural skin care products is too expensive or too inexpensive, it all depends on what’s in them and how much of the ingredients a product contains.
At Wildcrafted, our products contain therapeutic quantities of ingredients, this by necessity makes them expensive to manufacture. However, our costs are minimised, because we do not distribute them through traditional supply chains. That is we supply our products directly to our customers via our on-line store, which means they are not as expensive as they would be if customers where able to buy them at a local store.
If that were the case, the retail price of our products would be approximately double that of what our customers are currently paying.
Wildcrafted’s aim has always been to provide the highest possible product quality and effectiveness at an affordable price.
We hope that we have been able to shed a little bit of light on some of the contributing factors involved. We also hope that we have been able to show that the health benefits gained from using an organic and natural product go beyond cosmetic improvement to your skin and hair.
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Below is a transcript from the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) reporting on the potential cancer risk resulting from the use Mouthwash.
Mouthwash linked with increased cancer risk
Posted Sun Jan 11, 2009 7:45am AEDT; Updated Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:10am AEDT
Dental experts are warning mouthwash could cause oral cancer and should be made available on prescription only. A review published in the Australian Dental Journal has linked mouthwash containing alcohol to an increased risk of developing the deadly disease.
The alcohol in mouthwash is believed to allow cancer causing compounds to attack the lining of the mouth more easily. The review author, Michael McCullough, is an Associate Professor in Oral medicine at Melbourne University. He says dentists need to be aware of the risks of mouthwash.
"If they are going to recommend alcohol-containing products then they recommend it for a good reason, for a short period of time," he said. "With this evidence that we've reviewed, we think it's not advisable for them to recommend it for the long, over a long period of time."
He says oral cancer examinations should be part of any dental check up. "It should be just part of a regular examination so that when patients should be attending their dentist regularly for their teeth but also as part of that they should, in effect, have an oral cancer screening," he said.
"The vast majority of dentists do that, we just need to document it and tell the patients that's why we're doing it." Professor McCullough says he is also concerned about mouthwash products that are readily available in supermarkets. "There are products out there that are being recommended that have high levels of alcohol," he said.
"The most common is up at about 26 per cent alcohol in mouthwashes which is about twice as much as in wine and is being recommended as a product to use more than once a day, over an extended period of time to benefit the oral cavity." But the New South Wales Cancer Institute's Professor Jim Bishop says the research forming the basis of the report does not specify the degree of risk.
He says the institute wants to commission more research into the issue. "We don't know what sort of risk we're talking about with people who use mouthwash regularly... it might be quite low or it might be high so we need to know the degree of risk that's involved," he said.
More than 800 Australians are diagnosed with oral cancer each year. About half of them die within five years of being diagnosed.
How To Avoid Risking Mouth Cancer
Alcohol has been used in herbal medicine for millennia to extract active ingredients from medicinal herbs. It is a well established fact, that alcohol will aid in the transportation of other chemicals (natural or otherwise) through the mucousa into underlying tissues and/or the blood stream. This is particularly effective in the oral cavity and the digestive tract, which have a rich blood supply.
There is however a safe and effective alternative. Choose a mouthwash that is not alcohol-based and only contains natural ingredients such as essential oils of Spearmint, Ginger, Lemon and Clove oil, as well as other herbal extracts that are known for their antiseptic properties.
Wildcrafted's non alcohol-based, safe and effective Mouthwash will keep your mouth and breath clean and fresh, naturally.
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Uses in Natural Skin Care Products:
Colve Oil (Eugenia caryophyllata) is used In Wildcrafted's
Uses in Traditional Medicine:
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Susan and I hope you've enjoyed the articls 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
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:
WHAT’S THAT NOISE IN THE ROOF?
Like so many other people in Australia we have possums living in our roof. Not just one possum but at lest three seem to have come to an uneasy truce and are sharing our roof space. I can hear them scrambling and squabbling as they leave to go on their food patrol each night and again on their return just before the sun rises. What a noisy bunch they are!! They certainly don’t seem to care too much about stealth like we cats do!
For the most part, my family don’t seem to mind sharing the roof with the possums and even seem to like the fact that there are native animals living with us. But lately I have heard my family talking about the possible structural damage that the possums can cause in the roof space.
We know that some people aren’t too fussed about having possums around and try everything that they can to ‘get rid of them’. They seem to be successful, but I think that their possums end up coming to live with us as they have no where else to go once they are forced out of the nice, comfortable and safe nests that they have built in other people’s roofs.
As the possums’ habitat becomes smaller and smaller, they have less and less suitable tree hollows to live in and food to eat and are faced with more and more predation by domestic pets as well as their usual predators like owls, hawks and eagles. It’s a difficult situation and that’s for sure! Most of our neighbours have one or two dogs and often more than one cat and they seem to like to cut down trees quite a lot too. What is a homeless possum to do?
Possums are very controversial animals as it turns out and I decided to find out more about them and how humans can learn how to share living space with possums.
There are two main types of possums that we see in our garden – the Common Brush-tail Possum and the Common Ringtail Possum.
Common Brush-tail Possums
Brush-tail Possums are protected animals. They prefer to live in hollow logs or dead trees during the day and come out at night to search for food. In cities and residential areas their natural homes are often scarce and they will take advantage of broken roof tiles, loose iron sheets and unfinished building structures to shelter in ceiling, wall and floor cavities of houses.
Although there are many types of Ringtail Possums, the Common Ringtail Possum is the one we most often see in our part of Australia. It has a dark brown or grey coat over its back with a creamy under-belly. Its ears are short and rounded, its face is short and it has a white tip on the end of its tail, which unlike the Common Brushtail, is not fluffy.
Are There Really ‘Lots of Possums” Around?
Sometimes people hear scratching and gnawing in the walls and the roof and think that its the possums but it’s more likely to be rats, so we have to be careful not to blame possums for all the racket that we may hear in the roof at night!
Status of Possums
Generally, possums are not permitted to be moved more than 50 metres away from their place of capture as they have very clearly defined territories to which they become very attached. If you move a possum out of its territory into that of another possum, chances are that it will die of starvation as the original possum will strongly defend its piece of turf (or tree). Also, if access to the roof space is not closed up another possum will simply move in once the original possum has been removed.
What Do You Do If You Have Roof-Dwelling Possums?
To Discourage Possums
To Remove Possums from Your Roof
1. Put up one or two possum-houses in your garden and follow steps 2-7 above to make it attractive to the possum.
Benefits of Possums in Your Garden
Making Possum Boxes
For now, Miau from me, until next month.
Source: Kitty the Cat
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