Natural Skin Care Newsletter - June 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: June Issue

Natural Skin Care Products by Wildcrafted Herbal Products


Welcome to the June 2009 Issue of the Natural Skin Care Newsletter. As usual we have included several articles, news and information on natural skincare and alternative health. We hope you'll find something of interest for you.

Kitty has a look at talking to our pets, their body language and what it might be telling us.


We hope you'll enjoy the June issue of our Newsletter.


Happy reading....



Index of the June 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)


Does "It’s not quantity but quality that counts" apply to skincare products?
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)

What Do You Put on Your Hair?
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)

Tai Chi: Exercise that’s more than exercise.
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)

About An Essential Oil of Interest: Avocado fruit (essential oil)
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)

Kitty's Corner - Understanding our Cats & Dogs
(by Kitty the Cat)


Newsletter - June 2009













Does "It’s not quantity but quality that counts" apply to skincare products?

I suppose that’s a leading question, because the quantity of an ingredient in a product is essential to its effectiveness. So, of course quantity is extremely important.

You see, for an ingredient to be of therapeutic effect, there needs to be a minimum dose delivered with each application. For example if a herbalist makes a herbal mixture that is supposed to address anxiety and help to reduce stress levels, then the herbs that have this effect on the body need to be present in the mix. But, if these herbs are not present in a ‘therapeutic dose’, then the herbs will not be very effective. Similarly, drug companies that make pharmaceutical drugs, have to make sure that the active ingredient is present at a sufficiently high dose to get the desired therapeutic effect.

This applies to skincare products just as it does to prescriptions from herbalists and scripts from orthodox medical practitioners. In other words, if a skincare product contains several active ingredients, but the ingredients are present in less then a ‘therapeutic dose’, then no matter how wonderful the ingredients are, they won’t provide the desired results, despite their quality.

This is the major reason why so often customers are disappointed with skin and personal care products that promise the world and deliver little or nothing at all. If the quantity of the ingredients is below a certain minimum, then the product is not likely to deliver the promised results.

Another reason for the ineffectiveness of many products is that in order to keep a product at a ‘low’ price, only very few botanical ingredients are used. The down side of this is that if a product is to truly address a specific skin issue, then one or two essential oils and/or herbal extracts may not be sufficient to provide the user with an effective product.

In herbal medicine there is a distinct hierarchy of ingredients. The structure of a well-designed formula is a little bit like a Kingdom; where the King is the primary herb, the knights of the court provide a secondary therapeutic function, and so on down to the assistants who’s primary role is to support and mitigate the functions of the other herbs.

In a well-designed skincare product, the formula may contain as many as ten or more active ingredients. One or two of these ingredients may have specific actions on dry and/or sensitive skin, while two or three others promote blood circulation to the affected area and have other secondary functions. The third tier of ingredients may have functions aimed at the sensitivity component of the skin and have a soothing and calming action on it. The assistant herb or herbs/essential oils may be included to assist the primary herbs across the skin barrier. An example of such an ingredient is Jojoba, which is a carrier oil and assists in the ‘carrying’ of other ingredients across the skin’s natural barrier.

Wildcrafted Herbal Products, having originated in a natural therapies clinic over 25 years ago, has always used this type of hierarchical approach for its formulation of products, irrespective of whether the product was formulated for a specific patient or for retail customers.

Age Defying EssenceOf course, not every product requires ten or more active ingredients. Sometimes four or five active ingredients can be sufficient for a product to achieve a desired effect. However, if the product is supposed to be effective for a more complex scenario such as preventing premature signs of aging, then four or five active ingredients may not be enough.

Here we have to make a distinction between an ‘active ingredient’ and other ingredients. An ‘active ingredient’ is quite different to other ‘ingredients’ found in skin, hair and personal care products. For example, Water is an ingredient used in almost every skin- and personal care product that has a cream-, lotion- or gel-base, but water is not an active ingredient. That is it does not serve a ‘therapeutic’ function, but serves to facilitate the structure and function of the base.

Similarly, cosmetic butters, such as mango butter, shea butter and others, while being high quality ingredients, are not considered active ingredients, even though it may be argued that they serve as assistants by aiding in moisturising of the skin. Emulsifiers, preservatives and similar ingredients are definitely not considered to be active ingredients.

Let’s look at the question again; Does “it’s not quantity but quality that counts” apply to skincare products? Well, yes and no. Each of the ingredients, especially the active ingredients must be present in high enough doses to fulfil their purpose. So, yes, quantity is of utmost importance. But, if the quality of the ingredients is not high, then that will detract from their effectiveness and provide the consumer with an inferior product.

So, quantity is of primary importance and without it, quality of an ingredient is not sufficient to make the product effective. However, natural skin and personal care products that contain both sufficiently high concentration and high quality of all ingredients are most likely to deliver the required results.

Back to index


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What Do You Put on Your Hair?

We are all aware that we should not use artificial or potentially toxic ingredients in our food. Indeed many of us have made the conscious decision to go one step further by choosing natural skin care products instead of products containing synthetic and possibly harmful chemicals.

But when it comes to personal care products such as shampoos, conditioners and liquid/solid soaps, etc., we tend to disregard the concept of remaining with natural products. There’s a simple explanation for this.

We, the consumers, are basically under the impression that washing our hair and body is not likely to poison us. After all, the soap stays on the hair/skin for only a short period of time and gets washed off when we’re finished. How could the chemicals in a shampoo or a conditioner possibly affect us adversely?

Fair question. However, if you think that they don’t, you would be quite wrong.

The skin can absorb chemicals very quickly and easily if the molecules are not too large for it to do so. In addition, the skin is never in perfect condition. That is, there are tiny little tears, cuts and abrasions on our skin almost all the time.

Scratching the skin to relieve an itch, for example, can easily damage the skin. You can’t necessarily see it with the naked eye, but it is nevertheless damaged. Insect bits, clothes rubbing repeatedly against the skin, etc., can all cause microscopic damage to the skin and jeopardise its integrity.

Where the skin is damaged the larger molecules, which would normally not be absorbed, can enter the deeper layers of the skin and may enter the bloodstream access to anywhere in the body.

The problem is that when you use a product that does contain questionable ingredients, which have the potential to cause harm, you inadvertently allow these ingredients to be absorbed by the body, without intention or knowing about it.

Shampoos are a classic example of potentially toxic cocktails we seem to be oblivious to. Below is an example of ingredients used by a well-known manufacturer of personal care products who distributes their products worldwide. It is a typical example of the type of ingredients you would find by looking at the ingredients of shampoos on sale in your local shopping centre or at your hairdresser.

The ingredients below are from a 2 in 1 Shampoo & Conditioner. Where possible I provided some comment after the ingredient that provides some insight into the safety of the particular ingredient for human use.

It must be said, however, that the toxicity of some of the ingredients is related to the consumption of the ingredient and while a shampoo is not consumed as such, chemicals can nevertheless be absorbed through the skin and enter the blood stream, essentially being the same as if you had eaten them.

Example of ingredients found in a 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner


  • Diethanolamine - Suspected: Carcinogen (causes cancer), Cardiovascular or Blood toxin, Gastrointestinal or Liver toxin, Kidney toxin, Neurotoxin (toxic to your nervous system), Respiratory toxin, Skin or Sense Organ toxin.


  • Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate - no scientific evidence of toxic effects on humans.
  • Ammonium Xylenesulfonate - no evidence of toxic effects on humans. Some minor irritation in rabbits to skin and eyes have been reported.


  • Cetyl Alcohol - this one is find and dandy,
  • Cocamide MEA - derived in part from coconut oil, potentially toxic (International Journal of Toxicology; 18 (Suppl. 2). 1999. 9-16).

Conditioning Agents

  • Cetyl Alcohol - not a problem (J Am Coll Toxicol Vol:7, 3 (1988) pp 359-413.)
  • Dimethicone - please see: DMDM Hydantoin below,
  • Glycol Distearate - no scientific evidence of toxic effects on humans,
  • Trimethyl Tricaprylate/Tricaprate - Recognized Carcinogen, Suspected: Neuro- and Reproductive toxin,
  • Panthenol - Dexpanthenol is the alcohol corresponding to pantothenic acid (the water-soluble vitamin B5)
  • Panthenyl Ethyl Ether - May cause contact dermatitis.

Buffering Agent:

  • DMDM Hydantoin - contains Formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen (causes cancer). Causes allergic, irritant and contact dermatitis; headaches and chronic fatigue. The vapour is extremely irritating to the eyes, nose and throat (mucous membranes).
  • Methylchloroisothiazolinone - causes cosmetic allergies and potential dangerous neuro-toxic effects.
  • Methylisothiazolinone - causes cosmetic allergies and potential dangerous neuro-toxic effects.
  • Sodium Benzoate - Suspected: Cardiovascular or Blood toxin, Gastrointestinal or Liver toxin, Kidney toxin, Neurotoxin, Skin or Sense Organ toxin.


  • EDTA - known carcinogen (causes cancer)

I think you get the idea.

Chemicals such as these are not what you would want to put on your body, hair or in fact anywhere near you, I’m sure. Problem is that no one warns us of the potential dangers posed by some of these ingredients and so we use them thinking that regulations and government controls would not permit potentially toxic chemicals to be put into products we use everyday...

In addition to the above ingredients, which basically make a shampoo with conditioning properties, you may also find other ingredients in your shampoo such as vitamin B5. Mostly, this is of a synthetic origin (as in the example above), not natural. This is because a synthetic version of vitamin B5 is much cheaper than using a natural source of vitamin B5.

The same goes for vitamin E and others. If you bought vit E from a wholesale supplier in Sydney, 25ml of vitamin E (synthetic) would cost AUD $11.00 whereas it’s natural counterpart will cost you AUD$18.00 - quite a difference, and remember this is the wholesale price.


Most personal care products such as shampoos have a pleasing smell. This smell comes from either a synthetic or natural ingredient. Most ‘natural scent’ fragrances are however synthetic. Not in every case, but imagine a shampoo that supposedly contains Jasmine. Jasmine oil (the essential oil of Jasmine) cost more than its weight in gold!!! Do you really think a shampoo that costs a few dollars will contain pure essential oil of Jasmine? I don’t think so. The same goes for Rose and several other popular fragrances.

So chances are, even if the manufacturer does not use Jasmine, that the fragrance is also synthetic. This is simply because synthetic fragrances are cheaper than the real thing.

Considering that most shampoos and conditioners contain many potentially toxic and synthetic ingredients, isn’t it about time we seriously considered what we are putting on our hair?

Back to index

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Tai Chi: Exercise that’s more than exercise.

We know we have to exercise and come New Year we make the resolution that “this year I’m going to get back into shape”… We join a gym, at considerable cost, get all the gear we need so we don’t look like an something the cat dragged in among all those trim, taught, and terrific looking gym junkies, and well, sooner rather than later we no longer go to the gym and that’s that for another year.

Regular exercise is necessary if we want to maintain a level of health and fitness that allows us to be as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Unfortunately finding the right type of exercise that is both enjoyable, easy to do and effective is not as easy as it sounds.

Yes, we can go walking, purchase home-gym equipment (which generally ends up at the next garage sale), go bicycles riding, etc. But what most of us want is some sort of exercise that we can do anywhere, at anytime, preferably at little or no cost.

This is where Tai Chi offers a perfect solution. Tai Chi is one of the ‘soft’ martial arts developed by the ancient Chinese thousands of years ago. Tai Chi is part of traditional Chinese medicine and it is usual that any practitioners of TCM also are proficient in the practise of Tai Chi. Increasingly Tai Chi is becoming popular as an alternative form of exercise in the West.

Tai Chi is a series of slow, precise and controlled movements, that place little strain on muscles, tendons, joints or ligaments, thereby reducing the possibility of exercise related injuries. It can be practices by anyone, from children to seniors and the physically disabled.

Central to Tai Chi is the belief in the life essence, or Qi (pronounced ‘chee’), that flows through invisible channels or meridians in the body. When the flow of Qi is disrupted, illness is the result. The regular practice of Tai Chi is said to strengthen and improve Qi.

According to scientific studies, Tai Chi is an effective healing tool for a range of disorders, particularly chronic (for example, arthritis and heart disease) and stress related conditions.

A range of disorders Tai Chi can help to improve a range of disorders, including:

  • Anxiety,
  • Stress,
  • Balance and coordination,
  • Arthritis,
  • Fatigue,
  • Joint stiffness,
  • Muscle tension,
  • Poor posture,
  • Cardiovascular disorders,
  • Nervous system disorders,
  • and many other conditions.

The physical benefits

The Tai Chi movements can be loosely described as shadow boxing or ‘shadow kung fu’ in slow motion. Regular practice can increase flexibility and strength, and improve cardiovascular fitness. The emphasis on correct posture means that Tai Chi can instil a greater awareness of the body, it’s surrounding and how it moves through space and time.

Practised on a regular basis, Tai Chi is a very good form of exercise that will promote muscle strength, mind-body balance, and increased flexibility. It is surprising to many that using slow motion movements will actually cause perspiration and ends up being quite a workout, without the risk of sprains, strains or other injuries.

Tai Chi is also prized as a form of meditation. By focusing exclusively on performing the body movements with grace and poise, the mind achieves a calm, empty clarity, which is why Tai Chi is so effective in treating stress and anxiety related health problems.

Qi, Yin and Yang

The ancient Chinese proposed that all living things are sustained by an energy force called Qi. Qi flows through all parts of the body via 12 major, meridians (‘energy highways’), which connect and interconnect all organs, glands and other parts of the mind, body and spirit.

In a simplified way, Yin and Yang are viewed as polar opposite of each other: the softer, more pliant and yielding, more feminine and more negative aspects in anything are viewed as Yin, while the more masculine, harder, more rigid and more positive aspects are seen as Yang. Both sides complement and balance each other, and together form a perfect whole.

Things which are perfectly balanced and in harmony will be at peace, which leads naturally to longevity. Half of certain organs and meridians are governed by Yin and the other half by Yang. Qi circulates around the body to maintain the balance of yin and yang. The type of illness that develops depends on which meridian is suffering from an imbalance. The ultimate purpose of Tai Chi was to strengthen Qi and maintain its smooth flow, thus Tai Chi can prevent as well as cure some illness.

Where to Learn Tai Chi

It is possible to learn Tai Chi yourself using books, watching videos, etc., but most practitioners recommend that you join a reputable class and learn from an experienced teacher. People of all ages and fitness levels can practice Tai Chi and gain health benefits. It is non-competitive and gentle. The ‘no pain, no gain’ philosophy of some other forms of exercise has no place in Tai Chi; if it hurts, you’re trying too hard. The idea is to relax and enjoy the peaceful movement.

There are many different styles of Tai Chi, however, the preferred form to learn is Tai Chi ch'uan (long form).

If you are looking for quality information about Tai Chi, there is a very good website at:

Erle Montaigue was my teacher when I studied TCM and his information is very good and easy to understand.

Back to index

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About A Herb of Interest: Avocado Fruit


PlantBotanical Name:
Persea sp.


Other Names:
Alligator pear, Avocado pear, Fuerte, Gwen, Hass, Pinkerton, Reed, Zutano, Aguacate, Avocat, Abacate, Ahuacatl.

Parts Used:
All parts of the fruit can be used.


The avocado originated in Mexico and was prized by the Aztecs as a health enhancing fruit for their nutrition and as an excellent emollient for their skin.

General Health Benefits

Avocado has plenty of health benefits. Here’s a closer look at some of the nutrients found in avocados.

  • Monounsaturated fat: Avocados are high in monounsaturated fat. Unlike other fats, this type of fat raises levels of good HDL-cholesterol and lowers harmful triglycerides without raising harmful LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Fibre: Avocados are high in fibre, particularly soluble fiber, which promotes regularity, helps regulate the body's use of sugars, and lowers blood cholesterol levels.
  • Vitamins: Avocados are a good source of the antioxidant vitamin C, E as well as the B vitamin folate, and vitamin K.
  • Minerals: gram for gram, avocados provide more potassium than bananas. Potassium is critical for nerve impulse transmission, muscle contraction, and heart function. Avocados also provide a fair amount of magnesium, which your body needs to metabolise carbohydrates and fats.

The table below shows the many nutrients commonly found in 100 grams of Avocado.

Nutrient Content per 100 grams of Avocado


167 - 120

Total fat

10-15 grams (g)

Monounsaturated fat

6-10 g


8-9 g


2 g

Dietary fiber

6-7 g

Vitamin E

2-3 milligrams (mg)

Vitamin C

9-17 mg

Vitamin A

7 micrograms (µg)


35-62 µg


351-507 mg


24-29 mg


0.2-0.6 mg


10-13 mg


2-8 mg


40-54 mg



Total fat

27-31 grams (g)

Monounsaturated fat

10-17 g


15-24 g


4-7 g

Dietary fiber

12-17 g

Please be aware that the content of nutrients is very general and would depend on the soil, climate, rainfall and other variables that can influence nutrient content of any plant.

Note that avocados also contain:

  • Lutein, a carotenoid, which is thought to help protect against prostate cancer and eye disease such as cataracts and macular degeneration
  • Beta-sitosterol (a plant sterol), which is currently being studied for its ability to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Avocado Oil can be found in the following Wildcrafted Herbal Products

Avocado Day Crème
Rejuvenating Night Crème
Ginseng Hydrator for Men (All skin types)


Uses in Natural Skin Care Products:

Normal and oily skin types benefit greatly from the use of avocado oil in skin care preparations. The nutrients contained in avocado are highly beneficial to the skin and have a normalising effect, which makes avocado an ideal ingredient in moisturisers that are formulated for oily skin.

Uses in Traditional Medicine and Aromatherapy:

The fruit skin is antibiotic; is employed as a vermifuge and remedy for dysentery. The leaves are chewed as a remedy for pyorrhea. Leaf poultices are applied on wounds. Heated leaves are applied on the forehead to relieve neuralgia. The leaf juice has antibiotic activity. The aqueous extract of the leaves has a prolonged hypertensive effect. The leaf decoction is taken as a remedy for diarrhoea, sore throat and haemorrhage; it allegedly stimulates and regulates menstruation. It is also drunk as a stomachic. In Cuba, a decoction of the new shoots is a cough remedy. If leaves, or shoots of the purple-skinned type, are boiled, the decoction serves as an abortifacient. Sometimes a piece of the seed is boiled with the leaves to make the decoction (Purdue University,1987).

The seed is cut in pieces, roasted and pulverized and given to overcome diarrhoea and dysentery. The powdered seed is believed to cure dandruff. A piece of the seed, or a bit of the decoction, put into a tooth cavity may relieve toothache. An ointment made of the pulverized seed is rubbed on the face as a rubefacient (agent which reddens skin, dilates the vessels, and increases blood supply locally) - to redden the cheeks. An oil extracted from the seed has been applied on skin eruptions (Purdue University,1987).


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.

Back to index

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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:

Understanding our Dogs and Cats 

How do dogs think?

Dogs originated from the wolf and while domesticated they still live close to their origins. Essentially they are a pack animal and in the wild they have a well established pecking order from the top dog to the lowest. Domesticated dogs see their human family as their pack. Ideally you have established yourself as the pack leader and provide them with calm effective leadership. Your home, property and possessions will form their territory and they will instinctively guard and protect them.
How do cats think?

Cats originated from their larger wild counterparts and like their ancestors they are instinctive and capable hunters. Originally nocturnal desert animals, they tend to be more active at dusk and dawn. Cats are generally described as solitary animals however they are also quite capable of, and comfortable with, living in a group situation. They are very adaptable creatures. Unlike dogs that thrive on human interaction, cats tend to be more social when they initiate the contact.

Dogs, cats and their body language

Dogs and cats communicate with us using a range of facial characteristics, body positions and vocal sounds. It is important that these are looked at as a group rather than in isolation as they can be confusing. For example a wagging tail is usually associated with a happy dog yet the position of the tail and the way the tail is wagging may indicate fear or aggression. It is also important to understand that these are generalizations which may not be exhibited by all dogs and cats in similar situations.


Happy / relaxed:
* Body is generally relaxed.
* Head is held high.
* The tail wags freely and enthusiastically.
* Tongue hangs out in a relaxed manner.

Nervous / frightened:
* Reduce its size by crouching or rolling over to show its underbelly.
* Tail may tuck between legs or move from side to side in a lowered position.
* Ears back or flat on the head.
* Eyes may appear slightly closed and avoid contact.
* May extend its tongue in a licking motion.

Aggressive / ready to attack:
* Stands on the tips of its paws.
* Hackles on neck and back standing erect.
* Tail may wag slowly and stiffly and held high.
* May snarl with lips pulled back showing teeth.
* Eyes wide open and staring.
* Ears will be erect.
* Growling and snarling.


* Body is generally relaxed.
* Tail carried high with the tip hanging over the back or relaxed and low.
* Ears erect.
* Eyes are wide open or if completely relaxed may appear half closed.
* Whiskers in neutral position.

Frightened / timid:
* Body low to the ground making itself look small.
* Generally the ears are laid flat on the head.
* Whiskers are laid back or flattened against the face.
* Tail may be under the body.

* Tail is erect and fluffed up.
* Back arched and ears flat to head.
* Whiskers back and pupils dilated.
* Hissing.

Aggressive / ready to pounce:
* Tail low and swishing.
* Straight back with head in line with the body.
* Ears forward.
* Whiskers bristling forward.
* Hissing with mouth open and barring teeth.
* Claws out.


For now, Miau from me, until next month.



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

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Milk of Roses Natural Facial Skin Toner

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Natural Organic Age Defying Skin Care Products

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