WILDCRAFTED HERBAL PRODUCTS
Your Natural Skin & Personal Care Solution
Natural Skin Care Newsletter: June Issue
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.
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
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.
Of 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.
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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
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?
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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:
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: http://www.taijiworld.comErle Montaigue was my teacher when I studied TCM and his information is very good and easy to understand.
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Avocado Oil can be found in the following Wildcrafted Herbal Products
Uses in Natural Skin Care Products:
Uses in Traditional Medicine and Aromatherapy:
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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
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.
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:
Nervous / frightened:
Aggressive / ready to attack:
Frightened / timid:
Aggressive / ready to pounce:
For now, Miau from me, until next month.
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You can contact Eagles Nest Wildlife Hospital Inc.
Harry Kunz & Karin Traub
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100% Natural, Hair Shampoos & Conditioner
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Why You Should Choose
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Natural Skin Care Products - NEWS
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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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Cleansing, toning and moisturising the skin is part of any good skin care regime.
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Wildcrafted Herbal Products make Toners specific for your skin type. They are designed to tone and invigorate the skin before using your moisturiser.
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Wildcrafted's Moisturisers nourish, hydrate and help to repair your skin.
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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.
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