Natural Skin Care Newsletter - September 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: September Issue

Natural Skin Care Products by Wildcrafted Herbal Products


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

Boy, what a month. Building of Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre is well on its way and is starting to look more like what will be an exiting place for our customers and patients alike. Susan and I are working on it every day and we are very exited about opening our doors in mid-September. Stay tuned - we'll announce the opening date in our Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre blog.

Despite the fact that we are investing almost all of our time in the new Centre, we've still put together a Newsletter. This month our Newsletter again contains several articles and Kitty is providing some insight into your pet's diet and its importance.

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


Happy reading....



Index of the September 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)


(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)

Proactive Medicine - preventative medicine
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)

How Do Allergies Develop?
(by Susan & Danny Siegenthaler)

About A Herb of Interest: Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus)
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)

Kitty's Corner - Importance of Variation in Your Pet's Diet
(by Kitty the Cat)


Newsletter - September 2009










As announced in last month's newsletter, we are finally putting together our first retail outlet and combining it with a Natural Medicine Centre.

BeginningThings are moving rapidly and those of you who have been following our Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre blog will have noticed the transformation of a large empty space into the beginnings of what will become a unique and unrivalled natural health care centre.

The building is over 100 years old and used to be a farm produce store. Over the years there's been many different businesses in this building and inevitably it's become very run down and in need of a 'rebirth'.

With most of the major structural modifications now in place, we are starting to see daylight at the end of a long tunnel. Take a look at the 'Kurrajong Natural Medicine Centre' page and see for yourself.

All going according to plan, we will be opening our doors in mid-September!!!


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Proactive Medicine - preventative medicine

Proactive medicine is simply another term for preventative medicine. Proactive medicine aims to prevent diseases and various health problems from occurring before they manifest. As such it is really part of alternative or traditional medicine as the orthodox medical approach is far from proactive and usually is only of use once a condition has become established and is causing symptoms which can be diagnosed and identified to be a particular health condition or disease.

Proactive medicine on the other hand aims to maintain homeostasis. That is, it aims to maintain health on the physical, mental and emotional levels. The principle behind proactive medicine is prevention is better than cure.

In traditional Chinese medicine, for example, patients used to visit their doctors while they were well and healthy and they paid the doctor for his/her services, however, if a patient became ill the treatments were free. The assumption being that the doctor did not do his/her job properly and therefore the patient become ill. Luckily, this is no longer the case, even in China. If one of the doctor's patients died, irrespective of the cause, the doctor was forced to hang a red lantern in his surgery window and this would tell all his patients and local community how many of the doctor's patients had died. - Boy, talk about having to be accountable.

Proactive medicine includes advising patients about diet, exercise, stress management and lifestyle choices. It also included the use of preventative forms of medicine, examples include: massage and aromatherapy treatments as well as Acupuncture, Chinese and western herbal medicine. Each of these forms of therapy or medicine acknowledges the fact, that there are ways to strengthen the body's resistance to disease and maintain health and well being.

The effects of massage for example, have been shown to work on a variety of levels. Physically, massage improves blood and lymph circulation, lowers blood pressure, improves immune and digestive system functioning and increases metabolism. Massage also speeds recovery time for athletes and others with injuries, as well as decreasing pain in many chronic conditions such as tension headaches, back problems and arthritis. Psychologically, massage calms the nervous system, decreases stress and boosts energy levels.

Aromatherapy, used as a proactive medicine, has similar effects to massage, with the additional benefit of the therapeutic properties contained in the essential oils.

In addition, Yoga and Tai Chi, both quite well known in the west these days, are forms of proactive medicine, as they aim to establish and maintain the energy balance of the body. Both these forms of 'exercise' are well documented in helping people to regain and maintain a good level of fitness, flexibility and overall health.

They have been practiced for thousands of years in both India and China and have well and truly stood the test of time in terms of proving their effectiveness. Both Tai Chi and Yoga improve overall fitness, balance, coordination, and agility. They have also been shown to lower blood pressure and heart rates, promote relaxation, and release stress and tension.

People who practice Tai Chi or Yoga on a regular basis tend to have good posture, flexibility, and range of motion, are more mentally alert, and sleep more soundly at night. Some other conditions positively affected by Tai Chi and Yoga include: Chronic pain and headaches, arthritis and osteoporosis, heart disease, depression and anxiety, high blood pressure, asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema, and many more. Tai Chi and Yoga thus perform a vital function as proactive medicines, with far-reaching benefits way beyond just physical fitness.

Similarly, the use of meditation and relaxation as proactive medicines are not to be underestimated. Generally speaking, meditation is an experience of relaxing the body, quieting the mind, and awakening the spirit.

There are many types of meditation, and each has specific techniques and skills that can be learned. The benefits of meditation are, generally, quite extraordinary. For many people, the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual benefits of meditation might include: higher levels of energy, creativity, and spontaneity; lower blood pressure; increased exercise tolerance; better concentration; decreased depression and anxiety; fewer cravings for alcohol and cigarettes; increased job satisfaction, and better relationships with others, just to mention a few.

In short, proactive medicine is the best approach to establish and maintain a healthy mind, body and spirit.

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Ever Wondered How You Develop An Allergy?

Allergies are becoming more and more common. In fact about thirty percent of people suffer from one or more allergies. Why? What exactly is an allergy anyway? And how do allergies develop?

Before we go much further, we need to define what an allergy is. A simple definition is: An allergic reaction (hypersensitivity reaction) is an inappropriate immune responses to a normally harmless substance.

This can be almost any substance natural or otherwise, for example pollens in the air may cause sneezing, runny eyes and/or nose and in severe cases an allergic response can actually result in a medical emergency and be potentially fatal.

So why do we get these allergies?

Normally, the immune system, which includes antibodies, white blood cells, mast cells, complement proteins, and other substances, defends the body against foreign substances known as antigens (substances that are antagonistic). However, in susceptible people, the immune system can overreact to certain antigens (called allergens), which are harmless in most people. The result is an allergic reaction (Merck, 2008).

Simply put, an allergic reaction is basically an over-reaction by your immune system to an otherwise benign substance.

Some people are allergic to only one substance, whilst others are allergic to many. So how do we become allergic to a substance that in the past we have not been allergic to?

The Mechanism of an Allergic Reaction

That's a good question worth pondering, because almost nobody will be able to give you a concrete answer. However, the medical profession sees this in the following way:

While the exact cause for a person's proneness to allergies is unknown, there has been significant evidence to show that it is an inherited characteristic.

In other words:

  • Unknown cause, but suspected to have a genetic component; that is you may be able to inherit an allergic tendency.

Many people are born with the capacity to become allergic to certain allergens. When genes are acquired from the person's parents and enough exposure to a particular allergen has occurred, it's likely that an allergic sensitivity will develop. While this scientific information can be helpful in determining a person's likelihood to develop specific allergies, it's not the only way a person can develop an allergy. Certain allergies (like poison ivy) aren't caused by a person's hereditary background. Age can also play a part in the development of an allergy.

The development of an allergy occurs in two phases. The first phase is known as primary exposure. Primary exposure occurs when an allergen is introduced into the body. A person's immune system (specifically, a person's white blood cells) will respond accordingly. A person's T-cells (specialized cells which are part of the immune system) will recognize the allergen as foreign material and release chemicals as a response.

These chemicals travel through the blood and instruct B-cells to produce millions of antibodies (antibodies are molecules in the blood and other fluids that tag, destroy or neutralize bacteria, viruses or other harmful toxins).
Some of the antibodies will attach themselves to mast cells, which is a type of white blood cell that is scattered throughout the skin and respiratory tract. The job of mast cells is to assist in mediating the immune system's inflammatory response.

In other words:

  • T-cells, B-cells & Mast cells combine to instigate the body's immune system response to an allergen.

The second phase of an allergy's development occurs when a person is re-exposed to an allergen. When the same allergen enters the body, it attaches itself to antibodies that are stuck outside the mast cells. This causes the mast cells to release chemical mediators. Chemical mediators (like histamine) are chemicals that immune cells use to communicate with each other.

Histamine is primarily responsible for causing asthma and other allergy-related symptoms. Histamine opens up small blood vessels and causes them to leak fluid. The result is inflammation, sneezing, and/or increased mucous production in the nasal cavity. Histamines also cause wheezing and shortness of breath.

Histamines are also responsible for skin reactions to allergens such as poison ivy and many chemicals commonly found in make-up and off-the-self skin and personal care products.

The Alternative Medical View Point

In natural medicine, we also believe that diet, lack of exercise (general fitness) and stress can lead to a weakness in our body generally and as a result the immune system may 'over-react' to various allergens.

Life changes such as moving from one continent to another, for example coming to Australia from Europe, can trigger allergies because the immune system may be used to the pollens, grasses, etc. (allergens) in Europe, but is unfamiliar with allergens here in Australia.

Many pollens and grasses for instance are foreign to our immune systems and as we have no immunity to them, our systems may well over-react and result in us developing allergies to one or more of these allergens.

Other factors that put our immune system to the test when relocating from one continent to another is that the food, drinking water, heck even the air is different and these differences have to be assimilated by our body and the immune system has to re-adjust to the new conditions.

Additional Considerations

We all know that from time to time we overexert ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally, etc., and if this overexertion continues, there are likely to be more serious consequences.

Sustained stress for example will cause us to get run down, feel tired and undertaking any activity is a chore. Heck, even to get up and get started can be a major effort.

If this continues for an extended period of time, there is a price to pay. Your health will slowly start to fail - it might not be obvious at the beginning but this is the stage at which we can develop allergies, are more susceptible to 'catching' colds and feel generally run down and tired.

The body is weakened, there's a distinct lack of energy and bingo, the immune system, being weak also, will over-react to an allergen. Once this pattern is established it is much more difficult to rectify it.

Natural medicine recognises allergies as a weakness of the immune system and will advise patients as to their lifestyle and the possible changes that need to be made in order to bring some balance back to their lives.

In addition, herbs and diet will play a major role in the re-strengthening of the immune system and the general health of the body.

What You Can Do to Take the Pressure Off the Immune System

Firstly, remove as many non-natural chemicals from your life - this includes non-natural washing powders, soaps, skin and body care products, make-up and try to identify as many known allergens and other toxic substances in your daily life. Remove as many of them as possible and replace them by using natural products. Why?

Because our bodies are not designed to deal with synthetic, man-made chemicals, rather it is designed to handle natural substances.

Secondly, make sure you keep you foods simple. That is, use unprocessed foods wherever possible. Pre-made foods will contain preservatives, possibly artificial colouring, flavouring and other frequently used chemicals. Whilst these chemicals may not of them selves cause allergies, they do demand extra work from your immune system and thus potentially weakening it.

Drink more than 2 litres of water a day. I cannot stress this enough. Our body requires at least 2 litres of water each and every day just to maintain normal metabolic processes. By depriving our bodies from sufficient water, we are stressing it and slowly but surely causing our body to become dehydrated. This is not what you want.

Last but by no means least - relax. You must make time in your day to let your body re-charge and repair itself. This means getting enough sleep, doing regular physical exercise and find a hobby that you can't wait to get to. This is not just a good idea, fad or what ever, but there are powerful physical and chemical reasons for doing this. Why?

Because the endorphins and other chemicals that are released and come into play when we relax and de-stress are very important to maintaining good health for the long term.

Relaxation, for example, provides the following positive health benefits:

  • Slows heart rate,
  • Reduces blood pressure,
  • Slows the rate of breathing, which reduces the need for oxygen,
  • Increases blood flow to the muscles, and
  • Decreases muscle tension.

As a result, many people experience:

  • More energy,
  • Better sleep,
  • Enhanced immunity,
  • Increased concentration,
  • Better problem-solving abilities,
  • Greater efficiency,
  • Less anger, crying, anxiety, frustration, and
  • Less headaches and pain.

That's just for starters. The positive health impact that relaxation alone has on the body is priceless and cannot be underestimated.

Sufferers from allergies will positively benefit from the above suggestions. It won't be immediate, but over time, your body will become more resilient to allergens; the immune system will become stronger and react more appropriately and yes, your overall health will also improve.

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About A Herb of Interest: Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus)


PlantBotanical Name:
Rumex crispus


Other Names:
Curled Dock, Curly Dock, Sour Dock, Narrow Dock, Garden Patience, Rumex.

Parts Used:
Roots and young leaves


Its roots are 20-30 cm in length and the stem is approximately 1.5 cm thick. Externally Yellow Dock is a rusty brown. Internally it is whitish, with fine, straight, medullary rays and a rather thick bark. It's growth habit originates from a deep spindle-shaped root, from which arises an erect, angular, and furrowed stem, attaining a height of from 50-100 cm. The stem is branched near the top and is leafy, bearing numerous, long, dense clusters formed by drooping groups of inconspicuous, green flowers arranged in circles around the stem. The leaves have undulate edges, are lanceolate, large and have a crispy texture. The flowers are greenish, small, arranged in whorls along a somewhat branched in-florescence, appearing in mid-summer to mid-autumn.

Active Ingredients

The active principles in Yellow Dock include: Oxymethylanthraqinone, Anthraquinone glycosides, including nepodin, emodin, cyhrysophanic acid, volatile oil, resin, tannins, rumicin, starch, and thiamine.

Therefore, it has a combined action as both astringent and purgative and acts as a tonic laxative on the gastro-intestinal tract.

Therapeutic Indications:

Yellow Dock is used extensively in the treatment of chronic skin complaints such as psoriasis. The anthraquinones present have a markedly cathartic action on the bowel, but in this herb they act in a mild way. Thus it is useful for constipation, working as it does in a much wider way than simply stimulating the gut muscles. It promotes the flow of bile and has that somewhat obscure action of being a blood cleanser The action on the gall-bladder gives it a role in the treatment of jaundice when this is due to hepatic congestion.


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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:

Diet: Variation is the Key
Kitty's Corner:

Importance of Variation in Your Pet's Diet

You know, you like different foods and a different meal every night. Well, what makes some of you beautiful pet owners think us cats and dogs don't?

Yep, I'm a cat and yep, I like fish, but not every time I'm hungry... I like chicken, mince and, yes, I even like the odd vegetable and absolutely love a little cheese occasionally!

I know, you wonderful pet lovers are busy folk, but just think of how much healthier we'd all be if we got a more balanced and varied diet. I'm not saying you need to cook a gourmet meal for us - no, but if you insist...

Seriously, just vary the stuff you give us from time to time - like if you have chicken for dinner, why not give us a handful of different bits from the chuck; or if you're making a mince dish with some vegetables in it, why not give us a handful before you cook it?

You could even mix it into the tinned food just to make it taste a little different.

If you're worried about us not getting the vitamins and minerals we need, your Vet can probably give you some advice of which product would be the right one for your cat or dog - even your pet bird might benefit from some supplements too.

With us cats, because we are so very clean, we do get the odd fur-ball, but you know, the occasional Cod Liver oil capsule will help us get rid of them and Cod liver oil is ever so good for us.

We are really not that different to our owners, we need good quality nutrition, the odd supplement and of course a cuddle or two.

My human mum has a pet Sparrow, yes, Sparrow. Mum found this little pink, feather-less bird lying on the driveway one afternoon and as she does, she had to rescue the little thing, thinking it was probably some rare native bird...
Well, it wasn't, it was just a Sparrow. But despite all the odds, she and dad fed him, yep it's a boy Sparrow, and nurtured it.

Now, I've got a buddy to miau to when they're at work. He, Squirt (because he's a runt) likes different things to eat - he loves toast with anything on him - I don't know, he'll just have anything, lettuce, carrot, you name it he'll eat it - or at least peck at it.

I on the other hand am more selective about what will pass my lips, I am a cat after all, but I will have a go at some things - some I like others I don't.

Chicken has to be my favourite, but tuna's not bad and salmon's okay too - but not the stuff they make for cats, I prefer the one my parents get - yummy!

So, please, when you next put a bowl of food out for us to eat, just think how many times this week have I put this out? Could I put out something a little different or add something my darling would enjoy?

Here are some ideas you might try adding to our diet:
Rice, Pasta, Beans, Carrots, a little cheese, left over pieces of toast, the bits of meat you trim off, mince, chicken, fresh raw fish, chopped up greens mixed into the can food, just let your imagination run wild.

For now, Miau from me, until next month.


Kitty the Cat

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