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WILDCRAFTED HERBAL PRODUCTS
Your Natural Skin & Personal Care Solution
Natural Skin Care Newsletter: February 2007 Issue
(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)
Skin Care Regime for Your Skin Type (Part 1): Dry Skin - Prevent Dry Skin by Adopting The Right Skin Care Regime.
Ingredients of Major Concern Being used in Most Major Brands of Cosmetics
How to safe guard yourself when shopping on-line
About a herb of interest: Milk Thistle
Kitty's Corner - Protecting Our Wildlife
February 2007 Issue of the Natural Skin Care Newsletter
Welcome to the February Newsletter.
The new year has certainly started with a bang. Here at Wildcrafted Herbal Products we have lots of projects which are about to be released to you, including our brand new range of totally Natural Hair Care Products, which we will announce during February. So keep an eye on your in-box for announcement of the launch of these exiting products.
We hope you'll enjoy the articles in this month's Newsletter and remember, we always welcome feedback, questions and comments from you.
Happy reading and shopping
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Dry skin, also referred to as Xerosis, is a common problem for many people. Skin care for dry skin requires moisture in order to maintain the skin's smoothness and suppleness and especially during winter, this can be particularly difficult. In addition, adequate moisture in the skin is important in maintaining the pH balance of your skin.
During winter, people prone to dry skin, need to be particularly alert and aware of the factors that contribute to drying of their skin. For example, in our attempt to keep warm, we use central heating in the home, heat the car and of course the office. This all contributes to drying out of the skin and the potential to develop skin problems such as eczema or dermatitis.
Similarly, during summer we employ fans and air conditioning to keep cool. These evaporate moisture from the skin's surface and also lead to dry, de-hydrated skin.
To counter act dry skin, adequate fluid intake becomes very important as the dehydrating effect of heating and cooling needs to be over come and loss of moisture needs to be replaced.
The ProblemSimple daily routines, such as bathing, showering and towel drying, may actually promote dry skin. This is because the heat from the shower/bath will open the pores of the skin and thus lead to loss of moisture.
To some extent, bathing provides the skin temporary moisture, but it removes the skin's ‘Acid Mantel’ (protective layer), opens the pores of your skin and in the long run, causes more moisture loss than gain. Particularly if you use commercially manufactured soap, which by nature has a drying effect on the skin.
If you do want to use soap, make sure it has a pH that is close to neutral (pH of around 7), as your skin is slightly acid and soaps that are very alkaline (more than 8) will disturb the pH balance.
Now, in order to get a soap that foams, the pH will need to be slightly on the alkaline side of Neutral, unless there are ingredients such as SLS's which make soap foam. SLS's are considered harmful to our health however, so make sure you avoid those types of ingredients. You are better served with a totally natural soap that is slightly alkaline, because applying a good, natural moisturising cream will help to restore the Acid Mantel and thus the skin's natural pH. Our All-Over Body Moisturising Range will do the trick nicely.
The Solution: How to Prevent and Re-hydrate Dry Skin
Caring for dry skin requires the use of a correct skin care regime and the application of natural skin care products to counteract the drying of your skin. By following the suggestions below, you will reduce the dryness of your skin and promote a healthy vibrant complexion, all over:
Dry Skin can lead to more complex problems if not managed properly
Dry skin can also be itchy and become very sensitive, often resulting in eczema and dermatitis. This is definitely to be avoided. The prevention of excessive loss of moisture to prevent dry skin is imperative to prevent further complications of dry skin.
Symptoms such as itching, flaking of the skin, cracking and scaly skin, all point to you having very dry skin and this requires attention. You will seriously need to look at the amount of water you are not drinking, as this is beyond just using a good skin care regime, although it does help.
Water needs to be consumed at 3 litres per day, no less, because that is what the body uses to maintain proper metabolism. So whether you are physically active or not, you will need to provide the body with at least 8-10 glasses (250ml per glass) of water every day to just to maintain the status quo and prevent your skin from drying out. More is required if you suffer from dry skin and want to reverse this.
Of course if you are physically active, you will need to considerably increase this amount to replace the water loss through sweating. Making sure you have sufficient mineral salts in your diet can also help to prevent dry skin. I am not referring to Table Salt, but the salts present in celery and other vegetables. There is a great product called Herbamare (Made by Dr hc A Vogel, Bioforce AG, Switzerland) which is available from health food stores and some supermarkets. It is a vegetable salt and tastes great.
As you probably know, sweat is slightly salty and these are the salts you need to replace. Celery, for example, is a vegetable high in mineral salts and should be included in your salads and sandwiches.
In conclusion, combining a high quality natural skin care regime with an adequate water intake and a diet high in vegetables, which contain mineral salts and trace elements will help you to combat your dry skin.
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Chemicals you do not want on your skin
This is a 'short-list' of some of the more hazardous and toxic chemicals you will often find in your skin and personal care products. Take a very close look at the labels of your skin and personal care products, including your hair shampoo and conditioner, and see if any of these potentially toxic chemicals described here are listed on the liable.
If they are there, you should seriously consider finding an alternative that does not contain any of these chemicals and toss the old products out. They are not good for your families health.
Methyl, Propyl, Butyl and/or Ethyl Paraben
Diethanolamine (DEA), Triethanolamine (TEA)
Diazolidinyl Urea, Imidazolidinyl Urea
Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate (SLS)
There are thousands more chemicals and it is not the intention of this article to bore you to tears, but rather to alert you to some of the most commonly used chemicals which are found in most brands on your department store and supermarket shelves.
At Wildcrafted Herbal Products, we regularly research the latest scientific reports on ingredients used by the skin care and cosmetics industry to maintain an up-to-date knowledge base on the potentially toxic chemicals and their impacts on human health. To illustrate this point, this scientific study on the effects of hair dyes is a real eye-opener. Download this article and have a look at the serious health problems some hair dyes can cause. (Download) Below, I've included the first paragraph of the introduction...
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With internet fraud being a concern on everybody's mine when they shop and brows on-line, I thought I'd introduce you to some tricks that you can use to reduce the chance of purchasing products from fraudulent sellers.
When ever I use the internet to source a product or service and come across a new potential supplier, I follow the steps I've described below to safe guard myself. I may not go through all of them, however, if I'm not convinced that a particular business is not legitimate, I will progressively move through these steps until I reach a decision on whether I will purchase their products on-line or find a different supplier.
1. Look at the Domain name
The very first thing I look at is the Domain Name.
The domain name is also known as the url. For example the domain name of Wildcrafted Herbal Products' home page is: http://www.wildcrafted.com.au
This tells you that the domain name is actually registered in Australia, because of the .au at the end of the name; .uk stands for england .nz for New Zealand and so on. The .au is only available to Australian businesses that have an Australian Business Number (ABN) and registered business address, this must be supplied at the time when a business wants to register a .au domain.
Anyone buying from a .au domain, knows that there should be a company/business attached to it. I say should be, simply because I'm sure there are some that get around this somehow - but they would be few.
Domains ending in .com or another ending such as .net, .org, etc. are not necessarily Australian businesses. However, they may be well known and trusted organisations or businesses, for example: The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia has a very simple url and does not have the .au extension at the end of their url - http://www.flyingdoctors.org/ so some times you need to dig a little further.
2 Check the business out.
There are many ways to check out a potential supplier. The first thing I always do is to check if their business contact details are on their web site. If not, I don't buy from them no matter how good the deal is. If there is not physical address or post office box; no phone number; no email address and/or no ABN, I move on to the next search result.
When I do find a potential supplier that does provide their contact details, the next thing I do is I ring the phone number they've supplied and see if I can talk to someone about the product I am interested in. I ask a few basic questions about the product to see if they actually know anything about what their selling.
If there is an email, I also send an email to the email address provided and wait for a response. I do this just to see if there are people actually there and if the email address provided is not fictitious.
The other thing I look at is whether the email address reflects their web site url. For example Google url is www.google.com. the contact email address has the domain name contained within it, that is firstname.lastname@example.org - so you can be quite sure that this organisation is likely to be business a legitimate business.
I don't like seeing email@example.com as the email address of a supposedly legitimate business. After all, why would you have a yahoo email address, when you have a registered domain, which allows you several different email addresses at no charge? In our case, we have several including firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, and others.
Sending a prospective supplier an email asking some questions about their products also tells me how quickly I can expect to get a response if some thing is wrong with the product I'm about to purchase.
Another thing I do on rare occasions, is to check out the business through a free service called 'Whois". You can test this yourself by typing a url of a business you know about into the search box on this page: http://www.whois-search.com/
If I do not find information like this, there is a possibility that the business your enquiring about is not legitimate and for me that means I don't deal with that business.
3. Use secure checkout & shopping cart systems
The next thing I do is to check the security of the checkout system used by a business. This I do almost every time unless I deal with a company like Apple, Microsoft, or other business I trust.
So far you've check out that the business is actually a legitimate business and they do have staff that answer customer enquiries and you were able to speak with a staff member and get an email response.
You may have gone through the process of using Whois to confirm in your mind that the business you are thinking of doing business with is actually a legitimate business and there are names of actual people who have registered the business.
Now you need to make sure you check out the safety of their checkout/payment system.
There are basically two ways for a business to provide their customers with a secure checkout system. The first is the type we at Wildcrafted Herbal Products choose to use. This is a system provided by a company that specialises in processing payments made by credit cards. In our case we chose to use a company called 2checkout.com. This is the second largest credit card processing company in the world and has a very good track record. it is very safe, easy to use for our customers and you can purchase products in your chosen currency.
To implement a system like they have cost a LOT of money and very few small and medium sized businesses can afford the type of investment required to run this level of sophisticated security systems on their own. 2checkout guarantees the security of their service.
The second way is to do-it-yourself. Companies like Apple, Microsoft, Banks, etc. do have their own systems and I'm not convinced that they have the level of security... I could be wrong, but I just don't think they do.
Here, I'll take you through the sort of things to look out for, irrespective of the type of business and their checkout system.
1. Look for the Padlock symbol at the bottom right hand corner of your browser window. If the look is closed, this indicates that the page you are on is secured to some extent.
2. Look for 'Hacker Safe' and similar logos on the payment page. For example, if you purchase products from us, once you've completed the selection of products you wish to purchase and provided a shipping address, you'll click, 'continue', then you're given another opportunity to make sure your shipping details are correct.
Once you've clicked 'continue' you are taken to our secure checkout service that will process your payment details. You are not asked for any payment details prior to this.
Here, on this page (on the right), you will see yet another confirmation of the details you have provided so far with respect to where you want your order sent to.
Remember also that until you've provided your credit card details and have followed subsequent prompts, you will not have finalised your purchase and can close the browser window, which has the effect of canceling your order. I often go through the checkout process first to see if a potential supplier does have the security in place I look for, before I make an actual purchase.
The different logos on the left hand side (in the picture above) are different forms of security provided by, in our case, 2CO (2checkout.com), which is a company from Columbus, Ohio, US that provides secure credit card processing for companies all over the world. You can click on the logos/symbols when you get to this page to see what each of these services provide you with in terms of security.
If you see these types of logos, and the closed Pad-lock at the bottom of the screen, you can be quite sure that you're on a safe web site and are not likely to experience credit card fraud.
I am not suggesting you go through each of these steps each and every time you buy some thing, but if you have doubts or your not sure about the security of a potential supplier, it may well be worth your while to go through these steps and check out the business you are about to purchase products from.
Once you have satisfied yourself that the business is a legitimate business, you don't need to go through these steps again to buy more goods from that business.
When you really do need to be careful
These days, more credit card fraud occurs in Restaurants and other, similar businesses, where you hand your card over to a staff member that then goes away and processes your bill. When they are no longer within sight of you they can get all the information off your card and subsequently use this information to make purchases, over the phone or on-line. You should never let your card out of your sight.
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Parts Used: seeds, leaves
Most preparations are standardized to contain 70% to 80% of flavonolignans (silibinin, silychristin, and silydianin), collectively known as silymarin. This constituent is responsible for the medical benefits of the plant. Silymarin is made up of three parts: silibinin, silidianin, and silicristin. Silibinin is the most active and is largely responsible for the benefits attributed to silymarin.
Traditional Applications in Herbal Medicine
Milk thistle is believed to protect the cells of the liver by blocking the entrance of harmful toxins and helping to remove these toxins from the liver cells. As with other bioflavonoids, silymarin is a powerful antioxidant. Milk thistle also regenerates injured liver cells.
The leaves of milk thistle provide a bitter tonic. The seeds are cholagogue. Leaves are used for common stomach problems like lack of appetite and dyspepsia. The seeds are used for liver, gallbladder, and spleen problems, and for jaundice and gallstone colic.
A recent study found that milk thistle may offer some protection against the toxic side effects of the common painkiller acetaminophen.
According to the University of Maryland, Medical Centre
Many professional herbalists recommend milk thistle extract for the prevention and/or treatment of various liver disorders including viral hepatitis, fatty liver associated with long term alcohol use, and liver damage from drugs and industrial toxins such as carbon tetrachloride.
Liver disease from alcohol
Problems in study design (such as small numbers of participants, variations in the causes of liver disease, and differences in dosing and duration of milk thistle therapy) made it difficult to draw any definitive conclusions. However, five of seven studies evaluating milk thistle for alcoholic liver disease found significant improvements in liver function. Those with the mildest form of the disease appeared to improve the most. Milk thistle was less effective for those with severe liver disease such as cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is characterized by scarring and permanent, non-reversible damage to the liver. It is often referred to as end-stage liver disease.
Other than this, milk thistle extract is virtually devoid of any side reactions. It may be used by a wide range of people, including pregnant and lactating women.
Warning: Under no circumstances should you self-prescribe herbal remedies. Always consult a professional, qualified medical herbalist before taking any medicinal herbs.
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We hope you enjoyed these articles and invite you to send us suggestions of topics you would like to see us cover in the coming months. Your suggestions are always welcome and we endeavour to cover the topics you would like to know more about - so don't be shy, drop us a line or two!
Also there are some great new posts in the forum and we look forward to 'seeing' you there.
In good health
Danny & Susan Siegenthaler
© Copyright: Wildcrafted Herbal Products, 2007
Hello to you all, and a hearty Miau.
I hope you and your pets were able to stay nice and cool lately.
Protecting our wildlife: Responsible Pet Ownership
Approximately 70% of Australian households have one or more pets - we value our companion animals. Our unique native animals are also widely valued, with some species kept as pets but more often simply enjoyed in the wild and as welcome visitors to our gardens. The health of our environment relies on the harmonious inter-relationship of all species within a given habitat. With good pet management and public awareness the needs of domestic and native animals can both be met.
Responsible ownership is the key
Responsible pet ownership allows you to enjoy the presence of native birds and animals in your surroundings as well as your pet. Responsible pet ownership also brings many advantages to the community. Pets provide companionship and promote respect for the natural world. Poor management of animals by individuals however, can impact severely on animal welfare and the environment. Feral animals, many of which were brought to Australia as domestic animals but have gone wild, are now causing enormous problems.
The impact of domestic pets on native wildlife
A wide variety of native animals, ranging from the more common species like possums, kangaroos, wallabies, lizards and many species of birds to rarer or threatened species such as bandicoots, koalas and quolls, may be at risk from domestic pets in urban areas.
For example, unchecked, dogs harass and even kill other animals, including possums, koalas and roos as they move across country in search of food and shelter. Cats are by nature instinctive hunters and are more likely to kill birds and lizards.
Even though their human owners carefully meet their pet's requirements for food and shelter, instinctive hunting and chasing behaviour will continue. Domestic pets also occur in very high densities in cities. As a consequence, even if each individual animal is only affecting a small number of animals, the sum of that predation and harassment may impact on already marginalised urban wildlife populations.
What you can do
The responsibility for managing domestic animals ultimately rests with their owners. Simple measures can make a large difference. By encouraging responsible pet ownership in your family and neighbourhood you can ensure the welfare of all animals. You can:
Help reduce unwanted animals, many of which become strays and cause great damage to native animals. If you can no longer look after your pet take time to find them a happy new home or take them to the RSPCA. Report suspected cruelty or uncontrolled animals.
Don't release animals into the bush. Goldfish or other fish species flushed down the toilet or released into local waterways can upset the natural balance and impact on native fish species. Besides the impact they have on native animals and their habitat if they become feral, animals dumped in the bush may not survive and will suffer needlessly.
Even returning natives animals to the bush creates problems. Once native animals have been kept in captivity they may no longer know how to fend for themselves in the wild. There is also the risk that there may not be sufficient resources for them in addition to the existing native residents within the chosen environment. Always seek guidance. Hand sick and injured native animals to care groups such as WIRES or call your local National Parks and Wildlife Service office for advice.
Ensure that dogs are kept under control. Put dogs on leashes in nature reserves or bushland where native animals are likely to be vulnerable. Keep your dog confined in the backyard, particularly when you are not there. If you live in a flat walk your dog daily and properly train your dog to respond to your commands.
Keep cats inside overnight - and particularly at dawn and dusk. This protects the cat from fights and the subsequent incidence of infection and disease, and reduces the risk of motor vehicle accidents that most often occur at night. It also protects the environment. Even well fed cats roaming at night hunt and kill possums and other small native mammals while birds are often targets at dawn and dusk when they are most active.
Go horse-riding in designated areas. If you own a horse or go riding in bushland, find out from the National Parks and Wildlife Service the authorised places in your area to ride. Keep to marked trails, particularly in bushland.
Horses, like other hoofed animals, cause compaction of soil as well as erosion that can cause run off into streams affecting water quality and flow. Horses can also spread weeds that overwhelm native plants, impacting on the habitat of native animals.
Obtain and keep native pets legally. Although many native species are not well suited to domestic life, most states/territories do allow some native species to be kept as pets under certain conditions. Make sure you check with your National Parks and Wildlife Service office what you can have in your state and what the conditions are.
Research the caring needs of your native pet carefully.The more you know the more you can maximise the chances of your pet's survival - many species, such as reptiles, do not show their distress clearly and can die slowly in captivity. Alternatively, encourage native species to visit or live in your garden by planting suitable food and shelter species and having water available - you may find you get even more pleasure from that.
For publications and to find out more information about Australia's threatened species call the Department of the Environment and Heritage's Community Information Unit on free call 1 800 803 772 or visit the Department of the Environment and Heritage's threatened species website at: http://www.deh.gov.au
For now, Miau from me, until next month.
Information Source: Environment Australia
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