Natural Skin Care Newsletter - November 2007



Your Natural Skin & Personal Care Solution


Natural Skin Care Newsletter: November 2007 Issue

Natural Skin Care Products by Wildcrafted Herbal Products

Natural skin care products by Wildcrafted Herbal Products Natural skin care products by Wildcrafted Herbal Products


Welcome to the November Issue of the Natural Skin Care Newsletter.

Well, with Christmas fast approaching and Summer in Australia around the corner, we thought we'd look at some simple things you can do to protect your skin from over exposure to the UV-rays of the sun, as well as give you some 'early bird' ideas for Christmas presents.

Happy reading and Christmas shopping.

Index of the November 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)


Early Bird Christmas Ideas

Feature Article: Fitness Program for Your Skin (Part II)
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)

Article: Fun in the Sun without risking Skin Cancer
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)

Article: Taking Care of Sunburn
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)

About a herb of interest - Lavender (Lavandula officinalis)
(by Danny & Susan Siegenthaler)

Kitty's Corner - Dealing with Ticks & Fleas Naturally
(by Dr. Osborne)

November 2007 Issue of the Natural Skin Care Newsletter














Fitness Program for Your Skin (Part II)


Last month we took a close look at how to implement a fitness program for your skin and the benefits this will provide for your skin. We focused on the direct approach by making the best use of skin care products and utilising a step-by-step program to care for our skin.

This month we will look at additional things you can do to promote your skin’s fitness and over all health.

Water & Foods


We all know that if we do not drink enough water, our body will dehydrate and that by the time we get thirsty, we are actually already dehydrated and have a bit of catching up to do. The trick to a well hydrated body and skin is not to get to the point of where you actually start to feel thirsty.

If you’re already drinking at least 2.5 litres of water a day, you can skip this section, but if you are finding it difficult, you just might find some helpful tips on how you can get enough water each and every day in the following few paragraphs.

At the risk of repeating myself, our body will use 2-2.5 litters of water to perform its normal bodily functions (metabolism). It will do this whether we like it or not and if we do not provide our body with the necessary water to perform its vital functions, it will just take it from within the body tissues resulting in dehydration. Because the skin holds a high percentage of water, it is easy for the body to take it from our skin and use it else where, resulting in dry, dehydrated skin.

As the weather warms up, we perspire more and as a result need more water than usual. Also, if we exercise, the metabolism is increased and the consumption of water rises accordingly.

So, before we know it, our body will use up 2-3 litters of water without us even being aware of it. To compensate for this loss we need to consume at least the equivalent amount of water as our body is using and a little extra wouldn’t do astray. But how do we do this?

Well, one way is to start every day with drinking 500ml of water. Yes, I know, that sounds a lot to kick off the day with, but if you’re not used to drinking this amount of water in one hit, start with 300mls and work your way up. You’ll be surprised how quickly you will get used to drinking 500mls and even more. Now, you’ve only got 2000mls to go.

The next thing to do is to carry a drink bottle with you. If you travel to work by car, just sit the drink bottle in the centre console and at every red light (there are bound to be a few) take a sip or two.

If your drink bottle holds 500mls, your aim should be to have it empty by the time you get to work. Then do the same on the way home.

Now, you’ve consumed 1.5 litres and only have about 1-2 litres to go. So, while at the office, have your drink bottle standing next to you on your desk. Your aim now is to drink the first during the morning and a second one during the afternoon of your working day. Again if your bottle contains 500mls, you’ll have consumed another 1000mls during the day and are getting to your minimum amount of water required.

To get the extra, starting about 30min. after finishing your evening meal, have a final 500ml bottle sitting next to you and have a sip during the ad breaks, you’ll finish it in know time unless you’re watching the ABC or another non-commercial station.

After doing this for a while, you will actually feel the difference between the times when your body is getting enough water and when it’s not. You will start to automatically look for your water bottle and be amazed just how much more water you are drinking.

For some of you this will manifest itself in surprising improvements to your health - niggling pains, aches and other minor complaints will suddenly start to disappear. Your digestive system will actually work better and you may even feel a lift in energy levels.

What not to do

One thing you need to remember is that tea, coffee and alcohol will drive water from your body. So, for example if you have 500mls of water either shortly before or after you’ve been drinking coffee or tea, it won’t be long before you’ll need to make a pit-stop. So, be mindful of the power of tea and coffee...

Another factor you’ll need to keep in mind is that instead of water, you may choose to drink isotonic drinks such as Poweraide or a similar. These things contain quite a lot of sugar and therefore calories you may not wish to ad to your body. One or two over the course of a day is probably ok, but if you also add fruit juices and similar hydrating drinks instead of water, you could run the risk of increasing your weight. So, keep in mind that water is the best type of drink to have.

If you work at it a little, you will find that it is not as difficult as one might think to get plenty of water and not get dehydrated.


Foods to increase your skin’s fitness

No I am not going to suggest a diet. I am going to suggest a few simple things you can do to increase the nutrients in your food that will be of benefit to your skin.

So first what are the nutrients that your skin needs?

Beta-carotene (pro vitamin A)

It is an anti-oxidants, neutralise free radicals. 

It is found in foods such as: Sweet Potato, Carrot, Kale, Mango, Turnip, Greens Spinach, raw; Papaya, Red Bell Pepper, Apricot, Cantaloupe, Fat Free Milk, Romaine, Eggs, Whole Milk, Raw Tomato, Broccoli, Green Bell Pepper, Orange, Parsley.

Vitamin A

Is another anti-oxidant. It is essential for healthy hair and eyes, and is also important in the prevention and clearing of infections of the skin. Vitamin A counteracts dry skin, dandruff and wrinkle formation. It is needed for healthy blood circulation which gives a glow to the skin. Helps maintain smooth, soft disease-free skin; helps protect the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, throat lungs, which helps reduce our susceptibility to infections; protects against air pollutants and contaminants; helps improve eye sight and counteracts night-blindness; aids in bone and teeth formation; improves skin elasticity, moisture content and suppleness; and helps reverse the signs of photo-aging. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to eruptions or dry, coarse, wrinkled skin; dull and dry hair or dandruff; ridging or peeling fingernails; pimples or acne and visual fatigue.

Preformed Vitamin A and/or Carotene is found in: Meat, Chicken Liver, Cod Liver Oil, Cheese, certain green leafy vegetables, such as beet greens, spinach, and broccoli.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is also an anti-oxidant; Vitamin E helps form muscles and tissues to prevent wrinkles and premature aging of the skin due to oxidation. It helps prevent dry, dull skin, age spots, falling hair and dandruff. It improves circulation and healing of scars. Research has shown that large doses of vitamin E double healthy cell reproduction to slow the aging process and forestall premature wrinkling.

Vitamin E supplies oxygen to the blood, which is then carried to the heart and other organs, thus alleviating fatigue. It aids in bringing nourishment to cells; strengthens the capillary walls preventing the red blood cells from destructive poisons (free radicals); prevents and dissolves blood clots.

You will get Vitamin E from foods such as: Avocados, Carrots. Cheese: especially Parmesan, and Cheddar. Chickpeas, egg yolk, green leafy vegetables, legumes, margarine, meats/poultry/fish, nuts and nut oils, oatmeal, olives, parsnips, red peppers, seeds, soy products and soybeans, sweet corn, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, watercress, wheat germ, all contain Vitamin E so you should have little difficulty in obtaining enough from your diet.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a very powerful anti-oxidant; Vitamin C, in conjunction with protein, is necessary for the production of collagen - the glue that holds us and our skin together and circumvents sags or wrinkles. It regulates sebaceous glands to keep skin from drying out; helps prevent facial lines, wrinkles and spider veins.

Vitamin C is essential for the health of the hair, eyes and teeth, resistance to infection, healing of wounds and firm skin tissues. Vitamin C is believed to aid skin cells in repairing and reproducing themselves. It is also thought to stimulate production of collagen, enhancing skin smoothness and elasticity. This vitamin is excellent for skin showing signs of aging.

Vitamin C is found in: Acerola cherry, Kiwifruit, green peppers, citrus fruits and juices, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, turnips, green and other leafy vegetables, sweet and white potatoes, and Cantaloupe. Other excellent sources include papaya, mango, watermelon, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, winter squash, red peppers, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, and pineapples.

Vitamin B-complex

B-vitamins are vital for clear, luminous skin, youthful looks and for delaying grayling of hair. They are essential for healthy skin, hair, and eyes. Studies show that 40 percent of dermatitis sufferers lack B vitamins. B vitamins also counteract stress, which has adverse effects on one's appearance.

Vit. B-complex is a complex of several important vitamins including B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B6 (pyridoxine), B12 (cobalamin). Vitamin B1 is needed for nerve signal transmission. Vitamin B2 is needed for the metabolism of amino acids. Vitamin B6 is necessary for the production of many enzymes and chemical messengers (eg, neurotransmitters). Vitamin B12 is needed for red blood cell production and DNA synthesis.

You’ll find B-vitamins in: Whole grain cereals, wheat, Pulses, Nuts, Green leafy vegetables, Molasses, Meat, Liver, and Brewer's yeast.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for healthy teeth, bones and nails as well as for the assimilation of calcium and phosphorus. It promotes healthy eyes, skin and teeth.

It is a vitamin found in foods such as fish, oysters, and dairy products. Also, there are enzymes in our skin that make vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight. A little bit of sunshine is very good for you - more on that later.

Vitamin D is found in: Milk, Beef liver, Salmon, Tuna, Butter, Sprouted seeds.


Proteins are required for the structure, function, and regulation of the body's cells, tissues, and organs, and each protein has unique functions.

You’ll find proteins in: Avocados, Brewer's yeast, dried legumes, nuts, Sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds, whole grain cereals.

Other Protein foods include: Fish, meats, poultry, eggs, dairy products, pulses, and wheat germ.


Calcium and Phosphorus work together for healthy teeth, hair, nails and bones. Calcium helps clear blemished skin and revitalizes lifeless, tired-looking skin.

Calcium is essential for a variety of bodily functions, such as neurotransmission, muscle contraction, and proper heart function.

Calcium is found in: Milk products, whole wheat, leafy vegetables, Salmon, Sardines, shellfish, Soybeans, Sunflower seeds, Walnuts, Oranges, and Lemons.


Phosphorus is a mineral vital to energy production. It helps build bone and form cell membranes and genetic material.

Phosphorus is found in: Dairy products, egg yolks, fish, poultry, meats, grains, cereals, nuts, fruit juices, and milk.


Chromium improves circulation for healthy skin and hair. It plays a role in glucose metabolism and is considered essential in trace amounts in nutrition.

Chromium is found in: Brewer's yeast, cheese, corn oil, liver, clams, meat, and whole grains.


Iodine promotes healthy hair, nails, skin, and teeth. It is an element that is necessary for the body to make thyroid hormone. It is found in shellfish and iodised salt.

Iodine is contained in: Iodised salt, Kelp, Onions, Seafood, Vegetable oils.


Iron is essential for healthy nails, skin colour, and hair growth.

Iron is found in: Egg yolks, blackstrap molasses, dark leafy greens, dried fruits and legumes, lean meat, liver, and whole wheat.


Magnesium is required to prevent skin disorders. A mineral used by the body to help maintain muscles, nerves, and bones. It is also used in energy metabolism and protein synthesis.

Magnesium is found in: Almonds, apples, apricots, bananas, bran, corn, dairy products, figs, grapefruit and lemons, meats, raw leafy greens, Soybeans.


Manganese helps to maintain healthy hair. This micronutrient activates one or more enzymes in fatty acid synthesis; it also activates the enzymes responsible for DNA and RNA production. Closely associated with copper and zinc.

Manganese is found in: bananas, beets, bran, coffee, egg yolks, leafy greens, legumes, nuts, pineapple, whole grains and tea.


Selenium maintains skin elasticity. It helps prevent and correct dandruff. Selenium is an essential trace mineral. Selenium activates an antioxidant enzyme called glutathione peroxidase, which may help protect the body from cancer.

Selenium is a nutrient found in: Asparagus, bran, broccoli, chicken, egg yolks, milk, onions, red meat, seafood, tomatoes, and whole grains.


Sulphur helps maintain healthy hair, nails, and skin. It also prevents dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis.

An important mineral component of vitamin B1 and of several essential amino acids. Sulphur is particularly necessary for the body's production of collagen, which helps to form connective tissue. Sulphur is also a component of keratin, the chief ingredient in hair, skin, and nails. By controlling bacteria and exfoliating the skin, sulphur is a popular acne treatment. Sulphur is thought to dissolve the top layer of dry, dead cells and slow down oil-gland activity.

Sulphur is found in: Bran, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cheese, clams, eggs, fish, mushrooms, nuts, peas and beans, and wheat germ.


Zinc aids in the formation of collagen. It helps prevent wrinkles, dry skin and stretch marks, and promotes blemish healing. Zinc prevents hair loss, and brittle or spotted nails. Without enough zinc a deficiency of Vitamin A can occur even though the intake of that vitamin appears adequate.

It is a mineral that is vital to many biological functions such as immune resistance, wound healing, digestion, reproduction, physical growth, diabetes control, taste and smell. More than 300 enzymes in the human body require zinc for proper functioning.

Zinc is found in: Brewer's yeast, eggs, lean red meat, seafood, legumes, mushrooms, non-fat dry milk, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, shellfish (oysters), spinach, and whole grains.

Omega 3

Omega 3 is an essential fatty acid. It may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and myocardial infarction (severe form of heart attacks) by lowering triglyceride levels and blood pressure and preventing the formation of life-threatening thrombi.

You can find natural sources of Omega 3 in Oily Fish eg: Salmon, Tuna and some others. Omega 3 is also contained in Flax seeds, walnuts, and canola oil.

Omega 6

Omega 6 is another essential fatty acid (should be combined in equal portions with Omega 3's).

It is contained in: Cereals, eggs, poultry, most vegetable oils, whole-grain breads, and margarine.

There is one final consideration when it comes to the food you eat, make sure the foods are processed as little as possible. That means the fresher the better, raw rather than cooked, steamed rather than fried, etc. Just remember the KISS formula - Keeping It Simple Succeeds..


Putting it all together

Topical Skin Care

In Part I we took a step-by-step look at implementing a fitness program for your skin using natural skin care products. We discussed the importance of each of these steps and how they will benefit your skin.

Internal Skin Care

Part II of this article series looked several other factors, including the need for water, and the types of foods that are beneficial to the skin.

To achieve the best possible level of healthy, vibrant and youthful looking skin, you need to implement all of the program aspects, from using the skin care products to drinking sufficient amounts of water and eating the right foods.


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Fun in the Sun Without Risking Skin Cancer


The sun can be regarded as both our friend and our enemy. It all comes down to exposure. Too much and you can get seriously burned, dehydrated and in extreme conditions it can kill you. On the other hand, the sun is what generates live on our planet and provides the energy for plants to grow which in turn provide us with food, water and much more. Our skin can make vitamin D from being exposed to sunlight and even reduce the incidents of some pathogens (organisms that can cause ill health).

So how can we get the best from the sun without running the risk of harming ourselves?

There are some very simple rules:

  • A little goes a long way: for example, our skin and health will benefit from exposing our skin to 20 minutes a day of sunlight. But, it has to be at the right time of day, which is before 10am in the morning and after 4pm in the afternoon - this applies primarily during Summer. In Winter, you can change this to before 11am and after 3pm. If you have a very fair skin that burns quickly and easily you may want to avoid full exposure to the sun all together or make it only early in the morning and late in the afternoon.

  • Protecting our skin: during the hours between 10am & 4pm you should ware protective clothing and possibly sunscreen to protect your skin from over exposure to UV-rays. Loose cotton shirts with long sleeves are a good start, but make sure the cotton is not too thin. Protect your facial skin by using a wide brimmed hat that provides shade over your face and your neck.
    • Use a high quality moisturising cream before and after you have been out in the sun. It doesn’t hurt either to re-apply the moisturiser during the time you’re outside. In this case, more is definitely better.
    • Sunscreen lotion (SPF’s): We have recently published an article which looks at the research scientist have done. The studies we looked at showed that there is little evidence that Sunscreen lotions actually protect the skin from the harmful rays and may even be a risk factor themselves. You can read the article here: "Sun Protection & Sunscreens".
  • Drink plenty of water: In the previous article we looked at water intake and the reasons for why drinking enough water is so important. When we are out in the sun, we dehydrate much more quickly than normal and it is therefore very important to consume water on a very regular basis.

  • Shade: when ever possible, seek out shade or use umbrellas or gazebos to provide shelter and shade. This is especially important if you’re planning a day on the beach. Remember also, that the water and the sand reflect the sun’s rays and even if you are sitting in the shade, you will be exposed to the UV-rays from the sun. This applies also to days on which there is a reasonable cover of clouds. Clouds mostly reduce the sensible heat (heat you can feel), not the UV-rays, which you do not feel. So be careful not to fall into a false sense of security.

If you keep these simple rules in mind and act on them, you should be able to have fun in the sun without risking skin cancer.


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Taking Care of Sunburn: 1st Aid Hints & Tips


Your skin is red, sore, hot to the touch, and you just know that you’ve overdone it this time. You got caught out in the sun, got burned and are asking yourself “now what”?

Here are some simple, yet effective solutions:

  1. Use cold water on the area where you have sustained a burn. You can even use ice wrapped into a towel or put on a T-shirt that’s wet and been in the fridge for a few minutes. This will cool the skin and take that burning feeling away - at least for a little while.

  2. Use Lavender oil - this is a great first aid treatment for any type of minor and moderate burn. Use it neat on the area where you’ve burned yourself and reapply as often as needed. Make sure that you have 100% pure Lavender oil because that’s the only type that will work.

  3. If you have some Aloe vera plants growing in the garden, you can break off a leaf and squeeze out the gel. Then you apply the gel to the skin. Aloe vera great for soothing the skin and taking the burning feeling out of the skin.

  4. Should you have both Aloe vera gel and Lavender oil, mix a few drops of Lavender oil into the Aloe vera gel and apply this liberally to your skin. This will work almost like magic. Repeat this as often as necessary.

  5. Drink lots of water. Your skin and body are very likely to be hydrated and the fact that you have sustained a burn will mean that the affected area of your skin will be dehydrated and will also loose more water in an attempt by the skin to cool itself. The larger the area and the more sever the sunburn, the more important this is.

  6. To manage any residual pain you might want to take an Aspirin or other type of pain killer and get as much rest as you can.

Sunburn will damage your skin so it is important that you don’t stop treating your skin just because the pain from the burn is gone. You should make sure that you continue to apply a good moisturising cream to the area where you have been burned and you should use the moisturising cream at least 3 times a day. This will help to re-hydrate and repair your skin.

Make sure the moisturiser you’re using contains ingredients that actually help your skin and not just make it feel better. Look for essential oils, fruit/vegetable extracts, herbal extracts, cosmetic butters and the like.

At this stage you’re skin will most probably start to peal. This is a natural reaction, because the skin that is pealing is actually dead - it got burned after all. Use an exfoliant to help remove the dead skin and make sure you follow this by using your Toner and Moisturiser. This applies even if the area of the skin where you got sunburned is not on your face. Skin is skin no matter where on the body it is. If you get burned, you need to treat the area in order to reduce the damage to your skin as much as possible.

Prevention of sunburn is definitely better than the alternative. There are many ways to avoid getting burned and we’ve covered most of them here. Make sure you get yourself a ‘after sun first aid kit’ so that if you do happen to get burned, you have got some basic 1st Aid remedies on hand to treat your sunburn. The sooner you start the better.


About An Interesting Herb: Lavandula officinalis

There are many varieties and hybrid species of Lavender grown commercially today but Lavandula angustifolia is the original ‘true’ or French Lavender that most people know well. The grey-green foliage and purple-blue flower spike of Lavender is readily identifiable in a herb garden and the aroma of the essential oil is readily released when the flowers or leaves are touched.

Lavender is a member of the Labiatae Family and is a native of the Mediterranean and Middle East regions. However, Lavender plantations are now widely found around the world as species hybridisation has enabled Lavender to be grown commercially outside its natural climatic range.

The fresh, clean scent of lavender needs no description, neither does the plant. The oil is clear and has a fairly mild, bitter taste. Lavender blends well with a great number of essential oils, adding a light, floral softness to almost any mixture.

Biological Name:
Lavandula officinalis


Other Names: 
Lavender, Garden Lavender, spike lavender, common lavender.

Parts Used:

Active Compounds: 
Volatile oil, containing linalyl acetate, with linalool, lavandulyl acetate, borneol, camphor, limonene, cadinene, caryophyllene, 4-butanolide, 5-pentyl-5-pentanolide.
Coumarins; Umbelliferone, herniarin, coumarin, dihydrocoumarin.
Miscellaneous: triterpenes e.g. ursolic acid, flavonoids e.g. luteolin.

Traditional Applications in Herbal Medicine:

The clear essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from the flowers and has a clean and fresh aroma.

Uses in Natural Skin Care Products:
Lavender is well known for its wound healing, cleansing and toning properties and removes redness and heat from the skin, making Lavender oil a suitable addition to any skin care preparation and for any skin type. Lavender has been shown to be very useful in the relief of burns in which case it can be applied neat to the area.

Traditional Medicinal Uses:
Lavender has a sedative and tonic action on the heart and lowers high blood pressure. It is a mild local analgesic, and calms cerebro-spinal excitability. It is renowned for its nervine-sedative properties, and has proved valuable in a variety of nervous and psychological disorders, including: depression, insomnia, migraine, hysteria, nervous tension and paralysis.

Although it is not really anti-inflammatory, lavender is often useful where there is inflammation, hence its use in burns, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, boils, rheumatism, wounds, ulcers, blepharitis, conjunctivitis, cystitis, diarrhoea, laryngitis, etc.

Lavender oil has been included in the following Wildcrafted natural skin care products: Rejuvenating Night Crème, and
Ginseng Hydrator For Men (Normal Skin Blend).


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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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!

Remember, Christmas is not that far away and the best way to avoid the stress and rush is to start thinking about your Christmas gifts now...

In good health

Danny & Susan Siegenthaler


© Copyright: Wildcrafted Herbal Products, 2007

Wildcrafted's Natural Skin Care Newsletter - Back Issues

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 talk about those little offenders, namely ticks and fleas.

Dealing with Ticks & Fleas naturally


Fleas are the primary cause of itching in cars and one cat in four is allergic to flea saliva. The flea spends most of its time in the cat’s surroundings, jumping onto your pet to get a feed and then jumping off again. But you can detect their presence by using a special fine-toothed flea comb - place the cat on a white sheet or paper. The black specks you comb out are actually flea faeces.

What you and Your Vet Can Do.

Give your cat a both in shampoo which has pyrethrins or d-limolene as the active ingredient. These are natural flea repellents.

Treat your home and all your pets at the same time - fleas will bite animals and people (you will find tell-tale bumps on your lower legs). The best home treatment (once a year) to protect you and your pets is borax powder, sprinkled on the carpet and upholstery, then vacuumed up. Remember to remove and throw the vacuum bag in the garbage bin.

Powders, sprays and shampoos are traditional methods of control, but it is important to ensure you use them strictly in accordance with the instructions, to safeguard you cat’s health. Flea collars are not considered effective and can cause skin allergy.

Generally, you can deal with fleas without your vet but many insect growth regulator (IGR) products are only available on veterinary prescription. This treatment blocks the development of the flea’s life cycle, preventing their eggs from hatching successfully. They are sprinkled over the cat’s food, or given by injection.

Complementary Treatments

Herbal Remedies:

A herbal flea dip can be made from 5 ml (1 tsp) dried rosemary, or 15 ml fresh, in 600 ml of boiling water. Steep for 10 mins, strain, leave to cool before using.

A natural treatment for the outdoor environment are nematodes, microscopic worms which eat harmful insects. They can be obtained from pet or garden stores and are sprayed on the garden.


Ticks are most often encountered in agricultural areas, where sheep and cattle are their usual hosts. These parasites have a complex life cycle. The eggs hatch into larvae that, along with the next stage in their life cycle, called nymphs, attach themselves to farm livestock. They then drop off their hosts to mature and wait in turn for another animal, such as your cat, to pass by. Once the tick, which is the size of a pinhead, has managed to gain a grip on the cat’s body, it will start to feed, piercing the skin with its sharp mouthparts. As the tick sucks the cat’s blood, it swells significantly in size, and can grow to the size of a small fingernail. It is most likely to be seen at this stage, usually when the cat is being stroked or groomed.

What you can do

Although it may be tempting to try to pull the tick out of the skin, don’t do it. You will simply detach the tick’s body, leaving its head and mouthparts embedded in the skin, where they are then more likely to result in an infection. You can buy a spray that causes a tick to loosen its grip, but the simplest solution is to coat the parasite with petroleum jelly, particularly towards its rear. This should block the tick’s breathing tube, so it suffocates and detaches quite rapidly of its own accord. Alternatively, you can dab alcohol on the tick to kill it.

If your cat is heavily infested, then a commercial insecticide may be necessary. You should consult your vet on the best treatment.

Complementary Treatments

Herbal Remedies:

Dab the site of attachment with calendula cram to promote healing and lessen the risk of infection.

Essential Oils that can be of help

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is a great repellent against fleas. If your cat is infested with fleas, use 5-10 drops of peppermint oil in a 5 litre bucket of warm water and use a flea-comb to comb your cat’s fur. Each time dip the comb in the peppermint water before combing the cat’s coat. The potent smell of peppermint will help to repel the fleas for about a week or so. Repeat this procedure each week for about 2-4 weeks and you’ll be rid of the little offenders.

Pennyroyal oil

Pennyroyal is a potent oil that will naturally help to break the flea breeding cycle. DO NOT USE IF YOU CAT IT PREGNANT. Follow the same technique as described above. You can mix both these oils together for a more all-round effect.


For now, Miau from me, until next month.


Information Source:
Dr. Carol Osborne, (1999) Naturally Healthy Cats, A Marshall Fact file, Marshall, London.

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