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Melissa, beauty water
Lemon balm, melissa officinalis, is a plant of the Lamiaceae family that includes also lavender, mint and rosemary. Obtained through steam distillation, the lemon balm water has a very pleasant scent, that reminds that of lemon. Lemon balm water, properties and uses - This beauty water has a relaxing, calming and anxiolytic action, thanks to the properties of lemon balm on the nervous system (Scholey et al, Nutrients, Nov 2014). It therefore can be sprayed on the face before going to sleep to ...
Turmeric oil, the amazing oil for beauty and health
Turmeric, scientific name Curcuma longa, is a plant native to Asia. Its orange root is characterized by amazing healthy properties and can be found as a powder or whole root. Thanks to an active substance, the curcumin, the spice shows antimicrobial properties, thus resulting useful to counteract virus and bacteria, and an anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antioxidant and anticancer action. In addition to this, turmeric is also able to protect the brain from degenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer...
Balsam of Peru
Balsam of Peru, also known as black balsam, China oil or Indian balsam, is an oleoresin that looks like a viscous liquid of dark color. This product is obtained from the trunk of the Myroxylon balsamum tree, belonging to the Fabaceae family, widespread in Central America. Although the name may not say much, actually the Balsam of Peru is more widespread than you think since it can be found into the formulation of cosmetic products, from lipsticks to creams, shampoos, deodorants, talc and perfume...
Rose water, liquid beauty
Rose water, or rose floral water, is a product for the beauty of face, eyes and hair that is obtained during the process of distillation of rose petals to produce the essential oil. At the end of this process, in addition to the essential oil of rose, rose water is also obtained that preserves the incredible properties of this fragrant and velvety flower. For the homemade preparation instead, the infusion of the petals is used. The petals are added to the boiling water and left to rest for about...
Baobab oil, cosmetic use
Through the cold pressing of the seeds of the baobab, Adansonia digitata, a beauty oil with soothing, moisturizing, smoothing, anti-aging and regenerating properties is extracted. This special oil for skin, hair and nails contains fatty acids such as linoleic acid, the most present, and oleic and palmitic acids. These substances are very important to hydrate the epidermis, to protect the skin barrier, to regenerate the epithelial tissues and to counteract aging processes (Razafimamonjison et al,...
Natural cleaning tips Part 2, laundry detergents
We are very careful about what we eat, drink and apply on skin, but for what concerns laundry, do we know what we are using in order to obtain clean and scented clothes and underwear? Also in this case indeed, as with the cosmetics for the beauty of body and face, the products that we buy may hide risks because of some contained chemical substances able to pollute the Planet, by settling to the bottom of seas and rivers, to cause allergies and irritations to our skin and also to ruin the clothes...
Sea buckthorn oil, cosmetic use
From the fruits of the sea buckthorn, scientific name Hippophae rhamnoides, it is possible to obtain, through cold pressing, an oil with interesting cosmetic properties for the beauty of the skin that becomes healthy and luminous. This oil, according to scientific studies, (Zielinska et al, Lipids Health Dis, May 2017), is rich indeed in vitamin C, group B, carotenoids, polyphenols, tocopherol or vitamin E, highly antioxidant, and unsaturated fatty acids such as palmitoleic acid, a type of omega...
Inci of cosmetics, you know what you are applying on skin Part 12, the sodium lauryl sulfate
Cosmetic products are not all the same and the difference, for our health and beauty, isn’t given by the price or the best advertising, but by the ingredients that you find inside creams, serums, soaps and shampoos. Sometimes the used ingredients respect the skin and the hair, other times, and unfortunately this happens quite often, not at all and the results are irritations, dull skin, wrinkles but also acne, blackheads and, for what concerns hair, dandruff, oily scalp, hair loss and brittle ha...
Avocado oil, cosmetic use
From the pulp of the fruit of the avocado tree, scientific name Persea americana, you get an oil suitable for both food and cosmetic use. In this post we will talk about how you can use avocado oil to take care of your beauty in a natural way. In fact, this oil is rich in vitamins, such as A, C, D and E (Tzu-Kai Lin et al, Int J Mol Sci, 2018), essential fatty acids and antioxidants. It has powerful moisturizing, elasticizing and nourishing properties and is ideal for dry, toneless and mature sk...
Sweet almond oil
Sweet almond oil is a plant based oil obtained, as the name suggests, from the cold pressing of sweet almonds, the seeds of Prunus dulcis. This oil, thanks to the presence of unsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins A, E and B, mineral salts and phytosterols, is well known and appreciated for its particularly moisturizing, soothing, elasticizing and protective properties that make it an ideal oil for the most delicate skin and also for children. The sweet almond oil helps regenerat...
Slow Cosmetique, How to hydrate your face skin Part 1, the plant based oils
This is another chapter dedicated to Slow Cosmetique, the movement born in Belgium that focuses the attention on the wellbeing of the skin and the ingredients of the cosmetics going beyond the brands of creams, serum and soap that often are very expensive but not really beneficial. On the contrary, some cosmetics may cause irritations, pimples and eczema because they use comedogenic ingredients that aren’t tolerated by skin. Today we will see how to hydrate facial skin, in a safe, cheap and effi...
Apricot kernel oil
From the kernels of apricots, through cold pressing, a delicate oil with antioxidant and anti-cancer properties is obtained. This oil results useful for external application and is a valuable ally in cosmetics for the beauty of the skin, of face and body, mature or sensitive or even inflamed and dry. Apricot oil is characterized by the presence of vitamins, including E and A, oleic acid and phytosterols with anti-inflammatory action, against free radicals and able to support the microcirculation...
The hydrolat, or aromatic water, is produced simultaneously with the essential oil. In fact, during the steam distillation process, two products are obtained, one is the essential oil which is fat-soluble, namely it melts in fats and this is why in all indications it is reported to add a few drops of essential oil to the cream or a carrier oil, and the other is the hydrolat, which is instead water-soluble. The essential oil is concentrated and intense and, with some exceptions, cannot be used pu...
Malva, external use
Malva, scientific name Malva sylvestris, also known as common mallow, is a generous and very beneficial plant. It is indeed an ingredient for herbal teas very useful to calm coughs, bronchitis and colds or to soothe inflammations of the digestive tract such as gastritis or even to counteract constipation, as already described in a previous post. In addition to this it can also be used for external applications to treat canker sores, sore throat, itching, pimples, abscesses, gout and rheumatism. ...
Raspberry seed oil
The raspberry is a generous plant, it produces delicious fruits and can also be used as an ingredient for different herbal remedies. In addition to this, from its seeds through cold pressing, a very valuable oil especially for external applications on all types of skin is obtained. Raspberry seed oil is indeed rich in vitamins E and A, contains essential fatty acids Omega 3 and Omega 6, is a powerful antioxidant, moisturizes the skin, gives it elasticity and tone, lightens the skin spots, is hea...
Aleppo soap is a plant based soap obtained from the olive oil and a variable amount from 4 to 50% of laurel oil, that is extracted from the berries of the female plant of laurel tree. The more laurel oil the finest the soap. Aleppo soap has an ancient origin, the first archeological references of it date back indeed to 2500 B.C., made for the first time in the city of Aleppo, Syria, nowadays it can be easily found in specialized shops or perfumeries, both in the solid or liquid form. The soap ha...
Sesame oil, for external use
Sesame oil is extracted from the seeds of sesame, scientific name Sesamum indicum, whose particular and sweet taste is preserved in the oil. This plant based oil is well known and appreciated in the Ayurveda for applications on skin, hair and teeth so much that, from the Indian word that indicates the massage made with sesame oil, champo, comes our word shampoo. Sesame oil is also rich in vitamins, such as A, E and group B, and is characterized by antioxidant properties that prevent the oil fro...
Hemp oil, or hempseed oil, is extracted through cold pressing from the seeds of Cannabis sativa, can be easily found in supermarkets or specialized shops in every Country and is well appreciated for its healthy properties. This plant based oil, indeed, is rich in essential fatty acids and characterized by antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Hemp oil contains fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6 in the right proportion 3-1 and, for this reason, it can be inserted in the diet of those people ...
Viola odorata, commonly known as sweet violet, common violet or garden violet, is a small perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the Violaceae family. For the ancients, besides the fact that it was a sacred flower, violet was also very appreciated as a remedy able to treat headache caused by a very rich meal. Nowadays common violet can be used to soothe cough, both the cough of seasonal illnesses and the cough of the smokers, to treat inflammations and stomach irritations. It has also a laxativ...
Black cumin seed oil
Black cumin, scientific name Nigella sativa, is an Asian plant belonging to the Ranuncolaceae family. From black cumin seeds through cold pressing an oil with interesting anti-inflammatory, soothing, calming and regenerating properties is obtained. Known since ancient times, in fact a small bottle of black cumin seed oil was found in the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamon, this oil can be used for cooking as well as a cosmetic remedy. Black cumin seed oil helps treat cough, bronchitis, allergic rhiniti...
Shea tree, scientific name Vitellaria paradoxa, is a plant of the Sapotaceae family, very widespread in Africa. From its seeds, improperly called nuts of shea tree, the famous shea butter is obtained, used both as a seasoning in African cooking tradition and as a base ingredient in various cosmetic products after removing any impurities. Shea butter is emollient, moisturizing, antioxidant due to the content of vitamins such as E, and nutritious. It helps the skin to remain elastic, soft, acts as...
Rice bran oil
The rice bran oil is a vegetable oil that is extracted from the seed of the rice plant. This type of oil has interesting beneficial properties for the body, indeed it’s rich in antioxidants, vitamins, including E, and has anti-inflammatory, hypocholesterolemic and anti-aging effects. Scientific studies, such as the work published in 1980 on the journal Endocrinologia japonica, have highlighted the ability of rice bran oil to balance thyroid hormones in case of hypothyroidism. In addition to this...
The castor bean or castor-oil-plant, scientific name Ricinus communis, is a plant belonging to the Euphorbiaceae family. From the castor seeds an oil is obtained, the famous castor oil, strongly laxative due to a toxic substance, the ricinoleic acid in it contained. Used in case of constipation it should be taken at small doses, away from meals and for very limited periods of time, a couple of days at most, mixed with a juice to mitigate its unpleasant taste. Always ask your doctor for advice an...
From the seeds of the Argania spinosa plant, that grows in the south of Morocco, the argan oil is extracted. This oil is mainly used in beauty preparations for external applications but, in the countries of origin such as Morocco or Algeria, it can also be used in cooking. Argan oil for cooking use has a different preparation than that used for the skin care, in fact if used for cooking the fruit is roasted otherwise it is cold pressed, making it clearer. In this article we focus on argan oil fo...
Chamomile is a well known natural remedy. There are different types of chamomile but the most used are common chamomile and Roman chamomile, with very similar properties but Roman chamomile is very rich in essential oils. Let’s see the possible applications of chamomile. Herbal tea – In case of stress, stomach pain, bellyache, diarrhea, flatulence but also painful menstruation you can try the chamomile herbal tea. Boil water, then remove it from heat and leave to brew one tablespoon of dry cha...
Myrrh is a resin extracted from a tree that can be found especially in Africa. Myrrh is used as essential oil for external use only. You can diffuse the myrrh essential oil in a room, this essential oil keeps insects and parasites away and helps in case of cold or cough. If you suffer from fungal infections, dermatitis or other skin irritations myrrh essential oil can be a valid remedy: mix 6-7 drops of essential oil in 300 ml of distilled water, soak a gauze and apply it on the part. Thanks to...
Hyssop is a plant very helpful in case of cough or bronchitis because it is a cough reliever and expectorant. It has also anti-inflammatory properties and can be used in case of skin irritations and acne. Useful also in case of poor digestion. As herbal tea– infuse one tablespoon of hyssop flowers in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes, strain and drink in case of cough and poor digestion. You can also apply a gauze soaked in hyssop herbal tea on your skin in case of acne or other skin irr...
a very fast way to obtain pure aloe vera gel is to directly buy it in herbalist’s shop, but the best solution should be to have a plant of aloe vera at home. In this way the aloe vera gel conserves all its incredible properties, in addition to this, by cultivating the plant of aloe vera by yourself you can be sure about the total absence of chemical fertilizers. Cut a slice of aloe vera and put the rest of the leaf in the fridge covered by a cloth. Use the slice of aloe vera and apply the gel ...
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