Rejuvenate Your Skin, Body, Hair With French Clay

HISTORY OF FRENCH CLAYS

Formed as a result of worn and weather-beaten volcanic ash, rocks, soil, or sediment, Clays are naturally-occurring, earthy, mineral-rich elements derived from these various sources. Due to their fine grains and fine particles, Clays are soft in texture and are pliable when moist. Depending on its source, chemical configuration, and therapeutic properties, each clay has a unique combination of minerals – such as Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, and Silica – that gives it an inimitable composition. The valuable individual characteristics make each clay advantageous for particular uses. This also makes it a challenge to discover two clays that are exactly alike.

Clays are often differentiated by their ability to absorb, adsorb, or do both. A clay’s absorption refers to its ability to attract elements into itself. A clay’s adsorption refers to its ability to attract elements onto its surface. To illustrate, an absorptive clay applied to the skin will draw oils, impurities, and toxins out from the skin and into itself, whereas an adsorptive clay applied to the skin will draw impurities out from the skin and keep them suspended on its surface. Furthermore, a clay that has only adsorptive properties will not draw oils out from the skin.

Due to their sorptive properties, Clays absorb minerals and organic substances; however, they themselves are natural sources of minerals, which are integral to the survival of all life forms on the planet. Minerals are responsible for and are thus essential for body processes, such as the contraction of muscles, the integration of proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, and fats, and the production of hormones. Additionally, they are able to absorb large amounts of water, which allows the minuscule particles in clays to expand when they come into contact with it. Their ability to capture bacteria and eliminate them by preventing their access to oxygen and nourishment lends an anti-bacterial property to clays.

Animals are known to consume and clean themselves with clays, which have purifying and remedial properties that address their illnesses and soothe wounds and sores. Animals are also known to use clays instinctively to relieve discomforts associated with harsh environmental elements and having parasites. It is believed that, after observing these animal behaviors, Homo erectus and Homo neanderthalensis began to apply mixtures of ochres, muds, and water to wounds and irritations to soothe and cleanse the skin in order to facilitate healing.

According to historical accounts, the medicinal use of clays was recorded as early as 2500 B.C on Mesopotamian tablets that were also made of clay. In Ancient Egypt, clays were used in beauty treatments, medicinal treatments, and funeral rites to maintain the appearance and texture of the complexion, to address inflammation and infection, and to preserve and mummify the deceased, respectively. In an Ancient Egyptian medical text known as “The Ebers Papyrus,” use of the natural earthy substance referred to as Ochre is described as being beneficial for ailments ranging from those associated with the eyes to those associated with the intestines. Despite the availability of progressive technologies and remedies, it was a common practice for notable doctors of the ancient civilizations to use clays to address ailments such as eczema and psoriasis as well as genito-urinary, circulatory, and musculoskeletal disorders.

There are 3 clay types that are commonly used in cosmetics: Montmorillonite, Illite, and Kaolinite. All the varieties of French Clays fall into all 3 of these categories. These categories of Clays are known to largely contribute soothing, astringent, drying, and mattifying properties.

MONTMORILLONITE CLAYS ARE:

  • The result of volcanic ash that was previously naturally deposited in sea water
  • “Swelling” types of clay
  • Known to address skin rashes, acne, and dandruff
  • Known to stimulate the growth of new hair and new skin
  • Known to reduce joint and muscle pain that travels to different places around the body
  • Known to promote a clearer complexion
  • Known to enhance the body’s ability to repair tissue
  • Known to soften skin and reduce the appearance of age spots
  • Known to hydrate skin while tightening it for a rejuvenated appearance
  • Known to eliminate fungus and redness
ILLITE CLAYS ARE:

  • Generally found in marine shales and other related sedimentary rock formations
  • Non-swelling or non-expanding types of clay
  • Known to have a crystalline structure
  • Extremely porous
  • Exceptionally absorbent
  • Known to exhibit strong drying effects
  • Detoxifying and decongesting
  • Ideal for removing impurities
  • Ideal for use on normal and oily skin types
KAOLINITE CLAYS ARE:

  • Mined from a hill in China, from where this group gets its name
  • Also known by the names White Clay, French Green Clay and China Clay
  • Usually white in color, but may also be green, pink, red, yellow, or orange depending on the presence of other minerals such as Iron Oxide
  • Soft and odorless powders
  • Fine and light in texture
  • Naturally absorbent and thus able to neutralize unpleasant odors while drawing out bodily toxins
  • Known to have detoxifying effects that purge the skin and pores of impurities, including excess oils, old sebum, dirt, grime, germs, and pollution, thereby reducing the chances of breakouts
  • Known to soothe skin afflicted with irritation associated with rashes and insect bites
  • Reputed to be a group of clays that are considered to be the mildest and thus best suited to sensitive skin types
  • Known to be ideal for soothing acne-prone skin, especially skin afflicted with inflammation and painful breakouts
  • Known to have slightly abrasive textures that make them ideal for use as exfoliants that remove dead and flaky skin cells for a complexion with a softer and smoother look and feel
  • Stimulating
  • Known to tone and tighten the skin

The ancient civilizations of Greece, Rome, and Egypt used French Clay – specifically green French Clay – to address disorders of the skin and digestive system. French Clay is so called, because its deposits were harvested almost exclusively from rock quarries located in southern France until similar clay deposits were eventually discovered in Montana, Wyoming, some regions of Europe, and China. There are several varieties of French Clay that vary in their properties and their colors, depending on the layer or type of earth from which they are derived. French Clays can be Green, Pink, Red, Yellow, andWhite. When mixed with water, the common physical properties shared among all these varieties include their elasticity and their softness.

Their adaptability to various uses, ranging from therapeutic and medicinal to cosmetic, has allowed Clays to remain relevant since the time of the ancient civilizations. The cleansing, hydrating, nourishing, and toning benefits of clays continue to be used in various areas of the body at various temperatures in poultices, baths, and masks, depending on the treatment required. This article will highlight the various topical and therapeutic benefits and uses of French Clays in particular.

*Note: The veracity of the general statements made in this article will vary depending on the specific type of Clay used in a given application method and on the individual’s skin type and health condition.

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FRENCH CLAY BENEFITS

The main chemical constituents of French Clays are Minerals (Kaolinite, Illite, Montmorillonite, and Calcite) and Oxide Minerals (Silicon Oxide, Aluminium Oxide, Iron Oxide, Calcium Oxide, Magnesium Oxide, Sodium Oxide, Potassium Oxide, and Titanium Oxide).

Used cosmetically or topically in general, French Clays attach themselves to oil, bacteria, and impurities from the skin to eliminate them and leave skin feeling cleansed, clarified, and balanced. By restoring essential minerals to the skin, Clays nourish and replenish the skin’s moisture, enhance its function, promote the regeneration of cells, minimize the appearance of enlarged pores, repair damage, revitalize skin that appears to be dull, dry, and tired, and reduce the chance of congestion that leads to breakouts.

The drying action of Clays leaves pores looking tighter, clearer, and refined. Clays are known to soothe irritation and inflammation associated with skin allergies, skin disorders, rashes, and sunburns; enhance skin elasticity; brighten the complexion; and leave skin looking and feeling softer, smoother and suppler. Clays are often used to absorb bodily moisture and to neutralize unpleasant body odors.

Adding Clays to moisturizers such as body butter and lotions may contribute mattifying and deodorizing properties to the resultant product as well as a consistency that feels silky to the touch. When added to make up recipes, Clays can make for ideal loose or compact mineral face powders. By mixing several colors of French Clays, it may be possible to achieve an end product that matches the preferred skin tone.

Used in hair, French Clays remove product build-up from the scalp and strands, while eliminating dead cells and flakiness associated with dandruff. They gently remove excess oil without stripping the natural and necessary oils. All of these activities are known to stimulate the growth of healthier hair.

Used medicinally, French Clays are known to reduce inflammation by boosting circulation, which facilitates the body’s reparation of tissues and cells. This makes them ideal for facilitating the healing of ulcers and sores. Their ability to attract and bind to contaminants promotes the elimination of toxins that are believed to cause headaches, fatigue, digestive problems, food allergies, and lethargy. Clays are also able to draw certain toxic metals, such as Mercury, out of the body by preventing them from being reabsorbed into the body, thereby preventing potential poisoning.

French Clays are reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:

    • COSMETIC: Cleansing, Toning, Reparative, Calming, Soothing, Revitalizing, Rejuvenating Nourishing, Refining, Astringent
  • MEDICINAL: Anti-Septic, Analgesic, Regenerative, Astringent, Sedative, Relaxant, Anti-Inflammatory, Reparative, Detoxifying, Circulatory, Strengthening

CULTIVATING AND HARVESTING QUALITY FRENCH CLAY

French Clays are largely extracted from quarries in France. Many of the regions from which they are mined are known to experience more than the average amount of sunny days per year. This high number is significant due to the fact that the clay is activated by the sun; accordingly, a greater amount of sun means the clay will be more active.

HOW IS FRENCH CLAY EXTRACTED?

Once the clays have been mined, they are spread out and dried under the sun. This drying method removes excess water while allowing the Clays to retain all of their natural trace elements. This ensures that they will retain their valuable effectiveness. Next, the Clays are subjected to large hydraulic crushers until they are finely ground. The final stage involves drying the Clays under the sun once more to remove any remaining of water.

USES OF FRENCH CLAY

The uses of French Clays are abundant, ranging from medicinal and odorous to cosmetic. Its many forms include facial masks, mineral cleansers, body powders, body scrubs, body wraps, soaps, lotions, creams, cream-based cleansers, makeup, and bath salts.

Used in cosmetic or topical applications, Clay can be applied directly to the preferred area of skin by simply mixing a small amount (1 tsp.) of the preferred Clay with an equal amount of water in a glass bowl until the combination achieves a thin, paste-like consistency. The clay may be mixed using a face brush if so desired. On the face, spread this mask in a thin, even layer using the fingers or the face brush. Leave this mask on until it begins to dry, during which time it will become sticky to the touch. After approximately 10 minutes, the mask should be dry enough to be rinsed off with lukewarm water. This treatment can be followed by a natural moisturizer such as Coconut Oil or Argan Oil. Alternatively, the Clay may be mixed with floral water, Aloe Vera Gel Juice, or Green Tea to make the paste. Adding a few drops of a Carrier Oil to the paste will contribute moisture if using a Clay known to have drying effects. Other additives that may be mixed into the paste include Essential Oils, CO2 Extracts, Grain Products, Dried Herbs, and Powdered Herbal Extracts. For a facial mask that addresses excessive oiliness on the face, combine 1 Tbsp. of Clay with 5 drops of Jojoba Carrier Oil before adding water into the mix.

For an invigorating mask that includes more beneficial ingredients, mix 30 g (1 oz.) French Yellow Clay, 3 Tbsp. water (Floral Water or Aloe Vera Gel Juice may be used instead), 1 tsp. of Jojoba Oil, 2 drops Orange Essential Oil, and 2 drops Tangerine Essential Oil until they form a paste. Apply the mask to the skin and leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. For a face mask that is soothing, 30 g (1 oz.) of French Pink Clay can be combined with 3 Tbsp. water (Floral Water or Aloe Vera Gel Juice may be used instead), 1 tsp. Jojoba Carrier Oil, and 2 drops of Chamomile Essential Oil. This mask can be left on the skin and rinsed off as per the typical mask application and removal procedure.

For a mineral bath, add ½ cup of French Green Clay or French Red Clay to a bathtub filled with warm water. This will soothe muscle aches as well as irritation, inflammation, or soreness. For a foot soak that eliminates unpleasant foot odors, mix ½ cup of French Green Clay or French Yellow Clay with ½ cup of water and 2–3 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil. Apply the blend to the feet and keep them loosely swathed in cling wrap for 15 minutes. After rinsing the feet with cool water, apply a moisturizer.

For a natural mask that is reputed to address blemishes, mix 1 tsp. of French Green Clay with Lemon juice to make a paste. Apply this as a mask to the face or affected area, and leave it on for 5 minutes. Rinse it off with lukewarm water, then apply a moisturizer.

For a body wrap that addresses the issue of cellulite, first boil 6 cups of water mixed with 1 cup of dried Dandelion, Chamomile, or Parsley. Set this herbal infusion aside for 10 minutes. In the meantime, combine 2 cups of French Red Clay with 1 ½ cup of Apple Cider Vinegar, Witch Hazel, or Aloe Vera Gel Juice. To this, add 10 drops of Lemon Essential Oil. Next, pour in the herbal infusion and combine the two mixtures until they make a paste. Apply the paste to affected areas and keep them wrapped in a warm towel for 1 hour, after which time the cellulite mask can be washed off in the shower.

For a Clay mask that addresses the symptoms of acne, combine 2 tsp. French Red Clay,3 tsp. Plain Yogurt (Chamomile Tea or Peppermint Tea may be used instead), 2 drops Lavender Essential Oil, and 1 drop of Tea Tree Essential Oil. Apply this mask in a thin, even layer on the affected areas and leave it on for 15-20 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water.

For a Clay mask that also functions as an aromatherapy application, combine ¾ Tsp. French Green Clay and ½ tsp. Rose Hydrosol or Rose Water. For a thinner mask, the amount of liquid can be increased to ¾ tsp. These amounts are sufficient for a single application. Next, add 1 drop of an essential oil of personal preference. Some suggestions include Tea Tree Essential Oil or Geranium Essential oil to address acne, Rose Oil to address mature skin, German or Roman Chamomile Essential Oil to address inflammation, or irritation, and Lavender to promote rest and relaxation. This mask can be left on the skin and rinsed off as per the typical mask application and removal procedure.

Used in hair, French Green Clay is reputed to effectively eliminate dirt, product build-up, dandruff, and toxins, while balancing oil production to cleanse excessive oils without stripping the natural oils. Simply create a Clay hair lotion by combining 1 tsp. of French Green Clay, 230 ml (8 oz.) Milk, and 3 drops of an essential oil. Suggested essential oils include Basil, Rosemary, or Eucalyptus. Apply this lotion to the hair, starting at the scalp and smoothing it down the strands. Leave this hair mask in for 15-20 minutes. In the shower, rinse it out with lukewarm water and shampoo the hair as usual.

Used in medicinal applications, French Clays are known to address the symptoms of arthritis such as sore muscles and joints. For its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, they may be applied to cuts, insect bites or stings, minor burns, and bruises. Alternatively, they may also be used to reduce stress. To create a soothing poultice, in a glass bowl mix the desired amount of a Clay with equal parts water and 6 drops of one of the following essential oils: Ginger, Lavender, Roman Chamomile, or Rosemary. Allow this mixture to sit for 2 hours. Next, on the amount of gauze needed to wrap around the injured area of the skin/body, spread the paste in a layer that is ¼ inch thick, then apply the gauze to the affected area. It is now a “poultice” that can be held in place with the aid of adhesive tape and kept on the area for a maximum of 2 hours. The clay should remain wet. After a single use, the poultice should be discarded.

A GUIDE TO FRENCH CLAY VARIETIES & THEIR BENEFITS

FRENCH CLAY GREEN

INCI Name: Illite

Country of Origin: France

Known to:

  • Be called Sea Clay or Marine Clay, as its quarries are often located in ancient sea/marine beds
  • Be composed of Aluminum, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Silica, Sodium, and Titanium
  • Be light green in color
  • Absorb and eliminate impurities and oils from the skin
  • Exfoliate dull skin to reveal a new layer of skin with a refreshed and healthy glow
  • Be ideal for addressing acne, congested skin, cuts, cellulite, sprains, excessive sweating and infections
  • Minimize the appearance of pores and tighten the skin for a refined, toned, and firmed look
  • Calm and soothe the body to promote a general sense of well-being
  • Be suitable for use on all skin types
  • Get its color from Iron Oxide and decomposed plant material, such as kelp and algae
  • Attract blood to the skin’s surface, thereby enhancing circulation
  • Be ideal for use on skin that is oily and acne-prone
  • Be anti-inflammatory and thus beneficial for soothing and facilitating the healing of wounds, allergies, and sunburns
  • Have the highest purity
  • Be non-swelling

 


 

FRENCH CLAY PINK

INCI Name: Illite/Kaolin

Country of Origin: France

Known to:

  • Be the result of combining Red Illite and White Kaolin clays rather than being mined in a pink state (White Clay gently cleanses dirt, build-up, and excess oil while mildly exfoliating the skin and refining the complexion for a softer, clearer, smoother look)
  • Be the mildest purifier of all the clays
  • Be best suited to sensitive, mature, irritated, and normal skin types
  • Be composed of Kaolinite, Illite, Montmorillonite, Iron, Calcite, Iron Oxide, and Silica
  • Be rosy pink in color
  • Remove excess oil and impurities from the skin
  • Exhibiting lifting action on the skin, when used regularly
  • Remove dead skin cells and promote a glowing complexion
  • Known to leave skin with a refreshed appearance
  • Known to be ideal for use on skin that is acne-prone, oily, or afflicted with other ailments
  • Be commonly used in the manufacturing of cosmetics
  • Be ideal for enhancing circulation and for calming sun-damaged skin
  • Have exfoliating properties and refining properties that minimize puffiness and the appearance of pores
  • Even the skin tone, moisturize and soften the skin, and smooth the appearance of wrinkles
  • Enhance the skin’s elasticity and ability to regenerate cells for supple skin that appears more youthful
  • Minimize blackheads and reduce the appearance of broken capillaries and dark undereye circles
  • Enhance skin elasticity and regenerate connective tissues

 


 

FRENCH CLAY RED

INCI Name: Illite

Country of Origin: France

Known to:

  • Be found in the Atlantic basin and the North of France
  • Be composed of Illite, Kaolinite, Montmorillonite, and Calcite
  • Be derived from Hematite Iron rock
  • Be red in color and velvety in texture
  • Be best suited for normal, oily, flaky, and acne-prone skin types as well as for skin with broken capillaries (also known as spider veins)
  • Be red in color due to the high concentration of Iron Oxide and Copper Oxide present in Hematite Iron
  • Cleanse skin while removing dead cells and reducing the appearance of enlarged pores, leaving skin looking refreshed and smooth
  • Be commonly used in the manufacturing of cosmetics
  • Be extremely absorbent and purifying
  • Be a non-swelling clay
  • Make an ideal color additive in natural products such as facial powders, masks, and soaps
  • Have toning and humidifying properties that hydrate the skin and smooth the look of wrinkles
  • Revitalize and exfoliate skin that appears to be dull, aging, and congested, giving it a brighter appearance
  • Enhance circulation, thus leaving skin looking radiant
  • Regenerate, strengthen, and firm the skin and tissue
  • Repair skin damage caused by the sun and reduce the appearance of bruises, stretch marks, burns, broken capillaries, and varicose veins

 


 

FRENCH CLAY YELLOW

INCI Name: Illite

Country of Origin: France

Known to:

  • Be composed of Iron Oxide, Magnesium, and Silica
  • Be a mild yet powerful cleansing clay that is best suited to dry, sensitive, or combination skin
  • Be yellow in color and velvety in texture
  • Have a high amount of Iron Oxide, though less than that of Red Illite
  • Exfoliate and remove dead cells from the skin’s surface to leave it feeling smooth
  • Tighten and tone the skin and connective tissue
  • Stimulate circulation to leave skin looking fresh and radiant
  • Remineralize the skin
  • Be ideal for addressing acne, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and ulcers

CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR FRENCH CLAY

French Clays are for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using French Clays for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women and those taking prescription drugs are especially advised not to use French Clays without the medical advice of a physician. The clays should always be stored in areas that are inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.

Clays should be kept dry in order to retain their efficacy; thus, it is important to prevent moisture from entering their containers. Clays must also never be stored in metal containers or stirred with metal spoons, as metal causes them to lose some of their main beneficial properties. Accordingly, the only materials that are recommended to be used in the preparation and storage of clays are wood, glass, and ceramic.

Prior to using French Clays, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by applying a small mixture of the clay and water to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. French Clays must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. French Green Clay is known to have the following potential side effects: areas of dry, flaky skin or skin rashes. Those with anemia are advised against using French Clays, as they may affect the absorption of iron and cause the condition to worsen.

In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use. Those seeking medical care to manage moods, behaviors, or disorders should treat this group of natural clays as a complementary remedy rather than a replacement for any medicinal treatments or prescriptions.

When applying the clays as a face or body masks, they should not be allowed to dry completely, as they continue to draw moisture out of the skin the longer they are kept on. This may lead to the formation of wrinkles and fine lines. Clays should not be used more than once a week, due to their drying effect. For those with dry or sensitive skin, it is not recommended to use French Green Clay as an ingredient when producing natural cosmetics and soaps, as it may further irritate the skin.

While many individuals may notice immediate results after their use of the clays, it may take longer for others to see any improvements in health and appearance, thus patience and consistent application are required in tandem with a healthy skin care regimen.

IN ESSENCE…

    • Clays are naturally-occurring, earthy, mineral-rich elements derived from various sources including volcanic ash, rocks, soil, or sediment.
    • Each clay has a unique combination of minerals, such as Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, and Silica, that gives it an inimitable composition.
    • Used cosmetically or topically in general, French Clays attach themselves to oil, bacteria, and impurities from the skin to eliminate them and leave skin feeling cleansed, clarified, and balanced.
    • Used in hair, French Clays remove product build-up from the scalp and strands, while eliminating dead cells, flakiness, and excess oil, thereby stimulating the growth of healthier hair.
  • Used medicinally, French Clays are known to boost circulation, reduce inflammation, facilitate the body’s reparation of tissues and cells, and promote the elimination of toxins believed to cause headaches, fatigue, digestive problems, food allergies, and lethargy.

A Natural Cleanser: Witch Hazel

HISTORY OF WITCH HAZEL DISTILLATE USAGE

Witch Hazel Distillate, sometimes also called “Witch Hazel Distillate Water” and “Witch Hazel Extract,” is extracted from the bark and leaves of the Hamamelis virginiana botanical, better known as the Witch Hazel shrub. When the Native Americans and the Puritans discovered the therapeutic properties of Witch Hazel, a botanical that is also commonly referred to as Winterbloom, Spotted Alder, Hazel Nut, Tobacco Wood, and Snapping Hazel, they began boiling parts of the plant to create infusions that were intended to address skin irritation, sores, swelling, infections, and growths. Presently, extracts made from the Witch Hazel plant continue to be used for their cleansing, toning, clarifying, and refining properties.

Both variations of Witch Hazel – with alcohol and alcohol-free – are reputed to offer a vast array variety of skincare benefits and to share similar cosmetic and medicinal applications. They can both be used topically to tone skin, to soothe itching, irritation, and inflammation, to tighten the pores, to eliminate excess oil, to cleanse, to restore skin’s pH balance, and to formulate numerous natural cosmetics.

WITCH HAZEL DISTILLATE BENEFITS

Used cosmetically, Witch Hazel Distillate can regulate the skin’s oil production, eliminate excess sebum, nourish, tighten, tone, soothe, and reduce the chances of future blemish outbreaks. With mild styptic qualities as well as refreshing and cooling effects, Witch Hazel makes an ideal ingredient for after-shave products, as it reduces swelling and calms other signs of razor burn and other irritation. Witch Hazel is also reputed to naturally and effectively cleanse the skin without causing it to dry out and to minimize the look and size of pores, thus helping to control blemishes while toning the complexion.

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Known for having antioxidant properties that are reputed to slow the look of aging, Witch Hazel Distillate can be added to formulations for acne products, shaving cream and aftershave, and “anti-aging” serums as well as shampoos, treatment gels, washes and lotions, insect repellants, and even nail treatments.

Used medicinally, Witch Hazel Distillate works to soothe insect bites and stings as well as cuts, sores, swelling, and bruises, while its anti-bacterial properties facilitate healing. Its mild astringent properties make it suitable for even the most sensitive skin types, including acne-prone, blistered, and cracked skin, and they work to gently calm the irritation that is characteristic of skin that has been recently shaved, bitten, or sunburned. With protective properties that defend the skin against environmental contaminants, Witch Hazel Distillate helps to prevent skin damage and to generally support its health.

Witch Hazel Distillate is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:

  • COSMETIC: Antioxidant, Astringent, Soothing, Moisturizer, Tonic, Anti-Perspirant, Anti-Itch, Balancing, Refining, Cleansing, Tightening, Nourishing, Collagen-Enhancing.
  • MEDICINAL: Antioxidant, Astringent, Soothing, Anti-Bacterial, Wound-Healing, Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Microbial, Hemostatic, Styptic, Sedative, Anti-Viral, Anti-Septic, Nourishing, Analgesic, Protectant.

WITCH HAZEL DISTILLATE USES

Used in cosmetic and topical applications, Witch Hazel’s natural astringency means that it is able to remove the skin’s excess oils and minimize the appearance of enlarged pores. In doing so, it strengthens the skin to make it less vulnerable to environmental contaminants and thus less prone to blemishes.

One of the simplest yet most popular uses for Witch Hazel Extract is its direct application to the skin after dilution with a carrier oil, such as Coconut or Jojoba. This solution can be applied as a lotion, a serum, or a toner and is known to have enhanced anti-itch, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. When massaged into areas of skin where varicose veins are seen to be forming, Witch Hazel is reputed to help prevent these veins as well as bruises from worsening.

If a pimple does occur or seems to be on the verge of breaking out, simply soak a clean cotton ball/swab/pad with a small amount of Witch Hazel and gently dab it directly onto the blemish to eliminate the bacteria responsible for causing it. This can be repeated several times a day and can be applied to any irritated area of skin, although it is advised to leave enough time between repeat applications to allow the skin to adjust. In addition, this application will reduce redness and swelling while helping to balance oil production, reduce perspiration, prevent the further development of whiteheads and blackheads, and prevent infection. For an even more effective anti-bacterial acne spot treatment, dilute 3 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil in 20-40 drops of Witch Hazel Distillate and apply it in the same manner as the aforementioned method.

To naturally brighten discoloration around the eye area and to reduce puffiness, soak a cotton pad/ball with a small amount of Witch Hazel and apply it to closed eyelids for 5 minutes. Ensure that the Witch Hazel does not enter the eyes, as this may cause dryness that leads to discomfort or pain. For another, less concentrated application, dilute Witch Hazel in cold water before soaking the cotton pad/ball and applying it to the eyes for 10 minutes. This cooling application is known to be equally effective in reducing redness, darkness, and the heavy feeling of tired eyelids.

To soothe skin before and after hair removal, including waxing, apply a few drops of Witch Hazel to a clean cotton pad/ball and swipe it across the areas of skin that will be or have been shaven or subjected to wax treatment. This application is suitable for both men and women. Its anti-inflammatory quality is known to clean cuts, prevent bleeding, soothe itchiness, irritation, and bumps, promote the fading of stretch marks and scars, and facilitate the healing of abrasions and infections.

Another way to incorporate Witch Hazel in skincare is by including it as an ingredient for natural makeup removers. For a formulation that is reputed to remove even waterproof mascara, combine 2 Tbsp. each of the following ingredients in a clean dispenser bottle: Witch Hazel, Jojoba Carrier Oil or Sweet Almond Carrier Oil, and filtered water. Cap the dispenser bottle and shake it well to ensure thorough mixing. To use, pour a small amount on a cotton pad/ball and wipe it across the whole face, especially across closed eyelids.

To make a soap-free face wash that is ideal for use on oily or acne-prone skin, first insert a small funnel into the mouth of a clean amber glass bottle then pour in ¼ cup Witch Hazel, ¼ cup Rose Water, and 2 tsp Vegetable Glycerin or Aloe Vera Gel. Next, cap the bottle and shake it well to thoroughly combine all the ingredients. To use this face wash, pour a small amount onto a clean cotton pad and gently wipe across the entire face. This process can be repeated until all visible dirt or makeup have been removed or to personal satisfaction and can be followed up with a moisturizer.

For another makeup remover recipe that is simpler but just as effective in removing both oil- and water-based types of makeup, combine 3 Tbsp. alcohol-free Witch Hazel and 2 Tbsp. Olive Carrier Oil in a small bottle. Before use, cap and shake the bottle well, then apply the cleanser to the face with a cotton pad.

For a protective, anti-oxidant serum that is reputed to protect the skin’s elasticity and collagen while guarding the skin against the harsh effects of sun exposure and UV radiation, combine the following ingredients in a glass measuring cup: 2 Tbsp. Witch Hazel, ¼ cup Aloe Vera Gel, ½ tsp Vitamin E-Liquid, 2 Tbsp. Fractionated Coconut Carrier Oil, 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil, and 2 drops Spearmint Essential Oil. Stir the oils together, then pour the bled into a 120 ml (4 oz.) spray bottle. To apply the spray, simply spritz it onto the skin, avoiding the eye area, then gently rub it in to speed up absorption. This refreshing and cooling spray can be applied several times throughout the day to moisturize, soothe itching and inflammation, minimize or prevent peeling and flaking, and to generally promote the skin’s rejuvenation, thereby preventing the premature signs of aging caused by environmental stressors. This bottle can be stored either at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

For a facial toner that is known to slow the look of aging, begin by steeping ½ cup of Green Tea overnight and allowing it to cool. Once this step has been completed, pour the Green Tea into a spray bottle. To this, add ¼ cup of Witch Hazel and a total of 10 drops of personally preferred essential oils. Cap the bottle and shake it well to thoroughly combine all the ingredients. To apply this toner, first cleanse the hands and face, then spray the toner over the face. To promote faster absorption, use the hands to pat it into the skin. When it is not in use, this toner can be stored in the refrigerator.

To make a natural Witch Hazel-enriched shampoo that cleanses the scalp and hair of dirt and excess oils while soothing inflammation, itchiness, and dryness, begin by combining the following ingredients in a glass measuring cup or glass bowl: ½ cup distilled water, 1 Tbsp. Witch Hazel, 1 Tbsp. Jojoba Carrier Oil, and 2 Tbsp. Aloe Vera Gel. To this, slowly add ¼ cup of liquid Castile Soap. Pouring slowly will help prevent the formation of soap suds. Using a whisk, stir the ingredients together thoroughly. Next, add 3 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil and 3 drops Witch Hazel Distillate. Stir the combination once more and pour it into an airtight container of personal preference. This shampoo can be stored in the bathroom and used like a normal shampoo to promote the look of healthier, shinier, and more volumized strands by hydrating, conditioning, repairing damage, reducing hair loss, stimulating circulation to the scalp, strengthening the hair, eliminating harmful bacteria, and minimizing hair odors, irritation, and the build-up of oils.

For a hairspray that is reputed to enhance growth, begin by pouring 1 Tbsp. Witch Hazel into a glass measuring cup or bowl. Next, add 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil, 7 drops Rosemary Essential Oil, 3 drops Thyme Essential Oil, and 3 drops Cedarwood Essential Oil. Stir the mixture well to thoroughly combine all the oils. Next, using a small funnel, pour ½ cup of distilled water into a 120 ml (4 oz.) amber glass spray bottle. To this, add the essential oil and Witch Hazel Distillate blend. Cap the bottle and shake it to ensure that all ingredients are mixed well together. To apply this hair growth spray, simply spritz it directly onto the scalp as required. When it is not in use, the bottle can be stored in a cool, dark, dry place.

Used in medicinal applications, Witch Hazel exhibits anti-bacterial, antioxidant, and astringent properties, which facilitate wound healing, stem bleeding and eliminate harmful bacteria that may cause infections, skin damage, or premature aging. To disinfect a wound before applying a bandage, soak a cotton ball/pad with Witch Hazel and swipe it gently across the abrasion. This is also applicable to insect bites and stings, rashes caused by Poison Ivy, and to topical allergic reactions characterized by swelling, redness, bruising, itching, dryness, and sores. Witch Hazel is known to have the added benefit of fading discoloration or unevenly toned skin.

For an organic anti-septic spray that is further enriched with supplementary essential oils and plant materials that are known for their soothing and wound-healing properties, begin by adding the following herbs and flowers – either dried or fresh, according to personal preference – to a glass jar: Calendula Flowers, Goldenseal Root, Sage Leaves, Thyme Leaves and Flowers, and Yarrow. Next, create a tincture by pouring 60 ml (2 oz.) Organic Witch Hazel Distillate over all the botanical matter until it is entirely covered by the liquid. To this, add 120 ml (4 oz.) Aloe Vera, 60 ml (2 oz.) Lavender Floral Water, 1 tsp liquid Castile Soap, 20 drops Lavender Essential Oil, 15 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil, 5 drops of Thyme Essential Oils, and 5 drops Myrrh Essential Oil. Place the lid on the jar and shake the jar vigorously to thoroughly combine all the ingredients. Remove the lid and pour the blend into a darkly-colored spray bottle. Clearly labeling the product with a name, its ingredients, and the date of production will be beneficial for future reference. Apply this disinfecting, spray by directly spritzing it onto minor, superficial abrasions or burns. Avoid using this on deeper wounds. This anti-septic spray should be stored in a cool, dark, and dry place and yields optimal results when used within 1-2 years, depending on the quality of the raw materials it comprises.

A GUIDE TO WITCH HAZEL DISTILLATE VARIETIES & THEIR BENEFITS

WITCH HAZEL DISTILLATE – ALCOHOL-FREE – RAW MATERIAL

INCI: Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Distillation

Country of Origin: USA

Believed to:

  • Be clear and colorless
  • Be particularly advantageous for applications that require the soothing and natural astringent properties of Witch Hazel where the use of alcohol is inappropriate, such as in products for sensitive skin, in creams, mousses, body washes, or foaming products, or in high surfactant, multi-phase, or high-temperature products
  • Be ideal for use as an ingredient in formulations for sensitive skin, such as eye creams, gels, serums, shaving creams, aftershave products, alcohol-free toners and cleansers, and in treatment products such as those for wound care, sun care, and eye care
  • Be a strong antioxidant and astringent, which makes it valuable for addressing acne
  • Be ideal for addressing ingrown nails, sweating of the face, cracked or blistered skin, insect bites, rashes caused by Poison Ivy, varicose veins, and symptoms of psoriasis and eczema
  • Be the ideal go-to remedy for cuts and other abrasions, sunburns, and irritated skin

 

Witch Hazel Distillate Organic Raw Material

INCI: Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water (and) Ethanol

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Distillation

Country of Origin: USA

Believed to:

  • Contain a mixture of 85-86% aqueous Witch Hazel Extract and 14-15% Ethyl Alcohol from organic Cane as a natural preservative
  • Be one of nature’s best astringents
  • Exhibit mildly styptic properties, making it ideal for use in products like aftershave lotions
  • Help reduce razor burn and swelling through its cooling, soothing sensation
  • Be ideal for use in skincare as a toner or cleanser
  • Have gentle properties that are particularly beneficial for oily and problem skin
  • Be ideal for use in formulations that require only Organic ingredients

 

Witch Hazel Distillate Raw Material

INCI: Hamamelis virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water (and) Ethanol

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Distillation

Country of Origin: USA

Believed to:

  • Contain a mixture of 85-86% aqueous Witch Hazel Extract and 14-15% Ethyl Alcohol from organic Cane as a natural preservative
  • Be one of nature’s best astringents
  • Exhibit mildly styptic properties, making it ideal for use in products like aftershave lotions
  • Help reduce razor burn and swelling through its cooling, soothing sensation
  • Be ideal for use in skincare as a toner or cleanser
  • Have gentle properties that are particularly beneficial for oily and problem skin

CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR WITCH HAZEL DISTILLATE

Witch Hazel Distillate is for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using this product for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use Witch Hazel Distillate without the medical advice of a physician, as it may have an effect on certain hormone secretions and it is unclear whether these effects are transferable to babies at these stages of development. This product should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.

Those with the following health conditions are recommended to be advised by a physician: cancer, heart-related ailments, skin disorders, or hormone-related ailments. Individuals that are taking prescription drugs, undergoing major surgery, or who are at a greater risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, or atherosclerosis are also advised to seek medical consultation prior to use. Witch Hazel Distillate should not be applied to deep open wounds.

Prior to using Witch Hazel Distillate, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by applying a dime-size amount to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. It must never be used near the inner nose, ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Witch Hazel Distillate include rashes, itching, swelling of the face, throat, or tongue, severe dizziness, and trouble breathing.

IN ESSENCE…

    • Witch Hazel Distillate is derived from the Hamamelis virginiana botanical, better known as the Witch Hazel shrub.
    • Witch Hazel Distillate is sometimes called Witch Hazel Distillate Water or Witch Hazel Extract.
    • Used cosmetically, Witch Hazel Distillate can cleanse, regulate the skin’s oil production, eliminate excess sebum, nourish, tighten, tone, soothe, and reduce the chances of future blemish outbreaks. It reduces swelling, calms irritation, minimizes the look of enlarged pores, and promote the skin’s radiance.
    • Used medicinally, Witch Hazel Distillate soothes insect bites and stings as well as cuts, sores, swelling, and bruises. It gently facilitates the healing of all skin types, including types that are acne-prone, blistered, or cracked.
  • Witch Hazel is best known for its ability to soothe irritation on skin that has been recently shaved, bitten, or sunburned. It protects the skin against environmental contaminants, helps prevent skin damage, and generally supports skin health.

Freshly Juiced Beauty

Juicing has always been a popular trend in the health and wellness realm, and today it’s easier than ever to make fresh juice at home or purchase it at your grocery store or even in some restaurants. Juice from fresh fruits and vegetables provides a number of benefits that invigorate your body and mind. And, of course, the nutrients and hydration that drinking juice provides can support healthy looking skin and hair. But freshly squeezed juice is also beneficial when used on the outside. In fact, it’s yet another all-natural ingredient we can add to our daily skin care routine for luscious locks and a glowing complexion.

Citrus fruits, berries, mangoes, and leafy greens contain vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps in collagen synthesis and boosts skin cells. Vegetables like potatoes are high in potassium, a mineral that maintains electrolyte balance to keep skin hydrated and promote new skin cells. Spinach, which makes a wonderful green juice, is also a good source of omega-3-fatty acids, which support the skin cell membrane of the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin that helps retain water. With more moisture in the cells, skin becomes suppler and less susceptible to fine lines. Omega-3 fatty acids show promise in decreasing skin damage from UV rays, as well. Many beauty experts consider carrot juice the ultimate skin care ingredient because it contains vitamin A, which combats the signs of aging and helps treat acne.

Creating your own juices at home is cost-effective and convenient, and you can make fresh blends whenever you need a little TLC. Use a juicer, blender, or food processor. Here are some recipes to get you started.

beetroot2

Turkish Facial Wash

For centuries women in Turkey, China, and Egypt applied fresh beet juice to add some color to their cheeks. Inspired by this bit of lore, this recipe combines fresh beet juice and fragrant rosewater. The result is a gorgeous, jewel-red colored wash perfect for adding a bit of glow to a pale complexion and to clean and tone skin. In a pinch, powdered beetroot, found in grocery stores where it’s sold as a sweetener, can serve as a reliable substitute.

1 cup fresh beet juice {approximately 4 small beets}

1/4 cup rosewater

1/2 cup distilled water

Run the beets through your juicer or food processor and strain. Mix together all ingredients. Pour into a clean bottle. To use: Pour a small amount onto a clean cotton pad or ball. Gently wipe the facial wash over your face. Don’t be alarmed by the bright color – it does wash off. Immediately rinse your face with the coldest water you can stand. Pat your skin dry. Store any remaining wash in the refrigerator. Moisturize your face well afterward with a light natural oil or cream. Yield: 8 ounces.

Fresh Cucumber Juice Toner

People have turned to cucumber for centuries as a skin toner that’s gentle and refreshing for all skin types. It’s particularly great in the summertime; keep it in the refrigerator for a cool and refreshing spa-like treatment on a hot day {you’ll also extend its shelf-life}. Cucumber juice eases the pain of a sunburn, while the vitamin C in mint rejuvenates it and acts as a natural preservative.

1/2 fresh cucumber with peel, chopped

1/2 cup distilled water

2 Tbls fresh mint leaves, chopped

In a blender or food processor, blend together all ingredients until liquid. Strain out solids and pour remaining liquid into a clean container with a tightly fitting lid. Store in the refrigerator. To use: Splash on clean skin or apply with a clean cotton ball or pad. You can also pour this toner into a spray bottle and use it to spritz all over. Yield: 4 ounces.

Watermelon Juice Toner

Fresh watermelon juice contains high amounts of vitamins A and C, as well as vitamin B, another anti-aging nutrient. It also serves as a hydrating toner for all skin types, especially sensitive and dry skin. The addition of aloe boosts moisture and provides soothing and cooling relief. This toner is great as an after-bath splash, particularly after a long day in the sun.

1/4 cup fresh watermelon juice

2 Tbls fresh aloe vera gel

2 Tbls witch hazel

1/2 cup distilled water

Combine all ingredients and pour into a clean container. To use: Splash onto your skin or pour into a clean spray bottle. Store in the refrigerator between uses. Yield: 6 ounces.

Potato Juice Facial Mask

Oily skin types will enjoy this light, creamy mask, which has natural clay to absorb excess oil and surface impurities. Potatoes offer a wide range of skin benefits. To start, they are full of antioxidants and minerals. They also contain natural skin-brightening properties, in particular, an active enzyme called tyrosinase, which works to reduce dark circles under the eyes and even out skin tone. {Tyrosinase is often used to reduce hyperpigmentation, when an excess of melanin forms darker pigments on the skin.}

You can make potato juice easily in the blender or a juicer. Simply liquefy chopped potatoes and strain out all the solids. You will want to make this mask fresh each time, as it does not store well. {When exposed to air, tyrosinase turns potatoes brown.}

1/4 cup fresh potato juice {juice of one medium peeled potato}

1/4 cup white kaolin clay

1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Stir together the potato juice, clay, and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth and creamy. To use: Spread the mixture over your clean face and neck using your fingertips or a small brush. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes, or until dry. Rinse well with warm water and pat your skin dry. Follow up this treatment with your favorite moisturizer or natural oil. Yield: 2 ounces, enough for one treatment.

Carrot Juice Facial Mask

Besides vitamin A, fresh carrot juice has strong antiseptic qualities, making it a valuable ingredient for blemished skin. Purchase fresh carrot juice or save a little money and make your own using a high-speed Bullet blender. For extremely dry skin, add one teaspoon of light oil such as almond or sunflower to this recipe.

1/4 cup fresh carrot juice

1/4 cup white kaolin clay

Mix together the carrot juice and clay until smooth. For a thicker mask, add more clay. To use: Spread the mixture on the clean skin using your fingertips or a small brush. Let sit for 20 minutes, rinse well with warm water followed by cool, and pat the skin dry. Store any remaining mask in the refrigerator for up to one week. Yield: 2 ounces, enough for one to two masks.

Berry Juice Facial Mask

A warm-season staple, fresh berries naturally cleanse and refresh the skin. Strawberries are rich in salicylic acid, a common ingredient found in many commercial products that work by dissolving the grime that clogs pores. Blueberries contain skin-boosting antioxidants and vitamins. If you have light acne, this is a good mask to try. It leaves the skin smooth and tight.

1/2 cup fresh strawberries, mashed

2 Tbls fresh blueberries, mashed

2 Tbls mashed fresh banana or avocado

1/2 tsp fresh lemon zest, finely grated

Mix all of the ingredients to make a smooth paste. To use: Spread over your face and neck and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm water, followed by cool. Pat skin dry. Refrigerate any leftover mask and use or discard after one week. Yield: 4 ounces.

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Green Juice Body Mask

Some of the ingredients in this recipe come from the vegetable patch and can smell a bit like a freshly tossed salad, but they do a wonderful job adding moisture to your skin, making it feel soft and smooth. Mushrooms offer anti-inflammatory action, helping to calm down troubled skin to improve acne. They’re also rich in vitamin D, selenium, and antioxidants, which help to brighten skin and even out discoloration. Some beauty experts think mushrooms may be able to slow the signs of aging.

1 cup fresh carrot juice {or favorite green juice blend}

1 cup fresh spinach leaves

1/4 cup sliced mushrooms

1/2 cup French green clay

In a food processor or blender, blend the carrot juice, spinach, and mushrooms until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and add the green clay, stirring until well-mixed and creamy. You can add a bit more water or juice if you need to. To use: Spread the mask all over your body using your fingers or a small pastry brush. Let the mixture sit on your skin for 10-15 minutes. Wrap an old towel around your body and lie down if you prefer. Rinse off body mask in a warm shower and apply a rich moisturizer. Yield: 10 ounces, enough for one treatment.

Quick Blends for Skin and Hair

By combining various juices, you can create blends that target specific beauty goals. Here are three blends to get you started.

  • For energy: Pineapple, celery, cucumber, spinach, lime, and apple
  • For clear skin: Apple, carrot, beet, ginger, and basil
  • For healthy hair: Cucumber, carrot, and tomato

Pineapple Ginger Footbath

Pineapple contains bromelain, an enzyme that reduces inflammation and removes surface debris. Not only great for your complexion, it’s also very effective as a foot bath to soften and remove rough, dry skin. Combined with energizing ginger, which boosts blood circulation, and antiseptic and stimulating mint, this footbath is perfect after a long day on your feet.

1-gallon warm water

1 cup coconut water

2 cups fresh or canned pineapple juice

1 Tbls fresh ginger root, sliced

1 Tbls fresh mint leaves, slightly crushed

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl or small basin. To use: Soak your feet for 10-15 minutes in the pineapple juice mixture. While your feet soak, brush them with a natural loofah sponge or foot brush to help remove the dead, rough skin. Pat feet dry. Massage a rich oil such as coconut or sesame into your feet, gently pushing your cuticles back. This is also a good time to trim your toenails, as wet nails are easier to cut and you get a cleaner snip. Yield: 64 ounces, enough for one footbath.

Apple Juice Hair Rinse

Fresh apple juice makes an effective hair rinse that will leave your locks full of shine. Apples contain malic acid, which neutralizes the pH levels of hair follicles, and amylase, an exfoliating enzyme that can help boost growth. Here, apple cider vinegar helps to clean the scalp and remove build-up and residue.

1 large apple, peeled and cut into small pieces

2 Tbls apple cider vinegar

2 cups water

Mix together all ingredients in a blender or food processor set on high. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a clean container, discarding all solids. To use: Pour over your hair after shampooing as a final rinse, massaging it through your tresses, and then rinse thoroughly with cool water. Yield: 16 ounces, enough for one rinse.

Stimulating Green Scalp Toner

A healthy scalp promotes healthy hair. In fact, many hair conditions, such as hair loss and dandruff, originate from the scalp, so keeping it clean is essential. In particular, you want to find the right balance for your scalp; not too dry and not too oily. Fresh parsley and mint help achieve this balance by ridding hair of residue and restoring the scalp’s natural acid balance, which harsh shampoos often strip away.

1/4 cup fresh parsley juice

2 Tbls fresh mint leaves, minced

1 cup water

1 Tbls fresh lemon juice

Place ingredients in a blender and process on high until well-mixed {in a pinch, you can also mix by hand}. To use: Pour over hair after shampooing and massage well into your scalp. Let sit for a few minutes, then rinse with the coldest water you can stand. Yield: 10 ounces, enough for one rinse.

One-Step Juicy Boosts

  • Apple: For a refreshing bath, add 1 to 2 cups of apple juice into your bath as you fill the tub. The malic acid will refresh and cleanse your skin.
  • Beet: For lip color, mix some fresh beet juice with a small amount of coconut oil and apply to your lips. You can also use this mixture on your cheeks for a natural blush.
  • Lemon: This citrus fruit has been used for centuries to give subtle highlights to hair. Make sure to dilute it – 1 tablespoon of juice to 1 cup water – and condition your hair afterward, as lemon juice can be drying.
  • Orange: This morning staple can freshen skin and also makes a cleansing hair rinse for your hair and scalp.
  • Pineapple: For an exfoliating all-over body wash, use fresh pineapple juice. Splash it on your skin in the shower, massaging it in with a clean loofah or cotton washcloth. Be careful around sensitive skin spots, as the juice will sting.

All About Exotic Tamanu Nut Oil

The tamanu nut tree, whose kernels yield the natural tamanu nut oil, is botanically termed as Calophyllum inophyllum meaning the beautifully leafed tree in Greek. This species is native to southeast Asia and is found growing in abundance along the seashores as well as in upcountry regions having tropic climatic conditions. While scientists are yet to undertake a study to ascertain the differences between the oil yielded by the tamanu nut trees growing in the coastal regions and the inland, natives of Polynesia asset that the oil obtained from the trees growing in the coastal regions is more useful compared to the oil extracted from the nuts of the trees growing inland.

Hence, it is not surprising that manufacturers of tamanu nut oil depend more on the nuts produced by trees growing in the coastal regions. It is interesting to note that the oil obtained from the tamanu nuts is somewhat mystifying. This is primarily owing to the fact that when the nut is taken out of the inedible fruit of tamanu nut trees, the light-colored kernel does not give any indication that it has any oil content. This is true even when the kernels are squashed or pulverized. Nevertheless, once the kernel is dried out for a period of a month or two on a rack, its color changes to profound chocolate brown and it is coated with muggy loaded oil that can be extracted mechanically without much effort using a screw press. It may be noted that scientists have still not been able to find the process of such a transformation of the tamanu nut kernel.

The tamanu nut tree is native to the Republic of Vanuatu, an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. Laborers manually collect the nuts of the tamanu trees growing in the coastal regions since the oil extracted from the nuts produced by these trees are said to be of superior or best quality. In may be noted that the oil extracted from tamanu nuts (Oil of Tamanu) is absolutely wholesome and a natural extract from the tamanu nut tree, which the locals consider being ‘sacred’. This natural oil does not enclose any synthetic chemicals, preservatives or additives.

Manufacturers of tamanu nut oil still follow the traditional practices and use manual labor to crack the nuts and dry the kernels out in the sun until their color changes to golden brown. When the kernels have been dried out for about a month or two and they possess a chocolate brown color, they are cold pressed to extract the enclosed natural oil. The cold press using screw press does not involve any heat or addition of chemicals and yields the best quality, unadulterated, loaded, deep green and luxurious tamanu oil.

Tamanu nut oil possesses outstanding therapeutic attributes and the indigenous people of Polynesia and Melanesia have been holding this natural oil in high esteem since ages. The natives of Polynesia and Melanesia consider this wonderful oil as a sacred gift of nature and occasionally talk about it as the ‘Green Gold’ or the ‘Sacred Oil of Tamanu’.

The exclusive attitude of this natural oil is to stimulate the formation of new tissues; this is the real therapeutic power of tamanu oil. The oil’s ability to encourage new tissue formation actually speeds up the healing process of any wound and, at the same time, results in the healthy skin growth. Hence, it is not surprising that this natural oil works as an effective anti-aging agent. Scientifically, this process is known as ‘cicatrization’. In fact, our skin is the largest organ in our body and is composed of three stratum – the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis. A number of other layers lie within these three layers and each of them performs particular functions. Since tamanu oil penetrates deep into the core connective tissues of the skin and encourages the growth of new tissues, it is effective in accelerating the healing of any type of wound.

The Islanders, as well as the practitioners of local medications, have been conventionally using tamanu oil to stimulate the regeneration of tissues and, hence, this action helps in the regeneration of healthy skin. This natural oil not only helps the growth of new tissues but also makes the skin new and glowing.

The natural oil extracted from tamanu nuts therapeutically has a number of external applications. Generally, tamanu oil is applied generously to any scrape, cut, burn injury, abrasions, diabetic sores, psoriasis, anal fissures, blisters, eczema, sunburn, insect stings and bites, herpes sores, dry or scaly skin, athletes foot as well as lessening the foul odor of the body, especially the foot. In effect, tamanu natural oil is an excellent deodorant for the underarm also. It is common among the natives of Vanuatu to massage tamanu oil or the natural oil extracted from the nuts of Calophyllum inophyllum on the skin to get relief from the excruciating pains associated with conditions, such as rheumatism, neuralgia, and sciatica. Many of them also use this oil to treat the baby rash caused by the use of nappies.

Several studies have revealed that the oil extracted from the tamanu nuts encloses three primary lipid categories – neutral lipids, glycolipids, and phospholipids. In addition, the oil of tamanu also encloses a distinctive fatty acid known as chlorophyllic acid as well as an unusual antibiotic called lactone. It also contains calophyllolide – a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent. The therapeutic benefits of this natural oil are attributed to the above-mentioned substances and anti-inflammatory coumarins. On the basis of the identified actions of the familiar elements of this natural oil, it is obvious that the oil of tamanu is not only anti-bacterial but also anti-inflammatory.

Tamanu nut oil also possesses an exceptional cicatrizing (healing by the formation of new tissues over any wound) properties, but scientists are yet elucidated on this aspect in the available scientific literature. Nevertheless, this unique attribute of the oil extracted from tamanu nuts is not only proven but also accepted by all concerned. The same thing may be said regarding the anti-neuralgic properties of the oil of Tamanu. In fact, there is adequate evidence that this natural oil is effective in providing relief from neuritis (a condition marked by tenderness or continuous pain in a nerve, accompanied by paralysis and disturbance of the senses). Again, in this case, too, scientists are yet to ascertain the elements responsible for this specific property of the oil as well as the manner in which they function to alleviate the condition.

It is interesting to note that scientists in Asia, the Pacific Islands and Europe started undertaking researches on this natural oil in their hospitals only in the 1930’s following a report by a French nun Sister Marie-Suzanne, who was working in Fiji at that time, that external application of Dolno (as tamanu nut oil is known locally) on patients suffering from neuritis accompanied by leprosy showed amazing effects. The research undertaken by these scientists demonstrated that external application of the oil of tamanu is also an excellent remedy for healing skin conditions. In addition, their findings also showed that this oil possessed properties that were effective in providing relief from nerve pains. They also proved that tamanu nut oil possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant as well as anti-microbial attributes.

While the oil of tamanu has been studied by scientists for nearly eight decades now, the tamanu nut oil has been marketed commercially for the last 10 years as an element in first aid purposes as well as cosmetics.

The oil of tamanu is a traditional medication in the Pacific Islands where people apply it topically to cure all types of skin disorders that one can think of, such as acne, scrapes, cuts, insect bites, burns, sunburn, ulcers, eczema, blisters as well as aches caused by herpes – genital pains and cold sores. In addition, natives in the Pacific Islands also use this natural oil to treat arid and scaly skin. Tamanu nut oil has the aptitude to get rid of or significantly diminish scarring caused by burns, acne as well as other skin conditions. On the other hand, the indigenous people of Polynesia also apply this oil topically to lessen foul body and foot smell.

External application of tamanu nut oil to the neck also helps in getting relief from a sore throat. As aforementioned, this natural oil extracted from the nuts of the tamanu plant possesses properties that help in alleviating pain and the indigenous people of the Pacific Islands have been using it traditionally to get relief from nerve pain or neuralgia, sciatica as well as arthritis. Native women also use this oil topically on their skin for clear and flawless skin. This natural oil is also beneficial for infants and it is used to treat nappy rash as well as other skin disorders in babies. It has been established as well as accepted that the compounds enclosed by tamanu nut oil possess noteworthy anti-inflammatory properties and are effective in diminishing pain as well as swellings related to the above-mentioned health conditions when applied topically.

In addition, the oil of tamanu also possesses numerous potent anti-microbial properties and, hence, it has been established that this natural oil is effective in treating several conditions caused by pathogens that are responsible for numerous epidemics and deaths in the present times. It also has the potential to prevent MRSA (methicillin-resistant staph aureus) – a bacterium that enters the body via the open wounds on the skin and is resistant to most of the available antibiotics. Currently, this oil has been creating lots of headlines as it is helpful in preventing this morbid bacterium. In comparison to amoxicillin and ampicillin, the elements present in tamanu nut oil have been found to be equally effective against this bacterium. In addition, the findings of several types of research have confirmed that the anti-microbial and anti-fungal elements enclosed by this natural oil may be used to effectively treat skin and eye contagions, together with ringworms (any skin infection caused by certain parasitic fungi and distinguished by the formation of eruptive patches in the shape of rings).

As discussed earlier, the oil of Tamanu possesses significant antioxidant attributes, particularly in slowing down the breakdown of lipids by oxygen (a process called peroxidization). It may be noted that the membranes of the cells are made up of lipids and, hence, this natural oil facilitates the inhibition of any harm caused to the skin due to oxidation. While the tamanu nut oil is viscous as well as full, it is soaked up by the skin completely without leaving any slippery excess or a greasy feeling. In addition, this natural oil also possesses a gentle and pleasant scent and provides a comfortable experience making it a perfect ingredient for creams, lotions, ointments, balms and other cosmetics.

Although the therapeutic use of tamanu nut oil was started in the Pacific Islands where it is used extensively even to this day, presently this natural oil is being used by people in different countries for remedial purposes. People in Indonesia call the tamanu nut tree as nyamplung and use its leaves to cure inflammation of the eyes as well as heatstroke. While the trunk of this tree is used by them to construct boats, people in Indonesia launched a large-scale program to plant this tree (Calophyllum inophyllum) throughout their country to acquire the tamanu nut oil that is used as an alternate for diesel. Then again, people in Malaysia know this tree by the name penaga laut and use the oil obtained from its nuts.
Inhabitants of the island nation Vanuatu, a republic in the Pacific Ocean, use this natural oil as a remedy for several skin conditions, including cuts, burns, insect bites, stings, blemishes, rashes, and sores.

According to numerous people familiar with the therapeutic properties of the oil of tamanu, it is a marvel of nature since it is effective in treating numerous skin conditions, including inflammation and irritation, as well as pains associated with arthritis and rheumatism. Some of the condition-specific benefits of unadulterated tamanu nut oil are mentioned below.

  • Tamanu nut oil is extremely beneficial for people having dry, coarse and flaking skin as its regular application on the skin makes the skin soft and helps it to retain moisture. While applying the oil of tamanu directly to the skin is the most common practice, as an alternate process, one may also add a few drops of this natural oil to their lotion or moisturizer and use the blend daily.
  • Topical application of the oil of tamanu is effective in preventing as well as healing pimples and eruption of acne. The best way to apply this natural oil is to lightly touch this natural oil on the affected areas prior to retiring to bed.
  • Apart from lessening the blemished tissues as well as stains/ discoloration of the skin, the oil of tamanu has proved to be an effectual remedy for wrinkles and stretch marks.
  • A clinical trial undertaken to treat observable blemished tissues found that the oil of tamanu was effective in diminishing the size of such damaged tissues and, thereby, make them appear less obvious. The participants of the research applied this oil topically on the affected skin areas two times every day for nine weeks continually.
  • Besides being a useful remedy for almost all types of skin disorders, tamanu nut oil is also effective in relieving health conditions like muscle aches, neuralgia, neuritis, rheumatism, and arthritis.
  • The oil of tamanu is used for healing other conditions too, especially in preventing hair loss and stimulating hair growth. It has been established that tamanu nut oil has the aptitude to penetrate deep into the hair follicles strengthening them, which, in turn, facilitates the prevention of hair fall or a receding hairline. This natural oil works to clear the uncleanness and rubbish on the scalp and reinstate as well as nurture the scalp while increasing its shine. Tamanu nut oil may be applied directly on the scalp or, added with one’s regular shampoo or hair conditioner before application. Alternately, the oil of tamanu may be applied on the scalp after blending it with other natural oils, such as olive oil, neem oil, and/ or jojoba oil.

In addition to the remedial uses of tamanu nut oil mentioned above, this natural oil is also useful for treating skin conditions like sunburn, psoriasis (a widespread chronic, inciting skin ailment distinguished by formation of flaking patches), dark spots and rosacea (a chronic type of acne that affects the nose, forehead and cheeks and marked by red pustular lesions). This oil, extracted from the nuts of the tamanu nut tree (Calophyllum inophyllum), is also a useful cure for poison ivy. Researchers conducted on animals have shown that the oil of tamanu may also prove to be effective in healing health conditions like yeast Candida, cancer, and HIV.

Benefits and Uses of Coconut Oil

HISTORY OF COCONUT OIL

Cocos nucifera, better known as the Coconut, sets itself apart from other fruits by virtue of its higher than average water content, also referred to as its juice, for which it is commonly known to be harvested; however, as illustrated by its historical uses, the various parts of this versatile nut, as well as the tree from which it comes, have countless other benefits aside from offering drinkable water.

The Coconut tree belongs to the Palm family and is the only species belonging to the Cocos genus. For centuries, the oil produced from coconuts has been a staple ingredient in beauty products that were made and used by communities all around the world. Due to its ability to moisturize and condition the hair, boost its growth, and leave it looking lustrous, Coconut Oil continues to be used cosmetically – typically as a moisturizer, and in soaps – to enhance the look and feel of hair and skin.

Despite its name, the Coconut is not a nut – it is a drupe, which is a fleshy, thin-skinned fruit with a stone at its center that contains the seed. Throughout history and even today, mature coconuts are processed so that oil can be obtained from the kernel, charcoal can be obtained from the hard shell, and the fibrous outer husk can be used to create rope and matting.

The use of Coconut Oil has been a prolific and fundamental aspect in the lives of many societies all around the world, especially in tropical and coastal regions such as South and Central America, Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Micro-, Mele- and Polynesia, and most of Asia. The uses for this oil were so respected that as early as 1500 BC they were recorded in Sanskrit for Ayurvedic medicine as a remedy for illnesses of the mind, body, and spirit.

Over the centuries, coconuts have been mentioned in both fictional and historical accounts, being mentioned in both 9th-century reports about the Chinese using it to make fibers as well as in the 1,001 Arabian Nights story about Sinbad the Sailor. The first coconut sighting was possibly from a 5th century A.D. Egyptian traveler known as Costas, who recorded a finding of an “Indian Nut” that scholars believe to be the Coconut.

In South Asia, Coconut Oil was frequently used in hair products to keep it lustrous, moisturized, thick, and dark. It was used on the skin to facilitate the speedy healing of burns, bruises, cuts, and wounds as well as to soothe aching muscles and joint pain. In Zanzibar and India, Coconut Oil was used in the candle making process and to provide light. Even the British explorer Captain Cook wrote favorably about the attractiveness of communities that surrounded the Pacific Ocean and that used Coconut Oil extensively.

For native Samoan healers as well as for Central and South American healers and Ayurvedic medicine practitioners, Coconut Oil was used as a remedy for treating illnesses and healing wounds. Many mothers on the island used Coconut Oil to massage their children in order to promote the growth of strong bones, to protect their skin against blemishes, and to prevent illness and infection.

Coconuts finally got their name from the Portuguese in the 1700s after receiving countless other names, including the name “Nux indica,” which Marco Polo dubbed them in the year 1280 and the name “Nargils,” which Sir Francis Drake gave them in the 1600s. The name is derived from the 16th-century Portuguese and the Spanish word “coco,” meaning “head” or “skull,” because of the three indents that resemble the placement of the eyes and nose on a human head.

In the countries to which coconuts are native, people used them to make baskets, utensils, and musical instruments. They found a greater number of uses when they learned that the flesh could be used for more than just food and drink, at which time they began extracting the oil of the coconut by boiling the milk. They applied this oil as a natural sunscreen, a moisturizing conditioner for dry and damaged skin and hair, and as a treatment for head lice, among other uses.

BENEFITS OF USING COCONUT OIL

The main chemical constituents of Coconut Carrier Oils are Lauric Acid, Capric Acid and Caprylic Acid, Linoleic Acid (Polyunsaturated Fats), Oleic Acid (Monounsaturated Fats), Polyphenols (Virgin Coconut Oil only), and Medium-Chain Triglycerides.

LAURIC ACID is believed to:

  • Assimilate quickly and completely into the body, as it is a Medium-Chain Triglyceride (Saturated Fat)
  • Eliminate and prevent various viruses
  • Exhibit smoothing properties and textures when used in body butter, soaps and salves

CAPRIC ACID AND CAPRYLIC ACID are believed to:

  • Assimilate quickly and completely into our bodies, as they are Medium-Chain Triglycerides (Saturated Fats)
  • Contribute antimicrobial and antifungal properties
  • Stimulate hair follicles with natural proteins
  • Repair and strengthen damaged hair while adding shine
  • Prevent the spread of harmful bacteria, making it effective for use on acne-prone skin

LINOLEIC ACIDS are believed to:

  • Moisturize hair and promote its growth
  • Facilitate wound healing
  • Be effective emulsifiers in the formulation of soaps and quick-drying oils
  • Exhibit anti-inflammatory properties
  • Soothe acne and reduce chances of future outbreaks
  • Promote moisture retention in skin and hair
  • Make oils feel thinner in consistency, thus being beneficial for use on acne-prone skin

OLEIC ACIDS are believed to:

  • Maintain the softness, suppleness, and radiance of skin and hair
  • Stimulate the growth of thicker, longer, and stronger hair
  • Reduce the appearance of aging, such as premature wrinkles and fine lines
  • Eliminate dandruff and thereby support hair growth
  • Boost immunity
  • Exhibit antioxidant properties
  • Prevent joint inflammation, stiffness, and pain

POLYPHENOLS are believed to:

  • Contribute scent and antioxidant properties to Coconut Oil
  • Soothe inflammation
  • Repair dry, damaged skin
  • Improve skin elasticity, especially for prematurely aging skin
  • Enhance moisture levels in skin
  • Protect skin against UV rays
  • Enhance skin cell growth
  • Boost circulation to the skin
  • Increase hair growth

MEDIUM-CHAIN TRIGLYCERIDES are known to:

  • Eliminate harmful bacteria, viruses, and fungi
  • Offer intense moisture
  • Condition the hair and eliminate dandruff
  • Boost hair growth

Used cosmetically or topically in general, Coconut Oil can penetrate the skin easily, due to the small size of its molecules, which are almost as small as essential oil molecules and which allows essential oils to be readily absorbed into the skin when combined with Coconut Oil. Without clogging pores, Coconut Oil offers excellent emollience to dry, itchy skin and hair, remaining suitable for sensitive, inflamed and irritated skin. In providing hydration, it creates a protective barrier on the skin’s surface, locking in moisture to soften, lubricate, and cool skin and hair while preventing future dryness as well as fungus. Used in a topical cream, Coconut Oil soothes and cools irritated areas of skin such as those affected by the discomforts of conditions like Athlete’s Foot, Psoriasis, and warts. It effectively soothes sunburns and blisters, removes dead skin, and promotes the growth of newer, healthier skin for a glowing complexion.

Used therapeutically, Coconut Carrier Oil is reputed to be effective for boosting metabolism and promoting the burning of more energy. It is believed to be able to control blood pressure and cholesterol while soothing discomfort caused by liver and kidney problems. It is often used to improve digestion and insulin secretion and to control blood sugar. It can also promote stress relief when used in a relaxing massage.

 Coconut Carrier Oil is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:

  • COSMETIC: non-comedogenic, emollient, protectively hydrating, lubricating, cooling, soothing
  • MEDICINAL: regulating, balancing, stress relieving, digestive, anti-fungal, detoxicant

CULTIVATING AND HARVESTING QUALITY COCONUT OIL

The origin of Coconut Palm Trees is still unclear; however, the generally accepted belief is that they originated in the region between India and Indonesia and that coconuts dispersed themselves throughout the world when they fell into the Indian Ocean and floated around to other countries on the ocean’s currents. This belief comes from the fact that the name for the Coconut in the region of Malaysia and Indonesia – “nyiur/nyior” – is similar to the name given to it in Polynesia and Melanesia – “niu” – and to its Philippino and Guamanian name – “niyog.” Both of these names are based on the Malay term. Coconut Palms grow in dozens of other countries around the world and produce approximately 61 million tons per year, mostly in the tropical regions of Asia. 73% of total world production is from Indonesia, the Philippines, and India, collectively. There are two modern-day species of Coconut: the Pacific and the Atlantic.

Coconuts are derived from the Cocos nucifera botanical, which is a large palm tree that can grow up to 30 m (98 ft.) tall. Its long leaves are pinnate and its trunk is smooth. Coconuts can be further classified into Tall and Dwarf types. The Coconut is not a true nut; rather, like other fleshy fruits that have thin skin and a seed-filled inner stone in their centers, it is a drupe much like an almond, cherry, olive, or plum. It is made up of 3 layers: the exocarp, the mesocarp, and the endocarp. The first two layers are the outermost and are commonly referred to as the Coconut’s husk. The mesocarp has a fibrous texture and is called “coir.”

coconut_parts_01

 

 

When the husk is removed, there are 3 visible holes on the innermost layer, the endocarp. These holes are commonly referred to as “eyes,” which tend to make the Coconut look like a bowling ball. These holes are germination pores. Two of the pores remain plugged and non-functional, leaving only one pore to be functioning, and it is through this one pore that a shoot will sprout once growing conditions are favorable. The pores each represent a coconut flower’s carpel. A full-sized coconut weighs approximately 1.44 kg (3.2 lbs.).

For optimum growth, the Coconut Palm requires sandy soils, the absence of overhead canopies of trees, generous amounts of direct sunlight, high humidity, and consistent rainfall. They are able to thrive in regions with low precipitation, as long as they remain warm and humid. They are highly receptive to salinity, which makes it easy for them to grow along tropical shorelines. They can continue to thrive in brief temperature drops to 0 °C (32 °F) and cannot withstand severe frost, but they have sometimes been able to recover from temperatures of −4 °C (25 °F). In some colder areas, although they might grow, they will not yield fruits.

Aside from coastal sandy terrains, Coconut trees can also grow in soils that are alluvial, loamy, laterite, and in soils of marshy low lands that have received reclamation treatment. They require the absence of rock or any hard, underlying rock layer within 2m of the surface; the presence of water within 3m; good water-holding capacity; and adequate drainage. In dry climates without proper irrigation, Coconut trees will not unfurl their leaves. Older leaves will become dehydrated and shrivel, and their fruits will naturally fall off.

With proper care and in ideal growing conditions, a Coconut Palm produces its first fruits within 6-10 years of growth and reaches peak production after 15-20 years. From the inflorescence stage (better known as the flowering stage) to the stage of the full-grown nut, a coconut takes 12 months to mature. Typically, there is a period of 45 days between each time the coconuts are cut down. It is believed that the best oil yield is produced by the nuts that naturally fall to the ground when they are mature. These are also the coconuts with the highest amount of Lauric Acid. A Coconut Palm produces coconuts all year long, growing approximately 100-120 Coconuts per year, as Coconuts can be found growing in bunches of 5-12 fruits with a new bunch growing and maturing each month. Some growers will pick coconuts much earlier than they reach maturity and will use chemicals to extract their oils with the intention of increasing oil production.

HOW IS COCONUT OIL EXTRACTED?

Coconuts are first collected and the ones used for “copra,” that is the dried inner flesh or the “meat,” are split open in the field with an ax. The Coconut’s meat is scooped out, amassed, and taken to a drier, which can be as simple as solar drying or a rack over a fire. It can also be as sophisticated as a kiln. The drying process can take up to 4 days. To produce 1 ton of copra, approximately 6,000 fully mature coconuts are required. The copra is bagged and taken to a large-scale industrial oil-seed mill by which time the copra will have gone rancid, especially if the mill is overseas. At this point, the extraction process begins.

Coconut Oil can be extracted by one of the following methods

THE DRY PROCESS (COLD / EXPELLER PRESS) involves extracting the coconut meat and drying it by either fire, sunlight, or in kilns to create copra. The duration of the drying is approximately 2.5 hours and takes place at a controlled temperature. This copra is then either Cold Pressed, Expeller Pressed, or dissolved using solvents, which results in the Coconut Oil as well as a soft, spongy mass referred to as “copra meal.” This byproduct is high in protein and fiber, yet it is not of high enough quality for humans to consume. As there is no further process for extracting the protein from this mass, it is fed to ruminant animals. Copra derived from coconuts that are not fully mature is more difficult to work with, as it yields a lower amount of oil and produces an inferior product. The oil passes through a filter press to remove any sediment and the result is a clear, raw Coconut Oil. Historically, this processing method produced Coconut Oil that was known as “Poor Man’s Oil” or “Dirty Oil.”

THE WET PROCESS involves the use of raw coconut instead of the dried copra. The Coconut’s protein content produces an oil and water emulsion, which leads to a process of separating the emulsion to collect only the oil. This process uses techniques such as centrifuges or pre-treatments that apply cold, heat, acids, salts, enzymes, electrolysis, shock waves, or steam distillation. Sometimes there is a combination of these processes.

SOLVENT EXTRACTION is a method that extracts up to 10% more oil than the amount produced using only rotary mills and expellers. It achieves this through the use of a solvent such as Hexane. The resulting oil undergoes refinement to remove certain free fatty acids, to reduce the oil’s susceptibility to rancidity, and to increase its shelf life.

VIRGIN COCONUT OIL can be produced out of fresh coconut milk, the coconut meat, or the residue. If it is produced from the meat, it can be extracted by grating the fresh meat, drying it to reduce its moisture content to 10–12%, and then manually applying a screw press to the dried residue to extract the oil. When the oil is produced from the Coconut’s milk, the meat is first grated then mixed with water and squeezed to obtain the oil. To use another technique, the milk can also be fermented for up to 2 days, the oil can be collected, and then the “cream” can be heated to remove any lingering oil. The third method of extraction involves the use of centrifugal force to separate Coconut Oil from the other liquids. The dry residue that remains after the production of Coconut Milk can also be used to extract the oil. Virgin Coconut Oil retains its natural aroma. The entire process of producing Virgin Coconut Oil takes place within one hour of the coconut being cracked.

COPRA COCONUT OIL – REFINED, BLEACHED, AND DEODORIZED (RDB) OIL is a variety of Coconut Carrier Oil that is derived from the copra with the use of a heated hydraulic press. The pressing process yields essentially all the oil present in the copra but remains in a crude state that is brown in color and that contains contaminants, thus it requires further heating and filtering to refine, bleach, and deodorize it.

Refining the oil produced from the copra requires chemicals and heat in order to result in a product that is suitable for commercial sale and use. It involves the use of a weak corrosive soda solution to remove the 3+% of Free Fatty Acids (FFA).

Deodorizing the oil involves passing steam through the oil at a temperature of 230 C (446 ᵒF).

Bleaching the Coconut Oil involves lightening its brown color to make it whiter.

Because the refinement process removes the fragrance and therapeutic benefits of the Coconut Oil, Copra Coconut Oil is vastly different from the quality of Virgin Coconut Oil. RBD Coconut Oil does not retain its natural aroma but is ideal for cosmetic and pharmaceutical purposes.

FRACTIONATED COCONUT OIL is also referred to as Liquid Coconut Oil. There are 3 basic types of fatty acids: short-chain, medium-chain, and long-chain. The long-chain fatty acids have more carbon atoms and this means they require higher temperatures to melt and are thus solid at room temperature. In this variety of Coconut Oil, hydrolysis and steam distillation remove the long-chain fatty acids, such as the healthy saturated fat known as Lauric Acid, while the medium-chain triglycerides such as Caprylic Acid and Capric Acid remain. These are beneficial for medicinal and therapeutic applications, cosmetics, and as a carrier oil for essential oils. Despite the moisturizing and cleansing benefits that long-chain fatty acids have on skin, removing them allows the Coconut Oil to remain liquid at room temperature and extends its shelf life. The medium chain fatty acids still retain their moisturizing properties, while the protective and rejuvenating natural antioxidants and nutrients like vitamins A, C, and E continue to exhibit their valuable properties.

coconutfractionation

 

 

USES OF COCONUT OIL

The uses of Coconut Carrier Oil are abundant, ranging from medicinal to cosmetic. Its many forms include oils, gels, lotions, soaps, shampoos, sprays, and candle making.

Used topically, Coconut Oil cleanses and nourishes skin, leaving it soft and silky. While healing and relaxing the body in a massage, it quickly and deeply hydrates the skin, locking in moisture. To cleanse the skin while moisturizing and reducing the appearance of aging, a small amount of Coconut Oil can be gently massaged into the face. This method works as a lotion that simultaneously removes makeup while nourishing the skin. For a massage to reduce the appearance of cellulite, Coconut Oil can be mixed with essential oils before being massaged into the affected areas. Its high fatty acid content makes Coconut Oil deeply moisturizing and, by massaging a generous amount into feet, damaged heels will enjoy intense hydration.

Coconut Oil can substitute commercial cosmetic highlighting products by simply being massaged into the cheekbones, eyelids, and the arches of the eyebrows for a healthy glow. This method has the added benefit of reducing the amount of makeup used. To hydrate chapped lips naturally, Coconut Oil can be melted and blended with moisturizing essential oils to make a nourishing lip balm. To eliminate and prevent ingrown hairs from forming and leading to dull areas of skin, a body scrub can be made with Coconut Carrier Oil, an exfoliant, and essential oils. The disinfectant properties of Coconut Oil make it effective in eliminating bodily odors, thus it makes an excellent deodorant when combined with anti-bacterial essential oil blends.

Used in hair, Coconut Oil can protect the scalp against the discomfort of dryness and the formation of dandruff. Lustrous hair and a healthier scalp can be achieved by mixing Coconut Oil with essential oils that are known to have hair benefits. When shaving, Coconut Oil can be used to prevent skin irritation. Whether on its own or mixed with essential oils, it can be used as a shaving cream or as a soothing aftershave that protects skin against itchiness and dehydration while preventing the need for additional moisturizing products.

Used medicinally, this anti-oxidant is known to also exhibit anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It is known to help balance blood pressure as well as blood-sugar levels, cholesterol, and hormone levels. Coconut Oil has traditionally been used to soothe wounds, rashes, and burns. It can treat fungal infections such as Athlete’s Foot and can repel bugs and insects such as bees, flies, and mosquitoes. The high level of Lauric Acid content in this anti-fungal oil helps eliminate the harmful bacteria inside cold sores. Applying it directly to a sore will relieve itching and pain while promoting faster healing. By hydrating skin and promoting the growth of newer, healthier skin that is more elastic, Coconut Oil helps reduce the appearance of discoloration caused by stretch marks and dark blemishes. Massaging Coconut Carrier Oil into the hands and cheeks can help prevent the appearance of age spots. It is gentle enough to be used on baby skin, making it suitable for relieving diaper rashes and other skin irritations. For a cold remedy, Coconut Oil can be mixed with Peppermint or Spearmint Essential Oil and rubbed into the chest to relieve congestion and boost circulation.

A GUIDE TO COCONUT OIL VARIETIES & THEIR BENEFITS

COCONUT OIL VARIETY & BOTANICAL NAME COUNTRY OF ORIGIN BENEFITS OF OIL
Coconut (Virgin) Carrier Oil

Cocos nucifera

Found in:

  • Philippines
Believed to:

  • fight inflammation
  • maintain bone structure
  • cleanse and moisturize skin and hair
  • remove dead skin cells and promote the growth of newer, healthier skin
  • facilitate healing of wounds
  • soothe infection while promoting faster healing
  • control and relieve skin discomfort caused by eczema, psoriasis and other skin problems
  • strengthen hair
  • boost immunity
  • demonstrate antibacterial and antifungal activities
  • reduce the appearance of stretch marks
Coconut Carrier Oil (RBD)

Cocos nucifera

Found in:

  • Malaysia
Known for:

  • being odorless/having a neutral scent
  • retaining the benefits of Coconut Oil’s fatty acids
  • being free of impurities
  • having a longer shelf life than Unrefined Coconut Oil
Coconut Fractionated Carrier Oil Medium-Chain Triglyceride 60/40 

(MCT 60/40)

Found in:

  • Malaysia
Known for:

  • being odorless
  • penetrating quickly and deeply into the skin, making it feel silky and moisturized without leaving a greasy residue
  • having a high essential fatty acid content
  • having a long shelf life
  • being refined, clarified, and deodorized
  • remaining liquid regardless of temperature
  • retaining the same emollient and moisturizing properties as Virgin Coconut Oil
Coconut Organic Carrier Oil (Refined)

Cocos nucifera

Found in:

  • Philippines
Known for:

  • being odorless/having a neutral scent
  • retaining the benefits of Coconut Oil’s fatty acids
  • being free of impurities
  • having a longer shelf life than Unrefined Coconut Oil
Coconut Virgin Organic Carrier Oil

Cocos nucifera

Found in:

  • Philippines
Believed to:

  • repair damaged skin and hair
  • prevent wrinkles and strengthen hair while making it lustrous
  • penetrate quickly and deeply into the skin, making it feel silky and moisturized without leaving a greasy residue

CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR COCONUT OIL

Carrier oils are for external use only. Individuals who use Coconut Oil to soothe acne on skin that is not very oily to begin with will likely enjoy the anti-bacterial properties of the Lauric Acid content; however, individuals with excessively oily skin are likely to experience what might appear to be aggravated skin. This reaction will likely occur due to the detoxifying properties of Virgin Coconut Oil that are powerful enough to purge layers of toxins from deep beneath the skin’s surface. This reaction will make skin appear as though the condition has worsened, but the irritation and inflammation will be temporary and will eventually decline in a matter of a few weeks – depending on the amount of toxin build-up – as the skin heals, improves, and clears up. To prevent the skin from flaring up in this manner, another possible option for acne-prone skin is to use Coconut Oil as a carrier for skin-soothing essential oils that are known to relieve acne.

Although it is a rare occurrence, Coconut Oil may potentially cause an allergic reaction that could involve anaphylaxis, eczema, facial swelling, hives, lightheadedness, nausea, rapid heart rate, rashes, or vomiting. Children with peanut or tree nut allergies are less likely to experience an allergic reaction to Coconut Oil, as coconuts are considered to be fruits rather than nuts; however, it is highly recommended that a doctor is consulted before these individuals use Coconut Oil. Children with hypothyroidism should refrain from using Coconut Oil or any related products without first consulting a medical practitioner, as it might aggravate the condition.

IN ESSENCE…

    • The Coconut sets itself apart from other fruits by virtue of its higher than average water content.
    • The oil produced from Coconuts has been a staple ingredient in beauty products made and used by communities all around the world, especially in tropical and coastal regions.
    • The name “Coconut” is derived from the 16th-century Portuguese and Spanish word that means “head” or “skull,” because of the three indents that resemble the features of a human head.
    • Coconut oil is beneficial for use in cosmetics, typically as a moisturizer, and in soaps.
  • Historically, Coconut Oil was used as a remedy for treating illnesses and infection, healing wounds, promoting the growth of strong bones, and protecting skin against blemishes.

Healing With Aloe Vera

After some quick research, I learned that Aloe has “male” and “female” plants, so to speak. The female acts like a mother plant and sprouts new babies on a pretty regular basis, and the leaves tend to be smaller and thinner; the male plants will grow larger, their leaves becoming longer and thicker. I’ve propagated a few of the male plants out of the main pot so they have more room to grow, but I still have a wonderful surplus of aloe.

The Benefits of Aloe Vera

Most people know that aloe is wonderfully applied topically. It has many benefits for the skin, tightening and soothing, calming the sting of a burn, or because of it’s anti-bacterial qualities even disinfecting minor cuts or scratches. But I had seen aloe leaves available at select grocery stores and have friends that I know blend them into smoothies, which got me curious. Very serendipitously, Jonathan handed me an article he had come across on the health benefits of aloe and my research then began in earnest. As it turns out, the benefits of ingesting aloe have been known for thousands of years—I’ve read that the ancient Egyptians called it the “plant of immortality” and Native Americans “the wand of heaven”—but this knowledge doesn’t seem to be all that common. In more recent years, the actual composition of aloe has been studied and it now could be called a superfood. The gel in the leaves contains at least 75 nutrients, 20 minerals, 12 vitamins, 18 amino acids, and 200 active enzymes.

Some of the benefits found after ingesting aloe on a regular basis include (and these are only a few benefits found after relatively quick research):

  • Anti-Carcinogenic
  • Hydrating
  • Lowers high cholesterol and high blood pressure
  • Blood Tonic
  • Eases inflammation and soothes arthritis pain
  • Protects the body from oxidative stress
  • Protects the kidneys, prevents kidney stones and protects the body from oxalates in coffee and tea
  • Alkalizes the body
  • Alleviates ulcers, IBS, Crohn’s disease, and other digestive disorders
  • Nourishes the body
  • Alleviates constipation
  • Prevents and treats candida infections
  • Balancing electrolytes making it great for post-workout hydration
  • Boosts cardiovascular performance and physical endurance
  • Speeds recovery from injury or physical exertion
  • Hydrates the skin, accelerates skin repair
  • Good for oral health when mixed with water and used as a mouthwash

After the long, cold winter months, my skin, eyes, and body feel tight and dry, and my energy is low—there’s just a general sense of depletion after spending so long indoors with the heat on and the stark contrast of crisp, dry, and cold winter air. I was particularly attracted to the hydrating and detoxifying qualities of aloe and proceeded to experiment with cultivating and preparing it. Some choose to blend it, although there is some debate if this action destroys some of the more complex nutrients of the plant, so I opted to muddle the gel into a pretty yummy, hydrating drink (which I think I will freeze and turn into hydrating, energy boosting popsicles for the summer and during my upcoming child-labour!).

Harvesting and Filleting Aloe

You can buy aloe leaves at some select grocery or health stores, and you can also purchase aloe juice or gel, but like many things if possible, harvest fresh leaves for maximum benefit. Grow a plant (tips below) and harvest as much as you can without destroying the plant and then supplement with a store-bought product in between. To harvest your aloe, using a sharp knife, cut the leaf at the base of the stem. Place on a cutting board and remove the serrated edges of the leaf. Then, place your palm flat on the broad side of the leaf and carefully use your (very sharp) knife to cut the leaf in half, lengthwise. This is hard to do perfectly, don’t worry about that—the main goal is simply to open the leaf so the maximum amount of gel can be harvested. Once cut, turn the leaves over and remove the gel from the skin, cutting as close to the skin as possible to harvest as much as you can! Only harvest what you need and use immediately, reserving any unused portions of the leaf by wrapping and storing in the fridge.

Hydrating Aloe Drink

  • Aloe Gel (I used a leaf that was about 8 inches long and only about 2 inches wide)
  • Coconut Water
  • 2-3 Stems Fresh Cilantro
  • Honey
  • Fresh Lime Juice

Very roughly chop the aloe gel, leaving fairly big chunks. Place in a glass along with a few ice cubes and several leaves of cilantro. Using a muddler or spoon, crush the leaves and break up the aloe gel a little more (again some chunks are fine!). Fill the glass with coconut water, a swirl of honey if desired, and a generous squeeze of lime (I used 1/4 of a lime). Drink and enjoy immediately!

NOTE: due to the laxative qualities of aloe vera, it’s recommended that you start with a small amount and build gradually. Also, on rare occasion, some may be allergic to aloe. If you’ve never used it, apply a small amount behind the ear or under the arm—if stinging or rash appear do not use.

Growing & Propagating Aloe

Aloe vera is honestly very, very easy to take care of. You need dry, loose soil in a nice and bright, sunny spot. Overwatering will cause root rot, so err on the side of caution here. I water mine only about once per month, giving it a good soak and then leaving it the remainder of the time. If the tips of the leaves appear to shrink and shrivel slightly, you need to increase the amount you are watering. If you are lucky enough to have a mother plant, eventually you’ll need to propagate the babies. To do so, gently dig around the base and loosen the plant from the soil. Place in a fresh pot and it will simply take root and flourish on its own. Super easy!!

Consumer Survey Assesses Use of Cosmetic Products Containing Tea Tree Oil in Five European Countries

In response to an ongoing discussion about the safety of using tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia, Myrtaceae) oil (TTO) in cosmetic products, mainly focused on the lack of accurate data on consumer exposure to TTO in those products, this author used a web survey to provide reliable exposure data based on consumption levels to support a reliable safety assessment of TTO in consumer cosmetic products. The author is affiliated with Ri*QUESTA GmbH (Teningen, Germany), which was commissioned by the Australian Tea Tree Industry Association (ATTIA) to conduct this study.

Collected from 2535 qualified users of validated TTO-containing cosmetics in five European countries, the data included the frequency of use of the products, the amount used per product application, and the percentage of TTO present (TTO-inclusion) in the products. Data on the frequency and amount used were collected using a single-source consumer survey completed by every respondent. TTO-inclusion data were provided by manufacturers.

During October 2015 and November 2015, the author identified 1326 individual TTO-containing products under 360 brands that were available to consumers in Europe. The author documented each product by brand name, product name, package size(s), product image, supplier address, and manufacturer address, and assigned them to one of 42 categories. The inventory was updated as new TTO-containing cosmetics were identified during the consumer and manufacturer surveys. In total, 1429 individual TTO-containing products representing 370 brands or suppliers were identified.

In January 2016, Research Now GmbH, the German subsidiary of Research Now Group, Inc. (Plano, Texas), conducted a web survey of 17,595-panel members in France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, and Spain, who were required to participate in and compensated for a set number of surveys yearly. The investigators aimed to gather data on the use of TTO-containing cosmetics from at least 2400 respondents in total and from at least 400 in each country for up to four products per respondent.

The author reports that 12.7% of the 2903 total respondents reported using TTO-containing products (mostly hand and face creams, deodorant sprays, and hair sprays) that did not actually contain TTO; data from those respondents were deleted from the database.

Among the 7957 product use-reports for validated TTO-containing cosmetics, the total average number of product use-reports identified from the 2535 respondents was 3.14. The numbers for the individual countries were 3.37 for Italy, 3.35 for France, 3.33 for Spain, 2.95 for Germany, and 2.90 for Great Britain.

Beginning in early December 2015, the manufacturer survey was mailed to 156 brand owners, suppliers, and manufacturers who offered three or more TTO-containing cosmetics in the European market. Several companies provided product data before the end of 2015. For the 43 brand owners, suppliers, and manufacturers who represent 80% of the products but had not responded, a follow-up survey was mailed in February and March 2016, resulting in receipt of data from 32 respondents by July 1, 2016. Their data cover 321 individual TTO-containing products and 3264 product use-reports from consumers, which equated to an overall 41% coverage rate of the 7957 valid product use-reports received.

TTO-inclusion data from manufacturers were available for 321 of the 855 product use-reports on body lotion, with the mean amount of TTO exposure being 47.023 mg daily. The use of 119 individual face-cream products was mentioned in 531 product use-reports. Data on TTO-inclusion were linked to 247 of those reports, with the mean TTO exposure being 5.992 mg daily. For hand cream, 214 product use-reports referred to one of 39 individual products. Data on TTO-inclusion were linked to 170 of those reports. The mean daily TTO exposure was 17.367 mg.

Among the consumers, 170 reported the use of one of 70 blemish-spot-gel or lip-balm products; 90 could be linked to manufacturer data on product-specific TTO-inclusion. The mean TTO exposure was 0.385 mg daily. The number of foot deodorant spray use-reports was 434, with 152 linked to TTO-inclusion. Fifty-nine of 331 product use-reports for body deodorant sprays were used to assess TTO exposure. The mean TTO exposures were 6.319 mg daily for foot deodorant sprays and 0.706 mg daily for body deodorant sprays. For face cleansers, 513 reports could be linked to product-specific data on TTO-inclusion. The mean TTO exposure was 0.646 mg daily. Other product use-reports included 445 use-reports of shower and body wash gels and 82 use-reports of body scrub products. The mean daily TTO exposure for shower and body wash gels was 0.714 mg.

Results from this study indicate a significant positive correlation between TTO focus and frequency of product use daily for body lotion (P<0.0001), hand cream (P<0.0001), face cleanser (P=0.0006), shampoo (P=0.0054), and shower and body wash (P=0.0064). In other words, the more consumers look for TTO when buying these products, the more often they are likely to use the products and vice versa.

A significant negative correlation was seen between frequency of daily use and amount of product applied per application for body lotion (P=0.0017), hand cream (P=0.0001), face cleanser (P<0.0001), shampoo (P<0.0001), shower and body wash (P=0.0023), and blemish-spot treatment (P=0.0006). As a consumer uses these products more often, he or she uses a smaller amount each time.

The frequency of TTO-containing product use daily was higher than that of respective general product categories, and the distribution curve characteristics for the amount of product used per application were lower than personal care products (PCPs) in general, as reported in earlier studies.

These results show that consumption patterns of TTO-containing PCPs can be very different from those of PCPs in general. “From this, it does not seem to be appropriate to evaluate the toxicological safety of TTO as [an] ingredient of PCPs from exposure data on ‘generic’ types of PCPs,” writes the author.

The author acknowledges that the lack of consumption data on TTO-containing cosmetics for more European countries prevents extending the results beyond the five surveyed countries. This study presented other challenges, such as dealing with the off-label use and the possibility that multiperson use of the products could have inflated the amounts used.

“This is, to our knowledge, the first single source study to enable the calculation of consumer exposure to a particular ingredient of cosmetic products across several countries as a contribution to the safety assessment of TTO in consumer cosmetic products,” writes the author. Results of the study could help guide future research on consumers’ exposure to certain ingredients in cosmetics and other types of products.

This study was financed by ATTIA Ltd, with financial support from the Australian Commonwealth through the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

Resource:

Rieder BO. Consumer exposure to certain ingredients of cosmetic products: The case for tea tree oil. Food Chem Toxicol. 2017;108(Part A):326-338.

A GUIDE TO COCOA BUTTER

Most commonly identified as the ingredient that gives chocolate its substance, consistency, and melting property, Cocoa Butter is a rich natural fat derived from the cacao beans contained inside the pods of the Cacao Tree. This botanical is also recognized as the Cacao Tree and the Chocolate Tree, the latter name being derived from the Mayan term “Xocolatl” – their word for chocolate, which they derived from the Cacao tree. The difference between the words Cocoa and Cacao is that Cacao is the name given to the raw, unprocessed beans found in their fruit pods, whereas Cocoa is the name given to the beans after they have been harvested and processed.

Cocoa itself has been given several nicknames, the most common one being Theobroma, meaning Food of the Gods. The word ‘chocolate’ is derived from the Aztec word Cacahuatl, meaning “black nut,” “cacao fruit,” or “gods’ food.” Cacahuatl is the same name that was given to the human hearts that were offered as sacrifices to the gods or to the sun, in order to appease them. Chocolate was also used to sanctify the commencement of these sacrifices. For the Mayans, the Cacao tree was similarly believed to have a divine origin and to not only span the wide separation between Heaven and Earth in order to connect the two but to also preserve life while representing a portal to death.

In West Africa, where more than half of the world’s commercial cocoa is produced, and in parts of Central and South America as well as in the Caribbean – countries to which they are indigenous – Cacao beans have been harvested for centuries to create Cocoa Butter. This smooth emollient with a mild aroma has been used for centuries as a moisturizer that heals and protects skin and hair that is exposed to the harsh effects of the sun and the wind. For years, this pale-yellow, edible vegetable fat has been used in the manufacturing of toiletries and pharmaceuticals. Cocoa Butter has also been used traditionally for culinary purposes, such as in the production of chocolate, of which the butter is also a by-product. Aside from its culinary and medicinal applications, Cacao beans were used as currency and continue to be used as such in parts of South America.

As early as 1500-400 BC, the community of The Olmecs discovered that the Cacao tree’s fruits were not only edible but that the fruit could be processed for a multitude of purposes that all resulted in the creation of different flavors along the course of their development. One of the first discoveries made about the Cacao tree’s fruit was that crushing its beans and mixing them with water, spices, chilies, and herbs produced a drink that they referred to as Chocolate, a bitter beverage often reserved for priests, royalty, and other members of the elite classes. In 600 BC and in 400 AD, the Mayans and the Aztecs respectively established effective techniques for cultivating Cacao, which came to symbolize abundance. Cacao beans eventually began to be used as both a monetary unit and a measuring unit. Aztec religious rituals often involved offerings of Cacao beans to the god Quetzalcoatl, who was believed to have gifted humanity with the Cacao tree, which had previously been reserved for only the gods. The beans were also offered in rituals dedicated to the Mayan patron saint of Cacao as well as in funerals of noblemen.

Over time, the Cacao fruit came to be known for its medicinal properties, being used to address intestinal infections and diarrhea, to regulate the thyroid, to reduce secretions, and to work as a mild stimulant. The tree’s young leaves were found to be advantageous for disinfecting wounds, while the peels of the beans were applied in remedies for diabetes as well as ailments affecting the liver, bladder, and kidneys. Cacao beans and leaves were brewed into concoctions for addressing cough, asthma, colic, loss of appetite, weakness, malaria, fractures, parasites, pneumonia, and poisoning. Lastly, the butter made of the beans was used to soothe and relieve fatigue, split lip, uncomfortable skin conditions, and burns.

According to historical sources, in 1502 Columbus and his crew became the first Europeans to come in contact with Cacao beans. The story goes that in the Bay of Honduras during the fourth voyage, they first spotted what would eventually come to be known as “Brown Gold” at the bottom of a canoe, which belonged to the aboriginals of New Spain, who used the beans as currency – money that literally grew on trees. Having been mistaken for almonds, the potential value of the beans could not be predicted or appreciated, thus they went dismissed.

Despite Columbus and his crew being the first to find the beans, it was the Spanish Conquistador Hernando Cortez, who introduced the Cacao tree to Europe. It is believed that while visiting the Aztec community, he shared a chocolate drink with their emperor, after which he introduced the drink and its brewing equipment to the Spanish court in 1528. At this time, chocolate was still not foreseen to be a potentially significant international trade commodity, but after winning the war against Native tribes and after the collapse of the Aztec civilization, Cortez increased his efforts to cultivate the Cacao tree in New Spain, intending to develop a profitable trade with Europe.

The cultivation of Cacao trees in Europe soon migrated East, eventually allowing them to become an international botanical. In 1828, a scientist named Conrad Von Houten invented the Cocoa press to extract a purer chocolate. It was during the Cacao bean pressing process that Cocoa Butter was discovered.

COCOA BUTTER BENEFITS

The main chemical constituents of Cocoa Butter are Oleic Acids, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Arachidic Acid, Palmitoleic Acid, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, alpha-Linolenic Acid, and Phytosterols (namely Stigmasterol).

OLEIC ACIDS (OMEGA 9) are known to:

  • Maintain the softness, suppleness, and radiance of skin and hair
  • Stimulate the growth of thicker, longer, and stronger hair
  • Reduce the appearance of aging, such as premature wrinkles and fine lines
  • Eliminate dandruff and thereby support hair growth
  • Boost immunity
  • Exhibit antioxidant properties
  • Prevent joint inflammation, stiffness, and pain
  • Impact the hardness or softness of the butter

STEARIC ACID is known to:

  • Have cleansing properties that purge dirt, sweat, and excess sebum from hair and skin
  • Be an ideal emulsifying agent that binds water and oil
  • Help products remain potent when stored for long periods of time
  • Condition and protect hair from damage without diminishing luster or making it feel heavy
  • Have exceptional cleansing properties
  • Soften skin
  • Provides the butter with a solid consistency

PALMITIC ACID is known to:

  • Have emollient properties
  • Soften hair without leaving a greasy or sticky residue
  • Be the most common saturated fatty acid

LINOLEIC ACID (OMEGA 6/Vitamin F) is known to:

  • Moisturize hair and promote its growth
  • Facilitate wound healing
  • Be an effective emulsifier in the formulation of soaps and quick-drying oils
  • Exhibit anti-inflammatory properties
  • Soothe acne and reduce chances of future outbreaks
  • Promote moisture retention in skin and hair
  • Make oils feel thinner in consistency when used in an oil blend, thus being beneficial for use on acne-prone skin
  • Soothe and promote the healing of skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis
  • Slow the look of premature aging

ARACHIDIC ACID is known to:

  • Enhance and promote muscle gain/mass by boosting the body’s inflammatory responses
  • Boost immunity
  • Ease symptoms of depression
  • Soothe pain and discomfort associated with arthritis
  • Reduce weight

PALMITOLEIC ACID is known to:

  • Delay the appearance of premature aging
  • Moisturize and tighten the skin
  • Promote the growth of shiny hair
  • Enhance the brightness of the complexion
  • Boost the growth of healthy-looking nails
  • Enhance skin elasticity to prevent symptoms of premature aging, such as wrinkles

VITAMIN E is known to:

  • Have antioxidant properties that slow the look of aging and boost circulation
  • Repair scarred and blemished skin
  • Prevent moisture loss from skin and hair
  • Offer soothing relief to skin that has been burned
  • Deeply cleanse pores and balance oil production

VITAMIN K is known to:

  • Boost the body’s ability to clot blood, thereby facilitating the healing of wounds and bruises
  • Reduce swelling and bruising
  • Helping prevent acne and reduce the appearance of scars caused by acne
  • Slow the look of aging by preventing wrinkles
  • Regenerate hair strands and promote regrowth

ALPHA-LINOLENIC ACID (OMEGA-3) is known to:

  • Lessen inflammation
  • Control blood clotting on the skin
  • Soothe joint pain and ease stiffness to improve flexibility

PHYTOSTEROLS (STIGMASTEROL) is known to:

  • Have skin lightening properties
  • Effectively soften dry, brittle hair
  • Ease frizzy hair
  • Have anti-inflammatory properties
  • Exhibit anti-aging effects
  • Improve blood circulation

Used topically, Cocoa Butter melts at body temperature and works to naturally soothe dry, sensitive skin while reducing and preventing the appearance of scars and unwanted marks. Its richness in vitamins and anti-oxidants makes it ideal for use as a moisturizer that promotes skin health and relieves the itching, chapping, peeling, or burning discomfort associated with conditions such as eczema and dermatitis. By creating a protective barrier between skin and the harsh, weathering environmental elements, Cocoa Butter’s saturated fats allow the skin to retain its required moisture, thereby restoring the health of remaining on the skin for hours despite being easily absorbed. The polyphenols in Cocoa Butter are known to diminish the appearance of aging by enhancing skin’s moisture content, skin tone, elasticity, and collagen production. By virtue of these polyphenols, Cocoa Butter is reputed to avert skin sensitivities, damage, and degeneration. By deeply penetrating skin to offer intense hydration, Cocoa Butter boosts dermal circulation while facilitating the reparation of damaged skin as well as the growth of newer, healthier skin that looks and feels younger, softer, and smoother. Cocoa Butter is believed to have photoprotective properties that serve to protect the skin from harmful UV radiation. It can also be used to protect against frostbite or even indoor heat.

Used in hair, Cocoa Butter moisturizes to strengthen strands and make them more manageable, which in turn prevents breakage and subsequent hair loss. While repairing damaged strands, Cocoa Butter prevents further damage while also replenishing the naturally-occurring oils found in the hair and scalp. By offering intense moisture to the scalp, Cocoa Butter soothes the itchy, flaky, inflamed conditions characteristic of dandruff. For most types of hair, Cocoa Butter makes an effective conditioning hot-oil treatment and, when styling hair, it can be used as a nourishing pomade that reduces frizz, adds shine, intensifies resilience, boosts thickness, and adds volume and strength without weighing the hair down.

Used medicinally, Cocoa Butter works as an anti-inflammatory moisturizer that offers relief to skin afflicted with the swelling, irritation, and redness characteristic of conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and rashes. Cocoa Butter is reputed to naturally enhance the body’s immunity by promoting relaxation. This, in turn, facilitates stress relief by decreasing the feelings of fatigue that can often weaken immunity. Cocoa Butter is gentle enough to use for soothing burns and infections without causing further sensitivities.

Cocoa Butter is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:

  • COSMETIC:  Anti-Oxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, Stimulant, Nutritive, Detoxifying, Revivifying, Moisturizing, Anti-Aging, Rejuvenating.
  • MEDICINAL: Anti-Oxidant, Anti-Inflammatory, Stimulant, Nutritive, Detoxifying, Revivifying, Moisturizing, Anti-Septic, Aphrodisiac, Bactericidal, Emmenagogue, Antispasmodic, Nervine, Uplifting.

CULTIVATING AND HARVESTING QUALITY COCOA BUTTER

The Theobroma cacao botanical, better known as the Cacao Tree, is indigenous to South America’s Amazon basin where it thrives in the hot, damp, still air characteristic of tropical climates. It can be found growing in the rainforest’s understory layer of vegetation among the shrubs, seedlings, young trees, palms, and vines. The Cacao tree is also often found along rivers. When manually planted and cultivated, it is often restricted to regions with steady rainfall year-round or is planted with other crops like Banana trees, Cassava (Tapioca) trees, or other trees with large leaves that will protect it much like it is protected in the forest by the upper layers of growth, such as the canopy layer. Conversely, Cacao trees are grown in full sun in Malaysia and Indonesia, although they are given shade in the process of establishment. Although the trees can live for up to 100 years, those that are cultivated are considered to be economically productive for approximately 60 years.

For optimal growth, Cacao trees require a minimum temperature of 18-21°C (64-70°F) and a maximum of 30-32°C (86-90°F). Cacao trees cultivated for commercial production are restricted to regions where the coldest months have an average minimum temperature of 13°C (55°F), as temperatures lower than this, especially on numerous consecutive nights, can potentially lead to reduced yields. It can also cause defoliation, which is the loss of leaves, or dieback, which is when a plant begins to die from the tips of its leaves going inward, due to the unfavorable environmental conditions. Cacao trees are able to grow on a wide range of soil types but prefer moist soils that are well-drained or that have free-draining mixes and that have a pH close to 6.5.

The Cacao tree can reach a height of up to 20 m. A mature tree grown from a seed has a root system that is comprised of surface lateral roots in the top 20 cm of the soil. As they spread outward horizontally, the roots can form a dense surface feeding “mat” as wide as 5-6 m. Below this layer, the tree has taproots that grow vertically downward to a length of 2 m. This deciduous tree loses its smooth, glossy, oblong, bright green leaves but experiences spurts of new leaf growth 2-4 times per year. When the leaves are still young, they hang vertically and are a flashy shade of red, which makes them less likely to be negatively impacted by damage caused by the intensity of the tropical sun. At the bases of the leaves, there are nodes that change their stiffness according to the temperatures. This allows Cacao leaves to rotate their leaves horizontally as required, in order to get better access to sunlight and to protect other young leaves.

When grown from seed, Cacao saplings form a single vertical main stem called a “Chupon,” which grows to 1.5 m before spreading into layers forming 3-5 branches that collectively comprise a “Jorquette.” These groups of branches grow outward on an angle, forming a fan shape. Upright Chupons or “Suckers” begin to develop below the Jorquettes, growing upward through the fan branches and forming more coiling arrangements of branches. As the tree develops several layers of Jorquettes, each one sequentially weakens and fades out.

When the tree is at least 2-3 years of age, thousands of white flowers develop from the “cushions” – small swellings in the wood – found on the main stem and the fan branches. The flowers are pollinated by insects, mainly midges, and occasionally by bats. The Cacao tree has unusual growth in that it has flowers and fruits at the same time. On Cacao plantations, out of 1000 flowers, only 3 are pollinated and fertilized to grow into fruit. Flowers that are not pollinated will die within 24 hours.

The flowers that are successfully pollinated will form Cacao pods. Due to the high volume of fruit pods produced by the tree – a number so high that it prevents all of the fruits from being carried until maturity – the fruit’s natural thinning mechanism allows young fruits, the “Cherelles,” to stop growing. They begin to blacken and shrivel, a process called Cherelle Wilt; however, they do not fall off the tree. This often makes the tree appear to be diseased, although that may not necessarily be the case. The remaining pods ripen 6 months after pollination but do not fall off the tree either. During the ripening process, most pods change in color from green or deep red to yellow or orange. Some species’ mature pods retain their green color. Often spherical or oblong in shape and with 5-10 longitudinal ridges, the appearance of Cacao pods can be likened to an American football. Cacao beans are further propagated when small mammals such as monkeys break the Cacao pods to eat the fruit pulp, leaving the beans scattered on the ground.

Cacao pods are harvested manually, sometimes over the course of several months, with some growing regions potentially having pods available for harvest year-round. Pulling the Cacao pods off the trees can potentially result in damage to the flower cushion or the bark, thus the pods are typically cut from the trees with the aid of machetes or knives.

cocoaparts

HOW IS COCOA BUTTER EXTRACTED?

There are 2 stages at which Cocoa Butter can begin to be processed from the seeds/beans: Before Germination and After Germination. Cacao seeds that are processed before they have begun to germinate will produce ordinary Cocoa Butter, ranging in color from off-white or light beige to pale-yellow. It may retain the tempting scent of chocolate. On the other hand, Cacao beans that are processed after they are allowed to germinate will produce Black Cocoa Butter, which has the brown color of chocolate and the aroma of roasted cacao.

After the Cacao beans have been harvested, fermented, cleaned, dried, and shelled, they are roasted. Next, they are ground into small bits called “nibs” or into a fine powder, which is added to boiling water and stirred to ensure thorough blending. During the boiling process, the vegetable fat of the Cacao beans rises to the water’s surface and is collected into containers. As this oil cools, it solidifies.

Alternatively, the beans can be pressed or cold-pressed. This involves the groundmass of Cacao beans being placed inside a hydraulic press machine that extracts the liquid known as Cacao Oil, from which Cocoa Butter is produced. The solids that remain inside the press machine are referred to as the Cocoa Cake, which is processed to make Cocoa powder. Cocoa Butter that undergoes Degumming, Bleaching, and Deodorizing is known as Refined Cocoa Butter.

 

QUALITY  PROPERTIES 
Unrefined(Raw/Pure/Organic) This variety…

  • Is Cocoa Butter in its rawest form
  • Is not heated at high temperatures during manufacturing processes, thus it typically retains more of the protective fatty acids, antioxidants, and valuable nutrients found in Cacao beans
  • Is ideal for extra sensitive, dry skin and skin afflicted with conditions like eczema
  • Helps restore skin moisture and health
  • Does not contain alcohol, fragrances/perfumes, or other additives, thereby preventing further inflammation on irritated skin
  • Is gentle enough to be used as a natural remedy for dermatitis or rashes
  • Offers the greatest number of skin and health benefits
  • Is lighter in color (creamy yellow) compared to the deeper yellow of commercial cocoa butters
  • Has the strong distinct aroma of chocolate
  • Resembles margarine in appearance
Refined  This variety…

  • Is colorless and odorless, making it easier to integrate into natural cosmetic recipes
Ultra-Refined  This variety…

  • Is bright white in color
  • Does not have the scent of chocolate
  • Still retains the beneficial properties of Unrefined Cocoa Butter
  • Is stable and emollient
  • Can be added to formulas that are intended to be odorless
  • Blends well with cosmetics that have floral/“designer” fragrances
  • Can be applied in the same manner as Unrefined Cocoa Butter

USES OF COCOA BUTTER

The uses of Cocoa Butter are abundant, ranging from medicinal to cosmetic. Its many forms include massage oils and balms, tanning oils, lotions, creams, soaps, lip balms, lipsticks, shampoos and other hair care products, and ointments or salves.

Used topically, Cocoa Butter can be applied directly to the skin to hydrate and prevent dryness and peeling. The hardness and brittleness of Cocoa Butter can be softened by warming its container in a bowl of hot water to make the butter more spreadable. Alternatively, for a more liquid texture, it can be combined with carrier oils like Coconut, Castor or Jojoba. These blends – specifically Cocoa Butter combined with Jojoba Oil – are reputed to be beneficial for removing dead skin cells and addressing stretch marks, scars, sunburns, and signs of maturing skin.

Cocoa Butter can be applied directly to the skin as a lip balm that heals chapping and protects against harmful UV radiation as well as harsh cold temperatures. To create a natural lip balm that has the additional benefits of essential oils, simply combine and melt 1 tsp. grated Cocoa Butter, ½ tsp. grated Beeswax, and ½ tsp. Unrefined Sunflower Carrier Oil (Walnut and Almond Carrier Oils can be substituted) over low heat in the microwave or on the stove. Once the blend has melted, pour it into lip balm tins, allowing them to set until they solidify. This lip balm can be applied as required.

A small amount of Cocoa Butter can be applied to skin afflicted with burns, rashes, or infections to soothe and replenish skin. Cocoa Butter can be applied to the skin as a soap replacement for a silky-smooth shave that prevents nicks, or it can be applied afterward to soften the skin and reduce the appearance of blemishes. Applied as a lotion after a shower, Cocoa Butter promotes skin health and elasticity while smoothing out rough patches of skin, especially on the elbows and knees. Used in a natural manicure procedure, it can moisturize and soften dry cuticles. For a bath that leaves skin feeling silky and soft, a small chunk of Cocoa Butter can be melted into hot bath water.

To incorporate Cocoa Butter into a natural exfoliating scrub, mix 1/8 cup melted Cocoa Butter with ½ cup Brown Sugar, 3 Tbsp. Cocoa Powder, and ¼ cup Sweet Almond Carrier Oil before rubbing it in gentle circular motions on the skin. This will remove dead skin cells and leave skin looking radiant.

For a creamy, whipped Body Butter that softens and soothes dry, itchy skin, combine and melt ½ cup Cocoa Butter, ½ cup Shea Butter, ½ cup Organic Coconut Carrier Oil, and ½ cup Almond Carrier Oil stirring constantly. Remove the mixture from the heat and allow it to cool before adding 20 drops Lavender Essential Oil. Allow the mixture to harden in the fridge for 1 hour, then use a hand mixer to whip it until the texture is fluffy. Return this whipped butter to the fridge for 15 minutes before transferring it to a glass jar for an easier topical application.

Used in hair, Cocoa Butter can reduce frizz if a dime-sized amount is smoothed directly onto the strands before styling. It makes an ideal pre-shower conditioning treatment if melted before being applied to the hair; however, this hot oil treatment should not be left on the hair for longer than 20 minutes, as it will solidify at room temperature. This means it can potentially harden in the hair and become difficult to wash out. To use Cocoa Butter as a hair conditioner in the shower, it can be melted and added to a regular conditioner, or a nickel-size amount can be applied directly to the ends of the hair and left in for up to 4 minutes before being washed out. To prevent hair from looking and feeling greasy and heavy, avoid applying plain Cocoa Butter directly to the scalp.

For a more liquid leave-in hair conditioner, 2 Tbsp. of Cocoa Butter can be combined with 1 Tbsp. of Coconut Carrier Oil and melted thoroughly together in a double-boiler. Add 1 Tbsp. of Jojoba Carrier Oil to this mix and allow the blend to cool until it begins to harden. Before it becomes completely solidified, whip the blend with a hand blender for up to 5 minutes before applying it to the hair. Strands will feel softer and more manageable, and wavy or curly hair will appear to be more defined. For an overnight Coca Butter hair conditioner, combine and melt ½ cup Cocoa Butter, 2 Tbsp. Organic Coconut Oil, and 2 Tsp. Vitamin E liquid, stirring constantly. Remove the blend from the heat and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before transferring it to an airtight container. Next, add 6 drops Vanilla Essential Oil to the container and freeze the blend for 15 minutes. After the container has been taken out and the mix has been allowed to soften, it can be applied to clean, dry hair before bed and rinsed out in the morning. As an overnight treatment, this blend will relieve and reduce dandruff, add shine, and strengthen hair follicles to prevent breakage and loss. Alternatively, it can be applied to hair as a styling product like mousse.

Used medicinally, Cocoa Butter soothes wounds, burns, and skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, rashes when applied directly to the affected areas. Applied in a therapeutic massage, it may even relieve the body of feelings of fatigue. To enhance the body’s natural immunity, blend 60 g (2 oz.) of Cocoa Butter with 5 drops of Geranium Essential Oil, 5 drops of Ylang Ylang Essential Oil, 5 drops of Lemon Essential Oil, and 5 drops of Jojoba Carrier Oil before massaging it into the preferred area of skin. For a Cocoa Butter blend with medicinal and protective properties that also work to boost collagen retention for healthier skin, blend ½ cup of Cocoa Butter with ½ cup of Shea Butter, ½ cup of Coconut Oil, and ½ cup of Olive Carrier Oil. A few drops of any essential oil can be added for scent, but this step is optional. This blend can be gently massaged into the skin then washed off after 15 minutes.

A GUIDE TO COCOA BUTTER VARIETIES & THEIR BENEFITS

 

COCOA BUTTER (POYA BRAND) 
Is known to…

  • Be off-white in color
  • Have a soft, velvety texture and a pleasant chocolatey aroma
  • Have emollient properties that make it an ideal ingredient for a moisturizer
  • Readily melt into skin and lock in moisture to keep it hydrated
  • Be rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols
  • Be rich in fatty acids such as Stearic, Palmitic, and Oleic acids
  • Help protect the skin’s moisture barrier
  • Protect the skin against the harsh effects of environmental elements
  • Reduce the appearance of scars, improve skin tone, and boost the overall feel of skin
  • Promote skin elasticity and suppleness
  • Have superior soothing properties
COCOA BUTTER – ULTRA REFINED – DEODORIZED 
Is known to…

  • Be processed and refined to obtain a white, scent-free butter
  • Be solid and hard at room temperature
  • Melts on contact with the skin
  • Reduce dryness
  • Improve skin elasticity
  • Make an ideal ointment base
  • Smooth the skin and prevent dehydration
  • Slow the look of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines
  • Address dry, chapping, peeling, burning skin
  • Nourish hair, boost its growth, and reduce hair fall
  • Be an ideal ingredient in natural lotions, creams, lip balms, bar soaps, hair conditioners, and body butters
COCOA BUTTER – PURE PRIME PRESSED – CRUDE 
 

Is known to…

  • Be carefully processed to maintain its purity and natural properties
  • Be one of the most stable fats
  • Soothe and moisturize skin that has been exposed to the elements to keep it supple
  • Be an excellent ingredient in recipes for lotion bars, lip balms, body butters, and soaps
  • Contain natural antioxidants that prevent rancidity
  • Have a hard consistency at room temperature
  • Melt at body temperature
  • Have a medium to strong scent like a strong, bitter chocolate
  • Be an organic virgin butter
  • Retain the characteristic soft, sweet scent of chocolate
  • Be widely used in the cosmetic and soap industries
  • Be beneficial for reducing the appearance of scars, stretch marks, and wrinkles
  • Be ideal for manufacturing candles and skin products such as moisturizers and lip balms
COCOA ORGANIC BUTTER 
Is known to…

  • Be suitable for use in organic cosmetics and toiletries
  • Be from the organically grown fruit of the Theobroma cacao botanical
  • Be processed and refined to produce a white, odorless butter
  • Be solid at room temperature
  • Melt readily on contact with the skin

Cosmetic butters are for external use only. Cocoa Butter should not be ingested and should not be stored within the reach of children, in case of accidental ingestion. As with all butters, a patch test should be conducted on the inner arm or other generally insensitive area of skin, using a dime size amount of Cocoa Butter to check for sensitivities. An absence of an allergic response within 48 hours indicates that the butter is safe to use. Individuals with allergies to nuts are at a higher risk of developing an allergy to Cocoa Butter and should avoid its use.

Potential side effects of Cocoa Butter include skin irritation, hives, itching, red and bumpy skin rashes, swelling, adult acne, peeling, and blistering that feels like a burn. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent these side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.

IN ESSENCE…

    • Cocoa Butter is a rich natural fat derived from the cacao beans contained inside the pods of the Cocoa/Cacao Tree.
    • Cacao is the name given to the raw, unprocessed beans found in their fruit pods, whereas Cocoa is the name given to the beans after they have been harvested and processed.
    • Used topically, Cocoa Butter melts at body temperature and works to naturally soothe dry, sensitive skin while reducing and preventing the appearance of scars and unwanted marks. It is believed to have photoprotective properties that protect against harmful UV radiation.
    • Used in hair, Cocoa Butter moisturizes strands to make them more manageable. While repairing damage, Cocoa Butter replenishes naturally-occurring oils, adds volume and shine, boosts strength and resilience, increases thickness, and reduces frizz.
  • Used medicinally, Cocoa Butter works as an anti-inflammatory moisturizer that offers relief to skin afflicted with swelling, irritation, and redness. It is reputed to enhance the body’s immunity by promoting relaxation, and it is gentle enough to use for on burns and infections without causing further sensitivities.

Rejuvenate with Mango Butter

Considered to be India’s “King of Fruits,” the Mangifera indica botanical – better known as the Mango Tree – yields a fruit containing the source of the emollient known as Mango Butter. Other names by which it is called include Mango Kernel Fat and Mango Oil. “Manna,” the Malayalam word for the fruit, was adopted as “Manga” by the Portuguese, who traveled to Kerala in 1498 for the spice trade. “Mango,” the English and Spanish name for the fruit, is most likely derived from this.

In Asia and South-East Asia, the Mango fruit has been used in traditional medicine for its healing, moisturizing, and rejuvenating properties. In the medicinal system of Ayurveda, the Mangifera indica herb has been used for over 4000 years with the belief that it had the ability to strengthen the heart, improve brain activity, and increase the body’s immunity. The natural fat derived from the fruit’s seeds is what is referred to as the butter, which shares the same reputation as its fruit source.

The national fruit of India, Mangoes are deeply intertwined with the country’s folklore and religious ceremonies. According to historical sources, Akbar the Great, the most well-known Mughal Emperor, planted around 100,000 mango trees in India’s Eastern parts. According to the Buddhist view, it is believed that a high-class courtesan donated her Mango grove to the Buddha and his companions so that they might have a place to rest. In this orchard, the Buddha continued to teach his monks lessons on the topics of concentration, morality, and wisdom.

Mango trees have been cultivated and harvested in India for thousands of years and were introduced to the Western Hemisphere around 1700, after initially being planted in Brazil. Around 1740, they were introduced to the West Indies, and eventually, they made their way to the Americas. In the 1930s, Mango Butter was one of the fats that were considered for use as an alternative to Cocoa Butter in the context of creating confectionary products; however, further studies showed that its significant amounts of tocopherol, phytosterols, and triterpenes also contributed to its potential as an effective ingredient for natural cosmetic formulations.

BENEFITS OF USING MANGO BUTTER

The main chemical constituents of Mango Butter are Oleic Acid, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Linoleic Acid, Arachidic Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin E.

OLEIC ACIDS (OMEGA 9) are known to:

  • Maintain the softness, suppleness, and radiance of skin and hair
  • Stimulate the growth of thicker, longer, and stronger hair
  • Reduce the appearance of aging, such as premature wrinkles and fine lines
  • Eliminate dandruff and thereby support hair growth
  • Boost immunity
  • Exhibit anti-oxidant properties
  • Prevent joint inflammation, stiffness, and pain
  • Impact the hardness or softness of the butter

STEARIC ACID is known to:

  • Have cleansing properties that purge dirt, sweat, and excess sebum from hair and skin
  • Be an ideal emulsifying agent that binds water and oil
  • Help products remain potent when stored for long periods of time
  • Condition and protect hair from damage without diminishing luster or making it feel heavy
  • Have exceptional cleansing properties
  • Soften skin
  • Provides the butter with a solid consistency

PALMITIC ACID is known to:

  • Have emollient properties
  • Soften hair without leaving a greasy or sticky residue
  • Be the most common saturated fatty acid

LINOLEIC ACID (OMEGA 6/Vitamin F) is known to:

  • Moisturize hair and promote its growth
  • Facilitate wound healing
  • Be an effective emulsifier in the formulation of soaps and quick-drying oils
  • Exhibit anti-inflammatory properties
  • Soothe acne and reduce chances of future outbreaks
  • Promote moisture retention in skin and hair
  • Make oils feel thinner in consistency when used in an oil blend, thus being beneficial for use on acne-prone skin
  • Soothe and promote the healing of skin conditions like eczema and dermatitis
  • Slow the look of premature aging

ARACHIDIC ACID is known to:

  • Enhance and promote muscle gain/mass by boosting the body’s inflammatory responses
  • Boost immunity
  • Ease symptoms of depression
  • Soothe pain and discomfort associated with arthritis
  • Reduce weight

VITAMIN A is known to:

  • Protect skin against damage caused by UV radiation
  • Slow the appearance of aging by smoothing wrinkles and fine lines
  • Stimulate production of collagen
  • Stimulate cells regeneration to keep skin healthy, strong, and firm
  • Facilitate faster healing of wounds
  • Protect skin against toxins and bacteria and promotes cell production, thus boosting immunity
  • Lighten unwanted blemishes and dark spots, thus balancing skin tone to create an even glow
  • Slow the production of oil in the skin and clears pores, thereby preventing acne breakouts

VITAMIN C is known to:

  • Exhibit anti-oxidant properties
  • Promote collagen synthesis that gives skin a smoother appearance
  • Help reduce and soothe damage caused by ultraviolet radiation
  • Brighten and even out skin tone
  • Shield skin from the noticeable effects of pollution
  • Significantly improve skin’s moisture content, thus sustaining a youthful look for a longer period of time

VITAMIN E is known to:

  • Have antioxidant properties that slow the look of aging and boost circulation
  • Repair scarred and blemished skin
  • Prevent moisture loss from skin and hair
  • Offer soothing relief to skin that has been burned
  • Deeply cleanse pores and balance oil production

Used topically, Mango Butter’s creamy, long-lasting emollience nourishes skin and boosts its elasticity as well as its suppleness, thereby reducing the appearance of fine lines and tightening skin for a firmer appearance. Its high vitamin content protects skin against harsh environmental stressors and damage caused by overexposure to harmful UV radiation. Its ability to easily melt on skin contact and penetrate into the skin without leaving a greasy residue makes Mango Butter an ideal ingredient in sun care products, balms, and hair care products such as those intended to control frizz. Its gentle quality makes it an ideal ingredient in baby moisturizers and products for sensitive skin.

Mango Butter is known to boost skin’s luster and natural radiance while reducing the appearance of dark spots. Along with softening and soothing properties, it cleanses the skin’s surface of impurities and unblocks pores. The anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties of Mango Butter make it an effective soothing agent for skin afflicted by dryness, eczema, and dermatitis. By restoring and maintaining moisture levels and by boosting cell regeneration, Mango Butter leaves skin looking plump, thereby promoting a rejuvenated, revitalized appearance.

Used in hair, Mango Butter works as an effective scalp conditioner that seals in moisture and reduces breakage and hair loss by strengthening hair follicles. It protects hair from drying, thereby controlling frizz and boosting volume to keep it looking and feeling soft, lush, and lustrous. By sustaining moisture and promoting cell regeneration, Mango Butter encourages the growth of stronger, healthier hair. When applied to hair before sun exposure, Mango Butter is known to exhibit sun protectant properties to help guard the strands against the harmful effects of UV radiation.

Used medicinally, Mango Butter works as an agent that facilitates the process of eliminating toxins, dirt, pollution, and other impurities from the skin. Its soothing quality makes it ideal for use on skin afflicted by itching, stinging, burning, and stretch marks. When used in a therapeutic massage, Mango Butter penetrates gently yet deeply into the skin and applies its soothing power to tense and aching muscles. Due to its non-comedogenic property, Mango Butter can benefit acne-prone and oily skin, when used as a facial moisturizer.

 Mango Butter is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:

  • COSMETIC: Regenerative, Protective, Anti-Oxidant, Anti-Aging, Softening, Soothing, Moisturizing.
  • MEDICINAL: Regenerative, Protective, Anti-Oxidant, Anti-Aging, Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Microbial, Analgesic.

CULTIVATING AND HARVESTING QUALITY MANGO BUTTER

Native to India and has been around for the same approximate length as Ayurvedic medicine, Mango trees belong to the Anacardiaceae family along with cashews and pistachios. Mango trees grow in approximately 1000 varieties and have become a multi-national botanical that can be found throughout various sub-tropical and tropical lowlands around the world, including the Americas, Mexico, Brazil, the Caribbean, Africa, Indonesia, and China.

Mango trees are typically propagated by chip budding, approach grafting, and veneer grafting found to be thriving in sandy loam soil types with adequate drainage. They may also be cultivated in landscapes ranging from coastal regions to midlands. They will not grow particularly well in heavy, wet soils. For optimal growth, they require a pH between 5.2 and 7.5.

Saplings of this evergreen tree produce leaves that are reddish brown. Once they mature, the leaves turn dark green and the trees can grow to a height of 130 feet. The inflorescence of approximately 3000 small, fragrant flowers – usually white-red or yellow-green in color – begins to grow in bunches at different times of the year, depending on the individual tree’s region of growth and its required climatic conditions. One tree produces both male and female flowers, which produce the succulent Mango fruit.

The matured fruit – considered to be a drupe – comes in a variety of color combinations, including the following: yellow, green, yellow and green, red and green, red and yellow, and orange. The shape of the fruit also varies and can include round, heart, oval, or kidney shapes. Pre- and post-harvest conditions such as grafting, fertilization, pruning, and pest control affect the final quality of Mangoes in terms of their size, taste, essential nutrients, vitamins, and mineral content. Factors that negatively impact Mango quality include pests, disease, inopportune harvesting time, ripening conditions, and a lack of appropriate storage facilities.

Depending on the variety of tree and the weather conditions, Mango fruits can begin to ripen 3-5 months after flowering. The fruit is made up of a thick outer Skin, known as the Epicarp or Exocarp. This protects the thick, yellow, fleshy Mesocarp or the Pulp layer inside. The single hard, flat inner Endocarp is commonly referred to as the Stone or the Pit. This contains a single inner Endosperm commonly referred to as the Seed, which is oblong or ovoid in shape and covered in a Seed Coat.

mango_parts

Generally, Mangoes are harvested while in a firm yet mature stage of greenness, often ripening further after being harvested and during the transport and storage phases of production. Some varieties of Mango fruits are considered mature when the fruit’s skin has a slight blush to its color and its pulp has changed in color from white to yellow. It is legitimately mature when the “nose” or the Beak – the pointy tip at the opposite end of the stem – has rounded out.

The ideal harvest practice that achieves optimal fruit quality is the method of removing fruits from the trees by hand-picking them rather than beating them with sticks to make them drop to the ground. If the fruits are harvested incorrectly, their stems may release a milky sap called Latex, which is produced by the tree and which begins to congeal when exposed to air. If latex is left on the fruit’s skin, the skin will turn black. In order to reduce the amount of latex, the fruits should be detached from their trees with small amounts of the stems remaining attached to the fruits. As an alternative to handpicking the fruits, harvesting machinery may also be used. One commonly used machine is made up of a pouch that has a divider and scissors or a knife at the front of the pouch. The pouch is placed directly below the fruit in order to catch it the moment its stem is placed between the divider and the scissors/knife cut through the stalk. The collected fruits travel through a nylon chute and into collection containers. To prevent the fruits from bruising from impact, they are stored in boxes or crates rather than sacks.

HOW IS MANGO BUTTER EXTRACTED?

Mango Butter is typically extracted by Expeller- or Cold-Pressing de-shelled Mango fruit seeds. The oil-bearing Mango seeds are placed inside a hydraulic press machine. They undergo high pressure and friction in order to release their oils, which seep through small openings at the bottom of the pressing barrel. These openings are small enough to prevent Mango fibers from leaving the barrel. The resultant butter is light in color with a faint scent that retains its nutritive value.

Mango Butter may also be obtained through Solvent Extraction: First, the seeds are collected and washed immediately with water. Next, they are dried under the sun to reduce their moisture content. After being roasted inside a drum roaster, they have their hulls removed mechanically. Alternatively, they are manually beaten with wooden clubs. The seed pieces are sent to a hammer mill where they are placed into a pellet-making machine and turned into pellets. These are placed inside a cooler, then they are transported to the plant for solvent extraction.

After the Mango Butter has been extracted from the fruit seeds, it is heated and boiled to a rich and creamy consistency. The final product is solid at room temperature with a consistency that resembles slightly firmer Jojoba esters. Melting easily with body heat, Mango Butter’s light yet protective moisturizing layer is easily absorbed by the skin, leaving it feeling satiny rather than greasy. The subtle, slightly sweet and fatty scent of Mango Butter is not like the fruit, as it is derived from the seed rather than the fruit’s flesh. Mango Butter that undergoes Bleaching and Deodorizing is known as Refined Mango Butter. Its color ranges from whitish or creamy to slightly yellowish.

USES OF MANGO BUTTER

The uses of Mango Butter are abundant, ranging from medicinal to cosmetic. Its many forms include massage oils, massage creams, and massage balms, lotions, creams, gels, ointments or salves, soaps, lip balms, lipsticks, sun care, foot care, shampoos, conditioners, hot-oil treatments, and other hair care products.

Used topically, Mango Butter protects skin against the harsh effects of environmental elements, effectively reduces the formation and appearance of wrinkles, and helps repair dry, damaged skin. Mango Butter can be applied directly to matured, cracking, peeling, chapping, irritated, itchy, rough, or tough skin. Applied as is, it is ideal for skin conditions requiring deep hydration and conditioning to heal faster. It can be applied to skin that will be or has been exposed or overexposed to the sun. It can also be applied directly to insect bites, rashes, and eczema to soothe itching and to facilitate the healing of minor cuts or cracks caused by dryness. The light texture of Mango Butter and its non-comedogenic property makes it an ideal moisturizer for the face and neck.

Mango Butter can be used directly as a mild lotion or cream, even on sensitive skin. Furthermore, to enhance its ability to boost skin’s sebum secretion, which in turn promotes younger and softer skin, Mango Butter can be blended with a natural carrier oil such as Jojoba. For a moisturizing alternative to soap, skin can be washed with Mango Butter in the shower, or it can be used as an alternative to shaving cream. To prevent stretch marks with Mango Butter, combine it with equal parts of Coconut Carrier Oil and massage it onto the affected areas.

To reduce the appearance of blemishes and dark spots with Mango Butter, it can be added to a regular moisturizer. Alternatively, it can be made into a spot treatment balm: Combine 2 Tbsp. of Mango Butter, ½ tsp. of Rosehip Essential Oil, and ¼ tsp. Vitamin E liquid inside a 4 oz. jar, then mix the ingredients with a popsicle stick. To this mixture, add 3 drops of Lavender Essential Oil and 3 drops of Helichrysum Essential Oil to enhance the balm’s effectiveness in healing blemishes. Apply this balm to the affected areas of skin.

Used in hair, Mango Butter locks in moisture nourishes the scalp and prevents hair loss. To create a conditioning Mango Butter blend that controls dandruff, dryness, and itchiness, mix 1 Tbsp. of Mango Butter with 5 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil. Gently massage the blend into the scalp, then wrap the hair with a warm towel for 1 hour to allow it to penetrate into the scalp. Rinse the hair with a mild shampoo. For a moisturizing leave-in conditioner that is especially beneficial for thick or curly hair, melt ¼ cup of Mango Butter in a double boiler. Next, stir in 1 tsp. Avocado Carrier Oil, 2 tsp. Aloe Vera Gel and 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil. Pour this mixture into a blender and, before turning it on, place the blending jar into the refrigerator for 15 minutes until the mixture has hardened. Next, blend the mixture until it reaches a creamy texture. This blend can be stored in a mason jar and applied to only the ends of damp hair, rather than the scalp.

Used medicinally, Mango Butter eases tension, fatigue, and muscle aches, especially when used in a massage. Applied directly to the skin, Mango Butter’s emollience helps promotes cell regeneration, which maintains the appearance of youthful skin. Mango Butter can be applied directly to the skin to soothe the symptoms of eczema, rashes, minor wounds, frostbite, and insect bites. To calm sunburned skin with Mango Butter, melt 2 Tbsp. Mango Butter in a double boiler, then thoroughly mix in 2 tsp. Aloe Vera Gel. Next, add 3 drops Sea Buckthorn Carrier Oil and 3 drops Peppermint Essential Oil. Refrigerate this blend for 15 minutes before whipping it with a hand mixer until it reaches a creamy texture. Gently massage this mix onto the sunburned or otherwise damaged skin. To properly store this balm, keep it in a cool, dark, dry place.

To reduce the appearance of scars with the aid of Mango Butter, a scar balm can be made by first thoroughly melting together 2 Tbsp. Mango Butter, 2 Tbsp. Shea Butter, and 2 Tbsp. Cocoa Butter in a double boiler. Next, stir in 7 drops Lavender Essential Oil, 7 drops Helichrysum Essential Oil, and 4 drops Carrot Seed Essential Oil. Gently massage this mix onto areas of skin affected by scars. To properly store this balm, keep it in a lidded glass jar in a cool, dark, dry place.

To facilitate the healing of wounds with the aid of Mango Butter, it can be made into a soothing salve. First, melt 2 Tbsp. of Mango Butter with equal amounts of Beeswax and Coconut Carrier Oil, then add 5 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil. Pour this blend into a lidded glass jar and allow it to cool and harden before gently applying it to minor wounds. To properly store this balm, keep it in a cool, dark, dry place.

A GUIDE TO MANGO BUTTER VARIETIES & THEIR BENEFITS

MANGO BUTTER (POYA BRAND) 
Is known to…

  • Be ultra-refined and deodorized
  • Be customizable to personal scent preferences
  • Be intensely hydrating without leaving a greasy residue
  • Soothe and soften rough, dry skin
  • Promote skin elasticity
  • Promote a healthy-looking scalp
  • Be ideal for use as a lip balm or in lotions and creams
MANGO BUTTER – ULTRA REFINED 
Is known to…

  • Be expeller-pressed from the Mango Seed
  • Be refined to remove any color or scent
  • Be soft but solid at room temperature and slightly grainy in texture
  • Melts on contact with the skin
  • Be rich in anti-oxidants and emollients as well as Vitamins A and E
  • Soften and moisturize rough and dry skin
  • Naturally, reducing the appearance of fine lines
  • Be ideal in formulations for lotions, body butters, balms, soaps, shaving creams, hair care products, and lip balms

Cosmetic butters are for external use only. Mango Butter should not be ingested and should not be stored within the reach of children, in case of accidental ingestion. As with all butters, a patch test should be conducted on the inner arm or another generally insensitive area of skin, using a dime size amount of Mango Butter to check for sensitivities. An absence of an allergic response within 48 hours indicates that the butter is safe to use.

Potential side effects of Mango Butter include nervousness, increased urination, sleeplessness, and rapid heartbeats. Mango Butter may potentially cause side effects that have not been listed here. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent these side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.

IN ESSENCE…

  • Mango Butter is a rich natural fat derived from the seeds contained inside the pits of the Mango fruit.
  • Traditionally, Mango Butter was believed to have the ability to strengthen the heart, improve brain activity, and increase the body’s immunity.
  • Used topically, Mango Butter’s long-lasting emollience nourishes skin and boosts its elasticity as well as its suppleness, thereby making skin look smoother and firmer.
  • Used in hair, Mango Butter seals in moisture and reduces breakage and hair loss by strengthening hair follicles, thereby encouraging the growth of stronger, healthier hair.
  • Used medicinally, Mango Butter facilitates the process of eliminating toxins, dirt, pollution, and other impurities from the skin. Its soothing quality makes it ideal for use on skin afflicted by itching, stinging, burning, and stretch marks.

Skin Health: Benefits of Black Cumin Seed Oil

Black Cumin Seed Carrier Oil is derived from the seeds of the Nigella sativa botanical, better known as the Fennel Flower. It is also commonly known by various other names, including Black Oil, Baraka, Fitch Oil, Kalajira Oil, Kalonji Oil, and Love in a Mist, to name only a few.

For more than 3000 years, Cumin seeds and the oil that they yield have both been used in cosmetic, medicinal, and culinary applications. They were applied as herbal remedies, condiments, and treatments for aches and topical irritations, including bites, sores, inflammation, and rashes. According to historical sources, it is believed that Black Cumin Seed Oil was first used by the Assyrians of ancient Egypt, where it came to be used by renowned royal figures, such as Cleopatra and Nefertiti, who used it in their skincare routines, beautifying baths, and medicinal applications.

In India and the Middle East, Black Cumin seeds – which have a bitter and pungent flavor that can be likened to a blend of black pepper, onions, and oregano – have been dry-roasted and used as a spice and flavor agent in vegetables, pulses, bread, curries, and string cheese. In Ayurveda, Black Cumin Seed Oil has been used in a wide range of applications, mainly for its stimulating, warming, and tonic properties as well as for its uplifting effect on the mood. Traditionally, it was used to address health conditions such as anorexia, sexually-transmitted diseases, and gynecological ailments. It was also believed to be beneficial for stimulating the appetite and metabolism, easing neurological disorders, positively enhancing negative temperaments, and promoting harmony within the body and mind.

According to historical records of Greek physicians in the 1st century, they used Black Cumin Seeds to address toothaches, headaches, nasal congestion, and intestinal worms. Due to the strengthening property of Black Cumin Seed Oil, physicians like Hippocrates prescribed it to patients who experienced general illness and feebleness. Other ancient Greeks used it to stimulate the onset of menstruation and to increase milk production in women. In ‘The Book of Healing,’ author and physician Ibn Sina, also known as Avicenna, accredited Black Cumin Seed with healing abilities, commending it for its invigorating, stimulating, and preventative properties. The book speaks of the seeds as agents for boosting energy and alleviating weakness, exhaustion, sadness, and feelings of discouragement. Furthermore, he endorsed the therapeutic application of Black Cumin seeds for addressing and soothing symptoms of common colds, fever, headaches, topical irritations, wounds, skin disorders, toothaches, and intestinal worms and parasites.

BLACK CUMIN SEED OIL BENEFITS

The main chemical constituents of Black Cumin Seed Carrier Oil are Palmitic Acid, Stearic Acid, Oleic Acid, and Linoleic Acid.

PALMITIC ACID is known to:

  • Have emollient properties
  • Soften hair without leaving a greasy or sticky residue
  • Be the most common saturated fatty acid

STEARIC ACID is known to:

  • Have cleansing properties that eliminate dirt, sweat, and excess sebum from hair and skin
  • Be an ideal emulsifying agent that binds water and oil
  • Help products remain potent when stored for long periods of time
  • Condition and protect hair from damage without diminishing luster or making it feel heavy
  • Have exceptional cleansing properties
  • Soften skin

OLEIC ACIDS (OMEGA-9) are known to:

  • Maintain the softness, suppleness, and radiance of skin and hair
  • Stimulate the growth of thicker, longer, and stronger hair
  • Reduce the appearance of aging, such as premature wrinkles and fine lines
  • Eliminate dandruff and support hair growth
  • Boost immunity
  • Exhibit antioxidant properties
  • Prevent joint inflammation, stiffness, and pain

LINOLEIC ACIDS (OMEGA-6) are known to:

  • Moisturize hair and promote its growth
  • Facilitate wound healing
  • Be an effective emulsifier in the formulation of soaps and quick-drying oils
  • Exhibit anti-inflammatory properties
  • Soothe acne and reduce chances of future outbreaks
  • Promote moisture retention in skin and hair
  • Make oils feel thinner in consistency when used in an oil blend, thus being beneficial for use on acne-prone skin
  • Help slow the look of aging by sustaining skin elasticity and softness

Blackcuminseed_co_captionimage

Used cosmetically or topically in general, Black Cumin Seed Oil is reputed to effectively address fungal infections, yeast, and mold with its anti-fungal properties. Its antioxidant activity is known to promote the skin’s elimination of harmful free radicals, thus diminishing the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, dark spots, and other blemishes, thereby exhibiting a rejuvenating and revitalizing effect.

Rich in vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, Black Cumin Seed Oil delivers gentle yet profoundly nourishing moisture that is easily absorbed into the skin, leaving it feeling smooth, hydrated, and nourished with a radiant look. Its softening quality makes it beneficial for even the most sensitive skin and its firming and regenerative properties are known to lessen the chance of scars developing from wounds. When applied to hair, Black Cumin Seed Oil is known to exhibit the same supportive effects, thus promoting the growth of stronger and smoother strands.

Used medicinally, Black Cumin Seed Oil works as an antiseptic and anti-bacterial agent that eliminates harmful topical bacteria while preventing their future growth, thus proving to stimulate a strong immune response. With anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, it soothes skin and facilitates its healing process to effectively address conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Its analgesic properties make it ideal for reducing the discomforts of rheumatism.

Black Cumin Seed Oil can also be diffused in a vaporizer and, when diffused, it is reputed to enhance and support the health of the respiratory system. It is believed to have the potency to alleviate symptoms of asthma and bronchitis. Due to its carminative property, which enhances digestion and reduces discomforts such as stomach pain, bloating, and gas, it is believed to ease gastrointestinal disorders.

 Black Cumin Seed Carrier Oil is reputed to have many therapeutic properties. The following highlights its many benefits and the kinds of activity it is believed to show:

  • COSMETIC: Anti-Oxidant, Hydrating, Aromatic, Deodorant, Stimulant.
  • MEDICINAL: Analgesic, Anti-bacterial, Anti-Inflammatory, Anti-Fungal, Diuretic, Anti-spasmodic, Anti-viral, Bronchodilator, Hepato-Protective, Hypotensive, Galactagogue, Emmenagogue, Reno-Protective, Immune-Enhancer, Metabolism-Booster, Anti-Histamine, Anti-Coagulant, Thermogenic, Carminative, Appetizing, Digestive, Sudorific, Febrifuge, Stimulant, Expectorant.

BLACK CUMIN SEED OIL USES

Used in cosmetic and topical applications, Black Cumin Seed Oil can be applied directly to the preferred areas of skin to hydrate, to soothe acne, burns, and other unwanted blemishes, and to reduce the appearance of the signs of aging, such as fine lines. Alternatively, 2 drops of Black Cumin Seed Carrier Oil can be added to a regular, pre-made face cream of personal preference. Applying a moisturizer infused with this oil is also known to address fungus and skin infections.

For a moisturizer that offers the added benefits of several other nutrient-rich oils, combine the following ingredients in a dark, clean 105 ml (3.5 oz.) dropper bottle: 30 ml (1 oz.) Jojoba Carrier Oil, 30 ml (1 oz.) Sweet Almond Carrier Oil, 20 ml (0.7 oz.) Borage Carrier Oil, 15 ml (0.5 oz.) Rosehip Carrier Oil, 9 ml (0.3 oz.) Black Cumin Seed Carrier Oil, and 6 ml (0.02 oz.) Vitamin E Liquid. Cap the bottle and shake it gently to ensure that all the oils have mixed together thoroughly. Before applying this blend, cleanse the face and pat it dry, leaving it slightly damp to the touch. Next, warm up 6-8 drops of this elixir by rubbing this amount between the palms, then gently massage it into the face and neck using light strokes in an upward motion. Avoid applying the blend around the eye area. Due to the absence of preservatives in this formulation, it should be used within 6 months of the day it is made.

For a nourishing, protective Black Cumin Seed Oil face mask that functions as an exfoliating scrub to buff away dead skin, begin by cleansing the face with a gentle face wash and ensure that all traces of makeup have been removed. Next, mix 1 Tbsp. Black Cumin Seed Carrier Oil, 3 Tbsp. Raw Organic Honey, and 3 Tbsp. Finely-ground Apricot Shell exfoliant in a small dish or bowl. Use the fingertips to apply the mask, gently smoothing 1 Tbsp. of the blend (this recipe yields approximately 7 Tbsp.) into the face and neck in a circular motion. After the mask has soaked into the skin for 10 minutes, massage it deeper into the skin while rinsing it off with warm water. Pat the skin dry, then moisturize with 1-2 drops of Black Cumin Seed Carrier Oil. This mask is known to purify the skin, reduce the appearance of blemishes, and smooth the look of wrinkles to promote an even complexion with a healthy glow.

For a stimulating and conditioning hair mask that is reputed to nourish hair and enhance its growth while soothing the scalp, first pour 2 Tbsp. of Black Cumin Seed Carrier Oil onto the palms of the hands and rub them together to warm the oil. Next, massage the entire scalp with this amount of oil, focusing particularly on the areas that are experiencing the most hair loss. Once the oil has been massaged into the entire scalp, smooth the oil down over the strands all the way to the tips. Leave the hair mask in for 30-60 minutes, after which time it can be rinsed out with a regular shampoo. This mask is known to strengthen and support scalp health, reduce hair loss, eliminate dandruff, prevent dryness, balance the scalp’s oil production, reduce frizz, protect the strands against damage, and prevent hair from losing its pigmentation, thereby slowing the graying process. This regimen can be repeated 2-3 times a week.

Used in medicinal applications, Black Cumin Seed Oil is reputed to be beneficial for a wide range of ailments and conditions, but it is best known for its ability to ease joint pain, muscle aches, bruises, and symptoms of rheumatism. For a simple yet effectively restorative massage that works to repair skin damage and reduce skin discoloration caused by bruises, gently massage 60 ml (2 oz.) of Black Cumin Seed Carrier Oil into affected areas, focusing particularly on bruising and uneven skin tone. This can be repeated 2-3 times a day until the soreness and inflammation have been eliminated and the color returns to normal. This is also reputed to be beneficial for eczema and acne. Furthermore, it energizes tired muscles, strengthens immunity, reduces stiffness, eases digestive complaints, promotes the expulsion of bodily toxins, and regulates menstruation as well as related complaints.

For a diffuser recipe that is known to provide relief from nasal congestion, sore throat, headache, and other cold symptoms diffuse 2 drops of Black Cumin Seed Carrier Oil. Its comforting scent is known to ease nervous tension and lethargy. To enhance the effects of this steam inhalation regimen, 2 drops of the oil can also be massaged onto the affected areas, such as the neck and chest, to relieve aches, clear the respiratory tract, and soothe irritation.

A GUIDE TO BLACK CUMIN SEED OIL VARIETIES & THEIR BENEFITS

BLACK CUMIN SEED CARRIER OIL – VIRGIN

Botanical Name: Nigella sativa

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Cold pressed from seeds

Country of Origin: Israel

Believed to:

  • Be light Amber in color
  • Exude an aroma that is characterized as slightly nutty, musty, mildly spicy, and woody
  • Be rich in Copper, Potassium, Selenium, Zinc, and vitamins A, B, and C
  • Have medium viscosity
  • Penetrate into the skin at an average speed, leaving a slightly oily residue on the skin’s surface
  • Exhibit protective, strengthening, soothing, and anti-oxidant properties
  • Hydrate parched skin
  • Soothe irritated skin to keep it calm
  • Address hair fall by strengthening the strands
  • Blend well with citrus and herbaceous scents, especially when mixed into massage formulations

BLACK CUMIN SEED CARRIER OIL – REFINED

Botanical Name: Nigella sativa

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Cold pressed from seeds

Country of Origin: India

Believed to:

  • Be dark Amber in appearance
  • Exude a mild aroma that is woody, earthy, sweet, and slightly spicy
  • Be rich in Copper, Potassium, Selenium, Zinc, and vitamins A, B, and C
  • Have medium viscosity
  • Penetrate into the skin at an average speed, leaving a slightly oily residue on the skin’s surface
  • Exhibit protective, strengthening, soothing, and anti-oxidant properties
  • Hydrate parched skin
  • Soothe irritated skin to keep it calm
  • Address hair fall by strengthening the strands
  • Be best suited for use in formulations that enhance skin and hair health

BLACK CUMIN SEED ORGANIC CARRIER OIL

Botanical Name: Nigella sativa L.

Method of Extraction and Plant Part: Cold pressed from seeds

Country of Origin: Israel

Believed to:

  • Range in color from pale Amber with a faintly greenish tinge to dark Amber
  • Exude a characteristic musty aroma with a mildly spicy nuance
  • Have medium viscosity
  • Penetrate into the skin at an average speed, leaving a slightly oily residue on the skin’s surface
  • Exhibit protective, strengthening, soothing, and anti-oxidant properties
  • Hydrate parched skin
  • Soothe irritated skin to keep it calm
  • Address hair fall by strengthening the strands
  • Be best suited for use in formulations requiring organic ingredients

CONTRAINDICATIONS FOR BLACK CUMIN SEED OIL

Black Cumin Seed Oil is for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using this oil for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use Black Cumin Seed Carrier Oil without the medical advice of a physician, as it may have an effect on certain hormone secretions and it is unclear whether these effects are transferable to babies at these stages of development. The oil should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.

Those with the following health conditions are recommended to be advised by a physician: cancer, heart-related ailments, skin disorders, diabetes, bleeding disorders, low blood pressure, or hormone-related ailments. Individuals that are taking prescription drugs, undergoing major surgery, or who are at a greater risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, or atherosclerosis are also advised to seek medical consultation prior to use.

Prior to using Black Cumin Seed Oil, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by applying a dime-size amount of this oil to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. No more than 10% of Black Cumin Seed Oil should be used in any blend, and it must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Black Cumin Seed Oil include contact dermatitis, irritation, itching, drowsiness, and fatigue.

Those seeking medical care to manage moods, behaviors, or disorders should treat this Carrier Oil as a complementary remedy rather than a replacement for any medicinal treatments or prescriptions. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the product and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.

IN ESSENCE…

    • Black Cumin Seed Carrier Oil is cold pressed from the seeds of the Fennel Flower.
    • Traditionally, Black Cumin Seed Oil has been used for its stimulating, warming, and tonic properties as well as for its harmonizing effect on the mood.
    • Used topically, Black Cumin Seed Carrier Oil is reputed to hydrate, soothe, smooth, and nourish the skin, to address fungal infections and blemishes, and to promote the skin’s reparation and regeneration, thus facilitating a smoother, clearer, and brighter complexion. It is known to exhibit the same effects when applied to hair.
    • Used medicinally, Black Cumin Seed Carrier Oil eliminates harmful topical bacteria, stimulates a strong immune response, facilitates skin’s healing process, and eases muscular aches and joint pain.
  • When diffused, Black Cumin Seed Carrier Oil enhances and supports the health of the respiratory and digestive systems.