This is for you daliajojo, and of course you too – if you’re one of those that love DIY natural beauty, or just want to make sure what you’re using on your skin is totally good for you, read on for a gorgeous natural skincare recipe for all types of skin.
She was wondering about another product from Darphin called: 8 Flower Nectar Elixir.
Here’s their product info for a little background:
A precious youth elixir
Rejuvenating elixir, in the pure tradition of aromatherapy, blends rare and radiance boosting aromatic essences from 8 precious flowers. Opulent formula with anti-oxidants, nourishes and helps smooth the look of lines and wrinkles, firm skin and renew skin suppleness, resilience and youthful radiance, key evidence of truly, younger-looking skin. With an exquisitely feminine, sensual fragrance that could double as a perfume, it is the quintessential holistic beauty care that creates a feeling of overall beauty and well-being while rejuvenating skin’s appearance.
Relieves discomfort due to dryness
Nourished, firmer skin
Renewed softness and suppleness
Youthful-looking and radiant complexion
Reduced appearance of lines and wrinkles
99% of the total ingredients from natural origin. Formulated without parabens. Non-comedogenic. Clinically-proven efficiency.
PM. Apply 5 drops to face and neck. Massage 8 Flower Nectar gently in upward motions from the inner to the outer part of the face.
That’s what they claim, and to be honest, I’ve never used it, but I can tell by the ingredients what this is, and what it can/can’t do.
Funny that they mentioned it could double as a perfume, because it totally is. In fact, I’ve got a natural perfume recipe that is almost the exact thing..except for the Everlasting otherwise known as Immortelle or Helichrysum Italicum essential oil.
And here’s an ingredient that I’ve not mentioned before; Iris essential oil, which might also be called Orris Root Absolute or Concrete. This beautiful rarity is a special addition mostly because of it’s wonderful skin care toning properties. It’s also great as a base note in natural perfumes because of its fixative qualities.
Iris Absolute is beautiful material, the aroma is slightly sweet, earthy, green and violet.
Iris oil is a deeply fascinating and time consuming material to produce. The main producers today are located in China, France and Morocco.
To get the essential oil, the rhizomes/roots (orris root) are collected, washed, surface layer removed, cured and stored for as long as 4 years.
The length of time the orris root is stored is largely responsible for the percentage of the prized constituent – IRONE, the aroma of Irone is a lush green violet accord with excellent tenacity. Most material commercially offered will have a 1%, 8% and 15% Irone content.
To get the Iris essential oil, or orris root , the rhizomes (roots) are taken out of storage, blitzed, until material resembles a starchy pulp. This is then steam distilled to produce essential oil and due to the chemistry containing myristic acid, so the material hardens up very quickly – resembling a waxy concrete and this is the reason so many people refer to the essential oil as Iris Essential Oil, or Iris Butter.
Then to get Iris Absolute the Iris Butter/Essential oil is alcohol washed to remove the myristic acid and the oil left is vacuum distilled to get the absolute oil. Although now quite rare, Iris Absolute with a content of 80% Irone or more is still produced, but the current starting price is 70’000GBP/105’000USD per kilo.!!
Click here at Oshadhi to get an understanding of how they price their essential oils. This is how a good company should price their essential oils.
Places I’ve found to buy pure Iris essential oil or orris root concrete butter:
And making this at home is so much easier than you might think.
The hardest part is getting all the ingredients. They are quite expensive, but you’ll be able to make them go a very long way, and include your close friends and family too. so it’s totally worth it.
But one thing they don’t mention in their ingredients list is the carrier oil. Most likely they have used essential oils diluted in jojoba since this carrier is closest to the natural oils in our skin.
that’s it….well, almost. Just make sure that you’re using jojoba diluted essential oils. You never want to use straight (or undiluted) essential oils on your skin. With the exception of lavender or tea tree.
Treat Essential Oils With Respect
Treat essential oils with the same care that you treat medicines. You don’t need to be afraid or avoid essential oils and I’m certainly not trying to scare anyone out of enjoying all the benefits that aromatherapy offers. They can be an amazing blessing within a holistic lifestyle. Do remember, however, that when working with essential oils, less is more.
Dilute your essential oils prior to use on the skin and avoid the oils that are more likely to cause irritation and sensitization. When using an essential oil for the first time, do a skin patch test. You can learn how to do a skin patch test by reading AromaWeb’s Aromatherapy Safety article.
Add all drops to a pretty glass bottle and use in the evenings before bed and after cleansing your face. I use a 1 oz (30ml) serum bottle, but if you want it filled to the very top, use a 1/2 oz (0.5 oz) or 15 ml bottle with glass eye dropper.
How to get Radiant Skin
Now for those that are concerned about wrinkles or want an anti-aging serum the recipe’s essential oils are wonderful, but I would add the following for extra benefits:
GREAT ADDITIONS for anti-aging effects: Frankincense, Sandalwood, Myrrh, and Carrot seed oil,
for sensitive skin use Frankincense, Myrrh, Lavender, and Roman Chamomile, you may want to use Neroli too in a 2% dilution (or about 12 drops pure e.o. to 1 oz carrier).
Excellent carriers like Rosehip seed oil, jojoba, argan, tamanu (aka; inophyllum calophyllum), evening primrose, avocado, olive, sesame, sunflower, centella (gotu kola) and kukui nut oils are perfect for mature skin.
Always get enough water, sleep, and good nutrition for a glow that starts on the inside!
Start with a base of jojoba oil and add the oils suited to your skin type. For example, dry skin likes jojoba + Argan , Evening Primrose, and Rose Hip Seed oils. I love to add a couple Vitamin E capsules (use a needle to make a hole in the capsule and squeeze to empty the liquid inside) to every recipe. If you have acne-prone skin, you could create a combination of jojoba and tamanu oil. Got combination skin? Try jojoba, grapeseed and argan with Vitamin E. It’s all about finding what works for your skin.
It may take a bit of experimentation to find just the right combination for your personal skin type.
Start with an 80% ratio of jojoba and 20% of another oil specific for your skin type. You can adjust this ratio as needed. Several carrier oils can be combined to get the perfect combination.
And quality does matter. I recommend buying the best quality oils that you can find. Your skin is your biggest organ, and everything you put on it absorbs directly into your bloodstream. The best oils are cold-pressed, pure, and unrefined oil with no additives.
A few years ago, I came across a site (Skin Deep) that promoted the idea of keeping a working database for all skin, hair, cosmetics, beauty products (etc. ) ingredients and expected those companies that wanted to be “endorsed” or at least “okayed” by Skin Deep to fill out extensive pages of information about their products including each ingredient, etc. etc.
As the owner of a natural aromatherapy products company (Yellowstar Essentials) I thought it was the coolest thing in the world that someone would take the time to create a database of chemicals found in cosmetics and also thought would be wise to use their site, enter all my products (one by one, ingredient by ingredient), which took forever just to add a few products, and still, (even though I use only all natural ingredients with essential oils) my products came up either unsearchable –because of some of the ingredients…i.e. essential oils, could not be found on their site, and because of this deemed “hazardous”. This confused me. Why were specific essential oils not found by their searchable database? And some, (if they were found) are considered more hazardous then certain deadly chemicals. This really got me scratching my head. So I did some searching and found that many people thought just as I did.
Here’s a little About SKIN DEEP (from their site)–
In 2004 we launched Skin Deep, an online safety guide for cosmetics and personal care products. Our aim was to fill in where companies and the government leave off: companies are allowed to use almost any ingredient they wish, and our government doesn’t require companies to test products for safety before they’re sold. EWG’s scientists built Skin Deep to be a one-of-a-kind resource, integrating our in-house collection of personal care product ingredient listings with more than 50 toxicity and regulatory databases.
There seems to be numerous problems plaguing the site, as well as more and more people having issues with the value of what they deem the “hazardous” materials used in most of today’s beauty products on the market.
I mean, I’m ALL FOR companies having to show every ingredient (and not just label FRAGRANCE–when they could be using harmful sysynthetic chemicals) but c’mon! If you are going to say that an ingredient is hazardous and put a number associated with that, at least be correct in your findings. Robert Tisserand wrote a post about essential oils in their database (or lack thereof) and his findings are in alignment with mine.
Needless to say, I haven’t finished adding all my products into Skin Deep’s database because of all the problems. Here’s the post by Robert Tisserand (one of my favorite aromatherapists!) from his website: Go Robert!!!
Check this out:
From lemon to rosewood – it’s only skin deep
It’s hard to tell how many essential oils are covered in Skin Deep, the Environmental Working Group’s database, because if you put “essential oil” their search box, the results are pretty hit-and-miss. When I tried it, only 16 of the first 50 items listed were essential oils. Lemon oil, interestingly, was listed twice: CITRUS MEDICA LIMONUM (LEMON) OIL (hazard rating 0) and CITRUS MEDICA LIMONUM (LEMON) PEEL OIL (hazard rating 2). The second one is defined as: “volatile oil obtained from the fresh peel of of lemon, Citrus medica limonum.” The first one is not defined at all, but is also listed as “Lemon essential oil, Citrus limon (lemon) essential oil..” etc.
What were they thinking? Is one of these lemon leaf oil? Clearly not. Lemon flower oil? No again, and anyway it does not exist. Lemon essence oil? That’s theoretically possible, but I doubt that the authors of Skin Deep are familiar with essence oils, which are almost entirely used in food flavorings, and there’s no way that lemon essence oil is used in 618 personal care products. So, we have two different lemon fruit peel oils, from the same plant, but with different hazard ratings.
This is not an isolated example – you will also find separate pages for ANIBA ROSAEODORA (ROSEWOOD) and ANIBA ROSAEODORA (ROSEWOOD) OIL. (Note that rosewood essential oil is the only product of this tree.) But for ultimate strangeness, nothing beats: ANIBA ROSAEODORA (ROSEWOOD) FLOWER OIL. Ironically, the only concern for this item is listed as “Data Gaps”, but the real data gap is simply that rosewood flower oil does not exist! Except on the Skin Deep database, and once they have read this blog, I imagine not for much longer. Try this exercise – do a search for “rosewood flower oil” and let me know if you find any reference to such an oil.
Aniba rosaeodora is a very tall tree that grows in South American rainforest (see pic). Yes, it has flowers, but they are, tellingly, not fragrant. Distillation is typically carried out by the felling of a single tree, and the oil comes from the wood. I cannot imagine what rosewood flower oil, if it did exist (and if the flowers were fragrant) would cost. Well actually I can imagine, it would be hugely, massively expensive and again, you would not find it in too many personal care products.
The Environmental Working Group seems to know little about essential oils, and by the way they do not mention that Aniba rosaeodora is an officially threatened species. But, perhaps the word “environmental” in their title has nothing to do with sustainability. That’s not a sarcastic comment, I am genuinely wondering.
Returning to lemon oil, two pages and two hazard ratings for the same essential oil is odd. Very odd. Adding to the confusion, Skin Deep gives limonene a hazard rating of 6 (their scale is 0-10), and yet lemon oil consists of up to 76% limonene. So here’s what I’m wondering – when rating a product containing lemon oil for its hazardous-ness (the word “risk” is inappropriate here, for reasons I will discuss another day) should we go by lemon oil, or limonene? Perhaps it depends what’s on the product label. If it mentions “lemon oil” it’s a 0, if it mentions “lemon peel oil” it’s a 2, and if it mentions either one but also limonene (which has to happen for a product containing lemon oil in Europe, as you may know) then maybe it’s a 6?
The Skin Deep number game doesn’t really matter too much at this point. It’s only a website. But, if people were to start taking this seriously, we would be in a world of confusion.
Rosewood flower oil has a hazard rating of 0, which seems appropriate for a non-existent oil. It’s also listed as appearing in “0 products”. At least they got that part right.
Note to EWG – my consultancy services are available if you want help cleaning up. I’m just saying…
New-found glamorously green treat. And I thought I’d have to stick with plain ole’ cotton forever. Even infused with honey and essential oils! Woo Hoo! This is a fabulous find from mygloss.com. Thanks so much for this remarkable review. I’m buying one today!
I am in love with these bamboo cleansing cloths. They’ve provided a solution for a long-standing problem: what is the greenest and most effective way to remove makeup and moisturize when I’m on the road? When I use cleanser and facecloths, it seems so wasteful to just use the facecloth once -yet after removing a face of makeup, you really need to toss it in the laundry. Cotton or facial tissues just aren’t an option for me – to enter stage right, Kaia Cleansing Cloths!
They feel like cashmere, are infused with honey and essential oils, and are totally biodegradable. I’m sold and don’t think I’ll be traveling without a handy pack of these ever again.
Kaia Bamboo Facial Cleansing Cloths – $16.02 for a set of 30 at Amazon.com
No matter how late it is, or how tired you are before falling into bed…kaia natural makeup remover keeps it simple…
no rinsing, no water, no bathroom required!
Avoid that tight-skin feeling as kaia has been formulated with organic Canadian honey and infused with eight pure citrus essential oils, sunflower seed and cleans impurities with oats.
Yes, kaia really does remove mascara…even waterproof mascara without tugging and pulling!
If you suffer from sensitive skin, you know that the ingredients found in many “wet wipes” are not ideal! The beauty of bamboo is that it is very, very soft, unlike rayon (which is what most cleansing wipes are made from, and they contain wood fibers), which can be rough and can pull on the delicate skin in the eye area or cheeks.
For those with red/ irritated, inflamed skin:
kaia bamboo facial cleansing cloths are ideal for those suffering from Rosacea as the skin is fragile due to inflammation/redness and the cashmere soft cloths and gentle cleansing formula will not aggravate the skin.
Getting the most from your cleansing cloth is important as the cloths are packaged to last you an entire month: Use both sides of the cloth:
Step 1: remove your facial makeup first
Step 2: then flip the cloth over and remove lipstick and eye makeup last.
Water/Agua, Acacia Gum : derived from the acacia tree and is soothing to the skin, Xantham gum: naturally fermented corn sugar, Canadian organic honey : an emollient and nutrient with antioxidant and anti-microbial properties with the ability to absorb and retain moisture, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate: a food grade emulsifier used in baked goods, Cetyl Alcohol : a fatty alcohol from plant oils with emulsifying properties, Sunflower Seed Oil: the extract from sunflower seeds, a rich emollient high in linoleic and oleic essential fatty acids and vitamin E, Sodium Lauroyl Oat Amino Acids, extremely mild cleansing agent which is skin friendly and derived from oats, Panthenol: A moisturizer, derived from vitamin B5, with humectant-like properties that aid in skin absorption. Benzyl Alcohol : a naturally occurring essential oil with antimicrobial properties, Dehydroacetic Acid: Food grade preservative, which protects against bacteria and fungus, has an excellent toxicity profile and is non-formaldehyde forming, Salicylic Acid: Gently exfoliates the skin, reducing sebum build-up, Benzoic Acid: Food grade preservative, which protects against bacteria and fungus and occurs naturally in cherry bark, raspberries. Phenoxyethanol: Food grade preservative, non-formaldehyde forming. Benzethonium Chloride: Provides antimicrobial activity against fungi, mold and is a food-grade preservative.
I love finding expensive beauty products that translate easily into something I can concoct right at home. You’d be surprised at how simple most things are to make yourself…and so much cheaper than buying it already made.
Most formulas are not hard to figure out; i.e. a balm or salve, a lotion or creme pretty much have the same basic recipes for each, and after a little experimentation and by changing up similar ingredients, you can create your own masterpiece.
I recently came across Darphin’s website and loved their line of products. After looking for the basic ingredients, it’s not difficult to figure out how to concoct most of them in my own kitchen with a few choice ingredients.
Why not be beautiful for less money?
Everyone wants to be beautiful, and most women will spend gads of money to be that way.
If you want to be beautiful, be beautiful!
As Forrest Gump would say, ” Beauty is as beauty does”.
Think beautiful thoughts, act beautifully toward everyone, and look for beauty all around you. This is a great start to be-ing beautiful.
Also, using essential oils in your beauty regiment will do wonders for you, inside and out.
Sometimes just knowing you’re doing something good for the environment by using natural products makes you feel great…
aaaaaannnnnddddddd……….a special treat!
My newest Recipe for a gorgeous cleansing balm that does wonders for your skin.
and it’s just as good as the $70 cleanser from Paris: (actually better because it won’t cost you that much to make it!)
Ylang ylang extra essential oil 1-drop (Cananga odorata)
Rosewood essential oil 4-drops (Bois de Rose)
Vanilla plantifolia fruit extract-2 drops
Sometimes finding the ingredients is harder than putting them together. Most essential oils are quite easily found online, and some can be found in local health food stores. Just remember that cost usually reflects quality, and thereapeutic grade essential oils are 100 times better than commercial grade for medicinal purposes, and isn’t your skin worth it? Even though the initial costs seem a lot, over time you’ll save wads of cash. You might even want to pool resources with your friends/family and make enough for everyone to share, this saves on costs and is a win, win for everybody.
Gather ingredients and always have extra glass pyrex measuring cups in different sizes around with some wooden chopsticks, they are excellent tools.
Just warm the marula oil (or oil of choice, eg. jojoba) with the beeswax, rose wax, jasmine wax or emulisfying wax in a double boiler or pyrex measuring cup until wax is almost melted in short bursts in the microwave. Do not over heat the wax as it can start on fire, even though it doesn’t look melted it gets very hot. Depending on how soft you like your balm to be depends on how much wax you use. It’s better to start with less then add more if you need it. Stir until completely melted, cool slightly, then add in essential oils. Make sure mixture is not hot when adding essential oils, better that it is cool before adding as heat can destroy essential oil’s potency. After it’s completely set and you find you don’t like the consistency, it’s easy to fix, just warm again and add a little more wax. Pour into containers. Walla! Make sure to mark the date and throw out after a year.
This lavishly-rich Darphin cleansing balm transforms into a light milky emulsion with water to sweep away traces of make-up and impurities, while nourishing skin to relieve tightness and help restore natural radiance. An alternative way to cleanse the face with water through a unique sensory experience.
Marula Oil*, Sauge Officinale, Ylang Ylang and Rosewood* Essential Oils, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract*
Classic Rose Facial Oil– a luxurious facial oil comprised of incredibly rich and nourishing oils. It soaks into your skin effortlessly, and may be used either alone or before applying your daily moisturizer or make-up. A fabulous way to pamper your face with pure botanical products, our Classic Rose Facial Oil contains precious ingredients such as Neroli and Helichrysum essential oils, Organic Wild Rosehip Seed oil, and Kukui Nut oil. It assists in preventing wrinkles, re-hydrating the skin, and in the promotion of skin-cell regeneration. Perfect for lightly damaged skin that is dry and mature and needing repair. This is a very concentrated oil, and only a finger tip or two is needed. Contains: Organic Wild Rosehip Seed oil, Kukui nut oil, organic Calendula oil, and a combination of pure essential oils that includes Sandalwood, Neroli, Helichrysum, Frankincense, Carrot Seed and organic Lavender.1 oz bottle with treatment pump
Hopefully, those of you suffering with symptoms of aging, hormonal havoc, and menopause can find some comfort here…
Most people usually between the ages of 45-55 will suffer from Menopause, aka the “change of life”. The average age menopause starts is 50 and is caused from decreased hormone production, symptoms include; hot flashes, mood swings, fatigue, depression and headaches, or loss of hair and/or sexual desires.
When it comes to aging, women speak freely about menopausal mood swings, thinning hair, hot flashes, exhaustion, weight gain, etc. But women aren’t the only ones who have to deal with hormonal changes as they age.
Actually, men experience menopause too, called andropause, but some of the symptoms are different, and most men won’t talk about it. Some of the male menopausal-like symptoms, include: weakened bones, decreased sex drive (from lowered testosterone production), and even hot flashes and irritability.
One of the best essential oil blends to use to help balance hormones and even help regulate prostate function (in men) is listed below.
Balance blend for men and women:
This blend of essential oils has been noted to balance hormones and regulate prostate function in men. It has also been used to successfully reduce or eliminate hot flashes for women:
5 drops Sage (Salvia officinalis), or Clary Sage (better for women)
5 drops Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare),
15 drops Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia),
10 drops Myrtle (Myrtus communis),
7 drops Blue Yarrow (Achillea millefolium),
8 drops Peppermint (Mentha piperita),
Mix these essential oils into 2 oz. of a carrier oil like jojoba or fractionated coconut oil, store in a dark colored glass bottle with a tight lid with name of blend and date.
Then add 0.5oz (15ml) of Balance blend into 4oz (120ml) either peppermint, lavender, myrtle, or blue yarrow hydrosol. Actually, to get this to fit into a 4 oz spray bottle, you’ll want to either get a little larger bottle or use a bit less of the oil blend, or– use up a little bit of the hydrosol on something else (like a facial toner mixed 1/2 + 1/2 with witch hazel) so it all fits into the bottle.
Shake bottle well, close your eyes and give yourself a nice spray on your face, neck, underarms, legs…wherever needed. Safe for entire body…but keep out of eyes, mouth and off genitals..lol.
Several essential oils that contain hormone-like substances related to estrogen are helpful during menopause.
These wonderful oils may be used in many ways, like: in a diffuser, in a massage oil, in the bath, or in salts, or just inhaled . These include:
and to a lesser degree, basil.
Such essential oils, will help relieve hot flashes, and many other issues related to menopause. Since essential oils go right through the skin, applying them to fatty areas of the body where hormones are manufactured and stored will create the most direct effect.
Of course, any massage is itself very therapeutic. A bath is also a wonderful way to receive the benefits of these oils.
All three are wonderful for helping to balance hormones and also help modify menopausal symptoms. They are most often added in many high end European face creams to reduce aging and wrinkles as well as for hormonal cremes.
As a rejuvenation cream, these oils not only perk up a dry complexion, they make a good cream to counter vaginal dryness. Add some vitamin E oil, which improves the strength and flexibility of the vaginal lining while quickly healing abrasions that can occur during intercourse when the lining is too dry. In addition to aromatherapy, try dietary and herbal treatments to alleviate some of menopause’s unpleasant symptoms.
Add no more than 10 drops of your chosen essential oil for a bath. Less is more!
Essential oils that affect estrogen and balance hormones:
Essential oils that ease hot flashes:
Essential oils for emotional ups and downs:
Aromatherapy Menopause Treatment
Add this body oil to your arsenal to help ward off the symptoms of menopause.
Menopause Body Oil
6 drops lemon oil
5 drops geranium oil
2 drops clary sage oil
1 drop angelica oil
1 drop jasmine oil
2 ounces coconut oil or body lotion
Combine the ingredients. Use at least once a day as a massage oil, in a lotion, or in a bath (add 2 teaspoons to the bathwater). If this formula is too oily for you, add the same essential oils to 2 ounces of a commercial body lotion instead. The best type to use is an unscented, basic lotion that contains ingredients that are as natural as possible.
Hot flashes are among the most uncomfortable symptoms that menopausal women complain about, reports Dr. Susan Lark. She goes on to say, “The most common medical treatment for this problem is estrogen replacement therapy” which may be effective in stopping the flashes, but is not curative.
Although the cause of the hot flash is unclear, hormonal changes involving elevation of the hormones FSH and LH during and after menopause are thought to be responsible. In an effort to elevate decreasing estrogen levels these pituitary hormones can be 1,300 percent greater during the menopausal years than before.
Hot flashes are regarded by the medical profession as deficiency of estrogen and can be triggered by a variety of stimulants such as:
• Spicy food (cayenne, ginger, pepper)
• Acidic foods (pickles, citrus, tomatoes)
• Hot drinks
• Caffeine (coffee, black tea, cola, chocolate)
• Alcoholic drinks, including wine and beer
• White sugar
• Hydrogenated or saturated fats (meat, margarine)
• Hot weather
• Hot tubs and saunas
• Tobacco or marijuana
• Intense exercise, especially lovemaking
• Anger, especially if you can’t express it
During a hot flash, flushes of heat sweep the body (and often the face), reddening the skin and promoting free perspiration. The reddening may be blotchy or even and the perspiration slight or copious. A hot flash may last from a few seconds to four or five minutes, occasionally fifteen minutes, and rarely more than an hour.
If you begin to experience hot flashes, dizziness, heart palpitations, emotional uproar, sleep disturbances, night sweats, depression and/or headaches you may slip from feeling “in control” to the sense that things are beyond your control. The idea of controlling these unwelcome symptoms with drugs becomes very attractive, as we are conditioned to believe that menopausal changes are in some way considered an illness. It is possible to influence these changes more effectively with herbal alternatives that carry with them few, if any, side effects when considered carefully.
A hot flash at night is called a night sweat, which may be accompanied by feelings of anxiety or terror. A solution may be to keep a glass of water and a bottle of motherwort beside you at night, and take 10-15 drops and a swallow of water if a night sweat awakens you. Not everyone experiences hot flashes, and only some of those who do also experience night sweats. Many women, however, experience both.
Exercise directly decreases hot flashes by decreasing the amount of circulating LH and FSH, by nourishing and tonifying the hypothalamus, and by raising endorphin levels (which plummet with hot flashing). As little as 20 minutes three times a week may reduce flashes significantly.Other natural measures that address underlying reasons for hot flashes include diet, nutritional supplementation and plant-based medicines.
HOT FLASHES: HERBAL AIDS
Herbal remedies for women with hot flashes include
plants that cool the system, such as chickweed, elder and violet;
plants that nourish or increase oxygen utilization in the liver, such as dong quai, dandelion, Ho Shou Wu (polygonum multiflorum) and yellow dock; and
plants rich in phytosterols, such as black cohosh.
Herbs and supplements found helpful by Dr. Susan Lark in her medical practice include dong quai, black cohosh, blue cohosh, unicorn root, fennel, sarsaparilla, red clover, wild yam root, yam, bioflavonoids and vitamin E. Dr. Michael Murray finds the four most useful herbs for treatment of hot flashes to be dong quai, licorice root, chasteberry (vitex) and black cohosh.
Hot flashes deplete vitamin B, vitamin C, magnesium and potassium. Frequent use of red clover or oatstraw infusions will help replace these needed nutrients, or these nutrients can also be found in food, or taken as supplements.
Dong quai is an emmenagogue that has been found very helpful for menopausal problems such as regulation of hot flashes, and it is reported to help relieve mental and emotional upset.
Dong quai has been shown to both contract and relax uterine muscles in anaesthetized dogs, cats and rabbits. The contractive (excitatory) ingredient is felt to be a water and alcohol soluble, non-volatile oil component, whereas the relaxing (inhibitory) component is considered to be a volatile oil with high boiling point. This, not an estrogenic effect, is felt to be the mechanism underlying the effectiveness of dong quai in dysmenorrhea.
The effectiveness of dong quai in treating hot flashes may be due to stabilization of blood vessels. However, if you feel hot much of the time dong quai may not be your ally.
Chaste berry(Vitex) has been found to affect pituitary function and has many uses, particularly in regulating hot flashes and dizziness. Beneficial effects in menopause may be due to its role in altering LH and FSH secretion. Vitex lowers estrogen levels and increases progesterone levels, thus keeping bones and vaginal walls strong. Daily use enhances progesterone and luteotropic hormone but inhibits others such as FSH and prolactin. It also increases production of the brain chemical dopamine. It contains flavonoids, glycosides and micronutrients, but lacks phytosterols, making it a slow-acting tonic. Results become evident after 2-3 months of use, and permanent improvement requires a 1-year commitment.
Black cohosh was widely used by the American Indians and later by American colonists for relief of menstrual cramps and menopause. Recent scientific investigation has upheld the effectiveness of black cohosh as a treatment for dysmenorrhea and menopause. Clinical studies have shown extracts of black cohosh to relieve not only hot flashes but also depression and vaginal atrophy. In addition to these vascular effects, black cohosh reduces LH levels; thus the plant has a significant estrogenic effect.bThe use of 10-15 drops once or twice a day for several months significantly reduces LH but not FSH. Black cohosh has also been found to aid digestion by increasing digestive juices; use 3- 5 drops with meals.
Contraindications: Do not use black cohosh if you have menstrual flooding or suspect you may be pregnant. The irritating effects (headache, dizziness, visual disturbance, nausea) of black cohosh and other members of the buttercup family are more common and more troublesome in preparations made from dried, powdered roots. Given its estrogenic component, pregnant and nursing women should probably avoid the herb. Some herbalists extend this warning to women with estrogen-dependent cancer and women who are taking birth control pills or estrogen supplements after menopause. The same precaution applies to individuals with certain types of heart disease or those taking sedatives or blood pressure medications.
Motherwort has been found to lessen the severity, frequency and duration of hot flashes, ease stressed nerves, relieve anxiety, and relieve insomnia. For best results with hot flashes, use this herb frequently for 3 months. A common dosage for hot flashes is 15-25 drops of tincture, 1-6 times a day. Do not use if you are experiencing menstrual flooding as motherwort can aggravate this.
Licorice root contains a saponin-like glycoside, glycyrrhizin (glycrrhizic acid) and has historically been used for a variety of female disorders and also as an expectorant and antitussive in treatment of respiratory tract infections and asthma. It is believed to reduce estrogen while increasing progesterone and is used for this reason by Dr. Michael Murray in his clinical practice. Licorice has a steroid component that can change to the estrogen precursors estradiol and estrone, and it can therefore provide mild estrogenic properties. Glycyrrhizin has a regulatory action over estrogen metabolism, i.e. when estrogen levels are too high it inhibits estrogen action, and when estrogen is too low, glycyrrhizin potentiates it. This is a useful factor for many female hormonal problems, including PMS.
Licorice is considered a powerful drug that is useful in treating a number of conditions, such as peptic ulcers, malaria, abdominal pain, insomnia and infection. This herb’s uses have been substantiated by modern research, and it is generally considered very safe in moderate doses.German health authorities consider maximum doses of up to 100 mg of glycyrrhizin (the major active component of licorice) a day acceptable and safe. However, it should not be taken for more than 4-6 weeks without medical advice.
CAUTION: *Regular use of licorice can cause high blood pressure and edema (water retention). Women predisposed to these conditions should drink no more than one cup (250 ml) per day or chew on a licorice stick only as needed.In large doses it can cause sodium retention and potassium depletion and is not recommended for those with heart or blood pressure problems.Certain individuals need to be particularly careful: pregnant and nursing women, those with high blood pressure, glaucoma, diabetes, kidney or liver disease; or those taking hormonal therapy (licorice may interfere with it). Anyone taking digitalis (sensitivity to it may be increased if your system suffers from potassium loss) or who has had a stroke or heart disease should only do so under the directions of a doctor. Persons with eating disorders who may already be predisposed to hypokalemia for other reasons may be at heightened risk for pseudoaldosteronism. Some sources recommend that anyone who has a cardiovascular-related disorder not consume licorice at all.
Essential oils basil or thyme may ease hot flashes when inhaled or used in a bath or foot rub or mixed with massage oil.
For a portable hot flash remedy, place a few drops of an essential oil or cologne on a tissue, or cotton ball and place in plastic wrap. It may provide instant relief when you open and inhale any time a flash strikes.
HOT FLASHES: HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES
Susun Weed writes that Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman, a naturopathic physician, finds homeopathic remedies effective 80 percent of the time in relieving menopausal symptoms. One of her favorite remedies for hot flashes is Lachesis. She describes these remedies below:
Lachesis: If your flashes emanates from the top of your head, are worse just before sleep and immediately upon wakening and are accompanied by sweating, headaches, or easily irritated skin
Sepia: if your flashes make you feel weak, nauseated, exhausted, and depressed
Pulsatilla: if you flash less outdoors, but your flashes are often followed by intense chills and emotional uproar
Valeriana: if your face flushes strongly during the flash, and you have intense sweating and sleeplessness
Ferrum metallicum: if your flashes are sudden; your general health is good but ordinary activities bring exhaustion
Sulfuricum acidum: if your flashes include profuse sweating and trembling, are worse in evenings or with exercise
Sanguinaria: if your cheeks are red and burning, feet and hands hot
Belladonna: if the flash centers on your face, which burns and turns bright red; you are restless, agitated and have palpitations
MORE about HERBS for MENOPAUSE relief
Black cohosh ( cimicifuga racemosa)
Part Used: Dried roots and rhizomes
Actions and Uses: This is a good estrogenic herb that acts specifically on the uterus to reduce cramps and congestion. It is also good for relieving hot flashes. Black Cohosh contains two anti-rheumatic agents. It is an excellent herb for relieving muscular pain and cramping. It may also help to reduce cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Dosage: Take 250 mg in tablet or capsule form, two to four times daily. Or take 1/2 teaspoon of tincture, twice daily.
Chaste tree ( Vilex agnus- castus)
Part Used: Dried fruit
Actions and Uses: This herb is a hormone balancer that is used to alleviate depression at menopause.
Dosage: Take 300-600 mg in tablet or capsule form daily. Or take 1/2 teaspoon of tincture, twice daily.
Damiana ( Turnera diffuse)
Part Used: Dried leaves
Actions and Uses: Damiana is a pituitary regulator and antidepressant. It is also an aphrodisiac and is of benefit for sexual difficulties. It should not be taken too frequently, however, or it may irritate the lining of the urinary tract.
Dosage: Take 100-150 mg in tablet or capsule form, for two or three days out of the week. Or take 1/2 teaspoon of tincture, twice daily, for two or three days out of the week.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Part Used: Leaves, roots, and tops
Actions and Uses: Dandelion is a wonderful herb for the liver. If your hormones are out of balance, then your liver is under extra stress, and dandelion root will be beneficial for this.
Dosage: Take 1,000-3,000 mg in tablet or capsule form, or 2-3 cups of tea, daily. Or take 1-2 teaspoons of dandelion tincture, three times daily.
Dong quai (Angelica sinensis)
Part Used: Roots
Actions and Uses: This herb is high in natural plant estrogens called phytosterols and helps to reduce the symptoms of estrogen deficiency.
Dosage: Take 500 mg in tablet or capsule form, twice daily. Or take 1/2 teaspoon of tincture, twice daily.
False unicorn root (Chamaelirium luteum)
Part Used: Dried roots and rhizomes
Actions and Uses: This plant is an estrogen regulator. It has a direct action on the uterus and ovaries and is considered to be a corrective herb for women. It is a specific for the herbal treatment of ovarian cysts.
Dosage: Take 500 mg in tablet or capsule form, or 1 teaspoon of tincture, daily.
Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
Part Used: Leaves
Actions and Uses: This herb improves brain function, circulation, and oxygenation of all body cells. It is helpful for symptoms of fatigue, memory problems, and depression.
Dosage: Take 1,000 mg in tablet or capsule form daily. Or take I teaspoon of tincture, twice daily.
Actions and Uses: Ginseng strengthens the adrenal glands, enhances immune function, increases energy, and normalizes blood pressure. It is useful for symptoms of both mental and physical fatigue. Avoid it if you have very high blood pressure (over 180/100). Siberian ginseng is more effective than the American variety.
Dosage: Take 1,000-4,000 mg in tablet or capsule form daily. Ginseng is a safe energy-booster for most people.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Part Used: Dried roots and rhizomes
Actions and Uses: Licorice is a powerful adrenal stimulant and is a wonderful estrogenic herb. For this reason, it is a very useful herb during menopause. Care must be taken, however, not to take licorice too often, or it can deplete potassium and elevate blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, use it with caution or avoid it entirely. On the other hand, if you suffer from low blood pressure, this herb will be useful in correcting the problem. Licorice makes a pleasant-tasting tea. It can also be added in small amounts to other herbal teas to improve their flavor.
Dosage: For hot flashes, drink 1-2 cups of licorice tea or taking 500-1,000 mg in tablet or capsule form daily. Or take 1/2-1 teaspoon of tincture, twice daily.
Liferoot (Senecio Bursas)
Part Used: Dried plant
Actions and Uses: Liferoot is a uterine tonic that contains plant estrogens. It helps to reestablish emotional and vascular stability and eliminate hot flashes. It may also help to treat irregular, painful, or excessive menstrual bleeding.
Dosage: Take 500 mg daily in tablet or capsule form. Or take 1/2 teaspoon of tincture, twice daily.
Raspberry (Rubus idaeus)
Part Used: Fresh or dried leaves and fruit
Actions and Uses: Raspberry is an astringent and nutritive estrogenic herb. It has a direct action on the muscles of the uterus, helps to tone weakened uterine muscles, and relaxes uterine and intestinal spasms. It also assists in correcting prolapse of the uterus and/or vagina.
Dosage: Take 2,000 mg in tablet or capsule form, or drink 2-3 glasses of rasp- berry tea daily. Or take ‘/,-I teaspoon of rasp- berry tincture, up to three times daily.
Red clover ( Tritolium pretense)
Part Used: Dried flower heads; fresh plant
Actions and Uses: Red clover contains a plant estrogen called coumestrol that stimulates the ovaries. It is a good ‘alkalinizing’ herb that restores healthy body functions. Red clover is a specific for the herbal treatment of ovarian cysts.
Dosage: To relieve hot flashes, take 1,000-2,000 mg of red clover in tablet or capsule form or drink 3-4 cups of red clover tea daily. Or take 1/2-11/2 teaspoons of red clover tincture, up to three times daily.
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Part Used: Fresh or dried leaves
Actions and Uses: This herb has many medicinal properties and is very useful during menopause for the treatment of hot flashes. Sage reduces excessive sweating and it contains plant estrogens. You will find sage particularly helpful in eliminating night sweats.
Dosage: Drink 3-4 cups of sage tea daily to relieve hot flashes, or take 1/2-1 teaspoon of tincture, three times a day. Sprinkle finely chopped fresh sage in soups and on salads and vegetables.
St. Johns Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
Part Used: Fresh or dried flowering plant
Actions and Uses: This herb is a mild sedative that is specific for anxiety states. It may also be useful for combating depression.
Dosage: Take 500 mg in tablet or capsule form, or 1/4-1 teaspoon of tincture, two or three times daily.
Sarsaparilla (smilax officinalis)
Part Used: Dried roots and rhizomes
Actions and Uses: Sarsaparilla is another alterative herb that stimulates the production of testosterone and therefore improves a flagging libido. It also helps to increase energy.
Dosage: Take 1,000-2,000 mg in tablet or capsule form or drink 2-3 glasses of sarsaparilla tea daily. Or take 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of tincture, up to three times daily.
Saw palmetto (Serenoa serrulata)
Part Used: Dried fruit
Actions and Uses: This herb is an astringent diuretic that is beneficial for the treatment of urinary incontinence, fluid retention, and prolapse of the pelvic organs. Dryness and lack of tone in the tissues of the bladder often lead to irritation and weakness. This is reduced by saw palmetto. This herb can also be useful for combating chronic urinary tract infection.
Dosage: Take 1,000-2,000 mg in tablet or capsule form daily. Or take 1/2 teaspoon of tincture, twice daily.
Shepherd’s purse (CapseIla bursapastoris)
Part Used: Dried flowering plant; fresh plant
Actions and Uses: Shepherd’s purse is a pituitary regulator with androgenic properties. One of its primary attributes is its ability to normalize progesterone levels. It you are moving into menopause and have been experiencing excessive, irregular bleeding or spotting, this herb will help to regulate and increase the length of your menstrual cycles until the natural cessation of menses.
Dosage: Take 500 mg in tablet or capsule form daily, or take 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of tincture, up to twice daily.
True unicorn root (Aletris farinosa)
Part Used: Dried roots and rhizomes
Actions and Uses: This estrogenic herb stimulates and strengthens the female genital organs. It is a bitter herb that is also useful for indigestion and has a mild sedative action.
Dosage: Take 500-1,000 mg in tablet or capsule form daily. Or take 1/2 teaspoon of tincture, twice a day.
Wild yam (Dioscarea villosa)
Part Used: Dried roots and rhizomes
Actions and Uses: Wild yam is a powerful estrogenic herb used by women around the world. It has a good anti- inflammatory action and gives relief from menopausal arthritis. It also has progestogenic properties, and may help to reduce heavy menstrual bleeding.
Dosage: Take 1,000-4,000 mg of dried extract daily. Or take 1/2 teaspoon of tincture, twice a day.
If you like Young Living products:
EndoGize; EndoGize is especially formulated to support a healthy and balanced endocrine system in women.* see a .pdf of Young Living’s EndoGize (use dist. # 1064822 to receive discount). Young Living’s EndoGize Ingredients: Vitamin B6 (as pyridoxinnaia somenifera)e HCI), zinc (as z. aspartate), eurycoma longifolia root extract, ashwaganda (withanaia somenifera) root, muira puama (ptychopetalum olacoides) root, l-arginine, epimedium (epimedium grandiflorum) leaf, tribulus terrestris fruit, DHEA (3 beta-hydroxyandro-5-en-17-one), phosphatidycholine, lecithin (soy), black pepper (piper nigrum) fruit extract, amylase 5000 FCC, validase AFP protease, cellulase 4000, glucoamylase, Proprietary EndoGize™ Oil Blend: Ginger (zingiber offininale) root, Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) gum resin, Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia) branchlet, Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) flowering top, Canadian Fleabane (Conyza canadensis) flowering top, gelatin & rice flour.
When I first started making cosmetic products, i.e. lotions, lip balms, sprays, scrubs, etc., I was very hesitant , in the beginning, on which ingredients to use that were all natural and yet effective for preserving all my hard work from going rancid.
Making your own natural cosmetics allows you to control the ingredients and produce recipes created specifically for you. The downside to this is that natural ingredients tend to have a limited shelf life. Learning what ingredients are natural preservatives, and how to use them, will prevent rancidity and anti-oxidation in your homemade cosmetics.
But really, when it comes down to it, if you’re not going to use it up in about a week, then you need more than just a “natural” preservative.
– Glycerin is a very effective preservative – in medicine, you will frequently find glycerites as a delivery vehicle (especially in children’s and herbal medicine) where the active component is preserved and then ultimately delivered in a water soluble solvent (glycerin) as an alternative delivery mechanism to alcohol. To be effective as a preservative, you need to have AT LEAST a 50% glycerin content in your formula, and it is best if it is about 60-70%. The downside is glycerin is very, very sticky – not a great skin feel.
– Ethanol (not vodka, instead use 190 Everclear alcohol or skin safe cosmetic use denatured alcohol) anything containing 20-25% ethanol is self preserving. Alcohol is astringent so not a great add if you want a moisturising lotion. It is also a known irritant so if you have sensitive skin, a lotion containing alcohol could sting! You might see it in a lotion with alcohol as a cooling foot lotion as it will evaporate from your skin. However note, you might see Ostwalt Ripening in an O/W emulsion resulting in flocculation and ethanol can diminish foaming of surfactant-based products like shampoo.
– Grapefruit Seed Extract,(not recommended). GSE is not what you would consider to be a regular extract. Citrus seed extracts are not all-natural – they are chemically derived from the seeds of citrus fruits. It is made IIRC by reacting with ammonia, so is more like a quat in some ways. There are concerns that the limited preservative properties GSE does have are in fact due to added preservatives like parabens – see http://swiftcraftymonkey.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/preservatives-grapefruit-seed-extract.html
After my many years of working with all types and lots of research, here is a list of helpful and useful natural ingredients that are safe to use for preserving your cosmetic recipes as long as you’re using it up within about a week as well as snippets from around the web that may answer your questions:
Here’s a list of some natural inhibitors / preservatives :
Benzoin Resin (also called Styrax) is a less well known preservative and fixative. For centuries, it has been an important ingredient in the making of incense due to its fixative qualities. Benzoin has a rich sweet scent that is quite distinctive. Because it is easily absorbed through the skin, it should be diluted in alcohol before use in cosmetic recipes. Benzoin resin is often found in facial toning and facial oil recipes to improve their shelf life.
Borax is a common ingredient that used to be found on the laundry shelf of most grocery stores. It is a natural cleaner and preservative, and it often found in lotion, cream, bath salt and bath scrub recipes.
Honey is a marvelous natural inhibitor. One teaspoon to one tablespoon of honey can be added to most any natural cosmetic recipe to improve its shelf life. My personal facial elixir has honey as an essential component, but I also add it to salts, scrubs, facials, creams and lotions.
Jojoba is one of my favorite natural inhibitor because, like honey, it is just so very versatile. Jojoba is often combined with those oils that are known for having a limited shelf life, such as almond oil, apricot kernel oil, and rosehip seed oil. Get in the habit of substituting a tablespoon of jojoba oil for the more fragile carrier oils to improve the shelf life of your home made creations.
Vitamin E Oil is another natural inhibitor that I use quite often. If you are making a preparation for the skin, add a teaspoon of vitamin E oil to prevent rancidity and as an anti-oxidant. Vitamin E oil has the additional benefit of being safe to use for recipes for babies and small children.
When creating my own cosmetic recipes, I tend to use a two-pronged approach. Benzoin and vitamin E in a facial oil, for instance, or jojoba and borax in a lotion. Incorporating these natural preservatives in your own creations will enhance your cosmetics making repertoire considerably.
great place to find information about “green formulating”
Submitted on 2013/08/25 at 3:55 pm
I think your blog is fantastic. I’m starting a natural skincare company and am using mostly butter and creams (no water or milk). I understand that I don’t need to put preservatives in these formulations. However, I would like to add something that inhibits bacterial as least a little. I am thinking of standardly adding vitamin E to all the butters and creams. Later on we will get into some formulations that use distilled water.Can you give me a little more information on the following? A friend sent them to me after attending one of her work workshops on lotion making: Dermofeel 688 INCI: p-Anisic Acid and Glyceryl Caprylate (and) Glyceryl Undecylenate. Also, the natural preservative mixtures that you mentioned, can I get them already mixed? If I can get them already mixed, what percentage should they be of my formulation?
Submitted on 2013/09/16 at 5:24 pm | In reply to Carlos.
“To avoid parabens, Jason Natural Cosmetics has switched from methylparaben to a natural preservative that has the same shelf life–2-3 years–as the paraben-based preservative. In January 2003, for its Shaman Earthly Organics line, Jason debuted a preservative that consists of sodium benzoate (salt crystals), potassium sorbate (powder from mountain ash trees combined with potassium salt) and grapefruit-seed extract. “Now our preservative systems are food grade, which adds to the purity level of our products,” Light says.
Aubrey Organics solved the preservative puzzle with a mixture of grapefruit-seed extract and vitamins A, C and E, which inhibits micro-bacterial growth and helps retard the ingredients’ decay. All of the company’s 250 personal care products are made with this natural preservative, says Aubrey representative Sandie Coretti, and have shelf lives of 18 months to 3 years–considerably shorter than products made with synthetic preservatives, which can last 5-8 years, Coretti says.
The Obsessively Organic line by Kiss My Face uses a blend of all-natural preservatives, Byckiewicz says. This blend assures the products have a shelf life of up to 2 years.
As companies seek alternatives to synthetic preservatives, the industry as a whole is moving forward on issues that are just as challenging. What OCA. OTA and virtually everybody else in the industry agrees on is that the higher the level of organic ingredients in a personal care product, the safer it is for the consumer. How quickly they can agree on standards that they can support is another matter. Until then, consumers will have to educate themselves about label claims–and rely on their scruples…..