Category Archives: Herbal Beauty & Body Care

Lady’s Bedstraw.

 

Botanical Name :Galium verum
Family: Rubiaceae
Genus: Galium
Species: G. verum
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Gentianales

Common Names: Our Lady’s Bedstraw. Yellow Bedstraw. Maid’s Hair. Petty Mugget. Cheese Renning. Cheese Rennet.

Habitat : Yellow Bedstraw is native to Europe and Asia. It  grows in Waste ground, roadsides etc.  mainly near the sea, on all but the most acid soils.

Description:
Yellow Bedstraw is a perrinial low scrambling plant, with the stems growing to 60–120 centimetres (24–47 in) long, frequently rooting where they touch the ground. The leaves are 1–3 cm (0.39–1.2 in) long and 2 millimetres (0.079 in) broad, shiny dark green, hairy underneath, borne in whorls of 8–12. The flowers are 2–3 mm (0.079–0.12 in) in diameter, yellow, and produced in dense clusters. This species is sometimes confused with Galium odoratum, a species with traditional culinary uses.

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It is hardy to zone 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies, beetles, self.The plant is self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.

Cultivation:     
Prefers a loose moist leafy soil in some shade, but it tolerates a position in full sun. Plants are tolerant of dry soils, but do not thrive in a hot climate. They dislike very acid soils. A very invasive plant, though it is low-growing and mixes without harm with any plants at least 60cm tall. It grows well in the summer meadow and is a food plant for the larvae of several species of butterflies.

Propagation:    
Seed – best sown in situ as soon as it is ripe in late summer[200]. The seed can also be sown in situ in the spring though it may be very slow to germinate[200]. Division in spring. The plant can be successfully divided throughout the growing season if the divisions are kept moist until they are established[200]. Very easy, larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.

Edible Uses:   
Edible Parts: Leaves;  Seed.
Edible Uses: Coffee;  Colouring;  Curdling agent;  Drink.

Leaves – raw or cooked. A yellow dye from the flowering stems is used as a food colouring. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute[7]. The seed is also said to be edible. The chopped up plant can be used as a rennet to coagulate plant milks. The flowering tops are distilled in water to make a refreshing acid beverage.

Medicinal Uses:
Antispasmodic;  Astringent;  Diuretic;  Foot care;  Lithontripic;  Vulnerary.

Lady’s bedstraw has a long history of use as a herbal medicine, though it is little used in modern medicine. Its main application is as a diuretic and as a treatment for skin complaints[254]. The leaves, stems and flowering shoots are antispasmodic, astringent, diuretic, foot care, lithontripic and vulnerary. The plant is used as a remedy in gravel, stone or urinary disorders and is believed to be a remedy for epilepsy. A powder made from the fresh plant is used to soothe reddened skin and reduce inflammation whilst the plant is also used as a poultice on cuts, skin infections, slow-healing wounds etc. The plant is harvested as it comes into flower and is dried for later use. A number of species in this genus contain asperuloside, a substance that produces coumarin and gives the scent of new-mown hay as the plant dries. Asperuloside can be converted into prostaglandins (hormone-like compounds that stimulate the uterus and affect blood vessels), making the genus of great interest to the pharmaceutical industry.

Other Uses  
Dye;  Repellent;  Strewing;  Stuffing.

A red dye is obtained from the root. It is rather fiddly to utilize. A yellow dye is obtained from the flowering tops. The dye is obtained from the foliage when it is boiled with alum. The dried plant has the scent of newly mown hay, it was formerly used as a strewing herb and for stuffing mattresses etc. It is said to keep fleas away. A sprig in a shoe is said to prevent blisters.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galium_verum
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Galium+verum
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/bedlad25.html

 

 

 

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Three Green Beauty Alternatives

You can go “green” with beauty products by lessening your use of the ones that use harmful ingredients. Here are a couple of organic beauty alternatives:


No-Hair-Washing : You don’t need to shampoo your hair every day. In fact, when you aren’t torturing your hair with product, it produces a natural oil that gives it a unique sheen and softness, and according to studies, it might even reduce the amount of ozone you breathe in.

Natural Deodorant : Store-bought deodorants and anti-perspirants contain harsh chemicals. Instead, try baking soda. Sprinkle a bit on a damp washcloth and apply it on your underarms; it should neutralize the smell and keep you cool all day!

Homemade Facials: Honey, oatmeal, bananas and other household materials can make you a homemade facial treatment!

Click to see:->Proper Use of Cosmetic Clays

Sources: Hello World June 24, 2008

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Care Your Skin

  Learn some natural skin care tips. Do not waste money on cosmetics and skin care products. Get flawless skin and beauty naturally and harmlessly.

Skin Care : Cleansing
Clean your skin every evening – The skin pores get blocked dut to exposure to air pollutions, wind, sun, air conditioning, dirt and grime from our fingers.It is really important to remove stale make-up, perspiration, dirt, dust, excess oil etc. Use a good, natural cleanser that removes only the impurities without stripping the skin of nutrients and moisture.

Wipe your face with a piece of cotton wool dipped in milk (unboiled or not heated). Almond oil is a good cleanser for skin under the eyes.

Skin Care : Exfoliating
It is important to help the skin renewal process by removing dead skin cells. Exfoliate at least twice a week to get rid of dead skin cells. Care should be taken if you have broken capillaries/surface veins.

Clay Masks
Clay helps to deep cleanse and draw out impurities and to soften and condition the skin.(It has several minerals in it which help the skin to disinfect and get rid of external pollution)

Skin Care : Moisturising
Moisturing helps to protect your skin from daily pollutants. Moisturising morning and evening with a natural moisturiser will hydrate, moisturise and protect your skin.

For a moisturizing and nourishing mask, blend a mashed banana with white cosmetic clay and apply.

For normal skin care, mix 1 cup yogurt, 1 tablespoon orange juice and 1 tablespoon lemon juice and apply it on your face. Clean it off after 20 minutes.

For dry skin care, use a mixture of cooked oatmeal and honey; it is a very good moisturizer and cleansing agent.
Body Care For Hands: Mash a banana with some butter and rub on your hands. Before Shower: Body brushing helps exfoliate, tone and stimulate the skin as well as helping the natural drainage of our lymph glands. Dry body brushing before a shower with a natural bristle brush. Always brush upwards to the heart in quick, rhythmic strokes and brush down to the heart when you reach the shoulder/neck area.

After Shower: Apply body lotion. Water is a natural hydration for the skin.

Natural Skin Care Tips:

* Avoid excessive exposure to sun. It may result in sunburn. Read the treatment for sunburn.
* Avoid excessive use of cosmetics. Health experts say that excessive usage of cosmetics by children enhances their risk to various types of cancer and other problems later in life. Most of cosmetic products use potentially dangerous chemicals like parabens and phthalates. The parabens chemical have been recently found in breast cancer tissues. This chemical can affect the hormone oestrogen. The phthalates are linked to lower sperm counts in men, premature breast development and allergies.
* Regular sleep gives our body the chance to work on repairing cells.
* Regular Exercising and massage stimulates circulation and blood flow.
* Drinking eight glasses of water a day keeps skin plump, hydrated and healthy. The body is composed of 70% water. Well hydrated skin is healthy and young looking.
* Take only warm showers and stay away from prolonged sauna exposure.
* Stay protected from the sun to prevent the skin from becoming dehydrated and the damaging effects of UV rays on the skin.
* Eat a balanced diet, avoid foods high in fat, cholesterol and sodium.
Follow an anti-aging diet rich in fruits and green leafy vegetables that are full of natural antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent free-radical damageto the body. If you do not get enough antioxidants from your diet, then your skin cells could lose their ability to function well.
The antioxidants include ingredients such as vitamins A, C and E, flavonoids, beta carotene, selenium, glutathione and zinc. Eat foods high in antioxidants.

Do pranayama daily and keep your skin healthy and smooth…….click & see

Source:http://www.fatfreekitchen.com/beauty/skin-care.html

Know Your Skin

The skin is the largest organ of the body and is made up of multiple layers of cells that are constantly going through self shedding and regeneration once every 30 days. The skin is made up of 3 main layers: Epidermis, Dermis and Subcutaneous or hypodermis. These layers are held together by the protein, collagen and elastin fibres. Collagen provides durability and strength. Time taken for deepest layer to come to the top is 45-75 days.

 

Click to see the different layers

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  1. Top layer – Epidermis
    It is made up of 5 layers: Stratum Corneum – horny layer, Stratum lucidum – clear layer, Stratum granulosum – granular layer, Stratum spinosum – spiny layer – prickle cell, melanin production, and Stratum Germinativum – basal Layer- where the cells divide and grow upwards.
    Each of these layers has their own layers. The Stratum spinosum gives skin its color.
  2. Middle layer – Dermis
    It is made up of: Blood vessels (supply nutrients to the skin), Lymph vessels (defence mechanism for the immune system), Hair follicles (protection and sebum production), Sweat glands (regulators of heat), and Pain and touch receptors (carry impulses to the brain).
  3. Bottom layer – Subcutaneous or hypodermis
    These are fat cells that conserve body heat while protecting other organs from injury. They provide a cushioning effect and are a source of energy in lean times.

Thickness of layer varies – the thinnest layer is on our eyelids making them light and flexible, the thickest is on our hands and feet for gripping.

Functions of Skin
This skin provides a protective layer for organs and tissues from pathogens, heat and light. It regulates body temperature. It stores water, fat and Vitamin D and has touch receptors that sense pain or pleasure. Skin is an excretory and absorption organ.

Skin has a natural moisturising factor (NMF). Teen skin is prone to oiliness as hormones are regulating. At 20-30 years skin cell turnover provides optimum condition. At 30-40 years cell turnover starts to decrease and fine lines start to appear. At 40-50 years skin becomes more dry. Over 50 years of age, cell turnover drops by 50% resulting in flaky patches and deeper lines.

The skin may be sensitive. Sensitive skin reddens easily due to environmental changes or cosmetic products. Skin can become permanently sensitive due to allergy, shaving, and use of skin care productscontaining alpha hydroxy and retinoic acid skin.

Source:http://www.fatfreekitchen.com/beauty/skin.html

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An Orange A Day Keeps Wrinkles Away

An orange a day may actually keep your wrinkles away. An interesting study has revealed that regular intake of foods rich in Vitamin C helps prevent ageing of skin.

Vitamin C, also know as ascorbic acid, is found in a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. Good sources include peppers, broccoli, brussels sprouts, oranges, kiwi fruit, strawberries, tomatoes, leafy greens, papaya, mango, watermelon, cauliflower, cabbage, raspberries and pineapples.

Click to Study :Vitamin C keeps wrinkles away

British scientists examined links between nutrient intake and skin ageing in 4,025 women aged 40-74 years using data from the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. All the women had extensive dermatologic examinations designed to evaluate skin wrinkling and other aspects of skin ageing and also completed a survey listing all the foods they ate in a particular day.

Ageing of the skin was defined as having a wrinkled appearance, senile dryness and skin atrophy.

The study by nutritional epidemiologist Maeve C Cosgrove and other researchers found that those who ate plenty of Vitamin C-rich foods had fewer wrinkles than people whose diets contained little of the vitamin. “Vitamin C is an antioxidant that has been shown to play a role in the synthesis of collagen, the protein that helps keep skin elastic. Our findings add evidence to a predominately supplement and topical application-based hypothesis that what we eat affects our skin-ageing appearance,” according to Cosgrove.

“This is one of the first studies to examine the impact of nutrients from foods rather than supplements on skin ageing. Diets rich in Omega-6 fatty acid were found to be associated with less skin ageing from dryness and thinning while higher fat diets and those higher in carbohydrates were found to be linked to more wrinkling,” Cosgrove added. Vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin, is important in forming collagen, a protein that gives structure to bones, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels.

Source:The Times Of India