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

Antioxidant Cure For Wrinkles?

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Beauty care starts at home, by taking your vitamins regularly

A new method to fight off wrinkles.
Women may soon no longer have to turn to plastic surgery to get rid of those pesky wrinkles, thanks to a researcher at the Hebrew University Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences who has developed a new method to fight wrinkles.

The method has been developed by Dr Orit Bossi under the supervision of Zecharia Madar, the Karl Bach Professor of Agricultural Biochemistry at the Hebrew University, and Prof Shlomo Grossman of Bar-Ilan University.

Antioxidants operate against free radicals which cause a breakdown of many tissues in the body, including the skin. When found in small quantities in the body, free radicals are not harmful and are even involved in various physical processes.

When there is an excess of free radicals, however, as occurs during normal aging or as a result of excessive exposure to ultra-violet radiation from the sun, the result, among other things, is a breakdown of the collagen and elastin fibres in the skin. When this happens, there is a loss of skin elasticity and the formation of wrinkles. “A problem with many of the commercial antioxidants found today in the market that are said to retard the aging process is that they oxidise quickly and therefore their efficiency declines with time,” said Dr Bossi.

“Vitamin C, for example, oxidises rapidly and is sensitive to high temperatures. This is also true of the antioxidant EGCG which is found in green tea, and vitamin E. As a part of her research, Dr Bossi conducted experiments on mice skin tissue, which resembles that of humans. She applied her antioxidant on two skin cell groups — those which had been exposed to the sun’s rays and received her antioxidant and those which also had been exposed to sun but did not receive the antioxidant. The untreated cells showed a rise in free radicals causing wrinkles, while those cells which had been treated showed no significant increase in the free radicals level.

Source:The Times Of India

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Foods for Healthy Skin And Flawless Complexion

Revitalize Your Skin Without Chemicals or Plastic Surgery:

Aging is a fact of life. While many people try harsh chemical peels, exfoliants and costly plastic surgeries to reclaim their youth, walk no farther than your kitchen to achieve a radiant complexion naturally using ancient Chinese food therapy.

Let us face that Aging is a Fact of Life.

While you can always try harsh chemical peels and a host of costly and risky plastic surgeries to revitalize your skin, look no further than your local market to find effective, natural ways to achieve a flawless complexion.

Just as Chinese herbs promote health, beauty, healing and rejuvenation for our face and body, Chinese texts laud the healing and beautifying effects of many foods. Food therapy can be a powerful tool for smoothing wrinkles and diminishing those dark eye circles, bags and facial discolorations.

Many foods and vegetables provide far more than essential nutrients, though. In fact, most can be used directly as healing agents. The distinction between staple foods, vegetables, spices, herbs and drugs are often rather arbitrary.

Food therapy for facial complexion adheres to the basic tenet of Chinese medical philosophy, which holds that external beauty is a mirror reflecting internal health. These foods help address the internal imbalances that result in a spotted or discolored complexion. Of course, their beneficial effect is gradual but without any side effect, and for best results, any food therapy program should go hand in hand with other natural complexion treatments  such as herbs, acupuncture, and acupressure. and regular systematic YOGA Exercise .

Here are some of the best foods the Chinese associate with a spotless and radiant complexion:

COIX SEED
Chinese Name: Yi Yi Ren

coix.jpg
This wonderful barley-like grain, when eaten as food, can help the body clear up discoloration of the facial complexion. It is also a very effective strengthener of the digestive system.

To find and prepare coix seed: Cook it in soup as you would with other beans and barley, or boil it into tea (15 g) and drink it all day.

MULBERRY FRUIT
Chinese Name: Sang Shen Zi

melberry.jpg
These fruits of the mulberry tree contain beneficial antioxidants, help overcome weakness, and brighten a withered-looking complexion. They also are beneficial for clearing dark spots from the face.

To find and prepare mulberry fruit: Mulberry fruit is available in food markets and can be eaten as you would any berry. You also can buy fresh mulberry juice and drink it, or use it in your cooking.

WHITE TURNIP
Chinese Name: Bai Luo Be

white-ternip.jpg
This is a fairly common turnip, often called daikon, which offers plenty of medicinal benefits. It detoxifies the skin and has a beneficial effect on the complexion when eaten regularly.

To find and prepare white turnip: It can be found in most regular food markets. Clean and cut it into small pieces, and then cook it with your regular soup. You also can shred and prepare it as a salad. For facial discoloration, juice white turnip every morning and drink about half a cup.

LUFFA
Chinese Name: Si Gua

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This common Chinese vegetable rejuvenates the skin and is used by the Chinese for facial discoloration and wrinkle conditions. It also is commonly processed for use as a bath sponge, to exfoliate and polish the skin.

To find and prepare luffa: You easily can grow these zucchini-like vegetables yourself if you have the space. You also should be able to find them at Chinese markets. Prepare them as you would any squash. It also makes an excellent topical mask for dealing with wrinkles, dark spots and uneven facial discoloration. The best way to collect the juice is to cut the vein and let the liquid drip into a jar, and then apply it topically to the face while fresh.

Food therapy, as effective as the other traditional Chinese medicine techniques in a facial rejuvenation program, is a powerful tool for smoothing wrinkles and diminishing those dark eye circles, bags and facial discolorations.

PERSIMMON
Chinese Name: Shi Zi

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Persimmon has been known for centuries to cool the body, nourish the lungs and moisten the skin – all actions that improve facial complexion.

To find and prepare persimmon: You may find two different kinds of persimmons. The Chinese version is sometimes called kaki. Both the Chinese and the American persimmons are great for complexion. Eat them raw as fruit, but make sure they are very ripe. Dried persimmons are a special treat that can be found in Chinese markets. Another way to use persimmon to brighten the complexion is by applying the fresh peel to the face

GINKGO NUT
Chinese Name: Bai Gou

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The health benefits of ginkgo leaf extract have been widely recognized in the West. Much modern research indicates that the antioxidant plant chemicals in ginkgo benefit blood flow and might even slow memory loss. Not many are aware that in Chinese medicine, the nut of the ginkgo tree is more often used medicinally. Ginkgo nut is used herbally, but the whole nuts themselves, often roasted, are a traditional Chinese food that nourishes lung energy and calms wheezing. The best way to use ginkgo to clear the complexion is topical application.

To find and prepare ginkgo nut: It is available in Chinese markets. Crush the fresh nuts into a paste and apply directly to the face.

WINTER MELON
Chinese Name: Dong Gua

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This gourd vegetable and its seeds are very popular in China, especially as a soup. It benefits the heart, detoxifies the body and beautifies the skin. Whether eaten as a food or taken in herb form, winter melon can improve a variety of complexion problems.

To find and prepare winter melon: You can find it in Asian markets or even in Western-style organic food stores. It is also called wax gourd or white gourd. Eat it as you would any melon, peeling off the outer skin. Remove the seeds and pulp, cut it into small pieces, and put in soup or saute with garlic. For topical skin beauty use, take a small piece, including the juice, and apply the liquid directly to your face as a skin brightener.

Source:www.toyourhealth.com

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Skin Care

If you have the proper knowledge of your skin you can take its proper care and keep it free from problems. On the one hand to keep the skin intact, healthy and glowing, you ought to take good diet to provide the vitamins required by the skin; on the other hand , to deal with the harmful effects of atmosphere you have to take the help of external applications known as cosmetics. Cosmetics claim to be everything from ensuring safe tanning to reversing the aging process.

SOME TIPS FOR SKIN CARE:-

1. Avoid too much of sweets, fried foods,alcohol and cakes because they cause blemishes and blotchiness on the skin surface.

2. Eat one seasonal fruit in the morning , preferably before eating anything else. Also eat vegetables and salads , specially raw ones.

3.Drink at least 6 to 8 glass of fresh water daily.

4.Try to avoid the sun. If you have to go out either cover your head (wearing a hat) or take an umbrella. Also apply sunscreen lotion.

5. Avoid smoking, specially passive smoking, that is inhaling the air polluted by somebody’s smoking.

6. Use bathing oil to soften your skin. For miking your own bathing oil … take one cup each of palm,almond and olive oil and half cup of wheatgerm oil. Mix them well and keep it in a bottle in dark. Take a little of it and massage into the whole body before bathing or swimming.

7. Try to keep your bathroom worm so that the increase in temperature will encourage the skin pores to open.

8. Use a body brush to break down the more fleshy skin tissues of the body. A bath brush and pumice stone help to soften the hard skin often found on the feet,knee and elbow.

9. Cleanse your skin, once in the morning and again in the evening , before going to sleep with products suitable to your skin type.

10.Use face mask suitable to your skin type atleast once a week.

11. Massage your whole body for minimum half an hour (take other’s help if possible) atleast once a month.

Help taken from :Herbal Beauty & Body Care

Cabbage Leaves for Breast Engorgement

Your milk has come in and boy do you know it! Perhaps your breasts are so hard and tender your baby can’t latch to nurse. Perhaps expressing by hand or pump is not working either. You may be at the point where you’ll try whatever is available for some relief. It’s time to try Cabbage Leaves. The theory is that there is some chemical in cabbage leaves that reduces milk supply. Research is scant in this area and it isn’t conclusive that cabbage leaves are a miracle cure for engorgement. However there are no harmful effects if used correctly and many women have found them to be very helpful. Cabbage leaves, with the help of your infant nursing frequently (every 2-3 hours), might be the answer for you.Uses for Cabbage Leaves

 

  • Local engorgement for specific areas (for example those horrible armpit lumps without other areas of engorgement)
  • Milk engorgement
  • Venous engorgement
  • Suppression of lactation for any reason

 

 

How to use Cabbage Leaves

 

  • Sources state that green, ordinary (not Japanese, etc.) cabbage is preferable.
  • Do not use cabbage leaves if you have an allergy or sensitivity to cabbage (or broccoli, cauliflower or brussell sprouts for that matter). If a rash appears, immediately discontinue using cabbage leaves and call your health care provider.
  • Be warned – there might be a strong odor of cooked cabbage leaves!
  • Wash the leaves thoroughly.
  • The veins can be crushed or removed to allow them to be more form fitting to the breast.
  • They can be chilled in the refrigerator as some feel they are more soothing cold,but it is not necessary.
  • Place in a bra, wrapped around the breast with the nipple exposed.
  • Leave on for 2 hours or until wilted and change to fresh leaves if you need to.
  • Check to see how your breasts are responding with each change and stop using the leaves once engorgement is reduced-prolonged use after engorgement has subsided carries the risk of suppressing your milk production.

 

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(extracted from:http://www.midwifeinfo.com/content/view/51/40/)

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