Lemongrass Oil

Lemongrass Essential Oil (Cymbopogon citratus & flexuosus)

@Hakcipta Yosri – Dibebaskan di bawah {CC|Version 2}

West Indian: Cymbopogon citratus

East Indian: Cymbopogon flexuosus

Lemongrass is a fibrous herb with a fragrance similar to lemons that belong to the family Poaceae, which consists of 55 other varieties of grasses, two of which are popularly used. The first, Cymbopogon flexuosus, and is most commonly used for producing essential oils. The second, Cymbopogon citratus, is the lemongrass most often used for culinary purposes.

Lemongrass is known to improve circulation, promote digestion, provide relief to fever, stabilize menstrual cycles, increase immunity, treat infections, and act as an insecticide.

Cymbopogon, better known as lemongrass, is a genus of Asian, African, Australian, and tropical island plants in the grass family. Some species (particularly Cymbopogon citratus) are commonly cultivated as culinary and medicinal herbs because of their scent, resembling that of lemons (Citrus limon). Common names include lemon grass, barbed wire grass, silky heads, citronella grass, cha de Dartigalongue, fever grass, tanglad, hierba Luisa, or gavati chahapati, amongst many others.

Lemongrass is widely used as a culinary herb in Asian cuisines and also as a medicinal herb in India. It has a subtle citrus flavor and can be dried and powdered, or used fresh. It is commonly used in teas, soups, and curries. It is also suitable for use with poultry, fish, beef, and seafood. It is often used as a tea in African countries such as Togo, south eastern Ghana Volta Region and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Latin American countries such as Mexico.

Lemongrass oil is used as a pesticide and a preservative. Research shows that lemongrass oil has antifungal properties. Despite its ability to repel some insects, such as mosquitoes, its oil is commonly used as a “lure” to attract honey bees. “Lemongrass works conveniently as well as the pheromone created by the honeybee’s Nasonov gland, also known as attractant pheromones. Because of this, lemongrass oil can be used as a lure when trapping swarms or attempting to draw the attention of hived bees.”

Lemongrass oil, used as a pesticide and preservative, is put on the ancient palm-leaf manuscripts found in India as a preservative. It is used at the Oriental Research Institute Mysore, the French Institute of Pondicherry, the Association for the Preservation of the Saint Thomas Christian Heritage in Kerala, and many other manuscript collections in India. The oil also injects natural fluidity into the brittle palm leaves, and the hydrophobic nature of the oil keeps the manuscripts dry so the text is not lost to decay due to humidity.

East Indian lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), also called Cochin grass or Malabar grass, is native to Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, India, Sri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand, while West Indian lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is native to South Asia and maritime Southeast Asia. While both can be used interchangeably, C. citratus is more suitable for cooking. In India, C. citratus is used both as a medical herb and in perfumes.

Lemongrass essential oil contains beneficial terpene components that actively work on different parts of the body to remedy a range of conditions. The main terpene compounds in lemongrass essential oil include citronellal, nerol, limonene, geraniol, geranyl acetate, citral, and myrcene.

  • Citral has antiviral, antiseptic and antioxidant properties.
  • Citronellal has antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal and sedative properties.
  • Geraniol has antioxidant, antibacterial, antiseptics and analgesic properties.
  • Geranyl acetate has antioxidant, antibacterial, antiseptics and analgesic properties.
  • Limonene has digestive, appetite suppressing, detoxifying and antioxidant properties.
  • Neral has antinociceptive, anti-inflammatory and apoptotic properties.
  • Nerol has antioxidant, sedative, and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Myrcene has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antibiotic, and sedative properties.

Lemongrass essential oil is a source of essential vitamins such as vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, folate and vitamin C. It also provides essential minerals such as magnesium, phosphorous, manganese, copper, potassium, calcium, zinc and iron.

Beneficial Uses of Lemongrass Essential Oil (HealthLine.com)

The health benefits of lemongrass essential oil can be attributed to its beneficial properties as an analgesic, antidepressant, antimicrobial, antipyretic, antiseptic, astringent, bactericidal, carminative, deodorant, diuretic, febrifuge, fungicidal, galactagogue, insecticidal, nervine, sedative, and a tonic. Lemongrass is versatile, and its uses range from cooking to cosmetics, to cleaning products, to medicines. Lemongrass essential oil helps to cure cellulite, fungal infections, and digestive problems, while simultaneously reducing excessive perspiration.

Antianxiety: High blood pressure is a common side effect of stress. Many studies have shown that aromatherapy eases stress and anxiety. Combining aromatherapy with massage may bring greater benefits. A 2015 study evaluated the effects of lemongrass and sweet almond massage oil during massage. Study participants who received a massage using the oil once a week for three weeks had lower diastolic blood pressure than those in the control group. Systolic blood pressure and pulse rate weren’t affected.

Antibacterial: Lemongrass is used as a natural remedy to heal wounds and help prevent infection. Research from 2010 found lemongrass essential oil was effective against a variety of drug-resistant bacteria.

Antidiarrheal: Diarrhea is often just a bother, but it can also cause dehydration. Over-the-counter diarrhea remedies can come with unpleasant side effects — like constipation — leading some people to turn to natural remedies. According to a 2006 study, lemongrass may help slow diarrhea. The study showed that the oil reduced fecal output in mice with castor oil-induced diarrhea, possibly by slowing intestinal motility.

Antifungal: Fungi are organisms like yeast and mold. According to an older study from 1996, lemongrass oil was an effective deterrent against four types of fungi. One type causes athlete’s foot, ringworm, and jock itch. Researchers found that, to be effective, at least 2.5 percent of the solution must be lemongrass oil.

Anti-inflammatory: Chronic inflammation is thought to cause many health problems. These include arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and even cancer. Lemongrass contains citral, an anti-inflammatory compound. According to a 2014 study on animals, lemongrass essential oil showed powerful anti-inflammatory abilities on mice with carrageenan-induced paw edema. The oil also demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects when applied topically on mice with ear edema.

Antioxidant: Antioxidants help your body fight off free radicals that damage cells. Research has shown that lemongrass essential oil helps hunt free radicals. According to a 2011 study, lemongrass oil mouthwash showed strong antioxidant abilities. Researchers suggest it’s a potential complementary therapy for non-surgical dental procedures and gingivitis.

Antipyretic: fever reducing. This is quite similar to a febrifuge but it is effective on very high fever as well. This oil can bring down fever when it is tending to reach dangerous levels. This property of lemongrass, which comes from its essential oils, is widely known and utilized.

Antiseptic: The antiseptic properties of lemongrass oil make it a good application for external and internal wounds as well as a useful ingredient in antiseptic lotions and creams.

Antispasmodic: Lemongrass oil benefits also include its ability to help relieve muscle aches, cramps and spasms. It may also help to improve circulation.

Carminative: reducing gas, alleviating flatulence. It not only helps to remove gas from the intestine but also stops further gas formation. Furthermore, it provides the excess gas a safe downward passage by relaxing the muscles in the abdominal region.

Deodorizer: Use lemongrass oil as a natural and safe air freshener or deodorizer. You can add the oil to water and use it as a mist or use an oil diffuser or vaporizer. By adding other essential oils, like lavender or tea tree oil, you can customize your own natural fragrance. Cleaning with lemongrass essential oil is another great idea because not only does it naturally deodorize your home, but it also helps to sanitize it.

Digestive: Lemongrass is used as a folk remedy for a number of digestive problems, ranging from stomachaches to gastric ulcers. According to a 2012 study on mice, lemongrass essential oil helped prevent gastric ulcers, a common cause of stomach pain. Lemongrass is also a common ingredient in herbal teas and supplements for nausea. Although most herbal products use dried lemongrass leaves, using the essential oil for aromatherapy may provide similar benefits.

Diuretic: Lemongrass oil increases the frequency of urination. When a person urinates, fats are lost from the body, because 4% of the volume of urine is composed of them. Obviously, the more you urinate, the more you lose fat. Urination also promotes digestion and inhibits the formation of excess gas. It removes excess water from the body and reduces swelling. The most important contribution of this oil is that it removes toxins from the body, not to mention its ability to reduce blood pressure. That is the reason why most pharmaceutical medications for lowering blood pressure induce frequent urination. Urination also helps clean the kidneys.

Galactagogue: increases the formation of milk in the breasts. It also enhances the quality of the milk. This property is very helpful for lactating mothers and babies who need this vital source of food. Babies are prone to infections, so the antimicrobial and antibacterial properties of lemongrass oil are also absorbed in the milk, thus indirectly helping the baby avoid such infections.

Glucose Regulation: Lemongrass oil may help reduce blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes, according to a 2007 study on rats. For the study, the rats were treated with a daily oral dose of 125 to 500 milligrams (mg) of lemongrass oil for 42 days. Results showed lemongrass oil lowered blood sugar levels. It also changed lipid parameters while increasing so-called good cholesterol levels (HDL).

Hair Care: Lemongrass oil can strengthen your hair follicles, so if you are struggling with hair loss or an itchy and irritated scalp, massage a few drops of lemongrass oil into your scalp for two minutes and then rinse. The soothing and bacteria-killing properties will leave your hair shiny, fresh and odor-free.

Immunostimulant: stimulating the function of the immune system. Lemongrass oil can help to boost your immune system with its antimicrobial and therapeutic properties. In vitro research has also shown that the oil can reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines in the body, which can contribute to illness.

Pain Relief: The citral in lemongrass essential oil may help ease pain as it relieves inflammation. According to a 2017 study on people with rheumatoid arthritis, topical lemongrass oil decreased their arthritis pain. On average, pain levels were gradually reduced from 80 to 50 percent within 30 days.

According to researchers in Australia, native Australian lemongrass may relieve pain caused by headaches and migraines. The researchers believe that a compound in lemongrass called eugenol has similar abilities to aspirin. Eugenol is thought to prevent blood platelets from clumping together. It also releases serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that regulates mood, sleep, appetite, and cognitive functions.

Sedative: It has great soothing, sedating and calming effects on the mind, cures inflammations, itching of skin and it relieves tension and anxiety. This feature can help patients with insomnia as well.

Skin Care: Add lemongrass oil to shampoos, conditioners, deodorants, soaps and lotions. Lemongrass oil is an effective cleanser for all skin types; its antiseptic and astringent properties make lemongrass oil perfect for getting even and glowing skin, and thus part of your natural skin care routine. It can sterilize your pores, serve as a natural toner and strengthen your skin tissues. By rubbing this oil into your hair, scalp and body, you can alleviate headaches or muscle pain.

Tonic: It tones all the systems functioning in the body, such as the respiratory system, digestive system, nervous system, and excretory system, and facilitates absorption of nutrients into the body, thus providing strength and boosting the immune system.

Triglyceridemia: reduction of triglycerides (cholesterol) in the blood stream. Statin drugs have this action on the circulatory system. High cholesterol may increase your risk of heart attack and stroke. It’s important to keep your cholesterol levels stable. Lemongrass is traditionally used to treat high cholesterol and manage heart disease. A 2007 study helps support its use for those conditions. The study found lemongrass oil significantly reduced cholesterol in rats who had been fed a high cholesterol diet for 14 days. The positive reaction was dose-dependent, which means that its effects changed when the dose was changed.

How to Use Lemongrass Essential Oil

  • To use lemongrass in aromatherapy, add up to 12 drops of essential oil (depending on your sense of smell) to 1 teaspoon carrier oil such as coconut oil, sweet almond oil, or jojoba oil. Mix into a warm bath or massage into your skin. Never apply essential oils directly to your skin.
  • You can also inhale lemongrass oil directly. Add a few drops to a cotton ball or handkerchief and breathe in the aroma. Some people massage the diluted essential oil into their temples to help relieve headaches.
  • Lemongrass Essential Oil can be helpful when carefully used in very-very low dilution by those that are challenged with acne-prone skin.
  • For Mind and Spirit, Robbie Zeck shares this about Lemongrass Essential Oil: “The intense, radiant energy of Lemongrass inspires expansion on all levels. Whenever there is a sense of restriction or limitation in life, Lemongrass lifts the spirits and gets things moving again.” [Robbi Zeck, ND, The Blossoming Heart: Aromatherapy for Healing and Transformation (Victoria, Australia: Aroma Tours, 2008), 92.]

Possible Side Effects and Risks

Although cold pressed Lemon Essential Oil is phototoxic, steam distilled Lemongrass Essential Oil is not phototoxic. However, Lemongrass Essential Oil is abundant in citral (geranial and neral). It can pose a significant risk of skin sensitization when used over 0.7% in topical applications. A little goes a very long way in topical formulations.

Lemongrass essential oil is highly concentrated. Its side effects aren’t well-studied. In some people, they may be stronger than the side effects of the lemongrass plant.

Lemongrass may cause an allergic reaction or skin irritation when used topically.

Other reported side effects of oral lemongrass include:

  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • increased appetite
  • increased urination

Essential oils may be toxic when ingested. You shouldn’t ingest lemongrass essential oil.

Lemongrass, in its plant-form, is generally safe to use in food and beverages. Higher amounts may increase your risk of developing side effects.

You should also talk to your doctor before use if you:

  • have diabetes or low blood sugar
  • have a respiratory condition, such as asthma
  • have liver disease
  • are undergoing chemotherapy
  • are pregnant
  • are breastfeeding

You shouldn’t use lemongrass as a complementary therapy or in place of your regular treatment for any condition unless under your doctor’s supervision.

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cymbopogon
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/lemongrass-essential-oil
  3. https://monq.com/eo/essential-oils/lemongrass/
  4. https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/lemongrass-oil.asp
  5. https://draxe.com/lemongrass-essential-oil/
  6. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-lemongrass-essential-oil.html
  7. https://www.up-nature.com/blogs/news/top-30-lemongrass-essential-oil-benefits-and-uses
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19292822
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21693164
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19656204
  11. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/307583343_Antioxidant_activity_of_lemon_grass_ESSENTIAL_OIL_Cympopogon_citratus_grown_in_North_Indian_plains
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3492709/
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25242268
  14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3326778/
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19662581
  16. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-719/lemongrass
  17. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22862808
  18. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3326778/
  19. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5303933_Antifungal_activity_of_the_Lemon_grass_oil_and_citral_against_Candida_spp
  20. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3217679/
  21. https://www.encyclopedia.com/medicine/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/lemongrass
  22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3217679/
  23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26366471
  24. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3217679/
  25. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1753786
  26. https://www.britannica.com/science/citral#ref149735
  27. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15796587

What is in Your Commercial Lotion?

Since Vaseline is the most common commercially produced lotion on the market we will break it down and show you what’s in it and why it really should not go on your skin.

We’ll review the directions, warnings, ingredients, and storage. After this review please reconsider applying any of these chemicals to your skin.

Try Mother Gaia’s lotion, simply made of beeswax, organic coconut and sunflower oils, filtered zero water, and 0.02% Borax (sodium tetraborate) as the emulsifier.

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: White Petrolatum USP (100%)……….…Skin Protectant

Other Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Petrolatum, Stearic Acid, Glycol Stearate, Dimethicone, Isopropyl Isostearate, Dihydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Tapioca Starch, Cetearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Magnesium Aluminium Silicate, Stearamide AMP, Carbomer, Isopropyl Myristate, Cedrol, Triethanolamine, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben

WHAT ARE THESE INGREDIENTS?

Carbomer: class of chemicals made from acrylic acid. They are thickening agents that help control the viscosity and flow of cosmetic products. They are also solvents, helping formulas to stay well mixed. You’ll find them in styling gels, facial moisturizers, sunscreen, shampoo, anti-aging treatments, cleansers, and scrubs. Though generally considered safe, they can sometimes contain “neutralizing agents” TEA or EDTA. It is a known allergen that causes eye irritation. These can carry contaminants that can be potentially carcinogenic.

Cedrol: is a sesquiterpene alcohol found in the essential oil of conifers (cedar oil), especially in the genera Cupressus (cypress) and Juniperus (juniper). It has also been identified in Origanum onites, a plant related to oregano. Cedrol has toxic and possibly carcinogenic properties when extracted and concentrated.

Cetearyl Alcohol: fatty alcohol that’s either produced from the end products of the petroleum industry or derived from plants (palm oil-palmityl alcohol). It comes in the form of a white, waxy solid. It’s no longer derived from sperm whale oil (where it was originally discovered) seeing how whales are now an endangered species.

  • Cetearyl alcohol is also a surfactant that boosts a products foaming capacity. This property is important in bath soaps, hand soaps, shampoos, conditioners and many other personal care products.
  • Cetearyl alcohol is also a main ingredient in cosmetics such as foundations, concealers, liquid lipsticks and mascaras to stabilize a solution and to prevent the separation of emulsions.
  • Small amounts of alcohol applied to skin cells in lab settings (about 3% alcohol, but keep in mind skin-care products contain amounts ranging from 5% to 60% or more) over the course of two days increased cell death by 26%. It also destroyed the substances in cells that reduce inflammation and defend against free radicals.
  • Exposure to alcohol causes skin cells to literally self-destruct and the longer the exposure to alcohol continues, the worse it gets for your skin cells. The same study found that only two days of exposure was dramatically more harmful than one day of exposure, and that was using an alcohol concentration of less than 10%, which is much lower than what’s in many alcohol-based skin-care products.
  • This research clearly demonstrates the connection between free-radical damage to skin cells and alcohol exposure. Interestingly, this is exceptionally similar to the free-radical damage that results from excessive consumption of alcohol in the short and long term.

Dimethicone: it’s a silicon oil, man-made in the laboratory and used in personal care products as an anti-foaming agent, skin protectant, and skin and hair conditioner. Manufacturers like it because it makes products easily spreadable, so you get that feeling of the lotion or cream gliding over your skin. Dimethicone also helps form a protective barrier on the skin, and can fill in the fine lines and wrinkles on the face, which is why it’s often used in makeup primers.

Why Dimethicone is Bad for Your Skin? That artificial coating on the outside of skin causes several issues:

  • It traps everything under it—including bacteria, sebum, and impurities—which could lead to increased breakouts and blackheads
  • The coating action actually prevents the skin from performing its normal activities—like sweating, temperature regulating, sloughing off dead skin cells, etc.
  • Prolonged exposure to dimethicone can actually increase skin irritation, due to the coating property and because dimethicone is listed as a possible skin and eye irritant
  • Those with sensitive or reactive skin are at risk of an allergic reaction to dimethicone
  • On top of all this, dimethicone is a non-biodegradable chemical—bad for the environment
  • You’re creating a dependency on the coating product, disrupting the skin’s own hydrating processes, which in the end increases dryness, making fine lines and wrinkles more noticeable
  • The coating properties may increase breakouts, particularly if you’re susceptible to acne, which will lead to scars and older-looking skin
  • You’re doing nothing to boost the health and vitality of the skin, thus letting aging take its toll

Dihydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride: This raw material is a captive molecule of Unilever, trademarked as “Glycerol Quat™”. Glycerol Quat is basically a moisturizing / hydrating agent. Developed by DOW chemical.

Disodium EDTA: primarily used as a preservative and stabilizer, this ingredient is essentially used to prevent products from deteriorating and from smelling rancid.  This can usually be found in most skin care products.

Glycerine: (also known as glycerol) has enjoyed a long career as a key moisturizing ingredient, and while it can be obtained from both vegetable or animal fats and oils, it is most commonly derived from biodiesel waste courtesy of the saponification of oil and fat. The non-toxic and eco-friendly substance certainly seals moisture into skin, but it does so while also triggering subdermal skin layers to dry out, creating a chronically chapped sensation.

Glyceryl Stearate: Is chemically used to reduce the greasiness of an oil and to stabilize the product.

Glycol Stearate:  produced by chemically reacting stearic acid and ethylene glycol; Like many other long chain oil derived ingredients glycol stearate is used as a skin conditioning agent (emollient), but according to the cosmetic database it is also used as a surfactant, opacifying agent and an emulsifier, find most use in shampoos, body washes and moisturizers (US Department of Health and Human Services).

Hydroxyethyl Urea: this ingredient is derived from the urine and other bodily fluids of animals.  Used as a humectant and skin conditioning.

Isopropyl Isostearate: the ester of isopropyl alcohol and isostearic acid, is used as a skin conditioning agent-emollient in cosmetic products.

Isopropyl Myristate: a polar emollient and is used in cosmetic and topical medicinal preparations where good absorption into the skin is desired. Isopropyl myristate is being studied as a skin enhancer. It is also used as a pesticide against head lice which works by dissolving the wax that covers the exoskeleton of head lice, killing them by dehydration.

Magnesium Aluminium Silicate: is a naturally occurring mineral derived from refined and purified clay that is used primarily as a thickener.  Although the molecules are too large to be absorbed into skin, there is always concern about the use of aluminum.

Methylparaben: is a chemical preservative used as a fungicide in skin care products that is readily absorbed through the skin. There is controversy over the safety of this ingredient.

Petrolatum: another term for petroleum jelly. Petrolatum is mineral oil jelly (i.e. petroleum jelly). It is used as a barrier to lock moisture in the skin in a variety of moisturizers and also in hair care products to make your hair shine.

  • A petroleum product, petrolatum can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Studies suggest that exposure to PAHs — including skin contact over extended periods of time — is associated with cancer. On this basis, the European Union classifies petrolatum a carcinogen ii and restricts its use in cosmetics. PAHs in petrolatum can also cause skin irritation and allergies.
  • In the European Union, petrolatum can only be used in cosmetics “if the full refining history is known and it can be shown that the substance from which it is produced is not a carcinogen.” There is no parallel restriction in Canada. Petrolatum has been flagged for future assessment under the government’s Chemicals Management Plan.
  • Mineral oil and petroleum distillates are related petroleum by-products used in cosmetics. Like petrolatum, these ingredients may be contaminated with PAHs.

Phenoxyethanol: is a glycol ether that has a commercial, laboratory-produced synthetic counterpart. In its pure chemical form, it is a colorless liquid with a pleasant odor, commonly used in perfumes and cosmetics. Other uses for phenoxyethanol are insect repellents, antiseptics, solvents, anesthetics, soaps, cellulose acetate solvents, dyes, stamp pads, ballpoints, inks, and preservatives used for human specimen dissection.

  • Phenoxyethanol has antimicrobial, antibacterial, and germicidal properties, and is used for preserving pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and lubricants. While it may have those benefits, it also has toxicologic properties when inhaled, ingested, or contacted on the skin in large, or concentrated amounts.
  • Severe eye and skin irritation and damage, including eczema, hives.
  • Lung irritation, hypotension, ventricular dysrhythmias.
  • Brain cell damage, central nervous system (CNS) depression which includes decreased breathing rate, decreased heart rate, loss of consciousness leading to coma or death due to inhibition of the brain’s activity.
  • Repeated, long-term exposure causes organ damage, including peritonitis, serositis, and renal injury.
  • Nipple cream used by lactating mothers can cause severe CNS problems and other digestive disorders in infants.
  • Exposure to small amounts of phenoxyethanol may cause dermal, ocular, and lung irritation.
  • Excessive and long-term exposure to phenoxyethanol can cause severe damage to internal organs.
  • Small amounts of the chemical compound can be largely found in cosmetics and should be avoided according to the European Commission on Cosmetic Ingredients (CosIng).
  • Phenoxyethanol is toxic to the kidneys, liver, and nervous system.

Propylparaben: used as an anti-fungal preservative, it occurs as a natural substance found in many plants, although it is manufactured synthetically for use in cosmetics.  Use of parabens is quite controversial.

Stearic Acid: is a saturated long-chain fatty acid with an 18-carbon backbone. Stearic acid is found in various animal and plant fats, and is a major component of cocoa butter and shea butter. Stearic acid, also called octadecanoic acid, is one of the useful types of saturated fatty acids that comes from many animal and vegetable fats and oils.

  • It is a waxy solid, and its chemical formula is CH3(CH2)16COOH. Its name comes from the Greek word stear, which means tallow. Its IUPAC name is octadecanoic acid. — Wikipedia.
  • Stearic acid is a white, waxy natural acid that can be found in animal and vegetable fats. It is used as an emulsifier and emollient.
  • Stearic acid can cause skin irritations with symptoms of severe itching, redness, and swelling, and rash-like symptoms similar to tiny red spots.
  • Stearic acid can also make the skin sensitive to substances and direct exposure to the sun.
  • Stearic acid cause hive-like spots in the skin which often lead to blisters that can damage the skin.
  • Stearic acid can be harmful to the environment, particularly the aquatic environment.
  • Stearic acid can be hazardous to the digestive, immune, integumentary, ocular, and respiratory systems.

Stearamide AMP: it is an organic compound derived from a reaction involving ethylenediamine and stearic acid.  It is used as a foam booster and viscosity increasing agent.  It is thought to be of low toxicity, however very little information was available.

Triethanolamine:  also known as TEA, is a reactionary byproduct of two toxic substances: ethylene oxide and ammonia. Triethanolamine is used for several purposes in a variety of cosmetics and personal care items. Its main purpose is to balance the pH level of products, but it also helps to emulsify ingredients that usually do not blend well. This ensures they spread smoothly on skin and hair and prolongs shelf-life. Additionally, Triethanolamine is a sometimes a foaming agent and adds fragrance to products.

  • The problem then rests in the hands of the consumer, who may be absorbing small amounts Triethanolamine into their skin via many common products used daily. The accumulation of small doses of this toxic substance then becomes a large dose. Continual daily exposure over long periods of time may be extremely unhealthy.
  • Triethanolamine can cause skin, hair and eye irritation and inflammation on a short term and long-term basis. Its immediate effects include itchy, watery eyes, dry and brittle hair and itchy skin. Over time, Triethanolamine use can cause chemical damage to skin such as blisters, a hot, burning sensation, hives and flakiness.
  • In clinical trials done on animals, high doses of Triethanolamine caused liver, bladder and testicular cancer. Similar animal studies showed Triethanolamine can have negative effects on organs, even in low doses, especially when applied around the lips, mouth and eyes. Triethanolamine has also proven to be an immune system and respiratory toxicant, as well as a skin and full body allergen. It may cause genetic mutations in vitro as well.
  • Additionally, Triethanolamine can be carcinogenic when combined in products with N-nitrosating agents as these may react to form nitrosamines.

 

DRUGS.COM – Information on Topical Emollients

What is Vaseline Intensive Care?

Emollients are substances that moisten and soften your skin.

Topical (for the skin) emollients are used to treat or prevent dry skin. Vaseline Intensive Care are sometimes contained in products that also treat acne, chapped lips, diaper rash, cold sores, or other minor skin irritation.

Important Information

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

You should not use a topical emollient if you are allergic to it. Vaseline Intensive Care will not treat or prevent a skin infection.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use Vaseline Intensive Care if you have: deep wounds or open sores; swelling, warmth, redness, oozing, or bleeding; large areas of skin irritation; any type of allergy; or if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

How should I use Vaseline Intensive Care?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Clean the skin where you will apply the topical emollient. It may help to apply this product when your skin is wet or damp. Follow directions on the product label.

Apply a small amount of topical emollient to the affected area and rub in gently.

If you are using a stick, pad, or soap form of topical emollient, follow directions for use on the product label.

Do not use this product over large area of skin. Do not apply a topical emollient to a deep puncture wound or severe burn without medical advice.

If your skin appears white or gray and feels soggy, you may be applying too much topical emollient or using it too often.

Some forms of topical emollient may be flammable and should not be used near high heat or open flame, or applied while you are smoking.

Store as directed away from moisture, heat, and light. Keep the bottle, tube, or other container tightly closed when not in use.

What should I avoid while taking Vaseline Intensive Care?

Avoid getting Vaseline Intensive Care in your eyes, nose, or mouth. If this does happen, rinse with water.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or tanning beds. Some Vaseline Intensive Care can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight or UV rays.

Vaseline Intensive Care side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using the topical emollient and call your doctor if you have severe burning, stinging, redness, or irritation where the product was applied.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

 

 

References:

  1. https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=696246be-8761-48a7-929c-ae412e43762a
  2. http://www.smartlabel.org/products/vaseline
  3. https://www.drugs.com/mtm/vaseline-intensive-care.html
  4. http://www.vaseline.ca/en/product/intensive-care/lotions/dry-skin-repair.html
  5. https://davidsuzuki.org/queen-of-green/dirty-dozen-petrolatum/
  6. http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts69.html#bookmark06
  7. http://ecb.jrc.ec.europa.eu/classification-labelling/
  8. http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/cosmetics/cosing/index.cfm?fuseaction=search.results&annex=II&search
  9. https://www.britannica.com/science/stearic-acid
  10. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/stearic_acid
  11. http://www.chemicals.news/2017-11-11-stearic-acid-toxicity-side-effects-diseases-and-environmental-impacts.html
  12. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-14391/stearic-acid/details
  13. https://www.truthinaging.com/ingredients/glycol-stearate
  14. https://online.personalcarecouncil.org/ctfa-static/online/lists/cir-pdfs/pr237.PDF
  15. http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC33136
  16. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.3109/10915818209013144
  17. https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/702701/GLYCOL_STEARATE/
  18. https://www.bewell.com/blog/the-truth-behind-the-common-cosmetics-ingredient-dimethicone/
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11012005?dopt=Abstract
  20. http://www.truthinaging.com/ingredients/dimethicone
  21. http://fscimage.fishersci.com/msds/95130.htm
  22. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-18321/dimethicone-topical/details
  23. https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@term+@DOCNO+1808
  24. https://www.practo.com/medicine-info/dimethicone-1483-api
  25. http://www.chemicals.news/2017-12-03-dimethicone-toxicity-side-effects-diseases-and-environmental-impacts.html
  26. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3654275/
  27. https://www.drugs.com/cdi/dimethicone-spray.html
  28. https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@term+@DOCNO+2647
  29. http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC32995
  30. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/296576346_Final_report_on_the_safety_assessment_of_Isopropyl_Isostearate
  31. http://datasheets.scbt.com/sc-250200.pdf
  32. https://www.organicauthority.com/energetic-health/are-you-sure-you-want-to-slather-your-skin-with-that-drugstore-lotion
  33. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/isopropyl_palmitate
  34. https://chem.nlm.nih.gov/chemidplus/rn/34004-36-9
  35. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/34004-36-9
  36. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/product.php?prod_id=499430
  37. https://greeneyedgrace.com/personal-care-products-integrity-lost/
  38. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/34004-36-9#datasheet=lcss&section=Top
  39. https://comptox.epa.gov/dashboard/dsstoxdb/results?search=DTXSID4052766
  40. https://echa.europa.eu/information-on-chemicals/cl-inventory-database/-/discli/details/17350
  41. http://www.cosmetoscope.com/2010/03/dihydroxypropyltrimonium-chloride-glycerol-quat/
  42. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.3109/10915818809023137
  43. http://thetoxicfreefoundation.com/database/ingredient/cetearyl-alcohol
  44. http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC33112
  45. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/1-Hexadecanol
  46. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-32603/cetyl-alcohol-topical/details
  47. https://www.paulaschoice-eu.com/alcohol-in-skincare-the-facts
  48. http://www.naturalcosmeticnews.com/toxic-products/list-of-15-toxic-chemicals-to-avoid-in-personal-care-products/
  49. http://www.naturalcosmeticnews.com/category/toxic-products/
  50. https://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-18474/carbomer/details
  51. https://www.annmariegianni.com/synthetic-polymers-plastics-cosmetics-avoid/
  52. https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@term+@DOCNO+7826
  53. http://www.thediysecrets.com/are-you-aware-of-the-toxins-in-your-everyday-products/
  54. https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@term+@DOCNO+8265
  55. https://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@term+@DOCNO+5595
  56. https://www.forceofnatureclean.com/chemical-free-living-phenoxyethanol/
  57. https://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/consumer_safety/docs/sccs_o_195.pdf
  58. https://www.orgaid.com/blogs/news/82910919-top-10-harmful-chemicals-to-avoid-in-skin-care
  59. http://www.chemicals.news/2017-11-16-phenoxyethanol-toxicity-side-effects-diseases-and-environmental-impacts.html
  60. https://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=Phenoxyethanol+toxicity&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart
  61. https://www.officinea.fr/le-blog/en/phenoxyethanol-7-reasons-to-banish-it/
  62. http://blog.organicapoteke.com/2010/06/natural-skin-care-the-dangers-of-phenoxyethanol/
  63. https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/704811/PHENOXYETHANOL/
  64. https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/706281/STEARAMIDE_AMP/
  65. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/13410460
  66. https://cosmetics.specialchem.com/inci/stearamide-amp
  67. http://www.mayalsocontain.com/2013/08/st-ives-indulgent-coconut-milk-triple.html
  68. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11766136
  69. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethylene_bis(stearamide)
  70. http://www.mayalsocontain.com/2013/08/st-ives-indulgent-coconut-milk-triple.html
  71. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11766136
  72. https://www.truthinaging.com/ingredients/triethanolamine
  73. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23696578
  74. https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/triethanolamine
  75. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/ipcsneng/neng1034.html
  76. https://naturaveda.com/education/12-toxic-and-carcinogenic-compounds-found-in-beauty-and-skin-care-products/the-dangers-of-triethanolamine/
  77. https://www.rxlist.com/cerumenex-side-effects-drug-center.htm

Lemon Peel Oil

Lemon Peel Oil (Citrus limon)

Lemon, scientifically called Citrus limon, is a flowering plant that belongs to the Rutaceae family. Lemon plants are grown in many countries all over the world, although they are native to Asia and are believed to have been brought to Europe around 200 A.D. In America, English sailors would use lemons while on the sea to protect themselves from scurvy and conditions caused by bacterial infections.

Lemon essential oil comes from cold-pressing the lemon peel and not the inner fruit. The peel is actually the most nutrient-dense portion of the lemon because of its fat soluble phytonutrients. Lemon essential oil is composed of many natural compounds, including terpenes, sesquiterpenes, aldehydes, alcohols, esters and sterols.

Lemons and lemon oil are popular because of their refreshing scent and invigorating, purifying and cleaning properties. Research shows that lemon oil contains powerful antioxidants and helps to reduce inflammation, fight bacteria and fungi, boost energy levels and ease digestion.

Major Constituents of Cold Pressed Lemon Oil: (+)-Limonene, B-Pinene, Gamma-Terpinene, a-Terpineol, a-Pinene, and Geranial

BENEFITS OF LEMON ESSENTIAL OIL (OrganicFacts.net)

The health benefits of lemon oil include its ability to treat skin disorders, hair conditions, stress disorders, fever, infections, asthma, obesity, insomnia, stomach problems, and fatigue. All these benefits of lemon oil can be attributed to its stimulating, calming, carminative, anti-infection, astringent, detoxifying, antiseptic, disinfectant, sleep-inducing, and antifungal properties.

  1. Antidepressant: lemon essential oil is uplifting and mood enhancing. It has been found to reduce anxiety and assist in relieving the physical symptoms of depression.
  2. Antimicrobial: lemon essential oil works as a natural antimicrobial agent because of two dominant compounds found in the oil, limonene and b-pinene. This makes lemon oil a powerful tool in cleaning and food protection.
  3. Antitumoral: limonene, a major component of lemon essential oil, has anti-tumor and chemotherapeutic effects. Oral feeding of lemon oil has resulted in significant regression of mammary carcinoma (a breast cancer), without any observable systemic toxicity.
  4. Asthma: inhaling lemon essential oil has been proven to open airways and clear nasal passages and sinuses.
  5. Cancer: A mixture of lemon essential oil combined with eucalyptus, melaleuca, lemongrass, clove leaf, and thyme, in a 40 percent ethanol base, demonstrated anti-tumorigenic effects when administered to patients with metastatic tumorigenic ulcers. Cancer patients have also found relief from pain, anxiety, nausea, and vomiting by using lemon and other essential oils.
  6. Cleaning: Lemon oil can be used to cleanse your home of harmful pathogens, like bacteria, fungi and viruses. Using lemon as a natural cleaning product also keeps your home free of conventional products that are made with dangerous chemicals.
  7. Cold & Cough: Lemon oil has antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, so it helps to boost your immune system and fight respiratory conditions.
  8. Detoxification: Lemon oil has a purifying, cleansing and protective effect on the body. It helps to defend the body against harmful pathogens and promotes detoxification through the blood and liver. It also stimulates lymphatic drainage, which helps the body to cleanse itself of wastes and toxins.
  9. Digestion: Lemon essential oil can help to soothe digestive problems, including issues like gastritis and constipation. It reduces gastritis symptoms by reducing the erosion of gastric mucosa (the lining of your stomach) and working as a gastro-protective agent against stomach lesions.
  10. Nausea: lemon essential oil can be used as a tool for reducing nausea and vomiting safely during pregnancy.
  11. Oral Health: lemon essential oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties, it works as a natural remedy for many oral conditions, including oral thrush and bad breath. It can also be used to whiten your teeth naturally and prevent tooth decay.
  12. Skin Care: Lemon essential oil benefits your skin by reducing acne, nourishing damaged skin and hydrating the skin. It is also effective against skin issues like blisters, insect bites, greasy and oily conditions, cuts, wounds, cellulite, rosacea, and viral infections of the skin like cold sores and warts.
  13. Weight Loss: lemon contains d-limonene, which is known to help support your metabolism and cleanse your lymphatic glands, which can help with weight loss.

USES FOR LEMON ESSENTIAL OIL

Athlete’s foot, chilblains, colds, corns, dull skin, flu, oily skin, spots, varicose veins, warts. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 56-66.]

  1. Detergent: Mix washing soda, purified water, vinegar, citric acid, and kosher salt with orange and/or lemon essential oil(s). Must be stored in the fridge. (See specific recipe below) Works for scrubbing dishes, in the dishwasher, and on hard surfaces. Cleaning your dishwasher is important at least once a month, run it empty with a cup of vinegar and baking soda.
  2. Disinfectant & Degreaser: Add 40 drops of lemon oil and 20 drops of tea tree oil to a 16 ounce spray bottle fill with pure water (and a little bit of apple cider vinegar) for a traditional cleaning favorite. This natural cleaning product can be used to kill toxins and bacteria in your home, especially in places like your kitchen and bathroom.
  3. Facewash: combine 2-3 drops lemon essential oil with baking soda and honey and scrub face and rinse with warm water.
  4. Goo-Be-Gone: 3-5 drops of lemon essential oil will dissolve it, then you can wipe it off. Use it on your hands to remove grease and oil.
  5. Sore Throat Relief: adding lemon essential oil to water and baking soda and gargling can relieve sore throat, reduce mouth inflammation and soothe tonsillitis.
  6. Tooth Whitener: mix baking soda, coconut oil, and lemon essential oil and rub on teeth after brushing and flossing, allow to sit at least 2min before rinsing.
  7. Wood & Silver Polish: 10 drops of lemon essential oil on a cloth and polish silver and jewelry safely, or clean and nourish wood surfaces.

PRECAUTIONS

Lemon essential oil can cause photosensitivity when used topically, so it’s important to avoid direct sunlight up to 12 hours after using lemon oil on your skin.

Lemon oil can cause skin irritations in some people, so do a patch test on your arm or leg before using it topically just to be sure that you won’t have an adverse reaction. When using lemon oil on my skin, I like to dilute it with a carrier oil, like coconut oil or jojoba oil, especially on sensitive areas like my face.

 

RECIPES

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent with Orange and Lemon Oils

Total Time: About 10 minutes  Serves: About 30 ounces

INGREDIENTS:

2 ounces washing soda

3¼ cups purified water

4 ounces white vinegar

1 ounce citric acid powder

1 cup kosher salt

20 drops wild orange essential oil

20 drops lemon essential oil

DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients until well blended.

Use about 1½–2 tablespoons of detergent per load.

 

Homemade Melaleuca Lemon Household Cleaner

Total Time: 2 minutes  Serves: 30-90

INGREDIENTS:

8 ounces water

4 ounces distilled white vinegar

15 drops melaleuca oil

15 drops lemon

Glass cleaning spray bottle

DIRECTIONS:

Fill spray bottle with ingredients.

Close bottle and shake to mix.

Swirl/shake bottle before each spray.

 

Homemade Dish Soap with Lemon and Lavender Oil

Total Time: 10 minutes Serves: About 16 ounces

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup Castile soap

¼ cup soap flakes or grated Castile soap

4 tablespoons super washing soda

4 ounces purified water

30 drops lemon essential oil

30 drops lavender essential oil (optional, rosemary)

DIRECTIONS:

Place the soap flakes and washing soda into a bowl and blend with a whisk.

Bring the water to a boil, then pour on top of the ingredients. Stir.

Add the remaining ingredients.

Blend all ingredients well.

Allow to cool, stirring occasionally, then pour into a BPS-free squirt bottle or a glass bottle with a pump.

 

Homemade Face Wash

Total Time: 5 minutes Serves: 30

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup coconut oil

1 tbsp baking soda

5 drops lavender essential oil

5 drops frankincense essential oil

5 drops lemon essential oil

Glass Jar

(if acne prone, replace frankincense and lemon oils with 10 drops of tea tree essential oil)

DIRECTIONS:

Melt the coconut oil in a pan over low heat

Once melted, remove from heat and add in the remaining ingredients.

Store in wash dispenser or air tight jar and keep it in a cool place

 

References:

  1. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-lemon-oil.html
  2. https://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/lemon-oil.aspx
  3. https://www.planttherapy.com/lemon-essential-oil-fresh-zesty-pure-citrus-scent-plant-therapy
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon
  5. https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/lemon-oil.asp
  6. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-lemon-health-benefits
  7. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0153643
  8. https://lipidworld.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12944-017-0487-5
  9. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10942912.2017.1303709
  10. https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/1.4973164
  11. https://irjponline.com/admin/php/uploads/2498_pdf.pdf
  12. http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/real-benefits-lemon-water-according-science
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6073409/
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4005434/
  15. https://thetruthaboutcancer.com/lemon-essential-oil-cancer-fighter/
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5543433/
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24829772
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/19410566/
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10568210
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5435909/
  21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15778557
  22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2581754/
  23. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27571876
  24. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25272759
  25. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4606594/
  26. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19109001
  27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11314887
  28. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3671226/
  29. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5543433/
  30. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3824622/
  31. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5894780/

 

Spike Lavender

Spike Lavender oil (Lavandula spica & latifolia)

You can find Spike Lavender in Mother Gaia’s Sprays and Lotions, just shop online or send us an email here.

According to BodyBliss.com/blog. There are three basic types of Lavender available.

The first is Spike Lavender (Lavandula spicata). This wild character smells a bit like its name would lead you to believe…rough and spiky. It is full of camphoraceous notes and is not likely to soothe or relax you.

The second are the True Lavenders (Lavandula angustifolia or Lavandula officinalis). This type of Lavender can be further divided into what the French call Fine or Population lavenders, and the Clonal Lavenders.

  1. A Clonal Lavender is a True Lavender that has been bred for certain characteristics (most usually a sweet bouquet) and which is propagated by taking cuttings from the parent plant, as opposed to by seed.
  2. The Population Lavenders are the original Lavenders of Provence and because they are grown from seed, each plant will have a unique genetic make up and this can be seen in the variance in the appearance of the plants in the field. This variance also gives the essential oil a rich complex bouquet, and a correspondingly rich therapeutic potential. Population Lavenders require cool air to thrive, so they are only found at high elevations.

The third and final group are the Lavandins. Lavadins are types of Lavender produced by interbreeding the True Lavenders with the Spike Lavenders. There are many different strains of Lavadin, of which Abrialis, Super and Grosso are perhaps the most common. The reason that so much of the ‘lavender’ sold these days comes from strains of Lavandin plants is because these hybrid plants grow vigorously to a large size, they resist disease, and they have large flower spikes that yield a lot of oil – making the essential oil inexpensive.

We are discussing the benefits of spike lavender.

Lavandula spica (spicata)

A beautiful dwarf form of English Lavender. Very Fragrant, intense blue flowers are held on short erect stems during spring summer. The flowers are held above a neat, compact, silver-grey mound of camphor scented foliage just 25cm across. Great cut flowers and dries beautifully.  Lovely small specimen for pots or makes a very tidy border edging plant. Enjoys full sun in well drained, neutral to slightly alkaline soil. Tolerates dry periods. Frost hardy once established.

Spike Lavender is differentiated by its minty, herbal scent. This aroma is helpful for supporting the respiratory system as well as local circulation. Spike Lavender is also more stimulating and active on the skin than Lavender Angustifolia.

Spike lavender is wonderfully cooling when hot flashes hit. Not nearly as harsh as peppermint and yet cools the entire system when applied in diluted form onto the skin. Assists in balancing hormones associated with body temperature and regulation.

Blends well with:  Bay Laurel, Black Pepper, Black Spruce, Cedar Atlas, Clove, Eucalyptus Radiata, Eucalyptus Globulus, Balsam Fir, Douglas Fir, Silver Fir, Frankincense, Hyssop Decumbens, Inula, Lavender, Oregano, Palmarosa, Patchouli, Peppermint, Wild Scotch Pine, Rosemary Cineol, Sage, Tea Tree, Thyme, Wintergreen.

Safety Information: Do not apply directly on young children. Do not ingest.

Maximum Adult Dilution: 19%; 114 drops per ounce of carrier

Recommended Dilution: 1-5%; 6 – 30 drops per ounce of carrier

Lavandula latifolia

Known as broadleaved lavender, spike lavender or Portuguese lavender, is a flowering plant in the family Lamiaceae, native to the western Mediterranean region, from central Portugal to northern Italy (Liguria) through Spain and southern France. Hybridization can occur in the wild with English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia). The scent of Lavandula latifolia is stronger, with more camphor, and more pungent than Lavandula angustifolia scent. For this reason the two varieties are grown in separate fields.

Aromatically, Spike Lavender Oil tends to blend well with the same families of essential oils that traditional Lavender Oil does including other floral, mint and coniferous oils. Rosemary Essential Oil, depending on the chemotype, also tends to have a large percentage of camphor. If you particularly like the aroma of Rosemary Oil, you should find the aroma of Spike Lavender Essential Oil appealing.

Spike Lavender Essential Oil possesses usage applications similar to that of traditional Lavender Oil. However, it’s greater percentage of the constituent camphor gives it stronger analgesic and expectorant properties. It is a better choice to ease headaches or use as an expectorant in the diffuser. Diluted for topical use, it can be used to help ease aches, pains or the discomfort associated with arthritis. It is also reported to be effective in repelling insects.

Due to its camphor content of up to 25%, Spike Lavender Essential Oil should be used with care. Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young do not specify any contraindications for Spike Lavender Essential Oil, but state that it may be mildly neurotoxic. [Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 329.]

Properties : Nervous system regulation, calming, sedative, anti-depressive, powerful antispasmodic, muscle relaxer, hypotensive, general and pulmonary antiseptic, heart tonic and tonic, cardiac nerves contrastimulant, skin repair, skin regeneration (external use), anti-inflammatory, analgesic

Indications : Infectious, cicatricial or allergic skin ailments, acne, couperosis, psoriasis, pruritus, eczema, wounds, burns, insect bites, razor burn, eschars, ulcers, stretch marks, insomnias, sleeping disorders, spasms, irritability, anxiety, depressive state, stress, cramps, contractures and muscular spasms, hypertension, palpitation, tachycardia, nervous disorders, asthma, digestive spasms, nausea, migraine, rheumatisms

Energetic and Emotional Effect: Solar plexus action. Lavender calms irritations associated with power confrontations and interpersonal relationships. It also calms anxious people and anger in general.

For congestion: Massage around the ear and lymphatic nodes with a few drops, pure or diluted in vegetable oil.

To calm anxiety and stress episodes: Apply five or six drops on the solar plexus (diaphragm) and massage while breathing slowly and profoundly.

To ease sleep: Mix one drop of essential oil in two table spoons of maple syrup. In your mixer, blend 500ml of plain yogurt

References:

  1. https://www.seedscape.net.au/shop/hardy-perennial/lavandula-spicata-muffets-children/
  2. https://www.essentialoils.gr/en/essential-oil-singles/208-lavender-spike-essential-oil-bio-lavandula-latifolia-cineolifera-florihana.html
  3. https://dengarden.com/gardening/Best-French-English-Lavenders-Lavender-lavendar-grow-in-Zone-5-ontario-flowers-herbs
  4. https://bodybliss.com/blog/a-lesson-in-lavender-june-20th-/
  5. http://veriditasbotanicals.com/products/essential-oils/lavender-spike/
  6. https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/spike-lavender-oil.asp
  7. https://everything-lavender.com/spike-lavender.html
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26441063
  9. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1021949814000799
  10. https://www.iso.org/standard/55964.html
  11. http://eol.org/pages/590824/details
  12. https://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Lavandula_latifolia
  13. https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/371559-Lavandula-latifolia
  14. https://aliksir.com/en/lavender-spike-lavandula-latifolia-essential-oil.html

Healthy Hair Naturally

 

We know our lifestyles and environments have a huge impact on our physical health. Our hair and skin are the first to show chemical damage. Eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly help, of course, yet they aren’t enough when you’re using commercially produced, chemical laden products on your hair. So here are some natural options for strengthening and lengthening hair.

Proper Nutrition for Healthy Hair

A nutritious diet that contains healthful fats, protein, and a range of vitamins can help with thinning or thin hair. In fact, thin hair can be a sign that a person is not getting enough nutrients. To help remedy this, people with thin hair should include some of the following nutrient-rich foods in their diets:

  • salmon, which is high in protein and fatty acids
  • eggs, which contain protein, omega 3, and iron
  • walnuts, almonds, and other nuts, which are sources of fatty acids
  • greek yogurt, which is a source of protein
  • green, black, pinto, and other beans, which contain protein

A person should look to add 1 or 2 servings of any of the above foods to their daily diet. Even adding just 3 or 4 servings a week can contribute to improved hair health.

Regular Combing & Trimming

Comb your hair three times a day and trim it in every three months. Regular combing and trimming is extremely important for expediting the growth of new hair. Combing is essential as it provides good blood circulation, and stimulates hair follicles, helping them produce new hair naturally.

Proper Washing Technique

  1. Wash with warm water and rinse with cold.
  2. Use finger tips, not nails, to massage scalp and stimulate follicles.
  3. Always massage conditioners and oils into the scalp with circular motions.

Shampoo is Important

The type of shampoo you are using can have drastic effects on the health of your hair. It’s best to use a natural soap or a petroleum and sulfate free blend. These only remove dirt and do not strip the hair of its natural oils like commercial surfactants.

Coconut Oil Soap: easy to make or purchase (https://www.mothergaias.com/shop) Full of fatty acids essential for nourishing the scalp and hair follicles and gently removes dirt and grease without over drying (stripping) the hair.

Natural Conditioning Can Help

Much like shampoo, conditioner contents can have drastic effects on the health of your hair. So instead of a petroleum wax and oil laden blend, try something that actually nourishes your hair. Here are some natural ways to moisturize and strengthen hair.

Apple Cider Vinegar: gently cleanses the scalp and maintains the PH balance of the hair accelerating hair growth. How To Use:

  • Wash your hair
  • Use apple cider vinegar as a final rinse after washing your hair to get healthy and shiny hair.
  • For 1 liter of solution – mix 75ml of apple cider vinegar to one liter of water
  • You may store this entirely or make it smaller batches.
  • For smaller quantities, take 15 ml of apple cider vinegar and add it to a cup of warm filtered water
  • After washing your hair, using this cup of water as the final rinse.

Aloe Gel: Applying aloe oil directly to the hair and scalp may help strengthen the hair and thicken it over time. For a homemade solution, a person can try rubbing some pure aloe gel into the scalp and letting it sit for 30 minutes before rinsing. This can be done once or twice a week.

Avocado: Avocado is rich in vitamin E, and many people believe it to be a good moisturizer. Make a simple avocado rub and apply it twice a week. Do remember it can be an ugly, squishy avocado, not a green healthy one. To make an avocado rub:

  • combine the fruit of 1 avocado with 1 tbsp olive/sunflower/coconut oil
  • apply the mixture to hair and scalp
  • let it sit for about 30 minutes
  • rinse thoroughly with natural shampoo

Cayenne Pepper: stimulates hair growth and prevents thinning of hair. It has a chemical in it known as Capsaicin. This ingredient when applied on the scalp causes the nerves to activate and increase the blood flow to the scalp. This results in increased absorption of nutrients and better hair growth. How To Use:

  • Mix 1 teaspoon of pepper powder with 2 teaspoons of olive oil
  • Apply it on the scalp where thinning is more prominent
  • Wash off with cool water

Coconut Milk: rich in iron, potassium and essential fats. It reduces hair fall and breakage. How To Use:

  • Extract the milk of a coconut
  • Apply it on the targeted areas
  • Keep it overnight
  • Rinse off with cool water the next day

Coconut Oil: Rich in potassium, coconut oil keeps your scalp healthy; promotes the growth of new hair and repairs damaged hair. It also reduces dandruff, hair breakage and hair loss. Coconut oil is also used as a pre-conditioning hair treatment for damaged hair. It acts as a moisturizer and strengthens the hair shaft from the root, thus preventing breakage. It keeps the scalp well-nourished and moisturized. Use coconut hot oil treatment for effective results.

Cumin Seeds: packed with 100′s of nutrients and vitamins that are great for replenishing your hair. How To Use:

  • Soak cumin seeds in olive oil or castor oil
  • Let it soak overnight
  • The next morning, apply it to the targeted areas
  • Wash after 15 minutes with a mild shampoo

Eggs: high in protein, which is essential for the body to build strong, thick hair. When used regularly, an egg treatment may help thicken and strengthen a person’s hair. To use an egg treatment:

  • beat 1 or 2 eggs together
  • apply the eggs to the scalp and damp hair
  • leave the eggs on the scalp for about 30 minutes
  • wash hair thoroughly with warm water and mild shampoo

Alternately, combine the eggs with oil and water. To use this method:

  • mix egg yolks, 1 tablespoon (tbsp) olive oil, and 2 tbsp of water
  • apply the mixture to the scalp and dry hair
  • leave for 15 minutes
  • rinse out with warm water and a mild shampoo

Fenugreek: accelerates hair growth and protects the natural color of your hair. How To Use:

  • Take 1 teaspoon of the fenugreek paste
  • Add 2 teaspoons of coconut milk to it
  • Apply it all over your hair and scalp
  • Leave it on for 30 minutes
  • Wash off with a mild shampoo

Flaxseed Oil: rich source of essential fatty acids which helps to transform dry, damaged and brittle hair to healthy and shiny hair. The omega 3 fatty acids in the oil promote healthy hair growth. How To Use:

  • Include flaxseed oil supplements in your daily diet
  • Use it with the combination of other essential oils.

Garlic: home remedy for reducing the shedding of hair. Why? It boosts the regeneration of new hair and promotes the scalp circulation. How To Use:

  • Boil a few cloves of crushed garlic in olive oil or coconut oil
  • Apply it to the roots of your hair follicles.
  • Wash off properly

Green Tea: antioxidants prevent hair loss and boost hair growth. How To Use:

  • Apply warm green tea all over your scalp
  • Leave it for an hour
  • Rinse off with cool water

Henna Pack: very well known as a natural conditioner. It is also good for hair growth. Why? It transforms dull and dry hair to smooth and shiny hair and adds colour too. It promotes hair growth by strengthening the roots of your hair. How To Use:

  • Make a pack by mixing 1 cup of dry henna powder with ½ cup of yoghurt
  • Apply it all over your hair from root to tip.
  • Leave the pack until it dries off completely
  • Wash off with a mild shampoo

Hibiscus Flower: the “flower of hair care.” This flower is used for curing dandruff and enhancing hair growth. It also thickens the hair and prevents pre-mature ageing. How To Use:

  • Make a paste of the hibiscus flower with coconut oil or sesame oil
  • Apply it on your hair evenly.
  • Rinse with a mild shampoo.

Indian Gooseberry (Amla):  powerhouse of antioxidants and vitamin C. Amla promotes healthy hair growth and also improves the pigmentation of the hair. How To Use:

  • Mix 2 teaspoons of amla powder or juice with 2 teaspoons of lime juice
  • Apply this on your scalp properly and let it dry
  • Now rinse it well with warm water

Olive Oil: rich in omega 3 acids and other nutrients that are essential for overall health, including hair health. When applied directly to the scalp and hair, olive oil helps promote thicker hair. Olive oil also has the added benefit of softening the hair and relieving dry scalp. Some people add honey to the olive oil and others suggest leaving the olive oil on overnight using a shower cap to cover the hair. To use olive oil:

  • heat the oil to body temperature
  • massage the warm oil into the scalp and hair
  • leave in hair for about 30 to 45 minutes
  • rinse out the olive oil with mild shampoo

Onion Juice: rich in sulphur that boosts collagen production in the tissues and helps in re-growth of hair. How To Use:

  • Use red onions or shallots
  • Chop it into small pieces
  • Squeeze out its juice.
  • Now apply it on your scalp carefully and keep for 15 minutes.
  • Finally rinse off with a mild shampoo.

Orange Puree: The vitamin C, pectin, and acid in oranges can help a person’s hair in a few different ways. The vitamins and nutrients may improve hair’s natural luster, which makes the hair appear thicker. The acid in oranges helps break apart residue left from hair products. These residues may interfere with hair growth. Unlike some of the other treatments, orange puree has a pleasant scent that makes the treatment more enjoyable. A person can use orange puree as a hair treatment by blending fresh oranges then massaging the puree into the hair and scalp. Leave the puree on the hair for about 1 hour before rinsing it out. Some people like to use a light conditioner to rehydrate their hair following an orange puree treatment.

Peppercorns: The use of black peppercorns is prevalent in the ayurvedic medicine. It leaves your hair soft and lustrous while improving the texture. Why? Black peppercorns have essential oils which keep your scalp well-hydrated. How To Use:

  • Blend 2 teaspoons of peppercorns with half a cup of lime juice
  • Form a smooth paste
  • Apply this paste on the roots
  • Cover your head with a warm towel for deep penetration.
  • Rinse off after half an hour.

Potato Juice: rich in Vitamin A, B and C. These are essential for healthy hair. This can be used even if you are suffering from alopecia i.e. thinning of hair. How To Use:

  • Place potato in an extractor for juicing
  • Apply the potato juice on the scalp
  • Leave it on for 15 minutes
  • Wash off using mild shampoo
  • Potato is good for use as face packs too.

Essential Oils to Improve Hair Health

Cedarwood: used to help stimulate the hair follicles by increasing circulation to the scalp. It can promote hair growth and slow hair loss; it can also treat thinning hair and various types of alopecia. Cedarwood can be applied topically to the scalp and hair. It mixes well with gentle oils like lavender and carrier oils like coconut oil. You can also add 2–3 drops of cedarwood oil to your homemade conditioner.

Chamomile: it adds shine and softness to your hair while soothing your scalp.

Did you know that chamomile essential oil can be used to lighten your hair naturally? Combine 5 drops of chamomile essential oil with a tablespoon of sea salt and one-third cup of baking soda. Use warm water to create a paste and apply the mixture to your hair. Massage it into your scalp and at the base of your hair, then allow it to sit for about half an hour before rinsing it out. If you want a bolder affect, keep the paste on as you sit in the sun.

Clary Sage: works as a natural remedy for rashes, and it works as an antibacterial agent. But maybe most importantly, clary sage can be used to help you relieve stress and balance hormones. Three types of hair loss can be associated with high stress levels: telogen effluvium, trichotillomania (hair pulling) and alopecia areata. Because clary sage can be used to help relieve stress and reduce cortisol levels in the body, it works as a natural remedy for stress-induced hair loss.

Clary sage works well with jojoba oil; the two can help to regulate oil production on the skin, helping you to avoid scaly or flaky patches that lead to dandruff. To ease stress, which is associated with hair loss, you can diffuse clary sage oil at home or apply a few drops to your wrists, temples and bottoms of your feet.

Lavender: has antimicrobial properties, and it can be used to combat bacterial and fungal disorders. Some other lavender oil benefits are its ability to soothe the scalp and heal dry skin and hair. Plus, because emotional stress is a factor that can contribute to thinning hair, lavender oil can be used to create a tranquil and stress-free environment.

Lemongrass: has healing properties, and it works as an effective cleanser and deodorizer. It can strengthen your hair follicles and soothe an itchy and irritated scalp. Some bonus benefits of lemongrass oil include its ability to work as a natural bug repellent, relieve stress (which is associated with hair loss) and treat headaches.

You can add 10 drops of lemongrass oil to your bottle of shampoo or conditioner, or you can massage 2–3 drops into your scalp along with your conditioner daily. Lemongrass oil can also be diffused at home to reduce stress and detoxify the space.

Peppermint: helps to stimulate the scalp, and it can treat dandruff and even lice due to its powerful antiseptic properties. Research shows that peppermint oil promotes hair growth, too. In a 2014 animal study, topical application of peppermint oil for four weeks showed prominent hair growth effects, increasing dermal thickness, follicle number and follicle depth. Add 2–3 drops of peppermint to your shampoo or conditioner for a quick wake-me-up during your morning shower.

Rosemary: used to increase cellular metabolism, which stimulates hair growth and promotes healing. Research even shows that rosemary oil appears to work as well as minoxidil, a conventional topical hair loss treatment. When it comes to boosting your hair health, the benefits of rosemary oil also include preventing baldness, slowing the graying process and treating dandruff and dry scalp.

To use rosemary oil for your hair, take 3–5 drops and mix it with equal parts olive oil, and then massage the mixture into your scalp for about two minutes. Leave it in your hair for 3 to 4 hours, and then wash your hair as usual.

Tea Tree: has powerful cleansing, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties. When used topically, it can help unplug hair follicles and increase hair growth. You can mix 10 drops of tea tree oil into your shampoo or conditioner and use it daily, or mix 3 drops with 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil and leave it on for 15 minutes before rinsing it out.

Thyme: help promote hair growth by both stimulating the scalp and actively preventing hair loss. Like cedarwood oil, thyme oil was also found to be helpful in treating alopecia areata. Thyme is particularly strong, even among essential oils. Put only 2 small drops in 2 tablespoons of a carrier oil before applying it to your scalp. Leave it on for about 10 minutes and wash it out.

Ylang Ylang: While those with oily hair and skin would want to skip this one, ylang-ylang oil is ideal for those with dry scalps, as it can stimulate sebum production. As lack of enough oil and sebum causes hair to become dry and brittle, ylang-ylang can improve hair texture and reduce hair breakage. Mix 5 drops of ylang-ylang oil with 2 tablespoons of warm oil. Massage it into your scalp and wrap your head with a warm towel. Leave it in for 30 minutes before washing it out.

DIY recipes that will also help to boost the health of your hair:

Thicken your hair: To help thicken your hair naturally, use this natural hair thickener that’s made with a combination of rosemary, cedarwood and sage essential oils. These oils will stimulate your hair follicles by increasing circulation to the scalp and helping to balance your hormones.

Style your hair: You want to avoid using conventional hair sprays because many conventional products on the market today include toxins that you don’t want anywhere near your head and face. To help set your hair and prevent fly aways, use this homemade hair spray that’s made with lavender and rosemary, plus vodka and cane sugar, which will give you the hold you’re looking for.

Prevent oily/greasy hair: Add 2–3 drops of peppermint oil to your conditioner to get rid of greasy hair.

Add shine: Giving your hair and scalp a good hair mask treatment on a weekly basis can help take care of unruly strands, moisturize your hair and add shine.

Lighten your hair: Add 2–3 drops of chamomile oil to your hair before going out in the sun.

References:

  1. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319862.php
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/how-to-get-thicker-hair
  3. https://www.rd.com/health/beauty/home-remedies-for-dry-damaged-hair/
  4. https://www.rd.com/health/beauty/healthy-hair-tips/
  5. https://www.naturalgirlsrock.com/blogs/rockin-guest-bloggers-speak/28748737-31-natural-hair-growth-remedies
  6. https://www.healthline.com/health/essential-oils-for-hair-growth#essential-oils
  7. https://draxe.com/essential-oils-for-hair/