Edelweiss– The Beauty Flower

EdelweissMost of us know the  edelweiss  flower   from  a Sound of Music song but in real life it  is a powerful mountain flower and  has been part of alpine home remedies for centuries.  Teas and salves  compounded with  edelweiss have been used to relieve chest pains, arthritis, digestive problems, bronchitis and even cancer. Eueopean mountain villagers  knew that edelweiss  based care   just worked.  In recent years researchers have demonstrated that this yellow and white flower works because it  contains  anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant chemicals.

Edelweiss 101

This daisy like flower grows in montain regions in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It blooms only in August and September and has  become so popular that in 2004 Switzerland created plantations of edelweiss to meet the demand.  A few years later  it was declared a protected species.

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The Truth About Tumeric

tumeric for healthy and beautyTumeric is a vivid yellow root that has been use dfor centuries to season food  and heal the body.  Popular in South Asian cuisone, tumeric has been part of medica care since 600 BC. It is a multi-talented spice that valued  valued for its ability to reduce inflammation warts and acne.  It even was  a standard care for wound healing after battles.

Modern research has shown that this spice is an effective antioxidant, anti bacterial and even has  anti-cancer fighting abilities. It is used to treat burns, insect bites, eczema psoriasis and skin ulcers.  That’s a pretty impresive list– and if something is that good there is usually a downside– and its true with tumeric.

The brilliant yellow color of this   effective  spice can cause problems for certain skin … Continue Reading…

Epsom Salts– Great Old Treatment or Just Old?

Epsom salts bathQuestion:  My  Dad  worked in construction and after an especially hard day he would dump some epsom salts in a hot tub nd soak until dinner.  He claimed it took the “kinks” out of his  joints.  My mom used  an epsom salt soak  to help remove splinters and relieve  sore feet after a day in heels.  Do epsom salts really work  or is this another  old wives tale?

Answer:  Epsom salts have been a home remedy for centuries.  Chemically it is a mix magnesium and sulfates and named after Epsom in  England where it was first made by boiling  down mineral water. My family were also big fans of epsom salts for sore feet and splinter  removal.  But  despite centuries of use,  finding published studies on the benefits of … Continue Reading…

Meet Seaweed– Your Skin’s New BFF

seaweed for beautyI have to admit  that I was  disappointed to  learn that seaweed had limited  nutritional value as well as a troubling downside.  But I was then  thrilled to discover  that seaweed is a skin care superstar.  Different forms of sea plants  have  long been used in the manufacture of creams, lotions and balms to provide natural thickening  and emulsification ( eg  keeping oil and water together).  In the past  decade, peer reviewed published studies have shown that seaweed varieties can benefit  skin in four  much needed ways:

Seaweed for Super Hydration

Sea plants helps the skin hold moisture in two ways. The gel-like  properties of seaweed acts like a shield to prevent water evaporation from the  skin– sort of the way plastic wrap … Continue Reading…

Camomile– The All Purpose Health and Beauty Flower

Camomile uestion and answerQuestion:  Is camomile safe for my skin?   You have been writing some scary posts about  unsafe  beauty products.  Is camomile a better option?

Answer:  The  past  few months have been  troubling, but  in  the past  six  years and almost 800 posts , there have  been only  two posts  about real   health  problems with skin and hair care treatments.   That being said, camomile  is an amazing plant  with a  wide range of benefits. It is actually  one of the top five natural herbal remedies.   A daisy like plant, it has been shown to offer both internal and external benefits that  include relief from ulcers,  muscle spasm, colic, anxiety and eczema.

There are actually to types of camomile– German, is a wild species that is used … Continue Reading…

The Truth About Microbeads

cleansers that contain microbeadsMicrobeads are tiny plastic bits that are  used as exfoliators  in  skin care products.  Regular exfoliation is essential to remove the top ead  layer of skin cells and dirt that make a complexion  look dull and muddy.  Not only does exfoliation freshen and clarify the skin, it also stimulates  cell growth. Nice.

Microbeads may be good for the skin, but  not  so much for the environment. Microbeads are not biodegradable and  when rinsed off the skin, these little round plastic bits  are accumulating  in the lakes and oceans.  Studies indicate that fish  consume  microbeads which  can put these  beads into  our food supply.  That’s the  bad news.  The good news?  At the very end of last year  President Obama signed  the Microbead Free Water Act of 2015.2015.  This … Continue Reading…

Beauty Powers of Pumpkins

pumpkins for health and beautyIt’s that time of year when  pumpkins and apples are  stacked  high on  roadside  farm stands and cinnamon  drenched desserts are  on every menu.  Turns out that  all these three iconic symols of autumn are packed with health and beauty benefits.

Pumpkin– Inside and Out

One cup of cooked pumpkin  has three grams of fiber, zero cholesterol and sodium, 100% of vitamin A and 20% of vitamin C, and 10% of potassium, copper, manganese, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B6– and all for just 50 calories.

Most of the pumpkin we eat in the US comes from cans.  It retains most of its nutritional payload  and is  much easier to use.  Just make  sure that you  purchase  plain canned pumpkin  not canned pumpkin pie filling which … Continue Reading…

Honey Health and Beauty Benefits

Question:  My neighbor  has diabetes and she puts honey on her foot to heal  a cut.  How crazy is that?

Answer:  Given that  sugars like honey  should not be part of a diet for diabetics, the idea  of honey  wound treatment is bizarre, but here’s the shocker– its actually a good treatment option.  Honey is  a centuries old remedy for a wide  variety of skin problems. It  contains an astonishing number of beneficial ingredients including carbohydrates, different forms of vitamin B, minerals( eg calcium, zinc, and potassium) antioxidants, lactic acid , and powerful flavinoids.  These  components  give  honey powerful  antibacterial, antitumor, antiviral, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory  powers.

Some studies have shown that honey can heal burns, ulcers and wounds while other research  has indicated that it  stimulates the production of fibroblasts. These are the fibers that  go on to  become collagen and elastin. Seriously.

Not All Honey is Alike

Some honeys … Continue Reading…