Tag Archives: Natural Ingredients

Ask Dahlia: Facts About Exfoliating

ADRIENNE ASKS …
“Why doesn’t SALVE have an exfoliant for the face? What do you use?”

DAHLIA SAYS …

Great to hear from you, Adrienne. You ask an excellent question. Okay,  so there’s a misconception about exfoliating, that you need something scrubby on your face.  It’s actually not true,  and some scrubs can be damaging to the skin,  especially if they are coarse or have angles that do not soften when wet or that are jagged under a microscope.

You can get pretty awesome results from clays and other things like seaweed, loofah or even rice. I teach a SALVE workshop on exfoliation, and I’ll try to share some concepts in this article.

SALVE has two clays, rhassoul and kaolin clay. They are both excellent for sucking garbage from the pores,  removing dead skin and making the skin more even-toned. Of course,  you can blend these with any fresh ingredient based on the condition of your skin;  milk, juice,  water,  yogurt,  etc.

Personally,  I like to remove masks with a raw (wet) loofah. We sell them, but you can always go to the drug store and find them. If you want the scrubby feel, I like to use the kelp (we sell it as part of the SALVE Make Your Own Fresh Mask gift set).

So the way I use it is,  after you’ve washed your face,  keep you face wet,  and pour some on your fingers and massage into face in circular motion. Kelp is a sticky plant and it clumps together,  so make sure your face is wet enough to get that scrub all over. It’s not a great mask all by itself,  but you can certainly add it to the other clays. Kelp is extremely exfoliating if you use it as a scrub,  and your face will be so soft and smooth after! Plus, it’s totally safe to use as much and as often as you want. There are so many types of clays and ingredients you can use to make a mask. Here are my favorites … I’ll add to this list a little more later.

EXFOLIATING WITH CLAY

RHASSOUL CLAY
This clay is a miracle detoxifier for both the face and scalp. Rhassoul clay’s most impressive properties in skin improvement are its capacity of absorption due to its high level of ion exchange. When applied to the face Rhassoul clay removes oil, dirt and pollutants from the skin that the ordinary cleanser can not reach. When applied to the hair and scalp, it will cleanse, provide moisture, detangle and provide shine in ways that your ordinary shampoo simply can’t.

Clinical studies have been conducted by two different research laboratories in the United States (International Research Services, Inc. www.irsi.org and Structure Probe, Inc. www.2spi.com) to evaluate Rhassoul clay mask on skin condition.

The study results showed that a single use of our Rhassoul clay mask statistically:

  • Reduces dryness (79%)
  • Reduces flakiness (41%)
  • Improves skin clarity (68%)
  • Improves skin elasticity / firmness (24%)
  • Improves skin texture (106%)

Optional: Add 2-3 drops of SALVE’s Melaleuca or Neem Oil to create a soothing acne mask. For a super hydrating mask, add 2-3 drops with Salve’s Neem or Oranic Rosehip Seed Oil.

[Download our Recipe Card]

KAOLIN CLAY
Remove radical and harmful pollutants from your skin with this ancient Chinese mask. It helps stimulate circulation to the skin while gently exfoliating and cleansing it, leaving you with brighter, hydrated and calm skin. Suitable for all skin types but caters to dry, sensitive and acne-prone skin. This clay will not dry out your skin or remove your skin’s natural sebum.

Optional: Add 2-3 drops of Salve’s Melaleuca or Neem Oil to create a soothing acne mask. For a super hydrating mask, add 2-3 drops with Salve’s Neem or Oranic Rosehip Seed Oil.

KELP
Our organic milled Atlantic kelp grows deep in the cold sub-tidal waters of the North Atlantic Sea. It is responsibly harvested, dried and milled following organic standards. Add kelp powder to bath salts, facials, bath teas, and body wraps. It is a yellowish green colored powder with a fish-like, seaweed aroma and flavor. Sea kelp contains chlorophyll, an essential fatty acid that helps detoxify the skin and body and improve the skin’s elasticity. Sea kelp also contains carbohydrates that stimulate the skin’s ability to heal and vitamin A, an antioxidant, that normalizes skin cells. Proteins and amino acids are also present, and are the building blocks of cells, and act as skin conditioners.

BENTONITE CLAY
Bentonite clay is actually volcanic ash which is a great anticeptic. It’s great for skin problems such as aczema, rashes, yeast problems and parasites. Some eat this clay to help with stomach problems and constipation, but I’m not sure if I’m a believer.

CITRUS
Citrus is absorbs oils and is great for acne, and even combats dryness. It has a high amount of vitamin c which prevents wrinkles, hydrates, evens the skin tone and even brightens the skin. If you use citrus in your masks, or even in your regular skin care routine, avoid using citrus (vitamin c) products when going outside. It can increase risk for skin damage and can be counter productive. Ironically, the Arizona Cancer Center has reported that oranges (vitamin c), when applied to the skin before sun exposure, can prevent sun damage. Just be smart.

YOGURT
Smells terrible, so get vanilla. Doesn’t matter if it’s Greek or not. Yogurt is super hydrating, it unblocks clogged pores, reduces bacteria, softens skin, reduces wrinkles and hydrates. So refreshing, especially with sunburned or sensitive skin.

HONEY
If you don’t know about honey by now, it’s time you hear the amazing benefits. Ancient Egyptians used it for cuts to disinfect and heal. It’s great to kill bacteria, suck on if you have a sore throat and helps treat burns. Honey regenerates skin cells and is a natural antiseptic. It is a humectant, which means it keeps moisture on the skin.  It takes 10 lbs of honey to make 1 lb of wax.

VITAMIN E
Soothes skin and aids in healing. It reduces appearance of scars and soothes sunburn. It’s a natural sunscreen, but don’t use it as a sole source for sunscreen because we don’t know the amount of SPF protection.

ROSEHIP
Rosehip is not rose petals, it’s the oil produced from bud portion that’s left after the pedals have fallen off. It contains omega 3 & 6 fatty acids and is perfect for dehydrated skin, stretch marks, hyper pigmentation (scarring), reduces wrinkles and premature aging.

LAVENDER
One of my favorite add-ons to a mask is Lavender. It’s great for all sorts of skin problems including acne, eczema, and is super calming. Plus it adds a nice fragrance to your mask.

NEEM
So good for skin problems including acne. It’s high in fatty acids and great for killing bacteria. Neem is also good to add to your daily moisturizer.

TEA TREE (MELALEUCA)
Anti fungal and a disinfectant, tea tree is awesome for masks, especially if you have bumpy, acne-prone or clogged skin.

EXFOLIATING WITH SCRUBS
Scrubs are so much fun and a great way to polish the skin to remove unwanted flaky, bumpy and dry skin. You’ve got be smart about what scrubby things you use on your face, because not all things are good and can actually cause damage.

BEST for Face
-clay
-plant-based (kelp)
-oats (any size, watch the drains!)
-enzymes (natural citrus or crushed pineapple)
-powder grains (rice, flours)
-jojoba beads
-loofah (wet, raw)
-charcoal powders

OKAY for Face
-sugar (prefer it be small granules)
-ground/powdered nuts without shells
-used coffee grounds (watch the drains!)

BAD for Face
-salt (all sizes)-ground nut shells, e.g. walnut (watch the drains!)
-any uneven grain (whatever you use needs to be round and small)

I’ll add more to this article soon. Have fun with your mask! Holler at me if you have any questions. We’ll be posting some of our customers’ favorite recipes on our site, so stay tuned!

-Dahlia

Written by Dahlia Kelada
SALVE and SalveNaturals.com © 2015 All Rights Reserved

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to cure, prevent or treat any disease. Please use common sense and always talk to your doctor before starting any new treatment or application for a health condition.

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What is Oil Pulling?

I’m sure you’ve all heard about oil pulling. It has become fairly popular in recent years, but not everyone knows what oil pulling is, and why it can be so beneficial to your health. Here’s the scoop on oil pulling:

What is Oil Pulling?
Oil pulling is an ancient folk health remedy that has you swish or hold oil in your mouth for a short period of time (from what I’ve seen 15-20 minutes is the norm) which “pulls out” oral germs, bacteria and other toxins that you then expel from your body when you spit out the oil.

The Science Behind Oil Pulling
Oil pulling originates from Ayurveda, a holistic system of traditional medicine native to the Indian subcontinent and can be traced as far back as 5,000 BCE. They described an oil swishing which was called ‘Kavala gandusha’. They used this method as a way to detoxify the body and alleviate, and heal a multitude of diseases.[5] According to this traditional medicine oil pulling can be used to cure not only oral health but problems with overall health as well. According to Ayurveda, oil pulling is believed to be able to “cure around 30 systematic diseases ranging from headache, migraine to diabetes and asthma.”[1] Oil pulling has traditionally been used as preventative as well as curative, through the use of different gargling techniques and blends of oils and herbs . [2] Oil pulling has recently become very popular although most people are unaware of it’s origin as a traditional holistic treatment.

How to Oil Pull
Oil pulling is pretty simple. You just take a spoon full of a high quality, unrefined plant oil such as sesame oil, sunflower oil or coconut oil. I’ve found that most people opt for coconut or sesame oil. You put it in your mouth and start swooshing it around as you would normal mouthwash. Be sure to pull it between your teeth! You do this swooshing for 15-20 minutes and then you SPIT IT OUT. This is the most important step. DO NOT swallow the oil. The point is to expel all of the bacteria and toxins. If you swallow you’re just reentering the toxins back into your body with needless calories.

What are the benefits?
Although opinions are mixed on whether or not oil pulling actually offers any health benefits, people who use the oil pulling method swear by it. Oil pulling has been said to offer the following benefits:

1. Reduces germs that cause plaque and gingivitis and tooth decay
One study[3] showed that oil pulling is effective in reducing an oral bacteria known as Streptococcus mutans which is a major cause of tooth decay and a bacteria that promotes the growth of plaque. This may be the reason that many people who swear by oil pulling say that they experience less plaque, gingivitis and have an overall healthier mouth after oil pulling.

2. Whitens teeth
Although there is no scientific evidence to back this claim up, just a simple Google image search will amaze you with the many people who experienced whiter, brighter teeth after adding oil pulling to their daily regimen. While you may not experience the same results, for those of you who enjoy a cup of coffee in the mornings, the oil may protect you from developing any further stains. So that’s a win in my book!

3. Reduces bad breath
I’m not really sure how people have measured this, but in doing my research nearly every person I’ve seen who swears by this method says that it helps with their bad breath and/or to get rid of morning breath. There are antimicrobial properties in oils such as coconut oil [4], which may be the reason that these bad breath causing germs are reduced after oil pulling.

4. Detoxifying
This seems to be the most controversial of the claims. People who use the oil pulling method say that the detoxification has helped them clear eczema, clear acne, given them more energy, cure insomnia, and helped cure cold symptoms. These claims have been heavily disputed by some, and said to be a placebo effect by others, but nearly everyone agrees that oil pulling isn’t harmful so if you get results similar to the ones people have claimed then great, and if you don’t, no harm done. A win-win, and a reason for everyone to at least try it out and see if it works for you.

5. Bonus...It apparently is an effective hangover cure!
 From what I saw, the effectiveness of this hangover cure ranged from having the duration of a hangover "shortened" [6] to feeling "leagues better" [7] after just 10 minutes of oil pulling, and a lot of other varying results in between. So the next time you have a hangover instead of adding more toxins to your body using the "hair of the dog" method or loading up on aspirin try to oil pull and just maybe you will experience the natural hangover remedy you've always been looking for.

References:
1. Singh, Abhinav, and Bharathi Purohit. “Tooth Brushing, Oil Pulling and Tissue Regeneration: A Review of Holistic Approaches to Oral Health.” Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine 2.2 (2011): 64–68. PMC. Web. 20 Jan. 2015. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3131773/

2. “Drsonicakrishan: Oil Pulling : Best Ayurvedic Treatment Guide for Oral Health & Detoxification.” Drsonicakrishan: Oil Pulling : Best Ayurvedic Treatment Guide for Oral Health & Detoxification. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2015. Available from: http://drsonicakrishan.blogspot.com/2014/05/oil-pulling-best-ayurvedic-treatment.html

3. Asokan S, Rathan J, Muthu M S, Rathna PV, Emmadi P, Raghuraman, Chamundeswari. Effect of oil pulling on Streptococcus mutans count in plaque and saliva using Dentocult SM Strip mutans test: A randomized, controlled, triple-blind study. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent [serial online] 2008 [cited 2015 Jan 19];26:12-7. Available from: http://www.jisppd.com/text.asp?2008/26/1/12/40315

4. “Kent State University.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2015. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24328700>.

5. “The Beauty of Simple Aryuvedic Practices to Enhance Your Vitality (ojas) and to Serve as Steps to Aging with Grace and Beauty.” East West Aroma School. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2015.

6. Sinks, Tynan. I Tried Oil Pulling Because I Was Sick Of Hearing Everyone Else Talk About It. Http://www.xojane.com/, 24 Apr. 2014. Web. 19 Jan. 2015.

7. “HANGOVER CURES.” BeWellRun. N.p., 28 Oct. 2013. Web. 19 Jan. 2015.

 

Written by Nicolle Chase
SALVE and SalveNaturals.com © 2015 All Rights Reserved

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Homemade toothpaste using ingredients that are actually good for oral health

If you haven’t seen the SALVE recipe yet for homemade toothpaste, you can find it here.

Why homemade toothpaste?
You may be wondering, with so may options for toothpaste on the market, what’s the point of making my own? Well there are three major reasons.

  1. Most toothpastes on the market are loaded with harmful chemicals and fillers that are cheap, arguably harmful to your health, and contain unnatural ingredients which have been linked to an array of health problems. And because you are presumably brushing your teeth at least two times a day, you are ingesting these toxins twice a day everyday which can be harmful to your overall health.Natural is the way to go. While you can find natural toothpastes on the market today often they are more expensive and come in a smaller tube than your average toothpaste which brings me to the second reason you should be making your own toothpaste.
  2. It is more cost effective. Plus natural toothpaste uses products that you probably already have in your kitchen.
  3. Homemade toothpaste can be customized to your liking. You can use our recipe as a base, add ingredients and take out ingredients.

So why did we choose these ingredients?
We put a lot of thought into our choice of ingredients and used products that have all been shown to be helpful for oral care, so let’s break it down:

First: Coconut oil
Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties, which can kill the bacteria in your mouth that cause bad breath and lead to tooth decay. Also the oil will leave your teeth feeling nice and polished with a protective layer from coffee tea and any other teeth staining food and drinks. [1]

Second: Baking Soda
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) much like coconut oil has so many natural uses and is handy to keep around the house because you can pretty much always find a use for it. But it also has many benefits when it comes to the health of your teeth. As you may know baking soda is an effective tooth whitener, you can even use it alone, by dissolving it in warm water and brushing. It also is effective in the fight against plaque which can lead to tooth decay. [2]

Third: Peppermint oil
Peppermint oil has so many natural benefits and it is also one of the best essential oils for oral health. It has antiseptic properties, can protect against tooth decay and gum health and been shown to inhibit the growth of cavities. It has also widely been used to fight bad breath, and who doesn’t love that fresh mint feeling after your brush?

Fourth: Neem OIl
Let me start this section by stating that neem oil is a very powerful medicinal oil. Neem oil when used properly is a great way to prevent plaque, gingivitis and gum disease. Not only that but one study showed that a neem based mouth rinse was just as effective as your traditional mouthwash in its antigingivitis and antiplaque properties but it also had fewer side effects than traditional mouthwash! [3] Neem oil should also NOT be ingested. You can get neem oil online from SALVE [all natural and organic skin care].

Fifth: Xylitol (optional)
Some people may need to add a little sweetness to their toothpaste, and for that reason we added the optional sweetener xylitol to our recipe. Xylitol is a natural sweetener, but it has been shown to repair damaged enamel, and is effective in the fight against cavities by reducing cavity causing bacteria.[4]

While we used these ingredients for our version of natural toothpaste there are also many other natural ingredients that have benefits for your oral health that you can use to make this recipe your own.

References:

1. “Result Filters.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2015. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24328700>.

2. “Rahbar Dentistry: Dental Matters That Really Matter.” Benefits of Brushing Your Teeth with Baking Soda. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Jan. 2015. <http://rahbardentistry.blogspot.com/2011/09/benefits-of-brushing-your-teeth-with.html>.

3. Chatterjee, Anirban et al. “To Evaluate the Antigingivitis and Antipalque Effect of an Azadirachta Indica (neem) Mouthrinse on Plaque Induced Gingivitis: A

Double-Blind, Randomized, Controlled Trial.” Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology 15.4 (2011): 398–401. PMC. Web. 20 Jan. 2015.

4. Pierini, Carolyn. “Xylitol: A Sweet Alternative.” Unique Sweetener Supports Oral Health (n.d.): n. pag. Www.iprogressivemed.com. The Institute for Progressive Medicine. Web. <www.iprogressivemed.com/misc/xylitol_a_sweet_alternative.pdf>.

Written by Nicolle Chase
SALVE and SalveNaturals.com © 2015 All Rights Reserved

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Clove Essential Oil

What are essential oils?
Essential oils are defined as a natural oil typically obtained by distillation and having the characteristic fragrance of the plant. Basically, it’s an oil that is derived from a plant, that still carries the essence of the plant with it, including the fragrance and it’s natural uses for a healthier body. Some essential oils can be used directly on the skin, while others cannot and certain essential oils should be avoided while pregnant. (See our previous blog post on essential oils to avoid while pregnant and breastfeeding.)

Clove essential Oil
Clove essential oil is usually extracted from the buds of the Eugenia caryophyllata (clove) plant. It has a beautiful woody aroma with a bit of a fruity undertone. Clove has traditionally been used in India and China for its medicinal properties, and even as a spice in some of their traditional dishes. In researching for this blog article, I was able to read many anecdotal accounts of how clove oil has helped people with their medical and physical needs. One of the most interesting, was an account of how clove oil helped with one girls hypothyroidism. She used clove oil topically over her thyroid and it helped to stimulate her thyroid, aiding in treating her thyroid issue. While her results may not be true for everyone, I found it to be an interesting insight into just how powerful natural remedies can be!

Health Benefits of Clove Essential Oil
Clove essential oil is known for its many medicinal uses. This oil is antiseptic, which is useful for using on small wounds but it also can be used on fungal infections such as athlete’s foot and scabies. It has also been known to treat those annoying infections of the eye known as a sty. Clove oil is also widely known for its uses as an aid to a healthy immune system. It has antiviral properties that help to strengthen the immune system, which is a welcome trait with flu season just around the corner. It also works remarkably well as a dental aid. It can help to freshen breath, kills bacteria in the mouth, provide a defense against cavities, and provide relief to your tooth aches. Clove essential oil is also used in aromatherapy and is known as an effective way to reduce headaches.

Other Benefits of Clove Essential Oil
Clove essential oil can be used to discourage your pets from chewing on your furniture, a safe and natural alternative to the sprays you find in your local supermarkets!

Not all essential oils are safe for everyone; Who should beware of using Clove? Clove oil is a very strong oil and should always be used in a diluted form. If you are a person, like me, who has sensitive skin, you may want to avoid applying clove oil directly to your skin as it can irritate sensitive skin. However, you may still be able to use it in different ways, such an inhaling, to provide relief to certain repertory conditions. Additionally, it is not recommended that you ingest clove oil, in most cases (it is generally safe to use in the mouth as dental care). Instead stick to topical and aromatic methods.

What Can I Use Instead?
We recommend trying patchouli essential oil instead. If you have sensitive skin or are avoiding clove oil because you are pregnant or breastfeeding patchouli oil has some of the same uses such as treatment for athlete foot and it’s antiseptic properties, but it is a much more mild oil.
Check out our related articles:
Essential Oils to Avoid While Pregnant & Breastfeeding
How Substances Enter Your Body
How we Accumulate Toxins in our Bodies

Written by Nicolle Chase
SALVE and SalveNaturals.com © 2015 All Rights Reserved

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