Health is more than just the absence of illness. It is a positive feeling of vitality, energy, optimism and an overall sense of well-being. True health is being able to say “I feel good” for no particular reason other than being alive.
More and more people watch what they eat, exercise, learn to manage chronic health conditions, strive to improve their lifestyles and look for ways to reduce stress in their lives.
This personal quest for wellness is one of the most positive trends in health care today. In a parallel trend, many people are using forms of natural medicine such as nutritional counseling, chiropractic, acupuncture and others as adjuncts to conventional medical therapies.
We believe that you can successfully produce 100% natural skin and body care treatments that are preserved with natural ingredients such as essential oils and antioxidants and still possess a reasonable shelf life. Essential oils are natural substances that are powerful preservatives and that are not extensively used to preserve cosmetic products. They are derived from flowers, leaves, grasses, and woody plants. The first indications of their antiseptic properties were uncovered during the cholera epidemics of the nineteenth century in France when tens of thousands of men, women, and children perished. During this time it was observed that workers in perfume factories were almost completely immune to the disease. Today we know that most essential oils and absolutes used in perfumes are powerful antiseptics that kill most of the harmful bacteria and fungi without harming the human system. The addition of as little as one drop of sweet orange oil to two ounces of cream will kill all bacteria and fungi in the preparation. Essential oils have also been shown to be effective in killing the virus that causes Herpes and assist in healing the affected skin.
Effectiveness of Essential Oils in killing Bacteria
|Essential oil||Minimum Amount in %||Essential oil||Minimum Amount in %|
|Wild Thyme||0.400||Fir, Pine||0.860|
Recent studies performed in France determined the potency of essential oils as antiseptics. Increasing amounts of different essential oils were added to meat stock cultured in raw sewage to determine the quantity needed to kill all microorganisms. The Table above lists the amount of essential oil as a percentage that must be added to raw sewage to kill all microbes. As indicated, one part of origanum oil renders 1,000 parts of raw sewage free of all living organisms.
(Sometimes essential oils which are used as preservatives can evaporate from the preparation when left uncovered. Some essential oils, if concentrated, also can cause reddening of the skin and dermatitis. Products with a large content of essential oils, as found in aromatherapeutic preparations (foam baths, soaps, bath oils, and massage oils), do not need the addition of harmful synthetic preservatives because of the antiseptic properties of essential oils.)
Neem Oil: Neem is one of the most powerful oils on the market today. It has been used in India since the time of Sanskrit. Today it is recognized as an all around oil. It is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial as well as anti-protozoan and a spermicide.
Vitamin E (d-alpha Tocopherol): This is a powerful antioxidant used in preserving oils and keeping them from going rancid. Be aware that there is a synthetic on the market called variously Tocopherol, Alpha Tocopherol and/or Tocopherol Acetate.
Salt (sodium chloride): Most people have heard of Smithfield Hams. These hams can last forever because they are salt-cured. Salt has been used since ancient times particularly for meat, as a preservative. The salt enters the tissue and in effect binds the water, inhibiting the bacterium that causes spoilage. The salt restricts to tiny concentration and protects food from yeasts and molds. It draws out moisture and creates an environment inhospitable to bacteria.
Sugar (carbohydrates): Sugar, an organic compound, may be either refined (white) or raw (brown) and has a variety of names. It is used as a natural preservative inhibiting bacterial growth after food or products have been heated.
Lemon: Lemon is part of the Rutaceae family also known as a citrus fruit. Lemons are grown in the milder regions and can be from 30 to 45 percent juice depending on type and climate. The acid produced mostly by the citrus and identified as C6H8O7 promotes preservation. The lemon is rich in Vitamin C and much like salt removes moisture to prevent spoilage and rotting.
Honey: Highly stable against microbial growth because of it’s low moisture content and water activity, low pH and anti-microbial constituents.
Bee Propolis: A mixture of beeswax and resins collected by the honeybee from plants, particularly flowers and leaf buds, it is used to line and seal the comb. The propolis is effective in protecting the hive offering both antibacterial and antifungal properties.
The Greeks and Romans used propolis to heal skin abscesses and through the centuries its use in medicine has received varying attention. The ancient Egyptians also knew its’ benefits and it is still used in Africa today, as a medicine, an adhesive for tuning drums, sealing cracked water containers or canoes and dozens of other purposes.
Rosemary Extract is a powerful antioxidant.
Aging processes, such as browning, thickening and wrinkling; and melanoma and other skin cancers are thought to be accelerated by the accumulation of peroxides in the skin tissues. These peroxides are produced by environmental factors such as heat and ultra-violet radiation from sunlight, a primary cause of sunburn and melanoma. In a study conducted to test photoprotectivity, it was discovered that Carnosic acid (found in Rosemary) did protect the skin from UV damage. This evidence is further corroborated in expired US patents 5,358,752, which show in the examples complete elimination of peroxides as a result of UVB radiation. Rosemary also has a history of anti-bacterial and anti-microbial applications. One study found it to be effective against HIV-1.
Grapefruit Seed Extract: A natural antibiotic, antiseptic, disinfectant and preservative. It is used to promote the healing of almost any atypical skin condition. According to published sources it is effective against more than 800 bacterial and viral organisms, 100 strains of fungus, and a large number of single-cell and multi-celled parasites. This preservative is used by many handcrafters in products that contain water.