Lavender Oil

Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula angustifolia/officinalis)

Lavender is perhaps the most well-known of the essential oils and for good reason. Lavender essential oil is renowned for its many beneficial properties, including promoting calm, relaxation, and being a nervous tension reliever. It can also be added to a carrier oil to help reduce the appearance of scars and wrinkles and help soothe alterations in skin integrity, such as during sun exposure or a minor cooking burn.

Early and modern aromatherapy texts advocate for lavender’s use as an antibacterial essential oil. The leaves and stems of the plant were used to prepare decoctions against digestive system diseases and rheumatism, and lavender was valued for its cosmetic purposes. The Romans used lavender oil for bathing, cooking and purifying the air. And in the Bible, lavender oil was among the aromatics used for anointing and healing.

You will find Lavender essential oil in many of Mother Jai’s products.

The proven health benefits of lavender essential oil include its ability to reduce stress and anxiety, eliminate nervous tension, relieve pain, disinfect the scalp and skin, prevent acne, enhance blood circulation, and treat respiratory problems. Lavender oil is used extensively in aromatherapy and works as a natural sleep aid. Its potent antibacterial nature makes it a wonderful household cleanser and deodorant.

Lavender essential oil is extracted from the flowers of the lavender plant (Lavandula angustifolia), primarily through steam distillation. Lavender flowers are known for their calming fragrance and have been used for making potpourri for centuries. The Latin name of lavender is Lavare, which means “to wash”. This is because lavender flowers and lavender essential oil have been used since ancient times by the Romans, Persians, Greeks, and Egyptians as a bath additive and perfume.

Lavender essential oil is a pure oil and differs from certain commercial lavender oils which may be diluted and are often sold as perfumes. Lavender perfume and body sprays are popular due to their fresh and floral scent. On the other hand, pure lavender essential oil is frequently used in various forms including as an aromatherapy oil, in gels, infusions, lotions, soaps, baby products, and candles. It is also used to make tea, lemonades, syrups, aromatic beverages, and in baked dishes.

Lavender (scientific name Lavandula angustifolia) is commonly contaminated with related species, including Lavandula hybrida, which is a cross between Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula latifolia, from which lavandin oil is obtained.

PARTS USED: Flowering tops

EXTRACTION METHOD: Water-steam distilled

NOTE CLASSIFICATION: Middle

AROMA: Sweet, floral, herbaceous

BLENDS WELL WITH: Bergamot, Black Pepper, Cedar Atlas, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Clove Bud, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Grapefruit, Juniper Berry, Cistus / Labdanum, Lemon, Lemongrass, Mandarin, Sweet Marjoram, Oakmoss Absolute, Palmarosa, Patchouli, Peppermint, Pine, Ravensara aromatica, Rose, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Thyme, and Vetivert.

Major Constituents of Bulgarian Lavender Essential Oil: Linalyl acetate, Linalool, (Z)-B-Ocimene, Lavandulyl acetate, Terpinene-4-ol, B-Caryophyllene, (E)-B-Farnesene, (E)-B-Ocimene, 3-Octanyl acetate, etc. See Essential Oil Safety for constituent breakdown for oils distilled from Lavender angustifolia grown in other regions.

[E. Schmidt, The Characteristics of Lavender Oils from Eastern Europe. (Perfumer & Flavorist 28, 2003), 48-60. Source cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 326.]

BENEFITS & USES OF LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL

Acne, allergies, anxiety, asthma, athlete’s foot, bruises, burns, chicken pox, colic, cuts, cystitis, depression, dermatitis, dysmenorrhea, earache, flatulence, headache, hypertension, insect bites, insect repellent, itching, labor pains, migraine, oily skin, rheumatism, scabies, scars, sores, sprains, strains, stress, stretch marks, vertigo, whooping cough. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 56-67.]

Aids in Digestion: Lavender oil is useful for digestion because it increases the mobility of food within the intestine. The oil also stimulates the production of gastric juices and bile, thus aiding in the treatment of indigestion, stomach pain, colic, flatulence, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Air Freshener: The same way you use lavender oil as a perfume, you can use it around your home as a natural, toxic-free air freshener. Either spray lavender oil around your home or try diffusing it. To create a relaxing atmosphere in your bedroom before you fall asleep, try spraying the lavender oil and water mixture directly onto your bed sheets or pillow.

Anti-bacterial: Regular use of lavender essential oil provides resistance to a variety of diseases. Lavender has antibacterial and antiviral qualities that make it perfect for defending the body against rare diseases like TB, typhoid, and diphtheria, according to early research in the 20th century.

Antidepressant: Some research shows that lavender aromatherapy reduces depression after childbirth in some women.

Antioxidant Protection: Free radicals, like toxins, chemicals and pollutants, are arguably the most dangerous and most common risk factor for every disease that affects Americans today. Free radicals are responsible for shutting down your immune system and can cause unbelievable damage to your body. Thankfully, lavender essential oil is a natural antioxidant that works to prevent and reverse disease

Bug Repellent: The smell of lavender essential oil is potent for many types of bugs like mosquitoes, midges, and moths. Apply some lavender oil on the exposed skin when outside to prevent these irritating bites. Furthermore, if you do happen to be bitten by one of those bugs, lavender essential oil has anti-inflammatory qualities that will reduce the irritation and the pain associated with bug bites.

Chemical Free Lip Balm: Lavender oil is excellent for preventing sunburns on the lips and also healing chapped, dried lips. Try adding a couple of drops of oil to shea butter, jojoba oil, coconut oil or another “carrier oil” and then rubbing it into your lips for protection whenever you will be in the sun.

Colic Relief in Babies: through its pain relieving and anti-anxiety benefits, babies with colic experience calming relief when applied to the feet or diffused in the room. Results from one small study show that massaging a combination of lavender and almond oils onto the belly of infants for 5-15 minutes at the onset of colic reduces crying time by about 7 hours per week.

Complementary Cancer Therapy: A 2012 study published in the African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines shows that aromatherapy, particularly using lavender oil, helps patients with cancer cope with stress, nausea, chronic pain and depression. Because lavender oil works to stimulate the immune system, boost mood, improve sleep and fight stress, it can be used as a therapeutic agent.

There is a significant research on the effects of lavender, in combination with other essential oils, as a way to prevent the occurrence of breast cancer in mice. This could be an indication of an increased chance of lavender battling carcinogenic effects and the presence of cancer.

Massaging lavender oil into the back of your neck, chest, wrists and temples can induce relaxing and calming effects. If you are experiencing muscle or joint pain, or pain at the site of injections, apply 2–3 drops of lavender to the affected area.

Dementia Support: because lavender improves circulation and has strong antioxidant benefits the chances of developing dementia are reduced. It can also help to improve events and their longevity when patients have dementia. Some research shows that using lavender oil in a diffuser at night reduces agitation in people with dementia.

Diabetes Natural Treatment:  In a nutshell, lavender essential oil treatment protected the body from the following diabetes symptoms:

  • Increased blood glucose (the hallmark of diabetes)
  • Metabolic disorders (especially fat metabolism)
  • Weight gain
  • Liver and kidney antioxidant depletion
  • Liver and kidney dysfunction
  • Liver and kidney lipoperoxidation (when free radicals “steal” necessary fat molecules from cell membranes)

Ear Infections: Early research shows that administering ear drops containing lavender and other herbal extracts improves ear pain in people with ear infections. However, this herbal combination does not appear to be more effective than using a skin-numbing agent along with the antibiotic amoxicillin.

Fall Prevention: There is some evidence that attaching a pad with lavender oil onto the neckline of clothing reduces the risk of falling by 43% in nursing home residents.

Flavor Booster: Lavender is a great flavor enhancer in things like grain-free muffins, teas and even salad dressings. Lavender oil is completely edible, but you will want to use a very small amount since the taste is very powerful. You’ll also want to purchase only a high-quality, 100 percent pure grade oil from a reputable company.

Heals Cuts & Burns: Widely known for its antimicrobial properties, for centuries lavender oil has been used to prevent various infections and combat bacterial and fungal disorders. Research shows that lavender oil speeds the healing of burns, cuts, scrapes and wounds — and a big part of this is because of its antimicrobial compounds.

A study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine evaluated how lavender’s antimicrobial ability is enhanced when it’s blended with other essential oils, like clove, cinnamon and tea tree oil. Researchers found that a 1:1 ratio of these oils was found to be the most effective in fighting against Candida albicans and Staph aureus — two common causes of many fungal and bacterial infections that lead to respiratory pneumonia and skin funguses.

A 2016 study conducted on rats found that lavender oil promoted wound healing in the early phase by accelerating the formation of granulation tissue (tissue from the healing surface of the skin) and promoting collagen synthesis. The area of wounds treated with lavender oil was significantly decreased compared to the control group.

Healthy Skin & Hair: Most likely due to its antimicrobial and antioxidant characteristics, lavender essential oil mixed with a carrier oil (like coconut, sunflower, or grapeseed oil) has profound benefits on your skin. Using lavender oil topically can help to improve a number of skin conditions, from canker sores to allergic reactions, acne and age spots. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help to ease skin conditions and reverse signs of aging.

Studies also show that lavender oil, along with other essential oils like thyme, rosemary and cedarwood, can significantly improve alopecia areata and hair loss when massaged into the scalp daily.

Improves Blood Circulation: Lavender essential oil is also good for improving the circulation of blood in the body. Researchers from the Department of Cardiovascular Science and Medicine, Chiba University in Japan suggests that aromatherapy using lavender oil has beneficial effects on coronary circulation. It also lowers blood pressure and is often used as a treatment for hypertension. This means that not only do the organs increase their levels of oxygenation, promoting muscle strength and health, but brain activity can have a noticeable boost, skin remains bright and flushed with blood, and the body is protected from the risks of heart attack and atherosclerosis often associated with poor blood circulation.

Early research shows that using an essential oil mixture of lavender, lemon, and ylang ylang as aromatherapy might reduce systolic blood pressure (the top number) but not diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) in people with high blood pressure.

Induces Sleep: Because of lavender oil’s sedative and calming properties, it works to improve sleep and treat insomnia. A 2015 study involving 158 mothers in their postpartum period were divided into the control or intervention group. The intervention group inhaled lavender oil before bed four times a week for eight weeks. The women using lavender oil displayed a significant improvement in sleep quality when compared to the control group.

Early research shows that using lavender oil in a vaporizer overnight, or on a gauze pad left beside the bed, might help some people with mild insomnia sleep better.

A mixture of lavender oil, Roman chamomile essential oil and magnesium oil is the best combination for improving sleep. Just rub this mixture into the back of your neck and wrists to induce a calm, peaceful feeling.

Lice Deterrent: it has been shown to be very effective on lice, lice eggs, and nits.

Mouth Sores: Research shows that applying 2 drops of lavender oil to the affected area three times daily can reduce canker sore swelling and pain and shorten the time it takes for canker sores to heal.

Natural Perfume: Do you want to smell good without using toxic perfumes? Lavender oil is a great scent for both women and men. You can either try adding pure oil directly to your skin, or you can dilute oil in water or with a carrier oil for a more subtle scent.

If you’d like to rub the oil right onto your skin, try adding 2–3 drops into your palms and then rubbing your hands together. Then rub the oil directly onto your skin or hair. You can also try using 2 drops of lavender oil added to a spray bottle with about ½ cup of water. Shake up the spray bottle and then spray whatever you’d like.

Neuroprotective Effect: A study published in Brain Research (February 2014) showed that lavender oil has the potential to reduce brain edema and improve functional ability in people affected by cerebral ischemia. While lavender has traditionally been used in many cosmetic and therapeutic applications due to medicinal properties, this study confirms that lavender oil has potent neuroprotective properties. Furthermore, the oil helps increase antioxidant capacity in the body and inhibits oxidative stress.

Promotes Wound Healing: Lavender essential oil is an excellent essential oil to have on hand as it helps treat minor cuts, bruises, and burns. According to a 2016 study published in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal, the essential oil boosts the synthesis of collagen and heals skin tissues. Just rub a few drops of lavender essential oil on the bruised area or on burns to increase blood circulation and healing. It can also be used to soothe skin irritations, razor bumps, and sunburn.

Relieves Headaches: It’s one of the best essential oils for headaches because it induces relaxation and relieves tension. It works as a sedative, anti-anxiety, anticonvulsant and calming agent. According to a study published in European Neurology, people struggling with migraine headaches saw a significant reduction in pain when they inhaled lavender oil for 15 minutes.

Relieves Pain: Lavender essential oil is known as an excellent remedy for various types of pains including those caused by sore and tense muscles, muscular aches, rheumatism, sprains, backache, and lumbago.

Several studies have found that lavender oil helps as a natural painkiller. Simply rubbing lavender into the area of concern can reduce inflammation and pain intensity, helping to alleviate the symptoms of many health conditions.

Another study, published in the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, found that a combination of lavender, marjoram, peppermint and black pepper essential oils improved neck pain when applied to the affected area daily.

And yet another recent study proved that lavender oil, when massaged into the skin, can help to relieve dysmenorrhea, which is associated with menstrual pain and cramping in the lower abdomen. The results of this study suggest that lavender oil can be used as a natural remedy for PMS and menstrual cramps.

Relieves Stress & Anxiety:  In 2013, an evidence-based study published by the International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice found that supplementing with 80 milligram capsules of lavender essential oil alleviates anxiety, sleep disturbance and depression. Additionally, in the study there were no adverse side effects, drug interactions or withdrawal symptoms from using lavender oil.

The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology published a human study in 2014 that revealed that Silexan (otherwise known as lavender oil preparation) was more effective against generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) than placebos and the prescription medicine paroxetine. After treatment, the study found zero instances of withdrawal symptoms or adverse side effects.

Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS): One study shows that massaging the legs with lavender oil for 10 minutes twice weekly can reduce the severity of restless legs syndrome in people with kidney failure who are undergoing dialysis.

Stimulates Urine Flow: Lavender essential oil is good for urinary disorders because of its stimulating effect on urine production. Furthermore, it helps in restoring hormonal balance and reducing cystitis or inflammation of the urinary bladder. It also reduces associated cramps with these and other disorders.

Stomach Discomfort: Many people find the scent of lavender to be soothing to the stomach. If you are feeling nauseous or know that you are going to be traveling in a car of plane and are prone to motion sickness, spray some lavender oil on your skin and clothes, or rub it into your temples, next and palms.

Supports Brain Function: Research also shows that lavender oil serves as a natural treatment for Alzheimer’s disease! Studies conducted on rats show that inhaling lavender essential oil vapor can help to prevent brain oxidative stress and improve cognitive impairment.

Also, in 2012, the Swiss journal Molecules printed the results of a study that shockingly proved that lavender oil is a viable treatment option for neurological dysfunctions such as stroke. Researchers believe that lavender’s neuroprotective effects are due to its antioxidant properties.

Treats Acne: Pure lavender essential oil inhibits the bacteria that cause the initial acne infection, helps to regulate the over-excretion of sebum by hormonal manipulation and can reduce the signs of scarring after the acne has begun to heal. Adding a small amount of lavender essential oil to other skin creams or ointments can greatly increase the potential for relief and healing.

Treats Eczema: Premium organic lavender oil is used to treat various skin disorders such as acne, wrinkles, psoriasis, and other inflammatory conditions. It is commonly used to speed up the healing process of wounds, cuts, burns, and sunburns because it improves the formation of scar tissues. It is also added to chamomile to treat eczema.

Treats Respiratory Disorders: Lavender oil is widely used for various respiratory problems including throat infection, flu, cough, cold, asthma, sinus congestion, bronchitis, whooping cough, laryngitis, and tonsillitis. It can be put in in an aromatherapy essential oil diffuser or alternatively, it can be topically applied to the skin of neck, chest, and back. It is also added to many vaporizers and inhalers that are commonly used for cold and cough. The stimulating nature of lavender essential oil can also loosen up the phlegm and relieve congestion associated with respiratory conditions, thus speeding up the recovery process and helping the body naturally eliminate phlegm and other unwanted material. The vapor of lavender essential oil also has antibacterial qualities which can battle respiratory tract infections.

LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL SIDE EFFECTS & PRECAUTIONS

For most people, lavender oil benefits are all that you’ll experience and using lavender oil is completely safe; however, there has not been an extensive amount of scientific research done on lavender oil interactions with other medications, or for its use in pregnant women, so there are certain situations where you will want to use caution.

Medication Interactions: If you are already taking any prescription medication for sleep-related disorders or for depression, be cautious of the fact that lavender can increase the effectiveness of these medications. Even if you use an over-the-counter sleep aid or any type of sedatives (even cough or flu medicine), keep in mind that lavender makes many people sleepy and even somewhat drowsy, so it’s best to not combine lavender oil with other medications or sleep-related supplements. If you are planning on undergoing anesthesia in the near future, you will also want to avoid using lavender oil.

Pregnant Women: Lavender oil is generally considered safe for women who are pregnant and nursing. Because it can have a relaxing effect on muscles and can also affect hormone levels, use lavender with caution in your third trimester. It’s best to speak with your doctor about use of any essential oils when pregnant, since it has not been guaranteed that these are safe at this time.

Children: Lavender oil is considered generally safe for children to use, although there is some concern that lavender’s effect on hormone levels could be harmful for boys who have not yet gone through puberty. Although there isn’t strong evidence for lavender being a hormone disrupter (only 1–2 very small studies were ever completed), parents are told to use caution if using lavender oil frequently on young children.

Ingesting Lavender Oil: Studies have primarily looked at the effects of using lavender oil topically on the skin or through inhalation. There have been no negative symptoms found when three drops of oil are mixed with a carrier oil and applied directly to the skin. A 2013 evidence-based article, however, highlighted that lavender can be ingested at a large dose of 80 to 160 milligrams without adverse effects, except for minor gastrointestinal symptoms. To avoid gastrointestinal irritation, keep internal use to a minimum and be careful if you have a sensitive digestive system. There are no known food interactions of lavender oil at this time.

References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12112282/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3880178/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23351960
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26247152
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24373672
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23808618
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24456909
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22789792
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22475718
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5424179/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22895026
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23737850
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4880962/
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3931201/
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK92761/
  16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22517298
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4443384/
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612440/#B74
  19. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26051566
  20. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foodcont.2008.03.007
  21. https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00023210-200620040-00001
  22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29955514
  23. http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2012/740813/abs/
  24. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25192562
  25. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4325408/
  26. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3746639/
  27. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3804257/
  28. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ptr.1103/abstract
  29. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24384140
  30. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-lavender-essential-oil.html
  31. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-838/lavender
  32. https://draxe.com/lavender-oil-benefits/

Liquid Glove

10XPURETM LIQUID GLOVE MOISTURIZING HAND SANITIZER

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Avoiding Toothpaste

What’s in Your Toothpaste?

When it comes to toothpaste, buyer beware. It is not regulated by the FDA because it is considered a cosmetic product. Even though it goes in your mouth! Companies do not have to list all of the ingredients in their products, nor are they required to register their manufacturing facilities with the government or report “adverse events,” making it difficult for regulators to spot potential problems. Essentially, the cosmetics industry regulates itself.

The Cornucopia Institute is chartered as a tax-exempt public charity focusing on research and education. Cornucopia aims to empower organic producers, consumers, and wholesale buyers to make discerning marketplace decisions protecting the credibility of the organic food and farming movement and the value it delivers to society. They have provided some great information on personal hygiene products.

Is it time to reduce chemicals in your environment? Removing these products from your home is a huge step. Don’t believe me? Read your labels and see what you are ingesting multiple times a day.

The Cornucopia Institute’s research on toothpaste uncovered some interesting information:

  • When potentially toxic chemical ingredients are present in toothpaste and mouthwash, they are likely to pass directly and quickly into the bloodstream, even if the toothpaste is not swallowed. This is because the membrane lining of the mouth (oral mucosa) has an absorption efficiency of more than 90%, according to the Physician’s Desk reference Handbook.
  • A label containing the word “natural” does not necessarily mean a toothpaste is free of potentially harmful ingredients.
  • Some prominent “natural” brands are manufactured by companies that primarily sell mass-marketed brands. For example, Tom’s of Maine is owned by Colgate-Palmolive, the company that also makes Colgate toothpaste.
  • Toothpastes sold in Europe have different, safer formulations than the same products, made by the same companies sold in the U.S., to accommodate stricter EU cosmetics laws.
  • The American Dental Association is heavily subsidized by the cosmetic industry, creating a conflict of interest. Its seal does not guarantee the safety of toothpastes, or other oral products, or the quality of the ingredients in these products.
  • The drive to maximize profit margins focuses investment in advertising and packaging, rather than safe and high-quality ingredients.
  • Many ingredients in toothpastes are synthetics derived from petroleum or from heavily processed and synthesized natural ingredients, which, in their final formulation, are not remotely related to the natural parent compound (e.g. coconut oil), and some may become potentially toxic.
  • Toothpaste ingredient labels are often unintelligible, with difficult to pronounce ingredients that only a cosmetics chemist might decipher and understand.
  • Some toothpastes may contain contaminated ingredients. In addition, toxic compounds may be formed by the interaction of ingredients under certain conditions or may be released slowly over time.
  • The average American will use about 20 gallons of toothpaste over his or her lifetime.
  • Children are at greater risk of exposure, because they tend to ingest more toothpaste than adults; in addition, their exposure, will be greater than adults’ in terms of amount of toothpaste used per body weight.
  • Toothpastes specifically targeted to children often contain artificial colors (food dyes), which have been linked to hyperactivity and related behavioral problems in children. Some of which also pose a risk of cancer and allergic reactions.

TYPICAL TOOTHPASTE INGREDIENTS

  • Mild abrasives to remove debris and residual surface stains. Examples include calcium carbonate, dehydrated silica gels, hydrated aluminum oxides, magnesium carbonate, phosphate salts, and silicates.
  • Fluoride to strengthen tooth enamel and remineralize tooth decay. All ADA-accepted toothpastes contain fluoride.
  • Humectants to prevent water loss in the toothpaste. Examples include glycerol, propylene glycol, and sorbitol.
  • Flavoring agents, such as saccharin, sorbitol, and other sweeteners, to provide taste. Flavoring agents do not promote tooth decay. (No ADA-Accepted toothpaste contains sugar or any other ingredient that would promote tooth decay.)
  • Thickening agents or binders to stabilize the toothpaste formula. They include mineral colloids, natural gums, seaweed colloids [e.g. carrageenan], or synthetic cellulose.
  • Detergents to create foaming action, including sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium lauroyl sarcosinate.
  • Some toothpastes contain ingredients such as potassium nitrate or strontium chloride to help reduce tooth sensitivity; stannous fluoride and triclosan to help reduce gingivitis; pyrophosphates, triclosan, and zinc citrate to help reduce a buildup of hardened plaque; modified silica abrasives or enzymes to help whiten teeth by physically removing surface stains; and some additional ingredients, such as triclosan, to help reduce bad breath.

LIST OF COLOR ADDITIVES, PIGMENTS AND COLORANTS CURRENTLY USED IN SOME TOOTHPASTES – These are mainly found in mass-marketed toothpastes, such as Crest, Colgate, Aquafresh, Arm & Hammer, etc.:

  • FD&C Blue 1 (also known as Blue 1)
  • FD&C Blue 1 Aluminum Lake (also known as Blue 1 Aluminum Lake or Blue 1 Lake)
  • FD&C Red 40 (also known as Red 40)
  • FD&C Red 40 Aluminum Lake (also known as Red 40 Aluminum Lake or Red 40 Lake)
  • FD&C Red 33
  • D&C Red 33 (also known as Red 33)
  • D&C Red 30 (also known as Red 30)
  • D&C Red 30 Lake Aluminum (also known as Red 30 Aluminum Lake or Red 30 Lake)
  • FD&C Yellow 5 (also known as D&C Yellow 5 or Yellow 5)
  • FD&C Yellow 5 Aluminum Lake (also known as D&C Yellow 5 Aluminum Lake, Yellow 5 Aluminum Lake or Yellow 5 Lake)
  • FD&C Yellow 6 Aluminum Lake (also known as Yellow 6 Aluminum Lake or yellow 6 Lake)
  • D&C Yellow 10 (also known as Yellow 10)
  • D&C Yellow 10 Aluminum Lake (also known as Yellow 10 Aluminum Lake or Yellow 10 Lake)
  • FD&C Green 3 (also known as Green 3)
  • titanium dioxide
  • zinc oxide
  • iron oxides

So, after reading all of those, do you still want to put toothpaste in your mouth, in your children’s mouths?

I certainly don’t! That’s why I make Mother Jai’s Charcoal Toothpowder. It’s all natural, deeply cleansing, antibacterial, and healing to teeth, gums, cheeks and tongue. And it can be swallowed without calling the poison control center!

Mother Jai’s Charcoal Toothpowder is Simply made with:

  • activated charcoal (extremely adsorptive [electrical absorption], provides gentle abrasion to tooth surface, and deeply cleansing between teeth)
  • shavegrass or horsetail fern (full of natural, plant based silica to reharden enamel on teeth and strengthen roots and tooth canals)
  • arrowroot powder (antibacterial and healing to tissues, used by natives to kill bacteria in arrow wounds)
  • Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate (acid reducing to help prevent acids from feeding bacteria forming on teeth and causing plaque formation and tooth decay)
  • Sea salt (provides essential minerals like magnesium for optimal mouth health)

Juniper Berry

Juniper Berry (Juniperus communis)

Juniper berries actually aren’t berries at all. They are female seed cones that come from juniper plants — a type of conifer (Pinophyta), which is a cone-bearing plant or tree. Juniper plants vary in appearance and can grow low and wide like a shrub or tall like a tree. Their uniquely fleshy, merged scales make them look like a berry, thus the name.

In addition to their slightly misleading name, juniper berries are also not a berry you would generally eat with breakfast, like blueberries (even though they’re similar in size). Instead, juniper berries are often used as a bitter spice. In fact, they give gin its distinctive flavor. Juniper berries are officially the only spice to come from a conifer tree.

You will find Juniper Berry in Mother Jai’s Products, click below to shop.

One of the major uses of these berries is in juniper berry essential oil. Known in folk medicine and some modern research as a natural antiseptic and antioxidant, the essential oil of juniper berries is a popular therapeutic oil. It’s also one of the essential oils the FDA approves for limited internal use.

Juniper is used for digestion problems including upset stomach, intestinal gas (flatulence), heartburn, bloating, and loss of appetite, as well as gastrointestinal (GI) infections and intestinal worms. It is also used for urinary tract infections (UTIs) and kidney and bladder stones. Other uses include treating snakebite, diabetes, and cancer.

Juniper Essential Oil Uses

Colds, flu, acne, cellulitis, gout, hemorrhoids, obesity, rheumatism, toxin build-up. [Julia Lawless, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils (Rockport, MA: Element Books, 1995), 58-61.]

The essential oil of juniper is obtained through steam distillation of the needles, wood and powdered fruits of juniper, bearing the scientific name Juniperus communis.

Major Constituents: a-Pinene, Sabinene, B-Myrcene, Terpinene-4-ol, (+)-Limonene, B-Pinene, Gamma-Terpinene, Delta-3-Carene, a-Terpinene. See Essential Oil Safety for more complete list of constituents. [H. Schilcher, D. Emmrich, C. Koehler. Gas Chromatographischer Verleich von Atherischen Wacholderolen und Deren Toxikologische Bewertung. (Pharmazeutische Zeitung 138, 1993), 85-91. Source cited in Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 314.]

Blending: Juniper essential oil blends well with the essential oils of Bergamot, Cedar Wood, Cypress, Grapefruit, Geranium, Lavandin, Lavender, Lavandin, Lime, Lemon, Lemongrass, and Vetiver.

Benefits of Juniper Berries:

  • Relieve Oxidative Stress and Prevent Disease: juniper berries are full of antioxidants that help your body prevent and fight disease by relieving oxidative stress caused by too many free radicals in your system. They contain 87 different distinct bioflavonoids.
  • Natural Antiseptic: strong antibacterial and antifungal qualities. Powerfully destroys black mold (aspergillus), candida and staphylococcus, kills antibiotic resistant strains, and eliminates bacteria and reduces inflammation in the mouth without toxic side effects.
  • Improves Skin Conditions: juniper berries, specifically in essential oil form, is to treat skin issues like rash or eczema. The antioxidants they contain are probably one major reason this can be effective. Helps treat skin pigmentation disorders like vitiligo. The essential oil of juniper berries has also been used for some time to reduce the appearance of cellulite, a harmless cosmetic issue involving fatty deposits that are often found on the thighs, hips and buttocks.
  • Helps Improve Digestion: Juniper berries have long been considered a digestive aid in folk medicine, but few studies have examined these effects at length. Because they function as diuretics, juniper berries can help relieve bloating in some cases.
  • Aids in Restful Sleep: juniper berry essential oil as a relaxant and has a positive impact on brain chemistry, encouraging rest.
  • Effective Against Cancer: juniper berry essential oil or extract has been found to cause apoptosis (cell death) in a drug-resistant strain of leukemia, HepG2 (liver cancer) cells and p53 (neuroblastoma) cells.
  • Good for Heart Health: due in part to its antioxidant qualities, juniper berries can help to improve heart function. For example, juniper berry essential oil has been found to reduce high blood pressure in animal studies, related to the antioxidants it contains. A similar study stated juniper berry’s function as a natural diuretic (in its original or essential oil form) also contributes to its blood pressure-lowering activity. Juniper berries also function as an “anticholinesterase agent.” This is important for heart function because anticholinesterase agents (natural or pharmaceutical) help to build up acetylcholine in the nervous system, which in turn can slow heart action, lower blood pressure, increase blood flow and induce contractions of the heart.
  • Should Be Part of Diabetic Diet Plan: An ethanol extract and a tea of juniper berries seem to have the potential to reduce high blood sugar in diabetic rats. Juniper berry essential oil also seems to limit the amount of malondialdehyde produced by animal bodies. Although malondialdehyde’s role in diabetes isn’t understood entirely, its concentration is much higher in people with diabetes (and cancer).
  • Relieves Pain:  is numbing when applying to painful joints and muscles to relieve pain and inflammation.
  • Fights Arthritis: Juniper essential oil promotes and improves blood circulation. It also helps in the removal of toxins like uric acid from the body. Both of these properties help fight ailments like rheumatism, arthritis, gout, and renal calculi, all of which are related to improper circulation and the accumulation of toxins in the body. This essential oil also relieves swelling.
  • Relieves Cramps: Juniper essential oil is also effective in nearly all forms of cramps, whether it is muscular, intestinal, respiratory or any other area. It relaxes muscle cramps and helps cure spasmodic cholera as well. Being an antispasmodic, it helps cure many other problems related to cramps or spasms.
  • Improves Breathing:  reduces inflammation in respiratory tissues and improves breathing.
  • Relieves Stress and Improves Emotions:  is calming and helps to ease stress without imparting the sedative effects that clary sage and the chamomiles are known for. Spiritually, Juniper Berry Essential Oil used in a room mist, diffuser or candle burner cleanses and purifies the air. It is a good choice for use during prayer or meditation.
  • Insect Repellent: like citronella oil, the scent of juniper may naturally repel bugs like mosquitoes according to scientific research. Spray it on your clothes, mix it with a carrier oil and massage into your skin, or diffuse it indoors and outdoors to purify the air and help prevent bug bites. You can even include it in your own homemade bug spray.
  • Might Reduce Cellulite: You can also use juniper oil as a cellulite remedy. It may help to reduce the appearance of cellulite thanks to active components like alpha-pinene, sabinene and juniperene. Add 100 percent therapeutic grade juniper berry essential oil to grapefruit cellulite cream to decrease cellulite.
  • Promotes Sweating: A sudorific substance is an agent which can bring about heavy sweating or perspiration. This is nothing to get annoyed at. The occasional perspiration makes you feel lighter and healthier and helps in the removal of toxins, excess salt, and water through sweat. This cleans the skin pores and openings of sweat and sebum glands, which prevents acne and other skin diseases.
  • Healing Tonic: Have you ever heard of health tonics? Have you had any? Juniper oil is also considered a tonic, because it tones up everything, including the muscles, tissues, skin, and various other systems inside the body. This includes the respiratory, circulatory, nervous, digestive, and excretory systems. This tonic effect helps retain youth for a long time and maintains proper health for all your years.
  • Speeds Up Healing Process: If a diluted solution of this oil is applied on wounds or blended with a skin cream and applied, it helps your wounds heal faster and keeps them protected from infections. This oil is equally beneficial in healing internal wounds, cuts, and ulcers.
  • Other Benefits: It disinfects air and helps cure kidney stones, inflammation, urinary tract infections, acne, eczema, other skin diseases, dandruff, and enlargement of the prostate gland.

Uses of Juniper Berry Oil

The fresh and calming aroma of juniper berry oil is widely renowned for relieving stress and anxiety. When diffused, it can also cleanse and purify the air. If you want to use juniper berry oil to get its healing and calming effects, try these methods:

  • Vapor therapy. Use a burner or vaporizer to diffuse the oil, which helps relieve emotional issues, such as addiction, nervous tension and hangovers.
  • Massage oil or added to bath water. This works well for pain relief, such as for arthritis, pain in passing urine, swollen joints, gout and muscle fatigue.
  • Add to lotions and creams. Try this for skin-related problems, such as oily skin, acne, dermatitis, psoriasis and weeping eczema.
  • Use in a compress. Ideal for eczema, arthritis and general infections.

RECIPES

Juniper Berry Tea: by adding 1 cup of boiling water to 1 tablespoon of juniper berries, covering, and allowing the berries to steep for 20 minutes. The usual dosage is 1 cup twice a day. However, juniper is said to work better as a treatment for bladder infections when combined with other herbs. Combination products should be taken according to label instructions.

Juniper Berry Oil: made by steam distilling the berries. However, you can make your own infused berry oil at home. Here’s a step-by-step procedure from Lisa Lise:9

  1. Put juniper berries in a clean and sterilized jar. Fill at least three-quarters of the container.
  2. Fill the jar with your oil of choice. Choose a safe oil, such as olive oil or coconut oil.
  3. Close the lid tightly and place the jar in a cool and dark place. Give it a good shake every day for four to six weeks.

Note: Check the jar regularly for any unpleasant smell, which may indicate bacterial growth. If it smells strange, throw it out and make a fresh batch.

PRECAUTIONS

Juniper, juniper berry, and juniper extract are LIKELY SAFE when consumed in normal food amounts.

Juniper is POSSIBLY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth in medicinal amounts short-term, when inhaled appropriately as a vapor, or when applied to the skin in small areas. Using juniper on the skin can cause some side effects including irritation, burning, redness, and swelling. Avoid using it on large skin wounds.

Taking juniper by mouth long-term or in a high dose is LIKELY UNSAFE as it can cause kidney problems, seizures, and other serious side effects.

First, pregnant women should never consume juniper berries in whole or essential oil form as it may potentially cause damage to the unborn child or force uterine contractions. Juniper is also not recommended for those with poor kidney function.

It is possible to develop an allergic reaction to juniper berries, which could manifest with skin issues (like a rash) or breathing issues. If you experience any of those conditions after using juniper berries, discontinue use and consult your doctor immediately.

Juniper berries may also interact negatively with certain medications, according to a 2014 study. The berries seem to inhibit a drug metabolizing enzyme in the human body known as CYP3A4. This enzyme metabolizes about half of the drugs on the pharmaceutical market, while the other half of medicines actually inhibit the enzyme.

There is a fairly extensive list of medications that could result in toxicity when taken in conjunction with juniper berries. If you are taking any medications, you should first consult with your doctor before using juniper berries or juniper berry essential oil.

Surgery: Juniper might affect blood sugar levels, making blood sugar control more difficult during and after surgery. Stop using juniper at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

References:

  1. https://draxe.com/juniper-berries/
  2. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-724/juniper
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4665443/
  4. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/antioxidants/
  5. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/what-the-heck-do-i-do-with-juniper-berries-12985861/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21707254
  7. http://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Juniper_Berries_9389.php
  8. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/juniper-berry
  9. https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/medicinal-benefits-juniper-berries-7691.html
  10. https://www.aromaweb.com/essential-oils/juniper-berry-oil.asp
  11. http://www.aromatalk.com/aromatalk/2009/01/spotlight-juniper-berry-essential-oil-juniperus-communis.html
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26784665
  13. http://www.floracopeia.com/Essential-Oils/essential-oils-sub/wild-crafted-juniper-berry-oil.html
  14. https://www.cancercarewny.com/content.aspx?chunkiid=21780
  15. https://draxe.com/juniper-berry-essential-oil/
  16. https://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/juniper-berry-oil.aspx
  17. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/essential-oils/health-benefits-of-juniper-essential-oil.html

Coconut Soap

Mother Jai’s Coconut Oil Soap

Home made and hand blended soap made of only Organic Coconut Oil, Distilled Water, and Sodium Hydroxide (yes, Lye). Mother Jai uses only silicon molds for this soap to prevent metal and releasing agent contamination. Silicon is inert and does not release any chemicals into products.

This is a ‘superfat’ blend. That means when the soap is made Mother Jai includes extra Coconut Oil to ensure all of the Lye reacts and to make the soap super moisturizing. This soap produces a wonderful fluffy foam that nourishes the skin and hair. Rub soap bar onto a loofa or wash cloth and scrub face and body.

As a shampoo bar it leaves hair clean and soft without over drying. It also works great to preserve hair dye as it is not a ‘detergent’ like many commercial shampoos. Hair with bright colored hair dye do extremely well with this coconut oil soap. Simply rub the bar on wet hair until foam forms then massage through hair with fingertips. Don’t forget to massage your scalp to improve hair growth by stimulating follicles.

As a hand soap it leaves hands soft and sanitized without ‘antibacterial’ chemicals. You can use the bar whole or dissolve it for sanitary purposes. Simply break up the soap bar into smaller pieces and dissolve in distilled water. One 4oz bar to 20oz of Water in a jar. Allow it to dissolve completely and pour into soap pump. It is more ‘liquidy’ than commercial soaps because it lacks artificial fillers and stabilizers. This liquid soap works great on surfaces, dishes and clothes as well.

Organic Coconut Oil

Coconut oil soap is an excellent moisturizer for both the skin and the hair. The properties of the coconut oil also help remove dead skin cells and dirt away from the body. The oils also help prevent or reduce acne. It also helps firm up your skin helps you look younger as the soap is rich in antioxidants.

Lauric, Capric, and Caprylic Acid – These fatty acids from the coconut are antimicrobial agents.  They help fight against nasty things like viruses, bacteria, fungi, and yeast.  Who needs anti-bacterial soap when you can just use coconut oil!

Micronutrients – Including calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, zinc, iron, selenium, and vitamins C and E.  These micronutrients can pack a world of benefits from lowering blood pressure (manganese) to dandruff alleviation and prevention of skin aging (selenium).  

Antioxidants – Many of these micronutrients also act as anti-oxidants meaning that they block potentially harmful free radicals which can prevent disease and improve skin condition.

Distilled Water

Water that has been boiled into vapor and condensed back into liquid in a separate container. Impurities in the original water that do not boil below or near the boiling point of water remain in the original container. Thus, distilled water is one type of purified water. This means that distilled water is only H2O and all of the minerals, chemicals, bacteria and molds have been removed. This leaves a clean base for making clean soap.

Sodium Hydroxide (NaOH)

Is an inorganic compound with the formula NaOH. It is a white solid ionic compound consisting of sodium cations Na+ and hydroxide anions OH. Sodium hydroxide is a highly caustic base and alkali that decomposes proteins at ordinary ambient temperatures and may cause severe chemical burns. It is highly soluble in water, and readily absorbs moisture and carbon dioxide from the air.

This chemical is used to manufacture soaps, rayon, paper, explosives, dyestuffs, and petroleum products. It is also used in processing cotton fabric, laundering and bleaching, metal cleaning and processing, oxide coating, electroplating, and electrolytic extracting. It is commonly found in commercial drain/ oven cleaners. According to the the FDA, sodium hydroxide is considered a direct food recognized as safe, where it serves as a pH control agent and follows good manufacturing guidelines. Interestingly, sodium hydroxide has been studied for its use in the treatment of prion disease (as occurs in mad cow disease and kuru). The use of this compound has been shown to effectively reduce prion levels in an in vitro inactivation assay.

Sodium hydroxide is used in several food processing applications, such as curing foods like olives or helping to brown Bavarian-style pretzels, giving them their characteristic crunch. Sodium hydroxide is used to remove skins from tomatoes, potatoes and other fruits and vegetables for canning and also as an ingredient in food preservatives that help prevent mold and bacteria from growing in food.

Get your home made superfat lye soap here.

Lye Soap

Soap is the result of a chemical reaction called saponification that occurs between lye and a type of molecule called a triglyceride (a fat or oil), where both substances are chemically transformed, creating soap and natural glycerin. Neither of the original ingredients exists anymore. All the lye – either sodium hydroxide for bar soap or potassium hydroxide for liquid soap – is consumed in the reaction.

So, while soap is made with lye, it doesn’t contain lye. Modern methods and measuring scales – as opposed to what was available to frontier women – allow soap-makers to use the proper mixture of oils and lye, ensuring that all lye is consumed. In addition, many soap-makers, including Mother Jai’s, add more oil than is required for the chemical reaction, further ensuring the neutralization of lye and adding to the soap’s moisturizing qualities. Including extra fats in the mixture is known as superfatting.

Still, some soap-makers make a point of positioning themselves as lye “alternatives,” insisting – for example – they use glycerin instead, or make their soap without the involvement of lye. In both these cases, misinformation seems to be a factor. Glycerin is a natural result of saponification. And the first step in creating bases for melt-and-pour soap-making – the most convenient home-based process? Saponification.

Understanding chemistry can go a long way toward informing public perceptions, including those of your customers. As negative as some perceptions of lye can be, all soap is made with lye – whether it’s bar or liquid – and soap made well can be great for your skin. The distinction between soap and commercial cleansers is especially clear with liquid soaps. Since most weren’t made with lye, what you’re buying isn’t soap, but a factory-made detergent for the skin. These are chemical emulsifiers usually derived from petroleum.

The truth about lye in soap-making is simple: there is no true soap, as defined by the FDA, without lye. There’s also a huge difference between “made with lye” and “containing lye.”

Lye isn’t a villain, nor is soap made with lye something to avoid. In fact, in the hands of good soap-makers, it’s a product made with your skin and health in mind, and is far superior in overall quality and gentleness to commercial, non-soap cleansers. Lye is what you should be using.

Get your home made superfat lye soap here.

By Walkerma – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5190866

Benefits Using of Lye Soap

Despite popular belief, lye soap is not harsh and it doesn’t burn skin. When farmers and homesteaders in the past made soap, they did not use correct proportions of lye and fats. They produced soap with residual lye in it. That soap burned skin. Unfortunately, the oldies ruined reputation of lye soap for us. Fortunately, modern homesteaders and soap makers have great resources available to them to make lye soap that is cleansing, soothing, conditioning, and pampering.

General Skin Care : Daily pampering with lye soap cleanses and conditions skin, gets rid of dry and itchy skin, rashes and irritations.

Acne Cure: Lye soap unclogs pores, reduces inflammation, and balances skin pH. Washing face with lye soap daily reduces acne and blackheads. It leaves skin silky and radiant.

Balancing Dry or Oily Skin: Lye soap fends both dry skin and oily skin. The way it works is very simple and ingenious.

  • Dry skin: Glycerin in the soap moisturizes dry skin. There is very little need or no need at all to use lotions any more.
  • Oily skin: This is the type of skin that has overactive oil (sebaceous) glands. When harsh soaps are used on oily skin, they make skin overly dry, but just for a short period of time. Oily skin reacts to dryness by producing extra lubricants by the oil glands. Such skin becomes oily almost immediately after washing.

Using lye soap on oily skin leaves the skin mildly moisturized by glycerin. Under these conditions, the oily skin doesn’t have to work overtime to produce oils any more. You must be patient though. This doesn’t happen overnight. You have to “train” your oily skin to slow down oil production by the hyperactive glands. It may take weeks to achieve noticeable results.

Seborrheic Dermatitis & Dandruff Treatment: Lye soap is used in the treatment of seborrhea and dandruff. Simply washing your hair and affected areas with lye soap reduces the flaky skin and irritation. Some lye soaps prescribed by dermatologists are medicated with aspirin, coal tar, zinc, or other additives.

Eczema, Psoriasis Relief: Because of the emollient qualities of lye soap, it is used by people with eczema and psoriasis to relief itching, irritation, and minimize the symptoms.

Sun Burn Treatment and Prevention: Using lye soap on the bare skin before going out in the sun minimizes sunburns. Lye soap helps cure inflamed skin if the sunburns already happened. Lather lye soap on the sunburned area and leave it overnight. Repeat until sunburn is gone. Lye soap speeds up the healing process.

Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, Poison Sumac Treatment: Washing the affected skin area with lye soap immediately after contact with the poisonous plants may help avoid the reaction altogether. If some time is passed after the contact, the reaction is very likely to happen. To minimize the reaction, wash the area with lye soap as soon as possible, and rinse with water. Repeat washing a few times. Lather lye soap on the affected skin and leave it on until the next wash. Skin reaction will disappear soon.

Insect Bites Cure and Insect Repellent: Washing the bites with lye soap reliefs itching and swelling almost immediately. Lather lye soap on your bare skin to repel mosquitoes. A bar of lye soap in your kitchen cabinets will keep ants in check.

Lye Soap Slows Down Skin Aging: Soothing, moisturizing, and antioxidant qualities of lye soap slows down formation of wrinkles and age spots when used daily.

Hunters’ Trick (can be a health benefit at times): Wash with unscented lye soap to become “invisible” when you go hunting. Lye soap removes human scent and animals become unaware of you presence. Happy hunting!

Get your home made superfat lye soap here.