Browse Category by Health

Tea Tree Oil Is Essential

Tea tree oil, from Australia, has become an all-star. It appears in so many different kinds of products, and it is still going strong. So, what is it about this essential oil which has grabbed so many people’s attention, and has converted so many of those who were hitherto users of strictly less natural products?

I can’t speak for everyone, but I discovered tea tree when I wanted to get rid of my mosquitoes. I wanted an oil that I could burn which would smell nice, and also keep them away. I was offered a few, and tea tree seemed like the way to go. So I did. And I kind of backtracked, and came into the understanding of this plant and its history.

So, apparently, this tree has been used by the original Australians for many, many generations. They have all kinds of uses for its many parts, and the essential oil of the leaves and branches is only one of them. But, to the point, it was discovered (or rather re-discovered) by western researchers at the turn of the century, or close to that.

Australian soldiers were given tea tree oil as part of their personal first-aid kit. I have no doubt that it helped those who would have otherwise died from inflammation in the field. If you put a field dressing on a wound and add tea tree oil, it will help to disinfect and heal the region. This oil is highly useful in a right spot, which is why it was part of the medical kit.

Nowadays, people use tea tree is so many products. But be sure to look and see where it is on the label. It shouldn’t be all the way down at the end. I mean, it is a powerful substance, but don’t be duped.

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Healthy Skin

It turns out beauty is more than skin deep: The average person slathers, lathers, rubs and sprays, 10 different skin care products on his or her body every day–and since our skin acts more like a sponge than a barrier, we absorb the nearly 130 chemicals we regularly expose ourselves to. Cosmetics companies and the FDA maintain that these chemicals are safe, and many of them are–in small doses at least. But consider that the average woman wears makeup every day, and you begin to understand how a little dab here a quick spray there begins to add up. The fact is, no one really knows how certain chemicals affect us over time, or how they react in our bodies in combination. Other chemicals have known dangers: Phosphates, for example, which are often found in artificial fragrances, are a class of hormone disrupt or which can be linked to birth defects, sperm damage, infertility, and the feminization of baby boys, for instance.

Almost 90 percent of the 10,500 cosmetics and skin care ingredients known to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have not been evaluated for safety by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, the FDA, or any other publicly accountable institution, according to the Environmental Working Group. To be fair, no one’s dropping dead after a using a mascara wand or a body wash, and manufacturers have an interest in creating products that don’t harm their customers. But complex chemicals with potential unknown side effects lead us to follow the Precautionary Principle. That is to say, if we’d prefer to err on the side of safety until we know. We’re not the only ones who feel this way: More than 1,110 personal-product ingredients have been banned for use in cosmetics in the European Union because of concerns that they may cause cancer, birth defects, or reproductive ills. By contrast only 10 are banned here in the U.S. Maple Holistics is the best place to go for all of the best reviews, articles and products.

Don’t be fooled by cosmetic advertising: Myriad creams, lotions, and potions at the drugstore and cosmetics counter make promises they could never deliver on. (Trust us, all the fancy products in the world will never turn the tide of aging.) Eye creams, for instance, rarely vary in formulation from your basic facial moisturizer. Our recommendation is to keep it simple: All you need is a basic cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and broad-spectrum sunscreen to keep your skin in tip-top shape. Everything else is just dressing.Toxic synthetic chemicals are the biggest issue in the beauty industry today, so it pays to hone a keen eye when it comes to examining product labels. For example, it’s counter intuitive, but unfortunately, the words “natural” and “all-natural” are not regulated labeling terms. A great resource is the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database site, which rates popular cosmetics and personal-care products with hazard scores on a scale of 0 to 10, depending on their toxicity.

So choosing a natural option is probably the best one available at this point in terms of treating your skin and keeping healthy at the same time.

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