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Helichrysum essential oil

Helichrysum comes from the Greek Helios=sun and khrusos=gold. Also known under the name Helichrysum italicum or Helichrysum angustifolium, Helichrysum is a plant belonging to the daisy family Asteraceae that grows on rocky and dry grounds, on abandoned grounds or behind sandy beaches at low altitudes. Helichrysum is commonly found in the Mediterranean region, especially in Corsica. Helichrysum plant produces blooming yellow flowers on a woody stem; the flowers are also called Everlasting (or Immortelle) because dry bouquets are made out of the flowers. The plant measures between 20 to 50 cm high and the flowers bloom in June or July. They have a very strong smell and are sometimes used in gardens to repel cats.

Helichrysum essential oil benefits

Helichrysum essential oil is becoming a rare oil and is extremely expensive. It has a thick texture and a dark color and is considered one of the most valuable essential oil for its health-benefiting properties. Relatively unknown in the USA, helichrysum is widely used in the medical aromatherapy world in Europe and even sceptics do not argue with its powers. Helichrysum essential oil is the most powerful oil to use in case of:

bruise, wounds, sprains: In case of emergency and until medical attention is available if needed, a few drops applied right away on a wound or bruise will mostly prevent hematoma or swelling. Even if applied once the bruise is apparent, helichrysum will speed up healing and prevent the pain associated with the bruise. It can also be applied on sprains to heal quicker and even act faster than organic arnica cream.

– Inflammation, arthritis, rheumatism, muscular pain: Helichrysum has unique natural anti-inflammatory properties and regenerative properties due to its content of di-ketones. It helps connective tissues to heal and can soothe inflammations and even arthritis. It is good for all kinds of aches and muscle pain associated with exercise thanks to its muscle-relaxant properties and is therefore good for athletes. It has cell regenerative properties.

– Anti-coagulant and blood circulation: Helichrysum prevents the formation of blood clots and can even be used in cases of varicose veins or phlebitis. It acts as a blood thinner so it should be used only with the help of a professional practitioner especially for people on blood thinner medications. It stimulates the blood circulation.

Stretch marks and scars: Helichrysum can help reduce scarring (new or old scars) thanks to its cicatrisant properties and should be used for a minimum period of 6 months to see results. It can be used also after surgery to speed up scar healing. It is also beneficial in case of stretch marks and can be used after pregnancy to make them disappear. It will help with tattoo-healing and body piercing.

– Colds, bronchitis, coughs and asthma: Helichrysum can help recover faster from a cold and soothe the effects of cough (helps get rid of mucus in combination with ivy leaf extract), bronchitis and even asthma thanks to its antispasmodic effects and natural anti-bacterial properties.

-Smoking:
– Skin problems: Helichrysum is widely used in skin products because it can help with eczema, psoriasis, acne, dermatitis or problem-prone skins or skin irritation. It has also skin-rejuvenating and anti-aging properties and works wonder on sensitive or inflamed skins.

Detoxification: Helichrysum can help get rid of toxins in the body by stimulating the liver and the kidneys. It can be used also during detoxification from drugs or nicotine to speed up recovery and it helps with nicotine withdrawal for people who want to quit smoking.

– Psychological traumas and nervous tensions: Helichrysum has the ability to soothe nervous tensions (works as a tonic for the nervous system), to relieve stress, to reduce headaches and to recover from past or current emotional traumas, shocks or stress disorders. It can be used as a natural cure for depression, anger or phoebias. It is said to be the “honey for the psyche” and contributes to spiritual growth by opening the heart and connecting body and soul.

How to use helichrysum essential oil?

When considering using helichrysum essential oil, one should always favor a 100% pure helichrysum essential oil to ensure that the oil is true and pure. A fake oil will not have the health benefits listed above and won’t work.

Also, helichrysum essential oil is a very powerful oil so it should be used carefully and in small quantities otherwise, the adverse effects could occur. When used to treat emotional wounds, this should be done step by step as strong emotions can resurface at once.

When used on the skin, one or two drops mixed with a carrier oil is sufficient to apply on the desired area. In case of bruise or wound, one or two drops of undiluted organic helichrysum essential oil can work wonders.

Helichrysum essential oil is not to be used by children or pregnant women. Also, to use helichrysum essential oil as part of a health treatment, it is recommended to consult a professional practitioner for advice.

The super fruits and a close-up on organic tart cherry juice

What are super fruits?

Super fruits are fruits that are promoted through the evidence of the health benefits they provide. Super fruits are rich in nutrients and antioxidants and can be included in the daily diet for general wellness. Super fruits include rare fruits that are attractive for their novelty and that are sold as raw materials to the neutraceuticals, functional food and beverages companies to produce healthy fruit juices, smoothies or fruit blends.

The effectiveness of super fruits for their health benefits is determined via the ORAC scale (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) that calculates their antioxidant power (to fight aging and degenerative diseases). The higher a fruit ranks, the higher its antioxidant capacities are. Super fruits include blueberry, acai berry, pomegranate, blackberry, goji berries (wolfberry) or noni to name a few. However, other fruits commonly known from the general public can also fall under this category for their high content of antioxidants even though they are not bringing novelty to the market. Such fruits include grape, mango, cranberry, tart cherry and much more.

Tart cherry juice health benefits

The tart cherry also known as Montmorency cherry or the “healing cherry”, a cherry commonly grown in Michigan, USA.
Tart cherry has been used for centuries in traditional medicine to soothe inflammatory conditions (it works like ibuprofen without side-effects) and pain associated with arthritis, muscle pain, back pain, gout (by lowering the uric acid) and diseases from the nervous system.
Tart cherry has high antioxidant effect (they contain 6 times the amount of melatonin than other cherries; melatonin is a derivative of seratonin that promotes good sleeping cycles) and therefore, tart cherry is said to be used to combat insomnia. On the ORAC scale mentioned earlier, tart cherry juice rates very high with 12,800 ORAC units per 100g. Tart cherry is also rich in in the following: potassium, calcium, vitamins A, C, B6, E and folic acid.

How to use organic tart cherry juice and where to find it

certified organic tart cherry juiceOrganic tart cherry juice is said to be more effective that any other form (such as dry fruits for example or capsules) because the beneficial nutrients are conserved and therefore, the ORAC values remain. To benefit fully from this healthy tart cherry juice however, it is preferable to choose a 100% natural pure juice free of artificial preservatives, fillers, additives, refined sugar and GE (genetically engineered) cherries and if possible, even favor a certified organic tart berry juice. It is also good to eat fresh tart cherries as much as a hand full a day if available at the grocery store. Like for any other organic products, always check the label to ensure it is truly organic and pure juice.

Organic tart cherry juice can be found in health food stores or online. It is recommended to drink 2 spoons to half a glass a day depending on what you wish to achieve (maintenance of good health or treat a condition).
Tart cherry growers were asked by the Health Authorities in the States to increase the demand in this super fruit and to promote its health benefits so it seems that we will hear more and more of this powerful fruit and hopefully, see more studies related to its health benefits.

Organic borage oil as a source of essential fatty acids for a beautiful skin

The borage plant, also known as Borago officinalis in Latin, originated in Syria but is present now in the Mediterranean region, in North-Africa and in South-America. The borage plant is also dubbed as starflower because of the flower being made of 5 blue perfect pointy petals, reminding the shape of a star. The borage plant can measure from 40 cm to 70 cm and is covered with a silky-like substance.

Borage herb can bloom throughout the year under mild climates but typically the plant blooms from May to September. The harvest is done from June through July although it is complicated as the grains do not all mature at the same time.

Borage oil benefits

The used part of the plant is the grain whose shape ressembles one of a pepper grain although the leaves and the flowers used to serve as a relief for inflammation of the respiratory tract or bronchitis. Borage flowers are also used to make an excellent honey.

The grain is used to produce borage oil and just like evening primrose oil, borage oil is one of the most valuable source of Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), the essential fatty acid with strong anti-inflammatory properties.

Organic borage oil can be used a therapeutic remedy for lipid metabolic disorders> and therefore can help solve dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, skin irritation and can also help prevent cardio-vascular diseases and arthritis. Taken in the form of borage oil capsules, borage oil makes dry skin softer, has anti-aging properties and is used as a treatment for fragile hair or breaking nails.

Organic borage oil can also be used topically and will have the same effects on the skin as taken internally. It moisturizes severely dry skins, helps with skin conditions such as inflammation, eczema, psoriasis, sunburn and restores the skin tissues and skin elasticity. It is also efficient for dermatitis and can be applied on baby skin.

Using an organic borage oil will ensure that you can use it topically, but also internally on a daily basis as a therapeutic remedy just like most organic products. Borage oil is not a cooking oil but can be used on salads and dressings for the whole family as an excellent source of essential fatty acids that will make everyone’s skin look beautiful. Alternatively, organic evening primrose oil can be used as well for its similar properties.

Organic evening primrose oil for dry skin

Evening primrose is a plant originating from North- America that has been used by Amerindiens since centuries as a food (the root) and also as a traditional medicine remedy (leaves and seeds) to ease various conditions such as respiratory problems, skin conditions or to heal wounds or bruises thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties.

In the 18th century, the plant found its way to Europe and in the 20th century, evening primrose started to be widely used for its rich content of essential fatty acids (Omega 6).

Also known under the latin name Œnothera biennis, and the King’s cure-all plant, evening primrose grows from June to September up to 1000 meter high. It is around 1.50 meter and the yellow flowers are made of 4 petals. Evening primrose belongs to the family of Onagraceae. The flower has a very short life span of 24 hours. It opens around nineish in the evening in one minute or so and therefore is also called moon flower.

Roots, leaves and seeds are used in phytotherapy but the most widely used part is the seeds for their high content in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Gamma-linolenic acid is an essential fatty acid scarcely found in nature, only in a few plants such as evening primrose, borage, blackcurrant seed oil or spirulina and has anti-inflammatory properties without the side effects of other anti-inflammatory drugs. Evening primrose oil is made from evening primerose seeds.

organic evening primroseOrganic evening primrose oil is recommended for cardiovascular health as it may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It is used for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis or rheumatism. It also said to alleviate premenstrual syndromes, to boost the immune-system, to have an hepato-protector activity in case of over-consumption of alcohol and even to help in case of hang-overs.

Evening primrose is mainly sold in capsules containing the yellowish thick oil of the seeds but also in bottles. Results are expected to be seen 6 weeks to 3 months after starting taking evening primrose.

As a topical application, evening primrose oil can help to get rid of eczema, acne, skin inflammation (such as rosacea) and even psoriasis. It is a powerful nourishing ingredient for very dry skin and is also used as an anti-aging remedy (internally and externally) thanks to its skin cell-regenerating properties. It smoothers fine lines and wrinkles and gives a better skin elasticity. Evening primrose oil capsules can be used directly on the skin to give it a better looking feel in general. Additionally, an internal treatment should complement the topical use but only under the supervision of a doctor or naturopath. It can be combined or used in alternance with organic borage oil.

Organic evening primrose oil should be favored for the way the plant is grown and processed. Organic farming uses natural fertilizers vs. chemicals to promote the growth of the soil and plant; insects and birds are used to prevent diseases vs. insecticides; crops are used in a rotating manner to avoid the growth of weed vs. the use of herbicides. Organic farming guarantees that the plant itself won’t be contaminated by chemicals that we would innavoidably intake or apply on our skin if it was not the case. However, like for any other organic products, always check the ingredients and the origin of the product to ensure it is truly organic.