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Ayurveda says “if you can’t eat it, don’t put it on your skin’

Everything that comes into contact with your skin is absorbed into your body, processed and detoxified by your liver. Conventional body “care” products are laced with chemicals that disrupt hormones and the body’s natural balance. A great exercise is to go through your bathroom cabinets and read the labels of all your body care products. Count how many chemicals you would usually be adding to your body on a daily basis.

Skin Flora – S. epidermidis

Skin flora or skin microbiota is the bacteria living on the skin which is usually non-pathogenic, and either commensal (are not harmful to their host) or mutualistic (offer a benefit). The benefits bacteria can offer include preventing transient pathogenic organisms from colonizing the skin surface, either by competing for nutrients, secreting chemicals against them, or stimulating the skin’s immune system.  The skin barrier is critical for survival, preventing the escape of moisture and invasion by infectious or toxic substances (Segre 2006). The skin is also an intricate habitat for a diverse population of microbiota. During the birthing process and subsequent exposure to the post-natal environment, the skin is colonized by a wide array of microbes, many of which are commensal or symbiotic. Proposed beneficial roles of resident microbiota include inhibition of pathogenic species and further processing of skin proteins, free fatty acids, and sebum (Roth and James 1988). The skin is composed of a variety of niches, including regions with a broad range of pH, temperature, moisture, and sebum content. Furthermore, skin structures such as hair follicles, sebaceous, eccrine, and apocrine glands comprise subhabitats that may be associated with their own unique microbiota (Marples 1965; Kearney et al. 1984).Such as S. epidermidis.

Recent studies can be interpreted to suggest that S. epidermidis is a mutualistic organism, much like the bacteria of the gut. Many strains of S. epidermidis produce lantibiotics, which are lanthionine-containing antibacterial peptides, also known as bacteriocins. Among the several identified bacteriocins are epidermin, epilancin K7, epilancin 15X, Pep5 and staphylococcin. Additional antimicrobial peptides on the surface of the skin have recently been identified as originating from S. epidermidis. The identification of these peptides suggests the presence of intra- and interspecies competition, yet their direct regulatory, cytotoxic and mechanistic roles have yet to be addressed. Although S. epidermidis rarely damages the keratinocytes in the epidermis, the bacteria produce peptides toxic to other organisms, such as S. aureus and group A Streptococcus (GAS, S. pyogenes). The host epidermis permits S. epidermidis growth as the bacterium may provide an added level of protection against certain common pathogens, making the host–bacterium relationship one of mutualism. Protection afforded by S. epidermidis is further demonstrated in recent studies on pheromone cross-inhibition.

Staphylococcus epidermidis may also promote the integrity of cutaneous defence through elicitation of host immune responses. Preliminary data suggest that S. epidermidis plays an additional protective role by influencing the innate immune response of keratinocytes through Toll-like receptor (TLR) signalling. TLRs are pattern-recognition receptors that specifically recognize molecules produced from pathogens collectively known as pathogen-associated molecular patterns. This education of the skin’s immune system may play an important role in defence against harmful pathogens. Through cellular ‘priming’, keratinocytes are able to respond more effectively and efficiently to pathogenic insults. New unpublished data suggest that S. epidermidis present on the skin amplifies the keratinocyte response to pathogens.

The removal of S. epidermidis (i.e. through overuse of topical antibiotics, soaps and sun blocks) may be detrimental to the host for two reasons. Firstly, removing S. epidermidis eliminates the bacterium’s endogenous antimicrobial peptides, allowing potentially pathogenic organisms to colonize the skin more effectively. Secondly, without bacterial priming of the skin, the host may be less efficient in warding off infection. In this light, S. epidermidis may be thought of as a mutual, thus, adding to the human innate immune system. Understanding this interaction may advance our knowledge of cutaneous diseases and infectious disease susceptibility.

Our skin Cells

Millions of illuminating light cells dance in our being as starry galaxies within our galaxy: cell by cell, thought by thought, life. Let each cell reflect a star. The care of creation sets the cell afloat in a swirling sea of illuminated ether. Inhalation births birth millions of new cells and with exhalation, millions expire. Entirely fresh blood, skin and organ cells are renewed every moon cycle.Infuse your cells with the holiest of telluric tones and trust the precision work of the body. This is the rhythm of nature; these are the four seasons in a day. The death and life of breath: the green leaves exhale and we live.

Healthy cells are essential to resplendent skin. We want to ennoble the cell with the right environment. That means on a core, primal level we need a good balance of water, oxygen and nutrients. Cells have a breathing cycle, an inhalation and an exhalation. Respiration equals resplendence. Oxygen is fundamental for the metabolic function of the cells. Imbue your being with fresh air, movement and everything that gets oxygen going to the cells. Skin needs and feeds upon the elements. This moist envelope of our soul is a living, breathing, communicating and regenerating tissue. It is our largest organ of elimination, secreting out sweat and sebum while keeping out infectious invaders. This miraculous medium is the real estate coveted by every cosmetic that aims to penetrate pores, solve insecurities and systematize skin types. Dry, oily in the T-zone, combination skin-these are not types but symptoms! Symptoms vary from subtle to severe, yet they all point toward skin microbiome imbalance. Only a few millimeters of skin separate our bodies from the outside world. Yet its multilayered microbial design provides us with the perfect protection. There are four main levels in the very thin, top layer of our skin called the epidermis. The outermost protective layer, the stratum corneum, keeps skin elastic and prevents water evaporation. The stratum lucidum, found only in naturally thickened skin, is a transculent layer of flat, dead skin cells that is only three to five cells thick that protect the skin from friction and force. The hydro-lipid barrier, the stratum granulosum, produces ceramides and phospholipids. The immunologically active stratum spinosum is a net-like layer that provides protection to the basement layer, the stratum basale, which generates keratin and melanin cells and pushes them up to the stratum corneum every fourteen days. This continuous process culminates in the loss of 40.000 cells every minute of our lives!

Skin layers:

Stratum corneum
Stratum granulosum
Stratum spinosum
Stratum basale
Dermis

The outermost layer, the stratum corneum, is composed mostly of dead cells, which has given rise to the practice of chemical peels and excessive exfoliation.
Yet this vital layer is our topsoil that feeds our friendly flora. Cell loss is designed to precisely match cell production. This signals stress in the skin.
Our epidermal ecosystem requires a healthy stratum corneum because it is our most antiaging and anti-infection layer. When we remove it prematurely, the young cells underneath are left vulnerable. With this juicy layer jeopardized, toxins and harsh chemicals irritate the new skin, inducing inflammatory issues.  If this layer is disturbed regularly, as it is with daily exposure to foaming cleansers, creams and chlorine, it creates an ongoing health deficit of missing microbes, inflammation, abnormal cells and easy entrance for toxins.

The bacterial banquet on your skin: microbes

We live our lives in perpetual bacterial bloom, our skin a tapestry teeming with microbes. A whole ecosystem resides on the surface and multilayers of our skin. Our cutaneous microbiome is in constant contact with the immune, digestive, nervous and hormonal systems. Disruption results in dysbiosis. Acne, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, keratosis pilaris, rosacea, melasma, hyperpigmentation, fungal infections, candida, skin lesions, dandruff, age spots, blemishes, blackheads, dry, scaly, uneven skin and more all manifestations of bacterial imbalance. The unfriendly microbes that cause imbalance live on everyone’s skin. Yet, when microbial diversity mutates and plummets, pathogenic bacteria breed and trigger skin issues. Our skin needs bacterial diversity to thrive and to keep all the flora friendly instead of fostering the frenemies that cause disruption and disease. For decades we have known about the toxicity of modern toiletries and its effect on our skin, cells and hormones. Now, revolutionary research about the skin’s microbiome reveals new levels of damage to our dermis that the daily doping of lotions and soaping is doing to the firmament of flora that supports our skin. There is a balance of bacteria that tends to the soil of our skin and noton of them is parched for petroleum and paraben. Skin microbes are pervasive through the layers of the epidermis. When the skin is injured, our native skin microbes invade the area to defend against non-native pathogens, which prevents infection. (This is a good reason to avoid antibacterial soap!) For example, Staphylococcus epidermidis, commonly found on the skin, secretes a substance that improves wound healing, reduces inflammation and inhibits the pathogenic S. aureus, also known as the superbug MRSA. Bacterial also regulate skin collagen and protect the skin from UV damage. Gut bacterial imbalance results in chronic inflammation that can lead to damage to collagen and bacteria, and this contributes to rapid aging. Any disturbance to the skin microbes can cause the delicate microbial balance to become out of whack and can make us unwell. As Dr. Bruce Agnew of the National Human Genome Research Institute recently said, “If the microbiota is sick, the human host will probably get sick, too. All changes and distbances to the skin microbiota have contributed to the rising rates of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases seen in wealthier countries that tend toward hypersanitation and the abus of antibiotics. Modern skincare routines often suppress the beauty of this symbiotic system. The bacteria domesticating our dermis are altered by what is applied topically. Just as toxic food and chemical irritants induce leaky guts by microscopically perforatin the intestines, the rubbing and scrubbing of our skin with a daily diet of chemical cleansers and creams fumigates our friendly flora.

This defoliation of our flora-nation mutates microbes and makes them extinct. By removing this protective bacteria and their food source of sebum, cells and lipids, we disrupt the homeostasis of our skin’s oasis. Ancient cultures with highly sophisticated ablutions would oil their skin for cleansing and renewing, lubricating lipid layers with exquisite fresh-pressed fats – now we scrub and surfactant everything. Stuides show that surfactants in cosmetics dissolve our skin’s natural ceramides, enzymes and hydro-lipid barrier.  These surfactants that make skin squeaky clean also insert themselves intro the stratum corneum and stay there even after rinsing, initiating chronic degradation to this delicate layer. This results in inflammation and microbial elimination, which may manifest as melasma, blemishes, redness, dryness and irritated skin. Chronic damage to this layer essentially exterminates our skin’s “first responders” to injury and infection and along with it goes our moist envelope of protection. Venturing into the world without the integrity of this top layer and its full-flora intact is like leaving the front door wide open while away on vacation. The penetration of chemicals we commonly use creates a vicious cycle of dermal dysbiosis and premature skin conditions that are difficult to escape. To this mix we add washing in water that is soaked in pharmaceauticals, fluoride and chlorine, further eradicating essential bacteria. The resulting skin issues may send us seeking a dermatologist. Dermatologist’s prescriptions are steeped in side effects, have low success rates of resolving skin aliments and often spawn new ones. Among this arsenal are antibiotics, retinoids and cortisone creams that deplete our bacteria teams. Restoring beneficial bacteria, rather than further depleting it, should be the key to all skin therapy.

Microbe Matrimony: The Union of Skin and Guts

The skin and the guts are inexplicably bound in a relationship with bacteria. Healthy skin and a healthy gut are lined with billions of beneficial microbes. These bacteria boost our immune system and aid in absorbing nutrients. Research indicates that probiotics and rebalancing the gut microbiome can inhibit hair loss and solve skin issues. A flourishing bodywide microbiome boosted by probiotics to help regain some of our microbe species and diversity, can help skin be less sensitive to UV rays, along with helping the skin maintain the acid mantle and its moisture, preventing cell abnormality, improving vascularization, regulating collagen and more! For beauty’s sake, we must befriend our bacteria. Ultimately, this is what unplugs pores perpetually, not an aesthetician’s extractor or plastic exfoliating beads, as blackheads begin in a congested colon, rosacea is linked to leaky guts and acne arises from oxidization. Bacteria are the best beautician. By outsourcing our beauty routines to bacteria, we let the microbes micromanage our skincare with their beauty-stimulating secretions that clean pores and keep skin strong and supple. A healthy microbiome is your best friend forever and works like the best beauty cream ever!

Beneficial Bacteria Beauticians:

Regulate collagen
Prevent infections
Improve vascularization
Regulate innate immunity
Maintain acid mantle
Prevent cell abnormality
Regulate lipids, peptides & sebum
Maintain moisture
Help heal burns, scars & wounds
Reduce sensitivity to UV
Upregulate vitamin D receptors (VDR)
Communicate with guts, brain, hormones & nerves

The skin is our gatekeeper of beauty, and the outermost layers are vital parts of our immune system. The hydro lipid barrier is our water proof seal and the acid mantle is a very thin film of acidic fluid that sits on top of the skin. It’s slightly acidic pH neutralises invading bacteria and other contaminants. All chemical, synthetic skin care products disrupt or destroy the hydro lipid barrier and acid mantle leaving us and our skin vulnerable to disease, infection, and toxins, and increasing the risks of unbalanced skin (either oily or dry), wrinkles, acne, and other skin conditions. Plants evolved alongside our skin, and their oils harmonise with our skin. Washing with pure plant oils is an ancient gypsy method of cleansing and exfoliating the skin that leaves the precious outer layer of the skin intact. The anti-microbial properties of essential oils combined with the gentle dirt dissolving fatty oils and citrus oils lift away the daily accumulation of dirt, toxins and makeup while healing, not harming, the skin’s surface. The skin and the guts are inexplicably bound in a relationship with bacteria. Healthy skin and a healthy gut are lined with billions of beneficial bacteria. These bacteria boost our immune system and aid in absorbing nutrients.

False Advertising of cosmetic & skincare Products:

Bright bottles with splashy labels line the cosmetic aisle in drug, department and health stores. Phrases like “Active Ingredients”, “Key Ingredients” and “Natural” are emblazoned across labels while the actual ingredients are in tiny print hidden on the back. Many items on the list are unpronounceable and unknown. Everything that is applied to the skin is absorbed in to the bloodstream, circulates to our cells and mingles with our mitochondria. Some ingredients and some products are better than others, so I have created a top ten list of commonly used ingredients that our skin, our cells, can thrive without to help you decipher the confusing cosmetic code.

Top 10 List of Undesirable Ingredients:

1. Sulfates are in 90% of foaming and lathering products as well as in skin and hair care products as fillers. Sulfates are frequently described on labels as “comes from” or “derived from” coconut in an effort to portray them as innocuous even though they are known skin irritants, hormone and endocrine disruptors and suspected carcinogens and gene mutagens. Any chemical capable of mutating genes deserves our attention. On labels, look for sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), ammonium laureth sulfate (ALES), sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and ammonium lauryl sulfate (ALS)…and don’t be fooled by the coconut references.

2. Paraben is a common preservative and one of the chemicals foremost responsible for disrupting the endocrine system and unbalancing crucial hormones. Paraben cannot yet be said to cause breast cancer, but its estrogenic activity may be a contributing factor. A 2004 study found paraben in over 90% of human breast cancer tumors. That is sufficient reason for me to avoid this chemical at all costs and to protect my family from it. On labels, paraben is often listed with the prefixes ethyl-, methyl-, propyl-, isopropyl-, butyl- or isobutyl.

3. Look for sodium benzoate at the end of the ingredients list of skincare, toothpaste, and mouth wash. It is a preservative used to protect acidic environments from spoiling. When mixed with vitamin C and ascorbic acid, sodium benzoate (as well as potassium benzoate) forms benzene, a known carcinogen. If you have vitamin C in your food or already in your body and you use a product with benzoate, you have made a carcinogen.

4. Polyethylene Glycol has many different uses in cosmetics…and in oven cleaners. As a degreaser, it strips the skin of its natural protective oils leaving the body susceptible to invaders. PEG is commonly contaminated with a known carcinogen called 1,4-dioxane. Some studies have linked it to leukemia and uterine, breast and brain cancers. It also contains high amounts of heavy metals, and metal contamination is known to cause neurological, autoimmune and kidney issues.

5. Under the purview of the FDA, FD&C Colors and Pigments have hundreds if not thousands of muddled regulations for production, naming, and use. Coal tar, carbon deposit and laboratory derived colors are recognized as potential allergens and have a 20 year anecdotal history of causing hyperactivity in children. When FD&C color names are followed by the word lake, it indicates that the pigment is mixed with calcium or aluminum as fixates so the color stays put on the skin; this is why lipstick doesn’t bleed. Aluminum has long been associated with disease and cancer.

6. Alcohols are very drying and irritating solvents made from propylene, a petroleum derivative. They are very irritating and drying because they can strip the skin’s natural acid mantle which dehydrates the cells and makes the body more vulnerable to bacteria and viruses. A significant amount of research has shown that alcohol may cause free-radical damage to the skin including brown spots, hyperpigmentation and premature aging. Check product labels for isopropyl alcohol, SD alcohol 40 and ethyl alcohol, ethanol, denatured alcohol, methanol and benzyl alcohol.

7. Urea is a near skin-identical compound that quickly moves through the natural barrier of the skin and allows the other chemicals in the product to move in to the body with it. The American Academy of Dermatology reports that urea is a primary cause of contact dermatitis, especially in concentrated amounts found in skin exfoliates and fertilizer. It also contains small amounts of formaldehyde, a carcinogenic chemical that is toxic when inhaled. Urea can be labeled as diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea and DMDM hydantoin.

8. Fragrance and parfum, (including Geraniol, Citral and Limonene) found in cosmetics are all synthetic. The term alone can indicate the presence of up to one thousand substances, many toxic or carcinogenic. Phthalates used to stabilize fragrances are hormone disruptors linked to allergies in children, and it may alter pre-natal genital development. According to the FDA, synthetic fragrances may cause headaches, dizziness, allergic rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing, vomiting and skin irritation. Clinical observation shows fragrances can affect the endocrine and central nervous system, causing depression, hyperactivity and irritability.

9. Aloe vera, Aloe vera juice and Aloe barbadensis juice is often the first ingredient on the label of moisturizers, cleansers and lotions, and it is usually compromised by hidden preservatives like sodium benzoate, sodium sulfite, potassium sorbate and citric acid (to adjust pH).

10. Water and water-based infusions, called distillates or aqueous extracts, are used to fill up bottles inexpensively. Water-based solutions are vulnerable to spoilage so preservatives like paraben, sodium benzoate and Leucidal Liquid must be added to the product. It is probably tap water, too, which means it likely contains chorine and fluoride along with a multitude of other toxins.

Industry cosmetics

Preservatives (Paraben to isopropyl-alcohol)
Side effects:

Microbe mutators
Alter pH
Skin irritant
Disturbs microbiome food supply
Severely drying
Endocrine disruptors

Emulsifiers (Propylene glycol to polysorbate)
Side effects:

Kills microbes
Destroys acid mantle
Stays on skin for days
Removes stratum corneum
Loss of lipid barrier

Emollients (Petroleum to polymers, silicone to soy
Side effects:

Free radical damage
Plugs pores
Blocks breathability
Imbalances bacteria
Fungal infections
Endocrine disruptor
Inflammation. Stiffens cells

Surfactants (Sulfates to cocamide DEA)
Side effects:

Removes lipid barrier
Disrupts acid mantle
Imbalances sebum production
Drying
Makes skin permeable
Microscopic particles inserted in skin

Skin Type Hype:

Dermatology, the science of skin, has no standard objective measure of “skin type.” The skin type classifications (dry, normal, sensitive, combination, oily, and acne-prone) are mere constructs of cosmetics manufacturers. You do not need to know, categorize, or label your skin type. Beautiful skin is the perfect poise of what you put on it and what you put in you. Once you are properly feeding the internal and the external, your skin will become strong, resilient, and radiant all on its own because that is the true nature of skin. Your skin is alive. It can heal and regain healthy stability. We want to ennoble each cell with the right environment to thrive; that means we need a good balance of water, oxygen, and nutrients. Oxygen is very important for the metabolic function of the skin cells. These cells actually have a breathing cycle, inhalation and exhalation. They need fresh air, movement, and everything that carries replenishing oxygen-rich fluids to them. Water, and the minerals in water, nurture the cells. Excellent nutrition provides the building blocks that our skin requires for health and harmony. With a few adjustments to your lifestyle you can meet the needs of all of your cells, and set your skin free to thrive.

Boost Beneficial Bacteria

All of our organs relate to the skin, which is the largest organ in our body. The health of our guts very much affects the skin. Healthy skin and a healthy gut are lined with billions of beneficial bacteria that boost our immune system and aid in absorbing nutrients. Our modern lifestyle can create havoc in our guts so that our intestines and our stomachs are bereft of bacteria. The beneficial bacteria found in fermented foods and probiotics keep the digestive system moving quickly and efficiently. If your digestive system is backed up, hormones are not effectively processed by the liver, and this can cause hormonal acne around the jawline and chin. Proteins, pathogens, and toxins that are not processed through the digestive system are often sent to the skin to be excreted resulting in cellular decline and other skin disruptions and discolorations. I highly recommend that you eat a fermented food or take probiotics each day: sprinkle your meals with fermented kimchee and sauerkraut!

Minimize inflammation

Optimizing your blood sugar levels is a primary way to minimize systemic inflammation. A fasting blood sugar level below 79 is ideal. Acute high blood sugar levels create insulin resistance that leads inflammation in the body, which promotes a state of disease in our tissues. When insulin levels are normalized, the underlying inflammatory conditions that promote issues with the skin disappear, and your skin will heal and glow. The first step is to remove sugar and foods with low nutritional value, like processed food, from your diet entirely. Consider removing gluten grains from your diet, including wheat, rye, and  barley, even if you do not have Celiac Disease or a known grain sensitivity. Cut out wheat first. Also, eliminating the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) found in processed foods is essential for healthy skin. PUFAs are quick to go rancid, and researchers have demonstrated time and again that these oils excite skin cell mutations that can lead to lesions and cancer. Add cinnamon to your meals. Warm and slightly spicy, cinnamon slows the rise of blood sugar levels after a meal and may help stabilize and lower blood sugar levels during the day. 1/4 of a teaspoon of freshly ground cinnamon added to herbal tea or a spoonful of olive oil is all you need.

Balance your hormones.

Scientists are just now beginning to understand the vast and complex interaction of hormones in our bodies. Hormone levels affect all of our organs, including our skin physiology – its thickness and resilience, pH, repair process, and regeneration. Women, experience your 28 day cycle, and ditch the birth control pills. They wreak havoc with hormone levels!

Feed Your Skin.

Nourishment is the core of skin care, and with every meal we have the opportunity to stack the odds in favor of beauty. Include in your diet real, whole foods and rainbow-colored foods like verdant algae, warm turmeric and bright seabuckthorn fruit. Healthy, organic, dietary fats, like virgin coconut oil, olive, chia, evening primrose, and hemp are great sources essential fatty acids and other lipids that keep skin soft and supple. Increasing the fat in your diet, especially omega 3 fatty acids, will moisturize your skin from the inside out with the added benefit of making your hair super glossy.

Rethink Squeaky Clean

People often think that their skin is only clean if it is truly squeaky clean after it is washed. Likely, squeaky skin feels dry and tight after toweling off. If your cleanser makes your skin feel like this, it is washing away the hydro lipid barrier and acid mantle. All modern skin care regimes aggressively break our water proof seal and obliterate the acid mantle; whether they are the “gentler” soaps, “natural” beauty products, or the harsh detergents, soaps, antiseptics, propylene glycols, benzoyl peroxide, foaming SLS, synthetic alcohols, and alcohol toners — they all compromise the hydro lipid barrier and inhibit the skin’s ability to breathe and produce lipids. Soap depletes the skin’s natural sebaceous protection and removes beneficial microorganisms. Propylene glycol causes the skin to lose water and become rough, sensitive, and prone to premature wrinkling. With the stratum corneum jeopardized, these toxins and harsh chemicals irritate the underlying, young skin and induce inflammatory issues. The acid mantle keeps our skin pH between 5.4 and 5.9 — moist areas of the body tend to be more alkaline. Cosmetics, detergents, chemical exposure, and medications all influence pH. Researchers tested a variety of cleansers for three weeks and found that each one raised the skin’s pH for a few hours, and this “irritates the physiological protective ‘acid mantle’, changes the composition of the cutaneous bacterial flora and the activity of enzymes.” Even a slightly raised pH makes skin vulnerable to yeast and fungal infections and acne-causing bacteria.

Plant Based Skin Care  –  “The moist envelope of the soul: Loving the skin you’re in”

The moist envelope of our soul is a living, breathing, communicating and regenerating tissue. It is our largest organ of elimination, secreting out sweat and sebum while keeping out infectious invaders.

Loving lipids

Elegent emollients to lubricate epidermal layers and restore the hydro-lipid barrier. These natural nectras pressed from plants deliver delicious moisture to clarify and penetrate pores with adoring oils opulent in beautifying benefits.

Jojoba oil
Camella oil
Rosehip oil
Sandalwood oil
Seabuckthorn oil
Tamany oil
Cacao butter
Castor oil
Coconut butter
Coconut MCT oil (high C6, C8 & C10)
Olive oil
Red raspberry seed oil

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Botanical Biotics

For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed. Dewy drops of essential oils each have a unique ambrosial aroma and are all antifungal, antiviral and anti-inflammatory to varying degrees. These ethereal essences have the plant intelligence to the buddies with beneficial bacteria, kn for your skin, elegant inspirers of immunity and orators of oral care. These nourishing nectars with gifted molecules mix with the mind and emotions to clarify, edify, and uplift. What an amazing offering for a cosmoetic ingredient.

Blue tansy (azulene)
Cape chamomile (ester and azulene)
Carrot seed (sesquiterpenes)
Chamomile (esters)
Cypress (camphene)
Frankincense
Geranium
German chamomile
Immortelle
Laurel

Lavender
Lemon
Myrrh
Neroli
Niaoli
Palmarosa
Peppermint
Rock rose
Rosemary
Rose otto
Sandalwood
Sweet thyme
Turmeric
Vetiver
Yarrow
Ylang ylang

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Additional Essential oil ingredients for formulating, diffusing, inhaling and elevating emotion:

Bergamot
Black spruce
Blood orange
Eucalyptus
Ginger root
Grapefruit
Inula
Oregano
Majoram
Schizandra
Tea tree

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Happy Hydration

Quench and cleanse epidermal layers with these sources of hydration that harmonize the skin’s cells and biome with true tonics to tonify and clarify.

Aloe vera – Plant of immortality:

Aloe vera contains seventyfive beneficial compounds including amoni acids, vitamins, enzymes, minerals, sugars and salicylic acid.
Aloe contains seven of the essential amino acids required by human for optimal health.
When aloe is applied topically, an antioxidant protein called metallothionen is generated in the skin. This scavenges face radicals on the skin.

Apple cider vinegar (acetic acid):

ACV contains lactic, citric and malic acid as well as vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C and E.
It also has calcium, potassium, pectin, mineral salt and amino acids that the skin can absorb transdermally.

Frankincense hydrosol:

This is a skin quenching tonic that drenches pores with its cherished humectant and healing qualities.

Rose hydrosol:

Analsis organic rose hydrosol reveals beneficial esters, aldehydes, sesquiterpenol, geraniol, citronellol and linalool that create a cordial that is antifungal, anti infectious, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, antiviral, bactericidal, balanzing, calming, cicatrizant and circulatory.

Pure water

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Stimulating Seeds

Think of these good natured nourishments as caring condiments to boost the biome’s beneficial bacteria, soothe sebum, purify pores, strengthen the stratum corneum and support the skin’s cells.
This is the spa like manna to maintain the skin’s mantle.

Activated charcoal:

This cleansing carbon acts like a magnet to toxins. Exceptional for skin and oral care.

Baking soda:

Taken internally, baking soda is an excellent buffering agent to help the kidneys mop up heavy metals and neutralize toxins.

Clays:

When clays is mixed with water, molecules get electrically charged resulting in pore tightening, acne clearing, fungal removing, melasma-diminishing, complexion smoothing and impurity absorbing perfection.

Iodine:

Iodine is an electron rich essential mineral and potent ancestral antioxidant that is needed by every cell, every organ and every tissue in the body.

Magnesium salts (epsom salts):

Magnesium chloride or magnesium sulfate are magnesium miracles are bathing beauties. Magnesium is essential to mitochondrial function.

Probiotics:

(Lactobacilli, L. fermentum, L. plantarum, L. Casei, L. reuteri, L. rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium)

The topical application of probiotics rebuilds microbial diversity that has been depleted by common skincare chemicals, balances the biome of the epidermal layers, boosts the skins innate immunity, strengthens the stratum corneum and lipid layers, nourishes and maintains the acid mantle, increases natural ceramide and lipid production, harmonises the skin to receive the sun rays, balances the sebaceous glands, alleviates fungal and bacterial rashes, assists in healing scars and wounds and support collagen synthesis.

Rosehip:

Rosehip powder is brimming with nourishing vitamins C, A and E, calcium and iron, bioflavonoids, selenium, manganese and B complex vitamins. It is abundant in antioxidants: carotenoids, flavonoids and polyphenols.

Rosemary:

Rosemary powder resets skin with its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that bring balance to blemishes, acne, eczema and sebum.

Sea salt:

Oceanic salt is an alkaline ally for our skin. It is an essential apothecary itam as it can be used as a stimulating scalp scrub before shampoing, as a body scrub, a smoothing mash, a mouthwash, a talented toothpaste, a deodorant, a nourishing salt soak for baths and a cleansing and nifty nail brightening soak.

Vitamin C:

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for the body and it is also effective topically.
This potent antioxidant can be added to serums, masks and toners to strengthen skin, smooth skin texture, even skin tone and speed up wound healing. Use as a sunburn prevention protocol; mix pure vitamin C powder in a 10% solution with water and lightly mist onto exposed skin, allowing it to soak in.

Saponification – Soap Making 

The Babylonians mastered soap-making between 2800 and 2200 BC, and they wrote the recipe for it on a clay tablet: water, wood ash, and cassia oil.This is the magic formula for soap: water, an alkali, and a fat (lipid).Since its discovery, we have used it to clean ourselves, our homes, our animals, and our transportation.We love our suds! Saponification is the process to turn fats into a soap generally using salts such as Lye (caustic soda).  During the production glycerin is a by product of saponification, some soap makers add the glycerin to the soap products whilst others use the glycerin in a vast range of moisturising products because it is a humectant, meaning it attracts moisture to your skin.

Shea Butter 

Shea butter is an ivory colored or yellowish fat that is extracted from nuts of the shea tree (Vitellaria paradoxa), which is found in West Africa. Shea butter is used in cosmetics including moisturizer as well as foods such as chocolate. Additionally, it has been used in medicinal ointments. Rural African women typically perform this extraction process, providing them with income for themselves and their families.

Skin Deep 

It’s our mission at Environmental Working Group to use the power of information to protect human health and the environment. EWG’s Skin Deep database gives you practical solutions to protect yourself and your family from everyday exposures to chemicals. We launched Skin Deep in 2004 to create online profiles for cosmetics and personal care products and their potential hazards and health concerns. Our aim is to fill in where industry and government leave off. Companies are allowed to use almost any ingredient they wish. The U.S. government doesn’t review the safety of products before they’re sold. Our staff scientists compare the ingredients on personal care product labels and websites to information in nearly 60 toxicity and regulatory databases. Now in its eighth year, EWG’s Skin Deep database provides you with easy-to-navigate ratings for a wide range of products and ingredients on the market. http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/site/about.php  

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The Sun and our Skin

Our skin is designed to be in the sun. Let this be your invitation to go outside and greet the sun!

Vitamin D

Our skin has its own form of photosynthesis; it converts sunbeams into the regenerative substance, a steroidal hormone precursor: vitamin D. This precious sun-skin fluid regulates over 900 crucial body processes including:

• cell apoptosis
• efficient neuromuscular functioning
• anti-inflammatory processes
• synergizes with vitamin K2 for essential for proper absorption of calcium and other minerals into the bones and teeth.

Hormone regulation

Sunlight enters our eyes and stimulates our pineal gland -> hypothalamus where triggers vital magnetic, electrical and chemical reactions in the human body including the production of melatonin and serotonin to help us feel good and sleep good.

Sun & Skin Cancer 

We are told that the sun causes photo-aging, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation along with three types of skin cancer: squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and malignant melanoma. People with the greatest risk of melanoma are not those with the greatest cumulative solar exposure. A 982 study by Dr. Helen Shaw reported in Lancet demonstrated that fluorescent light exposure from indoor work creates twice the incidence of melanoma than outdoor work.

Problematic Sunscreens and Sunblocks

Toxins are known to accumulate in our lipid (fat) layers causing free radicals, xenoestrogens, oxidized amino acids, and damaged DNA. Oxybenzone is a common ingredient in sunscreens and it is a powerful free radical generator that is non-carcinogenic — until exposed to sunlight! The chemicals absorb into our skin and block the UVB rays that cause sunburn (our skins early warning system) and produce vitamin D. It is isolated UVA that damages DNA. Getting sunburned is actually easier on our DNA than processing the cell-damage from being in the sun with sunscreen.

Create your own SPF: Super Power Foods: Eat a rainbow diet: the phytochemicals and healthy fats contribute to your internal sunscreen. Flavonoids are anti-tumor, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti- carcinogenic, beyond what we know about its free-radical scavenging properties. Carotenoids are well studied as treatment for and prevention against skin damage. Consuming 16mg of lycopene from tomato paste can protect against burns. It has proven to limit the vascularization of tumors which restrict its growth. Omega-3 fatty acids lower inflammation post-damage.

Vitamin C Sun Protection

Make a 10% solution of pure vitamin C powder and spring water. Shake it until it dissolves. Lightly mist on your skin. Wait 5 minutes and mist again.

Botanical oils: Almost all plant oils offer some degree of ultraviolet protection to their own tissue, and they protect our tissue as well. Coconut, jojoba, olive, and seabuckthorn beautifully harmonize our skin with the sun. Raw raspberry seed oil absorbed both UVB and UVC rays while scattering UVA; it may provide an equivalent of SPF-25. Seabuckthorn, sandalwood, geranium, frankincense, immortelle and rose can fade hyper-pigmentation and prevent abnormal cell growth. Scientific studies reveal that the alpha-santol and beta-santol in sandalwood are also chemo-preventative.

Oils for Sun Protection

Combine 25% seabuckthorn with 75% coconut, jojoba, or olive oils and apply before you go out in the sun. If you have already enjoyed a little too much fun in the sun and have red-hot skin, try this cooling combination of botanicals to heal and ease sun-saturation. This anti-inflammation and analgesic formula will also alleviate radiation burns from cancer treatment. If you are missing a few ingredients, make it anyway using what you have on hand -– it will still provide relief.

Radiation Rejuvenation

4oz/120ml organic jojoba
1 teaspoon/5ml seabuckthorn berry

20 drops/1ml lavender
20 drops/1ml sandalwood
10 drops geranium
10 drops immortelle (Helichrysum italicum)
10 drops frankincense
10 drops of peppermint
5 drops laurel
5 drops carrot seed
Apply a small amount to the burned area 4-6 x a day. This blend can also be hand mixed or blended into fresh aloe.

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Healthy Shiny Hair 

Beautiful hair is simple: Undress your tresses from chemical duress and bless them with bioactive botanicals and a healthy-hair diet! Cosmetic store and salon products usually contain 30 or more synthetic ingredients –even those claiming to be natural and organic. Some of these substances strip natural oils from hair and scalp leaving both seriously dry, while others leave behind a heavy-waxy build up guaranteeing bad hair… and possibly bad health.

Eat for Beautiful Hair

Your hair is only as healthy as your body, and what you eat today will show up in your hair. Eat healthy fats: olive oil, flaxseeds, wild-caught cold water fish, and walnuts will give your hair a super softness and high gloss sheen. Eat enough protein. Hair is made of protein, and if the diet is deficient in the full spectrum of amino acids that comprise complete proteins then your hair will suffer for it.

Start with a Healthy Scalp

Our scalp has over 200 blood vessels, 650 sweat glands, and 1000 nerve endings. It, of course, is also the mother to our hair. Depending on our hair color, we have between 90,000 and 200,000 hair follicles nurtured by the scalp, and beautiful hair grows from healthy scalps. The root cause of many scalp issues arises from hormone imbalances, dietary zinc deficiency, fungal infections (candida), and even digestive and constipation issues. The following suggestions will help solve those root issues.

Dry, Itchy, and Flaky

The essential oils of rosemary, peppermint, eucalyptus, geranium, and pine are anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. Eucalyptus heals skin infections and stimulates blood flow. Peppermint is cooling and provides itch relief. Pine, geranium, and rosemary are anti-bacterial and anti-fungal as well as excellent astringents. The bright yellow flowers of calendula, Calendula officinalis, are cheery healers. An herbal infusion of calendula flowers soothes and heals the scalp.

Healthy Scalp Mask: Add a few tablespoons of fresh or dried calendula to a cup of jojoba oil and let it steep in the sun for a few days in a glass jar with an air-tight lid. Add 3-5 drops each of peppermint, geranium, eucalyptus, rosemary, and pine and mix well. Massage the oil on your scalp and let it work its magic for at least an hour. Wash and rinse with a botanical hair cleanser.

Hair Loss

Hormones play a major role in both male and female hair loss. DHT (Dihydrotestosterone) is an androgen hormone synthesized in the adrenal glands, hair follicles, testes, and prostate. Changes and imbalances in DHT may lead to hair loss by slowing the hair growing cycle or shrinking and clogging hair follicles. Too much DHT in the bloodstream undermines nutrient absorption which slows, and sometimes stops, hair growth. DHT also shrinks the hair follicle by stimulating the deposit a wax-like substance around the hair roots.

Diet: Increase your dietary zinc to recalibrate your androgen-to-DHT conversion. Avoid gluten and excessive non fermented soy; it is not a beauty food. It blocks nutrients from absorbing through the gut and into the bloodstream to nourish you. First inside the gut and then in the scalp, gluten causes a celiac disease-like inflammation in the hair follicles, which causes shedding. Removing wheat and gluten ceases this type of hair loss right away. Excessive non fermented soy, as well as radiation, mercury fillings, and other things, can put your thyroid in a tailspin. An underactive thyroid is often the cause of dryness, thinning, or loss of hair.

Supplements: Try balancing your hormones with Evening Primrose Oil and He Shou Wu. Also, consider having your DHT levels tested.

Hair Care

Manufacturers of hair care products want you to think that your hair needs to be shampooed every single day or you will have oily, dirty hair. This is simply untrue, especially if you permanently fast from gooey chemical products. Try your own hair care recipes.

Hair Health Protocol: Most days, rinsing your hair with pure water and massaging your scalp with your fingertips is all your hair needs to be clean and beautiful. If you have been a heavy user of hair products, you may experience a few days of oiliness as your scalp recalibrates. A headband or ponytail may get you through those days. If not, or if you have lots of product build-up, rinse your hair with a 25% solution of organic apple cider vinegar and pure water. If your hair is damaged and dry, after rinsing your hair with water, rub a very small dab of jojoba or coconut oil through damp hair, concentrating on the damaged areas. It’s best to do this at night so the oils can really sink in deep. If you love to mix up your own products, here are a few good herbs and botanicals to include in your own bioactive hair care.

Cleanser: Coco proteins and Yucca roots will give you all the luxurious lather you want and leave your hair fresh and clean.

Strength and Body: Oatstraw, Avena sativa, is the soft, grassy part of the oat plant harvested before the grain has formed. Oatstraw is full of nutrients and proteins that add body and fullness to tresses. Horsetail, Equisetum arvense, is rich in silica which strengthens the hair, adds resiliency to each strand, and protects against breakage and split ends.

Super Shine: Rosemary essential oil has an antioxidant shown to protect a protein in the skin and hair called HSP70. The role of this protein is to reduce the damage that stress, free radicals, and other toxins can do to cells. Rosemary oil will give you smoother, stronger hair strands, which makes hair look reflective and shiny. Lime oil, as well as all pure citrus oils, dissolve and release trapped dirt and oils and renew the luster to clean locks.

Dry Hair and Damaged Ends Repair: Jojoba oil, Simmondsia chinensis, is naturally rich in lipids and peptides and easily absorbs into the hair. When combined with herbs or essential oils it is a potent cleanser. Just a dab on dry hair or hair ends will give your hair a healthy glow.

Condition: Aloe Vera, Aloe barbadensis, is a familiar botanical gem from the desert that ensures the proper balance of moisture and promotes healthy hair growth. Skip the bottled aloe on the shelves at the store. Aloe is an easy plant to grow; put a plant on your bathroom counter and break open leaf, squeeze out the juice and rub in through your hair. Yucca elata has emollient properties which have a soothing effect on the hair shaft.

Fabulous Scent: Pick your favorite essential oil sent and place a single drop in your palm. Rub your hand through your hair and it will make your hair smell heavenly for hours.

Shampoo: Yucca root can be found in many health food stores . Cut the root into small pieces and then blend it into a pulp. Add a few tablespoons of fresh aloe and a drop of rosemary or lime oil and combine. Massage it into your hair and scalp and rinse.

Tame Fly-Aways and Frizz: Slippery Elm is a mucilaginous herb with slippery, soothing properties that soften the hair and reduce static electricity that leads to fly-aways and frizz. Chickweed, Stellaria pubera, bursts with vitamins including vitamin C. As an herbal infusion, it lowers the pH of the hair to smooth and soften it. This is important because a pH between 5- 8 will close the hair cuticles, smoothing out each hair strand. If the hair pH is too high, or if the cuticle is damaged, the hair strands will be rough and feel rough. As adjacent hairs rub against each other, an electrical charge will build up resulting in frizz and flyaways.

Style Your Do: Cacao butter or virgin coconut oil combine to make a hair pomade that will enhance moisture and softness, hold a hair-do in place, and smooth fuzzy curls and frizzy broken ends.

Ocean-breeze Styled Hair: If you like the tousled look inspired by hair dried in an ocean breeze, this easy formula will help you get the look: Dissolve a teaspoon or two of salt in 8 oz. of warm water, and add a teaspoon or so of aloe and jojoba or coconut oil. Using your fingers, work a little bit of this mixture through dry hair, scrunch with your fingers, and let it air dry.

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Yonicology: Tending to the Garden

The vagina is a moist environment, somewhat similar to skin only thinner and more sensitive and ribboned with nerves. Vaginal fluid is slightly acidic with a pH of between 3.8 and 4.5 that sustains a healthy colony of beneficial bacteria. Yoni Care over Feminine Hygiene, A modern practice and somewhat silly marketing scheme has sold us slathering on parabens and petroleum products in the name of “feminine hygiene.” A Yoni is a sacred Sanskrit word that means “vagina” and/or “womb”. It is also means the origin of life, the divine passage, or sacred temple according to Tantric tradition. The yoni both embodies and exemplifies the creative force that moves through the universe. The yoni’s Sanskrit counterpart is the lingam which represents the transcendental source of all that exists. Together they represent connectedness and boundless potentiality. A healthy yoni is self-cleaning, and feminine sprays and washes disrupt this beautiful process. Side-step all synthetic products including deodorizers, moisturizers, bubble baths, colored bath- salts, feminine washes, and lubricants. The same ingredients that you avoid in your skin care are also to be avoided here: perfumes, colorants, PCBs, alcohols, propylene glycol, parabens, and silicone. Many of these products irritate delicate cells leading to dryness and kill off the good bacteria, like lactobacillus, and this can quickly lead to an overgrowth of yeast. It is a good practice to only use yoni-care products that you can also eat. Read the book “Vagina: A New Biography by Naomi Wolfe”

Jouissance Juice

Research suggests that 40 to 60% of women experience vaginal dry spells. The feminine interconnectedness of mind and body, soul and yoni, make us susceptible to emotional and spiritual jouissance-block that leads to soul-dryness. Soul-dryness can certainly contribute to physical dryness as a reflection of deeper life-issues. Jouissance juice is how I define the exquisite internal and external lubrication that lubricates the yoni, life, creativity, and health. Jouissance is a French word that is without an English equivalent. It means pleasure without opposite and without equal – the rapture of all the senses. Some of the sources of jouissance-block include:

  • negative emotions or anxiety about physical intimacy
  • unresolved relationship issues
  • a depletion in the juiciness of daily life
  • overwhelming or chronic stress
  • sadness, grief, depression
  • insufficient mental, emotional, and physical stimulation for arousal and lubrication

All synthetic lubricants and vaginal moisturizers offer only a very temporary lubrication with the consequence of long term drought. They contain chemicals that can irritate, dry, and inflame the delicate yoni. Researchers have demonstrated that the ingredients of OTC lubes dehydrate and disorganize cells via the process of osmosis and osmolality. To maintain equal states on both sides of the cell wall, the cells release water to dilute the sugar or other synthetic substance outside of the cell and this causes cellular and epithelial damage. One scientist reported osmolality makes the “cells shrivel up to the point that they look like little raisins under a microscope.” 1 When the cells dry up, they die and exfoliate from the epithelium, weakening the yoni’s defenses and making the vagina vulnerable to disease and infection. Simple self-care strategies may boost the amount of your natural lubrication.

Diet: Stay well hydrated and eat plenty of healthy fats like olive and coconut oils. Saw palmetto as a supplement is used as a tonic for an assortment of reproductive issues.

Herbal supplements: Black cohosh, wild yam, and evening primrose oil for hormonal dryness by balancing estrogen. Schizandra berry, eaten and/or applied, is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It enhances physical strength and sexual endurance. The sensual and rich oils from cacao, coconut, and jojoba saturate tissues with deep moisture for long lasting, slick lubrication. All three are beautiful for anywhere and anytime moisturizers.

Botanical Oils: Fresh aloe vera is a beautiful first option to improve day to day moisture or to provide a little extra lubrication. It is moisturizing, healing, and it cleanly absorbs into the lining of the vagina with no drips or mess. Jasmine flower balances the nervous system and cools stress. Ylang is euphoric and increases attraction to your partner and boosts libido. Ginger and cinnamon are warming vasodilators. They increase sensation and blood flow to every cell.

Hemorrhoid Relief:

Make a 5% combination of chamomile, yarrow, and cypress essential oils in 95% organic jojoba oil.

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EATING FOR BEAUTY

Imbibe dewdrops, savor solar rays, taste invocations of twilight, lift your chin to the silvery decantations of moonbeams. Welcome life in. Digestion is the resurrection and the life of the body.Food is for nourishment, delight, and abundance; let goodness be your guide.To eat is to give the body life force.Choose the purest.Digestion is the discernment of the senses. Extract what is sweet and savory; ingest the best water and food possible.Your body works as a whole, continually releasing and renewing; even laughter giggles the heart, sending nutrients everywhere.

Hearty fuel fans the flames of the belly.Tend to this purifying fire that distils inner essences and dissolves waste.This begins with relaxing and relishing, in eating and preparing meals.Invite the reception of food.Welcome minerals and enzymes to the banquet.Each meal is your body.As you are alive, eat living foods.Eat the laughing berries; these are the seeds you need. Provide nourishment to yourself, as the earth provides. Figure out what this means for your body.This is a call to digest life.Digest is beauty, freshness, pulse, and charm. Take it all in.The bounty going in illuminates your entire insides.

Dietary fat is vital for whole-body health and beautiful skin and some fats are better than others. The fabulous fats in rich avocados and real, organic olive and coconut oils support our cellular integrity and keep the skin soft and supple from the inside out. Processed omega-6 polyunsaturated fats and trans fats, found in every processed food on the supermarket shelf, impair intercellular communication and suppress immune functions, which are associated with skin aging and hyperpigmentation.These oils are chemically unstable and oxidize readily to form free radicals that prevent flourishing healthy; free radicals pillage DNA, organs, blood vessels, immunity, and the skin.

Also, avoid wheat and sugar as if your beauty depends on it…. because it does! Sugar and wheat gluten trigger a cascade of inflammatory responses in the body and skin.It is important to keep blood sugar levels balanced.Spikes in blood sugar levels occur after eating sugar and refined carbs. In response to a rise in blood sugar, the pancreas pumps out insulin, which moves the sugar from the bloodstream to either muscle storage or fat storage.High blood sugar and spikes expose the cells to continual tidal waves of insulin, and they have only one defense against this assault and that is to become resistant to the effects of insulin. This can cause inflammatory skin issues such as hyperpigmentation and premature aging, as well as an increased risk of skin tags and a host of significant health issues.

Glycation occurs in the bloodstream to a small amount of free blood sugar from refined carbohydrates.The glycation process occurs when the sugar attaches to tissue proteins and rearranges their structures.Collagen is a long-lived protein that is susceptible to glycation, which can degrade collagen and impair it from forming healthy structures, which leads to wrinkling, sagging, and creping skin.See “Glycation” in Chapter Seventeen for more information.

Colourful meals of organic, wholesome foods, healthy fats, proteins, fruit, and vegetables are the first step toward properly functioning melanocytes, reducing low-level inflammation and reversing oxidative damage.For nutrient-dense diets, wild, homegrown, and organic foods are optimal.In this day and age, due to a myriad of factors, sometimes we need to supplement to be sure we are sated with the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals.Minerals are a language of earth and light that commune with the wisdom and connectedness in every cell. These secrets of stones and soil secrete frequencies of internal light that inspires ribbons of DNA and cells to play.A radiant terrain brims in our bodies where we are replete with minerals and vitamins that pollinate electrical possibilities into each cellular calyx.

The following vitamins and minerals are special allies for radiant skin:

  • Zinc contributes to hormonal balance and repairs the skin.
  • Omega-3 EFAs balance hormones, maintain cell-membrane health, and promote youthful skin.
  • Vitamin C is a powerhouse antioxidant to reduce oxidative damage.
  • Vitamins B₃ and B₁₂ may reduce inflammation and clear out the lipofuscin in hyperpigmentation and age spots.
  • Essential fat-soluble vitamin E, another powerful antioxidant, has been proven to slow the aging of skin cells and help diminish the appearance of scars.Always ingest natural vitamin E, which is listed on the label as d-alpha-tocopherol, and avoid synthetic vitamin E, which is listed with just one more letter, dl-alpha-tocopherol, yet is vastly different in its molecular makeup.
  • Curcuminoids found in turmeric’s yellow pigments protect cells from oxidative stress.
  • Polyphenols, such as resveratrol in knotweed, grapes, cranberries, and blueberries, help to reverse some DNA damage in the body and skin cells. EGCG in green tea is a good option, too.
  • Minerals of magnesium, iodine, sulfur, selenium, and silica are essential to skin and light up the cells within.
  • Red clover, chamomile, passionflower, and indole-3-carbinol found in cruciferous veggies help the body clear excess estrogen that contributes to melasma.Avoid foods containing soy, because it contains plant estrogens that simulate human estrogen.

Fortunately, there are tasty foods that are chock-full of resistant starches. By adding a few of these to your daily diet, you can bless your gut microbiome and your skin.Soluble fiber is broken down and fermented by colon bacteria.Prebiotics, including inulin, oligofructose, and FOS (fructooligosaccharide), cause remarkable changes in the bacterial mix of the colon.

Prebiotic Foods

  • Green bananas
  • Cooked, cooled potatoes
  • Oats
  • Chicory
  • Dandelion Root and Greens
  • Plantain Flour
  • Onions, Garlic, Leeks
  • Jicama
  • Jerusalem Artichokes
  • Cassava
  • Raw Collards
  • Raw Asparagus

DIETARY ADVERSARIES OF HEALTHY GUT MICROBES

Processed sugar, carbohydrates, and fats, meat and dairy are adversaries to our biome. For more than fifty years, subtherapeutic doses of antibiotics have been added to the daily feed of factory-raised animals to promote weight gain.(The mechanism of action is unknown).We know that the antibiotics are passed into the meat and dairy, resulting in humans gaining weight and lowering immunity, resulting in a depleted immune resistance to fend off pathogens as these daily does deplete bacterial diversity and mutate microbes.

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Let Your Nose and Intuition Be your Guide

Adopting essential oils into daily life is easy.Be playful and curious, and have fun with these cherished treasures.As you welcome botanical elegance into your life, let your nose and your intuition guide you.Your nose knows what it likes and what is really real.When it comes to your health and your body, always be guided by the intelligence of your intuition. If your intuition inspires you to use essential oils and you feel that it will benefit your health, give it a try.The best essential oil to use is often the one you have on hand.

BATHING BEAUTY: SOAKING IT ALL IN

Bathing is always a beautiful moment for engaging with the element of water and refreshing our spirit and skin.Beyond soaking in the wisdom of water baths are also a watery way to let the skin drink in the transdermal medicine of botanical-biotics, clays, apple cider vinegar, magnesium, vitamin C, iodine, baking soda, sea salt, and the finest frankincense followed by an anointing of botanical oils as a simple way to allow the water element to wash, refresh, and restore. (For descriptions of these beneficial bathing ingredients, see the “Cosmoetic Materia Medica” in Chapter Fifteen).

As we move away from the days of soaking in synthetic suds, coal-tar derivatives, and chemical bath additives, we can keep bathing real to the feel and marinade our “moist envelope” in revitalizing remedies.Let your bath be your medicine.We can harness the power of transdermal absorption best in the bath.Our skin covers the entire surface area of the body, between 1 and 2 square meters (11-20 square feet) and every square centimetre has 40 – 70 hair follicles and 200-250 sweat ducts.At any one point, the skin is receiving about one-third of the circulating blood.This makes our skin an amazing absorption canvas for quenching in the benefits of minerals and botanicals by bathing. The unique properties of essential oils allow them to quickly and easily absorb deeply into the skin while boosting the vitality of our skin cells. Transdermal absorption of essential oil molecules is complex, yet simply put, their lipophilic components bypass the barrier properties of the skin and within minutes can be measured in blood circulation. My esteemed bathing essential oil options are neroli, rose otto, frankincense, cardamom, marjoram, laurel, yarrow, bergamot, Douglas fir, chamomile, eucalyptus, and geranium.

Ancient Baths

The ancient Greeks and Romans thought highly of the skin, their legendary baths are monuments to the importance of skincare for good health. Bathing in these cultures was both medicinal and an important social, communal event. Sweat baths were built in domed rooms heated by rocks in a fire. The rocks were lifted out of the fire to the middle of the room, and water was poured over them to create the steam. The Greeks and Romans were no strangers to the therapeutic use of botanical oils, and laurel leaves and needles from firs and junipers were placed on the hot rocks, or they received massages in the unctuarium chambers that supplied alabaster jars of aromatic unguents for healing and cleaning the skin. The very first stop for a bather was the strigiling bath.A strigil is a curved, metal spoon-like tool that was coated in oil and brushed across every inch of skin to clean the skin and stimulate blood flow in preparation for the 100+°Fahrenheit, 100 per cent humidity hot sauna and bath. The bathing ritual continued with soaks in invigoratingly hot and frigid pools. Hippocrates, the Father of Modern Medicine, is also the father of medicinal bathing. In On Airs, Waters, and Places, he wrote prolifically on the effects and benefits of different mineral and clay baths. When the body is immersed in the baths, the skin can absorb the precious minerals. The ancient Greeks used therapeutic baths employing clays, mud, salts, botanical oils, and herbal infusions.

Bathing Tools

Gua sha and dry brushing can easily be used as present day techniques to attend to the skin’s cleansing and resiliency. Dry brushing a contemporary interpretation of strigiling, involves coating a brush with a drop of botanical oil and very gently brushing the skin, always moving in the direction of the heart.This simple and invigorating ritual before a bath or shower exfoliates the skin and supports a healthy overall immune response by stimulating the lymph system and improving circulation.See Chapter Seventeen for more details on dry brushing and the lymph system. Gua sha is the traditional Chinese therapy of skin scraping using smooth tools made of jade, polished wood, or ox horn. Gua means “to rub” and sha is the reddening of the skin after the treatment. Gua sha relieves pain stiffness, promotes mobility, conditions the skin, and improves normal blood circulation to the muscles and tissues being scraped. Zhang Fengkul, a physician in the Ming dynasty, believed that illness enters the body through the mouth, nose and skin pores and that the illness gets more and more dangerous the deeper in the body it goes. He proposed scraping the appropriate meridian point on the skin until it turned red.The skin of ill or injured areas of the body was repeatedly scraped and rubbed to stimulate blood circulation, enhance the qi, and invigorate the immune system.A hot water or steam bath followed the scraping. Through the scraping and then sweating, the toxins were eliminated and health returned. I like to use the gua sha skin tool for applying a botanical oil to my body after a quick hot shower or sauna. Then I run the wooden tool over my freshly oiled skin (similar to dry brushing but with a smooth tool) for a deeper clean. I then jump in the lake or back in the bath followed by another anointing of oil, which is lovely to do in the sun.

Air Baths

Surround your cells in airy atmospheres as you bare your skin to affair with fresh air.It is a super, simple endeavour, yet a revitalize of nerves, skin, and spirit.“Air is considered by us as a sine qua non to restoration. It is so refreshing, so recuperative, so calculated to restore the body to healthful conditions, and so easily obtained, as to leave those who forbear to use it for the benefit of the sick without justification”. Spring and fall have the perfect weather for this air feast. In the winter, pull up a chair and open the windows. In summer months, spritz bare skin with spring, frankincense, or rose waters for a refreshing tonic effect.As we are most often clothed, it is important to stimulate the skin’s respiration system.Air bathing boosts the body’s ability to shed metabolic waste, as the breeze stimulates the contracting and dilating of the skin’s capillaries. Known as the “atmospheric cure”, it was astutely that “one cannot take a sun-bath or light-bath without also receiving an air-bath, but the air-bath may be taken in one’s own room, or in the darkness of night. It does not depend on the presence of light.It consists simply in exposing the nude body to the air”.

Earth Baths

Playing in the mud is fun!If your last memory of being covered in clay is several decades old, perhaps it is time to get muddy again! Clay bathing can be healthy and therapeutic due to the high mineral content of mud and the prolonged warmth it provides. Researchers have found that the application of warm mud – real mud – can improve skin problems, reduce inflammation, and ease burns and stings. High-dose clay baths with two pounds of mud and an extended two-hour soak can be very beneficial for drawing toxins from the body, especially with the addition of the essential oils of coriander, chamomile, and marjoram. Alternatively, you can cake on the clay, lie on the earth, and bask in the sun. If you feel like staying dry, simply lie on the earth, ground into the healing pulse of the planet, and inhale all that the earth has to offer.

Forest Baths

Bathe yourself in the healing and uplifting essences of trees.Take a hike or add essential oils of black spruce, pine, cypress, juniper, eucalyptus, balsam, silver fir, and Douglas fir to your bath to transport yourself to a leisurely walk in the woods.

Hot-Spring Baths

Slipping into a hot spring is one of life’s truly languid luxuries. Soaking in a mineral-rich hot spring, which is a natural pool of hot water heated by geothermal heat from the earth, is abundantly therapeutic. Whole vacations can be formed around soaking in springs, a popular pastime for therapeutic purposes as naturally warm and hot water can have a very high mineral content that itself is healing as well as boosting the water’s buoyancy. Mimic mineral rich hot springs at home, where you can create a cauldron of relaxation by adding magnesium, clay, Douglas fir, or pine essential oils to hot baths.

Moon Baths

Luminous moon rays reflect the light of the sun and shower it upon earth. Moon bathing in these reflected rays is a calming cosmic pursuit that offers infusions of gentle, yin energy to balance the yang energy of direct sun rays. It inspires relaxation, creativity, and intuition. Bright moon days, the period of waxing lunar days, are the optional times for moon bathing. Anoint your brow and under your nostrils with frankincense. Relax, breathe deeply, and soak in the stars, trusting in life and knowing that we are also stardust.

Medicine Baths

The foundation of a medicinal bath is the dynamic duo of magnesium and baking soda. Bathing in sodium bicarbonate is an excellent way to raise levels of bicarbonate in the body (bicarbonate is a biological component in the body) neutralize lactic acid in muscles, and boost alkalinity.When baking soda is combined with magnesium salts, we also absorb much-needed magnesium into our skin and cells. Medical baths are replete with double doses (two to four cups) of magnesium and baking soda combined with 5 drops of an essential oil (depending on what emotional and health issues are being elevated), and 20 drops of Lugol’s or nascent iodine as the base.To this, one can add sea salt, clay, or a Bubbly Bath Balm (see below).

Saunas

Sweating in a sauna is great for health. Traditional saunas use convection heat, and far-infrared saunas use infrared light to generate heat. As the temperature of your body increases, circulation in the skin goes up as blood vessels open up, and so blood pressuredrops. The heat eases joint and muscle stiffness, and the body relaxes, so stress goes down.As our skin is our largest organ of elimination, saunas are an excellent way to sweat the small stuff, heavy metals and toxins, out.

Sitz Baths

Therapeutic sitz baths, also known as hip baths, are shallow baths where one is submerged in water up to hip level. This type of bathing was popularized in Europe as a therapeutic bath for discomfort and infections below the hips. It is beneficial for constipation, haemorrhoids, and figures, as well as yeast, vaginal, urinary, penile, and prostate infections. Sitz-bath ingredients for easing infections include baking soda, sea salt, apple cider vinegar, iodine, and the essential oils of frankincense, tea tree, and cypress.

Sunbaths

Baths of water are good, baths of air are better, baths of light are best.Luxuriate in the warm rays oF the sun.The sun blesses our skin with vitamin D, regulates our circadian rhythms, and stimulates production of sleep-inducing melanin.Oil up your body with botanicals, and let the sun shine in.See chapter Seven to discover how to wisely imbibe the sun’s warm wavelengths. “From this experience I emerged whole and clean, bitten to the bone by the sun, washed pure by the icy sharpness of salt water, dried and bleached to the smooth tranquillity that comes from dwelling among primal things”.

Water Baths

Popular in nineteenth-century Europe, water bathing was seen as curative, and spas that centred on water as a therapy (hydrotherapy) popularized sitz, Epsom, mineral, and sulfur baths.This type of thermal healing was even prescribed by doctors at the time.The bath that was deemed to be the top tonic was the cold bath. Its virtues were extolled by Finnish naturopath Dr. Paavo Airola as stimulating to the glandular, immune circulatory, and digestive systems as well as reawakening the flow of life force and increasing oxygen intake to the tissues.

Cold baths and showers combined with breathing methods are currently taught by “The Iceman” Wim Hof, who encourages this therapy for people to build physical and emotional resilience.His methods successfully elevate mood, balance hormones, heal ailments, build strength, and improve sleep.You don’t have to break the world record of standing in ice for more than an hour, or climbing Mount Everest in just shoes and shorts, like he did, yet you can partake in the Tummo-style breathing method that awakens inner warmth, and you can feel the power of a cold shower to get the benefit of this true tonic that revives body and spirit.Cool and cold water baths are exhilarating and stimulating. They can really get the heart racing! Cooler water can reduce skin inflammation and slightly lower body temperature. Hot baths are muscle-relaxing, itch-reducing and soul-soothing periods of privacy and introspection.Cold baths are inflammation reducing and a tonic to muscles and skin.Alternating between hot and cold water baths or showers is super-invigorating to the circulatory and lymph systems. Hot water raises the body temperature slightly and induces a healthy sweat.It is very relaxing and analgesic to sore, tired muscles and joints. Hot water can also speed up the healing of abscesses or skin irritation by bringing the infection to the skin’s surface or diluting the toxin (such as poison ivy) via osmosis. There must be quite a few things a hot bath won’t cure, but I don’t know many of them.

The best is bathing in the fresh water of pure ponds, loquacious lakes, refreshing rivers, and in the expanse of the ocean. Going from sun, air, and earth baths into welcoming waters is luxurious. And, if you can add a warm water source to that experience, such as a hot spring by a river, or a hot tub by a lake, and go back and forth between hot and cold, complete with dry brushing and body oiling, then that is a day in nature spa nirvana! Thoreau basked in the spa of summer in Walden Pond: “I got up early and bathed in the pond, that was a religious exercise, and one of the best things that I did. They say that characters were engraven on the bathing tub of King Tchingthang to this effect.‘Renew thyself completely each day; do it again, and again, and forever again.’ ‘I can understand that. Morning brings back the heroic ages”.And I can understand that too; my favourite way to start the day is a sunbath while I drink in chlorophyll-infused spring water and work up a sweat, then a refreshing swim in the lake, followed by anointing opulent oils as I bask in the sun once again.

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The War against Sweat:

Our sweat-scent is as original as our fingerprint, revealing our gender, fertility, health and diet and diffusing our personal pheromone calling-card. The armpit is an organ, cradling life-essential lymph nodes and glands. Unbefitting for an organ, the ingredients in deodorants and antiperspirants are largely formulated for corporate profit over consumer health. Let’s consider the chemical substances that comprise antiperspirant deodorants: Cyclomethicone and dimethicone is silicone oil. While the molecules are too big to absorb into the skin, silicone oil’s “staying power” holds undesirable chemicals next to the skin longer. Aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex GLY: Plugs the pores preventing sweat from escaping. Aluminum has been associated with disease and cancer for many years. Women who shave under their arms may absorb more of the metal through micro-abrasions in the skin. Aluminum accumulates in body tissue over time, so if you multiply 4 micrograms of daily deodorant application by a lifetime of use, you have a serious toxic exposure.

Dig Deeper: Aluminum, Antiperspirant, and Cancer : “Aluminum in breast tissue: a possible factor in the cause of breast cancer.” 

C12-15 alkyl benzoate: This is a paraben, a hormone disrupter. A 2004 study found paraben in over 90% of human breast cancer tumors. PPG-14 butyl ether (polypropylene glycol): Propylene is produced from fossil fuels during the oil refining process. It can irritate the skin and mucous membranes. Polyethylene glycol (PEG) and Steareth 100: Both are processed with ethylene oxide derived from petroleum. One of the byproducts of ethoxylation is 1.4 dioxane, a known carcinogen, which remains in the PEG and Steareth 100 unless it is intentionally removed. 1.4 dioxane is considered a secondary-ingredient and will be absent from ingredient lists. Some studies have linked PEG to leukemia as well as uterine, breast and brain cancers. Helianthus annuus seed oil: Sunflower oil is heavily refined for cosmetic use; it is solvent-extracted with hexane, degummed, neutralized and bleached. The resulting oil is tainted by a variety of chemical toxins in the refining process, and the color and scent resembles very little the freshly expelled sunflower oil. BHT: A hotly contested food and cosmetic preservative, the metabolites of BHT are suspected to cause tumors and malignancies. Multiple studies have concluded that BHT accumulates in the tissue, may cause liver enlargement and damage cell development. Since the 1970’s there have been reports of BHT causing hyperactivity in children. Benzyl benzoate: It is made in a laboratory and associated with itchy skin, blistering and nervous system problems. Benzyl alcohol: Alcohols are very drying and irritating solvents made from propylene, a petroleum derivative. They strip the skin’s natural acid mantle which dehydrates the cells and makes the body more vulnerable to bacteria and viruses.

The kidneys, liver and gut are designed to eliminate toxins and waste products from the body. Sluggish digestion, improper hydration as well as impaired kidney or liver function causes a back-up of waste in the body that is then released in the sweat, giving it an unpleasant odor. Unbalanced hormones stemming from issues with the adrenal gland may increase sweat and body odor. Take a pass on birth control pills and limit exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals, like fluoride, so the adrenal gland will be free to regulate the natural flow of hormones. Keep the digestive system cleared out by eating a colorful, organic whole-foods diet including probiotics and fermented food that keep beneficial bacteria in balance. Sandalwood essential oil, distilled from the inner bark of the sandalwood tree, is especially beautiful; it has an affinity for the armpit because it contains phyto-androgen, a substance similar to the androgen exuded by our armpits. Its warm scent smells beautiful on people, and it is the inspiration for Poetic Pits, our underarm libation that turns your sweat into sensual aroma.

Botanical Deodorant: (Make a sweat-sweetening cream)

Combine in a lidded glass container:
2 ounces baking soda
1 ounce virgin coconut oil
25 drops of one of these essential oils: sandalwood, frankincense, lavender, palo santo, cape chamomile, rosemary, cardamom, thyme or Silver fir

Perfumes and fragrances are synthetic substances comprised of thousands of chemical formulations, and most will not be listed on the label. According to the FDA, synthetic fragrances may cause headaches, dizziness, allergic rashes, skin discoloration, violent coughing, vomiting. An even more simple solution, especially appealing for sun-lovers, is to give your pits a daily sunbath and skin irritation, depression, hyperactivity, and irritability. Some of the chemicals are used in pesticides. Others are proven estrogenic and potential carcinogens, especially for the breast. On the other hand, really real, really natural essential oils illume the immune, boost mood, ease allergies, calm coughs, soothe skin, focus the mind, and improve overall health. They are the remedy to many medical and synthetic-stimulated issues.  Throughout recorded history, humans have reliably looked to botanicals to help them heal, mourn, worship, love, birth, meditate, purify, calm down, and perk up. Plant oils were used as cosmetics, preservatives, perfumes, precious gifts, and sacred libations. Perfume was birthed from infinite purity, from a sacred desire to connect with botanical realms and the ethereal nature of the heavens. Its origin so pure, the very essence of life and beauty, it was purposed and dedicated to purifying the body and spirit. (Read The Book of Perfumes by Eugene Rimmel in 1867.) Using essential oils as perfume is as easy as picking your favorite scents. You can use a single oil or combine a few to create your own signature scent or uniquely therapeutic perfume suited just for you. Simply apply neat: a drop on the wrists or an anointing of the chakras. To guide you, the Floracopeia website describes the scent nature and physiological energy or activity of single essential oils.

DIY Perfume:

Here are a few tips and tricks to make your own perfume:

  • One or two oils can be mixed with jojoba to add another layer of moisture and scent. Jojoba oil is best because it does not go rancid.
  • Combine high quality alcohol, like organic vodka, with your favorite oil in a spritzer bottle for a refreshing body spray.
  • Extend the life of your perfume by rubbing a drop of oil or a drop of your scented jojoba through your hair. The scent lasts longer because, unlike skin, hair does not absorb it.
  • Of the oils, vetiver has the best staying power.

ORGANIC PERFUME? CHEMISTRY, E. COLI, AND CULTURE

Most department-store and drugstore perfumes are complicated formulas composed of hundreds of synthetic chemicals like phthalates, acetones, and petroleum by-products. To transform individual chemicals into one compound, they are exposed to a variety of proprietary catalysts and chemical reactions, including various enzymes, metals, extreme heat, and pressure. The clean, fresh scent of citrus is widely used in perfumes, skincare, foods, and household cleaners.A chemical engineering company formulated a method to make barrels of citrus scent without using any citrus fruits or plant material. They make this citrus-like odorant, called citral, by joining isobutene and formal-dehyde under high pressure, using metal as a catalyst. Isobutene is “cracked” from naphtha, which is a liquid mixture of petroleum. Citral can be chemically modified to produce other aromatic substances like linalool and geranial, which are single constituents of lavender and rose odor molecules. The most obvious issues with citral is the use of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, allergen, and irritant. Hundreds of odor compounds are made synthetically like this, full of undesirable chemicals and residuals from processing. The odor compounds may lawfully be listed as “fragrance” or “perfume” on the ingredients label without mentioning any of their chemical components.

Perfume Thyself with E.Coli?

Growing public awareness of the issues with synthetic perfumes has motivated scientists and biotech firms to find a way to produce aromatics without the chemicals. Over the last few years, they have discovered a way to genetically engineer microbes (bacteria and yeast) on a large scale to produce key aromatic isolates. Bacteria such as Escherichia coli and yeast like Saccharomyces cerevisiae (baker’s yeast) are used in the process. These host microbes are used because they are easy to cultivate and grow on cheap media, and they are easy to genetically modify. The exact process used by biotech companies to develop their “microbial platform” is proprietary.In general, the process works like this: E-coli and S cerevisiae are grown in amino acids, yeast extracts, sodium chloride, distilled water, and an antibiotic. S. Cerevisiae is grown in a similar medium with the addition of hydrochloric acid. Yes, highly corrosive hydrochloric acid.

These microbes are turned into odor-molecule factories; they are implanted with the genetic pathways that have been removed from the plants that naturally make the targeted scent.The genetic code for making the enzymes that joins all the odor molecules together is also removed from the plant and inserted into the microbes. These genetically modified (transgenic) fungi and bacteria are then fed inexpensive sugar-based agricultural and food by-products to stimulate fermentation.The result from the fermentation process is turpene, a constituent of most essential oils. The terpene is then put through another process (hydroxylation, isomerisation, oxidation, reduction, or acylation) to make it into a usable substance. One example of this is Valencene Pure” made by Isobionics, Valencene is one part of the scent compound naturally found in oranges and grapefruit and is a common base note in perfume. They claim that this trademarked product has “odor and taste similar to valencene from oranges”.

The odor compounds produced via microbe fermentation can be labelled in the United States as “natural” even though the compounds are produced by genetically modified organisms that are grown in antibiotics and chemicals like hydrochloric acid. Compare the contrived process of microbial fermentation with the natural scent-producing relationship between plant and bacterial. Scientists have discovered naturally occurring bacteria on vetiver roots, which are part of the plant that is distilled for the oil. The root cells work symbiotically with the bacteria create a complex and fragrant oil. (All microbes also emit their own type of aromatic molecules that are part of the organism’s communication pathway with its environment).Naturally occurring microbes on the floral phyllosphere (phyllosphere is the microbiome of all aboveground plant parts) also influence the volatile, aromatic emissions from flowers. A group of scientists from Spain tested this by spraying black elderberry flower with three broad-spectrum antibiotics: streptomycin, oxytetracycline (trade name Terramycin), and chloramphenicol (trade names Chloromycetin, Econochlor, and Ocu-Chlor). Afterward, they measured the floral emissions and discovered that four aromatic compounds had been suppressed by the antibiotics, and the total scent emission was reduced by two-thirds. The floral tissues were intact, so the reduction was not caused by damage to the flower. The scientists propose that the microbes living on and in the flower are responsible for producing and emitting those four missing major compounds that contribute to the overall aromatic bouquet of the elderberry flower. Without a flower’s native phyllosphere, its aroma is just not the same.

Petri-Dish Perfume

In the mid-1900s, university botanists began cloning plants in petri dishes using cells taken from roots and growing tips. Soon, botanists were delivering brand-new species of plants by mixing plant DNA using in vitro fertilization. In the 1980s, what began as an academic experiment to learn about how plants grow became a boon for horticulturists and agriculturists who adopted the plant-tissue-culture process to promote plant-species improvement as well as rare and difficult-to-propagate plant reproduction. Biotech companies are now trying to use this technology to selectively grow the plant tissues and organs that make the desired oils.The end goal is to grow and sustain these organs in a sort of organ farm to produce industrial quantities of specific plant oils – totally separate from the rest of the plant, the dirt, fresh air, and sunshine.

Nature-Identical?

If your jaw is agape and you are asking, why?? Why go to all this trouble to make a scent-mimic in lieu of using the real-deal plant oils? Why invest so much time, energy, and money into a biotech-produced scent that nature effortlessly produces and graciously offers us? It seems backward, upside down! The bottom line is the bottom line; the food and fragrance industry is looking for larger quantities of odor compounds that are cheaper than synthetic chemical fragrances and essential oils distilled from plants. Also, the industry needs a solution to the increasing economy for natural products. The marketing madness is legal, allowing laboratory-made scents to be labelled as “natural”, yet I suspect that this is not quite what savvy consumers have in mind. Microbial-platform and plant-tissue-culture-produced scents are referred to in the industry as “nature-identical” or “bio-identical” because the chemical structures are “identical” to those produced by plants grown naturally. In fact, these products can be legally labelled as “natural” in everything from perfumes to drugs to cleaning products. Some may even be bottled up and sold as a plant’s essential oils. The fragrance industry touts these products will be pure because they will have no pesticide, herbicide, or petro-by-product residues. If the substance is actually identical to the natural one, then why does it need the label “nature-identical”? If it were really real, wouldn’t it just be called the name of the real thing instead of having a copyrighted name, such as Isona-line 70? The reality is that bio-identical isolates and fragrances are like cheap, brand-name knock-off purses sold on city sidewalks; the surface-level sameness collapses upon closer inspection. There are major difficulties between plant oils from nature and those made in the laboratory. For starts, laboratory fragrances will have by-products not found in nature, and they will require fuel and resources for production beyond sun, rain, and soil.

Mimicking Mother Nature’s Molecules

There are numerous hitches in trying to re-create plant oils in a lab. The fragrant oils distilled from plants, called secondary metabolites, are part of a plant’s defense system against pests, predators, microbes, sunburn, and drought. They are also part of the plant’s reproductive system used to lure in friendly pollinators. These plant mechanisms are complex and are interconnected with metabolic challenges as well as free-radical and oxidative stress in the plant. The potency and qualities of the secondary metabolites made by the plant are unique, reflecting the subtle differences in the plant’s environment, influenced by the soil it grows in and even by what is growing next to it. All of these factors contribute to the exceptionable qualities of pure plant oil, and they cannot be re-created in a lab. Perfumes made with only really real essential oils are magnificently multifaceted and unequalled by anything produced in a laboratory. A true, pure essential oil is greater than the sum of its parts. Lavender essential oil is more than just linalool, which is the component that most laboratories are producing under the guise of lavender scent. True lavender oil also has traces of other compounds like a-pinene, limonene, and 1.8-cineole. All true essential oils are complex mixtures of phytochemicals and phytonutrients that work synergistically. The property of the whole essential oil results from the limitless rearrangement and permutations of the basic components.All of the trace components contribute significantly to the fragrance of the oil and how the fragrance affects us physiologically.

PURIFYING PERFUMES

The aroma of flowers, from which we have borrowed our perfumes, while extremely powerful, has been from the beginning entirely seductive in its intentions.A rose is a rose is a rogue.Perfume, fundamentally is the sexual attractant of flowers. While artificial and contrived perfumes affect us physiologically with sneezes, light-headedness, headaches, hormonal imbalances, and in countless other ways, pure plant perfumes silence sneezes and sniffles, ease sensitivities, cool aching heads, and fortify minds and emotions. They are immune enhancing and are the remedy to many synthetic-stimulated issues caused by modern-day synthetics. Whole words twirl on the tip of a leaf, in the cosmos of a seed. Tendrils of petal firmament-fumes blushing with pollination invocations emit ambrosial aromas that invite us to breathe in blooms and become one with the perfume.Pure plant distillation have been captured for eons, and these emanations are a gift to engage with as a perfume.With an ode to Kahlil Gibran, I ask, “For what is perfume but the expansion of oneself into the living ether?”

LIVING ETHER: LET PERFUME BE YOUR MEDICINE

The wisdom of ancient Egyptian cosmetics, early Ayurvedic medicine, and physicians like Avicenna, Pliny the Elder, and Hippocrates knew that perfume and medicine are a blended bond of beauty and remedy. To feed the spirit is to feed the body. It is written in the Flower Adornment Sutra (an ancient scripture that is estimated to have been written in the fourth century). “I know about all fragrances and how they are compounded and used. I also know the sources of all fragrances, I know celestial fragrances, I know the fragrances that cure illness, I know the fragrances that remove depression, I know the fragrances that produce mundane joy, I know fragrances that incite passions, I know the fragrances that produce pleasure in enjoyment of various created things…. I also know the external appearance of these fragrances, as well as their source, production, manifestation, perfection, purification, removal, application, use, sphere of action, efficacy, nature, and root”.

“The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose”. This lovely proverb eloquently expresses why as a perfume formulator, I am loyal to plant purity, the aroma from every bottle “stays on my hand”. Truly, what is more grand than working with fresh exudates pressed from the pheromones of flowers, the amber ambrosias of resins, and the sweet sweat of sap gleaned many lands? Knitting a natural mix, playing with the delicate essences born from soil, sunshine, and rain, is one of earth’s most elegant endowments. To anoint a drop of floral oil or to fuse a perfume is to weave a smelling harmony between the known and the unknown. The craft of perfumery involves precision and a translation of plant breath. To anoint yourself in natural perfume, you can easily apply a drop of a full-bodied aroma such as vetiver, rose, sandalwood, jasmine, rose, or neroli. To prepare a blended perfume, fine-tune your sense of smell with a dose of curiosity. The creation of perfumes, while an art and a science, is also a playful experience. Use these suggestions as a guide, and then abandon them as you splash and dash your way through bottles of botanicals.

When fragrance vaporizes and intermingles with life, different nuances of the scent become apparent.Throughout time, these nuances have been placed on a scent scale and called notes. This scale is divided into three categories that describe the depth of smell: top, heart, and base notes. Berries, citrus, and some flowers, smells with brightness, clarity, and sparkle, are top notes. They are the first aroma invitation to tingle your nose and the first to evaporate. The heart notes awaken the more receptive elements of the heavier base aromas and push forth the delicate strands of the top scents. Leaves, seeds, grasses, flowers, and herbs can be found in the heart note ensemble. The tenacious aromas come from full-bodied base notes that ground the bouquet. These long-lasting chords can be found in oils from resins, woods, roots, vanilla beans, and some flowers. Each essential oil, perfection in its own creation, has elements of all the notes, which take turns playing hide-and-seek with your nose. Some try to memorize which essential oil “belongs” to which note or are perplexed to read that different books put rose, for instance, as a heart note whereas other books signify rose as a base note. Concern yourself not with such parameters. Discover with your nose where rose goes. Observe the aroma – you will know where it flows and where it resonates on the scent scale. When creating with such lively plant matter that beholds diverse nuances of soil, harvest time, and distillation, allow for flexible minds and nostrils.

Begin with an empty vessel.Let your nose dive into the unknown. Blend essential oils straight up, then dilute, or the other way around. Dilution widens and expands the weave. Concentrations are a tight knit that bequeaths.Add the essential oil nectar one by one, drop by drop, mixing, soma dripping, smelling each shift of intermingled drops. Mix your creation by rolling the capped bottle between the hands, infusing heat and energy. Record each drop for the re-creation of masterpiece and to discover when your blend got too spicy or when it wholly harmonized with that last droplet of neroli. There will be communion and constant change as you blend, and as the oils blend over an hour, a dawn, or three moons. While blending, a meditation may manifest in your mind. This is when your keen sense of smell and sensory translation come in. Blending silent stitches of simplicity, hear with your aromatic ear the drop as it splashes in the fragrant oceans. Listen to the scent. This constant communion of molecule meditation and the inner eye, above the olfactory bulb, may spark questions. I think in synesthesia, so every aroma is a fantasia of colour for me. Perfumes are painted in my mind’s eye. What might you see? Colours?Shapes?Light?What is the movement of the blend? Narrow or sharp? Where does the breath journey in your body when you inhale the aroma? Are these spirals surging up and out? Is the colour cloudy? Do the pink petals need highlighting, the chamomile’s blue hue and cardamom greens need widening? Would a drop of silver fir alight the interior? Would more lime heighten the rooted spikenard? Would a juicy jasmine note present a sensuality to mystify vetiver’s earthy vitality? Smell, inhale, add, adjust, and tune. Swiftly, slowly, and so on until the perfume is released, ready to have a unique union upon adornment. Uncontained, the whole aroma unfolds. Let your perfume bloom because it is the fragrance it loves.

UNDERARM CHARM

The scent of these arm-pits is an aroma finer than prayer.

From the fragrance of flower pheromones, we venture into the aromatic anemone of our armpits. Pheromone’s etymology means “transfer of excitement” and these forms of hormones invisibly broadcast sexual signals. Our main transmitting messenger-molecules are the pheromones androstenol and androsterone excreted from our armpits a musk aroma similar to that of the phytohormones found in sensual sandalwood oil. We have travelled from history’s aromatic renaissance to our current olfactory recession where we now mask our odors with an obsession for synthetic-scented confections – mere chimeras of past perfume preparations. Yet, real-to-the-feel aromatics still exist with botanicals beneficial to the bacteria of the rain forest in our pits. Why wouldn’t one want the pheromones of plants to mix, meld, and enhance our aroma in lieu of synthetic aldehydes of androstenone packed in aluminum and petroleum oil?

Sweat the Small Stuff

Our “underarms are akin to lush rain forests brimming with diversity…..” Science has recently elevated the modest underarm to a unique and vital body microclimate that is part of the skin’s microbiome. Its dark, warm dampness is the ideal environment for thousands of unique dermal bacterial, many of which are important for our health and immunity. Sweat is the body’s precious and cooling dew of fun play, heart-pumping movement, and steamy soaks in the sauna. Some of the bacterial that thrive in the underarm feast on sweat, and one of the by-products of this banquet is our uniquely scented odor-print.

The Aphrodisiac in Your Armpit

Our sweat scent, our odor-print, is as original as our fingerprint, revealing our gender, immunity, fertility, health, and diet and diffusing our personal pheromone calling card. In the sixteenth century, long before the Age of Deodorant, people were intoxicated by the scent of a loved one moist with fresh sweat. Victorian women would hold peeled apples in their armpits until saturated with sweat, and then wrap ribbons around the apples and present them to their sweethearts to savour. Young gentlemen also learned to use their scent to attract young ladies by tucking kerchiefs in their armpits and waving these cloth scent-holders in the air near the ladies, releasing their pheromones to excite female interest. Whereas Napoleon Bonaparte begged his beloved Josephine not to bathe for three days so that he could revel in her natural aroma, the lovers’ noses of today are led astray by “aromatic paranoia” conditioned by the cosmetics industry to prefer a sterilized and artificial scent over a natural scent.

Smell is a potent wizard that transports us across thousands of miles and all the years we have lived… Even as I think of smells, my nose is full of scents that start awake sweet memories of summers gone and ripening fields far away.- Helen Keller

The Small Stuff

The armpit is an organ, cradling life essential lymph nodes and glands. Unbefitting for an organ, the ingredients in deodorants and antiperspirants are largely formulated for corporate profit over consumer health. What’s applied to the skin sinks in!In a telling article entitled “Underarm Cosmetics and Breast Cancer”, the Journal of Applied Toxicology reported that there are “unexplained clinical observations showing a disproportionately high incidence of breast cancer in the upper outer quadrant of the breast, just the local area to which these cosmetics (deodorants/antiperspirants) are applied”. Before we spray, roll, and rub lotions and potions under our arms, perhaps we should sweat the small stuff by first considering the chemical substances that constitute antiperspirant deodorants. Here ae the ingredients of a popular drugstoredeodorant; Aluminum Zirconium Trichlorohydrex Gly, Talc, Mineral Oil, Cyclopentasiloxane, Stearyl Alcohol, C₁₂-₁₅ Alkyl Bensoate, PPG-₁₄ Butyl Ether, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Petrolatum, Phenyl Trimethicone, Cyclodextrin, Fragrance, Behenyl Alcohol. How safe are these chemicals? Touted as a safe alternative to antiperspirants, crystal deodorant stones have gained popularity over the last few years. Unbeknownst to many consumers, these crystal deodorants are made from alum, and the alum most widely used in the cosmetics industry is potassium aluminum sulfate, Aluminum, again!

Embrace the Sweetness of Your Sweat: Sweat, Smell, and Health

Sweat is a vital bodily process, and the quality of the odor of our sweat may be an indicator of health. The kidneys, liver, and gut are designed to eliminate toxins and waste products from the body. Sluggish digestion, improper hydration, as well as impaired kidney or liver function cause a backup of waste in the body that is then released in the sweat, giving it unpleasant odor.A great first step to sweet swelling sweat is to keep the digestive system cleared out by eating a colourful, organic whole-foods diet including probiotics and fermented food. Also, unbalanced hormones stemming from issues with the adrenal glands may increase sweat and body odor.By passing on birth control pills and limiting your exposure to hormone-distributing chemicals your adrenal glands will be free to regulate the natural flow of hormones.Beware of birth control pills, because they influence a woman’s olfactory system and alter preferences for mating partners.MHC genes are hidden in a man’s natural odor unusually women use these hidden scent treasures to pick partners whose MHC genes are different from their own.MHC genes are part of the immune system; so when a woman chooses a different set of genes, her children will have more diverse MHC profile as strong immune systems.Moreover, women seem to be more sexually satisfied with MHC- dissimilar men. However, women on birth control pills tend to pick men who are MHC-similar.Scientists speculate that because the Pill causes hormonal shifts that resemble pregnancy, this urges women to surround themselves with nurturing family members, who will have similar MHC profiles.

Deodorants to Odorants

Instead of masking odor or plugging sweat glands with antiperspirants, we can rely on natures beautiful plant botanicals to charm, not harm, the underarm. Essential oils harmonise with our bodies, our sweat, our hormones, and our natural skin bacteria. Sandalwood essential oil, distilled from the inner bark of the Sandalwood tree, is especially beautiful; it has an affinity for the armpit because it contains phytoandrogen, similar to the androgen exuded by our armpits.Its warm scent smells beautiful on people; and unlike chemical based, cancer correlated deodorants, sandalwood oil contains alpha santalol and beta santalol, which makes sandalwood a chemopreventative agent. Baking soda, a staple in many kitchens, is also a wonderful body freshener.Just a clean armpit with baking soda, or tune in your inner mixologist and make your own deodorants with the suggestion in Chapter Sixteen.Another simple solution, especially appealing for sun-lovers is to sunbathe your pits. Sunshine is an effective bacteriostatic agent, so you can clean the armpits while raising your vitamin D intake.We can elaborate our sweat from the “small stuff” and free our noses to enjoy the redolent odorants of exquisitely natural scents.

“And so he would now study perfumes, and the secrets of their manufacture, distilling heavily scented oils, and burning odorous gums from the East.He saw that there was no mood of the mind that had not its counterpart in the sensuous life, and set himself to discover the true relations, wondering what there was in frankincense that made one mystical, and in ambergris that stirred ones passions, and in violets that woke the memory of the dead romances,and in musk that troubled the brain, and in champak that stained the imagination; and seeking often to elaborate a real psychology of perfumes, and to estimate the several influences of sweet smelling roots, and scented pollen-laden flower, of aromatic balms, and of dark and fragrant woods, of spikenard that sickens, of havenia that makes men mad, andof aloes that are said to be able to expel melancholy from the soul. 

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Breast Health 

As I pondered breast health, especially as my mother was in the final stages of breast cancer, I saw a clear pattern in the recipe that makes breasts a liability.This trifecta of excess estrogen, heavy metals, and mycotoxins creates the perfect storm for breast imbalances.Diseased breast tissue seems to be a repository. When examined:

  • 99 per cent had parabens
  • 100 per cent had fungal spores Staphylococcus and Ascomycetes fungi.
  • Tumorous breast tissue had higher aflatoxin levels than did normal tissues of the same person

Our breasts are organs that are designed to be incredible, biologically responsive to signals inside our body, to our babies and to our outside world.Breasts have a dense supply of oestrogen receptors that sit on cell walls like flowers ready to catch the “bees” of passing molecules of estrogen.However, these sensors also corral heavy metals and synthetic estrogens.Our breast receptors latch on to these synthetic carbon ring structures – an action that may prove harmful to them. In earlier times, the only estrogen-mimics we experienced were plant based.For eons, our breasts could trust what they received because we coevolved with plant estrogens; but modern mimics come to us in deadly daily drip. Excess estrogen tips the delicate balance of hormones by outweighing levels of progesterone, thereby throwing all other hormones off kilter.Contributing to excess estrogen are the synthetic hormones in agriculture, birth control pills, IUDs, and hormone replacement therapy, along with xenoestrogens (the foreign synthetic-estrogen mimics the PCBs), BPA, parabans, and phthalates.We are soaking in the false estrogens of deodorants, perfumes, and creams.The average cosmetics consumer is exposed to 126 unique chemicals per day and five pounds of dry chemical weight per year.All of this accumulates in the breast tissue and may lead to abnormal cells and detectable changes in DNA! There are hundreds of chemicals used to make plastic that have estrogenic activity – including in BPA-free bottles. Numerous studies confirm that BPA activities estrogen receptors, causing normal breast cells to act like invasively growing cells.BPA, a by-product of petroleum processing, was actually identified in the 1930s as a powerful synthetic estrogen.It is now in everything from money to dental fillings. Slowly, BPA alters our cells by turning off suppressor genes and turning on tumour promoters called oncogenes.

Adding to the daily drip of endocrine distribution is high sugar consumption, which spikes blood sugar levels, contributing to insulin resistance and, in turn, estrogen spikes.If the liver is carrying a full load of modern-day detoxification, it can struggle to process all these estrogens, leaving us in excess. Next, we have heavy metals and halides. Heavy metals are toxins that accumulate in our tissues and bones. Once they penetrate, toxic metals complete with and displace much needed minerals.Mercury, the same mercury that is in eco-lightbulbs and silver fillings, was found in all cancer and pre-cancerous cells by Dr. Yoshiaki Omura in 1996.Mercury is also a metalloestrogen, a type of metal-estrogen-mimic.Aluminum, cadmium, and lead are also metalloestrogen.If you have heard of the gender-bending effects of pesticides, these are the metalloestrogen in action.One such product is atrazine, which chemically castrated 75 per cent of adult male frogs.It is an endocrine disruptor in humans, too, and can alter genes that regulate hormones signalling and may influence infertility. Halides are from the halogen family of metals, consisting of fluorine, chlorine, and bromine. Bromine is pervasive in the form of BVO (brominated vegetable oil), used in breads, sodas, and sports drinks.It also appears in the form of the PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) in flame retardants found in kids’ pyjamas and almost everything we touch, from laptops to Legos to lint.This chemical is not molecularly bound, so it migrates and attaches to dust in our home.PBDEs are also goitrogenic, lipophilic, fat-loving toxins that have an affinity for breast tissue.A small study showed that bromide levels are two times higher in women with breast cancer.

Last, we have Candida fungi, invasive pathogenic yeast that excretes a mycotoxin waste product.In advance stages of overgrowth, Candida fungi grow root-like filaments that dig tiny holes into the intestines.This can cause leaky gut syndrome, when food, bacteria and toxins escape the gut through tiny perforations and flow into the bloodstream. The mycotoxin Candida releases mimic estrogan and may deactivate our p53 gene, which is our anti-cancer superhero gene.These mycotoxins also contaminate our food chain; it is in moldly corn and grains and in tainted meats from pharmaceutical mycoestrogens that add to animal feeds.A 2001 study of New Jersey school girls found that 78 per cent had synthetic mycoestrogens in their urine. For the sake of our health, and our breasts, we must eliminate these things, because even with attentiveness, synthetics and carcinogens seep in. Studies show that it is well worth the effort. With this inevitable seeping of synthetics.What could we do to sharpen our breasts’ sensory receptors? What could activate their discernment? Could we possibly refine our breast receptors to not latch on to everycarbon ring structure that passes by? There is a simple solution, a powerful pillar, an antidote that addresses all three contributing patterns of excess estrogen, mutant metals, and chronic Candida. This substance fine-tunes estrogen-receptor sensitivity. It returns tender breasts to normal tissue.It chelates halides and heavy metals gracefully from the body.It protects the guts. It refines insulin sensitivity, and it is found in every cell of our body. This ancient antidote is iodine.

Iodine sensitizes our receptors, harmonizes hormones, metabolizes estrogens, and positively alters the gene expression of breast cells. It effortlessly cleanses bromide, mercury, fluoride, and more from the body. Although iodine may conjure images of the red medicine painted on soldiers’ wounds, it is actually an electron-rich essential mineral used by every hormone, every organ, every tissue, and every cell of the body. Iodine is a potent ancestral antioxidant – more potent than vitamins C and E. Iodine comes from our planet’s original rock formations. Ice-age erosion of these rocks dispersed this water-soluble ion into the briny oceanic depths. Iodine began to concentrate in algae and then seaweeds.Seaweed has a membrane-capturing system that extracts iodine 20,000 times the ocean’s concentration.Iodine came first, and through the complex evolution of cells, the very first hormone to form was thyroid hormone. The main function of iodine is the secretion and synthesis of thyroid hormone.The main function of iodine is the secretion and synthesis of thyroid hormone. The thyroid’s main purpose is to survey each cell, keep the genome stable, and allow each hormone to perform perfectly. The thyroid, breasts, ovaries, and prostate are all iodine dependent. Iodine kindles the flame of vitality by igniting our thyroid.If our thyroid has an adequate supply of iodine, iodine is carried to nourish every cell.Only after the thyroid gland gets saturated can iodine then be absorbed and used by the breasts, ovaries, intestines, nasal cavities, stomach, bones, extracellular fluids, connective tissue, hormone receptors, cerebrospinal fluid, gastric mucous, and salivary glands.Iodine is the Where’s Waldo? of minerals: it shows up everywhere in a healthy body.

  • Approximately 1.5 billion people live in countries that are iodine deficient.
  • Over the past forty years, iodine deficiency has increased 400 per cent in the developed world.
  • 74 per cent of healthy adults may not get enough dietary iodine.
  • World Health Organization and United States Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) recommendations for iodine are based on the minimum needed to prevent goiter and cretinism and are not for sufficiency for optimal health.

Thirty years ago, when only 1 of every 20 women had breast cancer, iodine consumption was twice as high as it is today.Thirty years ago, iodine was used widely in dairy farming, and bread makers switched from iodine to potassium bromated as an anticaking agent.This absence of iodine causes dysfunction that can be seen with practically every hormone inside the body.The entire endocrine system, brain, and immune system need far more iodine than is being consumed. Iodine is the gatekeeper of our breasts’ glandular integrity. Iodine deficiency increases estrogen production. Iodine sufficiency maintains the correct balance of the three estrogens (estrone, estradiol, and estriol), helping us metabolize the estrogens in favour of the safer, protective form of estrogen, estriol.Iodine sufficiency is necessary for the normal growth and development of breast tissue. The breasts, like the thyroid, have a system for absorbing, storing, and secreting iodine. The ductal cells in the breast, the ones most likely to become cancerous, are equipped with a sodium-iodide symporter; this is the same type of iodine pump that soaks up iodine in the thyroid.

Iodine

  • Used by every hormone, organ, cell
  • Regulates metabolism
  • Call differentiation
  • Boosts enzyme systems and immune
  • Ancestral antioxidant
  • Antiseptic to fungi, bacteria, viruses
  • Detoxifies heavy metals, halides
  • Triggers apoptosis
  • Improves insulin sensitivity
  • For fibrocystic breasts
  • Shrinks ovarian cysts
  • Improves estrogen receptor sensitivity
  • Breast ductal cells equipped with an iodine pump
  • Iodine can cause tumours to shrink
  • Iodine concentrates in and is secreted by mammary glands

As iodine consumption drops, there is a significant increase in diseases of the endocrine system.A malfunctioning thyroid is a precursor to many female disorders. Iodine, together with thyroid hormone, acts as a surveillance team against abnormal cells by inducing apoptosis (natural cell death).Also, in an iodine-deficient state, the breasts and thyroid will complete for what little iodine is available.Iodine deficiency can lead to both thyroid and breast imbalances.When there is a deficiency, the breasts and thyroid, the ovaries (and perhaps the prostate too) enlarge to compensate.Swollen ovaries are very similar to a swollen thyroid – a reaction to iodine deficiency. The thyroid is sometimes referred to as the third ovary.The connection between hypothyroidism and breast cancer was first reported in 1896! Fibrocystic breasts occur in about one-third of women of childbearing age, and when women are supplemented with iodine, fibrocystic disease often reverses.Fibrocystic breasts, a condition whereby swollen breasts have cysts and are usually tender to touch, are thought of as a benign condition, although many physicians consider it a precursor.Several studies discovered that the greater the iodine deficiency, the greater the amount of estrogen and increased cysts in breasts.The amount of iodine needed to control breast cancer and fibrocystic breasts is twenty to forty times the amount of iodine needed to prevent goiter; doses above the RDA are needed to reach saturation.Low-sodium diets and low levels of iodine in iodized salt contribute to our deficiency. Our bodies’ stores of iodine are further crowded out by daily exposures to bromide, fluoride, and chlorine. These halides happily attach to the vacant iodine receptors. In a fascinating molecular harmony, iodine is also from the halide group of elements, and it is the antidote for chelating the toxic halides from the body. Supplementing replenishes our iodine stores while flushing out heavy metals and halides from our glands and connective tissue. After only one iodine dose, bromide and fluoride begin to excrete via the urine. Dr. Guy Abraham found that some patients began to excrete lead, cadmium, and mercury after one day, and aluminum began to exercise after one month of daily iodine.Most people do not experience any negative detox effects unless they are unloading extremely high levels of bromine.Many people experience better sleep, energy, and mental clarity. The best types of iodine are atomic, nascent forms of iodine with better uptake and a high electromagnetic charge and alcohol-free/aqueous iodine.When our glands are satiatedwith iodine, our constitution and connective tissues are strengthened. Iodine deficiency aggregated with xenoestrogens, metalloestrogens, and mycoestrogens creates a pattern of prolific breast imbalances.We can understand when our bodies are at with laboratory analysis of our blood, saliva, urine, and hair. This is our effective early-screening programme.

MITOCHONDRIAL MEDICINE

As we consider best-breast practices, we also want to think in terms of mito-chondrial medicine. Mitochondria are our cell’s energy-makers, and until recently, that is all that was known about them. Now, researchers across all disciples of medicine have discovered that mitochondria have their own sets of DNA beyond the DNA in the cell nucleus; they communicate with each other, regulate gene expression, control synapse firing in the brain, trigger systemic inflammation, and contribute chemicals that play a role in tumour formation. We know that DNA defects and mitochondrial dysfunction contribute to common diseases studied in genetics, neurology, immunology, and oncology. In many ways, mitochondria are more like bacteria than mammal cells. Dr. David Perlmutter wrote that “mitochondria can in fact be considered a third dimension to our microbiome; they have a unique relationship to the microbiome of our guts. Healthy gut bacteria support mitochondria, but when bacteria are out of balance they can damage our mitochondria either with toxic waste products or by triggering systemic inflammation. Furthermore, our mitochondria, the protector of our genes, our guts, and our brains, are more vulnerable than we realize. Research published in 2016 found that commonly prescribed antibiotics induce reactive oxygen species, a.k.a. free radicals, in bacteria thus causing harm in our tissues, and antibiotics deteriorate mitochondria. Increasing mitochondrial strength is vital to shielding our cells from the mutations of toxins. Iodine is mitochondrial medicine. There are several ways to protect mitochondria.

  • Maintain fasting blood sugar levels at 80.
  • Magnesium is like the light in each cell, and is essential to mitochondrial function. Once iodine starts excreting heavy metals and halides, you will want to refill cells with magnesium, along with selenium and trace minerals.
  • Natural terpenes protect against mitochondrial dysfunction.

TERPENES: BREAST BOOSTERS

Nature provides us with a gentle yet potent answer in plant terpenes. These powerful pillars for health are found abundantly in essential oils. They improve the liver’s ability to break down carcinogens, stimulate cell death (apoptosis) in abnormal cells, facilitate healing, reduce inflammation, and selectively block the division and multiplication of abnormal cells. Terpene is the fancy word for a medicinal compound found in essential oils. Terpenes are produced by a variety of plants, especially conifers, and they are the oldest group of small molecular substances made by plants. They are chemically composed of only hydrogen and carbon atoms structured as an isoprene unit, the building block of plants. As these isoprene building blocks link up, they are classified by the total number of units in the chain. Monoterpenes consist of two isoprene units, and they are especially breast-boosting. When a monoterpene enters the body, it is processed and broken down, mostly by the liver, into various, more water-soluble components.For example, perillyl alcohol, a well-documented potent anticancer metabolite of limonene, is transformed by our liver enzymes into perillic acid.These components vary in their affinity with types of tissues.For example, limonene is especially lipophilic and accumulates in fatty tissue where it lingers longer than most other essential oil constituents.Research continues to look for ways to use limonene as a means of enhancing pharmaceutical absorption through the skin because it interacts well with the lipids that coat the top layer of our skin to facilitate drug diffusibility.

Interest in monoterpene research was aroused by the discovery that limonene prevents mammary cancer in mice.Until the mid-1990s, research journals brimmed with studies on monoterpenes and their influence on cancer development and progression.The research stalled out after a few clinical trials reported less-than-stellar results. One of the problems in these clinical cases was that the monoterpenes were metabolized into components considered to be less bioactive. Now, with innovative technology to guide the way, a new era of research has begun.Recent developments suggest that monoterpenes prevent both the initiation and progression of cancer, offering at least chemopreventive benefits. Today and perhaps cancer treatments tomorrow.And – surprise! – researchers have discovered that many of the digested monoterpene metabolites, such as perillic acid, are just as potent against particular cancers – including cancers of the breast – as their precursors. Monoterpenes influence cancer and cancer cells on multiple ways by inhibiting particular cell-signalling pathways and by counteracting metabolic changes that occur in breast disease. Breast cancer is hormone dependent, and among all of the chemical carcinogens we are exposed to, excess estrogen is a doozy.Limonene, as well as other monoterpenes, stimulates estrogen detoxification via enzymes in the liver, thus restoring hormonal balance in the body.In other words, monoterpenes detoxify our tissues of cancer-causing chemicals, including our own excess estrogen.The monoterpene alcohols carveol, uroterpenol, and sobrerol are also carcinogen detoxifiers. Tumors occur when cells multiply faster than they die off. Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is the body’s method of maintaining tissue homeostasis. When apoptosis is curbed, there is fertile soil for tumors to grow. Monoterpenes trigger apoptosis and suppress tumor formation via the inhibition of cell growth-regulating proteins.Linalool, a monoterpene alcohol, is also cytotoxic to cancer cells and activates antitumor immunity in the body.

For those who like to dig deeper into the details, here’s a list of studied anticancer monoterpenes and alcohols.

A list of studied anticancer monoterpenes and alcohols:

AllocimeneMycene
AscaridolePerilla aldehyde
BorneolPerillic Acid
CamphorPerillyl Alcohol
CarvacrolPinene
CarvoneSobrerol
Cineole/eucalyptolTerpenene
CitralTerpineol
CymeneTerpinolene
DolabrinThujaplicin
GeranialThymol
LimoneneThymolhydroquinone
LinaloolThymoqinone
Linalyl acetateUroterpenol
Menthol

A research team at the University of Arizona led by Dr. Jessica Martinez found that orange peel oil, which is about 90 per cent d-limonene monoterpene, administered either orally or topically to female mice, showed preferential absorption of limonene into breast tissue.They discovered that this occurred independently of the method of administration. Dr. Martinez and her team then recruited a group of healthy women to determine the safety and feasibility of topical application of orange oil. The women applied to their breasts orange oil diluted to 10 per cent or 20 per cent in coconut oil.No safety or practical issues were reported by the women. In yet another clinical study, women newly diagnosed with breast cancer ingested 2 grams of limonene every day for two to six weeks.The study reported that the limonene concentrated in their breast tissue, and there was a 22 per cent reduction in cyclin D protein expression.Cyclin D plays a role in the rate of cell growth and proliferation and is overexpressed in hyperplasia (the initial stage of cancer) and in intraductal carcinoma of the breast.

SOOTHE YOUR CELLS

Strong, healthy tissue is vital to our health.Weak tissue – weak breast cells – is vulnerable to disease, and inflammation is commonly considered a culprit for frail and diseased cells.Inflammation is not always unhealthy, though.It is the body’s natural response to an injury.Acute inflammation is part of our innate immunity, it helps to protect the body against toxic substances, remove injured and dead cells, and begin the healing process. On the other hand, medical journals have documented well the pathological consequence of chronic and systemic inflammation.Enduring inflammation is a marker of autoimmune and degenerative diseases, and research suggests that it may cause everything from Alzheimer’s to irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis to depressions, and cell senescence to cancer. Chronic inflammatory drugs, including Tylenol and Celebrex.These drugs are helpful at reducing inflammation but they also inhibit healing and they are not without serious side effects.Research now supports the use of other means of analgesia if a healing process is needed.(Monoterpenes are also being explored as medical therapies for pain.The monoterpene alcohol menthol in peppermint comes to mind as a good option).

Beautiful Breasts Therapeutic Massage Oil

88 ml Jojoba

5 ml Orange essential oil

10 drops Frankincense essential oil

Massage inward and upward stimulating lymphatic drainage. The higher concentrations of essential oils in this massage mix are therapeutic. Best used just on breasts. Orange oil is photosensitive at higher dilutions do not apply this oil and expose skin to direct sunlight afterwards. Orange essential oil contains high levels of the constituent of limonene monoterpene – approximately 90%).

Limonene as well as other monoterpenes like those found in frankincense stimulates estrogen detoxification by way of enzymes in the liver.Laurel essential oil contains a diverse mix of monoterpene esters that stimulate the lymphatic system. Monoterpenes are uniquely gifted at soothing the cells while also encouraging tissue to heal.Their potent anti-inflammatory plant power probably results from the regulative and restorative effects of inhibiting cell-signalling proteins involved in inflammation tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-a), Interleukin 6 (IL-6), and Interleukin 1 (IL-1).One or more of these cell signallers is often elevated in weakened, frail tissues.Clinical reports have reported application doses for anti-inflammatory active healing to be 10 – 50 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) of body weight per day. Our immune system starts with healthy skin, which keeps invaders at bay.Yet we trespass daily by applying pounds per year of toxic cosmetics to our skin that sink deep into the underlying mesoderm.An issue with our breast tissue is the cellular penetration of xenoestrogenic and metalloestrogenic cosmetics, embalming us with formaldehyde and propylene glycol. How many more blogs and studies do we have to read about the chemical menace of moisturizers and the poison of perfumes before we understand that transdermal absorption is our kryptonite if we dose daily with parabens and soak in the halides of municipal tap water? Yet with the right stuff – monoterpene rich oils and mitochondrial-protecting iodine – our skin contributes to the strength of our immunity.

Monoterpenes, found abundantly in essential oils, ally with our bodies boosting breath health by:

  • Removing toxins
  • Turning on protective genes
  • Improving the liver’s ability to break down carcinogens
  • Stimulating apoptosis
  • Inhibiting cell division in abnormal cells
  • Reducing abnormal cell signalling pathways
  • Soothing pain and inflammation while encouraging tissues to heal

BOOSTING BREAST HEALTH

At the heart of basic breast care is real food, sunshine, iodine, and being sure your skin drinks in bodycare that is brimming with botanical medicine. Breast-health solutions include stimulating the lymph, strengthening breast tissue, and feeding breast receptors the right genetic information This means we need to step away from the cosmetics, chemicals, and toxic metals that unlock secondary cell mutations, and bring in the confluence of the cosmos. Our breasts need life-affirming bodycare that protects the mitochondria, encourages the lymph, and boosts immune and liver function.Nature provides this simple solution with monoterpenes. An issue with our breast tissue is the cellular penetration of commercial cosmetics. Transdermal absorption can be our kryptonite or it can be our care giver – if the right substance is applied to strengthen our cells.In the realm of scientific study, monoterpene research is still nascent. Scientists are developing ways to deliver monoterpene medicine to us, yet we don’t have to wait! The safety efficacy, and availability of monoterpene-rich essential oils invite us to be plant pioneers and to nourish our tender tissues with frankincense, grapefruit, cypress, orange, lemon, laurel, and rose otto essential oils. Breasts contain an abundance of lymph vessels that support the circulatory system in maintaining proper fluid balance and carrying away intracellular waste.The health of our lymphatic system is intimately connected to our breast health.Lymph flow can be obstructed by poor posture, lack of exercise, shallow breathing, and tight neck, shoulder, chest, and back muscles. Bras can also constrict our lymph system, causing a toxic backlog in our breasts. This is an easy fix. Look for red marks on your skin after removing your bra to determine if it is too tight and needlessly burdening your breasts. Consider wearing softer yoga tops and bras. Massaging our way to healthy breasts tissue is a simple strategy.Breast massage lubricated with essential oils regenerates our cells and supplies monoterpene medicine to where it is needed most.Be sure to massage inward and upward to stimulate lymphatic drainage, release excess estrogen, firm connective tissue, and enhance elasticity. Cypress, yarrow, and laurel oils stimulate the movement of the lymph fluid to remove toxins and supply fresh nutrition to the cells. In Advanced Aromatheropy, Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt wrote that simply rubbing a few drops of bay laurel on swollen lymph nodes may have an immediate, noticeable effect. These oils would be a beautiful addition to breast massage oils.

Tumors in the lateral aspect of the breast, a.k.a. the armpit, have been linked to paraben and aluminum in antiperspirants.Consider sandalwood essence for a deodorant instead.Unlike chemical-based, cancer-correlated deodorants, sandalwood oil contains rather rare sesquiterpene alcohols (alpha santalol and beta santalol) that are, like their monoterpene cousins, chemopreventative agents.Also, sandalwood oil has an affinity for the armpit because it contains phytoandrogen.When it mingles with the androgen exuded by our armpits, our pits become a pheromone perfumery that creates captivating aromas. Beyond mitochondrial medicine and monoterpenes, my other breast-health strategies are sunshine and iodine. Keeping vitamin D levels optimal reduces breast-cancer risk! My basic daily breast care is consuming only pure food and water, employing mitochondrial medicine, soaking in the sunshine and iodine and surrounding my skin in my beautiful oils. I soak in frankincense and rose baths, and my skin drinks in only botanical medicine in the form of real bodycare serums that are cell enhancing and breast-health boosting. Our breast health is a barometer.Breasts are pranic channels: they give and receive life force.Take these things into consideration for your breasts, and your whole being will benefit.

It’s in the arch of my back,

The sun of my smile,

The ride of my breasts,

The grace of my style.

I’m a woman Phenomenally.

Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

Maya Angelou

Breasts & Stretch marks

Botanical oils help heal stretch marks, and better yet, they will help prevent them from forming in the first place.

Oils for Stretch Marks

Mix a 12% solution of immortelle, rose, palmarosa, neroli and Radiant Glow Serum in 88% jojoba oil. Rub it into the skin 2-3 times a day. Shake it before use to mix the oils together. Botanical oils work even better in prevention. If you are pregnant, begin early rubbing botanicals into your breasts and belly a few times a day to keep the skin lubricated.

Fibroids

Fibrocystic Breast Condition is characterized by swollen breasts with cysts that are tender to touch. Some doctors consider it a benign condition while other doctors are beginning to consider it a pre-cancer marker. Studies on iodine have discovered that the greater the iodine deficiency, the greater the amount of estrogen and the greater the number of cysts in breasts. Iodine supplements reversed fibrocystic disease in a study of 4000 patients. It takes 20 to 40 times the amount of iodine needed to control breast cancer and fibrocystic breasts then it does to prevent goiter. With dietary iodine deficiency, estrogen production increases. Iodine can help maintain the correct hormone balance.

Supplements: Nascent brand is an atomic form of iodine with good uptake and a high electromagnetic charge, and Lugols brand iodine is alcohol free and aqueous.

Breast Disease

It is claimed that the etiology of breast disease is unknown. And, of course, every disease is multi- faceted. There are three known contributors to its formation: genetics, toxins, and excess hormones. Genetics: BRCA1 and BRCA2 are the names of the inheritable breast cancer genes. It is important to know that the person with the gene only inherits the risk, not the disease, and a second mutation must happen before tumors will form. Epigenetics reveal that the second mutations result from environmental exposures. Most breast cancers are not inherited but acquired from cell mutations. Toxins and Excess Hormones: Many breast cancers are estrogen dependent. Excess estrogen or estrogen dominance can be caused by synthetic agricultural products, the Pill, IUDs, diet, and HRT. Xenoestrogens are foreign chemical substances that are estrogen-mimics with widespread use in packaging, detergents, personal care products, herbicides, and spermicides. The estrogen receptors in the breast corral these toxins found in:

• PCBs, BPA, parabens and phthalates.
• Halides: fluorine, chlorine, and bromine

(breads, sodas, sport drinks, Prozac, and flame retardants)
• PBDEs, polybrominated diphenyl ethers found in everything we touch: goitrigenic,

lipophilic, fat-loving toxins
• Fungi change the shape of hormones and produce mycotoxins that mimic estrogen.
• Metalloestrogens are toxic metals that cause estrogenic activity: mercury, aluminum, cadmium and lead.

Beautiful Breast Care

Diet: Eat a rainbow diet of organic fruit and vegetables as well as healthy fats and proteins from pasture raised animals.

Botanical oils: Monoterpenes, the central component of essential oils, break down carcinogens, stimulate cell death (apoptosis) in abnormal cells, and selectively block the division and multiplication of abnormal cells.

Oils for Breast Care: Grapefruit, frankincense, cypress, and rose are rich in breast-healthy monoterpenes. Frankincense oil has properties that reduce cysts and tumors and also can support those with fibrocystic breasts. Combine a 6% solution of the essential oils with 94% jojoba or olive oils and massage into the breasts.

Avoid synthetic chemicals and seek emotional health and reduced stress. Get your lymph and blood flowing with moving and grooving, dancing, and playing. Enjoy the elements: fresh air, sunshine, fresh water. Get out in the sun and make some vitamin D.

Banish Binding Bras: We must bolster our busts by wearing better bras! Tight, binding bras and underwire bras restrict the lymph system causing a back-log in the breasts. Decreased lymph- flow impedes our body’s design to remove toxic fluids that become trapped in our breasts’ lymph nodes. If your bra leaves red marks on your skin, it is tight enough to block the flow. Try going bra-free when you can and try to wear less constricting bra-like shirts, like yoga tops.

Breast massage: Every cell in the breast can regenerate, and lubricating the massage with essential oils helps them regenerate faster. Massage inwards and upwards to stimulate lymph drainage, release excess-estrogen, firm connective tissue and enhance elasticity.

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Yoni Health  – Tending to the Virtues of the Vagina

The vagina, the savory peach, the fertile crescent of our femininity, is not merely the reproductive plumbing that reductionist science would have us believe. Neither are the jewels of the nether region a receptacle.The vagina is, in fact, a gateway and a passage to the brain, the body, and the spirit.It is also a sublime portal where the form and formlessness of a soul can coalesce. The geography of a woman’s vagina is much more expansive, diversified, multifaceted, and nuanced than that has been imagined by medical study, the far-reaching foibles of Freudian philosophy, and the mass marketers of feminine hygiene. We are taught to skip past our lunar rhythms, the waxing and waning of our womb.When we trade in our uterus’s compass for synthetic birth control, our estrous becomes rhythmless.We trade the wisdom of knowing when our eggs are in full bloom for dangerous products to consume. Periods are plugged with the unsterile fibers of rayon, plasticizers, and cotton made of GMOs as our vaginal canals drink in their dioxins, bleaches, pesticides, and molds, subjecting us to the risks of toxic shock syndrome, disease, pelvic inflammation, and bioaccumulation. Could we be so bold as to celebrate our monthly cycle as gold? We grew up as a nation out of touch with ovulation.We have accepted artificial assistance that has proved time and time again to be more treacherous than trustworthy from the contraceptive contraptions that cause uterine perforations, to the plethora of birth control pills that have made us hormonally ill, provoked pulmonary embolisms, disrupted the thyroid’s metabolism, and caused blood clots.These false pharmacy plots have proven to increase breast and cervical cancers. Eliminating periods and preventing ovulation are just not the answer.

Arrays of industrial tricks promise to perfume and make polite the effluvia of feminine fluids. We submit our secretions to be technologically tamed. Shamed, we attempt to scrub clean in a dangerous daily routine of douches, deodorants, wipes, powders, and shower gels – drenching us all to glorify some advertiser’s dream of holy hygiene. These devices – sprays, foams, spermicides, and gels – invented to sanitize smells and prevent pregnancy cause our vaginal cells to atrophy, devitalize, recoil, shrivel, and shrink.We used to think of our yonis as a perfumed garden with kulamrita nectars, nectars so divine they were thought to originate in heaven.Once revered, now sheared, promises of self-esteem are smeared on with vaginal-bleaching cream. Our lovely labia, we have become afraid of ya. With the surge of internet pornography and vaginas now airbrushed as a commodity, we have newfound fears about our genitalia’s geography.We have come to doubt the design of our lady lotus, leading to an epic increase in the plastic surgeries of labiaplasty, vaginoplasty, “revirgination,” and G-spot augmentation. This mutilation includes female circumcision, although often thought of as something that happens in distant lands, it was covered by Blue Cross and other health insurance until 1977 in America. A 1973 issue of Playgirl magazine promoted the article “Circumcision for women: The Kindest Cut of All”. Now female circumcision falls under the category of FGCS, female genital cosmetic surgery, where the surgeon plays god.

The clitoris has the unique history of being both the encourager of masturbation and the physiological cause for a woman’s orgasmic failure. In the past, circumcision was performed to prevent masturbation, and now “clitoral unhooding” is fashionable as a sexual-enhancement therapy. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists cautions that women seeking “designer vaginas” should be “informed about the lack of data supporting the efficacy of these procedures and their potential complications, including infection, altered sensation, adhesions, and scarring. The sacred Venus mound has become a modern dumping ground of negative thoughts, surgical alterations, and a receptacle for industrial violations. The thing is, it likes fresh air and rebels at polyester underwear. I like to use the term yoni, the sacred Sanskrit word for vagina, because it is a fun word that prevents me from schoolgirl giggles and also because the meaning expands to include the creative force that moves through the universe: the vagina as the “origin of life”, the “divine passage”, and “sacred temple”. I will use yoni and vagina interchangeably as umbrella words for the whole region including the vulva, clitoris, labia, vaginal canal, and womb. We all came into being through a womb and, whether we bear children or not, this divine passage resides within us.

In ancient Taoist and Tantric texts, the vagina was held in reverence as a source of wisdom connected to the female mind as precious, unique fragrant, a treasure, a seat of divinity, a gateway to the Atman, the True Self. These texts describe it as sweet, juicy, succulent, a precious pearl, a jade gate, the mysterious valley, and the lotus of her wisdom. In poetic detail, the yoni was described as a “flower (that) loves to absorb the sun’s rays…. (And) her juices have the fragrance of a freshly blossoming lotus flower”. In the sacred Taoist texts, the Great Medicine of the Three Peaks highlights the regenerating, vital fluids that women secrete from their vagina.It is written that the lover’s goal, for the sake of his own health, is to unlock the “mysterious gateway” in order to stir the release of these precious fluids. The secretions are seen as mystical medicine and called Moon Flower. As the woman’s fluid-gate opens and her secretions overflow, qi is released and her fluids strengthen the man’s primal yang and nourish his spirit. Let’s now look at Western history for a vast contrast. It begins with the vagina dentata and Freud’s declaration that women’s bodies are the genitally deficient “dark continent”.This historical sediment swept women’s pleasure and precious fluids under the rug of time, leading to a cascade of cultural impulses that maimed and defamed the juice jewel of our body. This history leaves us vulnerable to the modern marketing maze that socializes our fertile fluids into shame, scrutinizes insecurities, and holds our bodies to blame. It is a dangerous game that has led to depression, disease, and death. Denuded of mystery, the power of our petaled pool is tamed with names like “kitty” nd he faux-empowerment of commercial labels such as “froo-froo”, “hoo-haa”, and the infantile “la-la”. The yoni is celebrated only when its vitality is sealed in Saran and the menstruum, ovum, and orgasmic broth are captured by toxic tampons, obliterated by the Pill, or impeded by tubes of petroleum lube. The loquacious liquids of our womanhood get curtailed by chemicals that deodorize and by cute maxipads that accessorize as the life force gets civilized. In this, women are empowered solely as consumers of manufactured choice.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE HYSTERIA OVER FEMININE HYGIENE

Here is a brief history of some of the insane recommendations made for our delicate mucous membranes.One of the earlier commercial douching products for birth control was Lysol, which focused its fearful ads on the reality that women would wreck their marriages if they neglected their intimate feminine hygiene. “Gentle, non-caustic Lysol will not harm delicate tissue…. Many doctors advise patients to douche regularly with Lysol just to ensure daintiness alone…. Historical hindsight shows that Lysol douching caused 193 poisonings and five deaths. Once Lysol douches were deemed caustic, Listerine filled the void with this campaign. “Intimate use of harsh antiseptics leads to untold damage. Women now hail a gentle, safe means…. Its effect on tissue is soothing and healing. It deodorizes instantly. Listerine for Feminine Hygiene”. We now know that alcohol-based mouthwashes, such as Listerine, contribute to an increased risk of oral cancer.My guess is that Listerine, containing alcohols linked to oral cancer, is not so soothing in the vaginal canal. As women’s liberation lit up the 1960s, the marketers at Massengill made “the freedom spray”. The ad states, “We made it with hexachlorophene… You like freedom, don’t you?” Harsh hexachlorophene is a disinfectant that can be lethal when absorbed through the skin. In France in 1972, due to a manufacturing error, hexachlorophene was added to baby powder and killed thirty-six children.

Raising female “consciousness” through heightening insecurity, feminine-hygiene product ads pointed to odor as a serious issue. A 1966 Bidette ad (imprinted with a GoodHousekeeping Seal of Approval) called it “the odor problem men don’t have”. A Pristeen ad reads “the trickiest deodorant problem a girl has isn’t under her pretty little arms”.A 1968 Pristeen Feminine Hygiene Deodorant Spray ad also promised to keep “girls” “fresh and free of any worry-making odors” and stated that it had been “tested in leading hospitals under the supervision of gynaecologists.In reality, we soon learned that these products are beyond silly; they are dangerous.In l970, Dr. Bernard Davis, a gynaecologist, reported in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology that he had treated about twenty-five women who used a feminine-hygiene spray daily and who reported “itching, burning sensations in the vulvar area”.A fourteen year old girl arrived at her appointment with an “incredibly” swollen labia, and even after treatment her clitoris and labia were “peculiarly” abnormal. “Honey”, said Bill Blass when asked to explain why his line of cosmetics included a so-called private deodorant, “if there’s a part of the human body to exploit you might as well get onto it”. Many manufacturers do, Norforms Feminine Deodorant Suppositories promise “easier, surer protection for those most intimate marriage problems”. This “germicidal protection” promise is made with these ingredients: PEG-₂₀, PEG-₃₂, Bnzethonium Chloride, Methylparaben, Lactic Acid, and Fragrance.

Summer’s Eve Douche, as well as other brands of douches, has this warning on the label: “An association has been reported between douching and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), ectopic pregnancy, and infertility”. Recently, FemFresh extolled its deodorizing product as “one of the kindest ways to care for your kitty, nooni, lala, froo froo!”.These are some of the ingredients: Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Triethyl Citrate, Parfum, Polyquaternium-39, Glycerin, Dichlorobenzyl Alcohol, Sodium Carbonate, ₂-Bromo-₂-Nitropropane-₁, ₃-Diol, Maltodextrin, Methylparaben, and Propylparaben, Um, no thanks. Do you think that pay equity is a serious issue? Well, the solution is simple: douche more! In 2010, Summer’s Eve placed a big ad in women’s magazines suggesting that women could boost “their confidence at work” and “ask for a raise” by douching.If the cleanliness of our private parts plays such a pivotal role in getting paid more, it begs the question: where does one have to sit to get a raise? The U.S. Department of Health now warns against feminine hygiene products as interfering with the vagina’s self-cleansing system and as harmful to the natural bacterial strains that prevent infections.

THE FLORA OF OUR FLOWER

Let’s get back to the garden where our lotus blossom is understood to be the seat of our wisdom, strength of self, and connection to life, love, and divinity.Whether you are a maiden, mother, or maven, let’s delve into understanding and harmonizing our yoni’s elegant ecology so that we may thrive and be energized by this mysterious gateway. I like to keep things simple.So when it comes to my body wisdom, I look for the self-organizing principles that activate the innate intelligence of the body.When it comes to the self-regulating system of your yoni-land, nothing is more important than understanding its unique microbiome. Why do yeast infections, vaginitis, cervical dysplasia, vulvodynia, pelvic inflammation, premature births, miscarriages, dryness, and bacterial conditions, including vaginosis, postpartum bacteremia, Trichomonas vaginalis, and other invasive vaginal infections, have in common? They all share vaginal microbiome imbalances. Microbiologist Gregor Reid insists that not placing “a huge focus on the vaginal microbiome is like putting human survival at risk.Indeed, vaginal microbes are a paramount to our survival, because they affect our vitality and immunity and also our fertility, the health of our babies, and the genetic wealth we bestow to future generations. The vaginal microbiome has a signalling capacity that connects to the guts, immune system, and brain.It regulates pH, hormones, and lubrication. This gateway of our genitalia acts like air traffic control for many microbes. The flora of our flower colonizes and protects the vagina, they shield the vagina by producing lactic acid, which lowers the pH, making it slightly acidic and less hospitable to pathogens. These friendly bacteria create the yoni’s self-organizing system that naturally seeks system that naturally seeks optimal balance by monthly flushing out dead skin cells and bad bacteria.

Everything that has been invented for pristine feminine hygiene disrupts the very mechanism that actually keeps us clean – the vagina’s own microbiome. These modern, invented practices contribute to our missing microbes, and they are becoming endangered species due to the overuse of antibiotic medication, hormonal contraception, overzealous sanitization, hazardous lubrications and chemical-laden products for menstruation care. No two women have the same flora fingerprint, and the diversity is easily influenced for good….. or not so good. A plethora of factors sway our bacterial balance ancestry, diet, hormone levels, stress, antibiotics, sexual partners, hygiene practices, epigenetics, and adverse exposures.Your bacterial fingerprint is also contingent on if you were breastfed and if you were birthed via caesarean section, as well as your blood sugar levels and immunity status. Our dynamic vaginal microbiome can transform in a mere twenty-four hours, and the lunar rhythms of a woman’s cycle guide bacterial population shifts throughout the month. In response to the rising and falling tides of estrogen, the yoni’s microbial population goes through distinct changes at conception, birth, puberty, and menopause. Yoni microbial health is important before, during and after pregnancy. It influences fertility, full-term deliveries, healthy postpartum recovery, and even the baby’s health.All babies receive their first anointing of beneficial bacteria for their skin and gut as they slide their way through the birth canal. A baby girl’s vaginal colonization also occurs at this miraculous time. In childhood, a girl’s microbes will be diverse and her vaginal pH relatively neutral. When puberty arrives, estrogen will rise, creating a new vaginal ecosystem along with a lower pH from lactic-acid producing bacterial. Therefore, it is crucial that a baby’s body is seeded with healthy, beneficial bacterial, inside and out. Yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2006 as many as 16 per cent of pregnant women in America had bacterial vaginosis.

The good news is that if microbial health and diversity are a problem, one can course-correct. The microbial superhighway moves microbes from mouth to gut to vagina. Oral doses of Lactobacillus bifidus, fermented foods, and soil-based probiotics increase the friendly microflora in the vagina. See Chapter Eleven for more information. Menopause creates a microbe-pause; and it is thought that as estrogen levels fall, the vaginal microbes population shifts away from lactic-acid producers to other species of microbiota. As a result, the vaginal lining changes and the pH rises, making the menopausal yoni vulnerable to vaginosis and dryness. Many women douche because their yoni ecology is off kilter; and they are caught in an endless loop of douching and deodorants that, in the end, exacerbate the microbial imbalances that contribute to infections. These women may be repeatedly prescribed antibiotics and vaginal creams.If a woman uses lubes or spermicides and has a partner with Candida, she will continue the cycle until the root cause is addressed. A 2004 study reported that 30 per cent of American women had bacterial vaginosis. Might this be the result of an unending microbial assault from feminine-hygiene products? What about the perplexing ingredients mixed up in the material of nonorganic tampons and pads? Bleached, genetically modified cotton was found to contain traces of eight microbe-killing pesticides, rayon, plasticizers, and petrochemical additives. In addition, there are traces of damaging dioxides in the cotton, and the FDA knows it and allows it even though the EPA declares any exposure unacceptable. Inserted into the apex of our body temple, all of these substances enter the bloodstream through our highly permeable petal.

You really need to understand what you put on, in, and around your yoni! Just as garden soil needs good bacteria and appropriate pH to thrive, so does our goddess garden! The pubic hair that covers our lady lair is not just a biological mishap that propels women to wax. It serves the paramount purpose of protection. The hair down there is a pheromone blanket ensorcelling the scents that led potential partners to the promised land. Cameron Diaz advises “Pubic hair also serves as a pretty draping that makes it a little mysterious to the one who might be courting your sexiness… Consider leaving vagina fully dressed, ladies”.Waxing and shaving irritate and inflame hair follicles, leaving microscopic open wounds. Combined with a moist environment, perhaps exacerbated by unbreathable polyester underwear, this creates a breeding ground for bacteria and STDs. Birth control pills have a microbe-disrupting effect on our body similar to the effect of antibiotics. Besides disrupting the endocrine system, the Pill puts the body into a chemically induced menopause by signalling the ovaries to not release eggs. These precarious pills also reduce colonies of good microflora via surges of synthetic hormones, and this cultivates yeast and bacterial infections. With further study of the vagina’s microbiome, we will discover that, similar to our GI microbes, our flower’s flora provides essential input to the rest of our body.

JOUISSANCE JUICE

A balanced, healthy vagina contributes to healthy secretions.I like to think of lubrication as an internal and external juiciness that is reflected in our relationship to life. The French word jouissance describes this perfectly. Jouissance is sensuality beyond pleasure, and engaging with the rapture of being alive. It is the fusion of all the senses – emotional, physical and mystical. Jouissance juice is how I define the exquisite, essential lubrication that consecrates the yoni, connecting juiciness to life, creativity, and health. The vagina is a naturally moist environment. It is delicate yet exceedingly elastic, expanding up to 200 per cent when aroused.The vagina’s tissue lining is similar to skin, though much more pliable and highly innervated.There are 8,000 nerve endings in the clitoris alone! The vagina is also highly vascularised, containing miles of blood and lymph vessels. The vaginal lining is thin like the epithelial lining of our mouths, measuring only one cell thick. It is highly absorbent and allows naturally occurring moisture to pass through it. It is much more permeable than our skin; the mucous membranes in the vagina absorb chemicals quickly. It is so efficient that researchers are exploring the opportunity of dosing drugs vaginally. The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology published a study that found that blood levels of estradiol are ten times higher when applied vaginally in lieu of taken orally.

Ribbons of nerve cells weave through the vagina in an intricate communication pathway further connecting it to the body and brain. “The vulva, clitoris, and vagina are actually best understood as the surface of an ocean that is shot through with vibrant networks of underwater lightning – intricate and fragile, individually varied neural pathways… Among the many incredible things about your incredible pelvic nerve and its lovely multiple branches is that, as we saw, it is completely unique for every individual woman on earth – no two women are alike.”These nerves transmit sensation and regulate the vagina’s engorgement with blood. With arousal, blood flow to the area increases, and microscopic pores secrete a soothing lubrication. The amount of lubrication produced in arousal is responsive to a very important peptide, called vasoative intestinal peptide (VIP). This VIP is a genetically encoded neuromodulator and neurotransmitter produced in the brain, gut, and pancreas. It regulates biophysical responses and secretions from skin cells. Research reveals that when healthy women have VIP in their bloodstream and are aroused, their natural lubrication doubles! This field is still very new, and there is still much to be learned. Jouissance juice is affected by emotional and relational issues. Stress affects the endocrine system and contributes to low levels of VIP. Depletion in the juiciness of daily life, depression, and anxiety can lead to the feeling a loss of soul succulence.

Silly marketing schemes, ranging from the absurd to the seriously perilous, have sold us on caustic cleanses and perfumed petroleum products as expert care for “down there”. In reality, a healthy yoni is self-cleaning (the original self-cleaning oven), and feminine douches and deodorants disrupt this innate process. Besides brutal bioaccumulation, these detrimental douches contribute to dryness. The same ingredients that you avoid in skincare are best avoided in yoni-care. Those tubes of genital lubes all contain chemicals that irritate, inflame, dry, and disrupt this delicate area. There are three main types of lubricants: petroleum, glycerine, and silicone. We have all witnessed what an oil spill does to the ecosystem of an ocean. Petroleum, dimethicone nonoxynol-9, and glycerol monolaurate have no place in the vagina. There is not a single cell in our body that thrives on petrochemicals and synthetic silicone. Although water-based lubes sound safe, the main ingredient, glycerine, and the preservatives used are toxic. Glycerin is heavily processed and contains residual chemicals. Additionally, glycerine is a sugar, which contributes to the development of infections, as sugar feeds yeasts and bacteria. Synthetic lubes are momentary petal-plumpers, offering only a very temporary lubrication with the consequence of long-term drought. Researchers have demonstrated that the ingredients of drugstore lubes dehydrate and disorganize cells.

Remember the high school chemistry class on osmosis; our cells seek a state of equilibrium. Synthetic ingredients throw our cells off kilter due to osmolarity; to maintain balance on both sides of the cell wall, the cell releases water to dilute the sugar, glycerine, and other synthetic substances outside of the cells. This dehydrates the cell and causes cellular and epithelial damage to the vagina. Charlene S. Dezzuti, a professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive sciences, reported that these substances make the “cells shrivel up to the point that they look like little raisins under a microscope”. Cellular raisins! It does not seem sensual to use a love lube that actually produces parched cellular raisins in the yoni. When these cells dry up, they die and exfoliate from the epithelium, weakening the yoni’s defences and making it increasingly vulnerable to disease and infection. K-Y Jelly killed all three species of Lactobacilli on contact. Another experiment with K-Y Warming Jelly increased herpes transmission. Richard Cone, a biophysicist at Johns Hopkins University, has stated that “virtually all sex lubricants need to be reformulated”. Furthermore, these cell-shriveling lubricants are known for their fertility failure. Researchers found that all commercial lubricants impaired the sperm’s overall motility. As an interesting side note, mustard seed oil, used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine, inspired the sperm to go into high gear. Spermicides are no friend of the yoni (or penis) either. The active ingredient in over-the-counter spermicides is nonoxynol-9, a detergent. Similar to synthetic lubes, nonoxynol-9 irritates and disrupts the membranes of the cells that line the vagina, gradually eroding its integrity. This in itself is unhealthy, and it also makes the vaginal cells vulnerable to viruses and bacteria that cause sexually transmitted diseases.

Optimize your jouissance juice by attending to these guidelines:

Soak up plenty of sunshine, baring as much skin to the sun as possible. Shailene Woodley knows what to do. “Another thing I like to do is give my vagina a little vitamin D. (Laughs). I was reading an article written by a herbalist I studied about yeast infections and other genital issues. She said there’s nothing better than vitamin D”. It is time to refine our concept of feminine hygiene and elevate our daily devotion to something more serene. With this divinity in mind, the best dew for our petals is edible. Succulent plant secretions are safe and sensual. Flowers are the reproductive organs of plants, and their oils are the love liniments of nature. Petals, sepals, stamens, and pheromones are attuned to one objective – attracting pollinators onto the flower to revel in the percolating pollen. Can that be said for petroleum?

Jouissance Life Lubrication

Yes

Live in Jouissance

Plenty of Probiotics

Abundant Healthy Dietary Fats

Balancing Herbs, vitex, black cohash, wild yarn,

evening primrose, pueraria mirifica

Baths, sea salt, magnesium salts, essential oils

Soap wash with a natural bar soap and follow with a

botanical oil

Lube for play or day-to-day yoni protection, aloe

vera oils of coconut oil,cacao butter, or jojoba with

tissue rejuvenating essentials of rose otto, frankincense,

ylang, myrrh, sea buckthorn, and/or schizandra berries.

Avoid

Endocrine Disrupters

Synthetic Lubes & Spermicides

Tampons(use organic when needed)

Douching

Synthetic Soaps

Chemical Bath Additives

Shaving Pubic Hair

Soothing Suppository

30ml Cacao Butter

30ml of Coconut Oil

20 drops of Seabuckthorn Berry

20 drops Frankincense

20 drops Tea Tree

10 drops of Peppermint

Gently melt together, pop into freezer to solidify

Yoni Serum

60 ml Jojoba or Coconut Oil

10 drops Ylang

5 drops of Rose Otto

20 drops of Frankincense

20 drops of Schizandra Berry

Combine in a glass bottle

Distilled from the sex glands of flowers, many botanicals are aromatic aphrodisiacs, such as jasmine; just one honeyed whiff will deepen breathing and unwind the mind.Euphoric ylang and rose oils are delightfully heart-healing and tissue-toning.Frankincense is fortifying.Luscious, red schizandra berry is used in Traditional Chinese medicine to build up body fluids.Seabuckthorn is lush in lipids and miraculous for mucous membranes. Mix these euphoric essences into the luxurious oils of aromatic cacao, creamy coconut, and juicy jajoba to saturate tissues with deep moisture for long lasting lubrication and to provide beneficial barriers.These oils inspire fragrant ways to consecrate the fertile crescent of your femininity.Sensually soothing, these botanicals are beautiful to use as daily yoni serums and to consecrate your love life. Release your jouissance and imbibe life’s sensuality, all while protecting the flora of your flower.

Take a moment to connect to the wisdom of your womb:

Close your eyes,

feel your breath, feel life breathing you.

With each breath, drop deeper into the flower of your womb,

and drop deeper into the seat of your root chakra.

Visualise yourself bowing to the wisdom, to the supreme strength,

to the alchemy of your womb.

Bowing in reference to the life force of this cauldron that can gestate

and bring forth life and create fertility

Bowing to the womb from whence you came.

Acknowledging the interconnectedness of your womb as contained within

a cosmic womb, your womb as part of the creative force that moves

through the universe.

Feel life’s innate wisdom, its infinite intelligence, its beauty and

benevolence,

Feely the sparkling effervescence of life in your yoni and womb.

We are stardust

We are golden

And we’ve got to get ourselves

Back to the garden

Joni Mitchell

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BEING BEAUTY

The moon smiles bright knowing it is holy night. The flower blooms knowing it is ethereal perfume.The embryo grows knowing it is the delight of infinite light. Do you want to be perfectly pretty when you peer into the magnifying mirror? Is the purpose to free our faces of fine lines? Is the goal perfectly poreless skin? Or do you want to feel beautiful from within? Beyond the what-was and what will-be will be comparison world of commercial beauty is a reality that communes with the cosmos. Beauty is not a skincare regiment of incessant becoming. Beauty is not another adrenal-driven ambition of self-improvement clashing against the rocks of time. Be free of the dangling carrot that endlessly entices with the chimera of idealised and never fully realised beauty.Let the unseen alchemist of ether whisper in your ear about being in beauty’s revered reception, and move away from the hazy gaze of the convoluted fears of comparison.The desire to be beautiful is beauty. The yearning is desire’s reply.This is the benediction of beauty – It is all right here. Your beautiful nature verifies that you are already everything, devine.Look no further. Your own beauty is here; that near, that clear.The wonder and mysterious depths of the starlight sky are the wonder and mysterious depth of your being.Wild roses and wooded hills are not your opposite.The source that unfurls leaves on a tree is the same source that unfurls the beauty of your being.You are nature; and naturally, nature is you.You are an elegant elixir of life, a vessel of vibrant vitality, a chalice of creation, a living libation pouring forth your unique beingness integral to the universe.Open to this vast cosmos of your being with wide eyed wonder, and being the ever blossoming beauty you are. Every living thing is immersed in an atmosphere of elements.Everything is in relation. There is no separation from creation. In the moment of this sentence, you may nod yes, yes! Yet it is possible in all of ones waking moments for this to be the shape of your lips, the song pulsing in your heart, and the utterance of your thoughts? This is life’s adventure to understand that there is no separation from creation, and to grow branches of ecstasy to all living things.Embracing the elements’ presence is the pure medicine you desire, receiving sunbeams to be a serum, welcoming water’s refreshing ways, allowing air to tousle your hair, and accepting the earth to rebirth your self-worth.

Loving the Skin You Are In

Let’s create a fresh moment of feeling, good, a new to-do list, a renewed set of goals that speaks to your soul. This remedy of revivification is to bathe your body in the light of creation and turn your thoughts to the elixir of appreciation. May this be an invitation to the billions of bacteria and cells in the body that contain billions of points of consciousness. This cellular and bacterial beingness desires balance and continually seeks improved conditions from the contrasts of life. So, let us take a moment to allow the consciousness of our skin to come into alignment by appreciating all the good that our bodies, bacteria, cells and DNA do without us even thinking about it.Let’s dive into our devine skin into the brilliance of our beings, and nourish the billions of pores that are parched for a real-to-the-feel reunion with the gorgeous garden of the cosmo.

Let us begin by deepening our breathing.

Inhaling.

Exhaling.

This time is a gift to your being and aligns you to the natural rhythm of your beauty.

Each breath tunes your Self to the beauty of who you really are.

Focus softly on these words and allow this fine-tuning on a cellular level.

Feel your breath, feel life breathing you.

Feel that your body is naturally guided by the light of all creation.

Feel the sun.Imagine warm, golden beams of sunlight pouring upon your

hair, pouring upon your head, pouring upon your face.

As this light pours into your body, feel it restoring and revitalising every cell.

Pouring upon your back, flowing down your torso, and flowing down your legs.

Feel this light on your skin.

Submerge into your skin and nourish your body with this light of creation.

Receive this light into every pore of your skin and every cell within.

Invite this light elixir to travel throughout your body.

Feel this bright light in your bloodstream.

Feel this light loving your lymph liver and lungs.

Feel this light guiding your glands and your body’s internal rhythms.

Wherever your skin and health are at, decide to feel good about it.

Honour how your body and skin serve you so well.

Appreciate how your skin and senses consistently decipher life for you.

Feel life’s innate wisdom, it’s infinite reliability, its beauty.

It is natural for you to feel well-being and to feel beautiful.

Relax into this renewed radiance and for the next few moments let your

breath guide you.

Inhaling.

Exhaling.

Feel life’s luminous effervescence shining through the skin you are in!

Feel radiance glowing from your skin.

Feel brightness beaming from your cheeks and shining from your eyes.

Feel the stream of well-being pouring into you.

Feel the cells in your skin tuning into your appreciation, and feel the life

within lighting up the beneficial bacteria and cells that make you a beautiful you.

There is vast light filled beauty in the universe and within you.

Feel this Light of Creation circulating throughout your body.

Gather the light into your heart. Inhale.

And, as you slowly exhale, let your being beam this illuminating beauty

from your chest, allowing the Light of Life to do the rest.

Tune into the concert of reciprocating cosmic rhythms, feel the vital cadence of confluencing elements, the eternal streams of well being, the source that makes the sun rise – give up to the grace of that goodness.Give your beauty the benefit of the doubt, and ripen with the morning glory of that knowledge. Receive your beauty.