Saturday, May 20, 2006

I know this is not entirely appropriate for my first ever blog about natural cosmetic ingredients but I just wanted to share this with you.

A couple of weeks ago my fiancé caught his "tackle" in the zipper of his suit trousers which left a bit of a scar. The first thing I said to him was "wash your "tackle" under some cool water, dry it & put some Acacia Honey on it before you go to bed." He tried it. The very next day he said that it healed up rather nicely.

Why was I *not* surprised...

Honey is one of the most naturally hydrating, acid balanced skin & hair food. It's composed of a variety of sugars or glucose (also known as dextrose), lactic acid, beta carotene & trace levels of amino acids, potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, sulphur, vitamins & enzymes.

The nutrients contained within honey is dependant on the nectar that the bees collect.

Honey's humectant properties nourishes & moisturises everything it touches. In Thailand honey is used on open wounds to soften the scar tissue and encourage new skin growth. This may be due to the fact that there is a high concentration of sugars in honey that prevents the growth of bacteria on open wounds but it has never been scientifically proven.

Honey concerns:
i) Honey should not be used on infants under the age of 12 months for fear of infant botulism.
Clostridium bacteria may be one of the causes of infant botulism. This bacteria is said to be found in certain types of foods like honey. Infant botulism may occur in children from the age of six months or under.

ii) If you're allergic to pollen then you may be allergic to honey - a patch test is always recommended.

Well I'll Bee!:
All honey bees belong to the Apis gene regardless of whether the bee is from Sunny Africa or Bonny Scotland. Some bees have access to particular areas of fields where ONLY one kind of flower grows.
For example:
- Clover
- Goldenrod
- Heather
- Basswood
- Chamomile
- Lavender

It is the flowering plant (nectar or plant sap) that gives honey it's distinct flavour, colour, extra nourishment and/or individual beneficial properties.
Bees can also create their own blends of honey from various flowering plants in any one particular field.

Bees add a lot of moisture & enzyme compounds to nectar, the sugars of the honey nectar are broken down to form simple sugars - some of which are converted into a naturally occuring acid called gluconic acid. This is what gives each particular type of honey it's rich distinctiveness & flavour from mild to bland to full on powerful to sickly pungent.
(Note: There are synthetically made gluconic acids available too, so read the label & ask questions if you're unsure).

The colour of the honeys can range from deep black to beige or white. Each of the colours are created in the nectar of the plant, it is then transported back by the bee to the hive, then the bees do their natural stuff by reducing the moisture level. When the honey is darker it means that it has come from a nectar source where the flowering plant produces a darker plant sap.

For Treating Dandruff:
Honey is a natural anti inflammatory - mix a dab of honey with a little water and a couple of drops of Lavender or Ylang-Ylang and apply directly to the itchy, flaky area(s). Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes and then rinse off or not - it's your choice.

Honey Rose Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse:
An easy recipe that will help to remove build up, restore the natural pH balance & rejuvenate your scalp.
Suitable for all hair types.
60ml of Apple Cider Vinegar
945ml of Water
10g of Dried Pink Rose Petals & Buds (add more if you wish)
1 drop of honey (add a few drops more if you wish)

Prep Time: 20 mins

What you will need:

* 1 Large Pyrex jar or bowl
* Cling film
* 1 Clean & dry glass Jar with lid
* 1 Strainer
* Kettle to boil the water

1. Put the Dried Pink Rose Petals & Buds into the bowl & add Honey
2. Boil the kettle. Once boiled pour the hot water over the Rose & Honey mix, then add the Apple Cider Vinegar.
3. Stir the mixture, cover the bowl with cling film and let steep for 10 minutes or until cool.
4. When the mixture has cooled sufficiently strain the herb from the liquid into the jar.
5. Pour the liquid over the scalp allowing the mixture to saturate your hair, message gently for 2 minutes
6. Rinse with cold water to seal the cuticles
Only make enough for 1 rinse and use it FRESH on the day you make it.

Keep your eyes closed when using the Honey Rose Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Rinse also do not use if you have broken skin.

Yoghurt & Honey Conditioner:
Yoghurt contains AHA (alpha hydroxyacid) an example of an AHA is lactic acid/sodium lactate. Lactic acid is found naturally in milk products & fruit. When used on skin or hair it does leave a very nice silky soft feeling. AHAs are also a natural exfoliant too - so instead of using those expensive AHA products why not reach for yoghurt.
Prep time required = 10 minutes
1. Take a small pot of all natural yoghurt
2. Add a quarter teaspoon of honey.
3. Add a couple of drops of your favourite hair loving essential oil
4. Put the mixture on your dry, clean hair
5. Cover with Cling Film
6. Leave on for 15 to 20 mins.
7. Rinse
8. Enjoy the softness
Not suitable for those with milk intolerance or Ovo-Lacto Vegetarians

Next week it's Organic Chocolate to soften your tresses & moisturise your skin - mmm mmm goodness!