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Seeds of Wellness Blog

Why Should I Have a House Blessing and Cleansing?

Your house and belongings absorbs energy like a sponge, both positive and negative, and holds onto that energy. This energy reflects and affects the people and animals living there. The energy can change when guests visit, when your emotions are altered for an extended period of time and when drastic changes occur in your life. Depending on the situation, the energy will become more positive or negative similar to the odor of a sponge changing with each use.

 

House Blessing

Cross on the bibleMany religions and cultures perform blessings of the home. The blessing of a household is mentioned in the bible (2 Samuel 6:12, Psalm 4:8) asking for God’s favor and protection. However, the blessing can be religious or nonreligious and is also known as a spiritual house warming.

During the blessing, prayers are said out loud or silently for peace, love and protection, holy water or bless water may be sprinkled in each room and on the outside of the home, and some ceremonies involve incense (commonly frankincense and/or myrrh), holy oil and/or candles. The blessing helps release the negative energy within the home and promotes positive energy and balance. It also helps protect from future outside negative influences and energy.

 

House Cleansing

Like house blessings, the house cleansing (sometimes call house clearing) removes negative energy and brings positive energy and harmony into the home. Some people also cleanse the home to remove unwelcome spirits, which may or may not work. The house cleansing is intended to clear out all negative energy, curses and entities from the home.

Most house cleansing involves smudging, the burning of sage or sandalwood incense to remove negative energy from each room. Smoke absorbs the negative energy and carries it away. Sea salt, cedar, sweetgrass, candles, bells, singing bowl, rattles and/or drum may also be used during a house cleansing.

 

Purpose

For centuries, house blessing and cleansing have been done to cleanse, renew, protect and consecrate the home or business. Many think of it as an “environmental healing”. After the ceremony is complete, there is a feeling of balance, peace and happiness. The blessing provides protection from unwanted outside influences.

Some reasons for doing a house blessing and cleansing at your home or work:Moving into a new house

  • Moving into a new home
  • Working in a new office
  • Preparing for a new baby
  • Helping clear home after a period of sadness or negativity
  • Removing energy after a social gathering
  • Changing energy after a renovation or major cleaning
  • Bringing many new items into the home, especially antiques or second-hand items
  • Experiencing a bad or traumatic event in your home or at work
  • Starting a new job
  • Sensing spiritual or ghostly presence

House blessing and cleansing can be done separately or together. However, house blessing does not remove negative spirits or entities. It only clears negative energy and provides protection. Most of the time, house blessings and cleansing are done together to remove negative energies and influences, provide protection from future outside negative influences and promote love, peace and harmony.

Above all, the house blessing and cleansing is about your intent. During the ceremony, a positive intent must be kept in order to remove ALL negative energy. This means your thoughts and feelings must be focused on the positive. For this reason, many people choose to hire someone to perform the house blessing and cleansing instead of doing it themselves. Also, if you feel there is a negative entity in your home, please consider hiring someone who has experience with ghost or asking your priest to perform the ceremony.

After the ceremony, the atmosphere in the home is like a fresh clean sponge ready to absorb prosperity, happiness, friendship, growth, peace, luck and protection.

Who Can I Hire?

House
Lynne Hamilton and Brenda Mayo, co-owners of Seeds of Wellness, offer house blessing and cleansing services. We are able to do the ceremonies separately or together depending on your needs.

Brenda provides the house cleansing from a Native American tradition. She smudges each room using white sage as she envisions white light washing the room of negative energies and entities while thanking Great Spirit for cleansing the home and providing protection. If you do not want the smoke from the sage in your home or work, Brenda will spray a light mist of water infused with white sage to provide similar cleansing as smudging offers.

Praying handsLynne uses her religious beliefs as she blesses and mists the home with blessed water while saying prayers for love and protection in each room. If you prefer a less religion blessing, Lynne is able to generalize her prayers to be specific to the house and people living within it.

When combined with the house cleansing, Lynne sprinkles sea salt in each room and on the window sills to seal out the negative energy. Sea salt is also used at the doorways and around the outside of the home to keep the negative energy and entities from going back into the home and provide protection from outside influences. A mixture of sea salt and water can be used instead of sea salt alone if you prefer the salt to not be visible.

For more information or to set up an appointment, please call Seeds of Wellness at 440-933-7733.

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Difference Between PG and VG E-Liquids

Most e-juices or e-liquids contain PG (propylene glycol), VG (vegetable glycerin), water, nicotine and food grade flavorings. There are several flavors of e-liquids to choose from, but there are also different blends of PG and VG on the market. Do you know the difference?

 

What is PG and VG?

Mixing ingredients in a test tubePG, Propylene Glycol, is a slightly syrupy clear and colorless liquid that has little odor or taste. It is a FDA approved chemical used in a wide variety of products for more than 50 years including cough syrup, cookies, cigarettes, beer, shampoo, cosmetics, fog machines and asthma inhalers. Used as a stabilizer, PG holds things together, keeps items from evaporating and helps food stay moist. When PG is in the body, it is quickly converted to lactic acid, similar to sugar and eliminated through our urine. Clear here to learn more.

VG, Vegetable Glycerin or Vegetable Glycol, is a thicker liquid than PG, derived from plant oils (commonly soy, coconut and palm) and has a slight sweet taste. VG is also FDA approved and found in skin care products, pet food, bake goods, medication and dental products. Also, VG can be used as a sugar substitute. When in the body, VG quickly metabolizes into CO2 and H2O.

 

Why are PG and VG in electronic cigarettes?

Both PG and VG hold the nicotine and food grade flavors similar to the way carrier (cooking) oils hold herbs and essential oils. When the e-liquid is heated, the food grade flavorings and nicotine are released into the vapor. Most e-juices contain both PG and VG in varying amounts to get the benefits of both liquids. Some flavorings used in e-liquids contain PG as a carrier liquid before being added to the e-juice.

In electronic cigarettes, PG increases the boiling point of the water in the e-liquid, so the amount of heat needed to convert the water into a vapor is less than the heat needed to burn a cigarette. Due to the lack of flavor in PG, the flavorings added to it are not affected by the PG liquid, resulting in a stronger flavored e-liquid than VG based e-juices. Also, the thinness of PG makes it easier to draw the e-liquid into the wicks or polyfill fabric of the cartridge, and the e-juice doesn’t buildup on the heating coil as quickly as VG. The main affect of PG that most e-cig users enjoy is the strong throat hit that is similar to smoking a cigarette. Also, PG produces a less dense vapor cloud than VG.

Research since the 1940’s has found PG to be safe when inhaled. The most common side effects from inhaling PG are sore throat, increased thirst and dry mouth. These side effects usually last for a couple of days to a week as the body gets use to PG. However, there are rare cases of allergic reactions to PG.

PG vs VG e-liquids
Source: Misthub.com

Unlike PG, vaping VG results in less of a throat hit and produces a denser vapor cloud. The sweetness of VG dilutes the food grade flavorings and causes the e-juice to have a sweeter taste. However, due to the thickness of e-liquid, VG does buildup on the heating coils faster than PG e-juices, which reduces the life of the atomizers and heating coils. The thickness of VG requires high temperatures to convert the liquid to a vapor resulting in a shorter battery life and longer time for the e-liquid to be absorbed by the wicking materials.

Side affects to inhaling VG are similar to PG, but VG is hypo-allergenic and non-carcinogenic. If your throat is irritated when using PG based e-liquids, it is suggested that you change to a higher ratio of VG to PG based e-juice.

 

DuraSmoke e-liquidsNot all e-liquids tell you the ratio of PG to VG in there bottles. This is due to slight ratio changes with the increase in nicotine and food grade flavorings, and/or the company wanting to keep their blend information secret from their competitors. However, you can always ask if the e-juice is PG or VG based.

Seeds of Wellness carries American made e-liquids by eVo and DuraSmoke to offer our customers both a PG and VG based e-juice. DuraSmoke offers VG based and 50/50 blend e-juices while eVo e-liquids are all PG based. Call or stop in to learn more.

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Tea – Not Just for Drinking

There are thousands of different types of tea in the world with different flavors and aromas. However, all tea comes from a variety of the same type of plant (camellia Sinensis) and can be put into these main tea types:

  • Field of tea plantsBlack Tea – bold and fuller flavor than the other teas
  • Green Tea – mainly from Japan and China with a bold or mellow flavor
  • Oolong Tea – complex and nuanced flavor
  • White Tea – mild, subtle and delicate flavor
  • Red Tea – from Africa

Tea isn’t just for drinking anymore. Many restaurants add tea to their dishes to bring a new flavor and aroma to a classic recipe. Because tea leaves are edible, you can use them in a variety of ways. Tea adds a new flavor to any dish, simple or complex. For the best results, cook only with the teas you love to drink and let your chef’s imagination soar.

 

Use Tea as a Spice

Put tea leaves in a pepper mill, grinder or mortar and pestle and add it to your favorite dishes along with your other spices. Tea is great as a rub for meat, fish and vegetables. You can even add it to your salad for a new flavor.

 

Add Tea to Marinade

Tea leaves and brewed teaInstead of throwing your tea bag away after you brewed a cup of tea, save it and add the tea bag into your marinade. You can also use brewed tea water or ground tea leaves in your marinade. The tea even tenderizes the meat for that melts-in-your-mouth effect.

 

Increase Food’s Aroma with Tea

One of the things we love about food is the aroma. Substitute water with brewed tea in any of your dishes. Tea helps add a new aroma and taste to your food including rice, soup and vegetables. You can also add tea to your meat and vegetable coating recipes.

 

Include Tea in Bake Goods

Want to add a new taste to your muffins, cakes or cookies, think about adding tea. You can even add tea to the frosting or glaze. (1 tsp ground tea to every 1 cup of flour for additional flavor.) If your recipe calls for melted butter, add a tea bag to the pan of melted butter and let it steep for several minutes before removing the tea bag, and then add the butter to your recipe.

 

To get the most benefits from tea, it is best to use a whole-leaf tea because it retains more essential oils and nutrients in the leaves – the basis of the tea’s flavor and aroma. Typical grocery store tea bags contain a blend of different types of teas, and the quantity of each type of tea can vary based on the cost of each tea.

Not only does tea provide a new taste and aroma to your food, you benefit from the essential vitamins and antioxidants in the tea as well. Remember, if the tea is caffeinated, your dish is also caffeinated. Tea is a subtle flavor that compliments most ingredients, making it difficult to misuse!

two leaves and a bud whole leaf teas

For more information and some tea recipes click here. Also, stop into Seeds of Wellness and see the different varieties of “two leaves and a bud” whole-leaf teas we have to offer.

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How Hot Is It? Tips to Stay Cool

It is so hot I wouldn’t be surprised if we could cook on our car hoods and truck tailgates.

We hope that everyone has air conditioning or somewhere to go when the heat and humidity is too much. Please don’t forget about the elders and ailing loved ones and of course, your pets.

Tips to deal with the heatHere are some heat safety tips:

It is very important to increase your fluid intake in this heat. When doing heavy exercise outside or in a hot place, make sure you drink at least a bottle of cool water every hour. Very cold beverages can cause stomach cramps, so avoid adding too much ice if you are sweating or doing heavy exercise.

Drink fruit juice or sports beverages during exercise in the heat. When you sweat, salts and minerals are removed from the body, which your body needs for optimum health. Do not use salt tablets without your doctor’s directions

Slow down. Reduce strenuous exercise or reschedule to the cooler times of the day. Start slowly and gradually increase the pace to allow your body to get use to the heat. Stop all activity when your heart starts pounding, you are short or gasping for breath, feel light headed or weak and get to cool or shady location as soon as possible. Note: electric fans alone do not prevent heat-related illness.

How to make sun teaTo read more about heat safety tips, heat-related symptoms and what to do in case of a heat-related emergency, please click here.

For a cooling summer drink, place 8 tea bags of your favorite tea in 2 quarts of hot water. Let it sit in a sunny location for 3 to 5 hours. Taste once in awhile to check the flavor. When at the desired strength, place the container in the refrigerator. Add lemon and/or orange slices, berries, mint, etc. different flavor combinations depending on the tea.

Stop into Seeds of Wellness and check out the two leaves and a bud teas. Due to their stronger flavor, you may want to use only 6 tea bags instead of 8 to make your ice tea.

See our products web page to learn more about two leaves and a bud whole leaf teas.

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Aromatherapy Candles vs. Scented Candles

Many people think candles are either scented or unscented.  However, there are two different types of scented candles – those scented with fragrance oils and those getting their scent from essential oils.

Fragrance oils are not as expensive as essential oils because they are almost always synthetic and may not contain true floral or herbal essence.  Some fragrance oils are a blend of essential and carrier oils, but the concentration of the essential oil varies from brand to brand and scent to scent. Most scented candles use only fragrance oils, not essential oils.

Lavender plantUnlike fragrance scented candles, aromatherapy candles are infused with natural plant essences like flowers, herbs, fruits and other trees and plants.  When lit, aromatherapy candles release a continuous vapor of essential oils into the air, similar to using an aromatherapy oil diffuser. The vapor released by the candle is inhaled into your body and travels throughout your body via your bloodstream.  However, the benefits you receive from the candle are not as potent as the application of the essential oil to your skin or directly inhaled.  Read our blog post, “Aromatherapy – What Is It?”, to learn more about aromatherapy.

Many aromatherapy candles are also less toxic than paraffin candles because they are made from soy, beeswax, vegetable oil or other natural materials. Also, you can burn different aromatherapy candles simultaneously; however the aromas should complement each other.  For example, Jasmine and Lily of the Valley both promote healing, survival and success.  If you would like to relax, you would not burn Lavender and Lemongrass together – Lavender helps relief stress and anxiety while Lemongrass promotes energy.

Burning different fragrance scented candle together usually doesn’t work well due to the synthetic chemicals used to make the fragrances.  Also, some poorly made fragrance candles may smell good but produce very little scent when lit.  The lower the cost of the candle, the lower the quality and amount of fragrance oils used in the candle.  When shopping for a fragrance candle, it is best to purchase name brand candles like Yankee, Woodwick, Bath & Body Works, etc.

ceder-sage-blackberry_candlesSo how do you know the difference?  This is not easy because a candle manufactures may say they are aromatherapy candles yet contain fragrance oils.  This is due to the fact that aromatherapy products are not regulated by the FDA.  The fragrance scented candles have a harsher scent, often trigger allergies or headaches and may cause irritation if the wax gets on the skin.  Also, the name of the scent can be a clue, like sugar cookie, banana bread, birthday cake, etc.  Most aromatherapy candles are not made from paraffin and they contain plant names like lavender, lemongrass, rosemary, etc.  When the aromatherapy candle contains several aromas, these aromas are usually listed, e.g., rose, cinnamon and musk.

If you are looking for the health benefits of essential oils without the high cost, aromatherapy candles are a good alternative.  Seeds of Wellness carries a handmade aromatherapy candle by Sacred Path Candles.  Each candle provides different energy and healing like attracting money, promoting healing, bringing clarity, reducing stress, etc.  Stop into the store or visit our webpage to learn more about these candles.  If you would like to learn more about the fragrance oils and essential oils, please read our blog, “Essential Oil or Fragrance Oil?”.

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Nicotine – Good or Bad?

For years the media, doctors, anti-smoking groups, the FDA, etc. have been telling us that nicotine is bad for us and addictive. But is nicotine the problem?

What does it mean to be addicted to something?  According to the Merriam-Webster definition, addiction is the “compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly: persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful.”  However, there is not a scientifically accepted definition for addition.

Smoking CigaretteWhen it comes to nicotine, some people can stop and start the use of it without any problems. On the other hand, some people crave nicotine once they start using it and are unable to stop using it without difficulties. The same can be said for alcohol and many other medications. So is nicotine harmful?

Science has found that the effects of nicotine are similar to caffeine. The evidence that nicotine substantially increases the risk of cancer does not exist. As for cardiovascular disease the risk is minimal. So what is the problem?

The smoke is the enemy of nicotine. The cigarette smoke is that bad part of the cigarette, not the nicotine. This is the reason why the smokeless tobacco alternatives like the Patch, the Nicotine Inhaler, etc. have a lower health risk than cigarettes. Scientific evidence shows that long term users of nicotine without the smoke suffered few medical problems from their nicotine use.

Like many chemicals too much nicotine can be fatal. However, users are very rarely exposed to pure nicotine or large dosages of nicotine at one time. Nicotine does have its benefits as well. For some people nicotine helps relief stress, anxiety or panic. Others ability to focus improves resulting in increased productivity.

Learn how you can intact nicotine without the smoke. Go to our web page to learn about electronic cigarettes.

To learn more about nicotine visit “All about Nicotine (and Addiction)” by TobaccoHarmReduction.org, which was used as a resource for this blog.

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Facts About Shea Butter

Where Does Shea Butter Come From?

The nut comes from the Karite tree found in wilds of West Africa. The cream is extracted from the nuts using different methods.

 

What Are the Different Types of Shea Butter Available?

The Karita nut is extracted and processed using a variety of techniques that determine its nourishing qualities:

“• Unrefined (or Virgin) Shea Butter: At the high end of the shea butter spectrum you have a natural, manual extraction process which leaves more of the wonderful raw ingredients in the Shea Butter. This shea butter can vary in color from yellow to gray to even a slight green, and has a smoky, nutty scent. Color, texture, and scent vary depending on the region in which the Karite tree grows. Unrefined shea is very sensitive to changes in temperature and can be difficult to work with. It is not uncommon for products made with this butter to have a bit of a grainy feel to them. Although the grainy part melts the second it touches your skin, you can see why cosmetic companies shy away.

To qualify as unrefined, shea butter must not have passed through any filtering systems using chemicals or other methods that would remove or reduce the natural nourishing components or change its natural properties in any way. Unrefined shea butter is passed through a cheesecloth filter to remove nut skins. As with all nuts, there is a skin between the nut and the shell which can, and does, get into the shea butter as it is being pressed out of the cooked nuts. You may even see some of the nut skin pieces that escaped the cheesecloth in our shea butter products.

Putting lotion on handsRefined Shea Butter: This shea butter has been passed through one or more filtering systems. It may be deodorized using chemicals, or other processes, to remove the natural nutty aroma. It may be bleached, either chemically or as a result of the filtering system used to make it whiter in color. It may have a preservative added to it to prevent it from going rancid since the natural antioxidants and vitamins that normally do this have been removed. The quality of this shea butter depends on the refining system used and there is no standard in place.

• At the other end of the spectrum, the Ultra-refined Shea Butter is usually extracted using solvents, a cheaper and quicker method of extraction. This shea butter has been filtered and re-filtered. It is deodorized, bleached to pure white, and further processed to produce a softer, smoother textured product that is easier for mass production machines to incorporate it into commercial lotions, which is why it is extensively used by the cosmetic industry. Even smaller companies making shea butter products will use this type of shea butter since is cheaper, easier to work with, produces a finer textured product. Also without its natural nutty aroma, will not interfere when scents are added. Ultra-refined shea butter will often have preservatives added since the antioxidants and vitamins that act as natural preservatives have been removed. This over processed product does not retain any of the healing properties that shea butter is known for, other than basic moisturizing. “ (Quoted from Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company)

 

What Are the Benefits of Shea Butter?

Pure Enchantment Shea ButterShea butter has been used in Africa for thousands of years to help heal minor skin problems like burns, dermatitis, stretch marks, dark spots, wrinkles, etc. Because shea butter contains cinnamic acid, it helps protect the skin from UV rays. The high concentration of fatty acid and vitamins A and E makes it an effective moisturizer and restores the skin’s elasticity. When shea butter comes in contact with the skin, it melts and is absorbed into the skin unlike other products that stay on the skin’s surface. Therefore, it does not clog pores and allows the skin to breathe.

Rubbing shea butter into sore muscle and joints helps reduce swelling due to its natural anti-inflammatory properties. Our hair also benefits from shea butter when it is used as a hot oil treatment and leave-in conditioner. Shea butter provides moisture because it absorbs easily into the scalp and hair. This makes it an excellent treatment for dry scalp and damaged hair.

Several of our Pure Enchantment products use high quality shea butter. Go to our Pure Enchantment products page to learn more.

Note: Shea butter is not recommend for people allergic to nuts or latex.

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What Did the Goat’s Milk Say to the Aloe Vera?

“I’m the better moisturizer,” the goat’s milk replied.

Is this true?  Goat’s milk and Aloe Vera have been used for centuries in a variety of applications. Evidence of their use has been found as far back as Egypt more than 6,000 years ago. Aloe Vera is a succulent plant that grows in hot, dry regions and stores water in its leaves for survival.  Goat’s milk comes from mother goats, of course.  However the nutrients in their milk come from what they eat – mainly plants. Let’s compare the skin care benefits of the two.

Similar Skin Care Benefits

Goat’s milk and Aloe Vera have some of the same skin care benefits:

  • Baby goatContain antioxidants and proteins that help reduce and slow down the aging of the skin
  • Provide treatment for acne, psoriasis, eczema and fungal infections
  • Reduce skin inflammation from acne and rashes
  • Help repair skin damage
  • Soothe itching caused by dry skin and minor sunburns
  • Absorbed deeper and quicker into the skin than other moisturizers
  • Provide a protective coating on the skin’s surface, which protects the skin from UV damage and bacteria*
  • Work well with all skin types including sensitive skin
  • Leaves no oily residue on the skin

* Not recommended as a sunscreen replacement

Different Skin Care Benefits

The differences between goat’s milk and Aloe Vera can be subtle, but they also affect the healing properties they provide.

Goat’s Milk

  • Soothes the itching caused by dry skin and sunburns
  • Exfoliates (removing old skin cells) and stimulates the skins cells to regenerate resulting in smoother and softer skin
  • Reduces the appearance of wrinkles, rough skin and uneven pigmentation
  • Provides quick hydration of the skin
  • Helps the skin retain moisture
  • Helps add elasticity to the skin

Aloe Vera PlantAloe Vera

  • Soothes and reduces the itching from bug bites, skin rashes and sunburns
  • Relieves the pain from burns and sunburns as well as prevents the skin from becoming dry and peeling
  • Helps reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks
  • Increases the blood flow to the skin which promotes healing of minor cuts and wounds*

* The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) states that Aloe Vera should not be use on deep cuts, serious wounds, puncture wounds, surgical incisions and if used may deter their healing.

Was the goat’s milk correct by saying it moisturizes better than Aloe Vera? Yes, it is true.  While both goat’s milk and Aloe Vera provide many of the same benefits to the skin. Goat’s milk provides hydration and moisture retention to the skin that Aloe Vera doesn’t provide.  Goat’s milk also help the old skins cells slough off easier, which helps new skin cells regenerate quickly. Aloe Vera, on the other hand, provides more healing to the skin by reducing pain, inflammation, itching and increased blood flow.

When purchasing goat’s milk or Aloe Vera lotion, check the ingredient list to be sure they are listed in the first 3 ingredients.  The higher they are listed in the list, the more goat’s milk or Aloe Vera is contained in the lotion.  For a lotion containing 98% natural ingredients, check out Seeds of Wellness web page for Pure Enchantment skin care products.

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Difference between Commercial and Handmade Bar Soap

There are many varieties of bar soap, but not all bar soap is the same.  There are major differences between commercial and handmade soaps.  The differences begin with how the soap is made and the additives to the soap before it becomes a solid bar.

 

Making Soap

Soap is made from fats or oils and lye.  Most soap are made with the cold process method: heating the fat or oils, slowly adding lye and water mixture until it thickens, adding fragrance and color and then pouring the liquid into molds.  The soap is removed from the molds once hardened, about 24 hours.  After it has cured for about four weeks, it is safe and ready for use.  During the soap making process, the added lye is neutralized by the chemical reaction that turns the fat and lye into soap.

 

Commercial Bar Soap
Washing your hands with bar soap
Much commercial soap is made using the cold process method.  However, instead of pouring the liquid into molds once it thickens, they add salt to the mixture.  The salt causes the liquid to curdle.  The curdled soap floats to the top and is skimmed off the liquid to put into molds.  The remaining liquid is mainly glycerin which is distilled and sold to pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies to make a profit.

By removing the glycerin from the soap, the bar soap is more like a detergent.  A detergent is a surfactant that helps water and oil to combine instead of separating.  This allows a surface to be cleaned with water even if the surface contains oil.  Skin contains oil which is removed when a detergent is used.  Therefore, commercial bar soap dries out the skin because it remove the skins natural oils that provide the body protection from weather, viruses, bacteria and other disease causing substances.

In order for commercial bar soap to provide more moisturizing than drying to the skin, other ingredients need to be added to the soap like lotion and cream.  Many commercial soap ads say “it won’t dry your skin” because they added moisturizers.  These additives also contain many harsh chemicals and chemical preservatives.

 

What Is Glycerin?

Fats (both vegetable and animal) contain glycerin. It is a thick odorless and colorless sweet tasting and low toxicity liquid that is an ingredient in foods, medication, soap, antifreeze and other products.

Glycerin is known for its main property, humectant, the retaining of water.  When glycerin stays on the surface of the skin, it helps seal the moisture in the skin because the moisture cannot be released into the air.

Glycerin is also hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture from the air.  Therefore, it draws water to the skin from the air which increases the amount of moisture in the skin.

 

Handmade Bar Soap

Pure Enchantment handmade soapPeople who make soap can buy unscented glycerin bars or soap bars that they melt down and add their own fragrance and color to the liquid and then put into molds.  However, the amount of glycerin in the soap depends on how much is contained in the initial bar soap being melted down.  If the soap is made from scratch, most are made using the cold process method.

When the soap bars are made from scratch, the glycerin remains in the soap, and the artisan can choose to add natural or artificial fats, oils, fragrances and colors to the final product.  While the handmade soap may not last as long as the commercial soap, it doesn’t contain as many chemical preservatives or other harsh chemicals.

As a consumer, you need to look at the ingredient list of any soap you purchase, even the handmade soap.  The ingredient list of a natural handmade soap shouldn’t contain chemical names like Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) or artificial colors like blue number 1.

 

To learn more about natural soap and other natural skincare products, please go to Seeds of Wellness’ Pure Enchantment products webpage.

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What Makes Whole-Leaf Tea Better?

Whole-leaf or loose leaf tea refers to the size of the tea leaves. The main difference between whole-leaf tea and the typical tea bag is the size of the leaf. The less broken tea leaves available in the tea results in more essential oils being retained in the leaves, the basis of the tea’s flavor and aroma. Typical tea bags consist of tiny broken pieces of tea leaves called fannings or dusts. When the leaves are broken up, the essential oil can evaporate quicker resulting in a tasteless tea.

Tea cupWhen you use a whole-leaf tea, the leaves need space to swell, expand, and unfurl to release the essential oils, minerals and vitamins contained within them. Therefore, good water circulation around and through the leaves is important. Do to the size of the typical tea bag, there is not enough room for the leaves to expand which does not allow the water to circulate around the leaves. This results in a less flavorful cup of tea.

Typical grocery store tea bags contain a blend of different types of teas. This is done to help keep the cost of the tea low. The quantity of each type of tea can vary based on the cost of each tea. While the amount of each tea added to the blend may vary, the flavor profile changes very little due to the number of teas blended together. Also, the good leaves are packaged and sold as whole-leaf tea, the left over tea is put into the tea bags.

two leaves and a bud whole leaf teaWhole-leaf tea usually consists of one type of tea from a specific region. This results in changes in flavor from year to year and season to season. Therefore, the time of year the tea is harvested will yield a particular flavor profile. Because the leaves contain more essential oils, some whole-leaf teas can be re-steeped to yield multiple cups of flavorful tea.

Two leaves and a bud tea company has found a way to put whole-leaf tea into a bag that allows the leaves to unfurl and release their full flavor. The pyramid shaped bag also allows the water to circulate through the tea leaves resulting in a rich and flavorful cup of tea.

Stop into Seeds of Wellness and check out the many flavors of two leaves and a bud we have available. Purchase several of one flavor or mix and match the tea bags. We offer black, green, white, red and herbal teas.

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Posted in Gift Ideas | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment