Have you ever heard that you should eat more colors in your meals? This is very important, and no, it doesn’t include eating artificially colored things like Skittles or M&Ms (Sorry)!
We should be eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables, legumes, spices, herbs, nuts, seeds, and teas. Processed foods like white pasta, rice, bread, pastries don’t offer any nutrients as they have all been stripped during processing. By refining them, all of their vitamins and minerals are taken out. These vitamins and minerals are what we need to keep us healthy.
Plants are amazing; they have vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and antioxidants which can rebuild the cells in our bodies. They play important roles in protecting our health and preventing chronic disease, such as inflammation, slowing down premature aging, supporting sight, protecting the brain, fighting free radical damage and assisting our immune system. Each colorful plant adds different nutrients that are beneficial to our bodies. By eating a variety of colorful foods, you can provide your body with the essential nutrition it needs.
The best way to get all of these important nutrients into our bodies is by eating as close to natural as possible, such as organic and naturally grown. Try drinking herbal teas to get the wonderful healing benefits that herbs possess.
During the last few decades, we’ve seen a significant rise in alternative therapies that rely on or incorporate herbal medicine: homeopathy, herbalism, aromatherapy, acupuncture, Ayurveda and more.
And of course, plants are amazing and powerful when used in skincare too!
That’s the beauty and power of nature! So much potential is there, just waiting to be discovered, and there are so many ways to use these natural ingredients in your skincare products too!
The trend in Natural Skincare is increasing at a fast pace!
Herbs and plant oils are so amazing and do wonders for our skin. Here are a few examples:
Carrier oils are oils that have been extracted from seeds, nuts, and stones or kernels of plants through a process of compression—cold pressing, which is literally crushing the stone, seed, kernel or nut to release the oil. Examples include:
- Avocado (stone/kernel)
- Macadamia (nut)
- Rosehip (seeds)
These oils are packed full of fatty acids and other beneficial ingredients such as phytosterols, vitamins, carotenoids, and squalane. When oils are applied on the skin they fill up small spaces between epidermal cells, which is seen and felt as smoother, healthier and softer skin. Oils can have other benefits too such as regenerating, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, improving elasticity and improving the skin barrier function.
Macerated oils, also called infused oils, are when dried herbs—or other flowers, petals, or leaves—are placed in a carrier oil and left for four to six weeks to infuse. During that time, the oil-soluble properties of the plant are being transferred to the carrier oil.
This is useful when a herb or plant has a very low or no carrier oil yield but possesses strong healing qualities—Calendula is a great example of this! After the process is complete, you’re left with a supercharged, specialist carrier oil.
You can read more about the healing benefits of Calendula oil here. Besides calendula, I also infuse and use in my products:
- Carrot Tissue Oil
- St. John’s Wort Oil
- Arnica Oil
- Chickweed Herb Oil
Essential oils are oils that have been extracted from plants through a process of distillation using steam. They can be extracted from a variety of plant parts: leaves, bark, flowers, petals, roots, stems, grasses, herbs, and fruits.
Of course, many essential oils are derived from herbs – lavender, rosemary, marjoram, sage, peppermint, basil, chamomile, thyme to name a few.
Once extracted, the oil that remains contains a concentrated fragrance with many therapeutic and sensory qualities! Essential oils can help to lift our mood or calm our nerves, raise our spirits or relax the senses. And they can also offer profound functional qualities as well.
When used in skincare product formulation, these qualities can include helping to:
- Improve local blood circulation
- Encourage a glowing complexion
- Promote healthy skin growth and cellular renewal
- Repair the skin’s barrier layer
- Clean and cleanse the skin
- Kill and clear harmful microbes
- Balance sebum production
- Or add a wonderful deodorizing effect
This week as I was making my Revitalizing Anti-Aging Day Cream I was in awe of the beautifully vibrant colors, so much so that I wanted to share the importance of plants with you and took these pictures.
On the left is Macadamia nut oil, in the centre is Avocado oil and on the right is Rosehip seed oil. Aren’t they beautiful, and all three are in my Anti-Aging Day Cream!
Here is my calendula oil that I infuse with the flowers to get all the amazing benefits they offer to then put in my Calendula Body Butter, Healing Herbal Hand Cream, and Calendula Orange Lip Balm. That intense yellow colour from the flowers is incredible, isn’t it?
The more that we learn about these wonderful, nature-given ingredients, the more we want to incorporate them into our own healing and restorative practices.
How will you bring more natural health and color into your life?