blueberry the powerhouse

blueberries

blueberry origin

In a recent search, I read that the humble blueberry is considered one of the oldest living plants on the planet. It has an approximate age of 12,500 years. Native to North America, the wild blueberry has spawned over 450 species that grow across the globe. Although not as common in the south as blackberries when I was growing up, it is now a fixture in most backyards. As animals love the fruit this is a great plant to include in your urban garden.

blueberry folklore

Native to America, Native Americans smoked the berries to preserve them. They used the blueberry to make a jerky that would last during the winter. The roots of the berries were made in tea that was used to soothe the pains of childbirth, to purify the blood and for coughs. The berries were also used to make dye for textiles. In the south, it was said the tea from blueberry leaves would regulate blood sugar. As a child I remember someone would bring my Grandmother blueberry wine and to this day I think about how I wish I had tried it! According to the University of South Florida it has more antioxidants than red or white grape wine.

blueberry nutrition

A cup of blueberries has 80 calories. But this one cup is chock full of nutritious benefits for you. It contains the daily recommended amount of fiber: 3.6 grams. It contains 25% of your daily Vitamin C needs. These powerhouses also have vitamin K, manganese and iron. In one study Blueberry antioxidant properties have been shown to aid mobility in senior citizens who ate 2 cups of frozen blueberries a day. This fruit has been claimed by some researchers has having more antioxidants than any other fruit.

Because this fruit is so powerful, we included it in our new pore clarifying mask for its bountiful antioxidant properties. We know you will love the way it purifies your pores without drying the skin. Thanks to the blueberry, your skin will be glowing and fresh!

Calendula

Calendula

Calendula, a versatile herb, is the essential oil from the pot marigold. This plant has been used since the 12th century for its medicinal properties. Studies abound on its healing ability on the skin specifically on burn victims. Due to its high level of vitamin A compounds (carotenoids) it is also known to calm skin irritations such as rashes, dermatitis, acne and chapped skin. Cream made with calendula, is recommended to those with breast cancer to ease dermatitis and skin challenges during radiation and chemo.

It is known as the poor man’s saffron as it can be used in cooking as a substitute. The petals also make a lovely dye. Another benefit of marigolds is Mother Nature’s bug repellant, planting them around your tomatoes so the bugs won’t eat them. Marigold petals are edible and add a lovely tang to salads.

Marigolds

Marigolds native to Mexico, were taken to Europe and Asia in the 16th century. There are over 50 species of this earthy plant. To the Welsh, marigolds were “herb of the sun” and if they were not open in the morning a storm was coming. They were used as love charms, and were thought to produce visions of fairies if rubbed on the eyes. Others considered marigold poisonous due to the heavy aroma. In Mexico we were surrounded by marigolds on dia de los muertos, and while in India marigolds were omnipresent. Ironically it wasn’t in Mexico that I learned to appreciate marigolds but in Thailand and India.

We use calendula oil in our marigold toner, marigold bergamot dry oil, marigold cleanser and marigold face kit.

Helichrysum

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Helichrysum the Plant

Helichrysum, a member of the asteracea family, is a medicinal plant that is native to the Mediterranean. It is grown in dry climates throughout the globe. There are over 600 species of these perennial flowering shrubs. The name comes from Greek, “helios referring to sun and “chrysos” gold. It is also known as the curry plant because of the aroma it produces. It is also referred to as immortelle or everlasting because once the flowers are dried, they maintain their yellow color and aroma. 

Essential Oil

Helichrysum italicum, grown in the Mediterranean, is the most common plant to extract the essential oil. It was first distilled in 1908 in Dalmatia. It is a relatively late newcomer to aromatherapy. The oil is extracted by steam from fresh flower heads. The distillation must be done within 24 hours of picking the flowers. Its aroma is slightly herbaceous and tart. In perfumes, it is a middle note.

European studies indicate that helichrysum essential oil is effective in minimizing scarring and healing wounds. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties as well as being cell-regenerative. It can also soothe anger and stress. It has long been used in Europe for migrain headache pain.

Find it

Restorative and effective, you can enjoy helichrysum essential oil  in HollyBeth Organics rose geranium toner combined with rose geranium and rose distillates. We have also blended it in  HollyBeth Organics face and neck elixir with rose geranium essential oil in a base of: camellia, sunflower, rosehip, and carrot oils. A nutrient rich dry oil for your skin. 

Pomegranate Seed Oil

History

Pomegranate seed oil began it’s journey literally eons ago. Native to Persia the pomegranate is one of the oldest fruits on the planet. It was known as the nectar of the Gods. Its first journey was to China in 100 B.C. For Christians the pomegranate represents hope of life eternal. Some scholars believe it was the pomegranate and not the apple that was the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden.

For the Jewish religion, it represents righteousness. In China it represents wealth and is a common wedding present. In Buddhism, it is one of the three blessed fruits along with peaches and citrus.

The varied uses of the tree and fruit include tanning leather, treating leprosy and dyspepsia.

The Fruit

Pomegranates grow on a shrub that can be pruned to look like a tree. They can grow to 20 feet in height. There are some shrubs in Europe that have lived for 200 years. Although there are hundreds of cultivars, only 14 grow in the U.S

Pomegranate Seed Oil

200 pounds of pomegranate seeds are need to make 16 ounces of pomegranate seed oil. There are approximately 800 seeds per fruit. This luxurious oil is made by cold pressing the organic seeds.

The luscious oil produced by the pomegranate seeds contains flavonoids, antioxidants and punicic acid, a fatty acid. This reduces inflammation and hydrates as well as protecting the skin and repairing from sun damage. These components aid in protecting and firming the skin. Research has proven the efficacy of the oil on the skin in its ability to stimulate cell growth of the epidermis. Coupled with its bounty of antioxidants this is a must for glowing and healthy skin.

It easily penetrates the skin without leaving a greasy residue making it perfect for oily and dry skin. The oil is viscous and only a small amount is needed for the skin.

This prized oil is found in our eye serum, nourishing body oil and body balm.

Camellia Seed Oil

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Camellia History

Camellia seed oil is my favorite ingredient.

Camellias, a staple in southern gardens, is one of my favorite blooms. Their origin can be traced 5,000 years to China and Japan. The plant arrived in Europe in the 16th century but didn’t make it to the U.S. until the 19th century. There are over 200 species of camellias. According to the International Camellia Society there are over 20,000 varieties. Green tea comes from the leaves of Camellia sinensis. The oil is from the seeds of Camellia oleifera.

In Japan, they were known as tsubak or “tree with shining leaves”. The Shinto religion believed that gods made their spirit homes in the flowers. They were planted near temples and graveyards for their spiritual meaning. The flowers were not cut because it was equivalent to beheading. We can thank the Geisha in Japan for making camellia seed oil so popular for the skin and hair. It has been a staple for centuries in their beauty routine.

Camellia Properties

As a non-comedogenic oil it quickly penetrates the skin and hair without leaving an oily residue; a true dry oil. It contains UV protection due to the polyphenol compounds. Full of vitamins A, B, C and E and abundant in oleic acid that regenerates the skin it is perfect for all skin types. Its properties add moisture to soften and make the skin more supple as well has containing anti-inflammatory properties.

It is by far my favorite oil. That is why you will find it in most of our products. In our hair and body silk it is coupled with argan oil and infused with vetiver and peppermint. You will also find this exquisite oil in our face and body creams as well as most of our oil combination.

I like to think of it as Mother Nature’s elixir for your skin and hair.

Pumpkin Seed Oil

pumpkin seed oil
pumpkin seed oil

Pumpkin History

Before we talk about pumpkin seed oil, let’s talk about the fruit. Yes, the countless varieties of pumpkins are in the same family as squash, cucumbers and melons. Its origin dates back to about 5000 B.C. in North America. Pumpkins are among the most versatile fruits that exist.

The shells were used to make bowls and mats by Native Americans. Medicinally, they have been used to treat acne, fever, parasites, and kidney problems etc. etc. Long a staple in diets, the flowers seeds and meat are considered delicacies in certain cultures. Pumpkin seeds have even been recommended by the World Health Organization for its abundance in zinc.

Pumpkin Seed Oil

We all know about the virtues of pumpkin pies and roasted seeds, but the pumpkin seed oil is the prize for me. Pumpkin seed oil is packed with everything you need for glowing skin. The seeds are cold pressed to obtain the oil that makes a dark green light oil with a slight nutty aroma. It is not a heavy oil like coconut oil and will therefore not clog your pores.

Benefits for the skin and hair

This powerhouse of an oil is packed with fatty acids, alpha hydroxyl acid, Vitamins A, C, E and zinc. These ingredients are all needed to boost collagen production, increase cell renewal that brighten and smooth the skin.

Research by the University of Maryland Medical Center has indicated that the oil is beneficial to hair and skin. Why? The omega 6 fatty acids are vital to help stimulate hair and skin growth. The vitamin E and omega 3 fatty acids are essential for hair growth. The oil can decrease the production the enzyme (5 alpha reductase) that is responsible for slowing hair growth.

Vitamin K in pumpkin seed oil is known to reduce swelling, healing and bruising after surgery. It is also applied to the skin to help with rosacea, acne and spider veins according to WebMD.  We love pumpkin seed oil so much that you can find it our nourishing body oil and body oil.

So the next time you carve that pumpkin or make pumpkin pie, keeps the seeds.

Grape seed oil benefits


What are the benefits of grape seed oil? Although grapes have been touted for over 6000 years for their medicinal properties; grape seed oil only surfaced in the 20th century.

Grape seed oil benefits

Grape seed oil is light and non-greasy. It is non-comedogenic, it will not clog your pores; it is quickly absorbed by the skin. It will leave skin hydrated and smooth.

Grape seed oil is full of flavonoids, anti-oxidants, linoleic acid and Vitamin C and E that remove debris and free radicals. These components promote the rejuvenation of collagen increasing the skin’s elasticity. An Ohio State University conducted a study on the benefits of grape seed oil. The result of the test indicated that grapeseed oil may speed up the healing process of wounds on the skin.

Scientists have found that the linoleic acid naturally present in the oil is beneficial for the treatment of , dermatitis, allergic reactions, eczema, and dry and itchy skin. Grapeseed oil benefits also include healing of acne, the inflammation that is caused due to blemishing.

Seeds of grapes are cold pressed to produce the light oil. The same grapes that are used for wine are used for their seeds.  This makes the grape business double duty in some ways. The finished product has a 2 year shelf life but should be kept refrigerated to prevent rancidity. The color is light green with a slightly nutty aroma.

Our certified organic marigold bergamot dry oil is made with organic grapeseed oil and jojoba oil infused with calendula and bergamot. Our customers prone to break outs swear by it. They first cleanse with our marigold foaming cleanser, then apply the dry oil. Some follow up with a spritz of marigold toner.

Grape seed oil is wonderful alternative to the harsh peels and/or chemicals for blemish prone skin.

Bergamot

bergamot
bergamot

Bergamot Origin

Bergamot has been used for hundreds of years by perfumers in Western Europe for its ability to mingle with other fragrances. Its medicinal history dates back to the 16th century when the Italians used the oil for fevers, as an antiseptic, for respiratory problems and skin ailments.

The tree has a curious history. Some say that the evergreen tree is a cross between an orange and lemon and others say it is a cross with a grapefruit. There are those who argue that it is native to Asia and others to Greece. Another legend is that Christopher Columbus took the tree to the Caribbean and elsewhere where it was used in voodoo to protect oneself against harm.

Whatever the history, it appears that the name came from Bergamo in Lombardy, Italy where it was first sold.  It is the Italians who have the largest production of bergamots. The Greeks attest that the name came from Turkish word meaning “the lord’s pear”.

Bergamot Essential Oil

The tree is relatively small, growing only to 13 feet. The small fruit itself is yellow when ripe and is sour and basically non-edible. It is the peel that is cold pressed to make the fruit. It takes approximately 100 bergamots to make 3 ounces of oil.

The components make it useful as an antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antidepressant  essential oil. It is known to be a rival of lavender essential when relaxing the mind.

The aroma is crisp, tart with a peppery spicy undertone. You can find it in our bergamot essential oil in HollyBeth’s flourish roll on perfume, marigold bergamot dry oil, citrus cream and citrus spray.

The Benefits of Cucumber

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The Benefits of Cucumber

The benefits of cucumber go beyond your salad plate. Packed with vitamins and antioxidants, cucumbers not only benefit the waistline, but also the health of your body and skin.

The Ultimate Water Fruit

Cucumbers, which belong to the same family as squash and watermelon, have one of the highest water contents of any solid food. With over 95% water content, cucumbers are extremely hydrating. Around 20% of our daily water intake comes from food, therefore eating this H2O-heavy fruit is a great way to meet your daily water intake.

Nourish the Body

Cucumbers are packed with vitamin A and C, in addition to B vitamins, potassium, and caffeic acid. These are all powerful antioxidants that reduce inflammation and also calm irritation. Combined with its high levels of water, cucumbers nourishing and hydrating effects help prevent memory loss, support a healthy digestive and cardiovascular system, relieve stress and anxiety, and also enhance the health of your skin.

Hydrate the Skin

This superfood is a great addition to your skin care regimen. Its soothing and calming effects help shrink irritated blood vessels, reducing the appearance of puffy eyes and redness. Cucumbers also fight skin irritation, aiding in the relief of sunburn and skin inflammation. And to top it all off, the extreme concentration of water and vitamin C keep the skin smooth, hydrated, and cooled.

Stay Cool this Summer

HollyBeth utilizes these amazing skin-nourishing properties in her best-selling Body Mist. This cucumber-based hair and skin refresher is the perfect addition to your beach bag. Just spritz it over your head and body to stay cool and revitalize the skin. A definite must-have for the hot days of summer.

The Benefits of Geranium Oil

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The Benefits of Geranium Oil

There are about 250 naturally growing species of scented geraniums (Pelargonium), most of which are native to South Africa. Geraniums come in many different colors and scents; however, only a few types of geraniums are capable of producing copious, quality essential oil, which is extracted through steam distillation of the stems and leaves of the plant.

History of Geraniums

The use of geranium oil dates back to ancient Egypt, where it was used to treat cancer. Ancient Greeks utilized geranium oil to treat wounds and speed up the healing process. In the late 17th century, geraniums became a part of Victorian parlor etiquette, adorning tables as a revitalizing potpourri and a garnish for finger bowls. Geraniums are now a popular staple in gardens worldwide.

Benefits of Geranium Oil for Skin

The many benefits of geranium oil make it a popular ingredient in HollyBeth’s products. Its astringent properties tighten the skin to reduce wrinkles while increasing blood flow below the surface of the face to promote the healing of acne, age spots, and scars and encourage new cell growth. It is Mother Nature’s anti-aging serum!

Benefits of Geranium Oil for Body & Mind

Geranium oil is also a great medicinal tool. It helps balance hormones, ease nerve pain, fight infection, heal wounds, and improve mental function as a natural anti-depressant and anxiety reliever. Geranium oil can even be used as a deodorant and bug repellent. And of course, it smells great, too!

The beauty of geraniums is much more than skin deep! These lovely flowers are true gift of nature for the mind, body, and spirit.

Click here to discover which HollyBeth Organics products utilize geranium oil.