History of Cardamom

 

Cardamom is a spice that comes from the seed pods of various ginger plants. Native to India and popular throughout Asia, Cardamom is the world’s third most expensive spice, famous for its aromatic and healing properties. It commonly used in food, medicine, and skincare.

Cooking with Cardamom

There are two main types of cardamom: green and black. Green, also called true cardamom, comes from an aromatic perennial herb plant. It is widely used in Indian cuisine, and is a popular spice used in baking sweets as well as flavoring coffee and tea. Black Cardamom has more of a smoky flavor, commonly used in meat dishes and soups. Both are found in popular sweet and savory dishes such as curry pastes and masalas.

Healing Powers

Cardamom also boasts natural healing abilities, prominently utilized in Indian and Chinese medicine. Its natural oil is packed with antioxidants and can be used as an antiseptic, an anti-inflammatory, and a digestion aid. Cardamom seeds are often chewed on for oral health, providing relief from mouth ulcers and combating bad breath.

Skin Solutions

Cardamom essential oil comes from steam distillation of the spice. It creates a rich, yellow oil with an invigorating, bittersweet smell. The sweet, spicy aroma invigorates the senses and calms anxiety. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used this fragrant oil in perfumes, incense, and mouth washes. It is also used as a massage oil due to its warming sensation and skin-soothing properties.

This luxurious essential oil can be found in HollyBeth Organics’ Body Polish, adding that hint of spice while promoting circulation and calming the muscles. It is the ultimate body scrub for relaxation and rejuvenation. The Ancient Egyptians would be jealous.

No wonder cardamom is so highly valued – this sumptuous spice can do it all!

Ode to Rose Geranium Toner

I am in love with HollyBeth Organics’ Rose Geranium Toner. In fact, it is one of my all-time favorite skin care products, and I won’t leave home without it. Looking for a great-smelling body mist? Need a toner to sooth your skin? Want to keep your makeup in place all day long? How about a rehydrating midday pick-me-up? This product does it all! Oh, Rose Geranium Toner, how I love thee, let me count the ways.

Great-Smelling Body Mist

Rose and geranium combine to create a rich, rosy smell that will make anyone feel like royalty. Get blanketed in luxury with each spray of this beautifully fragrant body mist. Just imagine standing under a waterfall of rose petals!

Soothing Toner

Keep your skin in check with this Rose Geranium Toner’s antiseptic properties of rose geranium hydrosol, nourishing rose oil, and anti-inflammatory helichrysum. This sooth-all skin solution calms and heals with each spray.

Makeup Setting Spray

Tired of your makeup running off your face by the end of the day? The last step of your morning routine should be a few sprays of the Rose Geranium Toner to set everything in place to keep your face game going strong.

Midday Refresher

Been running around all day? Just got off of a long flight? You know that icky, weighed-down feeling your skin gets when you have been going non-stop? A few sprays of the Rose Geranium Toner will rehydrate your skin and refresh your senses with a much-needed pick-me-up.

Seriously, this toner has earned a spot of honor in my makeup bag. Reward your skin (and your senses!) with this ultimate jack of all trades.

blue yarrow essential oil

yarrow

Blue Yarrow Essential Oil

Blue yarrow essential oil is actually not blue. Yarrow has over 100 active ingredients including flavonoids, tannins, silica, amino acids and the list goes on. Like chamomile, yarrow contains azulene that produces the rich vibrant blue.

The lovely sky blue color occurs when the leaves and flower tops are distilled to make the essential oil. The flowerheads are yellow, white and pink. With over 30 cultivars, the native yarrow is cream or white. This pink one in my backyard turns creams after being this subtle pink. The leaves of some have a spicy bitter aroma. 

The essential oil is known for it’s healing of the skin and is most often used in treating acne and blemishes. It has a rich herbaceous aroma that is soothing and relaxing. It is used in steambaths to rid the body of toxins. Our new pore clarifying mask has blue yarrow essential oil.

Yarrow History

Yarrow, is one the world’s oldest medicinal plants. .  Yarrow is a hardy wildflower that can be found around the globe.It’s healing properties are chronicled throughout history beginning with the Romans. The Greeks and Romans used the herb during battles to heal wounds and to stop the flow of blood. In Mythology, Achilles, the Greek hero of the Trojan War, used yarrow to help heal the tendon injured ankleNative American used the dried leaves and flowers heads in a paste to treat sunburn and other skin ailments. It was thought to also cure baldness. It has been used to reduce anxiety and stress in tea form or in infusions. As a tea it is known to reduce fevers and diminish migraines.

It was thought to have magical powers and some thought it would guard against evil spirits if hung above your door. In Ireland it was hung above the door on midsummer night’s eve to protect the homeowners from disease. Its leaves and flowers were used to brew beer in the Middle Ages.

 

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.

Lavender

Lavender love

My love of lavender began while living in France. The decadent rows of it in the south of France and all the creams and potions were just divine. However, it wasn’t until I moved back home and visited Sequim (pronounced Squeem not seqeem), Washington that I seriously thought about having a lavender farm, a dream that might still come to fruition but very hard to do in Georgia. The Pacific Northwest although rainy, has some of the best in the country and the entire town of Sequim thrives and is dedicated to this dynamic herb. After losing industry in the community they decided to plant fields of the plants  and voila a thriving festival and businesses bloomed.

Lavender History

The history of aromatherapy is thanks to this aromatic herb. Rene Gattefosse burned his hand and used the oil to stop the pain. It healed the hand without scarring or infection. However, the French have the Romans to thank for Provence’s abundance of  farms. The Romans introduced the herb to France. It is thought that the name comes from Latin “lavare” to wash of ‘livendulo” livid or bluish. Before World War 1 the French government cleared the almond orchards. They replaced them with lavender in the hopes of keeping the population there instead of fleeing.

Lavender Uses

In ancient Egypt the flowers were used for embalming, cosmetics, massage oils and as perfume. Egyptians would put it on their heads. The Greeks would anoint their feet. According to the Greek Philosopher Diogenes “When you anoint your head with perfume, it flies away in the air and only the birds get the benefit of it, whilst if I rub it on my lower limbs it envelopes my whole body and gratefully ascends to my nose”. During Nero’s time it was used for indigestion, headaches and to clean wounds. It is said that the plant was first domesticated in the Arab world. They dominated the Mediterranean culture, specifically Spain and from there lavender spread. Fast forward to the Middle Ages and it was used to raise money for King Edward 1. King Charles V1 of France stuffed his pillows with the flower buds. It was also used to treat lice and other pests.

Lavender has been a cure all for centuries, from linen, to inciting passion, repelling insects etc. etc.It takes approximately 175 lbs of the flower buds to make one ounce of essential oil. Lavender hand cream is the second product I made and the first featured in a national magazine. You will find it in skin therapy blended with lime essential oil. Our cleansing oil and lavender mist also contain the essential oil. This essential oil is the most widely used oil probably due to its medicinal properties. I love it because it is relaxing and makes me dream ;).

 

 

Helichrysum

helichrysum italicum

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. 

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 benefits are many. It 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. Grape seed oil benefits also include healing of acne, the inflammation that is caused due to blemishing.

Grape seeds 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 a wonderful alternative to the harsh peels and/or chemicals for blemish prone skin.

Prickly Pear Seed Oil

prickly pear
prickly pear

Prickly Pear Seed Oil, Barbary Fig Seed Oil

Origin

Prickly pear seed oil is a fairly newcomer to the beauty industry but one that is quite in vogue, no matter if you call it barbary fig oil, cactus fruit seed oil or opuntia ficus-inidica seed oil. However, in Mexico, I always knew  that a prickly pear is a  “tuna”, the fruit of a cactus called Nopal. Nopal is a cactus that is native to the Americas. Mexico, with over 80 different varieties of tuna, is the top producer and exporter.

Prickly Pear

Peeling a prickly pear or tuna is a delicate endeavor as it is full of small “espinas” thorns that can get under the skin. But once peeled it is a delicious treat. The fruit is used to make “agua frescas” or lemonade, marmalades, gorditas, gelatin, alcohol and in salsas. Prickly pears are quite versatile; however, my favorite way to eat them is just peel and eaten raw.

Prickly pear seed oil

Prickly pear seed oil is pressed from the seeds and depending on who you ask, it takes approximately 8 tons of cactus fruit to make one liter of  oil. The  seeds are hard and must be pressed to make the precious oil. You can see how it is our costliest ingredient and we buy only organic certified.

Here is a great article on the properties of the oil. The oil contains linoleic acid, phytosterols, polyphenols and Vitamin E. Therefore, it contains all your your skin needs to retain moisture, protect and nourish your skin.

Our skin therapy has prickly pear seed oil, camellia seed oil, beeswax, infused with lavender and lime. It is a customer favorite as it only take a small amount to hydrate the skin. Some of our fans also use it as a make-up remover. However you use it, you will love the delicate calming aroma that lingers on your skin.

 

 

 

Grapefruit Essential Oil

grapefruitpic

Grapefruit Essential Oil

Grapefruit essential oil is a great addition to one’s wellness routine. It is full of vitamin C and antioxidants. HollyBeth uses grapefruit essential oil in several of her products, for it greatly benefits the health of the skin.

Origins of The Grapefruit

Grapefruit, Citirus Paradici, is the only citrus fruit whose beginnings are rooted in the West Indies, rather than Southeast Asia. Some believe Captain Shaddock introduced pomelo seeds to Jamaica, therefore engendering an accidental hybrid of sweet orange and pomelo called the forbidden fruit. There is no record to back up this theory, therefore scientists believe the grapefruit is a natural hybrid. In 1750, the Rev. Griffith Hughes writes of the forbidden fruit in his book the Natural History of Barbados, the hybrid’s first documented mention. In the 1800’s, a farmer dubbed the forbidden fruit grapefruit for the way it grows in grape-like clusters. The grapefruit eventually made its way to the US in 1823 thanks to French settlers.

Benefits

The rind of the grapefruit is cold-pressed for essential oil. The oil aids digestion, boosts  immunity, and works as an antiseptic. Its fragrance also helps with fatigue and anxiety. Most of all, grapefruit essential oil nourishes the skin. It cleanses and purifies, calming irritation and balancing the skin, while boosting the skin’s immunity. It is a great aid in clearing acne and oily skin, as well as regulating the production of sebum and skin irritations. Plus, it smells amazing!

Grapefruit Essential Oil Skin Care Solutions

HollyBeth uses grapefruit essential oil in several of her products because of its many benefits. You can find grapefruit essential oil hard at work in her Marigold Foaming Facial Cleanser, a must-have for acne-prone skin. Her Body Mist utilizes the oil for hydration, while her Body Balm packs Vitamin C into the skin. A huge thank you to the grapefruit for its amazing essential oil!