Cranberries aren’t just for Thanksgiving

History

Cranberries aren’t just for Thanksgiving. More imporatnly, they aren’t just frozen and in a sauce. We can thank Native Americans ingenuuity for developing the versatility of this sour berry as it was a mainstay in theire diet and life.

Cree boiled the fruit and used it to dye porcupine quills for clothing and jewelry. Chippewa used cranberries as bait to trap the snowshoe hare. The leaves were used in teas, the fresh fruit was eaten as well as dried.

However, the most interesting to me is the energy bar they created called pemmican. “So vital was pemmican to the survival of fur traders and early settlers in Canada,” writesfood historian and cookbook author Jennifer McLagan, “that its supply sparked unrest between the Native Americans and the Europeans.” Responding to a food shortage in 1814, the governor of the Red River colony, Miles Macdonell, attempted to prohibit the export of pemmican by the Métis.

Medicinal Uses

Cranberries were used as medicine by the Native Americans. It was used to fight scurvy and infections and it worked. They would grind the berries and use them as paste on top of the wounds for healing.

The plant

Native to North America, cranberries grow on a vine. They do not grow in the water bogs we see on tv. Cranberries will float in water thus making it easier to harvest. It also protects them from heat and cold. The largest producer of cranberries in the U.S. is Wisconsin.

For the skin

Fast forward to today and chemists have found that cranberries are loaded with polyphenols. Polyphenols are naturally occurring compounds found fruits and vegetables. Polyphenols are helpful in addressing skin stressors such as pollution, sun damage etc. etc  These polyphenols have an antioxidant effect on the skin, slowing down the process of our skin’s appearance of aging. Our eye balm is formulated with cranberry seed oil making it the perfect choice to diminish fine lines as well as hydrating the delicate eye area.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

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What is Ylang Ylang?

Ylang ylang (pronounced e-lang e-lang) may not be an aroma you know by name, however chances are you have encountered its sweet, floral fragrance. Perfumes and skin care products use ylang ylang as an ingredient, most noteworthy the best-selling perfume Chanel No. 5.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Ylang ylang oil is from the flowers of the ylang-ylang tree, which are native to the Philippines and Indonesia. Steam distillation extracts the oil from the flowers in multiple batches. The first batch is extracted an hour after the process begins, resulting in the highest quality essential oil. Several other batches are extracted at different time intervals.

History

Ylang ylang has a long history, dating back to the fairytales of the Philippines. When a couple asks the gods to give them a child, they receive a daughter named Ylang on the condition that she never know the touch of a man. One day while picking flowers, a suitor takes her hand, causing her to vanish. When a small tree begins to grow where she stood, the suitor names it Ylang-Ylang. This love myth inspired young girls to wear ylang ylang petals and spread ylang ylang petals over the bed of newlyweds.

Medicinal Use

Ylang ylang also serves medicinal purposes. The oil is used to treat malaria and other infections, also it is good for calming stress and rapid heartbeat. In modern day, the oil is used for PMS, high blood pressure, depression, sleep disorders, and also anxiety.

Perfume & Skin Care

The warm, floral aroma of ylang ylang is a staple in perfumes and skin care. Ylang ylang essential oil soothes irritation, moisturizing dry skin. HollyBeth utilizes ylang ylang essential oil in her hydrating Body Oil and Flourish® calming perfume, consequently one of my favorite perfumes of all time. These luxurious organic skin care products nourish and perfume at the same time!

Source – The Essential Oils Book

The Benefits of Geranium Oil

 

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. We have customers telling us all the time that our rose geranium face moisturizer helps their rosacea. And our rose geranium toner balances the skin’s ph. Rose geranium oil is Mother Nature’s anti-aging serum! 

Benefits of Geranium Oil for Body & Mind

Research has shown that Geranium oil is a good medicinal tool for reducing inflammation. Studies also indicate it’s antibacterial properties are beneficial to those with skin disorders. 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.

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!

Witch Hazel

 

 

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is finishing blooiming here in the mountains of North Georgia. A native plant it is a naturally powerful ingredient in HollyBeth Organics’ Marigold Toner and Pore Clarifying Mask.

Origins  

Witch hazel is native to the US and used by Native Americans to treat colds, eye infections, kidney problems, skin conditions, stings and wounds. Today it is widely known as an astringent and effective acne treatment.

In the Wild

The plant is interesting for numerous reasons. As one of the few plants to go to full bloom in fall and winter, it is one of the only food sources for insect life (flies, midges, beetles) that tolerates the cold, thereby holding a monopoly over wintertime pollination—an interesting ecological niche! Witch hazel’s seeding mechanism is very unique. The previous year’s seed capsules mature at the same time as its current year’s flowers, and quite often one can hear an audible popping sound as the seeds are forcefully ejected up to 25 out from the tree like bullets.

Animal Favorite

Witch hazel is also a major part of animal life. It often grows in dense thickets, providing cover for birds and small mammals. The seeds provide food for insects, wild turkeys, bobwhite quail, as well as gray squirrels. Furthermore, ruffed grouse and white tailed deer feed upon the buds and flowers.

Skin Care Benefits

Witch hazel is amazingly beneficial to the skin. Its natural astringent properties make it a great tool against acne, regulating oil production and reducing inflammation. It also helps reduce puffiness and tighten skin, making it a great defense against under eye bags. Feeling oily or grimy? Witch hazel is a great skin refresher. It cleanses and purifies, calming the pores and soothing the skin while gently hydrating and restoring natural balance. Suffering from razor burns or sun burns? Try a little witch hazel to calm the area and soothe irritation. Want a product that conquers all of these concerns? Click here to discover HollyBeth Organics’ witch hazel based Marigold Toner.

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.

Can Bergamot Oil Help Acne?

Can bergamot oil help acne? For those of us with blemish-prone skin, facial products containing oil tend to send us running in the opposite direction. My skin is already oily, and I don’t want to clog my pores with a greasy product.

Bergamot Dry Oil Combats Oily Skin

HollyBeth Organics’ Marigold Bergamot Dry Oil is different. It is not heavy oil that sits on top of your skin. It is actually a dry oil, meaning it sinks directly into the skin to heal and balance from below the surface. This lightweight moisturizer is non-comedogenic, meaning it does not clog pores (and we all know clogged pores can lead to more pimples!).  A powerful combination of grape seed, jojoba, calendula, and bergamot oil help acne, heal scars, and cure minor skin irritations while gently moisturizing and balancing the skin.

Lightweight Moisturizer

Not only is Marigold Bergamot Dry Oil a great anti-acne defense, it is also a lightweight moisturizer. On clean, dry skin, gently massage a small amount on your face and neck (a little goes a long way). Your skin will be soothed and hydrated – it is the perfect daily moisturizer for normal to oily skin.

I have to admit, I was a skeptic myself when I first looked into using bergamot oil, but I gave it a try and found it to be one of the best solutions for my blemish-prone skin. I even use it at night to help prevent future breakouts! This stuff is liquid anti-acne gold.

HollyBeth’s Summer Hair Care Tips

HAIRCARE

Summer Frizzies

Summertime is in full swing. School is out, the pool is open, and a week at the beach may be in your near future. Life has officially moved outdoors into the sun and by the water. While the season of fun in the sun does wonders for the mind and spirit, it can also do one heck of a number on your hair. Humidity, chlorine, and sun exposure can wreak havoc on your locks, stripping away moisture and leaving behind a major case of the frizzies. In preparation for the hot months ahead, I asked organic skin care guru HollyBeth Anderson for some tips on how to ensure good hair days all summer long.

HollyBeth’s Tips for Great Summer Hair:

1 – Just as you protect your skin from UV damage, do so for your hair!

My favorite summer accessory is a lightweight scarf that I can use as a head wrap when I’m out in the sun. A scarf or a hat not only protects your hair from sun damage, but also the drying, tangling effects of the wind. Not a hat person? Get a spray bottle and mix a few teaspoons of sunscreen with a cup of water to create a light SPF hair mist.

2 – Be prepared for your activity.

Going to the pool to take a swim? Remember to rinse your hair before going in the water. This will help reduce the effects of chlorine on your strands. And as soon as you get out of the pool, wash and condition your hair. The quicker you get the chlorine out, the better. Going to the pool to soak up the sun rather than swim? Bring HollyBeth Organics’ Body Mist with you. A few spritzes of this cucumber and citrus body spray will cool you down and refresh your hair and skin.

3 – Consider a more laid back approach to styling your hair in the summer months.

Less is definitely more! Cut down the number of times you wash your hair and go for gentle shampoos that don’t leave behind buildup. Less time in a hot shower with heavy shampoo will give your hair time to regulate its natural oil production, which actually leads to less grease and more time between washes. Are you a heat styling addict? Give you hair a chance to air dry and cut back on the blow dryer and flat iron. I know that is way easier said than done, so I recommend protecting your mane with HollyBeth Organics’ Hair & Body Silk. This nourishing blend of camellia and argan oil locks in moisture and fortifies the hair, prepping the hair for heat styling and protecting it from the drying effects of the sun. When the frizz starts and your hair is in desperate need of hydration, a few drops of Hair & Body Silk tames fly aways and quenches thirsty, brittle hair. You can also use it as a deep conditioning treatment!

4 – Take care of yourself, on the inside and out.

Make sure you are getting the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy. Your mom was right – eat your veggies! What you put in your body affects your skin and your hair. The same applies to what you put on your skin and hair. Go organic! Keep it simple, keep it clean, and keep it natural. I guarantee you will feel (and see) a difference.

black cumin seed

 

smallerI’m constantly searching out new plants and oils to incorporate into to my products. Black Cumin Seed Oil, the newest weapon in my arsenal of powerful and effective organic ingredients, is hardly new. This ancient oil, derived from the seeds of the lovely Nigella Sativa flower, a member of the Buttercup family, has been a dynamic healer seemingly since the beginning of time.

Hipppocrates, referred to as the father of western medicine, considered black cumin a valuable remedy, while the first written reference to the oil can be found in The Old Testament. The prophet Muhammad stated that it’s “a remedy for every illness except death.”

Packed with over 100 beneficial chemical compounds, black cumin seed oil is a medicinal powerhouse. Studies show this wonder oil not only boosts immunity and treats a multitude of ailments, but it does wonders for the skin, hair and nails as well. It not only soothes psoriasis, eczema, acne, burns and infections, but it is a superb moisturizer, minimizing wrinkles and other signs of aging.

It’s also an essential component of my new Eye Serum. The latest introduction to the HollyBeth Organics skincare line fights signs of aging, dark circles and puffiness with an organic blend of black cumin seed, carrot seed, pomegranate seed and sandalwood essential oils.

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.