Search Term: " Blemish "
6 surprising benefits of Lychee fruit for skin, hair and health
June 24, 2018 09:54 AM
The lychee is a juicy and delicious summer fruit with a wide array of health benefits. Lychees are rich in a variety of phenols and polyphenol compounds, as well as proanthocyanidins, all of which are potent free radical-fighting antioxidants and help protect your body from both free radicals and a variety of infections and other maladies. They may even help to prevent cancer. Lychee juice can also be good for your skin, while the bountiful fiber in Lychee can help digestive health.
"There are numerous beauty and health benefits of lychee, from aiding weight loss and digestion to treating influenza and reducing the signs of aging."
Read more: https://en.dailypakistan.com.pk/lifestyle/6-surprising-benefits-of-lychee-fruit-for-skin-hair-and-health/
How to Get Rid of Acne, Stains and Pimple Marks Naturally
July 27, 2017 05:14 AM
Our appearance is crucial to making positive first impressions, so it makes sense to take care of our face. However, problems like acne, unhealthy environments, and even poor diets can leave unwanted marks on a person's face. Because of this, safe, natural, and cost effective remedies to this problem are treasured. There exists one recipe to alleviate this problem, involving common ingredients that could be found in most homes; water, apple cider, lemon, baking soda, and honey. Together, these ingredients can form a mixture that, when properly applied, can help restore appearance to one's face by removing Blemishes and pimples. However, it is important to check for allergies before applying the mixture, and you must avoid sunbathing the next day.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFt0AvmNWRQ&rel=0
"Many young people suffer from low self-esteem due to Blemishes and acne."
PUT APPLE CIDER VINEGAR ON YOUR FACE AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!!
March 30, 2017 06:59 AM
Sometimes natural ingredients are the best thing for your body. Instead of expensive, man-made materials, apple cider vinegar is full of healthy, natural ingredients that can help your body in many different ways. Generally, apple cider vinegar can help your skin, removing Blemishes and helping the health of your skin. You can't lose using an all natural ingredient! Apple cider vinegar is almost a miracle cure...and you can actually drink it too to help your health.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kgN0vY4Xfg&rel=0
"Put apple cider vinegar on your face and see what happens to toxins, eczema, and age spots."
LOOK AT WHY THE CHINESE CALL THIS MIX "THE MIRACLE DRINK" IS INCREDIBLE!!
March 15, 2017 11:59 AM
The miracle drink is a medicinal natural drink which contains beets, carrot, apple, water and ice is to be drank 3 times a week in the morning on an empty stomach. the first benefit from this drink is to naturally strengthen the liver, kidneys, pancreas, lungs and heart. Next, it helps clear out your skin, by helping to remove Blemishes and pimples. It also helps with the digestive track due to high fiber which helps fight against constipation. Lastly, it helps lower bad cholesterol in the blood and can increase good.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJHC2HG1adg&rel=0
"When you know the medicinal properties contained in this homemade drink, you will start to drink it almost daily."
Annatto Seeds, Leaves and Root.
Benefits of Annatto Seeds, Leaves and Root.
Coming from achiote shrub seeds, annatto is not just a food coloring. The red plant extract is also used to give colours to textiles and body care products.
The red colour of the seeds comes from the carotenoid content. Carotenoids are best known for their work in the eyes. They work as antioxidants to help fight off the damages caused by sunlight. Since carotenoids are strong antioxidants, annatto can be used to treat the skin by reducing wrinkle signs, Blemishes and helps tightening up the skin to make it look younger, all through free radical scavenging antioxidant properties.
Annatto leaves supports healthy digestion and healthy cholesterol levels.
The roots of Annatto can be extracted to be made an antidote to cure cassava poisoning.
Scientists are finding that antioxidant rich diets can help slow the aging process, slow the buildup of cholesterol, and slow mental decline. By adding annatto to your diet, you to can reap the benefits of a rich antioxidant diet.
WHAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT COCONUT OIL
February 06, 2014 07:56 AM
Introduction to coconut oil
Coconuts have come under close scrutiny by health experts and enthusiasts alike. The popular nut that is favored by the climates at the tropics is slowly cementing its place in household shelves worldwide. The white fleshy part has given us a healthy oil with a diverse resourcefulness.
Benefits of Coconut oil
Coconut oil's reputation had been Blemished by inconclusive studies that had suggested that due to its 90 percent concentration of saturated fats, it couldn't pass for a healthy oil. High saturated fat content is usually associated with artery clogs and this, in the case of coconut couldn't be any further from the truth. Coconut oil is arguable the richest source of saturated fat. Contrary to popular belief, during digestion, the fatty acids in the oil are sent to the liver where they are converted to energy or into ketone bodies that help counter brain disorders such as Alzheimer's.
Coconut oil has also wound its way to the breakfast table as a spread. It beats butter hands down as the healthy alternative when taken on toast.
It adds a remarkable nutty flavor to your food when used as a cooking fat. The fact that it does not exhibit any signs of rancidity under high temperatures as most cooking oils do, only underpins its reliability. Whether you use it to fry an egg or make a fuller meal, the health benefits it brings to the table are unparalleled.
Coconut oil has also crept into the snack world. Movie theatres have pioneered this trade by using it to prepare popcorn. Australian snack producers have also incorporated it into some of their beloved treats such as chocolate crackers. Bakers are opting for it as they also caught in this healthy food revolution.
We have also seen coconut oil used in massages, as an anti-dandruff and also as skin moisturizer.
The comprehensiveness of this oil makes it the ultimate everyday supplement to you as an individual and even your home.
Benefits of Natural Honey?
December 19, 2012 03:06 PM
Raw And Natural Honey
Raw honey is one of the oldest sweetening agents known to mankind. This substance is laden with lots of substances that have proven useful to humans from time immemorial. In fact, many cultures and civilizations have used this substance with a great deal of success which underscores its importance even in modern times. Without wasting much time, we shall delve straight into some of the most fascinating health benefits of natural honey.
While many people know that honey is basically a sweetening agent, few of them know that honey good for the skin. Ancient Greeks pioneered the use of honey as skin mask. Honey can be combined effectively with oils and aloe vera to produce fantastic skin masks. The resulting mixture can be used to cure a great deal of skin problems from acne scars, Blemishes, and dark spots on the skin.
Honey is also laden with nutrients and elements that nourish and moisten the skin leaving you with a soft texture and young looks. Honey is packed with powerful amino acids and enzymes that revitalize the skin.
So, instead of going for expensive creams and moisturizers, why not tap the power of raw honey?
Did you also know that raw honey is a powerful antibacterial agent? Scientists believe that pure honey can cleanse pores and eliminate microbes leaving you with a natural looking and healthy skin. Besides that, natural honey can act as an effective sunblock. It has antioxidant properties that can shield the skin from the effects of harmful ultraviolet rays.
Moving away from the skin, natural honey is also a great remedy for ulcers and abdominal problems. Honey has agents that attack bacteria while strengthening the stomach linings at the same time. Natural honey can also be used as remedies for moles and cough and chest problems.
Certainly, there is a whole lot more you can do with raw home. This underscores the fact that natural honey is a powerful substance with multiple purposes.
What is Shea Butter Good for?
February 24, 2012 08:12 AM
Shea butter is an all natural creamy fatty substance with exceptional moisturizing properties. It is made from the nuts of karite or shea tree that grows in the savannah regions of East and West Africa. Shea nuts are cracked, grilled, pound and boiled in water to extract the butter. Africans called it the women's gold because most of young women in Africa make a living in shea butter production.
Shea butter is so rich in antioxidants that it has the ability to heal skin diseases such as eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and skin rashes. It gives relief from skin itch and flaking. It is rich in Vitamins A and E that hastens the healing process of such skin diseases. Vitamins A and E are powerful antioxidants that eliminate skin toxicity and shield the skin from irritants. They also prevent the skin from getting damaged. Vitamin A prevents pimples and other skin Blemishes. While vitamin E keeps the skin radiantly glowing and repairs damaged skin cells.
She butter is an excellent anti stretch mark cream. The human skin is naturally elastic. However, pregnancy and weight gain cause the skin to rapidly stretched. This process affects collagen production and causes stretch marks. Collagen is glue like substance that firmly holds the cells together to prevent skin to sag. Shea butter aids in increasing collagen production to cope up with rapidly stretching skin during pregnancy and weight gain. This keeps the skin's elasticity and prevents stretch marks. Its ability to increase collagen production erases, if not reduces the appearance of stretch marks and scars. Increased collagen production firms and tones the skin and prevents it from sagging.
Shea butter and Skin Health
Shea butter is an intensive moisturizer for severe dry, flaky, rough and sunburned skin. It softens rough knees and elbows, cracked heel and calloused hands and feet.
Shea butter delays skin aging. As people age, fine lines and wrinkles start to develop. Shea butter deeply moisturizes and rejuvenates the skin thus, prevents wrinkles and early signs of aging. It is easily absorbed by the skin as it penetrates deep into the skin making it more hydrated from the inside. It hastens skin cell regeneration and allows new skin cells to grow. This process peels away old skin, revealing younger looking skin. Skin cell regeneration repairs damaged skin caused by ultra violet rays, radiation, wind and pollution. It also aids in fast healing of wounds, insect bites and burns without leaving scar or marks. It evens out skin tone, removes dark spots and other skin Blemishes by continuously renewing skin cells.
Shea butter soothes skin from irritation and stress caused by hair removal. Razor shaving, waxing and plucking leave the skin stressed and irritated. They also leave red bumps that lead to roughness and dark spots. The conditioning effect of shea butter calms red bumps and skin irritation when used as shaving cream.
Shea butter and Hair / Scalp
Shea butter works amazingly on hair and scalp, too. Dry scalp causes the it to flake. Shea butter conditions the scalp and hair follicles thus, prevents flaking and dandruf. It brings back hair's lost moisture due to frequent washing, hair styling and blow drying.
Shea butter is an excellent massage cream that treats arthritis, stiff joints and inflamed muscles. It has an anti inflammatory property relaxes swollen and stiff joints and aching muscles. It also relieves nasal congestion and inflammation when applied topically.
What Is Bentonite, and What Can It Do For Me
May 20, 2011 12:21 PM
Bentonite and Your Skin, Bowel Health.
Bentonite, named after Fort Benton in Wyoming where it was discovered in North America, is an aluminum silicate belonging to the montmorillonite family of clays that also includes fuller's earth. It is used both internally in the intestinal system and externally on the skin to offer a variety of health and beauty properties, uses to which the substance has been put over millennia in countries as diverse as North and South America, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Australia. Montmorillonite was first discovered in Montmorillon in France.
That's what it is, but what can it do for you? Among its traditional uses by ancient civilizations is to spread the bentonite mud on your skin, allow it to dry, then crack or peel it off - in other words a face mask. Many people have found it to help clear the effects of acne and psoriasis from their skin, and in Ancient Egypt in particular, bentonite was used to smooth the skin, remove Blemishes and make the women of that time appear more beautiful.
It can work the same way with the unsightly effects of hives and psoriasis, and many ancients use it as a mud bath in addition to a traditional face mask. However, bentonite is also of use internally, and helps you to retain, or even regain, regularity in your waste disposal system. Irritable bowel system and Crohn's disease can both be controlled by using bentonite, as can both constipation and diarrhea.
Bentonite might not look pretty when it is slurried up with water, but it then swells and takes the form of a thick mud that you can either apply to your skin or drink while it is still thin. If the mixture has thickened up, then give it a shake. It is thixotropic, and loses its gel-like consistency enough to drink when you put some energy into it - that means shake it!
Try Bentonite Today!
Royal Jelly As An Anti-Aging Supplement
February 27, 2010 11:45 AM
Royal jelly is considered to be the treasure of the beehive. It has the ability to promote longevity by helping to maintain healthy, beauty, and youth. This natural food is extremely potent and highly nutritional. Royal jelly is an incredibly rich, creamy, opalescent white liquid. It is produced by the worker bees specifically for the nourishment and cultivation of the queen bee. This fantastic material converts a common honeybee into a queen bee, extending the bee’s lifetime from six weeks to five years. This substance is full of natural hormones and B-vitamins. Additionally, it contains a variety of seventeen amino acids. Eight of these amino acids are essential. Royal jelly is particularly rich in cystine, lysine, and arginine and is also composed of 16.1 percent aspartic acid, which is crucial for proper tissue growth and regeneration.
Gelatin is another component of royal jelly and one of the primary precursors of collagen. It is a potent anti-aging compound that helps to keep the youthful, while supporting the organs, glands, and muscular systems. It contains vital fatty acids, sugars, sterols, phosphorus compounds, and acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is essential in order to properly transmit nerve impulses. It is also important for the proper functioning of the endocrine system. An insufficient amount of acetylcholine often leads to a susceptibility to a variety of nerve disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis.
Royal jelly has many properties. Among which include: antibacterial, antiviral, antibiotic, tonic, nutritive, and anti-aging. It is very beneficial to the immune, cardiovascular, endocrine, integumentary, nervous, reproductive, cellular, skeletal, hepatic, and respiratory systems.
Although aging is inevitable, the process can be slowed significantly with supplements. Researchers in Argentina have been working to document the ability of royal jelly to both slow down tissue deterioration and even reverse it. For example, the story of Noel Johnson should be noted, as he experienced of rebirth of health at age eighty. In 1964, at age sixty-five he was refused life insurance because of a weak and damaged heart. At this point he was also cautioned to restrict his physical activity in order to prevent death. In 1989, at age ninety, Johnson discussed the book he wrote, The Living Proof… I Have Found the Fountain of Youth, which claims that his use of bee products, along with a solid nutritional program, is responsible for changing his life. Despite the additional exercise and diet changes, Johnson attributes most of his vitality to the bee products he used. He claims that he discovered bee’s gift at age seventy, as the foods restored his manhood, brought him to full vigor and sexual potency, and continue to nourish every cell in his body. Johnson claims to be improving in every way without spending any money on medicine.
Royal jelly has been found to help with many conditions. Some of these include menopause, impotence, infertility, chronic fatigue, skin Blemishes, wrinkles, immune system problems, viral and bacterial infections, endocrine disorders, hormonal balance, cardiovascular disease, weight control, inflammation, liver ailments, cancer, arthritis, memory, depression, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, asthma, and mental exhaustion.
In order to obtain the best results when using this, or any bee product, it is important to consult your health care provider before beginning any regimen. For more information on the many beneficial effects provided by royal jelly, please feel free to consult a representative from your local health food store with questions. Always buy Name brands like Premier One Royal Jelly to ensure quality and purity of the product you purchase.
Oil Skin Treatment
February 12, 2010 12:31 PM
Oily skin is the result of the sebaceous glands, which are the oil-secreting glands, produce more oil than is needed for proper lubrication of the skin. The excess oil is responsible for clogging pores and causing Blemishes. Oily skin is most likely a result of heredity. However, it is known to be affected by factors such as diet, hormone levels, pregnancy, birth control pills, and the cosmetics that you use. Humidity and hot weather stimulate the sebaceous glands to produce more oil. However, it can occur at any age. A lot of people have skin that is oily only in certain areas and dry or normal in others. This condition is known as combination skin. Generally, the forehead, nose, chin, and upper back tend to be the areas that are more oily than other areas.
Oily skin does have some positive aspects. This type of skin is slow to develop age spots and discoloration, fine lines, and wrinkles. Often, it doesn’t freckle or turn red in the sun. It actually tans evenly and beautifully. On the negative side, oily skin is extremely prone to breakouts, even past adolescence. Oily skin also has a chronically shiny appearance, an oily or greasy feeling, and enlarged pores. The following nutrients are recommended for the prevention and maintenance of oily skin. The dosages recommended are for adults unless otherwise specified. For children between the ages of twelve and seventeen, the dosages should be reduced to three-quarters the recommended amount.
Flaxseed oil capsule or liquid in dosages of 1,000 mg daily or 1 tsp daily is helpful in supplying needed essential fatty acids. This nutrient is a good healer for most skin disorders. 25,000 IU of vitamin A for three months is necessary for healing and construction of new skin tissue. Vitamin B complex should be used as directed on the label as B vitamins are important for healthy skin tone. 1,000 to 1,500 mg of kelp should be taken daily. This nutrient is responsible for supplying balanced minerals that are needed for good skin tone.
Vitamin E should be taken in dosages of 200 IU daily or 400 IU every other day to protect against free radicals. 50 mg of zinc should be taken daily for tissue repair. This nutrient also enhances immune response. Grape seed extract should be taken as directed on the label, as it is a powerful antioxidant that protects skin cells. 500 mg of L-cysteine should be taken on an empty stomach, as it contains sulfur which is needed for healthy skin. 1 tsp of lecithin granules should be taken three times daily before meals. This nutrient is needed for better absorption of the essential fatty acids. SOD should be taken as directed on the label. It acts as a free radical destroyer. Tretinoin should be used as prescribed by a physician. This nutrient acts as a gradual chemical peel, unclogs pores, and speeds up sloughing off of top layers of skin. It helps to expose new, fresh skin.
Additionally, the following herbs may be beneficial: aloe vera, burdock root, chamomile, horsetail, oat straw, thyme, lavender, lemongrass, licorice root, rosebuds, and witch hazel. If you have a oily skin, washing the affected area two or three times daily will help keep the skin oil free and reduce acne along with a healthy diet low in sugar and vitamin supplements.
New from Now foods
September 28, 2009 02:28 PM
Fruit And Greens PhytoFoods Alkalizing Food Sources & Gluten Free
It is well understood that nutrients from wholesome, natural food sources are the most beneficial and healthy.
Sadly, most people simply do not have the time, energy, or even resources to consume five or more servings of fruits and vegetables every day. When you factor in professional responsibilities, social obligations, and travel, consuming the amount of fresh foods needed to thrive can become even more challenging. We at NOW understand the obstacles that face today’s health enthusiasts, and are constantly exploring new ways to provide superior health products at the best possible prices.
Fruit & Greens™ PhytoFoods is a celebration of everything that nature has blessed us with. From the berries and fruit bursting with cell-protecting antioxidants, to the vegetables and supergreen foods that provide vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and enzymes; nature remains our most popular and unBlemished source of perfect nourishment. Now, more than ever, the need for wholesome, unadulterated nutrition is of the utmost importance. NOW® Fruit & Greens™ PhytoFoods Powder was meticulously formulated to do exactly that.
Fruit & Greens PhytoFoods™ is an advanced, gluten-free Superfood blend that makes it almost effortless to reap the benefits of nature’s most nutritious offerings. Using ingredients provided by Mother Nature herself, we incorporated the very best into this innovative, full-spectrum formula. We invite you to compare the ingredients and potencies in Fruit & Greens PhytoFoods to similar Supergreen and Berry-containing products. Side-by-side, it’s clear that NOW offers the best value and a superior nutrition profile.
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STEVIA: THE IDEAL SWEETENER?
July 15, 2005 12:51 PM
STEVIA: THE IDEAL SWEETENER?
For anyone who suffers from diabetes, hypoglycemia, high blood pressure, obesity or chronic yeast infections, stevia is the ideal sweetener. It has all the benefits of artificial sweeteners and none of the drawbacks. Stevia can be added to a variety of foods to make them sweet without adding calories or impacting the pancreas or adrenal glands. It can help to satisfy carbohydrate cravings without interfering with blood sugar levels or adding extra pounds.
Using stevia to create treats for children is also another excellent way to avoid weight gain, tooth decay and possible hyperactivity. While it may take some getting used to initially, stevia products are becoming easier to measure and better tasting.
Stevia’s Unique Taste Sensation
When the whole leaf extract or powdered forms of stevia make contact with the tongue, the resulting taste can be described as a sweet flavor, with a slight licorice-like and transient bitter flavor. If stevia is used correctly with hot water or some other liquid, both those flavors will disappear. At this writing, researchers are working on a new extraction process that will preserve stevia’s sweetening potency while minimizing any aftertaste associated with the herb.
Additional Therapeutic Benefits
Consider the following quote: Stevia . . . is not only non-toxic, but has several traditional medicinal uses. The Indian tribes of South America have used it as a digestive aid, and have also applied it topically for years to heal wounds. Recent clinical studies have shown it can increase glucose tolerance and decrease blood sugar levels. Of the two sweeteners (aspartame and stevia), stevia wins hands down for safety. (Whitaker) Stevia has a long history of medicinal use in Paraguay and Brazil and while many of the therapeutic applications of stevia are anecdotal, they must be considered in that they have spanned generations. Experts who work with indigenous cultures frequently find that traditional applications of folk medicine can be verified with scientific data.
Stevia and Blood Sugar Levels
Clinical tests combined with consumer results indicate that stevia can actually help to normalize blood sugar. For this reason, the herb and its extracts are recommended in some countries as an actual medicine for people suffering from diabetes or hypoglycemia. Recent studies have indicated that stevia can increase glucose tolerance while decreasing blood sugar levels. Paraguayan natives have traditionally used stevia tea to regulate blood sugar. Stevia decoctions for diabetes are common and are usually prepared by boiling or steeping the leaves in water (Bonvie, 53). While scientific studies are certainly warranted, it is thought that disturbed blood sugar levels respond to stevia therapy while normal levels remain unaffected.
Stevia and Weight Loss
Stevia is an ideal dietary supplement for anyone who wants to lose or maintain their weight. Because it contains no calories, it can satisfy cravings for sweets without adding extra pounds. It is also thought that using stevia may decrease the desire to eat fatty foods as well. Appetite control is another factor affected by stevia supplementation. Some people have found that their hunger decreases if they take stevia drops 15 to 20 minutes before a meal. While scientific studies are lacking in this area, it is presumed that the glycosides in stevia help to reset the appestat mechanism found in the brain, thereby promoting a feeling of satiety or satisfaction. Much of our nation’s obesity epidemic is due to the over consumption of sugar-containing foods. Unfortunately, most sugary snacks are also loaded with fat, compounding the problem. When a sugar craving hits, anything will usually do. Doughnuts, candy bars, pies, pastries and cookies are considered high calorie, fattening foods. Using stevia to sweeten snacks and beverages can result making weight loss and management much easier.
High Blood Pressure
It is thought that taking stevia can result in lowering elevated blood pressure levels while not affecting normal levels. This particular application has not been researched, but its potential as a treatment for hypertension must be considered when assessing the value of herbal medicines for disease.
Stevia is thought to be able to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria and other infectious organisms. Some people even claim that using stevia helps to prevent the onset of colds and flu. Tests have supported the antimicrobial properties of stevia against streptococcus mutans (Bonvie, 54). The fact that stevia has the ability to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria helps to explain its traditional use in treating wounds, sores and gum disease. It may also explain while the herb is advocated for anyone who is susceptible to yeast infections or reoccurring strep infections, two conditions that seem to be aggravated by white sugar consumption.
Stevia can be used as an oral tonic to prevent tooth decay and gingivitis. Stevia extracts are sometimes added to toothpaste or mouthwashes to initiate this effect. Stevia is used in some Brazilian dental products with the assumption that the herb can actually help to prevent tooth decay and retard plaque deposits (Bonvie, 53). Stevia offers the perfect sweetener for oral products like toothpastes and mouthwash, enabling them to be more palatable without any of the drawbacks of other sweeteners.
Brazilians have used stevia to boost and facilitate better digestion (Bonvie, 53). Again, while this therapeutic application remains unresearched, the fact that stevia has a long history of use as a gastrointestinal tonic must be acknowledged. Plant glycosides can exert numerous therapeutic actions in the human body.
Stevia and Skin Care
Whole leaf stevia or its by-products have been used to soften and tone the skin and to ease wrinkles and lines. Facial masks can be made by adding liquid to the powder, and liquid elixirs can be used as facial toners to help tighten the skin. Stevia concentrate in the form of drops has also been used directly on sores or Blemishes to promote healing. For this reason, some advocates of stevia use it on other skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, or minor cuts or wounds. Stevia tea bags can be placed over the eyes to ease fatigue and to tone the skin. Stevia skin care products are available in clay bases, masks, and water-based creams. Liquid extracts can be directly applied to the skin.
In the Clear - Skin is always in danger of acne and inflammations
June 12, 2005 02:13 PM
In the Clear by Dianne Drucker Energy Times, August 3, 2003
Your skin needs protection even as it offers itself as your body's first line of defense against the outside world. Skin is always in danger of acne and inflammations during its daily encounters with stray microorganisms, streams of ultraviolet light and a barrage of pollutants.
Tending to your skin, keeping a clear complexion while safeguarding your well-being, requires proper feeding, watering and tender, loving care.
Your skin not only has to protect you, it has to look good while doing it. Unfortunately, much can go wrong with skin. One of the most common skin irregularities is the acne that often arises when pores clog and inflammation creates unsightly Blemishes.
While conventional medicine has long insisted that your chances of developing pimples are unrelated to what you feed your body and your skin, recent studies are calling that accepted wisdom into question.
Research in the Archives of Dermatology (12/02) argues that today's pimples are linked to what you ate yesterday. Skin scientists now suspect that the typical American diet, filled with refined foods, sugars and simple starches, causes the exaggerated release of insulin and related secretions that foment pimples and Blemishes.
The evidence: When researchers spent two years combing through the rainforests of New Guinea and trekking to remote parts of Paraguay, they took a close look at indigenous people's faces and couldn't find a single pimple. The inhabitants of these isolated areas eat homegrown food and wild game. They've never eaten crackers or cookies from a box or slurped a milkshake through a straw. And they've never had to cope with embarrassing acne.
The researchers concluded that no refined foods meant no Blemishes.
Refining the Pimple Process
According to this latest theory, pimples can start when your digestive tract quickly absorbs refined, starchy carbohydrates from white bread or potatoes or sugary soft drinks. These foods are ranked at or near the top of the so-called glycemic index. That means that these foodstuffs cause your blood sugar to climb rapidly, the process that the glycemic index measures.
That rise in blood sugar causes the release of insulin from your pancreas into your bloodstream. Insulin, a hormone-like substance, helps cells soak up the excess sugar circulating in your blood. However, along with insulin, another substance, is also released. These two chemicals boost the production of testosterone, the male hormone that, in turn, can cause the skin to overproduce sebum, an oily goo that plugs up pores and gives birth to acne. (Previous research has already established the causal relationship of testosterone to pimples.)
Lorain Cordain, PhD, a health professor at Colorado State University and lead researcher in this study, points out that more than 80% of the grains we eat are highly refined and cause significant blood sugar increases, a factor that makes skin break out. In addition, he says, teens are especially susceptible to pimples because they are growing rapidly and, as a result, tend to be insulin resistant. Insulin resistance means it takes more insulin to persuade cells to take sugar out of the blood. This condition consequently results in even larger amounts of insulin being released and more skin Blemishes being created.
According to Dr. Cordain, eating low-glycemic foods like whole grains, vegetables, fish and lean meat should lower your risk of acne. These foods don't bump up blood sugar as much, to be released and, as a result, are kinder to your skin.
Aside from improving your skin condition by improving the food you eat, taking supplements to help the bacteria in your lower digestive tract may also clear up your undesirable dermatological developments. Eczema, a discomforting and embarrassing skin inflammation, is now believed to depend on the interaction between intestinal bacteria and your immune system.
According to research in Finland (The Lancet 2001; 357:1076), eczema may appear on your skin when your immune system, influenced by the gut's bacteria, misbehaves, using unnecessary inflammation to defend against a non-existent infection that it mistakenly believes threatens the skin.
Atopic eczema, a variety of eczema that often runs in families, has long been known to be linked to allergies and immune overreactions.
In looking into the fact that more and more people have been suffering eczema, scientists came to the disturbing conclusion that this increase may be at least partly attributed to our obsession with cleanliness.
When we are young, our immune systems learn the proper ways to fight off germs by interacting with the bacteria and viruses they encounter. But during the past ten years, so many of us (and our parents) have kept our houses so neurotically spic-and-span, according to the latest theory, that our immune systems are failing to develop the proper responses. So, like a bored, inexperienced security guard who imagines a threat when there is none, our immune defenses are going slightly haywire, causing the defensive inflammation of eczema even in the absence of real bacteriological invasions. The possible solution: Probiotic supplements of harmless bacteria like Lactobacillus GG. This bacteria, similar to the friendly bacteria that live in our large intestines, seems to calm immunity so that it is less likely to panic and start an unnecessary inflammation.
These supplements are so safe, medical researchers are now giving them to pregnant women and newborn babies. In the research in Finland, giving these probiotics to mothers and newborns cut the rate of infant atopic eczema in half. (Similar, live bacteria are also found in yogurt, although yogurt should not be fed to newborns.)
The skin on these children is benefiting for long periods of time. "Our findings show that the preventive effect of Lactobacillus GG on atopic eczema in at-risk children extends to the age of 4 years," notes Marko Kalliomäki, MD, author of the study.
Tea Tree Help
Further natural skin help can be had from Australia in the form of tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia). Long revered by the aborigines of this continent, tea tree oil was allegedly given its English name by British sea captain James Cook, who used the plant to make a tea that improved the flavor of beer.
But Australians have long used tea tree oil as an antiseptic. Its popularity increased during World War II, when, after it was used as a lubricant on heavy machinery, mechanics who got the oil on their hands noticed it fought skin infections. As pointed out in The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook (Three Rivers Press), "The essential oil of tea tree...contains a number of terpenes, of which terpinen-4-ol is believed to be responsible for its beneficial anti-infective activity." Terpenes are special, beneficial types of protein found in essential oils.
Tea tree is especially useful against skin outbreaks caused by fungus infections. Research in Australia shows that it can help quell athlete's foot (Austr Jrnl Derm 1992; 33:145) as effectively as some pharmaceutical preparations. Other research confirms that it can help quiet many different fungi that cause unsightly skin outbreaks (Skin Pharm 1996; 9:388). The Chopra Center Herbal Handbook recommends that "every household should keep some tea tree oil close at hand. It can be applied directly to skin irritations."
Revered by the pharaohs' healers in Egypt during the ancient age of the pyramids, and depended upon for centuries by the Greeks for a variety of medicinal purposes, chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is still employed for a range of skin problems. This botanical helps ease abscesses, bruises or sunburn, and is included in many massage oils. (But never apply chamomile's undiluted essential oil to the skin.)
In addition, creams and sprays with chamomile are used to calm the nerves and nourish the skin. As an element in aromatherapy, chamomile, whose odor has been compared to apples, is well-known for soothing and rejuvenating the spirit. Explaining exactly how chamomile heals and calms has not been easy for scientists. Essential oils like chamomile contain so many different natural chemicals that exploring their holistic effect on the human body requires detailed analysis. As an aromatherapeutic agent, researchers believe chamomile and other essential oils may interact with the brain, activating glands that stimulate healing systems within the body. But that has yet to be proven.
What has been proven is that herbs like chamomile and tea tree, and natural treatments like probiotics, can make a big difference in keeping your skin healthy and clear. With their help, you can present your best face to the world.