Traditional Medicine for a Modern Time
Herbal Sun CareA good sunscreen has 2 purposes. One is to help skin maintain its natural oils and moisture. These can be lost due to exposure of the suns radiation.
The second region is to protect against UVA/UVB rays. Sunlight stimulates pigment cells within the skin, called melanocytes. Melanocytes release melanin,
which create the darker complexion, or tan, on the skin. A tan is actually the body’s way of protecting itself.
There are 4 skin types:
Type I: lighter colored skin with blonde/red hair 5-10 minutes
Type II: mild/darker skin color 20 minutes
Type III/IV: darker/black colored skin 30 minutes
To determine the safe amount of time one can spend in the sun, determine your skin type and multiply the minutes by your choice of SPF level of protection.
For example: Type II 20 x SPF 15 = 300 minutes of safe protection.
Commercial products often contain many ingredients that are now being recognized as not safe for the human body, or the environment. The number one
pollutant of our water is now by-products and residues from cosmetics and commercial body products. Some of the things that are best to be avoided are:
Benzophenone 3 – this actually creates free radicals in the skin. It is used to
protect the fragrance in the product.
PABA – 4-Aminobenzoic Acid – a benzene ring substituted with an amino group and a carboxylic acid.
Widely used as a UV filter.
Homosalate, 4-methyl benzylidene camphor, octyl methoxycinnamate
Whatever product you chose be sure it is broad spectrum and water-resistant. Products that contain Vitamin C and E are especially good.
Zinc oxide originates from a natural source. It is a pigmented mineral that is quarry mined and then further refined to a fluffy white powder.
It is a strong sun blocker, there is much controversial research.
Avoid the following oils in products:
These oils actually decrease sunscreen protection and have proven to create brown spots on skin.
Moisturizing and SPF protection
Very little research has been conducted on the SPF levels of herbs, but through traditional knowledge we know there are many herbs
that provide sun protection. Avocado oil, sesame oil and shea butter are all known to have approximately a SPF level of 6-10. Lanolin
is a great skin protector and is often used as a skin protector from the sun.
Herbs great for the skin that are traditionally known to have sun saving/protecting quality.
Green tea – Research shows that the tannic acid and theobromine which is
in tea actually help to cool sunburns. Tea also has catechins which have
been proven to prevent and repair skin damage. Green and black tea are
high in antioxidants. When the skin is damaged by the sun free radicals are
formed – therefore green and black tea are excellent sources to help stop
that free radical production.
Calendula – One of my favorite herbs and traditionally used for many things
Including the promotion of healthy skin by promoting skin healing and
and encouraging new skin production.
Echinacea – There are several constituents in the coneflower that have been
proven to halt the destruction of collagen. Collagen is what keeps the skin
youthful and elastic.
Plantain – Plantain is wonderous healer of the skin. It contains allantoin,
which promotes skin healing.
Other skin healers:
Summer Class Schedule
-Join us for a 2 hour foundation course
on how to make botanical tinctures
using the percolation method.
Friday July 22nd
7 - 9pm
$25 or work trade
Call 503-234-7801 to register
with Dr. JJ
A great class for the beginning
Herbal enthusiast! A 10 month
course where you will learn
the foundations of herbs and
how to use/make herbal medicine.
Next Class - September 2011
Classes meet the first Tuesday of each month : 7-9 pm
See The Herb Shoppe website for more information.
Summertime specials:10% off all Medicinal oils: Grapeseed, castor, almond, jojoba
Herbal Sun Screen
3 Tbsp Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp Avocado
2 Tbsp Cocoa butte
1 tsp beeswax
1 tsp Vitamin E
1 tsp Vitamin C
2 Tbsp Aloe gel
2 Tbsp Rose water
½ tsp Borax
20 drops Carrot seed essential oil
5 drops Essential oil of choice
First melt all oils, butters and beeswax, careful not to over heat. Once melted add vitamin E and C. In a separate container heat up aloe gel, rose water and borax, until borax is dissolved. Get both pans to the same temperature then put the rose water combination over a bowel of ice and slowly add oil/butter combination while whisking briskly. Store in the refrigerator. Sesame is quite stable and this should last up to 6 months.
Sun Care Oil
The lavender oil in this blend possess anti-inflammatory properties and helps to protect the skin from sunburn.
2 Tbsp Sesame Oil
2 Tbsp Wheat germ oil
4 Tbsp Hazelnut oil
4 Tbsp Almond oil
5 drops Lavender and ylang ylang oil