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In the News: Strange Phenomenon in Yoga Studios

1 Apr

Yes we are a bath and body company, yumscrub.com, and our blogs usually focus on those things related to it.  But, Yum Scrub Organics’ founder, Denise, is also a yoga teacher.  She found this article in the San Jose Post so alarming she thought we should share it in case you or anyone you know practices yoga – just to be prepared.

A new unexplainable phenomenon is happening to yoga students in yoga classes in California and apparently spreading eastward.

It began a couple of weeks ago in a class at the Mudhatama Yoga Studio in San Jose, California while students were doing cat and cow pose.  Cat/cow is a movement done on the hands and knees. Students flex their spine by moving from rounding it to extending it. It is called cat/cow because the rounding of the spine resembles a frightened cat, and the extending of the spine where the belly drops down looks like a cow. This time though the poses took on a life of their own. Students involuntarily began to meow and moo spontaneously.

The teacher, Josh Riddel, sensed right away that something was wrong–that this was no game.  He said he felt chills go up and down his spine at the sound because they were so realistic.  Riddel could see by the bewilderment and fright on the students’ faces that something strange was going on.  The sounds stopped when the class of about 24 students moved from cat/cow to sitting.

After the students calmed down, Riddel asked if they could explain what happened. The students could not explain.  They all reported the same experience: Something uncontrollable came over them, and the meows and moos emanated from their mouths on their own volition.  Several of the students were so frightened they began to sob while others laughed it off as part of the yoga experience.

Riddel asked for student volunteers to go back into cat/cow to see if the sounds would emanate from them again.  Several students did volunteer, and once again they all meowed and mooed.  He had no explanation to give his students.  It didn’t end there.  Other teachers at the yoga studio reported the same sensations were happening in their classes.  And soon, posts on social media showed that the meowing and mooing were not limited to this one studio.  Like a virus, it had spread to other yoga studios all over California.

Some gurus are saying that this is merely students embodying the essence of the pose.  “I know that yoga is to transform me.  But I don’t know if I’m ready to be transformed into a cat or cow even if cows are sacred in India.  Well…besides we aren’t in India, and I’d probably get eaten here in the U.S.  This is what has become of me since that day; I make no sense at all when I speak.  This whole experience has ungrounded me,” said Flo Hardy, a yoga student in Riddel’s class.

Since the San Jose Post broke the story, many students are staying away from yoga classes while other people who have never done yoga are flocking to them.  They want to have what they see as a once in a lifetime experience.  During the full moon in March, many yoga classes were held outside so students could meow/moo at the moon…a yoga version of howling at the moon.

The SJP interviewed medical personnel in various fields to see if they could offer any insights or explanations, but no one as been able to identify a cause.  Strangely, it is only happening in yoga classes and only with the cat/cow movement. Students are not barking in downward facing dog………not yet.  Also, teachers are not affected, and individuals practicing at home do not report the same experience.

Some speculate that maybe a mass Kundalini awakening or enlightenment is happening, and others say it is a sign that points to the birth of the aquarius age.  The aquarius age, which humanity is in the beginning stages, is said to cause consciousness rising. Unsettling consequences can happen to those not prepared for higher levels of consciousness in this new age, Dr. Shaman Mee, director of Spirit Rising explains. Whether it is related no one knows for sure–all is speculation.  What is known, however, is that the phenomenon is not just isolated to California.

It is moving east.  Reports of the Meow Moo Mantra, as it is now being called, are coming in from Oregon, Washington State, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Arizona, and Colorado.  Since it seems to be spreading like a virus, it’s only a matter of time that yoga studios nationwide may be affected.

If you or someone you know practices yoga, all that we can tell you to do is:

 

 Have a Happy April Fool’s Day!

Love and Light to All~

Denise & Mackenzie

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Abbott and Costello: What’s Natural?

6 Jun

Sometimes the confusion over natural, organic, and 100% organic puts me in the mind of the famous Abbott and Costello baseball skit, “Who’s on First?”  I imagine a discussion between them on natural, organic, and 100% organic labeling going something like this:

             Abbott:    Did you get the lettuce?

            Costello:  Yeah, got it right here.

            Abbott:    Is it organic?

            Costello:  It says it’s natural. 

            Abbott:    The lettuce talks?

            Costello:  No, the label.  It states the lettuce is natural.

            Aboott:    Does that mean it’s organic?                       

            Costello:  Naturally.

            Abbott:    Natural is organic, naturally?

            Costello:  Sure, it grows in nature doesn’t it?

            Abbott:    So, why does the label say natural and not organic?

            Costello:  Because organic is natural and natural organic.  So, it doesn’t matter.

            Abbott:    Natural is organic, naturally then you say?

            Costello:  Organic is natural.

            Abbott:    Only if it’s not on a label.  Then there’s 100% organic.

            Costello:  Huh?

            Abbott:    100% organic is more organic than organic and natural.

            Costello:  What about natural?  Nature is nature, which is organic.

            Abbott:    Naturally you’d think that.  But natural is marketing.

            Costello:  I go to the market to get natural?

            Abbott:   Natural is marketing spin.  It makes food & things look healthy and organic.

            Costello:  I’m beginning to spin.  So, I go to the market and spin my food to make it natural & organic.

            Abbott:   You don’t spin it.  Companies with marketing departments do.

            Costello:  Companies have departments that do the marketing?  I want to work there.

            Abbott:    They don’t do the shopping for you.  Marketing departments spin words and create images to make the products more appealing to customers.           

            Costello:   Is this natural?

            Abbott:    We’ve been over this.  100% organic is natural only.  Only in the natural world is organic natural and 100% doesn’t exist.

            Costello:  So, let me get this straight.  Natural marketing is unnatural, natural is not organic, and organic is not 100%.

            Abbott:    Naturally…

            Costello:  Don’t start; I’m leaving with my lettuce.

Okay, so maybe it’s not as funny as the “Who’s on First,” but it does offer a description of the confusion over natural, organic, and 100% organic.  And yes, some of the confusion is done purposely by marketing machines, especially the “natural” description.

“Natural” Labeling Is a Marketing Term Only
Basically, “natural” had no official designation when it comes to most food and means nothing with regard to cosmetics.  The USDA defines “natural” only as it relates to meat, poultry, and eggs only.  For meat, poultry, and eggs the definition means, “minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients.”  It doesn’t say anything about how the meat, poultry, or eggs are farmed or produced.

Companies have latched onto the fact that “natural” and “from nature” have no official designation.  The terms can be used broadly to describe about anything that has even a remote connection to nature.

The same is true with “natural” or “naturally-based” cosmetics.  Theoretically, a product can contain 99% chemical based ingredients and state on its label that is “natural” or contains “natural ingredients.”  Many companies take advantage of this to confuse consumers because they want to capture and use the trend toward organic lifestyle.

“Natural,” “from nature, “natural source derived” are all marketing terms.  Period.

“Organic” Products Can Contain Chemicals
In addition, “organic” does not mean that the ingredients are all organic as in without manmade chemicals.  By USDA regulations, multi-ingredient products can have up to 5% nonorganic ingredients.  These ingredients must come from USDA approved nonorganic list.

Not to confuse you even more, but products labeled “contains organic ingredients” can have up to 30% manmade chemicals or nonorganic ingredients.

100% Organic Assures No Synthetic Chemicals
Only those products labeled 100% organic are truly natural in the true sense of the word as in straight from Mother Nature without chemical additives or chemical processes.  Products labeled such cannot contain any manmade chemicals or chemicals derived from natural sources.

Ending the Confusion
So, hopefully you are not as confused as Abbott and Costello.  Just remember “natural” is not synonymous with “organic” or “100% organic.” It is a term latched onto by marketing departments.  And “100% organic” is the only labeling that is regulated to not have any chemicals in the product.  However, to the honesty of 100% organic labeling….well, that’s for another post.

Natural.  As required by USDA, meat, poultry, and egg products labeled as “natural” must be minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients. However, the natural label does not include any standards regarding farm practices and only applies to processing of meat and egg products. There are no standards or regulations for the labeling of natural food products if they do not contain meat or eggs.

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Look of Girl’s Brain Changes to Boy’s Brain with Small Dose of Chemicals

26 Apr

We’ve been advocating about reducing chemical exposure and consumption for years because our over dependence on chemicals are killing us and our planet.  However, there is a new spin; small doses of chemicals can alter hormones and make changes in the body.  How small?  Amounts that are equivalent to 1 drop in 20 Olympic size swimming pools.  This is from researchers at Tuft University who do not ask if chemicals are killing us, but are researching whether small amounts of chemicals change our brains.

The answer is yes.  Their research has found that small amounts subtlety change the brain (animal studies), so that a girl’s brain changes to look like a boy’s brain!  And these are not exotic chemicals; they are chemicals that we come in contact with everyday.

Photo: greenpack.rec.org

Dr. Laura Vanderberg, a developmental biologist at Tufts University, points out that regulatory agencies (FDA, EPA and I am adding companies using chemicals) test chemical safety by giving animals large amounts of chemicals that kill them then drawback to a “safe” level for humans.  But, the problem is they do not test the safe amount to see if it is truly safe.  Maybe like me you thought they did.  It would seem to be a no brainer to ask if the “safe” amounts are really safe.

VANDENBERG: What we find is that there’s overwhelming evidence in animals that BPA is associated with drastic changes in mammary gland development, also changes in the induction of mammary cancers, and changes in the sensitivity of the animal to carcinogens. So it makes you more sensitive to a carcinogen.
Excerpt from Living on Earth, March 16, 2012.

Laura Vandenbery,  goes into more on how small amounts of chemicals affect us in this interview with Living on Earth  http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=12-P13-00011&segmentID=1.   Please listen or read the transcript; it is worth your while.

One of the things she says is the use of chemicals are so ingrained in our society that it is hard to shop our way out of the problem because we cannot tell by the labels which ingredients are hormone mimickers.  Of course, there is one way you can reduce chemical consumption.  That is to buy all-organic or 100% organic when you can.

Remember:  Only 100% organic or all-organic assures that there are no chemicals in the product.  “Organic and “Contains Organic” can by law have a certain percentage of chemicals.

Back when we started reducing our own chemical consumption there wasn’t much research or interest in research on chemicals effect on the body.   So, it great to see new light being shed on the growing concern over the use of chemicals in our lives.  And friends, this is why we are an all-organic body-care line.  With all the marketing hype from mega cosmetic companies, small all-organic or 100% organic companies get lost in the noise.  Support all-organic companies; it requires much more effort to formulate products without chemicals than with chemicals.

Reference:

“The Dose Doesn’t Always Make the Poison,” Living on Earth.  Week of March 16, 2012. http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=12-P13-00011&segmentID=1

Thanks to Green Beauty Team for the tweet on the Living on Earth article. twitter.com/greenbeautyteam  and  greenbeautyteam.com

What Does Love Got to Do with… Beautiful Skin?

2 Apr

When you feel love, when you love, and feel loved the energy from these feelings comes through you and manifests itself in many, many ways.  The glow and health of your skin is one of the ways that love is reflected.   Your skin looks brighter, wrinkles are kept at bay, and skin conditions improve all with love.

With love as the inner center of your experience, you radiate outward.  In addition, when love is your dominant force, you want to take better care of yourself.  So, you eat better, exercise, and you are involved in healthy relationships and activities.  Love brings happiness and joy, and the cells in the body pick up on this energy communicating in ways that lead to a healthier body.  And healthier, better-looking skin is one of the beneficiaries of these responses to love.

[“Smile, it enhances your face value.”  Truvy (Dolly Parton) in “Steel Magnolias”]

See for yourself.  Try loving every day throughout the day no matter the difficulties you have for thirty days.  See if your skin doesn’t look better and your life feel better.  Here are some thoughts and tips:

Love is not a mental exercise; words alone don’t make love.  Words need to be connected to feelings.  Think of someone or something that doesn’t need to give you love back for you to feel love (a baby, small child, puppy, pet, flowers, etc.).  Got the feeling?  That is love.

[The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.  Helen Keller]

Now with that feeling, love yourself first unconditionally.  Just don’t say your love yourself, feel it in your entire being.  Loving yourself is not selfish as many of us as many of us have been taught to believe.  In fact, in order to love others fully, you need to love yourself first.  Everyday practice loving yourself.  (You can check in with how you are doing with this by observing how you are treating others in your life and those whom you meet during the course of your day.)

Every morning before you get out of bed and every night before you go to sleep list all the things you love.  Just don’t stop at ten or twenty things keep on going. Gratitude is an expression of love, so you could also list all the things you are grateful for.  Don’t forget the people that make your life possible (fireman, policemen, people who make it possible to have electricity and running water, sidewalks, farm workers, etc.). 

[“When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them.” — Chinese Proverb]

What about those difficult people in your life?  Find something to love about them.  Send them love; they are most likely in great need of loving themselves.

Express in words and feeling love and appreciation to people in your life everyday.  Mentally pass on love and happiness to people you meet (grocery clerk, barista, bus driver, bank teller, etc.)  Elbert Einstein on of the greatest scientific minds of all times gave gratitude a 100 times a day:

[A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men living and dead and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I received and am still receiving.]

 The upside to love is there is no downside.

BTW – When you buy our products, you are getting love.  We put and send love in every bottle.

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Get Your Happiness On

7 Mar

So, for skin to be healthy and beautiful, you need good nutrition, good sleep and rest, exercise, a skincare regimen, great products (ha-hum), etc.  However, there is something we tend not to relate with healthy, beautiful skin and that is happiness and laughter.  Do not underestimate what feeling happy and laughing can do for the skin. 

Happiness and laughter bring a natural glow to the skin.  Feelings of happiness, reduce stress and lower blood pressure, which gets reflected on your skin with less wrinkles, improvement in skin conditions, such as acne and eczema, and more suppleness.  With less stress and worry, more nutrients flow to your skin instead of being directed to bodily functions that are a part of the body’s “fight and flight” response.

An Angel We Can All Love

Kick Start Your Happiness Gene
Okay, we don’t really know if there is a happiness gene.   But imagine there is one, and we are going to turn it on.

The quickest way to turn on your “happiness gene” is to think or list all the things you love, every little thing and every big thing you can think of.  Just keep going and going and going with the list.  Hand-n-hand with love is gratitude.  Again, list all the things big and small, you are grateful for.  If it’s hard getting started, think of all the people whose work makes your lifestyle possible: farmers, utility workers, builders, grocery workers, farm workers, automobile designers and workers, etc. 

Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientists ever, gave thanks and gratitude 100 times a day every day.

A hundred times a day I remind myself that my inner and outer lives are based on the labors of other people, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.

Here are few videos and images to jump start your happiness! Yeah, some are cute, some funny, and some ridiculous.  Enjoy.

Ridiculous Happiness

Lizards Get Happy Too

Blossoms Bring Hope

Joyous Abandonment: It's Catchy

Piggy Possum...Too Full to Move...Caught Red Handed

Nothing Like a Good Roll in the Snow

Sign of Spring

World CARFREE Day Is Tomorrow- How Are You Participating?

21 Sep

Did you know that tomorrow, September 22, 2011 is World Carfree Day? And that the world population of cars is over 1 billion and growing fast?  So, is your town, city, state sponsoring any special events to highlight the growing problem of cars?  As I was doing research on this care free carfree day, it came to my attention that the US is on the low end of participation and yet the US ranks highest in the world for the number of cars on the road.

Here’s a little run down on the history of Carfree Day and what it means.  World Carfree Day is an annual celebration to bring awareness to our over reliance on automobiles and to promote other forms of transportation that frees us from the noise, stress, and pollution of cars. Each year on September 22, people around the world organize events of all sizes to showcase alternatives to the automobile. The World Carfree Network was created to be the central network for all activities that go on around the world on September 22. World Carfree Network invites organizations and individuals everywhere to join and participate by leaving the car at home.

“This day is all about a way to celebrate what our cites and towns would be like without cars, get out and walk, ride a bike, and in the process get to know your community.”

Yum Scub! Organics has a two offices.  One is located right outside of Washington DC where I live.  And I have to say I am very proud of the DC/Metro area and different companies and organizations who are getting involved and making carfee day easy and fun!  If you happen to live in the DC area, here is the a link to some of the events and freebies that are going on around my town, including free bus rides and bike rentalshttp://www.carfreemetrodc.com/car-free-day-events.php

If you don’t live in the DC/Metro area, that doesn’t mean you can’t get involved!  Go to the World Carfee Network and get idea’s for implementing a day of being car free.   Also get busy and start socializing- spread the word and let people in your community know whats going on in your area.   And if you do none of the above, at least make a pledge to yourself, your car, and your environment and go Carfree tomorrow.   Take an easy step and jump on the bus or enjoy the fresh air on a bike.   If you live in an area where there isn’t public transportation, suggest to your friends that you carpool tomorrow.  Who knows maybe you will find that your commute is just more fun when you share it with others!  

http://www.worldcarfree.net/wcfd/index.php  

Get involved and join the more than 40 countries and 1,500 cities who are going carfree for AT LEAST one day!

Check this site out for information on how the growing car population is affecting the world:
http://www.infrastructurist.com/2011/08/24/new-report-global-car-population-tops-1-billion/


 

The Essential – Essential Oils

22 Aug

If you are looking to include more organic/natural solutions for personal and home use, we suggest stocking your cabinet with a few basic essential oils. Lavender, tea tree, and peppermint essential oils are good ones to begin using.

If you’ve ever sniffed an essential oil, you know what a strong scent they have.  This scent is a result of the naturally occurring chemical compounds that are in a more condensed form than you get from the plant or herb.  These same chemical compounds are also what make essential oils effective for personal and home use.  Actually many man-made medicines get their start with botanicals.

Aspirin came about because of willow bark.  Willow bark had been used since ancient times in many cultures for pain and fever.  In more recent history, Tamoxifen used to treat breast cancer is a result of the Pacific Yew tree.  And Israeli doctors are investigating cinnamon as a prevention and cure for Alzheimer’s, and hospitals in France and Israel are investigating the use of cinnamon oil to fight hard to kill bacteria.  Lavender sprayed in Alzheimer ‘s units has shown to calm patients.  And a combination of essential oils showed promising results for hair loss. 

Our suggestions for the use of essential oils will not cure cancer or Alzehimer’s, but may help with some typical personal and household problems.

LAVENDER
Buy true lavender; the biological name is “lavandula angustifolia.”  Spike lavender though related is not the same and Lavandin is a cross between true lavender and spike lavender.  Lavender is a very gentle oil in that it can often be applied neat (undiluted) on the skin and most people have not trouble with lavender.  Be prudent in the amount of essential oils you use because too much can cause a headache or be a stimulant when you want to relax.

  • Uses
    • Burns/Sunburns.  Burn yourself taking a pot off the stove or something out of the oven, reach for the lavender.  Modern aromatherapy got its start from lavender and a burn.  French chemist/perfumer Rene-Maurice Gattefosse applied lavender after a severe burn, and as the saing goes, “the rest is history.” For small and less severe burns apply neat (undiluted).  For larger areas, dilute with a cup of water in a spray bottle and spray.
    • Sleep/Insomnia.  Lavender has relaxing and sedative properties that make it a great aid for sleep problems.  There are several ways to use it for sleep. 
      • Add a few drops to a warm bath.  Because a bath can also stimulate, take your bath an hour or so before going to bed.
      • Apply two drops to a small cloth and put between your pillow and pillowcase.  The scent will be there all night.  This is especially good if you wake during the night and can’t go back to sleep.  Do not use too much or you will be restless instead.
      • Make a spritzer with lavender oil and water and spray in your bedroom before going to bed.  To keep it fresh, don’t make more than a few days worth.
      • Inhaling lavender is calming and relaxing. 
    • PMS.  Lavender is known for relieving premenstrual symptoms.  Dilute a couple of drops in a carrier oil (almond, grapeseed, coconut, jojoba, olive, etc.) and rub on your stomach and lower back.
    • Insect bite and repellant.  For insect bites, apply neat and rub into the bite.  You may also combine it with the same amount of tea tree oil and apply.  To use as a repellant, apply neat to ankles, neck, and wrist.  You could also make a spray with 10-12 drops of lavender (again can combine with tea tree) with a cup of water.
    • Facial mister.  Do you sometimes feel your face needs a “wake me up” or feels dehydrated, and you can’t apply moisturizer?  Make a lavender face spray.  Use about 6 -7 drops of lavender in ½ cup of mineral water. Shake or mix.  Pour the spritzer in a one or two ounce spray bottle.  Whole Foods and Michael’s Craft store sale the bottles.  Store the remaining spray in the refrigerator. People with problem or oily skin can also use this.  Lavender is also good for acne, psoriasis, athlete’s foot, and other skin conditions.

TEA TREE OIL
The aboriginal people of Australia have been using tea tree for thousands of years.  While the name has tea in it, tea tree oil does not come from the tea plant.  Tea tree is one of the most effective essential oils because it has properties that fight against bacteria, fungi, and viruses.  As with almost all essential oils, you do not want to ingest tea tree essential oil.

  • Uses
    • Sore throat.  Add a drop of tea tree oil to ¼ cup water and gargle.  DO NOT SWALLOW.
    • Earache/Swimmer’s ear.  Warm to the touch 1/8 cup of extra virgin olive oil, almond oil, or sesame oil.  Add one drop of tea tree oil to the warmed oil.  Using a dropper or small spoon drop oil into the ear, keep ear tilted for a few minutes or place a cotton ball in the ear.  Repeat as necessary.  Seek medical attention for sever pain, bleeding, or pain accompanied with a fever.
    • Cold or Flu.  Inhale the vapors by placing 2 – 3 drops in hot water and placing a towel over your head.  Be careful not to burn yourself. Or add a drop or two to a warm water vaporizer.  You can also make a warm compress to place on the chest.  Take a couple drops of tea tree oil and mix in warm water.  Soak a small washcloth in the mixture; wring it out, and place on chest.
    • Mouthwash.  Dilute one drop of tea tree oil in ¼ cup water; gargle and swish.  DO NOT SWALLOW.
    • Dandruff.  Either add a few drops to your shampoo and/or conditioner.  You can also make a final rinse with a couple drops of tea tree in some water.  Be sure to gently massage into scalp.
    • Disinfectant.  Spray the air during flu and cold season with tea tree and distilled water to disinfect the air.  Don’t make more than you will use in a few days to keep it fresh.
    • Mold.  Use either directly depending on the size of the area or dilute with some water.

PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL
Peppermint essential oil is very strong smell and the smell lasts a long time.  So, use just a small amount.  Peppermint has also been around a long time; remnants of peppermint have been found in Egyptian tombs from 1000 B.C.E.  Don’t put peppermint oil directly on the skin.  

  • Uses
    • Bugs and Insects.   Peppermint essential oil works great on bugs.  A dilution of peppermint essential oil and water, or with a small amount of alcohol is will keep many of the creepy crawlers from invading your space.  In a 16 oz. spray bottle, drop about 6 drops of peppermint oil, add water and shake.  Spray around the outside perimeter of your house.  You can also spray around the inside perimeter.  Remember since the scent is strong and long lasting do one level at a time, beginning with the basement. 
    • Migraine Headaches.  Combine 3- 4 drops peppermint and 1 drop of lavender essential oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil (almond, jojoba, grapeseed, olive oil, etc.) and rub into temples. Make ahead so it’s ready when you need it. Repeat as necessary.
    • Achy Tired Feet.  At the end of an exhausting and perhaps your day isn’t finished, this is a great pick-me-up that sends some special love to your overworked feet.   Fill a tub or basin some very warm water to – just enough to cover the feet; add two – three drops of peppermint oil.  You can also add a couple drops of lavender to the mix.  Soak the feet, or to make them really feel good, get a stiff body brush and brush the soles and around the toes.  Soak for a few more minutes.  You may want to rinse the feet in cool water at the very end.
    • Bad Breath.  Add a drop of peppermint oil to ¼ cup water.  Rinse and gargle.  DO NOT SWALLOW.
    • Nausea/Indigestion.  Just a whiff of peppermint oil helps to settle a stomach. You can also place a drop in a tablespoon of wild honey to settle indigestion or upset stomach.

This is just a start to the uses for the essential oils listed above, and there are hundreds of essential oils that offer benefits other than for perfume or scent.  Just remember essential oils are very potent so a little goes along way.

This information is for entertaining purposes only and not for diagnosing or treatment of any conditions.

References:
“Aromatherapy,” Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, A Teaching Hospital of Harvard Medical Center. Online: http://www.bidmc.org/YourHealth/ConditionsAZ.aspx?ChunkID=37427 .  Retrieved 19 August 2011.

Lawless, Julie, “The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oil.”  Rockport, MA. Element Books. 1997.


Some Natural Brands We Love!!

1 Aug

We try to use natural/organic products whenever and wherever we can and want to promote other companies that are like minded.  So, here are some products/companies we love!!  If you have a favorite natural/organic product, please let us know and we’ll add it to the list.

Clean Well – Produces a hand sanitizer using thyme oil instead of chemicals to kill germs. They make a great pocket sanitizer.  Find it at Target, Whole Foods, and online.  http://www.cleanwelltoday.com/

Mrs. Meyers Clean Day – Makes a variety of products for the home and personal use.  We especially like their dryer sheets and liquid hand soaps. http://www.mrsmeyers.com/

Ecoditty – Makes neat reusable sandwich and snack bags from organic cotton.  They’re reusable and come in fun designs. They can be purchased at natural and children’s stores around the country.  Check out their website for retail and online purchases. http://www.ecoditty.com/retail.php

Cows Gone Coconut – Makes coconut milk “ice cream” that’s creamy and great tasting. They also make coconut milk “ice cream” cakes and vegan/ gluten free coconut milk “ice cream” sandwiches.  Downside is that for the moment you can only get it in the Denver/Boulder area unless you’re willing to pay shipping on dry ice.  www.cowsgonecoconut.com

20% Vinegar – Different brands.  20% vinegar kills weeds (and grass) without chemicals.  Table vinegar (food grade) has an acidity of 5%.  20% vinegar is 4 times as strong and is not food grade.  Following the instructions, it kills weeds in an hour and only takes one spray.  To use it on the lawn, make a cone or cover from cardboard to put around the weed; it will protect the lawn when the weed is sprayed.  Sold at some farmer’s markets and online.  http://maestro-gro.com/vinegar20acidity.aspx and http://www.amazon.com/EE-NW004-20-Vinegar-Gallon/dp/B0031AY1LA

Alaska Fish Fertilizer – This company has been around a long time.  They make an all purpose deodorized fish emulsion for indoor and outdoor plants.  Plants love it, especially tomatoes. Sold at many retail outlets–natural food stores, Home Depot, Lowes.  There are several companies; we like this one: http://www.lillymiller.com/alaska.html

Clementine Art Natural Crayons – These are crayons that you don’t have to worry about if the little ones get them in their mouths.  They’re made from certified nontoxic ingredients.  Note: they are made with soy in case of soy allergy.  Check their website for retail locations. http://www.clementineart.com/?display=products&p=4

Abe’s Market – Abe’s is an online natural market selling a variety of products.  Think of it as a internet mom and pop shop selling organic and natural products.  They also love to share with you their seller’s stories, so you really get to know the people behind the brands you love.  http://www.abesmarket.com

What organic/natural brands can you not live without??

Organic products- The New Trend

27 Jul

One of our awesome customers sent us a link to a New York Times article about a new trend in skincare; which is a move back to a natural approach with simple ingredients.  This is opposed to skincare that uses ingredients that are not only hard to pronounce, but even harder to know what it actually is.

While we feel great about being apart of a new trend, it was not something we set out to do or realized we were a part of.  It was an organic decision, literally, that came from the dissatisfaction of using products that didn’t work and wanting to use natural plant based ingredients.

Making the Switch

As owners of other like skincare companies report, one of the hardest parts for a natural skincare company is convincing people that natural ingredients don’t only work but are also beneficial to the person and the environment.  It’s about teaching people to move from chemical based lotions to botanicals and plant oils.  We’ve had almost a century of getting conditioned to lotion, so using oils is something “new” for modern people.  Although, plant oils and botanicals have been used for more centuries than lotions and are still used by many cultures around the world.

Natural Requires More Self-care

Oils and natural ingredients do require a bit more indulgence (a bit more taking care of yourself).  For instance, plant oils need to be massaged into the skin.  By rubbing the oils in they are absorbed and penetrate to deeper layers of the skin.  This is where the benefits of oil outshine lotions.  Lotions tend to stay closer to the surface of the skin where they attract dirt–not good for people with skin problems.  Also, without exfoliating daily the ingredients accumulate causing more flakiness.

Lotion Disadvantages

There are two other problems with lotions: They tend to have water as the main ingredient and have chemicals.  By definition lotion is a combination of water and oil (often mineral or other inexpensive oils) with an emulsifying agent to bind the two together.  Of course, companies add other ingredients to the mix.  Basically, people are paying to apply water to their skin.  It’s a misconception that water hydrates the skin from the outside.  Yes, drinking water helps keep the skin hydrated from the inside out.  But, if water hydrated the skin by application then one wouldn’t feel like a prune when they came out of a bath.  The other problem with lotions is the chemicals that are needed to bind, preserve, and purify the ingredients.  It’s been proven that the skin absorbs what is put on it.  And as we have said before in our blogs, we do not need any more chemicals in our bodies.

How We Operate
For us it’s just not about bottling botanicals and oils.  We take formulation seriously and blend ingredients for specific applications so that we can make the most effective product.  In other words, we thoroughly research and test our products.  We also make custom blends, so contact us if you have a specific skincare need.  Contact: experience@yumscrub.com

NYT Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/07/fashion/modern-apothecary-lines-offer-natural-approach-to-skincare.html

Why Organic?

18 Jul

The most succinct and simple answer is: Organic products help deflect the harm from the increasing and alarming amount of synthetic chemicals bombarding you daily.  Why does this matter?  Scientist and the medical community are recognizing that there is a correlation between the rise of cancer and other health issues and the rise in the use of chemicals.  The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that by 2030 cancer deaths worldwide will rise to 12 million per year.

Every day your body and the environment are flooded with synthetic chemicals most of which you cannot avoid.  Most if not all of us living in an industrial nation have lived our entire lives in a chemically weighted world.  And each year we get further and further away from living in a natural world.  Consider it for a moment.  It’s a big deal.  We live in a more artificial world than natural world.  The focus term here is “chemically weighted,” meaning that most of our day-to-day living is comprised largely of synthetic chemicals.

Look around you.

Chances are that most of the items around you at this moment have been made with synthetic chemicals or have a synthetic chemical component to them.  You can probably reach out your hand and touch something plastic; your food–enhanced with, grown with, preserved with, and/or colored with chemicals; your clothing–dyed with chemicals; your green and weed-free lawn–a result of a chemical brew; bugs–exterminated with chemicals; the paper your read or write on–chemically made and coated; the air you breathe–filled with dioxins; the wood floor or table–preserved with chemicals and coated with polyurethane; the medicines you take; the carpeting you walk on; the packaging of anything you buy, and your personal care products–hair coloring, nail polish, deodorants, make-up, and even toilet paper.  Each time you get in your car–chemical overload.  You breathe in unseen chemicals from other cars and take-in fumes from the gas you put in your car.  It’s estimated that there are 100 chemicals alone in diesel exhaust.

In other words, there is not one aspect of your life that’s totally chemical free.  Even if you are out in the woods reading this, the device your using to make it possible is because of chemicals.  And while the air smells fresh, it has chemical particles that have floated from other chemically infused parts of the world.

We can’t even say, “from the moment we are born we begin to swim in a chemical world,” because studies done by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) on newborn umbilical cords show that there can be over 200 chemicals in babies at birth.  It’s worse for minority babies.  We have a new term for newborns, “body burden babies.”  “Body burden” is a term used to describe the burden that chemicals have put on our bodies.  Many of these chemicals don’t leave the body.

Consider: We’ve become so accustomed to the chemical stew we live in that now “organic” is strange and abnormal.  Think about that.  Organic is not the norm; we even have to identify and regulate what’s “organic.” Chemicals are so pervasive that it’s become our nature to trust them and to look upon organic as the strange thing and people who have an organic lifestyle even stranger. 

Research shows that there is a correlation between the increasing pervasiveness of chemicals and the rise of cancer, obesity, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, birth defects, childhood disorders, and other diseases.  “Chemicals have replaced bacteria and viruses as the main threat to human health.  The diseases we’re beginning to see as the major causes of death as we begin the 21st century are diseases of chemical origin,” said Rick Irvin professor of toxicology at Texas A and M University.[i]  He also said that scientist believe that 70 to 90% of all cancers are from chemicals and that even heart disease has a chemical element to it.  In addition, the President’s Cancer Panel released  in 2010 it’s findings on the use of chemicals and the relationship to cancer:

The Panel was particularly concerned to find that the true burden of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated. With nearly 80,000 chemicals on the market in the United States, many of which are used by millions of Americans in their daily lives and are un- or understudied and largely unregulated, exposure to potential environmental carcinogens is widespread.

Many people don’t use organic because they think it’s too expensive.  Yes, at the outset organic products are seemingly more expensive.  However, there are other factors that need to be considered when reviewing cost over an outright blanket statement that organic is too expensive.  For example, the direct cost of medical treatment and the indirect cost to quality of life from a chronic or acute illness such as diabetes or cancer.  In the long run it’s more expensive to not add organic wherever you can.

So why organic?  You exercise, take vitamins, and eat right for better health; you should reduce your chemical exposure for the same reason.


[i] “Chemicals have replaced infection as top threat to health, expert says…,” Consumer Health Reviews. http://www.consumerhealthreviews.com/articles/GeneralHealth/ChemicalsReplaceInfection.htm

Reference:
“Body Burden – The Pollution in Newborns,” Environmental Working Group, 14 July 2005. Online: http://www.ewg.org/reports/bodyburden2/execsumm.php.

“Cancer,” World Health Organization.  Online: http://www.who.int/cancer/en/

“Environmental Factors in Cancer – 2008-2009, National Cancer Institute, April, 2010. Online: http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/pcp/annualReports/index.htm

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