Calendula and Arnica

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Calendula and arnica are very important when it comes to natural medicine. Both of these commonly used homeopathic ingredients are included in a number of products including tinctures, creams, oils and salves for first aid use. Both of these products look very similar and may be hard to differentiate by the untrained eye but they are very distinct when it comes to their healing properties.

 Calendula

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Calendula is also known as the marigold flower, which is very easy to grow and once established it spreads quickly. The medicinal ingredient that is within the calendula flower is called saponoside and it is a very powerful anti-inflammatory. Essential fatty acids, etheric oils and carotene are also part of what makes calendula so beneficial. It works best when applied to a cut or wound rather than taking it orally and it is extremely gentle to use. As a complement to calendula you can also use arnica.

Some uses for Calendula:(external only)

  • Bed sores
  • Boils
  • Burns
  • Frostbite
  • Open wounds
  • Slow healing wounds
  • Skin abrasions
  • Skin and nail fungus

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Arnica is much more rare to find out in nature than say calendula. It grows most commonly in the Alpine regions of the world and it has muscle relaxing properties as well as anti-spasmodic qualities. In addition, arnica is a natural antibiotic and a natural anti-inflammatory herb. Arnica is not intended to be used on an open wound but rather on a bruise or healed cut to help relieve discomfort, reduce swelling and bruising.

Some uses for Arnica:(external only)

  • Bruises
  • Joint Inflammation
  • Muscle strain
  • Soreness

Calendula and Arnica Together

The two of these holistic treatments have the potential for being used together for ultimate healing qualities. Calendula is placed on a fresh, unhealed cut to help prevent infection and promote healing. After the initial healing has taken place, if there is a bruise or pain remaining, arnica can then be applied topically to further help during the healing process.

Calendula and arnica are both very beneficial and common ingredients when it comes to a holistic-based medicine cabinet. For information on these herbs or to purchase IMG_5919them in a certified organic herbal infused oil form you can visit Just Skin Food. The newly released line of USDA certified organic herbal infused oils are made entirely of certified organic herbs along with certified organic olive oil as a carrier. These oils are also used in many of our other products including our skin salves and body butters.

 

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Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus… We are Officially USDA Certified!

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Woohoo!!! We have received our official certification, Just Skin Food is USDA certified.

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Official USDA Certification

Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy Holiday and New Year!!!

 

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Our USDA Inspection…

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We have kept a tight lip since the end of October in our acceptance letter from our imagescertifying agent – Pennsylvania Certified Organic – we were approved for inspection.  Screen Shot 2014-12-10 at 11.08.29 AMMight not seem as much but, it is a great relief that all of our paper work was approved for the final inspection. Their main objective is to verify all we have reported and are actually following the rules.

Our inspection was yesterday December 9th, 2014 and we had such a wonderful experience with our USDA inspector.  Our inspection lasted 4.5 hours.  As some of you already know, it was so nerve racking to us to have such an official come through and go through all our stuff and verify all that is being reported.  Even though we knew all was correct, just having an intense 4.5 hours of paper trails and linking back to lot#’s and suppliers etc., it is very intense on the mind.  We are so glad that our organizational skills have really paid off in record keeping.

Inspectors need to report back to the certifying agent as to our ability to comply with the USDA organic standard and as far as he can see and report we are in the clear.  Now it is up to the certifying agent PCO to accept his report and if they need other information from us.  And if all is satisfactory to PCO – our certifying agent – we will hear back very shortly about our seal.  It would be real nice to receive it before Christmas Day and a great present for sure.

On a lighter note…

IMG_5710Just Skin Food is now offering Gift Certificates online and if anyone is local in Cape May just ping us and you can pick up the Gift Certificates locally.

Our first small business Saturday on Nov, 29th 2014 at Green Street Market went fantastic.  We had gift baskets and products for Sale and there were so many wonderful Artisan makers there as well.

Green Street Market is also carrying our Gift Baskets during the Holidays, so stop by and check them out.

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As always, Be Well and as soon as we hear back from our USDA certifying agent we will display the seal on our website.

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Ode to Autumn…

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Don’t forget it is that time again “fungus among- us” for sport fans so get your Antifungal Salve. Read my old blog post on Antifungal here.

If you did not receive my Exclusive Coupon for autumn click here to view it and enjoy 15% off, which ends September 30th 2014.

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Ode to autumn… Well not exactly yet here in Cape May. We are still heading down to the beach whenever possible.

It has been a long time since I wrote some news, tidbits and such, but summer was so incredibly busy and it just flew by. Here we are entering October almost, and I am not ready for the Fall season at all, especially all the drying of herbs. So glad my many rosemary plant-bushes that were planted in early spring grew incredibly great this summer to use for my infused oils later in the year.

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Fig Trees

Last years polar vortex winter destroyed all of my rosemary and many other herbs and plants for many people.  No figs at all this summer for me – last 5 years we were gathering at least 30 pounds of figs a week.  Had incredible fig trees that we needed ladders to climb up to gather the figs.

Luckily, they have returned full with new offspring shoots and next summer we will be back in business with figs.  Just to be on the safe side, we will be wrapping them in burlap probably a couple of times and cutting them back in order not to lose the tops again.

In the meantime, the USDA paperwork, which my incredible assistant helped me with  during the summer

PCO Certification USDA

PCO Certification USDA

has finally been completed, and has been presented to the certifying agent. Fortunately for her, but unfortunate for me, she has returned to her college life and is well into her semester.

Hopefully in a few weeks or so we will hear back from the certifying USDA agent. Of course there will be changes as there always is on paperwork. Even with the new labels for the NEW products will be needing adjustments for sure.

YES new products will shortly come out. But waiting till the certifying agent will give us the go ahead.

 

Happy autumn, crisp clean cool air and colorful leaves to come.

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Buon Viaggio… as we say in Italia

JSF Logo WIDE copyHere is Serena, “my helper”  actually my assistant in getting all the paperwork together for the products to be reviewed by EWG.  She loves all sustainability of life and making sure we abide by nature and not ruin it.

She is a college student at Fordham University entering her 3rd year studying Environmental Studies and International Political Economy and is going abroad to the Islands of Turks and Caicos to study “Marine Policy Management at the School for Field Studies in South Caicos” (her goal is to save the reef) or at least prevent it from getting worse and prevent over development of this untouched part of the Islands. Too many developers want a piece of it and over developing this area will cause big problems for the reef.

Pictured here she will be taking along our “Natural and Organic Sunscreen and Mosquito-Serenab-Gone. Both of which EWG gave excellent scores to.

Send her some well wishes on her journey; she can be reached by clicking here SERENA.

When Serena returns in a MONTH – “how am I ever going to get along without her” – she will be concentrating on getting the paperwork completed for the USDA. Keeping my fingers crossed that it will be done by the end of the summer then onto submitting for review.

Her journey to South Caicos gives her first hand knowledge of what is not permitted or sustainable to use on such pristine places in order not to harm local wildlife or the sea. She was directed to only bring non-toxic products, for example washing clothing she can only use Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap or similar items – which is what we only use in our homes and shop. Safe sunscreen without any chemicals – not those brands that spray toxic chemicals in the air or toxic to the ocean and seas. In addition, she needs to bring organic non-toxic shampoo and non-bleached personal products etc. The list went on and on.

I am so proud of her for taking on such a journey to help out our environment and basically all of us.

 This week we were making lots of products before she heads out see us pictured here:

Serena in Shop

Me

USAnd this is us last year in Italy visiting monasteries to understand how the monks made remedies, which of course they did not give us their secrets… still we learned and had fun.

Now she is doing it all on her own.

Here is a PDF article on how conventional sunscreens damage coral reefs around the world.  And  here is my last years blog post on Sunscreens as well.

 Happy summer and happy swimming to all!!!

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B. Lime, Pregnancy Journeys and Homeopathy

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So I am trying something new with guest blogging and thought why not! – it’s always nice to hear and write something from a different perspective…. Will try and have various guest bloggers throughout the year.

When I asked my guest blogger if she wanted to share some insights into the products she has used and anything else she found helpful and to provide just a short couple of paragraphs, she sent me a 3 page memoir of her pregnancy journey, which I was so delighted to be the first to read! Of course I had to take a snap shot of it to be able to get it into a blog.

But before starting, please meet Mary of B. Lime an online store that is now 303348_10150624828171917_179142210_acarrying our products as well.  B. Lime,  is an online Green Store in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois that carries eco-friendly products for baby, family, and home.

Mary, who is the owner of B. Lime, was 7 months pregnant at the time, with a full-time job at the University, and wanted to purchase the B. Lime brand because the previous owner of B. Lime announced she was closing. Mary was so sadden for herself and for her community, she thought- why couldn’t a Green Store flourish in C-U?
  So she met with the previous owner and here she is owner of B. Lime.

 Check out B.Lime online store and all of its non-toxic baby products and as well for the whole family. And you can also read more about Mary’s journey as well.

leaves-1280x800 copyMeet Arielle and David and hear about their journey …Arielle and David

Please allow me to introduce myself…I am a pleasantly plump 37-year-old woman who recently lost 90lbs last summer. My husband is a fit 41-year-old male who works out 4 to 5 times a week and follows a high protein diet.

To our amazement we had no difficulty conceiving. We have been blessed and are expecting a baby boy in May. My pregnancy has been relatively comfortable and uneventful in the sense of complications. It seems that consuming mainly organic food and a moderate vitamin intake has been very good to our bodies.

When we announced our pregnancy I sought the advice of Gabriella Calvi-Rooney on homeopathic protocols for pregnancy and delivery. After consulting with Gabriella I began the monthly cell salt protocol for optimal fetal development and plan to continue it throughout breastfeeding. I believe the cell salts have played an integral part in the healthy development of my son and the relative ease of my pregnancy.

I am starting my 37th week now and have had common symptoms of pregnancy, which have been easily remedied. One of the symptoms was sciatic nerve pain in the eighth month, which has occurred only twice, but on both occasions I took one dose of Ruta 30c and massaged Just Skin Foods Deep Pain Salve directly into the area of my right sciatic nerve. I must say that both instances my pain was intense and walking became very difficult. However, with both times it was gone within the hour.

The other, much more intense symptom happened at 35 weeks when I got a very intense painful carpal tunnel cramp in my right arm. I was literally writhing in pain. Then I remembered the deep pain salve and that Gabriella had advised me to take Hypericum 30c for nerve pain in a tooth after a dental filling a couple of years ago. So I took a dose of Hypericum 30c with a dose of Arnica 30c and massaged the Deep Pain Salve into the nerve from wrist to elbow. I was beyond ecstatic when in a couple of minutes the nerve began to tingle, it went completely numb within 20 minutes and the pain has not returned… the remedies were so effective that I repainted a butcher block to re-purpose as a changing table two days later with no pain.

In planning ahead I have gotten other products for future use like Just Skin Food’s sunblock that I will need for days outdoors here in sunny South Carolina. I love its’ completely nontoxic rating (EWG rating for sunscreen),  and will be happy to use it without any negative effect on sensitive skin.

 I can’t even begin to describe the peace of mind it brings me to know that with a healthy diet and exercise combined with cell salts, homeopathy and quality organic products like the ones from Just Skin Food I can care for my family without worrying about synthetic chemicals and their side effects.

This is her journey but there are many other modalities that will help as well, such as Acupuncture, Chiropractic, Yoga and Massages.  All of these are non-invasive and are a great way of keeping healthy.  Don’t forget to buy organic and better yet local organic.

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Bug Bite and Allergy Symptoms – How to take away the itch and the runny nose?

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My favorite month is April and it is almost nearly at the end. The weather is getting warmer, the days are longer and with it come the allergies and bugs. Yet it is still the most beautiful month with spring and all those beautiful flowers and trees exploding with colors and singing. Oh yeah, don’t forget poison ivy as well.

As always, the buggiest cities in the United States are the Southeast. Temperatures are warmer and the climate is always moist, which makes it a perfect scenario for mosquito’s to breed and thrive.

But for the Northeast, allergies start going rampant with all the beautiful forsythias and cherry trees blooming and the green grass again. The bugs are usually in the wooded and mountainous areas and home to swarming black flies especially during the month of May and early June.

If you hike, fish, live in, or plan to spend vacation time in these areas, it’s a good idea to be prepared in advance. And let’s not forget the bees. We need them for our food production but you do not want to get a “bee” sting, but if you do, you want to make sure to heal it naturally not with toxic substances.

Just Skin Food’s Mosquito-b-Gone is ideal for those buggy cities, wooded mountains, beach areas and all.   And our Ouchy Grouchy Salve in case you need to get those poisonous venom out.

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Homeopathic Remedies such as Ledum and Apis are incredibly needed during these buggy months. Here are some more key homeopathic remedies to consider for bites:

Apis mel - This homeopathic remedy is a specialist in inflammation, Apis mel eases redness, swelling, inflamed skin and membranes, and burning stinging pains in a wide variety of cases. Its applications include: burning swellings or welts caused by bee stings, hives, or irritants; swollen inflamed joints; swollen sore throats, eye irritations and acute stinging, burning urinary pain. Its symptoms tend to improve with applied cold.

Ledum pal – First aid remedy for puncture wounds, animal bites, cuts, insect stings as it helps injuries heal from the deepest point up, minimizing the chance of trapping matter inside. Its healing also applies to old yellow bruises, black eyes, repeat ankle sprains or inflamed joint pains that start in the soles of the feet or ankles and move up. Ledum is most applicable if area, joints or bruises are cold to the touch and feel better with applied cold.

Calendula – Derived from a member of the common marigold, Calendula has been used for centuries to accelerate healing and the growth of new skin in a variety of skin injuries and irritations. Scrapes, abrasions, superficial cuts, chaffed skin, dry skin, sunburns and other skin irritations can heal faster with less scarring when treated with this clear Calendula rich ointment.

Echinacea – In both herbal and homeopathic preparations, this coneflower plant offers the immune support when fighting off inflammatory conditions, especially swollen sore throats, skin sores and pimples, and other acute conditions which have the potential to suppurate.

Urtica urens – Relieves a range of itching, burning, stinging skin symptoms, whether related to minor burns, scalds, rashes, prickly heat, stings, hives or other rash-like eruptions. If skin or other symptoms alternate with or accompany stiff joint pain and nerve pain, Urtica can prove very healing, especially if symptoms are aggravated by cold air or cold water.

For Additional information on remedies that are helpful for allergies or our products that can help you with poison ivy, bug bites and more you can read our old Blog posts.

For Seasonal Allergies visit Blog

For Bug Bites, Poison Ivy and Sun, here are 2 blog posts: Blog 1 and Blog 2

For Poison Ivy visit this Blog

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Therapeutic Skin Salve (all purpose salve)

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Poison Ivy Salve

These two Salves help with poison ivy.  Read my blog above under poison Ivy.

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How Itchy is your Skin?

Stop Using Water Based Moisturizers, Which Dry Your Skin!

Did you know that most lotions and moisturizers all contain water?  Basically 60% of that lotion is all water.  The rest is chemical.

This winter on the East coast has proven to be very very brutally cold and so many of us have continually kept our heaters on full high heat trying to stay warm.

In doing so, our skin has suffered a tremendous set back.  We are probably all itchy from the continued dryness we have experienced and we end up putting lotions and potions and so much on our skin.

If your product contains water, and most do, (read the label) you have further dried out your skin and caused even more itchiness to occur.

The best place that water belongs is inside the body in order to get hydrated – just think- hydration inside hydration outside.  Omega-3s also help with dryness.

Water is drying and when there is water in a lotion or cream there must be a preservative, which even further dries out your skin.  In water-based lotions, a preservative must be added in order for it not to develop mold or microbes that can harm you.  These lotions will also lose its effectiveness and end up smelling bad even with a preservative.  Have you ever kept a lotion bottle for more then a year?  If so, smell the content of it – its horrific.

 The only products that are not drying are anhydrous products.

 Anhydrous products – are non-water based butters or creams and contain no preservatives that can harm your skin.

 Just Skin Food Whipped Fluffy Body Butter Creams are all anhydrous – non-water based and there are no preservative in any of our products.

We add anti-oxidants, or ingredients that will retard the rancidity of our oils. The anti-oxidant we use most is Vitamin E, but there are other oil soluble anti-oxidants, like rosemary oleo extract (ROE). Adding an anti-oxidant to an anhydrous product will extend its shelf life.

Our products shelf life is about 2 years.  Yet once opened life is about 4 – 6 months.  Never keep any lotion or creams more then 6 months regardless of a preservative or not.  It’s just bad.

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Best time to apply non-water based butters and creams is right after showering.  Your skin is still damp and the pores are opened and it will help penetrate the butters into the skin, giving you a smoother radiant look.  And you will feel silky soft, and no dry skin.

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Just a Quick Note on Shipping Rates…

From our Survey we sent out a few weeks ago, we got a pretty good response that 50% would like to order and pay a shipping cost without spending current amount to receive free shipping. www.justskinfood.com

Therefore, there will be 2 flat rates to accommodate everyone Unknown……..

Here are the Rates:

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If you haven’t taken the Survey yet and would like to please visit SurveyMonkey!

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Ahhh…the smell of coffee (Espresso Coffee Body Scrub)

Why Do A Body Scrub?

Regular exfoliation of the skin removes residual dirt and dead skin and leaves your skin looking young and fresh.  After the skin is exfoliated, it is able to absorb and retain moisture from the body butter oils more effectively.  A scrub can be done as often as 2-3 times a week to once every 2 weeks, depending on the present condition of your skin and what you are aiming to achieve.

 

Why A Coffee Body Scrub?coffee-beans-237058 copy

Because of the caffeine, a coffee body scrub is said to be the best choice for improving blood circulation and reducing the appearance of cellulite and varicose veins.  Caffeine, being a natural antioxidant, prevents premature aging and draws out toxins from the body.  The aroma from the coffee also works as an anti-depressant and can combat feelings of nausea.

Coffee contains powerful anti-oxidant agents, protecting the skin against free radicals and reducing the risk of skin cancer. Coffee tightens pores and removes dead skin cells, making the skin looking younger. It also displays anti-wrinkle properties. Because of all these benefits, coffee has become a common ingredient of numerous luxury beauty products and spa therapies, especially anti-aging and anti-cellulite ones.

 

Why Espresso Coffee?Espresso Coffee

Espresso Coffee contains higher amounts of antioxidants because it is a strong coffee and because of the preparation process, which help to slow down and avert the damage done to cells through the process of metabolizing oxygen.

 

Why Choose JUST SKIN FOOD Espresso Coffee Scrubs?

The major difference between Just Skin Food Espresso Coffee products and others in the marketplace is the fact that Just Skin Food Espresso Coffee Scrub products are made from 100% REAL COFFEE. So many other products on the market are made from synthetically generated caffeine… or if they do contain real coffee, it is a very very small amount mixed with other types of exfoliating agents.  In addition, many contain 50% water base and very little actual ingredients.  Just Skin Food products are all Anhydrous meaning “without water”.

Just Skin Food Espresso Coffee products contain no sulphates and no parabens – unlike many other “coffee based” products. The espresso coffee in Just Skin Food is also Fair IMG_4205 copyTraded and Organic. Our espresso coffee is then blended with food based ingredients to create the products.  Once you have experienced our Just Skin Food Espresso Coffee Scrubs you will know why many of our customers are now saying they can not do without!

 

So Why Should You Be Showering With Our Espresso Coffee Scrubs?

  • Caffeine has been shown in various studies and is known throughout the world to assist in reducing that dreaded orange peel symptom of CELLULITE
  • Espresso Coffee contains a higher level of anti-oxidants which protect the skin from free radicals
  • Caffeine helps detoxify the skin and aids in reducing puffiness and inflammation
  • Pure finely ground coffee exfoliates the skin and buffs away dead epidermal cells to promote radiant looking skin
  • Further studies have suggested topically applying caffeine may reduce sun damage to your skin

 

IMG_4365 copyIngredients: Harry and Bean’s fair trade organic espresso coffee, organic olive oil infused with vanilla bean, organic dried rosemary herb, cape may farm’s local raw honey*, pure orange peel butter, and rhassoul clay.

*Honey is excellent in retaining and locking in moisture, as well as promotes healing of various skin problems and prevents irritation. Honey has the ability to absorb and retain moisture, helping your skin feel moisturized. Honey helps your skin to feel smooth, moisturized, and radiant. Honey is a natural humectant that traps moisture and holds it there. It also creates a natural glisten on the skin.  www.justskinfood.com – honey

Rhassoul Clay used in ancient Rome and Egypt as a daily cleanser comes from the Atlas Mountains in Eastern Morocco from deposits formed from volcanic ashes. Rhassoul Clay has a rejuvenating effect on the skin. It has a high content of Silica which supports deep layers of collagen and gives the skin its elasticity. Two other natural component of Rhassoul Clay is Magnesium and Calcium, which are essential for skin regeneration. And it mildly lathers.

 

IMG_4359 copyIngredients:   Harry and Bean’s fair trade organic espresso coffee, organic olive oil infused with vanilla bean, organic dried rosemary herb, organic cinnamon*, pure orange peel butter, and rhassoul clay.

*Cinnamon has been used since 2000 BC in Ancient Egypt, where it was very highly prized (almost considered to be a panacea). In medieval times doctors used cinnamon to treat conditions such as coughing, arthritis and sore throats.

Cinnamon contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, as well as a natural grittiness that helps clear out clogged pores. Researchers have found that, cinnamon increases the production of collagen on skin. You will not get miraculous result overnight, but regular intake of cinnamon specially topical usage (using directly on the skin) shows improvement in skin quality. www.justskinfood.com- cinnamon

Rhassoul Clay used in ancient Rome and Egypt as a daily cleanser comes from the Atlas Mountains in Eastern Morocco from deposits formed from volcanic ashes. Rhassoul Clay has a rejuvenating effect on the skin. It has a high content of Silica which supports deep layers of collagen and gives the skin its elasticity. Two other natural component of Rhassoul Clay is Magnesium and Calcium, which are essential for skin regeneration. And it mildly lathers.
 

 

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Where to buy – Brick and Mortar

 

 

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