Healing Anthropology's Blog

Products for a healthier and more beautiful you. A company for a healthier and more beautiful planet.

Lemon Ginger Honey: Naturally Soothe A Sore Throat December 10, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — healinganthropology @ 9:08 pm

LemGingHoneyI saw this simple recipe a while ago, but didn’t get around making it until my husband brought home a vat of local honey from Costco. No normal family could go through that amount of honey in any reasonable amount of time, so I decided to get creative. First I made chocolate honey, then I remembered this recipe. Perfect timing since we are in the height of cold season.

So you basically slice up a lemon and chop of some ginger (about 2 square inches worth), put it all in a jar and cover it with honey. Keep it in the fridge and add a Tbsp to hot water for a delicious throat-soothing tea. Excellent for kids too, just make sure the tea has cooled enough.

 

For the Eco Minded Who Also Love to Wrap! December 2, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — healinganthropology @ 9:45 pm

For the Eco Minded Who Also Love to Wrap!

Every year I read the statistics about the insane amount of waste created by wrapping gifts for Christmas, and yet, despite these numbers I continue to wrap. I try to live my life in a sustainable way, and am actually pretty diligent about it, but I just can’t bring myself to use newspaper or gift bags (which are fine for most gifts, just not gifts that go under the tree!). It brings me such joy to wrap presents beautifully and see them all stacked under the tree, but the guilt of the waste has been creeping up on that joy and I knew I had to do something different. Last year my husband got me something from one of the shops at Union and it came wrapped in kraft paper with a beautiful ribbon. Kraft paper, it turns out, is made from 100% post consumer waste and the ribbon is reusable – I’d found my wrapping solution! So I bought a ton of ribbon after Christmas (all 70% off) and stored it away. I just bought the kraft paper, which by the way, is cheaper than regular wrapping paper and about one fiftieth the price of recycled gift wrap, and have already wrapped a few presents. Are there greener options? Yes, but I think this is a beautiful compromise!

 

Pomegranate Juice: Here’s to Good Health and Great Skin! July 10, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — healinganthropology @ 9:56 pm

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The pomegranate is a strange looking fruit that is very popular in some Middle Eastern countries and is heavily grown in that region as well as in the Mediterranean. The health benefits and delicious taste of this fruit have gained recognition in the United States, where it is typically grown in California and Arizona.

 

The pomegranate is a good source of riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, vitamin C, phosphorus and calcium. The antioxidant content of the pomegranate is even more potent than in green tea and red wine. This makes pomegranate juice effective in cancer prevention, as it prevents cell damage from free radicals. Because of this, the antioxidants in pomegranate juice also have anti-aging benefits for the skin.

 

One study has shown that pomegranate juice is effective in reducing the oxidation of cholesterol that leads to artery hardening and reduces damage to blood vessels. The high vitamin C content of the pomegranate also works against inflammation and can help reduce wheezing in asthma sufferers. Also, if you feel a cold coming on, drinking pomegranate juice should help to keep your cold at bay.

 

Some grocery stores carry ready-made pomegranate juice.  Look for 100% pomegranate juice to avoid added sugar and cheap filler juices like apple and grape.  Trader Joes has a great one, and an organic option as well.  It makes for a delicious natural soda when added to bubbly mineral water.   For greatest benefits, however, you want to drink the juice fresh. You can juice the pomegranate yourself at home in a juicer. Or, cut open a pomegranate and place the arils in your mouth a few at a time to extract the juice. You can then spit out the seeds or chew and swallow them as a good source of fiber. You can also experiment with mixing pomegranate juice into stews if you like the sweet and sour taste.

 

NOT JUST FOR SIPPING: CHAMOMILE SKIN’S BENEFITS June 14, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — healinganthropology @ 3:21 pm

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Chamomile is a common name for several daisy-like plants in the family Asteraceae. It grows to about three feet tall and blooms in June and July with small fragrant yellow and white flowers. It’s easy to grow and you may see it in fields and gardens, as well as along roadsides and other drier areas.

 

Known more commonly for its use as a soothing and calming tea, chamomile is also perfect for use in topical skin care.  Chamomile’s many healing benefits (which have been proven through time and scientific research), combined with its gentleness and low likelihood of allergic reaction, make it a powerful ingredient for skin.

Chamomile soothes, heals, combats inflammation and stimulates cell regeneration.   The active organic compound in Chamomile, azulene, is a super nutrient for skin.  In clinical studies azulene has been shown to exhibit dramatic anti-inflammatory effects and showed significant antioxidant protection. In practical terms this means that application of this natural substance will help prevent skin blemishes from developing and will help stop deterioration of skin cells that leads to wrinkles, fine lines and hyper pigmentation. 

 

According to a study in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, chamomile improves the appearance of skin by bettering skin’s texture and elasticity, as well as reducing signs of photodamage, making it an excellent ingredient for masks.

 

Chamomile also has clinically proven lightening effects.  This, along with all the other properties mentioned, make it the perfect ingredient for an eye cream aimed at decreasing under-eye puffiness and diminishing dark circles.

 

Wherever you find it, you can be sure that chamomile will help your skin to emerge calmer and healthier than before.

 

5 Sunscreen Tips To Keep Your Skin Healthy June 5, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — healinganthropology @ 10:56 pm

SunscreenTipsPicNow that summer is here (well it’s not officially summer, but it’s felt like it for a while in Phoenix), you should be getting even more diligent about sunscreen. Avoiding the toxic chemicals in most sunscreens is a must, but there are also some other good tips to keep you and your skin safe this summer.

1: Know the most toxic sunscreen ingredients.
The FDA allows 17 active ingredients in sunscreens, and a good majority of them pose potential health hazards. Chemical ingredients can act as hormone disruptors, while nanoparticles of zinc and titanium dioxide can get into your bloodstream and cause brain and colon damage. There is no perfect sunscreen, but there are better ingredients to choose from. After reviewing all the science on various chemical and mineral ingredients, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) recommends always AVOIDING oxybenzone, a chemical sunscreen that would be listed under “active ingredients” on the label; vitamin A, also called retinyl palmitate, a preservative linked to skin cancer; and added insect repellent, which you should apply just once, rather than every two hours, as you should with sunscreen. All the sunscreens that earned a 1 or 2 hazard rating on the new EWG sunscreen database are free of the ingredients above.

2: “Broad-spectrum” is meaningless.
Before the FDA issued its proposed guidelines, any sunscreen company could slap the words “broad spectrum” on a product. When and if those new guidelines go into effect, companies have to prove to the FDA that sunscreens protect against both sunburn-causing UVB rays and cancer-causing UVA rays . But the testing requirements are so weak that any product can say ‘broad spectrum’ and still not fully protect you from UVA rays. Ninety percent of sunscreens on the market now would meet the new rule without needing to be reformulated.

Best Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen Ingredients: Zinc, titanium dioxide, avobenzone, or Mexoryl SX, are the most reliable ingredients for both UVA and UVB protection, according to EWG. As for those pesky nanoparticles, after reviewing the evidence, the group feels comfortable recommending products with nanoparticles because there’s little evidence that they penetrate the skin. But there are plenty of non-nano sunscreens in the report, if you’d rather play it safe on that score.

3: Use creams, not sprays, powders, or wipes.
Convenience usually comes at a cost, and that’s particularly true with sunscreens. Sprays and powders pose an inhalation risk and the FDA has even started asking manufacturers to provide safety data showing that their products don’t damage lungs. Not only that, but there’s no way to know if they’re protecting you. With a lotion, you know when you’ve covered an area, but with a spray, it’s harder to tell if you have full coverage. Those handy towelettes, marketed for babies, aren’t any better. Though they may be saturated with sunscreen, there’s never been any testing to show how much of that sunscreen actually transfers to your skin. In fact the FDA is considering banning powders and towelettes altogether.

4: Higher SPF doesn’t always equal more protection.
As part of its proposed sunscreen labeling rules, the FDA is considering restricting the level of SPF that manufacturers can advertise, making SPF 100 illegal, for instance. Such high SPFs lull people into a false sense of security. But manufacturers are still marketing products with outlandish SPFs—that don’t really provide added protection. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, an SPF 15 product blocks 93 percent of UV rays, while an SPF 30 blocks 97 percent. No product will block 100 percent, the organization notes, so the amount of added protection you get from a product labeled SPF 75 or 100 is minimal.

5: Children’s sunscreens aren’t always the best for sensitive skin.
If you grab a bottle of baby or kid’s sunscreen because you have sensitive skin, or are using it on your child, flip it over and read the ingredients. For this year’s test, the EWG researchers compared the labels on baby sunscreens with their related adult versions, and 16 brands listed the exact same ingredients on both the children’s sunscreen and the adult’s. In general, baby sunscreens do contain the safer, more effective active ingredients, but don’t assume they always do. Unfortunately, sometimes putting the word ‘baby’ on a label is just a marketing gimmick.

 

Lessons From a Flabby Mouse: Chemicals linked to cancer are now also linked to obesity January 28, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — healinganthropology @ 3:59 pm

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They’re genetically the same, raised in the same lab and given the same food and chance to exercise. Yet the bottom one is svelte, while the other looks like, well, an American.

The only difference is that the top one was exposed at birth to just one part per billion of an endocrine-disrupting chemical. The brief exposure programmed the mouse to put on fat, and although there were no significant differences in caloric intake or expenditure, it continued to put on flab long after the chemical was gone.

That experiment is one of a growing number of peer-reviewed scientific studies suggesting that one factor in the industrialized world’s obesity epidemic (along with Twinkies, soda and television) may be endocrine-disrupting chemicals. These chemicals are largely unregulated — they are in food, couches, machine receipts, shampoos and other personal care products — and a raft of new studies suggest that they can lead to the formation of more and larger fat cells.

Endocrine disruptors are a class of chemicals that mimic hormones and therefore confuse the body. Initially, they provoked concern because of their links to cancers and the malformation of sex organs. Those concerns continue, but the newest area of research is the impact that they have on fat storage.

Bruce Blumberg, a developmental biologist at the University of California, Irvine, coined the term “obesogen” in a 2006 journal article to refer to chemicals that cause animals to store fat. Initially, this concept was highly controversial among obesity experts, but a growing number of peer-reviewed studies have confirmed his finding and identified some 20 substances as obesogens.

The role of these chemicals has been acknowledged by the presidential task force on childhood obesity, and the National Institutes of Health has become a major funder of research on links between endocrine disruptors and both obesity and diabetes.

Just this month, a new study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found that endocrine disruptors that are sometimes added to PVC plastic cause mice to grow obese and suffer liver problems — and the effect continues with descendants of those mice, generation after generation.

Another study found that women with a pesticide residue in their blood bore babies who were more likely to be overweight at the age of 14 months.  That’s a common thread: The most important time for exposure appears to be in utero and in childhood so the greatest impact seems to be on fetuses and on children before puberty.  However, limiting or eliminating exposure to these chemicals at any age seems the smart thing to do.

The magazine Scientific American recently asked whether doctors should do more to warn pregnant women about certain chemicals. It cited a survey indicating that only 19 percent of doctors cautioned pregnant women about pesticides, only 8 percent about BPA (an endocrine disruptor in some plastics and receipts), and only 5 percent about phthalates (endocrine disruptors found in cosmetics and shampoos). Dr. Blumberg, the pioneer of the field, says he strongly recommends that people — especially children and women who are pregnant or may become pregnant — try to eat organic foods to reduce exposure to endocrine disruptors, and try to avoid using plastics to store food or water. “My daughter uses a stainless steel water bottle, and so do I,” he said.

For all the uncertainty, these latest studies are one more reason to worry that endocrine disruptors may be the tobacco of our time. Science-based decisions to improve public health — like the removal of lead from gasoline — have been among our government’s most beneficial public policy moves. In this case, a starting point would be to boost research of endocrine disruptors and pass the Safe Chemicals Act. That measure, long stalled in Congress, would require more stringent safety testing of potentially toxic chemicals around us.

After all, which mouse would we rather look like?

 

Oils for Oily Skin? Yes! January 14, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — healinganthropology @ 9:06 pm

Counterintuitive as it may sound, products rich in good oils really work to get rid of breakouts.  The typical treatment for acne and oiliness is to dry out your skin.  This will actually make things worse.  What happens is that you end up with a mask-like layer of dead skin cells that trap oil and dirt underneath and causes more problems.  Oil instead softens the skin, helping your cleanser to get down deeper and your other anti-breakout or anti-aging treatments to work better.  Plus, many skincare products that contain good oils, like tea tree, lavender, grape seed, and avocado, for instance, are not only anti-inflammatory but antibacterial as well.  

And remember, mineral oil is not a good oil!  Although it sounds like something that may come from an actual mineral, it is a byproduct of making gasoline.  If that’s not enough to make you want to avoid it, it also seals up your skin making it difficult or impossible to breath and expel toxins, two functions which are clearly very important.

 

 
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