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Jun 28, 2013

Mastic is native to the Greek island of Chios in the Aegean Sea. Mastic is a natural resin of the Mastic tree which is a perennial shrub usually 2-3 meters high but can grow up to 5 meters. It is the only variety that produces the aromatic ivory colored resin known as “mastiha” or mastic gum. It reaches full development in 40-50 years and lives up to 100 years. It contains antioxidants, and also has antibacterial and antifungal properties and it possess therapeutic benefits for the skin due to its soothing, softening and healing properties.

Recently, mastic has been very carefully researched for its therapeutic properties. A 1985 study by the University of Thessaloniki and by the Meikai University discovered that mastic can reduce bacterial plaque in the mouth by 41.5 percent. A 1998 study by the University of Athens found that mastic oil has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Another 1998 University of Nottingham study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, claims that mastic can heal peptic ulcers by killing Helicobacter pylori, which causes peptic ulcers and gastritis. Some in vivo studies have shown that mastic gum has no effect on Helicobacter pylori when taken for short periods of time.

Today, mastic is used in personal hygiene products due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties and in the production of soaps, body oils, or body lotion. It has effective soothing, softening and healing actions. Mastic can protect the skin by restoring dry and cracked skin by preserving its moisture and improves its texture and elasticity.

Mastic and mastic oil has stimulating, antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal properties and no toxic effects. Mastic resin is used in medicine, dentistry, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. It is widely used in creams for the treatment of burns and skin conditions. In cosmetic products, when combined with plant oils, mastic has hydrating, soothing, cooling and anti-aging action.

In organic skin care, mastic is gaining more and more ground. It is used as a main ingredient in soaps, organic beauty creams because its properties restore collagen and elasticity of the skin thus they slow down the process of aging.

Mastic is a precious health and beauty ally. The many uses of Mastic in organic beauty care are based on the ancient belief that mastic possesses therapeutic and cosmetic properties which is now backed by contemporary scientific research. Understandably, international interest for this precious resin from the island of Chios is growing year after year. So far, a series of studies has proved mastic’s contribution to the prevention of bacterial development in the oral cavity and of bacterial plaque. It is therefore used in many toothpastes and mouthwash solutions to promote fresh breath and prevent decay.

Organic cosmetology has started to use the antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and healing properties of mastic by making use of its essential oil.  Cosmetics which are enriched with mastic oil ensure in-depth skin care and offer anti-aging protection. At the same time, by controlling the excretion of sebum, mastic oil-based cosmetics significantly reduce problems associated with oily skin, such as a shiny appearance. Because collagen production is boosted, frequent use helps soften lines and wrinkles, and ensures greater elasticity. Mastic oil also improves the appearance of photo-aged skin and deeply moisturizes, while it is beneficial for skin types prone to acne or black spots. As a conclusion, cosmetics containing mastic give both face and body a youthful and healthy   appearance, thus confirming ancient beliefs regarding the beneficial contribution of Chios.

Mastic benefits to skin:

      • has antibacterial properties

      • has antifungal properties

      • has antiseptic properties

      • heals quickly

      • soothes irritated skin

      • softens dry areas

      • hydrates skin

      • restores collagen

      • increases skin’s elasticity

      • delays process of aging

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Posted: Jun 28, 2013 2:32am
Jun 21, 2013

Being outside in the hot, sunny weather is fun – who doesn’t love summer vacation! But, when you’re outdoors, even for short periods of time, the sun can be very damaging to your skin. Sunburns can cause skin damage and increase your chances of developing skin cancer. There’s nothing wrong with spending time in the sun, as long as you take measures to protect your skin.

1. Stay indoors during the middle part of the day. Sun rays are the strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Plan outdoor activities such as yard work and exercise early in the mornings, or during the evening hours to prevent sunburns.

2. Check your medications. Certain medications (such as antibiotics and immunosuppressant drugs like methotrexate) have side effects that make the skin sensitive to sunlight and more prone to burns. Review the informational document that accompanies prescription drugs to see if you need to limit exposure to sunlight while taking the drug.

3. Purchase sunglasses with UV protection. Ultraviolent rays can damage eyes and burn lips. Wear protective glasses and apply lip balm with SPF protection.

4 . Apply sunscreen. Use an organic sunscreen (with at least an SPF of 20) to exposed skin before going outdoors. According to Medline Plus, reapply every two hours to continue protection.

5. Accessorize with a hat. Along with sunscreen, wear a hat for added protection when you plan to spend an extended amount of time outdoors.

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Posted: Jun 21, 2013 6:29am
Jun 21, 2013

One of the body functions is to constantly detox on its own. Problem is that our lives are full of stress, pollution, chemicals and many other harmful substances. Our bodies are bombarded with these toxins every single day.
Any system when constantly flooded cannot maintain its function over a prolonged period of time. Think of it as lets say a water levy that is designed to take the excess water during the winter months and take it to the ocean. If the weather were such that we had daily downpours over many years these levy’s would eventually fail because they simply could not support so much activity.
Our bodies is the same way. It is overloaded with everything that we put in to it and eventually it breaks down if we do not help it out. That is where detox comes in. Detoxification is a way to get the body to get rid of bad substances that accumulate inside of it. This way it starts functioning better.

1. Raw Vegetables

Carrots, onions, asparagus, broccoli, artichoke, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and beet are some of your best allies in your attempt to detox your body naturally. Eaten raw, these foods, rich in naturally occurring glutathione and sulphur, aid the liver in the purging of harmful chemicals and toxins.

2. Fruits

The body is able to digest fruits really easily. For this reason, they are among the foods that detox  the body naturally. They provide the body with essential vitamins and minerals, not to mention fiber and anti-oxidants. In addition, being high in water content, they successfully help the body in flushing out dangerous toxins.

3. Citrus Fruits

Vitamin C plays an extremely important role in cleansing and detoxification since it has the ability to convert toxins into digestible matter, allowing for its easier passage through the body. As we all know oranges, lemons, and limes are rich in vitamin C and they can jump-start the process of digestion by lending a helping hand in the enzymatic processes. For more benefit, begin your day with a glass of warm water with half a lemon squeezed into it.

4. Green Foods

Ever heard of chlorophyll – the same chemical that helps plants in the process of photosynthesis? Turns out that chlorophyll is just as beneficial to a human body as it is to plants since it fights against environmental toxins from pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, cleaning products, and smog. Stock up on barley, green algae, kale, wheatgrass, spirulina, spinach, chard, alfalfa, and arugula, which are known to be high in chlorophyll, making them important foods that detox the body naturally.

5. Green Tea

Chinese green tea is rich in catechins – an anti-oxidant that boosts liver function. Have several cups of green tea throughout the day and you will notice a difference in no time at all.

6. Omega-3 Oils

Food with Omega-3 oils are also considered important foods that detox the body naturally. When on a detox diet use olive, hemp, avocado, or flax seed oil to cook your meals. These oils are a rich source of omega-3s which lubricate the walls of the intestine, causing the toxins to be absorbed more efficiently and eliminated by the body.

7. Garlic

This tiny little bulb is one of the most powerful foods that detox the body naturally. Garlic stimulates the liver into producing enzymes that aid the process of detoxification, thereby filtering the toxins in the digestive system. Add a few pods of garlic to any dish you are making and it will work quietly in the background to naturally cleanse your body.

8. Nuts and Seeds

Generally during the detox period, you are asked to go easy on nut butters of all sorts. However, you can include nuts and seeds into your diet, taking care to pick the kinds that are easily digestible, such as hemp seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, flaxseed , sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds, and Siberian cedar nuts.

We all have a really hectic life to lead but that is the worst excuse you can give for ignoring to look after your body. After all money, professional success, and personal happiness will stay with you only so long, whereas your body is faithful to you till the last days of your life. You owe it some tender loving care and the occasional detox dietto help it stay on track with its functioning. Sold on the idea yet? Good! When are you planning to start, then?

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Posted: Jun 21, 2013 5:18am


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Vicky K.
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Glenview, IL, USA
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