• 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

    Arnicaimages-2

    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.

    [caption id="attachment_1394" align="aligncenter" width="1275"]JustSkinFood cert 12.23.14-page-001 Official USDA Certification[/caption]

    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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  • Buon Viaggio… as we say in Italia

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    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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  • Summertime fun... part 1

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    My Seasonal Products of Poison Ivy Salve, Mosquito-b-Gone and my Natural & Organic Sunscreen lotion bars have been in stores for about 2 weeks now.

    Actually, at the time I started writing this I had stock on my mosquito-b-gone but as of this past weekend all of my mosquito-b-gone lotion bars are already out of stock.  More will be made this week and back in stock.  This brings me to highlight my Mosquito-b-Gone...

    Anyone that uses any kind of bug spray should really read the ingredients.

    • Most conventional bug sprays for personal use are laced with N,N-Diethyl-m-toluamide, or DEET, as it's commonly known.   DEET, which is designed to repel, rather than kill insects has been linked to neurological problems; just to state a few FACTS, according to the EPA, at least 18 different cases of children suffering adverse neurological effects were reported and who knows how many others that go under reported or unreported.

    My Mosquito-b-Gone ingredients are all non-toxic with very simple herbs that nature has provided to help with those pesky little buggers - no pun intended during our summertime.

    IMG_3126My lotion bars are even more effective at keeping bugs away than regular bug spray.  The bars coat the skin with a  protective layer, it also nourishes and moisturizes. No drying of skin like those conventional bug sprays.

    •  Ingredients:  organic cold pressed extra virgin olive oil infused with peppermint, catnip mint, eucalyptus, lavender, lemongrass, lemon balm, rosemary, shea butter, neem oil, with a special blend of essential oils, candelilla wax and vitamin E.

    My special blend of essential oils list was too long to add on my label so just made it as a special blend but here are the actual ingredients, Citronella, Eucalyptus, Cedarwood, Lemongrass, Lavender, Litsea,  Patchouli, Catnip, Geranium Rose.

    Benefits & Features:

    • It Smells nice!  It doesn't have that synthetic citronella candle scent because it is real citronella essential oil.
    • organic and naturally grown ingredients
    • DEET free
    • Non-toxic
    • Non-chemical
    • Non-irritating
    • Vegetable and plant based ingredients
    • Safe and gentle does not cause any neurological problems.
    • Neem oil is an excellent "smelly" oil that repels not just mosquitoes but ticks and fleas as well.

    Simple Tip:

    • Garlic capsules also help repel insects by making the skin smell unattractive to bugs.

    Someone asked me why I do not make my Mosquito-b-Gone in a spray bottle.  Well, like all of my products, none contain water and in order not to use any type of preservative no water can be added to it. Once you add water to any lotion, or spray then a preservative must be added - a chemical one for that matter- in order for mold NOT to grow.

    Also, I would have to use a plastic spray bottle and I will not use any plastic "green" by-product for my products.  Plastic is not "green" nor natural- it's a petroleum product.  When the plastic bottle gets heated in someway it will always release chemicals into whatever is inside. NO THANK YOU!

    You can make your own bug spray using organic essential oils with water and spray it, but after 24 to 48 hours mold will start to develop. So you need to use it up fairly quickly.

    Ouchy Grouch Salve

    To complement my mosquito-b-gone, don't forget ouchy grouchy salve in case you have forgotten  your mosquito-b-gone at home.

    IMG_2903 Ouchy Grouchy Salve is an excellent first aid that brings relief to any skin inflammation and helps with all kinds of stings.   Stops those bumps and itching from mosquitoes.  It works wonderfully on drawing out poisons from wasp, bees and other stings. Both are a great have for summertime fun.

     

    Find these products here or online www.justskinfood.com.

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