Sunday, November 27, 2011
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
They say that Certain scents/fragrances can help memory, mood, energy, and libido.
To Resist a Snack Attack
Sniff: Green apple or another favorite scent
In an Austrian study, researchers wafted the smell of oranges before some participants and lavender groups felt less anxious, more positive, and calmer
To Calm Down
Sniff: Orange or Lavender
In an Austrian study, researchers wafted the smell of oranges before some participants and lavender before others. The two groups felt less anxious, more positive, and calmer, compared with participants who were exposed to no fragrance at all.
To Learn Something New
Researchers at the University of Northumbria in the United Kingdom found she was on to something. After exposure to rosemary oil, 48 college students outperformed a control group on memory tests and felt more alert throughout.
To Fight Pain
Sniff: Lavender or Peppermint
Looking for ways to use less pain medication, doctors at New York University Medical Center exposed patients undergoing laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery to lavender oil (applied to the anesthesiology face masks they wore during surgery). Those patients required substantially less morphine and needed fewer analgesics afterward. Peppermint helps too. After a review of several studies, a Wheeling Jesuit University researcher concluded that it can ease headache pain, and German headache researchers report that the brisk smell is as effective as acetaminophen.
To Soothe Menstrual Cramps
Sniff: Essential Oils
A 2006 study in Korea divided women with intense menstrual cramps into three groups. One group received a daily 15-minute abdominal massage with essential oils for 1 week before their periods, another group got the same massages without fragrance, and the last group received no therapy. Those in the aromatherapy group reported that their discomfort decreased by half.
To Rev Your Libido
Sniff: Baby Powder
This, along with cucumber and licorice, has been shown to turn women on, increasing blood flow to certain areas by 13%. Pumpkin pie and lavender increase blood flow by 11%.
To Feel Younger
Sniff: Pink Grapefruit
This fresh citrus smell can influence perceptions of age. When volunteers viewed photographs of 20 models after being exposed to the smell of pink grapefruit, they perceived the models as being 3 years younger than did people who judged the photos while smelling nothing.
To Crank Up Your Workout
In a study at Wheeling Jesuit University, peppermint vapors gave college basketball players more motivation, energy, speed, and confidence. Some athletes use peppermint inhalers, and at one time Reebok even built a peppermint smell into some sports bras.
To Sleep More Deeply Lavender
There's a reason people have been filling pillows with lavender flowers for centuries: Earlier research demonstrated that lavender increases deep slow-wave sleep, and recent studies from England and Korea show that the flower also helps people with mild insomnia.
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Note: The first installment starts at the bottom of the blog:Ideally, a shampoo should smooth down the cuticle and cover it with a clean coating of a sebum-like material. The smoothing effect is readily achieved by the inclusion of other ingredients such as glycerol or propylene glycol, which are related to the active >ingredients in antifreeze for radiators. The latter in particular is a highly toxic substances and a cause of a significant number of reactions and a primary irritant to the skin even in low levels of concentrations.
Some of its adverse effects include:
- Kidney and liver abnormalities
- Inhibit skin cell growth
- Damaged cell membranes causing rashes, dry skin and surface damage to the skin.
Because of the many unhealthy side-effects of the chemical shampoos a number of companies realized that “natural” had a good ring to it and it has become a buzzword used by the companies trying to exploit the niche market of natural products.’ Natural’ implies wholesomeness and environmental friendliness. Yet, major companies anxious to tap into the natural products market are now scrambling to produce “natural” shampoos, hair dyes, and skincare products. These so-called “natural” products are primarily composed of synthetic chemicals mixed with some natural ingredients.
It is very likely that the ingredients list of the “natural” shampoo will contain one of the following three chemical additives, [as do all other regular chemical shampoos], as one of its top three ingredients: DEA or Diethanolamine, Propylene Glycol, SLS or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, and SLES or Sodium Laureth Sulfate.
Diethanolamine or DEA is a common ingredient in shampoos and in bath products. DEA and any combinations of DEA, including the widely used Cocamide DEA has been found to pose a serious health risk to consumers.
The dangers of DEA were reported on a few years ago on CBS, in which Dr. Samuel Epstein, M.D. of the University of Illinois and one of the world’s foremost toxicologists, testified about the results of his study in which he found that DEA is” a potential carcinogen” and that in even small doses, repeated use of DEA increases the risk of cancer.
The result is that many shampoos, including so-called “natural” shampoos, sold today, are not good for the body, skin, and hair. Your best chances of protecting yourself today are to educate yourself about the products you use, to keep informed, and especially to READ LABELS and ingredient lists.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Sodium lauryl sulfate is known to most that have looked at the label of their shampoo bottle; it is a rather harsh detergent, meaning that it removes sebum very effectively. Since sebum protects the hair from drying out and conditions its surface, using SLS alone as a surfactant would lead to dry, fly-away hair. SLS is found in 90% of all shampoos and toothpastes. It is harmful if inhaled, ingested, left on skin too long, and it poses dangers to the eyes as it can accumulate in the tissues of the eye causing possible cataracts.
SLS is not very soluble in cold water and so cannot be used to make shampoos that look “clear”, so other related compounds such as ammonium lauryl sulfate or triethanolamine lauryl sulfate that are much more soluble are typically used in shampoos for dry or damaged hair. Sodium lauryl and sodium laureth sulfate are some of the ingredients said to aid in causing ailment such as cancer and other degenerative diseases.
But chemical Shampoos contain far more components than surfactants:
- There are thickeners (xanthan gum),
- preservatives (parabens),
- emulsifiers (glycol distearate),
- Color additives and foam boosters (cocamide monoethanolamine).
In some cases, a residue may accumulate, referred to in the trade as “buildup.” This has resulted in introduction of specialty shampoos claiming to eliminate the social horror of limp, sticky and dull hair.
Monday, September 19, 2011
First things first, shampoos do not feed, resuscitate, enliven or revive hair. They can’t, for the simple reason that hair is not alive. It is a shaft of dead proteins, notably including a tough fibrous material called keratin that also shows up in fingernails.
So what CAN shampoos do?
They can clean hair, a task not too difficult. All that is required is removal of the thin layer of oily material known as sebum. Produced by sebaceous glands in the skin, it coats and protects the hair. Unfortunately, sebum also acts as a virtual magnet for dirt and residue from hair treatment products.
Common to most synthetic chemical shampoos is an ingredient called a surfactant, that is the same used in your washing-up liquid, and it has the ability to reduce surface tension of water so that a droplet of water will spread out rather than stay in the raised dome shape, i.e. it makes water wet. Other surfactants are repelled by water, but show great attraction for oily substances. The result is that as the hair is rinsed, the soiled sebum is washed away.
Lathering of a chemical shampoo also is the result of the activity of surfactants. Foam is nothing more than dispersion of a gas, in this case air, in a liquid. There is no clear link between a surfactant’s ability to clean and to produce foam. Indeed, a very effective shampoo that does not lather well can be formulated. But would you buy one?
We are used to linking suds and cleaning as belonging together. So most manufactures incorporate surfactants with strong lathering properties although they may not be ideal in terms of conditioning or irritant potential.
The word shampoo was coined from “shampoo,” a Hindi word meaning to massage or knead, and before the advent of synthetic detergents we used soap, and the first shampoos were just solutions of soap prepared from water, soap and soda (sodium carbonate).