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Peppermint Oil (Mentha X Piperita)

Peppermint extract is an herbal extract of peppermint (Mentha x piperita) made from the essential oils of peppermint leaves. It is commonly used in cooking, as a dietary supplement, and as an herbal or alternative medicine.  Peppermint is sometimes regarded as 'the world's oldest medicine', with archaeological evidence placing its use at least as far back as ten thousand years ago.  Peppermint oil helps with upset stomachs, inhibits the growth of certain bacteria, and can help soothe and relax muscles when inhaled or applied to the skin.  Peppermint extract is also commonly used to soothe symptoms of the common cold, the flu, and as a digestive aid, which may relieve bloating and flatulence.  It may also provide relief for menstrual cramps, tension headaches and its cooling properties relieve itching when applied topically.  Additionally, peppermint extract is believed to have antiviral and medicinal properties, which may help in the treatment of herpes and the disintegration of gallstones.

Pomace Olive Oil (Olea Europaea)

Olive Pomace oil is olive oil that is extracted from olive pulp after the first press.  The olive tree is native to the Mediterranean basin and wild olives were collected by Neolithic peoples as early as the 8th millennium BC.  The wild olive tree originated in Asia Minor or in ancient Greece.  Pomace olive oil is used in many skincare, hair care and other cosmetic products, and protects hair from losing moisture, which causes damage, while adding shine.  Pomace olive oil treats dryness, minor inflammation, and possesses antioxidants, which fight off damage from free radicals.  It is also known for its anti-atherosclerotic and anti-inflammatory characteristics.   Researches claim it prevents the skin from losing too much water to the environment, which may keep fine lines and wrinkles from forming, thereby keeping skin cells nice and plump.  Egyptians used it alongside beeswax as a cleanser, moisturizer, and antibacterial agent since pharaonic times.  Pomace olive oil may be used in soap making, as lamp oil, a lubricant, or as a substitute for machine oil.

Sandalwood Oil (Santalum)

Sandalwood oil is extracted from the wood of the sandal tree and is native to India and Southeast Asia, widely cultivated in Australia.  Sandal trees belong to the genus Santalum and produce one of the most popular botanical fragrances.  Sandalwood oil is used in perfumes, cosmetics, and sacred unguents.  Sandalwood essential oil was popular in medicine up to 1920-1930, and mostly used as a urogenital (internal) and skin (external) antiseptic, known for its antimicrobial properties.  Sandalwood oil is used with carrier oil to clear skin from blackheads and spots.  Sandalwood may be used to treat skin, and support the respiratory and nervous system.  Sandalwood essential oil is used in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of both somatic and mental disorders.  In aromatherapy, sandalwood essential oil is believed to have a calming effect for meditation.

Sesame Seed Oil (Gingelly Oil)

Sesame seed oil is called Gingelly oil or til oil that is derived from sesame seeds, and is used in different parts of the world as massage oil and in worship.  Sesame seed oil was cultivated during the Indus valley civilization and was most likely exported to Mesopotamia around 2500 BC.  There are two types of Sesame seed oil, cold press and toasted Sesame seed oil, which possesses vitamin E and B6 complex that keeps the skin healthy, while moisturizing and preventing dry skin, eczema, psoriasis and blemishes.  Sesame seed oil also contains magnesium, copper, calcium, iron, zinc, and two types of antioxidants, Sesamol and Sesamin that reduce free radicals, along with mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which helps reduce bad cholesterol and high blood pressure.  It’s also used to massage and treat the scalp in possibly preventing hair loss.  It’s relaxing properties helps ease pain and muscle spasms, such as sciatica, dysmenorrhoea, colic, backache and joint pain.

Shea Butter (Karite Tree)

Shea butter is naturally produced from the African “Karite” tree and long known for its soothing and softening properties.  Shea nut butter is a slightly yellowish or ivory-colored natural fat extracted from the fruit of the Shea tree by separating, cracking, crushing, roasting, boiling, grinding, collecting and shaping the Shea butter into small balls.  It contains the substance allantoin, which is a beneficial anti irritant and an essential ingredient to enhance the skins natural barrier functions.  Shea butter is widely used in cosmetics as a moisturizer and an emollient.  It is also a known anti-inflammatory agent, that is effective in treating the following conditions: fading scars, eczema, burns, rashes, acne, severely dry skin, blemishes, dark spots, skin discolorations, chapped lips, stretch marks, wrinkles and in lessening the irritation of psoriasis.  Shea butter also provides natural UV sun protection, because it is high in cinnamon acid, which helps absorb suns UV rays.

Sunflower Oil (Helianthus Annuus)

Sunflower oil is the non-volatile oil compressed from sunflower (Helianthus annuus) seeds.  It can be used in cooking and cosmetics, is a relatively healthy form of vegetable oil.  The original form was linoleic sunflower oil, which is prone to oxidation.  High oleic oil is much more shelf-stable, and generally preferred.  In addition to having a longer shelf life, it is also high in vitamin E, and low in saturated fat, making it a healthier choice.  Sunflower oil has a neutral scent that is used to condition their skin by moisturizing the skin without clogging pores.  Sunflower oil has smoothing properties and is considered noncomedogenic, retaining moisture in the skin, providing a protective barrier that resists infection in premature infants.

Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia)

Tea tree oil, or Melaleuca oil, is an essential oil with a fresh Camphoraceous odor and a color that ranges from pale yellow to nearly colorless and clear.  It is taken from the leaves of the Melaleuca Alternifolia, which is native to Southeast Queensland and the Northeast coast of New South Wales, Australia.  Tea tree oil is a powerful natural antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal medicine (essential oil), that is an effective first aid remedy that penetrates the lower skin layers providing anti-inflammatory, analgesic (pain-killing) and cicatrizant (wound-healing) qualities.  Tea tree oil soothes and disinfects skin ailments such as infections, cuts, scrapes, burns, skin spots, nail fungus, athlete's foot, dandruff, lice, acne, blackheads, herpes and other skin infections.  It also works against infestations including lice, mites, scabies, mosquito insect bites, and ringworm for both humans and animals alike.  It has a diaphoretic effect and promotes sweating, which enhances the body's own natural preventative response when threatened by infection.  Tea tree oil has expectorant and balsamic characteristics that are beneficial towards head colds, throat or chest infections by soothing and clearing (mucus-expelling effect) the entire respiratory tract.  Tea tree is widely used in low concentrations in cosmetics and skin washes.  

Vegetable Glycerin (Glycerol)

Vegetable Glycerin, also known as glycerol, is an organic compound of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen.  It is used in many moisturizing skin products to help relieve dry skin by drawing water up from the lower layers of our skin cells, and absorbs moisture from the air giving skin cells an increased protection against dehydration.  Glycerin is the preferred cosmetic ingredient for damaged and stressed tissues, possessing regenerative and restructuring qualities which control the moisturizing process better.  Vegetable glycerin can be used medically, and is a common ingredient in cough mixtures, due to its soothing properties.  Vegetable glycerin can be a remedy for psoriasis, rashes, burns, bedsores and cuts; as a laxative, in the form of suppositories; and to treat gum disease, as it inactivates the associated bacterial colonies.  It is also used in glycerin soap for people with sensitive skin.  

Watermelon Seed Oil (Citrullus Vulgaris)

Watermelon seed oil is extracted by pressing from the seeds of the Citrullus vulgaris (watermelon).  It’s common in West Africa, where it is also called ootanga oil or kalahari oil.  Watermelons originated almost 5,000 years ago in the Kalahari Desert of Africa where botanists have found its wild ancestors still growing.  Watermelons migrated north through Egypt, and during the Roman era they were cultivated and prized.  Traditionally, the seeds are extracted from the seed casing, and dried in the sun, and then the seeds are pressed to extract the oil.  Watermelon oil has a high content of omega acids & Linoleic acid, which is great for oily skin. Watermelon oil helps remove excess sebum within the skin ensuring the skin is cleansed, and is used to dissolve the oil built up in the pores.  It has a long shelf life when it is stored in a cool and dry place.  The oil is light colorless or pale yellow color.  Watermelon Oil is an emollient, with a rich composition of fatty acids, that absorbs quickly and helps smooth the skin.  Watermelon oil is also used in baby formulations, skin ointments and formulations.

Witch Hazel (Hamamelis)

Witch Hazel is the most applicable and easy to use astringent for common usage.  Witch hazel hydrosol is used in skin care.  It is a strong anti-oxidant and astringent.  It is often used as a natural remedy for psoriasis, eczema, aftershave applications, ingrown nails, to prevent sweating of the face, cracked or blistered skin, for treating insect bites, poison ivy, and as a treatment for varicose veins and hemorrhoids.  It also useful in treating bruises, inflamed swellings, anti-inflammatory, tonic, antiphlogistic, sedative and styptic.  Witch Hazel will control diarrhea and aid in the easing of dysentery.  It is recommended for women to reduce swelling and soothe wounds resulting from childbirth.  Witch hazel is very valuable for stopping either internal or external bleeding.   It's mainly used externally on sores, bruises, and swelling.  This plant extract was widely used for medicinal purposes by American Indians and is a component of a variety of commercial healthcare products.

Vitamin A Oil (Palmitate (Retinyl A)

Vitamin A is a group of unsaturated nutritional organic compounds, that includes retinol, retinal, retinoic acid, and several provitamin A carotenoids, among which beta-carotene is the most important.  Normalizes dry skin and helps reverse damage from UV radiation.  Helps reduce the depth & number of wrinkles and the signs of aging.  Helps reduce acne, psoriasis, and pigmented spots on the skin.  Effective in suppressing warts and hyper-keratosis.  Vitamin A plays a role in a variety of functions throughout the body, such as: vision, gene transcription, immune function, embryonic development and reproduction, bone metabolism, hematopoiesis, skin and cellular health and antioxidant activity.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is the name given to the compound Alpha-tocopherol.  Vitamin E was discovered in 1922 by Herbert McLean Evans and Katharine Scott Bishop and first isolated in a pure form by Gladys Anderson Emerson in 1935 at the University of California, Berkeley.  It occurs naturally in the human body and is replenished by what we eat.  Vitamin E offers important health benefits and naturally occurs in most vegetable oils, and was originally extracted for use as a dietary supplement from wheat germ oil.  Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that fights off free radicals within the body, which are exposed to atmospheric and environmental sources that damage cells, and works effectively against aging skin.  Vitamin E has many other biological functions such as: enzymatic activities, gene expression, and neurological function(s). Vitamin E is oil in and is often added to skincare products, lotions and cosmetics. Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that stops reactive oxygen species from forming when fat undergoes oxidation.

Benefits & History of Earth's Ingredients (P-V)