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Herbal Extracts

Introduction

Why Organic and Natural Cosmetics?

It sounds fancy and cool, slightly on the "hippie side" to be Organic and Natural. For some organic and natural lifestyle is exotic, extravagant, for some excessive, for some - good excuse to be skeptically sarcastic. For the latter it may seem hyped to eat organic fruits, to buy organic bedding sheets and to use organic shampoos and moisturizer. After all, your grandparents didn't bother with such problems and they lived happily and some for quite long. Have they? Huh! Very likely, given that the world was very different some 50-70 years ago. This is in modern times that we are flooded with hundreds of thousands of chemicals. Today, scientists and government agencies are discovering that some of these chemicals are toxic. Just think of it. The father of DDT Paul Muller, received a Nobel prize in 1948 and now days this compound considered at the time our future is outlawed in all developed countries!. If you think the organic and natural lifestyle is not for you, you are overlooking very important health issues. These dangerous chemicals are everywhere.

There has been a growing concern about toxic pollution in people's body. In the US and in Europe, several NGO as well as government agencies surveyed populations to get a clearer idea of the reality about what is now called body burden.
These studies even demonstrated the presence of toxic chemicals in babies through the umbilical cord blood. The results are alarming because they show that before we are even born, synthetic chemicals and heavy metals of all kinds are building up in our body.

Body Burden: the Pollution in people.

You may or may not be part of the more than 36% of the American population (and still growing!) who understands the pollution problem and the importance of eating natural and organic.
However, do you know which chemicals you put on your skin and your hair or in your mouth?
Have you read the ingredient list?
Two recent studies in the US led by a prominent medical school in New York and by a major government health agency analyzed the presence of hundreds of chemicals and pollutants coming from everyday products in the blood and urine of volunteers. All subjects have healthy lives and none worked with chemicals. Yet, each person tested contained an average of 91 compounds, most of which did not exist 75 years ago. No wonder your grandparents did not care about it.
A similar study was run by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Europe and gave identical results. WWF's report quotes: "These results are especially worrying as most of the chemicals found (in people's body) only break down very slowly, persist in the environment and accumulate in our bodies to ever increasing levels during the life span. The study therefore raises the question of whether future generations will be more exposed to potentially carcinogenic or endocrine disrupting chemicals that may lead to negative long term health effects." (find more here : http://detox.panda.org/)

Where do these toxic chemicals come from? Everywhere! Computer, toys, T-shirts, shoes, perfume, nail polish. A pregnant woman may pass these toxic chemicals to her developing fetus through the placenta. Dr Vyvyan Howard is a well-known and often quoted world expert in toxicology. He says: "The fetus is the weak link when it comes to exposure to hazardous substances".

The persistence of chemicals in people's body is now called Body Burden. Some chemicals or their breakdown products (metabolites) stay in your body only for a short while, and get excreted rapidly. But others don't break down and persist in our bodies forever. For example, chlorinated pesticides such as DDT can remain in body for 50 years. No one would care unless they learn that DDT is a hormone disruptor, which may be responsible for sterility and pregnancy issues. Whether chemicals are quickly passing through or stored in our blood, fat tissue, semen, muscle, bone, brain and other organs, you can start taking control over what gets through your body. Chemical body burden should be taken seriously since preliminary scientific studies show that low dose chemical exposure present toxic effects and can contribute to the initiation of various chronic diseases. You can now take action and protect yourself and your family by paying attention to what you are exposed in your everyday life. From water containers to laundry detergents, food and personal care products.

Personal care and cosmetic products often contain hazardous chemicals.

You may tend to think that chemical shampoos or moisturizers are fine because you don't swallow them. So you can put anything on yourself without having to worry about pollution and body burden. The scientific answer is: NO, it is NOT safe. Two reasons for that:
  1. your skin is much more permeable than what you'd like to believe
  2. because in the USA, the government does not require health studies or pre-market testing for personal care products before they are sold.
This means that most likely your toothpaste, shampoo or moisturizer contain chemicals suspected as carcinogenic, mutagenic and hormone disrupting by the Center for Disease Control and other leading medical institutions. In fact, these chemicals are already present in your body at various concentrations. And they keep accumulating...
Eat unprocessed or even organic foods, use natural and organic personal care products: that's the best way to keep your body free of toxic chemicals.

How to lower your body burden?

The best way to change this hazardous situation is to look for products that do not contain non-tested and known toxic chemicals. Unfortunately, most of our everyday life products contain such toxic compounds; thus you need to be very selective in what you use.

Important steps to lower your body burden:

  1. get more informed about what each chemical on the ingredient list is and whether or not it is known to be safe.
  2. learn to read labels more carefully and become aware of what you actually buy.
  3. eliminate products containing chemicals with known toxic effects from your shopping cart and from your house.
  4. choose brands which show real integrity
  5. detoxify ... people have used herbal extracts and clay for millennia to flush out toxins, poisons and unwanted hosts like parasites. Even animal do detoxify regularly, by instinct.

Protect Yourself and Your Family

You shape the world by the way you shop: if you do not like it, change it!
Once you understand labels, you can change our buying habits toward healthier and more truly natural and organic products. This will force companies to produce cleaner and safer products in a cleaner and safer way for you and for the environment.

Resources

1. Read more about detoxification in the book: "Guide to diet and detoxification" by Dr Bernard Jensen (ISBN 068002759)
2. Read about detoxification with clay here