Healing Body Butter

Healing Body Butter Loula Natural

Healing Body Butter

I have a scar in between my eyes and it is a constant reminder of a silly drunken debacle in my youth! I have made my peace with it with eft and have minimised it with a scar oil I make. I also have an intense reminder of my mastitis and abscess I had in my second pregnancy (big scar!). In my healing process I have a dermatitis on my finger tips (I think its also from the harsh soaps in the toilets here which I have stopped using)too which I would like to support. Now thanks with my two kiddies (actually just the final days of my second pregnancy, I got through my first pregnancy markfree!) I have some stretch marks. They are my stripes sure but I would also like to see if I can aid my body to heal from the inside and also from the outside!

From the inside I have (over the years) changed my lifestyle to reduce gluten and dairy, refined sugars, all processed foods, increased great fats like coconut oil, ghee and others, increased fermented foods (see my book Culture Your Life), use stress management methods (rainbow meditation, eft and Bach Flower Remedies). All of these changes have helped me to naturally balance my weight, improved my skin and digestive system and also helped balance my mood, hormones and energy levels. Read more about my journey here

So I have specifically chosen the ingredients of this body butter to help in these three causes;

Argan oil; Deeply nutritious oil from pressing the kernel of the fruit from the Argan tree. This tree only starts producing oil from fruit after it has matured to 30-50 years old (they do say beauty comes with age!). The tree’s are found in Morocco and the oil should be cold pressed. Therefore you would expect this oil to be expensive and always buy a 100% Argan oil. Since the trees live to be 150-200 years old it must be difficult to certify them as organic- so consider this when you see the label. It is most important that it is 100% Argan oil, sustainably produced and from Morocco. A little goes a long way and it is great for dry conditions especially flaky skin (like on my fingers) which works well for my scar too.

This Argan oil and this one are great 

Rosehip oil; Rosehip oil has been used for centuries to improve skin, from the ancient Egyptians to the Mayans. Benefits include corrects UV damage from the sun, reduces appearance of scars, burns and stretch marks (tick,tick), improves elasticity of skin- (which is what I am looking for to heal scars and stretch marks) Treats fine lines and wrinkles, hydrates dry skin, Great for eczema and psoriasis (contact dermatitis is a form of Eczema), Evens skin tone. All round brilliant for what I want this body butter to help from the outside.

This Rosehip oil is great

Shea Butter; Shea butter is also dense with nutrients, including vitamin A, E and phytonutrients which are the source its healing properties and make shea butter an anti-inflammatory. Benefits include treating blemishes, wrinkles, eczema and dermatitis, as well as burns and even stretch marks (tick, tick).  It works to moisturise and soothe all types of skin.

This Shea Butter is lovely

Cocoa Butter; Cocoa butter of course comes from the cacao bean which is found inside the cocoa pod that grows on from the cacao tree.  Like Cocoa itself, Cocoa butter is high in antioxidants which greatly enhance its skin rejuvenating qualities and help to reduce inflammation. The cocoa pod has about 30 to 40 cocoa seeds inside and are like a gourd. These seeds must be fermented in banana leaves (love that it is fermented of course), dried, roasted and pressed. All of this then allows the oil to be released. Benefits include reduces stretch marks, helps heal scars, the fatty acid content helps to hydrate the skin and can help in skin irritations such as eczema and dermatitis also helps to heal sensitive skin.

This Cocoa Butter is the one I use

I have also used some essential oils in this body butter to help increase its ability to regenerate and nourish skin cells. 

Frankincense; Apart from being one of my favourite scents on the plant, Frankincense has an air of magic surrounding it. The oil is extracted from the gum or resin from the Frankincense tree (Olibanum tree). It has natural bacterial balancing properties which helps the skin but also helps to preserve the body butter itself. Frankincense Oil promotes regeneration of healthy cells and also keeps the existing cells and tissues healthy. Herbal properties include; Carminative (which of course means it is anti-inflammatory and calming both physically and emotionally), Astringent ( which helps it to lift and contract thus strengthening skin tone), Cicatrisant (which makes it anti-ageing, it can makes the scars and after marks of boils, acne and chickenpox on the skin recover at a fast rate. This also includes the fading of stretch marks.). Not recommended in the first 2 trimesters in pregnancy it is used in perennial oils too both pre and post natally. See this post for some ideas about where to buy Frankincense.

Vanilla; The vanilla plant is a the plant is a perennial herbaceous climbing vine, a tropical orchid. The pods are the seeds from the plant. It has been used for centuries to help heal wounds. Vanilla extract is composed of  sugars, essential oils, vitamins and minerals. Containing high levels of antioxidants and, as a seed, many vitamins and minerals with  benefits for the skin rejuvenation and repair. Calming and soothing for physical and mental imbalances, Vanilla is also known as an anti-inflammatory. I use this extract. There are many other essential oils that can be used (lavender, geranium, neroli) however I want to keep this butter simple and I absolutely LOVE the combination of these two scents. 

Recipe

Healing Body Butter
A healing mix of cocoa butter, shea butter, argan and rosehip oil. Using Frankincense and vanilla to calm, heal and rejuvenate scar tissue, stretch marks and dermatitis.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup cocoa butter
  2. 1/2 cup shea butter
  3. 5mls 100% Argan oil
  4. 10mls Rosehip oil
  5. 10 drops Frankincense
  6. 20 Drops Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1. I use my dehydrator to melt my cacao and shea butter.
  2. When liquid (30 mins or so) I added the other ingredients and emulsified the oils with the essential oils in my Kenwood mixer or food processor.
  3. Pour into a jar or tub (I reused a glass moisturiser jar I had already)
  4. Place in the fridge to cool.
  5. Use after shower or bath. Night or day
Notes
  1. It is gentle enough to use in the morning on your face (I have actually used it as a face moisturiser as well as on all my targeted areas).
  2. It is also rich enough to use at night before bed.
Loula Natural https://loulanatural.com/
I will let you know how I get on- here is my before picture on my scar and fingers before shot

 Other wonderful homemade lotions and potions;

Also try this diy miracle anti-aging skin cream from Mary Vance 

and this diy puffy eyes serum from Oh Lardy

Healing Body Butter Loula Natural Pin

 

 

5 Reasons to Make Kefir

 

Grains in the picture are water grains I ferment with Coconut Sugar and Filtered Water  or Coconut Water (hence the colour!)
Grains in the picture are water grains I ferment with Coconut Sugar and Filtered Water or Coconut Water (hence the colour!)

 

Fermentation is the “transformation of food by various bacteria, fungi and enzymes they produce” (The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Katz- awesome book. The transformation is enormous.

Fermenting is a natural phenomenon. Very little is actually understood about the make-up of the starters and how they grow, transform and multiply. Some do it spontaneously and some are seemingly indestructible. The trans-formative power of fermentation can produce alcohol, preserve our foods and make them more digestible, less toxic and more delicious.

1. Vibrant is how I tend to describe fermented foods especially Kefir. We would not exist without our bacterial partners. Our digestive systems need them and this system is vital for the procurement, absorption and assimilation of nutrients used to power every other body system. Our immune system depends on it and we could not use or store energy without them. The product is amazing! When using a UHT milk you will get a superior product with more nutrients ready to be absorbed. If you go up the scale and ferment a Raw Milk (sadly impossible for us here in HK) you are getting a true super food. The same goes for your water Kefir- if you use white refined sugar you are getting the bacterial benefit, if you are using a coconut sugar or maple syrup there will be so many more nutrients available within the water

2. Kefir is a natural pro-biotic. Kefir grains, whether water or milk, are essentially cultured beneficial bacteria. It is what they then go onto culture that makes them one or the other (milk or water). However with time and patience they can be used to culture both. If someone gives you ‘milk kefir’ grains you may be able to use them to culture any milk (cows, goats, sheep’s, soy, rice, any nut/seed or coconut). ‘Water Kefir’ grains may be used to culture Water (sugared water, juice or coconut water). This means that grains can produce different results based on where they are from and what they have been used and no two batches will be the same. They feed on the lactose in the milk and the sugar in the water (coconut or juice). 

3. They are cheaper to use then bottled probiotics. They are also alive and not freeze dried like in the capsules so are ready to inhabit and balance the bacteria in your digestive system. Safe for everyone Kefir can be taken while pregnant and is great for babies (not the milk kefir before the age of one) Capsules will help promote good bacteria but will not take up residence like Kefir does (source) Also Kefir has 35 strains of alive bacteria working together in symbiosis. How many strains are listed on the back of your probiotic capsules?

4. Kefir is so easy to make. Liquid (containing sugar), warm environment (room temperature) and grains. Leave for between 12-24 hours strain and go. Other forms of fermenting can take longer and be a bit more tempermental! The Grains are virtually indestructible and can be stored easily in the fridgeThe Kefir community is inclusive and open to all so you should be able to find grains from someone in your area. (The grains are meant to be free but some people may charge postage or a nominal fee- my grains are free to come and collect!) 

5. What to use it in. I add it to a smoothie every morning. However you can also make yoghurt from it, use it as a sourdough starter, pancakes, ice cream, chiaporridge, cereal, raw cookies, green drinks;the possibilities are endless. Use them on your skin and is great for Eczema (in the bath, grains as a face/body mask, in a spray bottle for after swimming and my favourite way is as an alternative to shampoo; the water and coconut water are amazing on hair and the milk kefir is great as a hair mask- try mixing it with a little coconut oil) Come and find my Fermenting Inspiration board on my Pinterest where I also share other great ideas). This post is just addressing the first ferment– with an additional second ferment the possibilities for goodness, nutritional content and taste are virtually endless!

 

If you are in Hong Kong come on one of my Fermenting Workshops to taste and learn Kefir, Kombucha and Coconut Yoghurt within a community! See my events board on my facebook page or subscribe to my newsletter to be kept up to date with all recipes and tips! Learn more buy buying my book;

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HKD$150 (Approx USD $19 GBP £12 AUS $20)

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Whole Lemon-ade

 

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Man was it HOT today. Lemon’s are amazing- just using the juice loses a lot of lemons amazing proerties. Using the whole lemon, pips peel and all you are getting the lemon’s oil, fibre, antioxidants, Vitamin C, A and even calcium. Plus the scent of lemons lifts moods and enhances that cleansed feel.

I made this in my high speed blender as it needs to be able to process the peel, pith, skin and pips.

 

1 Whole Lemon (organic and un-waxed)

3 Cups of Water

Coconut Sugar (optional- to taste)

I used 2 tsp of Cocobono Coconut Ginger sugar (contact me to source some) and 2 tsp of Coconut sugar as I like my lemons tart. Whizz it all up and the use it like a cordial. I added fizzy water and ice to mine and store the rest in the fridge to use. Super refreshing for my kids too!

Carrot and Coconut Oil Natural Sunscreen

Carrot and Coconut Oil Natural Sunscreen

Natural Sunscreen is top of my list of things to take in my bag whilst out and about or on holiday. I make 30 ml bottles so they are easily portable and I can have one in my handbag, nappy bag, beach bag and pool bag!

When you are looking for a sunscreen for you and your family, you want one that is going to protect and nourish the skin. Most sunscreens on the market contains all manner of things and certainly do not nourish the skin. The toxic impact of slathering all that cream all through the day is really high. Also we forget how incredibly nourishing the suns rays really are. Fundamental to our immune system is being able to produce vitamin d from the UVB rays which most sunscreen’s filter out. Going natural is easy and very effective. However the best and safest sun protectors are clothing like swim t’shirts and staying in the shade- hence the umbrellas rain or shine here in Hong Kong!

carrots

There is a lot of information about different carrier oil’s and their SPF (Sun Protection Factor). Carrot seed oil comes out pretty high (source). With Beta Carotene and Vitamin E, both powerful antioxidants, they can prevent your skin from burning in the sun. This is true for both taking them orally and applied topically as a natural sunscreen. Carrot seed oil is a powerful antioxidant when cold pressed (source). It is particularly good at preventing fat oxidation. This is useful when applied to skin, because all cells are made of fat and protein. Protecting and nourishing our skin at the same time; what we want our sunscreen to do. Adding other oils can help boost its spf and nutrient levels; especially those that contain Vitamin E like Wheat-Germ and Avocado.  

coconut

 Coconuts have been described as the original sunscreen. With a lower SPF factor but containing many other benefits,  it is an ideal addition. Coconut oils contain Medium chain fatty acids, and are a perfect fit providing a protective fatty layer to the skin. Plus the anti bacterial and microbial benefits make it a match made in heaven! Bacteria help to balance the skins external and internal environment, clearing away the dead cells and also stimulating new ones- a deep rich tan can be achieved without damage by including coconut oil in the mix.

lavender

This blend on its own is a great product but you can add essential oils which helps it to double up as a skin protector/ bug repellent/after sun. 

Lavender is a natural pain reliever, calming, antimicrobial and antiseptic perfect to ease burns and inflammation and balance and cleanse the skin. Gives it that comforting herby lavender smell.

Chamomile is also a pain reliever and calming. It is also soothing and relaxing. Gives a warm sweet note too.

Geranium is anti-inflammatory and regulating. It is a powerful smell that insects hate but blended with the above give a nice rosy-minty hint to the oil

In the past I have often also added Neroli (very restorative for skin), Frankincense (again to restore and heal skin), lemongrass (protects from bugs) and grapefruit (although not great in the sunscreen it awesome in a bug repellent and aftersun). Please consult a professional Naturopath or Aromatherapist if worried about using essential oils.

 

Recipe for Natural Sunscreen

In a 30 ml bottle mix the following;

5ml Carrot seed oil

15 ml Coconut oil

15ml Sweet Almond Oil

(optional other oils include; 5ml Avocado oil 5ml Wheatgerm oil)

5-10 drops Lavender essential oil (lesser amount for young children)

5 drops Chamomile (Roman) essential oil

1-2 drops Geranium essential oil

(add some rescue remedy too if you like)

Apply often, safe for all ages (for babies best to use plain oil blend) especially if feeling burning, stay in shade at hottest times of the day or covered. See 5 ways to Stay Sun Safe for more info. Eating foods rich in carotenes (sweet potato, carrots, pumpkin- yellow/orange foods, also spinach and collards) and Vitamin E (avocado, nuts and seeds) will help protect you from the inside. Enjoy the sun but NEVER EVER Burn. 

Vitamin D

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We hear a lot about Vitamin D nowadays. It has been linked to greater immunity, curing cancer, better mood, stronger bones, enhanced digestive health and the list goes on. There are more indications that skin cancer and breast cancer may occur in Vitamin D deficient people. This is seen in countries that have a population used to wearing sunscreen and also milk drinking populations (Vitamin D is reported to be found in milk and dairy products- especially butter). Lets have a look at what it does, where you can get it from and why you may need it. As a Naturopath and Nutritional Therapist I  look at all of my clients individual needs before prescribing any supplement or food changes. It is recommended that you consult a professional Naturopath or Nutritional therapist before making any changes yourself.

What does it do?

Vitamin D plays a big role in bone growth and development (hence why Rickets may come from a Vitamin D deficiency- interestingly more cases are being seen because our kids are not outside as much and when they are they have sunscreen on so the skin is unable to produce vitamin from the UV rays) and in the absorption of calcium (why most calcium supplements will contain vitamin D). It also lays a vital role in healthy teeth and gum repair. Taking it alongside vitamin A has shown to boost the immune system and is used in cases with asthma and allergies. It is used in many autoimmune diseases, works by helping to maintain heart muscle action, blood-clotting and is very useful for those with Diabetes. It stops the over proliferation (over production) of cells so may be used by cancer patients. It also plays a role in helping muscle spasms to relax.

sun

Where is it found?;

Vitamin D is stored in fat. This is one of the reasons that it may rise to toxic levels in your body. Unlike water soluble vitamins- fat stored vitamins do not get passed through your urine- they can be stored in the body and potentially clog up the liver. This is only really an issue if your body has a excess of fat, a insufficiency of nutrients necessary to break down and process the fat and also the mechanisms in place to utilise the fat for energy. Vitamin D also has several actions within the body which make storage necessary. It is made through the action of sunlight on your skin. It is also contained in eggs, oily fish (herring, tuna, cod, halibut), Fish liver oils (especially when fermented), butter and full fat milk (as it is stored in the fat- so skim milk doesn’t naturally contain it) and sprouted seeds.

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How do we Make it?-For the skin to produce Vitamin D from sunlight you need the following to be working together- the skin, bloodstream, liver and kidneys. The skin ‘catches the UV rays and converts then into a cholesterol which is then converted in the liver and kidneys. (5 ways to  be Safe in the Sun) The active form of Vitamin D is called D3 (which the kidneys will make) hence why we generally find this form in supplements. The darker your skin- the less Vitamin D you will produce. When Vitamin D is ingested, bile is needed to break down the fat it is stored in. A protein is then needed to carry it to the liver, where it is then stored till it is needed. The Vitamin D found in plant and meat sources is different because the fat they are in is different. Both plant and animal sources can be used – however the one contained in animal fat resembles our own more closely so requires a little less to convert it.

What should we take it with?- Vitamin D is best taken along side Magnesium and Calcium for bone and muscle health. However new studies suggest that Vitamin D must be taken with Vitamin K2 to maximise Vitamin D and Calcium’s roles and absorption.

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