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Cinnamon

I used to love sprinkling sugar and cinnamon on my buttered toast. I’d still love it actually but health concerns rule it out as a habit. This seemingly gentle and harmless spice is actually a powerful and potent ingredient deserving respect and common sense. When two cultures both revere something, it makes me pay attention. Both Indian and Chinese medicine place cinnamon in the center role as a healer.  It is said that Cinnamon does many good things including lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels, improving the brain’s functions, helping one to lose weight and alleviating headaches. I use it

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NEEM: Green Gold

It is certainly understandable why Neem is referred to as Green Gold and why it is a sacred tree in India cultivated anywhere it will grown.  You will find this tree near almost all Indian familyhomes and growing in a place of honor in the courtyard.  Not only does it provide broad shade but it deters bugs and it is visited frequently to be harvested of its bounty, often daily for a young twig to be used as a natural and potent teeth cleaner and mouth freshener more potent some say than modern fluoride laden toothpaste. The neem tree offers

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Body Odor and Baking Soda

Baking Soda is a component of the mineral natron and is found dissolved in many mineral springs. Egytpians used natron as a cleaner. French chemist Nicolas Lebalnc came up with Soda Ash or Sodium carbonate in 1791 and, in 1846 two American bakers in New York began producing baking soda from sodium carbonate and carbon dioxide. It was mentioned by Rudyard Kipling as a substance that helped prevent fresh fish from spoiling. It’s primary usefulness comes from it being mildly alkaline allowing it to neutralize or react to acid (an example is the volacano experiment often done in schools) So, it seems that one

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Gotu Kola

I use Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) in my face serum for its rejuvenating and anti-aging impact on skin. It seems to increase collagen production according to studies. I make my own herbal extract of Gotu Kola.  This process takes 6 weeks. It seems the primary active components of Gotu Kola, according are saponins (also called triterpenoids) consisting of several different types. According to pharmacological studies, one outcome of gotu kola’s complex actions is a balanced effect on cells and tissues participating in the process of healing, particularly connective tissues. One of its constituents, asiaticoside, works to stimulate skin repair and

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Potassium Sorbate

According to Livestrong.com: “Potassium sorbate is salt of sorbic acid and is prepared by reacting sorbic acid with potassium hydroxide. It is a white or yellowish crystalline powder or granule. Potassium sorbate is soluble in water. Once dissolved in water, it produces sorbic acid. It is effective as a preservative up to a pH of 6.5. Its effectiveness falls off as pH is lowered. It is inexpensive to produce, shelf stable and easy to use as an ingredient in foods and other products requiring antimicrobial activity.” Potassium Sorbate comes from wood ashes and naturally occurs in berries, however, the Potassium

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Aloe Vera Juice

The Aloe I Use Presently I use Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Juice which is, according to the company, made from organic aloe vera gel fillet cold processed on the same day it is harvested.  This brand does contain a small amount of Citric Acid and 1/10th of 1% of the food preservative Sodium Benzoate. About Aloe “Gel” I do not use gel because it turns out that Aloe can’t retain its gel-like consistency once removed from the plant.  The gel that we can purchase in stores has added ingredients that make it into a gel. Aubrey’s for instance 

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Xylitol

Xylitol – arguably as natural as sugar but less familiar I don’t think sugar is exactly natural and neither do I think Xylitol is.  Yet, it seems like it is a pretty good thing nonetheless.  At least, I think so today, who knows what they will discover about it tomorrow? Xylitol can be produced from many things but commercially, according to Wikipedia, it is commercially produced from hardwood and corncobs. It is as sweet as sugar, has 1/3 less calories and has no after taste. The reason I use Xylitol in some (not all) of my toothproducts is because it

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Xanthan Gum

Xanthan Gum – byproduct of cheese. Is a food thickener. It is made by fermenting sugars or lactose. It is dried out using rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol). Then it is ground. According to Wikipedia, the United States Department of Agricultural wanted to find a way to use the whey that was being produced as a byproduct of making cheese. Apparently, one kilogram of cheese makes 9 kilograms of whey.  Since whey is composed of lactose and water mostly, researchers developed a strain of bacteria that would grow using this by product. This is a simple version of where Xanthan Gum

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Aluminum and Baking Soda

Aluminum Content in Baking Soda From my reading, it looks like the idea that aluminum is in common baking soda is untrue. Arm & Hammer site emphatically claims to have  no aluminum in its baking soda. From what I’ve read, it is unlikely any baking soda you can buy has aluminum in it. Unlike baking soda, baking powder may contain aluminum in it, however you can buy it without or make your own.    According to David Lebovitz’s website : 1 teaspoon of baking powder, mix 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch.

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