Ingredient Spotlight: Vetiver

Ingredient Spotlight: Vetiver
Vetiver, essential oil label, aromatic plant Vector illustrationScientific Name: Vetiveria Zizanoides
Scent: Pleasant, mild, earthy, woody, smoky, and musky
FYI: Vetiver is a tall perrenial grass (that kind of explains the scent, doesn’t it?) native to India
Color of the Oil: Amber brown and rather thick
How They Get An Oil Out of Grass: Via steam distillation of its roots
Plant Constituents: Alpha vetivone, benzoic acid, beta vetivone, furfurol, vetiverol, vetivene and vetivenyl vetivenate
Skin Benefits of Vetiver:
  • Antioxidant, which means it helps prevent cell damage from oxidation (i.e. the development of free radicals which damage cells) and is a powerful anti-inflammatory.  This results in slower aging and healthy skin. A study in 2005 at Clemonson University showed vetiver oil was better at killing free radicals compared to butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and alpha-tocopherol.
  • Cicatrisant, which means it promotes skin tissue and cell regeneration. The result is an increase in the ability to heal scars and remove dark spots.
  • Antiseptic, so it kills bacteria and helps prevent infection.
Our Products that Contain Vetiver:
Skin Tip: Because of vetiver’s natural healing benefits, we put it in products that people with “troubled” skin (i.e. acne, rosascia, psoriasis) find helpful.
Knowing This Could Help You Win Jeopardy!: The dried grass and the roots of Vetiver are often used in homes during the summer in countries like India during the hot summer because it helps to cool and scent the room and keeps insects away.
Stay natural,

Jessica

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  For educational purposes only.

Take a Walk on the Phytoncide

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Pytoncides: Essential Oils From Trees

So many of my friends who hike often say, “I  don’t know why, but I just feel better when I’m hiking.” We’ve always chalked this strange spiritual calm up to endorphins, but it turns out there’s another reason: phytoncides.

Phytoncides are aromatic compounds (i.e. essential oils) produced by trees (and some plants) that help protect them from insects, fungi, and germs. Turns out phytoncides may protect humans too. All you have to do is breathe them in.

Below is a bit of the science on exactly how phytoncides interact with us:

SCIENCE BIT #1: Spending 40 minutes walking in a cedar forest lowered levels of cortisol (stress hormone) and created a state of relaxation.

SCIENCE BIT #2: Changes in blood “associated with protection against cancer, better immunity and lower blood pressure” were seen.

SCIENCE BIT #3: Blood pressure was lowered because phytoncides suppress the body’s fight or flight response and decrease the concentrations of adrenaline and noradrenaline.

SCIENCE BIT #4: Pytoncides increase the number of natural killer (NK) cells which are a type of white blood cell that supports the immune system by destroying cancerous cells in the body (i.e. anti-cancer proteins like perforin, granulysin, and granzymes A/B increased).

SCIENCE BIT #5: NK cells also decrease inflammation which can lead to ailments like heart disease and diabetes.

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The majority of the studies done on Phytoncides have originated out of Japan whichmakes sense since they coined the term, “Shinrin-yoku,” which means “forest bathing” or taking a walk in the woods.

You are probably thinking that you need to get yourself to a woodsy forest. Fast.

However, you may not have time for “forest bathing” every day. We understand. After all, most of us are in cars, houses, and offices for most of the day. The good news is that you can reap the benefits of phytoncides without a daily nature walk according to several studies:

STUDY #1: Determined that people who took two long walks through forests on consecutive days increased their NK cells by 50%. Even better, the increase in NK cell activity levels held steady at a 23% higher activity than usual for the month following the initial walks.

STUDY #2: Hinoki cypress oil and humidifiers were used in 12 males who stayed in a hotel for three nights from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. The results from blood and urine samples indicated NK activity increased.

STUDY #3: Pine and cypress essential oils were used on 60 college students, and both their blood pressure and cortisol was decreased.

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The link between nature and health goes beyond just phytoncides. For example, in 1984 Richard S. Ulrich found that patients with rooms facing a natural setting had shorter hospital stays and took less pain medicine than patients whose windows faced a brick wall.

When you think about it some more, it just makes sense even though the science behind it is not yet fully understand.

Obviously, there’s a plethora of benefits nature provides. While more studies need to be done on phytoncides and the nature-health connection, it doesn’t take a scientist or a slew of indisputable scientific studies to know that nature is always a good idea.

If simply seeing or actually being in nature has the power to heal and affect a positive change at a biological and physiological level, then imagine the healing that happens when you use products made from nature. So go forth, take walks, immerse yourself in nature as often as you can even if you just take a moment to look outside because that moment is wholly yours. You’ve earned it. Breathe it in.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  For educational purposes only.
REFERENCES:
http://forest-therapy.net/healthbenefits.html
http://www.dec.ny.gov/lands/90720.html
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20074458
http://dr-lobisco.com/essential-oils-phytoncides/
http://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/a-walk-in-the-woods

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You are a revolutionary.  You take care of your body. You look after the environment. You conserve resources.  You are educated, enlightened, and you know that it is up to you to make a difference.  It is because of people like you that we do what we do.  We use natural ingredients because we care as much about your health as we do our own.  We practice sustainable manufacturing practices because we understand that the Earth is the only home that we have.  It is up to us to take care of it.  Join us in the skin care revolution, and together we can make a difference.


If there is anything that you would like me to talk about feel free to reach out to me either here, via email: kedric@kaiya-naturals.com, on twitter @kaiyanaturals, or on Facebook @kaiyanaturals.  Also  please, please, please share or comment on this article.  Seriously, I’d love to hear your feedback in the comment section below.

Stay Natural,

Kedric

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  For educational purposes only.