Lavender Lemonade Recipe

LAVENDER LEMONADE

A refreshing summer drink – serve with garnished of fresh lavender.

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or experiment with adding xylitol or + /- 10 grams of dried stevia leaves for a natural sweet taste)
  • 6 lemons ​- juiced
  • half a lime​ – juiced
  • 6 long sprigs of fresh lavender​ or 1/4 cup of dried lavender flowers

Boil water in a pot on the stove – reduce heat to a low temperature. Add the sugar/ stevia and simmer for 5 minutes. (Taste to adjust flavor as needed). Stirring often to prevent burning and to ensure all sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh lemon juice, lime juice, and lavender flowers. Place the lemonade in the fridge to cool down all the way. Serve with lemon wedges and ice cubes. Enjoy!

Makes about 1 quart or 1 liter

Numen: The Healing Power of Plants Documentary

An inspiring documentary on the Healing Power of Herbal Medicine - featuring some of my favorite herbalists of all time: Rosemary Gladstar, Tieraona Lowdog, MD, David Hoffman and others. Official selection of the Santa Fe film festival, Green Mountain film festival, Maine International film festival, and the Sonoma Environmental film festival and third place documentary feature and best visual effects winner of the Los Angeles Reel film festival, Mark down these dates on your calender to view the award winning film Numen: The Healing Power of Plants. – free to view online October 20-30. Check out the trailer here.

Alchemy & Elixir Awards

all starWe are excited to announce that in March our Alchemy & Elixir Website and Blog was selected as one of the top sites for herbal medicine in Canada by HerbGeek.com. The full list of finalists can be viewed here.

AND in 2013 the Taking Charge of Your Health Newsletter was selected as a Constant Contact All Stars Finalist  for offering engaging newsletter content and social media to the public. Thank you for your votes, support and for noticing our work on promoting herbal medicine!! Be well!

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Vancouver Holistic Doula Certificate Program

Vancouver Holistic Doula Certificate Program – Offered through Pacific Rim College

The Holistic Doula Certificate is a 13.5 week, 270-hour program that prepares students to work as both Doulas and Post-partum Doulas. It is the most comprehensive Doula program offered in North America.

The education and training provided within the Holistic Doula Certificate Program is based on complementary and integrative approaches, bridging Western Medicine with holistic therapies. The program provides strong education and practical foundation in many therapeutic approaches, thereby creating competent and confident Doulas when working with labouring mothers and building their practices. No single therapeutic approach or discipline taught is meant to be comprehensive and to lead to students becoming practitioners in that particular area. Instead, each component adds to the Doula’s competency and thus value to the labouring mother and her family. By gaining comprehensive education in a variety of disciplines, program graduates will be poised to change the current standards of what it means to be a Doula in North America. All students are eligible to partake in the Doula Mentorship once they have completed all classroom requirements of the certificate program.

Graduates of this program can use knowledge and experience gained to establish a private all-inclusive Doula services business or join or create an integrative health clinic or birthing centre

Intro to Herbal Medicine for Doulas – DLA105

Vancouver Course Instructor: Katolen Yardley, MNIMH, Medical Herbalist 

Herbs have been used for millennia to assist in childbirth. This course covers the fundamentals of herbal medicine in the context of pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and baby and child care.

For more information visit: Holistic Doula Certification Program

Digestive Aids: Back to the Basics with Herbal Medicine

By Katolen Yardley, MNIMH, Medical Herbalist
      Herbal medicine offers invaluable aid for chronic digestive disorders as well as common symptoms of  overeating including heart burn, indigestion, cramping and bloating. As most herbal medicines are taken orally, they come into direct contact with the mucous membranes lining the digestive tract, offering quick relief. Herbal medicines offer gentle, non-habit forming alternatives to over-the-counter and prescription medications and are suitable for long term aid. The medical actions of herbs are often categorized into groups according to their therapeutic action.
      Digestive stimulants help to increase or improve digestive activities. Two categories of stimulant herbs include bitters and hepatics (herbs which support the liver). Bitters have been used traditionally, sipped before meals. Herbal bitters act to stimulate the release of gastric juice and digestive enzymes for optimal digestion. They also help to increase appetite. Bitters have a general tonic action on digestion, stimulating the body’s self repair mechanisms. Some bitter herbs include wormwood, centaury, yarrow and gentian. Bitter herbs are consumed in small amounts and should not be ingested in conditions of excess stomach acid or ulcers. Hepatics are herbs that strengthen tone and support the liver. The liver is our primary organ for cleansing and detoxification, facilitating the deactivation of hormones, drugs, food additives and pollutants. The liver is involved in carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism and helps to maintain stable blood sugar levels. It is also involved in both the synthesis of cholesterol and its breakdown into bile salts. In addition, the liver provided storage for fat soluble vitamins. Examples of Hepatic herbs include: dandelion root, wild yam root, yellow dock root.
      Digestive Relaxants, in contrast, help to reduce over-activity and relax tissues. These herbs are used in a clinic environment to reduce bloating and stomach distension. Carminative herbs are plants that contain volatile oils, the component of the plant that imparts the familiar fragrant/aromatic scent associated with many dried herbs. Their main action in digestion is to soothe and settle the gut wall, ease cramping and expel wind from the stomach and intestines, while providing gentle anti spasmodic properties. Some common carminative herbs containing a characteristic scent include caraway seedfennel seed, peppermint leaf, ginger root and anise seed.
      Herbal medicines are gentle and ideal for incorporating into one’s daily routine. Digestive herbs can be used in either tea or tincture form. An adult general dosage for herbal teas is 1 tsp. of the herb for every cup of boiled water, steeped for 15 minutes; 3-4 cups daily will provide a medicinal dose. When using tinctures, the dosage varies depending upon the herbs used. A standard adult dose is generally 2-3 ml taken 2-3 times daily.
Katolen Yardley, MNIMH is a Medical Herbalist in private practice at Alchemy & Elixir Health Group in Vancouver, BC. www.alchemyelixir.com or www.katolenyardley.com 

Lifestyle Tips for Boosting Whole Body Health

With the New Year right around the corner- jump start your health goals by incorporating new lifestyle tips and routines into your new year!! OR

New Year? Improved Health!! Tips for optimal health in 2014.

1. Incorporate tonic herbs into your daily routine (including Maca, Siberian Ginseng, Astragalus, Rhodiola and Ashwagandha), to build the bodies endurance and stamina, offering resistance from stressful conditions and support for immune system function.

2. Consider Medicinal Mushrooms: rebuild and restore immunity with mushrooms such as Shitake, Maitake, Oyster, Reishi, Enokitake mushrooms; add into cooking recipes and take in supplement form for stronger immune modulating, anti inflammatory actions, to enhance liver function and raise energy levels. Chaga is another unique mushroom which offers specific support to the digestive system, including ulcers, and symptoms of irritable bowel disease.

3. Boost your bodies’ detoxification ability by drinking herbal infusions (teas) such as Nettles, Burdock, Dandelion root or Cleavers. These herbs are traditionally referred to as alteratives which support the function of the organs of cleansing and elimination.

4. Xenoestrogens: Read labels -identify potential endocrine disruptors –and reduce exposure— familiar yourself with the names of low level hormone disruptors or estrogen mimickers -hidden ingredients in our cosmetics, plastics, pharmaceuticals, food, and personal care products. Xenoestrogens, are a group of chemicals present in the environment and in products we use every day, which mimic the effects of estrogen and disrupt normal hormone function. Combined with the estrogen naturally produced by the body, these foreign chemicals can create an excess of estrogen (and contribute to issues with fertility and reproductive health) and chemical sensitivity — many are also known carcinogens. Items to avoid include: phthalates, parabens, plastics (BPA, PETA), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and butylates hydroxyanisole (BHA). To assist in ridding these agents from the body consider Crucera SGS, Indole 3 Carbinol and Calcium d glucarate.

5. Remove chemical toxins from your home by choosing biodegradable cleaning products or better yet, create your own home cleaning products by using vinegar, baking soda and pure essential oils.

6. Daily ‘skin brushing’ using a dry vegetable bristle brush, will improve circulation and stimulate drainage from the lymphatic system.

7. Choose Organic – to remove chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers (which are also xenoestrogens!), focus on foods in whole form not from a package (boxed or canned) and read labels -if there a list of long chemicals in the ingredients then avoid these foods.

8. Cultivate gratitude: give thanks for what is good in your life – focus and appreciate on that which contributes to ones peace of mind and happiness including community (family and friends), sunshine, an abundance of accessible healthy food, and our right to a variety of educated health care choices.

Katolen Yardley, MNIMH ~ a Medical Herbalist in private practice in British Columbia – is now accepting new clients. www.katolenyardley.com

 

Sage Wands

Organic Sage Wands

Sage bundles, Smudge fans, or prayer fans, have been used by first nations people for centuries.  The art of smudging involves burning herbs such as sage and sweet grass, or used together, first beginning with sage.  The smoke is directed or “washed” over people and things that need blessings and healings.  The smoke is believed to dispel negative influences. Smudging can be used to cleanse a room of tension and bad spirits after a verbal dispute or if someone with depression or anger had pervaded the place with gloominess.  Another common use is to cleanse a dwelling before you move in to a new space. Take the smudge fan and disperse the smoke in all corners to purify your new home, office, garage or yard, furniture, special objects and pets.

 Smudge bundles are dried and burned; used in the beginning of prayers, rituals, smudging and other ceremonies to remove perceived negative energies, to promote spiritual and emotional purification, to purify a space, and align in harmony with the earth and with ones higher self. Often used in combination with sweetgrass; sage smudge sticks can help turn a negative atmosphere in to a positive environment.

Directions: Sage bundles are usually burned by lighting the end of the bundle, let it burn for about 10 seconds, then blow the flame out. Hold a large clamshell, or bowl under the grass to catch the embers.  The bundle should smolder and give off smoke. It is this smoke which is used for purification and spiritual and emotional cleansing and the removal of negativity from a sacred space, a person, home, or new environment.

Once the sage is lit, you do not stop it from burning. If the smudging has been completed, then set the bowl down and let it burn itself out until it is done. Do not put it under water to douse the smoke or stop it from burning its flame out naturally.For obvious reasons, do not leave the flame unattended.

Repeat as needed, cleanse ones home or environment monthly, or after any negative or traumatic emotional experiences.

White Sage Bundles – are sold individually as one bundle. Order here:

A-Z Glossary of Harmful Chemicals and Additives to Avoid in Cosmetics and Personal Care Products continued…

Continued from September Posting – information written and compiled by Klaus Ferlow of Ferlow Botanicals writes about harmful chemical ingredients hidden in cosmetic and personal care products.

  • Fragrance/parfum (also called perfume), “hidden chemicals” linked to a large variety of health effects, including allergies, immune system toxicity, headaches, dizziness, and suspected carcinogenic activities
  • g-Terpinene: causes asthma and CNS disorders, found in cologne, perfume, soap, shaving cream, deodorant, air fresheners
  •  Hydroquinone: used in skin lightening creams, increases skin’s exposure to UVA/UNB, and linked to organ toxicity, developmental toxicity, immunotoxicity, and neurotoxicity.
  • Imidazolidinyl Urea: skin sensitizer, can instigate immune system response that include itching, burning, scaling, hives, blisters of skin, severe respiratory reaction, gastrointestinal or liver toxicity hazards suspected, used in a huge variety of cosmetics and personal care products
  • Lauramide DEA: potentially contaminated with impurities, linked to cancer and other significant health problems, used in many cosmetics, shampoo, hair color, spray and bleaching, liquid hand soap, bubble bath shaving cream, bath oil etc.
  • Lead (also called lead acetate):  often not listed on labels, a contaminant in many lipsticks even well known brand names  and hair dyes, , evidence of carcinogenic effect, may cause kidney and brain damage, damage to the blood cells causing anemia, cough, sore throat, redness of eyes and skin, causes pain, abdominal cramps, constipation, convulsion, nausea, vomiting, carcinogen, and hormone disrupter, , in 2005 Health Canada did act against this hair ingredient, found in men’s hair colouring, Grecian formula 16, by placing it on the “cosmetic hot list.”
  • Limonene: carcinogenic, prevent its contact with skin or eyes because it is an irritant and sensitizer, always wash thoroughly after using this material before eating, drinking, applying cosmetics, do not inhale limonene vapour. Found in perfume, cologne,  disinfectant spray, bar soap, shaving cream, deodorants, nail color ands remover, fabric softener, dishwashing liquid, air fresheners, after shave, bleach, paint and varnish remover.
  • Linalool: narcotic, respiratory disturbances, attracts bees, causes CNS disorder, toxic to animals, used in perfume, cologne, bar soap, shampoo, hand lotion, nail enamel remover, hairspray, laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid, Vaseline lotion, air fresheners, bleach powder, fabric softener, shaving cream, after shave, sold deodorant.
  • Mercury: best known name in vaccines is thimerosal, also called mercuric oxide, phenyl mercury acetate, phenyl mercuric benzoate, mercurochrome, found in eye drops can effect you when breathed in and by passing through your skin, irritate skin and eyes, may cause allergy, neurological impairment, negatively affects brain development, cough, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, shortness of breath, vomiting, fever or elevated body temperature. Used in mascara, eye liners, dental amalgam fillings, skin-lightening cream, nasal sprays, soaps, haemorrhoid treatments, antiseptics and as preservative in eye make up. Mercury fumes can collect inside a jar of skin cream or a tube of mascara, and a person could inhale them when the container is opened. The State of Minnesota and many European countries have banned it due it harsh toxicity.
  • Methylene chloride: Banned by the FDA in 1988! No enforcement possible due to trade secret laws protecting the chemical fragrance industry. On EPCERCLA hazard waste list, carcinogenic, absorbed in body fat, it metabolizes to carbon monoxide, reducing oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood, headache, giddiness, stupor, irritability, fatigue, tingling in the limbs, causes CNS disorder, still used in shampoo, cologne, paint and varnish remover.
  • Mineral oil: also called petrolatum, cheap petroleum by-product , coats the skin like plastic, clogging up pores, interferes with skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne, eczema, resulting in premature aging, can be absorbed through skin contact. Manufacturers use white petrolatum because it is very cheap, used in moisturizer, baby oil, foundations, lipstick, gloss and hair products, concealer, sunscreen, tanning oil, facial cleaners etc.
  • Mono sodium glutamate (MSG): a neurotoxic (brain damage), endocrine disrupting substance found literally in thousands of products. For more details please read the book from John Erb “The Slow Poisoning of North America”, and also the websites: www.rense.com/general64/msg.htm,www.truthinlabeling.com and put into google “MSG Obese”.
  • Nitrosamines: is mutagen and a number are transplacental carcinogen. They are metabolized the same in humans and animal tissues, it seems highly likely that humans are susceptible to the carcinogenic properties of nitrosamines. Used in thousand of consumer products such as fried bacon, cured meats, bee, tobacco products, gastric juices, rubber products, metal industry, pesticide products and use, certain cosmetics and chemicals, may cause cancer. More detailed information can be obtained from the article “Nitrasomines and Cancer” from Richard A. Scanlan, Ph.D., Dean of Research Emeritus and Professor of Food Science of the Linus Pauling Institute at the Oregon State University, Corvallis, www.lpi.oregonstate.edu/giving.html#planned
  • Oxbenzone: also called benzophenone-3, benzol-5, 5-methoxyphenol, 2-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzophenone, methanone, solaquin, active ingredient in chemical sunscreens, linked to alleries, hormone disruption, cell damage, low birth weight.
  • Parabens: trade names are benzyl, butyl, ethyl, isopropyl, methyl, propyl (alkyl-p-hydroxybenzoates) acting as preservatives in cosmetics and personal care products preventing bacteria, fungus and microbes, neuro- and immuinotoxins, skin irritants. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that parabensdisplayed estrogenic activity in several tests and can have endocrine-disrupting action. Dr. Philippa Darbre at the University of Reading, UK detected in a study in 2004 parabens in 18 0f 20 samples of tissues from breast tumour biopsies.  The women used underarm deodorant spray. More scientist issue warnings about parabens. Because of the possible link to breast cancer and reproductive effects in boys, parabens are also an issue in sunscreens, since many are applied by massaging them into the skin. An article about the “Truth about Parabens” will follow shortly!
  • Para-phenylenediamene (also tetrathydro-6-nitroquinoxaline, PPD, p-diaminobenzene, p-phenylenediamine, p-aminolaniline, 1,4-benzenediamine, ): these are commonly found in hair colouring products (including products “Just for Men) and other hair products. Immune system and organ toxicant, allergen, linked to dermatitis, causes cancer in lab animals. Health Canada issues a warning August 2003 that PPD should not be used in “black henna” tattoo ink and paste since it is unsafe and should not be sold and used in cosmetics, creates allergy, red skin rashes, contact dermatitis, itching, blisters, open sores, scarring and other potentially harmful effects.
  • PABA (Para Amino Benzoic Acid): can create nausea, skin rashes, vomiting and may cause liver damage, mainly used in commercial sunscreens.
  • Phenylphenol: known carcinogen, can effect you when breathed in and may enter the body through the skin, possible eye damage, irritating eyes, respiratory system and skin, very toxic to aquatic organisms,  abdominal cramps and pain, cough, laboured breathing, dangerous for the environment, possible carcinogen, banned in Europe
  • Phenoxyethanol: skin irritant, causes allergic reactions, used as preservative in vaccines.
  • Phosphoric acid: a clear, odourless, colorless liquid that is irritating to the skin and eyes, moderately toxic if ingested, it is used in the production of soaps, detergents, fertilizer and animals food.
  • Phthalates:  rarely listed on labels but hidden in fragrance, linked to liver, kidney, and lung damage, found in many plastics as well as cosmetics and personal care products. An endocrine-disrupting chemical, some of them are also xenoestrogens, but many work in a different way as “anti-androgens” that interfere with male hormones. Exposure to phthalates during pregnancy is linked to development defects in male children, but they may also play a role in breast cancer. Some have been shown to increase proliferation of breast cancer cells in lab experiments and to reduce the effectiveness of the anti-cancer drug tamoxifen.
  • Petroleum distillates: extremely hazardous for humans, may cause cancer, lung damage if swallowed, many chemicals are petroleum based, for example 95% of all synthetic fragrances creating serious health problems.
  • Placental extract, also known as placenta, placenta protein, hydrolyzed placental protein, used in skin and hair care products, linked to endocrine issues
  • Polysorbate-n(20-85): emulsifier in cosmetic creams, lotions, cream deodorant, baby oil, sun lotion, can cause sensitivity and skin irritation
  • Polyquaternium: use in a variety of cosmetics such as hair care, moisturizing lotions, creates allergic contact dermatitis
  • Potassium dichromate: a carcinogen, handle with extreme caution, can affect when breathed in, may cause skin allergy and affect the kidneys, heritable genetic damage, toxic for the reproductive system, pain, blurred vision, sore throat, wheezing, severe deep burns, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, shock or collapse, very toxic, banned in EU cosmetics
  • Propylene glycol also known as PEG, also avoid  PG, and PPG, PEG possibly contaminated with 1,4-dioxane and ethylene glycol, both known carcinogens, one of the most chemicals used in cosmetics and personal care products, creams, lotions, shampoo, conditioners, moisturizers, cleansers, hair products, perfume, shaving cream, toothpaste, body spray, bath oil, bubble bath, mascara, antiperspirant, deodorant, lip gloss etc. and also used in antifreeze and de-icing, solutions for cars, boats, aircraft, solvents for paints, plastics, laundry detergent. Is a skin sensitizer, causes irritation of nasal and respiratory passages and if ingested can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, itching, burning, scaling, hives, blistering of the skin, alters skin structure, allows other chemicals to penetrate deeper into the skin, increasing the amounts of other chemicals that reach the bloodstream, contact dermatitis. Research has shown to be mutagenic and can cause cardiac arrest, degreases the skin. Japanese studies have shown that it can damage cell DNA (genetic code), toxic.
  • Selenium Sulfide: used for dandruff and scalp dermatitis, may cause skin irritation, dry skin, hair loss, can irritate eyes on contact with possible eye damage, high exposure may cause headache, nausea, vomiting, garlic odour of breath, metallic taste, and coated tongue, known to cause cancer, may damage the liver and kidneys, prolonged exposure may cause pallor, nervousness and mood changes. Banned in EU cosmetics!
  • Siloxanes: used in a variety of cosmetics to soften, smoothand moisten, suspected endocrine disruptor and reproduction toxicant, harmful to fish and wildlife. It is a silocone-based compound and makes hair products dry more quickly and deodorant cream slide on more easily, also used extensively in moisturizers and facial treatments, can also be found in medical implants, water repelling windshield coating, building sealant and lubricant.
  • Silicone-derived emollients (cyclomethicone, dimethicone, dimethicone copolyol, used in products that make hair and skin tumors in lab tests, said to accumulate in liver and lymph  nodes.
  • Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS), other names are sodium dodecyl sulphate, sodium PEG lauryl sulphate, monododecyl ester, sodium PEG lauryl ether sulphate, makes products foamy, a sknown skin irritant that is easily absorbed, another chemical that you will find in as many cosmetics and personal care products as propylene glycol. The key ingredient to this foaming facial washer is a detergent that started as an industrial degreaseant and garage floor cleaner. When applied to the human skin it has the effect of stripping off the oil layer and is irritating and eroding the skin, leaving it rough and pitted. Is used as a lathering agent, corrodes hair follicle and impedes hair growth, penetrates your eyes, brain, liver and remains there for a long time. Degenerates cell membranes and can change the genetic information (mutagenic) in cells and damage the immune system. May cause blindness and lead to cataracts, retards the healing process. Enhances the allergic response to other toxins and allergens and can react with other toxic ingredients to form cancer-causing nitrosamines. The U.S. government has warned manufacturers of unacceptable levels of dioxin formation in some products containing this ingredient.
  • Sodium laureth sulphate (SLES): chemical name sodium lauryl “ether” sulphate. An ether chain is added to SLS, used as premium agent in cleansers, conditioners and shampoo. It is very inexpensive, but thickens when salt is added in the formula and produces high level of foam. Also used as wetting agent in the textile industry. Irritates skin and scalp and creates itching, may cause hair loss.
  • Sodium PCA (na-pca): PCA = pyrrolidone carboxylic acid, natural version is derived from fruits, grasses and vegetables, occurs naturally in skin, is binding moisture to cells, however the synthetic version causes throat irritation and lung constriction, irritation to eyes, neurological effects such as dizziness, classified in the EU harmful by inhalation.
  • Sodium Cyanide: a highly toxic compound, also known as sodium slat of hydrodyamic and cyanogran. Immediate medical attention is required in the event of cyanide poisoning, as it is quickly fatal. Used in extracting gold, silver, copper, poison to control indoor pests, irritates and severely damages tissues of eyes, skin, respiratory tract and the gastrointestinal tract, inhalation causes headaches, dizziness, convulsion, vomiting, unconsciousness, redness of eyes and skin, severe deep burns and nausea.
  • Sodium oleth sulphate: used in shampoo, liquid hand soap, makeup-remover, conditioner, body wash, cleansers, bubble bath, antibacterial skin cleanser, may contain levels of ethytlene oxide and or dioxane, both potent toxins.
  • Styrene monomer: causes sensitization by skin contact, throat irritation and lung constriction, irritation of the eyes, dizziness.
  • Talc: als called French talc, cosmetic talc, used as cosmetic talcum powder to absorb moisture in blush, make-up, deodorant, baby powder, an astringent powder used to preventing rashes on the area covered by a diaper (diaper rash) , food additive or in pharmaceutical products. Several studies have established preliminary links between talc and pulmonary issues, lung, skin and ovarian cancer and is a probable respiratory toxin, tumours in animals.
  • Toluene: other names are toluene-2,5-diamine, toluene-2,5-diamine sulphate, methylbenzene, too, benzene, methl, also avoid butylated hydroxytoluene, possible  hormone disruptor nd known immune system toxicant, hidden sometines in fragrance, used as a solvent and chemical intermediate, when inhaled causes sore throat, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, nausea, unconsciousness, abdominal pain, skin allergy, irritating nose, mouth, repeated exposure may cause liver, kidney and brain damage, death may occur, possible risk of harm to unborn child, harmful, highly flammable, toxic.
  • Triethanolamine (TEA):synthetic emulsifier, highly toxic, over 40% of cosmetics containing it, have been found to be contaminated with nitrosamines, which are potent carcinogens, harmful if swallowed, irritant corrosive and serious damage eyes, avoid skin and eye contact, used also a pH adjuster, avoid breathing vapours if generated.
  • Triclosan: also called microban, is basically used as an antimicrobial to prevent growth of harmful bacteria, also called an anti-bacterial, virus and fungi in a huge variety of household good, personal care products (antibacterial soaps, liquid hand soaps, deodorants, toothpaste, processed food, clothing, dish soap, detergent, floor wash, counter and disinfecting spray, glass cleaner, mouthwash, laundry soap, lotion, moisturizers, children’s toys, cleaning supplies. Suspected carcinogen and endocrine disruptor. Other antimicrobials include antibiotics, anti-virals, anti-fungals, disinfectants and antiseptics. Studies in Sweden, Institute of Odontology, Huddingen, USA, Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg and Canada,  University of Victoria, B.C. have shown that triclosan may promote the emergence of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, creates allergy and asthma in children, can interfere with the thyroid hormones and is a health hazard to humans in general and wildlife. The American Medical Association suggest that consumers should check product ingredient lists for triclosan, tricocarban, quaternary ammonium compounds and it is sometimes listed as Microban.

Samuel SEpstein, MD (with Randall Fitzgerald) , Professor of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at the School of Public Health, University at Chicago, is an internationally recognized authority on the causes and prevention of cancer, the toxic carcinogen effects of pollution in the air, water, soil, and the workplace, and ingredients and contaminants in consumer products in food, household products, and cosmetics, personal care products and toiletries. In his book “Healthy Beauty” – Your Guide to Ingredients to avoid  and products you can trust you find under “Appendix One” a list of 113 Toxic Ingredients Tear-Out Sheet  that lists additional hazardous, dangerous toxic chemicals.

This article is based on the research from books, the internet, studies, Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS)Centre of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), www.cdc.gov/Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA), www.epa.gov/-47k-

Environmental Working Group (EWG), www.ewg.orgNational Toxicology Program, Dept. of Health and Human Serviceswww.ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ ,Health Care Without Harm, Natural Skincare Authority.

For more information on additional hazardous, dangerous chemicals is cosmetics and personal care products, please check the following websites:

Products sold without harmful ingredients:

Klaus’s Bio: Honorary Master Herbalist, Dominion Herbal College, Professional Herbal Advocate, Canadian Herbalist’s Assn. of BC, author, innovator, lecturer, researcher, founder and co-owner FERLOW BOTANICALS, Div. of Ferlow Brothers Ltd, Vancouver, B.C., manufacturer of herbal medicinal and personal care products without harmful ingredients to holistic health practitioners in traditional medicine since 1993. 

This information is offered for its educational value only and should not be used to diagnose, treatment, or prevention of disease, contact your health care practitioner. 

A-Z Glossary of Harmful Chemicals and Additives to Avoid in Cosmetics and Personal Care Products

Complied by Klaus Ferlow, Vancouver, BC – and shared with permission from author

(A list of the most harmful chemicals to your health are listed here from the over 10,500 toxic chemicals to be found in cosmetics and personal care products)

  • AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid): the skin is exfoliated chemically instead of mechanically via abrasion, dries and increases skin aging. Supposed to be anti-wrinkle, found in many skin and hair care products. Used as solvent originally in cleaning compounds and  for tanning leather. A smooth finish is developed by stripping the outer layer of the skin, irritated skin can puff up.
  • Acetamide MEA: used in lipsticks and cream blusher to retain moisture, causes adverse reactions, carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic.
  • Acetone: on EPA, RCRA, CERCLA hazardous waste list. Inhalation can cause dryness of the mouth and throats, dizziness, nausea, in coordination, slurred speech, drowsiness, and, in severe exposures, coma. Acts primarily as a central nervous system (CNS) depressant. You will find it in cologne, dishwashing liquid, detergent, nail enamel remover.
  • Alkyl-phenol-ethoxylades: mimics estrogen, used in shampoo, carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic. Causes adverse reactions. Reduces sperm count.
  • Ammonium laureth sulphate: found in hair and bubble bath products. Laureth contains ether that is listed as carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic and causes adverse reactions.
  • Aluminum: used as colour additive in cosmetics, especially eye shadow. Listed as carcinogenic, toxic and mutagenic.
  • a-Pinene: sensitizer, damaging to the immune system, in bar and liquid hand soaps, cologne, shaving cream, deodorants. Dishwashing liquid, air freshener.
  • a-Terpineol: highly irritating to mucous membranes, aspiration into the lungs can produce pneumonitis or even fatal edema., also can cause excitement, ataxia (loss of muscular coordination), hypothermia, CNS respiratory depression, headache, prevent repeated or prolonged skin contact, found in perfume, cologne, laundry detergent, bleach powder, laundry bleach, fabric softener, stickup air freshener, Vaseline lotion, soap, hairspray, after shave, roll-on deodorant.
  • Bentonite: used in fascial mask, makeup, face powder. Supposed to draw out toxins and claimed to be non-toxic, but rats died when injected with it.
  • Benzaldehyde: narcotic, sensitizer, local anesthetic, CNS depressant, irritation to the mouth, throat, eyes, skin, lungs, an GI tract, causing nausea and abdominal pain, may cause kidney damage, do not use with contact lenses. Found in perfume, cologne, hairspray, laundry bleach, deodorants, detergents, Vaseline lotion, shaving cream, shampoo, bar soap, dishwasher detergent.
  • Benzene: found combined with other chemicals in many personal care products and is known a bone-marrow poison, carcinogenic, mutagenic, toxic and causes adverse reactions.
  • Benzyl acetate: carcinogenic, linked to pancreatic cancer, from vapours irritating to eyes and respiratory passages, exciting cough, can be absorbed through the skin causing systemic effects, do not flush to sewer, used in perfume, cologne, shampoo, fabric softener, stickup air freshener, dishwashing liquid and detergent, soap, hairspray, bleach, after shave, deodorant.
  • Benzyl alcohol: irritating the upper respiratory tract, headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drop in blood pressure, CNS depression, and death in severe cases due to respiratory failure. Used in perfume, cologne, soap, shampoo, nail enamel remover, air freshener, laundry bleach and detergent, Vaseline lotion, deodorants, fabric softener.
  • Benzyl violet: used as a colouring in various products, including nail treatment, it is a possible human carcinogen, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC, Group 2B), on US and European labels, it is frequently listed as violet 2 or violet 6B.
  • BHA and BHT (butylated hydroxyamisole) and (butylated hdroxytolune), are closely related to synthetic antioxidants used as preservatives in lipsticks and moisturizers, and other cometics. They are wildely used as food preservatives too, cancause allergic reactions in skin,the International Agency of  Research on cancer classifies BHA as a possible human carcinogen. The European Commission of Endocrine Disruptors has lisstedBHA asa category1 priorityl substance based on evidence that it interferes with hormone function. BHT is harmful to fish and wildlife.
  • Camphor: local irritant and CNS stimulant, readily absorbed through body tissues, irritation of eyes, nose and throat, dizziness, confusion, nausea, twitching muscles and convulsions, avoid inhalation of vapours, found in perfume, shaving cream, nail enamel, fabric softener, dishwasher detergent, nail color, stickup air freshener.
  • Coal Tar derivatives: many kinds of shampoo designed to treat dandruff and flaky scalp  contain it. Disguised with names such as FD, FDC or DF&C colour. It causes potentially severe allergic reactions, asthma attacks, fatigue, nervousness, headaches, nausea, lack of concentration, cancer, carcinogen, cough, redness of skin, burning sensation, can irritate nose, throat, hoarseness, nosebleeds, coughing, phlegm, changes in skin pigment and a rash. A 2001 California study published in the International Journal of Cancer found that women who used to permanent hair dyes once a month were twice likely to develop bladder cancer! There are many factors involved with hair colouring. Studies in the U.S. have suggested that the chemical reaction created by hair colouring products may be having a carcinogenic effect and have also associated hair colourings with an increased risk of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Try to avoid dark hair dyes entirely and choose products made with natural ingredients instead. Banned in EU cosmetics!
  • Cocamide DEA: (also listed as Cocamide diethanolamine, triethanolamine, monoethanolamine, cocamide DEA), emulsifiers and foamers in  range of products inclusive shalmpoos, face and body washes, make-up nitrosamines can form in all cosmetic ingredients containing amines, nitrosamines and amino derivatives with nitrogen compounds, are known to be carcinogen causing allergic reactions and contact dermatitis. When DEA is applied to the skin known carcinogens can form, mostly found in shampoo. The National Toxicology Program in the U.S. published in 1998 a study that topical skin application of cocamide DEA created in mice and rats liver tumours.
  • Cocomidopropyl Betaine: used in shampoo in combination with other surfactants, synthetic, causes eyelid dermatitis.
  • Carboner 9ds34, 940, 941, 960, 961C: as thickener, stabilizer in creams, toothpaste, eye makeup, bathing products, may cause eye irritation
  • DEA (Diethanolamine): a synthetic solvent, detergent and humectant (moisturizer) widely used in brake fluid, industrial degreaser and antifreeze. Mostly used in liquid soap, shampoo and conditioner. Can be harmful for the liver, kidneys and pancreas. May cause cancer in various organs, irritates skin, eyes, mucous membranes. Found also in hair dye, lotions, cream, bubble bath, liquid dishwashing detergent and laundry soap. Creates health risk especially to infants and young children. Forms nitrosamines known to be carcinogens. Causes allergic reactions and contact dermatitis, hazardous and toxic.
  • Dibutyl phthalate: used in nail polish in combination with toluene and formaldehyde, a colourless, oily liquid with a week aromatic odour, irritation of eyes, nose throat, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, may cause nausea, tearing of eyes, vomiting, dizziness, long term exposure may cause liver and kidney damage, my harm the development of foetus and male testes, may cause mutations, reproductive damage, headache, drowsiness, seizures, affect nervous system, harm to the unborn child, possible risk of impaired fertility, dangerous for the environment, banned in EU cosmetics, used in epoxy resins, insect repellent, clothing and a solvent for perfumes, oils and textiles.
  • Dimethylamine: known to cause cancer, can irritate and cause severe burns of the skin, irritate and burn the eyes with possible permanent  damage, even causing blindness, prolonged exposure may damage the liver, can affect you when breathed in and by passing through the skin, cough, headache, sore throat, shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, slurred speech, irritable mood, used in de-hairing, detergents and pesticides, used in leather tanning and pharmaceutical products, banned in EU cosmetics.
  • Dioform: many toothpastes and other tooth whiteners contain it, damages your teeth enamel and weakening their protective shell
  • Dioxane: also called 1,4 Dioxane, a flammable liquid, may form explosive chemicals, especially when anhydrous (very dry), enters the body when people breathe air or consume water or food contaminated with dioxane., can also be absorbed through skin contact, causes watering of the eyes, redness of skin and eyes, pain, headaches, nausea, cough, sore throat, abdominal pain, dizziness, drowsiness, vomiting, unconsciousness. Is used in facial moisturizer/treatment, shampoo and a variety of cosmetics.
  • Disodium EDTA: may contain dangerous levels of ethylene oxide and or dixane, both potent toxins, a manufacturing by- product, also used as chelating agent, carcinogenic.
  • Hydantoin DMDM: causes dermatitis, acts as a preservative and may release formaldehyde and is suspected carcinogen. Rats develop cancer when injected with is chemical.
  • Elastin: supposedly improves the elasticity of the skin when applied topically, but there is no proof it’s true.
  • Ethanol: On EPA hazardous waste list, creates fatigue, irritating to eyes and upper respiratory tract even in low concentrations. Inhalation of ethanol vapours can have effects similar to those characteristic of ingestion. These include an initial stimulatory effect followed by drowsiness impaired vision, ataxia, stupor, causes CNS disorder, found in bar and liquid hand soap, cologne, perfume, shaving cream, deodorants, dishwashing liquid, air freshener.
  • Ethyl acetate: narcotic, on EPA hazardous waste list, irritating to the eyes and respiratory tract, may cause headache and narcosis (stupor), de-fatting effect on skin and may cause drying and cracking, anemia with leukocytosis and damage to liver and kidneys, wash thoroughly after handling, found in after shave, cologne, perfume, shampoo, nail color ,nail enamel remover, fabric softener, dishwashing liquid.
  • Ethylacrylate: acrylates and methacylates are monomers that are combined with other monomers or polymers to produce plastics us in cosmetics, medicine, dentistry and manufacturing industries. When inhaled causes cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, redness of eyes and skin, pain, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, skin allergy, liver and kidney damage, severe irritations and burns of the eyes and skin, respiratory system, sensitization by skin contact and is a flammable and reactive liquid, a fire and explosion hazard, banned in EU cosmetics.
  • FDC-n (FD&C): various artificial different colours and some are simply irritants while others are strong carcinogens.
  • Fluoride: hazardous chemical, researchers linked it to cancer years ago, but no one was listening. Fluoridated toothpaste is especially dangerous to young children who tend to swallow it since it is tasty after brushing their teeth. Supposed to stop tooth decay, however, it seems just to do the opposite and Scientists are now linking fluoride to dental deformity, arthritis, allergic reactions, can lead also to Crohn’s disease, a manufacturing toxic by-product.
  • Formaldehyde: due to its bad reputation it is sometimes hidden under the name DMDM hydantoin , methanol, formic aldehyde, methyl aldehyde, oxomethane, oxymethane, DMDM hydanhydantoint , diazolidinyl urea, imidazolidinyl urea, trade name is formalin.  Immune system toxicant used as a preservative, especially in nail products, hair colourant, false eyelash adhesives, amony others.Released by diazolidinyl urea, causes dermatitis, adverse effects, is very toxic when inhaled or swallowed, skin irritant, a suspected carcinogen and linked to cancer, burning sensation, cough, headache, nausea, shortness of breath, watering eyes, blurred vision, corrosive, should be handled with extreme caution, can irritate nose, throat and mouth, is a highly flammable gas and a dangerous fire hazard, should be handled with extreme caution. To be continued next month…

 Note: we carry a number of products by Ferlow Botanicals which are free from harmful ingredients. 

Klaus’s Bio: Honorary Master Herbalist, Dominion Herbal College, Professional Herbal Advocate, Canadian Herbalist’s Assn. of BC, author, innovator, lecturer, researcher, founder and co-owner FERLOW BOTANICALS, Div. of Ferlow Brothers Ltd, Vancouver, B.C., manufacturer of herbal medicinal and personal care products without harmful ingredients to holistic health practitioners in traditional medicine since 1993. Klaus is writing a book about the miraculous healing power of Neem to be published in 2014 and is is also the co-author of the book ”Seven steps to dental health”, available  in print and e-book from amazon.

 

Health Risks of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

 

GMO Health Risks: Dr Thierry Vrain

GMO Health Risks: Dr Thierry Vrain

Dr. Thierry Vrain, formerly Head of Biotechnology at Agriculture Canada’s Summerland Research Station, was once a supporter of GMO. He has in the last 10 years changed his position after paying attention to the flow of published studies coming from Europe that questioned the impact and safety of engineered food and is now sharing his concerns. Help keep Genetically E Free nanaimo and a GE Free BC.

Watch this informative You Tube video for more information here: GMO’s Explained: Dr. Thierry Vrain “The Gene Revolution Best viewed in full screen mode: Filmed at an open public forum in Surrey BC on the topic of GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms).

This report was presented to the City Council of Nanaimo, BC Monday Sept 25, 2013 – reprinted with permission from Thierry Vrain – read on…

“Members of this Council,

I came to thank you for taking the time to educate yourself about this issue before the vote at UBCM on a resolution to create a GE Free BC.

My name is Dr. Vrain,  some of you, I think, were given a link to a TED Talk I gave three months ago.  I was a soil biologist and a genetic engineer with the Research Branch of Agriculture Canada for 30 years.   I was the head of the Department of Biotechnology until I retired in 2012 after the completion of the Human Genome Project.   I will come back to that.

I am trying to impress you that unlike most people I can spell DNA and even recombinant DNA.  I was the spokesperson of my Institute in Summerland during those years and took it on as my responsibility to educate the public.  I spoke publicly about the hopes of the engineered technology, and how precise and safe it all is.   I retired in 2012 because the Human Genome Project was completed.  And the answer was very clear.  That genetic engineering technology was not at all the precise technology it claimed.  The transgenes are inserted at random in the genome of the plants.  Complete random.   What we learned from the Human Genome Project is that the genome is a complex ecosystem, absolutely not based on the one gene one protein hypothesis which is the premise of the genetic engineering technology.

Sorry to use all these big words.  Stay with me.  This is a good story.

The genetic engineering technology I was working with was based on a wrong assumption that we would produce one protein per event.  The new paradigm said that we were inserting  foreign constructs in the middle of an ultra sensitive ecosystem of genes.  It’s like introducing a new pest in a sensitive ecosystem.   Not good.  Some of the misshaped proteins resulting from the genetic insertions may turn out harmful.  That would mean that the old paradigm of safety and naïve simplicity was not valid and the rogue proteins created potentially dangerous.   I could not justify what I did anymore, and I could not in good faith reassure the public that the technology was innocuous.    During my time in Research,  I studied many scientific publications sponsored by the biotech Industry and I came to the conclusion that the engineered crops and foods are totally safe to eat, provide greater yields and make the farmers rich, require less pesticides and cannot possibly have any effect on our environment.

But in the last 10 to 15 years there is also a large body of scientific publications, peer reviewed, many in prestigious Journals, that tell exactly the opposite.   The appearance of super weeds and superbugs did not surprise anybody in the science world.  They were fully expected.  Even by the chemical industries that have prepared just in time the next generation of herbicide tolerance.  With 2-4 D.  That’s agent orange during the Vietnam war.  Less the dioxin of course.  I mean, I assume we are not going to spray any dioxin residues in our countryside like we did in Vietnam.

Wouldn’t this transition to a new chemical system of farming be a perfect time for growers to come out of their feudal position with the seed and chemical input Industries.

This body of science makes it clear that the yields in Europe are higher than in America – yields per acre of course.  They do not refuse the technology because of superweeds or superbugs or falling prey – economically speaking, to the Industry.   They refuse it mostly on the grounds of this body of research with mice and rats and pigs and other animals.  And the story is about some toxic principles from engineered food that damage organs: liver, uterus, kidneys, brain, or some other proteins that cause allergies – particularly from the mis-shaped Bt proteins.  And yes.  There is definitely a hug increase in cancer and other related hormonal imbalances

The scientists of the Food and Drug administration in the USA knew that already in 1996 when the first engineered crops were released commercially without being tested.   The administration went over the verdict of its own experts.  They predicted that engineered crops and engineered foods would contain rogue proteins – inevitably produced by the invasive technology.  They predicted that some of these proteins would be toxic, cause allergies and organ damage, nutritional problems, and other illnesses.

Mr Wager who will speak after me is going to tell you that we must have this technology to feed a hungry planet.  This is complete fallacy.  It is well documented that this technology does not increase yields.  The herbicide tolerance technology – RoundUp Ready crops, have been shown to yield less than their non engineered counterparts.  In Europe, corn yields have been significantly superior to North America in the last 10 years.  They do not use this technology in Europe.

Mr Wager is going to tell you that this technology decreases the need for pesticides.  An unexpected goal for a chemical company – turned life company now.  Yes they have patented life.   The seeds are patented.  They are not sold.  They are leased.   You cannot keep them or multiply them.  It does not matter too much that you can’t keep your seeds if you are using hybrids.   So no change for corn growers.  But for everybody else, that’s a voluntary step into economic dependence.  You get your seeds every year from the life company, and you have to be nice about it.    You cannot do any research on the technology unless you swear to agree that what is good for Monsanto prevails.

They have been successful at marketing their product because it makes weed management and life less complicated for the farmer.  But I doubt that it was always the intention of these companies to sell less and less of their products.  Of course not, sales of insecticides and herbicides have gone through the roof in the last 10 years.  Particularly more recently with the epidemics of resistant weeds and resistant insect pests.

Mr Wager is going to tell you that nobody has died from eating GMOs and that 3 billion meals, or is it 3 trillions, have been served.  And everybody is in perfect health.  The truth is that research studies from Europe in the last 10 years have documented organ damage in rats and pigs, and cellular damage in human cells.  And there is no denying that we are experiencing epidemic levels of allergies, gastrointestinal problems, kidney damage, or breast cancer.  The European research says that toxic proteins in engineered foods are responsible for these symptoms in mice and rats.

The European studies also say that RoundUp herbicide is used on such a massive scale that is is now everywhere, in the air, in the water, in the food.   RoundUp kills plants because it stops plant enzyme proteins from doing their metabolic work.  People cannot be affected because we do not have the same biochemical pathways that the plants have.  But we are now discovering that bacteria are affected as much as plants.  And the bacteria in our guts are affected.  In case you do not know that, you are not human at all.  You are a symbiotic organism.  Your body contains roughly 10% of human cells.  The rest are bacterial cells.   99% of your DNA is bacterial.  That is how important our gut flora is to our health. A phenomenal ecosystem of thousands of species of bacteria that synthesize vitamins and many other essential molecules, hormones, etc … Gut bacteria make 95% of the serotonin and other neurotransmitters for our brain.  Would you prefer a happy flora down there ?  Rather than a sad one.  High or even very low residues of RoundUp in our food is a stress to our health.  And no, you can’t tell from looking around you.  It apparently takes many many years of this low level biochemical stress to cause leaky gut syndrome, or organ damage, or cancer.  Meanwhile everybody in North America is ingesting its weight of GMO ingredients every year.

Mr Wager will tell you that there is a conspiracy of rogue scientists determined to spread lies about the safety of this technology.   But he will be at a loss to explain the motivation of these scientists.

If I cite the research work of these scientists Mr Wager will tell you that it is all pseudo science and that it has been thoroughly trashed by the scientific community.   So you need to understand that there is a great deal of research in Biotech, mostly funded by the biotech Industry.   University Industry grants are normal.  Putting hundreds of scientists on the payroll is not difficult.   Or give them a patent or two for their research work.

Do you remember the tobacco ads of 40 years ago.  More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarettes.  20,000 physicians say Luckies are less irritating.   Why do you think doctors can be bribed but not scientists ?   There are experts on hire – everywhere.

I appreciate that this is seen as a controversy.  So I will conclude with this statement.  As long as there is a controversy – of the kind that the Tobacco Industry created 40 years ago to stay in business for many years after the scientific evidence was in, there can be no recall or regulatory action taken. There is no controversy in 64 countries of the world, including the big ones – Europe, India, Russia, and China, where GMOs are banned or at least labelled.”

We are giving you bits and pieces of a booklet called GMO Myths and Truths.  It is a compilation of published research, much of it from Europe and the rest of the world.  It was compiled by a genetic engineer and edited and re-written by Claire Robinson an excellent science writer.  It is a bit dry and technical.  But if you can spell DNA take a look at it.  Free download at  earthopensource.org

Sign a petition for CBC news requesting that Peter Mansbridge interviews Dr Thierry Vrain on the National regarding the risks of GMO products and the future of Canadian Agriculture.

For more information on GMO dangers

Institute for Responsible Technology: 65 Health Risks of GMO Foods and GMO’s in Food and 10 Reasons to Avoid GMO’s

A partial listing of foods containing GMO products can be found by clicking here:http://thegoldenlightchannel.com/gmo-food-list-to-avoid-monsanto-companies-the-dangers-of-gmo-food/

Health Guide on GMO Research and Risks http://www.greenmedinfo.com/guide/health-guide-gmo-research

For more reading on a holistic approach to food systems visit BC Food Systems Network on Facebook