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Una Biologicals is an independent company proud to bring you Organic Beauty & Wellness products. All of our products are hand-crafted just for you.  

Because we believe that your body deserves the best that nature has to offer, we use only premium organic oils to nourish your skin and never include harsh chemicals, additives, or artificial fragrances.  Our goal is keep you Healthy & Gorgeous!

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Health & Beauty Blog

This is where we can expand a little on the ideas of health & wellness.  All information is shared in the spirit of education and fun.  We hope you find a little inspiration, perhaps a new recipe, or even a new way of looking your day.  Thanks for spending a little time with an open mind.

~Namaste, Jessica

Filtering by Tag: herbs

Lady Herbs

Jessica Graves

You may have noticed that ladies wellness regularly takes center stage at Una Biologicals and we’re proud to share that we are working on several new products for ladies of all ages. In honor of girl power, we’d like to introduce you to three new herbs for your uterus.

When incorporating any new herbs into your diet it can be important to talk with your doctor about how these herbs will react with medications you are currently taking.    

Vitex (Vitex agnus-castus) also known as Chasteberry is a dried fruit known for treating hormone related health conditions. While Chasteberry was traditionally used to curb the sex drive of monks, it has a very different effect on women than it does on men. Vitex raises progesterone levels and lowers androgen levels. Because of this Vitex can help many symptoms of high androgen levels in females, such as acne and excessive hair growth. Interestingly, while Vitex can increase fertility in women, it also decreases fertility in men. However, luckily for us women, Vitex can balance menstrual cycles, treat premenstrual syndrome, and can reduce bloating, cramps, and breast pain. For the new mother, Vitex can also stop postpartum hemorrhaging and can increase a mother’s milk supply.  

Cramp Bark (Viburnum opulus) is the bark of a fruit-bearing tree that is named for its ability to soothe uterine cramps. It is one of the most potent uterine antispasmodics and works rapidly. Cramp Bark is astringent and can slow blood loss during menstruation or menopause. It helps to build up uterine muscles which can lead to easier labor during childbirth. Cramp bark can even be used to halt premature contractions. And while this special herb clearly shows a lot of love to us women, it’s uses don’t stop there. Cramp bark has been shown to lower blood pressure by relaxing the walls of blood vessels, and has been used treat breathing difficulties, heart disorders, and convulsions.

Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus) has always been a lady favorite, especially during that time of the month. Raspberry leaf is high in Vitamin C and B, manganese, potassium, iron, and calcium. Overall it is good for the female reproductive system and helps fight nausea, stomach upset, menstrual and leg cramps, and even the rough sleep during pregnancy. An alkaloid present in raspberry leaf helps to strengthen uterine and pelvic muscles for ease of childbirth. This herb is also astringent and soothes internal and external irritations while purifying the skin and blood. And last but not least raspberry leaf promotes circulation, which is important for any and all aspects of health.

All of these herbs are available as supplement, extract and loose herbs that you can use to create your own teas.  You can also enjoy some Una teas with these herbs – including Mama Maintenance, Don’t Cramp My Style and our forthcoming Menopause tea.

 

All information is shared for educational purposes only.  Una Biologicals does not offer medical advice or purport to treat, cure, diagnose or assist with any illness.  Always consult your physician before using herbs.

FDA has not approved these statements.

Contributed by Margot Pomeroy, © Una Biologicals ® 2015.

 

 

Essential Oils for Winter Health

Jessica Graves

As we’ve recently discussed, winter can be a hard time for your health and your heart. It’s easy to start feeling down when your nose drips constantly, your throat itches in a place you can’t reach, and your toes exist in a perpetual state of cold. Luckily for you we’ve compiled a list of a few of our favorite essential oils to combat the maladies of this seemingly never-ending winter.

What we think makes a good essential oil for the winter, is an oil that can aid in congestion and offer protection against nasty phlegm loving bacteria, as well as boosting the immune system and circulation to help you melt your frozen extremities. But equally important is an essential oil’s ability to aid the brain when dealing with the often inevitable winter blues.  To use any of these essentials add a few drops to your diffuser, take a few whiffs with your head distanced several inches from the bottle, or dilute your essentials in a liquid oil of your choosing by mixing 2 drops of essential oils per teaspoon of carrier oil. Do not put undiluted essential oils on your skin.

Clove Essential Oil (Syzygium aromaticum) has a spicy smell, though it is cooling on the throat. Clove buds were traditionally chewed to soothe the pain of a sore throat while offering anti-inflammatory properties. It has the most antioxidants of any other essential oil and is rich in vitamins and minerals. This is a very immune healthy oil! It even boosts circulation. Some other great things about clove oil is that it aids brain function and helps you out with mental fatigue and depression. It can even help induce sleep in insomniacs. All that and it smells so dang good!

Ginger Essential Oil (Zingiber officinale) is an energizing oil characterized by its spicy and sweet aroma. Most reknown for its relief of stomach aches, ginger oil also boosts the circulation, and provides a warming effect. It is commonly used to help arthritis for this reason. Ginger is stimulating and helps with depression. 

Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula angustifolia) is freshly floral, reminiscent of a time when things were blooming rather than draped in snow. Known most for its relaxing properties, lavender is an adaptogen, helping the body cope and adapt to stress and change. Lavender oil also helps to balance the left and right sides of your brain. This oil is also healing and soothing on the skin, good for that winter-induced dryness.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil (Eucalyptus globulus) is a very distinctive smelling oil from a plant that is native to Australia. It is reknown for its decongestant properties, providing a cooling sensation comparable to menthol. However, it’s abilities go beyond that as Eucalyptus oil can be used to stimulate and rejuvenate, helping you to combat fatigue. Eucalyptus increases blood flow and because of this, more blood flows to your brain to wake you up. Fortunately, this increase in blood flow also applies to your frozen extremities!

Lemon Essential Oil (Citrus limon) is an immune booster! High in vitamins, especially vitamin C, lemon can help you fight off and prevent diseases that spread during the cold months. You can inhale lemon oil to clean the sinuses, or use the diluted oil to naturally increases circulation. Lemon oil calms and rejuvenates, helping with fatigue and increasing your concentration to help you stay focused on those icy roads.

Where is Peppermint Essential Oil on this list, you ask? Right over here silly-see Pep Up with Peppermint

 

All information is shared for educational purposes only.  Una Biologicals does not offer medical advice or purport to treat, cure, diagnose or assist with any illness.  Always consult your physician before using herbs.

FDA has not approved these statements.

Contributed by Margot Pomeroy, © Una Biologicals ® 2015.

Fire Cider- Just the Kick for Your Winter Cold and Flu

Jessica Graves

We are getting closer to those winter months and preparations for our immune systems should begin, pronto! What better way to warm our chests and throats and clear our sinuses than with a fiery immune booster. Try this old folk remedy- Fire Cider!

The ingredients in this winter cure all are anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and great for our circulatory and digestive systems. It is a concoction of herbs, roots, and peels that bring individual healing power to the mix. All together they are an indestructible cold and flu antidote!

Fire Cider is a very versatile medicine- it can be taken straight, in other food or drinks, hot, cold, or as a topping or dressing.  There are variations in the recipes and a few substitutions can be made to include ingredients that fit your tastes and needs. Check out Mountain Rose's recipe for a great tonic to make at home!

Ingredients

1/2 cup fresh grated organic ginger root

1/2 cup fresh grated organic horseradish root

1 medium organic onion, chopped

10 cloves of organic garlic, crushed or chopped

2 organic jalapeno peppers, chopped

Zest and juice from 1 organic lemon

Several sprigs of fresh organic rosemary or 2 tbsp of dried rosemary leaves

1 tbsp organic turmeric powder

1/4 tsp organic cayenne powder

organic apple cider vinegar

raw local honey to taste

 

Directions

Prepare all of your roots, fruits, and herbs and place them in a quart sized jar. If you’ve never grated fresh horseradish, be prepared for a powerful sinus opening experience! Use a piece of natural parchment paper under the lid to keep the vinegar from touching the metal, or a plastic lid if you have one. Shake well! Store in a dark, cool place for one month and remember to shake daily.

After one month, use cheesecloth to strain out the pulp, pouring the vinegar into a clean jar. Be sure to squeeze as much of the liquid goodness as you can from the pulp while straining. Next, comes the honey! Add 1/4 cup of honey and stir until incorporated. Taste your cider and add another 1/4 cup until you reach the desired sweetness.

 

Ingredient Variations

These herbs and spices would make a wonderful addition to your Fire Cider creations:

Thyme
Star Anise
Rose Hips
Astragulus                                                                                                                                           Schizandra Berries                                                                                                                              Parsley                                                                                                                                                  Burdock
Oregano
Peppercorns                                                                                                                                Beet Root Powder
Habanero Powder
Bird's Eye Chili owder
Whole Chili Peppers
Fresh orange, grapefruit, lime juice and peels      

This living, raw, whole foods tonic should be started now so it is ready for the winter months ahead. A tablespoon a day will help build defenses and prevent those sick days that you and yours plan for each year.

If you don't get around to making your own you can visit the East End Food Coop to pick up your prepared bottle of Fire Cider.  http://www.firecider.com/

Well wishes for a warm and healthy winter!

 

All information is shared for educational purposes only.  Una Biologicals does not offer medical advice or purport to treat, cure, diagnose or assist with any illness.  Always consult your physician before using herbs.

FDA has not approved these statements.

Herbal Update - Arnica

Jessica Graves

Arnica - Arnica montana

This plant has many powerful medicinal properties, Arnica is a serious healer and comes from the same family as one our faves, the Sunflower ! The roots and flowers are used to treat many conditions. This is a strong one people, so use caution and follow direction for its celebrated benefits!

Arnica is native to Central Europe and can be found in forests and mountain pastures.  The leaves form a flat rosette, and a flower stalk which can reach 1 to 2 feet high emerges from the center. It bears orange-yellow flowers and the rhizome is dark brown, curved , and shows brittle wiry rootlets on the underside. Arnica is hardy in zones 5-9. This lovely perennial herb blooms in July and prefers a home in moist, well-drained soil with periods of ample sun. The flowers are picked and dried to make medicine.

Native Americans referred to arnica as leopard’s bane and mountain tobacco, and used the plant for sprains, bruises and wounds. In the 19th and 20th centuries, health practitioners used this herb for contusions, bruised muscles, painful breasts, chronic sores and abscesses. - See more at: http://www.medicinehunter.com/arnica#sthash.8W3sQAv7.dpuf

arnica blog.jpg

 Arnica has been widely used since the 1500's and has a long standing reputation for successful topical treatment . Its constituents are a bitter yellow crystalline principle, Arnicin, and a volatile oil. In early North American colonies the flowers were used in preference to the rhizome but the whole plant is an antiecchymotic, antiphlogistic, nervine. The homeopathic dose has been effective due to its antiseptic , anti-inflammatory, and pain relieving properties. Arnica's actions may be due to two chemicals called helenalin and dihyrdohelenalin. These chemicals may modify the action of immune cells, reduce the activity of chemicals and blood cells that cause inflammation, and kill bacteria.

For tender feet, a foot-bath of hot water containing 1/2 oz. of an Arnica tincture will bring great relief. Applied to the scalp it may make the hair grow.

Great care must be exercised though, as some people are particularly sensitive to the plant and cases of poisoning have resulted from its use, especially if taken internally.

Arnica extract has the power to reach deep tissue layers when applied externally. Its ability to absorb past the skin and penetrate areas that need a little TLC is the exact reason we use it in our Bruise Balm! Come on people, lets start healing!

All information is shared for educational purposes only.  Una Biologicals does not offer medical advice or purport to treat, cure, diagnose or assist with any illness.  Always consult your physician before using herbs.

FDA has not approved these statements.

© Una Biologicals ® 2015.

 

 

 

 

Herbal Update - St. John's Wort

Jessica Graves

This blog give us a change to look in depth as some of the plants we utilize regularly here are Una Biologicals.  

St. John’s Wort - Hypericum perforatum

St. John’s Wort,  is fabulous in the garden and grows easily in most climates, happily wintering over through planting Zone 4.   The plant itself possess bright green leaves, small and slender, that are accented by star shaped yellow flowers that practically take over the plant in July and August.  The herb itself can grow into a small shrub 24 inches high if allowed.  A perennial, this sun loving herb is quite hardy and will tolerate partial shade as well.  Though it prefers light, moist soil this herb originated in forests, fields, and roadsides of Europe and has a survivor’s adaptability. Once started these plants need very little attention except in the poorest of soils where fertilizer will be a great aide, and water during long dry spells.  In short, in order to enjoy this amazing herb at home simply stick in the ground wherever you have room and see what happens. 

St. John’s Wort is believed to be have been named for St. John the Baptist. Used for centuries, the Greek physician Hippocrates (ca. 460-377 B.C.E.) was one of the first to speak of the health benefits of St. Johns Wort, and it has been used to treat anxiety, neurosis, and depression since the time of Paracelsus (ca. 1493-1541 C.E.), when it was declared to be "arnica for the nerves."  St. John’s Wort has undergone countless clinical studies and has been proven effective by US physicians in aiding the treatment of depression.  These results have made it one of the most widely marketed and used herbs in the US.  

St. John’s Wort is also an anti-inflammatory, astringent, expectorant, nervine and sedative herb.  It has been used throughout history to treat everything from rheumatism and gout to dysentery, jaundice, urinary issues and bedwetting.  Historically, St. Johns Wort was also relied on for pulmonary complaints including consumption and catarrh of the lungs.  It’s second most popular use today, however, is as an aid to wounds and burns.  Prepared as an extract and applied topically St, John’s Wort has been used to reduce the pain and aid in faster healing.

At home, St. John’s Wort at home can be prepared as a tea using the leaves and flowers (always use organic of course).  You can also make your own extracts using sunflower, olive or wheat germ oils.  If you are harvesting your own flowers, pick them in their prime preferably in the morning after the dew has dried.  Allow them to dry in an arid space away from the sun and store in an airtight container.

St. John’s Wort should be used only after consulting your physician, particularly if you are ingesting it.  It is NOT RECOMMENDED for those on MAO or Protease inhibitors.

St. John's Wort flower

All information is shared for educational purposes only.  Una Biologicals does not offer medical advice or purport to treat, cure, diagnose or assist with any illness.  Always consult your physician before using herbs.

FDA has not approved these statements.

© Una Biologicals ® 2015.