Why peppermint oil is good for eczema

Why Peppermint Oil Is Good Therapy For Eczema

G.H. Soaps Ingredients: Spearmint Essential Oil | BODYTRUTH brand Soaps, Shea Butter, Toners & Moisturizers by GHSOAPS - Face & Body Complexion Bars | acne, eczema, blemishes, dermatitis | shea butter, shea butter soap, sea salt soap, cocoa butter soap, chocolate soap, exfoliating soap, charcoal soap, clay soap, shaving soap, essential oils, fragrance-oil free, organic

For eczema sufferers, Peppermint Oil provides good natural therapy. It’s soothing, calming (anti-inflammatory), anti-bacterial¹, anti-fungal, and antimicrobial. It also possesses strong antioxidant activity², and constituents proven to prevent cancerous growth. Let’s explore peppermint essential oil for a moment.

Botanical Name: Mentha Arvensis
Plant Part: Herb (edible)
Extraction Method: Steam Distillation

The peppermint oil (Mentha Arvensis) that we use in our therapeutic skin care products, is extracted by steam distillation from the leaves of the fresh plants. Did you know it generally takes at least 50 pounds of plant material to make one pound of essential oil?!

Peppermint happens to be one of the oldest documented medicinal herbs. It is a fragrant perennial herb with spiked purple flowers that is easily accessible and easy to grow at home. Peppermint leaf is a common, multi-tasking herb that can be container planted in your own home garden. The fresh leaves can be added to various beverages, made into a tea or added to meals and condiments. Evidence-based research regarding the bioactivity of this herb suggests that, in vitro, peppermint leaf tea has significant antimicrobial and antiviral activities, strong antioxidant and anti-tumor actions, and some anti-allergenic potential.

Chemical Profile:

Menthone is a main constituent in this Peppermint essential oil. Menthone is found in herbs, spices and in some essential oils, e.g. Mentha sachalinensis (mint species). Menthone belongs to the family of p-Menthane Monoterpenes, which are commonly found in the essential oils of many plants including fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Monoterpenes prevent the initiation and progression stages of cancer. In addition, they have been found to be effective in treating early and advanced cancers.

Why We Love It

We infuse peppermint Essential Oil into our hair and body products because of its naturally inherent anti-bacterial¹, antimicrobial, and anti-fungal activities. It also possesses strong antioxidant activity², and anti-inflammatory properties, all of which are useful for eczema and atopic dermatitis.

Peppermint calms and cools inflamed skin; and because of its antimicrobial capabilities, it helps to speed healing and correct skin damage. We love essential oils and the value they bring to so many people’s lives. Much research has been performed demonstrating and supporting the effectiveness of essential oils for therapeutic treatment and natural healing. We believe these therapeutic, highly aromatic oils bring mind, body & spirit into harmony as one.

Try our ECZEMA RECOVERY, PEPPERMINT butter.

Be well!

Resources:

Gould, M N. “Cancer Chemoprevention and Therapy by Monoterpenes.” Environmental Health Perspectives 105.Suppl 4 (1997): 977–979. Print.

Kalemba D, Kunicka A. Antibacterial and antifungal properties of essential oils. Current Medicinal Chemistry. 2003;10:813–829. [PubMed]

Mallappa Kumara Swamy, Mohd Sayeed Akhtar, and Uma Rani Sinniah, “Antimicrobial Properties of Plant Essential Oils against Human Pathogens and Their Mode of Action: An Updated Review,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2016, Article ID 3012462, 21 pages, 2016. doi:10.1155/2016/3012462

Reichling J, Schnitzler P, Suschke U, Saller R, Essential Oils of Aromatic Plants with Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antiviral, and Cytotoxic Properties – an Overview. Complementary Medicine Research 2009;16:79-90

—–

G.H. Soaps does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. We do however, share scientifically researched, documented & published (public) information for your benefit and educational awareness. See our terms of use.

What's Causing Your Heat Rash

What’s Causing Your Heat Rash?

As I have discussed before, I learn a great deal of valuable information from interacting with my skin care community; that in large includes my customers.

Recently when I temporarily discontinued my dark chocolate patchouli soap, it was brought to my attention that it had been a customer’s go to for preventing the onset of heat rash. I decided to research it so that I could better understand what it was about the soap that prevented the outbreak. I’m glad I did.

Heat rash is a most uncomfortable thing to deal with and, according to the New Zealand Dermatological Society¹ , once it’s triggered, an attack of miliaria profunda commonly lasts 5-6 weeks despite the best treatment that can be offered. It is because the plugs formed in the sweat duct openings can only be expelled by the outward growth of the sweat duct cells, which takes several weeks. Therefore, from that standpoint, the best treatment is prevention.

Armed with the information I received from my customer and that uncovered via research, I set out to discover what it is or was in my soap that helped prevent the outbreak. It’s good to know that something works; but it’s better to understand why it or how it works.

G.H. Soaps Ingredient - Patchouli

Patchouli Plant

G.H. Soaps Ingredient - Cacao (Raw Chocolate)

Cacao – Raw Chocolate

What is Heat Rash

miliaria | heat rash

cause Staphylococcus epidermidis (a pathogen); Staphylococci are common bacterial colonizers of the skin and mucous membranes

Heat Rash, caused by Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epidermidis), also termed Miliaria, is a common disorder of the eccrine sweat glands that often occurs in conditions of increased heat and humidity. Miliaria is thought to be caused an increase in certain normal Staphylococcus epidermidis bacteria which live on the skin. These bacteria produce a sticky substance (biofilm)which blocks the sweat ducts. Leakage of sweat through the walls of the duct behind the block is then responsible for the outbreak. Unlike acne and other forms of folliculitis (razor bumps), miliaria spots do not arise around the hair follicles.

There are four types of Miliaria:

  • Miliaria crystallina or sudamina: caused by obstruction of the sweat ducts close to the surface of the skin and appears as tiny superficial clear blisters that break easily.
  • Miliaria rubra: or prickly heat occurs deeper in the epidermis (outside layer of skin) and results in very itchy red papules (bumps).
  • Miliaria profunda: is the effect of sweat leaking into the dermis (middle layer of skin) causing deep and intensely uncomfortable, prickling, red lumps.
  • Miliaria pustulosa: pustules caused by inflammation and bacterial infection.

The bacterium can cause serious complications. It is one of the many microorganisms that live on the human skin and are either harmless or beneficial – as long they are in balance with other microorganisms. When the balance between the microorganisms is disrupted, they can cause various skin diseases. They can also enter the bloodstream and cause potentially fatal complications, and Staphylococcus epidermidis is one of those microorganisms of the skin flora that can be very dangerous.

Prevention & Treatment

Prevention and treatment seem incomplete. While there is much research regarding S. epidermidis’, there is a lack of knowledge offered to the public in terms of successful prevention and management (outside of its symptoms). And because S. epidermidis is part of the human normal flora, it has developed resistance to many common antibiotics. It seems however, most treatments are aimed at relieving sufferers from the symptoms after the onset as opposed to effective, sustainable prevention.

It is noted that antimicrobial agents are effective in suppressing experimentally induced miliaria, meaining in vitro or in a controlled environment. However, it is obvious that prevention is attainable in human hosts as well. The search led me to several articles in my favorite database, the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Combing through several articles, medical journals and manuscripts helped me to better understand why the soap was effective at preventing miliaria for my customer.

The soap contained a generous amount of patchouli essential oil. Patchouli’s main constituent is Patchoulol: 32.92%. As noted in another post, the antimicrobial impacts of essential oils and their chemical components have been recognized by several researchers for their efficacy against various human pathogens. Essential oils derived from aromatic medicinal plants have been reported to exhibit exceptionally good antimicrobial effects against bacteria, yeasts, filamentous fungi, and viruses. Because of this, essential oils are recognized as having great potential in the field of biomedicine as they effectively destroy several bacterial, fungal, and viral pathogens. The presence of different types of aldehydes, phenolics, terpenes, and other antimicrobial compounds means that the essential oils are effective against a diverse range of human pathogens. 

I also landed upon another interesting article by Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine², which lists various essential oils and their antibacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal activity against human pathogens, including Staphylococcus epidermidis. There is much information reported, but in summary, it identified several, common plant oils that could be very effective at preventing miliaria: garlic oil, tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), clove oil (Eugenia caryophyllata), pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium), rosemary oil (Rosmarinus officinalis) and thyme oil (Thymus kotschyanus). Research in alternative medicine brings hope to those suffering from miliaria. The idea that handmade skin care with powerful essential oils could aid in the fight against outbreaks is even more profound, especially when antibiotics are the only presented alternative.

I was enlightened by this experience as I learned what causes heat rash and why my product worked. I also understand the distress that likely occurs when there is no solution for heat rash at hand, like the temporary discontinuation. Because my customer shared with me her challenge, I was able to learn more about this bacteria. It also helps G.H. Soaps to provide better and continual solutions. This is exactly how our company came to be so thank you for your continued support and for the gift that keeps on giving, knowledge.

Please note that G.H. Soaps does not give medical advice. The information on this website has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease. It is public information, researched, collected, gathered, shared and commented on.

Resources

Kalemba D, Kunicka A. Antibacterial and antifungal properties of essential oils. Curr Med Chem. 2003 May;10(10):813-29. Review. PubMed PMID: 12678685.

Mallappa Kumara Swamy, Mohd Sayeed Akhtar, and Uma Rani Sinniah, “Antimicrobial Properties of Plant Essential Oils against Human Pathogens and Their Mode of Action: An Updated Review,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2016, Article ID 3012462, 21 pages, 2016. doi:10.1155/2016/3012462

Reichling J, Schnitzler P, Suschke U, Saller R, Essential Oils of Aromatic Plants with Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antiviral, and Cytotoxic Properties – an Overview. Complement Med Res 2009;16:79-90

Staphylococcus epidermidis: emerging resistance and need for alternative agents. Raad I, Alrahwan A, Rolston K.
Clin Infect Dis. 1998 May;26(5):1182-7. Review.

Why I Recommend Essential Oils

Why I Recommend Essential Oils

What is an essential oil? It’s a most remarkable substance extracted from flowers, buds, seeds, leaves, twigs, bark, herbs, wood, fruits and plant roots. The aromatic oil generally possesses a lower density than water and is extracted by hydro-distillation, steam distillation or dry distillation with the exception of citrus fruits. In citrus the oil is extracted (pressed) from the rind by a mechanical process (no heat).


G.H. Soaps Ingredients - Essential Oil


Aromatic

Plants each possess their own unique scent. The aroma of each oil results from the combination of the aromas of all components of the plant material itself. Unlike synthetically derived fragrance oils (parfum), the constituents of essential oils are naturally occurring and their medicinal properties are naturally synergistic.

Essential oils derived from aromatic medicinal plants have been reported to exhibit exceptionally good antimicrobial effects against bacteria, yeasts, filamentous fungi, and viruses.

Medicinal Properties

The antimicrobial properties of essential oils have been known for many centuries. In recent years (1987-2001), a large number of essential oils and their constituents have been investigated for their antimicrobial properties against some bacteria and fungi in more than 500 reports. Essential oils of spices and herbs (thyme, oregano(origanum), mint, cinnamon, salvia and clove) were found to possess the strongest antimicrobial properties among many tested.

The antimicrobial impacts of essential oils and their chemical components have been recognized by several researchers in the past. More recently, the prevalence of antimicrobial drug resistance has prompted researchers to discover new ways to treat various human pathogens. Furthermore, studies have shown the synergistic effect of ingredients in essential oils and their effect on various human pathogens. It is believed that essential oils could be useful in the control of epidemic multi-drug resistant pathogenic microorganisms and in combating various infectious diseases.

Today, essential oils are already employed in various applications including aromatherapy, chemotherapy and for the treatment of several diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and various cancers.

Stay tuned and we’ll discuss [synthetically derived] fragrance oil (often listed as parfum), which possesses NO medicinal qualities whatsoever, then you’ll really know why essential oils matter and why you’ll be ready to replace all fragranced product with plant derived.


Kalemba D, Kunicka A. Antibacterial and antifungal properties of essential oils. Curr Med Chem. 2003 May;10(10):813-29. Review. PubMed PMID: 12678685.

Mallappa Kumara Swamy, Mohd Sayeed Akhtar, and Uma Rani Sinniah, “Antimicrobial Properties of Plant Essential Oils against Human Pathogens and Their Mode of Action: An Updated Review,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 2016, Article ID 3012462, 21 pages, 2016. doi:10.1155/2016/3012462

Reichling J, Schnitzler P, Suschke U, Saller R, Essential Oils of Aromatic Plants with Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antiviral, and Cytotoxic Properties – an Overview. Complement Med Res 2009;16:79-90

Why Black Soap

What’s the Deal with Black Soap?

So often I’ve been asked, “what’s the deal on the black soap? I’ve heard it’s the best kind of soap to use for uneven and problematic skin!” 

G.H. Soaps discusses black soap

Authentic black soap is naturally organic, highly moisturizing soap and has its roots in African tradition.

Originally, the ingredients in authentic black soap provided for a pure & natural vegetable based bar.

Well, let me start by saying all black soap isn’t created equal so it’s easy to assume that all “black” soap is authentic African”black soap.” There is also a general lack of understanding as to why black soap works so well so I decided it was time to do a little digging wherefore, I could provide you with a little insight, to help you to make informed decisions about how and where you spend your beauty dollars…at least as it pertains to this matter at this moment.

Benefits of Black Soap

African black soap is familiar to many for its benefits to the skin. It has been known to soothe skin irritated by dermatitis and psoriasis, as well as fading skin discolorations and evening out the skin tone. People of African decent have used black soap for centuries for bathing and for shampooing the hair, not only to cleanse, but also to alleviate scalp itchiness and irritation. African black soap was also used to relieve oily skin and certain skin conditions, such as acne and eczema. Women also used black soap for skin care during and after pregnancy to keep from getting dry skin, stretch marks and other skin conditions caused by hormonal changes. The soap was too used on babies because of its purity and gentleness on sensitive skin.

Uses

Shea butter has many uses. It is generally widely used for the following applications:

  • Eczema Relief
  • Dry Skin Relief
  • Skin Protectant
  • Evens Skin Tone
  • Speeds healing of dry, cracked skin
  • Softens skin
  • Supports moisture retention for hair and skin

History

The handed down story…

African black soap or ose dudu originated with the Yoruban tribe in Nigeria and the Yoruba communities in Benin and Togo. The Yoruba words ose (“soap”) and dudu (“black”) literally translates to “the black soap.” It is believed that this tribe brought their herbal wisdom with them from their original Egyptian homeland. Yoruba women had an important and unique role in agriculture. They were responsible for processing raw farm produce into finished goods for trading; this included harvesting produce from trees and tending the gardens. Village women in western Africa are still handcrafting black soap today. According to Africa Imports there are more than 100 varieties of African black soaps produced and traded.

What is it?

Genuine African black soap is brownish-black in color. It is soft with an organic shape that can be molded in your hands. It has a delicate texture & a natural earthy smell. It is not oily or scented and it melts easily if left in water. Secret black soap formulas are carefully guarded as they are passed down through generation. The soap making technique is based on the ancient art of ash treatment whereby plantain peels are dried under the sun. The skins (and/or palm leaves and cocoa pods) are then roasted in a clay oven to produce ash. Water is added to the ashes and filtered. Then, ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, palm kernel oil or cocoa butter are heated and added, and hand stirred by local women for 24 hours. The soap solidifies, is scooped out and the mixture is set out to cure for two weeks. The process is much like that which we call cold-processing soap. It’s how our soaps are made, without the long churning time but with a longer curing time.

Ingredients

TRUE BLACK SOAP originally consisted of roasted plantain skins, cocoa pod, palm oil and/or palm kernel oil, coconut oil and salt. Variations of the recipe include Shea butter and pure cocoa powder.

Cocoa Pod Ash is from the shell of the Cocoa fruit & Plantain Peel Ash is from the skins of the plantain fruit. Both serve as the alkali, lending the same function as sodium hydroxide in handmade bar soap.

Palm Fruit Oil comes from the palm fruit. Black Soap uses Red Palm oil. This oil is dark red in color and contains a high content of beta-carotene and lycopene. These powerhouse antioxidant nutrients are the same ones that give tomatoes and carrots and other fruits and vegetables their rich red and orange colors. Red palm fruit oil is also densely packed with numerous tocotrienols, a powerful form of vitamin E.

Shea butter and Cocoa Butter are excellent skin moisturizers & protectants. Both soften skin, minimize scars, prevent aging skin and stretch marks. Shea butter also speeds skin’s natural healing process, and evens skin tone.

It’s the combination of ingredients that makes black soap an all around beneficial soap. When compared to commercial soaps, its also the lack of synthetic ingredients that make black soap superior to other soaps. Authentic, traditional black soap does not contain dyes, artificial colorants, synthetic extracts nor fragrance oil (which is, by the way, a composition of synthetic constituents protected by trade secret laws and known to irritate skin). It is the omission of these unnecessary ingredients that make authentic black soap (and soap just like it) better for your skin.

How We Compare

BODYTRUTH brand soaps logo

While Black Soap is widely popular and has it’s place in the cosmetic industry, our soaps are made using a similar technique, only technology allows us to produce it faster. We also use much of the very same ingredients. In addition, our bars contain concentrated plant infusions that we create ourselves. Each bar is unique and its ingredients are chosen for the healing, softening and toning properties they naturally possess. Coconut oil, palm oil and Shea butter are just a few. We also use essential oils, from medicinal plants, which contain ingredients with naturally inherent anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties to help alleviate the various skin issues that people contend with daily.

Our soaps have been successful at promoting healthy skin, speeding healing and minimizing blemishes. Like authentic black soap, our soaps are free of chemicals, dyes, preservatives, stabilizers and synthetic fragrance oils. This allows skin to breathe, to heal and regenerate more quickly, so that your skin can look its best.