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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Rooibos Antioxidants Sweet Sisters Bodycare Shea + Mango LotionYou may have heard of rooibos, also known as Red Bush, from South Africa. If you haven’t tried it, you’re in for a delicious treat that’s good for you, too! This 100% caffeine-free herb can be made into a tea that has a woody-sweet, nutty flavor and is wonderfully high in antioxidants!

The active antioxidants in rooibos tea are called aspalathin flavonoids which are similar to the flavonoids found in green tea. In fact, one laboratory study found that aspalathin is even more effective at scavenging damaging free radicals than epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) from green tea. An animal study also showed that rats given rooibos tea had higher superoxide dismutase (SOD—a protein that neutralizes free radicals) levels in their blood than those not fed the tea, and they also had less DNA damage. The study also indicated that rooibos tea had an anti-inflammatory effect that protects the health of cells.

Rooibos also has natural compounds that support healthy skin!

Because of its high flavonoid content, rooibos is used as a powerful “graceful-aging” ingredient in skin care formulations. Since much of skin aging is caused by exposure to UV rays, pollution, and other environmental contaminants that create free radicals, rooibos’ free-radical-scavenging abilities help to protect skin and support our best skin possible at any age!.

Rooibos is also known to have anti-viral, anti-fungal, and antibacterial properties, making it helpful for acne, eczema, psoriasis and other difficult skin conditions. In fact, people with acne have reported that both drinking rooibos tea and applying rooibos directly to their skin helped decrease skin congestion.

Rooibos is also a source of vitamin D and zinc, and has been shown to be protective against damaging UV rays. A 2009 study found that topical application of rooibos extract prior to UVB exposure inhibited the formation of tumors, suggesting the ingredient may help protect against sunburn and potentially helpful in preventing skin cancers.

Finally, rooibos is known to be hypoallergenic, helping to calm reactive skin and soothe redness, itching, and rashes.

For all these reasons, we regularly include a potent infusion of rooibos in our lotions and creams, like our Shea & Mango Lotion, Emollience Peptide Cream and Supreme Eye Care.

Brew up some rooibos tea today, drink a big cup and save another in the fridge to use on your skin after cleansing and before sun exposure for a day or two. Make a fresh batch every couple days and see the difference it makes in your skin!  (Rooibos is delicious on its own or with a bit of agave or honey.)

Here’s to healthy happy skin, naturally!

Karen

Sources
Snijman PW, et al., “Antioxidant activity of the dihydrochalcones Aspalathin and Nothofagin and their corresponding flavones in relation to other Rooibos (Aspalathus linearis) Flavonoids, Epigallocatechin Gallate, and Trolox,” J. Agric Food Chem. 2009 Aug 12; 57 (15):6678-84, http://www.hubmed.org/display.cgi?uids=19722573.
Baba H., et al., “Studies of anti-inflammatory effects of Rooibos tea in rats,” Pediatr Int. 2009 Oct; 51(5): 700-4, http://www.hubmed.org/display.cgi?uids=19419525.
Kawano A, et al., “Hypoglycemic effect of aspalathin, a rooibos tea component from Aspalathus linearis, in type 2 diabetic model db/db mice,” Phytomedicine 2009 May; 16(5): 437-43, http://www.hubmed.org/display.cgi?uids=19188054.
Khan AU, et al., “Selective bronchodilatory effect of Rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis) and its flavonoid, chrysoeriol,” Eur J Nutr 2006 Dec; 45(8): 463-9, http://www.hubmed.org/display.cgi?uids=17080260.
Gilani AH, et al., “Antispasmodic effects of Rooibos tea (Aspalathus linearis) is mediated predominantly through K+ -channel activation,” Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2006 Nov; 99(5): 365-73, http://www.hubmed.org/display.cgi?uids=17076689.
“The Many Health Benefits of Rooibos Tea,” Inhuman Experiment, April 4, 2010, http://inhumanexperiment.blogspot.com/2010/04/many-health-benefits-of-rooibos-tea.html.
Petrova, Antoinette, “Modulation of ultraviolet light-induced skin carcinogenesis by extracts of rooibos and honeybush using a mouse model: elucidating possible protective mechanisms” (2009). CPUT Theses & Dissertations. Paper 91. http://dk.cput.ac.za/td_cput/91.

Nutrient-rich rosehips form after the petals fall from the rose. They swell and are ready to pick when they turn the most brilliant orangey-red color

ROSE HIPS are the nutrient rich seed pods of the rose bush, which swell and ripen to a glorious orangy-red after the petals fall from the rose.

The rose hip, of the rosaceae family,  contain seeds  chock-full of Vitamin C and A which scavenge free radicals and lengthen the life of cells!

The end of Summer is a perfect time to pick rosehips for drying so you can enjoy their wonder-full health and skin benefits for the months to come!

Medicinally, rose hips have been used in the treatment of colds, flu, infections, arthritis, diarrhea, and urinary tract disorders.  In fact, a study published in 2007 found that those participants with rheumatoid arthritis who took the rose-hip remedy “LitoZin” improved their activity levels by 20–25 percent over those taking a placebo, with the number of joints causing pain falling by 40 percent.

I like infusing rosehips into a tea that I drink as well as pour into my bath:) Just pour near boiling water over the rosehips and let steep.

rosehip infusion

It’s color therapy, too:)

SKIN BENEFITS

I love using rosehip infusions as well as the cold pressed oil in Sweet Sisters Bodycare products for their amazing skin benefits!  First, Rosehips contain a high concentration of Vitamin C which is crucial to collagen production. Getting enough vitamin C on your skin helps to preserve tissue integrity as well as fight free radical damage which can cause skin dryness, fine lines, and premature wrinkling. Vitamin C also helps your skin repair itself, smoothing scars and old wounds. Some research suggests that this vitamin may also reduce damage from UV rays. I like to spray my skin with Vitamin C water or infusion before going out in the sun:)

Rose hips are also high in Vitamin A, which is a key “graceful-aging” ingredient. Another powerful antioxidant, it protects the skin from free radical damage as well as accelerates the cell renewal process, supporting cell turnover to reveal fresher, smoother skin underneath. The faster the turnover rate, the less acne breakouts, sallow and sluggish skin and the greater the development of collagen and elastin to promote firmer, smoother skin.

Viitamin E is often added to rose hip seed oil to help prevent oxidation in skin-care formulations, and is another powerful antioxidant that protects skin and promotes the production of collagen and elastin. It also prevents water loss and helps skin retain its natural moisture.
Essential fatty acids: the skin’s ability to hold water decreases with age, as the cell membranes become less able to keep water in. Essential fatty acids keep the cells healthy and the membranes functioning properly, so skin stays plump and moist. These EFAs also help to dissolve the fatty deposits that block follicles and contribute to congested skin issues as well as help to repair old acne scars and reduce hyper-pigmentation.

In addition to all these wonder-full benefits, rose hip seed oil also has a reputation for helping to reduce scarring from surgery and burns because of its ability to encourage skin regeneration, and for reducing the appearance of stretch marks. Age spots fade with regular use, and troublesome skin conditions gradually calm and smooth over.

If you want to try some natural products that contain the Amazing Rosehip, check out our Renew Facial Elixir,  Bath + Body Oil,  and Supreme Eye Care Cream.  I’d love to know what you think!

Have a beauty-full day,

Karen