Happy Year of the Horse!
Excitement is building here in Asia and throughout Chinese communities around the world. Chinese New Year, known in China as â€œSpring Festival,â€ is just around the corner. It marks the culmination of the 15-day festival of lantern parades, performances of traditional music, theatre, dance and puppetry, banquets and many other traditions.
Millions travel long distances to be with their families for the New Yearâ€™s celebrations. Red lanterns hang in almost every store here on the islands of Malaysia as well.
May you and your family have a very Happy Chinese New Year!
“Nature lies at the heart of Asian wellness traditions. Extract the healing essences of indigenous herbs, leaves, flowers and roots and the blessings are manifold: a burst of energy, a clear complexion, a feeling of inner tranquility. The ancients in Malaysia knew this – and much more – all along. It’s time now to share their age-old wisdom with the world.”
– Editor-in-chief, Gerard Bodeker, Health and Beauty from the Rainforest, Malaysian Traditions of Ramuan
We sit down in the garden of Dr. Ghani’s lovely “Herbwalk” home on the tropical island of Langkawi in northern Malaysia. At the table are Dr. Ghani – a medical doctor and expert on the herbs and plants of Malaysia’s rainforests and world famous scholar from Oxford University in the UK and also Columbia University in New York, Dr. Gerry Bodeker.
We turn over our teacups ready to taste Dr. Ghani’s wonderful herbal tea, and Dr. Bodeker starts to laugh. “Surprise!” he says. He sees it before I do. Dr. Ghani’s children have ‘pranked’ us – concealing tiny grasshoppers inside each of our cups!
With the lush plants and sounds of birds and insects surrounding us, for the next hour I witnessed a lively and wide-ranging discussion between these three brilliant men who have each dedicated their lives to understanding the gifts Nature gives us for enhancing human life.
“Never bang on a closed door,” says Dr. Bodeker, “Do something different. Look for the ones that open.” They are discussing the tightening of the regulations for the beauty and health industries by the European Union and the U.S. The new registration process seems designed to bar small companies and benefit large corporations.
For those like PP International which use special tropical herbs and minerals, manufacturing only in small batches to the highest standards, he advises avoiding the issues and pursuing the markets which already have a traditional acceptance of age-old beauty and healing secrets such as Asia, South America, Russia, Middle Eastern countries and several of the East European bloc countries; South Africa as well.
They also discussed Pegaga (Centella asiatica) which grows wild on Langkawi. Called “the hero herb of the Malaysian jungles,” Dr. Ghani serves it as a refreshing tea to his guests after one of his famous herb walks through the jungle. Dr. Ghani says that pegaga tea (known as gotu kola in the West) is not only refreshing, but also cleanses the system.
Paul laughed, “Hence the reason why pegaga is in all of the Paul Penders’s products – to enhance beauty through an age-old skin cleansing process.” In his book, Health and Beauty from the Rainforest, Dr. Bodeker reports that pegaga tea cleanses the blood, cures indigestion, nervousness and dysentery, and is a youth preservativeâ€¦certainly good for you and your skin.”
Dr. Bodeker looks into the wisdoms of healing traditions found in many cultures, comparing them with contemporary scientific knowledge. His many books and journal articles explore the customs of cultures which use plants for both health and beauty (clearly, that which makes you healthy, makes you beautiful). ‘Mainstreaming’ natural medicine and wellness is a passion for Dr. Bodeker.
From New York to Los Angeles to Bali to Beijing to London â€“ Dr. Gerry Bodeker is a man who lives out of a suitcase. Based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia since 2004, he has visited Langkawi a number of times. Unlike the stereotype of a stuffy don isolated in his ‘ivory tower,’ Oxford University scholar Dr. Bodeker is personable, articulate, open-minded, even worldly. An epidemiologist by profession, he has focused on the use of local plants in Africa and Asia to effect symptom relief and cures for malaria, HIV/AIDs, and other diseases.
His travels and research have made him among the world’s experts on indigenous health traditions, as well as complementary and alternative medicines (known collectively as T/CAM). He stopped off briefly on Langkawi to consult with the Four Seasons Resort on ways to expand their award-winning spa (awarded best in Malaysia) into a total ‘wellness retreat,’ advising them to use the tropical plants right outside their doors.
Sharing Paul’s interest in Malaysia’s botanicals and natural cosmetics, he asked Paul to lunch one day during his brief visit to Langkawi. Next day was our tea and Paul organized the meeting with Dr. Ghani attending as well. Dr. Bodeker and Paul had corresponded for years but this was the first time these two world travelers had finally crossed paths.
More of the conversation between Dr. Bodeker, Paul Penders and Dr. Ghani in upcoming blogs. Watch for them!
The coming weeks, we will take a look at the 22 ingredients in Paul Pendersâ€™ patent pending LevensESSENTIE Gold ® herbal extract which is a part of all Paul Penders products.
Angelica (Angelica Archangelica) is a mild anti-microbial herb that soothes irritations.
From the 10th century on, angelica was cultivated as a vegetable and medicinal plant, and achieved great popularity in Scandinavia in the 12th century and is still used today, especially in Sami Culture (the very north of Scandinavia).
Angelica is as well widely used in China and Korea.
Angelica contains a variety of chemicals which have been shown to have medicinal properties. Chewing of angelica or drinking tea brewed from it will cause local anesthesia, but it will heighten the consumerâ€™s immune system.
It has been shown to be effective against various bacteria, fungal infections and even viral infections.
It has also known to have a miraculous healing effect when used to purify blood, and to ward of infectious diseases.
Paul Penders Cosmetics uses certified organic angelica in the patent pending LevensESSENTIE Gold ® 22 herbal extract for its age-old known effectiveness in being antiseptic and its ability to clarify skin purities.
We keep you informed with what's new in the world of natural beauty, our own R&D discoveries, interesting people and causes we care about – and lots more…
January 2014 Please click on the links to read the full story!
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