The flora of Paul Penders – Today: Witch-Hazel

This is the twenty-second and last part of our series where we take a look at all the 22 ingredients in Paul Penders’ patent pending LevensESSENTIE Gold® herbal extract which is a part of all Paul Penders products.

Witch-Hazel (Hamamelis Virginiana) is a soothing herb and a great astringent (contacts body tissue and canals). It is also used for toning and healing

Witch-Hazel is a shrub that can grow up to 3-8 meters (10-25 ft.) tall. The oval leaves are 4-16 cm (1.5-6 inch) long and 3-11 cm (1-4 inch) broad.

Its fruit, flowers, and next year’s leaf buds all appear on the branch simultaneously, which is a rarity among trees. Blossoming takes place in the fall of the year. The flowers are 1-2 cm (0.5-1 inch) long, either pale to dark yellow, orange, or red.

Out of five species, three grow in North America, one in Japan, and one in China. The species used in LevensESSENTIE Gold® is one of the North American species, Virginiana; also sometimes called winterbloom.

It is a very popular ornamental plant, grown for the clusters of rich yellow to orange-red flowers which begin to expand in the autumn, and continues throughout the winter.
 
Witch-Hazel is not used in cooking due to its very sour and bitter taste.

The bark and leaves are astringent (see above). This extract (also referred to as witch hazel) is used medicinally. Extracts from the plant’s bark and leaves are used in aftershave lotions and lotions for treating bruises and insect bites. Witch-hazel helps to shrink and contract blood vessels back to normal size, and have a skin-toning effect as well as being a strong anti-oxidant.

Native Americans produced witch hazel extract by boiling the stems of the shrub and condensing the steam to produce a distillate. They used the distillate to treat sore muscles, cuts, insect bites, and other inflammations and tumors. Early Puritan settlers in New England adopted this remedy from the natives, and its use became widely established in the United States

Furthermore, witch hazel is very useful in fighting acne. It is often used as a natural remedy for psoriasis, eczema, ingrown nails, to prevent sweating of the face, cracked or blistered skin, and as a treatment for varicose veins and hemorrhoids. It can be found in numerous over-the-counter hemorrhoid preparations.

Witch hazel is also traditionally known as a good first reaction against shaving cuts and abrasions, and it is also recommended by The Doctors Book of Home Remedies as effective for helping soothe sunburn.

Natural organic grown Witch-Hazel has won its place in Paul Penders LevensESSENTIE Gold® herbal extract because of its great soothing powers and its strong natural astringent abilities which makes it a natural choice for natural skincare.

This was the final part in the series describing the 22 ingredients in Paul Penders LevensESSENTIE Gold® herbal extract.

We really hope you have enjoyed this botanical travel through The Garden of Paul Penders, meeting these 22 wonders of nature.

You are, of course, always welcome to contact us in case you have further questions. Write to support@paulpenders.com

Related posts:
Patent Application on LevensESSENTIE Gold®
LevensESSENTIE Gold® Herbal Extract – All 22 Herbs in Details

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Which is more important? An animal’s life or a new shampoo?

2013 EU’s Animal Testing Ban Coming Up

Few issues are dearer to our hearts than making an end to all animal testing. We believe no animal should suffer or die – or be caged in a laboratory for some scientist’s cruel experiments. Protecting consumers from harmful products is crucial, of course, but now there are viable tests that can be done in petri dishes and test tubes that do not require an animal to die in agony.

Paul Penders himself was among the very first cosmetics manufacturers to stand against animal testing. He personally witnessed the horrific practice some thirty years ago and resolved never to use ingredients that required animal testing. He has since become an icon in the industry – a standard-bearer for cruelty-free cosmetics.

March 11th, 2013 is coming up fastthe final Sales Ban day — the date when shelves in every store and on the internet in Europe is due to be totally free of animal-tested cosmetics. Millions have applauded the EU’s actions in setting this deadline but even now, at the last minute, that ban is being challenged and pressure is being increased on the EU to delay the deadline.

What good are bans? They motivate change.

It’s been a long haul since 2003 when the European Union first agreed to a ban on all animal tests for cosmetics. 2009 was a landmark year in the battle against animal cruelty – that was the year that the EU banned sales of cosmetics products that contained ingredients that had been subjected to animal tests within Europe.

Bans motivate new non-animal tests.

Bowing to consumer pressure to meet the ban schedule, many companies in the cosmetics industry have invested in finding scientific alternatives to animal tests. This funding plus governmental support and regulation have yielded a number of new tests in recent years; at the same time, the industry has developed new standards and manufacturing techniques.

Petitioning governments to end animal tests, animal rights organizations praise the EU bans because they motivate companies to come up with alternative ways to test products. Says the UK’s “Four Paws” in their online petition:

    A final and full sales ban must be implemented in 2013 otherwise the 2009 ban will be rendered meaningless as cosmetic companies will simply continue to test their ingredients outside the EU and import them for sale.

If you’d like to join the millions of others asking the EU not to delay or stop the March 2013 complete ban on animal tested cosmetic products, you can sign a petition to help protect the ban:

By Teviot Fairservis.


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The flora of Paul Penders – Today: Turmeric

This is the twenty-first part of our series where we take a look at all the 22 ingredients in Paul Penders’ patent pending LevensESSENTIE Gold® herbal extract which is a part of all Paul Penders products.

Turmeric root (Curcuma Longa Root) is an excellent natural antibiotic herb with fungicide properties. It is used traditionally for bruises and wounds and it stimulates circulation. This is another rainforest herb that has become a part of LevensESSENTIE Gold® herbal extract.

Turmeric rhizome: Being a part of the ginger family, turmeric is native to tropical South Asia, and needs a considerable amount of annual rainfall to thrive. Plants are gathered annually for their rhizomes (roots), and are re-seeded from some of those rhizomes in the following season.

Turmeric grows wild in the forests of South East Asia and plays a large role as a cooking ingredient. It has become the key ingredient for many Indian, Persian, Thai and Malay dishes.

The rhizomes are boiled for several hours and then dried in hot ovens, after which they are ground into a deep orange-yellow powder commonly used as a spice in curries and to impart color to other ingredients. It has a distinctly earthy, slightly bitter, slightly hot peppery flavor and a smell similar to mustard.

In medieval Europe, turmeric became known as ‘Indian Saffron’, since it was widely used as an alternative to the far more expensive saffron spice.

In non-South Asian recipes, turmeric is sometimes used as an agent to impart a rich, custard-like yellow color. It is used in canned beverages and baked products, dairy products, ice cream, yogurt, yellow cakes, orange juice, biscuits, popcorn color, sweets, cake icings, cereals, sauces, gelatins, etc. It is a significant ingredient in most commercial curry powders.

Turmeric in folk medicine: In Ayurvedic practices, turmeric has many medicinal properties and many in South Asia use it as a readily available antiseptic for cuts, burns and bruises. It is also used as an antibacterial agent.

It is taken in some Asian countries as a dietary supplement, which helps with stomach problems; as an anti-inflammatory agent, and in northwest Pakistan turmeric is applied to a piece of burnt cloth, and placed over a wound to cleanse and stimulate recovery. Indians use turmeric in a wide variety of skin creams due to its Ayurvedic properties.

Turmeric in medicine: Turmeric is currently being investigated for possible benefits in Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, arthritis, and other clinical disorders.

Turmeric in cosmetics: Is most commonly used in sunscreens and in some skin products as an antibacterial agent. The government of Thailand is funding a project to extract and isolate a compound called THC from turmeric. THC’s are colorless compounds that might have antioxidant and skin-lightening properties and might be used to treat skin inflammations, making these compounds useful in cosmetics formulations.

Natural organic turmeric root is one of the newest members of LevensESSENTIE Gold® herbal extract, simply because this outstanding rainforest herb is an excellent natural antibiotic plant with fungicide and skin glowing properties.

Related posts:
Patent Application on LevensESSENTIE Gold®
LevensESSENTIE Gold® Herbal Extract – All 22 Herbs in Details

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The flora of Paul Penders – Today: St. John’s Wort

This is the twentieth part of our series where we take a look at all the 22 ingredients in Paul Penders’ patent pending LevensESSENTIE Gold® herbal extract which is a part of all Paul Penders products.

St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is one of nature’s outstanding herbs. It possesses anti-oxidant properties, but is mostly used in cosmetics to tone, strengthen and heal skin.

The herb can be recognized by translucent dots on its leaves (see picture below) and, when it blossoms between late spring and early to mid summer, by its yellow flower petal with five flowers in it.

Originally, St. John’s Wort was native to Europe, but early colonists brought it to North America. The herb can now be found in temperate areas in the Eastern United States and California, in Australia and New Zealand, in Eastern Asia, and in South America.

St. John’s Wort has been known for its medicinal properties as far back as in the Roman times – 2,000 years ago. On the battlefield, it was a much used remedy that promoted healing from trauma and inflammation, as well as it quickened the healing of wounds, bruises, ulcers, and burns.

In Germany, St. John’s Wort it is licensed and used as a mild anti-depressant, and sold from pharmacies, mostly as capsules (300-500 mg). Scientifically, this effect seems to have been confirmed, predominantly in German studies.

The herb has a calming effect, is good in easing tensions and anxiety, and also used to soothe women’s mood swings during menopause. In Germany, it is as well licensed as a treatment for anxiety and sleeplessness.

A warning might be on its place here. If you consider using St. John’s Wort medicinally in the above mentioned dosage (300-500 mg), please contact your medical doctor first, since an oral intake of this size can influence on, and affect the use of other medicines.

In cosmetics, St. John’s Wort is perfectly safe to use, since the quantity of the herb used here is only a fraction, compared to when the herb is being used medicinal as mentioned above.

St. John’s Wort is not used in traditional cooking, because of its very bitter taste.

In Paul Penders LevensESSENTIE Gold® herbal extract, though, organically grown St. John’s Wort is a highly valued ingredient, due to its skin strengthening effect, and, most of all, its healing abilities – not to forget its calming effect on “a stressed” skin.

Related posts:
Patent Application on LevensESSENTIE Gold®
LevensESSENTIE Gold® Herbal Extract – All 22 Herbs in Details

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The flora of Paul Penders – Today: Sage

This is the nineteenth part of our series where we take a look at all the 22 ingredients in Paul Penders’ patent pending LevensESSENTIE Gold® herbal extract which is a part of all Paul Penders products.

Sage (Salvia Officinalis) is a herb with a spicy scent. It is effective for skin disruptions, and for the treatment of imbalances in skin.

Sage is a small, evergreen shrub that grows up to 60-90 cm tall (2-3 feet), with grayish leaves and purple flowers in late spring or summer. Other species of sage can have flowers, varying from white, blue to purplish (there are around 750 different types of sage).

It is native to the Mediterranean region, though it has naturalized in many places throughout the world. It has a long history of medicinal and culinary use, and in modern times as an ornamental garden plant.

As a kitchen herb, sage has a slight peppery flavor. In Western cooking, it is used for flavoring fatty meats, especially in Italian cooking, in the Balkans, and the Middle East.

Due to its antibacterial properties, Native Americans used sage as a toothbrush and toothpaste – all in one. They simply rubbed a fresh sage leaf on their teeth to clean the teeth and to get a fresh breath.

Sage was one of the most important medicinal herbs of Medieval Europe. The Romans, who considered sage a sacred herb is likely to have introduced it to Europe from Egypt as a medicinal herb.

Soon, sage was often used in herbal medicine as a remedy for respiratory infections, against coughing, to cure sore throats, to stimulate the appetite, and against congestion and indigestion.

The use of sage includes treatment for fever, night sweats, and urinary problems.

Sage is a uterine stimulant, so it should be avoided in therapeutic doses during pregnancy, though it is perfectly safe to use, both in cooking and in cosmetics while pregnant.

As a curiosity, it can be mentioned that by using the top of the plant, sage can be used for dyeing wool and fabrics.

Organically grown Sage has fully deserved its place among the 22 organic herbs in Paul Penders LevensESSENTIE Gold® herbal extract due to its wonderful antibacterial properties, and because of its impressive effect on skin disruptions and other imbalances. And not to forget its scent, of course.

Related posts:
Patent Application on LevensESSENTIE Gold®
LevensESSENTIE Herbal Extract – All 22 Herbs in Details

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