Your Beautiful Hair, Part 1: Tender Loving Care for Your Scalp

Gleaming, shining, smooth as silk – your hair can be one of your most beautiful assets!

Ever have those days when you look in the mirror and your hair just seems lifeless, dull, even boring? What’s the difference between your day-to-day hair and all those models in the pictures with their highlights and super shine?

Sure, it helps to have professional treatments and styling – and a retouch artist to fancy up your photos. But you can have ‘picture perfect’ hair without spending a lot of time and money in a salon. We have a number of recommendations for optimal Do-It-Yourself hair care in upcoming blogs.

One real answer to beautiful hair is in how you treat your scalp.

It’s not something you may think about a lot unless your scalp gets irritated or you develop scalp problems like dandruff. For many people, scalp health is just an after-thought – a quick shampoo, maybe some conditioner, and then it’s wash-and-go.

But if you really want healthy, beautiful hair, then giving a little extra TLC (Tender Loving Care) to your scalp can have a real payoff.

Diagnose and assess. A first step is to take a close look at your scalp in a mirror – you may want to get a friend to help. With a comb, part your hair to reveal the skin beneath. Notice whether it looks dry, splotchy, or if there are any unusual lumps or bumps. Do you see any flaking, peeling, or differences in color from one section to another? If you’ve been out in the sun, did your scalp get sunburned?

Look along your hairline. This is an area where you can develop skin irritations or even infections but they are relatively easy to see if you look closely. Dirt, dust, and chemicals can also accumulate along the edges of the hair. It’s also an area where the pores of the skin can get clogged – you may see whiteheads or blackheads that need attention.

Deep clean and massage. Press on various points on your scalp and you may feel a variety of sensations; you might feel a knot of tension, a sense of release, maybe even a little pain. Like muscles and tissues elsewhere in your body, your scalp can hold tension. Press and squeeze on pressure points found all over your head to help release tight muscles and help to get blood flowing more freely.

Whenever you shampoo, you can turn a simple wash into a scalp massage treatment. Use your fingers to press and pull. Part and separate your hair so that the shampoo reaches down to the roots and the follicles anchored in the skin. Your hair and your scalp will both be cleaner.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) identifies acupressure points on your scalp that relate to other organs. Use two or three fingers at a time to press and make circles wherever you feel a point of sensation on your scalp.

Tone and refresh. Paying attention to the condition of your scalp can make a big difference to your appearance. Like skin everywhere on your body, your scalp needs nutrition and stimulation to improve circulation. You want it to be very clean but at the same time, you don’t want to strip of its natural oils and sebum produced by the sebaceous glands just under the skin. Harsh soaps, shampoos, styling gels, hairsprays, and hair dyes can upset the natural balance. We recommend use of a scalp toner like Paul Penders Holy Basil Conditioning Scalp Toner to help rebalance and support the health of your scalp.

Your beautiful hair starts at the right at the roots. Make scalp care an important part of your beauty regimen.

Image courtesy of marin /

With Teviot Fairservis blog & copy writing services


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The Magic of LevensESSENTIE Gold®

It’s an old family recipe. It’s a 100-year old formula updated for the 21st Century. It’s a mixture of herbs and other botanicals from both Europe and the Far East. It can be considered to have ayurvedic, homeopathic, TCM, and other alternative healing benefits yet it also has a firm basis in current science. It cleanses, it soothes, it calms, and it may even help heal. What is it?

The solution to the riddle is LevensESSENTIE Gold®, the ‘secret formula’ behind all Paul Penders products. How it’s all blended and in what proportions remains a family secret but the natural herbal ingredients are listed on every package.

Way back in the early 1900’s, Paul Penders’ grandmother opened a beauty salon in Holland. Like many women at that time, Paul’s grandmother was versed in the properties of plants for health and beauty. Using all natural ingredients found in the forests and fields of Holland, she extracted oils and essences from plants to make formulas for skin and hair care. Her salon attracted a loyal following for what she called “LevensESSENTIE,” Dutch for “Essence of Life.”

Her son continued to grow the business with a successful shop where his children learned the family trade.  Now her grandchildren and great-grandchildren carry on the family heritage to this day, creating new products but always retaining the basic all-natural herbal formula. Over time, her family has added a few more ingredients to the LevensESSENTIE Gold®, mix as their travels took them around the world.

As a young man with an entrepreneurial spirit, Paul Penders was determined to learn the trade and follow his vision for natural body care products. He was able to study the special properties of plants with Dutch herbal master and apothecary Herma Eeftink and also came under the influence of the famous natural healer and homeopath Dr. Ab Steyn. They encouraged Paul to incorporate his family’s herbal extract into the new hair and skin care products he was designing.

Skip forward over thirty years of Paul Penders International history (read Paul’s story on the website).

About ten years ago, Paul Penders moved the headquarters of the company from the U.S. to Malaysia. The Malay Peninsula and surrounding islands harbor some of the world’s oldest tropical rainforests and also forward-thinking citizens. Organically grown, freshly picked, scientifically extracted beneficial tropical plants like “Pegaga” now enhance this century-old formula to make a very special proprietary recipe called “LevensESSENTIE Gold®

In upcoming blogs, we will tell you more about the unique properties of each of the 22 ingredients in LevensESSENTIE Gold®. Some will be familiar to you; others may have surprising benefits. Here’s the ingredients list for this special formula:

angelica, arnica, calendula, chamomile, elderflower, ginger, ginseng root, honeysuckle, hops, horsetail, juniper, lavender, lemon balm, nettle, pegaga, peppermint, rosemary, sage, St John’s wort, turmeric, witch hazel and yarrow

For short descriptions of these botanicals and others used in Paul Penders products, you can visit the ingredients list on the Paul Penders website.

Photos courtesy of Penders family

By Teviot Fairservis.


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The flora of Paul Penders – Today: Pegaga

This is the sixteenth 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.

Pegaga (Centerela Asiatica) – also known as Indian Pennyworth – is a herb with antibacterial, anti-psoriatic and genuine wound-healing properties.

Known throughout Asia as “The Miracle Hero of the Rainforest”, pegaga is a member of the parsley family and grows wild alongside ordinary grass.

It is native to a large area, from Iran in west to the northern part of Australia in the east, including certain areas of East Africa and Madagascar.

About the size of a thumbnail, its clover-like leaves are inconspicuous, but this belies their true capabilities. When used topically or orally, pegaga leaves possess several qualities that cause a chain of beneficial effects in the body.

Pegaga is considered quite nutritious. It can be eaten raw or cooked. The taste is slightly bitter and leafy and the herb is often used in Asian cooking. In rice and curry dishes as finely chopped leaves, or as whole leaves in various salads. In most Asian countries pegaga is also used as an ingredient in herbal drinks, for example in India where it is a part of the summer drink “thandaayyee”

Pegaga has been used since ancient times, especially in the Ayurvedic medical system of India and in Chinese traditional medicine.

Traditionally, pegaga has been used for treating asthma, bronchitis, dysentery, gastric acid, kidney trouble, urethritis, as a blood purifier and as a cure for indestignation, nervousness and dysentery. Extracts of pegaga helps stimulating the blood flow and is a remedy for skin problems.

Furthermore, pegaga is believed to have a direct action on lowering the blood pressure and is often referred to as a rejuvenating medicament.

WHO logo

Pegaga is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as one of the most important medical plant species to be conserved and cultivated.

Paul Penders use pegaga particularly in our Pegaga Scalp Cleanser to reduce dandruff, eczema and itching.

When applied to the skin in the form of cleanser, toner, moisturizer or other topical products, pegaga increases blood flow to the area, promoting cellular renewal and healing. This, in turn, results in fresher, healthier skin. Pegaga is also believed to help promote collagen production, leading to firmer and more toned skin.

Organic grown pegaga is, of course, a very important part of Paul Penders LevensESSENTIE Gold® herbal extract.

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

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Treats Of Living On A Small Rainforest Island… (Part 2 of 2)

Meeting Dr. Hugo

One of the most interesting people I have met recently on Langkawi is Dr. Hugo (Dr. Hugh Brennan) – he holds a Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics and is a translator of several languages including English, Welsh and dialects of Malay and Indonesian. He has a beautiful 72ft/40ton classic yacht that he designed and built with the world famous Bugis boat builders in 1983 on a tiny remote island in the Flores Sea in Eastern Indonesia. For more than 20 years, he has used his yacht for charter here in Langkawi waters.

Together with his wife, they sail tourists around the island and entertain them with drinks and nice food.

But there is more to Dr. Hugo, he has also studied herbs and is very fond of one, called Gynura

Procumbens, commonly known as “Longevity Spinach.” After he told me about the benefits of this incredible herb, we planted it near the oceanfront on our property here.

The exceptional healing possible with this herb will amaze everyone reading this blog.

No doubt, we must always do tests on volunteers to measure how well they work on healthy skin. Like pegaga — a local herb we love and use in all our products — the Gynura Procumbens is considered by the islanders to be an “anti-cancer” medicine. They have experience with it although it is not much documented. In another article, we will interview and discuss what Dr. Hugo taught us about this special herb.

But with all these things – science will come in to look for proofs if something is working — and suddenly will announce to the world whether it is good or not. That has happened in all parts of the world. Often scientists are just schoolboys who have not traveled and do not know much of the deep richness of life. A sailor, who has spent months alone on his boat, fighting storms and loneliness, stranded on an island often knows more about certain things because of what he went through to survive.

‘Local people’ in all parts of the world have done the same traditional things for centuries.

The indigenous people come to know the benefits and hazards found in their environment. But then a scientist comes along who needs proof of what millions already know. Often science, in my humble opinion, walks far behind. Only at times do scientists come to the right conclusions. Surely, where traditional uses of herbs is concerned, these conclusions should certainly be the same as people for ages have found out for themselves in Europe, Asia, and even at the North Pole.

Meanwhile I am puzzled about how to incorporate it into our formulations. Because, as I have said before, regulations in many countries have become bizarre. For small companies, it is almost impossible to cover the costs. In order to start using this herb in our products in the EU, for example, we need to go through many, many tests and then all need to be documented, which costs a sea of time and a world of money. No wonder why we see less creativity in cosmetics done by small companies. We recently wrote an article about that subject alone.

The ‘treats’ found on a small tropical island may be risky or dangerous, according to Big Brother FDA in the USA.

This governmental organization gets more and more power and their officials seem to believe much of the nonsense manufactured by the EWG (Environmental Working Group) and Skin Deep (the so called “scientists” with only a few understanding cosmetics).

It is doubtful whether anyone of these “advisors” has ever spoken to a local person living anywhere in the world who has saved their family from diseases. Trained at the university, these people and their teachers at times seem confused. One thing, when you talk with locals about herbs and disease, rarely one sees confusion – they know — by heart and from experience.

This is part of the reason why I love being here in Southeast Asia and am thankful that both the US and Malaysian governments let me do this.

Here we can continue the work we started and it allows us to afford to contribute to a few good causes as well. Here we are able to make our natural herbal cosmetics better and better based on the sound natural principles used for centuries by locals, and not only on the contents of small glass vials found in a high-tech lab somewhere in an industrial area of a big city in the US — or anywhere else.

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American Magazine Recognizes Malaysia’s Natural Healing Goodness!

    Malaysia’s Rainforest (Image by S. C. Shaker)

Herbalgram, the magazine of ABC (The American Botanical Council) featured a 14-page article detailing Malaysia’s unique medicinal plants.
Entitled, “Balancing Nature and Wellness: Malaysian Traditions of “Ramuan” The History, Culture, Biodiversity and Scientific Assimilation of Medicinal Plants in Malaysia,” the article notes that, “While many developing countries have hoped and waited for a drug or chemical company to discover a blockbuster compound that might bring revenue to the country from native flora, Malaysia has explored the potential of its own biodiversity that includes upwards of 20,000 species of vascular plants.”
Herbalgram is the foremost American magazine in the herbal industry, read widely by herbal professionals as well as regulators at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Paul Penders Company has been a supporter and sponsor of HerbalGram for several years.

    Paul Penders has long recognized the benefits of pegaga, using the herb across our range of products.
    Paul Penders has long recognized the benefits of pegaga,
    using the herb across our range of products.

Go to HerbalGram to read the full article (which is very interesting!).
In fact, over here in Paul Penders, we are researching many Malaysian herbs for use in our herbal skincare and haircare products. One of the Malaysian herbs is our much-loved pegaga, a herb which we use in our products. Pegaga’s image can be seen on the front labels of all our bottles, jars and packaging.