Posts in the ingredient category
The Apothecary Says No, To Animal Testing.
We've been asked lately about whether or not Medicine Mama's uses animal testing, and the simple answer is, no. With our natural ingredients are products are down-right edible. The raw materials - olive oil, honey, beeswax, propolis, bee pollen, royal jelly, avocado oil, sea buckthorn and calendula are all food grade and BEE APPROVED.
All of Medicine Mama’s products are crafted with edible food grade raw materials, “animal testing” doesn’t apply at all. It would be like testing a carrot on a fluffy white rabbit before the carrot’s allowed to be taken to market, we have no need for animal testing. We use no synthetic preservatives, binder, fillers, or chemicals of any kind in our products. We won’t EVER use any materials that fall into the category of “harmful if swallowed” or “keep away from eyes, ears, mouth and nose” or skull and cross-bone carcinogen toxins.
The one crucial test we do is to send random selected units from our product line to the lab for stability testing. A sped up process of over-oxidation in a chamber to measure the rate that the product loses color, smell and consistency. This process is used for date coding. Many skin care companies have to use binders and stabilizers to make their product shelf stable. Those synthetic preservatives and binder ingredients are what you have to watch out for.
Additionally we test our products for irritants on humans. We regularly send samples for dermatological testing for allergens and irritants on human skin and our products consistently rates a perfect ZERO on all levels of irritation. Which is a big deal to those of you who have sensitive skin or have a child suffering from easy irritation. We love our animals and care for them as we would our own skin.
Have you decided to be more mindful of chemical use in your life? While living in our industrialized world poses a difficult situation for many that are reducing chemical exposure, many of us have a plan for being more mindful and wary of harmful chemicals we come into contact with every day. Whether you are interested in beginning a long-term campaign for ridding your life of chemical use and exposure, or if you’re just thinking of trying a more natural approach to living, we have some tips for you!
- Start with organic products. Not everyone can find organic options near them, especially on a budget. However, try switching just a few products to their organic counterparts to reduce your exposure to pesticides.
- Get the skinny on the products you already use. Many body care products are filled with chemicals that cause skin irritations, mild allergic or sensitivity reactions, or do long-term damage to your health. Many manufacturers of these products get away with this because the damage seems to be on a small scale and may not even be noticeable to you over time. However, if you were to use more natural products, you may see a boost in your personal health and better looking skin and hair. Use products from a company you trust, like Medicine Mama’s. Our line of products is safe and scores a perfect “0” on the irritant index in dermatologist tests.
- Try natural cleaning products. Lots of the solutions you use to clean your home can leave behind harmful residues and fumes for period of time. Have you ever gotten a headache after using too much disinfectant or spent the day spring cleaning? Much of what goes into products to help kill bacteria and other unwanted organisms in your home are also known irritants. Many natural options have antibacterial qualities and can help keep your house healthy and looking great. Vinegar and baking soda are often in recipes for homemade cleaning products, and there are more and more safe and organic products coming up in the market.
- Use natural methods to control pests. Some “pests” are great for your home and yard and actually eat other pests. However, if you do need to kill some unwanted renters in your home, try using natural methods or safer products to get rid of them. For example, if your dog or cat has fleas, consult your veterinarian about safer products to get rid of them.
- Do your research. You can’t trust every product you buy to be totally honest about irritants and chemical use. However, you can look into these on your own. You can also consult a doctor that specializes in natural health and living methods.
As a consumer, you can demand better and safer products for you and your families. If something irritates you or you feel it may not be safe, err on the side of caution by choosing a more natural method or asking for advice from a health professional. Irritants and allergies to many chemicals can go untreated for years, causing long-term damage. Good luck in finding your perfect balance with the products you use, and know that you can always trust Medicine Mama to make products that are safe, pure, clean, and free of toxins and irritants!
Honey has been used by many different cultures since pre-Ancient Egyptian times as a topical treatment for a variety of ailments, but only recently have the antiseptic and antibacterial properties of honey been chemically explained. While we have begun to unravel the secrets of honey’s regenerative properties, there are still hundreds of elements in its chemical structure that remain a mystery to modern science.
Honey is a unparalleled at moisturizing and nourishing skin with the amino acids and vitamins C, D, and E that it needs to maintain its health and strength. The powerful antioxidants in honey also heal the skin by fighting free radicals that can cause cancer and premature aging.
C6H12O6 + H2O + O2 → C6H12O7 + H2O2 (glucose oxidase reaction)
In the right blend that allows for enough oxidization, honey will produce a slow and steady supply of antiseptic hydrogen peroxide. The other byproduct of this chemical reaction is gluconic acid, the most effective Alpha Hydroxy acid for treating inflammation while reducing wrinkles and signs of aging.
A recent review done by the Cochrane Library, backed up by 19 studies with over 2,500 participants, suggested that honey could reduce the amount of time for a burn to heal by up to four days.
We believe in using the highest quality ingredients available from sustainable and fair trade sources. That is why we are proud to only use Fair Trade Honey from the Brazilian rain forests. Our honey is extremely bioactive and ideally suited for use in our topical cream.
Royal jelly is a secretion from the glands of the worker bees and a primary source of nutrients for young bee larvae. New queen bees are made when a larvae is fed large amounts of royal jelly, unlocking the full developmental potential of the bee.
“Through local application, as an ingredient in face masks, creams, and lotions, royal jelly has tremendous effects at the cellular level. In regular use, the skin becomes soft and wrinkles disappear.”
(Royal Jelly in Dermatological Cosmetics, Hans Weitgasser, M.D.)
One of the most remarkable things about Royal Jelly is the amount of gelatin it contains, a key prerequisite for our skin to produce collagen. This makes Royal Jelly an ideal ingredient for naturally and safely minimizing wrinkles.
Royal Jelly includes many of the building blocks that our skin needs to repair itself and maintain a healthy appearance, such as: vitamins A, C, D, E, a complex of B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12), biotin, niacin, folic acid, pantothenic acid and inositol.
In addition to its array of nutrients, Royal Jelly contains a natural antibiotic called 10-Hydroxy-2-decenoic acid, which has roughly a quarter of the potency of penicillin.
Bee pollen, or ‘bee bread’, is nature’s multi-vitamin and a staple food for bees in the hive. It has been used for centuries by the Egyptians, Romans, Chinese and Native Americans internally for its nutritional, energizing and healing properties.
It is equally potent when used as a topical treatment as the Swedish dermatologist Dr. Lars-Erik Essen notes, “external use of bee pollen stimulates cell renewal with its high concentration of nucleic acids RNA and DNA.”
Bee pollen contains all the essential amino acids, 12 vitamins, 28 minerals, 11 enzymes and coenzymes, 14 beneficial fatty acids and 11 carbohydrates. It is also a powerful antioxidant containing compounds chemists call flavonoids and trans-cinnamic acid that the body uses to make its own antibiotics.
The hive products work best when they have a delivery system that helps them absorb into the skin. Throughout history, many cultures ranging from the Egyptians, Sumerians, Greeks, Indians and Chinese all used a mixture of honey and animal fat as a preferred healing salve. For our recipe, we have substituted this ancient formula with a different kind of fat, olive oil. Out of all the oils, olive oil is the most similar to human sebum, making it the easiest for the body to absorb through the skin, taking the rest of our ingredients and nutrients with it.
In addition to carrying the hive ingredients to the skin, olive oil is an amazing source of moisture and nutrients in its own right. It is an ideal moisturizer since it penetrates deep into the skin while also creating a porous protective film. This breathability is key since it will not clog up the skin like petroleum products do.
High vitamin E and antioxidant content and will assist in repairing cells while also preventing cell damage by neutralizing the free radicals that cause skin aging and skin cancer. Olive oil also contain the compound linoileic acid, which helps prevent water from evaporating which helps skin naturally retain its moisture.
Beeswax is a precious commodity in the hive, requiring as much as eight pounds of honey (or 150,000 miles of flying by the bees) to make just one pound. The resulting beeswax is the primary substance that the bee’s honeycomb is made of and contains the condensed power of honey.
In skin creams, it forms a protective coating that locks in moisture and protects skin from damaging environmental factors. At the same time, it does not clog the skin’s pores- allowing them to breathe and get rid of toxins that cause pimples and skin blemishes. This barrier also assists with minimizing sun damage.
In addition, beeswax’s anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic and germicidal properties help keep skin healthy and strong.
Propolis is nature’s all in one anti-microbial. Not only will it independently suppress harmful bacteria and viruses, but it will also help stimulate and regulate the skin’s metabolism and immune systems. This multiplies the effectiveness of the nutrients included in our skin creams while encouraging the body’s own immune system to keep skin healthy and beautiful.
The process of creating propolis starts when a bee harvests the resin and sap of a tree, the substances that trees use to seal their wounds to prevent infection and fungi. Bees will naturally seek out the most biologically active resins available since the safety of their hive depends on these natural germicidal properties. The innate potency is amplified as it is alchemized and condensed by the bee before it is used to line and seal the hive.
Propolis is among the most complex substances on Earth, containing hundreds of chemical compounds from trees and bee secretions. Science does not know why it is as biologically active as it is, nor can it fully explain why propolis is an anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and anti-oxidant.
A recent study at the University of Texas showed that bee propolis was as equally effective in speeding the healing process of burns as a leading conventional treatment, silver sulfadiazine. However, unlike the silver sulfadiazine, propolis also significantly reduces inflammation and scarring. The National Institute of Health also acknowledges the anti-inflammatory properties of propolis.
Recent scientific work has also highlighted the antiviral property of propolis. A research study published in 2000 found that a propolis ointment was more effective at treating genital herpes than a conventional antiviral. In 2005, a similar study done by the University of Heidelberg found that propolis reduced the infectivity of the herpes virus in lab cultures by 99%.