Purple Herbal

Sharing My Passion For Nature With The World

Hollywood, Grapeseed Oil, and Flawless Skin


The DailyMail recently wrote an article about Hollywood actress Emma Stone’s supermarket beauty secret for flawless skin. The actress made it known that she uses grapeseed oil several times daily to keep her complexion smooth and blemish free.

At $3 a bottle, grape seed oil is a very inexpensive moisturizing option, especially for someone who could buy any cream or lotion that she wanted. Considering, though, that most moisturizers on the market are laden with chemicals and petroleum by-products, Stone has made a wise decision in choosing this gentle oil for her delicate porcelain visage. Stone revealed that because of her sensitive skin, it is one of the few products she can actually use on her skin without irriation.

Grapeseed oil is an extremely effective moisturizer. Light and odorless, it is great for sensitive skin, but works well on all skin types. Oily and acne prone skin especially love grapeseed oil, because it does not clog pores.

Made from grape seeds that are discarded in the wine making process, grapeseed oil contains more omega-6 fatty acids than most other oils. Not only is it in high demand in the cosmetic industry, makes a fantastic massage carrier oil, but grapeseed oil is also an exceptional oil to cook with. It has a very high smoke point which makes it preferable to use over other oils when cooking at high temperatures.

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Healthy Flavors of Fall


Many of our beloved fall spices actually have quite powerful medicinal properties.

Cinnamon’s use dates back far into antiquity. It comes from the inner bark of  several different species of Cinnamomum trees. Studies have shown cinnamon has potent anti viral and anti cancer properties, as well as the ability to inhibit Alzheimer’s disease. It can also be used to help lower cholesterol and alleviate the pain of arthritis.

Extremely aromatic and licorice-like in flavor, anise is wonderful for female reproductive health. According to this study, anise “helps increase milk secretion, promote menstruation, facilitate birth, … and increase libido.” It is also helpful for coughs and bronchitis, as well as asthma and colic in children. The oil is a powerful antiseptic and insect repellent.

Cloves are the dried flower buds from Myrtaceae trees. The essential oil of cloves has been used for centuries to ease dental pain and digestive disorders, as well as to expel worms. Studies show it has anti-oxidant properties and is useful in preventing the spread of anti-herpes simplex virus (HSV).

Ginger is the rhizome of the Zingiber officinale plant. It is an excellent anti-nausea agent for morning sickness, seasickness, and chemotherapy. A potent blood-thinner and anti-inflammatory, ginger is useful in lowering cholesterol, treating arthritis, and increasing overall heart health.

Cardamom are the seed pods of the Elettaria and Amomom plants native to India. It’s medicinal uses vary from helping teeth, gum, and throat infections; to improving lung congestion, stomach and digestive issues, as well as relieving constipation. The seeds can be chewed. Kidney and gall stones have been known to be broken up by ingesting cardamom.

Most of these herbs are very warming to the system, which improves circulation. Good circulation is so important in keeping our vital systems healthy.

Fluoride is Hazardous to Your Health


1. Sodium fluoride (what is dumped into our water and put in toothpaste) is a hazardous waste product of nuclear, aluminum, and phosphate production.

2. 97% of western Europe has rejected the fluoridation of their water supply. Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg have all rejected the fluoridation of water as they felt it violated fundamental human rights because it was seen as compulsive medication against a person’s will.

3. First city ever to put fluoride in their municipal water supply was Grand Rapids, Michigan.

4. Sodium fluoride does not degrade, and is accumulated over time in the pineal gland in the body. The pineal gland is known by shamans and yogis to connect us to higher states of awareness. The accumulation of fluoride in the pineal gland calcifies this gland.

5. The first incidence of fluoride in the water was in Nazi concentration camps. Fluoride was also used in Russian prison camps as a tranquilizer. USAF Major George R. Jordan testified before Congress in the 50’s and admitted to “Using the fluoride in the water supplies in their concentration camps, to make the prisoners stupid, docile, and subservient” during his post as U.S.-Soviet liaison officer.

6. Fluoride is the principle ingredient in prozac (FLUoxetene Hydrochloride) and Sarin nerve gas (Isopropyl-Methyl-Phosphoryl FLUoride).

7. The man responsible for our nation’s fluoridated water supply, Oscar Ewing, was bribed $750,000 by the Aluminum Company of America to promote adding fluoride to the water supply.

8. Excessive amounts of fluoride use cause fluorosis, a debilitating disease of the teeth. Recently, the level of acceptable fluoride in the water was proposed to be lowered because of the increased incidence of fluorosis. Fluoride has also been shown to cause cancer and chromosomal changes in cells.

9. It’s the main ingredient in many pesticides and insecticides.

10. Studies show that fluoride in the water actually contribute to Neurological Disorders, Dementia, ADHD, and Lower IQs in children.

Dr. Phyllis J Mullenix from the Toxicology Department at Forsyth Research Institute in Boston, MA conducted a study on the Neurotoxicity of Sodium Fluoride in Rats, after which she stated:

“This is the first study to demonstrate that central nervous system output is vulnerable to fluoride, that the effects on behavior depend on the age at exposure and that fluoride accumulates in brain tissues. Of course behaviors per se do not extrapolate, but a generic behavioral pattern disruption as found in this rat study can be indicative of potential for motor dysfunction, IQ deficits and/or learning disabilities in humans. Substances that accumulate in brain tissue potentiate concerns about neurotoxic risk.”

An abstract monument commemorating the fluoridation of Grand Rapids’ water

More facts here

Communities which have rejected fluoride here

Battle Creek Sanitarium


There’s an interesting piece of medical history right here in my home state of Michigan. A forgotten memorial that once housed patients getting health treatments which would be considered old fashioned by today’s standards, yet truly revitalized and enabled many sick people to reach a superior state of health.  It’s the Sanitarium in Battle Creek.  Now known as Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center, the Sanitarium opened in 1866 as the Western Health Reform Institute. In 1902 it burned down, but was later rebuilt.

Original Sanitarium building - before it burned down in 1902

Rebuilt Battle Creek Sanitarium

The curative regimes instituted there, interestingly enough, were based upon the health principles of the Seventh Day Adventist church. Up until the Great Depression, ‘the San’ was a thriving wellness resort for well to do aristocrats, celebrities, as well as middle and upper middle class people who wanted to be in a  much better state of health. Many famous celebrities and heads of state visited the San, including Amelia Earhart, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and William Howard Taft. Unfortunately, after the stock market crash in 1929, business slowed down to the point that by WWII it closed. The building was purchased by the U.S. Army and turned into an army hospital.

During the San’s hey day, hydrotherapy, exercise, fresh air (even sleeping in the open air), breathing exercises, diet (low fat and protein), and getting lots of sunlight were the main treatments that John Harvey Kellogg, who was superintendent, utilized at the San.

John Harvey Kellogg

Hydrotherapy is the use of water to relieve pain and treat illness. Originally, hydrotherapy was considered solely a cold water treatment. Kellogg, however, used both hot and cold water. The contrast between the two was found to increase circulation and respiration, both of which are necessary for maintaining good health. From jumping into fresh water pools after exercising to getting enemas, douches, and sitz baths, hydrotherapy helped cure many different kinds of ailments.

Kellogg believed that a clean bowel was the key to health. Eating yogurt helped replenish the good bacteria

and even having a yogurt enema was commonplace at the San.

Exercises such as gymnastics, swimming, wood chopping, basketball, and other physical activities were performed in order to increase muscle tone and circulation, as well as improve the posture.

Kellogg also made sure that very carefully prepared vegetarian food was given to patients. It was thought that eating healthy food ensured a person’s well being. After all, Hippocrates once said, “let food be thy medicine.”

Despite the relatively short lived success of the Sanitarium’s health and wellness practices, Kellogg will forever be remembered as the man who, along with his brother Will, invented corn flakes breakfast cereal.

Summer Fresh Skin


Summer is a great time to get your skin looking its best. The hot and humid weather helps to open pores, and the longer days give more opportunities to take time for yourself, in order to pamper your skin and make it fresh for summer.

Usually people get a lot more sun exposure this time of year, so it is important to make sure your skin is protected from potential damage. While I don’t advocate using sunscreen all the time, as sunscreen has been shown to accelerate cancer growth, and sun exposure is needed for vitamin D production (which is necessary for healthy immune functioning), it is important to take precautions to ensure your skin improves during the hot summer months.

Some tips for getting summer fresh skin:

1. Drink plenty of water. This is extremely important. Your skin is a reflection of your state of health on the inside. Drinking lots of water flushes out toxins and keeps your skin moist. The heat of summer makes us sweat more, so replenishing those lost fluids is important. Make sure you’re drinking purified water. Tap/city water usually contains lots of added elements like chlorine and fluoride, plus heavy metals like lead or iron. The point is to get rid of toxins, not introduce more into your system.

2. Gently Cleanse. Using a high quality cleanser to clear your skin of sweat and dirt is of utmost importance. I use Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap. It is gentle, yet effective at cleaning my skin. There are many different varieties/scents of castile soap to choose from, depending on your skin type. Lavender/rose/unscented for sensitive. Citrus/peppermint/tea tree for oily/acne prone. Almond/lavender/rose for dry. Make sure whatever cleanser you choose doesn’t contain any lauryl or laureth sulfates, as well as petroleum based ingredients. These are very damaging to the skin and should be avoided.

Exfoliate. Using a salt or sugar scrub helps to remove dead skin cells, which brings new fresh skin cells to the surface, keeping your skin looking it’s best. Though I recommend using salt or sugar to exfoliate, I personally do a dry skin rub with a skin brush every day. It’s a much less messy way to shed the dead skin and bring new skin to the surface. My skin always feels so invigorated after I exfoliate. Dry skin brushing is known to keep skin looking young and healthy. Check out my post on dry skin brushing for more information.

3. Astringent/Toner. These help to close your pores and remove any excess cleanser and dirt. If your skin is oily, you’ll want to use an astringent, which usually contains some alcohol. A toner does not contain any alcohol. I recommend rose water for dry skin. Witch hazel for oily/acne prone. I love the way my skin feels after using an astringent. It’s an important step to do before moisturizing, as it helps get the skin ready for it.

4. Moisturize. Making sure the skin on your face and body is well moisturized is key during the summer. Air conditioning zaps moisture from your skin. I like to use a simple oil like rose hip seed oil, which is considered a dry oil. It’s very light and great for dry and oily skin alike. I don’t like feeling as though I am wearing a mask when I put a face cream on in the summer, hence my using just a simple oil. I do use an organic body lotion on the rest of my body to make sure I look fresh and glowing in my summer dresses and skirts.

5. Fresh face masks. There’s so much fresh produce this time of year that it is a great time to take advantage of all that mother nature has to offer for our skin. Putting fresh fruits and vegetables (or farm fresh egg whites and yolks) helps to revitalize it with vitamins and minerals. It’s so quick and easy. If your skin is oily, grab a lemon or strawberry and apply some of the juice on your face and let it dry for a quick skin peel. For dry skin, mash a banana or avocado and let sit on your face for about 30 minutes. Sliced cucumber is great for any skin type and also for red/puffy eyes. See my post Face Masks For All Skin Types for more information.

6. Sun protection. I have, some would say bad, habit of  not using sunscreen all the time. I enjoy getting a nice sun kissed glow when I am out, so I usually don’t wear it unless I am going to spend all day at the beach. When I do use sunscreen, I like to use a natural sunscreen like coconut oil or avocado oil. Alba makes a really nice dry oil sunscreen that I use in order to keep my skin moisturized yet protected when I in the sun.  Avocado oil as well as olive oil contains natural SPF.

On a sidenote, if you do get a sunburn, aloe very gel is a great way to treat the burn and heal the skin.

10 Easy to Find Wild Medicinal Herbs


It’s sad to think that almost all of these plants are considered weeds by most people. Little do they realize how powerfully medicinal they are in treating many diseases of the human body.

Now that it’s nearly summer, it’s become easy to find these useful medicinal herbs outside in nature. On my daily walks through the woods near my house, I always see these herbs growing.

Thought I’d share some pictures so that you may be able to find them too. If you plan on harvesting these herbs in the wild, please make sure that no fertilizers were used nearby where they grow.

Dandelion

A great liver and blood cleanser. It’s a diuretic. Helps clear up kidney infections, liver disorders, joint inflammation, and skin conditions. A powerful detoxifying herb. The whole plant can be used. The young leaves in the spring make a wonderful salad green. The root can be made into a decoction or tincture to use medicinally.

Burdock

Known for it’s purple prickly burrs that stick to anything it comes in contact with, the root is a powerful detoxifying agent. Burdock root also acts as a diuretic and laxative. When made into a decoction or tincture, burdock is especially powerful  at curing skin disorders and arthritic conditions. The leaves may also be used on the skin to heal poison ivy and poison oak.

Yellow Dock

Yellow Dock is a detoxifying herb, like burdock root. It helps heal skin conditions, liver disorders, and poor digestion. Compounds in the roots have been shown to get rid of arsenic and lead in the system. Young leaves are a great source of vitamin A.

Plantain

Applied externally as a poultice, plantain leaves are great at healing infections, stings, and bug bites. They help stop bleeding of wounds. An infusion of the leaves is good for colds and flues  A decoction of the roots is helpful for the kidneys and digestive system. In ancient times, this plant was used for almost every medical condition.

Motherwort

Great for calming the nerves and relieving heart palpitations and other heart conditions. Promotes relaxation. A very bitter herb. Name comes from the fact that this herb is a great tonic for women. It improves fertility, regulates the menstrual cycle, and promotes the menstrual cycle in women for which it is delayed.

Red Clover

Red clover helps reduce symptoms of menopause and osteoporosis because of its high isoflavone content. Improves blood flow. May prevent some forms of cancer. Drinking red clover tea is a great remedy for many skin conditions.

Catnip

Catnip is an herb that is useful in digestive disorders. Has the ability to reduce fever caused by a cold or flu. Known to relieve colic in babies. Helps stomach and digestive problems.

Red Raspberry Leaf

Rich in B vitamins, and minerals like calcium and magnesium. Red raspberry leaf tea helps to increase fertility in men and women. It increase mother’s milk after giving birth. Used by women to strengthen their reproductive systems.

Yarrow

Anti-inflammatory, blood purifier, and improves circulation. Native Americans chewed the leaves to relieve toothaches. Excellent remedy for colds and flu.

St. John’s Wort

Widely known as a treatment for depression. May be helpful for PMS. Oil made from the leaves is helpful in relieving wounds and abrasions.

Powerful Anti-Oxidant Herbs


Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture have found that many common culinary herbs have more anti-oxidant properties than fruits and vegetables. Anti-oxidants work to neutralize free radicals, which come from pollution or toxins like pesticides and insecticides. This prevents disease and slows down the aging process.

Consequently, using herbs to flavor our food not only gives it a great taste, but, as this study shows, keeps us incredibly healthy. Blueberries and carrots have nothing on these herbs!

In the study, dried herbs were shown to be not as effective as fresh ones. Thankfully, all of the herbs listed as high in anti-oxidants can easily be grown in an herb or container garden. Otherwise, they can be found fresh in your local supermarket.

Oregano

Oregano was found to have the most powerful anti-oxidant properties of any herb. Known best as a spice used in Italian cooking, it has shown to have anti-microbial properties. Contrary to most herbs, oregano can actually have a stronger flavor when it is dried.

Dill

Dill has a flavor similar to fennel. It is commonly used in fish dishes, soups, and to make pickles. Add some to mayonnaise with lemon juice for a creamy dill sauce. Helps to soothe stomachs and relieve gas. Also freshens breath.

Thyme

When in doubt as to what spice to use, use thyme! It has a strong flavor, but does not overpower. Ancient Greeks believed using thyme gave them courage. Medicinally, thyme is used for respiratory infections and works as an anti-bacterial agent in all-natural mouthwashes and hand sanitizers.

Rosemary

Rosemary is used primarily in Mediterranean cuisine, and is extremely aromatic. It is thought to improve the memory and have anti-carcinogenic properties.

Coriander

The leaves of the coriander plant are known as cilantro. The seeds are  commonly known as coriander in the United States. The flavor of coriander is reminiscent of lemon or citrus. Has anti-anxiety properties. Also is used for insomnia in herbal medicine.

Peppermint

Peppermint is one of the oldest herbal medicines. Commonly used as a tea. The oil is used to flavor ice cream, gum, and toothpaste. Has been shown to help relieve IBS. Helps relieve insomnia.

Medicinal herbs, without any culinary use, with highest anti-oxidant properties were found to be St. John’s Wort, Wormwood, and Madagascar Periwinkle.