Allantoin

allantoin

Allantoin is an ingredient useful in products such as cosmetics, toothpastes, shampoos, lipsticks, lotions, and pharmaceuticals. In cosmetics its use is mostly as a moisturizer and to assist in removing upper layers of dead skin cells. This leads to smoother skin and provides a soothing effect. History Allantoin is a minor ingredient found in the comfrey plant. The plant and its root have been used in the past to cure ailments related to skin and bone problems (the plant has common names such as boneset, bruise wort, and healing herb, an attestation to its use). Greek doctors used it stop bleeding, in wound healing, and in helping to mend broken bones. Current uses Allantoin can be extracted from the comfrey plant or synthesized. It is…

Chocolate Fudge Cake Pops

Chocolate fudge cake pops

Chocolate Fudge Cake Pops Indulge in these decadent chocolate fudge cake pops to satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping it healthy. Makes 12 balls Ingredients 1 cup tapioca flour (aka tapioca starch), sifted 2 tablespoons coconut flour, sifted 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder 4 tablespoons sunflower seed butter 3 tablespoons raw unpasteurized honey 1/3 cup hemp seeds, for rolling 4-5 tablespoons unsweetened coconut milk (add more if needed, 1 tablespoon at a time) Method 1. Add all ingredients in a bowl. 2. Mix by hand (easiest way) to form a large dough ball. If dough is too dry to form a ball, add more coconut milk. 3. Roll dough into one inch balls. 4. Roll with hemp seeds and spear with lollipop stick. 5. Store…

Radiate a Healthy Glow with this DIY Peach Facial Mask

DIY peach facial mask

Peaches are a wonderful gift from nature. During the summer months, we can enjoy them as a snack, for dessert, and of course as part of a DIY skin treatment. The best time to make this mask is when you have a lovely peach that is fully ripe and appropriately juicy; even a touch overripe will do. The key is that the peach needs to have an aroma when you sniff it, and the flesh needs to have flavor and depth. For this mask, you will need: 1 ripe, fresh peach ¾ cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt ¼ c. whole oats 1 teaspoon raw honey ½ teaspoon organic vanilla extract Blend all the ingredients together. Apply about ¼ cup of the mixture to your face,…

Dessert for your Face

cherry facial mask

The fruit-growing season in Canada is short, and when summer comes I like to take advantage of what is fresh, available, and at its flavour peak. In late June and July, cherries are in abundance. They are rich red, mahogany even, and the plumpest, sweetest, juiciest fruits around. Cherries are magnificent. While cherries are delicious to eat, they also do wonders when applied topically to our skin. The following is a recipe for a chocolate cherry smoothie/mask, which I like to call “Dessert for Your Face”. You will benefit inside and out from this tasty, in-season natural beauty product. “Dessert for Your Face” 1 cup fresh pitted cherries ¾ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt ¼ cup whole oats ¼ cup dark chocolate chips (70% cocoa…

Wellness

Wellness at Crystal Hills Organics

As a physician, I have come to cherish good health! On a daily basis I have the opportunity to witness health, both good and poor, in its many forms. The human body is an amazing entity with an almost limitless array of states. Anyone who doubts this need only start an internet search on “health”, or more primitively, they can look in my basement at the ridiculous number of medical textbooks and journals I have somehow accumulated over the years. Some factors of the human body and health are obvious. For example, those who exercise regularly have better cardiac reserves, whereas those who lack insulin develop diabetes. Others are more nuanced, such as the impact of topical applications on our metabolic state. Through this blog…

Regaining my Inner Balance

regaining my inner balance

Regaining My Inner Balance Like most busy moms, I am constantly on the go. It takes a lot of work to pack up the kids and all their supplies for the day. However, I consider myself to be lucky as I can usually fit in some kind of “me” time on most days, such as gym time, tennis, lunch or coffee with a friend, or some quick shopping. Since the mornings are so busy, most days I am lucky to get a five-minute shower and quickly put on mascara and lip gloss before heading out the door. A typical day for me means that I can have either good hair, good makeup, or a good outfit: two out of three means I am meeting a…

Lavender

Lavender at Crystal Hills Organics

Lavender is well known as a traditional cottage-garden flowering plant, with its violet buds held high on spikes above the gray-green foliage. This beautiful, fragrant herb has been used since the middle ages for a variety of purposes including culinary, medicinal, and cosmetics. This aromatic herb offers a floral and elegant flavor to baked goods, desserts, salads, soups and a variety of dishes. Flowers can be candied and are sometimes used as decorations on cookies and cake, or infused into sugar to impart a subtle flavor. In the summertime here in Kelowna, the Okanagan Lavender Farm offers delicious scones, jellies, cookies, and more in their cute café. Medicinally, lavender can help soothe nerves and is known to ease mild depression and possess mood-elevating effects. Additionally,…

Crystal Hills Open House

sugar scrubs and body oil, Crystal Hills Organics

Andrea has been talking about her Crystal Hills products in development for a long time. I knew that I would enjoy using her products, and I knew that they would be nice and feminine and fancy, but I had no idea how marvelous they would actually be. On June 3, 2016, Andrea invited me to a Crystal Hills Open House at her laboratory in Kelowna. First of all, it is not just a laboratory: the facility is perched on an idyllic hillside, overlooking her organic vineyard and herb garden, adjacent to a peaceful pond, tennis courts and a sprawling house and pool that looks more like an oasis than anything else. The interior of the lab also surprised me, with glass jars containing crystals, herbs and other organic…

Chocolate Banana Pops

chocolate banana pops, nut free

Chocolate Banana Pops A healthy treat for kids or adults that incorporates hemp seeds, sunflower butter and bananas . . . dipped in chocolate. Delicious. This simple snack sneaks in protein, essential fatty acids and vitamin E (plus an array of minerals and vitamins such as vitamin B1, manganese, selenium, etc). Ingredients 2 bananas sliced 1/3 inch thick 1/2 cup sunflower butter such as Organic Sunbutter (or natural peanut butter if you have no allergies to nuts) 1 cup enjoy life chocolate chips 2 tbsp coconut oil hemp seeds (optional) Shiskabob skewers cut in half, or popsicle sticks   Method Slice banana. Place 1 teaspoon of sunflower butter (or peanut butter) and stack a slice of banana on top. Spear the skewer slowly through banana…

Hair Masque for Soft and Silky Tresses

hair masque for soft and silky tresses

From 1998 to 2003, I lived in Montreal. I enjoyed my time studying there, making new friends, and experiencing the glorious language, culture, shopping, food, and nightlife that the city had to offer.  One beauty-related thing that I noticed about Montreal was that the humidity in the air gave my hair the softest, most voluminous and touchable curls that I had ever known, to say nothing of the wonders it did for my skin. It was like waking up with a massive lion’s mane every day, and I loved it. This new humidity and texture gave me the courage to experiment with some honey and butter blonde highlights, something I had never dared to do when I lived in Edmonton.  The weather in Alberta is…

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