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Una Biologicals is an independent company proud to bring you Organic Beauty & Wellness products. All of our products are hand-crafted just for you.  

Because we believe that your body deserves the best that nature has to offer, we use only premium organic oils to nourish your skin and never include harsh chemicals, additives, or artificial fragrances.  Our goal is keep you Healthy & Gorgeous!

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Health & Beauty Blog

This is where we can expand a little on the ideas of health & wellness.  All information is shared in the spirit of education and fun.  We hope you find a little inspiration, perhaps a new recipe, or even a new way of looking your day.  Thanks for spending a little time with an open mind.

~Namaste, Jessica

Introduction to Permaculture

Jessica Graves

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Permaculture is a farming method developed in 1978 by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. It mimics nature to build a low input, high output edible ecosystem. While it’s origins lie in Australia, permaculture has now been implemented around the globe in various climates. Founder Bill Mollison describes Permaculture as “ a philosophy of working with, rather than against, nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system”.

Most of permaculture was built through observation. Founder Bill Mollison watched nature and thought that he could do the same thing, producing an abundance of food while letting mother nature do all the heavy lifting. The first way to do this is to observe a niche in nature and replace it with a productive element. For example, when your garden is overrun with vexing weeds, it means that there was a niche in your garden that was filled by those weeds. Instead of spraying your garden with weed killer, a better solution is to replace those weeds with a productive plant that fills the same niche. Diversity is key here because if you have only one plant species, a monoculture, there will be numerous niches for less desirables to fill. However the more diversity you have, the more likely your man-made ecosystem will thrive. It is very important to recognize that each element of an ecosystem can play more than one role. All living things are complex the same way humans are complex. You can be an athlete, but you could never be just an athlete. Likely an athlete is someone’s mother, daughter, friend. An athlete could be an artist or a gardener, or both. Permaculture abolishes the idea that things are black and white; simply one or the other rather than both. In many cases, even pesky weeds have a place in Permaculture.

Permaculture is organized in zones, and each zone has a concentration of daily, weekly or even yearly work. The first zone, Zone 0 is centered around the house, where a family will spend most of it’s time. The second zone, Zone 1 is near the home and houses elements that need regular or daily attention, such as a greenhouse or kitchen garden. These zones see frequent activity, however the larger the zone, the less frequent the activity. Zone 5 is often left alone completely, donated permanently to nature and her wildlife.

One of the first developments in permaculture is known as the food forest, which is essentially a forest of edible plants. It follows nature’s layers, in a technique known as stacking. Stacking is a way of utilizing earth’s space functionally. There are many layers to a forest, starting with the canopy layer, then the understory layer of smaller trees, followed by the shrub layer. Vines grow up trees in the vertical layer and herbaceous plants grow in the next layer, under which grow groundcover and root plants. Lastly, fungi and bacteria can be considered the last layer, propagating above and below the soil. In permaculture, often the goal is to grow as much food as possible in one square foot. The only way to do this is by stacking the same way mother nature does in her own forests. Aside from food forests we see stacking in guilds, small groups of mutually beneficial plants. Native Americans traditionally used a guild known as “The Three Sisters”, a garden of beans grown up the stalks of corn, surrounded by squash plants. These three plants thrive best when grown together, each plant possessing a quality the others need to prosper.  

Another important key to permaculture is waste and energy. Permaculture doesn’t recognize waste, since anything produced should be able to return to the earth, increasing fertility in the soil. To take “waste” from the property would be wasting resources, and that is a big no-no in permaculture. Waste water, rain water, food waste, and even human waste can all be beneficially utilized in a permaculture system. Energy yields are important, and a good permaculturist won’t let an energy source leave the property until they have exhausted every use. A great example of this is another australian-born invention commonly utilized in permaculture, known as Aquaponics. Aquaponics is a method of growing fish in conjunction with plants by filtering fish waste water through beds of produce. While the plants filter and consume the nitrogen and waste, the water returns to the fish clean and the cycle repeats itself. Aquaponics uses approximately 2% of the water used in commercial produce farming, not to mention the waste produced by commercial aquaculture.

Don’t be fooled by Permaculture’s exotic origins. Permaculture principles can be utilized in any climate. Permaculturists like Geoff Lawton have worked to solved drought, flood, and forest fire problems in the dry climates. In the tropics, where there is a significant breakdown of organic matter, permaculture puts emphasis on promoting aerobic breakdown rather than the noxious anaerobic decomposition. Even in cold climate, permaculture thrives, and emphasis is put on energy efficiency and what is known as “appropriate technology”, or efficient technology that is used responsibly and to it’s fullest potential. A man named Sepp Holzer has a very successful food forest and farm up the side of a valley in the Austrian Alps where he manages to grow citrus. A permaculture haven has even been achieved in a small urban lot in drought-ridden California. Start now. Go outside and observe what mother nature does in your area and how you can mimic her in your garden. Work with nature and not against it.

 

Contributed by Margot Pomeroy, © Una Biologicals ® 2015.

Lady Herbs

Jessica Graves

You may have noticed that ladies wellness regularly takes center stage at Una Biologicals and we’re proud to share that we are working on several new products for ladies of all ages. In honor of girl power, we’d like to introduce you to three new herbs for your uterus.

When incorporating any new herbs into your diet it can be important to talk with your doctor about how these herbs will react with medications you are currently taking.    

Vitex (Vitex agnus-castus) also known as Chasteberry is a dried fruit known for treating hormone related health conditions. While Chasteberry was traditionally used to curb the sex drive of monks, it has a very different effect on women than it does on men. Vitex raises progesterone levels and lowers androgen levels. Because of this Vitex can help many symptoms of high androgen levels in females, such as acne and excessive hair growth. Interestingly, while Vitex can increase fertility in women, it also decreases fertility in men. However, luckily for us women, Vitex can balance menstrual cycles, treat premenstrual syndrome, and can reduce bloating, cramps, and breast pain. For the new mother, Vitex can also stop postpartum hemorrhaging and can increase a mother’s milk supply.  

Cramp Bark (Viburnum opulus) is the bark of a fruit-bearing tree that is named for its ability to soothe uterine cramps. It is one of the most potent uterine antispasmodics and works rapidly. Cramp Bark is astringent and can slow blood loss during menstruation or menopause. It helps to build up uterine muscles which can lead to easier labor during childbirth. Cramp bark can even be used to halt premature contractions. And while this special herb clearly shows a lot of love to us women, it’s uses don’t stop there. Cramp bark has been shown to lower blood pressure by relaxing the walls of blood vessels, and has been used treat breathing difficulties, heart disorders, and convulsions.

Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus) has always been a lady favorite, especially during that time of the month. Raspberry leaf is high in Vitamin C and B, manganese, potassium, iron, and calcium. Overall it is good for the female reproductive system and helps fight nausea, stomach upset, menstrual and leg cramps, and even the rough sleep during pregnancy. An alkaloid present in raspberry leaf helps to strengthen uterine and pelvic muscles for ease of childbirth. This herb is also astringent and soothes internal and external irritations while purifying the skin and blood. And last but not least raspberry leaf promotes circulation, which is important for any and all aspects of health.

All of these herbs are available as supplement, extract and loose herbs that you can use to create your own teas.  You can also enjoy some Una teas with these herbs – including Mama Maintenance, Don’t Cramp My Style and our forthcoming Menopause tea.

 

All information is shared for educational purposes only.  Una Biologicals does not offer medical advice or purport to treat, cure, diagnose or assist with any illness.  Always consult your physician before using herbs.

FDA has not approved these statements.

Contributed by Margot Pomeroy, © Una Biologicals ® 2015.

 

 

Essential Oils for Winter Health

Jessica Graves

As we’ve recently discussed, winter can be a hard time for your health and your heart. It’s easy to start feeling down when your nose drips constantly, your throat itches in a place you can’t reach, and your toes exist in a perpetual state of cold. Luckily for you we’ve compiled a list of a few of our favorite essential oils to combat the maladies of this seemingly never-ending winter.

What we think makes a good essential oil for the winter, is an oil that can aid in congestion and offer protection against nasty phlegm loving bacteria, as well as boosting the immune system and circulation to help you melt your frozen extremities. But equally important is an essential oil’s ability to aid the brain when dealing with the often inevitable winter blues.  To use any of these essentials add a few drops to your diffuser, take a few whiffs with your head distanced several inches from the bottle, or dilute your essentials in a liquid oil of your choosing by mixing 2 drops of essential oils per teaspoon of carrier oil. Do not put undiluted essential oils on your skin.

Clove Essential Oil (Syzygium aromaticum) has a spicy smell, though it is cooling on the throat. Clove buds were traditionally chewed to soothe the pain of a sore throat while offering anti-inflammatory properties. It has the most antioxidants of any other essential oil and is rich in vitamins and minerals. This is a very immune healthy oil! It even boosts circulation. Some other great things about clove oil is that it aids brain function and helps you out with mental fatigue and depression. It can even help induce sleep in insomniacs. All that and it smells so dang good!

Ginger Essential Oil (Zingiber officinale) is an energizing oil characterized by its spicy and sweet aroma. Most reknown for its relief of stomach aches, ginger oil also boosts the circulation, and provides a warming effect. It is commonly used to help arthritis for this reason. Ginger is stimulating and helps with depression. 

Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula angustifolia) is freshly floral, reminiscent of a time when things were blooming rather than draped in snow. Known most for its relaxing properties, lavender is an adaptogen, helping the body cope and adapt to stress and change. Lavender oil also helps to balance the left and right sides of your brain. This oil is also healing and soothing on the skin, good for that winter-induced dryness.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil (Eucalyptus globulus) is a very distinctive smelling oil from a plant that is native to Australia. It is reknown for its decongestant properties, providing a cooling sensation comparable to menthol. However, it’s abilities go beyond that as Eucalyptus oil can be used to stimulate and rejuvenate, helping you to combat fatigue. Eucalyptus increases blood flow and because of this, more blood flows to your brain to wake you up. Fortunately, this increase in blood flow also applies to your frozen extremities!

Lemon Essential Oil (Citrus limon) is an immune booster! High in vitamins, especially vitamin C, lemon can help you fight off and prevent diseases that spread during the cold months. You can inhale lemon oil to clean the sinuses, or use the diluted oil to naturally increases circulation. Lemon oil calms and rejuvenates, helping with fatigue and increasing your concentration to help you stay focused on those icy roads.

Where is Peppermint Essential Oil on this list, you ask? Right over here silly-see Pep Up with Peppermint

 

All information is shared for educational purposes only.  Una Biologicals does not offer medical advice or purport to treat, cure, diagnose or assist with any illness.  Always consult your physician before using herbs.

FDA has not approved these statements.

Contributed by Margot Pomeroy, © Una Biologicals ® 2015.

Man's Best Friend

Jessica Graves

 

Winter can be a dangerous time for even the most pampered pooch. Everything from antifreeze, sidewalk salt, and common holiday plants like mistletoe, holly and poinsettias can be toxic to dogs. Outdoor dogs are at risk of hypothermia and frostbite, and just like humans, dog’s immune systems can be compromised during the harsh cold months. But luckily as owners, there is a lot that we as can do to make our four-footed friends more comfortable.

To combat the cracked and sore paws caused by walking in salt and snow, wash paws off with warm water after walks. If dogs develop ice balls between their toes, remove them and consider trimming the hair in this area. You can apply bag balm to cracked paws and paw wax before walks to protect the pads. You can also try this simple DIY Dog Skin Soother by mixing 2 tsp of coconut oil with 10 drops of lavender essential oil. You can also make a soothing herbal infusion to spray on your dog from herbs such as chamomile, calendula, nettle, and oats. Don't forget Wound Wonder is terrific on your cracked puppy paws as well as human cracked fingers!

To keep your dogs healthy and comfortable when it’s cold, do not leave your dog outdoors unsupervised for extended periods of time. Do not shave your dog’s coat as this affects their ability to properly insulate. Dogs that don’t have an undercoat may need the extra protection of a coat and booties. You may get made fun of, but your pooch with thank you. If you get them to wear the booties, that is! Particularly sensitive dogs include many toy breeds and breeds with wiry coats. Be sure to keep walks short, and increase the frequency rather than the length.

What you feed your dog in the winter is also extremely important. During the cold months the body uses up more energy keeping warm on walks and out in the yard. Make sure you give your dog more calories and protein depending on how active they are. Also note that snow is not an alternative to water, and in addition to water your dog could benefit from electrolytes during the winter. To make your own Electrolyte Solution, mix 1 quart of water with 1 tablespoon of raw honey or unrefined sugar and 1 teaspoon table salt. This solution only keeps in the fridge for one day, but warm to room temperature before offering free choice. Make sure to ask your vet before making any changes to your dog’s diet. If you would like to add herbs to your dog’s diet to improve their immune system, replenish their skin, and increase circulation, consider herbs such as calendula, echinacea, cayenne, garlic, ginger, and St. John’s wort. Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats is a wonderful resource for home grown options. 

Remember that your pets experience many of the same things that you experience during the winter, so treat them with some extra TLC and you should both be raring to go as soon as spring is here!

 

Contributed by Margot Pomeroy. © Una Biologicals ®,2015

Pep Up with Peppermint

Jessica Graves

We love peppermint. It is a dear friend in the wintertime, brought to us from the far reaches of the Mediterranean and Western Asia. Mentha Piperita, or Peppermint as we know it, is an herb of many hats. It contains volatile oils (the compound we strive to isolate when distilling essential oils), vitamins and minerals, flavonoids, tannins, and menthol.

Everyone knows peppermint tea can help to cool the burning of a sore throat, but peppermint exceeds much expectation. It is an antispasmodic, it offers pain relief, and can be used as an inhalant for congestion. It is great for detoxification and acts as a liver stimulant, nervine, and blood purifier. It cools the body while also allowing it to sweat out toxins. When using peppermint you may find your headache fading away.

There are truly countless ways to utilize the wonderful benefits of peppermint. Una Biologicals has been taking advantage of this special power punch for years. You can find peppermint hiding in most of our teas, including Headache Helper, Revitalize, Mama Maintenance, and Better Belly. We flaunt our love for Peppermint with several of our Body Butters and our Rosemary Mint Salt Scrub, and you can’t miss that minty tingle in our Peppermint and Chocolicious Lip Balms. And with a little help from lavender, peppermint really lends a helping hand to any sorry sufferer with our Headache Relief Roll-On.

Needless to say we are on good terms with peppermint and you should be too! To start your very own first date with peppermint right in the comfort of your home, try one of these DIY recipes!

Peppermint Lip Scrub

Combine:

1 tsp Coconut Oil

    1 tsp Honey

    1 ½ tsp Sugar

    3 drops Peppermint Essential Oil

Rub on with a finger and roll your lips together. Wash or lick off when done for baby smooth lips!


Minty Mouth Wash

Combine: 1 cup Water

    1 tsp Baking Soda

    3 drops Peppermint Essential Oil

Swish for 5 to 20 seconds and then spit! Baking soda has a salty taste, but it is excellent for getting teeth pearly white and your breath smelling fresh.

 

Curiously Strong No-Cook Breath Mints

½ cup (approximately) Gum Paste

Powdered sugar

4-5 drops Peppermint Essential Oil

2 drops cooking oil

Knead egg sized piece of gum paste with hands until soft. Mix the two oils and then work into the gum paste. Sprinkle powdered sugar on your working surface and roll paste out to ⅛ inch in thickness. Cut out your mints to size or stamp with a large straw. Sprinkle with more powdered sugar and then let sit for 48 hours or until desirably crunchy. Enjoy!


All information is shared for educational purposes only.  Una Biologicals does not offer medical advice or purport to treat, cure, diagnose or assist with any illness.  Always consult your physician before using herbs.

FDA has not approved these statements.

Contributed by Margot Pomeroy, © Una Biologicals ® 2015.

It's OK to Live a Happy & Calm Life

Jessica Graves

Snow falls in thick wet flakes,  swirling among the air currents, falling at once fast and slow.  The kind of snowfall that can make you dizzy if you look too closely.  I sit, watching this drama unfold, tea steaming next to me as I absorb my quiet day.  This week I am working to live a calm and slow life.  A life we are entitled to, yet so rarely actualize. 

Like most of you, my days are booked beyond capacity with obligations for children, work, partners, charities and more. The hours slide past in a blur until I collapse into bed only to rise in a few short hours and hit repeat.  However, it is OK to live a calm life.  I know this to be true. I know in my heart that calm is healthy for mind & body.  And so this year, 2015, while others commit in their own way to a healthier lifestyle, I have committed myself to a slower, calmer life.

I do not intend to create an all-out transformation of my life, indeed I feel that effort would fail.  Rather I encourage you to consider the possibilities in your life for creating small moments of stillness and calm;  segments that are manageable and doable in your real routine.  My goal is to have a 30 minutes of true calm and quiet once a week where I intend to sit in as much stillness as possible.  That may be watching the snowfall while I drink an entire cup of tea, or not, the activity is irrelevant so long as it is quiet & calm (and not working quietly at my desk).  Daily I have implemented a 5 minute rule.  For 5 minutes each day, be it in the morning or evening, I will sit quietly and be still. I will not rush about, talk, text, update, give directions or corrections. I will try to not think. Rather I hope to take these simple moments to recharge my mind, slow my breathing, and settle myself back to center.

This sound a lot like meditating to the perceptive out there.  Indeed I hope to use this time to create a meditation practice. Meditation as a real practice in my life has for years eluded me.  Despite knowing that meditation, for even 5 minutes a day, has been proven to decrease blood pressure, increase mental acuity, improve memory and focus. It calms the body and restores the mind.  Meditation does not need to be a long drawn out affair that strikes fear of time wasting into the hearts of corporate moguls.  Rather, meditation can happen in your car (while parked), in your fave chair, at your desk, in your bed or on your yoga mat.  Sure, a dedicated space is great, but this real life folks and real life means real solutions that you can implement into your daily routine.  Be honest about what Can work for you and start there.  I have 5 minutes, that will likely find me sitting in my home-office, on my floor, at the end of my day hoping my kids read the “I am meditating sign” I left dangling on the door.  I may or may not get all 5 minutes.  I accept this in advance and hope to train my family, much like I am training my mind.

Now that you are convinced that you can find the time, how do you make meditation happen?  Simple: 1. Sit comfortably wherever you are.  If you can’t sit on the floor easily, a chair is great.

2. Close your eyes.  We are creating space for your tired mind. Don’t look at distractions.

3. Take a deep breath in. Deep Breath Out.  Deep Breath In. Deep Breath Out.  The breath is going to help us stay focused.  Focus on that breath filling your body with strength and nourishment on the inhale, and releasing all that you don’t need on the exhale – Carbon dioxide, stressful work situations, sadness, anger, all of it – it flows out with the breath.  Let it all go, you don’t need it anymore.

4. Focus back on your breath.  Why? Because being still a skill that we have to teach ourselves.  Stillness is no longer our strength, so your mind will probably try to wander back to work or that irritating shopper at the grocery store.  No biggie.  Simply acknowledge that truth, let that thought go, and focus again on your breath.

Some schools of thought use mantras or exercises to help with this breath focus.  Are you a tactile or touch person? You can focus on feeling the actual air enter and exit your nostril. This is a delicate feeling  which takes focus to notice.

If you are a words person, SoHam is a great mantra .  Think So-on the inhale and Ham (hum) on the exhale.  So Hum is an ancient Sanskrit term which means simply, I Am. 

As your practice of 5 minutes o’ stillness becomes more routine being still will become easier.  Your mind will quiet faster, and you will how much clearer you can think in those other 23 hours and 55 minutes of your day.

Try it. Share your progress and I will share mine – It is OK to live a calm life.

 

Time for Gratitude

Jessica Graves

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and I know a lot of you are cleaning those houses, finalizing your menus, and prepping for extended family! Holidays meant for quality family time, feasts, and gratitude can actually end up causing us more stress than joy. Hopefully a couple scrumptious vegetarian recipes can help us lighten the load from our turkey, potato, and gravy comas and a few yoga positions can help lower our anxiety levels and aid digestion.  Try this delicious and nutritious recipe from "The Hungry Girls" .

Sweet Potato, Green Bean and Smoked Paprika Salad

Ingredients

  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into thick wedges about 5 cm long
  • 2 potatoes, cut into thick wedges about 5 cm long
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • large handful of green beans, topped and tailed, cut in half on the diagonal
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • sour cream or natural yoghurt to serve (optional)

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Heat around 3 tablespoons of oil in an ovenproof frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, sweet potato and potato and pan-fry for 5–10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly colored.

2. Stir in the garlic, paprika, 1 teaspoon of salt and generous black pepper, coating well. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until the vegetables are tender (around 15 minutes).

3. Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the beans and simmer for a few minutes, then drain.

4. Put the hot beans into a large bowl along with the tomato and parsley. Add the hot roasted vegetables, lemon juice and another good splash of oil and toss to combine. Add extra salt and pepper to taste. Serve with dollops of sour cream or natural yoghurt if desired.

The following Thanksgiving recipe is one of our favorites from Jane Sigal in "Food and Wine". It has the perfect touch of sweetness and is absolutely delectable! 

Baked Apples With Oyster Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • 4 baking apples (about 1/2 pound each)
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 pound oyster mushrooms, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped mixed herbs, such as parsley, basil, tarragon and chives
  • 1/2 cup apple cider

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a small, shallow baking dish just large enough to hold the apples with vegetable oil cooking spray. Cut a thin slice off the top of each apple. Using a small spoon, scrape out the apple flesh, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell. Rub and moisten the apple cups with the lemon to discourage browning. Discard the skin from the apple tops and the seeds from the cores and finely chop the apple flesh.

2.Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chopped apple and the oyster mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook the mixture over moderately high heat until the liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Stir in the herbs.

3.Season the apple cups with salt and pepper. Spoon the mushroom mixture into the cups, mounding it slightly. Set the apples in the prepared baking dish and pour the cider around them. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the apples are tender; if they begin to brown during cooking, cover them with foil. Serve hot.

Yoga for digestion:

We all know what that overstuffed feeling is like and it is not pleasant! Here are a couple yoga positions that will not only aid digestion but will help calm the mind and reduce stress at the same time. I suggest everyone take a few minutes for themselves this Thanksgiving and find a quiet corner for your stretches. 

Apanasana- knees hugged to chest

Health Magazine describes how to do it as follows: Lie down, relax and inhale, placing your hands on your knees. Exhale, and hug your knees to your chest. Rock your knees from side to side to maximize the stretch. Stay for five to ten breaths, and release your knees. Repeat this move a few more times.

Standing forward bend

Chatelaine Everyday Extraordinary explains: Make sure feet are hip-width apart and inhale to raise arms up. Lowering down, exhale and bend at the hips to come forward. Tuck chin in towards chest and lengthen head towards the floor. Bend your knees if it’s more comfortable. Hold for 5 to 7 breaths.  This will calm the nervous system and pacify adrenals in the kidneys to compress the abdominal area to aid in digestion. 

 

Essential Oils for a Flawless Face

Jessica Graves

Essential Oils have been used throughout history for a wide variety of health concerns. They were man's first form of medicine and are gaining popularity and recognition once again as people search for organic, natural alternatives to the harsh chemicals we are faced with everyday.

There are some wonderful essential oils out there for your skincare concerns. Time and time again stubborn blemishes and acne are defeated by oils with natural antiseptic, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. Here are some of the top essential oils to help erase those spots!

  • Tea Tree- has disinfecting and soothing properties. It is anti-microbial and kills bacteria known to cause pimples and clog pores. Unlike other acne treatments, it will not strip your skin of its natural oils.
  • Lavender-  is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. It has a balancing and regenerative effect on the skin, helps minimize the appearance of acne scars, and can be used on all skin types.
  • Rosemary- stimulates cell renewal, clears blemishes, and helps dull dry skin by fighting bacteria and regulating oil secretions.
  • Lemon- has antiseptic like properties, can kill several strains of bacteria within hours, and improves circulation on the surface of the skin.

Luckily, Una has taken the spot fighting power of these and other essential oils to create a new product sure to beat the most stubborn of blemishes! Blemish Buster-acne reducing serum will be released next week! This amazing blemish roll-on includes: 

  • Yarrow essential oil for inflammation and deep cleansing without clogging pores
  • Juniper essential oil for its powerful astringent properties and  popularity as a troubled skin companion
  • Witch hazel essential oil for its ability to gently clean deep within the pores and condition aggravated skin
  • Eucalyptus essential oil due to its toxicity to a wide range of active bacteria including the primary bacteria in acne infections
  • Calendula  extract serves as our universal skin healer
  • Tea Tree, Lavender, Rosemary, and Lemon essential oils for their previously mentioned pimple eliminating popularity 

You don't want to miss out on the release of our amazing Blemish Buster! The Una ladies have a mighty Research and Development stage for each new product. If it passes with flying colors they test on themselves as one last step to ensure perfection. Thank goodness I had the opportunity to try out this product because my clogged, red, acne infested chin was getting out of control! Not to mention, the red marks and scars from a year long battle with recurring pimples has gotten the best of me. Well, this is the first time in almost 12 months that new zits are not flaring! The bright red glow is now a barely there pink, and the pores are definitely breathing again. No more white heads. I deem this a success! But then again,  our amazing customers know we wouldn't release anything that isn't absolutely lovely and nourishing for your skin!

 

All information is shared for educational purposes only.  Una Biologicals does not offer medical advice or purport to treat, cure, diagnose or assist with any illness.  Always consult your physician before using herbs.

FDA has not approved these statements.

© Una Biologicals ® 

Pumpkins Everywhere

Jessica Graves

It is pumpkin season and so many of these wonderful fruits get thrown to the wayside after jack o' lanterns come down and autumn fades into winter. Please don't throw your pumpkins away, use them! All the pumpkin drinks and snacks, center pieces, and decorations are here for a reason. They are awesome!!

Did you know pumpkins are amazing for your skin, very low in calories but bursting with nutritional value, a great wildlife food source, and an excellent ingredient for snacks and cocktails. Get creative with your porch decorations and use every last bit of those pumpkins from flesh to seeds.

Here are a few creative ways to utilize those beautiful fall fruits:

  1. Pumpkin Face Mask- This beauty treat is bursting with skin nourishment. Pumpkin contains alpha hydroxy acid which smooths and brightens complexion. Vitamins A, C, K, and E all pack their own punch of beauty benefits from softening the skin to boosting collagen production. Did you know that the molecular structure of pumpkins is really small? This means it will penetrate deeper when applied topically which is great for aging and dull complexions as it will even that skin tone from within. There are tons of wonderful pumpkin mask recipes out there so find you favorite and get the spa feel right at home!  We like this simple recipe below!
    • Gather 1/4 cup of pumpkin and add one egg white which will tighten the skin
    • Add 2 teaspoons of raw organic honey which is great for dry skin and has many anti-bacterial properties OR add a splash of apple cider vinegar instead of the honey if you have oily skin that needs an astringent.
    • Whisk it all together! For a bonus effect add 2-3 teaspoons of brown sugar to use as an exfoliater. 
    • Apply to your face and neck, relax, breathe deep, and let this pumpkin potion work its magic.  Sit for 15-20 minutes and rinse with warm water.

 

  1. Use the Seeds- Roasted pumpkin seeds are a wonderful snack and full of antioxidants and minerals. Consume the seeds for a good dose of zinc! You can add salt to taste or cinnamon and brown sugar to bake up a sweet treat.
  2. Feed the Birds- Use the seeds you don't want to toast up as an addition to your bird feeder, your feathery friends will love this treat! You can take it a step further and cut your pumpkin in half and use the shell as the feeder itself.
  3. Spike it- Make a tasty cocktail with one teaspoon of pumpkin puree, a dash of vanilla and cinnamon, a squeeze of lime juice, and a drop of honey. Add to a shaker of ice and 2 ounces of vodka.  Enjoy!
  4. Make Pumpkin Puree- Scoop out the seeds and guts. Place your pumpkin in a baking dish with a cup of water (make sure the cut side is facing down)  and bake for about 90 minutes or until the flesh is tender. Scoop out the flesh and puree in a food processor. Now your ready to bake your pies, mix it in with hummus, add it to soup, or spice your coffee!
  5. Explore your Tasty Options- Check out this delectable recipe for pumpkin risotto from Marian Burros.

Una At The Mall!

Jessica Graves

It is Holiday shopping time and you can find us at our new retail spot at Ross Park Mall! I know you love following us around the city every week but during these upcoming winter months you can find us in a special Una spot just for you! We are excited to be available EVERYDAY as we want to be more readily accessible for our fabulous clients and their holiday gift lists. Be sure to keep an eye out on Facebook and Twitter for special VIP cards for our amazing followers!

The Una Biologicals Holiday Kiosk will open TOMORROW November 1st!  We are located in the North Hills of Pittsburgh at Ross Park Mall. You can find us on the first floor near the Cheescake Factory entrance right by Starbucks! Get ready to pamper and please everyone on your Holiday lists and don't forget yourselves in the midst of it all!

Fire Cider- Just the Kick for Your Winter Cold and Flu

Jessica Graves

We are getting closer to those winter months and preparations for our immune systems should begin, pronto! What better way to warm our chests and throats and clear our sinuses than with a fiery immune booster. Try this old folk remedy- Fire Cider!

The ingredients in this winter cure all are anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, and great for our circulatory and digestive systems. It is a concoction of herbs, roots, and peels that bring individual healing power to the mix. All together they are an indestructible cold and flu antidote!

Fire Cider is a very versatile medicine- it can be taken straight, in other food or drinks, hot, cold, or as a topping or dressing.  There are variations in the recipes and a few substitutions can be made to include ingredients that fit your tastes and needs. Check out Mountain Rose's recipe for a great tonic to make at home!

Ingredients

1/2 cup fresh grated organic ginger root

1/2 cup fresh grated organic horseradish root

1 medium organic onion, chopped

10 cloves of organic garlic, crushed or chopped

2 organic jalapeno peppers, chopped

Zest and juice from 1 organic lemon

Several sprigs of fresh organic rosemary or 2 tbsp of dried rosemary leaves

1 tbsp organic turmeric powder

1/4 tsp organic cayenne powder

organic apple cider vinegar

raw local honey to taste

 

Directions

Prepare all of your roots, fruits, and herbs and place them in a quart sized jar. If you’ve never grated fresh horseradish, be prepared for a powerful sinus opening experience! Use a piece of natural parchment paper under the lid to keep the vinegar from touching the metal, or a plastic lid if you have one. Shake well! Store in a dark, cool place for one month and remember to shake daily.

After one month, use cheesecloth to strain out the pulp, pouring the vinegar into a clean jar. Be sure to squeeze as much of the liquid goodness as you can from the pulp while straining. Next, comes the honey! Add 1/4 cup of honey and stir until incorporated. Taste your cider and add another 1/4 cup until you reach the desired sweetness.

 

Ingredient Variations

These herbs and spices would make a wonderful addition to your Fire Cider creations:

Thyme
Star Anise
Rose Hips
Astragulus                                                                                                                                           Schizandra Berries                                                                                                                              Parsley                                                                                                                                                  Burdock
Oregano
Peppercorns                                                                                                                                Beet Root Powder
Habanero Powder
Bird's Eye Chili owder
Whole Chili Peppers
Fresh orange, grapefruit, lime juice and peels      

This living, raw, whole foods tonic should be started now so it is ready for the winter months ahead. A tablespoon a day will help build defenses and prevent those sick days that you and yours plan for each year.

If you don't get around to making your own you can visit the East End Food Coop to pick up your prepared bottle of Fire Cider.  http://www.firecider.com/

Well wishes for a warm and healthy winter!

 

All information is shared for educational purposes only.  Una Biologicals does not offer medical advice or purport to treat, cure, diagnose or assist with any illness.  Always consult your physician before using herbs.

FDA has not approved these statements.

Winter Gardening!

Jessica Graves

It is that wonderful time of year again!  We are enjoying the Autumn Harvest, picking pumpkins, sipping cider, and basking in the red and orange glow of fall. It is also the time of year where our lovely, productive summer crops have dwindled away and our gardens are being put to rest for the season. Wouldn't you love to go outside and pick fresh greens all winter long?! Believe it or not, you can! And it is not as difficult as you think.

Using cold frames to extend your planting season is a sure fire way to grow more veggies and sustain yourself through the colder months. A cold frame is simply a place to shelter your plants from the elements and to trap solar energy for heat. It acts as a small greenhouse! What more could a gardener want for these upcoming months?!

These awesome mini greenhouses can give you a 4 season harvest because they keep plants 7-10 degrees warmer than the outdoors and can even radiate heat up to 20 degrees warmer! Using a cold frame is equivalent to moving your garden plot at least one zone south. When choosing a location for your cold frame keep these factors in mind:

  • South facing
  • Protected by a fence or wall on the north side
  • Sunny spot
  • Good drainiage
  • Protection from wind

Choosing materials for your cold frame is important. You can place your veggies in a bottomless wooden box that has NOT been treated, inside barrels of straw, or even  a box lined with cinder blocks. Top the box with glass or plastic. You can use recycled windows or shower doors. Be sure to not use any recycled pieces with a frame that could have lead in the paint. If in doubt, DO NOT USE, as lead can seep into the soil and your food. Lexan is one of the best materials to use for the top closure on your frame,

During the harshest cold spells it is important to keep your cold frame warm by covering it with tarps, straw, or mats. On the flip side, you do not want to overheat your precious plants. It is important to have the ability to prop open the lid for air circulation or shade it with a sash.  Be sure to put a thermometer inside to better monitor your crops.

Cold Frame Crops:

  • Arugula
  • Spinach
  • Chard
  • Endive
  • Escarole
  • Leaf lettuces
  • Radish
  • Scallion
  • Clytonia
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mache
  • Sorrel
  • Radicchio
  • Salad Greens
  • Kale
  • Choys

Herbal Update - Arnica

Jessica Graves

Arnica - Arnica montana

This plant has many powerful medicinal properties, Arnica is a serious healer and comes from the same family as one our faves, the Sunflower ! The roots and flowers are used to treat many conditions. This is a strong one people, so use caution and follow direction for its celebrated benefits!

Arnica is native to Central Europe and can be found in forests and mountain pastures.  The leaves form a flat rosette, and a flower stalk which can reach 1 to 2 feet high emerges from the center. It bears orange-yellow flowers and the rhizome is dark brown, curved , and shows brittle wiry rootlets on the underside. Arnica is hardy in zones 5-9. This lovely perennial herb blooms in July and prefers a home in moist, well-drained soil with periods of ample sun. The flowers are picked and dried to make medicine.

Native Americans referred to arnica as leopard’s bane and mountain tobacco, and used the plant for sprains, bruises and wounds. In the 19th and 20th centuries, health practitioners used this herb for contusions, bruised muscles, painful breasts, chronic sores and abscesses. - See more at: http://www.medicinehunter.com/arnica#sthash.8W3sQAv7.dpuf

arnica blog.jpg

 Arnica has been widely used since the 1500's and has a long standing reputation for successful topical treatment . Its constituents are a bitter yellow crystalline principle, Arnicin, and a volatile oil. In early North American colonies the flowers were used in preference to the rhizome but the whole plant is an antiecchymotic, antiphlogistic, nervine. The homeopathic dose has been effective due to its antiseptic , anti-inflammatory, and pain relieving properties. Arnica's actions may be due to two chemicals called helenalin and dihyrdohelenalin. These chemicals may modify the action of immune cells, reduce the activity of chemicals and blood cells that cause inflammation, and kill bacteria.

For tender feet, a foot-bath of hot water containing 1/2 oz. of an Arnica tincture will bring great relief. Applied to the scalp it may make the hair grow.

Great care must be exercised though, as some people are particularly sensitive to the plant and cases of poisoning have resulted from its use, especially if taken internally.

Arnica extract has the power to reach deep tissue layers when applied externally. Its ability to absorb past the skin and penetrate areas that need a little TLC is the exact reason we use it in our Bruise Balm! Come on people, lets start healing!

All information is shared for educational purposes only.  Una Biologicals does not offer medical advice or purport to treat, cure, diagnose or assist with any illness.  Always consult your physician before using herbs.

FDA has not approved these statements.

© Una Biologicals ® 2015.

 

 

 

 

Beauty From Your Kitchen...

Jessica Graves

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If you were asked to imagine your beauty routine and visit your daily regimen in your mind, what images would you see?  Most of us would see face creams, exfoliators, lipsticks, and tweezers. Our mind's eye would take us to a bathroom cabinet or a make up bag. What about our kitchens? How many of you would picture your fridge or fruit bowl? Maybe we need to change our thinking and find beauty in our kitchens first and work from the inside out.

As your local, pretty girl lab experts, we want to coach our gorgeous gals and their health conscious dudes on a whole circle approach to health and beauty. We give you the purest, organic, luxury products to make this a reality but we also want to educate you on how to play an active role in maintaining and maximizing your glowing youth and radiance. Our products will make you stand out for life but your health and wellness will make you invincibly beautiful. Beauty isn't just skin deep but comes from the inside-out and all around. Now let's take a look at some skin nutrient groceries!

We all know that good food = good skin! Here are some great complexion companion foods:

  • Healthy Fats
  • Lean Proteins
  • Color! Rainbow of Fruits and Veggies
  • Super Foods

Greens are densely packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients! Lutein is a vital component of your leafy greens and a key wrinkle prevent-er!

Tomatoes and other red, pink, and orange foods can actually reduce redness in the skin. The powerful antioxidat lycopene found in tomatoes and other colorful fruits like pink grapefruit, papaya, wolfberry, and goji not only help prevent sunburn but boosts collagen production! In a report by Gary Goldfaden, MD And Robert Goldfaden, lycopene has been found to improve skin cellular function, combat free radicals that cause aging, contribute to the body's metabolic processes that result in growth and repair, and actually inhibit the natural process of enzymes that breakdown collagen. In short, these are your wrinkle fighting friends.

Berry madness! These bite sized burst of flavor are BIG on antioxidants. They have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and are packed with essential fatty acids that hydrate and plump the skin. The high levels of Vitamin C and Ellagic Acid found in berries not only prevents the breakdown of elastin and collagen, but increases their production. Talk about the power of youth!

Soy beans, including soy milk & tofu, are great for existing fine lines and aging skin. The isoflavones found in soy promote elastin activity which helps reverse and slow further effects of aging. Go ahead and add those edamame to your salads! 

Eggs are another food source enriched with goodness. Lutein and zeaxanthin are UV protecting antioxidants (great for brown spots) and they help soften and firm the skin. The amino acids that come from the rich protein content of eggs will help generate new proteins (such as collagen) in the skin cells, resulting in better hydration and stronger skin tissue.

Nuts about glowing skin? Almonds are rich in Vitamin E and pump moisture into the lower dermis layers while a 1/2 oz. serving of walnuts gives you 100% of your daily value of ALA (Omega 3) and improve the texture and quality of the epidermis layer of skin.

Dark chocolate in small servings increases circulation and gives us a dose of flavanoids which are known to have a brightening effect on the skin.

Oils are important as they provide us with essential fatty acids that store moisture in the cell membranes. This ultimately gives us that supple look we all strive for!

Avocado crazed! While we are on the topic of fatty acids we cant forget this superfood. This Omega-9 fat packed fruit maintains and regulates moisture in the epidermis layer, regenerates skin cells that have been damaged, and soothes irritation. The high Vitamin E content prevents aging skin which is caused by fat oxidation in dermal cells.

Check out this link for Glowing Skin Smoothies! The Kiwi, Spinach, Avocado Smoothie won our vote for the best skin drink on the list but we love them all!

http://www.youbeauty.com/nutrition/galleries/green-smoothie-recipes-for-glowing-skin

Remember, you can play an active role in your skin care routine! Feed yourself for health, beauty, and balance. Bon apetit!