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Lose Weight Quickly - Almost everyone has some sort of allergy that makes the different seasons seem unbearable. Most people have a hard time controlling their allergies in the fall and spring seasons because of all the pollens that are in the air. In the winter, you make have a hard time controlling your allergies if you have mold or dust allergies.

 

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Some food allergies and how to avoid them: Almonds to Coconut

In the following list I'll outline some of the more common food allergies. Just because some food isn't in this list doesn't mean that it couldn't cause an allergy. Remember, almost any food that you eat too often and too much of over an extended period of time can trigger a food allergy. It is always smart to eat a wide variety of food and not to rely on eating the same kind of food over and over again. Almonds: Allergy to pollen from peach, plum, nectarine, and apricot trees is rare, but allergy to the pollen from their relatives, the almond and the cherry is not. People who are already allergic to tree pollens are more likely to develop an allergy to eating almonds. If you're allergic to pollen, go easy on the almonds, especially during the spring pollen season. Apples: Allergy from eating apples is surprisingly common, especially among people who are already allergic to tree pollens. Apple allergy may have any number of different symptoms.

For reasons I am not certain of, people who are already allergic to cashews and pistachios, are at increased risk of becoming allergic to Brazil nuts.

Those allergic to birch pollen are especially at risk for apple allergy. Avocado:

Allergy to eating avocadoes isn't especially common but it isn't rare either. Some birds that eat avocadoes, parrots for example, can die from eating them. People with an existing allergy to eating kiwi fruits have a greater chance of becoming allergic to avocado. If you do become allergic to eating avocadoes, you may well also become allergic to non-food items such as sun tan lotions with avocado oils. Bamboo shoots: People already allergic to grass pollen are at increased risk of allergy from eating bamboo shoots. The reaction may be either immediate or delayed.

 

Brazil nuts:

They do however both contain some of the same chemicals, linoleic acid, oleic acid, palmitic acid, samarium, and scandium. Allergic reaction to these nuts can include anaphylaxis, so it is potentially dangerous. Buckwheat: Allergies to buckwheat are fairly common and people who work with buckwheat often develop this allergy. If you have allergies already, those buckwheat pillows might not be a very good idea for you. Carrots: see Celery. Celery: Celery allergy is one of the most common of all food allergies. Carrots, celery, parsley, dill, and cilantro (coriander) are all closely related plants called umbels. Cross-reactions between these foods are common too. Itch and rash are the most frequently seen examples of this allergy.

 

* See separate article on this website on celery allergies. Cherries: Allergies to cherry pollen are common and anyone with pollen allergies is at increased risk of developing an allergy to eating cherries. My suggestion: if you have pollen allergies, don't pig out on cherries. Also, don't eat any cherry pie or preserved cherries (including Maraschino Cherries) during the spring tree pollen months. Also, with cherry trees themselves, some cultivars are much more allergenic than others. Pie cherry trees (also called sour cherries even though the fruit isn't really all that sour) do not usually produce very much allergenic pollen, as the trees are almost always self-fertile. Cherry trees that are sold as "needing a pollinator" likewise shed little allergenic pollen. Cherry trees sold as being good pollinizers, these are the ones that shed considerable pollen. Chives: see Onions. Citrus: Cross-reactions within the genus are common, so if someone is allergic to oranges he may well also be allergic to lemons and limes. Most reactions to citrus are probably not true allergies though, and the chlorogenic acid in these fruits may just be causing upset stomach. Coconut: This is an allergy that most commonly shows up in teenagers and it is one that with any luck may be eventually outgrown. Most common allergic reaction to coconut is rash or itchy skin.

 

Thomas Ogren is the author of Allergy-Free Gardening, Ten Speed Press. Tom does consulting work on landscapes and allergies for the USDA, county asthma coalitions, and the Canadian and American Lung Associations. He has appeared on HGTV and The Discovery Channel. His book, Safe Sex in the Garden, was published in 2003. In 2004 Time Warner Books published his latest book: What the Experts May NOT Tell You About: Growing the Perfect Lawn. His website: www.allergyfree-gardening.com

 

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CO2, Global Warming, and Pollen-Allergies

 

The benefits of added organic matter to the soil have long been known and are usually attributed to increased nitrogen, greater water-holding capacity and an increase in activity of soil earthworms and microbes. But experiments have shown that the increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) release that accompanies added organic matter is certainly one of the main reasons why adding organic matter to the soil increases plant growth. Greenhouse owners have long understood that plants consume CO2 and release oxygen. In a greenhouse packed full of plants, through the process of photosynthesis, the plants can quickly use up most of the available CO2 and then their growth slows down or stops.

 

To compensate for this, old time growers used to place boxes or flats of fresh manure underneath their greenhouse benches. As the manure decomposed it released CO2 into the greenhouse air and the plants grew faster as a result. In today's modern greenhouses, especially those with concrete floors, lack of CO2 is always a concern. Most of the newer greenhouse ranges are now equipped with automatic CO2 regulators that monitor the amount of CO2 in the air inside the greenhouse and then release more as needed. In these greenhouses with their gas growth CO2 generators the plants don't just grow bigger-- they also mature earlier.

So, what has all this to do with global warming and allergies?
As we become more and more reliant on burning petroleum products and as our global temperatures continue to rise, carbon dioxide levels in our air are rising. Before the last election we in the US had assumed, incorrectly, that no matter which candidate won the election, new controls were going to be placed on CO2 emissions. We know better now. The US with its huge consumption of fossil fuels, (the U.S. produces nearly 25 percent of man-made carbon dioxide emissions worldwide). also is experiencing the greatest increase in CO2. Actually, CO2 accounts for 80-85 percent of the heat trapping (greenhouse) gases contributing to global warming. The idea that is now called the "Greening Theory" holds that all this extra CO2 is good. It will result in increased plant growth and thus in resulting increases in food supplies. There is some merit to this theory but there are numerous downsides too.

Pollen-Allergies There are many negative effects from global warming but let's just consider one here, pollen production and it's affect on allergies. Since 1959 allergies have dramatically increased in the US from 2 to 5 percent of the population affected, to a whopping 38 percent now. Largely because of the huge horticultural "success" of the much over-simplified theory of "litter-free" landscaping we already have vast urban landscapes that are heavily loaded with wind-pollinated dioecious male cultivars (clones) of trees and shrubs. These modern landscape trees result in surrounding air with unnaturally large amounts of allergenic pollen. Because the "messy" urban female trees are now so rare, almost none of this pollen is now trapped, removed from the air and turned into seed. (Female trees produce no pollen, ever, but they do make seeds, pods, and fruit.) We have tidy sidewalks but pollen-filled air. Under normal carbon dioxide levels these male cloned trees will always produce abundant amounts of pollen. Under increased levels of carbon dioxide, they produce considerably more.

 

The increase in temperature itself also results in increased pollen production, and in pollen production that starts earlier in the spring and lasts further into the fall. There is research that shows that under stress conditions male plants are able to take up more water than are females. Under stress conditions, such as drought, male trees are also able to hold onto the water they already have better than are female plants. Where there are abundant water and soil nutrient sources the increases in carbon dioxide levels in our air will result in larger urban trees, which if they're allergy trees, will be capable of producing ever more pollen. Increases in carbon dioxide increase plant growth but only if there is enough available extra water and nitrogen in the soil to support this additional growth. When the supplies of water and nutrients are not adequate to support this added CO2-induced growth interesting physiological things happen in plants. Foremost, it is an added stress on the plants and stress often results in an increase in unusual reproduction factors.

Lewis H Ziska, Ph.D., a USDA researcher, recently found that increased CO2 resulted in huge increases in the pollen production of ragweed and other weeds. David Karowe, a researcher at the University of Michigan, found another interesting factor about increased CO2 levels and plants: their leaves contain fewer nutrients than normal. Nancy Tuchman, biology professor at Loyola University in Chicago, is also researching the feed value of CO2 enhanced leaves on microorganisms and insects. She found that they all grow slower when fed these "enhanced" leaves. "If all the plants are altered on a global level, then it's certainly going to affect all the organisms on Earth," she said. "No one is going to escape." Compounding all of this is that excessive burning of fossil fuels and the resulting pollution may well be compromising our very endocrine and immune systems.

 

Theo Colburn explored this well in the very interesting book, "Our Stolen Future." Great increases in the already excessively high rates of urban pollen, combined with further compromised immune systems, may well be the recipe for allergies of true epidemic proportions in the not too distant future. Dr. Robert C. Stebbins, renowned biologist from UC Berkeley, told me recently in a phone conversation, that the planting of all these cloned male dioecious and compromised monoecious trees, "is a classic example of how they just didn't think about the ecology involved." If we don't start paying closer attention to how we landscape our cities, and we don't start getting serious about alternative clean energy sources, rampant allergies and other pollen-related illnesses may well be the end result.

This article first appeared in New Scientist Magazine, in London.

Thomas Ogren is the author of Allergy-Free Gardening, Ten Speed Press. Tom does consulting work on landscape and allergies for the USDA, county asthma coalitions, and the Canadian and American Lung Associations. He has appeared on HGTV and The Discovery Channel. His book, Safe Sex in the Garden, was published in 2003. In 2004 Time Warner Books published his latest book: What the Experts May NOT Tell You About: Growing the Perfect Lawn. His website: www.allergyfree-gardening.com

 

Avoiding Allergies by Use of the Right Native Plants in the Landscape

Many of our most allergenic plants commonly used in landscaping in the United States and Canada are indeed natives. However, it is the manipulation of these plants by commercial horticulture that has, and is, causing most of the huge increases we are now experiencing with allergy problems. Thirty years ago fewer than 10 percent of Americans had allergies. The official figure today is that a whopping 38 percent of us now suffer from allergies.(December 99, American College of Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology) Not too many years ago death from asthma was fairly rare. Today it is all too common and is considered epidemic. Asthma has now become the number one chronic childhood disease in America. Furthermore, there is new data coming in recently that shows a strong connection between over-exposure to pollen and or mold spores and increases in other diseases such as heart disease, autism, pneumonia, and reflux disease.

 

A stressed lemon tree, for example, will often produce a huge crop of tiny, very seedy lemons. This is simply the lemon tree's way of preparing for it's own imminent demise and also it's own legacy of possible seedlings. Another stress example: In daily pollen collections taken by biology professor Dr. Lee Parker and his students from the top of the Fisher Science Building at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, California, taken during the middle of a severe seven year drought, all-time record oak pollen count levels were recorded. In the past twenty years in particular there has been a huge increase in this planting of male cloned street trees. These trees can not produce pollen until they mature but with the increases in CO2 levels, we can predict that they will mature earlier than expected. Shannon L. LaDeau, a researcher at Duke University found that pine trees grown with elevated levels of CO2 produced three times the normal amount of seeds and also matured prematurely.


American Elms The landscape tree in most of America for many years was the tall, stately American Elm. The American Elm used to grace the streets of thousands of towns and cities and when DED, Dutch Elm Disease, started to spread and kill off these native elms, the insect-pollinated, perfect-flowered elms were most often replaced with wind-pollinated, unisexual-flowered, street trees. Many things happened because of the big switch from the elms to these other tree species. First, the elm flowers had a rich nectar source and since these trees bloomed very early in the season, at a time when insect food sources were severely limited urban honeybees and butterflies depended on this food source. Since the majority of the street trees used to replace the elms were wind-pollinated, they often lacked these nectaries and supplied no early-season food source.

 

Soon we started to see a rapid decline in the total numbers of urban honeybees and butterflies. There were other factors as well behind this decline, pollution, insecticides, and disease, but the loss of the crucial early-season food sources should not be underestimated. DED spread mostly from East to West across the US and so has the rise in allergy rates. You can actually track the spread of allergy from the decline of the elms. The American Elms, Ulmus americana, did cause a certain amount of low-level, early spring allergy, simply because they were so very common. The over-planting of elms resulted in a lack of biodiversity and set the stage for the massive kill from the DED. We now know that it is always a mistake to use a monoculture, to plant too much of just one species. Diversity is always a good idea in horticulture.

Diversity Biodiversity is the way to go when we are creating landscapes that will limit allergenic exposure. Almost any species of plants can eventually cause allergies if it is over-planted enough. All to often in our urban landscapes of today we see that landscapers have used the same old plants over and over again. This overly simplistic approach to landscaping results in landscapes that lack originality and produce a numbing "sameness" to far too much of our urbanscape. When residential houses are professionally landscaped with the exact same plant materials used to landscape banks, real estate offices, and dentist's shops, we all lose. Allergy rates today are far worse in urban areas than they are out in the country. Pollen allergies are worse in cities than in the country, despite the fact that there is much more total green matter in the countryside than in the city. Plant selection has been the main problem.

Natives and Urban Landscapes There are many native trees and shrubs used in our landscapes. Maples, oaks, locust, poplars, willows, catalpa, birch, junipers, and many more native species are extensively used. Unfortunately the plant breeders and propagators discovered how to "sex-out" the trees and shrubs. They learned to use only male plants, ironically, as "mother plants," as the source for their scion wood for asexual propagation. First they just used male plants from the dioecious (separate-sexed) species, but later they learned how to produce all-male clones from species that in Nature were never unisexual (the monoecious species). For example, Honey Locust trees, (Gleditsia triacanthos) are native to our Southeastern US. Look at these trees in the wild and you will see that all of them are almost always covered with long seedpods. But go to a nursery now and look at the Honey Locust trees for sale. The ones on sale now are called "seedless" and they are in effect, all-male clones. What exactly is the effect of using all male cloned trees and shrubs in our landscapes? Very simply, this translates to an excess of allergenic pollen. Only male flowers produce this airborne pollen. Unisexual female flowers produce no pollen.

Why the Emphasis on Male Plants? Horticulturists knew that female plants produced seeds, seedpods, and fruit. This "litter" fell on the sidewalks and created a "mess." By using only asexually (no sex involved) propagated cultivars (cultivated varieties), they were able to create "litter-free" landscapes. These required less maintenance and were (and still are) very popular with city arborists and the public. In the US today, four of five of the top-selling street tree cultivars are male clones. Female flowers (pistillate) on female trees or shrubs produce an electrical (-) current. Their stigmas are broad and sticky. Airborne pollen from male plants has a negative electrical impulse before release and a positive charge after release, and this pollen is light and dry.

 

Because of the + and - electrical charges the pollen and the stigmas are drawn to each other. They are mutually attractive. Mother Nature saw to it that pollen would land, and stick, exactly where it was needed. Female plants are nature's pollen traps, our natural air-cleaners. Today though, most of the female plants are long gone from our landscapes. The pollen from the males floats about, seeking a moist, sticky, positive-charged target. We humans emit a positive electrical charge, and our mucus membranes, our eyes, skin and especially the linings of our nose and throat, now trap this wayward pollen. We have become the targets Allergy develops from repeated over-exposure to the same allergens. If your own yard is full of pollen-pumping trees and shrubs, you and your family are the ones who will be exposed the most.

 

Thomas Ogren is the author of Allergy-Free Gardening, Ten Speed Press. Tom does consulting work on for the USDA, county asthma coalitions, and the American Lung Associations. He has appeared on CBS, HGTV and The Discovery Channel. His book, Safe Sex in the Garden, was published 2003. In 2004 Time Warner Books published his latest: What the Experts May NOT Tell You About: Growing the Perfect Lawn. His website: www.allergyfree-gardening.com

Allergies, Asthma and City Trees

Some urban tree species cause an inordinate amount of asthma and allergy problems, while other tree species cause little or no health problems. A large part of the problem is that the arborists and landscape professionals, who plant these trees, often don't know the difference. The type of trees (and shrubs) used in modern city landscapes has changed dramatically in the past three decades. In the past, the majority of street trees used were perfect-flowered, insect-pollinated trees, such as the once so common American elm tree.

 

Today though, many of the most widely used city trees are wind-pollinated species. Most of these species are unisexually flowered (dioecious and/or monoecious) and further compounding the problem, thousands of popular cultivars sold today are touted to be "seedless," "low-maintenance," "pod-free" or "litter-free." These fruitless, seedless trees are male plants, all male, and male trees produce prodigious amounts of allergenic pollen. Female trees produce NO pollen what so ever. In dioecious-flowered trees such as most ash, willow and poplars, it is easy to propagate male only trees because they are separate-sexed. Monoecious trees, which in Nature always have both sexes (male and female flowers) on the same tree, also usually produce abundant pollen. It is possible to have all-male trees from the monoecious species.

 

On many species the sexes will be born on separate branches, such as on a Honey Locust tree. If you take cuttings, or budwood, only from the branches with male flowers, then, you'll get an all-male tree. Lots of monoecious Acer spp. cultivars are male-only plants. In a somewhat different way, there are also numerous monoecious species where only the top or only the bottom will have either male or female flowers. For example, the bottom half of a mature Italian Cypress for example is all-male. Female wood is found only at the top of the plant.

 

Thus, scion wood taken from the bottom usually produces "seedless" plants. The terms "dioecious," and "monoecious," are botanical terms, not horticultural terms. We could perhaps say that a manipulated, asexually propagated all-male cultivar, taken from a monoecious species, is now "dioecious," but this is not quite correct. A proper dioecious tree is one that in Nature is separate-sexed. These modern engineered trees are never found in Nature. Interestingly, the first reference in print I ever found to this single sexing-out with monoecious street trees, was in a USDA booklet, from 1982, called "Genetic Improvement of Urban Street Trees." How Bad Is Allergy Now? In 1959 the official rate of allergy in the U.S. was between 2 to 5% of the public. By 1999 the official rate of allergy had increased to an incredible 38% of Americans. Asthma, which was once considered rare, is now the number one chronic childhood disease in the US.

Where are Allergies and Asthma the Worst? The most common allergen of all is pollen and since there are so many more plants growing in the country than in the city, it would make sense then that there is more allergy and asthma in the countryside. Right? No, wrong! Allergies and asthma are far worse in the city than they are in the country.

Several things contribute to this: 1.Pavement makes a poor pollen trap. Pollen in the city often lands on pavement where wind can cause it to become airborne again. In naturally vegetated areas where there is much more vegetation, pollen often lands on and becomes stuck in grasses, shrubs and vines or in trees. 2.Cities have more air pollution, which weakens the immune system and lung function. 3.Stress, which is generally higher in cities, can contribute to both asthma and allergy development. 4.Increased carbon dioxide levels within cities causes pollen-forming plants to produce more pollen with each bloom cycle, and also often causes urban plants to bloom more often. 5.Pollen loads are actually far greater in cities because there is a sexual imbalance within the plant community. In the city there is a preponderance of male trees and shrubs, while in the rural areas there is almost always a complete balance of plant sexuality.

 

The excess of male plants in the city results in an excess of pollen. 6.The very lack of female plant materials in the urban environment also is a prime factor in the epidemic of allergy and asthma. Female flowers carry an electrical negative (-) charge (the trees are grounded with their roots) and airborne pollen holds a positive (+) charge. The tree and the pollen are mutually attractive; thus a female plant becomes a very effective pollen trap for pollen of its own species. But with almost no female trees and shrubs in modern landscapes, most of the pollen remains airborne.

 

Because his hair was so thick, and he was born with lots of it, cradle cap was also an issue we had to deal with. Professionals kept recommending baby oil to remove the buildup of skin. Baby Oil is a mineral oil. Essentially a petroleum by-product. Yuck. So again with a little research I read about the benefits of Grapeseed oil. This oil is rich in vitamins E, C, beta carotene, as well as omega fatty acids. Great for all skin types, and famous for cell regeneration and moisturizing. Not only was this oil loosening the dry skin scales, but when I applied it to his hair it absorbed right into his skin. I didn't have 'greasy head' concern with this amazing oil. It's quick absorption also told me it was going to work where it was needed. When breastfeeding, I realized it is common for dad's to feel a little left out of their new baby's life.

How to Improve Health and Air Quality through Tree Selection Landscaping to reduce allergies, especially pollen allergies, is an idea that is coming into its own. In the past few years several books have been written on the subject and interest is growing rapidly. With the addition of OPALS™, (Ogren Plant-Allergy Scale) arborists now have a means to design allergy-free plantings. This scale ranks all landscape plant materials on a simple 1 to 10 allergy basis. Trees that produce zero pollen, e.g., female cultivars, usually rank the best - number one. Trees that have abundant, highly allergenic pollen, especially those with very long bloom periods, are usually ranked the worst - in the 9-10 range. There are many trees and shrubs, however, that fall somewhere in between. Using a list of over 100 factors, OPALS™ numerically ranks each species and then further ranks the individual cultivars. There are often dramatic allergy differences even between two species in the same genus.

How Are Plants Allergy-Ranked? OPALS™ was developed based on the following considerations: "What do plants that are well known to cause allergies have in common?" and "What do plants that are well known NOT to cause allergies have in common?" With these two questions it was possible to build two opposing sets of medical-botanical-allergy criteria. One set is positive and one set is negative. Examples of negative criteria: tiny flowers, excerted stamens, small (less than 25 microns in diameter) sized pollen grains, extended bloom period. Examples of positive criteria: complete flowered, sticky, heavy pollen grains, presence of nectaries, brief bloom period. There are now over a hundred criteria used to develop OPALS™ rankings. Individual landscapers, city arborists, the USDA and the American Lung Association have already use the scale to make better landscaping decisions.

 

Based on the plant-allergy scale it is now possible to state, for example, that Acer rubrum - 'Red Sunset' maple, is ranked number one and causes no allergies. By comparison, 'Autumn Spire,' a male cultivar of red maple does cause allergies and is ranked number nine. Most Pine trees will rank at numbers 4 to 5 and will cause some allergy. Platanus species (sycamore) rank number eight, and cause quite a bit of allergy. A male Canary Island Palm, Phoenix canariensis, which is considered one of the worst at a ranking of 10, will produce an abundance of pollen that will cause severe allergic reactions to many living nearby. Pollen dispersal rates have been measured since 1972 (Gilbert Raynor, NY meteorologist) and although many pollen grains travel far in the air, research shows that most often 99% of a tree's pollen falls out and sticks within fifty feet of the tree. This means that the closer one is to the pollinating tree the greater the exposure. Thus, the job for arborists is to plant trees that will not expose everyone near them to allergenic pollen.

So, How Do You Tell the Boys from the Girls? It isn't always that obvious by looking at a tree (especially a young tree) as to whether or not it is a pollen-free female or a pollen-producing male. But since so many city trees are now asexually produced cultivars, the sex is predetermined. In the book Allergy-Free Gardening, which is the result of 15 years of research on this subject, several thousand trees were individually sexed and allergy-ranked. In some cities, pollen control ordinances are already on the books, although most of these could be improved an updated. Albuquerque, New Mexico is particular interesting, since it has attempted to curb allergies by prohibiting the sale and planting of any male cultivars. As the public grows more knowledgeable about allergy-free landscapes, municipal arborists and landscape specialists will want to be ahead of the curve. They will want to show their clients that they are well-informed on the subject. In the future, instead of planting high allergy-trees, they will need to plan and plant 'healthy' urban landscapes.

References: 1.Lewis, Walter H., Airborne and Allergenic Pollen of North America, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland, 1976. 2.Jacobson, Arthur Lee, North American Landscape Trees, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, California, 1996. 3.Koch, Christopher Von, Allergy, Die Woche, pg. 27, July 7, 2000, Hamburg, Germany. 4.Dworschak, Manfred, Der Spiegel, Feind am StraBenrad, Pp. 174, 175, Nr. 29, 2000. 5.Ogren, Thomas Leo, Turn Back the Pollen Clock, New Scientist, London, Pp. 46, 47, June 3rd, 2000.

 

Thomas Ogren is the author of Allergy-Free Gardening, Ten Speed Press. Tom does consulting work on plants and allergies for the USDA, county asthma coalitions, and the Canadian and American Lung Associations. He has appeared on HGTV and The Discovery Channel. His book, Safe Sex in the Garden, was published in 2003. In 2004 Time Warner Books published his latest book: What the Experts May NOT Tell You About: Growing the Perfect Lawn. His website: www.allergyfree-gardening.com

Using Natural Skincare to combat Allergies & Eczema

Using Natural Baby Skin Care to combat Eczema and Allergies By Karen McCafferty All my life I have been a girl of self indulgence. I just loved baths, creams and body sprays, with one major problem, I was severely allergic to those chemical laden products, and was left using so called pure soaps that still left me with dry skin that was often accompanied by a rash. With a chemistry and nursing background, I soon learned enough about skin conditions and the chemical makeup of some of those product out on the market. I knew that I could enjoy my baths & creams once again by making it all myself. I started off just making some simple soaps and mineral baths. The difference in my skin, especially on my face was incredible. Next I began working on cream recipes that would combat the excess oil problem I have. With my own little creations done, I was thrilled to indulge once again. Because I know that I am not the only woman in the world that loves to pamper herself, my little creations made excellent birthday and other holiday gifts. Soon these gifts turned into gifts for friends of friends.

 

People kept telling me that I should be in business, as my products were great. Sure I thought, I was already working a 'real job' and knew I simply did not have time to start my own business. Eventually, while on maternity leave from work, Spring Rain Botanicals ( www.springrainbotanicals.com ) was officially born. Pregnant with my first child I was both excited and scared as most of us are with the first baby on the way. With my nursing background I know the implications of having chemicals cross the blood barrier via the placenta. Pregnant for the first time, I was amazed to learn what suddenly can become a toxin to your unborn child. Most of us know of the obvious, like cigarette smoke.

 

Have you ever thought of the effects, whether short or long term, of the chemicals in your skincare products? Probably because I have always had to be so careful in what I choose to apply to my body, I have thought about those chemicals. Since I was already making my own skin care I knew that I could also make things I needed for my pregnancy and childbirth. I created rich belly butter to combat stretch marks and leg cramp cream to combat my sciatica problems. Breastfeeding my child was important to me, and listening to other moms I know of the impending problems I could have.

 

So needless to say a Nipple ointment that would protect AND heal would be essential to my life. When my first child came along, I knew there was a good chance that he too would have my remarkable DNA for being allergic to everything. I had also made the decision to use cloth diapers on my children and needed a product that would wash off the cloth well, if you have tried any zinc creams you will know they do not wash off without allot of effort. I started off making a diaper area and all over body cream. I researched constantly to come up with the most beneficial ingredient that would make this cream actually be effective. Shea Butter would definitely be the answer.

 

Rich in vitamins A and E, as well as essential fatty acids, Shea butter would not only heal skin but protect it as well. Now there is no reason to be so concerned about protecting baby's delicate skin if you are going to turn around and use those commercial wipes made with drying alcohol on your little angel. So here too I developed an all natural baby wash made with a pure herbal derivative of lavender. Not once did my son ever have a diaper rash or heat rash. His skin always looked fresh, clear, and he always smelled nice, best of all it was done naturally. Living in a world of chemical laden products, excessive pollution and the overuse of pesticides, I was determined not only to help keep my children's allergies suppressed but to also give them as pure of a start to life as possible. Realistically, the majority of the allergies that we have are to the chemicals and pollution that we live with on a daily basis.

 

This is something I would never of thought of before I had children. Using a few drops of Lavender Essential oil to help calm and soothe in the Grapeseed oil , we massaged our son nightly and it amazing how peacefully he went to sleep. Not once did one of our children fuss at bedtime or cry themselves to sleep. Bedtime was an enjoyable as well as relaxing time of day, not all parents can say this. Daddy was happy too as he finally felt a part of our baby's life, as he was the one mainly performing the massages after I nursed. Massage not only leaves your baby soft , but massage also stimulates your baby's brain. Stimulation of the brain encourages growth & mental development. Children who have had this kind of contact at a young age also grow into more self confident and content individuals.

 

At school age, both of our children still enjoy having their backs rubbed at night to get to sleep, and still to this day bedtime is enjoyable. I believe that because we put massaging them from birth as an important aspect in their life, today they are affectionate, happy and secure children. Of course we know that other factors have contributed, but I totally believe in infant massage, especially as they still enjoy it at school age. Shortly after my second son was born it became evident that he had a hereditary skin condition called Eczema. Because my mother in law was already using my Baby Body Butter to combat her Eczema, I knew exactly what would work. We have been able to totally suppress his Eczema since birth. I have also been selling my products to consumers in Japan ( www.yackattack.com ).

 

They have a serious problem of atopic eczema ( atopy ) with their children, and I am proud to say my products have been very effective in their country. Since they love to play outdoors, I wanted to ensure that my children were protected. Due to the controversy of the appropriate level of deet to use on children, not to mention it is a pesticide, I wanted my children to be protected naturally. I knew this could be done with pure essential oils, as historically groups like our native Indians have been using plant extracts for centuries. Bye Bye Buggy is an effective way to keep you and your family 'bite free'. We have been using it faithfully for over five years now and now so do many families. We debuted a new product this year called Bye Bye SUN. This is a natural mineral based titanium dioxide sunscreen. Unlike commercial sunscreens that protect you from UVA & UVB rays with chemicals that sink into your skin, our sunscreen provides a physical sunblock by applying an invisible 'film' to you skin. The microfine titanium dioxide actually reflects the suns rays, UVA and UVB, away from your skin. It does need to be reapplied every 2-3 hours, and more so after swimming or excessive perspiration.

 

Applied properly, it is an effective sunscreen. Like any sunscreen, it is meant to be used in conjunction with minimized exposure and proper clothing such as hats, long sleeve shirts, etc. Best of all it can be safely used on children over 4 weeks of age. We recommend that our sunscreen have a SPF of 15- 18, based on the directions from the manufacturer of the titanium dioxide. The Shea butter we use in the cream also contributes to the SPF as it has a natural SPF value of between 6- 8. Because we use natural ingredients to maintain our SPF, we cannot put and exact SPF level on our product by Health Canada Standards. We use this product most importantly on ourselves and our children, you can trust it on yours. Bye Bye SUN is created using the same Shea Butter cream base as our Baby Body Butter, so it is safe & healing for skin conditions such as Eczema & Psoriasis. Although Spring Rain Botanicals ( www.springrainbotanicals.com ) started out as a safe way to pamper myself, the heart of the company centers around the Baby and Pregnancy products which are truly my passion. Since they were created for my own pregnancy and babies, you can trust Spring Rain Botanicals line of amazing products. Enjoy ! For further Information you can contact Karen McCafferty, owner of Spring Rain Botanicals. Km@springrainsoaps.com www.springrainbotanicals.com PO Box 257 Fonthill, Ontario CANADA L0S 1E0 905 892 2944

 

Sef made business woman uses personal experience to help others with their allergies & skin conditions

 

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