BEARBERRY, or uva ursi, is a small and evergreen shrub belonging to the plant order Ericaceae. Contains many healthful constituents, such as hydroquinones and arbutin (which reduce skin pigmentation). Bearberry is known to inhibit skin cells to produce melanin pigments by inhibiting the tyrosinase activity by reducing melanin biosynthesis - effectively lightens age spots and dark skin areas. Constituents: Hydroquinone glycosides (4-15%): arbutin, methyl arbutin. Polyphenols, hydrolyzable tannin, flavonoids (quercetin), resin, acids (ursolic, gallic, ellagic), allantoin, volatile oil (triterpene alkaloids).
BEESWAX is known to lock in moisture, foster cells, and protect skin from damaging environmental factors. Effectively softens skin and creates a long-lasting protective coating against the elements. It also is a naturally nourishing moisturizer. Beeswax's anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-allergenic, and germicidal antioxidant properties make it beneficial for wound healing. Even after processing, beeswax remains a biologically active product, retaining some anti-bacterial properties. It is reported that beeswax contains some vitamin A, which is necessary for healthy cell development.
BERGAMOT possesses a lovely light, fresh, floral citrus aroma that is uplifting, rejuvenating and balancing. It is known to be potentially useful in the treatment of improving the appearance of scars and stretch marks, improve blood circulation, help wounds heal faster, and relax nerves and muscles. Constituents: a-pinene, myrcene, limonene, a-bergapten, b-bisabolene, linalool, linalyl acetate, nerol, neryl acetate, geraniol, geraniol acetate, and a-terpineol.
[Precautions: Bergamot oil can cause burns when used on a sensitive skin which is then exposed to sunlight, as the high content of bergapten can cause photo-toxicity. It is advisable to keep out of the sun if this oil is used on the skin (leave on products).]
BILBERRY is a variety of blueberry; its dried leaves and fruit have been used in medicines for centuries to improve eyesight and treat eye conditions like cataracts. Juice benefits have a positive effect on blood vessels and are said to improve the circulation of blood to the eye. Pharmacology: Anthocyanins are antioxidant and blood vessel tonics which help to stabilize collagen and protect it during inflammation. Constituents: Flavonoids: anthocyanosides, tannin (7%), polyphenols (catechin, epicatechin), nutrients (Vitamin B1, C, beta carotene), pectin.
BIODYNAMIC agriculture is a method of organic farming that emphasizes the holistic development and interrelationships of the soil, plants, and animals as a self-sustaining system. It highlights the use of manures and composts and excludes the use of artificial chemicals on soil and plants. Methods unique to the biodynamic approach include an emphasis on integrating farm animals, the cultivation of crops, and the care of the land, the use of fermented herbal and mineral preparations as compost additives and field sprays, an emphasis from its beginnings on local production and distribution systems using local breeds and varieties and the use of an astronomical sowing and planting calendar.
BIOFLAVONOIDS (Vitamin P) strengthens capillaries, prevents oxidation of Vitamin C in the body, and enhances the properties of Vitamin C. Sources: Citrus fruit especially the pith, rose hips, green peppers, grapes, apricots, strawberries, black currants, cherries, prunes, buckwheat. Bioflavonoids are destroyed by cooking.
BIOTIN (Vitamin H) is essential in the metabolism of protein and fats. It helps to keep hair healthy and is an antiseptic. Sources: Brown rice, bran, soybeans
BIRCH essential oil has historically been used for medicinal purposes, primarily to ease muscular and joint pain. Native Americans in North America used birth extracts as a tonic, an anti-inflammatory, and a beverage that induces sweating as it contains the same active ingredient, methyl salicylate, found in aspirin. Its essential oil is extracted from the pulverized bark of the birch tree by using steam distillation or cold-press. Pharmacology: Volatile oils contain methyl-salicylates with antiseptic and aspirin-like effects.
BLACK SPRUCE a member of the Pine Family, is native to the northern regions of North America and has an intimate relationship with water and is used to treat "wet" conditions.
BOIS DE ROSE, also known as rosewood oil, is a mild oil that possesses a slightly spicy, floral aroma and is used as an ingredient in expensive perfumes. Used for general skin care in all types of skin, but especially for dry, mature, sensitive, and wrinkled facial skin. It maintains a healthy epidermis layer and is said to be a cell stimulant and tissue regenerator. Other benefits include preventing oily skin, and the oil acts as a perfect toner. It helps in reducing sebum formation and prevents breakouts such as pimples, boils, and blackheads. The oil is antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial; has an overall balancing effect; is used for nervous tension; and is believed to have aphrodisiac qualities.
BORAGE, also know as starflower, bears five-petal, deep-blue, star-shaped beautiful flowers in clusters. A very popular culinary herb in Mediterranean countries; contains many notable phytonutrients, minerals, and vitamins that are essential for optimum health and wellness. High levels of vitamin C antioxidant; gamma-linolenic acid for healthy skin and mucous membranes; vitamin A and carotenes to combat free-radicals that play a role in aging; minerals like iron and zinc for oxygenation of blood.
BORONIA FLOWER is a brownish pink, bell-shaped flower obtained from a small shrub that grows in the southern parts of Australia and Tasmania. This richly fragrant flower is related to the citrus family. It is highly prized due to its sophisticated aromatic properties that are incredibly complex and cannot be accurately mimicked by synthetic chemistry. Used for its uplifting properties and ability to calm the nervous system.
BULGARIAN ROSE see Rosa Damascena
BURDOCK ROOT has long been used as a blood purifier and diuretic, as historical texts suggest. Essential oils help to eliminate toxins from the body. It is also known to cleanse the liver. Has antibacterial and antifungal properties that help treat skin ulcers. Infusions can be applied externally to treat eczema. It helps boost overall immunity and calms arthritic pain. Pharmacology: Polysaccharides like mucilage & inulin are soothing to the digestive tract and immunostimulant. Polyacetylenes & Sesquiterpene lactone arctiopicrin is bitter glycoside and antibiotic.
BUTCHER'S BROOM is a relative of asparagus; its name derived from its historical use as a broom in European butcher shops. Butcher's broom is known to enhance blood flow to the brain, legs, and hands and has been used to relieve constipation and water retention and improve circulation. Chemicals in Butcher's broom attach to and strengthen certain parts of blood vessels, notably collagen. As a result, it tightens blood vessels, which helps to keep blood circulating throughout the body. It also acts to improve the flexibility of blood vessel walls. Pharmacology: Ruscogenins decrease vascular permeability to inflammation and cause vasoconstriction, reducing hemorrhage. The effect is partially on the venous system.