Tag Archives: hazards

A GIFT FROM NATURE: VEGETABLE OILS

Some of the absolutely best products nature offers are fats and oils. They are rich in all kinds of minerals, vitamins and pure life-force. We  use vegetable oils and fats in our daily life without even thinking about it as an essential part of health. Just as a pure, unadulterated cold-pressed vegetable oil can bring positive results to our health, so can “treated” oils be outright health-hazards.

There are oils and oils…

  • Mineral oils: Also called vaseline, paraffin. They are a bi-product from the petrochemical industry (together with diesel, plastic, asphalt and much more…). They are widely used by the cosmetics industry as they are cheap and stable. Most baby-oils are mineral-oil with a bit of perfume. Mineral oils clog the pores and halts normal skin-function. They might seem softening at first, but over time mineral-oil deteriorates the skin, leaving it dry and brittle. Mineral oils contain nothing whatsoever that is beneficial to humans and they come from a non-renewable source. This is NOT a vegetable oil!
  • Cold pressed vegetable oils: Seeds and nuts are pressed in mills without any added heat, though the friction of the mill can after some time create heat up to 70 degrees celsius, hence the different “degrees” of cold-pressed oils. For high-quality cold-pressed vegetable oils, smaller amounts are pressed each time, so as not to create friction-heat. The yield is lower than when heat is used and these oils are usually pressed by small growers or millers. The remaining pulp is used as animal-fodder. After filtering the oil is bottled. These oils have their own specific scent and color and they contain essential fatty acids, minerals and vitamins. If stored properly (cool and dark) the shelf-life is 1-3 years, depending on the amount of mono and unsaturated fatty acids in the oil.
  • Heat pressed vegetable oils: Seeds and nuts are ground to a pulp and heated to about 100 degrees celsius. The heated pulp is then pressed to extract the oil. By heating, more oil can be extracted. The remaining pulp is then re-heated and re-pressed to yield as much oil as possible. After extraction the oils are centrifuged to remove particles.
  • Extraction: This method is often used together with heat-pressing to extract the maximum amount of oil possible. A solvent, Hexane , is used to extract the oil. The raw material (pulp) is mixed with hexane, filtered and distilled. Since hexane has a lower boiling-point than the oil, it becomes gaseous and is distilled off, only to be collected and re-used since it turns into  a liquid once it’s cooled.
  • Refining: This is done with all vegetable oils that are used by cosmetics and  food-industry (heat-pressed and solvent-extracted oils).
  1. Lecithin and proteins are removed with the help of phosphor or citric acid.
  2. Fatty acids are removed with the help of lye (caustic soda), which creates a kind of soap that is washed out with water. Then the oil is vaccum-dried.
  3. Bleaching is done by mixing the oil with oxygen-activated mud which is then filtered off.
  4. Deodorising is done to remove scent and taste from the oil. It is done by low-pressure steam-boiling at a temperature of 200 degrees celsius.

There are a few more processes that the oil might go through before being sent off to its destination. Would you ever want to eat or use these processed products? Not only do they contain NOTHING of value, they might as well be harmful. Many years ago there was a scandal in Spain concerning vegetable oils, people died. The reason was that the lye used to refine the oil was not properly removed…the lye corroded the intestines of these people.

A cold-pressed vegetable oil will cost a little bit more, it will be less stable – going rancid with time or bad storage. It will have a taste and scent. Knowing this, do you really believe that you should use the oils you find in the supermarket? The ones sitting on the shelves in a warm and light environment? The ones with no taste, smell or color? I distrust everything that doesn’t go bad over time.


My friend and mentor Jan Kusmirek has written a wonderful book on vegetable oils called “Liquid Sunshine“. You can find it here.

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Avoid Certain Additives in Baby Skincare Products

You should read the ingredients of your baby”s skincare products very carefully to avoid certain ingredients that are potentially harmful. This includes shampoos, lotions, bath soaps and creams. Some of these ingredients may even be contained in “natural” products.

Here”s a handy list of synthetic ingredients to avoid in baby”s products:

* Alcohol: This harsh additive can make body tissues more vulnerable to carcinogens. Special note: Check your mouthwash to make sure it doesn”t contain alcohol; if it does, throw it out and purchase a brand that doesn”t. This is one of the number one ways that toddlers are poisoned in the household.

* Alpha hydroxyl acid: This removes the skin”s protective barrier, which can result in long-term skin damage.

* Animal fat, or tallow: Lye and animal fats and lye are found in many bar soaps, which can be a breed bacteria.

* Collagen: This is an insoluble protein derived from animal skins. The protein is too large to actually penetrate the skin, therefore it forms a filmy layer that can suffocate the skin.

* Diethanolamine, or DEA: This is a crystalline alcohol that is often used as a solvent, emulsifier, emollient and detergent; it is a common ingredient in skin lotions. DEA can irritate the skin and mucous membranes. It also reacts in products that also contain nitrates to form potentially carcinogenic nitrosamines. You should also avoid triethanolamine, TEA, and monoethanolamine, or MEA.

* Elastin of high molecular weight: Like collagen, this is derived from animal sources and can suffocate the skin.

* Glycerin: Unless the air humidity is above 65 percent, glycerin draws moisture from the lower layers of the skin and retains it on the surface; this has the effect of drying skin from the inside out. But glycerin is completely harmless in toothpaste given the mouth”s natural moisture.

* Kaolin: This is a fine white clay that is actually used to produce porcelain. It suffocates and weakens the skin.

* Lanolin: This substance is extracted from wool; it is often contained in lotions.

* Lye: Lye is a highly concentrated solution of sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide. It is often mixed with animal fats to produce bar soap, which can corrode and dry skin.

* Mineral oil: This is a petroleum derivative. It forms an oily film over skin to retain moisture, but traps toxins and wastes; this suffocates normal skin respiration.

* Petrolatum: Like mineral oil, this is also petroleum-based and likewise keeps oxygen out of the skin.

* Propylene glycol: This form of mineral oil is also found in automatic brake fluid, hydraulic fluid, and industrial antifreeze! Would you want to rub those on your baby? Propylene glycol is a strong skin irritant; it can also cause liver abnormalities and kidney damage.

* Sodium lauryl sulfate, or SLS: This is a harsh detergent used in garage floor cleaners, engine degreasers and auto cleaning products! SLS can prevent your baby”s eyes from properly developing. It”s also a common skin irritant. It”s also rapidly absorbed by the eyes, brain, heart, and liver; it can also slow healing and cause cataracts in adults.

* Sodium laureth sulfate, or SLES: This is an alcohol form of SLS; it is slightly less irritating but more drying. SLS and SLES can react with other ingredients to cause potentially carcinogenic formations of nitrates and dioxins. A large amount of nitrates can enter the blood stream during one shampooing.

* Talc: This soft gray-green mineral can be harmful if inhaled; it is recognized as a potential carcinogen.

(Source; http://www.thefreelibrary.com)