Having lived in a hot climate and on a boat for a number of years, the weather and remoteness meant that we hadn’t succumbed to colds and flu viruses very often if at all. Obviously alternatively in that climate there was always the regular impact of many other much more - what some might consider 'exotic' - bugs and mosquito borne infections to consider, avoid or take preventative measures against.
On returning to the UK last year, my daughter thought she was literally dying as she succumbed to an all too common UK climate related ailment, until I explained that she had actually caught something called ‘flu’ and she would soon get better.
It’s lovely to live back in Europe and experience the changing seasons again. Whilst the very hot and humid wet season followed by the very hot dry season may seem like a dream environment to many, when coupled with the 24/7 mosquitoes and noseeums (midges to you!) it does become somewhat wearing after a while.
Right now, in December during the run up to Christmas, we are in the midst of these wet, dark, cold winter days - though the days will start getting longer again very soon - it’s important that we take extra special care to stay warm, hydrated and keep our immune systems strong.
When we do contract colds, flus and need some respiratory support, then our ‘Breathe Easy Balm’ comes to the rescue. Unlike other popular brands, it has no mineral based ingredients from unsustainable sources.
It is not widely recognised that in many other similar, possibly more familiar, products on the market contain a mineral oil which is not made from minerals at all but ‘is a liquid by-product of the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline and other petroleum-based products from crude oil’. This may well have been refined for cosmetic use but nonetheless it is still a petroleum product.
This mineral oil is said to be ‘comedogenic’ which mean that too much can clog your pores and overall it is a very cheap cosmetic ingredient that isn’t offering your skin many benefits, except possibly some moisturising. Conversely when you use a natural, sustainable plant derived oil bases product that don’t cost the earth either, then this natural moisturising is a benefit automatically gained.
For our Breathe Easy Balm we use organic Coconut oil (see our blog here that has a long list of amazing benefits and the list keeps growing as scientists discover more benefits) as well as locally farmed, sustainable rapeseed oil, a little organic Jojoba oil for longevity and vegan rice bran wax to create a simple and effective balm.
Added to these fine natural ingredients we have included essential oils to create a decongestant based blend that promotes the feeling of our airways opening up. This is down to the natural components found in these oils, including ‘1, 8 cineole’, a natural product which is also known as ‘Eucalyptol’.
Not only is this component found in Eucalyptus but it is also present in other essential oils, including Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) and Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora, a tree native to Japan, Taiwan and parts of China which was later introduced to Australia by European settlers. It has had a wide range of usage over the centuries including being used to build ships and temples and gives off the scent of camphor when the leaves are crushed.
We have also included Peppermint oil, also offering respiratory support along with antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties as well as menthol crystals (found naturally in the Mint plant family), used in aromatherapy and also reputed to temporarily relieve nasal congestion, alleviate fever symptoms, coughs, headaches and sinus discomforts.
Together these powerful ingredients work well to calm inflammation, clear congestion and mucus, reduce allergy symptoms and help support the body’s overall immunity. You can use it as often as you need to be supported.
That's all for now - so stay warm and have a very Merry Christmas!
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