WTF is… Rhubarb?!

As a staple in any self-respecting witch doctors garden, rhubarb is a pretty useful plant. And much like old timey shamans, Rhubarb can be both incredibly healing and exceptionally toxic if used in certain ways. Bet you won’t look at a rhubarb pie the same way now! But don’t worry, I’ll tell you how you can safely get your fingers in this pie.

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Delicious? Deadly? Both?!  Picture via Wikipedia.org

Before we get to the pie eating, did you know that back in the day rhubarb was valued on the same scale as rubies, silk, and diamonds? In fact, at one point it was more valuable than opium.  That’s right, the humble rhubarb was more expensive than the great grand daddy of narcotics. So obviously it must have been like super crack or an aphrodisiac or both, right? Like a Supercrackadesiac? Actually, the cost of transportation across Asia made rhubarb expensive in medieval Europe. Don’t get me wrong though, rhubarb is still pretty awesome. It has been and is still used in traditional Chinese medicine, primarily as a laxative.

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This much rhubarb in medieval times could probably buy you a whole castle. Image via Wikipedia.org

But is it poisonous? Absolutely. Well actually, just one part of the rhubarb plant contains any toxins: the leaf. While eating rhubarb leaves at first will make you very sick, repeated ingestion can be lethal. So if someone offers you some rhubarb leaf tea, you should politely decline. Again, this is a PSA from The Raw Spa: DO NOT INGEST RHUBARB LEAVES!

Now we here at the Raw Spa recommend that you never eat any of our products (no matter how delicious they smell) but if you absolutely have to eat our soaps and things, you can do it without the worry of dying afterward. We use the root and stalk of the rhubarb plant to get all the good effects. Like the fact that rhubarb is astringent which means it can help to balance the oiliness of skin.

At the Raw Spa we use Rhubarb as part of our seasonal Farm Stand line, in particular our Rhubarb Crumble products! It marks the beginning of our Farm Stand line and can be found in our shop May of every year!

 

 

 

 

WTF is…Coffee?!

Look, let’s just lay it out on the table. The Raw Spa consists of two twenty-somethings who work hard everyday. We. Freaking. Love. Coffee. Look at the first goal of our Patreon and you’ll see just how much we love coffee. But in addition to downing a good old cup of joe, we like putting it in our products. No, we’re not THAT coffee crazy, but you may find the health benefits of coffee to be rather stimulating.

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What coffee is like to people who don’t drink it. Image via wikipedia.org

But first some fun facts. Just under half of the worlds supply of coffee comes from Brazil alone. Now those who REALLY know their coffee know that while Brazil’s coffee is tasty, it doesn’t have quite the punch that African coffee has. That’s because the strain of coffee plant that is exported from Africa has about 40-50% more of that special little chemical we know and love. That’s right! Caffeine!

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What coffee is like to people who DO drink it. Image via Sylvan Migdal.

Anyone who’s ever drank coffee, a coke, or any of the hundreds of energy drinks out there can attest to how caffeine affects the body when ingested. But what about topical application? You might ask if your skin will jump off and run away in a fit of frenzied over exuberance. To which we would reply: No, that’s just silly.

But products that have caffeine do serve as a stimulant and when applied to skin can increase blood circulation as well as reduce swelling and inflammation. Coffee grounds are also rough enough that they can be used as an ingredient in your daily exfoliant.

Now remember when I said we love coffee here at The Raw Spa? Well we love you more, and to prove it we sacrifice our beloved coffee to be added to products like Charlie Tango and Libertine from the Erotica Sensualis line so that your skin can have the stimulation and care it deserves! You can find all of our caffeinated products HERE!

Hey you! Do you like our blogs? If so you’ll love our Patreon! Check us out, we’ve got lots of stretch goals and fantastic rewards for contributers!

Feel free to check out our store here for all the products we mentioned and so much more!

 

WTF is…Coconut Oil?!

Let’s face facts: coconuts are useful. The meat inside the shell is tasty and nutritious, its husk and shells when burned and activated are extremely effective as a carbon filter, and in a pinch it can make an exotic fashion item. The oil derived from its meat is also super good for your skin in just about every way.

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Edible, drinkable, wearable, topical? Perfection. Image via dailynexus.com

 

Just to give you a little background, the origin of coconuts is a subject of much debate but nowadays most of them come from Philippines. Coconuts are woven deep into their economy and culture, with just about every part of the coconut and even parts of the tree being used in some capacity. They even have the Coconut Palace in Manila, a building made almost entirely of coconut as well as some other local materials. Talk about being coo coo for coconuts!

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So many! It’s coconuts! Image via wikipedia.org.

Now when it comes to coconut oil it’s just about as useful as the coconut itself. It’s been used in cooking, as biodiesel, as a repellent for sand fleas and, of course, skin care. As a skin care agent, it’s a great moisturizer for all types of skin. It can even help reduce protein loss when used in hair!

We here in The Raw Spa use coconut oil in our lotions and cream soaps for it’s skin soothing properties. It works well with cucumber in the Egyptian Cucumber Hydration Creme and with cocoa butter in the Oasis Body Butter to give you a powerful and most importantly, natural moisturization. Good news! You can check out our selection of coconut containing products HERE!

Check out our store here for all our other stuff! Exfoliation, moisturization, we’ve got it all!

You can also check out our Patreon here where we have some awesome rewards for our contributers and even better rewards for the planet when we hit certain stretch goals! We’re aiming to be the greenest company in the planet so what are you waiting for?     Drop on by and support us on Patreon!

WTF is…Citric Acid?!

We know what you must be thinking: “Citric acid? It must have something to do with lemons”. And you would be absolutely right! But not in the way you think. So let’s get the squeeze on citric acid.

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Almost but not quite. Image via wikipedia.org

So yes, citric acid naturally occurs in citrus fruits such as lemons, limes and oranges among other fruits. But most industrial-scale citric acid production does not come from lemons. You can thank American food chemist James Currie for that, who discovered that certain strains of mold can be efficient citric acid producers. It’s a win-win really. The mold gets to do what it does best and we don’t get scurvy.

Now citric acid is, duh, an acid. It’s why lemons and limes and other citrus fruits taste sour or tart. Fun fact: the sour sugar that coats candies like Sour Patch Kids is probably citric acid. Now because it is an acid it does corrode, and if you’ve never seen people do the Warheads candy challenge…well the resulting chemical reaction is not pretty. Or comfortable. One of us here at The Raw Spa speaks from experience.

If you want to see the effects go ahead but don’t say we didn’t warn you...

Speaking of The Raw Spa, we use citric acid in combination with baking soda to give all our bath products a pleasant fizz when they hit the water. All of our  Bath Truffles, Bath Cupcakes, Bath Bricks and Slick Bricks will fizz up like champagne when you put in in your bath and spread the rich ingredients in your water until there’s none left. You can check out our selection of fizzy products HERE! And yes, they are all on sale! 😉

Speaking of fizzy…okay, I actually didn’t have a silly pun for this one but you should still check us out on Patreon! We’ve got great rewards for those who contribute and lots of stretch goals so we can be the greenest company in the world! So drop on by and check us out!

Check our our store here for all the products mentioned in the blog and then some! 

WTF is…Pearl?!

In keeping with the theme of small shiny things that people go nuts over, this week we’ll be taking a peek at pearls! Pearls are synonymous with purity and radiance but did you know that it’s also good for your skin? Now before you go and break out grandma’s jewelry, there are a few things you should know. So let’s dive in!

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The most familiar usage of pearls. Image via wikipedia.org

 

Naturally occurring pearls are extremely rare. No two ways about it. But the majority of pearls found on the market are either imitation, cultured or farmed from pearl oysters. Cultured pearls are made by implanting a tiny spherical bead into the shell of an oyster, forcing it to coat the irritant in nacre and make a pearl.

What is narce you ask? Take any clam shell souvenir and look at the inside. If in addition to being smooth it is also iridescent then you are looking at narce. Also called mother of pearl, narce is a calcium carbonate coating that mollusks produce to protect themselves from irritants. On the inside of the shell the narce protects the soft interior from the roughness of the shell. And as we’ve discussed, if a bit of sand or anything gets in there…jackpot!

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Imagine opening hundreds of clams and finally finding THIS. Image via ice-epilepsy.org

Now cosmetically pearl powder has been in play for hundreds of years, and still is today. Usually made from pearls that are below jewelry grade, pearl powder is used in traditional Chinese medicine to improve the appearance of skin, as an anti-inflammatory and a detoxification agent. Ancient Chinese empress Wu Ze Tian used pearl powder on her skin AND internally, and was famed for her beauty and childlike skin.

We here at The Raw Spa have taken a leaf out of the book of traditional Chinese medicine and use pearl powder in Whips&Kisses from the Erotica Sensualis line to utilize it’s famed skin softening properties. You can find all of our radiant, pearl-packed products HERE!

Hey gang if you like out blogs you should consider supporting us on Patreon! We’ve got all sorts of great rewards for our contributers plus environmentally friendly stretch goals!

Check out our store here for all the products we’ve mentioned and more! 

WTF is… Marshmallow Root?!

Before you say anything, no you have not stepped into candy land. There are no gumball trees or lollipop bushes. The world is not like that scene in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.  I know, I know, my dreams are crushed too. But don’t get too down. It may not be what it says on the tin but marshmallow root is actually a pretty sweet plant.

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Why aren’t you candy?! WHY?! Image via en.wikipedia.org

Let’s just get this out of the way first. Yes, marshmallows can, and in some places still do, come from marshmallow root. In fact the use of the marshmallow plant, also known Althaea, to create sweet dates goes as far back as ancient Egypt. But the marshmallow plants use in sweets is not it’s claim to fame. Marshmallow root has been used throughout history as a medicine. It’s even in the name of it’s genus, Althaea, which comes from the Greek word “to heal”.

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Does look like an age old healing agent, amirite? Image via en.wikipedia.org

Medicinally marshmallow root has been used as an anti-inflammatory as well as a herbal remedy for respiratory problems. It’s medicinal properties come from a substance in it’s roots and leaves called mucilage. When mixed with water it forms a slick gel that is used for it’s anti-inflammatory properties.

We here at The Raw Spa try to take advantage of this age old medicine in our Aftercare bath cupcakes, bath salts and exfoliant bars from the Erotica Sensualis line. Utilizing other naturally soothing ingredients such as mango butter, and oats, our product will care for you skin with sweet and loving tenderness.

You can find all of the products with  marshmallow root HERE!

Hey guys and gals! If you like our posts, our products or just like us in general you should support The Raw Spa on Patreon here!

Feel free to check out our store here!

Keep your eyes peeled for the flash sale coming later this week!

Reunited and it feels so GOOD!

Hey gang!

So…yeaaaaah we were delayed a LOT longer than we originally anticipated. Our website problem only highlighted a whole bunch of other issues we already had with the store that we sort of brushed under the rug and when they returned they came back with vengeance.

But (mostly) everything is fixed and to show you how much we care and how sorry we are for putting you off for so long we MADE A FREAKING VIDEO!

How’s that for upping our game? A step in the right direction no? In the future we plan on making more silly videos of us making product and fooling around in the kitchen and maybe even footage of us at some live events!  Updates will be sporadic at first while we figure out how to make the moving pictures obey but this is a new thing that’s here to stay. There’s not much up there now but just you wait!

So make sure you check out The Raw Spa YouTube channel in addition to the blogs!

Speaking of new things, we’re currently designing a new booth set up for when we go to conventions and farmers markets. Our previous booth setup was very…well the best way to describe it is “cute”. It was pretty much a card table with a cloth over it and our display on top. Very lemonade stand if you know what I mean.

But NOW we’re transitioning from lemonade stand to full on travelling circus! And while we can gush and wax poetic about how cool it’s going to look for days, we’ll just say that there will be many, many pictures once it’s done.

Last thing, we know we’ve been dipping our toe into the whole Patreon thing. Little tag lines like “Support us on Patreon here“. But seriously, take a look and see what we have to offer. If you’re the kind of person we think you are, you’ll really like our stretch goals. And you’ll REALLY like what you’ll be getting for helping us out.

Thank you for bearing with us and our absenteeism this February. Everything will run smoothly from now on. Blogs are going back up once a week, flash sale notices will be regularly posted.

The Raw Spa is back!