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!

 

 

 

 

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WTF is…Sugar?!

Oh man, here it is. The big one. The greatest thing or the greatest evil depending on who you ask. Love it or hate it, the fact is we can’t live without sugar in some way, shape or form. There’s a lot of ground to cover here but don’t worry. For you we’ll keep it short and sweet.

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Every modern child’s dream. Every modern adult’s nightmare. Image via en.wikipedia.org.

So let us start with origins. Sugar has been produced in India since ancient times, and we’re talking REALLY ancient. Like 8th century Chinese manuscripts BC ancient. For a while sugar wasn’t really a big deal. People chewed raw sugarcane to get their sweet fix. It wasn’t until the Indian people discovered methods of turning sugarcane juice into granulated crystals that it really took off. Fun fact: in the local Indian language the crystals were called khanda, which is the source of the word candy.

Now when it comes to sugar in terms of health things get a bit…complicated. To summarize just about everything from both sides of the fence: sugar is kind of good for you and kind of bad for you. Unfortunately modern science is unable to determine sugars effect on the human body since they don’t have a large enough population to run the appropriate tests. Essentially since EVERYONE eats sugar in some way, shape or form we can’t get a definite measure of how it effects the human body when ingested.

Fortunately for us, and you, we DO know it’s effects when applied topically! Sugar is primarily used on our skin as an exfoliant. The nature of the sugar granules make it ideal for scrubbing off layers of dead skin. It is also a humectant and draws moisture into the skin from the air.

We here at The Raw Spa  offer a unique alternative to conventional sugar scrubs that come in jars. For our sugar scrubs come in bars! Namely our Spice Merchant exfoliating sugar bars not only smell great but can be applied with a little water to provide a gentle but deeply exfoliating experience.

Speaking of merchants, if you’d like to try some of our products, come visit us on our store page here!

We’ve also got a patreon! If you become a patron not only will you get monthly product, but you’ll also sleep easy knowing that you’re helping two young adults maintain their coffee induced insomnia. Check it out here!

 

 

 

 

 

WTF is…Goats Milk?!

On the big long list of things we rub on our skin to make it happy, goats milk is one of the more straightforward ones. I mean, just because it’s sharp doesn’t mean we have to use it as an exfoliant. Oh I’m sorry was that too cheesy for your liking? Alright I’ll stop kidding around. Let’s talk about why goat’s milk is so *bleat*ing good for you.

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Could this goat get any glassier? Eh? Okay I’m done. Photo via sammysmilk.com

Question: How does traditional bar soap clean the body?

Answer: Without getting too technical, the chemicals that are typically used in bars of soap induce an extremely mild chemical burn to cleanse away all the dirt and grime (this is why soap stings when you get it in your eyes). In terms of cleanliness it is great! In terms of hygiene, it is absolute overkill. It’s like mowing your lawn with a flame thrower. Sure you’ll get the job done but in the end you’re left with a dry, barren and damaged surface.

Enter goats milk, the hypothetical lawn mower. Instead of burning off the top layer of skin, goats milk uses it’s alpha hydroxy acid to remove only the dead skin cells when applied topically. It also uses it’s vitamin A content to help repair damaged skin tissue. We could go on about the other bazillion ways goats milk is good for you, like how it is anti inflammatory,  a great source of essential minerals for your skin, yadda yadda yadda but let’s skip to the part where I show you where you can get some!

You’ll find goats milk all through our Cleopatra products from the Jewel of the Nile line! The bars and bath confections are all packed with goats milk, to leave your skin happy and healthy!

If that sounds like something you’d like to have, check out our store page here!

We’ve also got a Patreon! Help keep us happy and healthy (and caffeinated) by becoming a Patron here!

 

 

 

 

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… Honey?

Honey. What is not to love about honey? It has a pleasingly sweet taste and aroma. We use it in food, drink, and alchohol. Shoot, in america we go so far as to call loved ones by the nickname “Honey”. Honey even has a kind of cult status in the DIY natural health community, supposedly having the ability to help heal wounds and serve as a preservative. While we recommend you comb through the facts yourself, we here at the Raw Spa will give you just a tiny scoop (okay I’ll stop now).

Good old fashioned honey! Image via beesproducts.eu

Good old fashioned honey! Image via beesproducts.eu

To lets start from the basics. Honey is a thick substance created from nectar, mainly by honey bees of the genus Apis. For the sake of simplicity I’m going to call them honey bees… but they are, interestingly enough, not all bees. The honey bees collect nectar from various flora, convert it into honey through a method of partial digestion, and store it in a wax matrix (the honey comb) as a food source. Speaking of food source, honey is NOT especially nutritious all by itself. In fact honey is mainly devoid of essential nutrients, and contains only trace amounts of protein, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Honey: Put a lot on you, not so much in you. Image via www.modachicago.com

Honey: Put a lot on you, not so much in you. Image via http://www.modachicago.com

Now just because it’s not all that great for you inside does not mean it’s bad for you outside. It DOES contain ferulic acid and caffeic acid. Ferulic acid is a wonderful anti-oxidant and helps to moisturize skin, while caffeic acid offers both antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory properties. So it does have skin soothing, anarchist fighting – sorry, totally meant free radicals. What was I thinking?! – free radical fighting properties. As an added bonus, honey also acts a a humuctant, which is fancy-speak for saying that honey helps to draw moisture into the skin, as well as having softening properties.

This guy knows what we're talking about. Image via sfglobe.com and Blake Little

This guy knows what we’re talking about. Image via sfglobe.com and Blake Little

So while it’s no Philosopher’s Stone, it is pretty awesome stuff… and it is incredibly delicious! Did we mention that?

Now we here at the Raw Spa have a few products that use honey, specifically for the soothing properties it has on irritated skin. The Aftercare Skin Parfait, Aftercare Body Frosting from the Erotica Sensualis line and Green Nile Body Balm from the Jewel of the Nile line all pair honey with soothing raw aloe, to make for absolutely fabulous creams to slather all over your body. You can also find honey liberally swirled through all of the Cleopatra products- formulated for sensitive and/or damaged skin.

Check out our store Here! 

Also check out our weekly flash sales Here!

P.S. If you REALLY like honey and a lot of it check out this link here.

WTF is… Sesame Seed Oil?!

The sesame seed is hardcore: It’s plant is able to grow in drought, flood, and nutrient poor soils. It is one of the oldest seed crops known to humanity, at least 5000 years old. Heck, it is utilized across the planet as an edible, processed into a cooking oil and even utilized as a skin care product. So yeah, sesame seeds are the McGuyver of the crop scene, older than dirt and useful in just about every situation.

Nutty, sweet, and delicious little sesame seeds! Image via www.spiritofhealthkc.com

Nutty, sweet, and delicious little sesame seeds! Image via http://www.spiritofhealthkc.com

Sesame seeds have been in vogue for a very long time. Records from civilizations as old as Babylon and Assyria mention sesame, around 4000 years ago! Historically, sesame was favored for it’s ability to grow in areas where other crops refused to grow. In addition to being obscenely resilient, it is one of the worlds earliest condiments. Seeing as it is rich in calories, protein, dietary fiber, fats, B vitamins and dietary minerals can you really blame them for loving it so much?

Sesame oil ranges from colorless and odorless, to a rich gold, with a very subtle, nutty scent. Image via www.eatseed.com

Sesame oil ranges from colorless and odorless, to a rich gold, with a very subtle, nutty scent. Image via http://www.eatseed.com

When not being used on hamburger buns or as a cooking oil , sesame seed oil is a fantastic source of our old pals linoleic acid (a delightful moisturizer), oleic acid (a friendly neighborhood skin softener), and a new gang of pals, the phytosterols, which is great for softening skin, battling weather damaged skin and reducing inflammation.

Like the ancient Egyptians we use sesame seed oil in our product for it’s healing and restorative properties. Oasis Body Butter and Hatshepsut Skin Parfait, from our Jewel of the Nile line, are rich in sesame seed oils to soothe and moisturize your skin. Our Aftercare Whipped Buttercream, from the Erotica Sensualis line, also has sesame seed oil in it, to help soothe skin after strenuous activity.

All this week, all these guys are 10% off! So what are you waiting for?

Check out our store Here!

Also check out our sales page Here!

WTF is… Mango Butter?!

Mangoes for EVERYONE!!!! YIPPEE!!!! (Mack is obsessed with these yellow

Mangoes for EVERYONE!!!! YIPPEE!!!! (Mack is obsessed with these yellow “champagne ” mangoes…). Image via themetrognome.in

In addition to be absolutely delicious and fantastic smoothie filler did you know that mangoes are also good for your skin? The colorful party fruit of any good fruit salad is good for you inside and out! As an edible Mangoes supply you with plenty of vitamin C and some folate but did you know that the oil derived from it’s seeds, known as Mango Butter, is great for soothing skin?

Let’s start at the beginning. Mango butter (or mango oil) comes from the mango seeds, the fruit of which is grown in tropical areas all over the world, with the largest producer by far being India. Mangoes are a large part of Indian culture, religion and daily life. Heck, the national fruit of India is the mango! In India, the mango fruit is eaten and prepared as a cuisine, dried mango skins and seeds are used as medicines, leaves of the mango tree are used as decorations for holidays and celebrations… The list goes on! Is it any wonder that here at The Raw Spa, we love using it as well?

Super soothing, rich and creamy mango Butter. We especially like trying to pair it with raw aloe for super soothing skin balms. Image via brambleberry.com

Super soothing, rich and creamy mango Butter. We especially like trying to pair it with raw aloe for super soothing skin balms. Image via brambleberry.com

The mango butter we use in our product is an excellent source of oleic acid (a great skin softener), stearic acid (good for moisturizing and keeping our skin flexible), and the xanthone Mangiferin which is a fantastic anti-oxidant in addition to having anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Our Aftercare products from the Erotica Sensualis line uses mango butter to help with soothing the skin after certain rigorous activities (wink).

And the Green Nile body balm as well as all our Selene products from our Jewel of the Nile line are rich in mango butter to keep your skin as smooth and supple as Egyptian royalty.

Our new twist this season is trying mango butter in “It’s Alive!!”, as part of our Things That Go BUMP! line.

All this week, all our mango butter laden products are 10% off! Be sure to try some today!