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!

 

 

 

 

We’re Moved In…Mostly!

Hey Gang!

Jeebus almighty it’s been two months already?! Well sorry to keep you waiting! Moving in was, shall we say, a unique experience. But we’re back, mostly unpacked and getting ready to gear things up for the fall and winter seasons!

To celebrate the fact that we’ve liberating the majority of our things from the moving boxes were having a sale! “A sale for what” you might ask. Everything! That’s right! The Raw Spa Store is open again and absolutely everything is for sale! And it’s going to stay on sale all through October! So jump on in and check us out!

Oh and if you’d like to see pictures of the landfill turned post apocalyptic war-zone that is our apartment, pictures are incoming soon!

Stay crunchy!

Mack and Guy at The Raw Spa

Mack adds this disclaimer “Let them know that we’ll be adding more things to the store, but they won’t all be on sale. It’s just all the things I put in this week. Oh! and give them a 10% off coupon code!”

 

Here is your 10% off coupon code: SUPERGREEN

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…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… 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.