COVID-19 update or The Tortoise & The Hare

Hi All,
We want to reassure you.

Yes, life is crazy, the world is crazy, it’s all crazy, but we at Ora’s Amazing Herbal are just keepin’ on slow and steady. You know, like the tortoise from Aesop’s Tortoise and the Hare.

Here is how we are doing it…

We shut down production for a few weeks when the first cases began to show in New Jersey so we could regroup and plan safe production. We are closely following the protocols of our health department and in an abundance of caution we have been taking the following measures.

We reduced our staff down to two, who had no suspected exposures, to complete order fulfillment over the past 2 weeks. They have otherwise been in self quarantine, like all of us, for safety.

All other staff have all been in self quarantine for over 2 weeks, including myself and Ronen (chief of production and husband), working from home.

We want you to know that we are all being very, very careful. So careful. Soooo careful that my house is cleaner than it has ever been! And so is my yard, and my socks are all paired up and my.. well, you get the idea….haha!

Ora At Home

And now, in this difficult and unsure time, I am very happy to say that this week, we will be going back into production!

We are very small, so we are still able to produce safely, albeit more slowly, with just a few people. Who knew being a microbusiness would be such a blessing!

We have always followed good manufacturing practices (GMP), but we are now being hyper vigilant. We communicate openly, directly, and often with each other to make sure we are all identifying any outside risk factors that need to be managed. If any staff feels they may be of risk, they work from home for 2 weeks.

We wash hands often and are now wearing gloves and masks as well. We sanitize and disinfect all equipment before each batch.

We know you are all washing hands often, practicing social distancing, and, in some cases, adhering to quarantine or stay at home orders. We hope our products and our online community can be of some comfort to you and your family at this time.

Remember, wash hands often and moisturize every time. Even a few drops of Moisturizing Body Oil after washing each time can make the difference between having healthy hands and cracked, dry painful hands. Prevention is key when hand washing is this frequent.

The aromatherapy session is likely much needed as well.

I recommend a major hand shmear session twice daily. Once in the morning with Ultra Healing Body Butter and once at night with Salve. In between, a few drops of Body Oil after each washing. I hope this helps!

Please be in touch with any questions or concerns at Email Us.

Thanks and BE WELL,
Ora

Dry Skin Basics: Which is better? Lotions, Creams or Salves

The high season for dry skin is in full swing and many of us are reaching for our tried and true skin soothing remedies. But which formula is best for your unique needs? Read on to discover whether you need a lotion, salve, or cream to deal with your dry winter skin woes.

Lotion

Lotions are an emulsion of water and oil which usually contain an emulsifier such as cetearyl alcohol in order to keep them smooth and prevent separation, as well as stabilizers to prolong shelf life. Lotions are lightweight, which means they can be easily spread across large areas of the body and absorb quickly. However, they don’t always provide enough protection for more serious dry skin because they have a lower oil content and can be washed off easily. Additives such as emulsifiers and stabilizers, and the mysterious non-specific ingredient “fragrance,” can also irritate skin. Alcohol and mineral oils can be drying to the skin, meaning you’ll need to reapply more frequently. If you are looking for a lightweight moisturizer make sure your lotion of choice contains only natural ingredients, and avoid chemical fragrances and long lists of additives that can be irritating to already dry skin.

Cream

Creams are the next step up in the moisturizing game, providing a higher concentration of oil to water and a longer lasting layer of moisture to protect your skin. They can still be applied to large areas and are a lifesaver for more severely dry skin. Creams can protect skin from the elements while providing moisture during this time of year when it is often cold and dry. Creams can also offer protection for skin which is repeatedly exposed to water due to necessary daily activities like frequent hand washing or washing dishes. Again, look for a product with only plant based oils and natural essential oil based fragrances, as opposed to petroleum based ingredients like mineral oil.

Salve

A salve is a semi-solid substance used to heal the skin. It is thicker than a cream and usually contains medicinal ingredients to promote healing. A salve can be applied to smaller areas of very dry skin such as dry hands, cracked heels, calloused elbows and knees, and even chapped lips. It can also be used for cuts, scrapes, burns, or other areas in need of concentrated topical protection. If space is at a premium, keeping a salve on hand is the best option because it can be used for so many different skin issues. An all natural salve can even be spread very thinly across any dry skin area to offer healing protection. An herb infused plant based salve like Ora’s All Purpose Salve is an excellent addition to every medicine cabinet, purse, and first aid kit. It is great to have on hand for dry hands and many other daily uses, and makes a wonderful gift, because everyone’s skin needs a little extra healing attention!

Further Reading:
Doyle, Kathryn (2013-12-12). “Some skin creams bad news for eczema”. Reuters.

Remington, Joseph Price (2006), Beringer, Paul (ed.), Remington: The Science And Practice Of Pharmacy (21st ed.), Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, p. 772, ISBN 978-0781746731.

“Moisturizing 101: Cream vs Lotion”

Ceramides and their importance to skin health

Lipids are essential for our skin to build up a protective barrier and retain water. Hydrated, protected skin looks and acts more supple, ages more slowly, and gives you that coveted, natural glow. A family of nine ceramides is present in human skin and they account for 50% of its lipid weight.

Because the positive skincare effects that come from healthy levels of ceramides are in high demand, companies have found ways to create manufactured pseudo-ceramides. Having increased levels of manufactured ceramides inside the body can signal oxidative stressors and lead to increased cell death! These pseduo-ceramides diverge substantially in molecular structure from what is naturally occurring.

Natural ceramides found in a variety of plants and herbs are far more similar to what’s already present in our skin. When natural ceramides enter the body, it’s much less likely they will hurt healthy skin cells. This is due to the fact that they are nearly cell-impermeant, which simply means unable to pass through the cell membrane. Natural ceramides provide all of the external benefits of enhancing our protective skin barrier, without the threat of adverse cellular damage.

Calendula (for example) is scientifically proven to increase sphingomyelinase levels in skin. Sphingomyelinase is an enzyme that’s responsible for catalyzing the breakdown of sphingomyelin to ceramide and phosphorylcholine. More sphingomyelinase means more ceramides, which means a stronger, healthier protective barrier for the skin. In one of our other blogs about Calendula, here, we dig deep into all of the skin benefits made possible by this super plant. The promotion of blood flow, reduction of inflammation, antioxidant protection, protection against UV rays, and increased hydration are just a few ways that natural ceramides work wonders for our skin.

Harmful chemicals damage skin and create bad long-term skin health implications on a cellular level. At Ora’s Amazing Herbal, we believe that natural ingredients are underused in the skincare industry. We continuously strive to educate consumers as to the healing & harming ingredients in products they buy.

Our skincare products are all natural, all herbal, all amazing products that keep your skin functioning at its best potential. Click here to see our products containing Calendula that provide naturally occurring ceramides.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23579450

https://www.mdedge.com/dermatology/article/57913/aesthetic-dermatology/ceramides/page/0/1

https://patentimages.storage.googleapis.com/0e/38/45/5de34ce68850e0/US7585518.pdf

https://chestnutherbs.com/calendula-sunshine-incarnate-an-edible-and-medicinal-flower/

Find The Perfect Meaningful Gift By Answering These 10 Questions

Natural Skin Care Gift Ideas

The science is clear, giving gifts to others makes us happy. When we give, our brain releases endorphins and dopamine (feel good chemicals). When an occasion to give to someone I love rolls around, I feel like there is magic in the air (or maybe it’s just the happiness from all the giving going on!). I strive to give gifts that make people’s heart sing, that are good for them, and good for the world we live in. It’s a tall order, so I created a nifty checklist to help. 

1. Is it thoughtful? I always tailor my gift based on who is receiving it. I think back to previous conversations or experiences to get ideas of what they want or a future need. Some things, like gift boxes, I can customize just for that person to include their favorite scents or products.

2. Does it encourage healthy habits? I want everyone in my life to be the best version of themselves. I have an opportunity to encourage and support my loved ones to take better care of themselves.

3. Is it sustainably sourced? Made in the USA? Where things come from matters to me. I have the opportunity to make sure each ingredient comes from companies that are socially, ethically, and environmentally sound each time I make a purchase.

4. Is it free from nonsense? I like my products like I like my people, non-toxic. To me that means making sure things are free from paraben, dyes, artificial scents or “fragrance”. I would never want to give someone a product I wouldn’t use myself.

5. Is it from a Woman owned business? A small business? I want my girls growing up to see strong women who show them they can run a business, be what they want when they grow up, and have a family (if they want one!).

6. Is it from a company that’s socially and ethically responsible? I support businesses who pay their employees a living wage, treat
them well, and uphold my values of equality and justice.

7. Is the packaging environmentally friendly? Gift giving can leave us with a lot of unwanted waste. I search for things that are packaged in glass or post consumer recycled plastics, and try to make sure the outside packaging is both post consumer recycled and recyclable itself.

8. Is it tested on animals? I have the opportunity to “vote with my dollar” if you will, and only buy from companies who treat animals with kindness and compassion.

9. Is it affordable? As a mom, my budget is always on my mind. I spend differently based on each person, so it’s important to me to have meaningful gifts at each price point.

10. Most importantly, is it fun? Will it bring long-term joy? I think about the smiles to come, not just while someone is opening a box or bag. Whether we are giving or receiving, we could all have a little more happiness in our life!

To check out our gift boxes, click here.
https://www.orasamazingherbal.com/product-category/gifts-sets/

Salve Yourself the Hassle

Nowadays, you don’t have to live in a super crunchy community to hear terms like “salve” or “herbal remedies” bouncing around. Even though natural ingredients have been used for centuries to treat every ailment under the sun, it seems like we’re just now seeing a resurgence. And so, we take a minute to research some of the holistic benefits of an ~au natural~ skincare routine. There are a lot of options out there when it comes to natural remedies and healing comes in a variety of different forms. You’re not alone in being a tad confused when it comes to picking through all the products. Today, we’re highlighting one of our specialties and a great way of delivering nutrients to your skin.

Enter, Salve.

The main difference between an herbal oil and a salve is consistency. Herbal salves are infused herbal oils combined with some type of wax, typically beeswax to give it more of an ointment type of texture. This allows it to sit on the surface of the skin for longer, which make it especially suited for treating the following:

• Cracked and dry skin
• Hives
• Psoriasis
• Insect bites and stings
• Eczema
• Minor wounds, scrapes, and cuts
• Minor burns, including sunburn
• Blisters and boils
• Rashes from irritation and fungus

The salve can work its magic on the surface and promote the regrowth of those skin cells. Broken skin craves lipids, which are the fabric of skin regeneration. The health and strength of our skin is tied directly to the health and strength of our lipid barrier. Wax is a naturally occurring lipid that acts as an excellent supplement to our pre-existing lipids.

So, why choose salve?

First and foremost, herbal salves don’t contain the petroleum derivatives and preservatives as most drugstore products. So, if you have particularly sensitive skin or just like the idea of all-natural ingredients, salve is an excellent multi-purpose product to make part of your regimen!

Secondly, salves are incredibly versatile! You can incorporate a wide variety of herbs oils, and other natural ingredients to personalize what’s best for your skin. Perhaps, you can benefit from the antioxidant powerhouse, Calendula or the anti-inflammation effects of Tea tree. Find a salve that incorporates what your skin needs! Salve’s versatility also means you can search for a product that heals fast and smells great too! Skip the perfumey lotions and drugstore ointments and reach for natural scents like peppermint or thyme, or find one that’s completely unscented!

At Ora’s Amazing Herbal, we’re serious about providing high quality, natural products that give skincare an entirely new meaning. Visit our site here to browse products by ingredient or function. Find skincare solutions for the whole family (babies included) that are gluten free, paraben free, and synthetic fragrance free.

Amazing Herbs, Amazing Skin!

 

 

 

RAICES

To skip reading this post and simply donate to RAICES to help bring legal representation to children that have been detained and separated from their families, click here please.

As a mother and small business owner I make small decisions all day long. Some of these decisions feel more important than others. I would like to share my most recent important feeling decision with you.
It is nearly impossible not to be heartbroken with the current situation in this country of children being treated worse than animals, torn away from their families, kept in cages, sleeping on concrete floors and not being given adequate food. In truth I can’t even watch the news anymore. I can’t live my life knowing this is going on. Politics aside, there is simply no place in any “civilized” society for treating children with such cruelty. I can’t look in the mirror and see a good person unless I am doing something about this.
My Amazing team and I began to research the best way to get involved, with some restrictions we have being that we still have to, well, you know, keep Ora’s Amazing Herbal going. In other words, short of closing the office and camping out in front of the White House hunger striking, what could we do?
After doing a bunch of research I have dedicated to donate 10% of all website retail sales to RAICES for July and August. RAICES is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees. They are working diligently to help bring these children back together with their families. You can learn more about them Here.
I feel honored to be donating 10% of all Ora’s Amazing Herbal website retail sales to this organization for July and August. Please join me in this effort to keep children safe with their families.
To donate or to join our team and do your own fundraising for RAICES click here https://www.classy.org/team/239006

Thanks and be well,

Ora

Curious About Calendula

Guest Blogger: Olivia Royce

Calendula is all the rage when it comes to natural skincare. Dermatologists and moms with an affinity for all-natural remedies are reaching for this yellow flowering plant. More commonly identified as the marigold, Calendula has a number of benefits that support an even-toned, youthful glow! Named for its unique blooming pattern (every month of the year), Calendula does offer you some timely skin improvements too.

 

  • Calendula promotes blood flow to the skin cells- Full of flavonoids, coumarins, quinones, carotenoids, and amino acids, Calendula hits all of the important factors when it comes to healthy skin.
  • Calendula reduces inflammation- Calendula contains powerful flavonoids, which are plant-based antioxidants that protect skins cells from harmful pro-inflammatory compounds. It also contains linoleic acid, which goes head-to-head against all kinds of inflammatory issues in the body: everything from ear infections to ulcers.
  • Calendula provides antioxidant protection- As a natural antioxidant, Calendula also revitalizes skin that has experienced pollutants and sun damage.
  • Calendula extract has anti-cancer properties- Calendula has the ability to activate the body’s lymphocytes, which are in charge of getting rid of foreign invaders (like cancer cells).
  • Calendula increases hydration in skin- As a natural moisturizer, Calendula helps combat dry skin, one of the main culprits of aging. Offering tighter, more moisturized skin cells, this extract promotes a youthful glow.
  • Calendula stimulates collagen production- Known to heal wounds and activate the collagen receptors in skin, Calendula helps skin recover quickly, whether that’s from sun damage, acne, or a slow-healing wound.
  • Calendula soothes irritation- Once again, the natural antioxidants come to the rescue to help with diaper rash, sunburns, eczema, and even psoriasis.
  • Calendula oil is known for antifungal, antimicrobial, and antiviral action- The natural oils and acids that make up calendula are especially suited for fighting pathogens, candida symptoms, and even antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria! It can be used to naturally treat ringworm, athlete’s foot, and even jock itch.
  • Calendula helps reduce stretch marks- As it promotes hydration and evening imperfections on the skin, Calendula, applied topically, can help revert the skin to its natural state.
  • Calendula protects against UV rays- The high concentration of antioxidants make Calendula an excellent addition to other known sun protectants. Protection from sun will make skin look and feel healthier for longer.

 

There you have it- 10 reasons why Calendula just might have to make it into your medicine cabinet. The best part? There are plenty of ways you can incorporate Calendula into your daily skincare routine. Oils, teas, creams, ointments, toothpastes, and more now contain this magical flower!

 

Check out the amazing benefits for your little one with our new Baby Oil. With one of the 5 main ingredients being Calendula, this oil is deal for soothing uncomfortable diaper rash. Give yourself and your baby peace and promote healthy skin for the whole family. At Ora’s Amazing Herbal, we believe in all natural remedies and quality products that give you the glowing, healthy skin you deserve. Shop here!

 

Herbs are amazing.

 

References

https://animamundiherbals.com/blogs/news/6-herbs-that-boost-collagen-in-the-skin

https://thefreerangelife.com/30-uses-for-calendula/

https://draxe.com/calendula/

https://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/calendula-oil.aspx

 

Help us get into Action to end hunger and homelessness in March.

Did you have big plans when you were a kid? I sure did. In addition to winning gold medals in gymnastics and swimming (I was actually the slowest on my team), I planned to save the world. I would feed the children, find homes for the stray animals and of course clean up the earth. The plan was simply to just be a bazillionaire and be able to do all this because I had a money machine that just had to be in the back of my closet somewhere. When I got bigger, I was going to cut the back wall open and find it.

Fast forward a few years, things are not exactly the way I planned. I have not yet found that money machine, and if I had, well, I’d be in jail for using it! I am occupied running my business and taking care of my own family, which is supposed to be enough for now. But really, it isn’t.

So what can I do? There has to be something. Well, for March, it’s just a drop in the bucket really, but at least for this March, Ora’s Amazing Herbal is going to donate 10% of our website sales to our local Center for Food Action. They help local families eat and stay warm. I want to help them do that. I invite you to order some delicious moisturizing aromatherapy body oil, and some Rejuvi C Mask and Magic Face Potion, and I will donate 10% of your purchase. Stay tuned for more campaigns like this in the future as well. If you are not on my email list, please sign up now so I can notify you of anything else we do in the future.

 

Ora’s Amazing Herbal, because herbs (and people) are Amazing.

Thank you my fellow humans, and be well,

Ora

 

Frankincense

Frankincense is an essential oil that may bring to mind ancient religious practices, and it is referred to many times in the Bible as well as other texts from around the world. It is even mentioned in one of the oldest medical records, the Ebers Papyrus from the 16th century BCE. However, frankincense is not a relic from the past, it is a powerful healing tool for modern times as well! Frankincense refers to the resin of various species of the Boswellia tree which grow in India, East Africa, China, and the Middle East. The most common and studied is Boswellia Carterii which is grown in Somalia and Yemen and has been cultivated there for thousands of years. Frankincense is powerful resin that is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties, and studies such as those mentioned below show that the benefits of the essential oil are not just anecdotal, but can be scientifically proven. There are a variety of uses for frankincense, and one fantastic way to take advantage of it’s healing properties is to apply it to your skin. To see the many skin friendly benefits yourself you can choose skin care products that feature this potent yet gentle therapeutic oil to see revived elasticity and reduced inflammation. It is also believed to help heal scars. When you use frankincense on your skin, you are inhaling the earthy aroma, and like everything you apply to your skin, it is absorbing into your bloodstream, so you will be receiving all of its mental and emotional benefits as well! My whole family uses frankincense as a grounding, emotionally supportive tool and I love that every time I apply my favorite skin serum I am caring for all aspects of myself, not just the physical. After all, true beauty radiates from within!

 

Frankincense therapeutic properties

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5801908/

 

Biological activities of frankincense essential oil

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5801908/

 

Transdermal microemulsions of Boswellia Carterii

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/24725029/

 

Essential Oils Desk Reference, seventh edition

 

Caitlin Eisner Fisch is a homeschool mom, writer, personal chef, and essential oils enthusiast who lives in the Bay Area by way of Miami, Jerusalem, and the Bronx. Discover more creative essential oil ideas on Instagram @thejoyofcaitlin.oils and follow her family’s adventures on Instagram or Twitter @thejoyofcaitlin.

Sea Buckthorn Oil

Sea buckthorn oil, or otherwise known by its botanical name, Hippophae rhamnoides, literally means “tree that makes the horse shine”. For years it has been known for its ability to improve horses’ health and make their hair shiny and soft. But the benefits of buckthorn don’t stop with noble steeds! This nutrient-rich yellow-orange berry derivative is ideal for post-sun and anti-aging skin treatments too!
Here’s how it works:
The benefits of sea buckthorn oil have been known for centuries! It’s suspected to have originated in the Himalayas, but was also used by several different cultures, including ancient Greeks, Egyptians, the Chinese, and Mongols throughout time. It was certainly a hot commodity along the Silk Road. For years, a variety of health benefits have been documented in ancient literature, including everything from alleviating pain to aiding digestion.
Today, sea buckthorn oil is most well known for its healing and rejuvenating effects on the skin! Topical application can help with exfoliation, cleansing, healing sunburn, and slowing down the signs of aging. It does all this by starting from the source and nourishing the tissues in your skin and body.
There are two types of sea buckthorn oil: seed oil and fruit oil. While they are very similar in nutrient composition, fruit oil tends to be much darker and thicker, while seed oil takes on a paler color and more fluid viscosity.
The sea buckthorn berry itself contains over 190 nutrients and phytonutrients, including vitamin C; 12 times higher than that of an orange! The oils are also full of antioxidants like phenols, terpenes, and glucosides and additional vitamins A and E. In other words, this stuff is excellent for your skin and it has the nutrition profile to prove it.
Sea buckthorn oil is particularly pro at combatting acne and promoting skin vitality and regeneration. As the summer is here and our skin is more susceptible to those harmful UV rays, maintaining a skin regimen is key. There is nothing that speeds the skin aging process along faster than too much sun exposure. It’s absolutely crucial to protect your outermost layer with a good SPF and absolutely recommended to follow up time in the sun with rejuvenating oil.
Sea buckthorn oil is one of the main ingredients in our Magic Face Potion. The wise woman knows that true magic always starts with clear intention and the right tools. We have formulated this anti-aging Magic Face Potion to be a powerful self care tool for women over 40 who intend to move forward with vitality and clarity. In here are botanicals that are anti-oxidant for quenching free radicals and anti-aging. Properties also include helping promote cell turnover, collagen production preventing blemishes, supporting scar healing, soothing adult acne and rosacea, replenishing after sun and wind exposure, and also simply for deep moisturizing. Stop by our virtual herb garden here and start protecting your skin today!