Saturday, October 27, 2018

Natural Wellness Through Cocoa Butter

What is Cocoa Butter?

Cocoa Butter is the natural fat extracted from cocoa beans. It has a silky texture, mild cocoa fragrance, and hydrating properties.  Researchers have determined that cocoa butter has numerous applications to help with natural wellness and beauty.

To make cocoa butter, cocoa beans are first fermented then roasted. At this point, the cocoa “butter” (which isn’t actually the kind of butter made from any type of milk at all) is able to be separated from the rest of the beans, leaving behind solids that are used for other purposes. Many brands deodorize and de-colorize cocoa butter so the product is a yellow-beige color and smells pretty neutral, not much like cocoa liquor or chocolate.

Uses For Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter is an active ingredient in many skin care products as well as a food or supplement additive as it helps stabilize products’ textures. Because it remains solid at room temperature but melts at higher temps, such as those within the human body, the pharmaceutical industry uses it as a digestible base for certain medicines. Cocoa butter has a melting point of around 93–101 degrees F, which means it becomes liquid once ingested or sometimes when rubbed into the skin — exactly why it has such an attractive “mouth feel” when added to chocolate or when used in lotions.


  • Cocoa butter is rich in Vitamin K and fatty acids enabling it to help repair dry skin while you sleep. 
  • Cocoa butter can hydrate your lips, providing a protective layer of hydration.


  • Applying cocoa butter to a pregnant belly or any stretched skin can reduce stretch marks over time. It is advised to apply the cocoa butter after a shower when your skin is moist.
  • Pure cocoa butter (without added fragrances or colors) can soothe burns, eczema, dermatitis, and rashes to help speed healing. 
  • Cocoa butter as a shaving cream hydrates while allowing the shaver to do its job. 
  • Cocoa butter melts in hot water so it can be added to bath as a soothing bath oil. Just be careful to clean your tub after so you do not slip!


  • To reduce friz, rub a dime size amount of cocoa butter into your hair before styling. 
  • Melted cocoa butter can be massaged into the hair and scalp as a deep conditioner. Use it up to 20 minutes before your shower, then rinse off.

Read more in Jenny Ivy's article, 10 ways to use cocoa butter for beauty and health,  at Delicious Living and at Dr. Axe.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Understanding CBD Oil

Many products are entering the marketplace containing CBD oil. In order to know what I am getting when I purchase products with the supplement, I did some research.

What is CBD Oil?

 Marijuana and hemp are derived from different parts of the cannabis plant.  Cannabis that is grown for industrial use is what has been legalized in a handful of states and, most recently, in Canada. This plant contains less than .3% THC and is used for supplements, oils, clothing fibers, paper, and more.

CBD oil is also known as hemp oil. It is extracted from the hemp portion of the cannabis plant. CBD offers health benefits, but includes none of the psychoactive properties of THC, thus products containing hemp/CBD extract can be legally sold, used and shipped nationwide.

Why Use CBD Oil?

Cannabis products work on the body’s innate endocannabinoid system, a recently discovered whole-body system, similar to your nervous system or cardiovascular system. Cannabinoids don’t just come from the cannabis plant, we also make them in our bodies. The ones we make are called endocannabinoids (endo meaning coming from within). The well-known “runner’s high” is actually an endocannabinoid, which increases in the blood during aerobic exercise and then crosses the blood-brain barrier and binds to cannabinoid receptors in the brain. One of the primary jobs of the endocannabinoid system is to keep the body in balance, a state known as homeostasis. The ES has a profound effect on sleep, appetite, exercise, pain, inflammation, female reproduction, metabolism, anxiety, and immunity.

The cannabis related products unlock the body without providing a high like THC does. The FDA has begun to approve pharmaceutical-grade CBD for medicinal purposes as it has been proven to be an anti-inflammatory, aid sleep, reduce anxiety, ease chronic pain, reduce nausea from chemotherapy, and more.

What CBD Oil Products Should I Purchase?

CBD Isolate is similar to the drug the FDA is about to approve.

Full Spectrum CBD Oil is an industrial, hemp-derived oil that is found in mainstream, over-the-counter products.

Are There Any Precautions I Should Take?

Because of the legally murky nature of marijuana, the FDA has not stepped in to regulate products like CBD oil. States are struggling to put regulations in place, but they don't have the deep pockets of the federal government.  According to WebMD, a 2017 study led by Bonn-Miller found that nearly 7 of 10 CBD products didn't contain the amount of marijuana extract promised on the label.
Nearly 43 percent of the products contained too little CBD, while about 26 percent contained too much, Bonn-Miller said.

Studies on CBD also have raised concerns about possible interactions with other drugs. There is also concern about long term use and organ damage. There also is some indication that CBD might harm the liver. About 10 percent of people taking CBD in studies had increases in liver enzymes, which would indicate possible liver damage.

What is the Bottom Line?

CBD oil is new to the market and we will know more after more and more people use the product. Consult a doctor who knows your medical history and has read up on CBD Oil to advise you what might be best for YOUR body. 

More information can be found at WebMD , Better Nutrition, and  Delicious Living Magazine