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Ghassoul 101

Category: Clay Discoveries
Posted: 2007-04-19 09:56

Let me introduce you to new twist on washing! Ghassoul (pronounced "rassool" ) is a natural reddish-brown clay.

http://outsideinlife.com/upload/thumb_Ghassoul_Herbal.JPG http://outsideinlife.com/upload/Rhassoul_powder.jpg

In Arabic the word itself translates into "cleansing clay". Now, what little boy would not be happy to tell his mother that a mud bath was actually a great way to get clean!

This isn't quite what I'm talking about but surely where our minds go when we think of washing with brown clay. "How can I get clean with "mud" ?", is the question that arises when I talk about Ghassoul.

Ghassoul is a natural, mild cleanser. Unlike soaps and shampoos Ghassoul contains no surfactants and cleanses gently by absorbing impurities and excess oil. Surfactants (found in both commercial and most natural shampoos and cleansers) break down the oil in the pores of your skin and force your body into a vicious, un-natural, oil-production cycle.

Alone, this cleanser respects the natural, protective lipids on the skin, scalp, and hair. Likewise, it does not irritate the sebacious glands on same. Ghassoul is especially recommended for use on sensitive or allergenic skin.

Nothing does well in an overly acidic or alkaline pH medium, least of all the human body! With a pH of 6.9 – 7.5 (7.0 being considered neutral), Ghassoul is THE choice for your hair and skin care. You'll find creative ideas with Recipes section,

In addition to the oil removal characteristics, a Ghassoul mask certainly has the ability to smooth and improve dry skin. It has been used for skin and hair care for over 12 centuries by populations from North Africa, South Europe and Middle East.

In it's native Morocco, Ghassoul is an integral part of the hammam (hot steam bath ritual) and is traditionally offered to young brides.

To this day, the Moroccan Royal Family reserves on of the Djebl-Ghassoul deposits strictly for their personal use.

This cleanser certainly brings health and balance to your body from the OutsideIN!

Castor Oil - The Botanical

Category: Castor Oil Exposé
Posted: 2007-04-17 07:19

In my article Palma Christi - Castor Oil 101 I began the journey of sharing this noble oil with you. As an aside, let me introduce the botanical Ricinus Communis.

The Castor Oil plant is a native of India, where it bears several ancient Sanskrit names, the most ancient and most usual being Eranda, which has passed into several other Indian languages.


It is very variable in habit and appearance, the known varieties being very numerous, and having mostly been described as species. In the tropical latitudes most favourable to its growth, it becomes a tree 30 to 40 feet high; in the Azores and the warmer Mediterranean countries - Algeria, Egypt, Greece and the Riviera - it is of more slender growth, attaining an average height of only 10 to 15 feet, and farther north in France, and in this country, where it is cultivated as an ornamental plant on account of its large and beautiful foliage, it is merely a shrubby branched annual herb, rarely more than 4 to 5 feet high, with thick, hollow, herbaceous stems, which are cylindrical, smooth and shiny, with a purplish bloom in the upper part.

The handsome leaves are placed alternately on the stem, on long, curved, purplish foot-stalks, with drooping blades, generally 6 to 8 inches across, sometimes still larger, palmately cut for three fourths of their depth into seven to eleven lance-shaped, pointed, coarsely toothed segments. When fully expanded, they are of a blue-green colour, paler beneath and smooth; when young, they are red and shining.

The fruit is a blunt, greenish, deeply-grooved capsule less than an inch long, covered with soft, yielding prickles in each of which a seed is developed. The seeds of the different cultivated varieties differ much in size and in external markings but average seeds are of an oval, laterally compressed form. The smaller, annual varieties yield small seeds- the tree forms, large seeds. They have a shining, marble-grey and brown, thick, leathery outer coat, within which is a thin, dark-coloured, brittle coat. A large, distinct, leafy embryo lies in the middle of a dense, oily tissue (endosperm).

It was known to Herodotus, who calls it Kiki, and states that it furnishes an oil much used by the Egyptians, in whose ancient tombs seeds of Ricinus are met with. At the period when Herodotus wrote (the fourth century B.C.), it would appear to have been already introduced into Greece, where it is cultivated to the present day under the same ancient name.

We read of it being employed medicinally in Europe during the early Middle Ages: it is recorded that it was cultivated by Albertus Magnus, Bishop of Ratisbon, in the middle of the thirteenth century, but later it fell into disuse, though Gerard (1597) was familiar with it under the name of Ricinus or Kik: the oil, he says, is called Oleum cicinum and used externally in skin diseases.

Plants are readily grown from seed, which should be sown on a hot bed early in March. When the plants come up, each should be planted in a separate small pot, filled with light soil and plunged into a fresh hot bed. The young plants are kept under glass till early in June, when they are hardened and put out.

In India, the oil is obtained from the seeds by shelling and crushing the seed between rollers. The crushed mass is then placed in hempen cloths and pressed in a screw or hydraulic press. The oil which exudes is mixed with water and heated till the water boils and the mucilaginous matter in the oil separates as a scum. It is next strained, then bleached in the sunlight and stored for exportation.

In France, the oil is obtained by macerating the bruised seeds in alcohol, but the process is expensive and the product inferior.

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