Wednesday, May 9, 2018

CO2 Herbal Extracts

Not Lipids, very low in essential oils, we have chosen to call this last category of our CO2 extracts "Herbal Extracts."  The title fits at least some, if not all.

Arnica CO2

Arnica montana, organically produced blossoms, standardized in sunflower oil, Germany.
Arnica Blossoms

Extracted from the blossom of Arnica montana standardized in sunflower oil to give a predictable proportion of healing sesquiterpene lactones (SQLs). These are the ingredients that give Arnica its effects.

Traditionally, oil infused with Arnica blossoms has been used for easing pain, swelling and inflammation caused by bruises, sprains, muscle aches, wound healing, superficial phlebitis, rheumatic pain, inflammation from insect bites, and swelling due to fractures. It is most frequently recommended for “soft tissue” pain, for muscles and tendons.

Germany’s Commission E has approved Arnica for external use in treating injury and effects of accidents, inflammation of the mouth and throat area, and insect bites. It is DEFINITELY unsafe for internal use.

This extract of Arnica Montana should be used in very low dilutions, less than 1/2 of 1 percent in your favorite carrier oil, to ease the pain and swelling of the sort of injuries listed above.

A reminder: the CO2 Total extract is solid, or perhaps at most, semisolid.  Unless you are used to working with extremely thick extracts and absolutes, *and* used to working with extremely low dilutions, we highly recommend you look at our Arnica Infused Massage blend.  It truly is much more "user friendly."

Calendula CO2 

Calendula officinalis, organically produced, CO2 extracted from flowers, France.

Dried Calendula
The CO2 Total of the Calendula blossom is very thick and rich since it contains the plant waxes and heavier phytochemicals. It will appear solid in the bottle. Like our German Chamomile CO2, it is difficult to work with. I find warming both the CO2 and the carrier oil I want to add it to be the most effective way of blending it into skincare products. When we blend with it we add just a tiny bit of warmed carrier to the correct amount of CO2, and gradually increase the carrier as the CO2 softens and absorbs it.

This CO2 extract of the soothing Calendula has been shown to be anti-inflammatory. One research study indicated that the CO2 extract is as effective in reducing skin inflammation as the anti-inflammatory drug Indomethacin, a potent NSAID.

I have seen amazing success from the use of German Chamomile CO2 and Calendula CO2 in the healing of chronic skin ulcers.

The producer recommends using this extremely potent extract at levels of 0.1 to 0.3%. 

 Carrot Root CO2 (Helio Carrot)

 Radix Daucus carota, organically grown and CO2 extracted in Germany.

This CO2 extraction of the essence of dried carrot roots into pure Jojoba Oil is extremely high in
beta-carotene, and vitamins A and E. It is believed to be very beneficial to hair and skin.

Please note that this CO2 extraction is much more concentrated than many of the infused Carrot Root Oils available on the commercial market. The typical safflower-based infusion is meant to be used as the whole base oil in a formulation. This extract contains the CO2 extraction of 10 lbs of dried carrot root to every one lb of Jojoba, so a few drops of this rich essence would be the equivalent of ounces of infused oil.

Topical application of Helio Carrot Oil is said by many skin care experts to promote the formation of new cells and stimulate the production of sebum in dry, scaly skin, and scalp. Some authorities state that Carrot Root Extract is such a powerful anti-oxidant that it can help preserve the life of products containing it. It is also recommended by some to help prevent sun damage. Just a few drops of this enriching extract brings soothing to chapped and irritated skin. A must in formulas for aging or weathered skin. Please be aware that this extract, like many of the other beta-carotene-rich extracts, is deep orange and will temporarily color your skin.

Like most of our CO2 extracts, we recommend use at 1 or 1.5% in most skin care applications.

Mango Ginger CO2 Total

Mango Ginger Extract
Curcuma amada, extracted from dried rhizomes organically grown in India, extracted in Germany.

For centuries, the roots/rhizomes of the Mango Ginger spice have been used in tea and other concoctions as herbal remedies throughout East Asia. While a member of the Ginger (Zingiberaceae) genus, Mango Ginger (Curcuma amada), is actually part of the Turmeric species.

Our CO2 extracted oil is very thick, a deep reddish brown color, with a mild aroma Michelle describes as, “Taking a bite of ginger at a sushi bar followed immediately by a drink from a fruity tea.” (That is a flavor/taste, but scent and taste are so closely intertwined, we do get what she is saying about it!) In other words, more mango than ginger, (no raw fish!), subtly fruity with a teeny tiny hint of earthy herbaceousness.

Although anecdotally known as an herbal remedy for flatulence, dysentery, various stomach ailments; valuable research is revealing the CO2 really shines as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, possibly due to the beta caryophyllene content. (Christi has been experimenting with a small bottle of it since January for pain relief in her “trouble” knee, added to our Arnica Massage Oil with more than satisfactory results.)

One note on working with the CO2—it is thick and paste-like, so must be warmed for use. (Not as thick as German Chamomile or Calendula, much less so, but you may have to gently warm it for a few minutes.) We have chosen to bottle it in a 15 ml glass jar, rather than our usual bottles, for ease of use. Since these jars do not have orifice reducers OR tamperproof/childproof lids please open with care and store well away from children.

The producer says it is anti-microbial, anti-oxidative, and anti-allergenic. The main naturally occurring components are monoterpenes (alpha/beta pinene, camphene, b-myrcene), monoterpene hydrocarbons (Limonene, Ocimene), and of course, sesquiterpene beta caryophyllene.

Mark Webb, of, in his recent CO2 course, recommended the use of Mango Ginger extract in topical dermatological products for treating allergic and anti-inflammatory conditions.

One promising area with future potential is in cancer research. It is “early days,” but if you visit this webpage, you will see just one such example of ongoing research that is truly remarkable. A search of PubMed reveals a number of exciting studies utilizing these precious rhizomes and we look forward to exploring its uses.

We are hearing fantastic feedback from clients using it for pain relief, especially with pain caused by inflammation.  It appears to function as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, when applied topically at perhaps a 1 or 1.5% dilution.

As it is a newer and “time” untested extract, we would suggest avoiding use during pregnancy, by nursing mothers, and for children age 6 and under. Always dilute for use on skin. Not for internal use. Please note, Tisserand’s Essential Oil Safety 2nd Ed, shows no known contraindications. My instinct is that this oil has not been tested for irritation, toxicity, etc. Hence the safety warnings we give.

Rhatany Root CO2 Extract

Krameria Lappacea, Peruvian dried roots, CO2 total extracted in Germany.  
A rare and unusual extract from a root found in Peru.

Rhatany root extract contains all the oil soluble components of the dried botanical, stablized in 40%
Rhatany Root Extract
Olive oil. It consists of rare Rhatany lignans, neolignans and norneolignans.   These plant components are known to be anti-microbial, powerfully astringent, and anti-inflammatory. Also shown to be anti-oxidative.

The producer shows research showing its usefulness in combating radiation damage to the skin, and counteracting UV-A damage.  It is recommended for use in personal care and sunscreen products, both for its sun-protective effects and as an anti-aging ingredient.  Basically, it is believed to help the skin repair itself.

In addition to skincare uses, my mentor Madeleine Kerkhof recommends Rhatany Root for both oral care and wound care.   Its astringency will help control bleeding, while its antiinflammatory and anti-bacterial effects will make it a valued addition to any oral care blend.  She recommends it as an ingredient in food grade aloe gel based blends for mouth sores, after oral surgery, etc.

Aromatically, Christi describes it thus, "It is wonderful.  I love it.  very earthy, like grass and fresh earth being dug up but no manure!  It is a brownish orange, very thick.  It is a very masculine scent."
The manufacturer recommends using this potent extract at perhaps one half of one percent dilution (1/2 of 1%).   Madeleine uses it at up to 1% in oral care blends where bleeding is present.

 Rose Hip Fruit Total Extract

Rosa canina, CO2 extracted from the pulp of the fruit, Germany
Rose hips

The extract from the whole fruit (or berry) contains both the highly concentrated pulp extract and the liquid oil extracted from the seeds, giving the best of both worlds, the skin-saving regenerative power of Rose Hip Pulp, with the ease of use of a pourable oil.   High in linoleic acid and alpha linolenic acid.

Please note, at this writing, the Rose Hip Pulp only extract is unavailable due to crop failures.

 Rosemary Antioxidant CO2

CO2 extracted in Germany from organically produced Rosemarinus officianalis, stabilized in organic sunflower seed oil.

Rosemary Antioxidant is extracted in Germany from organic Rosemary officianalis specifically to provide us all with an anti-oxidant rich ingredient to preserve the freshness of our precious fixed oils and essential oils.

This is not an aromatherapy substitute for any of our several chemotypes of Rosemary Essential Oil.
Rosemary CO2
It is designed as an additive to short-lived fixed oils and/or essential oils, to prevent oxidation. (It is oxidation that causes degradation and rancidity in carrier oils and causes chemical changes in the short-lived essential oils, especially Citrus oils and Conifers.)

Rosemary Antioxidant also has skincare benefits in and of itself. It contains over 13% diterpene phenols which have approved antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and anti-microbial effects when used at the appropriate levels in skincare blends and products.

New research reveals that Rosemary antioxidant is also a promising multifunctional anti-aging agent, protecting cell componetnts against oxidation and inflammation. It also appears to have broad spectrum activity against 29 types of gram positive and gram negative pathogens, many of which specifically of concern in skincare.

Rosemary antioxidant is also said to inhibit the grown of various Candida strains.

According to Cosmetic Science Technology, Rosemary CO2 Antioxidant naturally protects stressed skin against early aging. It is not only a high active antioxidant in cosmetic products, but also possesses anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activity. It is also recommended for topical treatment of skin disorders such as acne vulgaris, seborrheic eczema and atopic dermatitis.

As an anti-oxidant, Rosemary Antioxidant is as effective an anti-oxidant at 200 ppm as is alpha-tocopherol at 500 ppm.  (IE, you may use only two parts Rosemary Antioxidant to replace five parts of Vitamin E.)

It is no wonder that the producer of the vast majority of our CO2 extracts adds Rosemary Antioxidant CO2, in low levels, to many of their CO2 extracts designed for use in skincare!

USAGE: From our producer, “Dosage for anti-oxidative efficacy is usually 0.05-0.02% and should be proportional to the concentration of oxidation sensitive components in final products. A higher dosage (up to 0.5%) will cause antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and skin soothing effects too.” As with many of these powerful CO2 extracted ingredients, less is more. Please blend with a light hand.

Sea Buckthorn Berry Pulp Extract

Hippophae rhamnoides, wildcrafted, CO2 extracted berries from fruit pulp, Germany.
Total extracted from the fruit pulp, not from the seed
Contains: 30% palmitoleic acid, carotinoids (including a high level of beta-carotine), tocopherols, alcohols, (vitamins A, C and E). 1900 IU of Provintamine A per gram of extract.
Sea Buckthorn Berries
Sea Buckthorn Berry has been used by herbalists for millenia, but this extraction has only recently become available and seems to be taking the natural skin care industry by storm. Many of the wellknown “natural cosmetics” companies include Sea Buckthorn Berry in their skin care products, as a search of the web will quickly show you.
Bio-active substances in the oil from the seeds and pulp are used in a variety of dermatological applications, among them anti-aging face creams and lotions and (since the extract seems to absorb UV rays) in sun care products. My research indicates that these Sea Buckthorn products appear to promote cell tissue building thus aiding in the healing of wounds, and restoring skin tissue.
An international natural bath and beauty chain adds the plant’s oil to its sunscreen products as both a sun-block and tan-enhancer. European cosmeticians sell anti-wrinkle creams made from Sea Buckthorn. (Please note, because of Sea Buckthorn's high level of betacarotene, the oil is a deep reddish orange and unless used in extremely weak dilutions can colour your skin. If you want a “bronzing oil” this is your choice!)
Clinical experiments in Shantow Tropical Disease Hospital and the Shanxi Pharmaceutical Research Institute indicate cosmetics containing Sea Buckthorn extracts can actually improve metabolism and retard skin maturation, thus slowing the aging process, possibly because of the effects of its high levels of Vitamins A and E.
Sea Buckthorn Oil is said to have proven effective in the treatment of skin conditions including burns, skin ulcers, cancer, acne, and dermatitis of various forms. Russian cosmonauts use its oil for protection against radiation burns in space.
Current research indicates that not only does it enhance immune activity and disease resistance, but it also destroys harmful free radicals found in our bodies. Aubrey Organics, on their web page, state that Sea Buckthorn’s high levels of Vitamin A and Vitamin E are the perfect free radical scavenger for your skin. I have read, but can not verify, that hair care products made with Sea Buckthorn had the effect of retarding baldness and improving hair growth.
In my opinion 1 or 2% dilution in the carrier oil of your choice should be sufficient to give your skin the beneficial effects. I am personally experimenting with a 10% dilution on one side of my face every night, while using Rose Hip Seed Oil on the other side. Ask me in a month if there is a visible difference. Much of the Sea Buckthorn Berry extract on the market today is from China. The Chinese extractions are lower priced, but are extracted from the kernel, not the pulp of the berry. These extractions have significantly lower levels of the tocopherols, and practically no vitamin C. They are so low in vitamin E that the producer is adding rosemary extract in an attempt to preserve them. The high level of natural vitamin E in this extract should give it a shelf life of well over one year.
Follow up note, because people keep asking me about the “experiment” above. What I decided to do was blend the Rose Hip Extract into the Sea Buckthorn Berry and get the advantages of both. I also found that 10% was far too strong a dilution…it left my pillowcase orange. 1% is enough.

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