23 May 2011

Sweet Almond Oil

Almond trees have been cultivated since the Bronze Age and their nuts were one of the first seeds and seed oils to be used by man. Almonds are rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, D and E, and contain calcium, magnesium and potassium.

Almond oil comes in two types, sweet almond oil and bitter almond oil. Today I shall jot about sweet almond oil. Like olive oil is edible. The best sweet almond oil is the natural expeller pressed oil from raw almond kernels. The oil is then filtered and bleached by exposure to light. It has a shelf life of around a year.

Sweet almond oil is yellow in colour, with little smell and a sweet, slightly nutty flavour. It is high in fatty acids, mainly oleic acid with lesser amounts of palmitic, linoleic, linolenic and stearic acids.

The oil  is very easily absorbed by the skin and is a popular carrier oil used by masseurs and aromatherapists. Its high content of fatty acids, softens and smoothes the skin without clogging it. Sweet almond oil helps the skin to balance its loss and absorption of moisture and promotes cell renewal. Therefore it is regularly used for dry, cracked, sensitive, wrinkled or sun damaged skin. It also strengthens, thickens and nourishes the hair.

Other health and beauty uses for the oil include using the oil as a moisturizer, to remove eye make-up, to soften cuticles and ear wax, to get rid of dark circles under eyes, and to naturally prevent and treat acne. It is great in salad dressings and a useful ingredient in home-made soap making.

It is well worth adding sweet almond oil to your usual beauty routine.

Sugar and Spice Scrub
From HM Beauty Recipes 

1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. dark brown sugar
1 tbsp. almond oil
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp. ground oatmeal
1 tsp. cinnamon

Combine all ingredients. Scrub face with mixture 2-3 minutes then rinse.

Detox Bath

1/2 cup Epsom salts
1/4 cup organic sea salt
2 tsps. sweet almond oil
2 tsps. rosemary oil
4 drops violet leaf oil

Mix and add to warm, not very hot bath water.

Spray On Body Oil
From Green Sense  

1/4 cup vodka
1/4 cup scented water
3 tbsps. sweet almond oil

Pour all ingredients into a spray pump bottle and close. Shake the bottle until well mixed. Shake before each use. Note: to scent water - pour boiling water over dried or fresh herbs or zest, let cool, strain.

Almond Oil Makeup Remover

1/2 cup / 100 mls. sweet almond oil             
5 drops lavender essential oil           
3 drops lemon essential oil              

Mild cleansing, for all skin types and has a shelf life of 60 days. Put the sweet almond oil into abottle, add lavender essential oil and lemon essential oils. Mix well.  Moisten cotton pad with the make up remover, dab on eyelids and lips, leave on for 10 seconds and then wipe off.
Beauty Tip: Almond eye lip cleansing oil can also be used as massage oil as it has lavender which can helps to relieve stress and combat fatigue. Massage lightly into neck and shoulders in a circular pattern. Apply before retiring to bed for a good sleep.

Lavender Hand Cream
From Care2 Groups Submitted by Diane C.

4 tsps. sweet almond oil
4 tsps. coconut oil
3 tsps. white wax
6 tsps. glycerine
6 drops lavender essential oil

Put the almond oil, coconut oil and white wax in a double boiler or a bowl over a pan of hot water and gently dissolve. Stir the mixture to blend it together and when everything has melted add the glycerine drop by drop. Take it off the heat and stir until creamy. Add drops of lavender oil and mix well. Put into pots.

Sugar Foot Scrub
From How To Do Things 

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup sweet almond oil
6 drops orange essential oil
1 drop ginger essential oil
1 tsp. powdered cayenne pepper

Use a plastic bowl to mix everything, stirring in the cayenne pepper last. Gently massage the foot scrub unto your feet concentrating on the rough parts like the heels and calluses.

Aloe Cleansing Gel
From Kitchen Crafts and More  Submitted by Betty   

2 ozs / 60 mls. aloe vera gel
1 tsp. sweet almond Oil
1 tsp. glycerin
1/2 tsp. grapefruit seed extract (I use Vit. E oil instead-same amount)
4 drops sandalwood essential oil
2 drops lavender essential oil

Mix well and put in small jar. Gently clean face with Gel, then remove with damp washcloth or tissue.

Vanessa's Baby Oil  
From Make Your Own Cosmetics  Submitted by HBN President Donna Maria
This simple combination of ingredients, including calendula, a well known skin loving, healing herb, will help baby's skin remain smooth and supple. I began using this on my daughter just 8 days after she was born when I noticed dry skin around her wrists and ankles. Works like a charm ~ Donna

Yield: Approx. 1/2 ounce   Shelf Life: 6 months

1 tbsp. sweet almond oil
1/8 tsp. Vitamin E
2 tsps. infused calendula oil (I infused in extra virgin olive)
Mix all ingredients together in a dropper bottle and shake gently to combine. To use, apply to baby's skin after bath using only a tiny bit. For a 10 pound infant, 6 to 8 drops is sufficient for arms and legs as only a light layer is necessary for baby skin. Use more for toddlers and larger babies. If fresh oils are used to make this product, the shelf life will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 6 months. It will last longer if kept refrigerated during any extended periods of non-use. If the product begins to smell badly, the oils have become rancid and the product should be discarded.

3 Apr 2011


Oats (Avena sativa) are probably one of the the most useful grains as they are nutritious, healing, cleansing, slimming, and a beauty aid. They are also known as groats. Oat grains have been discovered in Egypt that dated back to 2000BC.
They contain an excellent amount of manganese, good amounts of selenium, tryptophan, phosphorus, thiamin (vit B1), magnesium, iron, potassium,calcium, vitamin E, zinc and dietary fibre. Oats have a high quality protein and contain around 9 grams per 100 grams. Dr Bircher-Benner of Switzerland saw the nutritious properties of oats and created his famous dish muesli, which is made up of raw oats and fruit. Muesli is now eaten Worldwide by those wishing to have a healthy start to the day. Some still prefer a bowl of hot oat porridge, also a very healthy option.

Note that oats contain gluten although in some countries you are able to buy gluten-free oats. Many people who are unable to eat wheat gluten find they have no problem with oat gluten, but those with coeliac disease should be very cautious.

The properties of oats include being an antispasmodic, nervine, and stimulant. From a health point of view studies have found the gummy fibre in oats can reduce bad cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure and alleviate  constipation. The fibre helps slow down absorption of sugars in the intestines which is an important factor for diabetics. A watery oat porridge (gruel) has been used for hundreds of years for those with digestive problems and fevers, as it is very easy to digest.

Not only are oats excellent internally for the health but they are wonderful for soothing and healing many skin conditions. you can relieve the itch and irritation of chicken pox, poison ivy, psoriasis, eczema and sunburn by taking oatmeal baths. Even dogs with itchy skin can benefit from oat baths. You can either grind up oatmeal very fine before adding to the water or buy colloidal oatmeal from the health shop which is fine enough to dissolve in bathwater. Note that the bath water must be warm and not hot. 

Excellent for slimming, oat porridge, muesli and other oat products stop hunger by stabilizing sugar and giving a feeling of fullness for hours after eating. Just make sure they are sugar and low fat additions added to them. Oats keeping you regular also helps to lose weight.

As a beauty aid oats are marvelous for the skin. They draw out impurities and exfoliate, without stripping the skin of moisture, and leave the skin soft and smooth. This can be done by using oats in homemade masks, scrubs, cleansers and baths. A simple mask or scrub can be made just adding a little water or yogurt to oatmeal and for the bath tie up a couple of handfuls of oats oats in an old stocking, sock or piece of cloth and squeeze a few times in the bath water.

There are various kinds of oats available:
Groats: Oat kernels.
Steel-cut: Kernels which have been sliced.
Breakfast oats: Steamed and flattened oat kernels.
Quick-cooking oats: Steamed , chopped and flattened.
Instant oats: Cooked, rolled very thin. Often have added sugar, flavours etc.
Oat bran: The outer layer of the kernel.
Oatmeal: Ground up oats.

Oats have a slightly higher fat content than other grains and can go rancid, so it is better to purchase them in quantities that you are able to use within a reasonable time. Store in an airtight container in a cool place out of direct light.

Whether you want a healthy meal, to pamper your skin or smooth that sunburn why not try out some oats today!
Oat and Brown Sugar Scrub
By Eleanor Athens at Pioneer Thinking

2 tbsp. ground oats
2 tsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. aloe vera
1 tsp. lemon juice

Mix all ingredients in a clean bowl until you have a smooth paste. Gently massage onto damp skin, and rinse off with warm water. You can triple the recipe for a fantastic smoothing body treatment. Perishable and should be used right away.

Oatmeal Hand Scrub
From My Beauty Recipes
Homemade spa recipe for a gentle hand scrub. Leaves your hands nourished and soft.

2 tbsps. oatmeal
1 1/2 tsps. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. olive oil

Add the oatmeal to 1/4 cup water and let stand 10 minutes until oatmeal is softened. Add lemon juice and olive oil to oatmeal and mix well. Rub mixture into your hands and let stand 1-2 minutes. Rinse with cool water and pat dry. Apply moisturizer to your hands and let it soak in 10-15 minutes.  

Amazing Face Mask
Submitted by Genevieve at Make Your Cosmetics  
Instantaneously gives you a glow and helps the skin release toxins which could cause blemishes later.  

3 tbsps. ground rolled oats
1 tbsp.  ground almonds
1 tbsp.  powdered chamomile
1 tbsp.  finely ground sage
1 tbsp.  apple cider vinegar
6 drops drops chamomile essential oil
6 drops sage essential oil

Combine ingredients in a small bowl and mix together with your fingers. The mixture will have a dry, grainy consistency. Scoop a little out and spread thickly onto wet or dry skin, massaging gently with an outward, circular motion. Rinse off and pat dry. This will give you about 6 or 7 treatments and keeps for 3 months in a cool dry place.

Oatmeal Face Cleanser
From I'm on the Look-out 

3 tbsps. oatmeal
2 tsps. witch hazel
And a few drops of water

You want to dampen the oatmeal first then add the witch hazel. Then add the water to make it moist. Apply to your face with an upward and outward circuler motion. Rinse with lots of warm water. This recipe is good for all kinds of skin. If you have dry skin add a little oil. You can also add a mashed bannana for more nourishment.

Oat Banana Mask
By Arty at Our Vanity  

half of ripe banana
2 tbsps. ground oats
2 tbsps. whole wheat flour
pinch nutmeg
milk or cream

Mix the ingredients to get smooth paste and apply to clean face for 5-10 minutes. Your skin will be soft and oat will sooth any irritation.

Breakfast Smoothie
Recipe submitted by sdvegi at VegWeb  

3 to 4 bananas
1-1/2 cups rolled oats [160g]
1 cup carrots, chopped [150g]
2 cups apple juice (heat if any of the ingredients are frozen)
1 bunch greens (281g) (green kale, spinach, or red dandelion work best, collard and chard are not as bright green).

In a blender (Vita-Mix, Ktech or other high power blender with 2 quart / 2 litre container is best), add bananas, oats, carrots, and apple juice. Add water to the 6 or 7 cup mark and blend until everything is smooth. The greens are bulky but will fit when blended in - if blended in steps, a little at a time.  So, fill the remainder of the blender space with as much greens as will fit without packing the blender too tight, blend until smooth.  Add more greens, blend, and repeat, until the whole bunch of greens is used or the level of the smoothie has reached the top. Enjoy and store left overs in the freezer [to preserve the flavor] in one portion sized containers.  I especially like these after exercising in the morning - half defrosted - cold and slushy to cool me off.

Nutrition Facts: 2 quarts
Total Calories:  1342
Calories from Fat: 126
% Fat = 126/1342 = 9.3%

Kiddies Oatmeal Clay
From Family Fun 
Here's the clay equivalent of comfort food: a sturdy, nubbly dough that provides hours of smushing and sculpting. It dries rock hard overnight and makes convincingly Jurassic-looking figures and pretty, earthy beads.

1 cup rolled oats (you can use instant or old fashioned)
2/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra
1/2 cup water
Food coloring (optional)

Step 1 Stir together all the ingredients in a large bowl, adding more flour if necessary, until the dough forms a lump. For colored clay, you can add drops of food coloring to the water before combining it with the dry ingredients. Knead it on a floured surface, adding flour as needed, until it is smooth and not too sticky.

Tips: Allow finished creations to air-dry overnight. Leftover clay can be refrigerated in a ziplock bag for up to three days.