Tag Archives: hair care

A Healthy Head of Hair

I seem to have a trail of visitors who come to my blog seeking hair care advice, so this blog is for them. Although this article refers to women, the nutritional aspects equally apply to men.Hair

Are you one of those women who feel the only way to get your a healthy head of hair to head for the salon and invest in the latest high-end hair care treatment or to use expensive products?

Of course these treatments and products may help, but what you put into your body is vitally important to hair health and growth. When trying to grow your hair or improve the condition then it would be good to follow some if not all of these steps:

Nutrition:  Nutrition is essential if you want a healthy body and a good head of hair. Eat protein-rich foods, include in lean meats, fish, beans, low fat dairy products and eggs. Also include Brazil nuts, almonds, along with flaxseeds; these are good sources of omega-3 fats, and they can increase your hair’s shine over time – but be patient, it will take time, it could take six months before you see the results but it will be worth it. The benefit of fish is that it contains the essential natural oils and fatty acids that your hair needs. If you can, choose organic meats as they don’t have any added chemicals which aren’t good for hair or your body. Drink plenty of water. It not only flushes out all the toxins in your body but it also carries the nutrients to where they need to go.

Vitamins: It’s important to make sure you’re getting specific B vitamins which are; B2, B5, B6, B9, and B12; each play a huge role, from balancing hormones to combating stress, all which can adversely affect your skin elasticity and glow as well as the health  and general appearance of your hair. It is best to try and obtain these vitamins through a healthy diet, but if not always possible invest in a supplement, take a good B-complex vitamin.

Treatment: Most shampoos are harsh so rather look for a shampoo and conditioner that is organic and gentle. There are several on the market.


Cleopatra’s Beauty Secret

Aloe Vera


Cleopatra was renowned for her beautiful skin. One of her secrets was to massage aloe gel into her skin to nourish it and to make it shine. But she was not the only one to believe in the restorative powers of aloe.

Her fellow Egyptians was also very fond of the plant and drawings of aloe have been found in Egyptian temples dating to 3000 B.C. Egyptian medical writings from 1500 B.C. recommended it for infections and skin problems and as a laxative, uses that are supported by modern herbologists.

The Bible mentions aloe several times, in passages such as “I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon” (Proverbs 7:17). But it is unlikely that biblical aloe was one that we know today. In the ancient world, many bitter, resinous plants were called aloe.

The word ‘aloe’ comes from the Arabic ‘alloeh’ meaning ‘bitter and shiny’ – an apt description of the plant’s wound-healing inner leaf gel.

Michael Castleman, author of The New Healing Herbs reports that Aloe is one of the few non-narcotic plants to cause a war. When Alexander the Great conquered Egypt in 332 B.C., he heard of a plant with amazing wound-healing powers on an island off Somalia. Intent on healing his soldiers’ wounds – and on denying this healer to his enemies – Alexander sent an army to seize the island and the plant, which turned out to be aloe.

To prepare fresh aloe gel to help soothe superficial (not needing stitches) wounds, including burns, scrapes, sunburn, and to help prevent infection, select a lower (older) leaf and cut off a few centimetres. Then slice it lengthwise and scoop the gel onto the cleaned wound, and let it dry. As for the injured leaf, it quickly closes its own wound.

This fresh aloe gel is also wonderful for enhancing the beauty of your skin. (It is worth noting that the ‘stabilized’ (preserved) gel found in commercial skin care products and shampoos may not provide the fresh herbs skin-enhancing benefits.)

If you don’t mind the bitterness and resulting stomach cramps you can also take the fresh gel internally as a laxative. Cut a 15cm piece of lower leaf. Wash it to remove any dirt, make a few lengthwise cuts, and put it with cut end down in a glass of water. Refrigerate for an hour or so. Remove the aloe leaf and take mouthful doses.

Can’t find an Aloe Vera plant?

Then use our own indigenous Bulbine frutescens. For external use some claim that it even surpasses Aloe Vera.

Please note that if you are pregnant or trying to conceive you should not take aloe internally as its cathartic nature may stimulate uterine contractions and trigger miscarriage. Nor should it be used by nursing mothers. It may cause stomach cramps and violent catharsis in infants. Before embarking on any self medication please consult your doctor.

Extract from the SA Herb Academy