Poppy seeds are harvested from the dried seed pods of the poppy. Believe it or not in some countries it is illegal to grow poppies, but in europe they are freely grown and sold.
Interesting fact: Poppy seeds are used in the production of morphine due to their sedative analgesic properties.
Health benefits Poppy seeds
Traditionally poppy seeds and extracts have been used as muscle relaxants due to their sedative analgesic properties. This means they could be a good alternative treatment for muscle cramping. Since then there has been no definitive research to prove all the health benefits; however people have been using the poppy seeds natural relaxant to help the body in a more natural way:
To help with sleep
The high quantities of magnesium within the poppy seeds are directly linked to having a peaceful and longer sleep. They can also reduces symptoms of disorders such as insomnia by regulating the metabolism.
Managing blood pressure
The relaxation properties of the poppy seeds contribute to a decrease in hypertension because the blood vessels relax and dilate allowing the pressure within them to drop.
High in fibre poppy seeds may aid digestion by stimulating contractions through the smooth muscle forcing food through your system. Lots of other foods do contain fibre but the ratio of content of fibre to the size of poppy seeds is very high.
Red blood cell formation
Copper and iron is essential for red blood cell production and a deficiency in iron can cause anemia and general fatigue. Poppy seeds have not been proven to prevent this but have been used to help avoid deficiencies such as these.
Aids bone health
Known as an excellent source of zinc which is proven to increase bone mineral density and general bone health.
Top 5 simple homemade fragrances with all the health benefits from those essential oils.
Goats milk and honey
Goats milk is designed to nourish the skin with its moisturising properties and the honey adds a sweet fragrance.
Lavender and vanilla
lavender is a calming scent however can be overpowering if used in too higher quantities. In soap if you have it in the garden this would be such a good natural fragrance to use.
Tea Tree and Poppy Seed
Tea tree is a natural medicine used to treat conditions such as acne. Therefore in soap this would be a great natural oil to use to apply directly to the skin as an anti-inflammatory With poppy seeds, medicinal oil can be extracted from them.
Argan oil and shea butter
Both of these natural extracts have moisturising properties and help the skin to glow.
Argan oil and honey
Again argan oil has natural moisturising and anti-ageing effects whilst the honey creates a sweet fragrance to balance the nutty smell og the argan oil.
So today I decided to give this a go and it was so easy and literally all it is, is ‘melt and pour’! I know this is the simplest method but hopefully I can use this to experiment with different fragrances. You can also add vitamins to this but I thought I would keep it easy considering it was my first attempt.
What You Need
- Melt and Pour Goats milk soap mix
- Organic Honey
- silicone Mould
- Some colouring
- Bowl and spoon
Use 0.5KG of Melt and Pour Goats milk Soap mix and cut into squares. Place into a bowl and melt down. You can either do this in the microwave or oven a pan of water on the hob.
Add the honey into the melted soap mix. Use 4 tablespoons of this depending on how strong you want this you made need slightly more or less. The quality of the honey you use will have an effect on the end fragrance. I used organic honey to keep this soap natural and also get the strong sweet smells.
Use the spoon to mix the honey and the Goats milk Soap mix in a bowl. Make sure you don’t let this mixture set as when I made this it set quite quickly.
Pour the soap mix into your chosen mould. If you have lumps in the mixture (which you shouldn’t have) you can pour through a sieve into the mould.
Leave anywhere between 30mins and 2hours for the soap to set in the mould. This will depend on how deep the mould. Once set, turn is out and leave for a further hour to harden.
I am going to start making my own homemade soaps to see what health benefits I can gain from the natrual extracts of the earth.
Starting by using the ‘melt and pour’ method I am going to try out a range of fragrences to see if I can make a sweet smelling natural soap that can be used for a variety of illness. Hopefully I will expose our natural medicines and be able to turn them into something usable for everyone.
The ‘Melt and pour’ method is a simple start but I am hoping to build on this and experiment with more complex fragrences.
Shea butter is a thick solid and creamy texture and containing around 60% fat is mostly used for its moisturising properties. It derives from the seeds of the fruit of the shea tree and could be likened to a super-food for the skin.
High in vitamins A and E shea butter can be used as a natural treatment for eczema and other conditions causing irritation of the skin. It can reduce the itching symptoms by as much as 79% and may be an ideal natural treatment for those suffering with chronic allergies of the skin.
- Reduces inflammation
When using shea butter as a cream it is said to help manage arthritis and its painful symptoms by reducing inflammation in the joints.
Application of shea butter to the site of a bite or sting will not only reduce the inflammation but is said to have some antiseptic properties, helping further with the healing process and reducing the chances of infection.
- Improves hair condition.
Containing high amounts of natural oils shea butter can reduce the appearance of split ends and the dehydration affects the sun has on your hair.
- Relieving muscle pains
Applying shea butter directly to the site of injury or muscle pain may help to relieve the associated inflammation. Historically, in Africa it is said to have been mainly used for this purpose long before it hit the western culture.
Argan oil is produced from the kernels of the argan tree and is said to have many healing properties and alternative uses. Although some of these have never been scientifically proven it doesn’t mean these natural ingredients won’t work for you.
Although argan oil has not been scientifically proven to treat skin conditions such as eczema or acne, its anti-inflammatory properties may be beneficial for those suffering with conditions such as this. It may be used to calm down the skin and reduce the pain and irritation.
- Moisturising the skin
Argan oil reduces oiliness of the skin through its sebum reducing capabilities. So for those who have naturally more oily skin this may be beneficial when used as a soap or scrub.
This is not supported by any major scientific proof and would need to be researched more however due to the anti-oxidant characteristics of argan oil it may decrease would healing times when taken in a tablet form. This could be especially useful oil for those who have a weakened immune system through either illness or harsh treatment, or for the elderly who may struggle to heal after injury.
Argan oil has a property to increase the elasticity of the skin and therefore reduce the effects of ageing on the skin, making the skin feel light.
- Reduces stretch marks
Again, this healing technique is due to the increased elasticity of the skin and can be helpful to pregnant women where stretch marks are likely to feature. Rubbing directly onto the site on the skin is the most effective way to use obtain the oils through the skin