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Soothing Botanicals for the Skin with Dr. Michele Burklund, NMD - Blog Puriya

July 24, 2019

In this Q&A session, Dr. Michele Burklund, Puriya’s Chief Science Officer, talks about the best botanicals for soothing the skin.

These botanicals are the following:

  1. Aloe
  2. Avocado Oil
  3. Olive Oil
  4. Calendula
  5. Chamomile
  6. Honey

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Right below, you will find the transcript of this video.


(00:00) – Hi everyone, Dr. Michele Burklund here, I’m the Chief Science Officer at Puriya. And a lot of what I do is the educational content, formulating a lot of our creams and supplements, and I’m here with you every Friday at 10:00 AM Pacific Standard Time to discuss different topics. Last week we discussed different foods for the skin. And to answer your questions if you have any live as well.

(00:27) – So before we get started, I’d love to know where all of you guys are watching, where in the world you are, and also don’t forget to follow us on Facebook right here if you wanna be reminded of our future interviews, and then also about our topics and when they’re going to be on. Plus if you sign up for our amazing new newsletter which will give you our free ebook, then you can stay in the know and find out what’s going on, get an email delivered straight to your inbox, and you get our ebook, which I’m so excited about. We recently launched it, and it gives so many great practical tips for daily living. So it’s lots of things you can integrate even today, things that will help you reevaluate your kitchen or to help you look for certain things when you’re going to the grocery store. So all these things, it’s really helpful, I highly recommend you take a look at it ’cause it can help in a lot of ways with the foundational help.

(01:26) – So let me see here. We are talking about soothing botanicals for the skin today. And I love this topic, I love talking about botanicals in general. In medical school… For those of you who don’t know, I am a naturopathic physician, so we go to a medical school for 4-5 years after undergrad, and we take a lot of the conventional courses, everything a regular medical doctor takes we take. But we also have all these amazing courses. We took years of botanical medicine, where not only do you study the science, the chemistry, the biochemistry of each botanical, but you go into a lab and you get to learn how to formulate and the art behind formulations, too. So I’ve always loved that part, and I love that I get to integrate this as well.

(02:20) – So we’re going to be talking about soothing botanicals, and I wanted to bring up this important story about different ways you can soothe your skin. And so whenever I think about soothing botanicals, I always think about the one time in my life where I had a really bad reaction, I had swelling all over my body. I was 10 years old, and I was visiting my grandparents out in the country, and I was climbing a cherry tree, and one of the branches broke. And I fell down, it wasn’t that far, but I remember feeling this horrible pain on my legs, and I looked down and I had actually fell on a bee’s nest. So I ended up running the whole way home, and by the time I got back to my grandparents’ house I had over 300 bee stings. So I remember my grandmother literally picking the bees off of my body and the pain that I had, but besides that there was so much swelling, so much histamine release all over my body.

(03:17) – And at the beginning, what she did is she put calamine lotion on me. Calamine’s a mineral, it contains zinc and ferric oxide, so it’s that iron that gives it the pinkish color. So at first, she put it all over my body. And then I couldn’t move, and then I couldn’t go anywhere or… And all of my clothes would get stained because I had this thick calamine lotion on. And so I felt like there’s so many more amazing great options back several decades ago, I think that was kind of the go-to in every American household. But there are so many things we’re going to be talking about today that’s not going to stain your clothes and prevent you from moving that can really have some healing properties. So we’re gonna discuss aloe, avocado oil, chamomile, calendula, honey, and olive oil of course.

(04:08) – Most people are familiar with aloe, and it’s just such a great plant to have for anything that causes skin inflammation or if you need extra hydration. Here at Puriya we use it a lot in our products. And aloe actually contains 75 different nutrients and 200 different compounds, and there’s been so many studies on it from supporting wound healing, helping decrease the pain sensation, and hydrate the skin. So there’s actually two different parts to aloe. You have the gel and then you have the latex. So I have aloe here, and I’ll show you. There’s definitely two different parts, the latex… Let’s see if I can get that in here, is right next to the gel, and when you see this gel it has all the good stuff to really help soothe your skin. I just cut this and it’s amazing how great it can just be for your skin, even just putting it right on. But we actually use this in a lot of our products, just because of so many different things it can have, from the salicylic acid to the nutrient content and the hydration, too. So it’s definitely a great addition.

(05:15) – Another thing that I like to do with aloe, too, is to keep a little bit in the fridge. Now, I bought this… An organic one at a grocery store, and so if you’re not growing your own aloe you can always just pick it up and keep it in the fridge, so if you do have a sunburn or if you feel some inflammation on your skin I think, this is just such an easy, great trick to use. And so just to touch on a little bit of this, we have the gel and we have the latex. We don’t use the latex here, a lot of people who do use the latex, they ingest it orally and they use for it detoxification, but it can actually be very harsh on the body, too, like a purgative, because it really cleanses the body. So when you’re cutting it you just want to get the middle part, the good area with all the great gel in it.

(06:05) – We use it in the Mother of All Creams for its ability to calm the irritated skin in different… Eczema and psoriasis. And one study actually found aloe to have very strong anti-inflammatory effects, and they compared it in the study to the popular corticosteroid drug Hydrocortisone. So that was very impressive. And what I also liked was there was a study done in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology that looked at different animal studies and assessed the effects of fresh aloe gel directly on wounds, and they found it significantly enhanced the healing process with zero side effects. So what they did is they literally just cut this and used the fresh gel on the wounds during that study and found it to be very effective. I will talk about one other thing that I have here. We use aloe for our Scalp Clarifying Shampoo and Conditioner to help strengthen the hair, too, and to restore the moisture. So it’s so many great things, I could talk about aloe for a long time just because it’s great at helping reduce that redness as well.

(07:12) – And let’s not forget cucumber. I have a couple things with me today, and cucumber is 96% water, and the other part is it’s rich in flavonoids and antioxidants, too. So a lot of people use this to soothe inflamed skin the same way, they can cut it and they can just put it right on their skin. And there’s been studies that show it helps with the puffiness or the swelling from the capric acid and the vitamin C content. So two very simple things you can go to the grocery store and purchase, but they can be very, very helpful for your skin.

(07:52) – Another thing that you can purchase at the grocery story, too, is avocado. Here at Puriya we use avocado oil, and it’s such a great oil. It’s derived from the fruit of the plant, and it’s really rich in fatty acids like oleic acid, linoleic acid, and linolenic acid, and it also has beta-carotene, and it’s rich in vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin E. We actually use it in the Mother of All Creams for exactly that, to help repair the skin and deliver nutrients where the skin needs it most, too, so that’s another great thing that you can get at the grocery store, and something that we incorporate that we think it’s very effective here at Puriya.

(08:33) – Now, one of my favorite plants, too, is chamomile. And I love the smell of it, I love drinking it, especially on a cold day because you feel that calming feeling. And it actually has a really long history, in Egypt they used the crushed flowers and they rubbed it on the skin just for cosmetic purposes. And in Spain it was noted that chamomile infusions were documented as a way to enhance the shine of hair, too. So I thought that was interesting because you still find today a lot of shampoos and other things that have chamomile in it. Chamomile’s been studied not only for property of shiny hair, but also as a nervine to help calm the nerves and to help reduce inflammation when you apply it on the skin topically. So I love using chamomile. I also love using calendula, and calendula is actually gonna be found in some of our newer formulations. And there’s been a lot of studies on calendula and helping… And how it helps reduce the inflammation in the skin. And they found two specific components that can help by blocking the COX-2 pathway. It can be pretty effective topically by both blocking the COX-2 pathway and the pro-inflammatory cytokines, so blocking all those things that cause inflammation.

(09:58) – And also honey. Honey is something that you can also find at the grocery store, and I love it because not only is it great to help nourish your skin, but it helps protect the skin barrier, too. And so many studies recently have shown honey to be a very effective antibacterial agent. A lot of things with skin or disorders or when you have swelling, when you have itching, is that you can break the barrier of your skin easily, especially if you keep itching; all of those things make you more prone to infection. So not only do we want to soothe the skin and reduce that irritation and reduce that inflammation, but we want to also deliver antibacterial properties so you don’t have a secondary infection caused from that inflammation on your skin. Honey is rich in so many great minerals and vitamins, and I think it’s just such a great therapeutic agent to use. And what’s interesting is there’s been some studies that show that it can be effective against very specific bacterias like MRSA or other things. Specifically manuka honey, too, can be very effective. And that’s one of the ones that has been most studied as well.

(11:19) – Moving on, and let me know if any of you guys have questions as well, or where you are watching from, I love to hear where you are in the world or what you’re doing. One of my last favorite things that I wanted to talk about, and we use this in Puriya in a lot of our products, is olive oil. Olive oil is the liquid fat derived from the olives, and it’s very rich in oleic acid and vitamin E and polyphenols. And it’s been extensively studied for its effects, its anti-inflammatory effects, it’s lipid content, it’s restorative effects, and then its phytonutrients, including squalene. What’s interesting is this oil has so many great antibacterial antiviral properties, and it’s also very nourishing for the skin.

(12:11) – And one of my favorite things, and I’ll give you this quick story, too, I lived in Greece for a couple years in this small village in the mountains, and so every year everybody had lots of olive farms around, olive trees everywhere, and we would harvest their olives. So we would get these huge, huge amounts of olive oil, and the best olive oil you can imagine, cold-pressed, organic. And we would have so much, so if I ran out of conditioner, or if I ran out of lotion for my face, or body lotion, I would just go into our old apothecary and take out a huge amount of olive oil. It was this never-ending amount, but it did so many great things for the skin and it’s such a simple remedy, and we use it in a lot of our products just for that. It’s very effective and it’s very nourishing for the skin, too.

(13:02) – Another thing that I did often when I was in Greece is that I’d use that as a base, and so I would infuse different botanicals, like calendula, like chamomile, into the olive oil to use. So so many great things with olive oil. And the crazy thing is we would run out every year, everybody would use that much that I feel like the average American might use just a small bottle or two a year, but there’s so many great therapeutic effects with olive oil.

(13:31) – So I hope I motivated you guys. If you have any issues with your skin, especially this summer, sun burns, insect bites, anything that causes swelling, that we have a lot of great botanical remedies all around us, at the grocery store, in your backyards, that we can use. And of course, aloe is one of my favorites, and it’s just so easy to use, and you just cut it, keep it in your fridge, and use it any time you need it, it’s that simple.

(14:00) – So please let me know if you have any questions, and be sure to sign up for our newsletter so we can catch you each week and make sure you tune in live if you have any comments. And I always wanna remind everyone, too, that all of our creams, all of our products, we really celebrate individuality, and we want to recommend that because we’re all different, to always patch test an area on the skin before full application. And we do have a 180-day money-back guarantee, meaning if the product didn’t work, if it wasn’t up to your satisfaction, you can return it, so there’s really no risk involved, and we wanna celebrate your healing journey, too. I hope you guys have an amazing weekend, and I hope you integrate some of these great botanicals, and maybe you have some in your fridge now, maybe you have avocado, maybe you have olive oil, so give it a try, and I will see you next week. Take care.


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