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Water for the Price of Gold

Essential oils have been extracted by man long before they were given their present name. They were just know as essences of plants, a type of extract by steam distillation. During the extraction process, using steam as the extractant, the volatile oil soluble components of the plant are liberated by the heat while the water soluble components are dissolved by the steam. The result gives the distillate composed of the essential oil (oil soluble essences) and the hydrolate (water soluble components).

A few decades ago, the hydrolates were considered as bi-products of the distillation process and apart from the acclaimed fragrant Rose and Neroli (or orange blossom) they were simply discarded. Only the distillers would use them in the bath or laundry. What a treat!

Nowadays, things have changed and these once considered bi-products have been marketed as necessary and important. Although these hydrolates are good products, they do not merit such a press. They are good fragrant distilled waters. Transportation if the main cost, but unfortunately, more and more companies are seeing a new prospect for profit. Althoug we should use these products whenever possible, we should also refrain ourselves from being fooled into thinking their high prices are justifiable. They are not. Hydrolates should be purchased directly from the distiller as although they are the ones doing all the work, they are not the ones making the huge profits. Rethink your purchase if you see the price just too high for a nice fragrant distilled water.

Only Julia's Skin Breathes

If your name is Julia Creek Dunnart, you are the only lady that can breathe through the skin. However, even if your name is Julia Creek Dunnart, I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news; your skin doesn't breathe any more than any other human. Julia Creek Dunnart is the name of a tiny mouse of Australia. She is apparently the only mammal to be able to breathe through her skin.

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Homeopathy

Throughout my professional life I have been confronted with the gigantic ignorance of those who unfortunately use words without knowing their signification. People talk about homeopathy like they talk about their morning coffee. First error constantly made, homeopathy has nothing to do with natural medicine. Homeopathy can be natural, but surely does not have to. To make it short and concise, homeopathy is based on 3 principles or "laws"; the first one is the concept of similitude (hence the word "homeo"). The second one is the concept of dilution. The third and final one is that of valorisation mainly in relation to the method of reaction (diathesis) of each individual.

 

First principle. Law of similitude: "like treats like". This is the antithesis of allotherapy (also known as conventional medicine - the one everybody uses today). Allopathy is based on treating symptoms with drugs that create the opposite. For example, an allergy caused by an allergen is treated with an antihistamine that prevents the reaction from occurring even though the allergen is still present. It is an "anti-allergic" response. In homeopathy, the allergy is treated by giving the patient the allergen that causes the allergy. Total opposite approaches.

 

Second principle, Law of dilution; Homeopathic remedies are diluted to the extent sometimes beyond the Avogadro number (6.022 x 1023). This is good, because when you do give patients substances that are actually responsible for their ailments, it is definitely better to have it diluted to the extent that the original molecule is no longer present.

 

Third principle, Law of valorisation; since homeopathy has had some problems with chronic illnesses, its choice of elements for treatment must be based on the history of reqaction of the patient throughout its life. This will determine how to treat, and it will eventually make the difference between an homeopath who listens and tries to figure out the diathesis of the patient and one who just practices for the love of money.

 

It is interesting however to realise that conventional medicine does somehow contribute without knowing it to the principles of homeopathy. Vaccination for instance is based on the law of similitude; they give the individual the organism that causes the disease. This is the first law. But they give this organism in a dead or inhibited form. This is actually similar to the second law, that of dilution. We know why they do that, to bypass to a secondary immune response if the full strength organism eventually reaches the individual, but thinking about it, we're not far from Hanneman's principles of homeopathy. They haven't figured that one out yet!

Water and Oil do not mix

This universal law that everyone has experienced is of the upmost importance in biology, biochemistry and biophysics. All elements on earth are known to be existing in three phases; solid, liquid and gases. These three phases cohabit and constantly colide among each other with physical and chemical consequences. Energy is present within each phase, but also between each phase, whether the phases are identical (eg: solid / solid) or different (eg: solid / liquid).

We can assimilate water and oil to two phases; the aqeous phase and the oily phase. When you mix them together, they collide. They separate by contact. Once they separate, their molecular mass keep them in separate levels, the higher mass goes at the bottom, the higher mass at the top. You can visualize this just looking at our fluid moisturizer.

No, water and oil do not mix, and that is a good thing.

Sodium Benzoate

Sodium Benzoate (NaC6H5CO2) is used as a preservative worldwide. It is generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) throughout the world.

The active part of the salt is benzoic acid, an organic acid (C6H5COOH) which is the actual preservative. The salt itself does not show any preservative activity. Sodium Benzoate is transformed into the free benzoic acid by lowering the pH of the solution. This can be done by adding any acid such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C) or citric acid (found in citrus fruits mostly).

Fruits and vegetables contain Benzoic acid. Plums and prunes have a relatively high content of Benzoic Acid (around 0.1%).

In the body, Benzoic acid is the result of the _-oxidation of fatty acids with odd numbers of carbons. Small amounts may also be formed in the large intestine from phenylalanine or tyrosine. Benzoic Acid reacts with glycine (an amino acid) and is excreted as hippuric acid (a constituent of urine in horses) in the human body.

There is at this time only a suspicion that benzoic acid is transformed into benzene with the presence of ascorbic acid, mineral ions and in certain condition such as in the presence of light and heat. The experiments have been only conducted on soft drinks and are not yet conclusive.

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