1. Leizer, et al. The Composition of Hemp Seed Oil and Its Potential as an Important Source of Nutrition. J Nutraceut, Funct Med Food. 2000;2(4):35-53.
2. Callaway. Hempseed as a nutritional resource: An overview. Euphytica. 2004;140:65-72.
3. Nissen, et al. Characterization and antimicrobial activity of essential oils of industrial hemp varieties (Cannabis sativa L.). Fitoterapia. 2010 Jul;81(5):413-9.
4. Chen, et al. Analytical characterization of Hempseed (seed of Cannabis sativa L.) oil from eight regions in China. J Diet Suppl. 2010 Jun;7(2):117-29.
5. Chen, et al. The isolation and identification of two compounds with predominant radical scavenging activity in hempseed (seed of Cannabis sativa L.). Food Chem. 2012 Sep 15;134(2):1030-7.
6. Porto, et al. Potential Oil Yield, Fatty Acid Composition, and Oxidation Stability of the Hempseed Oil from Four Cannabis sativa L. Cultivars. J Diet Suppl. 2014 Feb 19.
7. Montserrat, et al. Hemp ( Cannabis sativa L.) Seed Oil: Analytical and Phytochemical Characterization of the Unsaponifiable Fraction. J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Feb 5;62(5):1105-10.
8. McCusker, et al. Healing fats of the skin: the structural and immunologic roles of the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Clin Dermatol. 2010 Jul-Aug;28(4):440-51.
9. Callaway, et al. Efficacy of dietary hempseed oil in patients with atopic dermatitis. J Dermatolog Treat. 2005 Apr;16(2):87-94.
10. Jung, et al. Effect of Dietary Supplementation with Omega-3 Fatty Acid and gamma-linolenic Acid on Acne Vulgaris: A Randomised, Double-blind, Controlled Trial. Acta Derm Venereol. 2014 Feb 18.
11. Kawamura, et al. Dietary supplementation of gamma-linolenic acid improves skin parameters in subjects with dry skin and mild atopic dermatitis. J Oleo Sci. 2011;60(12):597-607.
12. Kapoor, et al. Gamma linolenic acid: an antiinflammatory omega-6 fatty acid. Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2006 Dec;7(6):531-4.
13. Russo. Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. Br J Pharmacol. 2011 Aug;163(7):1344-64.
14. Chen, et al. Therapeutic effect of topical gamma-linolenic acid on refractory uremic pruritus. Am J Kidney Dis. 2006 Jul;48(1):69-76.
15. Chen et al. An innate bactericidal oleic acid effective against skin infection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: a therapy concordant with evolutionary medicine. J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2011 Apr;21(4):391-9.
16. Nakatsuji T, Kao MC, Zhang L, Zouboulis CC, Gallo RL, Huang CM. Sebum free fatty acids enhance the innate immune defense of human sebocytes by upregulating beta-defensin-2 expression. J Invest Dermatol. 2010 Apr;130(4):985-94.
Images from pixabay
Interacting with nature is important for our overall well-being.
In Japan, Shinrin-Yoku or Forest Bathing is a program that encourages people to get out into nature, to literally bathe the mind and body in greenspace. More broadly, it is defined as “taking in, in all of our senses, the forest atmosphere.”
Researchers in Japan have collected psychological and physiological data on over 800 adults who have engaged in shinrin-yoku. These studies have confirmed that spending time within a forest setting can reduce psychological stress, depressive symptoms and hostility, while at the same time improving sleep and increasing both vigor and feelings of liveliness (1-7).
Having live plants and flowers in your home and office is beneficial for your health.
Even just having a plant in your room may improve your mood. For instance, patients in a hospital room with indoor plants reported less stress than those in the control condition (8-10). Decorating offices with plants has also been shown to decrease levels of discomfort such as cough and fatigue and improve health (11).
These effects may in part be caused by the plants removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air (12). VOCs are emitted from materials such as carpets, wallpaper, office chairs, and electronic equipment, with highest emissions from new products. Several ornamental potted plant species have the ability to absorb VOCs from indoor air and reduce exposure to the dangerous chemicals (13).
Interacting with nature also helps you focus and brings you into the present moment. When you look at a plant or smell an aromatic flower, your mind is drawn into the pleasant experience.
When your thoughts focus on nature, your mind is no longer filled with the chattering in your head- no more worrying about the past or anticipating the future.
Touch the plants. Smell them. Talk to them. Take pictures and videos of plants and flowers and share them.
Looking at pictures and videos of nature can help lower blood pressure and relieve anxiety (10, 14).
Keep in mind that this can be very individual- you may find images of oceans and water very calming, or you may respond better to images of trees and forests.
Choose images that are meaningful and beautiful to you.
In a preliminary study, exposure to a virtual natural environment helped individuals recover from a stressful challenge better than the control group (15). These results suggest that spending time is a virtual forest could help enhance your calm.
Do you have a favorite nature inspired game you play?
Listening to pleasant nature sounds can help lower blood pressure, relieve anxiety and reduce agitation levels (16-18).
Aromatherapy is a simple, effective and enjoyable method of stress relief.
Terpenes are small flavor compounds you can smell. Examples include linalool from lavender and limonene in citrus rind. Terpenes can enter into your body as you inhale them (19-20). Terpenes have many health benefits and smelling them can help enhance calmness and improve mood (21).
Lavender essential oil has a rich floral scent, which can improve states of calm and relaxation (22-27). Smelling lavender has been shown to significantly decrease blood pressure and heart rate, and reduce levels of stress hormones, including cortisol (24). The aroma of lavender has also been shown to increase the power of theta (4-8 Hz) and alpha (8-13 Hz) brain activities, which correspond with a state of deep relaxation (25).
Sweet orange essential oil has a fresh, sweet and citrusy scent and smelling sweet orange can reduce anxiety, improve mood and increase calmness (27-29).
Try This: Break into the peel of an orange, inhale deeply and smell the terpenes!
How do you interact with nature when you can't get outside?
“I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.”
–Henry David Thoreau
All photos from this series taken by Penelope Slack
1. Mao GX, Lan XG, Cao YB, Chen ZM, He ZH, Lv YD, Wang YZ, Hu XL, Wang GF, Yan J. Effects of short-term forest bathing on human health in a broad-leaved evergreen forest in Zhejiang Province, China. Biomed Environ Sci. 2012 Jun;25(3):317-24.
2. Tsunetsugu Y, Park BJ, Ishii H, Hirano H, Kagawa T, Miyazaki Y. Physiological effects of Shinrin-yoku (taking in the atmosphere of the forest) in an old-growth broad leaf forest in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan. J Physiol Anthropol. 2007 Mar;26(2):135-42.
3. Park BJ, Tsunetsugu Y, Kasetani T, Hirano H, Kagawa T, Sato M, Miyazaki Y. Physiological effects of Shinrin-yoku (taking in the atmosphere of the forest)--using salivary cortisol and cerebral activity as indicators. J Physiol Anthropol. 2007 Mar;26(2):123-8.
4. Morita E, Fukuda S, Nagano J, Hamajima N, Yamamoto H, Iwai Y, Nakashima T, Ohira H, Shirakawa T. Psychological effects of forest environments on healthy adults: Shinrin-yoku (forest-air bathing, walking) as a possible method of stress reduction. Public Health. 2007 Jan;121(1):54-63.
5. Tsunetsugu Y, Park BJ, Lee J, Kagawa T, Miyazaki Y. [Psychological relaxation effect of forest therapy: results of field experiments in 19 forests in Japan involving 228 participants]. Nihon Eiseigaku Zasshi. 2011 Sep;66(4):670-6. Japanese.
6. Miyazaki Y, Ikei H, Song C. Forest medicine research in Japan. Nihon Eiseigaku Zasshi. 2014;69(2):122-35. Review.
7. Berman MG, Kross E, Krpan KM, Askren MK, Burson A, Deldin PJ, Kaplan S, Sherdell L, Gotlib IH, Jonides J. Interacting with nature improves cognition and affect for individuals with depression. J Affect Disord. 2012 Nov;140(3):300-5.
8. Dijkstra K, Pieterse ME, Pruyn A. Stress-reducing effects of indoor plants in the built healthcare environment: the mediating role of perceived attractiveness. Prev Med. 2008 Sep;47(3):279-83.
9. Lee MS, Lee J, Park BJ, Miyazaki Y. Interaction with indoor plants may reduce psychological and physiological stress by suppressing autonomic nervous system activity in young adults: a randomized crossover study. J Physiol Anthropol. 2015 Apr 28;34:21.
10. Beukeboom CJ, Langeveld D, Tanja-Dijkstra K. Stress-reducing effects of real and artificial nature in a hospital waiting room. J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Apr;18(4):329-33.
11. Fjeld T, Veiersted B, Sandvik L, Riise G, Levy F (1998) The effect of indoor foliage plants on health and discomfort symptoms among office workers. Indoor Built Environ 7:204–209.
12. Dela Cruz M, Christensen JH, Thomsen JD, Müller R. Can ornamental potted plants remove volatile organic compounds from indoor air? A review. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2014 Dec;21(24):13909-28.
13. Yang DS, Pennisi SV, Son KC, Kays SJ (2009) Screening indoor plants for volatile organic pollutant removal efficiency. Hortscience 44: 1377–1381
14. Tsutsumi M, Nogaki H, Shimizu Y, Stone TE, Kobayashi T. Individual reactions to viewing preferred video representations of the natural environment: A comparison of mental and physical reactions. Jpn J Nurs Sci. 2016 May 10.
15. Annerstedt M, Jönsson P, Wallergård M, Johansson G, Karlson B, Grahn P, Hansen AM, Währborg P. Inducing physiological stress recovery with sounds of nature in a virtual reality forest--results from a pilot study. Physiol Behav. 2013 Jun 13;118:240-50.
16. Aghaie B, Rejeh N, Heravi-Karimooi M, Ebadi A, Moradian ST, Vaismoradi M, Jasper M. Effect of nature-based sound therapy on agitation and anxiety in coronary artery bypass graft patients during the weaning of mechanical ventilation: A randomised clinical trial. Int J Nurs Stud. 2014 Apr;51(4):526-38.
17. Saadatmand V, Rejeh N, Heravi-Karimooi M, Tadrisi SD, Zayeri F, Vaismoradi M, Jasper M. Effect of nature-based sounds' intervention on agitation, anxiety, and stress in patients under mechanical ventilator support: a randomised controlled trial. Int J Nurs Stud. 2013 Jul;50(7):895-904.
18. Bauer BA, Cutshall SA, Anderson PG, Prinsen SK, Wentworth LJ, Olney TJ, Messner PK, Brekke KM, Li Z, Sundt TM 3rd, Kelly RF, Bauer BA. Effect of the combination of music and nature sounds on pain and anxiety in cardiac surgical patients: a randomized study. Altern Ther Health Med. 2011 Jul-Aug;17(4):16-23.
19. Falk-Filipsson A, Löf A, Hagberg M, Hjelm EW, Wang Z. d-limonene exposure to humans by inhalation: uptake, distribution, elimination, and effects on the pulmonary function. J Toxicol Environ Health. 1993; 38: 77–88.
20. Falk AA, Hagberg MT, Löf AE, Wigaeus-Hjelm EM, Wang ZP. Uptake, distribution and elimination of alpha-pinene in man after exposure by inhalation. Scand J Work Environ Health. 1990 Oct;16(5):372-8.
21. Russo EB. Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. Br J Pharmacol. 2011 Aug;163(7):1344-64.
22. Chen MC, Fang SH, Fang L. The effects of aromatherapy in relieving symptoms related to job stress among nurses. Int J Nurs Pract. 2013 Nov 15.
23. Kim S, Kim HJ, Yeo JS, Hong SJ, Lee JM, Jeon Y. The effect of lavender oil on stress, bispectral index values, and needle insertion pain in volunteers. J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Sep;17(9):823-6.
24. Kim IH, Kim C, Seong K, Hur MH, Lim HM, Lee MS. Essential oil inhalation on blood pressure and salivary cortisol levels in prehypertensive and hypertensive subjects. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:984203.
25. Toda M, Morimoto K. Effect of lavender aroma on salivary endocrinological stress markers. Arch Oral Biol. 2008 Oct;53(10):964-8.
26. Sayorwan W, Siripornpanich V, Piriyapunyaporn T, Hongratanaworakit T, Kotchabhakdi N, Ruangrungsi N. The effects of lavender oil inhalation on emotional states, autonomic nervous system, and brain electrical activity. J Med Assoc Thai. 2012 Apr;95(4):598-606.
27. Lehrner J, Marwinski G, Lehr S, Johren P, Deecke L. Ambient odors of orange and lavender reduce anxiety and improve mood in a dental office. Physiol Behav. 2005 Sep 15;86(1-2):92-5.
28. Goes TC, Antunes FD, Alves PB, Teixeira-Silva F. Effect of sweet orange aroma on experimental anxiety in humans. J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Aug;18(8):798-804.
29. Lehrner J, Eckersberger C, Walla P, Pötsch G, Deecke L. Ambient odor of orange in a dental office reduces anxiety and improves mood in female patients. Physiol Behav. 2000 Oct 1-15;71(1-2):83-6.
Lactones are the main flavour compounds that provide the coconut aroma.
δ-octalactone has a fatty coconut aroma, with mild green undertones.
δ-decalactone has a creamy, coconut aroma with slight peach undertones.
ethyl decanoate has a sweet apple aroma.
ethyl acetate has a pleasant fruity odor, similar to pear.
nonanal smells like citrus peel, with cucumber undertones.
limonene smells like fresh sweet orange.
2-heptanone has fruity, waxy and green notes.
hexanal smells like freshly cut grass.
An aroma that evokes memories of tropical beaches, clear water, lush palm trees and bright sunny skies.
Santos, J.E.R.. Villarino, B.J.. Zosa, A.R.. Dayrit, F.M.. Analysis of Volatile Organic Compounds in Virgin Coconut Oil and their Sensory Attributes. · November 2011.
Flavor descriptions obtained from The Good Scents Company
1) Chen MC, Fang SH, Fang L. The effects of aromatherapy in relieving symptoms related to job stress among nurses. Int J Nurs Pract. 2013 Nov 15.
2) Kim S, Kim HJ, Yeo JS, Hong SJ, Lee JM, Jeon Y. The effect of lavender oil on stress, bispectral index values, and needle insertion pain in volunteers. J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Sep;17(9):823-6.
3) Kim IH, Kim C, Seong K, Hur MH, Lim HM, Lee MS. Essential oil inhalation on blood pressure and salivary cortisol levels in prehypertensive and hypertensive subjects. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:984203.
4) Toda M, Morimoto K. Effect of lavender aroma on salivary endocrinological stress markers. Arch Oral Biol. 2008 Oct;53(10):964-8.
5) Sayorwan W, Siripornpanich V, Piriyapunyaporn T, Hongratanaworakit T, Kotchabhakdi N, Ruangrungsi N. The effects of lavender oil inhalation on emotional states, autonomic nervous system, and brain electrical activity. J Med Assoc Thai. 2012 Apr;95(4):598-606.
6) Russo EB. Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. Br J Pharmacol. 2011 Aug;163(7):1344-64.
7) Goes TC, Antunes FD, Alves PB, Teixeira-Silva F. Effect of sweet orange aroma on experimental anxiety in humans. J Altern Complement Med. 2012 Aug;18(8):798-804.
8) Lehrner J, Marwinski G, Lehr S, Johren P, Deecke L. Ambient odors of orange and lavender reduce anxiety and improve mood in a dental office. Physiol Behav. 2005 Sep 15;86(1-2):92-5.
9) Lehrner J, Eckersberger C, Walla P, Pötsch G, Deecke L. Ambient odor of orange in a dental office reduces anxiety and improves mood in female patients. Physiol Behav. 2000 Oct 1-15;71(1-2):83-6.
10) Spadaro F, Costa R, Circosta C, Occhiuto F. Volatile composition and biological activity of key lime Citrus aurantifolia essential oil. Nat Prod Commun. 2012 Nov;7(11):1523-6.
11) Tundis R, Loizzo MR, Bonesi M, Menichini F, Mastellone V, Colica C, Menichini F. Comparative study on the antioxidant capacity and cholinesterase inhibitory activity of Citrus aurantifolia Swingle, C. aurantium L., and C. bergamia Risso and Poit. peel essential oils. J Food Sci. 2012 Jan;77(1):H40-6.
12) Chaiyana W, Okonogi S. Inhibition of cholinesterase by essential oil from food plant. Phytomedicine. 2012 Jun 15;19(8-9):836-9.
13) Melliou E, Michaelakis A, Koliopoulos G, Skaltsounis AL, Magiatis P. High quality bergamot oil from Greece: Chemical analysis using chiral gas chromatography and larvicidal activity against the West Nile virus vector. Molecules. 2009 Feb 18;14(2):839-49.
14) Ni CH, Hou WH, Kao CC, Chang ML, Yu LF, Wu CC, Chen C. The anxiolytic effect of aromatherapy on patients awaiting ambulatory surgery: a randomized controlled trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:927419.
15) Liu SH, Lin TH, Chang KM. The physical effects of aromatherapy in alleviating work-related stress on elementary school teachers in taiwan. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:853809.
16) Watanabe E, Kuchta K, Kimura M, Rauwald HW, Kamei T, Imanishi J. Effects of bergamot ( Citrus bergamia) essential oil aromatherapy on mood states, parasympathetic nervous system activity, and salivary cortisol levels in 41 healthy females. Forsch Komplementmed. 2015;22(1):43-9.
17) Navarra M, Mannucci C, Delbò M, Calapai G. Citrus bergamia essential oil: from basic research to clinical application. Front Pharmacol. 2015 Mar 2:6:36.
18) Kim IH, Kim C, Seong K, Hur MH, Lim HM, Lee MS. Essential oil inhalation on blood pressure and salivary cortisol levels in prehypertensive and hypertensive subjects. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012.
19) Hongratanaworakit T, Buchbauer G. Evaluation of the harmonizing effect of ylang-ylang oil on humans after inhalation. Planta Med. 2004 Jul;70(7):632-6.
20) Hongratanaworakit T, Buchbauer G. Relaxing effect of ylang ylang oil on humans after transdermal absorption. Phytother Res. 2006 Sep;20(9):758-63.
21) Jung DJ, Cha JY, Kim SE, Ko IG, Jee YS. Effects of Ylang-Ylang aroma on blood pressure and heart rate in healthy men. J Exerc Rehabil. 2013 Apr;9(2):250-5.22) Kim IH, Kim C, Seong K, Hur MH, Lim HM, Lee MS. Essential oil inhalation on blood pressure and salivary cortisol levels in prehypertensive and hypertensive subjects. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012
Hand-whipped raw Shea Butter in our Ryz Rémi Day Balm Concentrate
Antioxidants work by preventing unstable molecules from damaging skin cells.
The Shea tree Vitellaria paradoxa is slow-growing and long lived.
Shea grows wild in the dry savannah regions of Africa and endures extreme heat, drought and wind.
In response to the harsh environment, Shea becomes stronger and makes antioxidants to help protect itself against damage.
Shea butter is rich in a variety of antioxidants, including vitamin E, triterpenoids and polyphenols that help protect skin against sun damage and premature aging (1-3).
Shea Butter can penetrate deep into the skin layers, leaving skin feeling soft, smooth and supple. Shea butter has been shown to improve dry skin in children with eczema (4).
Shea Butter re-hydrates dry, chapped skin and diminishes the appearance of fine lines around your eyes, mouth and forehead.
Shea Butter contains linoleic acid (5), the essential n-6 fatty acid found naturally in the skin barrier (6). Linoleic acid is the natural precursor for ceramide, a bioactive lipid that plays a role in maintaining skin barrier to protect against water loss (6).
Shea butter has traditionally been used to calm irritated skin, and has been shown to improve symptoms of eczema (4). Shea butter contains active compounds, including triterpene cinnamates and acetates with anti-inflammatory activity (7).
Shea butter extract has been shown to significantly reduce the levels of LPS-induced nitric oxide, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukins, 1β (IL-1β), and -12 (IL-12) in cell culture experiments (8).
Shea butter extract is thought to calm inflammation by targeting iNOS and COX-2 signalling pathways (8).
1) Maranz S, Wiesman Z. Influence of climate on the tocopherol content of shea butter. J Agric Food Chem. 2004 May 19;52(10):2934-7.
2) Akihisa T, Kojima N, Katoh N, Ichimura Y, Suzuki H, Fukatsu M, Maranz S, Masters ET. Triterpene alcohol and fatty acid composition of shea nuts from seven African countries. J Oleo Sci. 2010;59(7):351-60.
3) Maranz S, Wiesman Z, Garti N. Phenolic constituents of shea (Vitellaria paradoxa) kernels. J Agric Food Chem. 2003;51(21):6268-73.
4) Gelmetti C, Boralevi F, Seité S, Grimalt R, Humbert P, Luger T, Stalder JF, Taïeb A, Tennstedt D, Garcia Diaz R, Rougier A. Quality of Life of Parents Living with a Child Suffering from Atopic Dermatitis Before and After a 3-Month Treatment with an Emollient. Pediatric Dermatology Vol. 29 No. 6 714–718, 2012
5) Honfo FG, Akissoe N, Linnemann AR, Soumanou M, Van Boekel MA. Nutritional composition of shea products and chemical properties of shea butter: a review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2014;54(5):673-86.
6) McCusker MM, Grant-Kels JM. Healing fats of the skin: the structural and immunologic roles of the omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. Clin Dermatol. 2010 Jul-Aug;28(4):440-51.
7) Akihisa T, Kojima N, Kikuchi T, Yasukawa K, Tokuda H, T Masters E, Manosroi A, Manosroi J. Anti-inflammatory and chemopreventive effects of triterpene cinnamates and acetates from shea fat. Journal of Oleo Science. 2010;59(6):273–80.
8) Verma N, Chakrabarti R, Das RH, Gautam HK. Anti-inflammatory effects of shea butter through inhibition of iNOS, COX-2, and cytokines via the Nf-κB pathway in LPS-activated J774 macrophage cells. J Complement Integr Med. 2012; 9:Article 4.
9) Nakatsuji T, Kao MC, Zhang L, Zouboulis CC, Gallo RL, Huang CM. Sebum free fatty acids enhance the innate immune defense of human sebocytes by upregulating beta-defensin-2 expression. J Invest Dermatol. 2010 Apr;130(4):985-94.
10) Kwon HH, Yoon JY, Park SY, Min S, Kim YI, Park JY, Lee YS, Thiboutot DM, Suh DH. Activity-guided purification identifies lupeol, a pentacyclic triterpene, as a therapeutic agent multiple pathogenic factors of acne. J Invest Dermatol. 2015 Jun;135(6):1491-500.