#11. Shampoo

Shampoos are just another kind of soap, a liquid soap, and with as many chemicals as the most of the industrial soaps and detergents. Even the neutral shampoos can contain chemicals. Read therefore the information on the box or container before buying a soap or shampoo. Soap is per definition alkaline. Shampoos therefore as well. To make a shampoo more neutral, by lowering the alkalinity, the industry uses mostly chemicals, acidic chemicals. To make a shampoo lather the industry adds special chemicals, named sulfates. An informational article about it: The facts about shampoo lather. Lather is not a guarantee that your hair and scalp become clean though.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Shampoos, all sorts of shampoos, the many brands, all are claiming to be the best for your hair, offering for every hair type another shampoo, another conditioner, another hair mask. I have used for as long as they exist pH nautral shampoos, hair conditioners, masks, but my hair was, despite the neutral pH of the shampoos, and the beautiful natural conditoners, and masks, never really okay. My hair is thick, curly, dry, fluffy, and now I am becoming grey it is even dryer. I have tried everything. Because of the mentioned characteristics of my hair it is impossible to have it long. Not even half long.

Herbal olive oil soap as a shampoo bar

I have started lately to use my own herbal olive soap for hair washing, to see what happens. It looks better and better. . The most significant difference is that I do not need to wash my hair more than once per week. My hair looks and feels normal, is so much easier to be dressed. I was wondering why.

Though pH neutral shampoos can be used every day, the question is if washing your hair every day is really okay for hair and scalp. My thoughts go far back in time when hair was washed just once per week. That had a reason: the skin of the scalp is not the same skin as on the rest of your body. Every single hair is growing out of the scalp-skin and it is the skin that keeps the hair in a good condition. We need indeed hair conditioners and hair masks when we wash the hair daily. But if we offer the skin of the scalp the time to do their work in their own natural way, and if we do not immediately destroy their work, by daily taking away what the skin itself produces, namely sebum, we do not need hair conditioners as we do now. Daily washing the hair is maybe okay according to shampoo manufacturers, but it is a matter of logic thinking that the natural resistance of the skin and the hair will decrease because of exhaustion, or will become overactive at the very beginning, when the daily shampoo attacks start, even when the shampoo is pH neutral. Using a neutral shampoo once per week was for me not the solution. Reason to use it more. And that did not work either.

A natural conditioner: argan oil

My own experiences with my oily cold process herbal olive soaps are that washing my hair with it once per week is really enough. After making my hair towell dry I use a teaspoon pure argan oil and spread it over and through the towel-dry hair and massage it into the scalp and hair. I let the hair dry naturally. My fluffy, dry hair is gone, but I expect that hte condition of my hair will improve more. In a few weeks I will add an update here.

To make it more personal I have added about 20 drops of rosemary essential oil to the 50 ml bottle, and stirred it very good. Argan oil and essential oils can be bought at House of Deli, Crete:

Additional information
  1. What ages hair? – PubMed
  2. Hairloss due to electromagnetic radiation from overuse of cellphone – ResearchGate

My personal experiences with EMF and hair loss: during the time that I was not aware of the impact of EMF on my health, not informed about symptoms of overradiation, I was indeed losing so much hair that I was wondering what was going on. I have written about this in my blog Multerland, in several posts[Archives 2017-2018]. It was the start of a private study about EMF. The consultation of an osteopath was helpful to stop my bad physical condition: she worked on my scalp, neck, and it felt as if a layer of glass broke and my scalp was back to normal again. After several treatments my hair was growing again. The new hair looked like baby hair, but after some months it was back to normal. The only way to get rid of the effects if wireless radiation is to live in an EMF free environment. I bought the Acousticom2. This calibrated device is able to measure EMF. In this way I could find the rooms where the radiation is almost zero, or at least the less, where to put the bed, where the desk with computer. Of course all wireless is turned off, the smart meter is turned off, the Wi-Fi is turned off, also in the computer and printer. All is cabled, I do not have internet on my cellphone and mostly the cellphone is on flymodus.

#09. The Minoan Lady

In September 2015 I was for a week on Crete and visited Knossos, and the Minoan Palace, the largest Bronze Age archaeological site[11]. I had already seen many pictures of the palace on the web, but when there I was touched by the atmosphere in a surprising way. Because thousands of tourists visit this site day after day, and so many tourist buses and cars fill the parking places, I expected that it would become a noisy, stressy experience, but the visitors were silent, calm, and did not even talk with each other. The atmosphere was so intense peaceful that it is justified to comparethe site with a holy place. I remember what I once read about powerful energy spots on earth, in the magnetic field of the earth, in the soils, and all the layers beneath the surface.

Monasteries were also built on these special spots. Stonehenge[12] is another example. The Minoans who lived in the palace of Knossos were highly civilized, not only rationally, but also spiritually. Priestesses were also living in the palace of Knossos, an enormous complexity of buildings with even four storeys. The Minoan Lady, also named La Parisienne, was a priestess[1]. Continue reading below the picture.


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Cretan Garden

When I decided to start a web shop to sell the seven soaps, made out of Cretan olive oil, herbs and essential oils, and searching for the picture that could be used for the logo, the icon in the media and blog, my thoughts went almost immediately to that one picture[17] that I made in the Archaeological Museum in Heraklion, in 2015. It was an intuitive choice. For me the Minoan Lady was and is what I would like to represent in my products: ethics, values, respect, dignity, esthetics, beauty.

It is a pity that I lost the article that I once read about Minoan priestesses in Knossos and their role in the herb garden: only priestesses were allowed to pick the herb salvia fruticosa, or Greek sage. For that sage ritual they had to wear a white dress, because that herb was holy. When I smelled dried Greek sage some years ago -for the first time in my life- I understood. Because of that intense smell I also understand why it is used in rituals to clean the atmosphere in rooms, in buildings with negative energies, graveyards, in a diversity of cultures, world wide[16].


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The use of soap in the Minoan Civilization

It is not certain if the Minoan Lady has used soap herself. There is nothing written about the use of soap in the palace of Knossos, though the first soaps seem to have been made in Greece, during the Minoan time. Here are some articles with information that explain for instance the use of salt in bathing rituals:

“Before modern medicine, salt water treated patients as a healing remedy. Before modern spa day, firm believers of its healing created a concept of therapeutic bathing. In order to cleanse the body, they infused salt with herbal blends, lavender and bay laurel leaves that extracted daily toxins. Another contribution salt progressed into was basic soap making. Dated around 2800 BC, the Greeks were one of the first soap makers who created mixtures of alkaline salts with local vegetable oils, animal fats and wood ashes to form soaps and detergents. By contrast, today an individual uses soap for bathing or personal hygiene, in ancient times, it was produced for cleaning cooking utensils, goods and medicinal purposes.”[18]

“The oldest archaeological findings in Europe related to bathing habits date from the Bronze Age (2,400–800 BC). In the palaces of Knossos and Phaistos in Crete, the population of the Aegean Minoan civilization has left traces of special chambers devoted to bathing. Alabaster bathtubs excavated in Akrotiri (in Santorini Island), as well as wash basins and feet baths, showed how people from the Minoan civilization maintained their personal hygiene.”[19]

“Lustral Basins were first identified by Arthur Evans[15] at Knossos and consist of a sunken rectangular room reached by an L-shaped or dog-legged stairway. There is often a balustrade running alongside the stairway, normally ending with a pilaster supporting a column. All of the examples at Knossos, like the one at Mallia (above) were lined with gypsum and so Evans thought they were used for bathing—a clay tub was even found in one of them. However, a few of them were found in areas of the palace, the Throne Room for example, where relaxing in the tub seems unlikely. In those cases Evans believed they were used for ritual purification through lustration—hence the name”[20]


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Sources and additional information

  1. Minoan woman or goddess from the palace of Knossos (“La Parisienne”) – Khan Academy
  2. Appendix Two, La Parisienne – Erenow, Biographies and Memoires
  3. Knossos and the Minoan Civilization – World History
  4. Journal article – Water, Fertility and Purification in Minoan Religion – Oxford University Press
  5. How ‘ritual’ were the Palaces? – The Secret of Civilization
  6. Minoan Religion, Ritual, Image and Symbol – Nanno Marinatos, Academia
  7. Hydro-technologies in the Minoan Era – IWA
  8. Minoan civilization – YouTube playlist
  9. Archaeological Museum Heraklion – Photo album Flickr
  10. Minoan Art, Archaeological Museum Heraklion – Photo album Flickr
  11. The archaeological site of Knossos, Crete – Photo album Flickr
  12. Stonehenge – Wikipedia
  13. Herbs for health and beauty in Minoan Crete – Explore Crete
  14. The Minoan Harem : the Role of Eminent Women and the Knossos Frescoes [article] – Nanno Marinatos
  15. Sir Arthur Evans and Minoan Crete – Nanno Marinatos
  16. Salvia fruticosa and rituals – Scholarly articles
  17. Picture Minoan Lady – Flickr
  18. Importance of salt in Ancient Greece – Greek Boston
  19. Ancient Greek and Roman bathing – Blog Stella
  20. Lustral Basins in Knossos – Odyssey

#07. Skin and pH

When writing this post it is July 2021. We, humans all over the world, have an experience with skin and pH(power of Hydrogen) values, while knowing maybe not anything about pH and if not being aware of the fact, why the skin of the dorsal of their hands looks so incredible bad since the last year. Most probably this is caused by the antiseptic sprays (high percentage alcohol) at the entrance of all shops. Not one doctor, dermatologist, talks about it. However, when one uses a soap to wash hands it has to be skin neutral. They say.

Skin neutral?

The pH value of the skin is on all places of the body different. Therefore one uses an average pH value, which is about 5 or lesser. What exactly is causing the pH value of the skin? First one needs to know what exactly is “skin”. Skin is an organ which covers and protects all what is beneath the skin, and outside the skin. The skin is nourished by the food we eat. If we never eat a balanced food, concerning pH levels, acidic and alkaline, the skin will not be able to have a healthy pH level. The influence of too much acidic food, which is the most popular among humans in the “civilized” countries, influences of course the constitution of the skin, and its pH values.

Also influences from outside the skin, like air pollution, artificial electromagnetic radiation, burning sun rays, extreme temperature, contribute to the condition of the skin, and its pH. On health websites one claims that only soaps with a pH value that is similar with the skin pH are healthy for keeping a healthy skin. This would mean that swimming in the salty sea pH 8,2), or ocean (pH 8,2), even bathing in tap-water (pH value between 6,5 and 8,5) or taking a shower should be avoided.

The neutral pH level soaps are a mix of the normal alkalinity of soaps, and mostly several chemicals to achieve a lower pH level. These chemicals are more skin damaging than a normal soap ever can. With other words: a lot of industrial propaganda for their so-called neutral pH products should be suspected.

The term alkaline is a sort of curse in the ears of many, because of the industrial propaganda for their self created myths that a soap must have a neutral pH value. How can they explain the alkalinity of for instance breast milk(pH of 6,35-7,35)[1], the alkalinity of the skin of new-borns(pH value 7)[2], the alkalinity of the amniotic fluid(pH value 7,1-7,3)[3] in which the foetus swims before it is born? The foetus is extremely sensitive: imagine the damage that could be created in its development of organs, brains, eyes, blood vessels, nervous system, bones, skin…. Nature however found it better to let it swim in alkaline fluid, not in neutral fluid, neither in acidic fluid. The pH value of blood ranges between 7,35 and 7,45. It is the blood that nourishes the skin from inside, and the lymphatic fluid in the skin pours out the acidic waste to the surface of the skin. If the food habits of the human being are not healthy, unbalanced, too acidic, of course the blood will be more acidic and the skin as well. How high was the pH level of the skin of our ancestors? They washed with alkaline soap, without any problem. Skin problems occur because of an unhealthy life style, bad hygiene, the poisonous environment we live in, and the poisonous food people eat.

Healthy lymph have a pH that ranges between 7 and 10. The lymphatic system, part of the immune system, is a network of ducts that carry the lymphatic fluid (LF). LF also contains white blood cells called lymphocytes, fats, and proteins.[4]. The lymphatic system, made up of lymphatic fluid, tiny vessels, nodes and organs, is responsible for removing excess fluid, infections and acidic waste[5].

Viruses, Corona and pH

Viruses thrive, like bacteria, in an acidic environment. Viruses infect body cells by binding to the proteins in the cells and then multiplying. Scientific research shows that this process mainly takes place at a low pH value or in an acidic environment. An acidic environment has a pH of 0 to 7. As the pH becomes more basic, the activity of viruses decreases sharply. Scientists have established this in various studies in numerous viruses in both humans and animals. The relationship between pH value and infection-increasing activities has been demonstrated in, among others, influenza1, corona2, hepatitis C3, foot-and-mouth disease4 and other viruses in animals. By increasing the alkaline buffer in your body, which improves the pH value of your body cells, the sensitivity to viruses in the body can decrease[6][7]

Sources

  1. pH value of breastmilk – ScienceDirect
  2. Skin pH of a new born baby – PubMed
  3. Amniotic fluid has a pH of 7.1 to 7.3. – Healthline
  4. pH value of healthy lymphatic fluids – Portland Press
  5. About lymphatic fluid – PrairieNaturals
  6. Viruses are pH sensitive – Reelyse
  7. The influence of pH on SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 severity – ResearchGate
  8. Additional information about pH values – Scientific Research, §6
  9. The Skin – Cretan Garden Blog

#06. Essential oils and their aroma

A short history

The use of aromatic plants and trees, goes far back in history, to the time of the Egyptians and Babylonians, 3000 – 4000 before Christ. It is told however that the oldest knowledge of essential oils.is to be found in China.

The Egyptians used the essential oils from plants and resins to mummify the dead, because of the cleansing and anti-sceptic properties. Cleopatra used essential oils to enhance her attraction. Also in the bible essential oils are mentioned, like myrrh, incense, cloves, sandalwood, rose, and cedar.

Those who worked as perfumers during the Black Death plague epidemic were not contaminated by the plague: they inhaled the aerosols which were mixed with the anti-sceptic aerosols from the plants while working with it, and also the anti-sceptic properties of the plants entered the body via the skin.[Additional: The Forgotten Pollution: Dr. Schnabel’s Hepa Filter]

Essential oils

Essential Oils are the highly concentrated, volatile, aromatic essences of plants. Essential oils are derived from the leaves, flowers, wood, seeds, roots, bark and resins of trees and plants.. Essential oils are composed out of diverse aromatic volatile liquids, which are distracted from the plant parts via steam distillation. To create one litre essential oil one needs many kilos aromatic plants. To create one litre of for instance rosemary oil one needs 50 kilos rosemary leaves, and about 5000 kilos for a rose and jasmine oil.

Essential oils and the chakras

There is hardly any information about essential oils in the combination with the term “chakras“. There seem to be essential oils however that could be helpful in the healing of blocked or disbalanced chakras. I have just one but excellent advice: the smell you are searching for on that moment, and absolutely your favourite, fits for all chakras. If you want to read more about it then this article could be helpful.

Hydrosols

Hydrosols, also known as “flower waters,” or “herbal waters”, are the water condensates from the steam distilling process of essential oils. Hydrosols have similar properties and scents to essential oils, but these aromatic waters are much less concentrated. Hydrosols are especially suited for children, because they can hardly create irritations. One or two soup spoons in a baby bath are helpful in cases of inflammations, or eczema. Consult a certified aroma therapist for the right information before experimenting with it. The pH values of hydrosol varies from 4,4 to 7. This means that it could neutralize a too alkaline skin or a too acidic skin, into a natural skin condition. Read more about the pH value in Scientific Research, scroll down to pH values.

Aroma therapy

The use of essential oils is rather safe when using these in an aroma lamp diffuser, or in massage oils and body-oils, if one is following up the advice about the total of drops on a certain total of water for a bath, footbath, or aroma lamp. Also when using essential oils in a carrier oil, like olive oil, to create a body-oil or a massage-oil, or to dilute it for just a small spot on the skin, one must be well informed about the total of drops essential oil on how much carrier oil. Internal use of essential oils is dangerous, unless one follows up the advice of a well-trained and certified aroma therapist.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich from Pexels

Quality criteria

There are many different brands on the market with all several different essential oils, and all smelling different from another brand with the same oil-name, and not smelling so nice at all. It can be related with the own nose, of course, and preferences, but it can happen that not only you dislike a certain smell: it can also depend on the brand, and the country, the climate, the height of the area, the hours of sunshine, the soil, the pH of the soil, even the entire community of plants and trees, animals, the so-called biotope where the plants grow where the essential oil is extracted from, are creating the chemotype, the ct, and the scent. It is impossible to smell an essential oil when one orders it from the web. It is therefore wise, if possible, to buy an essential oil in a good health shop.

Steam distillation is a delicate process. It needs professional experience and a constant control. The essential oil must be for hundred percent natural and may not be denaturised by half-synthetic molecules and not be mixed with essential oils with the same scent, but less expensive and of a lesser or even inferior quality..

Books

Article

  • What Are Essential Oils, and Do They Work? – Healthline

Scientific Research

  • An Overview of the Biological Effects of Some Mediterranean Essential Oils on Human Health – PubMed
  • Essential oils and Health – PubMed
  • Essential Oils, Part I: Introduction – PubMed
  • Oregano essential oil as an antimicrobial additive to detergent for hand washing and food contact surface cleaning – ResearchGate
  • Antiviral efficacy and mechanisms of action of oregano essential oil and its primary component carvacrol against murine norovirus – PubMed
  • Antibacterial activity of oregano (Origanum vulgare Linn.) against gram positive bacteria – PubMed
  • Essential Oils of Oregano: Biological Activity beyond Their Antimicrobial Properties – PubMed
  • Carvacrol, a Plant Metabolite Targeting Viral Protease (Mpro) and ACE2 in Host Cells Can Be a Possible Candidate for COVID-19 – Frontiers in Plant Science [[oregano’s principle component is carvacrol, admin]]
  • Oregano Oil and Its Principal Component, Carvacrol, Inhibit HIV-1 Fusion into Target Cells – PubMed
  • Why aromatherapy is showing up in hospital surgical units – Mayo Clinic


#02. Hygiene

What is “hygiene”?

Hygiene is a series of practices performed to preserve health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Hygiene refers to conditions and practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases.” Personal hygiene refers to maintaining the body’s cleanliness. Hygiene activities can be grouped into the following: home and everyday hygiene, personal hygiene, medical hygiene, sleep hygiene and food hygiene. Home and every day hygiene includes hand washing, respiratory hygiene, food hygiene at home, hygiene in the kitchen, hygiene in the bathroom, laundry hygiene and medical hygiene at home.

Many people equate hygiene with ‘cleanliness,’ but hygiene is a broad term. It includes such personal habit choices as how frequently to take a shower or bath, wash hands, trim fingernails, and wash clothes. It also includes attention to keeping surfaces in the home and workplace clean, including bathroom facilities. Some regular hygiene practices may be considered good habits by the society, while the neglect of hygiene can be considered disgusting, disrespectful, or threatening.- [Source]


Norway, Cretan Garden’s residence

The Cretan Garden website, blog and webshop are located in Norway and therefore following up the rules of the Norwegian Chamber of Commerce, and the so-called Matttilsynet, the Norwegian Food and Safety Authority. Cosmetics, whereto soap also belongs, are a department of this authority. Hygiene is a keyword.

The following texts are a translation of the term “hygiene” in the Big Norwegian Medicinal Encyclopaedia. When relevant I added information about hygiene within the context of making, curing, storing, packing and sending handcrafted soap. These extras are marked with “Cretan Garden’s additional information”.

“In everyday speech the word hygiene is about what is clean, fresh and promotes what is healthy, opposing to what is unhealthy and leads to disease. In traditional medical language, hygiene is often a collective term for health-promoting work and preventive medicine. Special emphasis is often placed on measures from the public sector to ensure public health. In the university teaching of medical students, the concept of hygiene has been replaced by preventive medicine or community medicine.” Source


Hand Hygiene

“Hand hygiene is hand washing with soap and water or hand disinfection with alcohol-based disinfectant. Washing and disinfection remove large parts of the temporary, superficial bacterial flora on the hands, which consist of white staphylococci and diphtheroids.

Water and soap together with mechanical movements dissolve bacteria and dirt, and running water flushes it away. Wipe your hands with a paper towel and screw the tap back on with the used paper towel. Proper hand washing is the easiest, cheapest and most effective way to prevent the spread of infections. Avoiding sneezing or coughing by hand and instead using either a paper towel or elbow hook is also important to reduce the amount of bacteria or viruses on your hands at all times.” Source


Food hygiene

“Food hygiene includes measures to ensure that water and food are suitable for consumption, and do not make people or animals sick. The supervision of this has been added to the Norwegian Food Safety Authority. The measures are largely based on common European rules.” Source

Handcrafted soap hygiene

Cretan Garden’s additional information: To be allowed to sell handcrafted soap in Norway one must be registered in the Norwegian “Brønnøysundregistrene“, an organization with strict rules about hygiene in the category “cosmetics” whereto also home made soap belongs. The rules about hygiene are created by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, Mattilsynet.

I strictly follow up their rules, not only about hygiene, but also about the information that has to be written in the information of the web-shop, and the packaging of the soap. Each Cretan Garden soap will be wrapped in a paper wrapper: the information is printed on the inside of the the wrapper.


International agreements

“Through the World Health Organization (WHO), international agreements have been established on hygiene rules for persons traveling between different countries and in international goods transport. See international health regulations.” Source


General hygiene measures

“In practice, there is often a close connection between measures to ensure hygiene and what has been done for aesthetic reasons. This applies, for example, to workplaces and in public buildings where clutter and lack of cleanliness are the first signs that the condition can become unhygienic. Good technical maintenance, for example of ventilation systems, is also crucial for maintaining a hygienically sound indoor environment. It is important that measures are implemented in line with professional assessments. It can prevent excessive measures which in themselves can be harmful. In environmentally sound health care in the municipalities, the concept of hygienic judgment is central. These are discretionary assessments of what risk technical and environmental conditions may be for reduced health and the development of disease. Assessments of aesthetic conditions, such as clutter and lack of cleanliness, are central to this work, as mentioned above.” Source

Cretan Garden’s additional information: Cretan Garden soaps are created in a hygienic and well ventilated room. In a special for this purpose set up dust-free and dry, medium-warm room, the soaps can dry, to be stored hygienically when cured, and to be packed hygienically when ordered.


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