#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

#03. The skin

The skin is an utterly sensitive organ that is kept healthy because of a constantly regenerating, ingenious circulation system of water, lymph, blood, and fats. Because of the complexity of the skin, to understand how the skin is built, how this organ functions, it is helpful to watch one or more educational videos about it. I collected these in a playlist.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

How to maintain a healthy skin?

Since the nourishment of the skin takes place in the skin itself via the body systems and not on the surface, it is essential to eat healthy food and drink enough water (1-2 litres per day) next to other liquids like coffee, tea, soup, juiceses, etc.. Coffee and black teas de-hydrate the body. Breathing fresh air, being also physical active, contribute to an optimal digestion and therefore for a healthy skin as well. Daylight is also part of the natural skin care. Daylight creates a natural vitamin D that is adopted and transported by the skin into the body. The maintenance of the skin from the outside is part of the daily hygiene to keep bad smells, bacteria, viruses and fungi away, to avoid illnesses. Skin-friendly body oils moisturize the skin, and together with exfoliating the skin and massages a way to keep it vital, elastic, and shining.

1. Soap

It is astonishing that soap manufacturers of for instance the so popular Aleppo soap, Savon de Marseille, and Castile soap do not offer information about the pH value. The pH value of all natural soaps is 9. The Cretan Garden soaps are natural soaps, comparable with the Aleppo soaps, and have a pH value of 9 as well. This pH level is related with the formula for handcrafted natural soaps according to old traditions. There are manufacturers of the so-called neutral soaps, or so-called ecological degradable soaps who do not offer any information about that either. There are natural soap manufacturers who add natural acidic substances of for instance aloe vera to lower the pH level. For me its has been a conscious choice to follow up the old traditional methods and formulas. Though the Cretan Garden olive soap is alkalic, the skin needs just 15 minutes to come back to its own pH. The benefits of the olive oil, herbs and essential oils in the soap are all still present in the thin film that remains on the skin, nourish, protect and keep the skin elastic.

*Advice. In case the soap is used for scalp and hair washing: use argan oil after washing, on the towel-dry hair if you have dry and/or curly hair. Grey hair can be very dry as well. Argan oil is also used in the so-called Moroccan oil, but argan oil is pure oil, does not contain perfumes, or any other kind of chemicals. To make the argan oil more yours you can mix one drop essential oil with the argan oil in the palm of your hand before spreading it over the hair, and rub it in the hair and the scalp for about a minute.

*Advice for the use of soap on the skin of the face: Do not use soap too often. Use luke warm water and pat the skin of the face dry.

2. A skin-friendly body-oil

Make your own skin conditioner: Buy organic olive oil, and the essential oil used in the soap. Add 200 ml olive oil / 20 drops essential oil [for external use only!] in an empty and well cleaned fluid soap bottle with pump. Add just a little hand full of the homemade body oil immediately after washing to the wet and warm body from face to toes, spread it all over the skin. Then dry yourself with a towel. A very thin film is left. It offers a matt effect to skin, without weighing it, without leaving oily traces. It improves skin elasticity while preventing moisture loss that can contribute to the aging process. It keeps the skin smooth and soft, while leaving a natural healthy glow, younger looking result, and the wonderful scent of the essential oil. You can buy essential oils at House of Deli, Crete.

Attention: the advised total of drops essential oil on 200 ml olive oil, for a body oil is a safe total. On the website of the Aroma Therapy Foundation is written that the total depends on the power of each single essential oil: they are all different in weight, which means that one drop of lavender is lighter than one drop of oregano, for instance. They recommend for a body oil 20 – 40 drops on 100 ml olive oil. I recommend the maximum of 20 drops on 200 ml olive oil, to be used on body and face. Your skin could react on it anyway. Advice: try your home made body oil on a small spot on your arm, and wait to see how the skin reacts, before using it on the entire body. Do not use the body oil as a sun-oil. You can use it as an after-sun treatment. Protect your skin against the sun with a high protection factor cream. The best protection however is to avoid direct sunlight, by wearing a sun-hat, or to sit in the shadow.

3. Exfoliating the skin

Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the outer layer of your skin. If you do this well, in the way that fits with your skin type, this creates a bright, healthy looking skin because the circulation in the skin has improved. The right way of exfoliating allows a better absorption of body oils and creams. See also the Cretan Garden blog post: Exfoliating the skin.

*Advice: the skin of your face may not be exfoliated in the same way as the skin of the body. Because the skin of the face is constantly uncovered, dealing with variations in temperatures, air pollution, overdose of aggressive sunlight, dry air inside the house in winter, airco in summer and winter, the skin of the face needs a mild maintenance Not any kind of exfoliating is mild, unless one uses a wash cloth carefully.

4. Massages

Because Wikipedia offers a very excellent article about massage, types of massages, massages in history, and therapies with massages, I only would like to add some notes.

Massages stimulate the muscles, blood circulation, organs, metabolism in the cells, are balancing the body systems, unblock chakras, create a bridge between your mind and your body, and activate the skin as well, because the skin is the medium between the hands of the therapist and the body beneath the skin. To get used to a therapeutical massage one could start with foot massages. Videos: playlist 1, playlist 2 The Thai yoga massage is a possible next step: you wear comfortable clothes. Videos: playlist.

Abhyanga (“oil massage”) is a form of Ayurvedic therapy that involves massage of the entire body from the head to the toe with Dosha-specific warm herb-infused oil. Self-massage is also possible. Abhyanga massage improves skin health. Healthline published an article about it. Video: Abhyanga self-massage. Video: Abhyanga massage India


5. Fresh air

The skin is our natural border between our inner physical body, our inner world, our self, and the outside world, The human eveolution, related with the so-called civilization, brought changes in habits, also in clothing. Our ancestors did not wear clothes, they used the skin and fur of the animals they killed for food, to protect against cold. They did not live in closed houses but in caves, huts or tents. Fresh air was a constant factor. The air was not polluted in that time. The skin could bath day and night in clean air. Fresh air, oxygen, is necessary to keep the skin in a good condition. Opening windows, at least for an hour or two per day, is a must to keep the air-hygiene optimal. In summer I do this every morning, after waking up at about six o’clock, and close the windows after an hour or two. During winter I do this twice per day, for just five minutes: it is extreme cold in the Norwegian mountains.

Taking a daily walk, also in winter, in an environmentally healthy area, creates a healthy blood circulation. The blood is enriched by breathing in pure oxygen. The blood system transports the oxigen to also the skin.


6. Daylight

We are the offspring of the humans who were living in the open air, with abundancies of daylight. We must realize that our skin did not change so much during evolution as our habits in clothing and living. We live almost constantly in a closed house, office, working place, car or any kind of public transport, with artificial light. Natural light, daylight, is essential for our well-being, and to keep a healthy skin. Note: daylight is created by the sun, but being in the full heat of a burning sun is not healthy. Also the shadow offers natural daylight


7. Water and healthy food

What you eat and drink can significantly affect your skin health. Drink at least a liter water per day, next to all other liquids like coffee, tea, juices or soup. Healthline offers excellent information about good food for a healthy skin.

Photo by Arnie Watkins from Pexels

Related blog posts:


Additional information

  • Cretan Garden: Scientific research about olive oil, the use of olive oil on the skin, essential oils, cold processed olive soap, and herbs.
  • Medical News Today: Benefits of olive oil for the skin and face.
  • Mayo Clinic – a non-profit American academic medical center focused on integrated health care, education, and research – Does drinking water cause hydrated skin?
  • Healthfully: The Effects of Sunlight[daylight, Admin] & Fresh Air on the Body
  • Healthfully: Vitamin D & Excessive Sweating

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