Home Made Hair Conditioner for Itchy Scalps

home made hair conditionerHome-Made Hair Conditioner

If you’re histamine intolerant, one of your symptoms could be an itchy scalp.  Commercial hair products may contain ingredients such as fragrances, which can irritate sensitive skin and make itchy scalps worse. So why not make your own fragrance-free, natural hair conditioner? It’s actually a lot of fun.

This recipe comes courtesy of www.easy-aromatherapy-recipes.com. To make the hair conditioner you will need a ‘carrier oil’ to suit your hair type. If you find that this formula makes your hair feel greasy, then use grapeseed oil as your carrier oil and reduce the amount. Note: Avocado oil should only make up to 10% of your total oil hair care blend because it leaves a waxy residue that’s very hard to wash out.

  • Normal Hair:     Jojoba Oil, Olive Oil or Virgin Coconut Oil
  • Dry, Damaged or Frizzy Hair:     Castor Oil, Jojoba Oil, Olive Oil, Shea Butter or Virgin Coconut Oil
  • Oily Hair:     Grapeseed Oil or Jojoba Oil
  • Thinning Hair:     Olive Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Avocado Oil, Castor Oil, Grapeseed Oil
  • Dandruff:    Sesame Oil, Virgin Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Castor Oil, Olive Oil

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) carrier oil for your hair type (see above)
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vegetable glycerin
  • 1 tablespoon (8g) emulsifying wax
  • 1/2 tsp (1.5ml) Vitamin E (or 2 capsules)
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) distilled water
  • 5 drops grapefruit seed extract

Instructions:

  • Stir together the oil, emulsifying wax and glycerin in the top part of a double boiler, warming slowly over a low heat until the wax is melted. Remove from heat and pour in the Vitamin E.
  • In a separate pot on the stove or in the microwave, gently warm the water or herbal infusion just until lukewarm. Do NOT skip this step or your conditioner will separate later on.
  • Slowly pour the water/herbal infusion into the oil mixture, stirring constantly with a wire whisk until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Let the mixture cool a little so the essential oils don’t evaporate too quickly when you add them.
  • Don’t worry if it doesn’t thicken immediately – it thickens as it cools down to room temperature.
  • Stir in the essential oil and the grapefruit seed extract. Pour the natural hair conditioner into a clean, sterilized 8oz (250ml) dark glass or PET plastic bottle and allow it to cool before putting the lid on.
  • Shake the bottle occasionally as the conditioner cools to prevent the ingredients from separating. Store in a cool, dark place.
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Extra supplements for Histamine Intolerance sufferers

Histamine Intolerance Supplements

supplementsIf your histamine intolerance symptoms are extremely severe, then in addition to adhering to the Strictly Low Histamine Diet you may wish to take some additional supplements. Here are some suggestions.

* Low-acid Vitamin C  1000 mg twice daily.
Note: Standard Vitamin C supplements work well too, but but if you are taking high doses you may experience a burning or irritating sensation in the urinary tract. People with certain conditions such as interstitial cystitis, prostatitis and stomach ulcers often have a hard time tolerating high-acid vitamin C supplements.

* Vitamin B6 100 mg once daily.
Note: never exceed the recommended dose.

Your body needs Vitamin C and vitamin B6 to manufacture the DAO enzyme, which helps break down histamine in the body. Copper is also necessary for DAO production, but too much copper can be toxic. If your diet includes  variety of fresh, unprocessed foods it will already provide you with sufficient copper and you won’t need copper supplements.

* Digestive enzymes, one capsule before each meal. Choose a broad spectrum formula, including digestive enzymes to break down both protein (such as pepsin) and carbohydrates (such as amylase). Those who are histamine intolerant need help digesting protein, so that it does not linger in the gut fermenting and producing bacteria and histamine.

* Vira Stop is an enzyme formula dedicated to breaking down protein.  The recommended dose is 2 capsules daily. Begin gradually, by taking half a capsule per day and build up to 2 capsules over a few weeks. You should take this supplement on an empty stomach – i.e. either one hour before you eat or two hours afterwards. Never swallow probiotics and Vira Stop at the same time because they can interfere with each other.

* Probiotics. There are two species that actually cause histamine to be released in the body and those are Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus bulgaricus. Avoid them. Two very important types for people with histamine intolerance are Bifido infantis and Bifido longum. Take any probiotic supplement that contains both of these.

* Zinc inhibits the release of histamine from mast cells. Take 50mg of zinc per day, with a meal containing starch. This helps your body to absorb the zinc.

Remember that what you leave out of your diet to control histamine levels is probably even more important than what you take in via supplements.
Taking every recommended supplement will have little effect if you are still eating histamine-rich or histamine-triggering foods.  Consult the book for the complete diet.

Health and medical information disclaimer:

The information provided on this website is intended only to aid you in making informed decisions about your health. It is not intended to be a substitute for advice and treatment prescribed by a registered dietitian, nutritionist or doctor. The content of this website may not be used as a basis or means for any form of self-diagnosis. If you suspect that you have a medical problem, we urge you to seek the help of a medical practitioner.

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Boosting your DAO

boosting your daoAntihistamines

If you find that taking certain antihistamines significantly improves your health, then it’s likely you suffer from HIT (Histamine Intolerance). Some common antihistamine trade names include:

Zyrtec = cetirizine, an antihistamine that works by blocking histamine (H-1) receptors.
Zantac – ranitidine, an antihistamine that works by blocking histamine (H-2) receptors.

Both of these – like any medications – can have unwanted side effects. However, these are generally outweighed by their benefits, at least in the short term. Taking them is a good way to hit your symptoms hard and really get them to settle down. If you wish to follow up the potential side-effects of Zyrtec and Zantac, click on these links: Zantac   Zyrtec

That said, taking Zantac and Zyrtec is not a long-term solution. It’s like putting a bandage over an infected wound – it looks okay from the outside but the problem remains. Besides, over time the body can develop resistance to the meds. Then they gradually lose their efficacy and you go back to ‘square one’.

About Boosting Your DAO

We suggest that HIT sufferers:

  • Make sure none of your other medications (if any) are DAO (diamine oxidase) blockers, which might have brought on your symptoms in the first place. If possible – and under medical supervision – try to wean off them.
  • Stick to the Strictly Low Histamine Diet and its associated dietary supplements. A low histamine diet with safe, natural supplements has no unwanted side effects and for many people it has provided that ‘miraculous’ relief they have been seeking. It doesn’t take months and months to get a result – only a few weeks.
  • Another essential is dietary fiber. Consuming abundant fiber has been proven, in numerous studies, to decrease inflammation in the body (and the reverse is true of a high fat diet). It can actually improve the binding ability of the histamine H-1 receptor.
  • Stress can be a powerful trigger for Histamine Intolerance too, so it’s important for people with HIT to treat themselves kindly and allow themselves time to relax. For anyone with HIT who is reading this post, we recommend visiting the Helpguide website and looking at their excellent Stress Management Guide.
  • Protect and heal your intestinal mucosa. The body produces DAO in the small intestine, the upper part of the large intestine, and the kidneys. To help protect and heal the mucosal lining of your intestines, include the spice turmeric and brassica vegetables (e.g. cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, )in your diet. Prebiotics and probiotics, too, play an essential role in the healing of the gut.
  • Protect and heal your kidneys. Your kidneys may be perfectly healthy, but there are still things you can do to make sure they stay that way – and to boost their DAO producing capabilities. The Kidney Foundation of Canada recommends that people with kidney disease should ‘control your salt intake and avoid foods with a high sodium content. These include processed foods like “deli” meats, canned foods, convenience and “fast” foods, salty snacks and salty seasonings.’ They also say, ‘Phosphorus is a mineral which normally keeps your bones strong and healthy. However, too much phosphorus may cause itchy skin or painful joints. When the kidneys start to fail, your blood phosphate level will rise. Therefore, you may need to limit certain foods which contain even a moderate amount of phosphorus. These include milk, cheese and other milk products, and protein foods such as meat, fish and poultry.’
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Home Made Shampoos for Itchy Scalps

Home Made Shampoos and Conditioners for Itchy ScalpsIn a recent post we gave you some recipes for soap-free skin cleansers you can make at home – ideal for Histamine Intolerant people with itchy skin. For those with itchy scalps, here are some recipes for soap-free home-made shampoo for itchy scalps. They’re simple to make, they really work and they won’t break the bank. In fact, they’re probably cheaper than most commercial shampoos! The shampoos are pH balanced and come courtesy of www.blog.kanelstrand.com.

If you’re already using a ‘natural’ shampoo, check the ingredients on the label. Commercial products often contain chemical additives that are far from natural and some, such as sodium lauryl sulfate, can actually be damaging.

A note on essential oils
Many people believe that because essential oils are natural plant extracts, they must be kind to the skin. The truth is, however, that essential oils vary in their characteristics and each person responds differently them.  The most common undesirable result is skin irritation.

David Fisher, whose knowledge of essential oils derives from candle and soap making, declares that toxicity in essential oils comes in two forms:

* Phototoxicity – these essential oils become toxic when exposed to direct sunlight. These oils are fine in candles, but shouldn’t be used in any sort of application where the essential oil will stay on your skin and be exposed to the sun. Using these oils in soap is o.k. because it is rinsed off, but using them in a balm or a lotion is not recommended because the essential oils stay on your skin.” Phototoxic essential oils include verbena oil and citrus oils such as lemon, lime, orange and mandarin.

* Toxicity – at certain levels, these essential oils will make you sick, or hurt you in some way – whether in the light or not. Several of them can be used safely in soap making and candle making, but you need to exercise caution and moderation, which usually means using them in low concentrations.”  Toxic essential oils include bay laurel, cedarwood (Virginian), cinnamon (leaf), clove (bud), eucalyptus, juniper and nutmeg.

Perfumes and fragrances can irritate the airways of HIT sufferers. Add to this the possibility of essential oils irritating sensitive skin, and you have two good reasons to avoid adding perfumes and essential oils to your home-made personal care products.

Home-Made Rye Flour Shampoo

This recipe is suitable for all types of hair. Note: The reason why rye flour is relatively mess-free is that it’s low in gluten. Do not experiment with other flours, especially those rich in gluten. It will be really difficult to remove them from your hair.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 tbsp. rye flour (you can adjust the amount according to your hair length)
  • some lukewarm water – enough to make the mixture as thick as standard shampoo

Instructions:

  • Put the flour in a cup.
  • Add some water and mix thoroughly. Keep adding water and mixing.
  • Mix until there are no lumps left and the mixture is runny and resembles that of shampoo.

To use:

  • Wet your hair and put some of the shampoo on your fingers.
  • Massage thoroughly and gently into the scalp. The shampoo will cover the lengths of your hair when you start rinsing.
  • Rinse generously with lukewarm water until all shampoo is removed.

Home Made Coconut Milk and Aloe Vera Shampoo.

This recipe is suitable for dry, dandruff-prone hair and scalp. If you like, you can double or triple the quantities of ingredients, divide the shampoo between several containers and store it in the freezer for later use.

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 oz (75 ml) coconut milk
  • 3 oz (88 ml) Aloe Vera

Instructions:

  • Mix the coconut milk and the Aloe Vera well until there are no lumps left.

To use:

  • Apply on wet hair.and put some of the shampoo on your fingers.
  • Massage well into the scalp.
  • Let it remain for a couple of minutes.
  • Rinse generously with lukewarm water.

 

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How to make your own soap-free skin cleansers.

In the last post we discussed using soap-free cleansers to soothe itching skin. Here, as promised, are some recipes for soap-free skin cleansers you can make at home.

Soothing Skin Cleanser

Fragrant rosewater adds a luxurious touch to this gentle cleanser. Never use essential oils on your skin – despite being all-natural, they can cause phototoxicity and irritation. All perfumes can be irritants to people with HIT, even natural rose, so if you find it’s a problem for you, substitute distilled water or boiled and cooled water. Natural rosewater is, nonetheless, very beneficial to the skin.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup aloe vera gel
  • 2 tablespoons almond oil
  • 2 tablespoons rosewater
  • 1 tablespoon soapwort extract [1] (available from online stores, cosmetics stores and Amazon)
  • 5-10 drops coconut oil
  • 3-5 drops or 1 capsule vitamin E oil (optional)

Instructions:

  • Mix all ingredients together and store in container with tight fitting lid.
  • To use: wet face, apply in small circles and rub in for 30 seconds, wash off with warm water.
  • The water and oil may separate, so shake the container well before use.

*[1] Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) is a useful and pretty plant, easily grown in the garden. You can buy it here.

Refreshing Skin Cleanser

This mixture cleans and refreshes your skin. It does not dry out the skin and it leaves no residue. The baking soda has a gentle exfoliant action and the aloe soothes and heals.

Ingredients for basic skin cleanser:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon aloe vera gel
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable glycerin
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (to thicken)

Optional additives:

2 tablespoons witch hazel
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 tsp calendula extract
1 teaspoon chamomile extract
1 teaspoon green tea extract
1 teaspoon ginger extract
15 drops coconut oil
15 drops almond oil

Instructions:

  • Mix together your chosen ingredients.
  • To thicken use 1/2 tsp xanthan gum whizzed in with a blender.
  • When all is well-blended, pour the mixture into a clean bottle and seal with an airtight lid.
  • Label the bottle.
  • Store in refrigerator to prolong shelf life.
  • To use, simply rub it over your skin, then rinse off with warm water and pat dry with a soft towel.

Exfoliant Skin Cleanser

This skin-care recipe uses Fuller’s Earth, which is available from cosmetic stores online. Amazon also sells it – see our shop on this website.
Fuller’s Earth is an amazingly useful substance.  Scroll down to find out more about it! If you cannot find Fuller’s Earth, you can substitute Kaolin Clay, French Green Clay or Rhassoul Clay.

Ingredients:

  • 3 parts wheat bran
  • 1 part ground rice
  • 1 part ground oats
  • 1 part dried lemon peel
  • 1 part organic cane sugar
  • 1 part Fuller’s Earth
  • a few drops of glycerin or honey
  • water

Instructions:

  • Place all the dry ingredients (the first 6 ingredients) into a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Pour mixture into an airtight container and keep it cool and dry until you are ready to use it.
  • To prepare mixture for use, shake the container then place a small amount of it into a clean, dry ceramic bowl.
  • Add enough water (a few drops) to make a thick paste. Stir with a spoon until water is absorbed evenly.
  • Mix in a few drops of glycerin or honey, according to your preference.
  • Apply mixture to damp skin and gently rub in a circular motion.
  • Rinse it off with warm water and pat dry with a soft towel.

When all’s said and done, your itching skin symptoms will, over time, fade or even disappear  if you continue to follow the Strictly Low Histamine Diet and keep your skin free of harsh chemicals, soap and artificial perfumes.

The next post will have recipes for home-made shampoos and conditioners, so drop in later if you’d like to see them.


 About Fuller’s Earth

According to Wikipedia (article retrieved 28.7.14) ‘Fuller’s Earth is any clay material that has the capability to decolorize oil or other liquids without chemical treatment. Fuller’s Earth typically consists of palygorskite (attapulgite) or bentonite. Modern uses of Fuller’s earth include absorbents for oil, grease, and animal waste and as a carrier for pesticides and fertilizers. Minor uses include filtering, clarifying, and decolorizing; and as filler in paint, plaster, adhesives, and pharmaceuticals.

‘The name reflects the historic use of the material for cleaning or “fulling” wool by textile workers called “fullers”. In past centuries, fullers kneaded fuller’s earth and water into woollen cloth to absorb lanolin, oils, and other greasy impurities as part of the cloth finishing process. Fuller’s Earth is also sometimes referred to as ‘bleaching clay’, probably because fulling whitened the cloth.’

Uses

‘In addition to its original use in the fulling of raw fibers, Fuller’s Earth is now utilized in a number of industries. Most important applications make use of the minerals’ natural absorbent properties in products sold as absorbents or filters.

‘Medicine: Fuller’s Earth is used (with activated charcoal) in the treatment of paraquat poisoning to prevent the progression to pulmonary fibrosis.

‘Decontamination: Fuller’s Earth is used by military and civil emergency service personnel to decontaminate the clothing and equipment of servicemen and CBRN (Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear) responders who have been contaminated with chemical agents.

‘Personal care: Fuller’s Earth has been used in the Indian subcontinent as a face pack and cleanser for thousands of years, and is known as also known as ‘Multani Mitti Clay’ – that is, mud from Multan. It has been used as an ingredient in powdered, “dry” shampoos, and is an important ingredient in many face packs. Fuller’s Earth was also sold in pharmacies until recently for compressing pills and cleaning hats and fabrics.

‘Cleaning Agent: In the Indian subcontinent, it has been used for centuries to clean marble. As a good absorbent, it removes the surface of dust, dirt, impurities and stains and replenishes the shine of the marble. It has been used numerous times to clean one of the most spectacular buildings in the white marble, that of the Taj Mahal, in Agra, India with positive results.’

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Skin care for HIT sufferers

Relieve Itching Skin

Many people with Histamine Intolerance suffer from itching skin. The Strictly Low Histamine Diet, combined with its suggested supplements, will help them enormously. In cases of severely itching skin, there are a few tricks to really gain control over the problem.

*  Freeze any leftover meats or foods containing eggs, rather than merely refrigerating them. Histamine only stops forming at temperatures below freezing – in the normal temperature of a refrigerator it continues to develop.

* Some people find that avoiding egg whites can improve their symptoms and relieve itching skin. Egg whites – particularly uncooked egg whites – contain histamine liberators. You can still eat eggs (pastured eggs of course!) but eat the yolks only, and bake with the yolks instead of the whole egg.

* Be aware of the ingredients of any substance that has contact with your skin. Avoid using soap, which can be an irritant. There are many soap-free cleaners commercially available. Avoid commercial skin products and shampoos containing irritant chemicals such as perfumes and colourants.

* Try rubbing raw organic coconut oil or evening primrose oil on your skin after you bathe. Ensure that you use organic raw coconut oil that has not been aged or fermented during processing.  Often it’s the cheapest brands that have been processed least.  You can use  the same organic raw coconut oil for skin care and in your cooking.

In the next post we will be giving you some recipes for home-made soap-free skin cleansers, so make sure you check back later!

 

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Witch Hazel – an ancient, efficacious remedy for skin ailments.

Witch Hazel

Witch HazelThe witch hazel shrub (Hamamelis virginiana), which is native to North America, is also known as winterbloom or spotted alder. The leaves and bark are used to make an astringent extract, also called witch hazel, which was used medicinally by Native Americans long before European settlers arrived on the continent. The Native American tradition was to steam the twigs to extract the useful compounds.

To this day, witch hazel extract remains a component of a several commercial healthcare products. It can also be purchased in a relatively pure form, from most pharmacies and drug stores.

Wikipedia states: ‘The essential oil of witch hazel is not sold separately as a consumer product. The plant does not produce enough essential oil to make production viable, however, there are various distillates of witch hazel (called hydrosols or hydrolats) that… contain alcohol. … Witch hazel is mainly used externally on sores, bruises, and swelling.’

Douglas Harper, in the Online Etymology Dictionary (2001) explains that the term ‘witch’, in this case, has its origins in Middle English ‘wiche’, from the Old English ‘wice’, meaning ‘pliant’ or ‘bendable’.
Our modern word ‘wicker’, (defined as pliable twigs, typically of willow, plaited or woven to make items such as furniture and baskets) evolved from the same root.

For people who suffer from histamine intolerance, the gentle, healing properties of witch hazel liquid from the druggist can be of great benefit. When dabbed on itchy skin, it can greatly ameliorate symptoms. One patient with an itchy scalp, who had tried every prescription treatment to no avail, cured her condition by rinsing her hair every day for a fortnight with witch hazel.

Liquid witch hazel hydrosol is a strong anti-oxidant and astringent. It can help soothe ‘weeping’ or oozing dermatitis, reduce inflammation in contact dermatitis, and for many people it relieves the itching of perioral dermatitis and atopic eczema. It is frequently used to treat psoriasis, shaving rash, excess sweating of the face, cracked or blistered skin, insect stings and bites, allergies to plants such as poison ivy, varicose veins and hemorrhoids, and to reduce swelling and soothe wounds.

Witch hazel is inexpensive, natural and gentle; a boon to those with histamine intolerance who often endure itching skin.

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