Inflammation - What are anti-inflammatories?

What are inflammations?

Inflammations are all local immune reactions that cause reactions such as redness, swelling, itching or feeling of warmth in connection with harmful stimuli[1].

How do they develop and what happens when an inflammation occurs?

The causes of inflammation can be different, and need only exceed a certain inhibition threshold, which is different from person to person. Radiation, mechanical stimuli (friction, injury), chemical stimuli such as acids or bases, and allergens and microorganisms such as viruses or fungi can cause inflammation. The inflammation starts from the stimulus to reduce the blood circulation for a few minutes, then follows in the affected area hyperemia, over-circulation. The permeability, permeability, of the vessels is increased by messenger substances such as histamine, whereby plasma proteins penetrate into the affected area, where they initiate phagocytosis, and provide mast cells. In phagocytosis, foreign bodies are crushed and the affected area protected from them. Inflammation can be dangerous because it also destroys healthy tissue. Especially in pulmonary fibrosis or atherosclerosis this is life threatening[2].

What can be done against inflammation?

here are environmental influences, as well as medical remedies for inflammation. There are 4 groups of drugs.

COX inhibitors are substances that inhibit the enzyme cyclooxygenase, which is important for the biosynthesis of inflammatory mediators. COX inhibitors also have analgesic effects, e.g. the ibuprofen or aspirin. Side effects may include gastrointestinal ulcers or kidney damage.

steroids such as Cortisone bind to the same receptors as the inflammatory mediators. Side effects include e.g. Edema.

Immunosuppressants, of which there are many different, including the glucocorticoids. Effects and side effects are substance specific.

Cytokine inhibitors that inhibit the cytokines, the signaling substances. These are mostly proteins that block the respective receptors[3].

Local cold is considered anti-inflammatory as it slows down the metabolism and lowers blood circulation. In addition, UV light is said to help fight inflammation by contributing to vitamin D synthesis. There are special and very individual cures for this[4].

Are there anti-inflammatory substances in nature?

Yes, many plants have ingredients that are anti-inflammatory. These substances are used by the plant mostly to defend against foreign bodies and microorganisms. For example, The true sage as the main ingredient possesses α-bisabolol, and real arnica sesquiterpene lactones. Tinctures and creams often contain sage or arnica, and reduce redness, itching and swelling. Menthol acts e.g. Cooling and used against airway inflammation [5].



Dyes - What exactly are they ?

What are dyes?

Dyes are coloring substances, which unlike the pigments, are dissolved in liquids. They are subdividable according to their origin, their application and structure. They have been known for thousands of years, and as early as 2500 BC, the indigo plant was grown and used for dyeing. In ancient times, one used especially indigo and purple, but also alizarin, henna, kermes, saffron and turmeric. By 1834, colors were extracted from coal tar, and around 1843 the methods of isolating them were greatly expanded. Around 1856, the first synthetic dye, discovered on the basis of Witts dye theory, the purple mauveine. The true purple is now used only for religious purposes, since its extraction from the purple snail is expensive[1].

What are colors and how are they made?

The colors we see are only a very small part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The human eye sees only a wavelength range from 380 (violet) to 780 (red) nm. The UV range (ultraviolet) lies in front of the visible light range, while the infrared range lies after the visible light, both invisible to the human eye. All bodies are colored when they absorb a certain part of the light and reflect another. If a body reflects all wavelengths, it will appear white, as all colors cancel each other out. If a body absorbs all wavelengths, it appears black, since hardly any reflections are absorbed by our eyes. Depending on which wavelengths are absorbed and reflected, the body receives a color for the human eye. Metals are usually shiny and reflective because they scatter light less than e.g. a salt[2].

Why are dyes colored?

Organic dyes get their color through their structure and functional groups. This is described by the Witts dye theory. It states that molecules consist of chromophores, delocalized π-electron systems, + M-effect auxochromic groups, and -M-effect anti-auxochromic groups. All these properties give a substance its coloring. Chromophores are molecules with conjugated double bonds, ie double bonds with a bond distance to each other. For example, in benzene, and therefore in all aromatic compounds. Auxochromic groups are functional groups which have a lone pair of electrons which can donate to the molecule, e.g. Hydroxy or amino groups. They enhance the coloring of a substance. Anti-auxochrome groups are those which have a double or triple bond and therefore increase the electron density. For example, Nitro and carboxylic acid groups. They reduce the coloring of the substance. The mixture of chromophores, auxochromic and anti-auxochromes was cited by Witts as the reason for the coloration, and based on this theory, the first synthetic dye mauvein could be prepared [3].

Where do dyes come from, and what are they used for?

Dyes are often used in the textile industry to dye textiles, so jeans have always been dyed with the dye "indigo". Indigo is a so-called vat dye which has a water-insoluble colored and a water-soluble non-colored form. They are e.g. also used as so-called emulsion paints for paints. There are also a large number of different applications and structures. The best known are the azo, methine, and nitro dyes. They are also used in food and consumer goods. These dyes are titled E numbers from E100 to E163 + E180, and are used in many foods and cosmetics. In food and cosmetics, they are usually to beautify the products, or to give a more appetizing appearance. There is also the distinction between natural and synthetic dyes. Natural ones are e.g. Indigo, Hena, Alizarin, Crocetin, Basiline, Chlorophyll, Carmine, Curcurmin and Riboflavin. Synthetic are e.g. Tatrazine, Quinoline Yellow, Erythrosine, Brilliant Black BN or Litholubin BK. Natural dyes are usually poor in color strength, lightfastness, gloss and durability[4].

What do dyes in cosmetics do?

As with food, they are there to beautify the product and to make it more attractive. Dyes such as chlorophyll (the natural leaf green), or other of its derivatives, mostly with copper instead of magnesium in the center, serve to make many products greener. In addition, many plant extracts still contain their own dyes, and so dye the product without the addition of dyes[5].

Are dyes dangerous?

Many dyes are considered safe, but they can lead to allergies and pseudoallergies. So some people are sensitive to certain dyes. Also, the azo dyes are suspected to cause hyperactivity and attention deficit in children. This was the result of a study in 2007 [6], which, despite some doubts, convinced EFSA to lower the ADIs of 3 of these substances. (ADI = Allowed Daily Intake, EFSA = European Food Safety Authority). In addition, foods containing these dyes must carry the warning "May impair activity and attention in children". The coloring Chinolingelb is forbidden in the USA. The use of azo dyes in food has fallen sharply since the decision of the EU Commission in 2010, as such a warning makes marketing more difficult [7].

Can we just not use or consume dyes?

Only very rarely, since even a product labeled "without dyes" also contains dyes of e.g. May contain fruit juices, which need not be explicitly declared as dyes. But by no means all dyes have negative properties, many are considered completely safe. Dyeing and explicitly avoiding dyeing is difficult, and sometimes superfluous. If one sticks to certain limits, and does not feed exclusively on finished products, but often cooks with fresh ingredients, then one can reduce the dye consumption a good deal[8].


Wikipedia [1][2][3][4][5][7][8]

Study on azo dyes [6]

Plastic packaging - what about recycling?

What is plastic?

Plastics are polymers of versatile origin, application, manufacture and properties. You are u.a. Tensile, temperature resistant and elastic. There are many different plastics which e.g. serve as building materials, consumables, or packaging. A life without plastics is almost impossible since they can be found everywhere, in house building, in mobile phones, in kitchen utensils, as a décor, or as a carrying bag. In addition, they find an important application, as packaging material in the food, and consumables industry. [1]

Why plastic?

Plastics have many properties, which materials do not include metals or better recyclable materials such as paper, cardboard or wood. Our comfort today is based on plastic. If you look around, there is plastic everywhere. Today's world is unimaginable without plastic. [2]

What is there for plastic packaging?

Plastic packaging can consist of a variety of different plastics, each with its own individual advantages and disadvantages.

Common plastics are PET, PE, PP, PS, PVC, PC and PA [3]

PET (polyethylene terephthalate) is mainly used for drinking bottles and outer packaging such as Used shells. It is chemically resistant, only stronger acids are a bit problematic. PET is highly recyclable, and due to the German pledge law, about 97% of PET bottles are recycled. Apart from the bottles, PET is recycled to about 30% sorted. A reusable PET bottle can be refilled up to 16 times, after which they are shredded, melted and recycled like disposable PET bottles. At the moment, PET is the most environmentally friendly plastic, not least because of its cost-effectiveness. It is mainly made from fossil raw materials, but can also be produced as "bio-PET" partly from renewable raw materials. [4]

PE (polyethylene) is the most commonly used plastic for packaging, at around 30%. Different methods can be used to produce different types of PE. Primary LDPE and HDPE (Low Density Polyethylene) (High Density Poly Ethylene). PE is 100% recyclable, and can be sorted to approximately 98% sorted. PE is relatively gas permeable, which means that it can not be used alone for closed containers. It is mainly made from fossil raw materials. [5]

PP (polypropylene) is similar to PP, but more stable. It also has good barrier properties to water vapor and fats. It can be quite well recycled, but as it is a fairly new plastic, it will not do so much. It is mainly made from fossil raw materials. [6]

PS (polystyrene) is moderately easy to recycle, but due to the rather high density and the resulting weight, it has high transport costs and CO2 emissions. In addition, polystyrene can not be recycled for food use because it may be left with contaminants. It is mainly used for disposable tableware, it is also cheap and permeable to water vapor. It is mainly made from fossil raw materials. [7]

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is the most important plastic after PP and PE. It is very resistant to UV, alkalis, acids, fats and alcohol. Its use, however, has declined sharply as it often contains plasticizers. The recycling rate is low so far, as the PVC is difficult to recycle, and its quality decreases with each time it is recycled. It is mainly made from fossil raw materials. [8]

PC (polycarbonates) are very hard, transparent and colorless plastics found in reusable hard plastic bottles and in CD blanks. It is hardly recycled, and also less and less used in food packaging, since it consists mainly of bisphenol A. It is mainly made from fossil raw materials. [9]

PA (polyamides) are tough, impact-resistant plastics, usually with a low melting point. They are moderately easy to recycle, but the process is so uneconomical that few people run PA recycling facilities. [10]

Are organic plastics an alternative?

Bio-plastic "is a misguided word. Many plastics are made from fossil fuels, and oil reserves must be used. In addition, tons of CO2 are released. So-called bio-plastics are often partly or even entirely made from renewable raw materials, which reduces CO2 emissions and makes them independent of crude oil, but this only changes very little in the end result of the environmental balance since non-biodegradable plastic is still produced. Even really biodegradable plastics are often praised by misinformation. The PLA (polylactide) e.g. is a 100% biodegradable plastic, which consists of lactic acid, which in turn is obtained from fermentation. However, it is degradable only at temperatures above 60 ° C, a temperature which is not present in the house compost. Thus, the PLA is degradable only in Kompostieranlagen. Now the big problem, such PLA Kompostieranlagen there are hardly. The PHA (polyhydroxyalkanolates) are an interesting new type of bio-plastic. They are biologic in origin because some bacteria use them as energy stores and have perfect properties for use as packaging. [11]

What are the problems with recycling?

Mainly the problem is "human". Many people do not care about the environment and therefore do not act properly. And even people who care about the environment often can not properly separate, not because of malice, or ignorance, but are many packaging blends, layers of different packaging materials, which you can not separate yourself. All in all, recycling is far from perfect, not even a good system, as it is now. It would have something to change the attitude of many people, the priority of the countries, and the implementation within this, so that recycling unfolds its full potential. [12]

Sources and information to read:


Consumer Center article on plastics[3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]

Consumer Center article on bioplastics[11]

Aluminum packaging - How do you influence the environment?

What are the positive aspects of aluminum?

Aluminum is the third most common element of the earth's crust, at 7.57 mass%. Here it is extracted from the mineral bauxite. Aluminum is a light metal with a density of about 2.2g / cm3, it is tensile, quite tough, and melts at 660.2 ° C. Aluminum has good electrical and good thermal conductivity, surpassed only by copper, gold and silver. It is a fairly reactive element, but forms an oxide layer in the air, which makes it largely inert, in a process which is called passivation. Aluminum can be recycled to a very large extent, requiring only 5% of the original energy input. Throughout Europe, the recycling rate of aluminum is about 67% (however, the actual amount of recycled aluminum is lower). Due to passivation aluminium requires less corrosion protection then e.g. iron does, and it also saves weight, and thus CO2 emissions in cars.[1]

What are the negative aspects of aluminum?

The extraction of aluminum requires a lot of energy, it needs 13-18 khw per kg of aluminum, which is about 4 times the annual power consumption of a family of 4 people. In addition, about 10 kg of CO2 are produced during production of a Kg aluminum, in the whole process from bauxite to the final product about 16.5 kg of CO2 per kg of aluminum. In addition, the production of aluminum using the Bayer process produces 1-1.5 tonnes of so-called red mud per ton of aluminum. Red mud is a mixture of caustic soda, aluminum, sodium and aluminosilicates, as well as some heavy metals. This bauxite waste is acutely poisonous, due to the caustic soda, but also chronically poisonous due to the heavy metals, such as arsenic, lead, chromium, cadmium and nickel. In 2015, 115 million tonnes of aluminum produced 150 million tonnes of red mud.[2]

Where is aluminum used?

Due to its physical and chemical properties, aluminum is the most important metallic material after steel. It is u.a. in lightweight construction, for example locomotion means, or used in the household as aluminum foil or aluminum containers, such as drinks and cans. Preserved is usually still a layer of plastic, which should protect the product.[3]

What problems arise with aluminum containers?

Aluminum containers are quite inert through the oxide layer, but at pH values ​​below 4 or above 9, or for very salty foods, aluminum begins to diffuse into the product. 60mg per person in one week is considered tolerable. High salt foods, e.g. pickled fish, or acidic foods with lemon or acetic acid should therefore not be wrapped in aluminum foil. In addition, the plastic coatings in cans can contain plasticizers, such as bisphenol A, which can enter the product.[4]

Are aluminum packaging used in cosmetics?

In cosmetics, aluminum is also used as packaging material, mainly in the form of tubes. These have an epoxy-phenolic-based inner paint. This type of paint prevents aluminum from diffusing into the contents, and also protects it from environmental influences such as atmospheric oxygen. The recycling of epoxies, however, presents a great challenge as they are thermally and chemically stable and resistant. It is possible to recycle them, but the process is laborious and relatively expensive, and it is almost never used. Also, the separation of the epoxy paint from the aluminum tube poses another difficulty for complete recycling.[5]

Is aluminum good or bad?

There is no perfect substitute for packaging materials, and the aluminum is not perfect either. Aluminum will probably remain one of the most important materials in the world for a very long time to come. Its production is laborious and far from being environmentally friendly, but its recycling is simple, cheap and economical. If the global share of aluminum recycling rose by a good deal over the current scarce 40%, the need for production would be reduced and the environmental impact would be greatly reduced. Aluminum, if used properly, poses no health risk and is a great way to pack food and cosmetics. In the world events you can change even little, but properly separating the waste is a good place to start.[6]

Sources and information to read:


MZ article on aluminum packaging[4][5][6]

The skin acid mantle - What does it do?

What is the skin acid mantle?

The skin acid mantle is the layer between the epidermis (the epidermis, and the skin secretions, such as perspiration.) The healthy mantle has a pH of between 4.5 and 5.75, and serves as the first protection against microorganisms.[1]

What is a pH?

The pH is a chemical scale to divide acids and bases, due to their strength. The abbreviation pH stands for the Latin "potentia hydrogenii", which means something like "The power of hydrogen (potentia - power, force, hydrogenii - (des) hydrogen (s))". The pH is a scale of 0-14, which indicates the ratio of hydrogen ions (H +) or oxonium ions (H3O +) and hydroxide ions (OH-). A pH below mid-point 7 is acidic (ie 0-6) and a pH above 7 is basic (8-14). In addition, the scale becomes exponentially larger because with each one-digit change, the concentration of the particular particle increases increased by 10 times. [2]

→ A pH of 7 indicates the middle of the scale, here the amount of H + and OH- is equal to 1: 1 - e.g. Water has a pH of 7. It is considered neutral

→ A pH value of 6 is acidic, so that the amount of H + increases tenfold, the ratio is now 10: 1 - mineral water is slightly acidic with a pH of 6

→ If you now go to a pH of 5, the ratio is 10 × 10 to 1, ie 100: 1. At a pH of 4 therefore 100 × 10 to 1, ie 1000: 1 and so on. - Coffee has a pH of 5 and wine a pH of 4.

→ This also goes in the other direction, so a pH of 8 in the ratio 1:10, a pH of 9 1: 100, etc. - seawater has a pH of about 8 and soap one of about 9

When you hear the word "acid" or "base" you immediately think of the worst of the worst. But the corrosivity of acids and bases are dependent on many factors. Thus, pure acetic acid is highly corrosive to metals, and causes severe burns, diluted to 3-12%, we find them in the household for cooking, and diluted to the 30% as a detergent. Also, while pH is not always the key, hydrofluoric acid (HF) is not as strong a acid as hydrochloric acid (HCl), but the fluorine particle causes much worse, damage, much quicker than the chlorine particle.[3]

What is the significance of pH in the human organism?

In different areas of our body, we need different pH levels to perform important functions. Thus, e.g. because hemoglobin in the blood absorb less oxygen in acidic conditions, in basic then more. Acidification of the blood - acidosis - or under-acidification of the blood - alkalosis - has a negative effect on blood pressure. In the stomach is hydrochloric acid, with which we decompose food. There we find a pH of 1-4, depending on the time of day and diet. Our saliva is also acid to neutral, depending on the time of day and diet.[4]

What significance does the pH have on the skin?

The pH that is present on the skin is part of our natural defense. It helps kill harmful microorganisms and keeps our natural skin flora alive. In general, it is slightly lower in men than in women, in babies slightly higher (about 5.5 - 6.5), as this protection is not yet fully developed. The skin flora is a complex mixture of different microorganisms, ie bacteria and fungi. They sometimes help to preserve the protective mantle by converting fats to fatty acids, thereby killing other, worse pathogens (corynebacteria), or giving us humans our individual body odor (Brevibacterium). Basically, they are harmless, but for people with intact immune systems, for people with immune system disorders, they can lead to diseases and inflammation (streptococci). Generally, one distinguishes between bacteria that are alkaliphilic and acidophilic. Too high a pH on the skin can lead to diseases such as dermatitis, seborrheic eczema, or infectious diseases. In turn, too low a pH can cause redness, irritation and dryness.[5]

Should you use acid, skin neutral, or basic cosmetics?

First of all, the word "skin neutral" is often misunderstood, because it does not mean that a product has a pH of 7 (chemically neutral), but a 4.7-5.5. So a pH neutral product is not chemically neutral, but neutral in relation to the pH of the skin. In healthy people, it does not matter what pH a cosmetic product has. The effect of each article determines their pH, so creams are mostly acidic, shampoos and soaps mostly basic. The skin acid mantle returns to its original level after only a few hours. People with disease conditions are more susceptible now and again to the fact that the pH does not recover so quickly.[6]

The controversy surrounding the skin acid mantle

The opinions differ here, whether the skin acid mantle is just a great advertising trick of the industry, or more. It is not agreed, since you could not make a 100% statement to the benefit of the coat. As a counter-argument, there is the "hyperacidity", this is about our body has too many acidic media, and these are removed via the skin. However, this theory has not been proven, and is often used as an argument by Naturopaths, and Alternative Medicine application, if not the last to sell their products. So far we cant say exactly who is wrong and who is right.[7]

Sources and information to read:


Article of the German skin and Allergy Aid e.V [5]

Detox - What is detox?

What does "detox" actually mean?

The word "detox" comes from the Latin or English. (Detoxifying) and means to detoxify. The term describes some processes and has a wide range of applications. So does it describes:

Physiological detoxification, i. the metabolism of toxins

The degradation of xenobiotics within the cells

Purifying the body in alternative medicine

The phase of withdrawal in dependence disorders

The sewage cleaning

In the sewage cleaning cadmium, zinc, lead, as well as chromates, cyanides and nitrites are removed from the water cycle. In the case of withdrawal, detoxification is the phase in which addiction is lowered or left out altogether. This allows the body to start detoxifying, as no new toxic substances are supplied.[1]

What is biological detoxing?

Detoxing is usually associated only with alternative medicine. If one hears of "detox cures" or "detoxing", the detoxification of the body is u.a. by systematic diets or esoteric practices such as e.g. meant by healing stones. They should purify the body and help with the natural detoxification of our organism. Physiological detoxification is the process by which toxins are biotransformed, harmless or at least less toxic. This is done through the liver and kidneys. Biotransformation mainly refers to the transformation of non-excretable, fat-soluble substances into precipitable water-soluble substances. [2]

Why does not "detox" describe all processes, though that does mean it?

While the word "detox" is more relevant than alternative medicine, it is mainly associated with it, making it unsuitable for designating the actual degradation of toxins. It is a difference whether plant or animal poisons, or synthetic substances from our environment or private life, e.g. Alcohol or caffeine can be processed, or maybe you want to lower your cholesterol level. "Detox" has long been almost as good as the alternative medicine, and the "detoxification" is, in the vernacular, for a long time no longer suitable for the reduction of actual poisons. [3]

What kind of problems arise from this?

Language is an aspect of people that changes as fast as people themselves. Over time, words can change in their pronunciation, spelling, but also in their message. "Detox" and the German word "detoxification" are in the vernacular, in their original meaning meanwhile so modified that they, despite their logical implications, but usually do not have to mean what they should. So anyone can use "detox" as a promotional tool, and has to do only minimal effects to make it legitimate. If one reads of detox juice diets, this is exactly what it promises, a detoxification cure. If one reads of detoxification of the blood by dialysis, this is exactly what it says. However, completely different processes. One is intended to bring blood levels up to scratch, while the other takes over the entire task of the liver and kidneys to ensure the survival of people with severe organ damage. Both detoxification processes. Both completely different. So one tends to quickly underestimate the word "detox" / "detoxification. No diet, no healing stones or cosmetics could suffice in the actual effect of detoxification, for example dialysis. Likewise, they are by far enough if you want to experience a little healthier.[4]

What does this mean for cosmetics?

There are many cosmetics that advertise detoxification. And they are often not wrong. The skin, or the hair when dealing with toxins, whether from the environment or from your own organism, to help, to deal with them is a form of detoxification or at least the aid to it. However, one could just as well have the effect, e.g. as an antioxidant. The properties and effects that cosmetics make into cosmetics are either direct detoxification, aiding in body poisoning, or passivating detoxification (i.e., preventative protection). Finally, it is not wrong to say that a detoxifying cosmetic product works, it reinforces belief in the promised effect.[5]

Where could you draw the line?

One suggestion would be to set certain parameters that must be met so that detox can really be seen as a detox. So products that fulfill only one task, should not be advertised with "Detox". Protecting a cosmetic with ingredients as its primary target against oxidation should therefore be labeled with its actual effect, not "detoxing". Some parameters that should be met are:

They should combine multiple effects, not just one or two primary ones

They should be applied to a larger area

They should be used as a regularity, not as a virtue

The above points are also related to the field of application, so a hand cream is no detoxing, an antioxidant, antibacterial, skin cleansing, and regularly applied anti-nickel product rather.

However, how these parameters should be accurate depends on your personal feelings. With all this information, one can still say nothing conclusive about the "is" or "is not". It remains for each of themselves to make a demarcation, but now this is certainly a bit easier.[6]

Sources and information to read:


Hair loss - How is it created and what can you do about it?

What is hair loss and how does it develop?

There are different types of hair loss, with different reasons.

Androgenetic hair loss - is age-related, affecting 80% of men and 50% of women. It mainly has to do with the steroid dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which attacks the hair follicles.[1]

Alopecia areata - is a localized, circular hair loss that is mostly due to autoimmune diseases. Here, the T lymphocytes attack the hair follicles.[2]

Diffuse hair loss - refers to hair loss on the entire head, and usually has to do with hormonal fluctuations, metabolic, thyroid and scalp diseases, stress, mineral deficiencies of iron, selenium, zinc, copper, and silicon or drugs. Ionizing radiation and the metal thallium can also lead to hair loss.[3]

What can you do about hair loss?

Hair loss should be treated in correspondence to their trigger. Thus, the thyroid and kidney function parameters, blood counts, as well as the enzyme level and a trichogram provide information on the cause of hair loss. If the trigger is confirmed, one can oppose this procedure. There may be mineral deficiencies, especially of silicon, but also serious diseases. If not a serious disease is the background of hair loss, basic, gentle shampoo or mineral tinctures can be used. Alopecia areata and Alopecia totalis are treated by targeted contact sensitization using squaric acid or dibutyl squarate; glucocorticoids are also used by oral administration. Androgenetic hair loss is e.g. treated by DHT inhibitor or by the minoxidil. The action of Minoxidil is attributed to its arterial widening properties, it should come for a better blood circulation to the scalp. The exact mechanism of action is not yet clear. One should only expect no miraculous healing, because the decline in hair loss is visible only after 4-6 months. Before that push the new hair, the old out of the skin, which has the appearance of a speedy recovery, this process is also known as "shedding."[4]

Are there any side effects?

DHT inhibitors are prescription, and since they interfere with hormone levels, they can have serious side effects. In addition, squaric acid is contact sensitizing, which can cause itching and redness. Minoxidil is given as a medication for hypertension, if all other medications can not help. Side effects of topical administration include headache, itching, redness, hypertrichosis and hypertension. [5]

Are there any natural alternatives?

As a natural remedy tinctures of sage, nettles, juniper berries or nasturtium can be used. They supply the scalp and hair, with minerals and plant substances and stimulate the blood circulation. Consumption of minerals, whether topically or orally, especially silicon, selenium, copper, iron and zinc help with hair growth, as they are important roles in the body, not least in collagen synthesis. However, not every therapy will work for everyone. The cause of the hair loss should be fathomed, and the treatment of the origin of these focus on preventing the hair loss should be considered as a nice side effect.[6]

Sources and information to read:


Medical article on hair loss and antidotes[5]

Medical article on zinc and copper for hair loss[6]

Aloe Vera - The desert lily as a miracle cure?

What is aloe vera?

The real aloe (Latin Vera - real) is a cactus-like Affodillgewächs, and thus one of the lily family. It grows in many regions of Europe, is very easy to care for and can therefore also be used as a decorative plant. It has been known for decades, even the ancient Egyptians swore by the "blood" of the desert lily. [1]

What makes her such a miracle cure?

Aloe vera is used to gain two things, the juice and the gel. For a long time the juice was used against constipation. It emerges after cutting the leaves, and is yellowish in color. This color gives him its main ingredients, the anthranoids and the aloin. Anthranoids are suspected to have carcinogenic effects. Due to its toxicity, the juice has now been replaced by other means, but what interests medicine and cosmetics is the gel. The aloe vera gel is called the water storage tissue consisting of polysaccharides, with D-glucose and D-mannose. It consists of 99% water, the rest are vitamins, minerals, amino acids, salicylic acid and enzymes.[2]

What is the gel suppose to do?

The gel is said to have wound healing, anti-inflammatory and cooling effects. Cleopatra swore by the "blood" of aloe, and Christopher Columbus always had an aloe vera ointment on his digressions. It is processed for external and internal use, and ranges from creams to ointments to juices. There are preparations of aloe in ointments and creams for the treatment of sunburn, dermatitis and psoriasis.[3]

Is the desert lily really such a miracle cure?

Alles in allem, nein. Das Aloe-Vera-Gel weist einige interessante Wirkungsweisen und Anwendungen auf, jedoch ergeben Studien und Placebotests keine eindeutigen Ergebnisse. Zudem sind mit den über 200 Inhaltsstoffen nur schwer Aussagen zu treffen, welche wenigen diese Stoffe überhaupt eine Wirkung erzielen. Aussagen und Erfahrungsberichte gehen zu weit auseinander um ein klares Statement zu geben. Fakt ist, Aloe-Vera-Gel kann bei einigen Beschwerden helfen, es ist aber nicht immer so wirksam wie angepriesen. Lediglich die Einnahme von Saft oder Püree der Aloe Vera in welchem teile der Blätter enthalten sind sollten gemieden werden, da diese große Mengen an Anthranoiden enthalten.[4]


Quellen und Infos:


Arte – Xenius about Aloe Vera[3][4]

Palm oil in cosmetics - What is the problem?

What is palm oil, and where does it come from?

Palm oil is extracted from the fruits of the oil palm. It is about three times as profitable as rapeseed, and requires only a sixth of the acreage of soybeans, with their own yield. Depending on which part of the oil palm palm oil is extracted, it has a different composition. The oil from the fruits has a very high content of oil and palmitic acid. The oil from the cores has a very high content of lauric acid. Palm oil also has an unusually large amount of A vitamins and tocopherol.[1]

Where we use palm oil?

Palm oil is very versatile. It is used in food, where it is used for cooking, frying, baking, as well as for the production of sweets and margarine. It can be found today in almost every second product in German supermarkets. It is also used to make surfactants, especially sodium lauryl sulfate. It is also used in cosmetics, as a bodying agent and as a carrier or active ingredient. It is also used to produce biodiesel. Due to its high yield, it is also very cheap. After soybean oil, it is the world's most widely grown vegetable oil, accounting for almost 30% of market sales.[2]

What are the problems with palm oil?

The cultivation of palm oil is increasing steadily, so there was a 15% increase in 2014, from 57.3 million tonnes in 2014 to 60 million tonnes. [3] Zwischen H?? Auch zwischen zwischen? Auch zwischen? Auch zwischen auch zwischen? Auch zwischen? Auch auch zwischen H zwischen auch? Zwischen zwischen auch zwischen auch? Auch zwischen? Zwischen? Auch?? H? Auch H? H zwischen? Zwischen?? Zwischen? Auch? Zwischen? Zwischen? Zwischen zwischen? Auch zwischen? Auch zwischen? Auch zwischen auch? Zwischen? Zwischen? In the years from 1990 to 2005, 1.87 million hectares were planted in Malaysia, and about 3 million hectares of plantations in Indonesia. [4] The majority of these plantations was created by the clearing of the local rainforests. In addition, it should come on the plantations to unfair working conditions, or even forced labor and child labor. This also includes insufficient protective equipment for the workers resulting in many intoxications and deaths caused by the commonly used herbicide paraquat. According to the scientific magazine "Spektrum" the greenhouse gas emissions are also massively shot up. [5] The finished product can also be caused by so-called process contaminants that foreign substances such as 2-, and 3-MCPD and glycidol remain in it. The IARC classifies glycidol as "possibly carcinogenic," and MCPD as genotoxic. [6] According to EFSA studies, palm oil contains around 3,955 μg / kg of glycidol as an average. Other vegetable oils are between 300 and 15μg / kg. [7] In addition, there are strict ecological and economic guidelines only for cultivation, for use as biodiesel. Cultivation for use as food or consumer goods does not have such regulations. Even eco-seals do not have to say anything. The RSPO is one of the seals of approval, which has sufficient informative value, but is in the criticism of "Save the rainforest e.V" not enough to respond to deforestation and climate change.

Are there alternatives ?

All in all, no. Palm oil is so rich and versatile that there are few alternatives. Coconut oil would come into question as a substitute, but the adequate cultivation of its producer would increase the required acreage by a factor of 5 and increase greenhouse gas emissions by almost 308 million tonnes. [9] In cosmetics, palm oil can be replaced with other fats. Sustainable cosmetics mostly refrain from palm oil, and preferably uses shea butter, cocoa butter and coconut oil. Surfactants can also be made from other materials, and there are several alternatives to those based on palm oil. For the first time, you can not completely eliminate palm oil, or at least its negative aspects on the environment. But a look at the ingredients and a short search for the RSPO seal can give at least some insight for those interested. [10]

Quellen und Infos zum nachlesen :

FAO search engine [3]

NewScientist article on clearing palm oil plantations[4]

Spektrum articles on palm oil and greenhouse gases[5]

Article on MCPD and glycidol[6][7]



Talc in cosmetics - What is it doing there?

What is talc?

The talc is a mineral called steatite, which is the main constituent of the soapstone. It has the chemical formula Mg3 [Si4O10 (OH) 2], the so-called magnesium silicate hydrate. It is a fairly common mineral, with the Moh's hardness 1 (with the fingernail rubbed). It is thus very soft, and is considered to be the softest mineral on the Moh's scale. [1]

Where is talc used?

Talcum is used in many industries as fillers and lubricants, in foods as release agents, and in cosmetics as the basis for powders. In electrical it is used as insulation for cables or in security applications. It has been used in baby powder for a long time, until it was replaced by diapers with absorbent material. As soapstone, it is used in plastic art, since it is very easy to work.[2]

How dangerous is talc?

Talc has been used for different things since ancient times. In the 1960s it was sold industrially for all sorts of uses. So it was around 1980 also very prominent in baby puzzles. These were replaced by absorbent diapers, not least because many deaths and illnesses of infants and children were due to the use of baby puzzles with talc. Inhalation of talc can cause pneumonia caused by particulate matter accumulation. A direct risk of cancer is not yet clearly present, however, fibrous talc has similar effects on the lung as asbestos. On the skin, talcum particles larger than 100μm can also come to so-called granulomas. These become problematic especially with open wounds. In addition, it has been proven that women who use talcum powder more frequently in the genital area have a 40% higher risk of developing ovarian cancer. [3]

Are there alternatives ?

Alternatives to talc are e.g. Cornstarch, rice flour and baking powder. Moist organic media, however, provide a good breeding ground for mushrooms, especially yeast. The baby powder has already been replaced, and the industry has strict rules regarding protective equipment. Cosmetic products are also already from the talc. The talc itself, however, is not toxic. It is harmful as fine particulate matter, harmful to the inhalation, but does not present the danger of inhalation, such as e.g. in creams with bound talcum, so it is actually harmless. One should generally avoid inhaling any powder, as this actually poses the danger.[4]

Sources and information to read: