Thursday, May 15, 2008

Massage Tips – Preparing For Your First Hot Stone Massage

You've always wondered how it feels to indulge in a massage session. Most of your family and friends have tried it and you hear nothing but positive feedbacks from them. There's a part of you that wants to try it for yourself and another part of you that feels conscious about having another person touch your body.

The hot stone massage is probably the solution for a person like you. During most of the time of the session, it would be the stones which will be doing most of the work, relaxing your body and releasing tension from your muscles. Only minimal skin contact will be received from the therapist.

With the growing popularity of this hottest fad in massage, it is probably about time that you try it for yourself. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your first hot stone therapy.

Select a convenient location and arrangement. A local day spa is a good choice for first-timers since everything is already set up for you. Get recommendations from family and friends or research online to learn about the facilities and amenities of the day spas in your town.

1. Schedule your appointment on a day that is not very hectic. A weekend free from all work and plans is ideal since this will allow you more time to relax before and after a session.

2. Dress comfortably. Avoid wearing many layers of clothing when you go for a massage. A hot stone therapy session will require you to be naked but you will be appropriately covered with a blanket during the session, exposing only a part of the body being treated at a time. If you're feeling self-conscious about being naked, be sure to tell your therapist so she can make arrangements for you to feel comfortable and less anxious.

3. If you have a long hair, tie it up to a ponytail so your hair won't get in the way when the therapist works on your neck and shoulders. It's also a good idea not to wear any jewelry.

4. Arrive on time. You need time to relax and cool down before the session.

5. Communicate with your therapist for any preferences that you may have. If you like dimmer lighting, or the aroma of the room makes you dizzy, or you prefer another type of background music, never hesitate to speak up. Good communication is one of the keys to having an ultimate massage experience.

6. Drink plenty of water before the session to help flush out the toxins from your body. Do the same after to avoid getting dehydrated.

7. Don't eat a heavy meal at least one hour before your scheduled appointment.

8. Relax. This is probably the most important step in your preparation. Loosen up those tightened muscles and let your mind wander and take you to a peaceful place where there is nothing to worry about, where the words laundry, office work or stress do not exist.

Once you've experienced how blissful and relaxing a session of hot stone therapy is, you'll surely be looking forward to your next.

Article Source:
Massage Tips – Preparing For Your First Hot Stone Massage
by: Chris Turley

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

15 Easy Steps On How To Give A Hot Stone Massage

Whoever said that a stone massage should only be done in a spa or massage center probably has never heard of a home hot stone massage therapy. With the proper massage supplies such as hot stones and essential oils, you can give or have a hot stone massage right inside the comfort of your home.

If you plan on engaging in a massage business or if you want to give your spouse a personal hot stone massage for his birthday, here is a list of basic step-by-step directions on how to give a hot stone massage.

Step 1: Prepare the basic hot stone massage therapy equipment that you'll need such as a massage table, linen or sheet for the table, massage oils, massage stones like basalt stones (you may need 40-50 pieces of stones), and a heating device for these stones.

Step 2: Before the client arrives, prepare the massage room by draping the massage table with clean linens and by setting up a tranquil ambiance through pleasurable aromas, low lighting and soothing music.

Step 3: Heat up the stones that you will be using.

Step 4: Once the client arrives, give him or her ample time to relax before the session. Be sure to explain the process of hot stone massage therapy.

Step 5: Ask the client to lie down on the table. Place the stones on each side of the spine without coming in actual contact with the spine.

Step 6: Begin by massaging the face lightly with a coating of oil. Place four stones on the face. Put the first stone underneath the lips, the second and third stones on each cheek and the fourth stone on the center of the forehead.

Step 7: Massage some oil on the right leg. Rub the hot stone on each side of the leg and then place small stones between each of your client's toes on his right foot. Repeat the process with the left leg and left foot.

Step 8: Go to your client's arm, and use the effleurage stroke to coat it with oil. Massage the arm area by using medium-sized flat stones. After that, put a warm stone on your client's palm. Do the same thing with the other arm.

Step 9: Now, it's time to ask your client to turn over. Remove the stones you've placed on the face, hands and toes.

Step 10: Massage the back area using various stones to apply pressure on key acupressure points. After massaging this area, lay one stone on each shoulder, one on each scapular area and one on the client's lower back.

Step 11: Go to the back of your client's legs and place a medium-sized warm stone underneath the buttocks, on the backs of the knees and on the calf.

Step 12: Massage the scalp of the client down to the neck and shoulder area.

Step 13: Remove the stones you've placed on the client's body.

Step 14: For the finale, use effleurage strokes on the client's back and leg area using the tips of your fingers.

Step 15: Give your client some time to cool down or take a short nap after the session.

With these simple guidelines, tender and gentle touch, and a determination to give the best kind of massage, your spouse or clients will surely be asking or coming back for more.

Article Source:
15 Easy Steps On How To Give A Hot Stone Massage
by: Chris Turley

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Herbs in Thai cooking

Herbs often used in Thai cooking

Many herbs and spices used in Thai cuisine have beneficial medicinal properties.
Here are some examples.

Chili:: 'Phrik' in Thai
Chili is an erect, branched, shrub-like herb with fruits used as garnishing and flavouring in Thai dishes. There are many different species. All contain capsaicin, a biologically active ingredient beneficial to the respiratory system, blood pressure and heart. Other therapeutic uses include being a , carminative and anti flatulence agent, and digestant.
Cumin:: 'Yi-ra' in Thai
Cumin is a small shrubbery herb, the fruit of which contains a 2-4% volatile oil with a pungent odour, and which is used as a
flavouring and condiment. Cumin's therapeutic properties manifest as a stomachic, bitter tonic, carminative, stimulant and astringent.

Garlic:: 'Kra-thiam' in Thai
Garlic is an annual herbaceous plant with underground bulbs comprising several cloves. Dried mature bulbs are used as a flavouring and condiment in Thai cuisine. The bulbs contain a 0.1-0.36% garlic oil and organic sulfur compounds. Therapeutic uses are as an antimicrobial, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, anti flatulence and cholesterol lowering agents.

Ginger:: 'Khing' in Thai
Ginger is an erect plant with thickened, fleshy and aromatic rhizomes. Used in different forms as a food, flavouring and spice. Ginger's rhizomes contain a 1-2% volatile oil. Ginger's therapeutic uses are as a carminative, antinauseant and antiflatulence agent.
Galanga:: 'Kha' in Thai
Greater Galanga is an erect annual plant with aromatic, ginger-like rhizomes, and commonly used in Thai cooking as a flavouring. The approximately 0.04 volatile oil content has therapeutic uses as carminative, stomachic, antirheumatic and antimicrobial agents.
Hoary Basil:: 'Maeng-lak' in Thai
Hoary Basil is an annual herbaceous plant with slightly hairy and pale green leaves, eaten either raw or used as a flavouring, and containing approximately 0.7% volatile oil. Therapeutic benefits include the alleviation of cough symptoms, and as diaphoretic and carminative agents.
Kafffir:: 'Ma-krut' in Thai
The leaves, peel and juice of the Kaffir Lime are used as a flavouring in Thai cuisine. The leaves and peel contain a volatile oil. The major therapeutic benefit of the juice is as an appetizer.

(No Common English Name):: Krachai in Thai
This erect annual plant with aromatic rhizomes and yellow-brown roots, is used as a flavouring. The rhizomes contain approximately 0.8% volatile oil. The plant has stomach ache relieving and antimicrobial properties, and therapeutic benefits as an antitussive and antiflatulence agent.

Lemon Grass:: 'Ta-khrai' in Thai
This erect annual plant resembles a coarse gray-green grass. Fresh leaves and grass are used as flavouring. Lemon grass contains a 0.2-0.4 volatile oil. Therapeutic properties are as a diuretic, emmanagogue, antiflatulence, anti flu and antimicrobial agent.

Lime:: 'Ma-nao' in Thai
Lime is used principally as a garnish for fish and meat dishes. The fruit contains Hesperidin and Naringin , scientifically proven antiinflammatory flavonoids. Lime juice is used as an appetizer, and has antitussive, anti flu, stomachic and antiscorbutic properties.
Marsh Mint:: 'Sa-ra-nae' in Thai
The fresh leaves of this herbaceous plant are used as a flavouring and eaten raw in Thai cuisine. Volatile oil contents give the plant several therapeutic uses, including
carminative, mild antiseptic, local
anesthetic, diaphoretic and digestant
Pepper:: 'Phrik-Thai' in Thai
Pepper is a branching, perennial climbing plant from whose fruiting spikes both white and black pepper are obtained. Used as a spice and condiment, pepper contains a 2-4% volatile oil. Therapeutic uses are as carminative, antipyretic, diaphoretic and diuretic agents.

Sacred Basil:: 'Ka-phrao' in Thai
Sacred Basil is an annual herbaceous plant that resembles Sweet Basil but has narrower and often times reddish-purple leaves. The fresh leaves, which are used as a flavouring, contain approximately 0.5% volatile oil, which exhibits
antimicrobial activity, specifically as a
carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant and

Shallot:: 'Hom,Hom-lek,Hom-daeng'in Thai
Shallots, or small red onions, are annual
herbaceous plants. Underground bulbs
comprise garlic-like cloves. Shallot bulbs
contain a volatile oil, and are used as
flavouring or seasoning agents. Therapeutic properties include the alleviation of stomach discomfort, and as an antihelmintic, antidiarrhoeal, expectorant, antitussive, diuretic and anti flu agents.
Sweet Basil:: 'Ho-ra-pha' in Thai
Sweet Basil is an annual herbaceous plant, the fresh leaves of which are either eaten raw or used as a flavouring in Thai cooking. Volatile oil content varies according to different varieties. Therapeutic properties are as carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant, digestant and stomachic agents.

Turmeric:: 'Kha-min' in Thai
Turmeric is a member of the ginger family, and provides yellow colouring for Thai food. The rhizomes contain a 3-4% volatile oil with unique aromatic characteristics. Turmeric's therapeutic properties manifest as a carminative, antiflatulence and stomachic.

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Popular Herbal Teas and Their Uses

Herbal teas or infusions have become increasingly popular in recent years. They are not thought of cures more as an aid to relieving symptoms and the effects of everyday illnesses. Their high vitamin and mineral content makes them a popular alternative to pills and as their current popularity demonstrates they make very refreshing and tasty alternatives to ordinary tea.

There is a large variety that can be made at home or bought in health food shops and even supermarkets. Often sold as teabags these teas have to pass stringent safety and quality tests.

Below are some of the more popular varieties and their uses:

• Camomile tea - A popular tea that has been used for many years to ease indigestion, reduce anxiety and calm nerves, also said to help with insomnia.

• Elderflower tea - A comforting tea which is particularly helpful when suffering from colds, catarrh and flu. It is anti inflammatory and induces perspiration.

• Lavender Flower tea - A relaxing tea often drunk as a bedtime drink to aid sleep.

• Lemon Balm - Will ease tension without causing drowsiness, aids digestion and soothes feverish conditions brought on by heavy colds and flu.

• Lime flower tea - Eases stress and headaches, reduces nervous tension, induces calm and helps with sleep. Can have a mild tranquillising affect. Very popular in France.

• Nettle leaf tea - Popular as a tonic, it has a high mineral and vitamin content, particularly iron. Can relieve allergic reactions especially hay fever.

• Peppermint tea - Often drunk after heavy meals as an aid to digestion and reduce flatulence. It reduces nausea and is particularly successful, when combined with elderflower, in relieving the symptoms of colds and flu.

• Raspberry leaf tea - is mildly astringent which makes it popular as a mouthwash or gargle in treating throat infections. It is not recommended that it is used during early pregnancy.

• Rosemary tea - Often drunk at the start of day or when energy levels are starting to fall because of its highly effective power as a pick-me-up. Also effective in easing headaches and indigestion.

• Rosehip tea - Made from crushed rose hips it is very rich in Vitamin C which makes it popular in warding off colds and flu symptoms. It has a mild flavour that many users enhance by adding lemon juice.

Article Source: Steve_Hill

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Natural Oils - Best Skin Care Products

Skin care is a priority with today's generation of people, especially the ones who are developing signs of aging. The increase of chemicals in our lives and the side effects of it have turned us towards a chemical free life with fresh fruits and vegetables. As our skin absorbs all the chemicals that are present in the skin care lotions and creams so we need to turn to organic skin care. Herbal skin care is manufactured of bio degradable, organic herbal elements.

Natural skin care products are healthy and rejuvenate the skin fast due to high presence of anti oxidants. Few anti aging skin acre products also have intensive organic products like almond which is a good source of ketones. It rebuilds collagen which is what provides the elasticity and suppleness in the skin. Usually herbal based skin care products have special nutrients and minerals that can only be found in sea weeds and many plants. Many exotic sea minerals and plant extracts are added to skin products to make your skin soft, smooth and young looking.

After the age of 30, skin starts to lose its elasticity and if you do not take proper care, signs of aging can be seen. Drinking a lot of water and eating nutritious meals will not only benefit your skin but control your weight also.

While the best organic skin products for your skin are those which do not have animal fat or have high levels of oils in their composition. People with sensitive skins should be even more careful about the ingredients that the cosmetics and skin care products contain to avoid having skin irritations, rashes and allergies. With a big demand for herbal skin care products, companies have products suiting every skin type so whether you have a dry skin or a normal one, there are many products to suit your need and the suitable products have just the right ingredients to make you look beautiful and young again. Apart from providing you moisturizing and softening your skin most of them protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun.

Sage, lemon, almond, chamomile, lavender are just a few of the herbs or plants which can do wonders to your skin. Using pure natural oils are effective moisturizers. Almond oil, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil is known for therapeutic qualities especially if one is suffering fro skin rashes and allergies. As bases in cosmetics and skin care products, these make wonderful moisturizing products.

Article Source:
Natural Oils - Best Skin Care Products
by: Darren Brent

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Go For a Herbal Psoriasis Cure

The chronic non-contagious skin disease of psoriasis is believed to affect over 4 million American people and is also believed to be incurable, but only treatable instead. The skin condition of Psoriasis is an infamous skin disease that will flare up or go into remission at most anytime when least wanted or expected. This skin disease is described as an over active outer layer of the skin that produces cells faster than is needed and collects upon the surface leading turning into severe scaling, itchy, red swollen skin.

With any recurring signs of psoriasis there is the handful of common inner body triggers that seems to be related to the skin disorder flare-ups. A few of these triggers are linked to extreme amounts of prolonged stress, severe trauma or injury of some type, and even forms of severe illness. Due to triggers which may be related or unrelated, flare ups are a very unwelcoming event that happens at any given time.

Psoriasis happens when the skin plaques are thought to be reacting to the over reactive immune system. With the new skin cells producing on the average of once each month like a healthy body does , psoriasis is the term for what happens when the skin in regenerating new skin every 3 to 5 days. Quickly creating several unwanted new skin layers upon the top skin's surface. Unfortunately there has not been enough time to naturally shed the original top layers of skin before the new skin rebuilds causing the very unwanted extra skin layer effect.

Since there is yet a cure for psoriasis, control is the best that can be done for any level of this irritating and embarrassing disease. The topical treatments and other creams, ointments and salves that doctors will prescribe for rubbing onto the scaly, itchy red areas will help sooth the flared ups. Many prescription creams will usually contain coal tar, retinoic acid, and vitamin D derivatives. There are also prescriptions of medicines that contain steroids or other similar ingredients that are to slow down new skin growth.

There are many people who prefer to use herbal treatments for their psoriasis. Just as doctor prescribed treatments, the herbal treatments also include topical creams, ointments, salves and bath soaks. Most of these herbal treatments include Aloe Vera that is very effective in softening the skin plaques. Oatmeal baths are also highly effective in the extra skin softening for better flaking and removal of psoriasis infected areas. For natural skin healing, there are highly effective herbs like chickweed and cumfrey. These natural methods are to also include diet improvement and adjustments in proper vitamin intake.

Article Source:
Go For a Herbal Psoriasis Cure
by: Darren Brent

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Cooking with herbs

Herbs In The Kitchen
The tradition of using herbs to flavour foods is nothing new. It is, in fact, almost as old as the human species itself. Archaeologists have found evidence which suggests that the earliest cooks used parts of certain plants to season and improve the flavour of particular foods. Mustard seed was chewed with meat, it seems, and the seeds of wild wheat and barley were sprinkled on other foods to add a nutty taste.

These herbs would, of course, have been found growing wild, and the cultivation of herbs for culinary and medicinal use came much later. In grand old gardens, a special section would be set aside for the growing of herbs, while in humbler plots herbs might be grown among other food plants. This delightful tradition is well worth continuing: what could be more satisfying than being able to pick fresh herbs from your own garden to add to the dishes for a summer lunch, or the evening meal? The aroma alone as you pick the herbs is the perfect appetizer.

The range of herbs, even for culinary purposes, is huge; and few of us nowadays will have either the space, time or inclination to grow all the varieties found in the traditional herb garden. Nevertheless, a small bed of the more common herbs -or just a selection of pots by the kitchen door, on a balcony or window sill will give your cooking a fresh and distinctive flavour.

Cooking with herbs
Herbs used in cooking may be fresh, dried, or frozen. Fresh herbs do not have the concentrated flavour of the dried variety but make up for this by being more aromatic - just try crushing a fresh leaf between your fingers and breathing in its glorious scent.

Fresh herbs can be used in cooked dishes (in which case, add them towards the end of the cooking time to retain their freshness of flavour). However, the best way to preserve their 'straight-from-the-garden' quality is, in many cases, to use them in their natural state -raw. The traditional sprig of parsley or scattering of chives certainly looks attractive, but do consider using certain of the softer-leaved herbs as ingredients in their own right. Quantities of finely chopped mint combined with yogurt make the classic Greek tsatsiki -the perfect summer cooler -while whole basil leaves added to an ordinary green salad move this everyday accompaniment several rungs up the culinary ladder. Of course, there are certain herbs that are too tough in their raw state to be used in this way, such as rosemary or bay, and these are best added to cooked dishes.

The drying of herbs intensifies their flavour, and means that herbal flavourings can be made available throughout the year, and not just in the summer growing season. Dried herbs are used in cooked foods, and can transform the most basic of dishes into something delicious and memorable. Frozen herbs bridge the gap between the fresh and dried varieties, and make it possible for the cook to evoke memories of summer even in the depths of winter. Even after thawing, however, frozen herbs will not give the same results as fresh ones in such dishes as salads, where the herbs act as ingredients rather than just flavourings.

Whatever form of herb you are using -fresh, dried or frozen -it is important to know which herbs have an affinity with which foods. While the standard 'mixed herbs' product of the supermarket shelf is a good all-rounder in the kitchen and can do much to enliven an otherwise bland sauce or ,bake, the real trick for the creative cook is to choose the herb that will best complement and bring out the flavour of a particular food. Tarragon, for example, is superb with roast chicken, while fennel seems to have been made for fish. The aromas and tastes of certain herbs can also evoke the cuisine of a particular country or region. Coriander, for example, conjures up images of Greece and the Middle East; basil, with its affinity with, tomatoes and pasta, recalls Italy; while sage, often used to flavour fresh pork, pork sausages or earthy vegetables such as broad beans, brings echoes of the hearty farmhouse cooking of Northern Europe.

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Chinese Ginseng Research

Many countries have conducted extensive and thorough research on the properties of the ginseng, research has been primarily centered in China, in Japan, Korea and Russia, beside many other countries - many aspects of the herb have been covered in detail over the past two to three decades largely due to these studies. Confirmation of the remarkable "adaptogenic" quality of the herb - this is the ability to help the body in adapting to stressful situations, to physical fatigue, and to extremes of cold - was as a result of these studies.

The capacity of the human body to deal with physical and mental stresses such as extreme or prolonged hunger, with fluctuating extremes of temperature - both hot and cold, and to mental and emotional stress or trauma is seen to be improved remarkably when ginseng was used on a trial basis, ginseng seems to make the body work at a higher level of performance and endurance in all test subjects. In bodies requiring rest and sleep, paradoxically, the ginseng was found to be capable of inducing a sedative effect and thus aids in relaxation and physical recuperation. Structurally the stress hormones produced in the body resemble the ginsenosides which are present in the ginseng herb - these active compounds are the main repositories of all the beneficial effects found in the herb. In addition, the results from numerous researches have shown that the functioning of the immune system and the resistance of the body to infection, and the functioning of the liver is markedly improved by ginseng.

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Chinese ginseng Synonyms

General: Allheilkraut, Araliaceae (family), chikusetsu ginseng, chosen ninjin, dwarf ginseng, Eleutherococcus senticosus, five-fingers, five-leaf ginseng, ginseng radix, G115xAE, Ginsengwurzel, ginsenosides (Rb1, Rb2, Rc, Rd, Re, Rf and Rg1), GTTC (Ginseng and Tang-kuei Ten Combination), hakusan, hakushan, higeninjin, hongshen, hungseng, hungsheng, hunseng, insam, jenseng, jenshen, jinpi, kao-li-seng, korean ginseng, hua qi shen, kraftwurzel, man root, minjin, nhan sam, ninjin, ninzin, niuhan, Oriental ginseng, otane ninjin, panax de chine, panax notoginseng,

panax vietnamensis (Vietnamese Ginseng), P. psuedoginseng Wall. var. notoginseng, P. psuedoginseng var. major, P. psuedoginseng, P. trifolius L., pannag, proprietary ginseng root extract (Cold-FX, CV Technologies Inc., Edmonton, AB), racine de ginseng, renshen, sanchi ginseng, san-pi, sang, schinsent, sei yang sam, seng, shanshen, shen-sai-seng, shenshaishanshen, shenghaishen, siyojin, t'ang-sne, tartar root, true ginseng, tyosenninzin, Western ginseng, Western sea ginseng, xi shen, xi yang shen, yakuyo ninjin, yakuyo ninzin, yang shen yeh-shan-seng, yuan-seng, yuansheng, zhuzishen

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Best Acne Herbal Treatments

No matter your age, acne is a problem that no one wants. The misery of acne is mostly caused by our sebaceous glands producing too much sebum, also known as oil. Due to the over production of oil, the skin pores increase in blockage and bacterial areas. It is the bacteria and increased oil production that causes the acne to form. But natural acne herbal treatments are the first method to try.

Knowing how acne happens is one thing, but knowing exactly why is a difficult task at hand when there are several various reasons as to pin pointing each case's cause. Some links believed to be connections are hormonal imbalances, overall eating habits, vitamin deficiency and contentious high levels of stress. Healthy eating habits and lowering stress is the first natural step of acne herbal treatment.

There are proven statistics linking the higher level of vitamin A in a person's body shows to be able to lower acne breakouts. Vitamin A lowers the amount of sebum and keratin being produced. Zinc is also a very important vitamin, and for fighting acne, the Zinc is the backing force for the vitamin A to do its job. Natural acne treatments through diet of the most natural fruits and vegetables will help in your holistic being, not just acne.

Some other acne herbal treatments are effectively proven and 100% natural acne remedies. Aloe Vera is one of the most effective natural herbal acne herbal treatments today. The Aloe Vera plant contains astringent and anti-bacterial properties which are known to fight bacteria that cause acne. Aloe Vera also contains very important anti-inflammatory properties needed in reducing acne swelling.

Another very potent natural acne herbal treatment is Calendula. Although not as well known about, Calendula is a very effective acne treatment. Calendula is a skin tissue healer of potential damage from the acne. But Calendula is also a natural anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory completely natural product. Calendula comes in cream, or water base washing formula to cleanse the acne infected skin.

The Lavender herb will help reduce the inflammation due to the acne and Lavender also has antiseptic. The Lavender is mixed with a carrier fluid or water should be applied directly to the affected acne areas for exterminating bacteria. Just as the Lavender herb, the Tree Essential Oil must be with water or carrier fluid. Tree Essential Oil also has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties for the top layer of skin with acne.
Article Source:

The Best Acne Herbal Treatments

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