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A mythic cream: Galen's Cold cream

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Queen of Hungary Water, facial toner & light fragrance

In this renaissance recipe history and facts are conflicting with myths and legends. There is a noteworthy bibliography for this legendary preparation: each author proposes his/her own version! Queen of Hungary Water is considered to be the wold first alcoholic perfume but also an almost magical tonic, a youth elixir.  Its name is connected with Queen Elisabeth of Hungary (1305-1381); the 72 year old queen  needed an elixir to cure her rheumatism and to give her back her lost beauty. There is a legend that the elixir was prepared by an alchemist of the royal court and that it was so effective that the 25 year old king of Poland asked her to marry him!!

Citrus (Hesperidia) Essential Oils & their properties

Hercules in the Garden of Hesperides. Red figured hydria from Attica, ca 410 BC, British Museum.  In his Eleventh Labor, Hercules traveled a lot, he crossed the Ocean and reached the Northern Edge of the World to find the secret Garden of Hesperides .  His mission was to steal the Golden Apples that were kept in there. The Golden Apples belonged to Zeus, king of Gods and were guarded by Hesperides, nymphs, daughters of Night, and by Ladon a scary snake-like, hundred headed dragon. Nowadays, these Golden Apples of Hesperides ( Hesperidia =Citrus fruits) are kept in our kitchen and each one of them has a precious beauty secret: Vitamin C or ascorbic acid. Vitamin C protects the skin, contributes in the collagen production, it is highly anti- oxidant and fights against free radicals which are responsible for skin aging. Vitamin C promotes skin elasticity and has also whitening properties. It is a real source of youth and beauty! Apart from vitamin C, citrus fruits contain fol

Herbal balm for dry skin

During the last ten years, consumers are asking more and more for natural cosmetics and natural ingredients for their preparations. Due to the increasing demand there is also an increasing offer of natural vegetable oils deriving from exotic (or not) fruit and herbs. You can choose among melon seed oil, passion fruit oil or papaya seed oil...I don't mean to underestimate the unique beneficial properties of these exotic oils,  I become somehow skeptical with this over-offering.  Is there a real value or it is just marketing?  Until I find a justified answer I will continue to believe that the best oils are the herbal infusions in vegetable oils  such as olive, almond or sunflower. It is the best way to "steal" the soul of the herbs..

For your eyes only! Anti-wrinkle Eye cream.

For my e-friend Eleftheria who asked for an efficient anti-wrinkle and easy to prepare eye cream!  The key ingredient in this recipe is the Evening Primrose Oil (Oenothera biennis) which is very nourishing due to its high content in essential fatty acids  such as gamma-linolenic acid . Essential fatty acids inhibit bacteria growth, fight infections and are anti-inflammatory. Evening primrose oil is ideal for the dry & sensitive skin area around the eyes.

Chocolate on lips, a yummy lip balm!

chocolate lip balm  or playing with the black witch.. Theobroma cacao, the food of the Gods According to Mexican legends,  Quetzalc√≥atl ,  God of the Golden Moon and of Frozen Winds, had provided important gifts to mankind: fire, water, bread and cocoa tree . Our knowledge about cocoa for the period earlier than 600 ad is limited to charming myths. Still, it is confirmed that Mayas were the first who  widely  cultivated cocoa trees. Recent archaeological findings in the  peninsula of  Yucatan  proved that Mayas consumed a drink with cocoa since the middle pre-classic Period of their highlight, namely 2,600 years ago.

Coconut dream body cream

Coconut fruit collector, Indian Watercolor of Unknown Artist, 1785 Victoria and Albert Museum Cocos nucifera, the Tree of Life of the Tropics  Even if coconut's origin is subject for speculation, it is believed that its birthplace are the islands of south Pacific and Indian oceans. The coconut was spread throughout the tropical zone due to its ability to float and sail pushed by the ocean currents. Once washed ashore on places with the appropriate climate they were able to spring up  and colonize the area. It is said that this expansion took place 3.000 years ago, a long period before its systematic cultivation. Travelers from Polynesia, Malaysia and Arabia contributed to coconut's spreading in the Pacific islands, Asia and East Africa. In 16th century European sailors launched the coconut palm in West Africa, in the Caribbean and the Atlantic coast. Coconut became the dominant fruit of the  tropics.