Needed to postpone a meeting with the friend:(, because Ekadashi is on Monday!
Fasting kills the disease, reduces the deficiency and nourishes the aspirant. Keeping a fast does not mean starving but it means a way to remain alert, trim and slim //…// It is a sure way of rest, repair and getting rid of accumulated wastes //…// A lot of energy is spent in the digestion of food //…// Observing a fast can do wonders, as it will help one remain physically, mentally and spiritually alert and beautiful. A weekly fast is sure to refresh, strengthen and improve the health and metabolism (1).
Nowadays, fasting start to be integrated into cure of diabetes 2 type (2, 3).
How does it work?
The origin of most disease is within the digestive tract. By cleaning a body, especially bowel system, and detoxifying ourselves, we actually could contribute to the wellness of our own bodies without specific or expensive costs.
From the 5th till 11th days of the Moon phase (after the Full or New Moon), the digestive process is slower than usual. In order to avoid chronic health complications, it is imperative to clear up the digestive tract of previous residues every 11th day of the Moon cycle.
Tidal waves are consequence of changes of air pressure in atmosphere. High tides are obvious because of strong gravitational force, but from the next day after Full or New Moon, the pressure recedes. Hence, on the 11th day from New Moon or Full Moon days, the pressure is almost nil. That is why fasting on an Ekadashi day is much easier – because the atmospheric pressure will not put a strain on a body.
On the next day of Ekadashi (12th day from Full Moon or New Moon), it is suggested to have food early in the morning to avoid any pressure on a body (4, 5).
My prep-for-fast (a day before Ekadashi), that is today, on May 31st, 2020, Sunday:
Day before Ekadashi is a day to prepare digestive system for self-cleansing and detoxification
Sorry, guys, today I woke up at 4 am:) Just woke up, fresh and restarted. It was already sunny and the birds were singing their morning songs.
This diagram is designed by myself today at 4-7 am for my own prep-for-fast day. Prep-for-fast day menu may vary from person to person. But some general notes could be made, of course. Food preferences on the prep-for-fast day (what I l’earned for myself days and years before today):
Food should be lighter than on regular menu
For meat/fish eater – go for grains
For lacto/ovo vegetarian – go for lacto/vegetarian
For junk vegan – go for a day of fresh salad
Avoid flavor and taste enhancers
This includes salt, sugar, E-numbers, garlic, mustard, vinegar, dressings (because they usually contain sugar, vinegar, etc)
Food enhancers would enhance abnormal suck for overeating
Why sparkling water?
Carbonated (or sparkling) water usually is mineral-rich water that includes magnesium. In higher amounts it helps to soften the stool and therefore beneficial before fasting day
Why to avoid tons of fruits?
For meat/fish eaters going directly on plenty of fruits most likely would cause indigestion, flatulence, heartburn, etc., because meat + fruit = rot in stomach
meat + fruit = rot in stomach
One could say: “Im going not to eat meat this day”, but the answer is “For meat food to decompose properly in stomach it takes 2-3 days, and after all, what about circulation of meat by-products in blood? It take even more time”
Yep, going on vegetable-day would be a right decision, vegetables benefit for cleaning a bowl and are less aggressive in detoxifying process
No junk mixtures of fruits
Different specific ferments are involved in digestion. Because of that – citrus fruits do not match with sweet fruits. For example, orange does not match with banana. Some fruits are neutral (apple) and match both with citrus or with sweet fruits
No need to put a gallons of water in a poor stomach. Better to drink it wisely, glass by glass in the first part of the day – till 2-3 pm
Drink water between any meals, even if you think to eat fruits
Excess of water in the late afternoon and evening leads to hard working kidneys – that is what would be wise to avoid too
Things to avoid during prep-for-fast day (before Ekadashi)
Generally, rice is not consumed on Ekadashi. According to a mythological story, sweat fell down from Lord Brahma’s head and took shape of a demon. When the demon asked the lord to give a place to reside, Brahma asked him to dwell in rice eaten by men on Ekadashi and get converted into worms in their stomach
Scientific Explanation: Why you shouldn’t have rice on Ekadashi, 31st October 2017 by Shalu Singh (5)
No panic. Nobody is going to rob your food or terminate your food supply forever. You are free and relax, just take it easy if thinking about fasting or prep-for-fast day for the first time. Today it could just start and finish with thinking only. One could try just prep-for-fast day and repeat it on Ekadashi day too, why not? Moon is going rounds and rounds, so, there are infinite amount of time in the future to try again and againJ . In my case, fasting this Monday, on June 1st would be a day of fruits and water – I can do just as much as I can do and that’s it.
– May be we should stop?
– We don’t quit, we don’t quit, again! again!
The epic dialog from the movie The Pink Panther – ” I Would like to buy a Hamburger” (6)
Ekadashi is already made a step into my life, on May 17-18 in 2020, and now the next one will be on June 1-2 as according to a Moon calendar for Ekadashi watch. You may find the dates of Ekadashi for your geographical location on internet, it is adjusted according to the Moon position (7).
in US (Chicago), next Ekadashi will start on Jun 01, 4:27 am, and will finish on Jun 02, 1:34 am;
in Australia (Melbourne), next Ekadashi will start on Jun 01, 7:27 pm, and will finish on Jun 02, 4:34 pm;
in Germany (Berlin), next Ekadashi will start on Jun 01, 11:27 am, and will finish on Jun 02, 8:34 am;
in Japan (Tokyo), next Ekadashi will start on Jun 01, 6:27 pm, and will finish on Jun 02, 3:34 pm.
1. Verma M. Fasts and festivals of India. Diamond Pocket Books (P) Ltd.; 2013.
2. Kalra S, Bajaj S, Gupta Y, Agarwal P, Singh SK, Julka S, et al. Fasts, feasts and festivals in diabetes-1: Glycemic management during Hindu fasts. Indian J Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Mar-Apr;19(2):198-203.
3. Saboo B, Joshi S, Shah SN, Tiwaskar M, Vishwanathan V, Bhandari S, et al. Management of Diabetes during Fasting and Feasting in India. J Assoc Physicians India. 2019;67:70.
As gardening has become my new enthusiastic hobby since 2019, now, in May 2020, would be a great time to inspect the mistakes done a year before and consider about avoiding the same mistakes this year:)
Photo above: A tiny part of my balcony garden in 2019: dill, lychees, parsley, laurel, ginger, lovage, carrots, onions, etc. Credit: A.Palatronis at www.z-antenna.com
Mistakes done during my first year of gardening:
Who will water the plants during 2-weeks holiday when everyone is on holiday too?
Too late to purchase water bubbles
You know, there are the water bubbles which are designed to supply water for plants within 1-2 weeks while on holidays. However, at that time everyone is on holidays. So, I was not able to find those bubbles in all shops which I visited few days before go-to-a-beach holidays. All shops have sold them out!
Some plants need too much to water
Plants like zucchini and cucumbers require rich watering during hot summer days, because more than 80% of its content is actually water. Forget to water – forget a harvest
One pot – one crop
Better to have one type of herbs or veggies in one pot, unless you know for sure that those two species match together! Why not to put together? Because it could look messy, some types of plants do not like to be together: or making shadow one to each other when not necessary, or feeding from the same soil. If the roots of one species are heavy by nature – they could occupy all the pot soil, grabing a place from another species to dig in and grow.
No drainage holes in the pots
Thanks to one “garden lady” at a garden shop, I did not made a drainage holes in all the pots. According to her vision (which was logic but not practice as appeared later), one should put thick layer of drainage pebbles on a bottom of a pot, up to 10 cm, and then finish with soil layer. After watering, excess of water would stay at a bottom, covering those drainage pebbles but not the roots in soil. What a fantasy! Happy that after few weeks of such “logic” watering I made those holes and finally let stagnant water out!
For observation, not for eating
I was just so happy to see how veggies are growing, that forgot to harvest and eat them:)
Position of sun is important
While I was observing where the plants are growing better, many of them just dried because of rich sunlight or heavy shadow, specially decorative plants with delicate flowers
Too much is too much
I was experimenting with seeds, and any seeds I germinated – it grew into a plant. Lastly, there were too much of them. I probably needed to choose just the strongest and the best of them, but because of that joy of the first-year gardening, I left absolutely everything to grow further. Lastly, it was only me to nourish them and millions of them waiting for my attention
Too tightly is too tightly
The seeds were put into soil too tightly and I let them grow in that tight environment, until there was no place to grow more. Actually, for the carrots there should be deeper pots used, more than 30 cm (mine was 25 cm deep)
Compost is not a soil
I even managed to plant some plants in pure compost, as it supposed to be a great feed and nourishment for growing plants. Luckily, my family members caught that silly trick and took an action to replant those “happy” plants to universal soil type
No plan – no chance to be in a van
That was a chaos of the creation, new plants, seeds and seedlings were coming to the balcony each time I visited a garden shop, and I visited it 2-3 times per week as a rule No1: “I see it, I like it, I take it”
Too late for seeds
If starting from seeds for herbs, obviously I planted them too late – in May. Better to do that in March-beginning of April and cover with agro foil till that will be really warm outside
Had no idea what is agro foil
Birds were ready to eat all the seeds just at once. Needed to protect the seeds somehow, not professionally…
No time for education – no reasons for elation
Too little time was spent on education, on reading any type of literature, or watching youtube videos about plants and gardening. Many things could be avoided or redone properly in time if “the creator” would make it with responsibility and knowledge…
The same soil – universal type – for everything
It appeared later that universal type of soil is good for everything, or actually for nothing. In my first-year practice, I messed with soil type for ginger, turmeric, lemons, tamarinds and rose – these plants do not withstand rich consistency of universal soil in a long perspective – they are of different origin, and supposed to grow in sandy, lightly acidic or clay soil types
Mistakes done in my gardening during the 2019 season
I know, we usually conceal the mistakes to make the things look nice and pretty. But that should not be the rule to follow. Any mistake done is a part of ongoing process. What about your garden? Do you recognize any yours mistake from the list? or maybe you could add your own example?:)
Let’s kick off a forthright concept of “good cream” and “bad cream” and just continue going deeper in l’earning about the essence of cosmetic products. We earn what we l’earn, right?:)
By decoding the ingredient lists of cosmetic products I could keep myself busy for weeks. As for that, few weeks of self-isolation under COVID-19 screen could pass just like that
Here is the composition of the real cosmetic product, body/face oil, supposed to be as natural as possible – 96% of the ingredients are of natural origin! Let’s dive deep into it and see what is really what 🙂 The ingredient (benzyl salicylate), which we will discuss here today is marked with number 7.
Clauses 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 were discussed in the previous post. You can read my previous posts dedicated to cosmetic products here:
In a composition of cosmetic products, fragrances are a material or combination of materials to produce or to mask a particular odor. There are 26 fragrances in EU, which must be labelled, if they are present in the formulation at concentrations greater than 0.001% in leave-on products (like face/body creams) or greater than 0.01% in rinse-off products (like shampoos). All 26 fragrances are listed below (1). Find them in your favorable cosmetics!
Evernia Prunastri (Oakmoss) Extract
Evernia Furfuracea (Treemoss) Extract
Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde
Fragrances in EU, which must be labelled if presented in cosmetic products at certain concentrations
However, as it is mentioned in the disclaimer of the Dictionary (1): “The inclusion of any ingredient means only that it is offered for sale for use in cosmetic products. It does not imply that the substance is safe for use as a cosmetic ingredient … The suitability for use of any ingredient, as a component of a finished cosmetic product or for any other purpose, is solely the responsibility of the cosmetic product manufacturer, the distributor, or other users of this publication”.
Most of the cosmetic fragrances are primarily of natural origin, extracted from plants or other natural substances. However, it does not mean that fragrance in the particular cosmetic product is of natural origin too (unless it is clearly written on a label). As far as chemical formula of the particular aroma component is discovered, synthesis in a laboratory has begun. Chemical synthesis is many times cheaper than natural raw material, and could be obtained many times faster and in any season of a year. Commercial benzyl salicylate is made by reacting sodium salicylate with benzyl chloride and is > 98 pure (2).
Benzyl salicylate. Is it natural?
Benzyl salicylate contributes to aroma of flowers and plant blossom to attract bees. Benzyl salicylate is naturally found in plants of Plumeria genus (family Apocinaceae) and Annonaceae family, other flowers and biologically active compounds – propolis. For example, the essential oil of plant Plumeria obtusa was found to be rich in benzyl salicylate (45.4%), while the essential oil of plant flowers Melodorum sp (L.W. Jessup) contains only 2.7% and ylang ylang only 2-5% of benzyl salicylate.
However, one should appreciate that Nature is rich and diverse. Not only benzyl salicylate contributes to aroma of ylang ylang, there are more than 100 (one hundred!) aroma compounds in this plant, and benzyl salicylate contributes only by tiny part (3-6).
Very often, benzyl salicylate and another compound – benzyl benzoate – occur in a large number of plant occur together. Plants containing large amounts of these compounds (esters) either alone or together include: Uvaria purpurea, Cananga odorata, Aniba species, Nicotiana sylvestris and N. suaveolens (lO,ll), Sercuridaca longipenduwculata, Diospyros discolor, Gardenia taitensis, Dianthus cayophyllus, Cinnammum species, Ocotea teleiandra and Primula furinosa (7).
Because propolis is a product of bees’ activity – not surprising that benzyl salicylate, as a part of aroma of flavorful flowers, is present in propolis too.
Gardenia is a flower, and there is a bee type called Gardenia too!
Benzyl salicylate is a fragrant organic solvent widely used in the perfume industry because of its pleasant smell (sweet, balsamic odor) and its ability to facilitate the mixing of perfumes into the rather greasy soap substances (solvent properties) (8).
It has been in public use since the 1920s where the soap and detergent industry has been a major user (2).
Estimated world consumption of benzyl salicylate as aroma chemical in flavor and fragrance composition was 950 tones in 1996 and grew almost 10-fold in 2006 – 8000 tones (9).
Body lotion, face cream, eau de toilette, fragrance cream, antiperspirant, shampoo, bath products, shower gel, toilet soap, aftershave and hair spray and non-cosmetic products such as household cleaners and detergents contain benzyl salicylate (10).
Skin sensitization, penetration through skin, allergy
In early 1960th, first reports and scientific studies were made regarding allergic reactions of benzyl salicylate (2). In 1968, there was a scientific study describing allergy reactions to toilet soaps and detergents in patients with dermatitis. It was found that in most cases, sensitivity to cosmetic product was associated with sensitivity to benzyl salicylate (8). That was the study completed decades ago!
If skin is already damaged or unhealthy (dermatitis patients) – benzyl salicylate causes sensitization responses when it is applied to the skin under exaggerated exposure conditions. On the other hand, benzyl salicylate is approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a flavor and is generally recognized as a safe ingredient by Flavor and Extract Manufactures’ Association (10).
The questions is “What to do?” One could obviously choose the answer for himself.
Pigmented Contact Dermatitis
Pigmented contact dermatitis could be described as brownish hyperpigmentation on skin. Pigmented contact dermatitis on face could occur, because cosmetic products, like aftershave and face cleansers, make-up, etc. most likely contain benzyl salicylate.
Prior to the 1970s, benzyl salicylate was one of the common causes of pigmented contact dermatitis in Japan. In the late 1970s, major cosmetic companies reduced the usage of benzyl salicylate in their products and, since then, the incidence of pigmented contact dermatitis has decreased remarkably.
Within the last decade, new severe cases of pigmented contact dermatitis on face are known (11, 12).
Estrogenic activity (breast cancer)
Estradiol is a natural female sexual hormone, among others, which plays its functional role in a body. However, the “bad story” begins when the hormones are not in balance – when the level of a particular hormone is too high or too low – it causes other hormones to adapt and brings some kind of “mess” in the order – hormonal misbalance.
Some chemicals (like benzyl salicylate) and even plant-based food products (soya; lupin; barley – in beer!) contain substances which could imbalance natural body estradiol levels (both in males and females). When estradiol levels in a body are in a wrong concentration – it could imbalance body orchestra and therefore could cause various types of cancer (the worst scenario), firstly breast cancer in women.
Research article, published in 2009, has shown that benzyl salicylate (as well as benzyl benzoate and butylphenylmethylpropional) are chemical components of cosmetic products which provoke estrogenic responses in a human breast cancer (in vivo study – with human cells), i.e. could cause cancer (13).
In another research study it was calculated that users worldwide consume more benzyl salicylate (which induces estradiol imbalance) than it is supposed to be according to maximum secure daily estradiol intake, recommended by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (14). So, no matter what doses are written as safe in the official documents – consumers do not calculate these doses and that would be absolutely impossible task for an average citizen to complete.
No matter what doses are written as safe in the official documents – consumers do not calculate these doses and that would be absolutely impossible task for an average citizen to complete
Benzyl salicylate is a representative of the salicylates group. Salicylates are chemically active compounds and known to be incompatible with many other chemical materials used in cosmetics or food (2), such as:
phenylmercuric salts should be used in preference to benzalkonium chloride as a preservative for salicylates
Glycerin (the same as glycerol)
could darken a mixture if glycerin is contaminated with iron
could be adsorbed onto magnesium oxide
Polyoxyethylene Alkyl Ethers
discoloration or precipitation may occur
discoloration or precipitation may occur
grey or green colors may be developed in a mixture, because of traces of iron in the alum.
forms molecular adducts in solution
can intensify the darkening of salicylates
Incompatibilities of benzyl salicylate with other chemical substances
Although the above-mentioned incompatibilities are mostly important for the manufacturer of cosmetic products, not for a consumer, it is worth to know about it. Because we earn what we l’earn, and sometimes incompatible materials still appear in some commercial products (note form the personal observation).
To be continued…
Nikitakis J, Lange B. International Cosmetic Ingredient Dictionary and Handbook Online Version (wINCI). 2019.
Kohrman K, Booman K, Dorsky J, Rothenstein A, Sedlak R, Steltenkamp R, et al. Benzyl salicylate: a survey of consumer patch-test sensitization. Food and chemical toxicology. 1983;21(6):741-4.
Devprakash TR, Gurav S, Kumar G, Mani TT. An review of phytochemical constituents and pharmacological activity of Plumeria species. Int.J.Curr.Pharm.Res. 2012;4:1-6.
Thang TD, Dai DN, Hoi TM, Ogunwande IA. Essential oils from five species of Annonaceae from Vietnam. Natural product communications. 2013;8(2):1934578X1300800228.
Aliboni A. Propolis from Northern California and Oregon: chemical composition, botanical origin, and content of allergens. Zeitschrift für Naturforschung C. 2014;69(1-2):10-20.
Ekundayo O. A review of the volatiles of the Annonaceae. J Essent Oil Res. 1989;1(5):223-45.
Brophy JJ, Goldsack RJ, Forster PI. Essential oil of austromatthaea elegans ls smith (monimiaceae) leaves. J Essent Oil Res. 1995;7(6):585-8.
Rothenborg HW, Hjorth N. Allergy to perfumes from toilet soaps and detergents in patients with dermatitis. Arch Dermatol. 1968;97(4):417-21.
Schwab W, Davidovich‐Rikanati R, Lewinsohn E. Biosynthesis of plant‐derived flavor compounds. The plant journal. 2008;54(4):712-32.
Lapczynski A, McGinty D, Jones L, Bhatia S, Letizia C, Api A. Fragrance material review on benzyl salicylate. Food and chemical toxicology. 2007;45(1):S362-80.
Zaaroura H, Bergman R, Nevet MJ. Pigmented Facial Contact Dermatitis to Benzyl Salicylate: A Comparative Histopathological and Immunohistochemical Study of the Involved Skin and the Positive Patch Test Site. Am J Dermatopathol. 2019 Jun;41(6):443-7.
Alagappan U, Tay Y, Lim SR. Pigmented contact dermatitis secondary to benzyl salicylate. Acta Derm Venereol. 2013;93(5):590.
Charles A, Darbre P. Oestrogenic activity of benzyl salicylate, benzyl benzoate and butylphenylmethylpropional (Lilial) in MCF7 human breast cancer cells in vitro. Journal of Applied Toxicology. 2009;29(5):422-34.
Zhang Z, Jia C, Hu Y, Sun L, Jiao J, Zhao L, et al. The estrogenic potential of salicylate esters and their possible risks in foods and cosmetics. Toxicol Lett. 2012;209(2):146-53.
You have probably noticed that the website by itself is even far away from being ugly duckling:) but now I am on my way for the infinite improvements. See you (write you) this Friday!
Today, on May 27 after this post will be published, and tomorrow, on May 28, you would see the cover on my website “Something new is coming”. That is because I will try to make the website looking better.
One important note for those who are getting notification to email every time when a new post is released: notification via email is lightweight version of a post. To see a post in all its beauty, with nice wide image describing each post and well-organised tables, if they are included, etc., you should click on a title link that will redirect you directly to my website (on most phone screens it is shown in blue color).