Dis winter desiccation
Deep in the throes of February, your customers may be begging for a respite from the winter-skin doldrums. Help your customers—and your bottom line—by reminding them of these tips by Beverly Hills, Calif.-based dermatologist Stuart Kaplan. Use a humidifier to cut down on dry winter conditions. Switch from a light moisturizer to thicker creams and ointments. Avoid applying creams to breakout areas. Use mild soaps. Don't forget the sunscreen and SPF lip balm. Don't exfoliate as frequently. Avoid long, hot showers; they remove oils from the skin. Care for deeply dry skin immediately to prevent it from cracking. Pay special attention to hands and feet as they take an especially bad beating during the winter.
Black eye for black cohosh?
A 12-month study on black cohosh for hot flashes, or vasomotor symptoms, has ended—and the results aren't good. "Black cohosh used in isolation, or as part of a multibotanical regimen, shows little potential as an important therapy for relief of vasomotor symptoms," the authors wrote. The study was published in the Dec. 19, 2006, issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. In a release refuting the authors' conclusions, Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the American Botanical Council, said, "The medical literature contains many controlled and uncontrolled trials that support the efficacy of the two leading black cohosh preparations for treating menopause symptoms." The Herbal Alternatives for Menopause Study, or HALT, was funded by two components of the National Institutes of Health: The National Institute on Aging and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. For more on the study, go to the ABC's Web site at www.herbalgram.org/default.asp?c=bcohoshpr12_2006.
The right stuff
The British Columbia Institute of Technology Natural Health Products Research Group has completed the first round of its analysis of health products. This multi-laboratory study was conducted on blind samples of true and adulterated goldenseal plant material to develop benchmarks for determining future testing of the plant. Extracts and finished products were analyzed by seven participating laboratories in British Columbia and Alberta. The program's Expert Advisory Committee has chosen American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) for round two of testing. View more information at www.npicenter.com.
Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVIII/number 2/p. 34