Sunday, May 10, 2015

Spearmint Ingredient Spotlight

Spearmint, Mentha spicata, is a herbaceous perennial herb. The name 'spear' gives a clue to its pointed leave tips. It grows by spreading rhizomally. It can spread rapidly when it has plenty of water and sunshine.  For this reason, it and other mints are best grown in containers. Because it is a water-loving herb, be sure to have a catch pan for water underneath the pot. Did you know peppermint is actually a hybrid of spearmint? Spearmint crossed with Mentha aquarica, gives the hybrid Mentha x spicata, or peppermint. Keep spearmint growing in your garden for the flowers which are attractive to beneficial insects.

Spearmint makes a refreshing herbal tea.  It is an ingredient in Mint Julep and Mojitos. The tea can help settle upset stomachs. Mint tea is an herb suggested by Juliette Levy for digestive distress in her Herbal books for Dogs and Cats. Try this mint yogurt dip by Jamie Oliver here.  Chew on fresh spearmint for freshening your breath.

Spearmint essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of the leaves and stems. The scent is uplifting, stimulating and refreshing. It is somewhat more delicate in scent compared to peppermint essential oil, which has a higher menthol content.  We like using Spearmint essential oil in many of our soaps, shampoo bars, and our Spearmint deodorant. We also have spearmint as a scent option in our herbal pillows

Friday, May 1, 2015

Feinstein's Cosmetic Bill Jeopardizes Small Businesses, Joba and Entreprenurial Opportunites

Broadview Heights, Ohio; April 21, 2015 - The Handmade Cosmetic Alliance (HCA) representing more than 300,000 small handmade cosmetic companies throughout the U.S., opposes the Personal Care Products Safety Act, S. 1014, introduced by Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and co-sponsored by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME).

The proposed legislation, negotiated by large industry and a single consumer group and affiliate members, imposes burdensome fees, registration requirements and reporting mandates that will jeopardize more than 300,000 small handmade cosmetic companies in the U.S.

“The HCA along with other handmade cosmetic organizations support efforts to make meaningful policy changes to enhance cosmetic safety. However, subjecting small handmade cosmetic companies which operate with less than a handful of employees to onerous regulation is not only unfair and unprecedented, but creates regulatory requirements that will force businesses to close their doors, “ said Debbie May, Executive Director of the HCA.

The handmade cosmetic industry, comprised of largely women-owned and operated businesses, typically manufactures products in batches of 25-100 using largely food grade ingredients that can be found in any grocery store. In the U.S., handmade cosmetic products constitute less than a fraction of one percent of all products in the marketplace yet the quality of these products with food grade oils and ingredients are among the safest in the nation.

Senator Feinstein’s proposed legislation sets unprecedented burdens on small businesses, far exceeding current requirements food manufacturers and small farmers. As drafted, the Personal Care Products Safety Act would subject handmade cosmetic companies to “user fees” that are nearly ten times their market share and require each small handmade cosmetic business to file product registrations on several hundred soap, lotion, scrub batches produced in a given month.

The Handmade Cosmetic Alliance and its members will continue to support efforts to enhance cosmetic safety while ensuring that requirements are fair to small handmade cosmetic companies that create main street jobs and economic benefits to communities across the nation.