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OLIVE (Olea europaea)

DESCRIPTION:


Botany: The olive tree, Olea europaea, is an evergreen tree or shrub native to the Mediterranean, Asia and Africa. It is short and squat, and rarely exceeds 8–15 metres in height. The silvery green leaves are oblong in shape. The trunk is typically gnarled and twisted.  The fruit is a small drupe, thinner-fleshed and smaller in wild plants than in orchard cultivars.
 
History and/or folklore: An oil that is mentioned in the Bible and was known to the ancient Greeks and Phoenicians, who introduced it into Spain.  Homer called it "liquid gold." In ancient Greece, athletes ritually rubbed it all over their bodies.  The oil is legendary for its safe, gentle care and treatment of the skin.
 
Products:
Extra virgin olive oil - Olea europaea fixed oil
Extra virgin olive oil is obtained by physical pressure from a whole fruit.  It contains mainly the mixed triglyceride esters of fatty acids, and is also rich in phenolic components with strong anti-oxidative properties that are responsible for the particular stability of the oil.
 
Olive butter - Olea europaea butter
Olive butter does not occur naturally, and products called olive butter are usually blends, either olive oil mixed with beeswax or olive oil mixed with hydrogenated olive oil or another higher melting oil or wax, e.g. beeswax, glyceryl monostearate, etc. In cosmetic preparations, the feel and behaviour of olive butter is very similar to that of shea butter.  It protects, softens and maintains the skin's natural moisture. Olive butter is well absorbed.
 

USES:


Olea europaea fixed oil
Traditional use in ointments for wounds, burns, dermatosis, stretch marks, and breast firming.  It is anti-inflammatory. Healing agent on wounds and burns (Oil).
 
Externally, olive oil is emollient and soothing to inflamed surfaces, and is employed to soften the skin and crusts in eczema and psoriasis, and as a lubricant for massage. It is used to soften ear wax.  It has also low SPF levels (around SPF4).
 
Olive oil is an ingredient of liniments, ointments, skin and hair preparations, and soap.
 
Olive butter
Olive butter demonstrates excellent spreadability on the skin, making it ideal as a massage butter or as a carrier for other products. It adds moisturizing attributes to creams and lotions and bar soaps.  It can be used in cosmetics, toiletries, soaps, massage oils and balms, hair care and sun care preparations. It is particularly suitable for inflamed, aging and sagging skin.  In cosmetics olive butter is also used as part of exclusive recovery creams.
 

TOXICOLOGY:


Olea europaea fixed oil is generally accept as safe.
 
Classified as a low human health priority, and not expected to be potentially toxic or harmful.
 
Not suspected to be an environmental toxin or to be bioaccumulative.
 
Not assessed for safety in cosmetics by the industry panel.
OAT (Avena sativa)

DESCRIPTION:


Botany: Avena sativa (cultivated oats) developed from wild oats.  A. sativa is commonly grown in northern temperate regions, as it needs more water and humidity than wheat and dislikes dry weather in early summer.  A. sativa is both a food and a herb, known to medical herbalists as a “trophorestorative”.  Plants are cut in summer before fully ripe and threshed to separate the grains, which are then dehusked and rolled for use as cereals, and liquid extracts, and tinctures. Dried stalks are sometimes included in tonics.  The useful part of oat is the endosperm. 
 
Biochemistry: Oats are a good source of essential vitamins such as thiamine, folic acid, biotin, pantothenic acid and vitamin E. They also contain zinc, selenium, copper, iron, manganese and magnesium.  Oats also contain alkaloids such as gramine, and glycosides. Oats are the cereal with the highest lipid content (about 7-8%), most of which is located in the endosperm.  Endosperm also contains xanthophylls, phytosterols, terpene alcohol, hydrocarbons, and tocopherols.
 
Products:
Avena sativa fixed oil 
Oat oil is extracted from whole oat kernels by a gentle process that retains all of the important biologically active components. It contains a very high level of important natural antioxidants, including several forms of vitamin E (tocopherols).  It is rich in essential fatty acids and natural emollients.  It has a good skin affinity and has a moisturizing action that is particularly visible in skin dehydrated by excessive exposure to solar radiation and sea water
 

USES:


Traditional use: oats are good for sores, inflammations and rough skin (helps to soften the skin, and a good healing poultice for the skin (drawing out splinters and foreign bodies).
 
Clinical studies have proven that oats heal dry and itchy skin, reduce inflammation and alleviate redness.
 
Avena sativa Oil fixed oil 
Oat oil has excellent softening, smoothing and hydrating properties for both skin, cosmetics and hair products.  This ingredient is used in children`s protective preparations and emulsions and pastes for problem skin conditions, especially in cases of dryness and itching (for sensitive skin or skin prone to inflammation/redness).  It can be generally used in skin creams, lotions and oils.  It is also used as scalp care.
 

TOXICOLOGY:


Few data suggest oat-based cosmetics may cause allergic reactions in atopic subjects, especially when sensitized to cereals.  One study showed that sensitization to cereals does not increase the risk of allergic reactions to oat-containing cosmetics.  
 
Another study showed that oat sensitization in children with atopic dermatitis seen for allergy testing is higher than expected. It may be the result of repeated applications of cosmetics with oats on a predisposed impaired epidermal barrier. They suggest avoiding topical-containing oat proteins in infants with atopic dermatitis.
 
Not assessed for safety in cosmetics by the industry panel.
ORANGE (BITTER AND SWEET) (Citrus aurantium/Citrus sinesis)

DESCRIPTION:


Botany: Bitter orange is an evergreen glabrous tree with long but not very sharp spines and very fragrant flowers.  It grows up to 10 m high.  It is native to southern China and north-eastern India.  It is cultivated in China, southern Europe and USA.  Membranes and pulp of the fruit are very bitter and sour.  Parts used are the peel of the fruit, freshly picked flowers and leaves and twigs.  
 
Sweet orange is a smaller tree than the bitter orange tree, less hardy, and with few or no spines.  The fruits are smaller, with sweet pulp and non-bitter membranes.  It is native to China, and is extensively cultivated worldwide, especially in USA (Florida and California) and Mediterranean countries.  Parts used are the peel of the partially or fully ripe fruit.  
 
Products: 
Best known products of the bitter orange tree are bitter orange oil, neroli (orange flower) oil and petitgrain oil (extracted from the green twigs by steam distillation).  
 
Best known products of the sweet orange tree are sweet orange oil and terpeneless orange oils.
 

USES:


Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-fungal activities.
 
Bitter and sweet orange, neroli, and the petitgrain oils are extensively used as fragrance components in soaps, detergents, creams, lotions, and cosmetics.  The highest concentration used is 1.0% reported for bitter orange oil in perfumes.
 

TOXICOLOGY:


Bitter orange oil is reported to have distinct phototoxic activity, while none is reported for expressed sweet orange oil even though both oils contain coumarins.
 
Expressed sweet orange oil, bitter orange oil, and neroli oil are generally reported to be non-irritating and non-sensitising to humans. However, limonene present in citrus oils has been known to cause contact dermatitis in humans.