From Nature, three key remedies for our liver

Spring is associated to wood element in traditional Chinese medicine – symbolizing rebirth – and it is related to specific organs such as liver and gall-bladder. By encompassing such Oriental tradition, we should consider the idea to purify our “overloadedliver after winter and to help its correct function. Such an organ – actually the biggest gland of our body – works in a “silent” way so that we are not very familiar with its functions. Liver operates in a series of important activities: it intervenes in intestine mediated fat absorption, in endogenous cholesterol synthesis, in body cells’ feeding, in elimination of toxic substances (i.e. drugs), in coagulation factors’ biosynthesis and it represents a storing place for our essential nutrients such as iron, copper and vitamin B12. Liver is an endless chemical transformation laboratory helping near organs (pancreas, intestine and kidneys) with the final aim of wellness of the whole organism.

Upon considering the above concepts, I understand now the repeated recommendations to consume dandelion, lemon, artichokes and I’d like to thank my yoga teacher which makes me writhe to re-activate full liver functionality! According to Chinese medicine, liver is appointed to distribute energy in the whole body to the point that the frequent springtime tiredness sensation could be caused by overloaded liver. That’s why we should take care of such a precious organ!

A correct dietary habit is the actual starting point: food that increases gastric secretion and acts as tonic for the whole system could be useful.

  1. Artichoke (Cynara scolymus), known as “liver’s friend” in the old Literature, is one of the most cultivated edible plant in the World. Its extracts have been used since ancient times for hepatic disorders. Its beneficial properties – known since XVII century – are now supported also by scientific research which confirms the protective action on liver[1]. highlithing other therapeutic properties like the antioxidant and the activity in reducing lipid and glycemic content.[2] Artichokes protect and prevent oxidation on liver along with boldine (active principle of boldo),[3] vitamin E , C and minerals as Zinc and  Copper.
  2. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) which is best known as “lion’s tooth”, with its very common and typical yellow flower in meadows and countryside during springtime, boasts relevant detoxification properties on liver along with diuretic actions. Dandelion, as revealed by the common name piscialetto (the italian for bed wetter) is known since the most traditional use for its capacity to help liquid drainage, both at intestinal and kidney level along with choleretic, digestive and depurative properties useful when general detox is needed.
  3. The last ingredient I’d like to talk about is Olive (Olea europaea): a common plant widely distributed in Mediterranean areas and in Italy in particular. Both fruit and leaves are full of active principles,which are collected in the standardized olive extract, in particular oleuropein and hydroxytyrosol boast beneficial properties such as antioxidant, hepatoprotective properties [4] and help lower and protect from oxidation blood LDL (low density lipoproteins) commonly known as “bad cholesterol”, which are often involved in the problems of the circulatory system.

Very common edible plants with a typical bitter taste such as artichoke, milk thistle, gentian, dandelion are well widespread in Mediterranean areas but sometimes they are not always available on our table so we can find easily in a dietary supplement which collects them in a single capsule and is formulated to help liver functions and its equilibrium. The dietary supplement Epo Stim® by BeC Natura contains all those ingredients and it could be consumed along with Depur Plus® supplement to promote physiological intestinal function and prevent overloaded liver after winter charges in order to better enjoy the benefit Springtime!

[1] Rangboo V, et al The Effect of Artichoke Leaf Extract on Alanine Aminotransferase and Aspartate Aminotransferase in the Patients with Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis International Journal of Hepatology vol. 2016, Article ID 4030476, 6 pages, 2016.
[2] Rondanelli M, et al Health-promoting properties of artichoke in preventing cardiovascular disease by its lipidic and glycemic-reducing action Monaldi Arch Chest Dis 2013; 80: 17-26
[3] Kringstein P, Cederbaum AI, Boldine prevents human liver microsomal lipid peroxidation and inactivation of cytochrome P4502E1   Free Radic Biol Med. 1995; 18: 559-63
[4] Barbaro B, et alEffects of the Olive-Derived Polyphenol Oleuropein on Human HealthInt. J. Mol. Sci. 2014, 15, 18508-18524

 

I eat, therefore I am (the holistic view on food)

Food represents our primordial cultural code and is related not only to simple nutrition but also to the social environment, and reflects our cultural identity, customs and tradition. Is it possible for us to take control over this primitive impulse, so to avoid becoming slave to it? Food is medicine, as shown by Hippocrates, Galen and Paracelsus already long ago. If it is true, why can’t we look at what we eat as a short- or long-term wellness generator, beside being a means to satisfy our taste?

vegetablesFood modulates our infinite mental indices that are involved also in dietary disorders such as obesity. If we go in depth into this common condition affecting modern Western world we prompt realize that the excessive food consumption is caused by the overwhelming and attracting food offer – that could mislead “hunger and satiety” mechanisms – along with the lack of a “culture of wellness” which would include the culture of fitness, of exercise and of health-oriented practices.

The deepest soul issues fidget in the inner of our body: suffering from obesity in a society that privileges slim people represents a not too concealed social exclusion! For this reason, all the  disciplines aimed at “saving our souls” by chagrin or fasting have been re-introduced in eating plans based on food moderation, which seem like ways to save our identity and help our chances to be accepted,  rather than a regime to guarantee our body wellness.

The stakes aren’t so much a food reconciliation rather the real act of existing: a person who eats to exist and wants to get slimmer for the same reason is walking on the razor’s edge. Most slimming diets fail for the lack of self-confidence rather than a weak resistance to the temptation of gluttony. When food becomes a matter of existence it is given a bigger meaning than it can actually hold.

The motto “mens sana in corpore sano” (a sound mind in a sound body) should not only be intended literally: Juvenal did not state that in a healthy body lies a sound mind but that both body and mind need to be exercised in the same way. The idea that both body and mind could grow up and develop only together is also the basis of the pedagogic school model proposed by Aristotle.

Nowadays such a precept broadens its meaning in a more complex way: in order to have good soul authority we need a healthy body power (and vice versa) by virtue of the psychophysical unit.  Such a psychophysical unit is indeed the subject of the holistic sciences: every medicine, science and art that considers the human being in his entirety of body, mind and soul could be regarded as holistic. Like ecology – which deals with the global Earth and environment protection – holistic medicine focuses on the global health of the human being.

fitnessTaking care of ourselves becomes a sum of multiple actions: feeding ourselves in more natural and unpolluted ways, purifying our own feelings from negative thoughts, understanding the deep reasons of our actions, and eventually progressing both humanely and spiritually.

Stepping from a model of Nature that can provide remedies to every medical need, at BeC we’ve been inspired by traditional Eastern medicine and we’ve been trying to conjugate the ancient phytotherapeutic traditions with modern scientific research, in the constant effort to gain better and synergic results. In line with the holistic view, every dietary supplements by BeC is designed for the global wellness of the human being, hence they are not merely directed toward one single need.

If we consider that body organs are correlated one the other, then a specific focus on a single issue – ignoring the surrounding condition –  would be too superficial! For these reasons all dietary supplements by BeC are composed by complex and equilibrated mixtures providing with optimal bioavailability of nutrients, efficacy and nutritional value. Thanks to their particular composition, they could be chosen by people on different eating plans such as vegetarian, vegan,  low fat, low salt, low sugar diet. In order to maintain good health conditions it is necessary to take care of ourselves in whole: not only by regular fitness, equilibrated and well-balanced diet (in terms of proteins, carbohydrates and fats) but also by supplementing our diet with the right intake of those vitamins, minerals and micronutrients that are essential for our wellbeing. Unfortunately, more and more often such micronutrients are lacking in common diets, due to wrong storing condition of foodstuffs and prolonged cooking time.

 

Mint and menthol: how freshness ingredients work!

mentoloMenthol is one of the major components of mint essential oil: it has been used in therapy of respiratory disease to give relief to airways and provide a pleasant freshness sensation. For these reasons it is included in several over–the–counter medications. Only peppermint oil (Mentha  piperita L.) is described in the 8th European Pharmacopoeia despite the fact that different species of Mint are used in traditional medicine. Several benefits of Mint biocomponents are exploited in cosmetics, nutraceuticals and medicinal products. The majority of mint-based products are oral-care products (tooth paste, mouthwash) thanks to the antiseptic properties of mint actives and especially to the freshness sensation given to mouth and breath.

Which are the freshness ingredients in different mint species?

Different mint species and the corresponding essential oil varieties with their major compounds are shown in the following table. Each one is related to various olfactory notes and boasts different biological properties.

Table. Major compounds of mint essential oils from different Mint species[1].

Essential oil Mint species Main compounds
Peppermint oil Peppermint M.  piperita menthone, menthol
Spearmint oil,

Native type Scotch Spearmint oil

Spearmint M. spicata,

M.  viloso-nervata,

M.  gentilis nm. cardiaca

carvone, dihydrocarvone
Cornmint oil Cornmint M. arvensis var. piperascens menthol
Pennyroyal oil Pennyroyal M. pulegium pulegone
M. citrate oil Citrata M. citrata linaool, linalyl acetate

Menthol. How does it works?

Mentha piperita generally represents the most used species in health care products due to the high amount of menthol (30%) and menthone (20%). In particular, menthol gives a freshness sensation not only on the skin but also on mucosae because it interacts with thermo-receptors such as the cold and menthol receptor  (i.e.: TRPM8, transient receptor potential ion channels) that represents the molecular transducer of cold sensation when menthol  is inhalated or applied on skin. The activation of cold receptor originates several benefits:

  1. it increases the  patency of  airways (nasal flow)
  2. it reduces the sensation of dyspnoea
  3. at low concentration,  it acts against cough

These important properties are very useful when seasonal illnesses appear with symptoms like cold, nasal congestion and cough.  Some studies on menthol include also Eucalyptus essential oil and its major compound 1,8-cineol: along with menthol, it has important properties against cough.[2]  Menthol helps to clear respiratory tract acting as expectorant: it gives temporary relief to upper airways and alleviates symptoms such as nasal congestion, sinusitis, cold and cough. Several expectorant balms contain a moderate percentage of mint essential oils or menthol since they revert congestion upon applying directly on chest.

DSC_0275_lowOur balm named Balsamo BeC, is very rich of typical terpenic balsamic components such as menthol and camphor along with the essential oils of Eucalyptus, Wintergreen and Peppermint. It provides beneficial effects and alleviate nasal congestion when applied by delicate massage on chest. The special blend of essential oils named Sinergia SA by BeC, used in hot steam aerosol represents a real decongestant help thanks to the high content of mint essential oil along with pure menthol for a synergic action in calming cough. Moreover, the balsamic blend of Mint, Chamomile, Lavender essential oils contribute to dilate bronchi. Among the precious blend of essential oils, Idrobagno I.U. is one of the most interesting product for the balsamic and vasotonic effect. Furthermore, the dermo-purifyng and anti-inflammatory action of Clove, Cypress and Lemon essential oils provide a pleasant freshness sensation when applied on head scalp and help to remove dandruff. Its antiseptic and regenerative properties is exploited also in hair care lotions by reinforcing scalp and providing a vivid and bright look to your hair.

We love scouting natural ingredient from Nature and skilfully blending them in special synergies that will became partner of your wellness.

[1] Mimica-Dukic and Bozin. Mentha L. Species (Lamiaceae) as Promising Sources of Bioactive Secondary Metabolites. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 2008, 14, 3141-3150
[2] Kenia, P.; Houghton, T.; Beardsmore, C. Does inhaling menthol affect nasal patency or cough? Pediatr. Pulmonol. 2008, 43, 532-7.

Ingredients’ purity: efficacy and safety

I have been frequently come across in cosmetic company websites which excessively boast the importance of purity of vegetal extracts for the efficacy of cosmetic products. I end up with catchy phrases such as “…our cream is the most effective product on the market, because our Ginseng dry extract e is assayed 10% in  ginsenosides differently to the majority of competitors who use 3% assayed Ginseng…”

glass-containers-1205652_1920Well, let’s clarify the topic in two points:

  1. Efficacy is associated both to the extract purity and to the used amount in formulation
  2. If certain extract is assayed in 60% of something, what is the remaining 40%?

The first point is related to the fact that an extract 100% pure could be ideally used. For instance,  using one tenth of a certain ingredient in the formulation means that a less effective product (or with lesser amount of ingredient) it will obtained in comparison to the use of the same amount of the less pure extract. The real amount of the active extract in the final formulation relies on the efficacy of the product.

The second most important point is linked to safety of the cosmetic product: a botanical low-percentage pure extract will contain higher amount of impurities (extraction solvents / not declared components) in comparison to purer extract.

Modern cosmetic science crosses over pharmaceutical field so that we usually talk about cosmeceutics that support the topic that the functional and technical ingredients (commonly known as excipients) play a major role in activity along with the proper active ingredient. For instance, we demonstrated the ability of certain essential oils or fatty acids (from vegetable origin) to behave as enhancers for cutaneous absorption for some hydro- or liposoluble vitamins. The results were published in some relevant scientific journals.[1-4]

Definitely, ingredients’ purity relies on high percentage of the active ingredient: the purer is the extract, the lesser is the room for unknown ingredient and dangerous components (additives, plasticiser, solvents, dyes, etc.) in the formula.

I’d like to highlight the importance of quality and purity of the extracts and active ingredients to be used in cosmetic formulation in order to assure efficacy and safety. At last, don’t be fooled by advertising slogan which reveal meaningless at the end.

[1] S. Gabbanini, E. Lucchi, M. Carli, E. Berlini, A. Minghetti, L. Valgimigli, In vitro evaluation of the permeation through reconstructed human epidermis of essentials oils from cosmetic formulations, J. Pharm. Biomed. Anal. 50 (2009) 370–376.
[2] S. Gabbanini, R. Matera,  C. Beltramini, A. Minghetti, L. Valgimigli. Analysis of in vitro release through reconstructed human epidermis and synthetic membranes of multi-vitamins from cosmetic formulations J. Pharm. Biomed. Anal. 52 (2010) 461– 467.
[3] L. Valgimigli, S. Gabbanini, G. Arniani, E. Lucchi. Influence of the lipid-phase composition on the trans-epidermal transfer of vitamin B6 from O/W emulsions. HPC Today, 2013, 8, 24-27.
[4] L. Valgimigli, S. Gabbanini, E. Berlini, E. Lucchi, C. Beltramini and Y.L. Bertarelli. Lemon (Citrus limon, Burm.f.) essential oil enhances the trans-epidermal release of lipid- (A, E) and water- (B6, C) soluble vitamins from topical emulsions in reconstructed human epidermis, International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 34 (2012) 347–356.

Do men need their own daily wellness “rituals”?

uomoMan skin has a tougher tone and increased resistance in comparison to women skin due to the different hormonal gender balances. Despite of remaining younger for longer time, even man skin deserves a certain beauty care. Due to higher amount of sebum, mixed or impure man skins are much more subjected to dehydration because daily normal soaps (commonly used by men) reduce hydro-lipidic barrier on the skin and determine easy water evaporation. Moreover, the daily shaving arouses tiny lesions, irritation and redness and contributes to dehydration and excessive sensitization incidence. For these reasons, it’s important to cleanse face with delicate detergent and to nourish skin – mainly after shaving – by using soothing balms which improve skin hydration, especially during winter. Especially for sensitive skins, wind and cold have increased effects and provide dried and chapped skins. VelvÉ cream by BeC has a fresh and light texture; it’s indicated as after-shave for soothing irritated, red and chapped skin. Synergic mixture of moisturizing and emollient actives as Wheat and Oat proteins, along with Vitamin E, allows counteracting dryness and elasticity drop. Essential oils of Lavender, Blue Chamomile and Eucalyptus boast a delicate antibacterial and refreshing action, while Aloe Vera juice helps in alleviate redness and burning sensation.

velveAdditional feature about man skins is related to the difference in wrinkle incidence in comparison to women skins: tiny wrinkles and cutaneous relaxation became less evident in men due to the higher amount of collagen and elastic tissue. On the other hand, expression wrinkles appear earlier and in a more definite way in men due to the lesser content of hyaluronic acid, whose biosynthesis is mediated by oestrogens. Even men need their own daily wellness “rituals”. For these reason VelvÉ is enriched by Hyaluronic acid and contributes to maintain daily a tonic and compact skin. Despite being told that man skin does not require special attention, nowadays we re-evaluated man skin care. From this point, a careful attention toward man skin is increasing more and more, even in barber-shops which are becoming real beauty salon…but only for men!

Terra biocare: the importance of organic certification

terraecocertMany certification bodies can provide control and certification of cosmetic products (and its ingredients) in order to meet some standard requirements for natural or organic labelling. We have already discussed the differences between the natural and organic concepts, so we now focus on organic the products belonging to our eco-friendly cosmetic line Terra biocare, with was formulated with high content of ingredients of vegetable origin and coming from organic farming. At BeC we have chosen Ecocert Greenlife certification for our organic cosmetics entrusting this independent certification body Ecocert, founded in France more than twenty years ago with the aim to develop and support those agricultural techniques that have full commitment to respect and protection of the environment. The basic principles of Ecocert standards consider that the eco-friendly cosmetics should be made only of ingredients deriving from renewable sources and produced by procedures with a reduced impact on environment. Basic requirements to be met according Ecocert accreditation are the absence of GMO (genetically modified organisms), of synthetic preservatives such as parabens and phenoxyethanol, of synthetic parfums, of nanoparticles, of silicones, of PEG polymers and dyes, along with ingredients from animal origin (other than those naturally derived, like milk, honey etc.). Moreover, packaging materials are required to be biodegradable and recyclable. The ORGANIC COSMETICS label validated by Ecocert on our cosmetic products Terra biocare certifies that they contain at least 95% of ingredients of natural origin, and at least 95% of vegetable ingredients (however not less than 10% of the whole amount) comes from organic farming. All natural and organic ingredients of Terra biocare are obtained by means of simple extraction procedures approved by the certification body, which have minimum impact on the environment.
 The organic certified cosmetic line Terra biocare is dedicated to everyone who wants to approach a more conscious, ethic and eco-friendly life-style, without sacrificing efficacy. Terra biocare, with its fresh and simple personality, is effective but delicate and is ideal for people who want to contribute to minimizing the environmental impact.  Top quality products made for an environmentally and socially responsible life-style, in the  fullest harmony between Man and Nature.

Welcome to the BeC Official blog

Hi everybody,

We would like to give our warmest welcome for reaching the BeC official blog.

BeC Srl is an Italian, family run company committed to research and development of botanical extract and essential oils for more than 30 years. BeC designs and creates functional products for family wellness.

logo_ondaThis official blog would be a useful tool for information for our special line of unique cosmetics and diet supplements in order to provide you with a full quality service, that spans from technical, scientific and medical guidance to information and training tips about BeC products’ utilization.

And much more!

Our staff includes chemists, pharmacists, physicians and wellness consultants. They will be available to give you information and have the chance to write about health, beauty and wellness in more depth. According to everyone’s proper competency, they will promptly reply to your comments in order to satisfy your request.

Moreover, we are glad to accept blog articles, information, detailed studies related to natural cosmetics, health and wellness that you wish to consider for publication.

This blog represents a discussion and meeting point, along with a daily guidance for   improving your own wellness in harmony with Nature.