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We love Tamarind Fruit – But what about the Seed?

Most people know about Tamarind fruit in some form, in Tamarind juice, in Indian chutney or curry or in good old BBQ sauce… Tamarind fruit pulp is the base for what most of us know as Tamarind.  The pulp which is rich in Vitamins and minerals boasts a whole list of health benefits by itself, helping to regulate digestion, improving blood glucose levels, blood circulation and cholesterol.  But did you know that hidden inside that tangy-sticky fruit pulp of a whole Tamarind are seeds (3-12 per pod) packed with proteins, amino acids, essential fatty acids and minerals?  These little morsels of nutrition have surprising health benefits on their own!

For the Body:  Joint Relief & Other Benefits

Tamarind Seed holds great anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial benefits (1) when ingested.  Amongst its traditional uses is the treatment for joint pain and arthritis by ingesting roasted Tamarind Seed Powder.  Early research suggests that Tamarind Seed does indeed reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in joints, helping with pain and protecting bone and cartilage (2).

For Skin:  The Skin Hydration Optimizer

When applied to skin, Tamarind Seed Extract helps draw and bind vital hydration to the skin by feeding the skin’s natural moisturizing factor in the skin’s surface, similar to how Hyaluronic Acid does.  The genius lies in the molecular structure of Tamarind Seed Extract, which is able to penetrate the skin surface more deeply, resulting in deeper and more long-lasting hydration.  We use Tamarind Seed Extract in our Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner, where it is combined with Hyaluronic Acid, Green, White & Black Tea and Rice Bran Extract to draw and bind vital hydration to the skin and feed the skin’s natural moisturizing factor (NMF).

Make your own Tamarind Seed Powder!

While fresh whole Tamarind is now available in many Asian and Latin grocery stores in the US, Tamarind Seeds alone or Tamarind Seed Powder are not.  Fortunately, you can make your own Tamarind Seed Powder quite easily!

  1. Buy fresh whole Tamarind and save the seeds after eating the pulp as a snack or using it for cooking.  Wash and dry the seeds with a paper towel.
  2. Roast the seeds in the oven at 300 degrees for approximately 10 minutes. Alternatively you can also roast them in a frying pain on low heat for about 5.  Let cool.
  3. Wrap the roasted seeds in a dish towel, place them on a thick wooden cutting board and roughly crush with a hammer. The kernels are very hard so you will need to use quite a bit of force.  When the Tamarind Seed cracks, the dark brown seed skin will come off, exposing the inner white seed.  Keep the brown skin.  It has nutrients as well!
  4. Grind the crushed kernels and seed skin in a coffee grinder until it is a fine powder. You will notice a nice, nutty aroma.
  5. Store in an airtight container. Keep cool and dry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add 1 teaspoon of Tamarind Powder to your smoothie, juice or yogurt.  The powder does not actually dissolve in water, so I have found it easier to consume when it was suspended in a thicker medium like a smoothie or yogurt.

Enjoy experimenting!

Deliciously Soft, Juicy Skin with this Quick & Easy DIY Mask

By JUARA Co-Founder, Yoshiko Roth-Hidalgo

“OMG, you have to check this out, I can’t stop touching my skin!”  That was my chat message to my partners Metta and Jill, after I experimented with a new DIY face mask recipe to help with my winter-parched, rough skin.

I love to experiment when I cook.  No matter how specific a recipe is, I can’t help but tweak it somehow, even if in small ways, just to see what happens to the flavor.  Same thing with skincare.  I am constantly experimenting with products, not only with what I use, but also how I use them.  That’s how I stumbled across this easy and quick DIY face mask that left my skin soft, supple, almost juicy…simply yummy.

What makes this so easy is the fact that you are combining 2 actual products, JUARA Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner and Radiance Vitality Oil, with 2 readily available food ingredients:  brown sugar and honey.  This mixture together makes for a luscious treatment that polishes, hydrates and smooths skin immediately.  The toner is packed with hyaluronic acid, tamarind seed extract and soothing green tea, white tea and black tea extracts.  The face oil nourishes skin with 7 different omega fatty acids (3, 5, 6, 7 & 9) and Vitamin C.  Sugar acts as a polish but together with honey also acts as a wonderful humectant.  This recipe is so quick and easy, you can do this mask any time of the day, as a quick pick-me-up or as part of a relaxing ritual.

Ingredients & Directions:   

Brown Sugar  – 2 teaspoons

Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner – 2 pumps

Radiance Vitality Oil – 1 dropper-ful (not just 1 drop!)

Honey – Big Drizzle, 0r up to 1 teaspoon

 

Gather all ingredients.  Add all ingredients in a small glass bowl and mix with a spoon.  Add more of the ingredients to get the right consistency.  As the sugar starts to melt, it will become a slushy consistency, that spreads easily on the skin.

Apply all over face massage lightly in circular motion.  Leave on for 10-15 minutes.  I even leave it on for an hour or so, while I do all kinds of household chores and other work.  Rinse off with lots of tepid water and pat dry.  You can follow with a moisturizer for added dewiness, if you like.  For my normal to dry skin type, I usually don’t.

Enjoy smooth, supple skin!

Summer Readiness – Here We Come.

Summer is the season for sunshine!  With beaches, dining al fresco, summer fridays (read: buh-bye office walls!), and generally being outdoors, you can easily be more prepared than you realize! You’ve heard repeatedly to never leave the house without sunblock, reapply several times a day (as its effectiveness reduces with light exposure, or just from coming off from sweat/daily activities), but there’s a few extra tricks up our sleeve to keep your skin summer fresh and healthy. Being inspired by Indonesia, a tropical country with sun all year round, JUARA knows what a doozy rays near the equator, eternal sun and humidity can do, so here’s our faves to tackle common sun related skin situations!

SUNBURN RESCUE:

Oops. Didn’t we say slather up the SPF? Well, it happens to the best of us… the sunburn. Sunburns are caused when skin is overexposed to ultraviolet (UV) rays and can happen in as little as 15 minutes, but can take 2-6 hours for the symptoms to appear. Some symptoms of mild sunburn include redness and tenderness, and for that, our Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner is a great skin soothing treatment. It contains rice bran extract, which specifically reduces redness and irritation, hyaluronic acid and tamarind see extract to moisturize and cool – without oil or alcohol, and triple tea extracts packed with anti0xidants. It really is instant relief. (For serious symptoms including blistering, fever, chills and nausea, we suggest going to the doctor!)

toner

GREASE BE GONE:

Does summer weather and humidity put your skin into a tizzy? Does your skin range from “well, it’s rather shiny” to “a greasy mess?” Our Sweet Black Tea & Ginger Mattefying Moisturizer is oil-free, yet contains Kombucha, our anti-aging fermented black tea complex, plus ginger and cinnamon that reduces sebum production. This means the moisturizer does not only reduce oil-induced shine at the moment, but it also means that the more time you use it over, the less “shiny” your skin will naturally become!

Sweet Black Tea & Ginger Mattefying Moisturizer

Another anti-shine darling? Our Clove Flower & Turmeric Anti-Aging Serum. Also with our Turmeric infused Radiance Complex, this oil-free serum serves as excellent hydration with seaweed, while containing skin firming ingredients including palm peptides, clove flower, and goji berries. Like an exotic fruit cocktail for your face – just less messy, and way more immediate in its firming, skin-smoothing results!

JUARA Clove Flower & Turmeric Anti-Aging Serum

POST-SUN RESET AND REFRESH:

Once you’ve been exposed to a day of rays, it’s always good to refresh and rejuvinate your skin! Counter sun, travel, or pollution exposure with our Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask, which contains our potent Turmeric extract which neutralizes free radicals and brightens for a healthy “I am so HEALTHY!” glow. And we like to get our sexy natural radiance on – ready for the next day. This mask also contains Kaolin Clay is blended with Candlenut Oil to purify skin, absorbing impurities, while also keeping it moist and not overdried. Great for all skin types, just make sure you take it off when you leave the house because it just feels THAT GOOD on after 10 minutes! (Or just do what we do for a super treatment – apply a thin layer and leave on overnight. Wake up to the morning glow. Literally.)

 

And of course, we remind you to stay hydrated, make sure your sunglasses have a UV filter on them, try out a sun parasol if you’re feeling particularly stylish like some do in Asia, and keep smiling! Got any sun tips to share? We’d love to hear it!

You can see the JUARA products here

5 Principles of an Effective Core Skincare Regimen

“Regimen” may sound restrictive and boring, but a consistent daily regimen is in fact your skin’s best friend.  Like with anything in life, a consistent regimen tells you over time what’s working and what needs change because it gives you a solid benchmark to start from.  In that way, it not only helps your skin, but it also helps you to get to know your skin better.  How to get started?

Select 4-5 products for daily use that provide a solid framework for your skin type and address your top concerns.  You can add extra treatment products, like masks or special items, once you feel comfortable with your core and confident that you will stick to it AM and PM.  Here are the key elements and principles in a great core:

1. Cleanse:  Gentle is King

A good cleanser removes dirt and make-up without stripping skin.  Feeling refreshed is good.  Feeling “squeaky clean” is overkill.  When you strip your skin of its own natural lipid barrier, it’s hard to add it back through product. With a good cleanser, your skin should still feel comfortable and not taught for a whole minute or so after cleansing and before applying a moisturizer.

2.  Tone: Focus on Hydration and Skin-Friendly Ingredients

All skin types, including oily skin, can get dehydrated.  Dehydration means that your skin is lacking water and can result in fine dry lines, irritation and redness.  Look for a toner with water-binding ingredients, like Hyaluronic Acid or Tamarind Seed Extract.  It will plump skin and keep it soft and supple while also making your moisturizer more productive.  Avoid irritating and drying ingredients like alcohol.

3.  Treat: Commit to an Antioxidant-Rich Serum

Antioxidants help prevent premature skin-aging and can even reverse existing signs of aging, such as dullness, lines and wrinkles, large pores and loss of firmness.  They also improve redness and other signs of stress.  Serums, which are highly concentrated formulations, are great ways to provide skin directly with an extra dose of antioxidants and nutrients.  What specific ingredients to look for?  Botanicals rich in antioxidants include Turmeric, Clove Flower, Indian Gooseberry, Tea Extracts, Goji Berry and Kombucha.

4.  Moisturize:  Enhance and Balance 

Whether you have dry or oily skin, the point is to help your skin reach and maintain a healthy balance.  If you are dry, choose a moisturizer that enhances and helps rebuild your skin’s own lipid barrier with ingredient that are rich in essential fatty acids, phyto-sterols and/ or ceramide (e.g. Candlenut Oil and Rice Bran Oil).  If you are oily, look for ingredients that help purify pores, reduce shine and balance sebum-production (e.g. Ginger, Cinnamon).

5.  Protect Daily

Whether you prefer a straight sun screen, a moisturizer or foundation with built-in protection, or a protective powder, consistency is key.  Look for a minimum of SPF15 for daily use and make sure it provides broad-spectrum (meaning UVB + UBA) protection.

Recipe Spotlight: Turmeric Eggs & Tamarind with Brussels Slaw

One of my favorite jamu (herbal tonics) from Indonesia is the Kunir Asem. It is a combination of Turmeric and Tamarind blended in a superjuice (as I like to call it) with water, lime, a pinch of salt and palm sugar (or agave/honey.) Together, turmeric and tamarind together have a positive effect on your digestive system and helps fight inflammation in your system. But sometimes I don’t feel like making up a beverage – it’s not so convenient, but I know what is – breakfast. And brunch. We all enjoy it so why not combine that Indonesian grassy spice of turmeric and the tangy sweet flavor of tamarind fruit in our everyday routine? Make the exotic accessible in this easy to make recipe I created this weekend on my own leisurely brunch – and for sure I’ll be making it again!

And for all things JUARA Skincare that contain Turmeric, click HERE to see and learn about how Turmeric can benefit your skin! (I, for one, made the recipe below after applying the Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask for a full experience and inspiration!)

Scrambled Turmeric Eggs with Tamarind Sauce – Serves 1.

Ingredients:

2 eggs

3 tablespoons of milk

1 clove garlic, finely chopped (or garlic powder as a shortcut)

2 big pinches or 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder

pinch of sea salt

generous crack/shakes of black pepper (helps turmeric be more bioavailable and easily absorbed by the body)

coconut oil (to heat in the pan, plus it’s good for you and turmeric is also more effective when mixed with a fat/oil)

Optional: Add a 1/2 teaspoon of Garam Masala or Everyday Spice mix (from Trader Joe’s or of your choice)

1 teaspoon (or more, to taste) Tamarind Sauce/Tamarind Chutney found in the Asian/Indian section of supermarkets. Often the sauces are pre-made, great for dips, sauces or condiments.

Scramble the eggs, milk, garlic, turmeric, salt and pepper (and optional spices) together. Heat coconut oil in a pan to medium, and scramble the eggs until fluffy and cooked. (You can always vary by making it into an omelette and adding spinach too).

Brussels Slaw – Serves 1:

3-4 Brussel Sprouts, raw, finely chopped

1 tsbp pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

1 tbsp Olive Oil

Juice of 1/4 Lemon

Sea Salt & Pepper to taste

Optional: Add baby kale or chopped cucumber for additional greens or crunch

Blend all ingredients together and serve. Add more lemon juice, or any other ingredient to flavor the brussel sprouts to taste. This is supposed to be a clean, light and fresh salad to complement the richer flavor and softer texture of the scrambled eggs.

How to serve: Plate the scrambled eggs on a plate, and top with tamarind sauce. Surround the eggs with a ring of brussels slaw. Enjoy the delicious texture combination and healthy flavors together!

Turmeric & Tamarind Together: It’s Good for You and your Skin.

There’s a whole library of great natural ingredients from Indonesia (and beyond), and Turmeric has been hot in the news (finally!) In addition though, I wanted to focus on a special combination we mix in Indonesia, and how to use them to boost your own health and beauty – both inside and out! The beauty of Jamu, our natural herbal health tradition, is that we focus not on one ingredient, but how several can be blended together to have special benefits as a whole blend than the parts if taken separately.

Turmeric: Used widely in curries around the world and a staple of Indonesian health tonics, turmeric is a root with powerful antioxidant properties. Turmeric is known to be a liver and blood detoxifier, has strong antibacterial and internally cleansing powers, and can be used to treat illnesses from cancer to Alzheimer’s. The effect of turmeric is also said to be improved when mixed with black pepper (or pineapple works too.) In Indonesia, it’s one of the key ingredients not only in health tonics, but also used in a poultice for topical application for healing wounds, and in spa treatments to purify and give skin a beautiful glow.

Tamarind: Tamarind can be both eaten and used topically with many benefits. It has topical anti-inflammatory antioxidant properties. When eaten, it can help with digestive problems, can help lower cholesterol, and can be a mild laxative. It contains fiber, potassium, magnesium and other vitamins. It’s shaped like a giant pea pod with a hard shell and has a soft, sticky, chewy fruit inside with hard seeds. When applied to the skin, the seeds have strong hydrating properties, while the fruit has antiseptic and astringent properties. It tastes tangy and sweet, is commonly made into a candy, or used in soups and other savory dishes that one can easily forget all its additional health benefits.

Drink it!


Kunyit Asem:
Drunk as one of many popular daily health tonics (called Jamu) in Indonesia, it’s a solid, go-to beverage for women to improve overall well being and energy levels. Made of a combination of Turmeric, tamarind, flavored with sugar (or honey) with a pinch of salt, it should be drunk fresh. Pour over ice, and it’s really refreshing. There are prepackaged versions you can buy at the store, some add the betel leaf, commonly included in Indonesian beauty products and beverages to refresh the breath and improve overall body odor. I have made some from scratch, read the article of Jamu I made in Bali on Well & Good NYC here.

So let’s do the same for your skin!

JUARA’s Turmeric and Tamarind Skin Boosting Duo. Use this to to supercharge your skin. After cleansing, use the Turmeric Antioxidant Radiance Mask twice a week. Its antioxidant powers strengthen and detoxify the skin; plus it has a brightening power that will give you an instant, radiant glow. The turmeric is infused in a non-drying mud mask that also purifies skin and refines pores. It’s a great skin recharger – like hitting reset on your face’s health button.

Follow up with the Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner (which should be used daily, even if not using the mask.) This cottonball-free toner-serum is a skin quenching step that takes just a few seconds. Tamarind and hyaluronic acid work together to deeply hydrate skin, replenishing lost moisture to give skin an instantly soft and supple feel, while antioxidants from tea and redness reducing powers from rice bran extract add extra skin-calming benefits. Follow with your favorite moisturizer, (or we recommend the Kombucha infused Sweet Black Tea & Rice Moisturizer), and see the difference!

You can see the JUARA products here.

Easy ways to stay sun safe (from excuses we always make!) – Metta Murdaya

bad sunburn

This JUARA Girl was bad bad bad! Never do this.

Despite all we know about UV protection and taking care of your skin from the sun’s damaging rays, we all goof up and get burned. I admit, (see pic) that I did. On one vacation a while ago, I got a pretty horrific burn,  so I implore to you – don’t lose to bad judgment like I did, and fall for the (common) excuses people make to procrastinate putting on protection. Have you fallen victim or used any of these excuses? Well don’t. If a picture tells a thousand words, may the photo of me here be that one. Ouch.

“I’m only in the sun for like, 2 hours. No biggie” Wrong. I was only out in the sun for 2 hours too when I got this burn.

“It’s cloudy out.  I don’t need protection, I won’t burn.” Wrong. UV rays still pass through the atmosphere, rain or shine. Plus, burning isn’t the first sign of sun damage, it’s usually the 3-alarm fire point as the damage started much earlier.

“I already got the tan, I won’t burn.” or “My skin is darker, I won’t burn.” But you’re still getting the same amount of damage whether you burn or not! And yes, you still can burn! (Had enough of my ‘you can burn!’ jingle yet?)

“I’ll have another drink on the beach, please…” Sounds like the dream vacation, but be careful with that one – if you get burned, dehydration commonly comes with it. When you drink alcohol, you can become dehydrated and it can exacerbate the sunburn. I was at a wedding the evening before, and was dehydrated the next afternoon when I went to the beach. Plus, I was in the water for almost 2 hours – a double whammy of UV rays + dehydration seriously leaving me open to bake – an added risk for beach swimmers.

So – help yourself protect yourself. Many of us DO apply sunblock – just not enough, nor often enough. So here are some tips to keep you on your sun protection game more easily:

1. Carry a small tube of sunblock in your purse in an often visited pocket so you have no excuse not to apply, or reapply every few hours. Get a higher SPF than you think you need, because chances are, you’re not applying enough so your SPF won’t be as effective for as long as you think it is. (Ie: Too little of the SPF 50 might work more like an SPF 30… Too little SPF 15, and it might not work at all…) My personal favorite sunscreen brand: La Roche Posay. Also, they’re having a “Save our Skin” campaign, raising awareness about sun protection and reducing skin cancer here. Join the cause of SOS from La Roche-Posay, and they will make a donation, and to organizations  like the the Women’s Dermatologic Society (WDS) and The Skin Cancer Foundation, that also educate the public regarding proper sun safe behavior.

2. Wear a hat, or carry one with you when you go in the sun. Too bulky? Check these rollable visors out, poppable in your bag and they’re not cheesy! Not a replacement for sunscreen, but it’s convenient added protection with fashionable benefits.

3. For you product junkies out there, try different sunscreens that you know are good and keep them in often visited locations – and keep sampling! It makes applying sunblock fun, like you’re shopping for your favorite sunscreen! (Did I like the one in the office better, or the one at home? Hmm, need to try again, and again…) I flip between my Garnier, La Roche Posay, and ROC, compare scent, texture, feel, it’s fun.

4. Take the remembering out of reapplying – set daily alarms on your phone/blackberry/iphone for several times a day to remind you to put on sunscreen. You can get creative with your messages, “For eternal youth, reapply sunscreen NOW!” And with that tube in your bag, should be no problem. Or do it via post-it notes in places you visit often before leaving a building (medicine cabinet at home, office computer, work locker, etc.) You can also make fun notes for your friends/family that way too

5. Pass this to a friend – make a pact when with friends to commit to helping each other stay protected! When you reapply that you email/text/call them to remind them to do the same. Don’t you all want to stay youthful looking?

Note: Beachgoers need to reapply more often, especially if you go into the water. And for every colorful alcoholic drink you have, make sure to drink several glasses of water to rehydrate!

Side note: I also get asked “Do you have anything that can help my burn?”  The answer is YES – The Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner is an excellent cooling and hydrating, (oil free!) serum to soothe and calm burns). That was my savior!

Any tips you have to make staying sun-safe fun?