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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!

Tea Synergy: The Benefits of Togetherness

Antioxidants are supposed to be good for us, and most of us try to consume antioxidants through food, drinks or supplements. But ever wonder if a specific form of antioxidant is better? Like if I love to drink tea, should I drink green, white or black tea? Or should I cut to the chase and load up on antioxidant supplements?

First, what’s the difference between the teas?

Tea, first introduced as a traditional medicine in Asia, is from the Camellia sinensis plant and can vary by processing steps: Green tea and white tea are non‐fermented and minimally or lightly oxidized while black tea is fully fermented and oxidized. (Herbal teas are any teas not made from Camellia sinensis.) The different processing results in different bioactive compounds. Green tea has flavan‐3‐ols (catechins), proanthocyanidins (tannins) and flavonols. Black tea contains theaflavins and thearubigins while white tea contains l‐theanine and gamma‐aminobutyric acid (GABA), among others. The health benefit of teas has been correlated with these bioactive compounds, which have anti‐inflammatory, anti‐diabetic and anti‐cancer activities.

Why does it matter that there are different antioxidants? Don’t they all do the same thing?

Antioxidants, produced by the body or ingested, are part of the body’s defense system against damaging free radicals that are formed during the body’s normal cellular processes or when exposed to UV radiation, pollution or stress, etc. Different antioxidants operate in different parts of cells and participate in different chemical processes throughout the body. Some antioxidants suppress the formation of free radicals, while others “scavenge” to remove the free radicals before they do damage, or work to repair damage once it has been done.

Synergy, A theory of the whole is better than the parts

So it makes sense that combining different teas and herbs with various bioactive components might have synergistic (or antagonistic) effects in their bioactive efforts. Synergy is based on the idea that using a whole plant containing a group of chemicals working together or a combination of plants is more beneficial than using a single compound to achieve a specific effect.  For example, the equal ratio of of black tea, black pepper (Piper nigrum), ginger (Zingiber officinale) and Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum) showed higher antioxidant activity compared to that of the individuals. Research on the combination of  green and black tea showed a stronger antimicrobial effect than alone.

Tradition in science

So perhaps that synergistic antioxidant and antimicrobial effect is the reason that people in Indonesia and Asia use a mixture of leftover teas to rinse their face. And that is why the JUARA Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner uses a combination of green, white and black teas for that synergistic antioxidant effect post a day of stress, tiredness and pollution. Oh wait, and I will have a tea with that! Any tea, please!

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!

Cleanse & Tone Correctly!

CLEANSING & TONING CORRECTLY: WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT & WHAT DO I LOOK FOR?

With all the focus on powerful serums, eye creams and masks, you may be putting little thought into your cleanser and toner – if you even use a toner at all.  The truth is, your skin depends on them to look and feel its best.  Everything else in your skincare regimen – serums, creams, masks – will work BETTER if Step 1 and 2 is done right.  So what to look for?

CLEANSING: KEEPING IT GENTLE IS KEY

Freeing your skin of dirt, pollutants and make-up is crucial because they can irritate skin and block other treatment products from being absorbed properly. At the same time, keeping it gentle is key because stripping can trigger irritation as well and make your skin overly sensitive to active treatment products.  Our ever-so-lightly foaming, sulfate-free Rice Facial Cleanser leaves skin feeling clean, ready for the next step, but also soft and supple thanks to a touch of nourishing Candlenut Oil.

Try the Rice Facial Cleanser – 4.5 oz, $29, All Skin Types

EXPECT MORE FROM YOUR TONER!

This is your chance to soothe, refresh, hydrate and balance skin’s pH.  Not all toners are created equal, though.  Avoid harsh ingredients like alcohol, and instead look for hydrating and antioxidant-rich, soothing ingredients.  Our Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner, while oil-free and alcohol-free, quenches thirsty skin, soothes and smoothes with a combination of Hyaluronic Acid, Green, White & Black Teas, Rice Bran, and Tamarind Seed.  The result: Skin is saturated with vital hydration and stays soft, supple throughout the day.  You will notice the difference!

Try the Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner – 4.5 fl oz, $32, All Skin Types

 

CLEANSING TIP!
 Match Made In Cleansing Heaven:
Pair Our Rice Facial Cleanser With Your Favorite Cleansing Brush

Do you love the deep clean and face massage you get from your favorite electric cleansing brush?  Next time, pair it with our Rice Facial Cleanser! Since cleansing brushes provide a deeper and more thorough cleanse (including makeup removal,) it’s all the more important that you pair it with a gentle cleanser that won’t strip skin.  Refrain from using a scrub together with your brush and stick to no more than 2-3 times per week.

You can see the JUARA products here

 

The JUARA Girls’ Favorite Products

It’s February! And to celebrate, we’re giving you 25% off on products we LOVE now through Valentine’s Day with coupon code BEMINE. These 6 JUARA Girls picked their favorite products, and they want you to fall in love with them too.

What You Need To Try

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Rosacea- Debunking The Myths

You may notice one day

that your post-exercise flush on the cheeks won’t go away. Or perhaps you notice little red bumps that look like acne pimples. If you are in your 30s or older and have fair skin, you may have rosacea.

Rosacea is a chronic skin disorder that affects approximately 1 out of 20 Americans, usually between the ages of 30 and 60.

Symptoms:

  • Mostly affects the face or eyes
  • Persistent flushing
  • Visible blood vessels
  • Ruddiness
  • Pimples
  • Irritated eyes that, if untreated, become worse over time.

Currently, there is no cure for rosacea, but with proper treatment and awareness of triggers, symptoms can be controlled and the disease kept in check.Once you are properly diagnosed, your physician may prescribe a topical or oral treatment to address the redness, bumps and skin inflammation associated with rosacea.

Many dermatologists also recommend laser and intense pulse light treatments to reduce redness and broken blood vessels. These new therapy options are considered safe and can visibly improve skin tone and texture.

 

There are also things you can do on a daily basis to help control the symptoms of rosacea.

1. Be aware of factors that trigger your flare-ups. Triggers include sudden temperature changes, hot baths, exercise, alcohol consumption, spicy food, sun exposure, stress and harsh cosmetics.

2. Choose gentle skincare products that do not contain alcohol, harsh detergents or abrasive ingredients.

  • Products with calming ingredients such as JUARA Tamarind Tea Hydrating Toner and JUARA Clove and Turmeric Serum help soothe skin and keep it hydrated.
    • Rice Bran Extract, a key ingredient in the toner, provides calming benefits and minimizes redness in the skin.
    • Green Tea, Black Tea, and White Tea, when combined, calm the skin and deliver a bundle of healthy antioxidants.
    • Turmeric, a super-ingredient, brightens and evens out complexion while providing free radical protection.
  • Concealers with a green tint  neutralize redness in the skin and can be worn underneath regular foundation.
  • Since sun exposure is considered a trigger factor, daily sun protection is key. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher, such as Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen, and wear a hat and protective clothing outdoors.


 

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?