If you’re not in on the secret yet, natural health care products are often much healthier and effective than their mainstream counterparts. You’ve maybe heard of coffee soap or green tea soap and maybe even wondered if there was anything really to it, or if it was just another excuse to drive up the price by a few bucks. Well, as it turns out, it’s not just that anyway…
Green tea and coffee, as it turns out have effective antioxidant properties not only internally but externally and topically. The secret to green tea’s antioxidant potency is mainly due to the EGCG that’s found as one of the constituents of green tea leaf. As it turns out, the kratom plants leaves also contain a constituent similar to EGCG but even more potent as an antioxidant. According to a 2014 study in the Asian Pacific Journal of Cancer Prevention: “These findings revealed that the medicinal and nutitional values of mitragynine obtained from ketum leaves that growth in tropical forest of Southeast Asia and its analogues does not limited to analgesic properties but could be promising antioxidant and anticancer or chemopreventive compounds.” This coupled with a study that showed an extract of kratom to delay the growth of papilloma in rodent skin are hopefully just the beginnings of looking into this plant’s antioxidant, antibacterial and potentially anticancer benefits as a component of topical skin care products.
For those interested, you begin with the clear glycerine soap base that’s provided in the Top Shelf soap making kit. Melt the soap base in a double boiler on the stove top and stir until all the pieces are evenly melted. At this point, you can begin to add your color base. Be careful not to add too much, you can discolor your mix. Add your oils slowly, a drop at a time using a pipette or glass bottle dropper. 1tbsp of fragrance oil or 1 tsp of essential oil or blend of undiluted essential oils can be added per pound of raw soap base used. A teaspoon of coconut oil, shea butter, argan oil or beeswax can be added for further skin protection. Now pour your the completed blend into your molds and leave until dried. remove them from the mold and wrap immediately. Most soap molds should tell how many ounces they hold, but the average bar comes to about 4 ounces.
When cool, gently pull the mold away from the soap and push on the back side of the mold to release. Wrap soap in plastic wrap or wax paper. Make sure you wrap it right away or it can pick up moisture from the air and cause air bubbles that bead on the surface which can make the consistency unpleasant for some people. Stay tuned, coming up next week we’ll have a more in depth look at kratom’s topical and antioxidant properties.