Essential Oils: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

Essential Oils are a mainstay in many homes for various purposes.  Those who love them swear by their healing properties and use them to improve physical or emotional discomfort including skin care, topical remedies and even household cleaning! On the other hand, those who haven’t used Essential Oils may see it as a waste of money hyped by health food stores, sales representatives, or wellness enthusiasts. However, knowing Essential Oil fact from fiction (especially when there are all sorts of information always lurking around) comes down to impeccable research, because what may be appropriate for one person may not necessarily be so for the next!

The Good

Also known as volatile oils, Essential Oils are extracted from plants. They are all natural and have a legitimate therapeutic use and even more so, the science to back it up. Some have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects. An oil such as lavender has been shown to improve sleep quality, encourage hair regrowth in those suffering from hair loss and affect cognitive function, mood, and improve memory. Thanks to its expectorant qualities, inhaling eucalyptus oil has been shown to alleviate a cough and congestion. What’s more impressive is, according to research, a combination of eucalyptus and peppermint oil can boost cognitive performance! Other benefits of using Essential Oils include:

  • Boost energy levels
  • Balance hormones
  • Digestive support
  • Alleviate emotional stress, including aches and pains
  • Boost skin and hair health
  • Improve brain function
  • Fight infections and boost immunity

Essential Oils have many health, medicinal and therapeutic benefits thanks to their antibacterial, antiviral, antidepressant, stimulating, detoxifying, calming and antioxidant properties such as vitamin A and E that help fight against free radicals.

The Bad

Some Essential Oils such as lavender, rose, or peppermint contain a very high concentration of the herb or plant they are derived from and therefore, should be used carefully and in safe amounts. Used in copious amounts, especially undiluted on the skin their small molecular size can easily penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream and may cause an adverse reaction. It is important to understand the correct use of each essential oil.

The Ugly

Essential oils cannot be patented, which is the main reason why most doctors will not recommend their use as alternatives to drugs. This is because big pharmaceutical companies will not spend or waste money studying them. Additionally, due to their potency, some essential oils cannot be applied to a child’s skin because it is much thinner and more delicate than adults. Oils such as aniseed, Cedarwood, chamomile, Clary sage, rosemary, jasmine, to name a few are considered harmful to women in their first trimester of pregnancy, including nursing mums too because they cause imbalances during pregnancy or cross the placenta and get to the baby. 

Cats and dogs have an acute sense of smell, and their bodies will react and absorb the oils differently to some of the compounds in essential oils such as rosemary, thyme, for dogs and oils such as eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, clove for cats. It is imperative that you research or seek reputable advice when dealing with Essential Oils.

Now that you know, Essential Oils anyone?

At Bundaberg Health Foods, we have a variety of organic essential oils for any purpose. Come in, have a browse and take your favourites with you!

13 Things I Wish I Knew a Year Ago About Supplements

You should naturally be able to get all the nutrients you need from the food you eat provided it is a well-balanced diet comprised of whole foods, including fruits and vegetables but this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s time to clean out your medicine cabinet and flush all your supplements down the drain. Multivitamin and mineral supplements are essential.  The typical diet nowadays, which contains processed or junk food, is far from nutritious.

Here are 13 things you should know about supplements:

  1. Supplements are not a replacement for food rather they should be taken to provide additional nutrients when your diet may be lacking.
  2. Most dietary supplements are safe, but not everyone needs to take all of them to maintain or improve their health.
  3. Some supplements may have side effects and may cause adverse problems if you have certain health conditions.
  4. Dietary supplements are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as foods, not drugs; therefore, unlike medicines, they can’t claim to cure, treat or prevent a disease.
  5. Some supplements such as multivitamins, calcium and vitamins B, C, and D have been shown to enhance health in different ways such as supporting bone health, preventing cell damage and helping the body absorb calcium.
  6. A typical vegan diet does not contain animal products such as meat, milk, and other dairy foods. Therefore, vegans can supplement with Vitamin B12 to minimize their risk of developing low blood levels of this essential vitamin.
  7. Herb supplements such as comfrey (blackwort) and kava have proven effective in treating cancer among other ailments and anxiety respectfully, but they are linked to liver damage.
  8. Mineral supplements such as iron, boron, and selenium can also be dangerous when taken in large doses over extended periods of time.
  9. Some dietary supplements have been shown to interact with prescription medications, or even with each other and may build up to toxic levels in the body.
  10. Research shows that about 95% of all bodybuilding supplements are not safe and are generally a waste of your hard-earned money. For example, plant sterol supplements are effective for reducing cholesterol levels. However, a research study has uncovered that they can accumulate in heart valves and lead to stenosis.
  11. While the health effects and chemical makeup of some common supplements need more study, obviously supplements that are not derived from vitamins and minerals such as fish oil (which promotes heart health among other things) has been shown to have the most science-based evidence to support its use.
  12. In order to be on the safe side when looking for a specific supplement to support your need, your doctor or a registered dietitian should be your first port of call because he or she can help you find out what you need.
  13. Always check for seals of approval that ensures the supplement is not only safe and but also effective in its intended purpose.

12 Things Most People Don’t Know About Coconut Oil

Among all other oils, coconut oil is one of the most multifaceted of them all because it can be used for just about anything.  In addition to low temperature cooking, coconut oil can also be used for both health and beauty purposes thanks to its saturated fats, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Did you know that:

  1. Coconut oil has the highest amount of medium-chain fatty acids. What does that mean? These fats are easily absorbed into the bloodstream during digestion to increase your metabolism and promote energy. Don’t worry, they’re the GOOD kind of fats!
  2. Coconut oil has been found to be very effective in protecting the body against harmful organisms like bacteria, viruses, worms, mosquitoes, including fungal infections such as several types of Candida.
  3. When combined with baking soda, coconut oil makes for a great toothpaste due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties.
  4. Being a medium-chain fatty acid, coconut oil increases energy and metabolism and a few spoons a day can help boost weight loss.
  5. Fat is one of the most crucial elements for hormonal balance, and coconut oil contains lauric acid, which is extremely beneficial for hormonal production and in turn, increases milk production for breastfeeding moms.
  6. The lauric acid in coconut oil also kills odor-causing bacteria, making it a natural deodorant.
  7. When mixed with equal parts sugar, coconut oil makes a luxurious body scrub.
  8. Coconut oil has been shown to promote collagen production and repair the skin cells, therefore, it can be used as a natural moisturizer that does an excellent job of healing cuts, bruises and sunburn.
  9. Giving regular oil massages to a baby is very beneficial for proper nourishment. Therefore, it is important to choose the right oil! Coconut oil is one of the best choices because it is not only light in texture therefore easily absorbs into the skin, but it also effective in treating sensitive skin and problems like eczema, rashes, patchy skin, dermatitis, and cradle cap thanks to its antioxidants, lauric and Caprylic acid properties.
  10. Coconut oil makes one of the best natural hair moisturizers and leave-in treatment that can stimulate faster growth, detangle, repair split ends, moisturize the scalp and make dandruff problems disappear.
  11. While it contains more than 90% saturated fat, which is deemed unhealthy, coconut oil has been considered as heart-healthy because when taken in moderation, it may raise high-density lipoprotein or HDL, which is the good cholesterol.
  12. Some studies suggest that virgin coconut oil can reduce the risk of type II diabetes and fight insulin resistance or glucose metabolism.

If taking coconut oil raw is not your cup of tea, it is also available in capsule form, which is equally beneficial. At Bundaberg Health Foods, we have many organic coconut products available; including coconut oil of the highest quality, coconut shavings, coconut water and coconut capsules.




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8 Shocking Truths About Conventional Makeup They Don’t Want You to Know

What comes to mind when you think of living a healthier lifestyle? Perhaps exercising? Eating a well-balanced diet? Meditating? Getting plenty of sleep and hydrating? You may be onto something if you are doing the above and maybe more. However, it’s not just about your physical health!  What you put on your body is just as important as what you put inside it! Anything that you slather on your skin gets absorbed into it. Here are some shocking truths about conventional makeup that may help you consider switching to a natural or organic makeup:

1. Parabens

Parabens are preservatives and among the many ingredients found in beauty and personal care products that are downright hazardous to the endocrine system. Parabens have been linked to cancer, type II diabetes, and infertility. 

2. Phthalates

These chemicals serve many purposes, including being used as solvents in cosmetics and a handful of other consumer products. Would you want chemicals also used to soften PVC plastic anywhere near your skin? Phthalates have been shown to damage the liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive system.

3. Lead

Studies show that about 61% of all leading lipstick contain this toxic chemical. Lead is linked to a host of health concerns such as infertility, hormonal changes, menstrual irregularities, delayed onset of puberty in girls, and neurotoxicity.

4. Quaternium-15

This known skin toxicant and allergen is mainly used in mascara, pressed powders, eyeliners, hair styling products, creams, lotions, cleansers and eye drops or contact solutions and causes irritation and sensitization.

5. Artificial colors

It takes up to 25 synthetic chemicals to create one artificial cosmetic color to be used in soaps, face creams, toners, cleansers, bath gels, and more. Studies have shown that many artificial colors contain heavy metal salts like arsenic and lead that increase your risk of skin sensitivity, irritation, pigmentation and acne breakouts.

6. Imidazolidinyl urea

This water-soluble chemical serves as a preservative and is used mostly in water-based cosmetics such as deodorants, hair dyes, shaving cream and face masks.  Exposure to this chemical can lead to toxicity and allergic reactions.

7. Artificial fragrances

Synthetic scents can be found in almost every product.  It’s no wonder they are now being referred to as “the new second-hand smoke” due to how toxic they have become. Modified scents are a mixture of toxic ingredients that can cause a horde of health problems like respiratory irritation, cancer, neurological disorders such as autism and ADHD, reproductive toxicity, damage to the liver and kidneys, etc.

8. Polyethylene glycols (PEG)

This is a petroleum-based ingredient that is used in creams as a moisturizer. However, it is PEG’s propensity to penetrate the skin that can allow in other impurities that can cause irritation, toxicity, and renal failure.

Your skin is one of the largest and highly intricate organs you have, therefore, opt for brands that use non-toxic ingredients that won’t wreak havoc on your body!

At Bundaberg Health Foods, we stock a carefully selected range of organic and natural makeup products, designed to be gentle on your skin. Our professional team will happily assist you with finding the right products for your skin.

13 Healthy Habits To Create Now

When you decide to stick to a diet, it’s simple. You follow rules. You have a list of things you are allowed to eat – and a list you are not. It’s unambiguous. There are no blurred lines and there’s certainly no room for confusion. And with all the mixed messages and confusion around healthy eating, you might find a black-and-white approach incredibly calming.

In fact, I’ve been there myself. The truth is, most of us have.

The problem is that dieting doesn’t actually work. Well, not in the long term, anyway. And whatever your ‘meal plan’ might be – whether it’s cutting out an entire food group or #cleaneating – it’s luring you into the trap of a diet. Why? Because there are rules, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods and then there’s the very real potential for ‘failure’.

And, there are many diets out that that claim not to be diets. This is to trick you.

Ultimately, in my opinion, diets don’t work.

So instead of jumping on yet another eating fad – that will fail you (again) – why not adopt one or some of these 13 incredibly simple, yet easy to adopt lifestyle habits.

13 Healthy Habits Worth Integrating Into Your Daily Life

  1. Aim to get 10,000 steps each day. Download an app or get a fitness tracker.
  2. Cook at home one additional night each week. Schedule it in your diary.
  3. When you make vegetables, make twice as much for a healthy lunch the next day.
  4. When eating a meal, start with your vegetables first.
  5. Buy a large reusable water bottle and keep it on your desk or in your bag.
  6. Halve the amount of sugar in your coffee or tea (or eliminate completely if you can).
  7. Aim to eat at least two pieces of fruit every day. No fruit is off-limits!
  8. Eat when you are hungry – not by the clock.
  9. Before bed, think of three things to be grateful for. (Yes, this is a healthy habit, too and has shown to increase mental health!)
  10. Sign up for enjoyable exercise – whether that’s yoga, dancing or a team sport. Do you enjoy cardio? Great! Move because it makes your you feel good, not just to lose weight. (Check out these 5 ways yoga will improve your life)
  11. Embrace a meat-free meal once a week (like meat-free Monday for example).
  12. Reduce aimless social media or email checking by deleting apps off your phone that don’t serve you anymore.
  13. Stop weighing yourself. Focus on how you feel instead.


These are just some examples for good habits. Join our Healthy Bits Newsletter for more great health & lifestyle tips here & receive $10 off your next purchase: