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Prairie Inspirations Newsletter - Volume III, Issue VII

Friday, June 30, 2006 Comments (0)

Hi everyone,

 We are trying something new this month and hope you'll let us know if you like the change. You can now read Prairie Inspiration online in addition to receiving the newsletter by e-mail. Use the menu on the left to choose and read a new section of the newsletter.

The current issue will only be on available to read on-line for a week and the archives will not include the most recent 6 issues of Prairie Inspiration.

We are in the process of archiving pervious issues, so you will soon be able to search through a newsletter archive for an issue you’d like to read again or for back issues written before you subscribed (with the exception of the most current issues).

For now, the archives are a work in progress and there will be more added each week.
Let me know what you think!


A Poem to Ponder
A favorite poem by a favorite poet; so fitting during the tragedy unfolding in the Middle East and a reminder of the struggle that goes on quietly in too many lives in every nation, every day. I pray that each person’s life and story will be valued, their voices heard and that tears will make way for joy very soon.

Cry Out Silence

One silent crystal drop
Slowly traces a line
Down the face,
Then falls,
Shatters upon the floor
With enough voice
To tear the world apart.

If you could have stopped time,
Peered inside the magic tear,
Would you have found the story?

Sarah Gillund
Copyright 2006

For Your Health
The omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil work to relieve depression in children. This study follows on the heels of other research pointing out the benefit of omega 3 fatty acids generally in combating depression. I’m using the recent release of this study as a reminder that there are options for those who suffer with depression and are not able to tolerate prescription antidepressants.
Click Here for New Hope news article

There are synthetic chemicals found in products like perfume, nail polish remover, fabric softener, hair sprays, deodorants and cleaners that can worsen or even produce depression. The chemical that jumps to mind is synthetic Linalool, a chemical commonly used in perfume and fragrance mixes. Look up details about linalool and other cosmetic ingredients at the following link; it contains an alphabetically arranged reference data base with toxic or undesirable ingredients listed in red:
Ingredient Data Base

Vitamin D also plays a vital role in preventing and treating depression. The following study focused on the winter blues, but people with a chronic illness may be deficient in Vitamin D year round.
Click to read more

Note: The human body needs sunlight to produce vitamin D; if your skin is fair, you need 5-10 minutes of sunlight on exposed skin, without sunscreen, 2 or 3 times a week. If your skin is darkly pigmented you need to increase the amount of time in the sun proportionately. The sunlight stimulates your body make Vitamin D naturally.

There are large segments of the population that seldom go outside such as those with severe MCS, outdoor allergies, the elderly-especially nursing home residents and the institutionalized; these same population groups show a high incidence of depression. A little sun can do us all good.

In addition to God’s welcome gift of sunlight, there are Vitamin D fortified foods, juices and supplements available

Answers to Your Questions
What is Shea Butter?”
“I’m allergic to latex, is there latex in Shea Butter?”

I’ll start with the latex question; the quick answer is no - the shea butter we use in Dakota Free Products does not contain latex.

The more complete answer to your question of whether there can be latex in shea butter is not a simple yes or no, because the processing of shea butter determines the answer.

This holds true for the processing of shea butter and many other products that can be contaminated with latex proteins by manufacturing personal wearing latex gloves or by equipment and packaging with rubber parts.

The Dakota Free facility and personal are latex free in every way we can think, including using latex free gloves – (even latex free rubber bands in the office).

I am not a botanist, an allergist or an expert in the field; the information I’m sharing with you, I have learned by researching our sources for shea butter and incorporates information I have received from both suppliers and the experts. We take seriously the responsibility of knowing how the ingredients for our products are produced and what they contain, and do our best to do so.

First I’ll give you some simple definitions, as I believe that a misunderstanding of the term latex can contribute to concern by those with allergies to latex:

  • Latex as a botanical term refers to plant sap that thickens on exposure to air; this includes the latex from the rubber tree, but also the sap from many other plants like milkweed. (Some latex saps can cause a problem with cross-sensitivity to rubber latex proteins and other’s do not. This is complicated by the possibility of an individual experiencing an allergy to the plant material unrelated to a latex allergy.)
  • Latex as used in common language today refers to the latex produced by the rubber tree.

The Karite Tree (the shea tree) from which the shea butter is obtained is not similar or related to the rubber tree that produces the latex proteins to which a growing number of people are allergic. Neither the Karite Tree or shea butter are listed on the American Latex Allergy Association cross reaction list; you can read the list at the following link:
Cross Reaction List

The Karite Tree does produce a latex sap – it is not the same as the latex produced by the rubber tree, however it is certainly possible that some latex sensitive individuals may react to the proteins contained in that sap. The shea butter is made from the seeds of the fruit of this tree and does not contain or contact the sap from the tree. It is also possible to develop an allergy to shea butter that is unrelated to latex.

Dakota Free is committed to encouraging and supporting rural development, family companies and organic agriculture – the shea butter we use fits all three criteria and I feel a deep sense of satisfaction knowing that when we purchase shea butter we are helping women in Africa support themselves and their families through drought, war and poverty stricken situations.

If you desire a more in-depth explanation of what shea butter is and how it is made, you will find an extensive discussion of the topic at this agricultural research and development site:
Shea Butter Info

The following link takes you to a database of latex allergy information:
Latex Allergy Links

Tips from customers
“Baby Balm works wonders on leather –
I use it to shine and protect my boots.”

"My hands are rough from hard work.
I use the sweet body scrub to soften
the skin on my hands so I don't
scratch the kids when I touch them."


Handy Hints
I don’t use commercial products for cleaning or for personal use, so I frequently have to get creative and problem solve to meet our needs; other times it’s as easy as doing what my Grandmother taught me. Some of the old methods were very effective and I never see her tip for removing fruit stains listed as a nontoxic alternative. Today I’m going to remedy that omission and I hope it’s as helpful to you as it has been to me.

The next time you have a fruit or fruit juice stain on cloth, place the item over a colander in the sink and pour boiling water through the stain - it will disappear.

For delicate or synthetic fabrics, lower the temperature of the water and test the fabric along a seam to be certain it can take the heat or will not melt.

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