11/24/2012

The Benefits of White Charcoal




Image credit to Morihota Binchotan

The spotlight of the week is Binchotan Charcoals or you might have known it as white charcoals. Little did I know that there were other types of charcoals that are great to be incorporated from your home-care to skin care. Read more below. 

Charcoals. As silly as this sounds, I never knew that we could use charcoals beyond just bbq-ing with it. Heck, I did not even realize that there were other types of charcoals such as Binchō-tan aka white charcoals. This was only until I am Natural Store stocks Morihata Binchotan, a brand that offers a range of Binchō-tan-based product like eye mask, blotting paper or tooth brush. So what exactly are they? Binchotan is widely produced and imported from a specific place in Wakayama, Japan. The charcoals themselves are derived from an oak tree and when burnt, it does not release smoke or unpleasant charcoal odour you get from other ones due to the very high pure carbon content. Therefore, Binchotan are highly recommended for grilling when you do not want the smoke to interrupt with the flavour of the food.



Now, due to the increasing popularity of these white charcoals, you have to be careful in selecting it because many claim that they are white charcoals but they are not necessarily Binchotan. Binchotan is a very high quality one, thus the high price.

What are the uses and benefits of using these charcoals? 


1. Purifies water

Wash the charcoal and then put it inside a boiling water in the pan for 10 minutes. After it's done, leave it until cool and you are ready to use the charcoal to purify your water like pictured in the first one. Put it in the fridge and leave it overnight. You can use it this way everyday until 3 months, but you need to reactivate the charcoal by boiling it every month like explained previously. 

100 g of charcoal will effectively purifies 1 litre of water per month. 

How does it work? Binchotan absorbs chlorine and other chemicals (from tap water) while releasing natural minerals of its own. It has an alkaline effect (PH level of 8 - 8.5), it softens and improves the overall taste of water. (source)


2. Biodegradable: put it in your plant pots!

After you're done using the charcoals from purifying the water and what not, break them down into smaller pieces by hammering them in a cloth (to avoid splattering) and place the pieces into your plant pots. 

What does it do? The charcoals help to increase microbial activities and alkalises the soil to reinforce the trace of minerals in it, thus making it an excellent fertiliser! (source)


3. Make your plants and fruits last longer 

Some people like to put binchotan on top of their fruits in the fruit bowl as well as put it inside a vase filled with water to make your flowers last longer. It has also been proven by Danish Technological Institute that it helps in keeping the food fresh inside the fridge- "They say; ‘Ethylene is a potent plant hormone. It stimulates the ripening of fruit and flowers. In order to prevent fruit ripening in refrigerators, a cube seems to be highly effective since it readily adsorbs the ethylene gas produced by the fruits. The cubes also seem to be highly effective when it comes to eliminating bad smell from refrigerators.’" (Source).


4. Purifies the air inside your home, your drawer, fridge, cars, closets, and ect.  

Binchotan can act as a humidity regulator by attracting moisture to it and releasing it when the air is dry. It is also a climate controller and good at getting rid of toxins and odours in the air (source: 12). It is best to place it in a small compact room. 

5. By electrical Appliances

Binchotan can block harmful electromagnetic waves with its unique electrical conductivity. Place it near the televisions, microwaves, computers and mobile phones (source)

6. For a purifying bath 

Add approximately 300g of Binchotan in hot bath water. This way, Binchotan emits ultra infrared rays which enhance blood circulation and keep your body warm and relaxed for a long time after (source).



7. Add to your rice pot/ rice cooker when cooking rice

Binchotan emits far infrared rays when the temperature rised in the rice cooker, and the rice will cook completely. Far infrared rays can retain the taste of the food and eliminate any unpleasant smells. Binchotan will release healthy minerals into your food (source).



8. Minimalist decoration pieces whilst purifying 


A few have also incorporated Binchotan into their skin care, hair care and also body care and even wellness! Here are some:

(from left to right) Morihata toothbrush in 5 different colours, Morihata eye mask to alleviate tired eyes, Sort of Coal Kuro & Shiro shampoo, Sort of Coal edible charcoal powder, Morihota facial soap, Chikuno & Sort of Coal air purifier cube, Morihata facial puff








Isn't this so intriguing? Have you tried? Are you willing to try? 

11/22/2012

My Almost Green Cabinet Inspired by Spirit's

Spirit's Magical Cabinet, unfortunately not mine. 

The thrifted creep clock, my recycled Kahina's bottle holding an awkward branch and my super special May Lindstrom Skin cleanser.

Inspired by Spirit's 'Magical Cabinet' and Green Product Junkie's, I decided to do one of my own as well. Except, I didn't have a medicine cabinet so all of my stuff are scattered here and there. Click more for below. 

11/20/2012

Holiday Gift Guide Under $40


With the holiday season around the corner, it's the time of the year when I'm the most confused in choosing and buying gifts for friends and family. If it wasn't for the choosing paper and matching ribbon part, I think I would have given up. Whilst I was at it and getting all excited this week, I picked out a bunch of items that you could possibly get for and under $40. I think they will be perfect as a gift or to spoil yourself with. You can, of course mix and match and replace this with that, depending on how you feel. Check it out below. 

11/19/2012

RMS Beauty Oil: The Liquid Gold



Spirit Beauty Lounge features this facial oil as a 'glow-getter' leaving only a glowy, not greasy sheen. Plus, it is scented with Vanilla! How delicious. I already love RMS Beauty Lip & Skin Balm in Vanilla so much because the scent stays true but when I heard that the oil is scented like one too, I could not help but get excited. I have been using it for about two months, and really notice the difference in my skin. Read more below.


11/12/2012

Kora Organics: Hand Cream & Foot Cream

Daily Hand Cream: $39.95 for 90ml    &  Rejuvenating Foot Balm: $34.95 for 90ml

I am a big sceptic when it comes to brands endorsed by a famous celebrity. But in this case, Kora Organics was actually founded by Miranda Kerr herself and the brand went through product certification by EcoCert. I adore their body care range, and my go-to products are definitely the Daily Hand Cream and the Rejuvenating Foot Balm. Read more below

11/09/2012

Intelligent Nutrients Lip Gloss: Purple Maize



It's really rare that I find myself using a lip gloss. I have to admit that I am never fond of the look on my lips and I often find that I don't like the sticky greasy texture of it. Lip Shine by RMS Beauty could be my first ever lip gloss I have tried and loved, however I think I have been cheating a bit. So I decided to try this one out by Intelligent Nutrients! What do I think of it? Read more below.