Questions and Answers

What is the shelf life of extracts ?

Exposure to oxygen and UV light are enemies of extracts. CO2 extractions have a very long shelf life. If you want to prolong your extract, top of the jar with CO2 (you can use SodaStream or other carbonation device) or vacuum seal (suck out the air)..

Why vegetable oil for extraction ?

Vegetable oils have been used as solvents for extraction, purification and formulation by ancient civilizations such as Egyptians and Phoenicians, Indians and Chinese, and even Mayas and Aztecs. Ancient Egyptians firstly produced infusions of medicinal or aromatic plants in vegetable oils as solvents for therapeutic, nutritional, aesthetic and spiritual purposes. They used vegetable oils in the formulation of cosmetics providing emollience, moisturizers and grooming, or acting as solvents and vehicles to carry other agents. Due to the fact that several special phytochemicals are either destroyed or lost during distillation, or are very difficult to extract resulting in a low yield of essential oils, herbal infused oils are indispensable for obtaining such compounds. Vegetable oils could be one of the solutions coming from the past and acting as a future of humanity as an ecologic and an economic alternative to petroleum and hazardous solvents, and turning to sustainability in the 21th century.  See: Vegetable Oils as Alternative Solvents for Green Oleo-Extraction, Purification and Formulation of Food and Natural Products https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6151617/

Do you need to use the filter on the dispenser pump? If you have any powder or particulates in the solution, it will foul the dispenser pump. If you only have a clear liquid, you do not need the filter.

What is the function of the filter? The function of the filter is to prevent any particulates from clogging the dispenser pump. The filter can also be used in reverse to aerate the solution (e.g. craft vinegar).

Can I use green and dried botanicals? Green botanicals container a significant amount of water. If you use dried botanicals, it makes grinding the material to a powder much easier, and you significantly reduct the amount of water in your solution. If you need to add water to a product later (such as cream), then only use pure distilled water. The purpose of grinding the botanicals is to make more surface area available for extraction.

What is the purpose of the induction mixer? The purpose of the mixer is to make a more homogenous solution, as well as agitate the solution and expose more surface area of the botanicals to the solvent (vegetable oil). This reduces the time to extract essential oil from the botanical. For botanical extraction, you do not want to expose to air, since air reduces shelf life and oxidizes nutrients (makes them less effective). This is the reason we do not use some type of mechanical top mounted mixer (blender for example).

Can I mix botanicals together? Yes. However, you may wish to do separate extractions, then combine them into a recipe specific to your nutrient needs (see below).

How do I make skin cream ? Skin cream is made by heating a wax (such as bees wax), then mixing in distilled water and essential oils. The thickness of the cream will be determined by the amount of mixing. If mixing is not done properly, you’ll have puddles of water. You can use a variety of waxes and ingredients such was shea butter

What are natural waxes ? Natural waxes belong to the bigger group of lipids that are present in plants. It’s a blend of hydrocarbons and fatty esters (an ester of a fatty alcohol and a fatty acid). Natural plant based waxes come from leaves, peels and fruits of different plants, or are separated from plant oils by de-waxing. This process involves physical separation and no chemical reactions are involved. International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients (INCI) name leaves no doubt about it. Cera or wax is a part of the INCI name – examples include Oryza Sativa Cera and Oryza Sativa Bran Wax, which are the INCI names for rice bran wax.

Should I use Hydrogenated oil ? No. Hydrogenation is a chemical reaction (usually carried on over Nickel or Cadmium catalysts). The goal is to increase the melting point of the oil (solidify the liquid oil) and to increase its shelf life. The oils are usually refined which means that they are stripped of their unsaponifiables (the benefician part of oils) before they undergo hydrogenation.

“The primary health risk identified for T-fat consumption is an elevated risk of coronary heart disease. T-fats have an adverse effect on the brain and nervous system. T-fat from the diet is incorporated into brain cell membranes and alter the ability of neurons to communicate. This can diminish mental performance. Relationship between T-fat intake and depression risk was observed. There is growing evidence for a possible role of T-fat in the development of Alzheimer´s disease and cognitive decline with age.” Source: New data on harmful effects of trans-fatty acids https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27215959/

Are topical oils good for the skin ? They can be. “Inexpensive and readily available botanical oils are routinely used for topical skin applications. They may enhance skin function by forming a physical barrier, supplying fatty to different skin layers, activating peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α (PPAR-α) signaling, or decreasing cutaneous inflammation.” Source: The Enigma of Bioactivity and Toxicity of Botanical Oils for Skin Care https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31782488/

Should I mix botanical extraction separately then combine? If you are making separate recipes (for various essential oil solutions) it is better to make separate botanical oil extractions, then combine once finished with extraction. Since each extraction is done in a Mason jar with dispenser, it is very easy to combine post-extraction.

Can I use this for making craft vinegar? Yes. With the use of an air pump, you can run the stainless steel filter in reverse to act as a aerator. Only use new filters for any food grade service (and be sure to ultrasonically clean filter prior use). Do not reuse filters for topical oil and then any food grade applications.

Can I make this for using liquid soap? Yes.

Can I use this method for mixing or separating oil and water ? Yes. The vortex action can be used with a novel magnetic rotor to collect or disperse oil. Since in most cases oil is lighter than water, it collects on the top (or surface) of the water. The vortex formed by the spinning rotor is like a tornado, and will intensify the surface into a funnel, which can be used to harvest oil by concentration. Conversely, the vortex can also be made to spin the oil to disperse in water into micro droplets.

What new technology are you working on ? SwissMixIt is working on a multitude of stir rotors including a AI rotor that can mix based on solubility and viscous fluid dynamics. Traditional stirring methods are eclipsed by their new types of rotors which include a multitude of effects from vortex stirring, hammering stirring, and random stirring.

What is my best strategy for healthy skin and overall health ? Science backed up by clinical studies (and even studies of regions where death rates associated with diets are examined) prove that diet is your number one choice for longevity, best health, least amount of cancer, heart issues, mental well being, and happiness. In other words, you are what you eat. A whole food plant based diet is your best strategy. From the article Evaluation of the Antioxidant Capacity and Protective Effects of a Comprehensive Topical Antioxidant Containing Water-soluble, Enzymatic, and Lipid-soluble Antioxidants

“The most physiological protective effect against oxidative stress seems to be the support to the endogenous system, using antioxidants normally present in the skin. This strategy, however, should not be confused with the permanent use of high non-physiological doses of isolated antioxidants, nor considered as a substitute for adequate food.” Source: Schagen SK, Zampeli VA, Makrantonaki E, Zouboulis CC. Discovering the link between nutrition and skin aging. Dermatoendocrinol. 2012;4:298–307.

“It is important to note that the use of oral or topical antioxidants does not replace a diet with fruit and vegetable consumption, in which the combination of the active elements expands its effects, and does not involve any risk. Lycopene, for example, readily found in tomato paste, ingested on the order of 55 g/day for 12 weeks, led to a significant reduction of MMP-1 expression in a randomized controlled study.”

Link to NIH article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5514576/

Can topical solutions be good for anti-aging and a protective shield ? Yes. “…studies demonstrate WEL-DS’s innate ability to quench free radicals, protect skin from the oxidizing effects of UV radiation, and reduce the visible effects of facial photodamage.” Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6508483/

Can topical skin solutions deliver nutrients ? Yes. “Essential oils and their constituents may be preferred over the traditionally used synthetics materials as safe and suitable permeation enhancers to promote the percutaneous absorption of hydrophilic and lipophilic drugs from topical formulation into the lower skin layers.” Source: Essential oils and their constituents as skin penetration enhancer for transdermal drug delivery: a review https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25557808/

Do essential oils offer protection to the skin and body ? Yes. “Essential oils (EOs) and their main constituents, the terpenes, are widely studied, mostly relating to their antioxidant ability and bioactivity, such as antimicrobial, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, and range of other actions in the living systems.” Source: Natural Macromolecules as Carriers for Essential Oils: From Extraction to Biomedical Application https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32671026/

Do any of the herbs provide any potential for treating COVID-19 ? Yes.

Every day we researching herbs and their medicinal effect for my SwissMixIt. The goal of SwissMixIt is to provide a mixer to make DIY at-home topical solutions for skin care. 

Black Seed is one of those herbal sources that has some interesting promise, specifically with COVID-19.

Summary of “Potential benefits of combination of Nigella sativa and Zn supplements to T treat COVID-19” Source:

Having a range of bioactive components such as thymoquinone and nigellimine, black seed might offer a number of benefits to treat COVID- 19 such as (i) blocking the entry of the virus into pneumocytes and (ii) providing ionophore for enhanced uptake of Zn2+ which in turn can enhance host immune response against SARS-CoV-2 as well as inhibit its replication by blocking the viral RdRp.

Summary of “Prophetic Medicine-Nigella Sativa (Black Cumin Seeds) – Potential Herb for COVID-19” Source:

Various randomized controlled trials, pilot studies, case reports and in vitro and in vivo studies confirmed that N.sativa has antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, im- munomodulatory, bronchodilatory, antihistaminic, anti- tussive activities related to causative oraganism and signs and symptoms of COVID-19. In addition, N.sativa has also shown anti-hypertensive, anti-obesity, anti-diabetic, an- ti-hyperlipidemic, anti-ulcer, and antineoplastic activities which would help the COVID-19 patients with comorbid conditions. Moreover, the active constituents of N. sativa such as nigellidine and α-hederin have been identified as potential inhibitor of SARS CoV-2. N. sativa could be used as an adjuvant therapy along with repurposed conventional drugs to manage the patients with COVID-19.