Tag Archives: Vitamin D

Pumpkins are more than Halloween

Pumpkins are More than Halloween

Pumpkins are more than Halloween

Or Cinderella’s Carriage Ride!
There are so many health benefits for you!


Pumpkins are more than Halloween, or Cinderella’s carriage ride! They are loaded with health benefits, making it a great all-rounder!

Did you know that the word Pumpkin comes from the Ancient Greek word, ‘Pepon’ which means melon? And that they are amongst the longest domesticated plants, having been cultivated as far back as 7,500 to 5,000 BC?

Over the centuries, the term ‘pepon’ into Latin (peponem), French (pompon), English (pompion) when it was eventually referred to as ‘pumpkin’ by 17th century English colonists when they arrived in north-eastern USA.
Being native to southern United States and north-eastern Mexico, half the world’s production of pumpkins is now grown in China and India.

According to Wikipedia, “ In 2018, global production of pumpkins, which included squash and gourds, topped 27.6 million tonnes with – China 8.1m, India 5.3m, Ukraine 1.3m and Russia 1.2m each”. These volumes are astounding!!The only place it’s not grown is Antarctica!

It’s considered as a winter squash, with its smooth but ribbed exterior, often orange in colour though there are variations of yellow and green.
Regarded as a fruit because it’s a botanical berry known as a pepo, which has seeds and pulp inside, that are consumables, together with the exterior rind of some types.Pumpkins usually weigh anywhere between 3 and 8 kilograms, though some have tipped the scales over 34 kilos. Recently, my uncle in Sicily told me that his neighbour grew a 1.2 metres wide pumpkin weighing over 95 kilos!!

Consumed in the autumn months, traditionally for Thanksgiving in the US in a Pumpkin Pie.But for some of us, we love it whenever we can get our hands on it!!It’s one of my all-time favourite vegetables!
Other favourite dishes include pumpkin soup, roasted pumpkin, risotto, or in a Moroccan filo pastry with peppers and spices.

If you’re interested in trying out new recipes, besides roasted pumpkin and delicious soup, see:see the recipes on Taste webpage: Pumpkin Recipes, or alternative recipes at Favourite Pumpkin Recipes.

Gallery of Pumpkins varieties at the market, Unsplash Ben Ashby Love of Pumpkins, Unsplash Cayla1 Pumpkin Soup

What’s so great about Pumpkins, its seeds and oil?

Using cold pressed Pumpkin Seed Oil (Cucurbita pepo L) is far better as the nutrients and antioxidants are maintained in the extraction process. Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds and using the Oil:

• Because of the orange carotenoid pigments, alpha and beta carotene, pumpkins have the wonderful colour, offering provitamin A, which our bodies enjoy when consumed. The seeds are also great for consumption and provide wonderful benefits for our overall health and well-being too.

• It is rich in Vitamins A, B, C, D & E, with minerals and proteins, containing over 60% unsaturated fatty acids, Omega 3 & 6.

• The high vitamin and mineral content makes Pumpkin Seed oil a wonderful inclusion for cosmetics and skincare products, improving the overall appearance of your skin.

• The colour of Pumpkin seed oil can vary from light to very dark green or red in colour. This depends on the sample’s thickness – where thin layers appear green, with thicker layers red. This is known as ‘dichromatism’ where varying colours can be seen depending on how it’s observed. Image shown below in the Gallery of images.

Pumpkin seeds are rich in Antioxidants, which help protect the body’s cells, assisting the prevention of chronic conditions like diabetes, autoimmune disorders and heart disease.

• Pumpkin seed & the oil derived from the seeds can help maintain a healthy heart . Tests conducted after using the seeds showed that cholesterol levels and blood pressure dropped, both contributing to a healthy heart. The levels of nitric oxide in our bodies can also rise from consuming the seeds, which encourage blood flow, assisting the efficient functionality of the heart.

• For women, the menopausal symptoms can be improved as diastolic blood pressure is reduced, increasing good cholesterol.

• Including the seeds in our diet can improve the functioning of the bladder reducing its over activity.

• Daily addition of pumpkin seeds to your diet can help improve the quality of your sleep. They contain nutrients and amino acids like magnesium and tryptophan, aiding with insomnia, restlessness, how quickly you fall asleep as well as the length of time sleeping.

• Including the seeds can stablise & regulate blood sugar levels, preventing the sudden rise, spikes and crashes. When blood sugar levels are high, they can create symptoms similar to diabetes, like nausea, needing to urinate often, fatigue and an overwhelming thirst.Being rich in protein and fibre, pumpkin seeds slows down sugars being absorbed in the bloodstream;

• The contents of zinc which helps balance hormone levels that can benefit hair re-growth, reversing loss;

Gallery of Pumpkin Seed Oil – dichromatism of Pumpkin Seeds, varying colours, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Pumpkins.

Historical facts about Halloween.

• The ancient Celtic festival of Samhain is the where the tradition started. People would light bonfires, wearing costumes to scare away ghosts;

• When the Romans had conquered the Celtic regions circa 43 A.D, ruling for over 400 years, the combined their own festivals with the ancient Celtic Samhain.

• The Romans celebrated and remembered their dead during ‘Feralia’ .They also commemorated the Roman goddess Pomona of fruit and trees. Pomona’s symbol is the apple which was incorporated with the Samhain festivities.It’s believed the bobbing apples in Halloween started because of this tradition.

• November 1 was dedicated to honor All Saints by Pope Gregory III, which included some of the traditions commenced by the Celtic festival of Samhain;

• The night before All Saints Day was called ‘All Hallows Eve’ which later became known has ‘Halloween’;

• Eventually, the tradition developed where carving ‘Jack-o-lanterns’ , gathering together for festivities, wearing costumes, eating treats collected from trick-or-treating;

• Did you know that over ¼ of annual candy sold in the USA is bought for Halloween?

• The American festivities included gatherings sharing stories about their dead, fortune-telling, dance and sing, as well as pull pranks of each other;

• The arrival of the Irish immigrants to America helped make Halloween a popular festivity.

For more fun interesting information, check out Halloween History.

Unsplash Yulia Chinato Halloween fun, Carvings in the garden, Unsplash Nick Fewings Trick or Treat.


  • Did you know that the tradition of Jack O Lanterns started in Ireland?
  • What’s your favourite pumpkin recipe?
  • What do you love the best about Pumpkins?
  • “About Lili & Why I make Essentially Lili Products.”

    About Lili & Essentially Lili – My Health Studies include from 2016-2019 Diplomas in Aromatherapy, Holistic Skincare Products, Clinical Nutrition, Stress Management, Reflexology, Holistic Pain Management, and a Member of International College of Holistic Medicine.I’m currently studying Clinical Nutrition for Over 50s.

    My aim is to help you get the results you want as I have already been on that hard journey to overcome the autoimmune disorder. If you wish to know more about Clinical Nutrition and how to kick start your health, book a private Consultation. Please send an email to info@essentiallylili.com should you need further assistance. At Essentially Lili, the products made are all using 100% Natural Ingredients. See the wide variety of Products available on the webpage.

    Should you need help in deciding, start by reading the Reviews & Testimonials about other Customers who have enjoyed using the products. We have had some amazing Before & After results from Clients using the All-Natural Skincare products. Please don’t forget to write your comments and reviews on our pages to share the love with others.

    See the Blog Library for previous writings about Face Mapping, Dry Skin in Winter, Raiding Your Fridge, Keratosis Pilaris Tips, Anguish of Acne/Rosacea, How to deal with Cystic Acne & Understanding Your Body.. Your feedback allows us to improve the content and information provided and products made.
    We look forward to hearing from you, With Love Essentially Lili.

The Shocking news about sunscreens


The shocking news
about Sunscreens

Where well-known Brands
contain ingredients that can
cause more harm than good whilst
attempting to ‘protect’ your family’s skin.


The shocking news about known brand sunscreens, the ingredients which can bring more harm than good whilst ‘protecting’ your skin. And this is what makes buying sunscreen can be so hard to buy. What do you look for when choosing sun protection for you and your family? Do you go for what’s familiar, a popular brand, something you heard or recommended? It can be so difficult, almost as bad as asking your kids to choose only one type of sweet in the candy store!! There are so many colourful options, funky names, and functionality which makes selecting even harder than choosing based on the SP Factor.

I recently posted a pic of my Sun Kissed Balm which was originally made for a fair-skinned friend of mine who was bothered by the sunspots discolouration that appeared on her face after holidaying in Spain. Apparently, she hadn’t applied sunblock or sunscreen to her face causing different tones to appear which didn’t make her happy.

Of course, when I take on the challenge to make a new product, I do my research about what I’m trying to achieve. For me, choosing the ingredients based on their benefits and the overall outcome is most important before I create the small sample batch. It’s necessary to note that some ingredients are best used at night time only, as they can make your skin super-sensitive when exposed to the sun,

In the last blog I wrote Getting Ready for Summer I explained how it’s not only wise but crucial to ensure your skin is protected before going outside and being subjected to the sun’s UV Rays. When growing up in Australia, the advertising campaigns were all about that gorgeous golden tan which made one appear healthy.This was before we knew better about the sun’s harmful rays, the Ozone layer and skin cancer. Today, the children in Aussie schools are not allowed to enter the playground unless they’re wearing a hat and sunscreen.It’s where the slogan ‘Slip Slop and Slap’ came from – Slip on a T-Shirt, Slop on some sunscreen and Slap on a hat.

Sometimes we forget to apply, can’t be bothered, or just don’t put enough sunscreen to protect ourselves. The risks of the skin burning and developing other complicated issues increase for those with lighter tones or less melanin. Despite my being of Sicilian background with an olive complexion, my normally non-tanned skin becomes extremely golden brown with blonde, whilst our kids, with their Italian and North Indian blend, obtain a rich gorgeous colour in the summertime. (If only I scored the tall genes as they did from their dad!) Irrespective of our natural genetic skin tone, we still apply sun protection before heading out to prevent burning, damaging or accelerating the aging of our skin.

Moderate doses of naturally sourced Vitamin D from the sunshine are beneficial for our overall health. Standing under sunlight for 5 to 30 minutes at least twice a week should be sufficient to naturally get what’s needed. And only 10 minutes of sunshine will help your body produce approximately 10,000 units of natural Vitamin D.

The other option is to eat foods that are rich in Vitamin D. The benefits of Vitamin D include boosting your brain’s health, keeping your bones strong, improving the function of your immune system, and assisting with managing weight. Foods that are rich in Vitamin D include:
From Fish: Cod Liver Oil, Wild Salmon, Tuna Fish, Sardines and Mackerel;
• Fortified Cereal and Milk;
• Mushrooms;
• Eggs;
• For the brave, Beef Liver and Caviar.

Note: Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to other serious conditions, like depression, heart disease, certain cancers, osteoporosis, and autoimmune concerns.

We need to make sure we’re not over-exposing ourselves to the sun and therefore preventing ourselves from burning red raw like a lobster. This can increase our risks of skin cancer (Melanoma) , which can happen to anyone.It’s necessary to be aware of what’s happening to your skin, preventing sun damage and excessive burning. Did you know that some of the ingredients contained in sunscreens can actually encourage skin cancer?

The Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s recent 2019 Sunscreen report showed that almost 2 out of 3 sunscreens bought in the USA contained worrying ingredients that are easily absorbed by the body. Within a day or so of using these particular sunscreens, high levels of the chemicals contained can be traced in the bloodstream. Approximately half of the sunscreens sold in the USA not only contain these harmful ingredients, but don’t work at all, or fail to provide protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. This same 50 % of sunscreens sold in the USA with insufficient UVA ray protection would NOT be allowed in Europe. This means that 3 times more UVA rays are being transferred through the skin in comparison to the brands that are available in Europe.

Why does this matter? The damage your skin endures with UVA rays is invisible whilst aging and suppressing the immune system. Over-exposure increases the risk of developing various forms of melanoma and carcinoma (which is a malignant tumor or cancer which begins in the lining of the internal organs or skin tissue.) Despite our skin protection, these SP Factor products are still allowing us to be exposed to large amounts of UVA.

Choosing a ‘perfect sunscreen’ will be extremely difficult as many contain harmful ingredients, nanoparticles which can pass through the blood but also damage life in the waters (lakes/sea). Usually, a product like soap is washed off soon after its application, but sunscreen is absorbed and reapplied throughout the day, remaining on the skin for a long time. Some US brands have ingredients like Oxybenzone which is known as an endocrine disruptor and acts like an Oestrogen in the body. This has been linked to conditions like endometriosis in women or abnormal sperm functionality in men . This same ingredient can affect coral reefs, in which the Hawaiian state took the opportunity to ban oxybenzone in sunscreens to protect their sea-life. Others like Retinyl palmitate, a type of Vitamin A can not only affect the skin but could lead to skin cancers.

The last 12 years have seen an increase in mineral sunscreens that according to the EWG are rated safer and block UVA rays better than those sunscreens with chemicals. Therefore, choosing safer sunscreens together with prevention, covering yourself with a hat and T-Shirt, and enjoying the shade are also methods to prevent being over-exposed to the sun.

In summary, some of the crazy sunscreen ingredient risks are:
•They are loaded with Hormones like Oxybenzone;
• They can cause allergic reactions
• Vitamin A which should be avoided includes Retinol or Retinyl Palmitate/Acetate/Linoleate as these can affect our hair’s growth, the liver, cause our nails to become brittle, osteoporosis or hip fractures for older adults;
• The higher the SP Factor doesn’t necessarily mean there’s more protection from being burnt by UV rays;
• The Sprays can be inhaled, or areas missed when trying to cover the skin.

To read more, please check out the link to the EWG Org Sunscreens 2019 Comprehensive list here.

Should your skin develop any kinds of sun spots that are aggressive in their appearance, get them checked out by a Doctor as soon as possible. Whilst prevention is best, early detection and medical attention can speed up the healing and recovery process. Please don’t ever just look at holistic alternatives but rather seek professional expert advice first.

Remember to also stay hydrated, switch your outing experience around by moving to the shade for cooling off. This will give your whole being a break from too much sunshine and heat.

In the evenings, take care of your skin afterwards too, a gentle scrub to remove the traces of sunscreen and rehydrating with moisturising product.  We have a few products to help hydrate your skin – Geranium Hands & Body, Jazz Body Butter and Mint Body Butter.  Check the ingredients to find the one best suited for you and your family. 

Note that a lot of known body wash brands also contain harmful ingredients which are readily absorbed by the skin and transported into the bloodstream.

If your skin has developed sunspots, or changes in the tone, check out the Sun Kissed Balm . This product was made to help re-balance the discoloured tone of the skin which had been altered from being in the sun. It’s best used at night time as Bergamot Essential Oil can cause your skin to become more sensitive to the sun, if used during the day.

Having gone through the list of good vs bad sunscreens, I was happy to see the All Good sunblock for the face was included. The other is Goddess Garden sunscreen which was delivered today.

Should you wish to get some Sunblock or Sunscreen, I have 2 of each brand new and spare.  Just message me and I can help create a special order for you. It will include a portion of the delivery cost to save you money ordering yourself.


  • Have you read the EWG Report about their shocking findings?
  • Did you ditch your previous brands and replace with a new one on the list? 
  • Have you dealt with sunspots and discolouration, and if so, what did you do to treat them?
  • Would you be interested in trying Sunscreen made by Essentially Lili?
  • Feel free to comment and share your personal stories below.
  • For the Latest list of Sunscreens from EWG: 2020 Best Sunscreens list
  • About Lili & Essentially Lili – My Health Studies include from 2016-2019 Diplomas in Aromatherapy, Holistic Skincare Products, Clinical Nutrition, Stress Management, Reflexology, Holistic Pain Management, Member of International College of Holistic Medicine.In Progress is studying Clinical Nutrition for Over 50s.

    My aim is to help you get the results you want as I have already been on that hard journey to overcome the autoimmune disorder.If you wish to know more about Clinical Nutrition and how to kick start your health, book a private Consultation.Please send an email to info@essentiallylili.com should you need further assistance.

    At Essentially Lili, the products made are all using 100% Natural Ingredients. See the wide variety of Help Skin Assistance for products available on the webpage.

    Should you need help in deciding, start by reading the Reviews & Testimonials about other Customers who have dared to try them out. We have had some amazing Before & After results with their using the All-Natural Skincare products. Please don’t forget to write your comments and reviews on our pages to share the love with others.

    You can also request to join the various groups I have set up.You can ask your questions and discuss your thoughts/concerns about health, skincare and nutrition. I share not only what I have studied with the school in London about Nutrition and the Body, but what the other experts write too. Essentially Lili Q&A – Taking Care of Your Skin andEssentially Lili Nutrition & Well Being. Both of these groups are not for advertising or promoting unless previously approved by Admin.

    Blog Library include: Anguish of Acne/Rosacea, Men’s Grooming, How to deal with Cystic Acne, Understanding Your Body, Perseverance Is Key, Understanding Your Body, Essentially Lili Products, Essential Oils, Managing Stress & Raiding Your Fridge.

    Your feedback allows us to improve.We look forward to hearing from you, With Loving Regards Lili.

    Check out the Gallery of Pictures – After sun care, Geranium Hands, Jazz Body & Mint Body Butters; Sun Kissed Balm; Bergamot; Goddess Garden & Sun Block for the summer protection.

    Changing Seasons

    Roses of Changing Seasons

    Changing Seasons

    Symptoms of Menopause include
    Sugar cravings, losing hair,
    hot sweaty flushes, headaches,
    fatigue, gaining weight & irritability.


    How many of you watched the Movie ‘Sex In the City’ when Samantha was showing us this phase of a woman’s life?We may have laughed as she portrayed what it’s like in the film. But the reality for many women is often quite stressful. Symptoms of Menopause include cravings for sugary foods, losing hair, hot flushes, sweats, headaches, fatigue, gaining weight, irritability, and more.

    It is a difficult subject to talk about especially when you have not gone through the stages of Menopause yourself. I am sure that my body is changing as I notice my craving for certain foods increases during differing times of the month.But other than that, hot sweats and flushes have been so far kept at bay.

    To find out more, I recently joined a Menopause Support Group in the UK, and I have to say, they have been the most amazing group of women. The group’s leader is always providing information, studies, tips on how to deal with the symptoms and changes that women go through.She is also studying in order to help those that are in the group.

    When I started making Essentially Lili products, my dear friend asked for help regarding hot sweats and flushes. The good old symptoms of Menopause that only those enduring them would fully understand what it is like. You can imagine the challenge of making something to help with the symptoms, despite not having them myself. We agreed on the name Changing Seasons for the product, as it marked the next phase of a woman’s amazing journey in life. I took some time out, researching what could be a decent blend to help combat her symptoms.

    I sent a sample of the blend abroad and waited for feedback like I had been doing with all my other first batches. It’s only with the feedback I can actually amend and improve the blends. But I found it strange that I hadn’t heard anything for some time.

    Eventually I sent her a note – ‘Are you ok? Can you please let me know what happened with the Changing Seasons blend?’ Quote from our Testimonials Page:


    Dear Lili. The Changing Seasons for menopause is fab. Haven’t had a flush or sweat thing all day. First time in many months. And the funny thing is I’ve been having a cough for almost 2 years. With doctor’s check, blood samples, x-Rays, scans.They can’t find the reason why. Ya’ know what? I haven’t had one single cough since I inhaled the Changing Seasons Menopause oil.I’m just thrilled with the fantastic start.I usually inhale directly from the sample or the first couple of days from a piece of paper towel. In the evening it’s best for me. I haven’t had any flushes for a week and one day – you are amazing!! We’re gonna keep using it – be sure of that Thank you so much! I.M – Denmark

    26-Feb-16 … A few months later, she wrote:
    I’m still very happy with Changing Seasons and don’t have flushes. Still use your inhaler every second or third day – amazing… You’ve given me my life back with the serum! I.M – Denmark

    Can you imagine my happiness reading this feedback?I was just thrilled to bits for her and for the results of the blend!

    The Serum is blended with Jojoba with a combination of Essential oils comprising of Rosemary, Basil, Peppermint and Geranium amongst other Oils. The Jojoba makes the serum safe for application directly onto the skin or for adding it to the bath for the ultimate chillaxing, inhalation experience. The Serum can be applied to feet at night time for penetration to the Acupressure points, onto the tip of the nose for inhalation whilst sleeping or to the wrists whilst out and about.

    Changing Seasons is also available as an inhaler, so that you can carry it in your bag for whenever you need to take a breath to fight off the fatigue and headaches.

    A few of the Essential Oils contained in the Changing Seasons includes: The Basil (Ocimum Basilicum) helps lack of concentration, fatigue, lethargy. Rosemary (Rosemarinus Officinalis) stimulates the body and boosts the production of red blood cells and blood flow. It helps boost memory, improves the mood, reduces inflammation & relieves pain. Peppermint (Mentha Piperita) helps with hot flushes, sweating and fatigue. The other Essential Oils also work their magic whilst being inhaled.

    The other key part for women in this phase of life is Exercise and Diet. However, it does not mean you have to become a Gym Junkie or a Body Builder!

    It just means to be active -some of the better exercises to do during Menopause are Strength Training & Cardio, Yoga, Meditation, Dancing, and even the stair master. Nothing too strenuous especially if you are not used to being this active.

    Regarding our food, we have to ensure that we get plenty of the right kinds.Balanced diets are key – though finding alternatives to deal with allergies, intolerances and other preferences is often difficult.

    The vitamin needed to help prevent osteoporosis is Vitamin D. This vitamin also helps the immune system, the nerves, and muscles. Insufficient vitamin D can cause osteoporosis or rickets which can affect children and lead to other deformities. This vitamin is fat-soluble and helps the body to absorb calcium, which is necessary for bones to grow and remain strong. Bone production and the tissues could be affected if the body does not receive enough calcium, or if the body has problems absorbing it in the diet.

    Further studies are suggesting that Vitamin K2 is another key ingredient in maintaining bone health, which may be just as important in assisting the body and preventing bone fractures as we get older. Women in post-menopausal stages are at greater risk of osteoporosis, so a diet that is rich in vitamins with safe sun exposure is a good mix for prevention.

    Vitamin D can be sourced in dairy products, cheese, cream, butter, fortified milk, breakfast cereals, margarine, and soy milk as well as in a supplement. However, the best source of Vitamin D is with safe exposure to a touch of sunshine – with the right kinda sunscreen, especially for those Down Under!


    Are you currently going through the early stages of Menopause?
    Have you found a Women’s Support Group where you are?
    I shouldn’t say what I will write about in the next blog because I often change my mind!!!But I will share at some point about some other amazing Vegetable Oils Tamanu & Kukui Nut.

    Should you wish to contact us for more information about our All-Natural Products, please send me an email info@essentiallylili.com

    You can read more About Lili here, see the range of Products on offer at Shop Categories or refer to our Blog Library for more topics covered.Kind Regards Lili @ Essentially Lili

    Check out the Gallery of Pictures – includes Cool Coloured Roses, Changing Seasons Serum & Inhaler, Peppermint Leaves, Basil & Rosemary.