To maintain product efficacy we use only natural derived ingredients where possible, so additives such as perfumes, colours and artificial ingredients are avoided. In some cases preservatives are necessary to prolong shelf life, in these instances we use natural agents which do not cause any harm to the skin or the environment. This guarantees that all Optima products capture to maximum nutritional activity of each ingredient.
The Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) plant is similar in appearance to a cactus, but in fact is a member of the lily family. This versatile plant has been used throughout history for its cosmetic and health benefits, and its first recorded used was by the Egyptians in the 4th Centaury BC. In modern times, Aloe has been extensively studied and scientific papers describe the active benefits of Aloe Vera taken internally or applied externally to the skin and hair as a tissue moisturiser, and skin healer. Aloe is also a popular choice for its favorable affect on the stomach and intestinal tract. The juice from the leaves contains 200 biologically active constituents, including a vast array of naturally occurring nutrients including, vitamins, minerals and amino acids, enzymes and polysaccharides.
Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia) is a natural antiseptic oil used for thousands of years by the indigenous population of Australia. Known by many as the most powerful natural antiseptic known to man, this unique oil has numerous benefits due to its antibacterial, antimicrobial, antifungal and antiseptic properties. As an organic solvent it can also penetrate through the skin and reach otherwise inaccessible sites such as under the nails. Since the 1930’s, Tea Tree Oil has been used by Australian medical practitioners and dental surgeons and it was standard issue to Australian soldiers in World War II in their first aid kits.
Manuka honey comes from the flowers of the Manuka bush (Leptospermum scoparium), which is a native plant of New Zealand and grows wild on undeveloped and un-spoilt land all over the country. The Maori have harnessed the benefits of the Manuka for years, including using poultices from the bark and tea made from the leaves. Most honey has an antibacterial activity, which can vary widely depending on the type of plant or tree from where the nectar is collected, and the soil and locality in which the plant is growing. However, Manuka is of particular scientific interest due to the presence of other plant derived components, which exert an elevated antibacterial action which is measured against a standard reference antiseptic (phenol) to give an activity number.
Native to Iran & the Himalayas, Pomegranates are the fruit of the Punica Granatum tree containing clusters of crimson antioxidant-rich seeds & pulp. Ancient Egyptians were buried with Pomegranates in the hope of re-birth & Greeks break a Pomegranate at weddings as a symbol of fertility. Pomegranates are high in antioxidants and are excellent sources of polyphenols, tannins & anthocyanins. With a high ORAC score (oxygen radical absorbency capacity) Pomegranates can play an important role in supporting the body's natural defence system and are suitable for those on a low cholesterol diet and may help to maintain a healthy heart as part of a balanced diet.
Açai (Euterpe Oleracea) is a species of palm tree native to the Amazon rain forest. For hundreds of years the small dark berries have been integral to the diet of native Amazon people, promoting overall wellbeing. Açai berries contain extraordinary levels of the antioxidant compound Anthocyanins which offer cellular protection and also essential fatty acids that can help reduce cholesterol when used as part of a balanced diet. Açai berries also contain a host of other beneficial nutrients including vitamins, minerals, amino acids and phytosterols. They are also rich in both soluble and insoluble fibre which is beneficial for intestinal health.
Goji berries (Lycium Barbarum) are also known as Wolfberries and have been traditionally used as Tibetan tonic fruits to nurture the body as a result of chi deficiency for over 2000 years. The berries are cultivated in the clean and unpolluted Himalayan mountains, and are naturally high in mineral salts including Iron, Zinc, Copper, Calcium, Selenium & Phosphorous plus Vitamin C, B1, B2, B3, E, Lutein, Lycopene, Zeaxanthin & Beta Carotene. Goji berries also contain polysaccharides which play a role in supporting the defence mechanisms of the immune system.
Glucosamine is an amino sugar which is synthesised naturally in the body from glucose and glutamine and has been described as the “cement of the connective tissues” as the joints rely on it to maintain themselves. It occurs naturally in the body, and is predominantly found in cartilage and connective tissue. Glucosamine is the nutrient specific for the production of cartilage components called glycosaminoglycans (GAGS) and proteoglycans (PG’s). These GAGS form the building blocks of soft tissues and are responsible for the production of cartilage which helps support the tendons and ligaments and help to maintain suppleness and elasticity of the joints.
The Green Lipped Mussel has been a staple part of the diet of the native New Zealand Maoris for hundreds of years. The Maoris consider the green lipped mussel to be the ultimate health food and believe it to bestow health-giving properties. The mussel, scientifically know as Perna Canaliculus, provides the Maoris with a highly nutritious source of vitamins, minerals, proteins, enzymes and carbohydrates - an important group which are called mucopolysaccharides. In the body, the mucopolysaccharides (MPS) play a major role in the structural integrity of all body tissues and are necessary for lubrication. Research has shown that the combination of nutrients that are found in this unique shellfish appear to have beneficial effects on the mobility of the joints and connective tissues.
Green Tea is produced by the steaming or roasting of the freshly harvested leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. The special fermentation process minimizes oxidation, and therefore maintains the green colour and ensures the preservation of the wide variety of antioxidant polyphenols & trace minerals. The widely reported health benefits of Green Tea are attributed to a host of components and the plant has been the subject of much scientist study which has shown positive benefits on fat oxidation & insulin sensitivity, mental performance, weight loss, cholesterol maintenance, heart health and energy production.
Lecithin is found in the lining of every human cell performing numerous roles in the maintenance of health. It is a naturally rich source of phosphatidyl choline, which acts as a natural emulsifier that helps in the breakdown of fats. Lecithin plays an important role in maintaining liver function, preventing fats from accumulating on the walls of the arteries and is vital for brain function by relaying information from one nerve cell to another. Lecithin is also a source of omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids which may help maintain normal cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health. The granules can be added to cereal, soups or hot drinks.
There are several species of this evergreen shrub, which produces the small red berries popularly used in sauces, jams and juice. The bitter-tasting berries are rich in Vitamin C and proanthocyanidins and commercial food preparations are often very high in sugar which is required for palatability. Commonly associated with American herbalism, Cranberries had several applications in foods and were even used as a dye. Traditionally the berries were simmered and strained and the remaining pulp used as an aid for the bronchial system, the juice is historically know for its beneficial action on the urinary system and maintenance of a healthy bladder. More current research on Cranberries has established a positive link associated with the raising of ‘good cholesterol’ levels in the body, and plasma antioxidant capacity.
Cherry trees (Prunus Cerasus) are native to Europe, Asia, North America and Australia and there are thousands of species referred to as the common cherry but not all bear edible fruit. Cherries were originally named by the Greeks are one of the world's oldest cultivated fruits, dating back to 300 B.C. and the tree was revered by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans both for its flowers and its versatile fruit. The sour cherry varieties have been the subject of much study due to the potent naturally occurring antioxidants, melatonin and red pigment anthocyanins. These are the most popular cherries in the United States and Canada, having been used since the early 20th Century in pies, jams, preserves and their dried form for their multiple health benefits including maintenance of a healthy immune system, brain and cognitive function and cardiovascular health.