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Vegetable Glycerine

Veterinarian Reviewed on June 15, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized

Vegetable Glycerin


Vegetable glycerin can also be called vegetable glycerol. This is completely derived from plant sources, specifically from plant oils. It is obtained through hydrolysis where the plant oils are split into glycerol fats. Further refinement results in the final product which is vegetable glycerin.

Vegetable glycerin is seen as a clear and an odorless liquid which is used in the manufacture of medicines, beauty products and toiletries like soaps, shampoos and toothpastes. The use of vegetable glycerin in the field of cosmetics is also an indispensable one and it is safe and eco friendly as well.

History and Origin

Vegetable glycerin is purely derived from plants. Glycerin is an organic compound which is composed of three carbon atoms, hydrogen atoms and also the OH group. The OH group binds with water making vegetable glycerin syrupy in texture. Vegetable glycerin used in the manufacture of food stuffs are 99.7% pure and has a sweet taste. Even with the sweet taste, it does not directly affect blood sugar levels and it will not cause tooth decay like regular sugar does.

Ancient Uses

The use of vegetable glycerin was nonexistent during ancient times. Plants were used for food as well as for their medicinal purposes. It was not until the 20th century when vegetable glycerin was extracted and used for many purposes.

Modern Uses

In modern times, vegetable glycerin was first used in the manufacture of many products that are used in cosmetics and in products used in the home. It is the main ingredient in soaps such as bath soaps, laundry and detergent soaps. Glycerin soap is used by people with extra sensitive skin since it contains more moisturizers that can prevent skin dryness. Lotions and moisturizing products also have vegetable glycerin as one of the main ingredients.
In the food industry, vegetable glycerin is a substitute for alcohol. It can also be used as an artificial sweetener without raising blood sugar levels, perfect for people suffering from diabetes. It is also a main ingredient in protein bars that are common among dieters and weight loss enthusiasts.

Vegetable glycerin is also an effective laxative and can be effective in the relief of minor gastrointestinal illnesses like stomach pain, bloating and gas. It is also an effective treatment for skin disorders like rashes, burns, cuts, bedsores and also in the treatment of psoriasis. Skin problems that call for increased moisture due to skin dryness can be treated with vegetable glycerin preparations. It can also be used to cure gum disease and relieve oral sores.

Side Effects

There are no noted side effects of vegetable glycerin if taken in excess amounts. It is however necessary to consult your doctor regarding the use of vegetable glycerin in the treatment of skin diseases for appropriate dosage and instructions.
If used for the treatment of skin disorders such as cuts, wounds and rashes, the skin area to be treated must be clean. Do not apply on open wounds and also on infected wounds. Discontinue use if rashes or irritation occurs. Always use accordingly.

Read also: Bitter Orange

Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

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