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There is a new web page coming soon to offer new essential oils and herbs for respiratory wellness this cold and flu season. Look for a link to post in early January. Happy Solstice everyone! Blessings and joy at this holiday season to you and yours.
Spring Sea Salt Body Wash Recipe
1 oz aloe vera gel
3 oz organic castille soap
3 oz organic helichrysum hydrosol
1 Tbsp organic argan oil
15 drops organic ylang ylang essential oil
15 drops organic rosemary essential oil
1.5 – 2 tsp sea salt (optional)
A note before I begin:
Many people ask how to thicken castille based recipes. While you can enjoy the natural thinner viscosity that is inclined to separate, there are a few natural ways around this, and salt is known to be one of them. While getting it just perfect does take some experimentation, it will thicken the mixture. Depending on the essential oils used, and the ratio of water to castille soap, it might stabilize to the point of not separating. Sea salt has it’s own wonderful benefits that only improve a sudsy recipe like this. If you choose to use sea salt in your recipe, make sure to dissolve it completely in your water mixture first. If you skip this step, it will make the castille clumpy. Experiment and have fun with this! Because it’s made with all natural ingredients, it wont look exactly like store bought products, but it will feel and smell amazing!
If adding salt: In a pyrex measuring glass dissolve 1 tsp sea salt with 3 oz of helichrysum hydrosol. Dissolve completely.
Add your aloe vera gel, oils, and essential oils, and mix up. It’s ok if the oils are separating. That should happen!
Add in castille soap. It might get really chunky, but that is ok for now! Just keep mixing.
Funnel into your container and enjoy!
*If you find the mixture is too thick or thin, you can use less salt to make it thinner and more salt to make it thicker. The key to getting a good mixture is the thickening reaction between the castille soap and the salt, so adding a little more castille soap might also help. The thicker you prefer your body wash recipe, the more important it is to use a flip top bottle rather than a pump, as it gets difficult to pump thicker mixtures. The thicker the body wash turns out to be, the more likely you will need to use a spoon and a funnel to get your mixture into the bottle.
Soothing Sun Skin Spray
Organic Witch Hazel Extract
Organic Green Tea Leaves
Organic Calendula Flowers
Organic Lavendin Hydrosol
Aloe Vera Gel
Fill mason jar ½ full with equal parts green tea leaves, calendula flowers, clevers (or other herbs of your choice) and fill to the top with witch hazel extract. Let steep for 4-6 weeks. When ready, strain herbal contents and mix 4 oz. witch hazel blended extract, 2 oz. lavendin hydrosol, and 1 oz. Aloe vera gel. Shake well and refrigerate for extra cooling relief when the summer is hot! The clevers and calendula are great for the skin (you could also try St. John’s Wort, or rosehips for extra nourishment and soothing comfort), the aloe is a great skin softener and the lavendin just smells incredible! (You could also try rosewater hydrosol, or Melissa hydrosol). Spray and enjoy when heat gets you down. You can also make it as a tea and drink it or apply liberally to skin for immediate relief.
Essential oils are the jewels of the plant kingdom~providing concentrated, potent doses of pure plant nutrition that can be applied topically, taken internally, used in air purifiers, and integrated into the daily wellness routine. They provide non-toxic household cleaning agents, help support the immune system, relieve pain, inflammation, and skin disorders, and can also be tremendous allies as mood-enhancers, emotional balancers, and much more!
Essential oils have a long and distinguished history. Once used by pharaohs and kings, they were also used in the middle east to bury and enshrine the dead. During the middle ages, they were also used in the perfumeries of France and have since been used as agents of scent for many lotions, shampoos, salves, and topical ointments. Though somewhat subtle in nature for some, others have an intoxicating scent that stimulates the limbic system in the deep center of the brain~releasing pheromes and emotional triggers associated with the primal memory. Never doubt the fondness associated with pine oil, cinnamon, rose oil, or the more exotic frankincense or sandalwood oil.
Essential oils are wonderful addition to the herbalists medicine cabinet, and often can be added to a tincture or herbal preparation for added synergistic action and therapy. Some oils such as lavendula anguastifolia (Lavender) may be applied “neat” (without other filler oils added) to the skin for rashes, bites, bee stings, burns, razor burn, and much more. Other oils such as lemon (citronella oficinalis) may burn the skin with direct application.
Always use essential oils sparingly, as they are highly concentrated, very potent, and not to be considered as anything BUT “medicinal!” However, you can make your own remedies and use with fractionated coconut oil to provide an organic, gently nurturing emollient for the rapid absorption through the skin. You can also use in a nebulizer (air diffuser) to inhale the aroma and essential oils directly through the nasal passages. One drop of orange oil added to lavender oil applied to a pillow at night can gently help tired, overly-stimulated minds rest, relax and drift into sleep. One drop of frankincense oil added under the tongue helps balance inflammatory responses in the body, prevent tumors, and support the immune system when under stress.
The list can go on and on, but suffice it to say that one can find repeated daily use in small, steady doses that build and support natural health and wellness with small cost, and a deepening appreciation for the body’s natural ability to heal and stay healthy and strong. Such an abundant gift deserves to be cherished and used regularly!
If you’re interested in learning more about these oils, contact me at 503-347-6558 to learn more!
Using Essential Oils as Medicine and Plant Allies
Tuesday, Sept. 2, 2014 4:30-6:00 pm
Natural Grocers, Gresham, OR
- how to use essential oils for internal health and immune support
- how to use essential oils for cleaning, detoxifying and eradicating germs and bacteria in your home
- how to use essential oils for spiritual, emotional and mental health and well-being
- how to use essential oils to make gentle, effective, non-toxic homehealth and beauty products
- how to make products that are healthy and easy to give inexpensively for family and friends
As we age, our production of enzymes, hormones and other normal bodily functions declines. This often results in increases in fatigue, loss of libido, and other signs of aging including increased muscle stiffness, joint pain, muscular atrophy, and increased fat production. A new syndrome has joined the list of “designer diseases” now prevalent in the United States, called Metabolic Syndrome. It includes a wide range of debilitating diseases that are life-threatening, and in some cases lead to irreversible damage to the body and eventually death. Metabolic Syndrome includes diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, and may even be a factor in diseases such as Celiac’s disease, Guillone Barre, and other auto-immune diseases. It is serious, and should not be ignored!
Fortunately, the trends towards auto-immune diseases, can be reversed or at least halted with herbal supplements. Some of the herbs are experimental (at this time there is little scientific research to support their use or side-effects of using them), but many have a long-standing history in their use in Ayurveda or Traditional Chinese Medicine. Herbs known to support the increase of libido in both women and men include Fo Ti Root, Ashwagandha Root, and Alfalfa. These are all well-known for their ability to nourish and support the body’s core systems of hormone production, metabolism, digestion, and base energy maintenance. Rich in phytonutrients, Alfalfa supports the nervous system, hormonal production, digestion, and other key body systems so necessary for health and vitality. In addition, Fo Ti Root and Ashwagandha Root, have been very successful for several thousand years in stimulating hormone production naturally for increased virility and a return to more youthful energy and vitality.
Another herb that is very helpful for body support and energy and vitality includes the use of Rhodiola Root, which is a known adaptogen that supports the stamina, endurance, and vitality with a strong adaptogenic property to help sustain and support energy, drive, and positive mood.
Little to no side effects have been documented in the use of any of these herbs. Because they are roots, their action is deeply nourishing, supporting natural body functions at the core, allowing the body to be restored to a more youthful vigor, drive, and energy level. Adaptogenic herbs (both Rhodiola and Ashwagandha Root fall in this category) allow the body to counteract the negative effects of stress in the body, and have additional benefits of supporting the adrenals which are in a constant state of stress nowadays!
Similarly, yoga, meditation, and other forms of relaxation therapy are a good supplement to counteract the effects of stress daily. Many beneficial effects have been recorded of the benefits of yoga and meditation for keeping the body in a state of balance and peacefulness. Yoga can also be used to increase the prana (life force), and build a core level of energy, vitality, and stamina through regular breath work, stretches, and postures. Who among us can’t enjoy the benefits of this life-sustaining practice?
Other herbs that might also be helpful include Black Cohosh, and Red Clover. Black Cohosh supports muscles and joints, aids in removal of inflammatory fluids ( a key factor in arthritis), and Red Clover supports and nourishes digestion, nerves, and the hormones. Please share any other herbs or supports that you’ve found helpful! These are by no means meant to be a complete list of herbs.