Archive for May, 2012

Herbal Gifts for Dad!

Posted by Erin|29 May 2012

 

Can you believe that Father’s Day is just a month away? If you find yourself stumped over what to get dear old dad this year, we’ve got some fun herbal ideas to help him feel loved, nourished, and look great too! We’ve pulled together some of our favorite herbal recipes for men including bodycare formulas and a tasty daily elixir made with adaptogens and cherry juice. We’ve also included a few gift recommendations from our shelves here at Mountain Rose that Dad will love!

The Recipes!

 

Blake’s Fancy Man Stashe Wax

This recipe comes from our incredible herb crafter Blake in Customer Service. She formulated this amazing moisturizing and water-soluble sculpting wax for Mason’s impressive facial hair (see above), but it could also be used as a styling pomade for hair. Dad won’t need to worry about stiff waxy build-up since this recipe washes out easily!

Ingredients

4 tablespoons of beeswax pastilles
1 Tbsp carnauba wax
1 Tbsp of stearic acid
2 tbsp of castor oil
1 tbsp of acacia powder
1 tbsp of castille soap
10 drops of organic essential oil (optional) – Recommended: Sandalwood, Patchouli, Bay West Indies, Oak Moss, Vetiver, Cedarwood, Bergamot, Bitter Orange

Directions

Mix 1 tbsp of acacia powder with 1 tbsp of the castille soap and mix until thoroughly combined. Melt first 4 ingredients together over low heat in a double boiler. Slowly drizzle in the soap mixture until combined using a stick blender. Add essential oils and adjust consistency with additional carrier oil of choice. For a stiffer wax, add less castor oil. Store in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. You can find nice cobalt blue glass jars here.

 

 

Dad’s Homemade Shaving Cream

 

Herbal Gifts for Dad

Here’s a wonderfully moisturizing shaving cream recipe from the fantastic Wellness Mama! A few drops of Dad’s favorite essential oil can be added for a refreshing scent. Try lavender and patchouli.

Ingredients

1/4 cup organic olive, almond, or coconut oil
2-3 tbsp organic shea or cocoa butter
1/4 cup organic aloe vera gel
1 tbsp Kaolin clay or white cosmetic clay (optional)
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup organic liquid castille soap
Vitamin E oil to preserve

Directions

Gently melt the oil and butter together in a double boiler until just melted. Remove from heat and add the other ingredients. Using a stick blender, mix well for several minutes. Transfer cream to a jar or container to store. Check while it is cooling to make sure it doesn’t start to separate. If it does, shake or mix well to re-incorporate. Lasts up to two months and maybe longer.

 

 

Rosalee’s Homemade Aftershave

 

Homemade aftershave for dad!

Aftershaves typically have a strong scent, but they do more than act as a cologne. Typically when Dad shaves, warm water is used to open the pores and soften the facial hair. Aftershaves can be used after the shaving process to tighten and tone the pores on the face. This can prevent dirt and oil from entering the pores. This aftershave recipe is anti-microbial to help keep razor cuts from becoming infected. Many thanks to Rosalee and LearningHerbs.com for this recipe!

Ingredients

2 cups of witch hazel extract
1 ounce of rum
zest from one organic orange
1 organic cinnamon stick
3-5 organic cloves
3-5 organic whole allspice
1/2 teaspoon organic glycerin (optional)
1/2 teaspoon organic aloe vera (optional)
25 – 40 drops organic Bay West Indies essential oil
Pint Jar

Directions

Begin by grating the orange peel to get its zest. You can simply use a fine cheese grater. You want the orange part of the peel, not the white beneath. This usually yields about two tablespoons of orange. It’s fine if you have more or less than this. Once you have the zest, put it in your pint jar along with the cinnamon stick (you can break it up if you want), the cloves, and the allspice.

Next add the optional glycerin and aloe vera. These are great additions for men with especially sensitive skin. Add the rum – you can buy a small one ounce bottle from the liquor store. Fill the jar with witch hazel extract. This will be just under two cups. Finally add 25-40 drops of the bay west indies essential oil to your aftershave recipe. Cover the mixture with a tight fitting lid and shake well, then shake it well every day or so for 4 – 6 weeks.

Once the homemade aftershave is done, strain off the ingredients and put it in a dark colored bottle. This makes enough to fill two 8 oz bottles. Attach a label and now you have a wonderful gift for Dad!

For men who don’t shave, this homemade aftershave also works well as a cologne. If they have especially sensitive skin this mixture can be diluted with a little water just before application.

 

 

Dad’s Daily Tonic Elixir

Eleuthero-Rootblog1

This tasty formula is based on Rosemary Gladstar’s Men’s Long-Life Elixir recipe which can be found in her Family Herbal. With a blend of adaptogens, mood boosters, and tonic herbs, this fruity concoction helps strengthen and revitalize the body and mind.

2 parts organic Cacao Nibs
2 parts organic Ginger Root
2 parts organic Licorice Root
1 part organic Eleuthero Root
1 part organic Astragalus Root
1 part organic Star Anise
1 part organic Skullcap Leaf
1/4 part organic Saw Palmetto Berries
2 whole organic American Ginseng Roots per quart of elixir
1 whole organic Vanilla Bean
Brandy
organic Black Cherry Concentrate

Place the herbs in a glass jar and cover with good quality brandy. Seal with a tight fitting lid and let sit for 4-8 weeks.

Strain, compost the herbs, and reserve the liquid and the ginseng roots. To each cup of tincture, add 1/2 cup of black cherry concentrate – not a fruit juice! Place the ginseng roots in the elixir bottles, shake well, and rebottle. A standard daily does is 1/8 cup enjoyed in Dad’s favorite glass goblet!

 

The Goodies!

 

Happy Man Tea
Happy Man Tea!

Happy Man Tea is our all around tonic and balancer just for men! A tasty and healthy decoction created for Dad’s general health. Contains: organic Dandelion root, organic Eleuthero root, organic Burdock root, organic Marshmallow root, organic Hawthorn berry, organic Fennel seed, organic Nettle root, organic Oatstraw, organic Saw Palmetto, and organic Stevia. This tea goes perfectly with Make Tea Not War mug and tea strainer, or our new Tea-to-Go Travel Glass Infuser.

 

 

 

The Male Herbal

The Male Herbal

 

The Male Herbal by James Green outlines the medicinal uses of numerous herbs for male-specific issues, while emphasizing prevention and health rather than illness. Introducing a new constitutional model, this revised edition provides every man with a personalized plan geared to his individual body type, lifestyle, and needs. This trusted herbal handbook, specifically for men and boys, covers physical and emotional health and is organized alphabetically by herb for easy reference with recipes.

 

 Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers 

 Sacred Herbal Healing Beers

Maybe your dad is a fan of beer? Here in the Pacific Northwest, home brewing has become a community obsession, so this book would make a great gift for anyone interested in herbs and the art of brewing. Ancient beers were quite different from what we know today. This beautiful and provocative exploration of the sacredness and folklore of ancient fermentation is revealed through 200 plants and hive products. It includes 120 recipes for ancient and indigenous beers and meads from 31 countries and six continents, and the most complete evaluation of honey ever published.

 

Summer Grilling Spice Gift Set

Herbal Gifts for Dad!

Just in time for grilling season, Dad will love this spicy collection of Smoked Peppercorns, Grilling Herbs, Smoked Sea Salt, and West Indies Rub. Perfect for meat and veggies alike!

 

 

“Dad’s Need to Relax Too!” Tincture Set

Herbal Gift for Dad: Relaxing Tincture Set!

Our combination extracts are formulated to help with a variety of our mental and physical needs. The Muscle Care, Sleep Care, and Tension Care blends will keep Dad feeling relaxed and well rested during times of stress and sleeplessness.

 

 

Father’s Day Pampering Kit

Woodland bath salts for dad!

Who doesn’t enjoy a little pampering? Dad will really enjoy a warm and woodsy salt bath soak with our Woodland Bath Salts.  The Injur Heal Oil is a great remedy for exhausted sports-bodies and hikers, and can be used immediately after strenuous exercise, exertion, or injury to help prevent, relieve and reduce swelling, bruises and pain. The Restorative Skin Oil is a wonderfully nourishing skin oil for dry or “lizardy” and “leathery” skin, and pairs really nicely with  the Sage, Mint, and Yarrow Facial Toner. Another good choice is our easy to use Herbal Facial Kit which contains everything dad needs to care for his skin. All of these make sweet gifts for avid gardeners, hikers, and sun-lovers!

 

Wishing you a Happy Father’s Day!

 

DIY Natural Deodorant Sprays

Posted by Erin|28 May 2012

DIY Natural Doedorant

The ingredients used to make these herbal deodorant sprays are both astringent and antimicrobial to help keep you feeling fresh all day. These aromatic blends find a nice balance of masculine and feminine that can be enjoyed by anyone. Feel free to experiment with your favorite essential oils to create a perfectly blended scent for you!

 

Sweet Orange & Vetiver

1.5 oz organic Witch Hazel extract
10 drops organic Sweet Orange essential oil
1 drop of organic Vetiver essential oil

 

Cedarwood & Juniper

1.5 oz organic Witch Hazel extract
10 drops organic Cedarwood essential oil
2 drops of organic Juniper Berry essential oil

 

Directions

Pour all ingredients into a 2oz glass bottle and top with a little more Witch Hazel. Cap with a mister top and shake well before spritzing liberally under the arms. Reapply as needed.

 

New! Natural Sunscreens

Posted by Christine|25 May 2012

As the sun comes out, so does the need for skin protection. These Natural Sunscreens created by Goddess Garden offer full-spectrum UVA/UVB protection for the whole family without any harsh chemicals. With 30 SPF coverage, these sunscreens are made with organic and natural ingredients, providing a non-greasy formula that protects and nourishes the skin. Easy to apply, they are non-whitening and water resistant.

The active ingredients in the Natural Sunscreen are Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. This formula contains 82% organic ingredients. For the more sensitive members of the family we have the Baby Natural Sunscreen. Made with 75% organic ingredients, this formula is fragrance free and only contains Zinc Oxide as an active ingredient.

For those of you who prefer the convenience of  a non-liquid application, we still offer the Zinc Sunstick in both Coconut and Unscented.

Get out and enjoy those warming rays without worry!

Photo Thursday!

Posted by Irene|24 May 2012

The Wild Roses are blooming! With their intoxicating fragrance and enchanting beauty, we find them simply irresistible.  Luckily for us, they grow along the neighboring West Eugene Wetlands where we are able to visit them and enjoy their alluring scent while on our afternoon walks.

Not only are they incredibly gorgeous and fragrant, but Wild Roses have medicinal uses too.  The leaves are astringent and toning, they can be added to facial steams or infusions as a gentle astringent for normal, oily, or combination skin.  The fresh leaves may also be applied as a poultice for bee stings and insect bites. The petals are delectable when infused in honey or candied, and the hips can be made into jellies, teas, and syrups that are a delightfully fragrant source of Vitamin C.

For more information about Wild Roses including harvesting and preparation tips, and recipes for Rose Petal Jelly, Crystallized Rose Petals, Rose Hip Jelly, and Candied Rose Hips, you can refer to this document by the UAF Cooperative Extension Service: http://www.uaf.edu/files/ces/publications-db/catalog/hec/FNH-00114.pdf

“The Earth Laughs in Flowers.”
-  Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Join Us In Saving Honey Bees!

Posted by Shawn|23 May 2012

Mountain Rose Herbs has gotten together with our long term partner Beyond Toxics on their most recent project called 1000 Friends of Bees Campaign. As most of your know, a large percentage of our honeybee colonies are being threatened by habitat loss, introduced diseases, the spread of parasites, and worst of all, the widespread use of pesticides. Many biologists agree that without the simple honey bee, our entire food system would collapse as would other essential plant systems.

The problem is that pesticides poison the bees by direct contact with the plants and flowers they pollinate and from here the compound chemicals eventually contaminate the honey, pollen, and entire hive. Entire bee colonies have been collapsing at an alarming rate and the latest research points to pesticides as being the biggest culprit of these declines.

But don’t let this shocking news get you down! Mountain Rose Herbs and Beyond Toxics are addressing the impacts that pesticides cause to honeybee populations and we need your support! 1000 Friends of Bees Campaign is a neighborhood-by-neighborhood and city-by-city project dedicated to the preservation of the honeybee. The goal of 1000 Friends of Bees Campaign is to create pesticide-free zones in communities throughout the Pacific Northwest so that we can live together with our pollinators in a healthy and safe environment free of harmful chemicals.

Our goal is to have 1000 new friends of bees and you can do this by liking Beyond Toxics on Facebook which will give you up to date information, action alerts, and essential bee information. Please see http://www.facebook.com/beyondtoxics

Many thanks for helping us spread the word on pesticide free living and many cheers for a happy and healthy future!

 

Rosemary and Sage Boot Fresheners

Posted by Erin|22 May 2012

With a tightly pinched nose, I’ve found myself once or twice carrying pairs of hot, sweaty boots out to the garage after a long summer hike. Desperate for an all natural odor-defying solution, I did my research. At first I considered making a foot powder, but hate the way it can gunk up your shoes and clump between toes. A spray just wouldn’t cut it. Then, I got crafty!  These potent herbal fresheners will absorb moisture and odor while deterring bacteria from making a home in your favorite boots.

 

Ingredients

1lb or 2 cups of Baking Soda

40 drops Organic Rosemary Essential Oil

1 cup of Organic Sage Leaf

6 Large Cotton Muslin Bags

6 Large Paper Tea Bags (optional)

 

Directions

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Fill the tea bags with the mixture and then stuff inside the cotton drawstring bags. Tea bags will keep the powder from seeping out, but you can skip this step if you don’t mind a light dusting. Place one bag inside each boot. Makes enough for 3 pairs of stinky shoes and lasts up to 3 months. The baking soda will absorb the rosemary scent after a while, so feel free to add a few more drops of essential oil when needed.

Happy Hiking!

Watch & Learn with Educational Herbal DVDs

Posted by Christine|18 May 2012

DVDs are the perfect educational tool for the visual learner. Mountain Rose Herbs is delighted to offer you three Herbal DVDs packed with information and DIY recipes.

From Master Herbalist Nicole Carter’s series The Herbal Experience, we bring you Herbs that Heal and Foods that Heal These instructional DVDs walk you through easy at home recipes that cover a range of herbal goodies and remedies to maintain your health.

Elixircraft is an instructional DVD hosted by Daniel Vitalis, a nature-based health and super-nutrition expert. Daniel enthusiastically leads you through six tasty and nourishing blended drink recipes that combine herbalism and super food nutrition.

Please visit our DVD page to view previews of all three Herbal DVDs!

Photo Thursday!

Posted by Erin|17 May 2012

 

Quenching the thirst of our gorgeously pink Echinacea fields!

 

Join Us At The Wildflower Festival!

Posted by Erin|16 May 2012

 

We are excited to sponsor our favorite springtime event in Eugene!

Visit our herb booth for free stickers, catalogs, recycled pens, posters, and more herbal goodies after you browse the amazing flower display and plant sale. And don’t forget to enter the raffle for a chance to win our beautiful basket of organic herbal prizes!

Set aside Sunday, May 20th for a day of wildflowers, music, food, crafts, and microscopes! You don’t have to be a plant expert to love the upcoming Wildflower & Music Festival. The festival offers fun things to do for everyone in the family. As many as three to four hundred species of wildflowers will be on display, from Anemones to Vancouveria! Collected and organized for attendees to get a close look, top botanists of the region will be on hand to answer questions. For an even closer look, guests can use on-site microscopes. Nectar glands at the base of the petals really glisten at 100X magnification!

Learn more by visiting Mount Pisgah’s website.

Hope to see you there!

 

Grow a Buzzing Garden!

Posted by Erin|15 May 2012

 

Beneficial insects like bees, butterflies, lacewings, ground beetles, dragonflies, spiders, and ladybugs are an essential part of any healthy ecosystem. These tiny friends are responsible for pollinating plants and preying on destructive insects such as sap hungry aphids.

Unfortunately, the future of beneficial insects is currently threatened. Habitat loss, introduced diseases, the spread of parasites, and worst of all, the widespread use of pesticides are causing populations to dwindle worldwide. In fact, it’s estimated that more than 30% of honeybee hives in the US have been lost to Colony Collapse Disorder since 2006 – and many keepers have reported a decline between 60% and 90% over the past few years.

However, you can support these critically important bugs by attracting them to your organic herb garden! Not only will growing these colorful and fragrant plants set your patch abuzz with insects, your yield will increase and you’ll have an abundant supply of pesticide-free, homegrown herbs to use for food, spices, teas, and medicine throughout the year. No garden space? Many of these plants can be easily grown outside in pots too.

 

Attract beneficial insects with these herbs…

 

Angelica

Basil

Borage

Calendula

California Poppy

Catnip

Cilantro

Comfrey

Crimson Clover

Dandelion

Dill

Echinacea

Evening Primrose

Fennel

Feverfew

Lavender

Lemon Balm

Meadowsweet

Parsley

Peppermint

Rosemary

Wood Betony

Yarrow

 

 We offer many of these herb seeds to help get your garden growing!

Some great resources to check out if you’re inspired to plant a bug-happy garden include, Homegrown Herbs by Tammi Hartung, The Medicinal Herb Grower by Richo Cech, Herbal Remedy Gardens by Dorie Byers, and Growing & Using Herbs Successfully by Betty E.M. Jacobs.

And don’t forget your Pesticide-Free garden sign to help get the message buzzing in your community!

 

 Buzzzzz!

Herbal Coffee Latte with Vanilla Ice Cubes

Posted by Erin|14 May 2012

Now that the gorgeous sunshine is warming up my days, I can finally start sipping my favorite iced treat again – Herbal Coffee Lattes with Vanilla Rooibos Ice Cubes! Deliciously caffeine-free, this creamy coffee alternative satisfies any craving for fancy lattes. With notes of roasted earth, caramel, and chocolate, this blend of roasted dandelion root, roasted chicory root, roasted carob, and maca powder is just too good. The Vanilla Rooibos ice cubes perfume the latte with floral vanilla bean flavor as they melt. They also add a good kick of antioxidants, vitamins, and trace minerals in addition to the nutrient rich herbal coffee blend. Perfect way to greet the morning sun!

 

Herbal Coffee Latte with Vanilla Rooibos Ice Cubes

 

Ingredients

- 8oz Herbal Coffee, brewed and chilled
- 12oz Vanilla Rooibos, brewed strong and frozen in an ice cube tray
- A splash of organic milk, cream, coconut milk, or alternative of your choice
- Raw local honey to taste

Directions

To make the cubes, measure 1oz of water for each compartment in your ice cube tray and use that amount of water plus 1 extra ounce to brew the Vanilla Rooibos tea. Fill your cube compartments with the strong tea and freeze until solid.

Next, brew 8oz of Herbal Coffee, sweeten to your liking with honey, and allow to cool. Fill a 16oz glass with several Vanilla Rooibos ice cubes and pour the cool Herbal Coffee over them. Add cream or nut milk of your choice, stir well, and sip away. This recipe is also wonderful with Firefly Chai tea!

If you want a boost of caffeine, add 1 teaspoon of green or black tea to the Herbal Coffee as you brew, or toss in 2 to 3 guarana seeds as you steep the tea.

Enjoy!

What is Aromatherapy?

Posted by Christine|11 May 2012

 

You may have noticed that this is not my normal Friday blog, bringing you exciting news about our products and packaging. Instead, once a month, I would like to share information about my other passion here at Mountain Rose Herbs – aromatherapy and essential oils!

Natural aromatic plant materials, such as essential oils, have been used for thousands of years to support the wellbeing of the mind and body. Over time the distillation and extraction of these oils has been perfected, and the therapeutic qualities have been researched and studied. Today the use of essential oils and other aromatic plant materials is known as aromatherapy or aromatology.

Did you know that the term aromatherapy was coined by accident? In 1928 the French chemist René-Maurice Gattefossé suffered from an extreme burn on his forearm. His first reaction was to plunge his arm into lavender essential oil. From this moment of intuition, he discovered that the lavender oil was able to promote healing of burns and to prevent scarring. This accident initiated his curiosity and research in the therapeutic possibilities of essential oils.

Today aromatherapy is both an art and a science. It incorporates natural aromatics into the maintenance and restoration of the mind, body, and spirit. There are a variety of ways to utilize essential oils and aromatherapy. Many of which are easy to add to your daily routine. You may already be tapping into the benefits of aromatherapy without even knowing it! From daily moisturizers and soaps to scented candles and room sprays, there is always more behind the aroma.

Want to learn more? We offer a wide variety of books on Aromatherapy and Essential Oils. From the beginner to the advanced, you will find the perfect addition to your library.

Coming next month: What is an essential oil?

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Meet Us

  • ErinErin (350)
    Erin is the Marketing Director at Mountain Rose and studied herbalism, botany, and ethical wildcrafting at the Columbines School of Botanical Studies. She spends her days making botanical illustrations, playing in the garden, creating culinary gems, and formulating medicine in the magnificent Oregon Cascades.
    ChristineChristine (131)
    Christine is our Product Manager here at Mountain Rose Herbs and our Certified Aromatherapist on staff. She's a longtime Mountain Roser with nearly a decade under her belt and assists with selecting new and exciting herbal and herb-related products. She also makes sure our current products are the best they can be!
    KoriKori (60)
    Kori is our Public and Media Relations Coordinator! A West Coast native, Kori is a seasoned nonprofit activist and community organizer. Having launched six adult kids, she spends her free time in her burgeoning organic and very urban “farm”—taming Heritage chickens, building top-bar beehives from reclaimed materials, baking, brewing, and preserving.
    IreneIrene (53)
    Irene Wolansky is the Customer Experience Director at Mountain Rose Herbs. Born and raised on the Oregon coast, her interests include crafting body care products and herbal medicine, harvesting mushrooms, gardening, brewing herbal mead, fermentation, and exploring wild areas.
    FriendsFriends (36)
    An array of voices from around Mountain Rose Herbs and beyond share their wisdoms, inspirations, and exciting stories from the herbal world.
    AlietaAlieta (32)
    Alieta is our Marketing Assistant! An Oregon native, she studied philosophy, Spanish and graphic design at Portland State University and has a natural affinity for the natural foods industry. She spends her time outside of work playing her 54 key Rhodes piano, hanging out with her cat Penelope, and cooking delicious gluten-free and dairy-free meals to share with friends.
    AlyssaAlyssa (26)
    Alyssa is the Director of Sustainability at Mountain Rose Herbs and an expert social butterfly. When not fluttering between community and non-profit events, she enjoys hiking, gardening, playing with her chickens, and organizing potlucks.
    On the FarmOn the Farm (16)
    Our team of farm representatives travel around the US and the world to visit our organic crops. They bring back stories and photos from their meetings with our farmers and important news about our herbal harvests.
    ShawnShawn (14)
    Shawn is the Vice President at Mountain Rose Herbs, which means he has his hands in just about everything here, but he is most passionate about advancing the company's ecological platforms for sustainable business practices. In his spare time, he can be found deep in Oregon’s designated wilderness areas or fly fishing (strictly catch and release) with his furry friends Abigail and Maggie.
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