Archive for the ‘Natural Body Care’ Category
Posted by|21 October 2014
This is a classic topical formula that can be used to help ease occasional aches and pains associated with activities like hiking and biking or to help warm up the joints when faced with the chill of cold weather. I like to keep this healing ointment handy during the active summer months and throughout the wintertime for just these reasons. Such great medicine! It also makes a wonderful gift that’s super easy to whip up. Simply rub into sore joints and muscles for a little relief, avoiding broken skin, as needed.
Cayenne & St. John’s Wort Salve Recipe
1. Using a double boiler, mix the oil with the cayenne powder and warm very gently. Allow to cool and then heat up again, being sure not to let the oil bubble.
2. Remove from heat and allow to sit and infuse for 24 hours.
3. The next day, strain oil through cheesecloth to remove excess powder.
4. Place herbal infused oil and beeswax into your double boiler and gently warm over low heat until the beeswax melts.
6. Salves should be stored in a cool location where they will remain semi-solid.
Posted by|15 September 2014
We have a tendency to take our feet for granted—and yet, our feet get us everywhere we need to go each day! If you’ve spent a summer running barefoot or wrestle with dry, cracked feet, a regime of herbal self-care may be just what’s needed.
For those of us who wear work boots, or spend all day standing, our feet may get especially sore or develop a bit of an odor. Fortunately, a little extra tending can help combat both of those challenges! These recipes are suitable for everyday use, or as a special occasional pampering. Feel free to experiment and use the herbs, essential oils, and carrier oils you like best!
The perfect pampering pedicure:
Step 1: Get started by using a pumice stone to remove dry, loose skin.
Step 2: Next, it’s time for a foot soak! Adapt your soak to suit your needs.
Rejuvenating Foot Soak
Fill tub or basin with warm water and add above ingredients. Mix well and soak feet for 15-20 minutes.
Deodorizing Foot Soak
Fill tub or basin with warm water and add above ingredients. Mix well and soak feet for 15-20 minutes.
Herb Blend for Happy Feet
Add equal parts of the following herbs to a bowl and combine well. (I used 2 Tablespoons of each) Scoop mixture into cotton muslin bags and use as an addition to the foot soaks above, or on their own as an herbal foot soak in warm water.
Step 3: Apply the following foot scrub to feet, rubbing well, and then rinse off in the soaking water:
Cleansing Foot Scrub
Mix all ingredients in a ceramic or glass bowl, using a wooden spoon to combine. Add enough water to make a paste. Rub well all over feet. Rinse.
Step 4: Dry feet well, making sure to get between toes. Spritz feet with organic Lavender, Rose, Chamomile, Calendula, Lemon Balm, Rosemary, or Peppermint Hydrosol.
Step 5: This is the time to trim toenails or tend to extra cleaning in and around toes and toenails. Trim toenails to fit the shape of the toe and file for extra smoothness.
Step 6: Rub Healing Foot Salve into feet or lotion of choice. You can even finish with a simple moisturizing application of organic Olive Oil or Sweet Almond Oil.
Moisturizing Foot Salve
½ cup organic Sweet Almond Oil
½ cup organic Jojoba Oil
1 ounce Beeswax
20 drops organic Lemongrass essential oil
10 drops organic Tea Tree essential oil
10 drops Bergamot Mint essential oil
Optional: organic Roman Chamomile essential oil, organic Lemon Balm essential oil
In a Pyrex bowl or 4-cup measuring cup, add oils and beeswax. Heat over boiling water until melted and combined. Remove from heat and stir in essential oils. Pour into tins or jars. This recipe makes 10 ounces of salve, enough to fill two 4-ounce tins and one 2-ounce tin. Let cool until solid (this will only take an hour or so.)
I like to put on cotton socks after slathering my feet with this salve and it doesn’t have to be used only after a foot soak. Rubbing it on your feet in the morning after a shower or prior to going to bed are both great ways to add moisture to overworked feet on a daily basis. Feel free to try different oil combinations or essential oils to suit your personal likes and needs.
Soothing Foot Powder
¼ cup French Green or White Cosmetic Clay
¼ cup Baking Soda
¼ cup Arrowroot Powder or cornstarch
¼ cup Marshmallow Root Powder
10 drops organic Peppermint essential oil
10 drops organic Eucalyptus essential oil
Combine all ingredients well and put into a powder container (or keep in a box or tin and use a brush or powder puff.) Sprinkle on feet or in shoes to absorb moisture and soothe hard-working feet.
You might also find these helpful:
Posted by|08 September 2014
Many cuticle creams on the market today are mixed with yucky chemicals meant to “dissolve” your cuticle. Sure they might be pesky at times, but cuticles serve a purpose. Their job is to protect your nail bed, and our job is to protect them!
Keeping your hands and cuticles well hydrated is the first defense against cracking, peeling, and possible infection, as well as the key to keeping them looking great! If your cuticles are not well moisturized, they are more prone to break, crack, and thus become more vulnerable to bacteria. Maintaining well hydrated cuticles is what keeps them under control as well.
So instead of trimming, try this weekly routine: soak nails in warm soapy water, pat dry and then gently push your cuticles back (with something soft) and slather on some of this cuticle ointment. You can also keep a tin of this cuticle cream in your bathroom, on your nightstand, in your kitchen, and even at your desk to apply throughout the day. You might find that your cuticles are less of a problem, with the added benefit of fewer hang nails, and an overall improvement in nail health.
I love Argan oil! Pressed from the fruit kernels of the Moroccan Argan tree, Argan oil smells lightly nutty (not as much as neem), is so incredibly light, and absorbs quickly into the skin, making it a perfect cosmetic oil for your face, hair, or nails! I like to use it knowing it will absorb quickly and that I won’t get everything around me (especially my face and clothes) super greasy! You can also massage this ointment into brittle nails to help nourish and strengthen them naturally.
Argan Oil Cuticle Cream Recipe
2 Tbsp organic Argan Oil
2 Tbsp organic Sweet Almond Oil
1 TBSP + 1 TSP Beeswax Pastilles
2 Tbsp organic Shea Butter
A couple drops of Vitamin E oil
Essential Oil Blend
1. Place a small to medium sized pot of water (2-3 inches) on the stovetop, over low-medium heat.
2. Place butter, oils, and beeswax into a small Pyrex measuring glass and hang on the inside edge of your pot of water.
3. Stir occasionally until butter and wax are fully melted together in the oil. Remove from heat.
4. Stir in essential oils and vitamin e oil.
5. Quickly pour into 5-6 1/2 oz tins.
6. Place lids loosely onto containers and allow to cool.
7. Once completely cool, place lids all the way on containers, make a label and enjoy!
Australian Sandalwood Essential Oil: Sweet, woodsy, softly floral, and delicately robust. Good for dry and chapped skin. A grounding essential oil sure to boost your mood.
Tea Tree Essential Oil: A classic medicinal with a sharp, earthy, herbaceous scent. A great essential oil to keep your nails in their happy healthy state.
Sweet Orange Essential Oil: Uplifting, citrusy, and sweet. The aroma of sweet orange is cheerful and the oil is naturally antibacterial to keep your nails feeling clean and fresh all day long.
Posted by|22 August 2014
We are super excited about the newest addition to our Fair Trade Certified products!
We have been working closely with our supplier over the past few years to make certification of our unrefined organic Coconut Oil happen. This is the same wonderful Coconut Oil that we’ve always offered, but now it’s both Certified Organic and Fair Trade Certified. This pure, healthy oil is perfect for cooking or as an ingredient in luxurious skin care products!
Visit our website HERE to learn more about this beautiful oil.
Visit our website HERE to learn more about our Fair Trade program.
A few Coconut Oil recipes for inspiration…
Posted by|18 August 2014
A gentle and effective treatment for too much heat or minor bumps and bruises can come in the tried-and-true form of an herbal compress. This preparation brings the healing constituents of herbs and the soothing sensations of a cool damp cloth close to your skin to accelerate the natural healing process. When draped around the skin, the moisture of the tea soaked towel softens the skin and allows the healing herbs to penetrate deep into your body.
Unlike a warm compress, a cold compress constricts blood vessels, which helps ease swelling and calm inflammation, as well as reduce some kinds of pain. You can use a cold compress to soothe insect bites, sunburns, and general skin irritations. Cold compresses can also help speed healing in situations of bruising, occasional swollen glands, and minor strains and sprains.
The fun thing about compresses is that you don’t need an excuse to make one up to enjoy! Making a cold compress on a hot day can be a pleasant way to escape the heat and incorporate topical herb treatments and aromatherapy into to your daily life. A few of your favorite herbs for skin care can transport you to a spa oasis in your own home and remind you that you never need an excuse to treat yourself extra special!
How to make and use an herbal compress:
1. First make a strong tea with your desired herbs. I like to use about 3 Tablespoons per cup of water. I use a cotton muslin bag and a ceramic bowl for steeping, but you could do this in a sauce pan or tea pot too! Let your tea cool, or place in the refrigerator to cool quickly.
2. Soak a clean piece of fabric/cotton material in the tea and squeeze excess tea out of the cloth.
3. Place soaked cloth on your skin and wrap around the area in need. Let sit and enjoy the cooling herbal sensation!
Cooling Herbal Compress Recipe
Steep, strain, cool, soak, and wrap!
More herbs to use in compresses!
General Skin Irritation:
Have fun and enjoy the refreshing cool!
Posted by|08 August 2014
This little jar of cradle cap salve is one of the newest formulas from our friends at Wild Carrot Herbals. It contains wild pansy (violet leaf) for its saponins and mucilaginous properties, combined with the calming and soothing properties of calendula and chamomile flowers. Violet is also the color for the crown chakra, making this salve the perfect combination for your little one’s scalp.
Wild Carrot has adopted the American Pika as the face of their Baby Carrot line. They are donating a portion of the proceeds from their entire line of Baby Carrot products to help conserve and maintain the natural habitat of this smallest member of the rabbit family.
Posted by|22 July 2014
Feeling burned-out or lacking energy from all your fun summer adventures? Well, it isn’t over yet!
The last push of summer is coming, and with it opportunities to seek out long lost friends and enjoy every bit of the sun as it fades into fall and loved ones go into hibernation. Maybe you need something just a little extra sweet to keep you going? Thankfully, pure plant aromatics are here to lift us up.
Just like stopping to smell the flowers, wearing fragrances you love can help boost your mood and keep energy up. Here’s a wonderful solid perfume recipe to excite the senses and stabilize your exhausted emotions. Simply apply a bit on the neck and pulse points to enjoy. Super easy to make and totally customizable, this harmonizing solid aroma balm is perfect for your summer fun. Feel free to formulate your own scent combination and check out some of our past posts for inspiration!
Revitalizing Solid Perfume
Balm Base Recipe
1 ½ cup organic Almond oil
1 tsp Vitamin E oil
½ cup beeswax pastilles
Revitalizing Solid Perfume Aroma Blend
60 drops organic Lemon essential oil
25 drops organic Eucalyptus essential oil
22 drops organic Cinnamon Leaf essential oil
22 drops organic Rosemary essential oil
*Cinnamon Bark essential oil is very strong and may cause irritation if using on the skin. I went with Cinnamon Leaf essential oil to avoid potential irritation. All essential oils are highly concentrated, so please use and craft with care!
- In a double boiler (Pyrex is easiest), melt the beeswax pastilles into your carrier oil mix.
- Once completely melted, remove from heat and add Essential Oils and Vitamin E Oil
- Stir and pour into 1 oz containers. You can also find beautiful lockets at thrift stores to use instead of tins. These make sweet gifts and are fun to wear!
- Allow to cool on a safe shelf, away from pets and children.
Cinnamon: The smell of cinnamon invigorates the senses, relaxes tension, and calms nerves. For this recipe, using Cinnamon leaf oil is important, as cinnamon bark oil can cause irritation to the skin.
Eucalyptus: Known for increasing energy and balancing emotions, good for soothing away stress.
Lemon: An uplifting citrus scent! Lemon is balancing and is helpful for making clear decisions and for emotional purging.
Rosemary: Stimulates memory, confidence, perception, and creativity. Helpful for balancing mind and body. Uplifts the mood and helps you remember good dreams!
Posted by|30 June 2014
We’ve all witnessed the deodorant revolution happen over the past few years. From over-the-top chemical infused sticks to ruin-your-blouse white stuff, finding a healthy and practical alternative can be a challenge. I’ve tried them all and even gone without for many years. Most of the time I don’t need it, but occasionally I like to go on multiple day hiking trips or enjoy the local music scene in small, warm venues. So, I experimented with lots of other recipes to create a formula that works perfectly for my needs.
This isn’t the normal wipe it on deodorant! The ingredients in this recipe, such as the cocoa butter and shea butter, will melt easily with body temperature, while maintaining a solid form in the tin throughout the day. I push a little pea sized chunk off with my finger and rub it into my underarm just like I would body lotion. Once you see how easy it is to make, you might just go a little deodorant wild like me, mixing in your favorite essential oils for a personalized scent treat!
All-Natural Homemade Deodorant Recipe
Makes two 2oz tins
Organic Essential Oils
25-40 drops total
1. In a pyrex measuring glass, combine Cocoa Butter and Shea butter.
2. Using a double boiler, heat over low-medium until butters are melted.
3. Remove from heat and stir in Arrowroot Powder and Baking Soda.
4. Stir in Vitamin E Oil and your desired essential oil blend.
5. Carefully pour into 2 oz tins, filling to the top, but making sure not to spill over.
6. Place lids on containers without pressing down to lock. Just let them sort of sit on top to help prevent dust from settling in your deodorant while it sets.
7. Allow to completely cool and solidify, this can take 6+ hours. I usually let them sit overnight.
Enjoy! And remember, deodorant works best if applied before you are active!
Posted by|17 June 2014
If you love the sun as much as I do, you’ve probably been scouring the natural foods stores for the best natural sun protection out there. I worked at a grocery co-op for a while and even though we had the best products on the market for happy healthy skin with minimal additives, I’ve still always wanted to go a little further.
I’ve spent the last couple of months perfecting a sunscreen recipe, and have finally created one that I’m happy to share with friends and family. For this recipe I combined all of my favorite skin-loving ingredients and combined it with the known protection of a small amount of zinc oxide (non-nano) for a super protective and perfectly nourishing sun screen.
Right now is also the perfect time of year to utilize the powerful sun for infusing oils. This is a great way to add the healing properties of herbs to a body care recipe. I like to keep a bottle of calendula infused olive oil and lavender infused olive oil around, because I know I use them in SO many recipes. For this one, I used half calendula infused olive oil and half lavender infused olive oil. If you want a shortcut, you can purchase calendula infused oil here and use it alone for the recipe.
Herbs for Healthy Skin
Known for its anti-inflammatory and skin healing properties. Slightly astringent and antiseptic.
Lavender is a calming and relaxing herb. It is antispasmodic, antiseptic, and used to relieve sunburns, insect bites, cuts, blemishes, and muscular aches. A classic healing herb for skin – especially minor burns.
Aloe helps to both moisturize the skin while being mildly astringent to draw out heat. It is soothing and helps relieve irritation from sunburn, minor skin burns, rashes, and insect bites.
Neem oil is a rich and thick (you may need to heat it in warm water to use it) golden brown base oil with a strong and nutty aroma. Neem oil is derived from pressed neem tree nuts and has antiseptic, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties. Neem also has a low natural SPF which will help protect your skin!
Sesame oil comes from pressed sesame seeds. Sesame oil is an antioxidant base oil and is a source of vitamins A and E and protein. Sesame oil has a long shelf life and also has a low natural SPF.
Coconut oil is a great ingredient for lip balms, lotions, deodorants, and is known as the ultimate skin softener. Makes a great after-sun treatment.
Derived from the first pressing of ripe olives with beneficial vitamins and minerals. It is a great oil for infusing herbs, although in body care it is best used lightly unless you enjoy the aroma. In this recipe, you won’t be able to smell it in the end.
Beeswax is used as a thickener in recipes for creams, lotion, salves, butters and balms. It also adds a lightly protective barrier to the skin. If you desire a vegan recipe, you could replace it with carnauba wax.
Cocoa butter smells heavenly! Cocoa butter is hard at room temperature but easily melts at body temperature. This will help keep your final product solid until you rub it on. Great before, during, and after sun!
Derived from pressed shea nuts, this butter is a cream-colored soft substance with a strong nutty fragrance. Shea butter is a highly emollient, skin softening additive that’s great for lotions and creams, as well as body balms and nail care.
Lavender Essential Oil contains all of the amazing healing power of lavender flowers, but concentrated into a highly aromatic and therapeutic oil. A few drops go a long way, so I use this oil both as a soothing agent and for fragrance since it blends deliciously with the scent of the cacao and shea butter.
DIY Herbal Sunscreen Recipe
1/8 cup organic Calendula or organic Lavender infused oil (Jojoba, Grapeseed, or Olive Oil)
1/8 cup Aloe Vera Gel
1/8 cup organic Neem Oil
1/8 cup organic Sesame Oil
1/8 cup organic Coconut Oil
1/8 cup Beeswax Pastilles
1/8 cup organic Cocoa Butter or 10 wafers
1/8 cup organic Shea Butter
40 drops organic Lavender essential oil
1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
2 Tbsp Zinc Oxide (non-micro) – I found mine online.
If you don’t want to add Zinc Oxide, that’s totally fine. Simply omit it and you will have a lovely lotion great for the skin with a low natural protection around 5 SPF. If you go this route, it will be important to test out how the protection works for you with short exposures. Use multiple applications!
These tins work perfectly to store your natural sun block. I used one 4 oz tin and two small 1 oz tins.
When making body care products that include oils and butters and other ingredients, I always melt my butters first. You can do this using a double boiler over medium heat.
1. In a Pyrex bowl, melt together coconut oil, beeswax, cacao butter, and shea butter over gently simmering water.
2. Once melted, add in your oils and your aloe vera gel.
3. Once everything is adequately mixed together, remove from heat and then stir in the zinc oxide if using. Be careful while doing this step, zinc can be irritating if it comes into contact with mucous membranes, especially in this powder form. Wear cloth around your nose and mouth and goggles. It is important to agitate as much as possible at this stage. Use a whisk to mix thoroughly.
4. Lastly, add in your essential oils and Vitamin E Oil. Stir until well distributed.
5. Pour into containers and let cool until solid before closing with a lid.
And now you’ve made your own sunscreen! Time to soak up the sun safe and luxuriously! The sunscreen will be usable in about an hour, but will harden more overnight. Apply a thin layer when out and about in the sun, every hour for optimal nourishment. You’ll notice in the photo that the sunscreen you just made will go on silky smooth and won’t leave behind a white residue.
Posted by|05 June 2014
We are in downtown Eugene setting up for our first ever Pop-Up Shop!
Come out and see us this weekend to experience our organic herbal goodies in-person. Enjoy free organic tea while you stock up on gourmet salts & spices, handcrafted bodycare products, plant medicines, organic tea, herbal books, and much more! Spend $25 or more and receive a free organic cotton “I Dig Herbs” tote bag while they last. There will also be AMAZING door prizes!
Friday, June 6th from 4 pm – 9 pm
during the First Friday Art Walk
Saturday, June 7th from 9 am – 5 pm
during the Saturday Market
Broadway Commerce Center
50 W. Broadway in Downtown Eugene, Oregon
Posted by|02 June 2014
The third Sunday in June is an opportunity to celebrate fathers, dads, grandfathers, and the influence of those strong, encouraging, male figures in our lives. While it may not seem like it to look through the card aisle at at any department store, our dads are as different, varied, and individual as flowers in a field! When you’ve exhausted the traditional tie and tool combo, maybe it’s time to ponder how to truly honor the unique spirit of the guiding men in your life. We’ve compiled a gift guide for all the fathers out there – nourishment for the soul, the heart, and the creative man that may be on your list…
Medicinals for Men
Whether you want to encourage and support an active lifestyle or an active mind, natural and organic botanicals can be a wonderful way to show you care. Herbal extracts are nice additions to Dad’s health care routine and the right tea or tonic is a tasty way to introduce adaptogens into the daily grind:
Spa Day for Dad
Who doesn’t need a little time out to relax, rejuvenate and tend to self care? We’ve long felt that the men in our lives deserve all the organic herbal goodness we have to offer. Perhaps a basket full of some of these goodies would make the perfect gift? And, if dad needs a little inspiration, we have this wonderful video featuring one of our favorite dads-on-staff, Mason, demonstrating our Herbal Facial Kit!
And, why not add a little aromatherapy to boost the spirit and calm the soul? Our Aroma Oils work so nicely as colognes or to transform an ordinary bath into a soothing treat. Favorite organic essential oils like Bergamot, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Fir Needle, Rosemary, Lavender, Lemongrass, and Vetiver work well in an electric diffuser to scent the air and change the mood in any room!
A New Take on Tools
Whether you want to honor the herbalist or the cook, gifting useful and beautiful kitchen tools is a great way to show your support (and you might even be one of the first to receive a delightful herbal concoction!)
For grinding spices, making rubs, or making powders and other herbal mixes, a well-made mortar & pestle is a must! We have them in both marble and porcelain, and in the classic size and style to suit any kitchen. Add a spice and/or nutmeg grater for grating those hard-to-crush seeds and pods (like cinnamon sticks and nutmeg) or for a quick mince of fresh garlic.
Our Mezzaluna choppers are such handy tools, Dad will wonder how he ever lived without it! Perfect for quickly chopping fresh or dried herbs and spices, and good for nuts, vegetables and more!
Funnels are one of the most useful kitchen tools around for straining, mixing, and draining. We find them especially good for straining tinctures, infused oils and infused vinegars. Since one size does not always suit every project, we think a nice collection of large and small makes the most sense!
A Cup of Tea and the Perfect Book
Settling down with a good book and a hot cup of delicious tea is a gift that can be experienced again and again. We also believe that our organic teas can be good for you as well as tasty to drink. Brewed from water heated in a lead-free cast iron pot, Dad can lose himself in an afternoon of herbal pleasures:
Dad’s bookshelf just wouldn’t be complete without some of these fine titles: Foraging & Feasting by Dina Falconi, Wild Roots by Douglas Elliott, and Medicinal Mushrooms by Christopher Hobbs. These are all great volumes for the man interested in learning more about the foods and medicinal plants available in the wild world around us. If dad is interested in learning more about herbs and herbalism, both The Male Herbal and The Herbal Medicine Maker’s Handbook by James Green are great guides.
If you’re looking for more ideas for recipes to make, products to craft, or other herbal treats to give as Father’s Day gifts, we have another post of Herbal Gifts for Dad!
Happy Father’s Day!
Posted by|19 May 2014
Let’s take a closer look at the Carrot Family!
Apiaceae – The Carrot Family
Be humble with the umbel! This family includes delicious food plants, wonderful medicines, as well as deadly poisons – and many look very much alike, especially in leaf and flower! Never use a wild Apiaceae plant without 100% positive identification.
If you are interested in learning more about plants in this family that grow near you, I highly recommend finding a good botanical key for your region and practicing without picking, or consult a local botanist whenever possible, until you become experienced at keying out plants. It’s really fun to identify these herbs, but takes careful study.
Inflorescence - Small flowers in umbels or compound umbels. Umbels are inflorescences with the pedicels (individual flower stalks) arising at a common point, like an umbrella. Compound umbels have secondary umbellets arising from the the primary rays.
Leaves - Often dissected to compound
Flowers - Generally, five petals and five stamens
Fruits – Mature fruit is a schizocarp that splits into two one-seeded mericarps. Each species differs in texture and can be ribbed and/or winged, and have stylopodiums of varying sizes to obsolete or nearly so.
Food and Medicine
Medicinally, many of the plants in this family are prized for their warming aromatic properties, especially the seeds and roots. These aromatics are most often used to stimulate the digestive system (fennel, cumin, caraway), reproductive system (angelica), and the respiratory tract (osha).
As food, the leaves (parsley, dill, cilantro), roots (parsnip, carrot, celeriac), seeds (coriander, anise, fennel, cumin, caraway), and other vegetative parts (celery and fennel) are used. Although, again, some plants in this family are very poisonous!
Topically, organic carrot seed essential oil from the seeds of the Daucus carota, also known as Queen Anne’s lace or wild carrot, is used in facial serums and creams created for dry or mature skin.
For more in the Basic Botany Series see: