Archive for the ‘Natural Body Care’ Category

Herbal Foot Care: The Perfectly Natural Pedicure

Posted by Kori|15 September 2014

 

Herbal Foot Care

 

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.

 

Essential Oils for Foot Care

 

Rejuvenating Foot Soak

¼ cup organic Vegetable Glycerin
¼ cup organic apple cider vinegar
¼ cup Epsom Salts
10 drops organic Peppermint essential oil
10 drops organic Tea Tree essential oil

Fill tub or basin with warm water and add above ingredients. Mix well and soak feet for 15-20 minutes.

 

Deodorizing Foot Soak

½ cup Baking Soda
¼ cup Coarse or Dead Sea Salt
10 drops organic Grapefruit essential oil
10 drops organic Tea Tree essential oil
10 drops organic Lavender essential oil

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.

Organic Comfrey Leaf
Organic Yarrow Leaf & Flower
Organic Chamomile Flowers
Organic Witch Hazel Leaf
Organic Marshmallow Root
Organic Sage Leaf
Organic Lavender Flowers

 

 

Herb Blend for Happy Feet

 

Step 3: Apply the following foot scrub to feet, rubbing well, and then rinse off in the soaking water:

Cleansing Foot Scrub

¼ cup Ground Apricot Kernel Meal
3 Tablespoons Himalayan Pink Sea Salt
1 Tablespoon Aloe Vera Gel
6-10 drops organic Rosemary essential oil
6-10 drops organic Lavender essential oil

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.

Herbal Foot Care: The Perfectly Natural Pedicure

You might also find these helpful:

Video: How to Make an Herbal Salve

Rosemary + Sage Boot Fresheners

Vanilla Mint Honey Scrub

Books on Natural Body Care

 

Argan Oil Cuticle Cream Recipe

Posted by Alieta|08 September 2014

DIY Argan Oil Cuticle Cream Recipe

 

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.

DIY Argan Oil Cuticle Cream

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

Ingredients

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

20 organic Australian Sandalwood Essential Oil (preferred) or organic Lavender Essential Oil

10 organic Tea Tree

10 organic Sweet Orange

 

Directions

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.

DIY Argan Oil Cuticle Cream

Our Organic Coconut Oil is Now Fair Trade Certified!

Posted by Christine|22 August 2014

Fair Trade Certified Coconut Oil

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…

Campfire Coconut Kettle Corn

Homemade Lip Balm

Rose Body Lotion

Vegan Lavender Fudge

DIY Natural Sunscreen 

 

How to Make a Cooling Herbal Compress in 3 Easy Steps

Posted by Alieta|18 August 2014

 

How to Make a Cooling Herbal Compress

 

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 a Cooling Herbal Compress

 

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

3 Tablespoons organic Calendula flowers or organic Lavender flowers
3 Tablespoons organic Peppermint leaf
3 Tablespoons organic Sage leaf
3 Tablespoons organic Chamomile flowers
3 cups water

Steep, strain, cool, soak, and wrap!

 

How to Make a Cooling Herbal Compress

 

More herbs to use in compresses!

Bug Bites:

BasilPlantain, Green Tea,

Mild Burns:

CleaversPeppermint, Sage, Eucalyptus, Marshmallow RootChamomileChaparral, Green Tea, Rose

General Skin Irritation:

Plantain, Chamomile, Calendula, St. Johns Wort, Lavender, Rose

 

Have fun and enjoy the refreshing cool!

 

New Cradle Cap Salve!

Posted by Christine|08 August 2014

Cradle-Cap-Blog

New Wild Pansy Cradle Cap Salve!

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.

Visit our Babies & Children page to see all of the botanical products that we offer for your little herbalists, including a large selection of Baby Carrot products!

 

american_pikaphoto by Mariah Blackhorse at Jackson Lake in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, Sept 2013

Revitalizing Solid Perfume Recipe

Posted by Alieta|22 July 2014

Mountain Rose Herbs - Revitalizing Solid Perfume Recipe

 

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

1/2 cup organic Grapeseed 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!

 

Directions:

  1. In a double boiler (Pyrex is easiest), melt the beeswax pastilles into your carrier oil mix.
  2. Once completely melted, remove from heat and add Essential Oils and Vitamin E Oil
  3. 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!
  4. 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!

 

Mountain Rose Herbs - Revitalizing Solid Perfume

Have fun!

 

DIY Herbal Deodorant Recipe

Posted by Alieta|30 June 2014

 

Mountain Rose Herbs - DIY Natural Deodorant Recipe

 

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!

 

DIY Solid Deodorant Recipe

 

All-Natural Homemade Deodorant Recipe

Makes two 2oz tins 

Ingredients

½ T Baking Soda
1/8 cup organic Arrowroot Powder
1/8 cup organic Cocoa Butter
1/8 cup organic Shea Butter
1 drop Vitamin E oil

Organic Essential Oils

Grapefruit
Fir Needle
Nutmeg
Lavender

25-40 drops total

 

Directions

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!

 

DIY Solid Deodorant Recipe

Make Your Own Natural Sunscreen!

Posted by Alieta|17 June 2014

Make Your Own Natural Sunscreen!

 

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.

Make Your Own Natural Sunscreen!

Herbs for Healthy Skin

Calendula

Known for its anti-inflammatory and skin healing properties. Slightly astringent and antiseptic.

Lavender

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 Vera Gel

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

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

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.

Unrefined Coconut Oil

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.

Olive Oil

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

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

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!

Shea Butter

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

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

Make Your Own Natural Sunscreen!

 

Ingredients

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

OPTIONAL:
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.

Directions

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.

 

Make Your Own Natural Sunscreen!

 

Photo Thursday!

Posted by Erin|05 June 2014

Mountain Rose Herbs Pop Up Shop

 

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!

 

Mountain Rose Herbs
Pop-Up Shop!

When?

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

Where?

Broadway Commerce Center
50 W. Broadway in Downtown Eugene, Oregon

 

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Posted by Kori|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:

Hawthorn Berry Extract

Eleuthero Root Extract

Muscle Care Extract

Male Care Extract or Male Care Capsules

Happy Man Tea

Joy Tonic

Mountain Rose Herbs - Father's Gift Guide

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!

Herbal Facial Kit

Lemon Face Wash

Rosemary Hair Oil

Herbal Bath Salts

Natural Deodorants

 

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

Mountain Rose Herbs - Father's Day Gift Guide

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:

Grateful Heart Tea

Memory Zest Tea

Cast Iron Tea Pot

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.

For the man on the move, toss the books in our Support Organic Agriculture messenger bag and fill one of our Tea-to-Go glass tea infusers with his favorite tea blend, and he’s good to go!

 

 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!

 

 

 

 

Basic Botany: The Carrot Family

Posted by Erin|19 May 2014

 

Let’s take a closer look at the Carrot Family!

Botany: Carrot Family

Click to enlarge

Apiaceae – The Carrot Family

(a-pee-AY-see-ee)

 

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.

 

Identification Tips

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

This family includes celery, parsnip, fennel, cumin, anise, parsley, caraway, dill, Queen Anne’s lace, angelica, osha, giant cow parsnip, water hemlock, and poison hemlock.

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:

The Four Whorls of the Flower

Basic Botany: Rose Family

 Botany: The Carrot Family

 

Recipe: Rose Face & Body Lotion

Posted by Kori|13 May 2014

Silky Rose Face and Body Lotion

 

The first time I ever created a lotion or cream, I was dazzled by how incredibly easy it was. As an avid cook, I quickly realized it was quite similar to making mayonnaise or a sauce or dressing – and the results are nutrition for the skin! High quality and luxurious skin lotions can be incredibly expensive and we may not know if all the ingredients are safe and non-toxic. Fortunately, since it is so easy to make our own, we can choose the best ingredients for a fraction of the price and concoct soothing masterpieces!

I created this rose-infused lotion from ingredients I love and that work well with my skin: Grapeseed oil because I love the silky texture and it works well with other oils to help the skin absorb, Coconut oil because it helps to retain moisture and won’t irritate, Cocoa butter because of the creaminess and the deep cocoa aroma, and the Rosehip Seed and Vitamin E oils because my skin (like me) is a little, uh, seasoned and these oils add extra nourishment.

Aloe Vera gel is a so good for those of us who spend a fair amount of time in the outdoors. Since I garden so much, I believe it helps heal scratches and scrapes, as well as soothe after a bit too much sun.

This particular recipe is all about the skin rejuvenating properties of rose – utilizing our wonderfully floral Rose Hydrosol and Aphrodite aroma oil for an intoxicating and spirit-lifting aromatherapy, but you could easily try different scents like lavender or citrus or even a woodsy aroma might be more your style! This particular lotion works quite nicely as a face and body lotion since it absorbs into the skin quickly and leaves a soft, silky sensation.

Feel free to use this recipe as a guide and experiment or make substitutions to create a face and body lotion to suit your preferences and needs, or make it as-is for a silky, luxurious face and body lotion…

 

Silky Rose Face and Body Lotion

 

Silky Rose Face and Body Lotion

Ingredients

½ cup Grapeseed oil

½ cup organic Coconut oil, refined or unrefined

6 organic Cocoa Butter wafers or 1/2 ounce cocoa butter

1 Tablespoon organic Rosehip Seed oil

1 Tablespoon Vitamin E oil

3 Tablespoons Beeswax pastilles or 1 ounce Beeswax*

¼ cup Aloe Vera gel

¼ cup organic Rose Hydrosol

1-2 teaspoons Aphrodite aroma oil

10 drops Peru Balsam essential oil

 

Directions

In a glass Pyrex bowl or large glass Pyrex measuring cup (at least 4 cup size), combine the Grapeseed oil, Coconut oil, Cocoa Butter wafers, Rosehip Seed oil, Vitamin E oil, and Beeswax pastilles. Heat over boiling water until melted and mixed together. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about a half hour. You may be able to speed up the cooling process by setting the bowl in the fridge or freezer for several minutes.

Meanwhile, measure the Aloe Vera gel and Rose Hydrosol and combine. Now that the oils have cooled a bit, it is time to mix! I have tried this using a hand mixer, an immersion blender, and a traditional blender and they all work just fine. It really depends on your preference and what you have. If you are using a traditional blender, pour the melted oils and beeswax into the blender pitcher and turn on medium, gradually add the Aloe Vera/Rose Hydrosol mix in a slow steady stream. If you are using a hand mixer or hand immersion blender, you will do the same thing only hold the mixer/blender with one hand and do the pouring with your other hand.

Depending on the temperature of your ingredients, the mixing until thick and creamy may take anywhere from a few minutes to 5 or 10 minutes. Don’t get discouraged. The texture will be like a medium thick pudding when it is ready. At the very last, add the Aphrodite aroma oil and the Peru Balsam essential oil. The Peru Balsam serves as a great base note and fixative for the rose scents. It combines well with the other scents and I think it brings out the softness of the rose. It also lends additional anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities to the lotion. You can, however, leave it out or make a substitution (Lavender essential oil would also be nice.)

Pour the finished lotion into containers and allow to cool completely before putting on the lids. This recipe makes enough for about 2-3 cups of lotion (we filled three 4-ounce jars). If kept in a cool place, out of direct sunlight, the lotion should last just fine for several months, although you will likely use it up long before then!

*If you would like to make a thinner lotion, use 1 Tablespoon of beeswax, melted with the oils in the first step.

 

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  • ErinErin (355)
    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 (134)
    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!
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    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.
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    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.
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