Archive for the ‘Natural Health’ 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

New Fire Tonic is Here!

Posted by Christine|05 September 2014

fire_tonic

From the lovely folks at Herbal Revolution, we bring you…

Fire Tonic no. 9

This spicy tonic is based on a traditional cider vinegar recipe that holds deep roots in the herbal community for providing digestive and respiratory support. Every rendition of this classic recipe is a little different, just as every bottle of handcrafted Fire Tonic no. 9 will have a unique flavor. This infused vinegar can be taken straight by the spoonful, added to your favorite veggie juice, or blended into a delicious homemade dressing.

Herbal Revolution’s unique recipe infuses organic apple cider vinegar from the oldest organic apple orchard in Maine with organically homegrown vegetables and herbs. To this spicy blend they add just the right amount of raw Maine honey.

Visit our Bitters, Elixirs, & Syrups page to see our full line of tasty herbal concoctions!

 

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!

 

Summer Heat Relief: Sweet Peach Herbal Elixir

Posted by Friends|05 August 2014

 

Kiva2

 

Our summer post from Kiva Rose Hardin is here! Her beautifully written articles marry the personal with the scientific, lore with experience, offering untamed and fresh insight. Herbalist, wildcrafter, artist, and storyteller, Kiva Rose lives in a canyon botanical sanctuary within the Gila Wilderness of New Mexico. She is also the co-director of the HerbFolk Gathering, held each September in the mountain Southwest, coeditor of Plant Healer Magazine, and publisher of the historical novel, The Medicine Bear as well as The Plant Healer’s Path by Jesse Wolf Hardin, and maintains an herbal blog, The Medicine Woman’s Roots

 

Cooling Peach Elixir Recipe

 

When someone mentions Peach, it’s usually the sweet, juicy fruit of Georgia that comes to mind, not the medicinal properties of the leaf, bark, and flower. Despite that, Peach has a long and storied history of medicinal use the world over, including through portions of the United States. In North America, Appalachian herbalist Phyllis Light has helped to bring this wonderful remedy back to the broader herbal community through her teaching and writing. I grew up in the deep South and knew a little of its medicine as a young girl since it’s a traditional herb there, but learned a great deal more from Phyllis when I became a practicing herbalist.

Being a member of the Rose family, Peach shares many cooling, soothing properties with the Rose, including its gentle nature and sweetly aromatic taste. It’s safe even for children, the elderly, and pregnant women, and is incredibly good at what it does. Here I’ll be discussing the elixir in some details, but a wonderful tasting tea can be made with the dried leaves as well. If you have more than one Peach tree to choose from, it’s worthwhile to do a scratch and sniff test by gently scratching the bark of a small twig and sniffing. The tree that smells the strongest also tends to have the strongest medicine as far as relaxing and cooling properties

Peach is the perfect herb to explore during the long, hot days of Summer. It helps to soothe the irritability that often comes with extended periods of heat, as well as lessen the nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, and lack of appetite that can go with it. Here in New Mexico where summers can be exceedingly hot and dry, some people develop a dry, hack in response to the climate and I have found that the Peach Elixir works very well to soothe it. It works similarly on respiratory function aggravated by heat, and I always keep it on hand for my daughter who finds both it and our local Chokecherry, Prunus serotina, in easing her breathing issues during the hot months. The local Hispanics of my region think of Peach leaf as an overall summer tonic, and given how many heat induced ills it can alleviate, I’m inclined to agree with them.

Peach has another property worth noting, it can be applied topically as tincture, elixir, or poultice and taken internally when stung by a bee, wasp, or other venomous insect. Take half to one ml (that’s approximately half to one dropperful from a one ounce tincture bottle) of the elixir as soon as you’re stung or bitten and then again if the sting/bite gets worse or in fifteen minutes if there are any symptoms. This is not a replacement for an epi pen, but is great for the average person with a normal response to insect stings and bites. Some even find the action strong enough to help with reactions to seasonal pollen or pets as well. It doesn’t always work, but it’s certainly worth a try.

 

Peach Elixir Recipe

Sweet Peach Leaf Elixir

Ingredients & Tools

For your elixir, it’s helpful to have on hand:

A glass pint jar that seals well

Fresh Peach leaves and/or flowers and twigs (the more aromatic the better, and either feral or domestic varieties will work)

About a pint of high quality brandy (the better the brandy, the better your elixir will taste)

1/3 pint of raw honey (preferably local, and of a lighter wildflower type since darker honeys can muffle the Peach taste a bit)

A good stirring spoon

 

Step by Step Instructions

First, fill your jar all the way to the top with Peach leaves or flowers/twigs. You don’t have to pack them in, but push them down a bit to minimize the air space in the jar.

Now, pour the honey in slowly, stirring as necessary, until the plant matter is well coated.

Next, fill to the top with brandy, again stirring as necessary to remove air bubbles and fill the jar evenly.

Now cover the jar with a tight fitting lid, and shake carefully to finish the mixing process.

Let macerate in a cool, dark place for four to six weeks or as long as you can stand to wait.

When straining, reserve liquid.

Bottle and store in a cool, dry place away from sunlight until needed.

 

Cooling Peach Elixir Recipe

 

Herbal Additions

Organic rose petals compliment the medicine of Peach and they taste amazing together!

Cinnamon warms and spices up Peach, making it more appropriate year round.

Apple bark combines well with Peach specifically for gastric upset accompanied by heartburn.

Chamomile flowers amplify the digestion soothing properties of Peach, and they taste lovely together.

Chokecherry, Prunus serotina works very well with Peach.

 

Ideas for Application

Internally for soothing irritability and occasional sleeplessness when the weather is hot or the tongue is bright red and the person feels overheated.

Internally for nausea, and vomiting from sun exposure, being overheated, and in any case where the tongue is red and the person feels excessively hot.

Internally for gut upset, including nausea and diarrhea, with signs of heat and tension.

Internally for occasional tension and irritability aggravated by the heat or resulting in feelings of overheatedness.

Internally for some types of gastric irritation.

Topically and internally for insect stings and bites.

 

I’ll have another article specifically on medicinal uses of Peach, including case studies, in the August issue of the free Plant Healer Newsletter that you can sign up for at http://planthealer.org.

Peach medicine can be hard to find, but is available online in elixir form from King’s Road Apothecary and my own shop, The Bramble & The Rose, and will also be sold at the Healer’s Market at this September’s HerbFolk Gathering conference near Flagstaff, Arizona.

 

Cooling Peach Elixir Recipe

Homemade Bitters: Cacao & Dandelion

Posted by Alieta|14 July 2014

Mountain Rose Herbs - Dandelion & Cacao Bitters Recipe

 

Sweet, sour, salty, umami, and everyone’s favorite flavor - bitter! Does the word bitter get you salivating?  Chances are it does, since it’s the duty of this flavor to get digestion going. Most people try to avoid this important taste, but bitters are necessary for helping us maintain wellness. If you just can’t do bitter greens, ease into a relationship with bitter using my favorite recipe – Cacao & Dandelion Digestive Bitters! Chocolaty with a bitter punch, this is a great place to start.

There are a number of aromatic and bitter herbs that are great for making a tincture like this including gentian, grapefruit peel, quassia bark, and cardamom, just to name a few.  You can make appetite stimulating bitters out of one herb at a time or blend flavorful herbs together to make a personal concoction to add to your daily health routine. My recipe today calls for two classy companions, Dandelion and Cacao.

You can enjoy bitters in cocktails or straight on the tongue whenever you’d like, but especially before or after a meal.  Your bitter receptors and digestive prowess will thank you!

 

Dandelion and Cacao Bitters

2 TBSP organic roasted Cacao Nibs

2 TBSP organic Dandelion Root

40% or higher proof vodka

Your herb to alcohol ratio should be about 1:3

Fill one half pint jar 1/4-1/3 of the way full with your herb combination. For my recipe, I used equal parts cacao and dandelion, although I could have done more dandelion for more bitter flavor or more cacao for more cacao flavor. Once your herb is in the jar, you can cover with alcohol. Fill the jar to the very top and shake well. Allow to extract for two weeks and then strain through cheesecloth. Keep in a glass dropper bottle for convenience. Enjoy!

 

Mountain Rose Herbs - Dandelion and Cacao Bitters Recipe

 

 

 

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

- See more at: http://mountainroseblog.com/dandy-tummy-bitters-recipe/#sthash.n9rqWJap.dpuf

 

 

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

- See more at: http://mountainroseblog.com/dandy-tummy-bitters-recipe/#sthash.n9rqWJap.dpuf

For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

- See more at: http://mountainroseblog.com/dandy-tummy-bitters-recipe/#sthash.n9rqWJap.dpuf

The Sunday Steep

Posted by Kori|13 July 2014

syrup

 

I recently returned from vacation travels (which included several plane flights) to find I’d come down with a doozy of a bug, just in time for warm weather and opportunities for summer fun. Summer sicknesses are the worst! Between the snuffles and the lingering hack, I knew my body needed some rest, recovery, and tea. This recipe includes my favorite go-to herbs for nourishing a sickly me…

 

suntea

Summer Sniffles Tea

2 Tablespoons organic Slippery Elm Bark

2 Tablespoons organic Marshmallow Root or organic Marshmallow Leaf

1 Tablespoon organic dried Elderberries

1 Tablespoon organic Red Clover Blossoms

raw, organic honey

This recipe makes about 3-4 cups of tea or infusion. I like to make it in my Tea-to-Go glass tea infuser to take along with me, but you could also make it up in a Mason jar or other large mug. Put all the herbs in the container and cover with 3 cups or so of boiling water.  You can also make this up and let it infuse overnight, if you’d like a stronger decoction. While battling my cold, I made a big half-gallon jar full and then “decanted” it as I needed it. Stir in the honey to taste.

sundaysteep

DIY: Homemade Ginger “Bug” and Fermented Herbal Sodas

Posted by Kori|07 July 2014

gingerdrink

 

Brace yourselves for my true confession…I love fizzy, buzzy, sodas. There, I’ve said it and I’m not the least bit sorry! While I do avoid commercial sodas for obvious and well-documented reasons, I still get mad cravings for a good ginger ale or sparkly fruity punch. In addition to the refreshing nature of a tasty soda drink, there is something about it that makes me feel youthful, playful, and decadent. While there are more choices on the market now for sparkly fermented beverages made with healthier ingredients, like kombucha and fruit sodas made with real fruit and cane sugar, they can be a bit on the spendy side. Fortunately, it is fairly easy to make delicious fermented soda beverages in the home kitchen and I can use fruits from my own garden!

The first step in creating soda at home is to make a fermented culture known as a Ginger Bug. This takes a few days, but it isn’t the slightest bit hard! It could even be a fun learning project for a child. Here’s the basic recipe:

Ginger Bug

Equal parts fresh ginger, organic cane sugar, and filtered water

I used approximately 2 Tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated

2 Tablespoons cane sugar

2 Tablespoons filtered water

Mix these ingredients in a jar. I just tossed them into the jar, put the lid on, and swirled it around to combine.

Each day for 5-7 days, add the same equal parts of these three ingredients to the mixture:

2 Tablespoons fresh, grated ginger

2 Tablespoons cane sugar

2 Tablespoons water

elderberriesbl

Elderberry Soda

I make my version of Elderberry Syrup every fall and sometimes have a bit left over as spring turns into summer to use for a delicious soda. It’s quite easy to make at any time of the year though! Here’s my recipe and another recipe here.

1 cup dried, organic elderberries

4 cups water

1 teaspoon organic ground cinnamon or 1 Tablespoon cinnamon bark

1 teaspoon organic whole cloves

1 teaspoon organic ground ginger or 1 Tablespoon ginger root

1/4 cup organic wild cherry bark

1 Tablespoon organic dried orange peel

Put all these ingredients into a sauce pan and bring to a boil on medium high heat. Once the mixture boils, turn the heat down and let the mixture simmer for 30-40 minutes. Using a strainer, pour the mixture into a large glass or Pyrex bowl (compost the herbs and berries). I like to press down with a wooden spoon to make sure I get all the juice and flavor I can! Let the mixture cool a bit and add 2 cups raw, organic honey to the mixture while it is warm, but not hot. This helps the honey to incorporate into the juice without the need to heat.

This makes about 5 cups of a rather thick syrup (thick enough to use on pancakes or waffles).

For the Soda

In a half-gallon pitcher or jar, add 2 cups of Elderberry Syrup and fill almost to the top with cold, filtered water. To this, add 1/2 cup of the Ginger Bug. Stir to combine with a wooden spoon. Cover with cheesecloth and a rubber band and allow to sit at room temperature for 3-5 days while it ferments. Depending on the weather, season, ambient temperature, and other variables, it may ferment quickly or take a little longer. Taste it after 2 days and see how it tastes to you and then decide if you’d like to let it go a little longer.

You can bottle your soda at this point, if you’d like. Use bottles with a screw top or bottle as you would homemade beer. I prefer to make small batches and drink it rather quickly as they do continue to ferment, even if stored in sealed bottles in the fridge.

Experiment!

Once you’ve made the Elderberry Syrup, you can use the same technique to make syrups from other fruits and herbs. A rose or lavender syrup or a fruit juice base would work nicely for a home-crafted soda. As you use some of the Ginger Bug, add equal parts fresh, grated ginger root, cane sugar, and water to replace. Like a sourdough starter, this culture can last for quite a while if tended properly and you can have the makings for delicious homemade sodas at your fingertips!

 

 

ginger-illustration

 

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!

 

The Sunday Steep

Posted by Kori|15 June 2014

tea-set-blog

 

One of my favorite tea-making strategies is to take a delicious tea blend that I love and add extra goodness to it with organic herbs and berries. It is a great way to get extra nutritive, calming, and health benefits out of a cup of tea. This tea is all about healthy calm while building on the yummy flavors in our organic Peace Tea (like spearmint, lavender and rose). I like to toss in some nettle leaf and schisandra berries. Feel free to substitute other herbs that speak to you when the stressors of life start to wear you down!

nettleinfuse

 

Calm Spirit Tea

1 Tablespoon organic Peace Tea

1 Tablespoon organic Nettle leaf

1 Tablespoon organic Schisandra berries, dried

Put all ingredients in an infuser, nest or tea bag. Pour boiling water over and let steep for 4-5 minutes. I like to make this one up in a disposable tea filter and let the compostable paper bag stay in my cup while I drink the tea, just to make sure I extract as much of the tasty nutrients as possible. This makes enough for one large cup, but you can multiply the measurements for a full pot (or more.)

Enjoy!

sundaysteep

 

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

 

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Meet Us

  • ErinErin (353)
    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 (133)
    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 (63)
    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 (37)
    An array of voices from around Mountain Rose Herbs and beyond share their wisdoms, inspirations, and exciting stories from the herbal world.
    AlietaAlieta (34)
    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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