Cleansing Oil

cleansing-oilCleansing Oil?  :)  Yes.  In Ancient Rome, Olive oil was used as a cleanser for the skin – it was lathered on, then a scraper type tool was used to scrape the oil and dirt away.  I’m not suggesting that a scraper be used on your face… :)

For those who haven’t tried it, there is a very famous, very nice oil one can buy for about $15 for 2 oz.  While 2 ounces goes a long way (no, I’ve never bought that stuff, just made my own), I decided that I could match it and skip a few chemicals along the way.

This is the most excellent cleanser I’ve used – especially for taking makeup off.  It’s quick and my eyelashes are super happy.  Even on days that I don’t wear makeup (which is most days), however, this is a great way to cleanse the face.  I’m posting a recipe here, but if you’d rather just buy it, click here.

To use:  Massage a few drops into moistened skin.  Tissue off.  Follow with normal skin care routine.  I usually follow with a toner such as Queen of Hungary water (watch for the recipe in coming days), then a treatment serum such as a vitamin C serum (watch for a simple recipe in coming days) or moisturizer such as Super Emollient.

Cleansing-Oildiy

Rose Balm

For those of you who did not know it, I am a biker chick. :) For my 10th wedding anniversary, my awesome hubby gave me a Harley.  It’s been 9 years since I got that ride and have been loving every minute I get the chance to get on it and go.

Not that long ago, my car had to be in the shop a little longer than planned and I had to go pick up my daughter from her college classes on my Harley.  We had a great time on the ride, however, my lips got a little chapped.  My daughter offered her favorite lip balm to me – Rosebud Salve.  After checking the RoseBalm2ingredients, I declined.  I just don’t think petroleum-based stuff should be near our lips (or on our skin, in our hair, etc. etc…. :) )

I got busy and created a balm that comes pretty close to her favorite.  Enter Rose Balm.  It’s slightly tinted with alkanet root, but the alkanet root is not added right to the batch.  Rather, it’s been infused into the oils.  Alkanet is one of my favorite herbal colorants – in preparations such as this, it’s a blush pink to all out dark red, in soaps it turns lavender to purple.  Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil infused with roses, a few drops of Rose Essential oil – the scent is light and pleasant, not too heavy – it mingles with the honeycomb and cocoa butter beautifully.

This balm is an awesome lip balm, but it’s also great to use on extremely dry spots, to groom eye brows, as a night time cuticle treatment – pretty much open to your imagination!

Made with organic avocado and olive oils infused with roses, organic sunflower seed oil, organic coconut oil, organic beeswax, organic honeycomb, raw organic honey, raw organic cocoa butter, raw shea butter, lanolin, alkanet root – an herbal colorant, vitamin e, geranium essential oil and a little rose essential oil, this is a true treat of a balm!

Buy here

 

Wintergreen

Have been meaning to make this soap for over a year!  It pains me to admit that, but it’s true.wintergreen

All the goings on around here just kept getting in my way last year and this formulation sat.  Well, that isn’t a complete truth – I reworked it a few times as new ideas came up here and there.  Then something would happen and the formula would be the only thing that got worked on!  Maybe that was for the better, because this is a really nice soap.  I think so anyway.

This little bar of soap is a good body soap, but it’s also a shampoo bar!  Enriched with jojoba, rice bran oil, shea butter, meadowfoam seed oil, and stinging nettles, this is a shampoo good for any head of hair!  Taken one step further with the addition of a little menthol to gently stimulate the scalp and skin – it will be your wake-up call!

Sodium Tallowate, Raw Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Ricinus Communis Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Limnanthes alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Oryza sativa (Rice Germ) Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Wintergreen Essential Oil, Menthol Crystals, Wildcrafted Silk, Organic Stinging Nettles, Mica.

Each Bar weighs about 4.3 – 4.5 oz

Buy Here

Kombucha Sunflower

KombuchaSunflowersThis is my first tip toe into ‘all veg’ territory with soap.  In fact, this soap is vegan, but don’t scream it from the rooftops… LOL  Kidding. :)

Enriched with Aloe Vera and Coconut Milk, this one is a treat!  The scent is a Sunflowers type fragrance.  It’s a very nice, not-so-toxic fragrance.  Raw organic Cacao butter, Sunflower seed oil, jojoba oil, shea butter, castor oil and mango butter all contribute their beauty-preserving ingredients to this 8% super-fatted soap.   Olive oil infused with calendula and calendula flowers – Calendula is said to promote cell repair and growth, is anti-inflammatory and very soothing.

The brilliant yellow comes from Organic Red Palm Oil (sustainably obtained) which I happened to get on sale – and we did eat some.  However, my family didn’t really seem to be crazy about it and it sat.  I decided to incorporate it into a soap formulation before it went bad.  The color of this oil is due to the carotenes (vitamin A), tocotrienols / tocopherols  (Vitamin E) and lycopene.  The skin will reap the benefits of these nutrients.

Kombucha?  In Soap?  Yep!  As mentioned in a couple of my previous posts (click the ‘Probiotics’ tag below and they will pop up), I am a Kombucha and Jun brewer and consumer.  While a lot of people think it’s a terrible waste to put booch in soap – I don’t know that it is.  I’ve seen ferments live through some pretty extreme conditions – freezing, cooking, etc.  The way this soap was made, the kombucha was never subjected to extreme heat, nor did it come in direct contact with the lye.  It was added to the soap after the oils and lye were well blended.KombuchasunClose

Raw Organic Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Organic Sustainable Elaeis Guineensis (Red Palm) Fruit Oil, Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil infused with Organic Calendula officinalis (Calendula), Ricinus Communis Seed Oil, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Raw Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Organic Aloe Vera, Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Milk, Organic Calendula officinalis (Calendula) flowers, Kaolin Clay, fragrance.  A little cosmetic glitter on top and it’s a beauty!

Each bar weighs at least 4.5 oz

Buy Here

 

Happy New Year !

Hi everyone!  First, I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year – may yours be Healthy, Happy and 001Prosperous!

As most of you know, my mother passed away in August 2014.  We had a Celebration of Life for her on her birthday in November 2014.  Right around that time, I was diagnosed with reactivated (my Dr. used the word “raging”) Epstein Barr Virus.  It sounds innocuous enough, but it can be very harmful if allowed to run amok – causing a few different cancers as well as damaging/destroying other systems in the body.  I opted for a more intensive treatment in the hopes that I would feel a LOT better in a couple of months rather than dragging around half dead for 6-12 months.  The first month I kind of hobbled along, thinking ‘this is going to be OK’.  Right around Thanksgiving, things kicked in REALLY well and I CRASHED – was mostly asleep for over a month!

I’m up.   :)

A lot of you are probably thinking “yeah, you weren’t feeling like crap – you memed the heck out of your facebook page”.   All I can say to that is cell phone apps have become very sophisticated… I made, posted and scheduled memes during my waking moments.  That’s why some of them look or sound like they’re echoes from the twilight zone…

At any rate, LOTS of interesting things came to mind while I was roosting resting on the couch for nearly 2 months!  Thank goodness for smart phones.  Think my over protective hubby kept hiding my pen and paper so I wouldn’t work – the Dr. did ORDER me to rest and he was going to see to it that I followed Dr.’s orders!  When he wasn’t looking, my notes were put into my cell phone.  :)  They’ve been neatly (OK, scribbly) transcribed to paper for editing and further consideration before testing formulations.

Pretty much everything is out of stock – one of the first things on the TO DO list is to get stuff made.  If there’s anything that any of you need sooner rather than later, feel free to shoot me an email or message on facebook!

Have a great day!

Super Emollient Cream

When I started making this lotion, I had no idea it would take off and be so well-liked.  I’m so glad that people love it!   It seems to be doing some people some good, too, which makes it all the better.

As many of you know, I’m studying herbal medicine.  During some research, I came across a recipe for a cream.   Oh no… a tangent.  I don’t know if it was my creative side or my lazy side – but the research  that night melted away and the experiments on the cream began.   I knew there were oils and substances I wanted to include as well as things I specifically wanted to exclude.

I chose to include Calendula-infused olive oil to promote cell repair and growth.  Calendula is also anti-inflammatory and very soothing.  Aloe Vera to promote healing, tissue repair, prevent scarring and tissue damage.  Helichrysum (also known in previous times as “Immortelle”) essential oil and extract to relieve skin irritations and promote tissue regeneration.   Vitamin E is an antioxidant, has a roll in cell signaling and enzymatic activity.

This cream/lotion has no chemicals and no preservatives.   I call it skin food.  One of the best testimonials from a customer also offered a strategy – keeping the cream/lotion in the refrigerator and using a spoon to scoop out the lotion for use.  This is what I do.

The scent is the result of Helichrysum and Lavender essential oils.  For those who aren’t in the ‘know’ about Helichrysum, it’s other name is ‘Immortelle’ – it’s called that because it’s so very good for the skin.  It is also REALLY expensive between $195 and $250 per ounce – this is because the plant doesn’t contain a lot of fatty acids, so it takes an awful lot of the plant to make essential oil.  It is truly a very ACTIVE substance for the skin.

Because most fragrance oils contain some pretty toxic ingredients, I am hesitant to use fragrance oils.   I’ve come so far with my health and don’t want to compromise it.  Additionally, I don’t want to contribute to anyone else’s ill-health!

Because the skin absorbs what is put on it (have doubts?  Look at all the medications now available in PATCH form….seriously, don’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t consider eating), I don’t believe it is healthy for the body to use fragrance oils.   There are people who really don’t like the smell of this cream – some pick a favorite essential oil or blend and stir a few drops in.  Others use a fragrance oil they’ve already got and like.

Made with olive oil that has been infused with calendula flowers, sweet almond oil, vitamin-rich avocado oil, Spring Water, Beeswax, Raw Organic Cacao Butter, Organic Coconut oil, Organic Aloe Vera, Helichrysum extract, Lavender Essential Oil, Helichrysum essential oil, Vitamin E,  rosemary extract.

 

Super Emollient Cream

Cream

Purchase Here

Muscle Rub…again

It’s hard to believe that something as good as our Muscle Rub could be improved upon (yeah, it’s really THAT good!) – but we did.

ArnicaArnica is a perennial flower that grows wild in Central Europe.  It’s properties are analgesic and anti-inflammatory.  Traditionally it’s been used externally on aches, strains, bruises and other injuries in which the skin has not been broken.   Arnica is also on United Plant Savers’ conservation ‘watch’ list, meaning that many people go out and pick Arnica without planting more.  Each year, the numbers of plants that grow in the wild decreases.  The climate here in Tucson is nothing like any part of Germany, but Arnica may grow here during the fall, winter and spring months.  It’s not likely that the plant will be perennial here, but it’s worth a try.

In the interest of conserving, we’ve added just a little olive oil infused with Arnica.  Some may notice little tiny flecks in the muscle rub – those are the microscopic bits of Arnica that made it through the filter!  The levels of some of the other oils have been tweaked just a little to further optimize the painkilling action of this rub without irritating the skin.

The Muscle Rub still has the Hot/Cold it always did!   Some of you may notice a rubnewslight ‘boost’ in it’s painkilling properties or maybe it will work faster for you.   We truly hope that everyone who tries it has a wonderful experience with this beautiful substance!

Made without any petroleum products, containing no harsh chemicals to force the pores in the skin open, this is a great rub for sore muscles and joints.  Lanolin helps soothe skin while Emu oil helps escort the pain-killing action right into the affected area(s). Organic Coconut oil, Raw organic beeswax, Raw Organic Shea Butter, Camphor, Emu Oil, Lanolin, Menthol, proprietary blend of Clove, Cajeput, Cassia Cinnamon, Blue Tansy, Wintergreen, peppermint, chamomile, helichrysum, osmanthus, eucalyptus and cinnamon bark.*

Each Tin contains at least 1.6 ounces $10.50

* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.  This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Bug Repellent

Don’t know if you noticed, but Arizona has gotten some serious rain here lately!  That’s a good thing for the most part.  Getting it all at once like we have really wasn’t a good thing – the ground here gets so dry that it actually repels water.  So, we get a LOT all at once and the water pretty much rolls off – often taking with it the nice top soil we’ve put in or the light gravel we lined our walkways with.   Some folks got catnipcaught by surprise and lost their cars or in some sad instances, their lives.

We all know what extra water often means:  mosquitoes.  As I was out working out on my back porch this morning, I was being plagued by the mosquitoes.  Then I remembered:  Had not put on my bug repellent!  I sprayed myself lightly, went back out and the mosquitoes left me alone.

You do not have to go out and buy expensive anything for this and you certainly do not have to suject yourself to toxic chemicals to keep the skeeters at bay.  :)

What you’ll need

32 oz spray bottle

2 teaspoons Catnip (yes, the green herb you find in the pet department!)

1 cup hot water

1/4 cup rubbing alchohol

50 – 60  drops essential oil(s)
now, this can be one such as tea tree oil or a blend of a few – many, if not most of them can be purchased at Walmart, Sprouts, drug stores, natural groceries, vitamin stores, etc., or you can get them online at Moutain Rose Herbs – they often have organic essential oils and like food, you’re better off in the long run if you can get organic.

Essential oils to try:  Tea tree, Citronella, eucalyptus, cedarwood (either variety), Lemongrass, Lavender, Patchouli, any citrus – orange, lemon, grapefruit,  Catnip essential oil is REALLY expensive!  Really.  That’s why we’re using tea.

NOTE: Yes, there are a few companies that sell essential oil blends that repel bugs.  Some of them are GREAT and they work fine.  PLEASE read the ingredients on some of those blends – often you’re only getting 3-5 PERCENT essential oil, the rest is fractionated coconut oil.  Seriously.  Ingredient lists are important.  If you’re OK spending $20 per ounce for a blend that is mostly coconut oil, go for it.  I am not OK with it. For that same money, I get pure, organic essential oil that isn’t diluted.

I use: 15 drops citronella, 15 drops cedarwood (You can stop right here as those two oils are EXCELLENT repellents on their own, combined they’re a powerhouse, but the smell they create when blended can put some off) , 1 (ONE) drop clove, 10 drops eucalyptus, 5 drops tea tree, 10 drops lemongrass, 5 drops lavender.    This is what I came up with through trial and error that not only repelled the bugs, but the critters could handle being sprayed with as well.  If you’re just spraying around doors and windows and you like the smell of citronella only, by all means use it!

Method:

Basically you’re going to make tea with that catnip herb.  Use an infuser or be prepared to strain the herb out of the water.  Let it steep for as long as you’re able – 20 minutes is good, overnight is better.

While the tea is steeping, pour  1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol into the spray bottle, then add the essential oil(s) and swish it around.  By dissolving the essential oils in alcohol, you won’t have to shake the bottle every time you use this.  I get to moving so fast, I forget to shake bottles, so I nearly always use alcohol.

Add your cooled catnip tea.

Add  1.5 to 2 cups of water.  Shake to blend, then test it in an inconspicuous place on your skin and/or clothing.  I haven’t had any spots that were difficult to launder out yet, but I usually use this when I am wearing work and workout clothes.

Coming or Going??? Yes.

Whirlwind

 On July 10, I brought my mom to Tucson. Mom hadn’t been feeling well for some time. In fact, just a few days before I got her, she was diagnosed with pneumonia and given a steroid and antibiotic.

 The day after we got to Tucson, she needed to go to the ER – she couldn’t breathe. She was given another Rx for antibiotics and sent home. Five days later, we went to Urgent Care and were given a nebulizer. Three days after that, we had to call an ambulance and she was admitted to hospital.  Almost immediately after being admitted to the hospital, she lost use of her legs and was catheterized. She was in the hospital for seven days. On her sixth day there, she was informed that she had stage 4 lung cancer, adrenal cancer and cancer in her bronchia. The oncologist told her that she had a couple of months and that she could double that with chemo.

MomHooverDam

Mom at Hoover Dam

My mother decided she didn’t want to do chemotherapy. She didn’t want to feel even worse for the time she had – not for just a couple of extra months. I honored her wishes and called the oncologist to let her know. The oncologist yelled at me and discharged my mother the following day. Mom had asked to go to Hospice and was transferred.

 Mom was in hospice for five days. She’d been insistent that she didn’t want to come to my home and we were having a hard time trying to figure out what to do to accommodate that wish. I finally just told her it would be easier if she’d just come home with me. She was transferred to my home on Wednesday, July 30.

 The following Monday, she stopped eating and drinking and was mostly unresponsive. I used swabs to get water into her and made sure she was not in pain. The next day, she rallied and was eating and drinking some, her eyes and her speech had changed a LOT, but she could communicate to a degree. She did that a couple times that week, fall into a mostly unresponsive state then she’d rally a bit the following day.

 Friday, August 8, my brother, his wife, my sister, her husband and their baby came. Mom was somewhat communicative – sometimes she’d start a sentence, fall asleep and wake up to finish the sentence 10-20 minutes later. But she did not perceive the time lapse – she thought it was no time at all, so she’d think that someone disappeared. That day, she asked me “When will that man be here?” and “I’m ready to go, where is that man?” I’m certain she was referring to my father, who passed in 1991. Earlier, I’d related to her what I’d seen when I died with my pulmonary embolism and told her I knew dad was waiting for her. I think she was ready to go and terrified to let go at the same time. There were a few times she saw someone standing next to me that I couldn’t see – she’d ask me “who is that?” and I’d look where she pointed. “Who does it look like?” I was not going to tell her “I don’t see anyone there, Mom”. No.

 Saturday, August 9, Mom slipped into a completely unresponsive state in the early evening. While we kept her meds going for her round the clock and gave her drops of water with swabs, it was obvious that she was on her way – there would be no more rallying.

 The following morning about half past 8, her breathing slowed to a stop. One month to the day from when I brought her here.  My sister in law, Debbie, was a true treasure of support for me that day and I’ll always be grateful.

 Where did that doc get two to three months? I know that it’s a guesstimate to begin with, but seriously – mom lasted two WEEKS from the day she got diagnosed, not two months. This is not expressed with anger or resentment (honest!), but with some astonishment. This has been like a whirlwind.

 For her, I am glad it was quick. Her pain was massive and global – not just in her back, but everywhere (adrenal failure – the little oh-so-important organs couldn’t mitigate inflammation). But quite honestly, it feels so fast to me and so slow at the same time – I think my brain really hasn’t fully processed this yet.

 I’ve completely lost Monday and Tuesday even though I went to a meeting at the funeral home one of those days.

 There are some funny stories that happened during all of this. After that Monday’s drastic downturn, but during one of her rallying days, Mom wanted some dried pineapple. But she couldn’t find the word. She kept saying pumpernickel. Pumpernickel, pumpernickel. No. That’s not the word… It’s small and yellow. Now, Mom had been watching a lot of Spongebob on Roku (her nerves – remember, the adrenals were pretty much gone – so the only thing they were producing, if anything, was adrenaline and she couldn’t move her body to burn the adrenaline off), so when she said small and yellow, I thought “oh, she wants me to turn on Spongebob”. So I asked her “Spongebob?” and she said “no, but he lives in one under the sea”. OH! Pineapple.

 My mom’s dog, Sadie, came along with mom. Now, my mom was not one of those ladies who has a little pooch she hauled around with her. Sadie was born underneath my mother’s neighbor’s house. The house is a rental and the people who lived there at the time had 3 dogs. When the mama dog was gravid, they did not increase her food. Mom didn’t realize that until one day, when a pup dragged itself to my mother’s doorstep – it’s eyes weren’t even open yet. Mom put the pup back under the house with the mama dog and she saw that the mama dog had separated the pups into two groups – the keepers and the can’t-keepers. Mom called around trying to get some intervention for the situation, but no one could or would help. Mom started feeding the mama dog. Even so, that pup dragged herself to mom’s door a second time. That pup was Sadie. She weighs 70lbs today.

 While Mom was in hospital and hospice, I’d put Sadie outside every morning before I left to go visit Mom. Well, she’d decided I’d done

sadie

Sadie – AFTER she’d decided I wasn’t Cruella.

something terrible to Mom and wouldn’t let me near her. She acted as though I was Cruella out to make a Sadie coat. I’d have to pick Sadie up and carry her outside, then make it back to the door before she did. Every single morning. She’d howl the entire time I was gone. Upon my return, she’d smell Mom on me, and want to go out to check the garage and car for where I was hiding Mom.

 One morning, thinking it would help the dog and maybe Mom, I did take Sadie to Hospice. The place caused Sadie to panic completely (maybe she thought it was the vet’s office or maybe it was the aromatherapy they pump into the air there) – she dragged me out of there with so much force I thought she was going to tear my shoulder up. Even after that, though, Sadie wanted to check the garage and car every day.

 The day Mom came home from hospice, Sadie was so happy. She loved on mom, licked her hand and walked over to where I was sitting and put her head down against my knees. She looked me in the eye and I knew she realized what was going on. She didn’t act like I was Cruella again after that.

Sadie stopped going into Mom’s room to visit her on August 7th. The kids take Sadie on very long walks through our neighborhood every day and that’s good for all three of them. :)

 And life goes on…. She wouldn’t want it any other way.

 I love you, Mom.

Momndad

Sunny Lemon Carrot

SunnyLemonCarrotEver find yourself in the kitchen thinking about something to eat and decide to try two foods together you’ve never had together before?  Then it was super yummy?  Yeah, that’s kind of what happened with this soap…   :)  I had an idea of what I wanted to do with Lemon and Goat Milk, then decided to add some buttermilk and carrots right in the middle of things.

A beautiful, low-coconut formula made with silk, goat milk, homemade buttermilk, organic honey, organic red palm oil, puréed organic carrots and the zest & juice of an entire lemon from my brother’s and sister-in-law’s lemon tree!  The carrots offer their vitamins and minerals to the beauty of this soap – they also contribute to the beautiful, sunny color.  The lemon lends it’s share of vitamins and minerals as well as it’s heavenly SCENT!  An abundance of fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and probiotics from the Goat Milk, honey and Buttermilk.  The organic red palm oil gives vitamins E and A as well as contributing to the color.  Vitamin-rich Avocado oil infused with Annatto seeds was the final contribution to the color of this soap, making certain the sunny yellow would be vivid.   Top it off with the (I know, cliché) poppy seeds and yowza!

Super fat of about 6%  – this is a gently cleansing, beautiful, beautiful soap.  Each bar weighs about 5.5 oz and is offered at $8.00 here

Skin Loving Avocado

avocadoJust how luxurious can a soap get?

In it’s previous incarnation, Avocado soap was a true luxury, with many of our customers remarking that they no longer had to use moisturizer after introducing the Avocado soap into their skin care regimen.  This is even more – more superfatted, more luxurious.

A fine tallow soap enriched with the flesh of organic avocado, vitamin-rich organic avocado oil, emu oil, organic aloe vera, jojoba, mango butter, shea butter, raw organic cocoa butter, lanolin and nothing less than luxurious mink oil – superfatted to 10% – each bar weighs in at just under 4 oz.   Essential oils of lavender, bergamot and melissa contribute their scent and healing qualities.  This fine facial bar is excellent skin care.

This is a LOW SUDSING formula – because of it’s luxurious ingredients, this soap will not make a big, bubbly suds – but it will clean the skin all the same – well not the ‘same’.  It will be gentler than other, more sudsy soaps.  :)

Remember that these super fatted soaps do have a shelf life – they’re good for about a year after obtaining them, so use them or put them in the freezer.   Offered at $9.00 per bar here

 

Goat Milk Soap

lourdesgoat

Ingredients: Tallow, Palm oil (sustainable), Goat Milk, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, NaOH, Water from Lourdes, Organic Avocado Oil, Raw Organic Cacao Butter, Organic Mango Butter, Raw Shea Butter, Organic Lavender Essential Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Organic Sunflower Seed Oil, Wildcrafted Silk, Kaolin Clay.

Lourdes water is water which flows from a spring in the Grotto of Massabielle in Lourdes, France.  People make the trek to Lourdes from all over the world.  They want to touch, drink, and immerse themselves in the healing spring waters.  There have been many healings and miracles attributed to the water and the place.  We’re bringing a little bit of that beautiful healing water to you.  I’ve been making this soap for our household for years, now, and my husband asked me why I wasn’t making it for everyone else, too?

Don’t really have a great answer for that except that I wasn’t sure anyone else would be interested in it.

A solid tallow-based soap with a super fat around 7%, very low coconut (so not a high suds), these bring non-drying cleansing to a new level.  Enriched with healing organic Lavender essential oil, vitamin-laden avocado oil, raw organic cocoa butter, organic mango butter, raw organic shea butter, olive oil, super kind almond oil and nutrient-dense goat milk.  Each bar weighs in at over 5.5 oz.  This soap hardens up pretty well and should last a long time.

Knock Out

knockoutPart of the great improvement in my health has included exercise.  After being told to ‘stay down’ for over a year to heal the adrenals, it was hard to get back up!  All of the adrenal fatigue (dang-near failure!) mess caused a lot of muscle atrophy.  Getting back into exercising caused some serious pain – the atrophied areas had developed ‘adhesions’ and there were interesting lumps and bumps that hurt like crazy.  That pain was tolerable (barely) during the day, but to try and sleep with the pain was nearly impossible some nights.

Enter ‘Knock Out’.  :) My new bff.  This was part of a lesson for my herbal medicine and while I worked the lesson, I realized I could help myself out.  I mixed up a blend that addressed my problems specifically and what do you know – it not only worked, but it worked GREAT.  Because I ‘resist’ relaxation automatically (it’s just a thing I do), I made sure this would be able to overcome that tendency.  Boy, does it ever.

Best sleep I’ve had in years.  Consistently.  I’m going to share my recipe and you can make your own or you may purchase this tea from me here

I use the ‘Simpler’ method to measure.  A part is anything from a hand full to a teaspoon.  If you choose to use a teaspoon as your ‘part’, then do so for the entire recipe.  :)

1 part oats (not instant unless that’s all you can get)

2 parts Chamomile

1 part Hops flowers

1 part Skullcap

2 parts Lemon Balm

1 part California Poppy

Blend herbs together. The rate of usage is 1 teaspoon of dry tea per 1 cup of water. Infuse tea in hot water for a minimum of 10 minutes (15-20 is better), then drink 1/4 cup every half hour starting a couple hours before you want to be asleep. Yes, the entire cup may be consumed at once, but it will be a knock out.

If you’d rather just buy the tea from me, click here

Recipes

Hi everyone!

Just a quick update for you.  We have a lot of recipes posted here on Intrinsic Alchemist.  They’re separated into Recipes 1 and Recipes 2 – if you’ll Creamtake a look at the links along the top of the page just under the header, you will see those links.

Recipes 1 consists of household and cleaning recipes.  Recipes 2 is health, face and body care recipes.  There are quite a few recipes posted so far – as time goes on, more recipes will be posted for use.

Have a great day!

Numero Dos

NumeroDosOK, this is a touchy subject, but everyone DOES it.

Number 2.  Drop a deuce.  Poo.  Hence the name, Numero Dos.  Made with all natural NON-chemical ingredients, this little gem will not only save embarrassment. it won’t poison you or your environment!

Simply spray a few sprays on the surface of the water, go, flush.

But that’s not where the usefulness of this stuff ends.  Deodorize the air, stinky shoes, etc.  Because there are essential oils and glycerin in this, test it on an inconspicuous spot first – the essential oils are strong and, well, glycerin is glycerin – not really an oil, not really water.  They may make spots on certain fabrics or surfaces – they’ll likely be fairly easy to clean.  But you’ve been warned – I’m not coming to clean it if you mess up… LOL   :)

Ingredients: Water, Odor Killing Enzymes, Essential Oils, Glycerin.

We’re selling these here

News from Intrinsic Alchemist

Hi Everyone!

Some things to know about Intrinsic Alchemist:

1.  Not all soaps are going to be available all the time.  If you have found a favorite and the ingredients used are seasonal (such as the Prickly Pear), or you have an idea for a soap that you’d like to have made just for you, please feel free to place a custom order for an entire batch of it.  We will require half of the cost as a down payment, then the balance when the batch is ready to ship.

If you’re ordering a soap that we’ve made for the store previously, YOUR SOAP WILL GET MADE FIRST, the soap for the store will be made after your custom order.  If you think you can use 9 or more bars of soap within a year, this is a great money-saving way to buy your soap.  The minimum is a 2 pound batch (nine 2″ x 3″ bars).

2.  These are high quality ARTISAN soaps.  If you do buy an entire batch, consider keeping them in the freezer or fridge.  They’re going to be fresh for about a year at room temperatures.  Especially ones with a very high super fat.

3.   We are working on rolling out new products.  If there is something you’d love to see, feel free to contact us and ask about it.  Chances are, we’ve already got a recipe in formulation!

4.  Don’t be misled by soaps labeled as ‘organic’.  While we use organic oils, the very best lye available is ‘Food Grade’ (and that IS what we use!) but it is not organic (‘organic’ lye simply cannot be obtained), so the soaps cannot be labeled  ‘organic’.   Soap cannot be made without lye.

Thank you for stopping by.  We’re glad you’re here!

IAlogofbpg

 

Essential Essential Oil Blend

There are many essential oil companies out there that want to sell you their essential oil blends for fighting germs – usually with a name containing the word “shield” or “guard” (hey, maybe we should call this recipe Germ Warrior! LOL) – and each one is a variation on a theme:  Thieves Oil.EO

There are several old stories about how the Thieves Oil blend came to be known – they’re also usually quite similar: during a plague, there was a band of thieves taking the valuables from the homes of dying or recently dead plague victims. The king of the land set his henchmen out to find these thieves – not because of the lucre they’d stolen, but because of the fact they’d been in close quarters with plague victims and their homes without getting sick. The merry band of thieves explained their method to the king and it was this blend that came to be known as Thieves Oil.

In looking around, there are many, many recipes out there for Thieves Oil.  Yes, buying all the essential oils, then blending them is not cheap.  However, in many, if not most cases it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than buying the premade blend!  Not only that, but so many of them are not organic in any way.  Hello!  Just how much pesticide is one body capable of handling?  Medicinal plants are just as susceptible to pests as any other and if the essential oil is not organic, I’m not inclined to spend my money on it.

The basic elements in Thieves Oil are as follows:  Clove bud, Cinnamon bark, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, and Lemon.

Some take the lemon out and use orange instead (which probably smells and tastes good, but the lemon is a better germ killer!), others add essential oils such as Oregano (anti-bacterial, natural antibiotic, germ killing) to their blend.  Some recipes call for equal amounts of each of the five essential oils.

I’m going to give you the basic, old, Thieves Oil recipe here – this is the one that I believe saved me from the flu in February when everyone else in the household was coughing and sneezing right on me (that’s right – I never caught it! woohoo).  What you add to it to make it work for you is up to you.

Thieves Oil *

33 drops organic Clove Bud essential oil (33%)

30 drops organic Lemon Essential oil  (30%)

17 drops organic cinnamon bark essential oil (17%)

12 drops organic eucalyptus essential oil  (12%)

8 drops organic rosemary essential oil (8%)

Mix into a dark glass bottle.   Other oils you may wish to add:  Orange, lavender, tea tree, cedar.  Start with a smaller batch and experiment – see what works best for you.

– For Encapsulation:  To a ’00’ capsule, add 6 drops of Thieves Oil, press together and take up to 4 times a day.

– Antibiotic Blend Encapsulations: To a ’00’ capsule, add 8 drops of Thieves Oil, 4 drops of Oregano essential oil, 1 drop of Frankincense (if available), press the capsule together.  Don’t over do this one, it’s quite strong.

*I’ve formulated this recipe at 100 drops. A 15ml (1/2 oz +/-) bottle will hold about 250 drops, a 5ml bottle will hold about 85 drops.  The percentages are in parentheses so that you can figure out how much you need of each for a different sized batch. Total number of drops desired x percentage of each oil (do each calculation separately) = number of drops needed of each oil for batch size.

This recipe will be permanently located here

Fresh Batches – Herbal and Laundry

OK, the first soap here is the Herbal Bar – we used to call it the Dog Shampoo Bar, but so many people loved it for themselves, we are just calling it  HerbalBarHerbal Bar.  It is VERY cleansing – which is what makes it great for the pooches!   It is also a great kitchen soap.  To me, the smell is heavenly and invigorating.  This soap doesn’t really have much of a superfat, only about 1 percent.  Enriched with cedar, thuja, spruce, rosemary and sage essential oils as well as aloe vera, jojoba and kaolin clay, this soap takes on life with a full one foot cutting from my organic Rosemary bush!  I love the way the house smells while this soap is curing.

It’s listed for sale here

Instructions for use on dog:  Wet down your dog, rub the bar of soap directly on the dog, rinse.  Repeat if necessary.  Use a washcloth on the dog’s face.  Soap stings the eyes.

Pregnant ladies should avoid prolonged exposure to this soap because of the rosemary.  Rosemary brings on the menses.

 


Laundry Soap is never out of stock.   These recent batches aren’t as white as previous batches – that is because the essential oil that is being used currently has a good amount of color in it.  It still cleans as well as ever, it’s just not pure white.  It’s listed on the Artisanal Soaps Available at the VERY BOTTOM OF THE PAGE – scroll down when you get there.

Coconut oil is great for laundry soap!

Coconut oil is great for laundry soap!

Just One More Thing…..

Anyone who has ever watched Columbo on TV has heard that line (he said it several times per episode).  Columbo used it to aggravate the wiley, intelligent murderer into making a mistake or saying something that would validate the detective’s notion that he knew who done it.   Today, I’m using it in a very different way.  For the last few months, it seems that life has been using that line on me nearly every day!  Schedule changes at jobs, class changes at school, doctors appointments, extracurricular activities, church activities – you name it.  Just when I’d get adjusted and think I had it well in hand, you guessed it – ‘just one more thing’.  It’s been testing, it’s been aggravating some days, but for the most part, it’s all been for very good reasons.    Some of it has been my own doing – deciding to study herbal medicine in the middle of the whole shebang (and not telling anyone because I didn’t want to hear “are you nuts? dontcha think you have enough going on?” LOL apparently not).  But it turns out that reading, studying and writing were all things I could do while sitting in the car, waiting.  So, not a total dingbat idea.  That’s why you got articles on probiotics and the lengthy update on my health (when I’m down, I make myself count my blessings and then I’m not down anymore – my health progress is a HUGE blessing!).

I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for all the support and patience – it really was my goal to roll out some nifty and interesting stuff for Valentine’s Day, then by St. Patrick’s Day, I was down in the dumps – wondering if I’d ever have a little time to create anything!   (That’s when I started counting my blessings!)  Some of these beautiful soaps take nearly an entire day to create.  That isn’t even counting the hours spent calculating the recipes from an idea that often strikes me during the middle of the night or in the middle of a conversation.   This truly is a labor of love and one that I take seriously – keeping chemicals out of the equation is, I believe, one of the biggest aspects of my healing.  My thinking is that if I can keep chemicals out of my husband’s and children’s lives and educate them about nutrition, they will never get sick like I did.  And if telling my story and making my soaps available helps even one person, that’s a great thing.

The good news is I’ve gotten some soaps made!  YAY!  Stay tuned… more to follow!

Ten Years (A tale of progress)

I recently turned 49.   I’ve been reflecting on some things and I think they should be shared.foodyoueat

When I was a kid, my beloved Nana (grandmother) encouraged me to ‘eat the rainbow’ of fruits and vegetables, my grandfather grew a lot of vegetables, we hunted and bought beef on the hoof – a LOT of meat. My childhood was healthy physically – I was strong as an ox. However, I was the nerdy kid who read the then-surgeon general’s statement that a certain soda pop and a certain candy bar were perfectly ‘fine’ snack foods. I went down that road, the road paved with the ‘good intentions’ (yeah, right) of the government. Later, I was very interested in the new Food Pyramid (I now call it the Triangle of Tastiness (And I won’t even go into the Grain Lobby and how they worked the govt to get their pet products into the biggest section of the triangle of tastiness)). And to be honest, it seems to me that the closer I followed the ‘recommended’ food intake values, the sicker I got. No, I’m not saying that everyone who follows the ‘recommendations’ will be sick. But I do believe people get hung up on macronutrients instead of micronutrients. Fat isn’t going to make you fat and wheat isn’t necessarily ‘healthy’.

Ten years ago…

- I lived through a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung) – this is very often fatal. Indeed, when the clot first ripped through my lung, my diaphragm seized then convulsed and I couldn’t breathe.  Still not sure how I got it to slow down and draw a breath. My extremely anemic state probably saved my life as the clot was only about the size of a nickel.

- I was SO very anemic – my hemoglobin was just over 7 and my ferritin was ZERO. During my stay at the hospital for the PE, a doc walked up to me, put his face so close to mine, his nose nearly touched mine and said “Did you know you’re anemic? I have to ask – How are you walking around upright? I really want to know – people with these numbers are usually not walking around talking.” I then confessed my picas – cocoa powder straight out of the box (no sugar) and very, very hot sauce on everything else I ate. He wrote that down in his notebook and I didn’t see that guy again.

-  I ran out of breath walking to the mail box (and the mail box is not far from the front door!).

- My skin was fish-belly white with a bluish tint, very thin and delicate; had such thin fingernails that they hurt if they got bumped.

- I was losing my hair (seriously – my husband kept asking me if any of my relatives had gone bald!) – my scalp was very visible through my hair.

- My Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (an autoimmune state that attacks the thyroid) had just been diagnosed. When I inquired ‘what can we do about this’, the response was ‘nothing’. Hmmmm… I didn’t believe that.

- Hypothyroid Diagnosis. The first doc checked my labs every six weeks and adjusted my dose nearly every time he checked my TSH. Every time the dose changed, I would have migraine headaches, one after another – the last time, it was 5 in a row and I was so very sick – he’d given me migraine meds, but none of those touched the migraines I’d have with these dosage changes. Found a new doc as soon as I recovered from that 5x migraine.

- Every time I tried to work out, I’d get sick for two full weeks (adrenals/anemia). TWO FULL WEEKS!

- I had many deficiencies, iron deficiency being the worst at the time, but my body was deficient in many minerals and vitamins.

- My hands and arms were constantly ‘falling asleep’ and tingling, sometimes going numb. My research indicated Raynauds, but I never mentioned these to my doc – I didn’t want a diagnosis of MS or Raynauds. I knew in my heart that being diagnosed with yet another autoimmune (because once you have one, you’re prone to others) and then getting a prescription to ‘try’ and treat the symptoms wasn’t the direction I wanted to go. I wanted to find out what was causing these and then I wanted to heal it, not just treat it.

- I wouldn’t eat much because I was already overweight and didn’t want to get heavier. Two things happened – deficiencies were exacerbated and it caused metabolic syndrome.

- Acid reflux so bad that I would wake up from a deep sleep with a mouth full of acid. Betaine really did help that.

I was in BAD shape. In fact, if I hadn’t made the changes I’ve made over the last 10 years, if I’d stayed on that course, there is no doubt I wouldn’t have lived to see my oldest child turn 16 and go to college. She did them at the same time last year.

But I did change. One small step at a time, one food, sometimes it was as small as one thought. Because my doctors wouldn’t give me IV iron (they didn’t think my veins would be able to handle it – yes, I was THAT FRAIL) and I had leaky gut, I not only took many doses of iron, but I ate liver EVERY DAY FOR TWO YEARS. The empty iron and vitamin C bottles would probably make an interesting display had they been saved.

During my healing time, I experimented on myself and lived with the successes or consequences of those experiments. It’s been a learning experience and I have gained much knowledge. I’ve learned a lot about herbs (especially adaptogens) vitamins and minerals and which systems they affect or heal.  It’s amazing how many disease states can arise from deficiencies.

In early 2009, I gave up wheat. Then, late in 2009 we went on a road trip. After a long day, at the only place for at least 50 miles, we stopped to eat and the only food available (that looked edible to me) was a sandwich and I ate wheat. This was followed almost immediately by an inflammation storm all over my body that lasted a week. I knew wheat was not for me. At the end of 2009, I went to an ancestral diet. My family resisted for years. I can’t take my carbs to an extremely low point – for some reason, keeping my carbs super low just doesn’t work for me (I know some people CAN, but my body WON’T…) so I make sure that my carb intake doesn’t slip below 90 net.

We finally figured out that our daughter had a sensitivity to wheat – however, she also had a complete addiction to wheat products. That was a monumental struggle – I worked so very hard to make foods that were wheat-free that she would eat – she’d gotten so very thin and persnickety – if she didn’t like what was on the table, she simply wouldn’t eat. She could not afford to do that – she could not gain weight. I was so very, very worried. Turns out she is celiac. We’ve had to figure out how to deal with that and optimize food to best nourish her. She hasn’t lost 10-15% of her body weight per year since eliminating wheat from her diet. My husband and son were the last ones to go wheat-free, but they made the change and have fared well for it.

One of the best things I’ve done recently has been an elimination diet. My daughter and I went through this together.   Our health care provider suggested she do the diet to see if there were other foods she had a sensitivity to – even though both of us had made great improvements in our diet and health up to that point. We’ve been primal (similar to paleo) for some years now. I decided to go on it with her for support.

It was shocking to me to discover how many foods caused an inflammatory response in my body. But it was a great time to be able to isolate responses to certain foods such as peanut butter, wheat and white sugar. I did experiment with foods a bit – just to observe my body’s reactions. Some foods hurt me and they hurt me a LOT. The one that caused the most surprise: coffee… ouch. Goodbye old friend.

A few times, people have said to me “Oh, I could NEVER give up my _______ (insert food here)!” I think if it made you hurt ALL OVER YOUR BODY for a minimum of 4 days after eating it, you might rethink that statement. But here’s the sad part: a lot of people DO have that reaction and they hurt all over, but they don’t realize that the food they eat is contributing to or causing the pain.

It is interesting to note that while I’d have my reactions to foods very quickly after re-introducing them, my daughter often wouldn’t have a reaction until a few days after and sometimes not until after having consumed some foods a few times. We had to only introduce 1 food per week there for a while with her. (BTW, I think that a very common mistake after doing an elimination is to re-introduce many foods at once – if you ever do try an elimination, please re-introduce very slowly so that you can clearly observe the body’s reactions)

In 2011 and 2012, I was harshly criticized for ‘letting a disease state define’ me.  Yes, I completely immersed myself in the WHYs of my health or lack thereof. The WHYs led me to the HOW(s) to heal and restore my health.

I cook every meal that is eaten in this house. I make our gluten free and grain free bread one to two times per week. I am ancestral and Grain free, but the rest of my household is currently considered Gluten Free most of the time, but they do eat my grain free stuff, too. I ferment and culture foods, condiments and beverages. There are 2 to 3 places we feel comfortable eating out and we do eat out about once a month. My husband and children have all learned how to read labels and they do so very diligently (it’s amazing how much ‘crap’ can be hidden in innocent looking foods such as tuna, oils or nut butters).

I make our treats, sometimes even ‘candy’ – although people who haven’t given up sugar wouldn’t recognize it as such! LOL

Pre-made foods are very rare in our household. Since my kids are still teenagers, the most often purchased pre-made food is: chips. Yes, whole food, organic potato and sweet potato (sweets n beets) chips. I am mostly OK with it – at least they aren’t those toxic neon orange, chemical-laden chips. My kids eat kale chips and collard greens, they love sauerkraut – with all the super-healthy food that goes on in this house, a bag of sweet potato chips here & there isn’t going to kill and it lets them be…. kids.

At this point, today, my entire family’s health is improving and I feel so good that it is worth every minute of that effort.

But the point of this post is this: it hasn’t happened overnight. There were times I took a triumphant two steps forward only to be knocked back five steps, times I was brought to my knees and times I took half a step forward with no knocks, no negativity, all progress. Hey, half a step in the right direction is always better than stasis or moving backwards!  My own healing is what inspired me to study herbal medicine.

Today:

- My body is no longer making any antibodies, my thyroid is working.

- My hair is thick and curly again. Fingernails aren’t thin, they grow like weeds.

- No more deficiencies

- I work out very hard and don’t get anything but sore, then muscle grows.

- My skin is skin color! LOL Its a sandy brown in the winter and darker in the summer (no, I don’t use sunscreen – I’m more concerned about vitamin D deficiency – vitamin D is EXTREMELY important and the skin is made to make it!)

- hands and arms are no longer tingling and falling asleep – in fact, that was one of the first symptoms to disappear.

- have lost weight. While I’m not at my ultimate goal, I’m within 10 or so pounds and that will go as I get fit.

For ten years, now, I have been rebuilding my physical self. One prayer, one thought, one herb, one vitamin, one exercise, one food, one action at a time. I’m grateful – grateful for my failings because I learned so much more when I fell; grateful for my successes because each one was a step toward true healing and optimal health; grateful for my tenacity because to be sure, lesser souls would have given up long ago, but I believed in myself and knew deep in my heart that I could conquer this.

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