A Rose by any other name……

I’ll be honest, one of my most favorite things in the world is a rose bush.  Doesn’t matter what color – they’re all just beautiful and the smell of each one is unique.   Rose

While I love rose scented things, there is nothing more tedious to me than a rose scented item that is so obviously fake that the smell just never goes away.  Years after you get rid of some of those super fakey things, you can still smell them and the super chemical fakey base used to make them.

But Rose Essential oil is SSSOOOOO expensive!  What to do?  I found a really nice fragrance blend that smells like real roses!  AND it’s not a super toxic, kill-you-dead one, either!

This soap is just a beautiful, super hard, tallow soap enriched with Almond Oil, Castor Oil, Cocoa Butter, and Olive Oil then colored with Herbs and Minerals.  Awesome.

$5.25 per bar

Flower Power Toner

Queen of Hungary Water –  That’s  quite a title, isn’t it? Well, it’s where all this started, so I will tell youIMG_7674 a little bit about it.

I saw Queen of Hungary Water, also known as Hungary Water, mentioned in a book I was reading.  Decided to look the stuff up and see what all the fuss was about.  The exact date of the invention of Hungary Water is lost to history. It is equally unclear who created it. Some say that a monk-recluse who first gave it to The Queen of Hungary, though most likely it was made by a court alchemist.  The oldest surviving recipes call for distilling fresh rosemary flowers  (and possibly thyme) with strong brandy, while later formulations contain lavender, mint, sage, marjoram, cistus, orange blossom and lemon.

The legend takes it further – how this stuff made a 70 year old Queen look so good again that a man many years her junior proposed marriage.

Other legends have it that early gypsies formulated it and claimed it to be a panacea.  It has been claimed to be the first herbal product ever marketed.

So, the original Hungary Water was made with alcohol and rosemary flowers (and most likely thyme), then the formula appears to have morphed into containing rosemary, thyme as well as citrus (all therapeutic, not just good-smelling!).  Then, whether it was Gypsies or an herbalist who decided to use vinegar, a whole new dimension was explored there.

Taking a look around the internet, one can find versions of Hungary Water in perfume/cologne format that would blow the heck out of a $100 bill – some of them not even leaving you a couple bucks for your buyer’s remorse soothing after-spending treat… LOL :)  Others are vinegar-based herbal delights that are very affordable.

The recipes that turned up in my research were interesting and varied – ranging from essential oils blended into vodka or commercially made witch hazel to herbs (fresh, dried or both) steeped in apple cider vinegar for a time, then blended with aloe, rosewater (or other hydrosol, such as orange blossom) or commercially made witch hazel.

Because I love fermented and cultured stuff, I decided to try one of the recipes that used apple cider vinegar as the base.   I made it, of course, taking my usual deviations from the recipe (no recipe is safe).  I used it and LOVED it.  The vinegar scent was there, but not excessive.  Once it dried, the floral scent was all that was left.  However, my husband isn’t a vinegar fan and has mentioned it a couple of times.

So, for my next attempt, I used all my chosen flowers herbs and steeped them in rum.  My rosemary plant was blooming and I wanted to get at least a few of those blossoms into the mix.  I didn’t have the heart to steal them all from the bees, though.

It is a wonderful toner/astringent for the face.  Most of the herbs are easy enough to find – especially if you shop at Mountain Rose Herbs!  While the initial amount paid for all the supplies may seem high, this stuff goes a long, long way and I can’t help but believe it to be quite a lot less expensive and much healthier than even the cheapest commercial toner – it’s chemical free, too!

I noticed the tone and condition of my skin improving after just a couple of weeks using this nightly.  On the days I use it both morning and night (I hate to admit it, but I don’t tend to my skin THAT often!), my pores seem to get even smaller and tighter.

The ‘parts’ can be any measurement you choose.  An ounce, a tenth of an ounce, a teaspoon, a cup.  Keep in mind, though, that dried herbs weigh lightly, so an ounce of some of these can be very BIG!

Whatever ‘part’ you decide upon, make sure your vessel is large enough to accommodate the herbs with some room for the liquids.  My ‘part’ for this was .10 oz – I ended up with over 2.5 oz of herbs and flowers – it’s bigger than you think!  It ended up filling a gallon jar half way.

3 parts Lavender flower buds – anti-inflammatory
1 part Helichrysum flowers – regenerative, fades scars
3 parts Chamomile flowers – anti-inflammatory
2 parts Calendula flowers – speeds healing
6 parts Roses – astringent, vitamin c, aromatherapy
1 part Jasmine flowers – aromatherapy
2 parts Elder flowers – mild astringent, gentle stimulant
Rosemary flowers – not easy to obtain unless you have a plant
1 part Rosemary – improves circulation, astringent
3 parts Lemon Balm (aka Melissa) – antiseptic, calming
1/2 part White Sage – improves circulation
1 part Comfrey Leaf – soothing
2 parts Lemon Peel – fights acne, antiseptic, vitamin c
1/4-1/2 part Peppermint Leaf – reduces redness, cooling
1/2 tablespoon Witch Hazel Bark – astringent
1/2 tablespoon Turmeric Root – anti-inflammatory
1 tablespoon Rose Hips – vitamin c
1/2 teaspoon Frankincense powder – antiseptic, aromatherapy
1/4 teaspoon Myrrh powder – antiseptic, aromatherapy
1/2 grapefruit rind – vitamin c, aromatherapy

Vodka or Rum to cover
(you may use Raw Apple Cider Vinegar or  OR 1/2 ACV and 1/2 vodka/rum)

Rosewater, Aloe Vera Gel (commercially made) and/or Witch Hazel (measures follow)

1.  Place all the herbs in a wide mouth jar and cover with chosen liquid (alcohol, vinegar or 1/2 and 1/2).  Be sure there is about 2 inches of alcohol/vinegar above the herb blend.  Cover tightly and let sit in a warm place for 2-3 weeks.

2.  Strain and set liquid aside.

3.  To each cup, add 1/2 cup rosewater, witch hazel or commercially made Aloe Vera Gel to the blend – it is very refreshing!

4.  A few drops of essential oils as desired.

I go a few steps further, adding skin loving algae extract, wrinkle fighting NaPCA and a little of my favorite ferment, Jun (pronounced JUNE).  It goes into a spray bottle – I can spritz it right on my face lightly on a hot day or spritz onto a cotton pad for use in my beauty routine.  One to two sprays does the job for either use.

If you’d rather just purchase this, it is $7.95 for a 2 ounce spray bottle here.

 

Simple Vitamin C Serum

Some of the most ‘active’ ingredients you can find in skin care today are vitamins and minerals.  To be dropper
honest with you, I SO want to just get preachy about taking your vitamins here because I truly believe that most, if not all, maladies begin with a deficiency.  Yes, toxins are a huge issue, but our bodies really can combat most things as long as there are no deficiencies holding them back.  But I won’t do that today.

Vitamin C is a very important antioxidant.  It promotes an increase in collagen in the skin.  Taking C internally is good, but to stimulate your skin into forming new collagen, applying it topically is surprisingly effective.  Take a look around – there are a couple of very famous vitamin C serums that run about $100.00 – $150.00 PER OUNCE.  While those famous serums are a little more complex than what I’m going to offer you here today – having other vitamins and nutrients besides C (and I question the logic of putting zinc in with C since zinc and C compete and cause oxidation to accelerate), the active in the serum is vitamin C.  Specifically L-Ascorbic Acid.  You can find L-Ascorbic Acid at Amazon, Making Cosmetics and Lotion Crafter.  It isn’t super expensive to buy an ounce or so of the powder to try your own serum.  A dollar or two for the dropper bottle (yes, recycled ones are ok as long as you get all of the previous contents out completely), and you’re good to go!

OK, on to the recipe.  This is approximately a 10% concentration of Vitamin C.  If you find that it tingles too much at first, you can wet your face before you apply it or add a little more water to your first batch to get accustomed to the C.  Over time, the skin does develop a tolerance to the tingling that is felt at first.  Some people have worked up to 25% serums.

You’ll need:

1 – amber or cobalt 1 or 2 ounce glass dropper bottle (a 1 oz bottle is preferred – once your serum is oxidized, it will turn orangey, it’s not as beneficial as fresh, so don’t make up a lot at a time)

Distilled Water
L-Ascorbic Acid (vitamin c)
Glycerin (optional)
Small dropper bottle
measuring spoons
small bowl to mix

Into a small bowl, measure 1/2 tsp L-Ascorbic Acid, 4 tsp distilled water and 1 tsp glycerin – Note: I don’t use glycerin.  Here in Arizona, there is no moisture in the air for the glycerin to draw on, so it draws the moisture from the skin and I don’t care for the way it gets to feeling.  Try this without the glycerin and with the glycerin – see what works for you.

The L-Ascorbic acid can take some time to dissolve completely, so be patient.  Once dissolved, mix well and pour into your dropper bottle.  This will last nearly a month.  As it oxidizes, it will turn orange.  Once it is orange, it’s no longer very beneficial for the skin.  Pour it out, clean the dropper bottle and make a new batch!

VitC

Essential Oil Blend for sores/outbreaks

Some of you know about my struggle during November-January with Epstein Barr Virus. What I did not tell many people about is the fact that the virus had gone so far that it started expressing itself in these SoreHealEOlittle sores on my body.  Epstein Barr is a member of the Herpes family.  There are several viruses in the Herpes family including the variant that produces cold sores as well as the one that causes the STD.  One of the lesser known variants is Herpes Gladiatorum – found most often in wrestlers and those who frequent the gym regularly, Gladiatorum expresses itself with little blisters, then the blisters pop and the resulting area looks a little like a ringworm.  I don’t know that my sores were Gladiatorum or EBV, they didn’t always have the blisters, but this blend worked great on my outbreaks!

This essential oil blend in a roller bottle brings a lot of relief and helps these heal pretty quickly.

10 drops Rosemary EO
10 drops Sage EO
10 drops Basil EO
10 drops Lemon Balm (Melissa) EO
10 drops Juniper EO
10 drops Thyme EO
10 drops Geranium EO

2-10 drops Frankincense EO (Optional – I ended up using 10 drops for my situation)

into a roller ball, fill with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil – leaving a little room at the top in case you decide to add another oil, or more of any certain oil

Optional additions:

10 drops Oregano EO
10 drops Myrrh EO
(if the condition needs heavy antibacterial action, use both)

I keep my bottle at my bedside so that I can use it on the spots before trying to sleep – they can be itchy or hot enough to interrupt sleep.

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 1.5 ounces $10.00

* 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

 

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