Extremely Dry Weather in the Pacific Northwest Effects the Wild Herbs too!

Extremely Dry Weather in the Pacific Northwest Effects the Wild Herbs too!

It has been unusually hot here in the Pacific Northwest this Summer. Summer officially started on June 20th, but around here, it normally doesn’t get hot till late July!  So when the temperatures are hot and the rain is nowhere to be seen, it also effects all of my herbs that grow here on the farm, cultivated and Wild.

Todays Harvest of Wild Red Clover!

Todays Harvest of Wild Red Clover!

The season is on for harvesting wild blackberries, wild blueberries, mints: peppermint & spearmint, as well as some other beneficial herbs such as Wild Red Clover! I use the Wild Red Clover in my teas, as well as sell it in bulk.

It is helpful for the following reasons:

♦It helps the body get rid of excess fluid, in turn clearing the lungs of mucous. This may be helpful for allergies associated with runny noses and congestion!

♦it improves circulation and helps clear toxins from the liver. This can in turn provide extra energy as the liver is the workhorse of the body that needs all the help it can get!

♦It is also helpful for women who are needing additional estrogen in their body, as it acts this way in the body.

♦In the ways it helps, please consult your Dr. if you are already taking a diuretic or Estrogen replacement.

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So today, I was excited to get some of the Wild Red Clover picked for drying! You can purchase some already dried in bulk here on my website. You can make the tea in large quantities in a mason jar or get a stainless steel tea ball here on my website to use on a cup-per-cup basis.

Please leave a comment answering the question………………..

HAVE YOU TRIED WILD RED CLOVER TEA BEFORE?

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Remembering Father’s Day & Celebrating Dad with a Limited Edition Gift Set!

Each year around Father’s day I feel excited and proud to have had the Dad I had growing up! He taught me to work hard, never sleep past 8am, have great work ethic and how to market my talents!

He woke up at 4am every day and drove 1.5 hrs to his job in the city. This showed me how to be on time and “SHOW UP” for life! He also had a knack for finding old cars and restoring them to their original beauty, seeing the possibility in an item when the outside looked hopeless. My imagination and ingenuity I garnered from him rang true when we were out in the countryside, or fishing in the summer.

Although our relationship has not turned out as I truly WANTED it to, I can still take a hard look at what he taught me good AND bad! We all have people in our life that we learn something from, all of our life events help shape our character.

I wanted to celebrate Father’s from all walks of life, and all of the positive traits we can find in ourselves that we were taught from them!

For a LIMITED TIME ONLY, I am offering a special Father’s Day Gift Set for $24.99

fathersdaygiftsetcollage with prices and descriptions

This includes all in the photo with a FREE LIP BALM! All orders placed on or BEFORE 6/15 will receive this in time to gift it to your Father, or other man you are celebrating this Father’s Day!

It would still make a great gift AFTER the holiday, as I am considering it as a Men’s Gift Set to have all year round!

Visit HERE if you would like to order one now!

Happy Father’s Day Dad & all of the other Dad’s in the world♥

No Lye = No Soap

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Jasmine Soap

Over the years that I have been making soap, there have always been questions customers have for me about my products. Today I am addressing the most frequent question I receive about my SOAP!

“Do you use LYE to make your soap?” My Answer is YES!

Yes, I use LYE to make my soap BUT the soap no longer contains Lye once it has combined with the oils and cured!

Without LYE, also known as Sodium Hydroxide, you cannot have soap!! Even glycerin bars, melt & pour bars, liquid soap…….ALL SOAP requires either Sodium Hydroxide(LYE for bar soap) or Potassium Hydroxide(LYE for Liquid soap) to make it soap. You see, Sodium Hydroxide is a chemical that is harmful ALONE! When you combine it with the right ratio of oils & water, it binds to the molecular structure of each producing a COMPLETELY different element, SOAP!

The end result is no longer, Lye, Oils OR water, but a combination of all to produce the soap!

The Babylonians were the ones who invented soap at 2800 B.C. when the mixing of animal fats & ashes produced a cleansing product used for utensils & skin conditions. Even today, Lye CAN be made from ashes, rock and hay in a large wooden barrel. Now, Lye is produced commercially so it can be calibrated for modern recipes using exact measurements, thus refined for exactness. It is still a caustic substance that can harm you if touched!

Do not approach Lye lightly. ALL precautions MUST be taken when handling it and making soap. The Saponification of the Lye & Oils, (chemical reaction that creates soap) happens over time.

Here I am mixing the Lye into the water wearing ALL of my protective gear!

Here I am mixing the Lye into the water wearing ALL of my protective gear!

Here you see me mixing the Lye with the water. I am wearing protective eye wear, long gloves and an apron. I am also mixing on a newspaper lined table in my work station AWAY from children, pets and distractions! This is the MOST important!

Getting the right temperature before combining the Lye into the oil!

Getting the right temperature before combining the Lye into the oil!

After the Lye has come to the 100-98 degree temperature, I then mix it with the oils of the same temperature. It immediately starts swirling in the pan, showing me that the two are combining.

The oils & Lye start combining!

The oils & Lye start combining!

I then stir and “mix” with my immersion blender. This helps speed things along. You CAN use just a spatula or spoon to stir, but it does take much longer, as I have tried this method, before learning about the immersion blender 🙂

"Pudding" like consistency tells me it is ready to pour!

“Pudding” like consistency tells me it is ready to pour!

Then after it has produced a “pudding-like” texture, I pour it into wooden molds lined with freezer paper for easy removal once it is set.

Clay Tea Tree Soap Just poured into the mold!

Clay Tea Tree Soap Just poured into the mold!

It sits, covered, for 24-48 hours before being cut. It still MAY contain some traces of Lye in the water molecules left in the soap, so I handle WITH my gloves on!

Clay Tea Tree Soap Curing

Clay Tea Tree Soap Curing

They then are exposed to air for 4 weeks minimum, being rotated every day for even drying. They are then ready to use, OR the best option would be to let them dry/cure longer!

**Why CURE soap?**

There is a reason for “curing” the soap. This is to allow the traces of lye that may remain in the left over water found in the soap to evaporate. The longer the soap sits, the better! It will harden up nicely and last much, much longer!

Did you know that the longer it sits, the better it gets?

Soap is not going to “go bad”, it will actually get BETTER! For example, there is one bar from last year that I found in my toiletry bag used for travelling. When I used it recently on an overnight outing, it lathered up MORE than before and was VERY hard! Even though I used it frequently for a few days, it looked as though I had not used it at all!! This just goes to show that the longer it sits, the longer it lasts 🙂

Organic Cinnamon Roll Soap

Organic Cinnamon Roll Soap

*So the take away from this post is:

~Without Lye you do not have soap of ANY type!

~4 weeks minimum is needed before soap is ready to use.

~The longer it sits the better it gets!

~Keep soap well drained & dry in-between uses so it lasts longer! *************************************************************************

I will be covering different questions that are frequently sent to me about my products!

♦Do you have any questions about my products that you want answered?

♦Do you understand the basics of soap making and how LYE is on every soap?

Please leave your comments below!

Now introducing my new Honey Bee Holistics Wellness Series! Part 1: Your skin is what you……….EAT!

Honey Bee Holistics Wellness Series is now underway! I have been receiving a lot of questions pertaining to the health of the skin, how to heal it with herbs, and what products would be best for it. I do have my recommendations based on skin type, and needs, but it is a touchy subject when other information is presented that may be seen as a judgement.
I always keep in mind what could possibly help other than an Organic Lotion I provide. The lotion is a good preventative and healing soother, but often times there is something else going on that is causing it in the first place. If I am able to share what I have learned with my customers, then they would take a closer look at how they can help themselves through health of the body! Part 1: Your skin is what you……….EAT!

This concept is fairly new to me as I have always thought of my skin as something that can be healed with a cream or herb. It was not until July 2013 that I was forced to take a closer look at my health through the “eyes” of my skin!

We planned a big 4th of July party which our friends were coming over with their families and camping out near the river for the weekend. Three whole days of fun. I looked forward to it, as we usually do not get visitors since we are approx 1 hr from the nearest major highway! I have become accustomed to the drive it takes to get anywhere, but others are not since they live in the cities.

So the morning of June 30th, I woke up with what appeared to be little blisters on my face! I was completely perplexed as I occasionally would have a pimple, but not little blisters around my mouth, nose and eyes. As anyone who knows me, I am a “do-it-yourself” kind of gal! If it can be healed, I will figure it out. I save my visits to the Dr. for stitches and major surgery. Even then, our family Dr. is Doctor of Naturopathy, which is right up my alley of recommending herbs to heal, not jumping to write a prescription for each ailment. Writing a script is the LAST resort for a Naturopathic Dr. as I have found in my experience.

So just a few days to get it cleared up and I would be ready for the party. My body & skin said otherwise! I tried some topical applications of Calendula, which had worked before, but not this time. The blisters persisted. I was horrified. It was awful trying to go anywhere with these blisters all over my face that resembled zits, but they weren’t!
Good thing I am remotely adept with makeup, so I was able to cover them up a little, but this seemed to make them worse.
I cried a little. I am being upfront with you, I did cry. How could this be happening? I definitely needed a different approach. Crying does not solve anything, so back to work figuring it out.

I started searching pictures on Google for eczema, then blistering eczema. I found one that looked like what I was suffering from here.

source

The more pictures I looked at the more it hurt my heart to know of SO MANY people suffering from this! I was not alone, yet I needed to share what I did to heal myself so I can help others!

One of the most common suggestions I kept reading was going on an elimination diet. Eliminate what? Well the common triggers are: Dairy, Caffeine, Wheat, Gluten, Eggs, Soy, Sugar. I pretty much ate all of those things, so I needed to start with eliminating 2 at a time for a few weeks to see if it helped. If it didn’t help, then 2 more until I figured it out. Once it was starting to heal, then I could slowly re-incorporate some of them to see if it triggered a reaction.

I started out eliminating my coffee and chocolate habit! I LOVE both of them dearly, but was going to get this going as soon as I could. It started to work, a little. I was reminded by my Grandmother that she had recently been diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I do know that this is possibly hereditary, so I may be suffering and not know it. So I thought it could not hurt to try. So on my next shopping trip I purchased some popular Gluten Free alternatives for my regular items: bread, pasta, crackers, flours

I also started Oil Pulling. If you have not heard of this, read here with information on how it detoxifies the body to allow complete healing from what ails you!

I would do it every morning after brushing my teeth with my homemade toothpaste (recipe available upon request), every afternoon before lunch, and each night before bed after brushing my teeth. It took about 3 months before I started seeing my blisters subside, and my face returning to normal! I then SLOWLY re-incorporated dairy once a week, coffee 3 times /week. I completely eliminated Gluten for good, as my belly had not felt this good EVER!! I was no longer boaty after eating, and I have dropped to this day 15lbs without any vigorous workouts needed! My jeans fit better, and I feel more energetic and ALIVE!!

The 4th of July party went off well, even though I was in the middle of my healing. I am now wiser to what effects me and how to help myself! Of course these suggestions and steps I took are not for everyone, but it is worth giving a try for 2-3 months to see if it helps you!! What is a few months in your ENTIRE life anyway but a drop in the bucket?

YOU are worth living your healthiest and liveliest life ever!! Keep in mind that lotions only help the outside reaction and do not heal the ROOT cause of your skin condition. Look deeper to heal yourself without the need for harmful medications. I do understand that some medications are necessary in life for some, but the option to heal yourself with food is in your control!!

Check out my FAVORITE Gluten Free cookbook here by Danielle Walker. She experienced drastic symptoms that she was told she was going to have to live with her whole life. She healed herself with food! She is a wonderful wiz in the kitchen with Gluten/Grain Free foods and I have made SOO many of them with great success!

Do you know someone who could benefit from this information? Share this post with them!

PLUS, go HERE to sign up for my Newsletter to get the inside scoop in all of my newest products and unadvertised specials!!

Calendula……Have you met this bright yellow-orange beauty?

There is a bright orange & yellow flower that I grow each year,Calendula Officinalis. Its actions are antiseptic, anti-fungal & anti-inflammatory. It is widely used by herbalists for its gentle approach to healing.

Calendula is beneficial for dry & damaged skin thanks to its anti-inflammatory action. I saw it go to work first hand on my own eczema!
If you have ever read my story as to why I first became interested in making my own products, then you know a bit of it already.

I was 26, and up to this point in my life I did not really have any skin issues to speak of except an occasional pimple once a month. When I had started getting a dryness on my arms I reached for the well known “oat based” lotion. This helped it, but only for a few hours until it became itchy again. Thank goodness it was during the cold season, as I was able to wear long sleeves then, because it looked horrible. As time went on, it started to blister up and crack. I would find myself waking up in the middle of the night scratching my arms. When I would itch it would feel good for a split second until it started to burn like my arms were on fire!!

I am a “do-it-yourself” kind of gal, so I did not run to the Dr. right away. I planned on toughing it out until I found something that worked, THEN if it got too bad, I would go to the Dr. and possibly get a script. I started checking into all of the ingredients on my “oat-based” lotion. It was as follows: Water, Glycerin, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Petrolatum, Isopropyl Palmitate, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Benzyl Alcohol, Sodium Chloride (table salt).

I took the time to look up each one and analyze if it could be preventing my skin from healing. I know that in order for an inflammation to heal it needs to breathe and have some sort of antiseptic application to reduce swelling and speed healing. I felt that the use of the Petrolatum prevented my skin from breathing as it does not penetrate the skin, but sits on top of the skin forming a barrier. This might be good if I were wanting to protect my skin when I showered from being dried out, but it is better to take lukewarm showers to prevent this. In my quest to keep in moisture, the ingredients ending with “-alcohol” take the lotion in another direction. There are 2 types of alcohol present which cause a drying action on the skin. Here is a picture of what my eczema looked like, though I did not ever take pictures of my own arms at the time. Credits

No more store bought lotion for me! I started my research for a recipe for a lotion that was made simple with minimal ingredients. Trust me, this was not easy! Most were lotions pre-made that I could add scents to, not a recipe to make it from scratch. THEN I came upon a well known herbalist, Rosemary Gladstar!

Rosemary had so much information I started off with a few of her books. I had a feeling that I was on the right track and just went with it! It was the beginning of my love for herbs♥ This shining through my soul like a light guiding me to my own healing refuge. She goes through the steps and information to make your own lotion using beeswax, oils and healing herbs. I read it over & over & over again! I wanted to make it imprinted on my mind so I could easily create masterpieces of healing lotion for my aching skin. Calendula is highlighted in one of Rosemary’s skin healing salves. I saw this as an herb that would be good in a lotion too! So I chose the hot extraction method and began infusing my Organic Olive Oil with the Organic Calendula petals. It turned the oil a beautiful deep yellow-orange and had a gentle flower scent to it. I then used this infused oil to make my first lotion!!

After using it for only a few days, my arms itched less. Then after a week, the redness was gone and it was healing up nicely! I was completely astounded and wanted to know more. I thought to myself, “I bet there are other people out there who could benefit from this too!”. The rest you can read in my About Me page here, if you would like the continuation of how my business grew!

Now I had some healing Calendula lotion and became educated each time I opened another book on how herbs can heal our bodies. My Organic Calendula lotion is now my #1 Best Selling Lotion and continues to help people of all ages! Here are a few testimonials from my Etsy customers who shared their story.

♦Reviewed by Greek2Me: I Love it! I use it on my face (oily and acne prone) and on my 2 year old son who has eczema. Works great on both! Leaves my skin glowy and smooth 🙂

♦Reviewed by Chelsea: This cream is so amazing!!! I suffer from occasional dry patches of skin and eczema, but after a few days of applying this cream, my once rough skin is transformed into wonderful silky softness 🙂 Thank You so much for creating this fantastic product! ♡

♦Barbara Rowlete: I am 67 years old, Irish,and have so many problems with my skin. I had cancer 4 years ago, and have done organic foods, and as many organic skin care items as my skin will allow. I really like the lotion it goes into the skin,and with my dry skin after one application was so much better.

I also incorporated the Organic Calendula in my most popular lip balm, Organic Calendula Chamomile. Its anti-inflammatory properties also help provide relief from dry, cracked lips. It is MY favorite lip balm as well! I have one in my purse, one in the car, one in my makeup case and one by my bed! Obsessed a little? 🙂

I hope I have helped educate you on how Calendula can be one of the best assets in your herbal arsenal!! Next herb to be highlighted is a long time favorite……Lavender!!

Would you like to try some of my Organic Calendula products for yourself? Comment below as to why YOU need Calendula in your life for a chance to WIN a 1 1/2oz Organic Calendula Lotion of your own!!
**Don’t forget to put in your email address so I can contact you if you win!


THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED as of 01/24/2014
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THE WINNER is ………… Angie!!

Angie ~~ January 20, 2014 at 12:51 PM

Wow, calendula sounds like a miracle ingredient! I get this weird little patch of eczema during the winter times on the top area of my eye lid, and nothing I have has healed it. I would love to see if that lotion can help relieve that sensitive area of my face.
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CONGRATULATIONS Angie on winning your OWN 1 1/2oz Organic Calendula Lotion!!