Rose

Applying herbal medicine through the skin.

One of my favorite things to make is salves and balms. The process is simple, starting with making a medicinal oil (oil infused with the healing properties of herbs). To the oil you add beeswax to thicken it and tincture or essential oils to scent and add more medicinal qualities to the salve. Salves are useful for a variety of skin issues, irritations, muscle issues, mood influences, and beauty purposes. Your skin is a very sensitive, complicated, and powerful organism designed to protect the body and control temperature. Skin absorption is a powerful mechanism and unwanted chemicals in skin products can take affect within the body. Not everything can be absorbed through the skin, I mean it is designed to PROTECT but, we should be more conscious of the products we put on our skin, whether it be soap, shampoo, lotion, deodorant, makeup, etc. On the other side of the spectrum, some products are non absorbable and it blocks and clogs your pores and starves the skin.

These salves I have described and made here are available on shop (purchasing done through etsy).

LOVE BALM. ROSE & HIBISCUS. FOR YOUR LIPS.

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A balm to soothe, and soften your lips, lightly scented with rose. It is handcrafted in small batches and made with organic rose petals, organic hibiscus, organic rose hips, spectrum walnut/almond oil, beeswax, & rose in jojoba essential oil. Rose and love are hand-in-hand, throw in a little rose - get a little love. Seriously, try it out with this rose tea/posting about roses and to learn all about the folklore/history of roses here. Rose is also a nice, cooling herb, the same as hibiscus. Hibiscus also provides moisture. I chose nut oils because they are good for the skin; improving skin health and beauty.

This salve is inspired by the Smith's rosebud salve that I use to love for years but now I prefer not to use rosebud salve because it contains petroleum. Petroleum is a by product of the oil industry and I think we use enough oil without putting it in our beauty products. It is partially an environmental choice not to use it but also a health one. It forms a coating over the skin and blocks up pores, sealing in toxins that would otherwise escape through the body. Some studies show that it damages collagen and contributes to physical signs of aging. Also, in some countries petroleum jelly is listed as a known carcinogen. It contains PAH, a carcinogen that binds to DNA. Here is an article about it from the UK health report.

Want some? Get it here.

SKIN FRIEND - AN ALL PURPOSE SALVE.

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This salve is to comfort and heal irritations, blemishes, rough spots, cracking, sun burn, inflammation, dry skin, eczema, rashes, I even put it on a breakout sometimes. It shouldn't be used on large wounds until they close up, it is meant as a topical product. It is made with beeswax, a medicinal walnut & almond oil of organic calendula, organic comfrey and organic echinacea and scented with the essential oil of organic lavender. Calendula is a fabulous topical herb. Calendula is anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, astringent, anti-viral, & anti-fungal. Comfrey is also another super-star of topical herbs. It contains allantoin, which is essential to cell formation/healing and also has strong pain-relieving properties. People typically think of echinacea when getting sick and pull out the tea & capsules but echinacea is perfect for fighting bacterial infections. Lavender also has soothing & anti-microbial properties but also a lovely scent. 

Want some? Get it here.

BREATHE DEEP, RAW NOSE RELIEF SALVE. 

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Love Vick's Vapor Rub? Then this is for you. It is great to soothe around your nose when it has been rubbed raw from all the nose wiping. Also can be smeared on your chest to help open the lungs. All the herbs in this salve are very pungent herbs to help open and clear the nasal passage. The medicinal oil is made with sage and rosemary and nut oils (which are nourishing and soothing to the skin). There is jojoba oil added for extra moisture content. In addition to these essential oil of eucalyptus and pine were added. Eucalyptus helps break up mucus build up but it also increases the intake of oxygen in the lungs to the blood. 

Want some? Get it here.

SORE MUSCLE & JOINT RELIEF

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I know you have sore muscles. Why? Because we all have sore muscles, especially back trouble. Mine is terrible. I'm paying for years of leaning over a drafting table in school, hunched over laptops, weighed down by backpacks, poor posture and jobs where I stand all day. It takes a toll and I like to have this little salve around to help bring some relief. I also find that stretching and yoga has been the best remedy for back pain. Plus, having a sore muscle salve around is a great excuse to get your loved one to massage you for a few minuets. I made this goldenrod oil (which is used by some massage therapists) at the end of the summer/beginning of fall when the goldenrod was blooming. I wild harvested it in areas on the farm I live on, which is pesticide free. I later infused this medicinal oil with St. John's wort. St. John's wort is popularly know for treating depression but topically, it really is a fabulous pain reliever. It is also scented with lemongrass essential oil which is used to relax muscles through aromatherapy but also, lemongrass topically can tone tissue/muscles and increase blood circulation. 

Want some? Get it here.

A BRITTLE NAIL & CUTICLE REMEDY

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Horsetail, such an interesting herb/plant that is a prehistoric plant. Well, rather a version of its prehistoric variety which probably was much larger. Horsetail is very rich in silica and minerals. Silica is an important component of healthy hair, skin, and nails. Usually brittle nails have a link to a lack of silica. Now horsetail is such an amazing plant and I will come to discuss is later in more detail. Some people take horsetail internally for improved hair, skin, nails although this salve is solely meant to be used externally. Rub this salve into your nails/cuticles everyday or multiple times a day and see an improvement in a few weeks.

Want some? Get it here.

Tulsi and Rose

Tea.

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I've been posting on here for almost the past week with recipes and little snippets here, a touch of history there, maybe a mention about my life but really, without saying very much outside the post topics. I guess I was just trying to get some information up on here to give you several things to look at rather than me, you know, just talking about myself. But this is tea. Tea is my calming, collecting, balancing ritual that, with any luck, I do several times a day. And do I ever need calming, collecting, and balancing right now. Sometimes as I sit with a cup of tea I just temporarily live in the moment of "it doesn't matter, I have tea" and look down happily at my full mug. As I keep sipping and the tea dwindles from the cup, reality comes back and I know I have to start addressing things once that last sip goes. In August Ty (my boyfriend) and I moved away from Athens, GA, a place we both loved to Charlottesville, VA. Ty was starting his first year in graduate school and I was freshly graduated from undergrad and wanted a new experience and to figure things out as I went. After getting my degree in a design major and reflecting on the exhaustive amount of time and stress it took me (no matter how much I love the subject) I felt like purging myself from all things related. Being free from all of it was like skinny-dipping for the first time.. you keep looking over your shoulder, afraid to get caught. Like one last project or presentation was going to pull up in a cop car and bite me in the naked moon. But I got away with it.

Moving to Charlottesville I decided to fill my time with a bunch of things, right away, I was in a new place with all this time and wanted to do everything and anything but get my first traditional landscape architecture job. I started working in a bakery since I love it, needed money, and I worked in a bakery/coffee shop all through college and it was my second home. I enrolled in an 6-month herbalism course, which I have always wanted to do, drink tea, make medicine, and learn. Then I got an internship at the Center for Historic Plants at Monticello, meeting lovely people and playing with plants, what could be better? I was sure that doing a variety of things would give me clarity on what I wanted to do with my life and maybe it has helped. After about 6 months my internship ended and I left my job at the bakery with ideas about opening a food cart but after a few forward strides, and a few more leaps backwards, that faded too. I am stuck in these huge swaying differences of opinions about my life, worried that I am potentially making the wrong move. I have equal love for several passions and that is ripping me in several directions. I wish I could just grab them all as easily as cake ingredients, throw them in a kitchen-aid, pop it in the oven and present it to you; frosted. But right now, I can't, I'm just living. Right now, I drink tea and think. 

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Tulsi and Rose tea is quickly become one of my favorite teas. A friend in my herbalism course mentioned that he was drinking tulsi and rose in the mornings instead of coffee and this blend has stuck for me. Personally, I do not choose it in the mornings but for whenever I want something that melts the stress, gives you clarity and rubs you with a strong, loving energy. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. 

Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, is a sacred plant to the Hindus and in sanskrit it translates to "the incomparable one." I am told that it is grown all over India, most homes have a tulsi plant growing for protection. Tulsi will do many things for the body but in this blend it is chosen as a tea to reduce anxiety and stress. I chose roses because they are very connected to your heart. Drinking rose tea soothes your heart as well as your emotions. It also helps to quiet and balance your mind while  having an uplifting, cooling affect. This is tasty and aromatic, just a scent of it will make you feel better, I promise. I made another posting about rose here, if you'd like to to the origin of rose and its uses. I happen to have some rosehip syrup in my refrigeration from a little while back. I made this from steeping rosehips in water and then dissolving in honey or sugar. I pour a little spoonful into the tea but it is great unsweet or with a little honey.

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To make 2 large cups

2TB Tulsi

2TB Rose petals.

Heat water to boil and add tea into a tea pot or pitcher. After water boils let cool for about 1 minute and then pour over tea. Let infuse for 5 minutes and then pour into cups through a strainer. Sweeten if desired. Relax.

I choose to get a lot of my tea/herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs (including tulsi and rose) but you can find bags of tulsi at your local health food store, whole foods, or earthfare.

"The sun should be a giver of happiness, the sky should be a giver of happiness, all trees and plants should be givers of happiness. All these should give us peace of mind ( shanti ) and even the peace should give us peace." - Rigveda

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