Demystifying Balms and Salves

The impetus behind writing this post was my frustration in finding measurement guidelines (the mathematics) to make a balm or salve. Many recipes give specific measurements for a specific recipe and that's it--no guidelines, no "WHY." What if I need a small quantity (e.g., 1 ounce) or a large quantity of an odd number (e.g., 23 ounces)? What if I have funky containers and need to know how much salve I need to make to fill those containers? Read on to learn more…

Getting to Know: Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Yarrow, an herb in the Asteraceae family, has been used for wound healing/vulnerary purposes since ancient times. According to folklore, Achilles (the Grecian battle hero), carried the herb while on battle campaigns to treat battle wounds. This tough (it's so tough that it grows in the incredibly damp, clay soil of my gardens!) herb can be found throughout the temperate climates of the … Continue reading Getting to Know: Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Mouth-rinse: Hydrosols and Xylitol

In conjunction with a toothpaste I made to help treat gum inflammation, it seemed wise to concoct a soothing mouth-rinse that could be used to: Clear any residual baking soda from the mouth. Address bleeding gums (post brushing & flossing). Freshen breath. For this, it seemed a gentle, cooling effect would be best, which is where hydrosols come into play. Which leads … Continue reading Mouth-rinse: Hydrosols and Xylitol

Getting to Know: Angelica archangelica

Here is a picture of the beautiful Angelica archangelica (commonly known as garden angelica) that was growing in my garden this summer. I saved the seeds from the umbels and plan on distilling them in a few weeks to keep the water (hydrosol) created from the distillation process. Both the root and the seed are used from this … Continue reading Getting to Know: Angelica archangelica

Toothpaste: Baking Soda, Coconut Oil, Xylitol and Essential Oils

I had a routine dental check-up in late July of 2015 and received bad news--bleeding gums on my lower-right gum-line. As you can imagine this was depressing news. Granted I don't floss as much as I should. Though I do gargle and brush, twice daily, with national brands of mouthwash and toothpaste. Obviously something had to change, like … Continue reading Toothpaste: Baking Soda, Coconut Oil, Xylitol and Essential Oils