All posts filed under: Recipes

The Mathematics Behind Balms & 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…

Aromatic Bath Fizzies: “How To” & “Why”

Over the summer I was working with a case-study who I knew needed to get back into the tub. This person used to take baths galore, but ceased to do so since moving to New York City (read: small bathroom and a not-so-ideal-sized bathtub). I needed to deliver a synergy of essential oils to her via the bath but did not want to bog her down with dilution instructions and cautions that might have kept her from using this beneficial modality (e.g., diluting in a lipophilic substance at x number of drops/dilution rate and why). So where did that leave us? Bath Bombs (a.k.a., Aromatic Bath Fizzies)*! The thought behind using essential oils via this delivery method is to: Ensure the safe delivery of essential oils to the bather Not make the bather worry about “doing things right” (stress is anathema to a relaxing bath) Make it a fun (fizzing!) and therapeutic bathing experience. So, I needed to do some research. How do I make these? What are the ingredients and why am I using them? What are the …

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 to a quick explanation of what a hydrosol (i.e., hydrolate, hydrolat, floral water) is from the highly regarded Suzanne Catty (in aromatherapy terms): “Hydrosols are the condensate water coproduced during the steam-or hydro-distillation of plant material for aromatherapeutic purposes.” Truth-be-told, I have used the Listerine brand  for years–mostly out of learned behavior and co-habiting: my father used Listerine and my husband does. [To be clear: I am not knocking the brand nor asking anyone not to use it–the point of this post is to share how incredibly simple alternatives exist using plant medicine and aromatherapy for oral care.] Following is the formula for the mouth-rinse (for an 8 ounce bottle): Peppermint hydrosol (Mentha x piperita) (1/2 cup): Anti-inflammatory and a mild antibacterial agent. Note: …

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 the products I was using. Over the years the benefits of nut & seed oils (e.g.,  for oil pulling), baking soda and xylitol have been known but I didn’t pay attention–it was definitely more convenient to go to a store and give a large corporation my money in exchange for oral care I trusted.  So I started reading about these ingredients online, in books and in magazines/journals. With all of the knowledge I was gaining I had to question–why not make my own toothpaste? And why not enhance that toothpaste with essential oils that are known for oral care? After two weeks of using my homemade toothpaste (and mouth rinse) my gums do not bleed when I floss. Following is the …