This funny pic was taken in one of my classes on herbal skincare. Sorry I couldn’t smile - I didn’t want my facemask to crack!
We were experimenting with the differences between Red, White, and Sea Clay (Green French) Bentonite, Charcoals, Spirulina, and different types of refining and drawing compounds.
The picture of me and a few of the students shows our Sea Clay base, also called French green, known for its ability to clean and tighten pores. We blended that with spirulina for its ability to eliminate toxins, reduce inflammation, and prevent acne. Spirulina is highly alkaline so after using it on your skin, be sure to neutralize your skin’s pH.
We added a few more specialized clay and dried ingredients, but the most exciting part of the mask was using Kombucha to moisten the clay, rather than water. The American Academy of Dermatology research states that probiotic liquid on the skin is antimicrobial and antibiotic, preventing and healing acne with a...
Making your own herbal capsules is a terrific skill to have because our culture is so accustomed to taking pills. So many of the herbs we use are downright nasty tasting - and wrangling them into a capsule is the best way to get them into our bodies. So first, you'll need to understand how to use a capsule maker. You can find these on the internet along with easy-to-follow video tutorials. Empty capsules are made from either gelatin or vegetable gel, and can be colored or clear. I love the idea of vegetable capsules and used them for years, but while you're learning the art of capsule making - I might suggest you practice on gelatin capsules. They are firmer and easier to work with. I've known a few people who gave up on capsule-making because they couldn't finesse the vegetarian caps together. In either case, don't give up. Just be prepared to go through a ten-thumb learning curve and you'll be captain capsule in no time!
Watch Janie here to learn more!
See the Goji Berry on this bush? I ATE it!! It was my first fresh Goji Berry right off the vine. DeLISH! These little red powerhouses are incredible blood sugar balancers and are a key part of our formula for restoring Insulin Sensitivity. You'll most likely find them dried, like dried cranberries. They've been used in Chinese Medicine for centuries to treat the kidney through all types of complications including Diabetes. Try replacing cranberries with Goji Berries in this seasons holiday cooking and secretly help everyone be just a little bit healthier!
Cider Vinegar is one of the oldest natural healing compounds we know of.
Our ancestors made their own vinegar using the scraps from fruit, but discovered that apple skins and scraps contained the right combination of microbes and yeast to start the fermentation process. And so, Apple Cider Vinegar was born.
Honoring the same 3-ingredients processes our grandmothers used we made our own Apple Cider Vinegar, creating one of the purest and most basic healing compounds still used today.
We started with a box of apples. We took ‘seconds’ meaning, these hadn’t been selected for sale commercially. Some had spots or were misshapen, but we were thrilled to have them. Next, we removed any bruises or bad spots, and chopped up the rest. Seeds, stems and all - went into the jars.
The recipe couldn’t be more simple. Equal parts apples and filtered or distilled water. Then add 1 tablespoon of sugar for each cup of water. That’s it. The...
It’s time to start harvesting some of our garden herbs before they go to seed! I see so many beautiful photos on posts with beautiful clumps hanging on fences and in kitchens, and although I still hang my poppies in the house to dry, most of my herbs hang in mesh bags. Depending on where you live, many things we harvest won’t come on a long stem. I typically use a long tight-mesh bag.
My herb drying bags are made from tightly woven mesh, sewn into a bag that might cover a big baguette with a drawstring on one end. Perfect for slipping over a handful of herbs that you’ve cut and tied, and you want to hang in a cool dark place. Why the mesh? I’ve found that spiders love dark, cool places too. I’ve found spidies in my hanging herbs more than once, so I started using the mesh bags. I use them for flower heads like Calendula and Chamomile too - you’ll use them for lots of things. They also hold together all of the leaves or little bits that start...
Our skin is our largest organ, is our first line of defense, and tells an irrefutable story of what’s going on beneath the surface. Fabulous inner health is likely to reflect in the quality of our skin, just as toxic, inflammatory, or deficient health will also sneak out to the surface.
Although we know that great skin is grown from the inside out, most of us engage in some degree of care to maximize the health and appearance or our outer wrapper.
In our modern Western culture, healthy skin implies inner-health, youthfulness, and vitality, and is closely tied with social perceptions of beauty.
Today's skincare industry has exploded trying to keep pace with our ravenous demand for new, better, and now ‘natural’ ways to care for our skin. Sadly, most commercial skincare products are laced with so many unnatural ingredients that any benefits we might derive can be overwritten by the list of preservatives, emulsifiers, and artificial additives.
More of us...
For all of us that sat by the pool staring at the lifeguard, we are now dealing with an aging phenomenon called Photoaging.
(Well, not me. I got bored and sweaty, and the lifeguard was NOT looking my way).
The sun is invaluable in the right doses, but too much sun can damage the deepest layers of our skin. When it does, new growth patterns are mutated and new skin cells no longer develop in healthy layers. This skin is now photo-damaged, often covered in sunspots (age spots) and deep lines, which become deep permanent crevices in the skin.
Fighting photoaging is serious stuff. The damage is deep, and very few legitimate topical skincare treatments go deep enough to repair the damage. So unless you plan to go the needle and grinder route, I recommend an herb with a clinically proven track record of healing photoaging from the inside out.
Hibiscus sabdariffa calyx. You recognize the ‘Hibiscus’ part. You need this specific strain, and the calyx is the outside...
Try to think of a really unhealthy person with great skin. You probably can’t - right? Healthy skin often equates to good health, vibrance, youth, and beauty, which has made skin a focal point of the beauty industry.
And you may know the skincare industry (not the cosmetic industry) hit the 135 billion dollar mark in 2018, which tells us - we’re paying quite a bit to try and ‘look’ healthy and vibrant.
Funny thing is, most commercial skincare treatments are topical. By the time your skin cells have transitioned from the inner dermal layers to the surface, it may be a little late to decide that you’d like it to look healthy. Like a guy who buys you flowers after you break up with him. (Hmmm, too late buddy..)
So, no surprise, the quality of our skin has much less to do with the magical rescue creams we glob on the outside, and primarily what we’re doing on the inside while those layers of skin are developing...
There’s something in the water. ‘Filter-fail’ Part 4
People often ask me about filters on refrigerators or filters on water pitchers. These are typically made using a charcoal base which will remove the smell and taste of chlorine, and will sparkle up the water a bit. But they don't have the capacity to filter out the pollutants, microbes, or the host of contaminants from pesticides to prescription drugs. So your water will taste A-Ok, but it will still be very much -contaminated.
And in previous water-blogs, I’ve told you about the water safety regulations of the EPA and the FDA, holding bottled water to no higher standards than tap water. It’s tap water, in a bottle.
So for all of those reasons, and a few others, I rarely drink tap water. Or charcoal filtered, refrigerator filtered, or bottled water unless I’m, you know, lost at sea or in the desert.
Yes, guilty. I support my body with...
This stickery beauty improves skin elasticity, according to new studies. Unlike collagen and hyaluronic acid, the elastin fibers in our dermis are much more difficult to regenerate and can degrade due to pollutants, sun damage, and poor diet, causing sagging skin and premature aging. And sagging skin doesn't just happen on the outside. Some experts believe that snoring is the result of sagging skin, rattling on the inside of our throats. The medicine in Blackberry plant is a little shy, so use aerial parts to make a 12-hour infusion or extract to draw it out. Dilute and drink as a tea. Firm up ALL of your skin with blackberry!
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