Many of us are ready for fall, but the truth remains that we are still in summer and it is hawt! With the heat and sun come sunburn, heat rash, heat exhaustion, and even heat stroke. There are things we can do to prevent these from happening and natural remedies for when they do.
Why Do We Get Sunburn?
Sunburn is an acute inflammatory response by the skin in reaction to excessive exposure to sunlight. The harmful changes that occur in the skin cells’ cytoplasm (a gel-like substance that is between the cell membrane and nucleus) and the nucleus itself are cumulative over a lifespan and can lead to an increased incidence of skin cancer. Sunburn is common in this era of popular outside summer activities and clothing styles that leave more skin exposed to the sun’s damaging UVA and UVB rays. We’ve all had that burning sensation after being in the sun too long. While limiting sun exposure is the most reliable method of preventing sunburn, we do want to be able to bask in the sun, don’t we?
When I say “herbal hair,” what is the first thing that comes to mind? Confusion? An image of someone who rarely takes care of their locks? Or maybe even a slight understanding of the magick of apple cider vinegar as a rinse? To me, herbal hair is the alchemy between humans and the earth. The delicate dance between caretaker, gardener, and healer. Beauty rituals that comfort our souls and release our grip and dependence on man-made products. At the root of it all, herbal hair care can nourish our scalps and color our locks, simply by using flowers, leaves, roots, and seeds. This can be in the form of a hydrosol mist, a leave-in spray, or an infusion of jojoba oil and rosemary for scalp nutrients.
I know that washing your face with oil may sound a little odd at first, but trust me—this ancient secret is a great way to cleanse and nourish your skin! The reason oil cleansing works is basic chemistry: like-dissolves-like. Using nourishing organic oils to clean your face helps break up the grime that gets caught in your skin’s natural sebum while not harming the microbiome of the skin. Ready to get started? Let’s go!
Herbalists love hydrosols for their ease of use and versatility in aromatherapy, body care formulations, therapeutic applications, cosmetics, and more. They add variety and scope to our herbal practices and we appreciate the added safety they give us when working with children, elders, and pets. But what exactly are hydrosols, is one as good as another, and how do you use them? We’re excited to tell you more about these distilled botanical extracts, plus we’ve got good tips on best uses and some suggestions about which ones you might like best.
Hydrosols are high quality, distilled botanical extracts, not to be confused with the “floral waters” you might have seen for sale that are often just water combined with essential oils. Hydrosols are beloved by the herbal community for their ease of use and versatility in aromatherapy, herbal body care formulations, therapeutic applications, cosmetics, and household recipes. They add variety and scope to our herbal practices, and we appreciate the added safety they give us when working with children, elders, and pets. Although they are made using the same distillation process as essential oils, they are more sustainable because distillers get significantly more hydrosol per distillation. But not all hydrosols are created equally. We’re excited to tell you more about these lovely plant waters.
This week on Plant Stories, we’re releasing our interview with Michelle Guerrero Denison. Michelle is an herbalist, formulator, educator, and the founder of The Twig & Feather. Michelle resides in Southern California and talks about how through her family’s own health challenges, she found herbalism and holistic wellness.
Refreshing, engaging, and open-minded, Michelle’s plant stories are human centric. It’s clear her passion resides in listening to and assisting others on their personal wellness paths. Michelle’s life experiences and philosophy transfer over to her approach to herbalism as well as the ways she shares her herbal knowledge. We hope you enjoy this wonderful conversation with our friend Michelle!
Inspired by the needs of her family, Michelle has been studying herbalism for the past decade or so and opened her online shop in 2019. She practices western herbalism, with a holistic focus. She has had the opportunity to study with several wonderful teachers, and readily admits that she will probably be learning for the rest of her life. Her true passions lie in personal consultations, teaching, and writing. All of these are opportunities to get personal and see how herbs can change a life.
This podcast episode is the presentation that Kiva Rose Hardin gave for the Fall 2022 Free Herbalism Project. This was a virtual event that took place over Zoom on October 14, 2022.
Kiva states, Vervain, Wood Betony, and St. John’s Wort were some of my earliest herbal allies when I took my first steps on the plant healer’s path. These three herbs are nervines, but so much more! They have a long history as sacred and magical plants across many cultures. Medicinally, all three are often categorized as calming but also have profound tonifying effects and myriad healing actions that are not always as well-known as they should be. In the class, I will cover my personal experiences with the herbs, including specific indications, application, medicine making, dosage, folklore, and more!
This podcast episode comes from Dr. Christopher Hobbs’ presentation for the Fall 2022 Free Herbalism Project. This was a virtual event that took place over Zoom on October 14, 2022. Dr. Hobbs discusses why herbs and herbal medicine is fundamentally different than drugs. Since the pandemic, the popularity of herbal medicine in households has continued to grow rapidly. Dr. Hobbs help us to look closely and practically at how herbal medicine can transform your health and wellness while helping to relieve symptoms and chronic ailments. His presentation also details why choosing herbal medicine as our first line of prevention and treatment in most ailments can not only benefit us—side benefits rather than side effects—while being completely sustainable and beneficial for our beautiful planet and all the inhabitants. Dr. Christopher Hobbs occasionally references slides throughout his presentation. You can find his slides by watching the presentation on our YouTube channel.
Jiling and Maria discuss favorite easy-to-grow herbs for a medicinal herb garden, “remedy gardens,” favorite herbs for delicious teas, increasing access for herbal classes within a for-profit business model, and more. We hope this conversation inspires your spring planting, growing, learning, and harvesting projects!
Citrus essential oils are bright, sweet, and sour and are known to bring a smile to your face. They are energetically uplifting and engaging and pack a punch in DIY cleaning products. But which one should you use?
Organic citrus oils are cold-pressed from the fruit peel of various citrus trees. These lovely essential oils are mostly made up of the same constituents but vary in the amounts that they contain. (+)-Limonene is the primary monoterpene in all of them and contributes to their use in surface cleaners, room sprays, and soaps.