It’s the season for everyone’s favorite autumnal spices. Crisp fall scents and flavors are in our lattes, our pastries, our diffusers, our perfumes, and more. They’re also in one of my favorite Mountain Rose Herbs lotion recipes! Although I love thicker creams and body butters for everyday moisturizing, I like to keep lotion in a pump bottle by the sink to use after hand-washing. This DIY lotion recipe is so easy to make, which means it’s simple to switch up the scent to match the seasons or my current mood. This time of year, it’s all about the satisfying aromas of autumn.
Let’s talk for a moment about shelf life. Although this is a fun and easy way to make lotion, it does not have a preservative and includes water in the form of chamomile hydrosol. This means it’s going to have a shorter shelf life than a product that includes preservatives. Water breeds life, including microbial life, so mold and other bacterial spoilage can become an issue with any formulation that includes water, hydrosols, witch hazel, aloe vera juice, flower waters, milk, etc. Without a broad-spectrum preservative, water-containing emulsions like lotions, hair rinses, room and linen sprays, and cleaning products all need to be made and stored properly to achieve their longest shelf life.
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?
Summer being what it is—with all the extra sunshine and outdoor fun—our deodorant choices start to matter in a bigger way. Consumers have become increasingly aware of the potential issues that can come with using deodorants with ingredients like propylene glycol, aluminum, and triclosan, and have been turning more and more to natural deodorants. Unfortunately, while over-the-counter natural deodorants are a safer and more earth-friendly option than those loaded with parabens and chemicals, they are still packaged in mostly non-recyclable plastics that millions of Americans throw away every year. Happily, it’s an easy task to make your own natural, herbal, roll-on deodorant.
Just so we’re on the same page, it’s important to know that deodorants aren’t meant to reduce or eliminate sweat. No matter what those old antiperspirant ads used to tell you, sweating is essential for the human body. Its primary task, of course, is to help control body temperature, but sweating also helps moisturize the skin and increase skin hydration. The kind of sweat we produce when exercising or relaxing in a sauna is also evidence that we’re supporting heart health and mental wellbeing. Our bodies need to sweat, so it behooves us to find natural, safe ways to neutralize any resulting underarm odors from this necessary bodily process. That’s where our herbal allies come in!
This simple recipe for a liquid roll-on deodorant is a longtime, tried-and-true Mountain Rose Herbs favorite. It’s effective, wonderfully low-mess, and easily portable so we can take it with us and reapply as needed. Also, it is easy to customize to meet your unique needs and aroma preferences. Need more absorbency? Add a bit of baking soda or organic arrowroot powder. Want to customize the scent? Create your own blend of essential oils!
Organic vegetable glycerine—known as glycerol and sometimes spelled glycerin—is an effective alternative to alcohol-based tinctures for extracting and preserving many beneficial herbal constituents. Of course, infusions, decoctions, and oxymels are ideal for many herbal wellness goals that don’t involve alcohol, but glycerites—the medicinal preparations made by mixing vegetable glycerine with herbs—can open new opportunities for teetotalers, parents, and those who do not wish to have alcohol. Bonus: it tastes good! Glycerol is a clear, colorless, odorless liquid with a viscous consistency and a pleasing sweetness that makes it a good base for botanical flavors.
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!
Research compiled by Oregon State University has shown that roughly half of the adult population in the United States doesn’t get enough of the vitamins and minerals that leafy greens supply: 52% don’t get the recommended intake of magnesium, 44% don’t get enough calcium, and 43% don’t get enough vitamin C. Although many of us know that we need two to three cups of leafy greens a day to supply our exquisitely complex bodies with the vitamins and minerals needed to carry out cellular processes and repairs, many of us have trouble eating adequate amounts of those greens.
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!
Food is art. It is an art blended from culture and experience, passion, and appetite. But only fresh and vibrant spices can truly make your culinary creations come to life. Mountain Rose Herbs has provided farm-fresh organic spices since 1987 and continues to be the supplier of choice for home cooks and professional chefs alike.
If you’ve had the opportunity to work with tonka beans (also called tonkin or tonquin beans), you know they have a heavenly aroma: a blend of vanilla-like essence with undertones of tobacco, pistachio, and musk. They are perfect for perfumery. The dilemma is how to get that delicious scent into a perfume. It turns out, a simple alcohol extraction is the key! Then add pure organic vetiver essential oil and a touch of sandalwood to this aromatic base, and you have a luscious, warm, sultry homemade perfume. Our three-ingredient tonka bean perfume blend is the perfect place to start exploring the wonders of this wondrous South American legume.