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Archive for the ‘Home Herbal Skin Care’ Category

I shared this recipe back in February, my take on a creamy massage oil I learned how to make in a Love Medicine workshop at Wild Roots Herbal Learning Center.

I decided I should re-post the recipe, because it’s really good and deserves it’s own posting. I hope you try it out for yourself.

Enjoy!

Rich Chocolate, Cinnamon & Rose Massage Oil for Lovers.

1/8 cup pure prime pressed cocoa butter- wild or organic
1/2 cup wild rose infused almond oil or grape seed oil (you can use plain almond or grape seed oil if you don’t have rose infused oil but do try making your own rose oil if you ever get the chance. It’s pure love in a bottle!)
4-5 drops best quality cinnamon essential oil (be careful, cinnamon can be irritating in too strong doses, it is a stimulant to the skin… Ooo tingly!)
15 drops pure rose otto

To make your creamy massage oil, gently melt your cocoa butter in a small pot on low heat.

Once the butter has melted pour in your rose infused oil and swirl or stir your mix with a chopstick. You may have to gently warm the blend if the cocoa butter hardens a bit after adding the oil.

Add the essential oils and stir again with your chopstick. Make sure your massage oil is well blended.

Pour into a swoon worthy bottle that will entice you from the bedside.

Give your creamy massage oil a gentle shake before using to make sure the cocoa butter stays incorporated in the oil. When the weather gets cold, you may find you need to warm your oil if it stiffens. Do so by placing the bottle in warm water for a few minutes.

This massage oil blend smells incredible and may make you want to devour the skin it comes in contact with. Resist! Or don’t… It’s totally edible, as long as your lover doesn’t mind…

Is it just me, or is weaving wild, herbal goodness into your life in as many ways possible friggen awesome?! I’m obsessed.

Love,

Danika.

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A Spring outing with my son to gather Arrowleaf Balsam Root leaves.

Well there goes May, and with it Spring leaves me as early Summer rolls on in. My month of May was impeded by a chest infection but I still managed to get out to my Herb School classes and spend time wildcrafting and medicine making. I have welcomed into my life the act of prayer. In the past I had always associated prayer with religion and so avoided it. But as I grow older and connect deeper with Nature through my studies and passion for herbal folk medicine, my perception of life expands and opens, and my heart asks me to be more still, more quiet, so I can listen to the voices of the forest, of wild water and animal chatter, and if I am lucky perhaps for a moment I will hear the song of their Spirit. Prayer gives me a way to offer my intentions to all of creation here on Earth, be it of healing given or needed, love shared and received, joy and sorrow. It opens the door to communion with loving, healing, spiraling consciousness. And maybe it does far more… For me it is also a way to give offerings of love and to announce my intentions when working with the plant world.

Belly to the Earth, intoxicated by the scent of Oregon grape inflorescence.

Arrowleaf Balsam Root (Balsamorhiza sagittata)

Leaving the magical Nettle forest…

May brought fresh Nettles once again, something that makes me very, very happy. I have a weird fear of not having enough Nettles! I can’t live without them. On Mothers Day, I drove out to a friends farm with my son and husband and we spent the day picking beautiful, vibrant green Nettles. I dried about 10lbs, steamed off some for the freezer, made nettle infused oil for an under eye cream I am working on for Herb & Petal, my herbal skin care line, and cooked with nettles to my hearts content. I made a very yummy rustic nettle and goat cheese pie with whole grain sage pastry. I wasn’t completely happy with the result, next time I will add more creamy goodness to it like cultured cream cheese and mix the filling well with it, rather than leaving the cheese in chunks, to make for a richer, moister pie. When I have perfected my recipe I will share it with you…

Drying Nettles on an old screen.

Chopping Nettles for oil infusion.

Making Nettle oil infusion for skin care.

Cooked Nettles.

Making Rustic Nettle and Goat Cheese Pie with Sage Pastry.

Nettle and Goat Cheese Pie.

May also brought a ‘Super Moon’, which was very beautiful, although by the time the Moon rose over the mountains behind my house I had  missed the effect of it’s largeness. It was still an energy charged night and I was determined to have a fire outside to enjoy it. I searched around for a second hand brazier to enable backyard campfires but there was no way I was going to pay much for one. So I got my spade out and dug a lovely fire pit for free. 10 minutes later I had an awesome, rock lined fire pit and we have been loving it! Besides, I can cook on my backyard fire pit. Braziers are for….

The full Moon as it drifted over my side of the mountain.

I also had the opportunity to go to Summerhill Organic Winery for the Fertility Festival and interviewed local folk punk band The Dirty Earth. Lots of fun, yummy food and wine, artists, artisans, music and beautiful, shining people everywhere. I’ll post the interview in a separate blog entry soon!

The Dirty Earth played in the Kekuli at Summerhill’s Fertility Festival this May.

Well, I had more to say but I am fading in my enthusiasm presently. It’s been a long week, motherhood has been trying for me lately with low energy levels and the lingering infection in my lungs. Finding time to do all I must and rest to recover is almost impossible. I haven’t even set up shop at my farmers market yet this season, something that bothers me to no end. I must persevere and hope that I am filled with boundless energy soon!

Thanks for stopping by, see you again real soon!

Danika.

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Photo credit: Barbara DuTot

Early Sunday morning, two days before Valentines day I found myself up early and driving north up the Okanagan valley to the “heart” of the Shuswap on my way to Wild Roots Herbal Learning Centre. Barbara DuTot, Wise Woman Herbalist and founder of the herbal learning centre, had invited me to assist her in running an all day Love Medicine workshop. How could I say no? The very intrigue of the thought of love medicine had me curious and excited about how the day would unfold.

But first lets back track…. How did I go from lonely herbal wanderer, seeking kinship and community through a blog to assisting a beloved local herbal teacher? Well, it has been some time since we last got together on Girl Gone Wild and Weedy and I have been keeping my adventures secret, shall we say?

Barbara DuTot. Community Herbalist. Seen here enjoying some dandelion love.

I met Barb in person last year at the end of summer by attending her Heartfelt Hawthorn plant study class. How I never came across her school when I was looking in earnest for a local, grass-roots herbal teacher is beyond me but it was actually through Kiva Rose of Anima Herbal School, New Mexico, that I found Barb. I became Kiva’s student because I could not find a local teacher!  Actually, one of my first assignments from Kiva was to find a traditional healer in my area so when I found Barb I was very excited.

Well for some reason Barb must have thought I was all right because she has kept inviting me back. Through Barb and her school, a community of home and folk herbalists is forming and uniting. Women (and men) from up and down the Okanagan/Shuswap Valleys are celebrating their love of plants and nature, nourishing their bodies with weedy wonders and strengthening their bond with the natural world through the gift of heartfelt knowledge, offered by Barb. How lucky am I to be a part of that?!

Photo by Barb DuTot.

Back to the road trip to Wild Roots… I arrived early at Barb’s adorable homestead in the beautiful Trinity Valley and was put to work minding the beets roasting in the oven and tending the rising bread, setting up the tables with pink and red cloth and laying out cups and glasses for herbal rose petal vinegar water and hot herbal love cacao.

Photo by Barb DuTot

As the guests arrived I hugged familiar folks and poured glasses of waterfall water with a splash of rose petal vinegar to sip while we pondered this: Five words to described what you feel love is and three things you love about yourself.

I should have kept the paper with my answers, well, I was under the influence of damiana and cacao by the end of the day… but it went something like this:

1. Passion. Love is passion.

2. Babies! Baby boy’s, baby girls, baby animals, baby plants…. Love is new life.

3. Patience. Any mother of a 2 1/2-year-old boy will tell you, love is patience.

Hmm, I am having trouble recalling the last two as there were so many good answers from all the people there that they are all merging into one memory. There was some great ones. Let’s go with how I feel right now about love…

4. Willingness. Love is willingness to love and be loved. Love is the willingness to see the ugly, the dark, the grotesque,  and the sick and not shy away, love is letting healing take place.

5. Love is universal. Not a living thing on this Earth is immune to the power of love.

Love is Babies in violet fields! Photo by Barb DuTot.

I like the way Barbara puts it: “Love is multifaceted”. There are so many things love is to each of us. What a great way to get your students thinking about the topic of love medicine. It is not a black and white topic of interest by any means. It is multifaceted.

As for the three things I love about myself… That’s private. 🙂

Heart loving Hawthorn. Photo by Barb DuTot.

After introductions our conversation turned to the heart, physical and energetic. Barb explained the function and intelligence of the heart. She introduced us to the magnetic field that pulses beyond the physical body around the heart area of your torso. She led us through an exercise, perceiving our own ‘heart field’ and then opening up to perceiving a partners. We pondered the reasons why we feel love and heartache in our hearts and not another part of our selves. And then we moved on to the herbal aspects of the day….

As Barb said “so there are a myriad of ways to experience Love, so are there are a myriad of herbs to facilitate Love. With such a plethora of plants from which to choose, Barb decided to focus on herbs that nourish and open the heart and to “spice it up” with some herbal aphrodisiacs!

We sipped and tasted tinctures, honeys, elixirs and teas, familiarizing ourselves with the taste, impression and effect of each plant: rose, hawthorn, self-heal, oatstraw, violet flowers, nettle (heart of the world – Rudolph Steiner), tulsi, motherwort, cacao, damiana, kava, macca and we discussed so many more . We sampled incredible elixirs made of wild rose petals and powdered cacao, brandy and honey. (I had to restrain myself from running away and hiding with the jar of cacao elixir so we could be alone…)

Photo by Barb DuTot.

“In the Tantra, the mystical and spiritual philosophy that exalts the union of opposites at all levels, from the cosmic to the infinitesimal, and in which man and woman are mirrors of divine energies, violet is the colour of female sexuality; which is why it has been adopted by some feminist movements.” -excerpt from “Aphrodite, A Memoir of the Senses” Isabel Allende.

We experienced food as love medicine, sharing a beautiful, simple meal. If you happen to be at Barb’s house, you know you are going to eat well! Her basic philosophy is “Food is Medicine” and she advocates choosing local and organically grown food whenever you can for the most nutrient dense foods for building health.

Lunch included butternut squash soup – high in beta carotene– important for the production of estrogen and keeping the mucous membranes lubricated and healthy, nibbled home-made focaccia, and snacked on super yummy roasted beet salad, so good for libido and health, dressed in “heart-healthy” hawthorn and honey vinaigrette. We shelled and ate cacao beans and sipped glasses of bubbly and sweet raspberry, hawthorn and elderflower spring water spritzers. And then we delighted in dark and chocolaty tofu brownies with rose petal whipped cream. Then, we all basked in the afterglow…

After our senses regained we moved on to arguably the best part of a Wild Roots Herbs class- the medicine making! We made pink St. Johns wort lip balm for puckering up, Aphrodites Atomic Love Bombs- handmade truffles with a sesame paste base, chocolate chunks, honey and plenty of macca. (Macca is said to increase a mans potency by 200%…!!!  That’s pretty potent!) Love Elixir- a blend of damiana and raspberry syrup that totally transports you to a dreamy lovey state, and sensual creamy massage oil that we each scented to our personal desire with my plentiful essential oil kit that I brought along. I chose to enhance the chocolate aroma (from the cocoa butter) with rose otto and cinnamon. It is so good it is literally edible. So warming and deeply sensual, a match made in heaven!

Photo by Barb DuTot.

I left feeling incredible, with an armful of delightful creations to bring out on Valentines day…

Valentines day: It fell on a Tuesday. Dance night! I learn American Tribal Style Bellydance at Blackthorn Bellydance and the Valentines day class was one of the best so far. So much awesome energy shared between women who love to dance with each other. I came home on a high to my child already fed and bathed and ready for bed. My man had a meal cooking in the oven for me –  the most perfectly cooked, organic, local rack of lamb I have ever had. (Well done, husband!) Served with roasted baby potatoes and asparagus roasted with romano cheese and a local cabernet sauvignon. We sipped wine and savoured our meal over beeswax candlelight, left the dishes and retired to our deep red and earthy bedroom to finish our wine and get into our love potions. I played the dreamy music of Solace as we sat on the bed chatting and eating love bombs in the flickering light. We switched our wine for love elixir, it tasted so good! Feeling dreamy and sensual myself and still in costume of tucked and layered gypsy skirts, nettle hip scarf, deep red choli and beautiful coin bra I got up and danced a serpentine dance for my love, for the very first time. He had never seen me dance before then. Maybe it was the love bombs, maybe the wine or the damiana kicking in but I have never seen my husband so mesmerized. The rest of the night was blissful….

Love medicine is potent. 😉

Want to try making your own creamy, dreamy massage oil? Here’s a recipe for my take on the creamy massage oil we made…

Rich Chocolate, Cinnamon & Rose Massage Oil for Lovers.

  • 1/8 cup pure prime pressed cocoa butter- wild or organic
  • 1/2 cup wild rose infused almond oil or grape seed oil (you can use plain almond or grape seed oil if you don’t have rose infused oil but do try making your own rose oil if you ever get the chance. It’s pure love in a bottle!)
  • 4-5 drops best quality cinnamon essential oil (be careful, cinnamon can be irritating in too strong doses, it is a stimulant to the skin… Ooo tingly!)
  • 15 drops pure rose otto

To make your creamy massage oil, gently melt your cocoa butter in a small pot on low heat.

Once the butter has melted pour in your rose infused oil and swirl or stir your mix with a chopstick. You may have to gently warm the blend if the cocoa butter hardens a bit after adding the oil.

Add the essential oils and stir again with your chopstick. Make sure your massage oil is well blended.

Pour into a swoon worthy bottle that will entice you from the bedside.

Give your creamy massage oil a gentle shake before using to make sure the cocoa butter stays incorporated in the oil. If it gets cold, you may find you need to warm your oil if it stiffens. Do so by placing the bottle in warm water for a few minutes.

This massage oil blend smells incredible and may make you want to devour the skin it comes in contact with. Resist! Or don’t… It’s totally edible, as long as your lover doesn’t mind.

Violet Honey. Photo by Barb DuTot.

Well, that’s it for now. I hope you have enjoyed your read and perhaps found a little inspiration for making your own love food and aphrodisiacs. Have fun! And remember…. “Love is the greatest aphrodisiac”

With wild and weedy love,

Danika.

I want to give a big, heartfelt thank you to the lovely Barbara DuTot for being, among other things, an editor extrodinaire, lending me quotes from Isabel Allende’s beautiful book and the use of her beautiful photos. Thank you Barb! <3<3<3

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Herbs for hair.

I’ve been playing around with making natural herbal shampoo lately after a friend told me she wanted to try making natural hair care at home so she could drop the store bought chemical cocktails we call shampoo. I have some organic liquid castile soap on hand so I thought I would give it a go too. I had intended to make my next batch of soap into shampoo bars but as I already had the liquid castile I went ahead and blended my first batch of natural herbal shampoo.

My first attempt went well, I made a strong infusion of lavender and calendula as the herbal base for my shampoo and added chamomile and lavender essential oils to the finished blend. It resulted in a beautifully gentle and effective shampoo that leaves my hair feeling like all it needs is a finishing rinse with infused herbal vinegar (my next little project). That’s saying a lot for I have a full head of wild, most unruly, ‘pagan curls’ to quote an Irish priestess I met one Spring at a celebration.

This time I’m making some shampoo for my friend Kim. Kim is one hell of a Natural Mama, making raw food delights, super smoothies and wild meat dishes for her wee family every day while also starting up her own incredible Bilingual Early Childhood Learning Centre. This is not just any old preschool either, she’s built a clay pit for the kids to roll around in out of an old pool table, has nature tables, bread making and barefoot painting on the curriculum and runs a healthy hot lunch program for hungry preschoolers (I’m talking elk meat spaghetti with vegetable puree in it, yum!).

Kim with her beautiful son Izaak out for a hike.

Kim deserves some heavenly herbal shampoo and she loves natural skin care so lets get busy and make….

Kim’s Nettle, Sage & Calendula Shampoo!

The first thing to do is get the herbs infusing, so I’m throwing a few spoonfuls of dried nettles, some horsetail leaf, a small handful of calendula flowers and a small bunch of fresh sage from my garden into a glass jar.

My little one loves to help his Mama make herbal potions.

Next I add 1 cup of boiling water or enough to cover the herbs, put the lid on and let the herbs steep for at least 4 hours.

I love the look of herbs infusing in a glass jar.

When the infusion is ready I strain it well and pour it into a measuring cup, you want about a cup of it.

Nice dark infusion for Kims beautiful dark hair.

Next I add a 1/2 cup organic liquid castile soap, 1/4 teaspoon organic golden jojoba oil, and about 30 or 40 drops in total of essential oils. I’m using lavender, peppermint and a little chamomile for Kim’s shampoo. You can use less or more essential oil, it’s up to you but I never exceed 2% of the total volume of what ever I am making.

Now just gently stir it to blend all the ingredients well.

Pour it into a suitable bottle.

Label it. Make sure you put a date on it somewhere for your own reference as this is a natural homemade product with no preservatives and will only keep a few weeks so make small batches and use it up!

Unfortunately I gave Kim her shampoo before I took a picture of it all bottled up but I’ll post a nice picture of my homemade shampoo here at a later date, ok? 🙂

There you go. Hand crafted herbal shampoo is that easy to make. Why would you ever buy even so called natural commercial shampoo again when you can make you own custom blend just like that?!

When you use your shampoo remember:

  • The jojoba will separate so shake it up before each use.
  • It is much thinner and less foamy than store bought shampoo but it works just as well, better in my opinion. Homemade shampoo will not strip your hair of all it’s natural oils which triggers your sebaceous glands to produce more sebum, making you wash it more often (buy more shampoo). It leaves your hair clean, soft and healthy. All you need is a final rinse with herbal vinegar for silky locks. Maybe a weekly herb infused oil hair treatment too.
  • It may take a week or so for any build up to dissolve and for your body to adjust it’s sebum flow. The jojoba will assist your body in regulating your sebum. Thanks, Jojoba!

I hope Kim likes her herbal shampoo, and I hope you try it out for yourself soon. It’s so worth the little effort and doesn’t it feel good to take control of what you consume? Hell yeah!

Wishing you all warm herbal blessings,

Danika.

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Have you heard of Poppy Swap yet?

Poppy Swap is an online herbal marketplace and community with a store, forum and interviews with great herbalists.

I urge you to check it out and browse around for yourself. It’s a real gem for the herbal community where you can buy, swap and sell natural handmade herbal products, discuss topics on the forum with other herbalists and connect with like minded folks.

What are you waiting for? Go take a look! I’m quite sure you will love it. 🙂

www.poppyswap.com

Spring time blessings to you all,

Danika.

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