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Posts Tagged ‘calendula’

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It was time for me to harvest the lavender blossoms today. I planted a few French lavender babies three years ago and now they make a small hedge in my little herb garden by the house.

The bee’s are loving their visits to my house. I have intentionally planted nectar producing plants for the wee ladies- lavender, calendula, sweet peas, vegetables, berries, nasturtium, are all blooming in my garden right now.

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We gathered up another days worth of calendula. This time I had help… my son really wanted to help out with “picking heeeerbs”, as he puts it. One of the greatest gifts I offer my child is plant knowledge, he can identify so much at 4 years old and has even shown an older child how to make a plantain spit poultice. Way to make me proud!

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The bees were hard at work, drinking from our lavender blooms. Have you ever tried taking a picture of a bee at work? It’s not so easy, they really are busy bee’s…

I was sure there was a bee there...

I was sure there was a bee there…

Then things got more intimate, the bee’s accepted my relaxed presence and rather than flying away, they worked along side me as I crouched in the lavender patch among them…

Face first!

Face first!

The lavender patch is THE place to bee…

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Lavender nectar is sooo good!

Nom nom nom!

Nom nom nom!

Check out this last pic, do you see her wee tongue slurping up the good stuff? So precious! We love bee’s around here, can you tell?

Lavender blooms are for slurping.

The problem with beeing a bee lover AND a lavender lover is when you go to harvest the lavender, the bee’s doth protest. I had a few ladies stare me down and tell me off for cutting the lavender blossoms. I felt quite bad about it so I left enough blooms for them to enjoy their fellow foraging. I figure, we are all in this together, the lavender, the bee’s and I.

Lavender love to you,

Danika.

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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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