Thursday, October 19, 2017

This year's soap

This year’s version is extra rich in calendula for its antiseptic qualities, all grown organically in my garden here in Colorado.

I am also using more shea butter this year, to make the soap extra moisturizing. It's basically lotion and soap in one!

My calendula thrived in the garden, and I have enough to enrich the soap, and make tea!

Look for first shipments to go out in the beginning of December.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Traditional soap making

Here is a fascinating video showing the ancient process factories used to use to make real soap, not the detergent kind that mass manufacturing produces today:

Soap Making

The scale of this operation is something to behold. As well as the skill of the workers - using special mallets to imprint the soap, cutting with such accuracy. Before machinery, humans had to develop incredible manual dexterity. Now we just operate machines. So much has been lost. Not the recipe for this soap, though, which is from the tenth century!

and the ingredients? Just three: olive oil, water and "mineral salts." The mineral salts are one form of sodium hydroxide, coming from the Dead Sea. You can actually buy a bar of this on Amazon. (and the purchase does support a Palestinian company.)

Here is the description of how they make their soap:

"Nabulsi soap is a type of castile soap produced only in Nablus in the West Bank, Palestine. Its chief ingredients are virgin olive oil, water, and an alkaline sodium compound. The finished product is ivory-colored and has almost no scent. The compound is made by mixing the powdered ashes of the barilla plant which grows along the banks of the River Jordan with locally supplied lime (sheed). The sodium compound is then is heated with water and the olive oil in large copper vats over fermentation pits. The solution of water and the sodium compound becomes increasingly concentrated in a series of 40 cycles repeated over eight days. During that time, an oar-shaped wooden tool known as a dukshab is used to stir the liquid soap continuously. The liquid soap is then spread in wooden frames to set. After setting, it is cut into the classic cube shape of Nabulsi soap and stamped with the company's trademark seal. The soap cubes then undergo a drying process which can last from three months to a year and involves stacking them in ceiling-high structures resembling cones with hollow centers which allow the air to circulate around the cubes."

I learned about this kind of soap when I lived in Aix-en-Provence. This part of France is known for it's ancient soap making, and the soap really is a whole other product than what we think of soap today.This is when my skin learned to love the all natural ingredients, and when I learned I don't need to use any moisturizer if I am using soap that moisturizes.

Once you use this kind of soap, you will never go back.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Thank you

Thank you everyone who purchased soap this year -- selling out this quickly has me making a note to my future self next year to double my batches. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Healing Soap - almost sold out!

[LINK to my Etsy Shop.]

I am happy to say my soap is almost sold out! I only have 7 bars left. (I guess my family is not getting soap in their stockings this year. . . .) Thank you all for being enthusiastic supporters of this amazing product.

I was a little worried about needing to increase the price to cover my costs and higher shipping fees this year.  I know that you can't get soap anywhere else with this much shea butter and this much organic hand-harvested and grown calendula, as well as organic vervein from France.

I use all my herbs, butters, and oils in abundance to make each bar as powerfully healing as it can be. I think my return customers speak to how it works.

Have a great holiday - thanks for buying artisanal products made with real ingredients and loving care.

A LINK to my Etsy shop if you want the last few bars.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Let's talk about Red Clover

My daughter recently gave me a jar of red clover buds she had gathered.
I did some research and found out this:

The common names are red clover, trefoil, wild clover, and purple clover.

Red cover: Relaxes nerves and the entire system.
Can be used as a sedative.
Has been used to fight cancer.
Found in herbal combinations used for cancer.
Wash for sores.
Can be drunk freely.

Red Clover Herb is often compared to alfalfa both for its nutritional value and appearance. They are reported to have diuretic, expectorant, antispasmodic and estrogenic properties.
Red Clover herb is a blood purifier that increases the body’s production of urine and mucous and promotes menstrual flow.
Contain bitter compounds that increase the production of digestive fluids and enzymes, especially bile. These compounds also shrink inflammation and relieve pains. Red clover is an excellent herbal source of calcium, chromium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.

Red Clover Herb is high or very high on the following nutrients:
Vitamin C
Excerpts from Practical Herbalism
In 1896, King said that, “Red Clover is an excellent alterative, and one of the few remedies which favorably influences pertussis.
After another quarter century of experience with the herb, the Eclectic Materia Medica of 1922 recommended it for the specific indications of, “irritability of the respiratory passages, with dry, explosive cough; carcinomatous cachexia,” and gave the following information: 
“Trifolium is alterative and anti-spasmodic. It relieves irritability of the respiratory tract, alleviating dry, irritable and spasmodic cough. Whooping cough is especially moderated by it, and it is frequently effective in lessening the distressing cough of measles. It also modifies cough in bronchitis and laryngitis. Its alterative powers are underrated, and it should be given where a general deobstruent effect is desired in chronic skin problems, and unquestionably has a retarding effect upon malignant neoplasms.”

Not a bad list of ways this powerful little flower can improve our health.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Your microbiome, and how to strengthen your good bacteria

We live in a new age of weird diseases and symptoms -- many traveling under the "auto-immune" banner. People by the droves go to their primary care doctors and complain of stomach and digestive ailments (bloating, food allergies, abdominal pain), light-headedness, fatigue, skin rashes, eczema, rosacea, and worse. Their doctors, in turn, follow the protocols of their training and order up standard tests in search of something physical. The tests come back negative. Now the flummoxed doctor is beginning to wonder if he has a hypochondriac on his hands, and the patients either persist or resign themselves to pain and misery, becoming depressed as symptoms continue to plague them. Sometimes more tests are ordered, but seldom is a solution found. It's a bad scene all around. Welcome to the world of microbes, the artful dodgers (at least when it comes to standard medical tests).

As patients feel sicker, doctors unknowingly feed the flames by prescribing more pain medication, antibiotics, etc., to try to alleviate symptoms and show their patients that they are "doing something." Vicious circle. The misery continues.

Well, if all politics are local, all health is in the gut and the skin. We are the microbial profile we feed on a daily basis. And while "feed" mostly means the mouth, it also importantly includes the skin. A good bit of advice is to live dirty and eat clean. That means we do ourselves no favors by constantly cleaning our hands with hand sanitizers, applying skin products and soaps with anti-bacterial elements and good-bacteria killing chemicals (go ahead, read the ingredients, see if you have the slightest idea about what you are slathering to your skin and scalp on a daily basis... didn't think so).

I have been eating a very low carb, organic grass-fed diet for almost five months, and my health has seriously improved. I have much more energy, don't have that brain fog, my rosacea has improved, my eczema has improved and certainly my moods have improved. I also have been using only products that support local bacteria, free of detergents and chemical additives, antiseptics and antibacterials.

Feed your good bacteria! My soap, full of coconut oil, shea butter, organic vervain and calendula will do just that.
I promise your skin will be amazingly healthy -- I do this for myself because I have to and now I will never go back to commercial skin products and the way they strip the good bacteria away.

Diet and skin products -- ask your gut what it prefers, and ask your skin what makes it glow.