Category Archives: herb

Oct
14

Chamomile

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, chamomile flowers, chamomile fragrance, chamomile scent, herb, Natures Garden and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

 chamomile herbChamomile

Hey everybody! How many of you love to experiment with herbs or just different products in general? We sure do! Are you in need of some relaxation? Have you ever tried chamomile? Well for all the newbies out there, chamomile is a flower that is used for many different industries. It is known mainly for helping with insomnia problems, but it has many other uses as well! Chamomile can be for medicinal purposes, skin care, even cosmetic products and hair care! This flower is something you definitely to try if you aren’t hooked already!

Chamomile, or in the British spelling, camomile, is the common name for a daisy-like flower. This flower is a part of the Asteraceae family. It is native to many western and southern European countries. It is derived from the Greek χαμαίμηλον (khamaimēlon), meaning “earth apple.” Did you know that in the story of Peter Rabbit, his mother gives him chamomile tea when he is feeling sick? There are many different species of chamomile, however the two main ones are called the Roman chamomile and the German chamomile. German can grow up to about 3 feet high, while Roman grows only about a foot high, staying closer to the ground. Ancient Egyptians believed in its healing powers and actually dedicated the flower to their gods!

Do you have a bad burn? Or maybe your baby is having a lot of problems while they’re teething? Chamomile can help with both of those problems! This great flower can be used for many industries! Other medicinal ailments it helps are rashes, skin ulcers, sunburns, mouth disease and gum sores. Gum disease and mouth sores can be treated with a mouthwash made with chamomile. It even has been said to be helpful with treating cancer! If used in shampoos and conditioners, chamomile helps hair manageability and makes it shinier. It also can used to enhance blonde hair.

This flower can also be used for many bath and body products as well! For soaping and candle making, it is used as a natural decoration. When used in massage oils, it is great for muscle inflammation and stiffness. In cosmetics, chamomile serves as an emollient and has anti-inflammatory effects. For skin care, it brings relaxation, helps to soften and heal skin, can reduce stretch marks and wrinkles, and even gives the skin a good healthy glow. Wondering how many amazing products we have with this great ingredient? Well you’re in luck! Here at Nature’s Garden, we actually offer Whole German Chamomile Flowers and a German Chamomile Flower Powder! Hold on, it gets even better than that! We also have a free recipe for a Chamomile Light Lotion!

The easiest way to find these products on our website is using our search bar. Just type “chamomile” into the search bar and it will take you right to a page titled “Search Results for Chamomile.” All of our fantastic products are available right there! Want to know another fun fact about chamomile? Ancient Egyptians also used it as a main ingredient for embalming oils for deceased pharaohs! Awesome right? Definitely make sure to try this wonderful product! However, please don’t take my blog as medical advice! Always consult your doctor before using anything in place of medical treatment. We also only sell chamomile for external purposes! Please contact us if you have any problems or questions and look out for more Enlightened by Layla!

chamomile results page

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Oct
09

Hibiscus

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, herb, herbs, hibiscus, Natures Garden, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

hibiscus Hibiscus

Hello everyone! Don’t you just love hibiscus Oh yeah, I know the thoughts of the gorgeous flowers just popped into your heads. Did you know that hibiscus actually has many different uses besides making gardens look pretty? Well it does! It can be used in many different industries in fact, like hair care, soaping, and even bath and body products!

Hibiscus is a very well-known flower. It is also lesser known as the rose mallow, a genus of the mallow family, and can be either annual or perennial. The hibiscus flower is actually the state flower of Hawaii and the national flower of Haiti. One species of hibiscus, the Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, is the national flower of Malaysia while the Hibiscus syriacus is the national flower of South Korea. Pretty cool right? There are several hundred species of hibiscus flowers known to exist, and countless cross-species. They can vary in color from red to purple, orange to yellow, and even pink or white. In Hindu worship, the red hibiscus flower represents the goddess Kali, and is used as a sacrifice to her as well as to the Lord Ganesha. When depicted in many versions of art, the goddess is seen merging with the flower.

This beautiful flower is used in many industries such as soaping and hair care. When used for hair care, hibiscus has many benefits. It can help prevent dandruff and premature graying, as well as reduce hair loss. It also has been used as dye for natural hair, to help with split ends and thicken hair, and stimulate hair growth. When used in bath and body products, hibiscus is great for softening and smoothing skin and it even has some wrinkle smoothing properties! Some research in Chinese herbology also indicates that extract from hibiscus rosa-sinensis can absorb ultra violet rays by working as an anti-solar agent. As well as providing these amazing skin care properties when used in soaps, hibiscus also is a natural way to color soaps pink or red. We have many awesome products containing hibiscus here at Nature’s Garden. The easiest way to access them is by typing “hibiscus” into our search bar on our website. That will take you directly to a page titled “Search Results for Hibiscus.”

hibiscus page

Are you just jumping with excitement over all the great uses for hibiscus? Then you definitely need to try some of our fantastic recipes like our Firming Facial Mask or Herbal Infused Shea Lotion! They will be some new treats that you will just love! One more fun fact! Did you know that in Hawaii and Tahiti girls wear the hibiscus flower to symbolize their relationship status? If worn on the left ear, she is either in a relationship or married. If she has the flower on her left ear, then she is single. Hibiscus is a product that you definitely should add to your list of projects! Watch out for more Enlightened by Layla!

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Oct
07

Calendula

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath products, herb, herbs, Natures Garden, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

calendula Calendula

Hello everybody! Are you getting ready for Halloween? Have your own little ghosts and goblins chosen their costumes yet? I can’t believe Halloween is only weeks away! Well, for all you crafters out there, are you looking for a good natural herb to include in your soaps or bath melts? Have you tried calendula? Calendula is a great herb that is more commonly known as the marigold flower. It can be used in many different industries such as cosmetics and soaping. So get ready, calendula is pretty awesome and would be a great addition to future projects!

Calendula is a very well known therapeutic herb. The word is a modern Latin diminutive of calendae which means “little calendar” or “little clock.” The flower goes along with its name because it usually blooms every month or every full moon. Another name for it is “Mary’s Gold,” referring to the Virgin Mary. Some Catholic ceremonies use the flower as a way to honor her. The flower is typically bright yellow, orange or gold. In existence, there are over 100 varieties of calendula. Egyptians considered it to have rejuvenating powers. It possesses anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties and is a big help with keeping skin smooth and healthy. Calendula is used in many industries such as bath and body products. It is great for people who suffer from varicose veins. After applying calendula to the affected areas for a few weeks, the veins have been known to shrink down. It also helps with dermatitis and acne problems. It also helps to heal minor cuts and bruising as well as some bug bites and stings and even burns. Here’s a cool use, if you use calendula as a hair product, it helps to improve your hair’s shine and makes it softer. It also will bring out blonde or brunette highlights!

This herb is a great ingredient for cold process soap. In fact, we have a recipe here at Nature’s Garden for Calendula Sunshine Cold Process Soap. Not only can it be used in soaps, calendula can also be used a decorative element for soaps. We also have a great recipe for Calendula Bath Melts. We also sell Calendula Flowers Powder and even whole Calendula Flowers. On our homepage, if you just type Calendula into our search bar it will take you right to a page titled “Search Results for Calendula.” All of our recipes and products with calendula are right there available for purchase. Did you know that in the 18th and 19th centuries calendula was used to color cheese? Neither did I! Neat though, right? However, here at Nature’s Garden we only sell calendula for external purposes only, not for food. And please do not take my blog as medical advice! Always make sure to ask your doctor before using anything as a substitute for medical treatment!

calendula products

Have I convinced you that calendula is just pure awesome! There are so many different uses for it, even in food! Did you know that marigold leaves are completely edible? Some people use them on a salad as garnish to spruce up the color! It was even once used as a dye for fabrics! Now come on, this product is purely awesome, make sure to add it to your future projects and watch out for more Enlightened by Layla!

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Jan
31

Natural Bath Bombs with Fruit

This entry was posted in bath and body, bath bombs, bath fizzes, bath fizzies, bath products, body safe fragrance oils, Fragrance Oils, herb, homemade, Natures Garden, Soap making supplies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

make your own blueberry bath bombAre you looking for a Natural Bath Bomb?

Using a bath bomb in your tub is refreshing and rejuvenating for your skin.  And now, you can make your very own homemade bath bombs using natural fruit powder.  Plus, they are quick and easy to make!

With the exception of baking soda and witch hazel, all the ingredients you need to make these blueberry natural bath bombs can be found at Natures Garden.  To view the complete recipe for these bath bombs, please click on this link.

The two crucial components for this recipe are citric acid and baking soda.  These two ingredients when mixed with water have a chemical reaction that results in the fizzing of the water. This fizzy nature is characteristic of bath bombs.  But, did you know citric acid also acts as a water softener?

Besides the feel good aspect that bath bombs provide, these blueberry bath fizzes are also skin loving.  Using the superfood Blueberry, you can incorporate tons of antioxidants, amino acids, and the beneficial nutrients of vitamins and minerals all with the simple use of blueberry fruit powder.  This herb will help to rejuvenate the skin and keep it young and healthy.  The sweet almond oil is a non-greasy oil that moisturizes and is easily absorbed into the skin.  To really hammer home the scent of blueberry, Blueberry Fragrance Oil is used to scent the fizzes.  To really capture the blue color of the blueberry fruit powder, you can add additional colorant with the FUN Soap Colorant- Ultramarine Blue.

To make your very own blueberry bath bombs, here are the steps: 

Step 1:  Pour some witch hazel into a spray bottle.  Set aside.

Step 2:  Place 2 mixing bowls in your work area.  To each bowl, place 256 grams of citric acid.  Then, add 560 grams of baking soda to each bowl.  If you notice any clumps, break them up in your hands now.  Mix well.  Finally, to one of the bowls, add 5 grams of blueberry fruit powder and stir, leave the second bowl alone.

make bath bombs

Step 3:  Now, get two more bowls.  Place 9 grams of sweet almond oil in each. To each bowl, now add 20 drops of fragrance and stir.

recipe for bath bombs

Step 4:  Finally, to one of the bowls add 10 grams of Ultramarine Blue Fun Soap Colorant and stir.

colored bath bombs

Step 5:  Slowly add the wet ingredients bowl containing the blue soap colorant to the dry ingredients bowl containing the blueberry fruit powder.  Using your hands, mix the ingredients together until they are completely incorporated.

how to make colored bath bombs

Step 6:  Lightly spritz the mixture with witch hazel and mix.  Continue spritzing until the mixture feels like crumbly dough in your hands. Be very careful not to spray too much witch hazel into your mixture or it will activate the citric acid.

Step 7:
  Press the bluish mixture into half of your fillable ornament and press down firmly.  Set aside.

how to make bath fizzes

Step 8:  Now, get the remaining two bowls.  Slowly add the wet ingredients bowl to the remaining dry ingredients bowl.  Mix these ingredients together so that they are completely incorporated.

Step 9:  Again, slowly spray the mixture with witch hazel.  Mix, and continue in this manner until the mixture feels like crumbly dough.  Do not over spray.

making bath fizzes

Step 10: Press this into the other half of your fillable ornament and press down firmly.

Step 11:  Now, spritz both halves of the ornaments with witch hazel.  Then, attach the ornament halves together.

putting bath bombs together

Step 12:  Allow the bath bombs to set.  Then, gently release them from the mold.

bath bombs in the mold

Your Blueberry Bath Bombs are now ready for use.  Enjoy!

easy to make bath fizzes

Natures Garden is not responsible for the performance of any of the recipes provided on our website. Testing is your responsibility. If you plan to resell any recipes we provide, it is your responsibility to adhere to all FDA regulations. If there are ingredients listed in a recipe that Natures Garden does not sell, we cannot offer any advice on where to purchase those ingredients.

Jan
16

Herbal Infusion Recipe

This entry was posted in all natural, aromatherapy, bath and body, bath products, cosmetic ingredients, cosmetic recipe, herb, herbal oil infusion, herbs, homemade, Natures Garden and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

herbal oilHerbal Infusion Recipe

This is the basic recipe for making patchouli infused oil to be used in the creation of various bath and body products.  For this recipe we are going to be using the double boiler method.  There are various methods to choose from when making an herbal oil infusion.  To view other processes of infusing herbs for bath and body products please click on this linkPlease note:  Depending on the herb/herbs that you are selecting to infuse, will determine whether you go with a hot method or a cold method route of infusion.  Some herbs are very heat sensitive.  Therefore, if heat is introduced for the infusion, some of the medicinal benefits may be lost.

With oil infusion, a key to remember is the longer that the herbs are allowed to set in the oil, the stronger the herbal infusion will be.  Our herbal infusion sat undisturbed for 4 weeks (after the double boiler method) before we strained the herbs out and introduced the infusion to a recipe.

We selected sweet almond oil because it readily absorbs into the skin and has a non-greasy feel to it.  There are however other oils you can choose from.  For the selection of your solvent (liquid you are infusing the herbs into), you will want to pick an oil that has a low rancidity rate.  Some other great solvents that can be used are: vegetable glycerin, apricot kernel oil, and olive oil.  Each oil has various skin loving attributes to them, so it is very easy to cater the oil infusion you want to make to the specific need you are looking for.

Although there are other herbs you can select for oil infusion; for this recipe, we wanted to make an oil infusion that was great for dry skin and promoted a healthy and radiant glow.  Besides being an astringent, patchouli is also known for its antimicrobial, anti inflammatory and antiseptic properties.  Plus, since Valentine’s Day is coming, and patchouli is known for its possible APHRODISIAC properties, we found patchouli to be a good herb of choice.

For this infusion, you will need:

patchouli oil infusionPatchouli c/s
Sweet Almond Oil
a pint sized canning jar with lid
2 pots (one smaller with lid, and one larger)
Water
Stove top
Scale

Here are the steps for making patchouli infused oil (double boiler method):

Using a scale, weigh out 45 grams of patchouli c/s.  Place the herb into the smaller pot.  Next, weigh out 392 grams of Sweet Almond Oil.  Pour this over the herbs in the smaller pot, set aside.  Next, place some water into the larger pot.  You want to have at least 3-4 inches of water.  Next, place the large pot onto the stove top on the lowest setting of heat possible.

making patchouli oil infusion

Then, place the lid on the smaller pot and then place the smaller pot into the larger one.  Although it is essential to keep the small pot lidded the entire time it is heated, you will want to monitor the oil infusion and stir it occasionally.  You will want to let the oil infusion simmer slowly for 30 minutes to an hour.  Do not allow water to get into your infusion.

double boiler herbal oil infusion

Once this time period has passed, remove the smaller pot from the larger one.  Allow the oil infusion to reach room temperature and then place the oil infusion into a pint sized canning jar and lid.

herb in oil

Although technically, once the herbs have simmered, you may strain them out and use the oil infusion once it reaches room temperature.  We however wanted a very strong patchouli oil infusion so we let the oil infusion set and steep for an additional 4 weeks after double boiling.  While the herbs were steeping, we took advantage of the sun and placed the jar in the window sill during the daytime.

Once four weeks had passed, the patchouli herb was strained out of the oil using cheesecloth.  Please note:  When you are ready to strain out the herbs, do not forget to apply pressure to the drenched herbs to get out as much oil as you can.  Finally, after tons of anticipation our oil infusion was ready to be put to use.

In the End
The patchouli oil infusion smelled amazing!  Not only was this recipe super easy to make, but it was fun too.  The addition of the oil infusion to our formulation allowed our end product that extra boost in the moisturizing category, and our skin was soft and supple after use too.

Happy Homemade!

Jan
15

Herbal Infusion

This entry was posted in all natural, bath and body, bath products, essential oils, fragrance oil, herb, herbal oil infusion, herbal tea, herbs, Natures Garden and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

Herbal InfusionHerbal Infusion

Many times the herbs that we seek out to use in a bath or body recipe may be a little too coarse for our skin.  This is the point where typically a conundrum lies.  The battle that is at hand is the great skin loving nutrients and benefits that herbs are able to provide versus the rigidity and awkwardness of the herbs physical form.  This is especially true for herbs that are cut and sifted.

There is however great news to share.  An herbal infusion is the problem solver in this situation.

What is an Herbal Infusion:  The true definition of the action of infusion is a procedure of withdrawing various nutritive compounds of an herb into a solvent, and allowing them to linger in the solvent for a period of time.  Basically, an herbal infusion is the method of extracting the medicinal benefits of herbs and steeping them to allow the transfer of herbal benefits into another medium.

There are different kinds of herbal infusions that can be made.  They all vary according to what medium is used.  The different solvents or mediums that can be used for an herbal infusion are water, oil (such as olive oil, apricot kernel oil, or sweet almond oil), vegetable glycerin, vinegar, propylene glycol, or alcohol.  Typically, herbal infusions made with alcohol or vegetable glycerin are referred to as tinctures or extracts.  The difference between extracts and tinctures is the amount of herb infused in the alcohol or glycerin.  An extract is considered 1 part herb to 1 part alcohol or glycerin.  A tincture is considered 1 part herbs to 3 parts alcohol or glycerin.

Infusions are necessary with some herbs due to their delicate nature.  Typically the fragile parts of the plant are used for infusions; this would be the parts that are above ground.  These parts would include:  leaves, flowers, stems, or aromatic pieces.   It is important to know your herbs and understand their nature before deciding the best infusion route to take.

Hot infusions:
Hot infusions will bring out vitamins, and enzymes.  This type of infusion will also allow the aromatic notes of the herbs out, which are also known as essential oils.  This method works best for the herbs that are a little more reluctant to forgo their medicinal characteristics.  This is generally the herbs in the form of barks and roots; although all portions of the plant can be used.  Herbal tea is the most popular example of a hot herbal infusion.

Cold infusions:
Cold infusions are best for herbs that have a heat sensitive nature.  Using the hot method with these types of herbs may eliminate some of the remedial properties.  This process is best for these types of herbs because through steeping (allowing a plant material to set in a medium undisturbed), they will release their medicinal attributes without being forced to do so with heat.

It is believed that the best types of herbs to use for an infusion are dried ones.  This is because nourishing minerals and phytochemicals that are naturally in herbs are best accessed by the drying out of the herb.  However, fresh herbs may also be used.

Depending on the method of your herbal infusion, it will vary the strength of the infusion itself.  Another deciding factor with infusion is the time that your herbal infusion will take as well as the deadline of your need for the infusion.  There are several different ways varying in strength and steep time that you can infuse herbs.

solar herbal infusionSolar Infusion:  This method involves the placement of your herbs and your solvent into a covered glass jar.  Make sure the cover is on tightly.  Then you allow your jar to set undisturbed in a warm/sunny area of your home-under a skylight or in a window sill. Allow this mixture to set for at least two weeks.  For more potent infusions, allow to set for 4-6 weeks.  After the time has passed, you may strain the herbs out with cheesecloth and use.  To make an even stronger infusion with this method, after straining, add another round of herbs to the same oil and allow it to set and steep again for two additional weeks.  Solar infusions typically use oils as the medium.  NOTE:  While sun tea can be made this way, it is important to understand that water can grow mold and bacteria within days.  Therefore, refrain from allowing sun tea to set in the sun more than a day before using or before refrigerating.

Oven Extraction:  The best method to use if you have selected a heat sensitive oil as your solvent and you are in a time crunch.  This method involves placing your herbs and solvent in a glass jar.  You will also want to make sure that you have it covered with a tight fitting lid.  Once sealed, select a deep cake pan and fill it with water.  The water level should rise to cover about half of your jar.  Then, simply place your deep cake pan into the oven and allow it to heat for several hours.  You want to make sure your oven temperature is on its lowest setting.  Once the time has passed, strain the herb out and allow the infusion to reach room temperature before using.

Hot water herbal infusionHot Water Steep:  This herbal infusion can be done if water is your selected solvent.  To do this method, place your herbs in a glass container.  Then, boil water.  Once your water is at a boil, turn off the stove top and carefully pour the boiling water over the herbs and into the jar.  Once the hot water has been added, quickly lid the jar tightly.  Allow the herbs to steep for 4-10 hours before opening the container to strain the herbs out.  Allow the infusion to reach room temperature before using.  A recipe for this hot water tea infusion:  Place 1 cup of dried herbs into a quart jar.  Pour hot water over the herbs.  Lid.  Set for 4-6 hours.  Strain.

Double Boiler:  This method is done by placing the herbs and oil in a lidded pot with the tightest lid possible.  Herbal Oil Infusion Recipe:  45 grams white sage leaves  + 392 grams of apricot kernel oil.  Next, take a second bigger pot and place water into it. Then, place the bigger pot on the stove top and set it on a lower temperature setting.  Next, place the smaller lidded pot containing your herbs and oil into the bigger one.   Allow this to simmer slowly for 30 minutes to an hour.  Throughout the time, continuously check your oil to make sure it is not overheating, and stir.  After the time has elapsed, strain the herbs out using a cheesecloth.   Allow the infusion to reach room temperature before using.

Tips for Infusions:
You can add extra scent to your infusion by adding fragrance oils or essential oils.

You can place the herbs that you will be infusing into a teabag or cheesecloth to help make the straining process easier.

No matter which method of infusion you are doing, a tight fitting lid is essential to the process.

You can combine herbs to make creative herbal infusions.

Uses for Infusions:
Water infusions can be used as a hair rinse.  This rinse can be left on the hair until the next time you shampoo.

Water infusions can be ingested as a tea (hot or cold) as long as the herb is safe for consumption.  Some herbs cannot be ingested at all, and can be deadly if consumed.   Check with your doctor before ingesting any herbs.  Honey can be added to make the taste of the tea more favorable.  If you have remaining infusion, refrigerate to slow spoilage rate.

Herbal infusions can be applied directly to the skin.  Oil infusions can be used for oil based bath and body products like massaging oils.

Herbal infusions can be inhaled for aromatherapy purposes.

Oil infusions can be bases for salves and balms.

You can use an oil infusion for emulsion products like sugar scrubs, lotions, and soaps.

For all natural herbs that you can use to make your own herbal infusions, shop Natures Garden’s Herbs.

Natures Garden sells our herbs for external applications only.  We are providing this information for herbal infusions for educational purposes only.  Nothing we mention should be construed as medical advice or for medical treatment purposes.   Please consult your doctor before using any herbs for treatment or other medicinal purposes.

Jan
10

Patchouli Uses

This entry was posted in all natural, bath products, essential oil, Fragrance Oils, herb, herbal oil infusion, herbs, natural skincare ingredients, Natures Garden, patchouli and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

patchouli herb cut and siftedPatchouli Uses

Traditionally, patchouli has always been a valuable element to the eastern Asia and India incense industry.  However, it was not until the 1960’s that both patchouli oil and patchouli incense rose in popularity in Europe and the United States.  This climb in demand was majorly contributed to the hippie movement of that time.

Because the hippie movement focused on a more natural and simpler way of living, many hippies wore the scent of patchouli because it signified nature.  Although it may be argued patchouli was worn to cover up the smell of weed.  This pungent yet unique aroma has a heavy musty and earthy odor that was easily distinguished.   Hippies wore this scent to stand up to the conservative environment of that time.  They saw this scent as a way of marking themselves as new age thinkers; a then outside of the box notion.  Not only did the aroma embrace the new age thinking, but also the sought after change for the world.  Patchouli however, is more than just the time capsule scent of the hippie era.

Patchouli has an array of versatile uses. It is used in the medical, skincare, perfume, home scenting, dietary, and even cleaning industries.  Depending on how you plan to use patchouli, the form differs in the type of patchouli you need.

Patchouli is available in many different forms.  You can use patchouli as an herb.  The herb is readily available in whole leaf form or in the c/s form which means cut and sifted.  Patchouli is also available as an absolute and an essential oil.  Synthetically, patchouli is accessible as fragrance oil as well, and you will be able to also find varieties of the fragrance too like Sweet Patchouli fragrance oil for example.

A vital component to the perfume industry, patchouli is considered a chypre.  A chypre is regarded as a group of related fragrances with specific top notes, middle notes, and bases notes denoting them.  This group is distinguished as a contradiction of a citrus accord (typical the top note- first one smelled) and the woody base (the anchor for the fragrance).  A very popular fragrance group for both feminine and masculine smells, patchouli is considered fundamental in various scents.

Perfumery/ Scent Industry:

This widely used scent is a foundation for many perfumes and fragrance oils.  It is considered a base note from which many different fragrances are layered and formulated.  Because of the fact that patchouli oil actually improves with aging, many perfumeries favor working with the eldest oils to ensure a full bodied, longer lasting scent in their end aromas.

One of the best attributes of the scent of patchouli is that it easily blends with a variety of other fragrance notes.  These other scents are basil, geranium, vetiver, cedarwood, clove, rose, lavender, myrrh, sandalwood, bergamot, juniper, and pine; just to name a few.

In India, authentic Indian shawls carried the prevalent scent as well as Indian ink.  Some examples of items in the United States that have been scented with patchouli are:  paper towels, laundry detergents, herbal sachets (in oil form and herb form), candles, incense, bath and body products, cosmetics, and even toys.  A little fun fact about patchouli: Mattel, a large toy company, once used patchouli oil in their product line to scent an action figure character named Stinkor.

Medicinal/Healing:

The amazing medical advantages of patchouli have been used by the people of the Orient for millennia.  Patchouli has long been used as an insect repellant (insecticide), aid in digestive conditions (digestive aid for nausea, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, hemorrhoids), combat infections (anti-infectious, natural anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiseptic), and is even used for snake bites (antitoxic).  Patchouli can even help to speed up the time it takes to heal a wound, or insect bite.

Patchouli can be used as an excellent diuretic.  Not only does it help the body to release excess fluid and water retention, but it can also be used to assist in weight loss.  It is believed that the aroma of patchouli even helps to reduce appetite.

It is also believed that by simply inhaling the aroma of patchouli, it can help to reduce hypertension.  This method works by sending the brain messages through the limbic system which can directly control the nervous system.  Through means of aromatherapy, patchouli can help to control heart rate, blood pressure, and can moderate breathing.

Patchouli also works as a feel good tonic.  Affecting the overall health and well being of a person, patchouli assists in the feel good mood of a person.  But, patchouli powers don’t stop there, it also assimilates toxins as well and helps to remove them from the body with it diuretic ability.

The scent of patchouli is also documented and believed to help fight anxiety and depression.  This is because the aroma supposedly helps to relax the mind and keep it in the present.  Patchouli is considered to clarify thought and release mental anguish of the uncontrollable while balancing the emotions.

Skincare/ Body Care

Patchouli is quite popular in skincare products because of its versatility.  Patchouli helps to inhibit wrinkles and sagging in the skin.  This is because patchouli oil is actually a very effective tissue regenerator.  The use of the oil on your skin encourages the growth of new skin cells, which then replace the damaged ones; keeping your skin looking healthy and youthful.  It is due to these same benefits that patchouli oil can even assist in the fading of scars, and can even help with the reduction of cellulite.

A powerful astringent that even tones the skin, patchouli works to eliminate any surplus of fluids from the body’s tissues.  Plus, with patchouli’s antiseptic powers, it is able to find the source of inflammation, and cool it down.  This is why patchouli is a compelling substance in fighting and preventing mild acne occurrences, even lessening the changes for a return breakout.  The same can be said for other skin conditions like dermatitis, eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis.

Becoming ever so popular in the 1960’s as a deodorant, patchouli works great at masking body odors.  Patchouli essential oil can even be to eliminate scalp disorders like dandruff.

Natures Garden provides this information about patchouli for educational purposes only.  Nothing we mention should be construed as medical advice or for medical treatment purposes.   Please consult your doctor before using any herbs for treatment or other medicinal purposes.

Jan
10

Patchouli

This entry was posted in cosmetic ingredients, distillation, essential oil, herb, herbs, homemade, natural ingredients, Natures Garden, patchouli essential oil, soap ingredients, wholesale craft supplies, woody notes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

patchouli essential oil Facts about Patchouli

In America, when most people hear the word patchouli, they immediately think of hippies, universal love for one another, and tie dyed peace signs. But patchouli is so much more than that and has quite an interesting history.

Deriving its name from the Tamil language (the official dialect of Singapore and Sri Lanka), patchouli means “green leaf”.  A robust and extremely fragrant plant; especially when rubbed, patchouli’s scent has been used for centuries in perfumes.

Belonging to the genus Pogostemon, patchouli is a green, leafy herb that is in the mint family.  Growing best in hot, tropical climates; patchouli thrives when it is not in direct sunlight and has the potential of reaching a height of 2-3 ft.  Contrary to common belief, patchouli is more than just leaves; the plant also has flowers that bloom in late fall.  These flowers produce seeds that can be harvested to produce even more patchouli plants.

There are two ways to grow patchouli.  The first is to attain cuttings from the mother plant.  These cuttings are then rooted in water and will cultivate additional patchouli plants.  The second way to grow patchouli is to plant the seeds of the flowers.  The only hesitance with this way is that patchouli seeds are very small and have to be handled with great care.  These seeds are extremely fragile and can be easily crushed, deeming them useless.

When it comes to harvesting patchouli, the leaves of the plant can be collected several times in one year.  However, the strongest scent/oil comes from the top 3-4 pairs of leaves in the patchouli plant.  In order to attain the extraction of patchouli essential oil from these leaves, the leaves must go through a steam distillation process.  This is typically achieved with dried patchouli leaves.  However, there are some claims that to achieve the highest quality of patchouli essential oil, fresh leaves should be distilled.  Ideally, close to where the leaves are harvested, ensuring true freshness.

There are other ways to obtain patchouli essential oil.  One is through a fermentation process.  This process involves bundling the dry patchouli leaves and allowing them to ferment for a long period of time.

The essential oil of patchouli is a rich, earthy aroma with a woody yet minty undertone.  One of the most notable characteristics of this essential oil is that it actually improves over time.  The two most sought out components of patchouli essential oil are patchoulol and norpatchoulenol.

Although, it is true that patchouli essential oil is vital to the perfume industry, patchouli also had another massive worth in history.  Patchouli is believed to be an insect repellent.  It was common place for silk traders of the oriental to pack the valuable silk that they were trading with dried patchouli leaves.  Not only did the leaves prevent the mating of moths on the traders’ silk, but also hindered the moth from laying eggs on the precious silk as well.

This practice, which had started as a means of protection for the silk, ended with patchouli being considered an affluent scent.  Historians now hypothesize that due to the fragrant nature of patchouli; much of the traded silk acquired the aroma during the long travel.  Before long the distinguished scent of patchouli marked authenticity in traded fabric goods although the vast majority did not know what it was called.

One of the possible explanations as to why patchouli was considered an upscale scent to Europeans of that time is due to a notable historical conqueror.  The infamous Napoleon Bonaparte attained some of these patchouli scented cashmeres, through his vast travels to Egypt.  He then brought them back to France.  This mysterious scent of patchouli and its origin were kept secret, and it was not until the year 1837, that the smell and the source were identified to the remainder of the western world.

Dec
31

White Sage Uses

This entry was posted in herb, herbal oil infusion, herbal tea, herbs, Uncategorized, white sage and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

white sageWhite Sage was considered a Holy herb by the American Indians who used it for smudging ceremonies, for bathing, for deodorant, and for medicinal purposes.  Natures Garden sells our white sage for external applications only, but in the following article, we will discuss how this wonderful herb has been used throughout history.  Nothing in this article is to be construed as medical advice; consult your doctor before using any herbs for treatment purposes. We provide this data for educational purposes only.    

White Sage (Salvia apiana) is an evergreen shrub that grows to 4-5 feet in height.  White sage grows well in climates that provide lots of sunlight, well-drained soil, mild winters, and little water.  Over-watering white sage can kill the plant. The leaves of white sage contain essential oils and resins that provide a wonderful aroma when rubbed together.  White sage’s scientific name is salvia apiana (apiana refers to the fact that bees are attracted to this plant); salvia means salvation.

The American Indians referred to white sage as the king of all sages, and frequently used this herb for medicinal and ceremonial purposes.  In fact, it is believed that the term “Holy Smoke” originated from the American Indians “smudging” white sage to rid people and places of unwanted evil spirits, and to protect themselves from those spirits.  In addition, they believe that the smoke of sage attaches itself to negative energy found within a person, and removes it from their body.   

White sage is still used today for smudging purposes.  The smudging process involves lighting the tips of dried sage leaves, blowing them out, and allowing the smoke to escape into the air.  Smudging is typically done using a sage wand (smudge stick), but loose white sage leaves can be used instead.  Sage wands are sage leaves wrapped tightly together.  To burn a smudge stick, light the tip of a few leaves and blow it out.  You can either wave the stick in air or place stick in a fire-safe container that contains salt or sand. The salt or sand will allow the smudge stick to stand erect while burning. To extinguish the smudge stick, place smoking end of the stick into the salt or sand and smolder. The smoke created from burning sage produces a calming effect on those who inhale it.  (Always use caution when burning sage, as anything that is on fire can potentially catch other things on fire.  Also, keep anything that is burning away from children and pets).

In addition to smudging, white sage may be used for topical applications by preparing teas, poultices, and/or oil infusions.  White sage is used in these applications because it has anti-fungal, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, calming, deodorizing, and healing properties.  White sage contains diterpenoids, which are compounds which have been shown to fight bacterial infections, and reduce allergy symptoms.  It also contains cineole, which acts as an anti-inflammatory/anti-bacterial agent.  Tannic acid content provides anti-fungal properties.  Sage is also used as an antipyretic; used as a sweat bath to reduce fever. White sage has a calming effect on the body and soul.  This is likely due to its miltirone content (a compound which performs similar to valium to reduce anxiety).  Finally, white sage contains phytoestrogens, which are compounds very similar to the female hormone estrogen.  Herbalists have used white sage to help treat the hot flashes that accompany menopause.

 

White sage tea is prepared by steeping sage leaves in hot water.  Care is taken not to add white sage leaves to boiling water, as boiling water will destroy some of its medicinal value.  Once this tea is made, it can be used to make natural lotions and creams, soap, and hair care products.  The American Indians used white sage tea as a “soapless” shampoo.  Since white sage has deodorant qualities, sage tea can be used as a fabulous hair rinse that leaves your hair soft and manageable.  Sage tea can be used in place of plain water to make wonderful homemade soaps.  Natural lotions and creams can also be made using white sage tea in place of plain water.  This tea can also be added directly to your bathtub for a relaxing herbal bath.  Due to its tannic acid content (which has anti-fungal properties), white sage tea can be used as a foot bath to treat athlete’s foot.  White sage tea can also be used as a refreshing, natural vaginal deodorant.

White sage can be infused into oils to make fabulous massage oils, ointments, body butters, salves, lip balms, ect.  To prepare a white sage oil infusion, crush 1 cup dried white sage into 16 oz. olive oil (or another light oil such as sweet almond oil or sunflower oil), warm it gently in a double boiler for about 1 hour covered, pour the solution (including the herbs) into a jar and lid.  Allow this to set for 4-6 weeks; strain and use.  Your oil infusion will have a shelf life of about 1 year.  This white sage oil infusion can be used to make soaps, lotions, massage oils, ointments, salves, deodorants, creams, lip balms, scrubs, and other body products.

Finally, it is reported that white sage can be used internally (in small amounts) in the form of a tea for an array of medicinal treatments. Never should sage essential oil be ingested.  Before ingesting any type of herbs, you should consult with your doctor first. Herbalists use white sage as a tea, for soothing sore throats, for relaxation, for hormonal imbalances, for diarrhea, for indigestion, for ulcers, and for treating congestion in the respiratory tract.  Since white sage is a natural deodorant, it can be used to make natural douches.

White sage contains a compound known as thujone. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this compound increases your heart rate and causes mental confusion. It can also lead to vomiting, restlessness and kidney complications when used in excess. Hence, you should exercise caution when using white sage.

A study performed at the University of Arizona in 1991 demonstrated that Salvia apiana has potential antibacterial properties against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Klebsiella pneumoniae, and Candida brassicae.   It was also published in March 2005 in “Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine” that scientists at the University of Southern California found white sage to contain eucalyptol, or cineole.  This compound is known to kill bacteria and can help clear a sinus infection. 

Oct
15

Top 50 Soap Making Blogs

This entry was posted in cleansing, cold process soap, cosmetic recipe, creative, essential oil, handcrafted soap, handmade soap, herb, herbal oil infusion, homemade, homemade soap, soap, soap making recipes, soaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on by .

soap making blogs

Soap making has grown from a hobby, to a seriously competitive trade that attracts new talent all the time. The trick is finding the right soap making blogs to get the best recipes, ingredient list, tutorials, and expert advice to learn the pro’s tips on soap making. What I have created is the ultimate online resource that compiles the best of the best soap making blogs into one post.

I wanted to create a quality resource for people seeking information about soap making so I’ve collected what I believe to be some of the top soap making blogs out there. I endorse them so much that I’ve created a badge for them to display and be endorsed as one of the top soap making blogs on the Internet. The order below is not in any particular order. They are all #1 in my eyes.

Best Soap Making Blogs

1. Evik – The Curious Soapmaker – Evik has been making soap since she accidentally discovered a natural soap making book while browsing her favorite book store. Suddenly, she became more interested in a natural lifestyle and became a vegetarian and started learning more about the products and ingredients she was using in her every day life. Learn from her passion for soapmaking, the importance of selecting the proper ingredients, and basic recipes tutorials and principles.

2. Jennifer Young – Jennifer has a successful business of soaps, lip balms, salves and more. What makes her, and her blog, stand out are the four principles she runs her business by: she enjoys what she does, only uses natural ingredients in her products, supports the local community and economy, and treats the environment well. Kuddos to you Jennifer!

3. Amanda Griffin – Amanda shares her passion for soap making, and her gratitude for being a part of the “soaping” community. She loves all things soap, including talking, sharing, and teaching soap making. Follow her site for handmade soap, bath and body products, reviews, interviews, how-to’s and more.

4. Ruth Esteves – Ruth was trained as a laboratory assistant, and found herself craving more creativity in her life. She fused her passion for soapmaking with a career, and has successfully combined her talents for a business that “feeds her soul,” since 2006. Now she sells, teaches, and speaks about soapmaking and has even recently published her first eBook.

5. Rebecca Dillon – Soap Delicatessen is a one woman operation that has been running since 2001. She started out making soap as an alternative to commercial brands that often irritated her very sensitive skin. Over a decade later, now she creates her own unique recipes for various skin and bath products and sells them on her site.

6. Rene Whitlock – Rene started with aromatherapy and essential oils before she discovered her love for soap making. Now she passionately shares her discovery for better ingredients, natural products, and converting commercial product consumers to products more beneficial for their skin and the planet.

7. TheSoapBar.com – The Soap Bar is a fun spot for the soap makers out there. This site is loaded with contests, challenges, creative new tips and ideas, and wonderful tutorials to keep your soap making fresh and inspired. Follow along for wonderful recipes and a fun community of soap makers.

8. TheSoapMagician - Sharon has done her homework and has plenty of certificates to prove it. She has been making soap for well over a decade, and has no plans on stopping. Share her fountain of knowledge from aromatherapy to holistic uses of herbs, and how she incorporates all that into soap making.

9. TheSoapSister.com – This country gal loves her handmade soap and she can’t deny it! Her soap, Heirloom, is featured in local shops and on etsy. She shares the joys of soapmaking, making a messing, learning the tricks, and more on her oh-so-passionate blog.

10. TierraVerdeSoaps.com – A true self-proclaimed soap nerd, this mom has an entrepenurial spirit and a true talent at that. Follow her exploration of soap making where art meets science. Beautiful pictures are always the end result that you’ll find yourself wishing you could smell through your computer screen.

11. Stacie – Another successful business created as the result of a suffering tale of overly sensitive skin. Stacie’s first line of products resulted in her true love for sharing her results with others and the benefits she discovered in natural soaps. Share her recipes and learn about her new products, and cute crafts, on this charming site.

12. Angela – Angela, and her husband Brian, are the savvy creators of this blog that will educate and inspire you to spend more time together creating healthier, more natural products for you and your family. Browse their recipes and tutorials; it’s a great place to get started at making your own soaps.

13. SoaphisticatedLady.com – Beginner soap makers rejoice; here is the perfect spot for you to try your talent at soap making. Learn the basic process of melt-and-pour (MAP) soap making, and new tips and tricks “not available anywhere else.” A wonderful place to learn recipes, colors, and fragrance tips for your first, or twentieth batch of soaps.

14. Gavin Webber – Gavin’s site is delightfully personal, refreshingly real, and absolutely inspiring. He deems himself an ordinary man that had a sudden epiphony while watching a documentary and seriously overhauled his life. Follow his progressively shrinking carbon footprint, and marvel at his conversion to a green life.

15. TheNerdyFarmWife.com – A true self-proclaimed soap nerd, this mom has an entrepenurial spirit and a true talent at that. Follow her exploration of soap making where art meets science. Beautiful pictures are always the end result that you’ll find yourself wishing you could smell.

16. Tiggy – Future Primitive Soap Co.’ is Tiggy’s blog to share, and sell, her fine bath goods and aromatic oils. With names as catchy as the ingredients list, you will likely be as intrigued as you are curious. Inspire the soapmaker in you, or buy from the creator of soaps like, “Mama Didn’t Listen So I Told The Bees soap.”

17. Annie – Follow Annie’s adventures through soap making and “other things.” Shop her homemade lip balms, custom cupcake soaps, and body butters. She posts her creations on her blog, often swaying reading over to her “shop,” section linking to her good-enough-to-eat etsy store where she sells all of her fabulous creations.

18. Jenny – From melt-and-pour soap making to cold process soap, Jenny shares her hobbyist adventures in all things soapy. Follow her recipes through candle making, soaps of all colors and styles, and even men’s shaving cream.

19. BurntMill.com – This busy crafter may slack on the updates, but certainly not on the content. Follow some amazing recipes for colorful soaps. Learn how to make soap for a baby or bridal shower from start to finish, or give soap to friends and family and save some money this holiday.

20. SoapAndRestless.com – Did you know pictures of soap could literally make your mouth water? If you don’t believe me, check out ‘Soap and Restless,’ and just scroll through the photos. Those soaps are so beautifully made they honestly look good enough to eat. What’s not to love that the recipes, and plenty of tips and tricks, are shared for readers to delightfully attempt to recreate.

21. Erin Nute – Erin has learned the in’s and out’s of soap making and is happy to share her successes, and failures, so that you can create your own natural products. She’ll teach you layering techniques, color tips, and even how to make a long-lasting bar of soap. If you like what you read, you can pick up her new book, “Soap Making Made Easy.”

22. Patrice – Even those that don’t make soaps will fall in love with Patrice’s blog. She shares her passion for soap making, candle making, bath goods, and oil, but her personality is what keeps you coming back for more. Patrice has been at it for years, so share what she’s learned and have fun!

23. Bianca – This Brooklyn-based beauty is a full-time designer and hobbyist soap maker. Her blog is a meeting place for the best of both of her talents; where soap making meets design. Eye candy for the masses here, but definitely visual inspiration for the soap makers and designer readers.

24. Claudia Mold – Follow a busy mom of six through crafting projects, soap making, cooking, of raising her kids. Learn the recipe behind her “happy,” rainbow soap, or her mouth-watering handmade cheeseburger.

25. Erica Pence – Erica’s blog is more inspiration than the secrets of soap making, and if I were you, I’d listen. This business woman is savvy, successful, and passionate about what she does. She shares all of her interests from bath and body, to candles and business advice. Need more? Check out her tutorials and contests.

26. HorseOPeaceRanch.com – What a fun story behind this successful soap making business. After deciding to use some leftover goat’s milk to make some soap, an event 10 days later led to the first selling and teaching of soap making. Business officially began just months later, and has been a success ever since.

27. Magdoline – Addicted to Soap,’ started out of a mom’s need to help her eczema diagnosed children heal their sensitive skin. An encouraging husband pushed her to start selling her beautiful creations, and alas, a business was born. Browse the site, take a class, discover the joy of soap making.

28. LionAndRoseSoap.com – Handmade soap is an art, a hobby, but most importantly a passion. ‘Lion and Rose Handmade Soap,’ has them all. Share in the day-to-day family life behind this soap-making mom, and enjoy her honest opinion, recipes, and delightful creations on her site.

29. Aunt Nancy – Aunt Nancy’s blog is chock-full of homemade soap recipes. From pumpkin soap, to oatmeal & honey goat milk soap, you’ll have enough recipes here to keep you busy for an entire year (and more!)

30. Amy Warden – Amy’s soap is a work of art. If you have a few minutes and want some inspiration, I highly recommend going to her website and reviewing the amazing concoctions she has created. Absolutely stunning!

31. Tatania – Tatania’s soap is so beautiful it looks more like artisan fudge. I’d caution you against making her banofee pie soap as you really might confuse it for fudge!

32. Cee – Cee’s soap recipes are so unique! Pumpkin maple soap… Doesn’t get any better than that for fall, does it? How about a gift for mom of cocoa butter soap with lavender and lemon infused oil? My goodness! A must bookmark blog.

33. Jennifer – Add Jennifer to your list of soap blogs you must follow. From peppermint bark soap to polka dot themed apple, peach & cinammon, her soap recipes will inspire you for hours.

34. HomeMadeBathProducts.com – HomeMadeBathProducts is a site I know you will love! The writers feature great recipes and products from around the web.

35. Angela – Jamaican vanilla café, Hummingbird, Hula Hula… Angela’s soap names are as unique as the soap itself. Great photos and great blog… Just wish she provided more of her recipes.

36. Sabons Carmeta – This Spanish soap blog features beautiful soap recipes… From lavender and shea to Marigold… You won’t be disapointed by Sabons Carmeta.

37. Celine – Celine’s soap looks like it could be decoration in a pop movie. Full of sparkles, ridges & beauty, you’ll be hard-pressed to find more bubbilicious soap photos than hers.

38. Sue – Although the content has rarely been updated over the last few years, this blog features beautiful soap that you just must look into.

39. T.A. Helton – I Just love what T.A. Helton does with her blog. Occasionally you’ll see her featuring ‘soap porn’ so you can admire the greatest soaps she makes on her site, from apples & oak to bay rum spice… we love it all!

40. Elizabeth – Elizabeth shares her soap making adventures on this blog and we love it! She even shares how she uses her Vitamix for soap making (And for smoothies!).

41. Julia – Julia’s Spanish soap making blog is amazing. Beautiful designs, photos, packaging… You get the entire package here.

42. Milla – Milla not only shares photos of her end results, but even creates videos of how she prepares her soap. Definitely worth a read!

43. Super Soapers – Super Soapers is amazing: They feature soap artists every month to help inspire and educate you. This is one you must bookmark.

44. Ana Maria – Ana Maria shares her soap making adventures in this Spanish soap making blog. Just wish there were more recipes to accompany her beautiful photos

Our Favorite Soap Recipes

45. Nina Nelson – Nina shares her recipe for a homemade herbal bar soap here. She uses marshmallow root and calendula petals to make this bar soap very soothing and healing.

46. Allyson – Allyson shares 3 homemade dish soap recipes. They are all natural and quick and easy to make. She leaves out essential oils, but you can easily toss some lavender, cinnamon, peppermint or anything your heart desires in and it will work perfectly.

47. Stephanie – Pink grapefruit soap! Love it! Stephanie shares this unique soap recipe idea here. We definitely encourage you to try it.

48. Liz Marie – Liz has been using a DIY laundry soap recipe for over a year. After a year of refining her recipe, she finally has made it perfect and shares her secrets with you.

49. Clare – Another goat milk recipe! This time with orange and calendula. Thanks, Clare, for the great inspiration!

50. Brandy – Brandy shares her homemade poppy seed soap recipe here… I can’t wait to give this a go. Her photos are beautiful and the end result is even more gorgeous.