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Natural Gluten Free Shampoo Bar

img_2918So many people nowadays are sensitive to wheat that I created a special shampoo bar just for them. Of course, even those without wheat sensitivities will enjoy this bar!

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Summer Travel - Be Prepared

Herbal Healing Balm

Herbal Healing Balm

As summer is upon us, so is the need for natural travel size remedies. We went camping a few weeks ago and I decided ahead of time we would need a versatile balm to take with us. I created my herbal healing balm with many different herbs to soothe irritated skin. The herbs all help soothe inflamed skin, burns, cuts, wounds and itching. I also added essential oils to aid in the healing process.

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Jewelweed Soap

img_95161We have suffered greatly from poison ivy over the years, some of us get it so bad that they can barely open their eyes. Last year an acquaintance told me about Jewelweed and even offered to show me what it looked like, so I decided that I needed to create this soap to help all of those suffering people to get some relief. Jewelweed is used in folk medicine for many purposes, most notably as a remedy for poison ivy that stops itch and promotes healing. It also helps ease the itch of bug bites and has also been used for acne, heat rash, shingles, hives and many other minor skin irritations. Anyone who spends time outdoors will find use for my jewelweed soap.

How to use Jewelweed soap

Jewelweed soap is used in the bath or shower after exposure or at the first signs of poison ivy/poison oak itch for best results. In later stages of inflammation treatment may take longer but still should provide relief from itching and promote healing. Lather soap and apply to affected areas, leave on at least 30 seconds and rinse lightly. If blisters should occur it would be necessary to wash with the soap three times a day until rash disappears. Wet your hands, then rub them about the dry bar of soap, place the soap back in the soap dish and work up lather, wash and rinse. If you like you can even leave the lather on to dry.

You can also use jewelweed soap as a preventative by washing with it a few times per week.

In addition to containing jewelweed, my soap also contains essential oils known to be good for skin conditions such as poison ivy, so you get even more bang for your buck.

Give it a try and let me know what you think! Also, watch for my jewelweed salve to be listed soon!

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Lavender Dream Shampoo Bar

This much requested scent is now available in a shampoo bar to compliment other products currently available in this scent, including body butter, soap, room spray and soon to be listed wax melts.

Lavender Dream Shampoo Soap Bar

Lavender Dream Shampoo Soap Bar

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Aromatherapy Shower Tablets

I’ve been selling bath bombs for over a year and have had many requests for people who prefer to take a shower rather than a bath, so I came up with a shower tablet for those people! Shower Tablets give you the benefit of essential oils without taking a bath. The essential oils are released into the steam of your shower and absorbed through the respiratory system. For best results, take a hot steamy shower, put the shower tablet out of the water stream towards the back of your tub or shower. The tablet will fizz on the floor, releasing it’s scent while you enjoy the benefits of the wonderful essential oils.

Currently available - Sinus blend, Stress relief, Quite Time, Energizing and more to come.

Sinus Aromatherapy Shower Tablets

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Natural Shampoo Soap Bars - Do they work?

I was at first skeptical, because for years I have reacted to commercial shampoos and kept switching from one brand to another. Some would make my head itch, some gave me dandruff, some just left my hair looking blah! So, I decided to make my own shampoo bar. A shampoo bar is shampoo in a solid soap bar. My shampoo bars are made with extra castor bean oil for lots of bubbly lather and vitamin rich oils such as avocado, wheat germ, apricot kernel, jojoba oil and pure essential oils.

I had read all of the articles on people having trouble adjusting to solid shampoo bars, so was prepared so to speak. I took my first shampoo bar and headed to the shower. It lathered very nicely, I was surprised how well it lathered. I was hesitant at first as I always use conditioner, I have medium length hair, so without conditioner, it can be tricky, but I decided to skip it and see what happens. After my hair dried, I couldn’t believe how soft it was, I had never felt my hair so soft! There are a few things I would like to point out, even though I didn’t spend 2 weeks adjusting to my shampoo bar, evidently that is not the norm. Also, we were temporarily out of soft water at one point and the shampoo bar did not work as well with the hard water. If you do take a few weeks to adjust, it may be because of all of the chemicals you have previously used. I have had to stay away from many things because of sensitivities, so my hair is fairly natural other than the commercial shampoos I was using. Don’t give up! It may take adjustment, but it is so worth it!

My shampoo bars are free of detergents, full of conditioning oils and will not strip your hair of it’s natural protective oils, therefore you should not need a conditioner after washing your hair. However everyone’s hair is different. If you do get tangles then try an apple-cider vinegar rinse to help smooth the hair cuticle. They will not leave a residue on your hair. In fact they will remove all the residue left from commercial shampoos and conditioners. It will take about 1 week for your hair to benefit from our shampoo bars. You make have “funky hair” after your first few washes, but once the commercial residues are all washed away your hair will be fuller, shinier and healthier.
Floral Dream Shampoo Bar

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Aromatherapy - Mood Changers

Aromatherapy can change your mood, your outlook, your perspective and more.

Here’s how it works - Essential oils have a unique ability to penetrate cell membranes and diffuse throughout the blood and tissues. The unique lipid-soluble structure of essential oils is very similar to the makeup of our cell membranes. The molecules of essential oils are also relatively small, which makes it even easier for them to penetrate into our cells. When applied to the feet or elsewhere, essential oils can travel throughout the body within minutes.

I have already discussed some of my favorite essential oils in previous posts. Here I will address a few others that may not be as common, but are great for the very purpose of changing the atmosphere or your mood.

Roman Chamomile is a costly essential oil, but has many benefits to those in need of non-drug help. It is used by many as a relaxant and an anti-flammatory. It has also been used to detoxify blood and liver. You will find that almost all essential oils have multiple uses, so if it doesn’t help for one ailment or person, it may work for another.

Frankincense essential oil can also be costly and has many of the same benefits of Roman Chamomile. It is used for depression, improves attitude and uplifts spirits. So, as you are looking for essential products keep these qualities in mind.

Jasmine is also a mood changer, it is uplifting, can help with anxiety and depression.

Lavender has been mentioned before, but it bears mentioning again. It is the most versatile essential oil and the cost is more manageable than the previous mentioned oils. It is a calming, relaxing oil that also helps to balance you both physically and emotionally.

Orange essential oil can be very uplifting and is often used as an anti-depressant. Avoid applying to skin that will be exposed to sunlight or UV light within 24 hours.

Patchouli is also a relaxant. You either love the smell of it or hate it, there is usually no in between.

Peppermint is an uplifting oil and I have used it many times when I needed a pick me up in the middle of the day or when I was driving and getting tired. I wouldn’t be without my peppermint.

Rosewood is empowering and emotionally stabalizing.

Sandalwood, though expensive, enhances deep sleep, and is known as an immune stimulant.

Tangerine essential oil - promotes happiness and calming, also helps with anxiety and nervousness.

Vetiver - can be used for ADHD, anxiety, depression and insomnia. It is usually thicker than other essential oils and isn’t the most pleasant smelling essential oil, but I have seen it work miracles in our home. Best if applied to the feet because of the smell.

Ylang ylang essential oil helps combat anger, low self-esteem, and increases focus. May restore confidence and peace. This is one of my favorite essential oils!

If you’re on a budget, try lavender, orange, tangerine and peppermint as they are the least expensive.

So there you have it, many choices to change the mood of your home or office. Now how do you do it?

Here are a few ways to change the atmosphere in your home.

* Spray a room spray made with essential oils in the room or your whole house.

* Use the essential oil diluted in a carrier oil on the back of your neck, on your wrists, or if possible on your feet.

* Put the essential oil on your furnace filter.

* Use a diffuser to diffuse the oil into the air.

* Take an essential oil bath salt or bath bomb bath.

So, now you can take charge of your life and change your outlook with a few simple changes. Take a look at my Etsy shop for many mood changer options - I will soon have mood changer roll-ons for travel convenience.

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Reflexology - What is it?

What is reflexology? It’s a science based on the principle that there are reflexes in the feet, hands, and face that directly correspond with glands, organs, and parts of the body that has been used for centuries. I know this sounds bizarre, but I’m pretty open to trying things especially when I’m in pain! I have Crohn’s disease, flare ups cause inflammation of the intestines, and as many know, it can be quite painful. I have been using different things to help my Crohn’s and reflexology is one of them. I originally went to someone that specializes in reflexology for my first try. It was a very relaxing experience and I did get relief from my pain. Soon afterward, a dear friend of mine learned the art of reflexology, so I continued to learn from her.

A wonderful chart is available online so that you can see what each part of the foot correlates to in your body. If you look at the chart, the intestines are located in the middle of the foot, thus I would take a few drops of essential oil, mixed with a bit of my peppermint lotion and massage that area. At first you may not notice, but after a bit, you will be able to see that certain areas are more sensitive than others, these are the areas that need to be massaged the most or the area that is causing the problem. I like to use lavender or peace and calming essential oils(for their relaxing ability), along with peppermint(for pain).

I have also helped my husband recently, he had hurt his back and was on the verge of going to the chiropractor. I told him I would do reflexology on his feet to hold him over until he could get into the chiropractor. He thoroughly enjoyed his massage and reported that it had helped a lot. I did his feet each night for the next few days, using my peppermint lotion, peppermint and valor essential oils. Valor essential oil has been known to adjust the spine for many. Needless to say, he is convinced that reflexology works.

Here are some known benefits of relexology:
* Reduce stress and tension
* Improve circulation
* Alleviate pain
* Balance nervous system
* Boost lymphatic system
* Improve sleeping patterns
* Increase energy and vitality

Give it a try, you might be surprised. I would recommend you have someone help you at first, then you will see exactly what they are doing and they can even explain why it hurts here or there. There are also many books and CDs available on the subject. Enjoy!

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How to make homemade popcorn

Oh, the smell of fresh popped popcorn, no one can resist. Have you ever tried making it the old fashioned way? Here’s what you will need:

a stainless steel saucepan with a handle
coconut oil
popcorn( I prefer the white)

Put a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil in the saucepan and put the heat on 7 or a bit over medium. Add enough popcorn to just cover the bottom of the pan. Use the handle of the pan to gently move it back and forth over the burner. In the meantime, melt a few tablespoons of coconut oil to pour over the popcorn. When the popcorn starts to pop, turn the stove up to 10 or high, at this point, you will need to move the pan back and forth over the burner constantly. When it is done popping, pour it into a bowl and drizzle a bit of your melted coconut oil over it, and sprinkle with sea salt. I prefer sea salt as it has some nutrition in it. Shake the contents of the bowl or bag gently and drizzle more coconut oil over it and once again sprinkle with salt. Taste test to be sure all is well, and eat!

Optional: Sprinkle nutritional yeast on your popcorn, you will be amazed how good it is and it’s good for you! We’ve also sprinkled parmesan cheese on it!

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How to buy homemade soap online

After selling soap online and looking at many different soap shops, I have come to the realization that it might be helpful to have a few tips or things to look for in buying homemade soap so that you’re not disappointed.

The first thing you would want to look for is what size bar are they selling and for how much. The size of the bar is usually listed in ounces. You will want to know this so that you can compare pricing in different shops and know what you’re getting. A bar of soap from the grocery store weighs about 4 - 4.5 ounces, I think they must have shrunk since I last bought them. That being said, you should be able to get a feel for what you are getting. Most sample size bars of soap are about the size of a hotel bar, some are bigger. I would say a hotel bar is about 1 ounce in size.

Now that you have a better idea of what size bar you are getting, you will may want to consider how it is made. Is it melt and pour soap, cold process or hot process. This may not be as important as the size, but you may want to test a bar of melt and pour soap vs. hot/cold process and see if it matters to you. Cold process and hot process are very similar.

Next, what ingredients are used in making the soap. Here are a few common vegetable oils used and their properties.
COCONUT OIL’S ability to nourish and heal the skin has been known in the tropics for hundreds of years. Coconut oil has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral properties. It also has wonderful antioxidant properties that protect the skin from free radical damage. Coconut oil has wonderful moisturizing and lathering properties, although too much of it can be drying.

OLIVE OIL ~ One of the best natural treatments you can use for dry skin. It’s light & mildly antibacterial. Olive oil is also very moisturizing, by itself, the lather would be little to none. It is mild and softens and soothes the skin.

PALM OIL is rich in antioxidants and contains high concentrations of a powerful form of Vitamin E called “tocotrienols”. Palm oil cannot be used by itself, but combined with coconut and olive oils, it produces a very nice soap.

UNREFINED SHEA BUTTER ~ The benefits of raw shea butter are that it can be used as a superior moisturizer with all natural vitamin A, an anti-inflammatory, a minor sunscreen agent (up to SPF 6), and it also reduces wrinkles. Shea Butter is very moisturizing and nourishing for the skin. It is used in many bath and body products for these qualities. It is usually used in small amounts in cold process soap.

Any other oils listed in soap ingredients are usually used in small quantities for their moisturizing capabilities.

Now, consider whether it matters to you if they use fragrance oils or essential oils in scenting the soap. I guess there are probably pros and cons of both. Fragrance oils are synthetic and I would guess can cause more allergic reactions than essential oils. Although essential oils can also cause reactions. Let’s face it, if you are allergic to lavender flowers, lavender essential oil will cause you problems too. For those of you that prefer a more natural soap, I would probably choose essential oils.

What about the coloring used in soap? Does it really matter? Well, your skin is the largest organ and absorbs everything you put on it. I don’t know if studies have been done, probably not, but I just prefer to err on the side of caution and not put something on my skin that I wouldn’t eat. I prefer to have natural colorants, from spices, clays and such. I know many will not agree with me, or maybe you have just not thought of the effect it may have on you over the long haul.

Hopefully this will at least enlighten you in your search for a great homemade soap.

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