‘Enchanted Forest’ Pine Pitch Perfume

In aromatherapy, the resinous aroma of pine pitch is known for its uplifting and invigorating qualities, helping to improve mood and reduce stress. I can vouch for this effect… the smell of pine pitch makes me SO happy!

And while my precious pine tar is amazing for topical conditions like warts, splinters and all sorts of inflamed, irritated skin, it’s incredibly thick and sticky and just doesn’t lend itself to dabbing on your pulse points.

So I decided I needed (NEEDED) to make myself a pine pitch perfume.

A Look at Squalane as a Solvent for Extracting Oil-Soluble Plant Constituents

This post is the result of a burning question I had about squalane’s effectiveness as a menstruum. Try as I might, squalane herbal infusions rarely had anywhere near the vibrance of color I would get from my other infusions using oils like olive oil or tallow. Sometimes they stubbornly remained crystal clear, begging the question(s): Is the squalane actually extracting anything? Can it be infused with plant constituents for use in skincare formulations? Inquiring minds want to know!

Scent-sational Science: Using Aromatherapy for Better Sleep

Judging by the ever-increasing size of the sleep aid section at the grocery store, getting enough sleep is a challenge for many of us. Adequate, quality sleep is crucial to our physical, mental and emotional well-being and our overall health.

Fortunately, there are many non-pharmaceutical things we can do to help our minds and bodies wind down and prepare for sleep, such as avoiding artificial light and stimulating activities before bed and maintaining a consistent sleep schedule.

Another thing to consider trying is aromatherapy.

Rendering Your Own Purified Tallow for Skincare

Given my obsession with tallow-based skincare, it kinda feels like a huge oversight not to have talked about rendering tallow yet.

It’s a simple process that can be done at home with just a few basic tools.

‘Winter Kiss’ Overnight Lip Rescue with Lanolin

Winter skin happens to everyone. Months of cold, dry air take their toll.

This time of year calls for a little extra TLC to help lock in precious moisture and add a protective barrier against the elements. A deeply hydrating overnight therapy can restore our lips natural moisture balance and help to smooth, soften and nourish the skin.

Honey-Mint Lip Butter

I’m one of those weird people who insists on having about 47 chapsticks or lip balms in strategic places around the house. And in the car, in my desk, in multiple purses, my gym bag, my pocket, melted in the dryer (oops)…

Practicing Nasya at Home

The Ayurvedic practice of nasya (pronounced nah-si-ya) is the therapeutic ritual of oiling the nostrils and administering herbal therapies via the nasal cavity. The oil nourishes and cleanses the tissues, helping them to remain moist, healthy and balanced. The oil also acts as a protective physical barrier against allergens and environmental pollutants, reducing inflammation and preventing mucus from reforming.

Mineral Enriched Tallow Deodorant (That Works)

Over the years, I’ve also tried many (so, so many) recipes for homemade deodorants, including Milk of Magnesia, magnesium oil sprays and even Desitin with varying degrees of mediocre success. They just didn’t work for me, and I always gave up and reluctantly went crawling back to my commercial antiperspirant… until the injustice of being forced to use a toxic product made me angry enough to try again. Rinse and repeat.

So why worry so much about finding a quote-unquote “natural” hippy-dippy deodorant?

Processing Pine Pitch for Use in Personal Care & Health Products

One of my favorite things I learned this year in my herbal apprenticeship with Cedar Mountain Herb School was how to harvest and use pine (Pinus spp.) resin — aka pine pitch — from the abundant conifers we have growing all around us in North Idaho.

Pine pitch is stimulating, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory and is well suited to all sorts of topical applications. It speeds the healing of inflammatory skin irritations, rashes, burns and wounds. It also has astringent properties that make it useful for drawing out splinters.

Shata Dhauta Ghrita (100x Washed Ghee)

Move over tallow, there’s a new (skincare) oil in town! Actually, it’s not new at all…

Meet one of Ayurveda’s oldest skin remedies: Shata Dhauta Ghrita, also known as “100 times washed ghee.”

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