With so many “natural” skincare products available on the market today, you may wonder why anyone would go to the trouble of making their own.
For the majority of our history, we’ve relied on the inherent wisdom of plants for both medicine and nourishment. Even as modern pharmaceuticals become widespread, nature continues to provide a plethora of safe, effective remedies to those who know where to look.
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.
It’s not such a coincidence that many of the same herbs that are beneficial to keeping aging skin healthy and happy are also useful for healing wounds and minimizing scarring — it’s all about skin repair!
I’m excited to announce that I just began a 4-month apprenticeship with the wonderful Suzanne Tabert of Cedar Mountain Herb School. I’m literally vibrating with excitement over all I’ll learn in the coming months.
Cottonwood buds are bursting with a wonderful, sticky red resin that many herbalists refer to as an “herbal band-aid.” Its anti-fungal, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic (pain relieving) properties make it a top-notch first-aid salve that deserves a place in every herbalist’s medicine cabinet (and perhaps a place in their daily skincare routine!)