Friday, January 4, 2013

Homemade Shampoo


For normal hair, or as a base to add your own scents, use

Mix together all the ingredients. Store in a bottle. Shake before use.
This mixture isn't as thick as commercial shampoos - you'll need to just tilt the bottle over your head.
I am really impressed with how much lather I get from it though!


For dry hair, try this:

Mix together all the ingredients. Store in a bottle and always shake well before using.

Apply to hair and allow to sit for a few minutes. Rinse well with cool water.


Chamomile makes this 'poo a calming treat. Chamomile also has natural lightening properties, so combine this with lemon juice if you want to lighten your hair!

Steep the teabags in 1 cup of boiled water for 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags and discard. Add castille soap to the tea. Stir in glycerin until well blended. Keep in a dark, cool place in a sealed bottle.


To wake up your scalp and your senses, try tea tree and peppermint oil!
This one's my personal favorite, and the one I use daily. It's so refreshing!

Mix all ingredients, then add 1/4 cup distilled water
Store in a bottle. Use as you would any shampoo, rinse well.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


1 C. Organic extra virgin olive oil
1/2 C. Organic coconut oil
1/2 C. Beeswax pastilles (for easier melting)
4 Capsules vitamin E or 1/2 teaspoon
16 drops Lavender
4 drops Bergamot
8 drops Balance (blend of spruce, rosewood, frankincense and blue tansy).
Fill pan 2/3 full with water, set heat to med/low and stir occasionally until melted.  Be careful not to get water in the jar.
Have your 1/2 pints jars at the ready.  I like to add the oils into the empty jars at this stage, they will mix well with the melted oils upon filling.

Right after you've filled your half pint jars, pierce your capsules and add with a stir now.
As the oils cool, they will solidify.  Don't put lids on until they have completely cooled.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Making Tinctures and Elixirs

The process for making a tincture is simple:

Get an herb, fresh or dried.
Put said herb into a jar.
Pour alcohol to cover the herb.
Put a lid on it, and give it a good shake every now and again
Strain after 3-6 weeks and label clearly.

Now, tinctures are potent!  When you take tinctures, please do a lot of research if you are dosing yourself, or find a practiced herbalist to give you guidance.  Some tinctures, such as poke root or teasel, only need a couple of drops per day to be effective and more than that can cause you harm.

Elixirs are the sweetened version of those alcohol-expressed medicines.  I tend to make "sipping" elixirs out of the more tasty herb tinctures.  These can almost cross the line into cordials, which while they may have medicinal benefits, are mostly just for pleasure.  The sharp tang of elderberry cordial is lovely, but I try to save it for when I'm feeling sick.  To use an elixir, just pour a bit into your hot tea, or into a brandy snifter to sip on for a while.

Then there are the less-than-tasty herbal medicines...adding sweetener to the more bitter or astringent herb tinctures can make ingesting them a more palatable experience, especially with kids.  Valerian and Horehound are good examples of herbs that can use a splash of honey to cut their bitter strength!

Elixirs are easy to make: 

You can start out with a tincture and add a simple syrup (recipe below).  Add the cooled syrup to tincture in small bits, then shake the mix to blend it, and then taste.  If it isn't right, add more and taste again!  Be careful, these are meant to be sipped as they are still potent medicine, and this sweetening and tasting process can get you loopy. 

Simple Syrup: 
Boil one cup of water.
Add two cups of sugar (or 1.5 cup of honey, or agave, or whatever you prefer!)
Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved and remove from heat.
Allow to cool.

Otherwise, you can use the lazy method. Pour a dollop of honey into a strained tincture and give it a shake.  It works, but it ends up being super sticky and thick compared to the simple syrup process described above.