Thursday, February 12, 2009

Herbal Remedies for Kids

Make the herbal tea or infusion into ice cubes and let her suck on them. (Tell her not to chew them, though; chewing ice cubes isn't great for her teeth.) You can also mix them with fruit juice and make them into popsickles.

To administer eye drops, have your child lie down and close his eyes. Place a drop of the medicine in the corner of each eye, then have him open his eyes. The drops will gently fall in.

Remember that for a nursing baby, Mom's medicine is baby's medicine. Drink healing/calming herbal teas and let the constituents affect the baby through your breast milk. On the flip side, be careful to check your own remedies ahead of time to make sure they're okay for the baby.

When used appropriately, herbs are effective and gentle enough for kids. Most kids like the idea of taking herbs (they're pretty friendly with plant life) to heal themselves. But if your child is reluctant to take her medicine or other treatment, try some of these tricks to entice her...

Make it fun.
Give your child "facials" (facial steams using healing herbs), herbal baths and footbaths, massage her sore muscles, pat her aching head with a cool compress and wrap her sore throat with a warm fomentation.

Concoct medicinal candies by combining powdered herbs with ground nut butters, dried fruit and honey or maple syrup. Thicken with powdered milk, if needed. Remember to store them well out of your child's reach.

De-Stress with Herbs

For physical and mental well being, it’s crucial to find ways to slow down. Herbal rituals—teatime, a long soak in an herbal bath and a restful slumber with an herbal pillow—can help soften the pace.

Herbal Tea Time

Whether you need to relax before climbing into bed, de-stress after a busy day at work, or even get your day off on the right (calm) foot, a cup of herbal tea can help. Try different herbs that are known for their soothing properties, then pick your favorites and enjoy them solo or in combinations. As a general guideline, use about a teaspoon of herb per cup of water, and steep for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Tootsie Soak

No time for a full bath? Relish the scent of relaxing herbs and the warmth of the water as you soak your feet, and you’ll feel calm from the tip of your soaking toes to the top of your once-frantic head.
Make an infusion of soothing herbs (about one cup of herbs per quart of water) and pour it into a shallow pan. Add enough warm water to make the soak comfortably hot, then immerse your feet and drape the pan with a towel (to hold in the steam). Lean back and breathe deeply. Before the water gets too cool, remove and dry your feet. This is a good time to moisturize them, too!

Herbs for a relaxing foot soak include:
marshmallow, pennyroyal, sage, rosemary, juniper, angelica, chamomile, rose petal, lavender, yarrow, elder berries, and clover blossoms.

Herbal Nerve tonics

Valerian, hops, chamomile, scullcap, oats, damiana

Herbs to Relax Nerves

St. John’s wort, passion flower, valerian, lemon balm, lobelia, scullcap, hops, chamomile, lavender

Herbal Nerve demulcents
Oats, barley, slippery elm bark, marshmallow

Nerve Stimulanting Herbs
Kola nut, peppermint, ginkgo, gotu kola, wintergreen, spearmint, cayenne, ginger, rosemary, ginseng

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Who invented soap?

Although the Romans are most often credited with the discovery of soap around 1000 B.C. - directions for soapmaking have been found on Sumerian clay tablets dating around 2500 B.C. Legend says that a mixture of animal fat and wood ash from a sacrifice somehow made it into the Tiber River on Sapo Hill where women were doing laundry. They discovered that the clothes came cleaner because of this substance. Our modern word "soap" was derived from "Sapo" from where this solution was believed to originate.

It is questionable whether the people of the time were conscious that soap was being produced. The recipes don't mention that soap is produced, and the soap is never actually separated from the solution. In fact, the first concrete evidence of knowledgeable soapmaking is found in ancient Rome. The ruins at Pompeii revealed a soap factory with finished bars. However Romans, famous for their public baths during this time, did not use the soap because it was too harsh for the skin and used only for clothing.

It wasn't until the 18th century when bathing came into fashion again that soapmaking techniques began to resurface. Prior to that, bathing was in disfavor due to superstitions that it was dangerous and unsanitary. A new demand for "domesticated soaps" (soaps used for bathing) resulted in new discoveries in the soapmaking process. Soap was produced throughout Europe and ingredients began to differ based on the region. Colonial America, however, was the exception. Soap companies did not begin to appear until the early 19th century.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The 8 Top Reasons to use Shea Butter

1. Dry Skin - Helps dramatically reduce the issues associated with dry skin. Specifically, Shea Butter helps prevent chapping and skin cracks (especially on the feet and elbows).

2. Psoriasis, Eczema, Dermatitis - Has shown to have remarkable effects on rashes, psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis. French dermatologists used Shea Butter on 35 people from different age, sex and racial backgrounds for a period of ten days to 5 months. These subjects had all types of skin disorders ranging from dry and wrinkled skin to serious burns and rashes. There was substantial healing in all of the cases, and in some cases the healing was almost miraculous. These clinical trials have all been well documented by the French Ministry of Health.

3. Skin Irritations - Minor skin irritations including allergies, insect bites, frost bites, sun burns, burns, and small skin wounds all respond positively to treatment. Shea Butter glides on smoothly and easily and penetrates into the skin immediately, having a very quick effect.

4. Wrinkles - Helps dramatically with wrinkles. Shea Butter works by rejuvenating skin cells and cleaning pores. Shea Butter also helps by preventing wrinkles by keeping moisture protected in the deeper dermal layers of the skin.

5. Dry Hair and Scalp - Helps prevent weak hair from breaking, fading or thinning out. Unlike almost all other hair conditioners on the market, which use Petroleum by-products, Shea Butter does not clog pores or block the hair shafts. It also helps prevent dandruff and revitalizes split ends. In addition, it will protect the hair from the damaging rays of the sun, hair dryers, perms and dyes. A good idea is to use it before swimming in a pool or the ocean to help protect your hair from chlorine and sea salt.

6. Sensitive Skin- One of the best choices for people with ultra-sensitive skin, including infants. Why? The chemical composition of Shea butter is close to vernix, the substance found on newborns at birth, so there is no negative reaction to it by even the most sensitive people.

7. Stretch Marks - Excellent for the prevention and treatment of stretch marks and other kinds of scar tissue. It works by moisturizing and feeding nutrients to these areas which help dramatically reduce the appearance of scars or stretch marks. In addition, Shea Butter is also good for the healing of sore nipples of nursing mothers.

8. Aging- Wonderful for older people who are looking to prevent bed sores and want to keep the suppleness of their skin. Shea Butter works great for the elderly population and can be used everyday.

Scott Malin is rapidly becoming a widely respected writer on the subject of organic, all natural skin care. You can find excellent advice about how to have healthy and beautiful skin at:

Article Source:

The Origin of Shea Butter

Shea Butter is made from the seeds of the Karite tree (known as the Tree of Life) which grows wild in West Africa. In Africa, there are number of therapeutic uses for the "King of skin care ingredients" including ingesting it for colds and flus and as a ceremonial food. Africans use it on the skin of infants, because of its incredibly mild properties on the most sensitive of skin. Also, it does an amazing job of protecting and moisturizing their delicate skin. Africans also use Shea Butter with the elderly to help with aching joints and to keep their skin supple. Due to the dry nature of the Sahara, it is also used regularly to help with cracked and dry skin.

Why is Goat Milk Soap so special?

Goat's milk is a natural emollient that helps soothe and moisturize the skin. It contains Vitamins A, B6, B12 and E. Goat's milk has three times more beta-casein than cow's milk, which is easily absorbed into the skin and allow for quick hydration of dry skin. And Goat's Milk makes a lovely, creamy, moisturizing bar that has been in demand the world over for centuries! Cleopatra bathed in goat's milk and recipes for goat's milk soap can be found dating to ancient times. They might not have known the "scientific" reason why goat's milk was so kind to the skin, but they knew that it certainly was, and found every opportunity to use it to maintain a stunning complexion.

Getting More Personal with Handmade Soap

Handmade soap can be personalized not just with regard to its contents, but according to shape, size, and color, too! Different molds are available to create personal styles, shapes and designs. A person can fashion molds of the shapes he or she wants, or they can be bought in soap-making or handicraft stores. Imagine the enjoyment children will have with mild, handmade soap fashioned in fun shapes, like their favourite cartoon characters or nature-themed designs.

Handmade soap is also an ideal giveaway at events like weddings, bridal showers, and baby showers. They can also be used as corporate giveaways. If making soap by one’s self is not possible, there are companies and other businesses that will make them according to the customer’s specifications. This is ideal for large jobs. But if you just want to try something different, or give a unique gift to someone special, handmade soap may just be the thing. It shows a personal touch that will surely make someone feel appreciated – something that even the most expensive commercial soap cannot do.

LEARN HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN SOAP, join us at SoapCafe` during our Soap Making Workshops. For more info, click on the link. 

Handmade Soap in Aromatherapy

Essential oils from plants, and other plant and animal products, should be added to handmade soaps if one wants to experience their health benefits on an intimate basis. For instance, milk can be added to enhance the skin’s luster; cinnamon makes for a spicy aroma; ginger oil tones the skin because of its astringent properties; natural olive oil pampers sensitive skin; oatmeal relieves skin itchiness and helps fight acne. There are so many more natural oils and fragrances that can be added, and a person can adjust the strength of these ingredients to suit his or her personal taste.

Basic Handmade Soap Facts

Soap making is a handicraft with its own set of enthusiasts. The process involves the mixing of ingredients such as lye or sodium hydroxide, fats and oils (derived from animals or vegetables), and water. A process called saponification ensues when the lye and oils combine, neutralizing the harsh effects of lye to produce a substance called glycerin in the soap.
The fun part comes in the selection and addition of ingredients for the soap’s color and scent. Commercially manufactured soaps usually have artificial coloring and fragrance, but with handmade soap, you can add natural ingredients such as flowers, fruits, and other plant extracts. Not only do these components feel and smell good, many of them actually have aromatherapy benefits.

Monday, February 2, 2009

The benefits of handmade soap

So why use handmade soap? Well, its milder than commercial soaps, and wont strip your skin of its natural moisture and give you skin problems such as eczema. It contains natural ingredients rather than harsh chemicals. It also contains natural glycerin which moisturizes your skin rather than drying it out. Furthermore, there are no synthetic additives, preservatives, fragrances, or colors that could hurt your skin and your health. Handmade soap also effectively kills germs without the use of such harsh ingredients as triclosan.

Taking care of your natural soap

Don't let your soap drown in water.

Feed your soap plenty of fresh air between uses.

Always use a well drained soap dish to keep soap dry.

Use of a wash cloth or loofah will extend the life of your soap.

It's best to use your new soap within six months of purchase. It won't stay fresh forever!

Store unused soap in a dark, dry, relatively cool location such as a lingerie drawer or linen closet.

That antibacterial soap may not be all good!

Antibacterial soaps, which often claim to kill 99.9% of germs, have become extremely popular in our germ-phobic age, but is this a good thing? The bacteria-fighting ingredients in those soaps may be doing you more harm than good. Extra-strength antibacterial ingredients in soaps, while killing harmful bacteria, can also kill healthy bacteria that exist to protect your skin thus endangering you and stripping your skin of those healthy bacteria. Killing too much of your body’s bacteria, when overdone, can even lead to causing diseases such as eczema, irritable bowel syndrome, and even diabetes... Read more...