Herbs and Soaps

As I was trying to decide what to blog about today, I realized the answer lies in the shower that helped to awaken my own senses on this Monday morning. (Not being a morning person, I am, however, married to a farmer who believes morning must start at 4:30 am. UGH!) Anyway, I am a firm believer in using the healing and awakening power of herbs and natural oils to start each day off on the right foot. Herbs and essential oils have a way of making your skin and spirit feel renewed. Many herbs, essential oils and even carrier oils can actually improve the softness and overall feel of the skin. My choice for this morning was a hand-made calendula-based shower wash infused with rosemary and Vitamin E. Ahhh.  The calendula and Vitamin E helped to soften my skin while the rosemary provided just the right amount of astringent to remove the oil and the aroma to wake up my Monday morning senses.

The good news is that creating custom blends of shower wash and soap is really pretty basic. Anyone can create custom body care products with just a few essential oils or home-grown herbs, select carrier oil(s), a soap or body wash base and a little knowledge. Essential oils, herbs and body care making supplies are now available on the internet and in some natural food and craft stores. In addition, herbs can be grown by even the most novice gardener in a pot on the patio. In a pinch, unscented body wash or soap can be purchased at the store and essential oils or herbs can be added for a custom bath or shower product. Melt-and-pour soap bases are also available that are created from a variety of natural ingredients. Glycerine, goats’ milk, castile, just to name a few. These melt-and-pour bases are cut up, enhanced with additives and re-molded to create a custom and luxurious bar. Your favorite bar soap can even be re-constituted with distilled water, enhanced with essential oils and enjoyed as a body wash. Take the first step and create your own blend of soap or body wash. Learn how easy it is to nourish your body each day.

To get your creative juices started, the following is a short list of herbs and the healing effects they can have on the body.

* Lavender– Astringent, relaxing.

* Calendula– Emollient, great for dry skin.

* Rosemary– Stimulating and soothing. Can smooth wrinkles.

* Peppermint– Astringent, stimulating. Great for normal skin.

* Chamomile– Cleansing, soothes, softens.

For those of you who reside in central Illinois, I will be holding workshops beginning in September to share the experience of creating custom soaps, body care and herbal products.  These products make great gifts for yourself or for that special someone in your life. There is nothing quite like the feeling of creating a unique home-made gift for a loved one with your own two hands! Watch the local Source newspaper for exact details or feel free to send me a message via the feedback form if you are interested.  I would be happy to place you on my mailing list!

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