post

Natural, Easy, Simple and Affordable Skin Care

How much time and money do we waste on Natural skin care?

Do you remember, back in the day, when you were young? Did you ever wear too much make-up?  Did you ever go to bed without washing your make up off?  With a zero skin care routine…. Zero time and energy wasted at all.

And were you living as though that wrinkle-free face would last forever?

When you got to mid-20’s did you try to make up for it?  And have you ever spent more time and money on skin care products in some vain hope it would equalize any damage caused by your careless youth?

And now, you look at the cost and in the mirror and wonder if the cost and time spent is really making any difference…..

Skin Care What are those ingredients

bunny

Why would you test anything on me??

So now you have a chock-a-block skin care routine – and hear about a few toxic ingredients, brands that are tested on animals.  And surely you want to make conscious decisions and not hurt little furry bunnies in the process.

So you spend even more money to go all natural.

Yet, your bathroom cupboards bulge with the products you used just once but despite their empty promises or natural appeal was soon demoted to the back shelf.

Do we really need all this crap?

Yet you were feeling too guilty to throw them away. Maybe one day they’ll redeem themselves, although you know that to be unlikely.

Are you feeling any better, healthier and more beautiful?

Surely there is an easier, cheaper, simpler way?

Any which way, clear the bathroom – chuck out or give away what you aren’t using.

The Secret to great skin is right under our nose… hiding in our kitchen…

Not sure if you’ve ever calculated your skin care spend, spare the thought. I know, I for one used to use a pre-moisturising serum, 2 toners, skin peels, and at one time there was a 7 step routine…. Seriously, shoot me now…..

And yet, over time, I’ve just simplified and simplified and discovered the biggest and best changes to my skin was when I changed my diet – to eat more alkaline (more fresh greens, less acidic food).

I Got rid of all the expensive products, including make-up and settled one some very simple products.

In fact, my routine is so simple – I don’t even ‘wash’ my face…  you see using harsh washes and soaps robs our skin of our natural oils which do a pretty good job of balancing themselves out.

So now, it’s 1, 2, 3 go.

  1. Splash with water
  2. Splash with witch-hazel
  3. Massage in face oil

Green Drink

Voila, ready to rock and roll….  I do once a week give my face a scrub and on the 4 times a year I wear mascara or make-up I use my home-made body oil to cleanse that make-up off. But that’s it.

Good skin from the inside out.

One of the surprising factors I’ve found through detoxing and drinking my green alkaline drink*– is the effect it has on my skin.  It went from splotchy to even tone – and I ditched any foundation or blemish sticks.

Additional Easy affordable tips to great Naturally Healthy Skin:

  • Eat lots of veggies, herbs, and salad
  • Drink plenty of water (Chlorine and Flouride free)
  • Cut out sugar and caffeine
  • Ditch the smoking
  • St Ives apricot face scrub
  • Witch-hazel toner
  • Exercise
  • Spend time outside in Nature
  • Face massage / Exercise
  • Hat
  • BB cream (if you are going to use foundation, use a moisturising, vitamin protecting light one)

DIY ‘make it yourself’ Natural Skin Care, it’s too easy!

Toner:    I use either witch hazel which you can buy in the pharmacy and It’s good to go, there is even a rose scented one that I love from Thayers*.

Another simple recipe is to use 1 part apple cider vinegar, with 2 parts water, add a few drops of rose/ thyme/ tea tree essential oils.  This balances the PH levels of the skin, refreshes and tones the skin.  And of course,  the rest of the bottle is great on salads.

Face oil:  Choose a high-quality base oil, preferably an organic one such as Argan/ Hemp and add a few drops of essential oil.  Rose/ Neroli and Frankincense are great for the skin, if you have spots or oily skin use a drop a tea tree.

Body oil: Hemp/ Coconut oils are great for the body, and grapefruit essential oil is fabulous as it both uplifts your mood and detoxifies the skin.

Give your skin what it really wants, joy –

natural skin care

My Beautiful naturally happy friends

Really, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which is you!  We are all more beautiful when we smile when we have a bounce in our step – when we feel confident, alive and happy.

We are most likely to be feeling like this when we look after ourselves, practice self-care, eat healthily and think positively about ourselves.

If through this care that we have for ourselves we can get the right amount of sleep, speak out when stressed and exercise when needed.  Our bodies are our vessel through this lifetime and just as you would a new priceless car – we need to take care what we put onto and into our bodies.

When we do this, we naturally glow, and walk through life feeling and looking better.

It doesn’t need to cost the earth or take half the morning to get ready and have a self-care routine.

We don’t need to go back to our carefree 20-year-old self – who covered their insecurity with makeup…  We don’t need to spend thousand dollars a year on chemical ridden facial products or products that claim to be ‘Natural’.

We just need to be ourselves, take care of ourselves, and be happy….

Failing all of that, you are more than welcome to try my Eternal Serenity all Natural Face oil, or Bedouins Charm Body Oil.  ;)

But seriously – smile, live long, be happy.

*Please note these product links are ‘NOT affiliate’ links, just links you can read more about the products if interested.
But if you would like 5% off at iHerb, feel free to use Rewards Code: IJE129

 

 

 

 

post

Sadhu Rose, Comfrey and Rose, for busy Creative hands and hearts

Comfrey and Rose a magical mix for hands

Whether you Knit, Crochet, Weave, Spin, Paint or make Pottery. There is a time of the day when your hands get achy and you feel as though you’ve lost your sense of time working your craft.

Rose Comfrey Ointment

Sadhu Rose, helping me with a big knit project!

It’s true, time flies when you’re having fun!

Now you’re racing against the clock wanting to finish a project. Knowing you won’t have the same amount of time tomorrow as you have today.
 
Let’s be honest, when we are busy making and creating, all we want is to be able to do so uninterrupted for as long as possible.
 
So, overworked hands get achy, tired and wane. And that my friends, is why I made started making my Comfrey ointments in the first place. With my mum’s arthritis and my own RSI (repetitive strain injury), I wanted relief.
 
I dread the aches, especially when they get between me and whatever craft I happen to be working on.

The Birth of a new Floral Rose Scented Ointment

 
Sadhu Rose, Comfrey Ointment

Sadhu Rose, Comfrey Ointment

When, a crafty friend, Juanita Tortilla, asked for a rose scented comfrey ointment rather than my walk in the woods version: Wayfarers Magic. Who was I to disagree?

 And hence, Sadhu Rose was born, and the name kindly thought up by another dear friend. Where would we be without crafty creative friends ;-)

So what’s the difference between the regular Comfrey Ointment and Sadhu Rose?

 One of the biggest questions I get at the markets is what’s the difference between the two ointments?
 
The only difference is in the Essential oils which do have their own set of benefits:
 
Wayfarers Magic: Rosemary, Lavender, Cedar, Bergamot, Clary Sage and Juniper.
 
Making it more suited to provide relief for inflammation, swelling, cuts, and burns due to the antispasmodic, pain relieving, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiseptic qualities.
 
Sadhu Rose has: Rose, Rose Geranium, Lavender and Palma Rosa.
 
Sadhu rose comfrey ointment

Big heart, worn dyed worked hands…

Which is great for the skin as it softens, soothes and rejuvenates.  And the smell is good for the heart!

 Both have the benefits of herbs in the ointments of which the main herb is Comfrey. And the extra benefits of beeswax, organic Shea and Cocoa butter.
 If you are looking for relief for inflammation: muscle ache or arthritis, tennis elbow, RSI, burns then Wayfarers Magic is the go to Ointment.
 
For, creative hands and tired muscles: Sadhu Rose is the one for you. hits floral scent it’ll keep those hands weaving their magic longer and farther.
 
Now if only there were a solution for the interruptions from the rest of the world….

Fiber Friends, you need this (Sadhu Rose: Comfrey + Rose Salve) in your life to keep your hands nourished (mine get so dry and cracked) the comfrey helps my poor creaky knuckles...

Julie @Littleloom

Julie @Littleloom

post

3 Free ways to Benefit from Connecting to Nature

How Connected have you been feeling?

Did you know there are real benefits to your health and well being when we connect to the natural world? I didn’t realise to what extent until I started researching this article.  I simply didn’t have the time.  And you?

When was the last time you connected to Nature? Have you had the time? Or have you too been feeling ‘disconnected’? busier than ever?  A slave, to your every growing, never ending ‘To do list’.

Do you also often feel stuck on the hamster wheel of life: Sleep, work, eat, sleep, work, wash, cook, clean, eat, sleep, and work – over and over…. Without the time to stop in and breathe –

All the while, there is a feeling of disconnect, dissatisfaction, and emptiness that time spent on social media will never fill.

Disconnection in the modern world, and what we can do, 

to reconnect to ourselves and the natural world

If you are feeling a sense of disconnect, you are not alone.

Next time you’re on the bus, street or café, have a look around and see how most everyone is focussed on their phones and ask yourself; is real world conversation and eye contact a novelty from a bygone era?

Does this lead to a larger disconnect with the natural world and the very soul of our being?  And if we can’t connect with ourselves, how can be present to fully connect with our friends and loved ones?

And is there anything we can do about it outside of taking a year off travelling or going into therapy?

Thankfully there is! and the best news is it’s fun, good for our well-being, easy and free:

~~ Simply get out and spend some time in nature ~~

3 Free Ways to Connect to Nature:

#1.  Forrest Bathing:

Connect to nature through Forest bathing “The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”

John Muir

 One of the simplest ways to enjoy nature is to get out into a local forest or national park. In Japan it’s called ‘shinrin-yoku’,  Forest Bathing.

Recent studies show that a simple walk in nature lowered cortisol levels, the pulse rate and blood pressure – which in turn benefits our health, immune system as well as alleviating depression.

Forests are Magic and Beneficial Thanks to:

~ Trees that give off essential oils and medicinal aerosols. Redwood has shown to fight cancer cells, and pine is great for stimulating your intelligence – most trees provide immune boosting and respiratory benefits for the body. There is a fascinating interview here of Diana Beresford-Kroeger on For the Wild podcast, which covers the medicinal aerosols and many other benefits in further detail.

~ The deep forests also give us the chance to experience a profound natural silence that as discussed here with Gordon Hempton on OnBeing, this level of silence is rare in our city/ suburban lives and is almost endangered.  I always find that this intense silence creates a space for us where we can experience a deeper sense of our true nature and that of the world around us.

~ The Schumann resonance is stronger in the forest,  I recently watched the free documentary Beings of Frequency:  In summary, the frequency of the earth is called the Schumann resonance that they discovered was the same as human brain waves. Research demonstrated that our health deteriorates when we are disconnected from this resonance for any length of time. Yet, in cities, it is near impossible to get a reading on the Schumann resonance due to the interference of EM Radiation (cell-towers, wifi etc).  This is affecting our health and is expected to get worse in time.

I’ve always believed the forest and trees to be magical; if you look at our lungs and flip them upside down they even look like the roots of a tree. Simply said We live in a symbiotic relationship with the trees, we breathe in Oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide and they do exactly the opposite.  Without them, we simply would not be here.

#2. Visit the seashore 

Connect to nature through the sea“The Sea cures all the aliments of man

Plato

If you’ve ever spent any time near the sea, you know how relaxed and refreshed you feel from a swim or walk along the shore.  Thalassotherapy (from the Greek word ‘thalassa’ meaning sea) Spas are a place where you can pay to go and heal from the sea’s magic, or you can just take a stroll or swim at any old beach for free.

The Ocean heals through:

~ Sea Minerals that we benefit from whether we are swimming or walking in the wet sand.

Negative ions are created in the clash of the molecules through the waves. These are shown to assist our body in absorbing more oxygen which in turn strengthens our immune system and protects us from free radicals.

~ The sound of the waves are also healing, so much so that it is a sound that you’ll often find in sleep or meditation CD’s to lull us into a mild meditative state?  There is a great interview here with John Stuart Reid who discusses the healing benefits of sea sounds in more depth.

There is nothing quite as healing and sensational as swimming in the sea or taking a stroll along its shore.

Leave your phone and ipod in the car, and just really walk mindfully. Allow yourself to sense the peace, magic – perhaps there are even dolphins or whales to greet you ;)  Just relax and be…..

#3. Flower Meditation

Connect to nature with a flower“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.’

Buddha

I learnt about this mindful meditation while in Argentina, and the general advice was to go out into a garden, be it your own or a local park,  and sitting to meditate with a flower.

At the time I lived near a Rose garden, so I started stopping after my morning stroll to sit and meditate.

It took a few days for me to realize that it is not about counting to the end of the mediation or just staring at the rose.

It’s really about disconnecting with the world, all while connecting at the same time.  As I sat and softly meditated with the flower it dawned on me how imperfectly perfect it was. The petals were worn and had been chewed on by bugs and yet still perfect as nature intended.

As the warm love of really seeing this rose in front of me grew, I noticed the flower was very slowly turning away from the sun to face me, as it was the only flower on the bush or rose patch to turn around – I’ll take it that it wasn’t a coincidence.

We both sat and bathed in each other’s shine for awhile. Time and the world seem to stop and I unashamedly and humbly admit that I’ve never felt more loved, connected and alive than in that moment.

If you have a garden near you, even if it is a park nearby, go and take the opportunity to meditate with a flower. Stop, and really look with your heart wide open.  And see what happens…..

So get out, and disconnect to reconnect

Not only does spending time in nature provide us with some incredible health benefits, it also creates a stillness, peace and space that we can step into. And through stepping into that space we can reconnect with ourselves in the simple recognition that We are Nature.

And the natural world is also us.  We are as indigenous to this world as a bird, a flower or crystal…. So let’s disconnect to reconnect :-)

Resources or further information should there be a particular subject you want to delve into:

Mystery of Trees

For the Wild Podcast

Call of the forest

Mother Earth News Forest bathing

Benefits of Forest Bathing

Japanese Research on Forest Bathing

Being of Resonance, Free Documentary

Influence of Schumann Resonance, article on Heart maths

Collective Evolution, Schumann Resonance

http://www.schumannresonator.com/

The Gray Escape interview with John Stuart Reid: Cymatics the healing benefits of Sound 

post

Herbal Magic, using Horsetail to prevent Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Wouldn’t be great if there was a solution for ailments – that was easy, affordable without any nasty side effects…

Imagine, a magical world. A world where we could walk outside to our small patch of earth and pluck a few green leaves such as Horsetail, and use those leaves prevent illness and heal ailments.

All we needed grew right outside our door, a magical green world of plants, herbs, and trees.

It sounds like we’d be living on Pandora the magical world in the film Avatar, or Rivendell the home of the Elves from Lord of the Rings…a mystical faraway place….

Or is it?

In reality, this magical kingdom already exists. It is just that we have lost our connection to it. And no longer see or recognize it.

It is my belief, that mother nature in her wisdom would not give us an illness without providing us with a solution. Whether we know or have found that solution or not, is another story.

They burned the Herbalists of old and their knowledge burnt with them.

And well let’s be honest – Nature and plants don’t have a big marketing budget a research lab or a PR team. And as they’re hard to patent (read: *sell*), we have teams of scientists around the world trying to mimic their magic.

Yet there are clear examples, of how, if we work with nature we can prevent, support, provide relief or in some cases even cure illness.

One good example landed in my inbox yesterday. So, I’ve included the video below, in which the Health ranger (Mike Adams of Natural News) educates us on the benefits of Horsetail (Equisetum arvense).

Mike explains that through making a tea or infusion that it binds with the toxic aluminum in your system, and works to naturally remove it.

As research clearly shows aluminum to be linked to Dementia and Alzheimer’s, what better way to remove it by using a prehistoric plant that grows easily, cheaply and naturally.

While I use Horsetail, in my Comfrey ointment as part of my magic Comfrey blend for the healing, strengthening effects of the Silica, I am thrilled to see there are other benefits too. And as both Dementia and Alzheimers are high on my list of things to avoid – I think I might go and brew myself up a cup of Horsetail.

And as both Dementia and Alzheimers are high on my list of things to avoid – I think I might go and brew myself up a cup of Horsetail.

So you don’t ingest Aluminum??

For those of you, who might be thinking you don’t have any aluminum in your system… I hate to give you a bit of a reality check, it is near impossible to avoid it within our modern society.

It’s in everything from the air we breathe, the water we drink, our food and medicines that we ingest. A small example: Cans, smog, aluminum wrap, vaccines, deodorant, cosmetics, baking powder (goods cooked with baking powder, salt.

While you can’t avoid it, you can minimize it’s use by cutting it out where you can, and watch the video to learn more about Horsetail and how to use it:

Source and further information:

Natural News

Link between Aluminum and the Pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/toxic-ingredient/aluminum

Aluminum Toxicity

And big thank you to pixabay for use of their images!

post

How to make Free Easy Comfrey Fertilizer at home

Sure you can buy fertilizer, if you wish.  However, Mother Nature also provides a free-homegrown Comfrey version.

Now I can hear you asking from here if it’s any good because we’ve been trained to believe you get what you pay for.

Comfrey Leaf

Comfrey leaf

Trust me, my friends, it’s better than good.  Would thousands of Permaculture gardener’s, be wrong?

Now then, read on as it is easy to make – yet I’ve only met a few people who know How to make Comfrey Fertilizer….

A black alchemic gold that will supercharge your soil and your plant friends will love you for.

So all you need is:

  1. Bucket with a lid
  2. Comfrey leaves

 – I told you it’d be easy –

If you don’t have the Comfrey, please go buy some. Don’t let anyone tell you it’s a weed – it’s a little like any superhero, it hides its super powers, and lives incognito, waiting for the day it can spring into action.

Comfrey is also a great Companion Plant, so be sure to plant it near some herbs, tomatoes, potatoes or other plants that would like to prosper from a Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium rich soil.

Then when you’re heading into winter, as we are here in Australia.  You’ll find the plant starts to let its leaves eaten by caterpillars, as the natural order of things. It hibernates in winter, so it can focus on its roots. So don’t worry if you see this, you haven’t killed it.

Easy Pesy DIY Fertilizer Recipe

Don’t let all leaves go to waste, tear up a good few handfuls and put them into the bucket, with a stone or brick weighing them down. Add water, put a lid on it and once and awhile and give it a stir.

And in about 6-8 weeks, you have a super powered fermented fertilizer for your plant beds. Do dilute the liquid, use about 1 quarter Comfrey liquid Fertilizer to 4 quarters water.

All my herbs love Comfrey – the best garden companion plant!

If this is too much effort for you, or you’ve not got the time to waste, you can also use the leaves as mulch, just tear them up and place them around other plants.

Yes, that’s the whole recipe – I told you it would be easy.

I hope you and your garden enjoy your comfrey as much as I do.

I don’t think I’ll get far by calling my Face oil, fertilizer for the face ;)  Do remember that Comfrey, while it moonlights as the perfect companion plant and fertilizer, it’s real super powers are in the way it has the ability to speed our cells regeneration process.

So you can also use the leaves and roots to make an ointment, or find a wider range of products that I whipped up for your earlier using organic, all natural and delicious ingredients, here.

post

Cost Conscious guide to eating healthy, how buy Organic on a budget

Do you think eating organic healthy food isn’t affordable?

Do you also have those moments, where you wonder if anything you do makes a difference?  You want to live in an ideal world…. You want to eat the right organic food, make the right choices for yourself,  the environment… You are after all a responsible, conscious, aware individual.

We all have those moments when we are standing in the grocery store holding a $10 piece of organic broccoli and wondering if it’s really going to make a difference, to the $2 store brand….

And let’s be honest when faced with this dilemma unless the dollars are rolling in – we all often go for the $2 option, as the difference is too extreme for anyone to let it slide.

Endless Choices: How to Prioritize and why

The world we live in today has choices coming at us hard and fast – what is a smart, conscious girl to do in the face of it all?

organic vegetable hamper

One option is to curl up in bed and hope to wake up in a world where everything is healthy and organic?  Or can we have healthy food on a budget.  And conquer the dilemma once and for all.

I am here to share a few Healthy Organic Affordable food tips with you – Let’s call it the Cost Conscious guide to Eating Healthy.

I advise prioritizing purchases.  Here is the order of my everyday preferences, depending on what is possible, and of course the price at the time, I’ll go into each in more detail a little further down:

  1. Grow your own
  2. Organic: via farmers markets, or Health shops
  3. Local: Farmers Market
  4. Supermarket Organic
  5. Supermarket fresh food

Cost Conscious Reasoning behind these Choices

  1. Grown your own

    This takes a bit of space and effort, however, the fruits of your labor will be worth it (pun intended).  It’s cost effective, and you know what you have and haven’t sprayed. There are even options for people living in flats called Garden towers, all you need is a balcony. And if you grow your own, I also recommend using a Bokashi, the easy, organic way to recycle your food scraps into fertilizer for your crops.

  1. Organic: via Organic markets, or Health shops

    We are often shocked at the price of Organic food, on that small sad shelf in the supermarket, however, if you go to a local farmers market you’d be surprised at the difference in price and the variety that is available.

    For those that doubt the benefits of eating organic, check out the research done on a Swedish family of five, who were tested before and after 2 weeks of organic food.  Their first urine test contained over 16 different chemicals. Which were are either herbicides, fungicides, insecticides or growth inhibitors.

    Only 2 weeks later, their urine was chemical free.  Scientists admit, that while one chemical in our system would be within regulated safety limits for consumption, we have yet to test the human body for such a cocktail of chemicals.  I guess only time will tell what those results will be.

    Personally, I would rather not need to eat organic, I’d like to live in a world where our food and products are NOT toxic.

  1. Local: Farmers Market

    Get to know the regular stalls and the markets.  I’ve gotten to know some growers who don’t spray with chemicals, and who are not big enough to afford the organic certification (an expensive and lengthy process).  So, I buy my affordable fresh food from them.

    Another benefit of being local is that it is likely to have been picked when ripe, rather than when green and shipped/ frozen – which means it will be fuller of all the taste, nutrients and minerals your body requires for optimum health.  And depending on where you live, the chemicals that your country uses may be less severe from those less regulated abroad.

    An additional benefit of buying local means you also buy in season.  Which is much better for your health as the earth grows the right veggies that our bodies require in the season, once again Mother Nature knows best e.g. Vegetables in the spring detoxify getting the body ready for summer, winter vegetables like beets and potatoes add protein and build up the body ready for the winter.

  1. Supermarket Organic

    The organic selection in Australia’s Major supermarkets may be the saddest I’ve ever seen, however, it is still likely to be healthier than their GMO veggies in the next isle.

  2. Supermarket fresh food

    My last choice. There are times though that I need some vegetables, and there are no markets. If I do buy from the supermarket I try to avoid the dirty dozen (tested to have more pesticides and chemicals on them), and these are: Apples, Peaches, Nectarines, Strawberries, Grapes, Celery, Spinach, Sweet bell peppers, Cucumbers, Cherry tomatoes, Snap peas (imported) and Potatoes.

 How to save more money on your Healthy Eating choices:

Farmers market organic produce

While above is my list of preferences on which food to go for, there are also some great ways of cutting costs when the end goal is good healthy fresh food, such as;

  • Join a local community garden – these are popping up all over the place, check your local council for a list, on what’s near you.
  • Join a Local Coop: Discounted group buying, there is a focus on organic – chemical free, as the group buys in bulk you all pitch in some help packing and share the savings. Search online for one near you, or for a smaller list check here.
  • Find local harvest options near you
  • Buy online, there is surely someone selling something near you
  • Join the Sharing economy, swap your lemons or parsley for someone else’s beans, some people are even happy to swap compost for food:

Cost conscious guide to eating healthy and organicLittle steps lead to bigger changes.

We all have a say in how we live our lives, what we eat, and the small actions we can make daily for our own good health, that of our family, friends, community and planet.  Each small action contributes, and while we perhaps can’t change the world overnight, being conscious of our health, what and how we buy certainly contributes to the steps it will take to living in a more enlightened away, and in harmony with the world around us.

Be sure to enjoy your future fresh food purchases, and let me know if you have any tips that I might not have thought of, I’d love to hear them.

Sources:

Swedes show how eating organic eliminates a family’s pesticide load

 

post

To use or not to use… Beeswax, is it ethical? Why I’ve chosen to use it

To use or not to use?  Is something that I had asked myself, when I started on this journey. Knowing my use of beeswax would be questioned, and vegans would not buy my Wayfarer’s Magic and Sadhu Rose Comfrey Ointments.

Wayfarers Magic: Comfrey Ointment + Ethical Beeswax

Wayfarers Magic: Comfrey Ointment + Ethical Beeswax

For a start, I don’t eat unethical animal products or support the treatment and misuse of animals for our consumption, production or testing.  So how, do then carry my values over into my products and business?

To answer this, I set about researching the question, is beeswax ethical? And should I be using it?

I came to the decision to use Beeswax, and here’s why;

1. Ethical Beeswax does exist;

I get my beeswax from a local beekeeper – it’s a beekeeping family, their native bees and are wild and are free here in central coast wilderness of New South Wales. It’s an excess bi-product of the honey that is ethically sourced; meaning there is always more than enough for the bees. Unlike in hives that are in mass production, and they are not tricked of forced to produce honey/ wax in excess.  Happy bees = Happy Honey = Ethical Beeswax.

2. Beeswax is also healing

Beeswax itself it uber beneficial to the skin and the healing process. It’s anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-bacterial. Due to this, it contributes to the healing quality of the ointments. It soothes and softens the skin, and forms a protective layer that still allows the skin to breathe and heal.  It is also a ‘natural’ product, that has not undergone industry processing.

Bees Natural Green Home turf

Since I’ve moved to the Central Coast I’ve also been using the wax from the same local beekeeping family that I get my honey from Suesse Honey‘. If you are ever at the Entrance market be sure to buy some of their honey! Their  ‘Raw honey Lemon, Ginger and Cinnamon’ blend – which also has Lemon Myrtle – tastes as good as it is healthy – I am completely unshamedly addicted.

For those that aren’t aware, Raw honey is packing with nutrients, it contains; 22 amino acids, 27 minerals and 5,000 enzymes. Minerals include iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and selenium. If you add to this the benefits of Ginger, Cinnamon, Lemon and Lemon Myrtle, you have a most delicious healthy treat.

I do empathise with the dilemma of using or not using animal products.

I remember the moment, that I learned the big-eyed gentle cow in the paddock could end up as a steak dinner. It’s the same moment I secretly vowed to never eat animals again.  As soon as I grew up and left home, that’s what I did and I’ve been a vegetarian ever since.

Though, I am not a vegan, and I do have a few pair of leather shoes and a jacket.  Which I often get flack for funnily enough from meat eaters.  However, as one wise friend once said, ‘is it more ethical to have a sturdy jacket that lasts you 50+years that is biodegradable, or a jacket that is made from synthetic material, that has gone through industry processing to be created and then never degrades and pollutes the environment?’

Tough questions, that we need to face and ask ourselves when we aim to live a conscious life.

While I abhor the way humankind treats the animals on the planet, and how they are treated as a commodity rather than a sentient being.  It’s good to see that research is now supporting what many of us already know, that insects have emotions and sentience, as do plants and trees.

I do believe that as Robin Wall Kimmer states so wisely in her @onbeing interview,  we should be aiming for a reciprocal relationship with the world around us.  I love that idea!  It takes sustainability to the next level.

Lavender Bees

Lavender Bees

If we work to look after bees and their environment, it becomes a collaboration with them. In taking this reciprocal approach, we can create a better world, for everything – plants, animals and humans. We just need to start asking, how can we contribute – what do we have to give?

When we are not doing this, which we can see reflected in much of the world around us right now, we are out of balance with the natural world around us.

I am thankful for my Ethical Healing Beeswax, from happy bees that share their wares with us. And I hope that we, in turn, can share and work to protect them and their environments and well-being.

We can do this, by asking ourselves how we can contribute to living in a ‘Reciprocal’ way with the world around us. Can this be reflected in our daily decisions  i.e. buying heritage seeds, not supporting/using monsanto products, doing bio-dynamic gardening, growing flowers and plants that bees love.

In doing so, we take conscious steps, to live in a conscious way –  in balance and harmony with the world around us.

I do have two vegan products:
Bedouin’s Charm: Comfrey+Coconut+Grapefruit Body/Bath Oil
Eternal Serenity: Comfrey+Hemp+Argan Face Oil

And the products that contain Organic/ Ethically sourced Beeswax:
Wayfarers Magic: Comfrey Ointment
Sadhu Rose: Rose+Comfrey Ointment

Note:
All my products and ingredients are Cruelty-free, and not tested on any animals (only myself, and consenting family and friends).

Further Reading:
The Secret Life of Plants: a Fascinating Account of the Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual Relations Between Plants and Man

post

Yarrow: If it’s good enough for Achilles, it’s good enough for me

I know, I go on and on about the Comfrey in my products and how much of a Magical herb that it is, which of course is true. However, there are also other herbs that are also pretty magical too. And one of them is Yarrow.

Yarrow tried and tested on live Battlefields:

Yarrow’s history is equally rich – thanks to some big time celebrity sponsored marketing by a dude called ‘Achilles’.  This is reflected in Yarrow’s Botanical name; Achillea Millefolium, the first part of the name honours ‘Achilles’ who is said to have used it on the battlefield during the Trojan War to control the bleeding and heal the wounds of his soldiers.  The second part is ‘thousand of leaves’, due to the feathery amount of leaves that it has.

Rumour even has it among some, that it got its name when Achilles covered himself in Yarrow tincture all over but missed his ankle – the rest they say is legend – personally, I think this might be a good PR spin at its finest.

Nor can I imagine a warrior with the reputation of Achilles was really running around and seeing to his armies wounds.  I do imagine that he had a jolly good medical man/ herbalist along. As an ambulance, morphine shot and a plaster cast weren’t available.  A battlefield would be the perfect place to test the worthiness of a herbalist’s own character and that of his herbs.

So, I am apt to believe that Yarrow won out as the go-to herb on the battlefield, and hence carries the name of Achilles evermore – a long-lasting claim to fame.  Its nicknames are nosebleed, military herb, which also says it all.

Why it won Achilles stamp of approval:

The reason it would have been used is due ability to staunch bleeding rapidly making it a great garden bandaid. This is due to its complex chemical components two of which are achilletine and achilleine which makes the blood coagulate and speeds up the healing of wounds. It is also said to be antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic, three other qualities that would come in handy if you’d had your arm cut off in battle.

As good Ole’ Culpeper says “Ointment of the leaves cures wounds, and is good for inflammation, ulcers, fistulas and all such runnings as abound with moisture.”

It’s also been known to calm down the skin, and great for rash, itchiness and dry skin. And it can be used internally to bring down a fever, allergies, sinus issues, to calm menstrual bleeding, stomach issues and better circulation.

Pretty magic, if you ask me, which is why I choose to use it in supporting Comfrey to create the base that I use for my products. I figure if it’s good enough for Achilles and his armies it’s good enough for me.

Shepherds Alchemy Comfrey Products

Shepherds Alchemy Comfrey Products

You can find the Yarrow in the Shepherds Alchemy Product Range:

Wayfarers Magic: Comfrey Ointment
Sadhu Rose: Rose + Comfrey Ointment
Bedouin’s Charm: Comfrey + Coconut + Grapefruit Body/ Bath oil
Eternal Serenity: Comfrey + Argan + Hemp Face Oil

“This is my first time using a body oil and I LOVE IT. It is a treat to the body and senses -- feels great on the skin and smells delicious. As it is important to know what I'm applying on my skin and then washing out into the environment, this body oil is made of natural ingredients and I appreciate that. I look forward to pampering my skin daily now after a shower. Thanks, Michelle”.

Juanita

Resources used:

www.herbwisdom.com
Rodale’s 21st-Century Herbal: A Practical Guide for Healthy Living Using Nature’s Most Powerful Plants
Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine: The Definitive Home Reference Guide to 550 Key Herbs with all their Uses as Remedies for Common Ailments
Culpeper’s Complete Herbal: Over 400 Herbs and Their Uses

post

Keeping Cool in the Australian Heat with Guilt Free Ice Cream, and Cold Soup

Gosh, I am not sure if I am the only one on the side of the equator that is over the heat already. Struggling to keep cool (Sadly, I don’t have air conditioning), turning on the stove to cook, is the last thing on my mind.

Luckily these few guilt-free food options that are prepared in all of a few minutes with little mess, are my main sustenance right now. So get out your hand blender and be prepared to keep your cool:

Guilt Free, Yummy Vegan Chocolate Ice Cream

1 or 2, Frozen bananas
A dash of vegan milk
A tablespoon of nut butter
A tablespoon raw cacao
Option items: Goji berries, a pinch of Cinnamon, Coconut milk/ cream, Cacao nibs, vanilla essence.

Put in the blender and enjoy!

I know, this recipe was in a recent post on the benefits of cooking with herbs, yet, worth adding again:

Frozen Pea & Avocado Soup

Cold Pea Soup

Cold Pea Soup

Cup of frozen peas, few leaves of Spearmint, a few slices of onion, half an avocado, cup and half of almond milk and a grind of Himalayan rock salt + Black pepper.  Blend ingredients in food processor and enjoy!  (it’s like a healthy pea avocado ice cream).

On top of this, I’ve been keeping some Grapes in the Freezer, perfect snacks.  Eating plenty of Fresh Fruit.

And keeping hydrated with my favourite Beverage: Iced Tea

I’ve Been drinking Sensado’s Bodyguard Tea – but any herbal blend will work. It is easy to prepare. Just boil it up. Once it’s cooled put it in a bottle, and keep it in the fridge. I love adding a few ice cubes and slices of Lemon or Orange.

Strangely, I used to be a complete beach person, and loved the heat – now here I am secretly wishing away my summer.  With today being a lovely 38 degrees, I am going to use this as the perfect excuse to go and make myself more ice cream.

So, how are you keeping cool??

 

post

Daily Herbal Habit #5 Cooking with Herbs

Herbs are such a diverse plant, you can do so much with them whether you are drinking herbs, such as I covered in my last blog post, or eating them – as I will cover in this one. Either way, you reap the benefits and taste through using our herbal allies.

Magic aren’t they, our most lovely green garden companions. In this post, I am going to both introduce you to a few of my favourite herbs and finish by sharing a few quick and easy recipes.

Current Food Climate

Now, if you go into your average cafe or lunch spot, you’ll notice that herbs are under-utilised.  You may also notice this in ready meals that you purchase from the supermarket.  Instead, to compensate or add flavour, food manufacturers tend to add sugar/ salts to food.

This is beneficial for their bottom line, as sugar tricks the brains receptors into thinking you’re still hungry –  resulting in you buying and eating more. Now while this is financially good for the manufacturers, it’s at all good for your health, not only does it affect your brain, research has shown that sugar is highly addictive and literally stupefying.

In the last few years, there has also been a commercial push of the ‘Low fat’ trend. However most low fat foods are highly processed and harder for our body to digest and break down.

To eat healthily, it’s best to ditch the food that has been processed, such as low-fat or meals that are full of sugar/glucose/additives. Eat real food that is as close to its natural state as possible, by doing this we reap the nutrient energy and rewards.

Many people that switch to a natural diet worry that their food will be bland, yet if you are looking for flavour, the healthiest alternative is to use herbs!  On top tantalising your taste buds they are also known to be full of nutrients, vitamins and additional benefits that you won’t find in sugar, flavours or additives.

A few herbs and their Superpowers

Here are a few of my favourite herbs and their benefits (for the benefits of Rosemary, Parsley, Thyme and Sage please see my previous blog post).

Spearmint

Spearmint

Peppermint/Spearmint: These two herbs are related and have similar properties. Each can be used to help; fresh breath, digestive system, cramps, gas, colic, irritated bowel, headaches, and pain. They are antioxidant and have trace elements of vitamin A, B, C as well as copper and potassium.

Dill: Has a rich history, used as a painkiller by the early Egyptians, with a Norse name meaning ‘to soothe. It’s a valuable stomach remedy for calming the nerves, cramps, stomach and digestion. It is also antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant. As for vitamins and minerals, it has; vitamin A and C, iron, and manganese

Coriander (Cilantro): Used for thousands of years and mainly classed as an aphrodisiac – this may explain why you’d be feeling a little extra saucy after some Mexican food. It is also, however, great for bloating, cramps, spasms, nervous tension, stomach issues lowering cholesterol and managing blood sugar levels.  It is also rich in Vitamin C and K,  protein, and trace elements of calcium, phosphorous, potassium, thiamin, niacin and carotene.

Cardamom Seeds: One of the oldest spices in the world, especially popular in Asia, where it’s used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat asthma, bronchitis and kidney stones. In China, it’s used as a tonic and for urinary issues. It is an antioxidant, detoxifier and is noted also for providing relief for indigestion, cramps, and gas.  It is full of vitamin and minerals, most notably Vitamin C, iron, niacin, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and zinc.

Sweet Basil: Once used by the ancient Romans to relieve gas, as a diuretic, counteract poisoning, and stimulate breast milk. No wonder it can be found in so many Italian dishes. Of course, some of this is true as it kills intestinal worms, relieves digestive issues, cramps, nausea and vomiting. As it has a mildly sedative action it can be used to address irritability, anxiety, fatigue, and depression. It’s an antioxidant, antibacterial, anti-cancer and has vitamin A, K, and C, as well as the mineral manganese.

Garlic: Its benefits are so powerful it can even stop a vampire in its tracks. It’s an antibiotic, anti-diabetic, expels worms, lowers blood pressure and reduces blood clotting. It has vitamins A, B, C, E and the mineral Selenium.  And is especially good for Cold and flu remedies, circulation issues and infections. To make the most of its super powers, be sure to eat it raw!

These magical herbs pack a nifty nutritional punch, as well as an amazing amount of flavour.  So you have two solid reasons to introduce fresh herbs into the garden if you are not growing them already as well as into your cooking.

Tasty Herb Recipes

Here a few great tasting recipes that are made with these beneficial herbs:

Wild Rice Salad:
Cook up some Wild Rice, with a few cardamom pods (I open these up and take the seeds out).  Add whatever salad items you have in the fridge at the time: Celery, Cucumber, tomato, and red bell pepper.  For the herbs, you can add either Dill / Coriander.  Finish off with some quality Olive oil and spritz of Braggs if needed.

Watermelon Salad
Chop up watermelon; mix with finely chopped Basil and Balsamic vinegar.

Fruit Salad:
Cut up whatever fruit you have available, make dressing from cut up mint/ spearmint and passion-fruit to cover rest of fruit and mix well.

Cold Pea Soup

Cold Pea Soup

Cold Pea Soup (this is what I live on in the Australian heat)
Cup of frozen peas, few leaves of Spearmint, a few slices of onion, half an avocado, cup and half of almond milk and a grind of Himalayan rock salt + Black pepper.  Blend ingredients in food processor and enjoy!  (it’s like a healthy pea avocado ice cream).

Scrambled eggs
Are easy to make, and always super delicious with any herbs, my favourites to add are either Garlic/ Rosemary/ Sage/ Thyme/ or Chives.

Scrambled Tofu
Sauté some onion, mushroom, Garlic and red pepper slices, once browned add the broken up tofu (just crumble in chunks with hands), add Turmeric, curry powder, cumin and Braggs amino acids.  Cook until the colour and flavour has gone into the tofu. Finish it off with add a handful of Coriander, cook an extra minute and presto.

Salad with Roast Vegetables
Roast whatever you enjoy and have available sweet potato, pumpkin, onion, Garlic, mushroom, carrot, potatoes, peppers etc.  Be sure to cover in a good dash of olive oil, Rosemary, thyme and a grind of Himalayan rock salt + Black pepper. Prepare a Green salad with Green leaves of choice, celery, cucumber and a few slices of avocado. Top with the Roast vegetables can further add a sprinkle of feta/ pumpkin seeds, Braggs and Olive oil as needed.

In summary

Rosemary

Rosemary

These are just a few of the basics, just have a play around – and next time you are cooking, what herbs can you add to bring some extra flavour to the dish? Taking your average meal from ordinary to extraordinary!

If you have a stellar recipe or tips to share I’d love to hear them, the only thing I like as much as cooking is the eating – and always happy to try a new recipe!