Overcoming Grief

Cypress Tree

By: Angela

As human beings, we all endure losses, traumatic events, or a crisis of some kind over the course of our lives. Though each of us has our own unique way of coping with hardships and losses, the earth has provided us with universal tools to aid us in our journey back to joy. No matter the loss, the following tools will aid in overcoming grief, healing a broken heart, easing depression and loneliness, and promoting inner peace.

CYPRESS OIL

Used for centuries by mystics of many cultures, Cypress oil is an aromatheraputic tool used in healing and protection rituals. When burned in the home, or worn in a talisman, Cypress oil is a powerful symbol of eternity, healing, and love. Use in times of crisis such as the death of a friend or family member or the end of a significant relationship. Burn the oil in an aroma diffuser every night before bed until your grieving period subsides. You may also put 30 drops of oil in a 4oz spray bottle of distilled water. This spray can be used to mist over your aura when you are grieving, or feeling depressed.

STONES

  • Apache Tears: Helps one relieve sadness and overcome grief
  • Lepidolite: Aids in relieving depression and anxiety
  • Amethyst: Calms fears and helps dispel fear and anger
  • Botswana Agate: Eases loneliness and protects one from negative influences
  • Rose Quartz: Promotes love and harmony

TEAS

  • St. John’s Wort: Helps ease depression
  • Kava-Kava: Aids in relaxation
  • Ginseng: Boosts energy and vitality

Lastly, remember that grief and sadness are normal human experiences. You are not alone in the universe. Use the tools provided here as a supplement to professional counseling, and releasing emotions by writing daily in your journal.

All of the tools above are available at Earth Lore in Plymouth, MI.

Peace be with you.

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Natural Laundry Part II, Soapnuts

Sapindus mukorossi, aka soapnuts, are now available at Earth Lore. These little guys are part of the lychee family, and also known as soapberries or washnuts. There are several varieties, native to different parts of the world. Ours come from northern India and the Himalayas.

Leathery nuts, or drupes, contain saponins, a key ingredient for soap making. For thousands of years,  Asian natives and native Americans have used them for washing and various aspects of folk-lore. Soapnuts are also used in many ayurvedic preparations, such as cleansers and shampoos. According to ayurveda, cleansers made from the nut are especially beneficial to those suffering from psoriasis or eczema. They are even said to lighten or remove freckles.  There is an insecticidal property to the soap nut, making it popular in repelling lice and bedbugs.

When using them for washing, consider whether your water is hard or soft, size of the washer, size of load,  how soiled the load is,  and the temperature of the load.  For an average load of laundry using warm or hot water,  use three or four nuts.  If using cold water,  hard water, or for heavily soiled loads use one or two extra.  Place nuts in a tied muslin bag  and remove pouch if rinsing in warm water.  If you rinse in cold, just leave them in the drum.  Reuse this pouch for up to four loads of laundry.  When it’s time for a new pouch the nuts will turn gray, mushy, and no longer feel soapy.  Please compost old soapnuts in the garden.  For hard water, you can add 1/4 cup coarse sea salt or baking soda to the wash cycle.

Alternatively, make a liquid soap.  Boil 12-15 nuts with six cups of water for thirty minutes.  When  boiled down you should have four cups of liquid left.  If there’s less than that, add extra water to make it four cups or simply leave it concentrated for use as hand wash or shampoo.  When the solution cools, strain out the nuts and store in an airtight jar.  Use two to three tablespoons per load.  Make small batches,  nature doesn’t make things that last forever.  I saw a wonderful idea online to freeze the cooled solution in ice-cube trays, simply use two or three ice cubes per load! If you decide to freeze, be sure to label the tray so no one gets a surprise in their drink.  Add essential oils like orange, lemon, lavender, or eucalyptus to the rinse cycle for fragrant linens.

Laundry is not the only use for soap nuts.  Use the liquid mixture as mosquito repellent, all-purpose cleaner, steam cleaning spot treatment, pet wash and repellent, or houseplant wash.  I urge all who try soapnuts to experiment and research others experiences. Happy washing!

Natural Laundry Liquid

Have you ever wanted to make your own laundry detergent? It’s easier than you think! In preparation gather up large empty containers from old detergent, or even Juice bottles. All you need to get started is one bar of pure castile soap, washing soda, borax, water, and essential oils. All these items can be purchased at the grocery store with the exception of essential oil. Step one: Grate the bar of castile soap into a sauce pot with a cheese grater, add four cups HOT water and melt it down to liquid. Pour this into a sanitized five gallon bucket. Add 1 cup washing soda and 1/2 c Borax. Stir it up good and fill the rest of the way with water. Allow this bucket to completely cool before adding the essential oils.
Now we have five gallons of double strength detergent. Remember, this recipe makes ten gallons total so when it’s time to package only fill containers half full and top off with water. It’s time to add essential oils.  I strongly warn against using anything but PURE essential oils.  Diluted fragrance oils will stain clothing.

Use oils like  lemon, peppermint, tea tree, and lavender which are antiseptic, will repel moths,  plus aid in the cleansing process.  Eucalyptus essential oil kills dust mites and repels spiders.  To remove grease stains and smells from clothes, use orange oil in the mix.  Use about fifty to seventy drops total added directly to your double strength five gallon bucket, perhaps 10-12 drops each of six or seven oils.  Feel free to use only a combination of two or three just make sure the total added is equal to fifty to seventy drops.  After stirring the bucket thoroughly, use a pitcher to fill containers half way with concentrated soap and top off with water.  Now you have ten gallons of laundry detergent for a fraction of the store-bought price! By cutting costs like this you’ll have more  money to spend at Earth Lore on your essential oils!!! Namaste.

Natural Body Powders

Body Powder

Body Powder

Body powders have been used for ages to smooth and perfume the skin. Use of herbs in conjunction with absorbent powders help to remove odors by not allowing the formation of bacteria. Body odor is impacted by many outside influences including stress, tension, diet, and even wardrobe.   Meat, in addition to the processed “improved”, or “enriched” foods most Americans eat contribute to bad bacteria build up, aka odor.  Alcohol and vitamin deficiencies also will affect body odor.  Several findings indicate a concern over usage of talc in commercial deodorants and baby powders. Talc, or magnesium silicate,  is a proven lung irritant and often contains arsenic.  Several studies have linked the use of talc in cosmetic preparations to  skin cancer, lung cancer, and ovarian cancer. Particles of talc have even been found in tumors!  This aside, talc is still “generally recognized as safe” by the FDA.

In addition to trying to eat less processed foods and processed meat, try drinking teas with peppermint or sage leaves.  Buy clothing made with fibers that breathe, such as cotton.  An easy, effective body powder can be made with a few simple ingredients.  Here’s the recipes, be creative and substitute different dried herbs, dried fruits and flowers if there is a particular scent you’d like to achieve.  With any herbal preparation, do a patch test on skin. Always use sanitary containers and tools while making recipes.

Lavender is gentle and used externally for skin irritation, making it perfect for babies or sensitive skin types.  Instead of using talc as a base, use arrowroot starch, baking soda, and/or corn starch.  Being a skeptical, and a commercial deodorant user, I was shocked to discover that arrowroot starch alone worked great.  Here are some preparations to try at home:

#1.

  • 1 part Arrowroot
  • 1 part powdered Blue cornflowers
  • 1 part Lavender powder
  • 1 part Violet Leaf

Now, when i say part, it can be any amount, just keep in mind herbal preparations don’t keep fresh forever. I’d suggest making no more than two weeks worth at a time.

#2.

  • 1 part orange peel powder
  • 1 part lemon peel powder
  • 1 part sandalwood powder
  • 1 part orris root powder

#3.

  • 1 part lavender powder
  • 1 part orris root
  • 2 parts arrowroot powder, or corn starch, or one part each

#4. “Sweet Powder”

  • 10 parts orris root
  • 4 parts powdered calamus root
  • 4 parts benzoin
  • 3 parts lavender
  • 1 part clove powder
  • 2 oz parts powder

#5.

Equal powdered parts orris root, orange peel powder, lemon peel powder, and your choice of calamus root or licorice root powder. Sift through and place in a jar or powder canister.

Another fun recipe to try goes like this:

Add flowers or herbs, such as gardenia, sage leaf, etc to an empty pint container, add arrowroot powder and/or cornstarch to fill.  Shake 3-5 times daily and replace the flowers with fresh every other day as well.

Harvest the last herbs from your garden and make some of these fragrant powders to remember summer’s warmth during the cold months.

Un-Crossing

Un-Crossing

Un-Crossing

Do you feel stuck and unable to move forward in your career, love life, or finances? If so, you are not alone. There are many people experiencing this “stuck” feeling, to varying degrees.  Whether you believe it’s a karmic debt you are paying off, a past-life issue, a spell cast upon you, or plain old bad judgment and poor planning on your part…the feeling of being stuck in a rut is the same: You feel tired, hopeless, frustrated with yourself and others, and angry with yourself and others. The feeling is there when you wake up in the morning, it hangs around all day, and is with you when you go to sleep (if you can sleep). For those of you struggling to regain your power and confidence to move forward, I humbly offer this “Un-Crossing Oil” recipe as one small step you can take on your path to freedom.

What is an “Un-Crossing” Oil?

Un-Crossing Oil is a powerful blend of natural herbs and essential oils that promote positive energy and protection, aid in manifesting one’s desires, enhance self-confidence, and help one be the “master” of one’s own destiny. If you are looking to change your luck or break a “spell”, this is the oil to use! This oil can be used as a daily personal fragrance, or burned in an aroma diffuser. You may also add some fragrance to a spray bottle filled with water and use it as a daily ritual mist.

Un-Crossing Oil Recipe

In a 1/2  oz. vial mix the following:

5 drops Bergamot Oil

10 drops Geranium Oil

5 drops Rosemary Oil

5 drops Vetivert Oil

(Note: Essential Oils work best for this blend.)

A pinch of Myrrh Resin

A pinch of dried Rue Herb

One tiny piece of Clear Quartz Crystal

Directions: Clear yourself and space of negative energy by burning a few leaves of White Sage.  Burn one white candle for purification and one black candle for protection. Focus on your intentions for making this oil blend. Slowly put the ingredients above into your glass vial.  Fill the remaining part of the vial with a Grapeseed or Jojoba base oil. Shake well. Write your full name on the bottle with a permanent marker. Put a small drop of oil on your 3rd Eye Chakra and say a prayer/affirmation of freedom and abundance of your choosing. Your oil is now charged and ready for daily use.

(Recommendation: This is now your personal Un-Crossing Oil with your name on it, infused with YOUR energy and intentions. I do not recommend using it on friends and family. Even if they are experiencing the same feelings and issues as you, I highly recommend they make their own personal oil and infuse it with their own energy for better results.)


Break the chains! Many blessings on your path to freedom, and thank you for sharing our Earth lore newsletter.

Chai: A Taste of India

Chai tea, or “Masala Chai” as it is often called in Hindi, is a timeless beverage from the Indian Subcontinent.  Since antiquity, this rich & seductive drink has been enjoyed for its delicious taste and healing properties.  Perhaps you have enjoyed a Chai Latte from Starbucks, or an iced Chai drink from Oregon Chai…but what is Chai?

In general, Chai is made by brewing black or green tea leaves with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices and herbs.  In India, Masala Chai is more of a medicinal, Ayurvedic mixture than the sugared-up, frothed up, recreational beverage of the western world.  In fact, the name “Chai” is a generic word for tea in Hindi, and it may be used to name any tea with one or all of the prominent Indian spices and herbs.

The most common spices in Chai are cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, star anise, peppercorn, and clove.  Other variations may exclude anise and pepper, or add nutmeg and licorice.  The spices and herbs are brewed with black or green tea leaves, and mixed with milk & honey (or soy products, and other sweeteners).

Chai Benefits:

  • provides a calm, alert, focused mental state
  • acts as a natural stress remedy
  • enhances one’s weight loss regimen
  • acts as a natural diuretic
  • aids in healthy digestion & circulation

Pick up a Chai Tea sampler at Earth lore!  It is a simple, delicious way to stay fit and healthy.

A Mid-Summer Night’s Rite

by Angela

June 20th-23rd is the celebration of Summer Solstice, also known as Litha.  The Summer Solstice marks the longest day and shortest night of the year.  The night of Summer Solstice has long been revered as a time of magic and manifestation, when the sun is at the height of its power in the shadow of the waxing Moon.

In old Celtic traditions, the Summer Solstice festival usually spanned several days and focused on outdoor events under the open sun by day, and ’round a large bonfire by night.  Solstice marked the official start of Summer when crops  were ripening, and trees and bushes were starting to produce fruit.  It was a time of giving thanks to the Gods & Goddesses of the Sun, Fire, Fertility, & Abundance.

Whether you are flying solo this Solstice or celebrating with a group, take some time to connect with the energy of the Sun, and the Spirit of the new season.  The exact days and rituals of Summer Solstice vary from culture to culture and country to country, so be creative.  Put together your own Mid-Summer altar or festival.  Keep in mind this is a celebration of the Sun and the abundance of Summer.  Stop into Earth lore-Plymouth or Livonia and stock up on Sun & Fire candles, & Patchouli, Cinnamon, & Amber incense.  Make a Summer Talisman with Citrine, Sunstone, Gold Tiger Eye, Calendula herb & Orange slices.

Above all, this is a time to celebrate life, and the fruits of our labor.  It is a time to give thanks for our spiritual gifts and to pass our blessings on to others.

To all of our readers & patrons,

Happy Summer Solstice from all of us at Earth lore.

Salts of the Earth

by Larissa

Salt

Salt

Salt has long been considered sacred. Evidence dating back to 6000 BC illustrates neolithic people using salt as sacred offerings, trade, cosmetology, and food preservation. Interestingly, evidence of salt mining directly correlates to the rapid rise of these societies. In Egypt, it was often used in funerary offerings. In the 3rd millennium BC, Egyptians began to trade salt, and salted fish for goods such as cedar, dyes, and glass. Ancient Romans used salt as currency.  In the Hebrew bible, salt is mentioned in 35 verses, and the christian new testament mentions it in six verses. Jesus referred to his followers as the “salt of the earth”. Hindus consider salt auspicious, and use it in religious ceremonies. To preserve the covenant between people and God, Jews dip the sabbath bread in salt. Japanese Shinto use salt for ritual purification of people and places. Aztecs worshiped Huixtocihuatl, a fertility goddess who presides over salt and water. Pagans use salt as a space purifier and a symbol of the earth element.

Chloride and Sodium ions are necessary for the survival of all known living creatures as it regulates fluid balance in the body. Salt is associated with Aphrodite and is protective, grounding, purifying, elevates emotions, diminishes negativity, and enhances good will. It also connected with creation and destruction, life and death, and feminine earth energy. It cleanses and clears the heart chakra. Working with salt energy allows one to go deep within the self to find ancient solutions to modern problems.

Crystals, jewelry, and spaces can be cleansed with salt.  Perhaps if cleansing a soft crystalline form, opt for sage.  Salt or any abrasive could mar the surface of a soft stone, it will not however alter the properties.  Soak 7-24 hours, rinse in clean water, and energize in the sun.  Alternatively soak in salt water 1-7 days in a clear container which allows sunlight to penetrate. Once again for anhydrous crystals use  a bowl of dry salt and leave for a one day to one week, throw the salt away when through.

Black Lava Salt gets its color from coconut shell charcoal.  It’s praised for amazing skin detoxifying  properties, try adding some to a ritual bath. Adding salt to a bath causes an alchemical change as you’ve created a liquid from a solid, visualize a change in yourself. Visualize doubts, illness, or worries that plague you leaving the body, neutralized by the water.  It’s also used as a decorative finishing condiment.

Red Alaea Salt is formed through evaporation from shallow tidal pools in Hawaii.   There it mixes with red volcanic clay. Said to contain over 80 naturally occurring minerals,  natives use this salt for healing.  Traditionally, women in their late 40’s and 50’s increase their intake of red salt in hopes of helping with the onset of menopause.  It has also been used to stop bleeding from cuts and minor injuries.  Use in salt scrubs and masks to promote smooth, healthy skin. In contemporary Hawaii still use this salt mixed with water, this is sprinkled using a ki, or ti leaf on persons, structures, and building sites for purificatory purposes.

Pink salt, from the foothills of the Himalayas, was formed by marine fossil deposits over 250 million years ago. This mineral salt helps balance the body’s ph levels, normalize blood pressure, and increases circulation and conductivity.  This salt is hand selected, hand washed, and hand crushed. This salt has been used in baths to relieve ailments such as; arthritis, rheumatism, osteoporosis, gout, kidney and gall bladder stones, skin diseases, and psoriasis. Facial steams can be used for those with asthma, bronchitis, sinus infections, ear infections, and for all illnesses of the upper and lower respiratory tracts.  Simply boil water, add salt to water, cover your head with a towel to create a “tent”, and inhale the vapors for 10-15 minutes.

To protect a home sprinkle salt into the corners of each room, visualize it sterilizing and removing negativity from the home.  If you feel the need to focus your energies and attention, carry a bit of salt in a green bag. Salt has also been added to money-attracting talismans and is used in such spells. Blessed Be.

Burning Resin and Herbs

by Kate

Charcoal

Burning Resins on Charcoal

Most people are used to burning what is now considered normal incense. You simply light the end of a pre-rolled scented stick or cone, set it in a burner and voila! However, before people burned incense that was pre-made, they burned herbs and resins and hot coals or rocks. It may seem surprisingly simple once you’ve learned how but many of our customers still are unsure of how to burn resin and herbs as incense. This easy tutorial will get you on the fast track to aromatic nirvana in no time!

Items needed:

  • Resins/Herbs
  • Charcoal Tablets
  • Burner (Holder)
  • Lighter

Resins and Herbs

Resins are basically pieces of hardened tree sap. Do you know the story of the three magi who brought Frankincense and Myrrh to celebrate the birth of Christ? These resins were highly valued for not only their aromatic qualities but for their medicinal healing properties as well. At the time, they were worth their weight in gold! Don’t worry. You don’t have to spend a fortune these days to enjoy such rich aromas. We carry both frankincense and myrhh for just $2.95 an ounce, as well Dragon’s Blood, a variety of Copals, Benzoin and more!. Each of these resins have their own enchanting scent and healing properties.

Many people have familiarity with basic kitchen/cooking herbs, but did you know they make great incense as well? Burning herbs and dried flowers like lavender, cinnamon, rose as well as many others can set a wonderful ambiance in one’s home. Herbs and resins can be mixed together to create personalized signature scents or to make incense with magical intentions. (Keep reading for recipes!)

Charcoal Tablets

This is the ingredient many people are unfamiliar with. You do not want to burn charcoal you would use in a BBQ grill in your home! SwiftLite Charcoal mini tablets are made with the specific purpose of burning indoors.(Available at Earth Lore: $2.95) Because charcoal emits carbon monoxide when burned, it is important to only use these smaller tablets in a well ventilated area. They are easy to use and considered generally safe when used in the manner described. However, always remember when burning anything: A little common sense goes a long way! (i.e. Don’t burn in closet with the door closed. Don’t set on a windowsill without first securing curtains.)

Burners (Incense Holders)

Burners can be a bowl, urn or a plate. Anything that can withstand the heat will work but its best to purchase something designed with burning incense in mind. I recommend burning in a bowl with silica sand (only $0.29 per bag!) for a variety of reasons. First the sand absorbs some of the heat of the charcoal, which reduces the likelihood of the burner scorching the table/counter its sitting on. (Never set a burner on or near something flamable, like say Gramma’s favorite chair. Always place away from pets, children and others who may not realize its burning.) Second, when using a decorative bowl filled with sand, it doubles as a regular incense holder for both sticks and cones. Its easy to clean. (Extinguish anything still burning. Dump out sand. Refill bowl.) Earth Lore carries a wide selection of burners to compliment any décor.

How to Burn Incense on Charcoal:

  1. Hold charcoal tablet in air. (Although I personally use my hands, I do not recommend this. Only fools play with fire. 🙂 Its best to use some type of tongs or pliers.)  The reason you do this is to allow air to flow around the charcoal – othewise, it may extinguish itself before it gets lit.
  2. Hold flame for about 20 seconds on either side of charcoal. Matches will do in a pinch but lighters work better. They can be difficult to light while sitting in the burner.  You will probably see it spark a little bit – this means it’s self-igniting like it’s supposed to.  Once you’ve lit it, set it down! It will get very hot. VERY.
  3. Wait for a minute or two to allow charcoal to fully ignite and warm up. You’ll notice ash along the edges. Its ready!
  4. Place just a pinch or your resin, herb or homemade mixture onto charcoal. No, really just a pinch! You don’t want to extinguish it. If you’re planning on using several herbs/resins; crush and mix them first. A small pinch can scent a whole room for hours.
  5. Make sure to reseal any left overs for use at a later time. (Hey, an excuse to buy a pretty decorative box to store supplies in! 🙂

Enjoy! I find writing down my experiments with resins to be helpful in creating recipes.

Protection Incense:

  • 1 part Frankincense
  • 1 part Sandalwood
  • ½ part Rosemary
  • ½ part White Sage

Get Me Out of this Recession Incense:

  • 1 part Cinnamon
  • 1 part Benzoin
  • ½ part Patchouli
  • ½ part Ginger

Seriously Sexy Confidence Incense:

  • 2 parts Dragon’s Blood
  • 1 part Rose Petals
  • 1 part Lavender
  • ½ part Jasmine

All of these ingredients and more can be found on our herb rack. I suggest reading Cunningham’s Complete Book of Incense Oils and Brews for more recipes. Most of our herbs are $2.95 per ounce. In addition to making your own incense, we also carry a new line of resin incenses that are premixed for spiritual and aromatic pleasure: Majesty Incense. These come in conveniently packaged tins filled with 1.5 ounces of incenses. Majesty Incense are only available at our Plymouth location. Scents include Frankincense, Myrrh, Frankincense & Myrrh, Celtic Blend, Three Kings, and Gloria.

An Evening of Acne Clearing

by Larissa

Clear SkinSkin is sometimes called the third lung, as it is our largest organ of elimination and assimilation.  Acne is not only embarrassing, it is a sign that internally something is not right.  Many factors come into the picture when we see our skin erupt, from diet, to stress, to hormones.  Although the problem area is usually the face, the chest and back are also prone to breakouts, especially this transitional time of year.  Besides good nutrition, rest, and exercise there are other rituals to bring beauty into your life. Excess oil on the face is a major cause of irritation.  Sometimes an evening of working on yourself is in order to clear up problems which may be manifesting themselves in the form of acne. Making your own remedies guarantees synthetics, preservatives, fragrances, and coloring agents will not be present to spoil the results as they often make problems worse.  Try to set aside an evening once a week to do this for yourself, and don’t forget daily cleansing and toning to maintain radiant skin.

Start with making a cup of tea.  The chanakara line from Stash offers seven different caffeine free herbal teas.  Please avoid teas or any beverage containing caffine when trying to clear up angry skin.  If you don’t drink tea, have water or make a fruit and ice smoothie and try to use honey or agave nectar instead of refined sugar for extra sweetening. Put on music or enjoy the silence.  Leaving the tv off is a must, overstimulation stresses the body.

Draw a warm bath, try not to bathe in extremely hot water, it strips moisture and oils out of the skin, and can actually cause overproduction of oils.  If you aren’t into baths, or just don’t have time just do a facial steam.  Either way the pores will be opened.  For this ritual use the same herbs i suggest for the steam right in the bath if you don’t feel like standing over a bowl.

  • Facial steams – use about 1/2 oz to 1 oz total of these combinations make notes in a journal of how the results were so your recipes can be tweaked to meet the needs of your skin.
  • Licorice Root- Unique and potent in opening pores so other herbs can medicate.
  • Violet Leaf-Soothing yet astringent, contains SALICYLIC ACID and are extremely high in vitamin A. Try infusing in a carrier for a body massage treatment
  • Comfrey Root- contains allantion which can liquefy pus and necrotic protein(causes death of tissues) thus accelerating healing of lesions and denuded skin
  • White Willow-Contains salicin, very astringent

Feel free to substitute the white willow with Lavender, Neem, Witch Hazel, or any other gentle herb you’ve had good experiences with.  I suggest swapping the willow because i personally don’t like the smell.  Try , however to use the licorice and comfrey, as they assist other herbs in medication.

After steaming , or soaking in the tub, cleanse skin with a gentle cleanser.  Here is a recipe for cleansing grains, however be gentle and as with any exfoliant,  let the scrub do the work for you so you do not over stimulate skin and cause it to make more sebum(natural oil produced by skin)

  • 1 part fine ground oats to 2 parts clay(green or white)
  • Dash of ground almonds or apricot kernel meal, dash powdered lavender
  • Dash of powdered roses
  • 1-2 drops each lavender essential oil and lemon essential oil

If you wish, add a little honey and distilled water to make a creamy paste.  Do not make more than a weeks worth at a time, keep it fresh in the fridge.

We sell powdered rose and lavender, but electric coffee grinders or a mortar and pestle work fine. DO NOT USE SYNTHETIC OILS IN SKIN PREPARATIONS, they can burn or irritate skin.

After cleansing , do a mask if you like or simply close pores with a toner.  Try an infusion of herbs in apple cider vinegar. Cover herbs with apple cider vinegar in air tight jar. Seal and keep in a dark location for one to two weeks.  Try to remember to shake the concoction daily for even distribution.  Strain, and to each cup of herbal solution, add half a cup of distilled water, or food/cosmetic grade rosewater. Since the solution is in vinegar, it is preserved and does not need refrigeration.

One of the biggest mistakes acne prone people make is not moisturizing.  As I mentioned earlier, when the skin is over-cleansed and oils are stripped, the skin actually makes more oil to compensate.  This oil, in turn clogs the pores and the vicious cycle begins again.  At least put a thin layer of jojoba on while skin is still damp.  I promise, it won’t make things worse, only better.  Beauty and blessings!!

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