• Herbs & Ingredients

    Herbal Lore: Calendula

    To say this cheerful, daisy-like flower is one of the most important plants in the herb garden is really not an exaggeration. Calendula has a long history of use as medicine, food, cosmetics, and fabric dye. It’s also a valuable¬†companion plant in the garden, but I kindof like having it around just because it makes me smile…. ūüėČ   Calendula (Calendula officinalis):¬†Soothing, healing, antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Excellent for all skin types. Especially good for sensitive skin, dehydrated / dry skin, chapped / inflamed skin, wounds and burns. ¬† A staple in Old English gardens and pantries, Calendula (sometimes called “Marigold”) was believed to keep you healthy during the Wintertime…

  • Herbs & Ingredients

    Making a White Rose Hydrosol

    Herbalist and herb farmer Mary Pat Palmer shows all the steps of making a hydrosol- starting with gathering roses in her garden- while explaining how she uses hydrosols therapeutically. Also known as ‘herbal distillates’,¬†hydrosols are a concentrated plant extract. They’re considered about 30 times stronger than tea and contain a tiny amount of essential oil. (How I dream of a copper still like the beautiful antique in this video! Homemade¬†hydrosol¬†is one of the coolest things I can imagine and is on my wish list of “someday-to-do’s”.)  

  • Herbs & Ingredients

    Mother Nature versus petrochemicals?

    “Fats and oils in cosmetics – Mother Nature versus petrochemicals?”¬†(Kosmetische Medizin,¬†2008) This interesting (technical) article by Dr. Hans Lautenschl√§ger¬†compares the skin repair benefits (or not) of oils and waxes of petrochemical origin to natural fats and oils. The take-away: “Mineral oils will not help to repair a disordered skin barrier. Even if mineral oils may fill in droplike gaps in the barrier layers they cannot be absorbed like vegetable oils.” But you already knew that, right? ūüėČ