Natural Skin Care

Healing Sunshine Salve {with Calendula, Dandelion and Goldenrod}

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I made a lovely Autumn inspired salve yesterday and I had a lot of fun with it 🙂 Sometimes I just need to create something. You know what I mean? It’s therapeutic. And its good to invest in hobbies.

In this diy I am combining several hobbies and passions of mine. Foraging, gardening and herbalism all come into play here. Plus a bit of aromatherapy as well 🙂

Foraging: I found the dandelion in my backyard and the goldenrod in a family member’s yard.

Gardening: I grew the calendula 🙂

Herbalism: What benefits will result from the infused oils used in this salve?

Why calendula? 

-it is gentle to use on children, helps skin heal and good for inflammation.

Why dandelion?

-it is good for sore muscles and rough, chapped skin.

And lastly, why goldenrod?

-it helps heal wounds and burns. It also helps with muscle aches and arthritis pain. And most interestingly, it is said to help with winter blues.

Step 1: Harvest and Prepare Plant Materials

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Goldenrod. I hung it upside down inside a small paper bag to minimize messiness.
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Lovely brilliant orange calendula.
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Dandelion flowers. These ones I foraged from my backyard last spring.
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Ready to make the infused oils!

Step 2: Prepare the Infused Oils

Sweet almond oil allows the delicate scents of the flowers to shine, without altering the golden colors.

I filled the jars with oil. The dandelion jar got about a 50/50 ratio of sweet almond oil to extra virgin olive oil because I ran out of almond.

To make my infusion I followed the “fast way” directions as per The Nerdy Farm Wife.

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Before infusion.
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After infusion, ready to strain.
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Coffee filters with canning rings worked well.

 

Step 3: Assemble and Prepare Ingredients

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Oils ready for measuring. From left to right: Dandelion, calendula, goldenrod.
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Other ingredients: lavender and neroli essential oil blend, cocoa butter, beeswax, argan oil.
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Cocoa butter, beeswax, infused oils and argan oil measured out.

Step 4: Melt and Pour

I don’t have any pics (of good quality that is) of this part. This is a fairly fast step. Melting the beeswax will take 5 minutes or so. The cocoa butter melts within minutes and it all comes together rather quickly.

Be careful and quick when pouring. Melted beeswax can be troublesome to clean up.

Step 5: Let Set

Here are some pics of the gradual cooling process. I love the change of colors.

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Healing Sunshine Salve {with Calendula, Dandelion and Goldenrod}

Makes: 4oz

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons+2 teaspoons calendula infused sweet almond oil
  • 1 teaspoon goldenrod infused sweet almond oil
  • 1 teaspoon+1/4 teaspoon dandelion flower infused sweet almond oil/extra virgin olive oil (I used a 50/50 ratio because I ran out of almond oil.)
  • 11 drops argan oil
  • 4 drops lavender and neroli essential oil blend (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons+1 teaspoon+1/4+1/8 teaspoon cocoa butter
  • 1 Tablespoon+1 teaspoon+scant 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped beeswax

Supplies/Kitchen Equipment:

  • A medium saucepan
  • 2 glass jars, for cocoa butter and oils
  • A clean tin can
  • A wooden or metal skewer
  • An oven mitt
  • A small clean glass jar, for the finished salve

Directions:

1. Measure cocoa butter into a glass jar. Measure oils (all except essential oil) into a separate glass jar. Place the chopped beeswax into the tin can.

2. Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and turn the burner on medium high heat. Melt the beeswax in a tin can submerged in the hot water. It will float so you will need to hold it with an oven mit. Stir with the skewer till melted.

3. Melt cocoa butter in a glass jar, next to the can of beeswax. Remove from heat when almost melted. (Some small peices will remain but they will melt.)

4. Add oils to beeswax. Stir and allow beeswax to re-melt before adding melted cocoa butter. Stir and remove from pan.

5. Stir well and pour quickly into prepared salve jar. Add essential oils quickly and stir well.

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Cost:

It cost me $2.39 to make this salve. That’s about 60¢ per oz. The jar was gifted to me so that cost was excluded.

So yeah that sounds pretty cheap, right? But a salve like this is most cost effective when you collect the ingredients over time. All of these ingredients, minus the sweet almond oil I use for other things. I would have paid $31.33 if I bought everything all at once.

I loved it that I was able to save money by foraging and growing my own flowers 🙂 It took a bit of patience to wait for the harvest, but it was worth it.💛💙

~Rachel

All photos are my own.

Reflections

Bravery in Motion: 10 Ways to Help Overcome a Panic Attack

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Here is a subject that is not easy for me to talk about. And yet I feel a super-strong pull to write about it.

To be transparent.

I have been struggling with anxiety and panic attacks for 2 years. It came back with a vengeance fairly recently. I felt so defeated and broken. Alone. And scared. I realised I needed a game plan. Change. And a greater push back in the area of self-care.

I say “push-back” because that’s what it is. As a mom I literally have to push back against the heavy burden of day to day demands and carve out a bit of time for me.

I research. I claim time to be alone while others watch my children. I invest in me. I seek out wise counsel. I realise that mind, body, spirit and emotions are connected.

And I look at all the things that have helped me fight against the pull of an attack.

This is my list of things I have learned throughout the years. It is by no means a complete list. But I hope it can be a help to get you thinking about what best benefits you. You are not alone in your struggle, my friend.

 

10 Ways To Help Prevent a Panic Attack

 

1. Deep breaths.

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The simple act of focusing on your breaths and nothing more can have a calming effect. Oxygen flowing to your brain & body is a good thing 🙂

2. Focus on magnesium.

Add magnesium through diet. Many many Americans, myself included are deficient in magnesium. It helps so much to add more magnesium-rich foods. Ancient-minerals.com states that “Magnesium-rich foods include whole grains, leafy greens, nuts and seeds.”

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Lately I love drinking nettle and chocolate mint tea and eating pumpkin seeds to up my magnesium. There are tons of foods to choose from…most nuts and seeds, black beans, bananas, avocados, brown rice. All good.

3. Cut that sugar.

Decrease or cut out sugar completely. This article is one among many that explains how a high fat and high sugar diet does not work in your favor. Sugar depletes magnesium and cutting it out, hard as it may be, will work in your favor and help decrease your anxiety. (Trust me I have a huge sweet tooth and this is hard for me too but it helps!)

4. Epsom salts.

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A good soak in the tub with 1-2 cups of Epsom salt (depending on your body weight) is very beneficial for mind and body. I purchsed the book Epsom Salt: Natural Remedies for Health, Beauty and Home, by Josephine Simon a few months ago and I have enjoyed learning more about this stuff.

Epsom salt soaks will relive aching muscles and will give your body a good dose of magnesium via absorption through your skin. Just don’t use soap as it interferes with this absorption.

5. Chanting (out loud or to yourself).

Chant a soothing short phrase and focus on it completely. Sometimes I choose a scripture and other times its just whatever helpful phrase comes to mind.

6. Carry a small object with you.

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I kept a lavender sachet in my pocket for awhile. Something that gives you comfort and peace. Things that engage one of your senses is good for diverting anxiety.

7. Herbs can help.

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This tea is very soothing. A bit on the strong side if seeped for too long. I also love Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime tea.

Camomile and lavender are well known for their soothing properties. Passion flower as a tea, supplement or tincture can also be helpful. I’ve also heard good things about valerian root capsules. Check with your doctor and do your research to find what works best for you.

8. Aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy can work wonders. Again chamomile and lavender are great. I also love the Skin Restore synergy blend. Formerly called anti-scar stretch blend, it is a lavender and neroli combo from Plant Therapy.

I use it in my car diffuser or simply smell it straight from the bottle.

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Love this stuff.

There are tons of resources out there for essential oils to use for anxiety, calming and sleep. All of these categories will help with anxiety.

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For me, the best and most soothing essential oil has always been lavender 🙂

9. Get a pet.

Since we got a cat I have felt more calm & at ease. I love my kitty Stella. She gives me much joy.

Did you know that cats purr for different reasons? They purr when they are happy, but also purr to calm themselves or to help heal themselves. I can’t help but wonder if a cat’s purr can soothe and heal the human spirit as well.

10. Guard your thoughts.

An episode can sneak up on you so easily. 9/10 times I notice it happens when I let my thoughts totally run away with me.

I have to focus on what I am thinking about. Know when I am feeling overwhelmed and know how to put a halt to the anxious thoughts. It isn’t easy.

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But with focus and practice it can happen. Don’t discount what you are worrying about. Recognise it as a real issue but rationalise it. Sometimes I get to thinking that an issue is the most important thing in the world when its not. What is important is my health and balancing self-care with responsibilities.

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I want to add that it is ok, completely ok to seek help. Go to counseling, take a perscription for awhile if your doctor agrees it is needed. Do not be afraid to seek care for yourself. You are not a failure if you need outside help to get you going. I know it can be so easy to feel defeated but you’re not alone. There is help & hope ❤

~Rachel