foraging, The Great Outdoors

More Spring Foraging Fun: Dandelion, Violet and Skunk Cabbage

PicsArt_05-01-01.12.56

 

Dandelions

There are a ton of things that can be done with this common “weed”. You can use all parts of this plant. Blossoms, leaves, roots.

I’ve blogged about my experiences with roasted dandelion root tea. And as I’ve been expanding my garden this year, I’ve saved all the roots I’ve found for tea making.

I’ve also added some greens to my salads. They are best (I feel) when they are very tiny. Otherwise they are a bit too bitter for my liking.

PicsArt_05-01-02.31.55

This time of year, I’m concentrating more on the blossoms. A few days ago I (with help) picked a ton of flowers. Why so many, you ask?

Here’s a few reasons:

  1. Dandelion wine
  2. Dandelion salve
  3. Dandelion bath blend
  4. Baked goods with dandelion
  5. Dandelion jelly

I (again, with help!) picked the petals from enough flowers to get 3 quarts needed for wine-making. Then I filled up my dehydrator and dried as much of the rest as I could. (5 hours @ 135ºF.)

I picked the petals from those flowers and stored them away for later use in salve and bath blends.

 

Violets

Aside from their obvious beauty, here’s another reason, nutrition-wise, why violets are so awesome….

According to Euell Gibbons in his book Stalking the Healthful Herbs, just one half-cup of violet blossoms have as much vitamin C as 4 oranges!

PicsArt_05-01-02.28.19

I haven’t done a lot with violets thus far aside from eat them in salads. But I would like to try to make a violet syrup, as well as dry some for bath blends and tea.

 

Skunk Cabbage

For the record, I did not eat any. Just want to get that out there haha.

Story time. There is a creek bed not far from my home that has these absolutely gigantic plants that fill the area, beginning in early spring.

I have been dying to know what they were. I knew they looked like cabbage. I asked everybody. I asked google. I asked my grandma. Could not find out…what it was.

PicsArt_05-01-02.38.21

And then I read a very entertaining chapter (again from Stalking the Healthful Herbs, by Euell Gibbons) all about skunk cabbage.

I smelled a fresh cut leaf. It did have a bit of an odor, but not as intense as I thought. It did smell a bit like actual cabbage and a bit skunky. My husband agreed with the verdict.

How about you? Have you seen any interesting looking plants about?

Happy Spring everyone!

PicsArt_03-05-12.26.05

Natural Skin Care

My Top 5 Favorite Lip Balms {stocking stuffer ideas}

20171207_125943

Lip balm, anyone? Lip balm, to me, is life. I’m a bit obsessed, yes. But who doesn’t need a bit of lip balm in their life? And it’s a super-easy and cheap way to pamper yourself.

Or, as we scoot closer to Christmas, giving away lip balm is a simple way to bless others.

I’ve rounded up my top 5 favorite lip balms that make great little gifts or stocking stuffers for the special people in your life.

PicsArt_12-07-01.41.41
My favs!

 

1. Aubrey Organics. Treat em Right Lip Balm, Raspberry flavor.

This is the best raspberry flavored lip balm I have ever tried. The eos Pomegranate-Raspberry lipbalm is similar but not quite as good.

What I love:

I love it that this product is organic (not vegan because of the beeswax though).

It has rose seed oil and vitamin e in addition to the 4 other oils listed.

~

This product is currently $5.03 on Amazon.


2. Burt’s Bees. 100% Natural Moisturizing Lip Balm, Beeswax.

This one is a true classic. I use quite often. I have yet to find another minty lip balm that holds a candle to Burt’s Bees.

What I love:

The flavor and texture of this lip balm is perfect. Beautifully minty, but with a touch of rosemary to give it that extra layer of flavor.

Lanolin has been added to it, which is great for chapped skin.

~

This lip balm is $8.62 for a 4-pack on Amazon but can be purchased in single at just about any store or drugstore.


 

3. Covergirl. Natureluxe Gloss Balm, in anemone.

This lip balm is a cross between lip gloss and lip balm. Although to me, it is more like a sheer lipstick.

What I love:

This lip gloss/balm isn’t as natural as most of my other lip balms, but it does have slightly better ingredients than most lipsticks..like lanolin, calendula wax and shea butter.

Plus I love the colors. I have one in anemone (coralish red color) and hibiscus (a mauve-ish berry shade).

~

I’ll tell you a secret. These are typically $9 at places like Wal-Mart but I bought mine from a discount store (Odd Lots) for $1!


 

4. Primal Pit Paste. Chai Pucker Paste Lip Balm.

This is a new lip balm that I ordered with my deodorant from Primal Pit Paste just to try it out. I’m a sucker for chai flavors and I was very pleasantly surprised with this one.

What I love:

I love pretty much everything about this stuff. It has 6 ingredients, 4 of them organic. There are no harsh chemicals, propylene glycol, aluminum, parabans or synthetic fragrances in this product. Sweet!

The texture is nice, a tad on the buttery side and the fragrance is wonderful. I’m not sure what they’ve used as fragrance but I imagine it has cinnamon and cloves, which gives off a slight tinglyness.

~

Primal Pit Paste is currently having a 6-day sale on their products and this lip balm is currently $3.96.


 

5. Smith’s Rosebud Salve.

This salve I tried for the first time 5+ years ago and it is everything they say! A true beauty classic. And versatile! A salve can be used on any dry skin, not just lips.

What I loved:

The smell is lovely and the texture is similar to Vaseline. It does work very well. The ingredients are somewhat mysterious so I’m not 100% sure what makes this stuff so awesome. I like it that this product comes in a tin or tube, because the tin is super hard to open.

Because I do not currently own any, this is what it looks like⤵⤵⤵

61s5P8X0roL._SY400_
photo credit: Amazon

I first purchased this product at Bath & Body Works. It is available on Amazon for $6.50.


 

Found any new favorite lip balms lately? Or have any old favorites that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear all about it, I’m always looking for more lip balms to try 😊 And, er, gift. 😉

PicsArt_03-05-12.26.05

Note: I did not receive compensation for my reviews of these products. I just really like them!