Aloe Vera

aloe vera

Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis), Native Americans called it the Wand of Heaven. Ancient Egyptians called it the Plant of Immortality.

Aloe vera has been used for thousands of years.  We have been using aloe vera for its therapeutic uses, from soothing sunburn to improving cardiovascular health. Legend has it that applying aloe vera gel was part of Cleopatra’s daily beauty regimen, and that it was the reason for her youthful appearance.

Use aloe leaves as a moisturizing body scrub. Cut off a leaf from the plant, slice it lengthwise, and scrub your body with the inner sides. You can also scoop the gel out with a spoon and use it as a liquid soap or body wash and as a shampoo. Aloe vera helps promote hair growth and reduce dandruff or use it as a leave-on conditioner for smoother hair. Aloe vera is your skin’s best friend! It is used in all of our skin care products.  It is great to treat sunburn, psoriasis, eczema, allergic skin reactions, and burns.  It works even better for burns by adding lavender and patchouli essential oils. Use it as an all-natural moisturizer for dry skin. Use it the way Cleopatra did and get rid of wrinkles and blemishes and improve your complexion.

Here is a recipe for an all natural shampoo using aloe vera:

What you will need:

  • Homemade aloe gel
  • Honey
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Blender or hand mixer

Directions for making your all natural shampoo:

  1. Make your own aloe vera gel by scraping out the aloe from the peel, make sure all of the brown residue is removed by placing aloe vertically until all the brown oil seeps out.
  2. Combine ¼ cup of your homemade aloe gel with 2 tablespoons of honey and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Puree the mixture in a blender. If you don’t have a blender, you can mix the ingredients with a hand mixer or with a spoon with a  little effort.

Unfortunately, the mixture won’t smell very good. You can use it on your hair as is and just rinse immediately or you can add a few drops of aromatic essential oils to it to make it smell better. Lavender or Grapefruit are great as well as Lemon and  Rosemary.

Make just the amount of natural aloe shampoo that you will need every day. Honey tends to spoil when mixed with other ingredients, so it is best to make the shampoo right before your bath.

Aloe is also great for the complexion. Here is a face mask recipe for you.

All-natural face masks may be used to reduce the appearance of pigmentation and blemishes, remove a tan, get glowing skin, and get rid of pimples. This aloe vera face mask can do all of the above.

What you will need:

  • Aloe vera
  • Ground turmeric
  • A teaspoon of honey
  • A teaspoon of milk
  • Rose water
  • A small bowl
  • A blender

Instructions for Making and Using Your Aloe Vera Face Pack:

  1. In a small bowl, combine a pinch of ground turmeric, a teaspoon of milk, a teaspoon of honey, and a couple of drops of rose water. Mix everything with a spoon until a paste is formed.
  2. Add aloe vera gel into the paste and mix well. You can use a blender to get a smoother paste.
  3. Pour the face pack into a glass container.
  4. To use, just dab some of the aloe vera face mask onto your face and spread evenly. Let it sit for 20 minutes and then wash it off with warm water.

So enjoy the benefits of aloe for skin care, it’s not just for great health, it’s also great for the skin!

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Pot Marigold (calendula)

Calendula has antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, and anti-genotoxic properties. It can be used as a tincture, infusion, oil, salve, tea, and the hydrosol water may be used as a facial toner or aftershave.

Calendula has many uses, and here are just a few.

Wound healing – Calendula flowers contain potent antioxidants. These antioxidants help heal wounds and treat burns on your skin. Spray calendula tea on a burn to help soothe it.

Baby diaper rash – Most diaper creams use calendula as one of its main ingredients. The herb is also used in making lotions and creams for treating minor skin conditions. It is gentle enough for baby.

Great in skincare – Aside from protecting the cells from free radicals, calendula also helps enhance protein and collagen metabolism, which is important in cell re-growth or the production of new cells.

Here is a DIY recipe for a calendula infusion

1 mason jar

calendula flowers (fresh or dried)

olive oil

Directions: Place calendula flowers in the mason jar, 1/3 full (if using dried) or 3/4 full if using fresh flowers. Fill the rest of the jar with olive oil and let the jar sit in the sun for 2 – – 4 weeks. Strain and use in salves, lip balms or simply place in a bottle and use straight.

Infuse in jojoba oil to use as a face oil.

herbal oils

Infusing herbs of chamomile and calendula

 

Face Yoga for Anti-Aging ♥ — thepregnantmermaid

Who would ever think there was yoga for your face?! Well, there definitely is! Just like your body, your face also needs to be toned and paid attention to. I do it everyday, it only takes 5 minutes and it is super effective. Here is my favorite yoga instructor, Sadie Nardini, video for face yoga . […]

via Face Yoga for Anti-Aging ♥ — thepregnantmermaid

Homemade Laundry Detergent

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I tried making detergent a couple years ago but stopped using it. I didn’t  like the recipe that I used but continued using it until it ran out. Instead of trying another recipe I decided to just go out and buy a natural and eco-friendly detergent. Then, months go by and my sister tells me that she made her own detergent and so she shared some with me. It smelled amazing but her version faded my clothes. So then  I’m thinking, I should try making my own again so I could go as natural as possible since everything else we use is, right? I make our own cleaning products, toiletries etc etc. so since I make everything else myself why not just go back to buying, dye free eco-friendly detergent?  You know, things will be fine If I buy my detergent, right?

A couple years go by and  I had been trying different detergents but my clothes  still weren’t  coming out very clean! I’m thinking it’s my washing machine! I have an HE front loader and I don’t like it! It’s high maintenance! All the clothes just tumble around and I feel the washer needs to agitate to clean the clothes.I have to wipe it down after every wash and then……I have to clean the drain thingy at least once a month. I use peroxide or vinegar (not as often as I should) to clean the seal or its gets full of mildew, yuck! Come on, all I want to do is wash clothes. I don’t want to take care of a washing machine because as it is, I am tired of doing laundry. Laundry is something that is never ending. I especially do NOT like folding whites. Why is it that socks get lost?

Enough venting about my machine, let me get back to detergent… My sister in law text me one day and told me about soap nuts. She tried them out and said they worked. I immediately bought some. They actually do work!

Yet again, after a while, I stopped using them because they are supposed to go inside a small muslin bag and then you toss the bag into the washing machine, Well the bag would open and then when I was finished washing clothes, I  then had to pick out the soap nuts from the clothes. Now I don’t mind, I can deal with it, but my 2 kids would rather just use detergent. They were kind of like, “what? These soap nuts are going to clean clothes?”  So again I decide to start buying detergent again. I now alternate between Seventh Generation and Soap Nuts.

Then one night while scrolling through Pinterest I decided to look through some of my pins and what do I find? A pin from a couple years back with a recipe for laundry soap.This begins to interest me again and late one night I decide to search for more recipes. I happen to find one that incorporates soap nuts. I’m thinking that this is a perfect recipe because I can still use my soap nuts and the kids will feel like they are using detergent!  Then I find another recipe that is made with Epsom salts and no borax, so this is another one that I will try. Now that I have 2 powder recipes, I might as well look for a liquid recipe and I found one. I could just keep going but I have to stop somewhere right? I might as well just try these 3 and see which one is the best.

All 3 recipes were put together and labelled. Next I have 2 kids still living at home, so now each of us can try one of these detergents and come together and vote on which one works best.

Here are the recipes:

Recipe #1 (I am hoping this is the winner) There is a large batch and small batch recipe and I used the small batch

  • 1 c Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
  • ½ c Oxiclean Free
  • .5oz soap nuts (grind into a powder)
  • ¼ cup baking soda

Combine all ingredients and store in airtight container and Use 2 T per HE load. Usually when using powder you still put the detergent in the dispenser, oxyclean container states to put it in the tub not the dispenser  so to protect the washer I already don’t like, I’m putting the detergent in the tub, you may want to do so as well.

Pretreat stains (I use felis naptha soap or castile bar soap)

Recipe found at here

 

Recipe #2 Borax Free

  • 1 ½ c baking soda
  • 1 ½ c washing soda
  • ½ c Epsom salts
  • A few drops essential oils (I didn’t use any)

Combine all ingredients and store in airtight container.

use 1 T per load and to pretreat stains, make a paste of this detergent and rub into stain.

Recipe found here

 

Recipe #3 Liquid detergent

  • 2-gallon bucket
  • 2 gallons’ hot water (from faucet)
  • ½ c super washing soda
  • ½ c baking soda
  • ¾ c castile soap
  • 30 drops essential oil

Directions:

Put ½ c of washing soda in bucket and add hot water to cover the washing soda,

Stir up until dissolved. Add baking soda and stir again until dissolved

Fill bucket with 2 gallons of hot water and stir again.

Add essential oil to castile soap, stir and add to water mixture.

Stir up and dispense into 2 1gallon water jugs or an old detergent bottle. (I used a cup and scooped out the liquid and poured into bottles)

Let cool and place caps on bottle. Use 1/3 cup per load.

Recipe found here

So now we will take the time to test these and will update with the results.

What do you use for a natural eco-friendly detergent?

UPDATE: I love this last liquid recipe ! It works the best. Daughter #1 uses the soap nuts recipe and that works as well.

UPDATE: We are detergent free, thanks to The Washing Ball. I don’t know how it works, but it works. Check it out on Amazon

Allergies, ugh!

 

Allergies, omg! Now is the season many allergy sufferers begin their suffering. I woke up this morning with a runny nose and itchy throat! Omg how annoying. I won’t take over the counter drugs unless it’s a homeopathic remedy,  so I sent my husband to wholefoods and he found a homeopathic allergy relief pill that I dissolve on my tongue, this actually seems to be helping.

We have a palo verde tree right on the backside of our backyard wall. Wind just makes the pollen drop everywhere. Now that it’s all over the backyard, here come the dogs. They get the pollen in their fur and then here they come bringing it all into the house. I am so glad we don’t have carpet. All the pollen would just get trapped in there.

“Sneeze”, sneeze and now I can’t stop! That pill must be wearing off.  I don’t usually suffer from allergies, thank God! Is this season different? Why is it actually affecting me today? Ok, time to make an aromatherapy inhaler. I love essential oils. I used rosemary, rosalina, peppermint and frankincense and my nose is no longer running. Wow that seemed to have helped!

My son, has dealt with allergies all his life. He is completely stuffed up, poor kid! I have 3 kids and he’s the baby (19 Yrs old now) and he is the only one with allergies.   I am convinced that he has allergies because I didn’t breast feed him long enough. I only breastfed him for 2 months. I wish I didn’t listen to the doctor back then. Doc told me to supplement him with formula because he wasn’t getting enough. So I did and then he got used to the bottle. What a mistake! I wish the internet was available to me then. There is so much information out there. I could have just pumped breast milk, drank tea to help me produce more and fed him that from the bottle! My first 2 were breastfed for a whole year and are just fine. OMG regrets, regrets, actually I think that’s another blog post. Maybe I should do one on the benefits of breast feeding. Hmmmm?

Ok, so I have a different homeopathic allergy pill for my son since he deals with a lot of congestion. He went off to work, so when he gets home, I will find out how much that pill has helped him.  He works 10 hours a day, so after a long day at work, I’m going to have an inhaler ready for him with Cedarwood, lavender and tea tree. All these oils help with congestion as well as headache. They are soothing and relaxing, which should help with sinus headache (which may come from a stuffy nose). I will let you know how this helps him. As for myself, my trusty inhaler has stopped my runny nose! Yes!

Every morning during allergy season, keep your immunity boosted by drinking warm water with lemon and honey. This drink is also great to detox the body while boosting the immune system.

Today I am sharing, how I make inhalers with this formula for allergies with stuffy nose.

1 blank inhaler (you can find that here) or use a piece of cotton and place in a baggie.

5 drops cedarwood (reduces congestion)

5 drops tea tree  (anit-infectious)

5 drops lavender  (reduces swollen sinuses)

When making an inhaler use a total of 15 drops. You can also use a drop of essential oil on the shower floor and the steam brings up the oil into the air and then inhale the oil. My favorite thing to do is to place 2 drops  of essential oil, such as eucalyptus, in a sink full of hot water and place a towel over your head, close your eyes (keep them closed) and inhale the steam.

What all natural remedies do you use? Please share.

Update: We used Outdoor Allergy (homeopathic) by bioallers. Allergies only lasted 3 days. Worked amazing!

Making a Salve

Making a salve isn’t as hard as you might think! What takes the longest is infusing your favorite herbs in oil. The way I like to infuse my herbs is by solar infusion. First, pick your herb (I always use dried). Herbs that  I like to use are: Calendula, Chamomile, Arnica, St. John’s Wort, and Chickweed. You can make Trauma oil by combining herbs of Calendula, Arnica and St. John’s Wort. Fill a mason jar one-third full with the herbs and cover the herbs with a carrier oil, such as olive oil, sunflower oil, coconut oil, etc. Leave at least one inch of room at the top of jar. Screw a lid on tight. Next, you will want to place the jar in a sunny window or better yet, outside in direct sunlight. Leave the jars out there for 3-4 weeks, making sure to shake them up everyday. You may want to write the date on the jars. As the herbs’ properties release in the oil, the oil will have more color and smell like an herbal oil. After the oils have infused for 4 weeks, you will strain the herb solids out of the oil with cheese cloth or a cotton pillow case. Voila! You now have herbal oil. These oils can be used straight as a massage oil or you can make a salve. Salves are great in that they don’t require water so then you don’t need to use a preservative.

To use the oil in a salve, you will need beeswax. Use approximately 2 oz. of grated beeswax for 8oz  of infused oil. Here is a recipe for a natural neosporin.

Equipment needed

  • scale
  • pot
  • Pyrex or glass bowl
  • small container for salve
  • spatula

Ingredients

  • .05 oz beeswax
  • 2 oz of infused Calendula oil

Directions

  1. Place Pyrex or glass bowl on scale turn on scale, it should read 0
  2. Weigh out beeswax to .05 oz
  3. Place a pot filled 1/3 way with water and turn on stove and place Pyrex with beeswax in the water
  4. Next, weigh out infused Calendula oil
  5. Once beeswax is melted, add your Calendula oil and stir until melts together.
  6. Remove the mixture from pot and pour into your salve container (while salve is still hot).
  7. Make sure you dry the outside of the Pyrex so that water doesn’t drip into your salve while pouring.
  8. Add 6 drops lavender essential oil (optional) let salve cool
  9. Last, put the lid on your salve. Voila! You have made a salve

Calendula is awesome at healing and soothing cuts, scrapes, chapped lips and skin. Use as often as needed.

The 3rd Step in Skincare, Moisture.

So we have learned about cleansing acne prone skin and then following up with a hydrosol toner. Now we will learn about moisturizer and serum.

Moisturizer is needed to add hydration to the skin. By adding hydration, the skin is protected from dryness, which may prevent premature aging.  For those of you in a desert climate, I know you agree that you can never have enough moisture! An added benefit of applying moisturizer is that your foundation will go on smoother.

Moisturizer is usually made up of water and oils, made to hydrate the skin. By applying serum and cream to your skin, it gets nourished from the outside which is just as important as nourishing from within!.

STEP 3   Serum and/or Moisturizer

Acne serum

Acne? Spot treat with our Acne Serum or use it as your facial moisturizer. It’s made with jojoba oil, grapefruit seed oil and skin healing essential oil and that’s it. We keep it simple! Jojoba is non-comediogenic and grapefruit seed oil is awesome at diminishing scars, which of course may be present after a breakout and the essential oils are antibacterial to shut down that zit! Apply it to your problem areas or your entire face.

Once breakouts have healed and skin is clear, start applying Rosehip & Primrose oil to fade the scars acne leaves behind.

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Scars, fine lines, uneven skin tone? Apply our Rosehip & Primrose oil. Evening Primrose Oil is soothing, reduces itch and smooths the skin.  It’s loaded  with antioxidants and is gentle enough to use daily. Rosehip Seed Oil is added which contains fatty acids (omega 3,6 and 9) which are nourishing to the skin. Full of vitamins c, e and a. It is easily absorbed into the skin for deep moisturization. Restores skin’s vitality.  For best results, use 2x daily.

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Aging skin? We suggest using Argan oil. Hydrate and soften your skin by applying argan oil as a daily moisturizer. Argan oil is not greasy and will not clog pores. It is often referred to as liquid gold. Full of vitamin e and fatty acids which are great qualities when looking for age defying results.

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Our facial creams are made with all natural ingredients and are paraben free.  We have for all skin types!  Lavender for normal skin…Rose for dry skin and Calendula for mature or sun damaged skin. Hydration is the key to beautiful skin! Drink plenty of water and what you put into your body reflects through your skin.  Quit the sugary drinks and fatty foods, and replace them with healthy alternatives and your skin will glow!

Here’s a recap…..First, face wash, African Black Soap or microfiber cloth. Second, use a toner (it removes what cleansers leave behind). Third, Serum/Moisturizer (hydrates) and last but not least, Eat healthy and drink plenty of water. Your skin depends on it!

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