Sunday, January 26, 2014

New Ache & Pain Cream Class

I introduced a new class yesterday co-taught with Susan Haas and held it at Henschel Haus Publishing. Susan and I have created a nice selection of body care products made with only all natural ingredients and put them up on Etsy under the name Green Goddess Gardens.
We are passionate about our products and love sharing how to create these simple recipes. Our latest product was designed to relieve aches and pains. It is a wonderful healthy substitute for Tiger Balm. Tiger Balm has a base of Petrolatum. If you are unfamiliar with petrolatum, I have added some information here:
“Petrolatum, which is used as a base for Tiger Balm, commonly known as petroleum jelly, is a byproduct of petroleum. Petrolatum is a soft paraffin or wax mixture sold as a topical skin ointment. It is acknowledged by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as an approved over-the-counter skin protectant and is used in the manufacturing of cosmetic skin care. However the side effects of petrolatum include finding the petroleum byproduct in breast tumors, suffocation of the skin, premature aging and aggravated acne.
Petrolatum or mineral oil jelly and mineral oils can cause skin photosensitivity or promote sun damage. Petrolatum may interfere with the body's moisturizing mechanism, leading to dry skin and chapping despite its cosmetic use as lip protection. According to the Environmental Working Group, petrolatum may be found in one of every 14 products as well as 15 percent of lipsticks and 40 percent of baby lotions and oils.”

Petrolatum will increase the shelf life of a product but in my opinion, it doesn't make up for the damage it does along the way. Our recipe uses only all natural essential oils and beeswax. The added vitamin e is an antioxidant and will help to extend the shelf life. It should last at least 6 months and if stored in a cool area out of the sun, at least a year. I've included the recipe here:
1 tsp. peppermint EO
1 tsp. wintergreen EO
1 ¼ tsp camphor EO
2 tsp. Cajaput EO
¼ tsp. Cassia (cinnamon)
¼ tsp. Clove bud EO
2 TB Beeswax
2 TB Grapeseed oil
¼ tsp. vitamin E
Combine all essential oils into a small glass container.
Heat beeswax and grapeseed oil in a double boiler. Take off heat when beeswax liquefies and add essential oils one teaspoon at a time. Stir continuously until the batch reaches a smooth consistency. Pour into a 2 oz. container.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Etsy Store

After teaching classes on how to make wonderful, organic and natural products using oils, beeswax and herbs, I have partnered with another person to create a line of products to sell under the name Green Goddess Gardens. We now have our products in a store in Milwaukee and available to buy over the internet on Etsy

The process of creating Green Goddess Gardens was so much fun! It started with a large garden inspired by permaculture design. We were so lucky to have the Victory Garden Initiative help us out in the design and the hard physical labor of digging out the area.  Through a friend, we connected with an herbalist near Madison who was moving to Vermont. So off I went to see this wonderful garden and see what she had. We were able to purchase some medicinal plants from her that could be transplanted.  I came home with a comfrey plant, st. john's wort, mint, calendula, and mullein.  Shortly after that, some plantain and burdock just showed up one day in another part of the garden. The medicinal herb garden had begun! And as the summer progressed, they flourished! The comfrey plant went from a tiny bug chewed plant to a vigorous giant that stretched itself out over three square feet of space. The thick leaves came up to my waist!

Then the infusions started! We had jars and jars of hot and cold processed herbs, each one allowing healing herbal constituents to merge into the oil preparing to become a variety of salves, body butters, lotions and soaps.

Each batch of product we made was created in small batches for the highest quality.  The soaps were allowed to cure for at least 3 months before packaging. The journey to self-reliance has been such a joy. It all starts with small steps and a shifting of priorities. I love using products that I was a part of creating and which incorporate plants that I cared for throughout the summer. If you have a chance, visit our Etsy shop to see some of the amazing products we've created!