Neuropathy is an insidious problem for many of the hospice patients I work with and for many seniors in general. A friend of mine asked for a blend that her father could try and so I made her a body butter (they just seem to last longer because you need to use such a small amount) and used Shea and Mango butters and Sunflower oil as the base. I added just a touch of Beeswax to make sure the oil didn't make it runny and put essential oils of Lavender, Sweet Marjoram, Rosemary verbenone and a hint of Cinnamon Bark. I slipped it in the freezer for a few minutes to harden it up without having any grittiness to it and that was it. She reported that her dad says it works so she requested another one for her aunt. Maybe I should add this to my product line.
Why haven't I discovered whipped body butters before? Unbelievably simple and fabulous on the skin. I'm not a big lotion person but something about this consistency has captured my attention. I decided to make a batch of body butters as giveaway gifts for an AIA get-together. I used shea butter, jojoba and then added Sweet Orange essential oil and Vanilla CO2. I set the whole pan in the freezer until I could stick my finger in the center and the indentation stuck. Then I used a traditional mixer on the blend until it formed peaks like you'd see if you were making a meringue. Simple. I scooped it into little 2oz containers and it's ready to go. That easy. I gave a sample to two friends of mine and they both raved about it. I guess the next step is to add it to my products, right?
I took a class many years ago that taught the basics of numerous products - lotions, balms, fizzies, creams, butters, etc. I'm not sure where I got the idea that whipped butters were difficult and time-consuming. I think maybe (looking back) it's because we were shown the ice bath method and it just seemed to take forever but that's because it was a class and there wasn't a freezer handy. Anyway, I decided to see what others were doing online and found that the easiest method seemed to be sticking the whole pot in the freezer and darned if it wasn't as simple as it sounded. I may be getting older, but it appears I'm still capable of learning new tricks.
My brother recently sent me a rather dire email about how this is one of the worst flu seasons in years, the vaccine is only 30% effective and that the most vulnerable are children and seniors. As he pointed out - "That's you and me." It's funny how I make products for everyone else and tout their benefits but rarely make something for myself that's proactive. This time, however, I made us both an herbal tea and a tincture. They're slightly different but both have some great protective ingredients. The tea has Elderberries, Echinacea, Mullein leaf, Chamomile flowers, Ginger root, Cinnamon chips and an Allspice berry for a little extra flavor.
The tincture is a glycerin base and has Elderberries, Elder flowers, Echinacea root, Cayenne powder, Astragalus root, Hawthorn berries, Dandelion and Wild Cherry Bark. I anticipated him using this one before bed and it would not only help him sweat out anything that was coming on but would help with his breathing (he has a bit of sleep apnea).
Exactly why I don't have a page for salves on my web site, I couldn't tell you. Simple to make and highly effective, it took me making a salve for my own issues to realize I need to put these on the web site. Hopefully I'll get that up and running in the next few days but, of course, revising web pages is a major hassle! I'll definitely include the salve I made for hemorrhoids but will also have some with single herbal ingredients as well. Offhand, I can see an offering of salves for things like respiratory issues, skin conditions, burns, muscle ache relief, and headaches and single herbal blends like calendula, yarrow, lavender, lemon balm, chamomile, etc. If there's anything you'd particularly like to see included, let me know, otherwise I'll be creating on my own and hoping something hits your fancy when you take a peek.
I've always thought the subject of hemorrhoids was embarrassing and something no one would ever admit to, much less discuss freely. However, having recently been diagnosed with same, I turned to my trusty herbs to produce a salve that would help. Boy does it! I put together a salve with a base of Evening Primrose, Avocado, Safflower and Olive oils, infused it with Calendula, Chamomile, Witch Hazel Bark, Plantain, Yarrow and St. John's Wort and then gave it the salve texture with some beeswax. This gave instant relief and it lasted for hours. You can bet I'll be adding this for sale on the web site soon. I'll probably change the oils a bit because it would be too expensive otherwise but since I've heard from the gastroenterologist that the majority of people have hemorrhoids, I think it's high time the subject wasn't so taboo to discuss ... and treat successfully.
I worked on a custom order today - 75 light body lotions, 75 tea tins with 3 bags of Lisa's Sleep Blend and 75 lip balms. The lip balms are Lavender/Spearmint - yummy. Lisa's Sleep Blend tea has Chamomile, Rose petals & buds, Wood Betony, Spearmint, Valerian and Allspice. The light body lotion has Mandarin, Lavender, Ylang Ylang and Spikenard in Shea butter, Sunflower oil and Jojoba. Lots of work but the best part is that there's always a little left over from any batch I make, and I'm the lucky recipient!
My yoga instructor was one of the lucky ones who made it out without serious physical injury from last week's Las Vegas mass shooting. However, although not physically hurt, she finds that she's unable to cry and thinks she's blocking it out. I think that's perfectly normal but she asked for help in releasing her emotions. First I did some rudimentary Reiki work on her and then I put together an inhaler roughly based on the Doctrine of Signatures as I feel she needs to balance all aspects of her body/mind/spirit. I wanted to work from base to crown and everything in between. Her inhaler has Lavender Maillette, Frankincense CO2, Sandalwood, Sweet Orange, Fennel, White Ginger Lily, Ghandi Root and Jasmine sambac.
Yes, it's been some time since I've blogged. I ended up in the ER with strange symptoms that started as a really tickly throat, by halfway through the day encompassed my entire throat and an achiness was traveling across my upper chest - really high, around the clavicle and by afternoon, was across the backs of my shoulders and included the beginnings of a slight headache to the back of my head. They got worse until they were throbbing and that's when I decided they were different enough from anything I'd ever experienced that maybe I should get things checked out. I figured it wasn't a stroke because I could smile and I could raise both arms above my head and I didn't think a heart attack could go on for about 8 hours (I've since been told that it can - especially in women). The quick care sent me to the ER and after finding nothing amiss in my blood tests, they decided I couldn't go home until they ruled out the heart so I was admitted to the hospital. Long story short and a bazillion tests later, it was GERD. So they put me on a medication that effectively stops the reflux on the top end but now the bottom end is objecting to things! Hopefully, it's a condition I found called Tenesmus that's associated with the rest of my GERD but I haven't found a good solution for everything yet. So I made myself a tincture with Chamomile flowers, Plantain leaf and Wild Yam root, all of which help to soothe and correct problems with the rectal nerves. It helps immediately when I put it in my morning smoothie but, so far, hasn't lasted all day. So I'm doing a couple of things to get to the bottom (pun intended) of the issue: I've started a food journal of everything I'm eating and drinking, the time of day and the symptoms I notice afterward to try and narrow down what my triggers are; and I'm going to increase the tincture to twice a day to see what difference that makes. I will, of course, find myself a good Gastroenterologist to help make sense of things but continue on my journey until I can get there.
Clearly, the picture is a stock photo of a gift basket and not what I'm creating. I'm putting together a raffle basket for the AIA (Alliance of International Aromatherapists) next month. I'm going to include a tea set (pot, strainer and cup), a tincture called "Brain Food," a sugar scrub, probably a couple of lip balms, "Lisa's Sleep Blend" herbal teabags, a lovely Peppermint, Lavender and Tea Tree butter for dry/tired feet and a wonderful mask with red raspberry seeds and rose petals in rose and kaolin clays. The conference theme is "from the garden to the bottle" and so I'm including products both from the garden (herbs) and from the bottle (essential oils) to cover both "top to bottom" and "inside and out."
Since I make a constipation lotion for patients at the hospice where I work, a friend asked me to make something slightly stronger for her. I decided not only to make it slightly stronger but to make it a salve so it would last a little longer. People tend to slather on the lotions and cremes and they tend to be used up pretty fast. It only requires a small amount of thicker salve and so it lasts longer. I used Mango butter and Sesame Seed and Avocado oils as my base, added enough beeswax to thicken it and then put in essential oils of Peppermint, Sweet Orange, Fennel, Black Pepper and a touch of Lavender to round things out.
Then there's the follow-up to my last post about the lotion for the woman with radiation burns weeks after she'd decided not to do any more treatments. Her husband sought me out to tell me she felt an almost immediate difference in the discomfort of her irritated skin and a week later, there was a considerable visible difference. Preaching to the choir, he told me, "That stuff really works."
One advantage of working in hospice is that I get to play with all the therapy dogs. This is Asher, a Corgi.