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!
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."
What do you do for a relative who asks for help with hypertension and edema but who eats too much salt in his diet and is pretty sedentary? Although we had the discussion about treating symptoms versus the cause, he wanted to try my herbal tinctures and teas in addition to promising to curb his salt intake. I made him a tincture and an herbal tea to brew and he said the swelling was down "dramatically" in two days. So today, I'm making him some more tea as he's run out and hoping he's really and truly working on the cause. My tea contains chamomile flowers, dandelion root, yarrow, ginger root and valerian.
I'm preparing for my second semester of teaching how-to classes at CSN. The first one is "Creating Herbal Tinctures" and I'm giving them a glycerin tincture with Astragalus, Dandelion and Echinacea for a winter immunity boost. I prepare the same thing in both apple cider vinegar and alcohol so they can taste the differences with different menstruums and the same herbs. They also get hand-outs of different herbs they can use therapeutically, a blending worksheet so they have a record of what they make, a list of useful books, a page of recipes and a detailed instruction sheet on how to make a tincture. Fun class.
What do you do with a friend who openly admits to being both depressed and anxious and doesn't want to try pharmaceuticals? Well, you offer some alternatives, right? I made three little gifts for her: an herbal tea, a hand wash and a body butter. I varied the ingredients in each of the essential oil products in case she didn't like the smell of the hand wash but loved the body butter, or vice versa. The herbal tea has Chamomile flowers, Lemon Balm, Rose petals, St. John's Wort, Passionflower herb and Valerian. The hand wash has essential oils of Lavender, Sweet Orange, Rosewood, Neroli and Ylang Ylang in Castille soap. The body butter has Lavender, Rosewood, Marjoram and Jasmine sambac in Shea butter, Apricot Kernel and Evening Primrose oils. Hopefully, one or more will help her to have a more positive outlook about things.
My friend has the cutest little dog but she suffers from constant itching and possibly allergies. Today, I'm making a blend she can massage into the skin. I'm using a base of Apricot Kernel, Jojoba and Rosehip Seed oils and adding Carrot Seed, Lavender, German Chamomile and Rosewood. With their sensitive noses, I'll make the blend no more than 8 drops total in a 4oz pump. Additionally, the puppy has a sensitive tummy so I'm making an herbal tincture to go in the water that has Marshmallow root, Slippery Elm and Chamomile - again, a very mild, diluted blend. I always make sure pet owners understand they must notify the vet of these additions to the existing plan of care and to follow his recommendations first.
I'm come to the conclusion that I can do all the physical therapy in the world but if the nerves are damaged, although it may be reasonably helpful, it will not solve the problem. Or maybe it added to the problem - who knows? They gave me two exercises that caused my back to resume its deep ache every time I did them. I pointed out to one of the PTs that I now had a slight tingling on the outside surface of my left leg. Although she asked me how long it had been there, she didn't follow up with anything at all after I answered. I decided on my own (especially since my prescription was coming to an end) to stop doing those two exercises but now, even with several days' rest, Aleve and even my muscle relaxer on a couple of those nights, it's still there. It's not as bad but it's there. So have the nerves been damaged? Last time I went back to my surgeon, he indicated that nothing had changed much in my back and that I really only needed to come back to see him if my leg felt weaker; otherwise, he could recommend something for pain control. Since my leg is not weaker and my disc structure has not gotten worse, I'm left looking at the nerves as the culprit. So I've decided to give some herbs a try. I made a tincture yesterday with herbs that influence nerve function and we'll see if they'll help. I made a 16 oz pump bottle so I can add it to my morning smoothies. I make all my tinctures in glycerin so this one has a water/glycerin base and then a tablespoon and a half of Oatstraw, St. John's Wort, Siberian ginseng and Skullcap and then two tablespoons of Chamomile flowers.
Several years ago, I sent a couple of class proposals to CSN (College of Southern Nevada) but waited too late to submit them. I never followed up, thinking the preparation alone would take too much time. However, they contacted me recently to see if I would be interested in teaching those classes. I met with them last week and it looks like I might teach a series of 2-hour classes on "how to make" stuff - herbal teas, tinctures, body balms, salves and body scrubs. It still looks like an awful lot of preparatory work but I remember what fun it was discovering I could make my own products and I hope it works out because I'd love to teach these classes.
One advantage of working in hospice is that I get to play with all the therapy dogs. This is Asher, a Corgi.