Extra Herbs from Infusions? Herbal Hot Oil Bath

At the end of your herbal oil infusions you have this little tight ball of cheesecloth filled with herbs and oils that are perfect for a herbal hot oil bath.

No matter how hard you squeeze your cheesecloth it is impossible to get out all the goodness from the herbs. So what do you do? I have had teachers recommend infusing them again, which does work but the oil is definitely not as strong and if you are going for uniformity this method does not work. I’ve saved them and rubbed on my skin after showers, which can be messy, but the best thing to do is to take a hot oil herbal bath with them.

Make a Hot Oil Bath


Take the ball of cheesecloth and tightly tie a string around the top. Store the herbal oil ball in a little dish or baggie until you are ready to use. It should be used within a day or two for freshness.

Simply turn on the warm bath water and put your herbal oil ball in the tub. As you soak in the warm water it opens your pores allowing the oil and herbal properties to soak deep into your skin. This is a lovely way to honor the herbs, end your day, and soothe your mind and body all at the same time.

I usually add about 5 drops of essential oil to the herbal oil ball for an added benefit of relaxation or clarity or immune boosting or whatever it is I am needing right then.


Got any tips? Share them!

Natural Insect Repellent

Its summer. Time for picnics, hikes, camping,swimming, and bugs. Time to whip out the insect repellent. Bug spray is one of the simplest things you can make, and a great way to eliminate one more source of unnecessary chemicals your life

Why make your own?

Natural insect repellent is easy to make.
You can tailor it to your own needs (think pets, children, aversions to certain smells).
It is natural and effective.

Citronella, yes or no?

When people think of bug spray they often think of Citronella. Memories of childhood waxy candles with an overpowering perfume are brought to mind. But research says Citronella is not actually that effective and can in fact be irritating for many skin types. However Citronella is derived from Lemongrass, which is considered to be an effective bug repellent.

My true love of insect repellent essential oils is hands down Eucalyptus combined with Lemongrass. Another essential oil that occupies a special spot in my heart for skin care purposes is Geranium which turns out is effective in repelling ticks.

Insect Repelling Essential Oils

Eucalyptus the essential oil known for sinus trouble and it’s menthol scent is a great ingredient for bug spray.

Lemongrass is known to repel ticks and mosquitos. It is also the plant from which citronella is derived.

Lavender essential, good for some many things, also makes the list for a great bug spray ingredient. (Is there nothing lavender cannot do?)

Geranium Essential Oil is another great essential for bug spray recipes. Research has suggested that it works in repelling ticks, fleas, and other flying insects. It has a strong floral scent and a little bit goes a long way. It blends well with Cedarwood.

Cedarwood Essential Oil along with pine is an earthy woodsy essential oil that also has a knack for repelling those biting bugs. It blends really well with Lavender and Geranium. This one is great for the undertone and contrast it gives to the floral scents. And of course because it works!

Peppermint Essential Oil and Spearmint Essential Oil are both great for repelling the creepers and crawlers. It is recommended that peppermint not be used on children under 2 years of age, but spearmint is fine.

Tea Tree Essential Oil is also a great bug repellent, I always include it any recipe I use. I feel like together with Eucalyptus they have a synergistic effect that makes a pretty powerful combination.

Bug Spray Recipe

This is the recipe I use, it is an all purpose bug spray. Meaning its has essential oils that repel fleas, ticks, lice, and mosquitos.

These were the oils that I felt intuitively needed to be blended together, they go well together, and compliment each other’s strengths. I suggest you do the same when formulating, get quiet inside and feel out which essential oils are the ones for you to use, which ones are stepping forward and offering their medicine.

Remember you are making magic!

Natural Insect Repellent Essential Oil Recipe


10 drop Eucalyptus
10 drops Lemongrass
5 drop Geranium
5 drops Tea Tree
4oz Witch Hazel

Combine in a 4oz spray bottle.
Shake before use. Spray on skin or clothing, and avoid contact with eyes.
And label your bottle!! Label it with the ingredients and the date.

Word to the wise;
Make sure to test a patch of skin for sensitivities or allergies before applying.
Applying to clothing only if you are sensitive.
Consult a doctor before using if you are pregnant before using any bug repellent, natural or not.

Have suggestions on a recipe that you have used or other essential oils that you have found to be effective, please share your knowledge!!

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Natural Beauty Products??

What does Natural mean?

To me and you it means things that are unadulterated. Things that are wild and free. It may conjure up images of forests and fields where the mark of man is missing. It means foods that have not been altered. It means (to you and me) things that are as close to the source as possible without having harmed the environment or its inhabitants to acquire it.

But legally that is not what it has to mean.

Unfortunately is doesn’t really mean anything as far as regulations and labels go.

What natural means on a label;
Whatever the manufacturer wants it to mean

This is an important point. The beauty industry is not heavily regulated. Which is crazy because 60% of what you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body. Essentially your skin drinks and eats what you put on it.

Two things are going on.

People, women especially, are turning more towards sustainable and natural products when it comes to body care and cosmetics.
The manufacturers know this.
The manufacturers also know when people think “natural” they think of all those things we just listed above and they also know there is no definition for natural.

The result is you have companies that truly are answering the call, and creating wonderful safe, eco friendly, sustainably harvested, products that contain natural ingredients.

The other result is companies that are merely giving the impression of being natural, eco-friendly, and sustainably harvested. This is commonly known as green washing. I know, I myself have fallen for it.

It happens so quick.

The eyes process images a great deal faster than words. So there you are in the store, in a hurry, and you grab the new product with the brown packaging and cute green leaves on it. Only later to find out it’s got MSG in it.

Skincare advertising is the exact same way.

We have to be detectives. We have to make choices that speak to what we are willing to spend our money on.

We have to be nature warriors.

We have to be wild women foraging through the fields of green beauty.

While what you and I think means natural is truly natural, there is no law or standard deeming what makes a product natural. The label can say natural and still contain questionable or known to be hazardous ingredients.

With the desire for green and clean beauty we need clarification on what is actually green. Where do we draw the line with the ingredients? Every product out there can be called natural because natural has no definition as far as labeling goes. Sometimes we may not even find an ingredient label on a beauty product and if we do we may not be able to recognize the ingredients.

It can be confusing trying to figure out what is actually a toxic chemical and what is an isolated plant compound in chemical form and of those which ones are safe, which ones are questionable, and which ones are toxic. And that is part of the problem, everything on this planet originated from a natural source, so technically it is all “natural”.

Thus it can be even more confusing. Just because it originated from a plant does not mean its safe or healing. Cocaine came from a plant, and yes it is a stimulant, but does that mean it is safe in place of coffee? Of course not.

What natural means to me and you;
Safe (as in not potentially harmful with short or long term use)
Close to the source
Was grown organically
Was grown in general (meaning not manufactured by a man in lab coat)
Was harvested sustainably
No one was harmed in the making (think animal testing/slave labor)

What can we do?

We have to do our homework and question ingredients (read labels!)
We can make our own products
We can look to other green beauty products that truly are green as green can be
We can decide for ourselves where we draw the line on ingredients
We can support organizations like EWG and look to them for safety information and regulation updates

We know there are products out there that are claiming to be natural and are not and these are giving a bad rap to the products that claim to be natural and are. For the health of yourself and the planet find a green beauty company selling earth friendly safe chemical free products or make them yourself.

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