Osha Root Honey

Osha root is one of the most potent herbs out there and osha root honey is a great way to prepare it.

 

When it comes to healing the the respiratory system, battling winter chest colds, and warding off deep chest coughs osha root is a master healer.

Osha (Ligusticum porteri) is a plant that grows high in the south eastern Rocky Mountains, often above 8000ft  beneath the canopy aspen trees.

Medicinal properties;

Osha is one of the best herbs for deep lung coughs and respiratory illness. Its a special herb, and a little goes a long way.

It has an incredibly strong and bitter flavor and quite the pungent smell, and this follows through in its taste as well as in its ability to be a powerful ally in keeping the respiratory system healthy in the winter.

The root contains oils, including camphor, saponins, ferulic acid, terpenes, and phytosterols which all aid in its ability as a respiratory healer.

Osha acts as an expectorant, clearing mucous from lungs and sinuses to aid in decongestion. It also may increase the flow of blood to the lungs, helping to relieve constriction.  It may also have a mechanism that helps the lungs to uptake more oxygen, in other words deeper and clearer breaths.

Preparation

The common method of drinking your herbs in tea does not really go so well with osha, although I am sure there are some people that could do it and like it, but the flavor is intense. The other common method of preparing a tincture out of Osha also maybe not the best. Some herbalist and herb sources out there say that the properties of Osha are not readily obtained from the common method of tincture preparations.

So how do you take it?

My favorite method is to chop up dried Osha Root and cover it in raw unfiltered honey. This serves the purpose of mellowing out the intense flavor and makes it easier for consumption, which is great for the less hardy and for children.  Synergistically the osha root and the honey combine together to make a medicine that can be taken by the spoonful, mixed into tea, or the pea sized chunks of osha root in the honey may be chewed on.

It is said that upon waking from winter hibernation that bears in the high rockies dig up osha root and eat the root as their first meal.  Bears love honey, bears love Osha, osha does well in honey, its a little bit o’ magic.

 

Harvesting and Use

Please please please be aware that harvesting Osha needs to be done with extreme caution.

It looks very similar to Poison Hemlock and although the root of osha has an unmistakable pungent odor that poison hemlock does not have, the foliage looks the same and can be toxic to the touch. So please be very careful when identifying these plants; consult an expert.

On another note, osha root can easily be over harvested. Its growing environment is very specific and limited. Its hard to reproduce the environment of the high rockies on a farm or garden so over harvesting is an issue.

If you do wild craft your own, only take what you need. And keep in mind that a little bit of osha goes a very long way.  A single root is enough to keep you, your family, friends, and neighbors healthy all winter and probably into the next winter too. If you get it from a friend or an apothecary please use it sparingly, it is powerful medicine and a little lasts a long time.

 

Osha Root Honey

Chop about 2 inches of osha root into pea size pieces.  Next place the osha into a half pint mason jar. You want about a 1/8-1/4 cup of Osha. You will have little dusty pieces leftover, swipe those into the jar as well. Cover with honey to the top of the jar. Use raw, unfiltered honey, as it has its own medicinal qualities. Seal you jar and let it sit for a couple weeks.

There is no need to strain the osha root out of the honey. The chunks can be sucked on and chewed on for its medicine.  One half to one teaspoon of the osha root honey for an adult is a good place to start for dosage. It can be taken straight or placed in tea. Take it when you first feel a cold/flu coming on and take a spoonful or two a day throughout as well.

(Don’t forget to label your jar with the contents and the date.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Argan Hair Oil

Oh, what have I been missing? All these years and I have just started using Argan Oil in my hair. You know those fancy bottles you see of Moroccan Oil, well that is Argan Oil. And you can make your own! You can reap all the benefits Argan oil and avoid the costs of commercial Moroccan Oil and the extra added chemicals that are often found in hair oils.

The recipe below is really simple and open to all sorts of extra essential oils suited to your own needs.

The benefits of Argan Oil are many, and this holds true for hair as well. Deeply nourishing due its high oleic fatty acid content, Argan oil applied to the high gives a protective and a sparkling sheen while at the same time adding moisture your luscious locks.

Wild Ingredients:

3/4oz Argan Oil
1/4oz Hemp Seed Oil (this is optional, you could go 100% Argan Oil)
1/2 teaspoon Glycerin

8drops Lemon Essential Oil
1drop Geranium Essential Oil
2drops Rosemary Essential Oil

Combine all ingredients into a 1oz jar or pump bottle. Use on ends of hair or wherever needed. A little goes a long way!!

Have fun with the essential oils and create a scent just for you. If you do add essential oils then do not use on eyebrows or eyelashes.

And remember to always label and date your creations!!

Have fun and let me know what scent combinations you came up with…

Coconut Sea Salt Foot Scrub

Sunshine, warmer days, flip fops and coconut sea salt foot scrub.

Here comes spring! Time to do a little spring cleaning on your feet!

When it comes time to slip on the sandals and show off those cute toes we often realize that our feet are in need of a little love.

Feet in general need a little love. We stand on them. We walk on them. They get cold before the rest of us. We cram them into weird shoes. We dance on them. We owe them a thanks for being our foundation. But on top of all that feet do not have any oil glands in them, so keeping them soft and crack free takes a little extra work.

Keeping soft feet requires two essential steps. One is exfoliating off all the dead skin, and the second is moisturizing. Coconut sea salt foot scrub does both at the same time.

This is a simple foot scrub for your feet that you can make at home and keep on hand to keep those feet soft and smooth all summer.

Coconut Sea Salt Foot Scrub

You will need the coarsest sea salt you can find and coconut oil. Granulated sugar works as well, but the sea salt has the added benefit of being detoxifying. Adding essential oils is optional.

½ cup Sea Salt
¼ cup Coconut Oil
2-4 drops Lavender, Peppermint, or Tea Tree Essential Oil (optional)

Combine ingredients in a glass jar with a lid.

To use simply: massage vigorously over feet.

To use like a wild woman who runs hard and then pampers herself:

Exfoliate feet with a pumice stone or foot file.

Soak you feet in a warm oil bath for 20 minutes.

Then massage coconut scrub into feet.

Rinse and pat feet dry.

Then bundle your feet up in a pair of old cotton socks and let all that goodness soak in for at least 20 minutes.

Optional: Put your feet up and enjoy a cup of tea (or wine?).

Or go to sleep.

Or paint some natural nail polish on those pretty toes.

Honey Face Cleanser

I have been wanting to try this honey face cleanser recipe for a while. I have tried the oil cleansing method and I do like it. Although I do like the soft skin that the oil cleansing method leaves you with I was feeling like my skin needed a little bit of deeper cleansing.

So I decided to try the honey face cleanser recipe and so far I am in love with it. That is not an exaggeration. My skin feels cleansed, yet really soft after using it.

It is super simple to make and has only three ingredients; honey, glycerin, and castile soap. It contains no water so it does not require any preservatives or chemicals or waxes. With no chemicals in this face wash, it is pure sweet goodness for your skin and meets all the requirements for an all natural skincare recipe.

The honey has cleansing antimicrobial benefits and is highly moisturizing. The small amount of castille soap gives a nice little bit of bubbles to the honey face cleanser but not so much that your face feels dry or tight after. The glycerin also helps to cleanse and moisturize through its humectant properties.

There are a lot of recipes out there I got this one from http://www.towards-sustainability.com/.

 

Honey Face Cleanser

  • 3 tbs Honey
  • ½ cup Vegetable Glycerin
  • 2 tbs Liquid Castile Soap

 

Mix all the ingredients together. Store in an airtight container.

Now go wash your face, you are going to love this honey face cleanser.

***Make sure not to get water into your container, as this can introduce bacteria.

~Enjoy!

And let me know how you like it!

 

Essential Oil Recipe for Strength & Serenity

Strength & Serenity Essential Oil Roll On
6 drops Lavender
8 drops Frankincense
2 drops Ylang Ylang
1oz Almond, Apricot, or Sunflower Oil

Essential oils are trusted place to turn when times are tough and you need a little lifting up. This blend was intended to help sooth the stress, fear, grief, tension, depression and overall yuck that we can sometimes find ourselves in.

Lavender soothes the tensions we may feel either in our minds and in our bodies. It also helps with stress, irritability, and overall anxiety.

Ylang ylang is an exotic scent that can help with depression and encourage feelings of happiness and peace. Ylang ylang has been known to help release feelings of anger.

Frankincense is a resin and has earned a place of high regard for its many uses. In this blend it is used to address stress, anxiety, depression, fear, loneliness, and grief.

Combined together this blend can help one to find a place of peace and courage when dealing with some of life’s challenges.

Combine your oils in dropper bottle or a roll-on bottle.

To use:
Apply to wrists and behind ears.
Apply to each center point of your chakras.
Apply to bottom of feet (the bottom of your feet contain points for each part of the rest of your body)
Have a friend apply along the length of your spine.

For best results with essential oils, use several times a day.
**Consult a doctor before using essential oils if you are under medical care. Always dilute essential oils before using.

Resources for Essential Oils

There are many places to buy quality essential oils these days. There are big names like Doterra, Young Living, and Mountain Rose which all sell high quality essential oils. Just be sure when you purchase that you are buying 100% pure essential oils that are therapeutic grade.

I hope you enjoy the recipe and you can always purchase from my shop on Etsy as well. Use code WILDLOVE for 10% your orders.

~Enjoy and stay wild!

Pumpkin Spice Body Scrub

The name of this body scrub says it all, it smells like pumpkin spice perfect for the beginnings of longer days and cooler weather. In any body scrub the salts and sugars are meant to gently exfoliate the upper layers of dead skin so that the oils can more deeply hydrate fresh skin, something often needed as the weather dries out and the heaters come on. And in this body scrub we have the added benefit of herbs that gently increase our bodies circulation helping to keep us warm while at the same time adding the immune boosting effects of ginger and cinnamon.

Adding the essential oils of ginger and cinnamon furthers the beneficial effects and over all spirit warming effect of this particular body scrub.

You can use any carrier oil you like. For autumn I like a mix of pumpkin seed oil and sunflower seed oil, these are both high in Vit E and deeply hydrating for the skin. But any oil could be used, just keeping in mind not to use a strongly scented one or the scent of your herbs will be masked. Also this is where using essential oils is nice, because they offer a stronger longer lasting scent.

pumpkin spice sugar scrub

 

When you use this in a warm shower the oils can soak right into your open pores while you are gently rubbing away dead dry skin to allow the oils to do an even better job of moisturizing your skin.

Pumpkin Spice Sugar Scrub

¼ cup Carrier Oil

¼ cup Sugar

¼ cup Sea Salt

1tsp Cinnamon

1tsp Ginger

⅛ tsp Cloves

⅛ tsp Nutmeg

**A drop of Cinnamon and Ginger Essential Oils

Mix your salt and sugar and spices together. Then mix in your oil and essential oils.  Store in an airtight container.

**The essential oils are optional but their addition takes it to the next level of yumminess.

That’s it. You now have an incredible skin softening warming scrub for these lovely autumn months.

 

A few notes

Oils.

A Carrier Oil is any high quality vegetable oil, they all have beneficial skin properties, but for this recipe stick with the non-scented ones, like Sunflower or Almond. Stay away from the heavier ones like Olive Oil or Sesame Oil.

Water

Since this is to be used in the shower, you need to be careful to not get water in your container. I use my salts up fast enough that this is never a problem, but that said, allowing water in your container can introduce the yuckies (also known as bacteria).

 

~Enoy!

 

Finding Your Roots

treehugger

This world, this life spins so fast. Sometimes you have to find something bigger than yourself to hold onto. Trees are such things. Tall, strong, and patient they give great hugs.

They remind you of your roots, your ability to sink into the earth and gently take what you need, no more, no less.

They reach to the sky, and grow for the light, providing shelter, food, and housing for creatures around them.

They bend in the wind and sing silent songs.

They remind of us, to stand tall and breath it all in.

Trees remind of the stillness and breath that lies within all things. And our connection to all things.

Find yourself a tree, a forest if you can and go there.

After Sun Oil Recipe

 

It’s summer!! That means sun kissed skin and maybe even sun burned skin, dry skin, and over heated skin.  This after sun oil recipe is soothing and hydrating to skin that has had too much exposure to summer weather. The herbs used in the oil are cooling and healing to the tissues of the skin and are often used in recipes for treating burns. The essential oils in the recipe are also known for their tissue repairing effects after the damage of too much heat and sun.

This oil is not for severe sunburns, severe sunburns need to be treated carefully. If you have a severe and painful sunburn you need to cool it down with cool water baths for the first 4-6 hours after the burn. And drink lots of water to avoid dehydration. Applying aloe to the burn may also help in between the cool water baths.

This After Sun Summer Oil recipe is for mild sunburns, dry skin, wind chapped skin, skin that has had too summer weather exposure or when a severe burn no longer hurts and is in the healing stage.

It can help to repair and restore skin to its natural balance.

I slather it on myself during the summer even when I do not have a sunburn because my skin loves to drink up the herbal infused oils that help it to hydrate, cool, and repair.

 The Healing Herbs in the Mix

Calendula-These happy little flowers are well known for there skin healing abilities from bruises to burns. They are considered cooling in the Aryuvedic tradition, which is exactly what sunburned skin needs.

Lavender-Another herb well known for it’s benefit in skincare, lavender can help soothe weather beaten skin with its analgesic properties and helps repair the skin after exposure to heat and sun.

Chamomile-An anti-inflammatory known for its healing affinity towards the skin offers its ability to cool and soothe.

The Nurturing Oils

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Sunflower Oil-Many of the carrier oils could be used but sunflower and apricot are two oils that always work. Sunflower is high in Vitamin E, making it great for the skin and apricot oil is also known to be high in anti inflammatories (helps cool the skin) and contains anti oxidants to fight against free radical damage. Another great oil is Jojoba Oil.

The Essential Oils

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Lavender Essential Oil-Known for its ability to soothe and heal skin that has been burned.

Carrot Seed Essential Oil-Is used for its ability to repair sun damaged skin and possibly in helping to reverse precancerous skin cells.

Geranium Essential Oil-Is used for its soothing and healing affinity for the skin.

There many choices of essential oils that would be good in this mix, like like frankincense, peppermint, or spearmint, so get creative!

After Sun Oil Recipe

4oz Sunflower or Apricot Oil

2tbs Lavender

2tbs Calendula

2tbs Chamomile

A couple drops Lavender EO, Geranium EO, and Carrot Seed EO

A Mini Croc Pot or double broiler

Cheesecloth

To Make:

1. Combine your carrier oil and dried herbs into your croc pot or double broiler and set on low for at least 40min. I do a couple hours on a low setting. Make sure to keep your oil on the lowest setting. If you see any bubbles, its too hot.

2. After a couple hours, turn off heat, and allow the oil/herb mix to cool. Then strain through your cheesecloth into a glass measuring cup.

3. Add a few drops of your essential oils.

4. Pour into a massage or lotion pump bottle or glass bottle of your choosing.

Wondering what to do with the leftover herbs in the cheesecloth? I’ve got an idea!

You now have a wonderful After Sun Oil infused with healing herbs for mild sunburns or summer exposed skin.

*Please note this is not a remedy for severe sunburns. Please take the necessary steps to treat severely sunburned skin, and take precaution not to let this happen!

I keep a bottle around during the summer, we use it on sunburns, dry skin, rough feet, cheeks that have too much wind, or for generally thirsty skin. I love knowing that as I use it my skin is drinking up nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that help it rejuvenate, repair and maintain health. I also love being able to give my friends and family something when they show up a little too kissed by the sun.

Want more wild inspiration?

dancingsun

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

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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.

Enjoy!

Got any tips? Share them!

Health and Beauty, An Ancient History

As I talked about before, the green beauty movement may seem like a new trend, but really it is a turning back to the wise ways of our ancestors who walked this planet before us and used the plants around them for health and beauty long before modern science deemed them valuable or trends deemed it cool.

The Egyptians

The ancient Egyptians had a great love of their cosmetics and skincare and used oil, gems, clays, soot, and animal products to achieve their desired effects. Fenugreek was one herb they used for the appearance of youth. They had a method of taking fenugreek through a long process that resulted in an concoction (an ungent) that allowed the oils of dried fenugreek to be massaged onto the body. It was said to make one appear young again. The process was a complicated one that seems to be part magic and part cosmetic but even today fenugreek is used in many facial mask recipes for it’s anti-aging and rejuvenating properties. (1)

The Egyptians were also known to mix barley with butter to heal skin imperfections like acne and pimples, and use a mixture of chalk and oil to remove their make up. (yes women have been wearing make-up forever!) (2)

The Celts

But they were not our only ancestors to use the gifts of the earth for beauty and skincare, the ancient Celts were very familiar with the plants and herbs that grew around them and how to use them for skin care. It is known that the Celts used burdock for healing the blood understanding that the blood affected the skin. Celtic shamans used to give concoctions of burdock root to teenagers to help with acne thus enhancing their beauty. (3)

In the same neck of the woods the inhabitants of the Scottish Highlands were known to use Elder Flowers to heal and promote beauty in the skin through washes and face balms mixed with lard. Elder flower is used today in many formulas for its anti-aging and anti-oxidant properties.

The Greeks

The Greeks also had a love of beauty. They used cosmetics and took the time to care for their skin. They were a culture that had an understanding of the aging process so among their favorites were olive oil for keeping the skin soft and supple while protecting from the damaging effects of the sun. They also had a love of honey and used this in face masks and facial treatments. Both of which are still used today. (4)

The Eastern Indians

The Indians of the East have also been using herbs and plants for thousands of years to promote balance, health, and well being through their Ayurvedic traditions. Commonly used herbs of the ancient Indians were sandalwood, neem, turmeric, tusli and saffron. They would incorporate these into creams and masks to nurture and balance the skin. (4)

How did they know?

Without science and labs our ancestors understood the properties of the herbs that grew around them. How did they know the things they knew? They were observant. They understood the energies of the plants. They understood the environments that the plants grew in and how this translated to the properties the plant offered in healing. They were quiet in their spirits and used their intuition. And they observed the results of the herbs they used when they followed their intuition to use them. Of course they also passed the knowledge on others and shared what they knew for the benefit of others.

Today we are still using much of what our ancestors used for healing and beauty while discovering through science just how spot on they were.

Want more wildness? Join us!

References
1–http://www.touregypt.net/egypt-info/magazine-mag05012001-mag4.htm
2-http://www.thebeautybiz.com/67/article/history/beauty-through-ages-egypt
3http://www.megabored.com/beauty/ancient-herbal-secrets-of-the-celts/
4-http://www.annmariegianni.com/ancient-beauty-rituals/