How are you doing? Over here (in Holland) everything is going great. A lot of nice warm days.
I am still usisng herbal preparations learned at your Intensive 2011!
I wanted to make my own sunscreen and after sun lotion. I searched the internet for recipes, a lot of possibilities, but a lot of ingredients. I remembered you didn’t use that much. I can only remember you used aloe vera and lavender or mint oil?
Do you have a recipe?
My Mom is also wanting to make some more of that great salve you sent us. I have looked at my notes, but need some clarification on oils used, how long, what temperature? Can you help?
I am so thrilled to see others across Canada and Europe, who have taken my Herbal Intensives using the knowledge and making their own herbal preparations AND teaching others! It is very empowering to have this knowledge and to be able to not only avoid toxic skin products, but to help your family as the primary care-giver for most health challenges!
Sorry, but as you may remember I don’t use recipes much. As you found, they are often too picky, require too many ingredients, and have so many different options it is enough to boggle the mind, get hung up in analysis paralysis and not make anything!
In my courses, I have people make many different preparations using general guidelines, so they understand the basics and the process. Then they can experiment and be empowered to use what is available to them. This is what I call wild-crafting, based on what you have available, and knowing that nature changes from year to year. The results can be exceptionally healing, as both you, your Mom and hundreds of others have seen & experienced.
For professional herbal consulting, in which I want the same recipe, same measurements, dosages and strengths, every time, I use Nature’s Sunshine. They have several million dollar labs and equipment to test for active chemicals, potency, purity and to adjust for nature’s differences. Their quality is exceptional, which is why I have used it as the mainstay of myworldwide professional consulting.
I still feel it is good to know how to make you own preparations for your own use, so here are some reminders. Having had the 3-4 days experience, this should bring it all back to you.
You are right, I mixed St. John’s Wort oil with Aloe Vera Gel, either by blending the fresh plant, or purchasing a good quality Aloe Vera Gel. And yes, Lavender essential oil is good to add – mint might be too strong for the skin. Other essential oils that are good for the skin are: Patchouli and Geranium, and Rose Bulgaria. I have used the Nature’s Sunshine essential oils and often 1-3 drops is enough – a little drop of a quality, therapeutic oil can be amazing. This oil is also beneficial if you happen to overdo the sun, which you should try to avoid, but it can happen.
The St. John’s Wort oil is made by infusing the flowers & top few leaves in an oil, by placing them in a glass jar in sunny window 2 – 6 wks. until it turns quite red. Make sure the plant material is covered in oil so there is no spoilage. As far as carrier oil used to extract the herbal principles, you can use olive oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil, sunflower seed, almond, apricot are all OK. Then strain. This oil can also be used in the Salve preparation.
You can also infuse some flowers this way, such as wild rose petals, calendula or bergamot. These are not the same therapeutic value as essential oils which require expensive equipement to get the essence of the flowers and herbs, but they can add some aroma and healing properties.
Note on Sun exposure
Of course, use common sense in sun exposure – we try to avoid too much between 11am – 3pm and cover up when in the sun for extended periods. Your sun exposure should relate to the latitude and consequent strength of the sun; time of year; and your skin pigmentation.
The first two S’s of the Slip, Slap and Slop campaign, which I believe originated in Australia are good: Slip on some protective clothing, Slap on a Hat. These 1st two are the most important. The 3rd – slop on sunscreen is not good! Unless it is a natural sunscreen. To slop on a bunch of toxic chemicals, then add heat to this, is creating a toxic stew on your skin – the largest organ of your body. It is very absurd. In Australia studies found that as sunscreen sales increased, so did melanoma rates!
Common sense will always win out about chemical non-sense.
Specific for your questions:
How much oil? Use enough oil to make sure all herbs are immersed or covered – this will depend of type size of pot.
Oven for 8-12 hours 100-150degrees? – the lowest temperature the better, under 120 degrees is best; a low heat crock pot can also be used. This is the quick oil method. You can also use the slower sun-infused method as with St. John’s Wort oil above if you plan several weeks in advance.
Herbs to use:
We use any or all of these herbs from our garden and yard, many of which you can probably find growing around your area. I have given latin names which are always best to use for correct identification:
Mullein - Verbascum thapsus
Plantain (ribwort) – Plantago lanceolata or Plantago ovatum
Comfrey leaves or root – Symphytum species
chickweed (has to be dried a bit more, as it is pretty juicy) Stellaria media
Calendula (petals only – dried 24hrs.) Calendula officionalis
St. John’s Wort – Hyericum perfolatum
Yarrow flowers or leaves – Achilles millefolium
Burdock leaves – Arcticum lappa
Remember they can be dried for 1 day before putting them in oil, to avoid water being in oil. The drier herbs (plaintain) may not need this step. If you do have water in the oil after straining, try to boil it off, or otherwise eliminate it, or your oil or salve will not last as long.
Then do you remember the proportions of beeswax to solidify the oil into a salve?
Approximately 28 grams beeswax to 300 – 450 ml. oil or for the Americans, 1 ounce to 11 – 16 ounces. The more beeswax the stiffer the salve.
Let me know how it goes!
And for others reading this, please contact us if YOU would like to experience making your own herbal preparations OR to order any of the NSP products at a direct discount price!