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For Your Body

Chamomile Body Butter

Posted by on Sep 4, 2012 in Skin & Hair Care | 2 comments

Chamomile Body Butter

Thanks to extreme that kept the air conditioner running day and night for weeks, my skin dried out quite a bit. So I graduated from the Coconut Orange Body Butter I posted a few months ago to a more nourishing Chamomile Body Butter. Chamomile is often used in beauty products to strengthen, repair and protect skin. It also has anti-allergy, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties so it’s great for anyone with allergies or skin irritation, from sunburns to eczema. This body butter mixes shea butter and cocoa butter with a lot of sweet almond oil, which was the most hydrating oil I had on hand. I went pretty heavy on the oil because cocoa butter is a very solid ingredient and I prefer the final product to have a smoother, softer consistency. The recipe I used is below. You can adjust it to include more or less oil depending on your preference and the season – in colder months you might want to use more than warmer months. You can also substitute any oils you’d like. The German chamomile essential oil I used is a little pricey, but worth it for me since I was looking for the therapeutic properties. Chamomile Body Butter 2015-01-01 19:14:39 Use chamomile to strengthen, repair and protect skin. Write a review Save Recipe Print Prep Time 45 min Prep Time 45 min Ingredients 1/8 cup cocoa butter 1/4 cup shea butter 1/4 cup sweet almond oil 1/2 teaspoon jojoba oil 1/2 teaspoon honey 5-6 drops German chamomile essential oil Instructions Melt the cocoa butter, shea butter, and sweet almond oil in a double boiler. Remove from heat and mix with an electric hand mixer, using the whisk attachment, for about 5 minutes. At this point, the mixture should be warm or cool. Add the jojoba oil, honey and essential oils and mix for another minute. Put the bowl in the freezer for 5 minutes. Take the bowl out of the freezer and mix again with the hand mixer. After about 5 minutes the mixture should look thick. Repeat steps 4 & 5 until you've achieved a consistency you like. For my batch, it took two 5-minute sessions in the freezer. Remember, the butter will harden as it cools. Put the body butter into a sterile glass or plastic container and cover with a lid. Store in a cool, dark place. Notes Yields 6 ounces. A Green Routine http://agreenroutine.com/ Nicole’s 2¢ If German chamomile is out of your price range lavender essential oil is a good substitute. Lavender is  anti-septic, anti-viral, anti-bacterial which are all good things during the winter months when everyone around you is sick. It also promotes the rapid healing of broken skin. Update 01/13/13 I made this recipe 4 times in the past 2 weeks, and each time I used a different mix of essential oils. I wanted to share the recipe for a mix that  I call Spicy Orange because it turned out the best. Instead of chamomile essential add 3 drops...

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Jewelweed: A Natural Home Remedy For Treating Poison Ivy

Posted by on Jul 5, 2012 in For Your Home, Skin & Hair Care | 15 comments

Jewelweed: A Natural Home Remedy For Treating Poison Ivy

When Kim and I were young we often played in the woods and that led to regular, minor poison ivy rashes and the occasional head to toe rash. We are experienced poison ivy suffers and we’ve tried a number of poison ivy remedies to help relieve the itch but I hadn’t heard of using jewelweed to treat poison ivy until I was visiting my brother a month ago. At his local farmer’s market I saw someone selling a jewelweed spray as poison ivy treatment. I didn’t buy it because I already had poison ivy once this summer and naively thought I would be more careful and wouldn’t get it again this year. Of course, 10 days later I had it all over my forearm. Luckily, out of curiosity, I had been researching jewelweed and I had a few ideas about how to make my own natural poison ivy remedy by turning the plant into an effective itch reliever. Identifying The Jewelweed Plant Making jewelweed salve is easy, the hardest part is identifying jewelweed for the first time. Jewelweed grows in wet, shaded soil in the northeastern, southwestern and midwestern United States. It grows up to 4 feet tall and has a hollow stalk which is mostly green, with some red near the lower leaf nodes and at the base, right above the shallow root system. It a member of the Impatiens genus and like the impatiens that are commonly used for landscaping they have a hollow stalk. The flowers, which are yellow or orange, are the best identifying features for the plant. Click the thumbnails below for to view larger images of the jewelweed plant.   Jewelweed is invasive, and in colder parts of the country it’s annual, and so you shouldn’t have any qualms about pulling the plant out of the ground when you find it. Since the plant starts to wilt soon after you pick it, immediately refrigerate or freeze the plants you don’t use for treatment. If you’re unable to locate a convenient source of jewelweed, you can buy seeds to plant. When choosing a planting location, avoid riverbeds and hillsides because the shallow root system will accelerate erosion in those areas. Homemade Jewelweed Poison Ivy Remedies You can make a poison ivy remedy from jewelweed by: crushing a stalk and rubbing the juice on the poison ivy rash. This offers immediate but short-term relief. chopping the stalks and leaves, boiling them water for 5-10 minutes, straining the liquid and freezing it in ice cube trays. I didn’t try this because this treatment would not travel well. making a soap. I didn’t try this either because I don’t have soap making supplies. infusing the stalk and leaves in witch hazel. This is my favorite solution because you don’t have to touch the rash to apply it. Also, witch hazel is an astringent so it helps dry the oils that often accompany a poison ivy rash. making a salve. This works as well as the spray. Use...

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A Tropical Treat: Coconut Orange Body Butter

Posted by on Jul 2, 2012 in Skin & Hair Care | 2 comments

A Tropical Treat: Coconut Orange Body Butter

After playing around with different body butter recipes for about six months I stumbled across one that inspired me to forgo the shea and cocoa butter I had been using as a base and try coconut oil. The result is a light, sweetly scented lotion that’s perfect for summer. I made this recipe a few times, first with vitamin E as the preservative and then with borax. (Correction: A comment below pointed out that vitamin E is actually an antioxidant, not a preservative. Borax is a preservative.) With vitamin E, the lotion seemed to sweat as little droplets of water appeared in it. The problem was remedied by using borax but next time I’m planning to test the recipe with honey. Most of the ingredients in this recipe are pretty easy to find. Coconut Oil, almond oil and borax are available in many grocery stores or natural food stores, sweet orange essential oil is available at some natural food stores, and beeswax can often be purchased from local honey suppliers. When buying beeswax for personal products, be sure it is pharmaceutical or cosmetic grade. The beeswax sold at craft stores for candle-making does not usually meet this criteria, which is noted on the label. A double boiler is recommended for melting the oils and wax. If you don’ t have one, you can easily make one by following these directions. Coconut Orange Body Butter 2015-01-16 20:13:56 This simple coconut orange body butter is a tropical treat for your skin. Write a review Save Recipe Print Ingredients 1/2 cup coconut oil 1/8 cup sweet almond oil 1/8 cup beeswax 1/4 cup distilled water 1/2 teaspoon borax 10 drops sweet orange essential oil Instructions Melt coconut oil, sweet almond oil and beeswax in a double boiler. Stirring constantly. When the oils and wax are melted, remove them from the heat. Heat the distilled water until it's warm but not boiling using either the stove or a microwave. Add the borax or preservative of your choice to the warm water. Pour the water mixture into the oil/wax mixture slowly while mixing with an electric hand mixer, using the whisk attachment. You’ll see the mixture beginning to thicken. Mix for about 5 minutes until it’s thick and rich. Toward the end of the 5 minutes, the mixture should be pretty cool. At this point, add the sweet orange oil and mix well. Notes Makes 5 ounces and takes about 30 minutes to make. A Green Routine http://agreenroutine.com/ Like this post? Subscribe to our email list, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Pinterest for more green living...

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