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Homemade Eczema Salve Recipe

Posted by on May 6, 2014 in Skin & Hair Care | 4 comments

Homemade Eczema Salve Recipe

A few months ago, I was talking to a friend about her 5 year old niece who suffers from painful eczema that covers her back. She’s had it most of her life and doesn’t complain about the pain anymore, but she flinches whenever someone hugs her or pats her on the back. I didn’t know much about what causes eczema or how to treat it, so I went looking for information to find a way to help. What I learned is that eczema is a chronic skin condition that results in dry, cracked skin which is often further irritated by bacteria that gets into the rash when scratched. It can be hereditary, or it can be caused by everything from diet to stress to allergies. Unfortunately, it’s not curable, but it is managable. The best way to manage eczema is to be kind and gentle to your skin by: wearing cotton or other soft fabrics. taking warm baths with colloidal oatmeal. patting, instead of rubbing, yourself dry after a bath. using gentle cleansers. moisturizing regularly. used a gentle laundry detergent. In previous articles, Kim and I have discussed how many commercial products use strong antibacterial chemicals and petrochemicals that strip your skin of its natural oils and coats it with chemicals that don’t allow your skin to breath and recover. The chemical fragrances often added to both personal products and cleaning products can also be very irritating to the skin. Anyone with skin problems should be reading labels and leaning toward more natural, gentle products. My research and a conversation with a local woman who makes personal products led me to two recommendations for this little girl. The first was to try Grandma’s Lye Soap or, from the same company, Secrets of Suzanne’s Oatmeal, Milk & Honey Soap. At the time I had been testing out Grandma’s Lye Soap to write a review and, from experience, I knew how gentle and moisturizing their all-natural soap is. My second recommendation was to use an eczema salve made with shea butter, coconut oil and tea tree oil. The shea butter and coconut oil act as moisturizers and they nourish the skin. The coconut oil and tea tree essential oil are also antibacterial and fight the infections that make eczema outbreaks more painful. Tea tree oil is also a very safe essential oil. It can be used directly on the skin, without dilutions and is safe for children. I made the eczema salve for the family and got a heartfelt thank you from the little girl because it helped so much. For everyone interested in the salve recipe, I’ve posted it below. I don’t know if the family switched soaps yet. They had used natural soaps in the past but stopped when the local soapmaker they bought from closed the business. Get More Help Managing Your Eczema If you want more information about eczema, visit the National Eczema Associations website. Also, as luck would have it, Grandma’s Lye Soap contacted us recently because they also want to help children with eczema by sharing their soap with those who may need it but might not...

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Fight Seasonal Allergies With Local Honey

Posted by on Oct 16, 2012 in Food & Recipes, Lifestyle | 0 comments

Fight Seasonal Allergies With Local Honey

If you suffer from seasonal allergies it’s time to pick up local honey at the farmer’s market. The theory behind using local honey to treat seasonal allergies is to regularly expose yourself to the pollen you’re allergic to, building up a tolerance or immunity. And guess what? The plants that put all that pollen into the air that causes you to suffer from seasonal allergies also tend to be favorites for the bees because of all the pollen they produce. Too few human studies have been completed to provide conclusive scientific evidence proving this theory but I have a feeling this is an instance where common knowledge has been lost in modern times. There are plenty of good reasons to eat regionally and this is one of them. How I Overcame My Seasonal Allergy Two years ago I started volunteering as a Bunny Buddy at the local humane society and while I was there my eyes would get red and itchy and I had trouble breathing. I went to the allergist for tests and when the nurse returned to read the results she said “You must HATE to be outside.” I told her that I generally spend lots of time outside without an issue and asked “Why?” The test results showed a severe allergy to timothy hay, which also happens to be what rabbits eat. For the seven years prior I had kept timothy hay in the house and handled it daily to feed my indoor rabbit without a problem. The allergy most likely arose at the humane society due to the volume of hay dust in the air. I occasionally took allergy medication before I went to perform my volunteer duties but most of the time I forgot. After a year, my symptoms went away. Exposure to larger concentrations of timothy hay dust had raised my tolerance to the allergen. Because of this experience, using local honey to treat seasonal allergies makes perfect sense to me. I can’t test the theory out on myself because I don’t have seasonal allergies (though I probably would if I stop caring for rabbits and don’t get year round expose to timothy hay), but through the years I have convinced a few friends to try it and they report it definitely helped them. Choosing Your Honey If you haven’t purchased local honey before you are in for a treat. Most apiaries will provide a variety of flavors from hives whose bees are feeding in different fields. Mixed flower, wild clover and buckwheat are some common varieties. If you are buying your honey straight from the beekeeper, let them know you are using it to treat seasonal allergies and they are usually able provide you with specifics about the habits of the bees to help you make the best choice. Make It A Habit Try to fit a little honey into your daily diet by putting it in tea,  using it instead of agave or syrup and substituting it for sugar when you can....

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Jewelweed Salve For Poison Ivy

Posted by on Sep 23, 2012 in Skin & Hair Care | 4 comments

Jewelweed Salve For Poison Ivy

For all of those suffering from a late-season bout of poison ivy, here’s a recipe for a jewelweed salve that is equally as effective as the homemade poison ivy relief spray I shared a few months ago. The salve uses grapeseed oil because it is light and has an astringent quality to help dry up the rash which is often oily. Also, unlike other oils, grapeseed oil does not have a strong scent so there is no need to add fragrance or essential oils which could irritate the rash. The most difficult part about making the salve is identifying jewelweed for the first time, if you’re not familiar with it. For tips on finding the plant, see this post. Jewelweed Poison Ivy Relief Salve 2015-01-07 20:13:45 Write a review Save Recipe Print Ingredients 1/2 cup grapeseed oil 1 ounce jewelweed (cleaned and chopped) .3 ounces beeswax 1/4 teaspoon vitamin E Instructions Clean the jewelweed like you would if you were going to eat it so you remove germs and bacteria that could cause your spray to spoil. Finely chop the stalk, leaves and flowers (if there are any). You won't have to use the whole plant. Most of the juice is in the lower part of the stalk so I take the section from the root to the first leaf node for the infusion. Tie the loose jewelweed in cheesecloth. Put the grapeseed oil and pouch of jewelweed into an oven safe dish. Heat for 3 hours at 200 degrees. Remove the dish from the oven and let it cool until you can handle the pouch of jewelweed. Then squeeze all of the oil out of the cheese cloth, while crushing the jewelweed to get all of the juice out too. Heat oil in double boiler, then add beeswax, stirring occasionally until melted. Remove from heat and stir in the vitamin E. Immediately pour mixture a container and let it sit uncovered for 24 hours to cool. Notes Recipe makes 4 ounces. Plan for 15 minutes of prep time and 3+ hours of cook time. A Green Routine http://agreenroutine.com/ Update 7/13 Today @NekoCase tweeted us at @AGreenRoutine and said she thought she over heated her jewelweed salve because there were browned bits that settled to the bottom of her salve. If this happens to you, don’t worry about it. It’s just small bits of jewelweed that made it through your strainer and were browned by the heat. This is common when your working with plants. If it bothers you, you can remove more of the plant matter by straining the infused oil through a doubled up cheesecloth a few times, before you heat it.   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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Homemade Comfrey Salve Recipe

Posted by on Jul 31, 2012 in Skin & Hair Care | 0 comments

Homemade Comfrey Salve Recipe

Comfrey is an anti-inflammatory herb that can be used make a topical salve for treating osteoarthritis and patellar tendonitis (runner’s knee). I chose to make comfrey salve because the commercially available salves are olive oil-based and my mom wanted something less greasy. I use grapeseed oil because it is light and absorbs into the skin quickly.

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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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