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Eco-Conscious? I’m Eco-Neurotic!

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Eco-Conscious? I’m Eco-Neurotic! I worry about each and every ingredient used in my skin and body care just like I worry about each and every ingredient that goes in my food.

(And to keep going with the food analogy…. ) I worry about these ingredients from soup to nuts: where they came from, how they were grown and harvested, how they were stored, etc.

So I spend alot of time researching. Unfortunately, it’s a moving target.

I stopped using rosewood essential oil and substituted ho wood essential oil when I learned of rosewood’s endangered status. But like so many trees and plants today, ho wood is suffering from over exploitation and habitat destruction, and is now also considered threatened.

Ditto for amyris essential oil, which I use to substitute for sandalwood.

(check out “Unethical Use of Rare and Threatened Plant and Animal Products in the Aroma Industry” by Tony Burfiel)

The plight of animals in the beauty industry is well known. Legislators consistently let us down when it comes to animal cruelty. The much-lauded “Safe Cosmetics Act of 2011” does little to live up to its name and will likely result in even more animal testing.

These things could, and do, drive me crazy. Sometimes I feel like I’ve hit the wall, but I can’t give up.

An overwhelming majority of people say they would choose natural, cruelty-free products if they were more available. I’m dedicated to helping create this reality 🙂

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Love essential oils? Or Avoid them?

essential oils

Talking with a friend who’s just beginning to use essential oils has me reflecting on my own journey with these remarkable (and occasionally controversial) oils. It was an interest in aromatherapy that put me on the path to herbalism, so I’m curious about how others view and use these plant treasures.

Do you love essential oils? Do you use them individually, or make your own blends? How do you use them?

Or do you choose not to use them? Some people consider them “unnatural” because they are distilled. I remember being a bit surprised when my friend Melissa of Naturally Good Soaps posted in the Herbal Pantry that her herbal teacher called essential oils “drugs” and flatly stated they should never be used.

It was sage Becki of La Yerberia who reminded us that the origin of the word drug likely derives from the 14th century word “droge”, loosely meaning dry plant.

As I’ve worked with essential oils over the years, I’ve come to feel that less is more (my bodycare products are made with the lowest-possible concentrations). I don’t actually consider them “essential”, but would be so sad to have to live without them! They bring a depth of aroma that fragrance oils could never capture, not to mention psychological and physical therapeutic benefits.

What do you think? Please comment here, on my Facebook page, or Tweet me. Thanks!

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Do you Drink or Wear your tea?

Holy Basil (aka Tulsi)

I’ve been growing Holy Basil in the garden for three years and only fall deeper in love with each passing season! When you meet this plant, you understand instantly why it is so revered; its fragrance is truly heavenly! Being so useful medicinally while being so pleasant to consume really does seem a kind of miracle…..

Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum) is also commonly called Tulsi (which is Sanskrit for “the incomparable one”) and is worshipped by Hindus throughout India. In Ayurveda, it’s used as herbal tea, dried powder, fresh leaf, or mixed with ghee for the common cold, headaches, stomach disorders, inflammation, heart disease, poisoning, and malaria.

Essential oil can be extracted from Holy Basil and is used in skin care and herbal cosmetics for its anti-biotic, disinfectant, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

 

D.I.Y.

If your skin is acne-prone like mine, you’ll love what Holy Basil can do for you! Make a tea with dried Holy Basil and use it like a toner. It helps clear up acne and blemishes, while making your complexion appear brighter.

You can also use the tea as a hair rinse to add luster to dry hair and soothe an itchy scalp, as well as for a breath-freshening mouth rinse.

I like to add Holy Basil to bathtub tea too. Talk about a reviving, skin-soothing soak!

 

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