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August Greetings from Herban Paradise

elderberries
fresh-picked elderberries

 

For me, August in Western Massachusetts is all about Goldenrod, Elderberry & Echinacea!

Read about these important Winter medicines in the latest Newsletter, plus get the details on my upcoming in-store demo at River Valley Market as part of the ‘Eat Local America’ celebration.

 

River Valley Market will be offering 10% off on all Paradise City Herbal skin and baby care. Online shoppers can take advantage of our local celebration too:

Save 10% on all Skin and Baby care products through September 15, 2012.

 

My monthly newsletter is also available by email subscription. The email version has subscriber-only specials, first-looks at new products, and subscriber-only giveaways. Grab your copy here 🙂

 

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I Have the Best Job

herbal eye creme
freshly made herbal eye creme

 

My husband came by today just as I was finishing up a new batch of eye cremes.

He looked at the big tub of coconut oil, jars of herbal oils, aloe, rose hydrosol, and all the other ingredients piled on the counter, along with the neatly-lined-up little jars of fresh creme.

He watched as I rubbed some leftover shea butter onto my elbows and knees, then proclaimed, “You have the best job!”

He’s right – I do!

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Sweet Almond Oil, at last!

skin serum

Until now, I’ve avoided using sweet almond oil because it’s on the hit list for people with nut allergies (although someone with a nut allergy won’t necessarily be allergic to nut oil in a topical product- I just try to err on the side of caution).

But when developing my new Skin Serums, it was hard to find another oil as light-textured, as penetrating and well-absorbed as almond oil is. It feels and smells wonderful!

Sweet almond oil is a rich source of vitamins A and E, and has a long history of use in body care. It moisturizes and soothes skin, and is beneficial for all skin types. It’s also fabulous for your hair, nourishing hair and smoothing hair cuticles.

One of the things I love best about almond oil is that it’s as good used “straight” as it is blended with other oils. It brings its soft, satiny qualities to all my serums while remaining non-greasy feeling.

I’m really excited to have this “best-known beauty secret” added to my herbal pantry at last!

 


With one hesitation- While I am glad that I can source almond oil that comes from the U.S.,

the pollination of California’s almonds is the largest annual managed pollination event in the world, with close to one million hives (nearly half of all beehives in the USA) being trucked in February to the almond groves. Much of the pollination is managed by pollination brokers, who contract with migratory beekeepers from at least 49 states for the event. (Wikipedia)

This practice is one cause of colony collapse disorder. As much as I want to support our farmers, I cannot in good conscience use a product that is so harmful to bees.

I’ll continue this conversation in another post and welcome any comments you have….

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The Minimalist Garden Grows….

skin serum

My mother-in-law remarks, “So now that gardening season is winding down, you can get back to your crafts.” Uhhh…. Say what?

Actually, I’m herbal crafting all the time! It’s partly for my business– I want my skin and bodycare to always be as fresh as possible- and partly because, well, herbal crafting is what I’m into!

My focus this Summer was skin serums: deeply penetrating, deeply moisturizing, lightly textured facial oils that sink right in to leave skin soft and dewy, but never greasy.

A minimalist at heart, I’m content using straight hemp seed or rosehip seed oil. But my mom, who is a bit more refined, put in a special request for a special serum, and the experimenting began….

These balancing, nourishing serums will be rolling out over the next couple of weeks in three different blends, adding to the new varieties of cleansing grains and face masks now available in the online store.

I’ve got a few more surprises up my sleeve too, including news of a major expansion (garden and otherwise!) but those will have to keep for now 🙂

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Catch Me, I’m Swooning!

grandmother's rose

Never one to swoon over roses before, I’ve suddenly become a devotee. It could be my age, I will admit. Roses are said to have a special pull for (ahem) “mature” women, and I’m now 43.

But I lean towards the idea that it’s more to do with familiarity. Getting to know the antique Roses I brought into the garden a few years back has been such a joy!

 

Roses have been used throughout history not only for perfumes and cosmetics, but also for food and medicine. Though indispensable in my bodycare, somehow I haven’t gotten around to actually incorporating them into my diet, with the exception of vitamin C-filled Rose Hip tea.

So I’m on a mission to change that! And I’m hoping to start with this recipe for a traditional Kurdish dessert, Yellow Rose Petals with Almonds.

 

In the meantime, I’ll continue slathering my outside with skin-loving Roses! A key ingredient in my popular Eye Creme, I added Rose to a sugar scrub recipe I’d been playing with and was knocked off my feet! The aroma is heaven and the scrub is gentle enough to use on my face, as well as being great for hands, feet, elbows… Anywhere that needs a little polishing.

rose sugar

Introducing Rose Sugar: Hand-blended with pink Rose petals (cultivated without chemicals) and other flowers, plus unrefined brown Demerara sugar (made by evaporating the juice from the first pressing of sugar cane). Now available in my Poppy Swap store!

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