Anahata Healing Arts

Holistic Nutrition for Mind, Body, Spirit

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It’s hard to believe,  but I taught my last workshop from my six month series, New Year’s Re-Solutions, this past week, and we are on our way into the height of summer. The final workshop offered in my six month series was on creating homemade salves for all manner of skin ailments, including sunburns, rashes, ecxema, and more.

The workshop was a wonderful gathering of women, from elders to young girls, circled together in song, story, and the ancient tradition of harvesting and medicine making together. We gathered baskets of brilliant petals in shades of bright orange, yellow, purple, and blue. Throughout the harvesting time fires of conversation lit and flamed and faded and lit again. The delicious smell of melting beeswax combined with the flower petals and oils to create a warm and inviting smell throughout the house as we wandered in and out, creating the salve together.

It was a lovely ‘end’ to the series of classes and for any of you who missed classes you were interested in, please let me know as I will be repeating some of the workshops and offering new ones as well this coming autumn.

In this blog post I am going to include for you the material provided for folks at the salve workshop so you can make your own salve at home, too. Don’t miss the info at the bottom of the post on the importance of what we put on our skin and some facts about absorption from Joanie Blaxter of Ojai’s blog ‘Follow Your Gut’.

If you don’t have time to make your own salve, check out my little ‘shop’ and order some salve for summer sunburns and chapped lips.

May the love of the green world keep you verdant and vibrant with color and light. May all beings everywhere be happy and free. ~Liz

baba yaga's apothecary

  (Image from Ernest Small’s ‘Baba Yaga’)

 

Calendula Lavender Borage Salve

  • 2 Cups Mixed Flower Petals (not the entire flower “heads”)
  • 1 Cup Hemp or Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Beeswax Pastilles/Pellets/grated beeswax
  • 10 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
  1. Pour flower petals into a stainless steel pot, and add oil. Turn on low heat, and stir to combine. Watch for tiny bubbles in the oil to gauge the temperature- it should not get any warmer than the “tiny bubbles stage!” Continue stirring occasionally over the next 2 hours, keeping the oil gently warm.
  2. Meanwhile, begin gently melting the beeswax in the top of a double boiler (don’t let this get too hot; you’ll want it to be a similar temperature as the oil, when you combine the two).
  3. After 2 hours, strain the petals from the oil. (You can use a fine-meshed strainer, tea filters, or cheesecloth.) Squeeze/press out as much of the oil as you can into a bowl. Then slowly pour the oil into the melted beeswax in the double boiler, stirring to combine. Then stir in the drops of lavender essential oil. (The oil acts as a “preservative,” as well as being a healing and calming ingredient through aromatherapy.)
  4. Pour the warm oil into small jars/containers, and allow to cool. Store in a cool place.

Calendula

 7 main properties

1)    Applied locally to wounds as antiseptic, bacteriostatic, hemostatic

2)    Used internally for swollen lymphatic glands and ducts

3)    Lowers high enzyme counts from damaged liver

4)    Soothes digestive mucosa

5)    Warms the stomach

6)    Emmenagogue (stimulates blood flow in the pelvis and promotes menstruation)

7)    Traditional European peasant tonic to prevent sickness in winter- immune tonic

(From Mathew Wood’s book ‘Earthwise Herbal’ Vol 1)

*Calendula is an analog to Astragalus from the Ayurvedic herbal pantheon as an adaptogen and immune tonic.

 

Lavender

*Mint family, cooling nervine, antibacterial

“Rudolf Steiner says that lavender is for ‘negative states of the soul’. As he explains it, the astral body grasps the physical body too tightly. Thi s results in spasms, tension, paralysis, and nerve wasting. Steiner’s astral body is essentially identical to the autonomic nervous system, which relays impressions felt by the unconscious. Thus he is describing conditions where unconscious experiences are causing the autonomic to clamp down too intensely.”

(From Mathew Wood’s book ‘Earthwise Herbal’ Vol 1)

Borage

 

“I borage give courage.”

Always abuzz with bees about the blue and purple petals.

Cooling herb. Important remedy for nervous exhaustion.

“Start on vervain then go to borage to tone the nervous system from the hypothalamous on down.”

“Used externally on wounds, running sores, and ulcers…”

(From Mathew Wood’s book ‘Earthwise Herbal’ Vol 1)

DIY
“You don’t eat it?  Then don’t put it on your skin!”
Anything spread on our skin or inhaled through the lungs can enter the bloodstream to be carried to any part of the body, including the brain.

FACT: Anywhere from 64% up to 100% (if spread on the thin skin of armpits and genitalia) of chemicals are absorbed (source: University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health;Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 2005).

Worse, absorption through the skin can potentially be far more damaging than what we put in our mouths! 

This is because enzymes in saliva and stomach acid help break down and flush the chemicals out the excretory system which otherwise go straight into the blood to the vital organs with no breakdown or filtering whatsoever!

All commercially made body care products contain toxins, allergens and antimicrobials which can kill gut flora as well as cause inflammatory responses anywhere, including the brain.

 

(The above DIY info is from Joanie Blaxter May 2014 Blog “Follow your Gut”)

 joanieblaxter@gmail.com