Oily update

Today I strained my herbal oils that I started back at Sumner Solstice, it was messy

I got oil all over my hands, the table, the chair the kitchen sink, my hair even the floor. It was a glorious mess!

The oils are fabulous looking and smelling – sweet green earthy no moldy rotten smell to them. 0726171318d

from left to right we have Arnica, Plantain, Calendula and Yarrow – this is why labels are important – at least in the making of herbal oils and future salves.

0726171317a Also important is remember to check to see if you have all the ingredients you need in large enough proportions to finish your project. Now begins my search for beeswax.

Happy almost Lammas/Lughnasadh!

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Summer Solstice

Summer solstice is here and I’ll be honest it’s as hot as Hades outside right now. Moving to the desert we have experienced our first 120+ heat, it’s an experience.  Good or bad, not sure yet.  I’m trying to leave out judgment for now.

So what do you do for the Solstice0621171132a when it’s too hot to go outside?

Why you start some magical healing oil for salve making later on in the summer!

Then you take a nap. 😉 or go swimming in your pool, or take a nap or read a book or take a nap… I’m digging this siesta thing.

I made four oils today starting with Safflower Oil. It can be hard to find good Safflower Oil but it is worth the search. Safflower oil is great for the skin.  It soaks in nicely and does not leave a heavy greasy feeling to the skin.  The better the quality of the oil you use, the better your final product will be.

I then picked my herbs.  For this method, I prefer to use already dried plants. As much as I would love to grow my own I cheat and buy already dried from a trusted source.

I used four pint-sized canning jars and roughly an ounce of dried flowers and leaves of each plant. You fill the jar loosely (please don’t stuff the jar – you need space) with your dried herb then slowly poor the safflower oil over the top until the jar is full.  Seal the jar with a tight lid and then place in a sunny window for about a month. Label your jars so you know the date and herb in the jar. It’s almost impossible to go back and smell what’s in the jar or even try and remember. so label, label label.

I picked four herbal oils to make this year at Summer Solstice

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Calendula Flowers (Calendula officinalis): uses as a gentle healing herb for skin wounds, rashes, and irritations – calming and soothing to the skin. This oil can be used on small open wounds. Please don’t use if you have an allergy to any of the other members of the Asteraceae family (such as feverfew, chamomile, or Echinacea species)

Yarrow leaves & flowers (Achillea millefolium): Yarrow is a traditional healing herb for wounds.  The Greek hero Achilles used yarrow to wash the wounds of his soldiers.  One of the best I know to apply to an open wound or sore. Yarrow is also a member of the Asteraceae family and shouldn’t be used by pregnant women.

Plantain leaf (Plantago lanceolata): Plantain leaf is an invasive species plant to North America that has naturalized meaning it’s considered a common weed. The leaves are wonderful for healing insect stings and bites, treating itching and hives. Yet like all plants someone you know might be allergic so use with caution when sharing this oil with a friend for the first time or using yourself.

Arnica flowers (Arnica montana): I’ve just discovered Arnica for sore muscles and bruising, I love this plant. It cannot or should not be taken internally nor should it be used on an open wound. It too is a member of the Asteraceae family so people with known allergies to this plant should avoid using Arnica

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So here they all are sitting on the window sill to wait and steep for a month. I’ll try to remember to shake them daily. Check back in a while and I’ll share with you the next step in salve making.

Summer Solstice blessing my friends – May the sun shine bright upon you, illuminating what is hidden and harmful, letting you heal and grow.

SummerSolsticeSoiree