Saturday, November 11, 2017

Organic Olive Oil Hand Salve

My batches of Olive Oil Hand Salve for gift giving
I CREATED THIS POST IN 2012 AND DECIDED TO REPOST IT. If you are thinking about handcrafting your holiday gifts, this recipe is a great idea.  Enjoy!!! -Shannon

Every year I craft a handmade beauty product for my family and friends.  Last year I made Calendula Healing Salve and my friends and family truly loved it.  This year I made a bigger jar of my Organic Olive Oil Hand Salve.  I also bought some professional water & smear proof durable vinyl labels from Moo.com to apply to my four-ounce amber jars.  I ended up making a total of 20 four-ounce jars, but I think I might need more!! I am sharing the recipe with you, and due to popular demand, I have created the recipe using common U.S measurements instead of metric.  My recipe makes enough salve to fill 3 four-ounce amber jars. If you need more, you simply multiple the recipe.



The base of this salve uses three Organic oils.  I chose organic extra virgin olive oil, organic sweet almond oil and organic sunflower oil.  The best price I have found on the olive oil is at Costco. I got the sweet almond oil from Mountain Rose Herbs and the sunflower oil from Whole Foods. 

I thickened the salve with beeswax pastilles from Mountain Rose Herbs. You can order it HERE.

To help keep the oils fresh and avoid them turning rancid, I enlisted the herbal power of Rosemary Leaf Extract and Vitamin E Oil

I chose to lightly scent the salve with lavender, eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils. 

Organic Olive Oil Hand Salve
(makes enough to fill three 4-ounce jars)

4 ounces Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 ounces Organic Sweet Almond Oil
2 ounce Organic Sunflower Seed Oil
3 ounces Beeswax Pastilles
80 drops Lavender Essential Oil
30 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
20 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
40 drops Rosemary Leaf Extract (antioxidant)
40 drops Vitamin E Oil (7500IU)

Combine the olive, almond and sunflower oils along with the beeswax in a large glass measuring cup that has been placed in a simmering water bath.  Heat until the wax and oils melt. Remove from heat and stir in the remainder of the ingredients. Carefully pour into the heat-safe glass jars. Cap and cool completely.

Photo of the oils and wax in the simmering water bath.

Carefully pour the hot mixture into the glass pots. I use an oven mitt when pouring the hot salve.

Notice the cracked middle? This is totally fine and happened to about 1/3 of my pots after they cool.  It does not affect the product at all. I am not for sure why this happens, but if it happens to you, don't worry about it at all!!!

I designed these vinyl product labels which fit perfectly on the four-ounce jars. I bought them from Moo.com. I really like that these labels will not smudge and are water proof.

I found some pretty green fabric and did a quick-sew little reusable gift bag and attached my personalized tag with draw string.


All snug in the gift bags and ready to be passed out to my family and friends for the holidays.


There is nothing that I enjoy more than sharing my herbal knowledge and handcrafted gifts with my family and friends!! I am truly blessed to have so many wonderful gifts from Mother Nature!! Green Blessings & Happy Holidays!!!

-Shannon

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Customizable DIY Hair Mask

I have the PERFECT recipe for a conditioning hair mask that you can customize to suit your specific hair type and concern. This recipe makes 5 1/2 ounces and is enough for 3 to 4 applications.

Depending on your hair type and concern, you can choose a specific carrier oil to use in the recipe.  I like to get my carrier oils from Mountain Rose Herbs. They really do have the largest organic carrier oil selection I know of.  You can visit them HERE.


Do you have normal hair? You should choose from the following list of oils: Apricot, Argan, Baobab, Borage Seed, Grapeseed, Jojoba, Kukui Nut, Sweet Almond.



Do you have oily hair and scalp? You should choose from the following list of oils: Apricot, Argan, Hazelnut, Jojoba, Neem, Sesame, Shea Nut, Sunflower.



Do you have Dry hair and scalp? You should choose from the following list of oils:  Almond, Argan, Avocado, Baobab, Castor, Coconut, Evening Primrose, Macadamia Nut, Meadowfoam Seed, Neem, Olive, Rosehip Seed, Soybean, Tamanu, Wheat Germ Oil.



Do you have Processed & Damaged hair? You should choose from the following list of oils: Argan, Avocado, Baobab, Borage, Camelina, Castor, Evening Primrose, Hemp Seed, Macadamia Nut, Olive, Pomegranate, Rosehip, Sesame, Soybean & Vitamin E.


Do you have Coarse & Ethnic hair? You should choose from the following list of oils: Argan, Avocado, Castor, Coconut, Hemp Seed, Macadamia Nut, Olive, Ghee, Pomegranate Seed, Rosehip, Shea Butter, Vitamin E.

Customizable DIY Hair Mask
makes 5 1/2 ounces (**store in the fridge for best results and use within 4 weeks)

2 tablespoons of your choice of carrier oil (*you can choose a mixture of as many as you like as long as they total two tablespoons)

2 teaspoons emulsifying wax NF (Find it HERE)

1/2 teaspoon stearic acid (Find it HERE)

1/2 teaspoon liquid lecithin (Find it HERE)

1/2 cup Aloe Vera Gel (Find it HERE)

30 drops of essential oil (I suggest lavender for normal hair, grapefruit for oily hair, helichrysum for dry hair, carrot seed for processed and damaged hair and tea tree for coarse hair)

Step 1: In a heat-safe glass measuring cup, combine the carrier oil(s), emulsifying wax, stearic acid and liquid lecithin.  Place the measuring cup in a pot containing a few inches of simmering water.

Step 2: In another heat-safe glass measuring cup, add in the aloe vera gel.  Place this measuring cup in another pot containing a few inches of simmering water.

Step 3: Heat both mixtures to a temperature of 160 degrees F (71 degrees C) until the oil and wax have melted together. Carefully remove both measuring cups from the simmering water.

Step 4: Pour the oil/wax mixture into a mixing bowl and begin mixing with a hand-held mixer set to the low speed.  Blend the aloe vera gel into the oil/wax on low for one minute.  Bring the speed up to high and continue mixing for 5 minutes or until the temperature is below 100 degrees F (38 C).

Step 5: Add in the essential oil and mix again on high for a further 5 minutes.  Transfer the mixture to a sanitized container. Store in the refrigerator and use within 4 weeks.

TO USE: After shampooing your hair, apply generously from the roots to the ends and leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse well with warm water.

This information is for educational purposes only, it is not intended to treat, cure, prevent or, diagnose any disease or condition. Nor is it intended to prescribe in any way. This information is for educational purposes only and may not be complete, nor may its data be accurate. As with all herbs,  Do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner. Keep away from children.  I am an affiliate with Mountain Rose Herbs,please review my disclosure page for details..  This information is for educational purposes only.  This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any condition or disease. Green Blessings!!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Essential Oil Shelf Life & Storage Tips

It is impossible to say exactly what an essential oil shelf life will be. The storage conditions will vary and make a significant difference. If the essential oil has been received directly from the distiller shortly after distillation and the glass bottle is kept dark, full, closed, and cool, we can make some generalizations. Please note these are simply Fresh-Picked Beauty’s opinions based on experience and an understanding of the chemistry of each oil. I store all of my oils in a designated refrigerator and I always purchase the citrus oils in small amounts in order to use them quickly.  

Normally you won't know when the oil was distilled unless you call the essential oil company and ask them for that particular information.  Always work with reputable sellers that are able to provide batch specific information such as the date of distillation. 


Note that if an essential oil begins to appear cloudy, thicker, or if it smells more acidic, it has likely begun to oxidize.

I like to purchase essential oil from Mountain Rose Herbs.  They offer Certified Organic oils and they sell enough essential oils on a regular basis to ensure you are getting recently distilled oil which are genuine and fresh! You can visit Mountain Rose Herbs HERE

Approximately 6 months to 1 year from distillation:
Grapefruit - Citrus paradisi
Lemon - Citrus limon
Lime- Citrus aurantifolia
Mandarin - Citurs reticulata
Mastic - Pistacia lentiscus
Nutmeg - Myristica fragrans
Orange - Citrus sinensis
Palo Santo - Bursera graveolens


Approximately 2-3 years from distillation:
Balsam Fir - Abies balsamea
Common Spruce - Picea Communis
Conifer Blend - Abies alba, Pinus nigra, Pinus wallichiana
Cypress - Cupressus sempervirens
Douglas Pine - Pseudotsuga menzies
Engleman Spruce - Picea engelmanii
Eucalyptus citriodora - Eucalyptus citriodora
Eucalyptus globulus - Eucalyptus globulus
Eucalyptus radiata - Eucalyptus radiata
Frankincense - Boswellia carterii
Galbanum - Ferula galbanum
Helichrysum - Helichrysum gymnocephalum
Helichrysum - Helichrysum Odoritissimum
Honey Myrtle - Melaleuca teretifolia
Juniper berry - Juniperus communis
Juniper (Utah) - Juniperus osteoperma
Larch - Pinus resinosa
Laurel - Laurus nobilis
Lemongrass (West Indian) - Cymbopogon citratus
May Chang - Litsea cubeba
Melissa - Melissa officinalis
Myrtle - Myrtus communis
Niaouli 1,8 cineole - Melaleuca Quinquenervia
Norway Pine - Pinus resinosa
Oregano - Origanum vulgare
Pinion Pine - Pinus redulis
Plai - Zingiber Cassumunar
Ponderosa Pine - Pinus ponderosa
Rhododendron - Rhododredron Anthopogon
Rock Rose- Cistus ladaniferus
Saro - Cinnamosma fragrans
Scotch Pine - Pinus sylvestris
Silver Fir - Abies alba
Thyme ct thymol - Thymus vulgarus ct thymol
White Fir - Abies concolor
White Pine - Pinus strobus


Approximately 3-4 years from distillation:
Black Pepper - Piper nigrum
Black Spruce - Picea mariana
Bergamot - Citrus bergamia
Citronella Java - Cymbopogon winterianus
Clove-Eugenia caryophyllata
Coriander - Coriandrum sativum
Elemi - Canarium luzonicum
Fragonia - Agonis fragrans
Eucalyptus - Eucalyptus dives
Fingerroot - Boesenbergia pandurata
Gingergrass - Cymbopogon martinii var sofia
Helichrysum - Helichrysum bracteiferum
Hemlock - Tsuga caneaensis
Lemongrass Rhodinol - Cymbopogon citratus ct rhodinol
Neroli - Citrus aurantium var amara
Opopanax - Commiphora guidotti
Ravintsara - Cinnamomun camphora
Rosalina - Melaleuca ericifolia
Rosemary - Rosmarinus officinalis ct camphor/verbenone
Siberian Fir- Abies siberica
Sitka Spruce - Picea sitchensis
Suganda Kokila  - Cinnamomum glaucescens
Sweet Marjoram - Origanum marjorana
Tamala ct linalol - Cinnamomum tamala
Tea Tree - Melaleuca alternifolia
Turmeric - Curcuma longa
Vanilla - Vanilla planifolia
White Spruce - Picea glauca
Yarrow - Achillea millefolium


Approximately 4-5 years from distillation:
Bergamot Mint - Mentha citrata
Cardamom CO2 - Elettaria cardamomum
Basil - Osimum basilicum ct linalool
Clary Sage - Salvia sclarea
Geranium - Pelargonium x asperum
German Chamomile - Matricaria recutita
Ghandi Root - Homalomena aromatica
Ginger - Zingiber officinale
Helichrysum - Helichrysum italicum
Ho wood - Cinnamomun  camphora ct linalol
Jasmine Absolute - Jasminum grandiflorum
Lavender - Lavandula angustifolia
Linalol berry - Bursera delpechiana
Neroli/Petitgrain Co-distill - Citrus aurantium var amara
Palmarosa - Cymbopogon martini
Peppermint - Mentha x piperita
Petitgrain - Citrus aurantium
Roman Chamomile - Chamaemelum nobile
Rose/Geranium co-distill - Rosa damascena/Pelargouium
Rose Otto/Absolute - Rosa damacena
Rosewood - Aniba rosaeodora
Spike Lavender - Lavandula latifolia
Thyme (Benchmark) - Thymus zygis loefl l.
Thyme ct linalol - Thymus vulgarus ct linalol
Wild Mint - Wild Mint
Xanthoxylum - Zanthoxylum armatum
Ylang Ylang - Cananga odorata


Approximately 6-8 years or longer: 
Balsam Capaiba - Copaifera officinalis
Balsam Poplar - Populus balsamifera
Blue Cypress - Callitris intratropica
Carrot seed Daucus carota
Cedarwood - Cedrus atlantica
Cedarwood - Juniperus virginiana
Myrrh - Commiphora myrrha
Patchouli - Pogostemom cablin
Sandalwood - Santalum album
Spikenard - Nardostachys jatamansi
Vetiver - Vetiveria zizanoides


General shelf life from a chemical family perspective:
About 1-3 years – Monoterpene rich oils, Monoterpene/Oxide (cineole) rich oils, Monoterpene/ Aldehyde rich oils, Monoterpene/Monoterpenol rich oils.
About 3-5 years – Monoterpenol rich oils, Monoterpenol/Ester rich oils, Ketone
and Phenol rich oils (Phenols are closer to 3 years).


About 6-8 years, or longer – Sesquiterpene rich oils, Sesquiterpenol rich oils.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Before You Go Odor Control Toilet Bowl Mist


There is a trendy deodorizer spray that is meant to be sprayed into the toilet bowl before you do your private business and it keeps the bathroom space smelling good.  This unique spray is essentially a thin emulsified lotion that is amply perfumed with essential oils. When you spray the cocktail into the toilet bowl, a thin waxy film forms on the top of the water and liberates the aromatic molecules of the essential oils.  It also works to eliminate the mean-spirited unstable stenches that.....poop emits (yes I said it!!!). If you are quick enough to do your affair and flush, the aroma in the air will be that of lemongrass, sweet orange, bergamot and grapefruit.... as a replacement for of the more sinister or awkward aroma that can occur without the use of this style of toilet spray.  



After appraising the famous brand spray on my hand, I had a reasonably worthy scheme of how to copycat it and got busy formulating my own secret sauce. It is impossible to find a list of exact ingredients that the famous company uses in their formula, however I suppose I did a pretty good job of coming close. Unlike some of the other copycat recipes I found on the internet, my recipe seems to be one of the few that actually uses an emulsifier with an oil/water formula.  It appears to me that you need to have an oil and water emulsification in order to create the thin film on the water to trap the malodourous redolence from arising.

 I asked a few volunteers to try it out and they all gave positive reviews on how well it worked at controlling embarrassing odors.  Success!!! Here is the recipe I created for my "Before You Go Odor Control Toilet Bowl Mist".

You will need the following ingredients. Most of them can be purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon of Fractioned Coconut Oil or another light carrier oil (shop here)
1 teaspoon of Vegetable Glycerine (shop here)
1/4 teaspoon Stearic Acid (shop here)
1 teaspoon Emulsifying Wax (shop here)
1/2 cup of distilled water
1 teaspoon lemongrass essential oil (shop here)
1/2 teaspoon sweet orange essential oil (shop here)
1/2 teaspoon bergamot essential oil (shop here)
1/4 teaspoon grapefruit essential oil (shop here)

Directions:
Place the fractionated coconut oil, vegetable glycerine, stearic acid, emulsifying wax and distilled water in a 4 cup capacity glass measuring cup.  Place the measuring cup in a pot that has several inches of simmering water.  Bring the ingredients up to 160 degrees F and keep at that temperature for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Once the mixture is emulsified, carefully remove the glass measuring cup from the pot of water.  Using a hand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the liquid for ten minutes to cool it down.  When the mixture has cooled to below 100 degrees F, add in the essential oils and continue to whisk for another 5 minutes.  You should have a thin liquid. Pour the mixture into a sanitized glass spray bottle.


Here is a little demo of how this spray works.  The photo above shows a bowl filled with plain water.


After spraying the mixture five times onto the top of the water, you will notice a film forms. You will also notice the wonderful aroma that floats up into the air.


It is the magical aromatic film that keeps the bathroom smelling so wonderful.  Avoid spraying the formula on your skin or your eyes.  Avoid spraying on the floor as it may become slippery.

How did we ever get along without such a product? Especially in single bathroom homes!!!

Cheers!
Shannon Buck