Thursday, March 22, 2012

Kukui Nut Oil

The following information is from Mountain Rose Herbs
The Kukui nut tree is the official tree of Hawaii and has been used by natives of this island for hundreds of years. They recognized the oil's high penetrability and soothing properties and currently they put it to use in helping sooth sunburns and chapped skin. A fabulous ingredient for your cosmetics, or as a stand-alone application Kukui nut oil contains very high levels of the essential fatty acids linoleic and alpha-linolenic.

Kukui Nut Oil has been used for many years in Hawaii , and has only recently become known to the rest of the world. It is prized for its rejuvenating and soothing effects upon the skin, without leaving a greasy or oily film. Pressed from the seeds of the Aleurites moluccana tree, Kukui Nut Oil is invaluable for many different skin conditions, providing moisture and nourishment to dry, mature, and damaged skin.  

Kukui Nut Oil is a fabulous moisturizer, and quickly penetrates the skin leaving a silky-smooth non-greasy feeling. It is often used for dry or damaged skin, immediately relieving symptoms because of its quick absorption into the skin. It can leave even the roughest and driest skin feeling smooth, soft, and hydrated. Kukui Nut Oil contains Vitamins A, C, and E, providing anti-oxidants that help to protect the skin. This unique oil is able to penetrate into the deepest skin layers, while creating a protective shield that locks in moisture. Kukui Nut Oil is great for those with sensitive skin, and is a wonderful ingredient to add to your bodycare products. Specifically, it is beneficial for the following conditions:
  • Burns – including: sunburn, windburn, radiation burns, and heat induced burns.
  • Eczema
  • Chapped skin
  • Psoriasis
  • Mature and prematurely aged skin
  • Dry skin conditions
  • Acne
  • Scars
  • Lesions
  • Dry hair and scalp
 Kukui Nut Oil is an excellent oil to add to your bodycare products, especially your creams, lotions, and massage oils. Simply add Kukui Nut Oil once that your product no longer needs to be heated, and do not expose it to high temperatures. You can also use it for an oil treatment on dry hair and scalp, or add a few drops to your bath water for a luxurious treat.

Thanks to the folks at Mountain Rose Herbs for providing the above information about Kukui Nut Oil.  Head over to their website HERE to purchase Kukui Nut Oil.  




Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c

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.. Avoid use  unless discussed with your physician. 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, March 20, 2012

Zu Zu's Face Cream for Combo Skin


My daughter, Zu Zu, is really enjoying the soothing and balancing skin benefits from this homespun  face cream I whipped up for her.  The majority of the water phase is Witch Hazel Extract which has astringent, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties, making it wonderful for applying to blemishes and pimples and is beneficial for both blemish-prone and combo skin.  Just so you know, Witch Hazel Extract is distilled from the twigs and bark of the Witch Hazel tree.  I use Mountain Rose Herbs Witch Hazel Extract which only contains 14.5% ethyl alcohol and is USP grade and has been double distilled and contains 86% Witch Hazel.  I find Mountain Rose Herbs Witch Hazel more soothing than the brand sold at my local drug store.

I also added in a bit of Calendula hydrosol which is very beneficial for  the skin.  I chose Hazelnut and Jojoba oil for the oil phase since both of these carrier oils are excellent for oily/combo skin.  Hazelnut oil is well known for its astringent qualities and is easily absorbed into the skin.  The essential oils are all wonderful for acne-prone skin and provide a delicious herbal essence to the cream.  My recipe makes just about 2 ounces and is mildly preserved with grapefruit seed extract.  As always, only use sterile equipment, do not use your fingers to retrieve the product and make sure you use within 60 days.  Enjoy!!!!


Zu Zu's Face Cream for Combo Skin
20 grams Witch Hazel
15 grams Calendula Hydrosol
10 grams Hazelnut Oil
10 grams Jojoba Oil
6 grams Emulsifying Wax NF
2 grams Stearic Acid
2 grams Lecithin (liquid)
1.25 grams Grapefruit Seed Extract
6 drops Lavender essential oil
2 drops Rosemary essential oil
1 drops Red Thyme essential oil
3 drops Tea Tree Oil
2 drops Spearmint Essential Oil

Bring a 3-inch water bath to a simmer over medium-low heat in a large pot. Add the Witch Hazel Extract and Calendula Hydrosol into a glass measuring cup and sit it in the water bath to warm.  Add the Hazelnut Oil, Jojoba Oil, Emulsifying Wax, Stearic Acid and Lecithin to another glass measuring cup and sit it in the water bath.  Once the oil/wax mixture heats to 165, turn off the heat.  Make sure that both the water phase and the oil/wax phase are within 5 degrees of each other and pour the water phase into the oil/wax phase.  With a blender stick or a handheld whisk, mix them together on low speed until they begin to thicken and cool to 100 degrees.  Once cooled, add in the Grapefruit Seed Extract and Essential Oils.  Store in a sterile container.

The mixture will be thin and runny while it is hot, but as soon as it begins to cool, it will thicken up nicely.

Grapefruit Seed Extract will mildly preserve the product, but care must be taken not to introduce "creepy crawlies" into the cream.  Never use your fingers to retrieve the product!!! I use a clean wooden stick.

Once the cream has thickened up, transfer to a sterile container. I like these amber colored glass jars which are reusable and can be sterilized in the dishwasher or boiling water.

There you have it......Zu Zu's Face Cream for Combo Skin.  I hope you enjoy this beauty recipe.  I would love to hear from you if you make this. Let me know how it worked out for you.  Green Blessings!!!





Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony cT

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. . Avoid use  unless discussed with your physician.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Vitamin E Gel


I get a good giggle while browsing the skincare counter at my neighborhood department store.  I am just shocked at what women are smearing on their skin and how much they shell out for the chemical concoctions. I recently spotted a very popular Vitamin E Gel in a petite shiny black plastic jar.  It was a whopping $90.00 for 30 ml.  I was fascinated by the skin nourishing ingredients contained in this product.  The high-priced petite pot of product contained Lanolin, Avocado Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Vitamin E, and Lanolin Oil.  There was even some BHT (Butylated hydroxytoluene) tossed in. I presume it must be to prevent the oils from going rancid since it is an antioxidant that is not very good for you. I actually liked this product (minus a few ingredients). What I did not appreciate was the price! I know how much the raw ingredients cost and they are nowhere near $90 per ounce! I knew that I could whisk up my own recipe using identical natural ingredients for just pennies on the dollar compared to the “name brand”.  I asked for a sample in order to get a good feel of the texture and consistency.  I also jotted down the product’s ingredients and journeyed straight home to my “kitchen lab”.  Success after the first try!! I came pretty darn’ tootin’ precise with my homespun version.  Enjoy this luxurious Vitamin E Gel!!! Most of the ingredients are waiting for you over at Mountain Rose Herbs!!!


Simple ingredients for making Vitamin E Gel
 Lets talk about why each ingredient is good for your skin...........

Lanolin is derived from the wool of sheep and is a natural moisturizer than helps keep dry, rough and chapped skin smooth and protected.  

Avocado Oil is an ultra rich organic oil that is a delightful treasure containing high amounts of Vitamin A, B1, B2, D, and E. Also contains amino acids, sterols, pantothenic acid, lecithin, and other essential fatty acids. Highly prized to those with skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, and other skin ailments and our variety makes a lovely salad oil for dressings and condiments. Highly recommended to those with sensitive skin, problem skin and other irritations that require vitamin rich oil. (*Information from Mountain Rose Herbs).

This ultra rich, unrefined Wheat Germ oil is a great ingredient high in natural source Vitamin E, A, D, proteins, Lecithin, and Squalene. Wheat germ has been applied externally for numerous irritations including roughness of the skin, cracking, chaffing and many crafters of cosmetics use it successfully to help reverse the effects of wrinkling.(*Information from Mountain Rose Herbs)

Sweet Almond Oil is one of the most useful, practical, and commonly used oils. It is great for all skin types as an acting emollient and is best known for its ability to soften, soothe, and re-condition the skin. It is truly marvelous as a carrier oil and is equally superb for addition to body care products.(*Information from Mountain Rose Herbs). 

Vitamin E is great for preventing rancidity in cosmetics and it acts as an anti-oxidant in creams, lotions, baby products, cosmetics and more.

 Lanolin Oil has been centrifuged to have the solid wax particles removed and is more liquid with the same skin nourishing benefits.  

Castor oil is a  natural source oil from Castor beans. A hard and shiny oil found in most cosmetics that acts as a barrier agent and protective medium against harsh conditions and extremes. Very soothing to the skin when included into cosmetic applications. (*Information from Mountain Rose Herbs).

Fresh-Picked Beauty's Vitamin E Gel

Fresh Picked Beauty's Vitamin E Gel
11 grams Lanolin
5 grams Avocado Oil
5 grams Wheat Germ Oil
4 grams Sweet Almond Oil
4 grams Vitamin E
2 grams Lanolin Oil
2 grams Castor Oil

Mix all ingredients together well.  Store in an airtight container.  Use a clean utensil to remove product. Use within 4 months.  *For best results, store in fridge if desired.

 Here is the finished Vitamin E Gel.  You are going to LOVE the way this glides on and keeps your skin protected and moisturized!!!

You will find most of the ingredients over at Mountain Rose Herbs


Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oils. Sin

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. . Avoid use  unless discussed with your physician.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Making Tinctures

One of my favorite things about being an Herbalist is concocting herbal tinctures.  A tincture is a medicinal extract in a solution of alcohol.  I have been crafting my own tinctures for over a decade and use them daily. I encourage you to do research to determine if herbal tinctures are right for you.  I know that tinctures are a wonderful way to receive the healing power of herbs and plants and a great supplement to a healthy diet.  A few books that helped me learn the art of tincture making are........


I use the maceration method when making tinctures.  Basically, I soak dried or fresh plant material in Vodka for 6 weeks and then decant, press, filter and bottle up my tinctures.

I like to use herbs that I purchase from Mountain Rose Herbs when I can't grow them in my own garden or wild craft them nearby.  I use organic herbs as much as possible.  I grind the dried herbs into a powder, or purchase them already ground from Mountain Rose Herbs.

You need Vodka as the menstruum.  This is where research into making tinctures comes in handy.  Depending on the plant material and if it is fresh or dried, the percent of alcohol in the menstruum varies.  Sometimes I use 75.5% Everclear and sometimes I use just 50% alcohol Vodka.  Both of the books I mentioned above have handy charts for your reference.  Mountain Rose Herbs offered the following Alcohol Percentages on their blog.

40% – 50% (80-90 proof vodka)
• “Standard” percentage range for tinctures.
• Good for most dried herbs and fresh herbs that are not juicy.
• Good for extraction of water soluble properties.

67.5% - 70% (½ 80 proof vodka + ½ 190 proof grain alcohol)
• Extracts most volatile aromatic properties.
• Good for fresh high-moisture herbs like lemon balm, berries, and aromatic roots.
• The higher alcohol percentage will draw out more of the plant juices.

85% – 95% (190 proof grain alcohol)
• Good for gums and resins.
• Extracts aromatics and essential oils that are bound in the plant and do not dissipate easily.
• The alcohol strength can produce a tincture that is not quite pleasant to take.
• Often used for drop dosage medicines.
• Will totally dehydrate herbs.

I use sterile canning jars when making tinctures.  Never use plastic, rubber or metal jars as the menstruum can cause the container material to leach out into the tincture.

I use a scale to measure out my powdered plant material. When using dried herbs, I usually do 1 ounce of herbs to 5 ounces of Vodka. This makes a 1:5 ratio.

Transfer the herb into your canning jar.

Measure out your Vodka (menstruum).

Pour the Vodka over the dried herb.  You will notice air bubbles forming.  These need to be removed.

Simply use a clean utensil or stick to stir the herb and menstruum together well.  Make sure the plan material is totally soaked by the menstruum.

Cap the jar tightly, Give it a good shake.  Apply a label.

Your label should say the name of the plant material, the botanical name, if it is fresh or dried, the part of the plant used. The ratio of herb/mentstruum. When it was made and when it will be ready.

You can already notice that the menstruum is starting to extract the medicinal properties from the plant material.  You need to keep this in a cool, dry, dark place and shake it several times per day.

After a minimum of 6 weeks, you simply pour off the clear tincture from the very top, and press the remaining liquid from the wet plant material through clean cotton fabric. You can filter the tincture again by pouring it through clean cotton fabric into your bottles.

I like to use the amber colored dropper bottles from Mountain Rose Herbs.  Make sure to label these jars as well.  Enjoy!!!
I know you are excited to get started making your own tinctures. Head over to Mountain Rose Herbs for their Bulk Herbs and amber colored dropper bottles. 




Mountain Rose Herbs

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. . Avoid use  unless discussed with your physician.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Stearic Acid

photo from Mountain Rose Herbs
You will notice that I use the ingredient Stearic Acid (Palm Stearic Flakes) to help emulsify and thicken my lotion recipes.  I buy my Stearic Acid from Mountain Rose Herbs. Here is a bit more information about this ingredient from Mountain Rose Herbs

Mountain Rose Herbs Stearic Acid is 100% Palm derived, with no added chemicals, emulsifiers or other agents and is presented in the form of convenient 1/8-1/4 inch flakes.  Popularly used to emulsify, thicken, bind, and stabilize lotions and creams, Stearic Acid has become the number one choice for most body care manufacturers.  Stearic Acid occurs naturally in vegetable and animal fats, but has to go through a Hydrogenation process to convert it to the end product which is currently bought and sold as the Stearic Acid we have all come to know.  Stearic Acid is fairly insoluble in water but can become somewhat soluble in alcohol.  It stores well under most conditions, with an indefinite shelf life.  Stearic Acid is successfully used to thicken creams and lotions at about 2-5%.  


Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c
Head Over to Mountain Rose Herbs by clicking the banner above.


I am an affiliate with Mountain Rose Herbs,please review my disclosure page for details.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Stinky Rose Acne Attack Facial Mask

My lovely daughter bought me a freshly crafted face mask from a popular store in the mall.  This particular store sells a variety of fresh handmade beauty and skincare products and they sell small black plastic pots of freshly prepared facial masks.  The one I received contained ingredients that are suggested to be beneficial and soothing to acne-prone skin.  I did enjoy using it and thought I would try to recreate my own homespun  version.  I feel my version comes pretty darn close to the store's recipe.  My recipe makes about 80 grams of product which needs to be kept in the fridge and used within 10 days.  This mask does stink just a bit due to the garlic and the neem oil, however your face is going to feel fresh and look radiant afterwards. 


Stinky Rose Acne Attack Facial Mask
25 grams Fuller's Earth Clay
15 grams Aloe Vera Gel
Small egg yolk
8 grams Active Manuka Honey
3 grams Neem Oil
3 grams fresh garlic clove
1.5 ml Tea Tree Essential Oil
10 drops Rose Essential Oil

Place all ingredients in a small food processor and process until smooth and creamy.  Apply an even and generous layer over your face, avoiding your eyes.  Leave on for up to 15 minutes and rinse off with warm water. 



Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c


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 essential oils, never use them undiluted. Do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner. Keep away from children. If applying an essential oil to your skin always perform a small patch test to an insensitive part of the body (after you have properly diluted the oil in an appropriate carrier. I am an affiliate with Mountain Rose Herbs,please review my disclosure page for details. . Avoid use during pregnancy and breastfeeding unless discussed with your physician.