Tag Archives: scrubs

Husking Lavender Buds – DIY

16 May

Perhaps like many of you, I had seen lavender buds before and seen lavender plants, but wasn’t sure how the buds were removed from the stem so that you end up with just lavender buds.

It turns out that it’s shockingly simple. You just husk it by hand with your fingers. The buds are like little lavender corn cobs shooting out from the sides of the stem and you just husk them off in a downwards motion. Lavender stems don’t really have leaves on the stems, so this makes it quite easy and not too messy to do the husking. Or at least the stems I had didn’t have leaves. The little brown pieces you see in the bottom photo are the outer skin of the bud. What protects it on the plant before it bursts open as a flower.

Why was I husking lavender you ask? My mom sent me home with some lavender from her garden in stem form, so I had to figure out what was the best process for getting it off so I could use the buds in my soaps and scrubs. I love lavender! I swear, I was in a blissful place yesterday when I got to sit down for a bit and husk lavender in my studio. The aroma was so gentle, relaxing, and almost sweet smelling. It definitely had a slightly different scent to it than other BC lavender I have bought in bud form previously from a herbal supply company.

What do I do with the lavender buds? I like to use them in soaps, facial scrubs, yoga eye pillows, & felted dryer balls. Come and see what products I have at City Market on 104th Street this Saturday! It’s the first outdoor market of the season and I’m excited!

Wild Rosehips – Plentiful on the Prairies

21 Mar

Edmonton’s river valleys and parks are blessed with lots of wild rose bushes. I take joy in going into the valleys in the fall to collect rose hips. What are rose hips? Seen here, they are the bulb of the rosebud essentially.

They are an excellent source of vitamin C. They have been used for centuries by aboriginal populations for this reason. It’s interesting to note that During World War II, there was a public campaign started by registered dietitian, Claire Loewenfeld who was working for Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children encouraged people to collect wild rose hips and make a rose hip syrup for children. The topic even made it into the British Medical Journal (BMJ)! (1). Citrus fruits imported during this period came on ships and like many other ships with various goods heading to britain, they were a target, resulting in a shortage of imported citrus fruits during the war.

Rosehips have been used for medicinal and therapeutic properties for centuries. Roseship or rose oil is extracted from the rose hip. It’s high in vitamin C, and also contains vitamin A and B in smaller quantities. Rosehips contain more vitamin C than citrus fruits, which is great to know for wild foraging and for those wanting to love local. No need to buy citrus fruits to get your vitamin C, you have a plentiful source in your backyard.

Rose oil is a common ingredient as a base oil in many perfumes and colognes. Rosehip seeds and flesh can be used to infuse oils for creams and other skincare products. I’ve made rosehip infused grape seed and olive oils for face creams and have added rose hips to a salt scrub and soap.

How to dehydrate rose hips and get rid of the itchy hairs inside:

[NOTE: There is a newer post on my blog regarding the steps to preserving wild rosehips. Please see it for a more information. Link: http://ameyastudio.com/2012/10/17/step-by-step-p…-wild-rosehips/ ]

I like making tea out of the buds so that I can get my vitamins in the winter. You can eat the rose hip raw too if you are careful to avoid the hairs inside which are quite itchy. Here is a photo essay of how I extracted the seeds and pulp and got rid of the itchy hairs inside starting from dehydrated rose hips through to retaining the dried flesh and seeds. It didn’t take very long at all and can be done with a few simple tools many of us have in the kitchen.

Rosehips have also been used to make jams, jellies, wines and more! For these types of preserve, you would use the whole fruit rather than dehydrating as shown above. Mike and I also just kept some of the liquid from boiling the rose hips (which you would use for the jelly), and put a little bit in our morning smoothies. Tasted great!

Here is a recipe for rose hip jelly.

References:

1) Loewenfeld, C. Vitamin C from Rosehips. Br Med J. 1941 June 28; 1(4199): 988–989.

2) Loewenfeld, C. 1942(?). Herb Gardening: How and Why to Grow Herbs. (book)

Peppermint & Vanilla – who would have thought?!

15 Nov

Peppermint essential oil evokes the feeling of calm, cool and collectedness. It’s soothing. When paired with a warm essential oil such as vanilla, they combine to make a soothing warm aroma without one overpowering the other. The perfect combo. The scent evoked by this blend makes me think of a little french patisserie and as such we have renamed this scent blend and products created with it “French Dream”.

It will be available for the first time to the public at Make It Edmonton this coming week! (Nov 17 – 20) As with all my creams, I like to set up tester stations so you can try before you buy. Stop on by and give your hands a treat. All our beeswax creams are made with local organic beeswax. They are luxurious feeling and are excellent, natural choices for rehydrating your skin.

Other products we have with Peppermint & Vanilla include: French Dream Body Scrub (formally called Tis the Season). This product has a blend of dried mint & eucalyptus leaves, sea salt, sugar, olive oil, and essential oils to help you gently exfoliate your skin then moisturize it with one of the most gentle replenishing oils: Olive oil. It’s been used for ages for everything. Trust us. It’s good for your skin!

 

 

eppermint essential oil evokes the  feeling of calm, cool, and soothing. When paired with a warm essential oil such as vanilla essential oil the scent combination takes on a a warm soothing aroma, soothing that reminds you of the scent escaping from a little french cafe as you walk by. I first experimented with this oil combination earier this year when I created my Sweet Mojito Salt & Sugar Body Scrub (formally called 'Tis the Season'). It's so delicious smelling in the shower! I've recently developed a new beeswax cream with this same scent. It's called French Dream Beeswax Cream. It will be available for the first time @ Make it Edmonton! I set up tester stations for all my creams. It's nice to experience the scent and get to try something before you buy. So, be sure to stop by my booth and try this cream! You will be impressed at it's scent, luxurious texture and the sustainability of a healthy product made from locally sourced, all natural ingredients. win win.

Scrub-a-dub: sugar scrub cubes

23 May

I’ve been experimenting this weekrnd making sugar scrubs in cube form! I came across this idea in some other soap blogs, so I thought I would give it a try. Why cubes? A few reasons come to mind.1) Easy to grab one and take it into the shower with you. 2) it’s less messy than a traditional scrub, and 3) there is less guessing about how much do you need for a good scrub .- it’s all done for you – just grab a cube and go. The bonus is the cubes contain glycerin soap, so you get the cleaning and the scrubbing all in one!

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