13 January 2011

A More Natural Home: Part II

Cleaning naturally is nice, but it misses a bit of the fun. Beauty products, on the other hand, are a more entertaining, rewarding, and nice smelling undertaking.

I've already made my own deodorant. Now, I've got a better recipe, though, here. It's less goopy and smells nice, too because of the essential oils in there. A little looking around revealed that Amy Karol of Angry Chicken has also written a handy booklet of potions and concoctions as well as put a series on her blog. It's worth checking out. I've also tried my hand at the lip balm. It's a bit liquid without the bees wax, so there's a lesson for next time. But overall, I'm happy with the booklet and keep wanting to print out labels to stick to my new collection of containers.

Another great resource is Rosemary Gladstar's book, Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health. It's a great source of information about using herbs and natural beauty products. I enjoy the chamomile tisane. Her sore throat tea passed the Papa test and Peanut is a fan of elderberry syrup when he's a bit under the weather. My greatest find is her lotion recipe. Who'd have thought you can make homemade lotion?! It's just an emulsion, basically mayonnaise for your skin and works well. I'm half way through my first batch and happy with the results.

All of this called for buying a lot of ingredients I'd never heard of before (marshmallow root?!). Everything has come from Mountain Rose Herbs. It's what the Dutch would refer to as a good price-quality place. Delivery can take a while because it's coming to me from Portland by land, but the prices are fair and the products are good. The fresh herbs smell amazing. Be careful, though - it turns out that four ounces of bay leaves is enough for three families to use for two years!

So now the question is - what next? What's the next area of life to tackle and make more natural?

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