Welcome Friends!!!

I am a scientist at heart, and my kitchen often looks like a laboratory with all kinds of jars and containers fermenting and brewing on the counters. I love to share my recipes, my herbal remedies and health tips, and I really LOVE to save money! We have a large extended family....two sons, their wives, eleven grandkids (and often a friend or two), my sister, Lanny's brother, and my parents that come over every Tuesday night for dinner...kind of a family reunion, only weekly instead of yearly! That adds up to from 17 to 22 or more people here every week. So I have to cook big, and cook economically!

So here we go! For all my friends and family that have been encouraging me to put all my recipes and ideas in one place like this....if you don't see what you are looking for, and cannot find it by using the "Topics" or the search field below right, just let me know and I will be sure to post it as soon as I can.

Be sure to check out our African Mission Adventure - we traveled to Malawi in August 2014 and you will find photo's and stories about our trip! LanDebLewAfrica.blogspot.com!!!

Lanny and I also have started devotional blogspots that you might enjoy:

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Water Kefir

Water kefir grains are a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast held in a polymer created by the bacteria. Water kefir grains feed off sugar to produce lactic acid, acetic acid, various other acids, and carbon dioxide.

By culturing sugar water using the water kefir grains, you are creating a lacto-fermented drink. Lacto-fermentation is the process where lactobacilli (lactic acid producing bacteria) convert sugars or starches into lactic acid. Lactic acid is a natural preservative that prevents the growth of harmful bacteria. Used in traditional cultures to preserve foods, lacto-fermentation creates a food teeming with probiotics, good yeasts, and increased nutrient values. The synthesis of lactic acid and other acids often increases vitamin values, including vitamin C and various B vitamins.

Kefir provides dozens of beneficial bacteria and yeast strains that can benefit your body. Your body is inhabited by billions and trillions of bacteria, yeast, and other microorganisms. By taking in beneficial bacteria and yeasts, you increase the population of good bacteria in your system; beneficial bacteria in your gut make up a large part of your immune system and help you defend against harmful organisms, bad bacteria and viruses.

A good source for water kefir grains is Keysands. You will also find lots of good information about the benefits of water kefir as well as recipes and different brewing techniques.

Making Water Kefir 

Directions for single ferment: 

NOTE: We do the double ferment (instructions below) but many people prefer the single, so here you go :-)

To make 1 quart of water kefir, add to a quart sized glass jar:

4 to 5 tbsp of organic sugar, sucanat, rapadura, agave nectar, or maple syrup (I have always used organic raw sugar or even plain white sugar when I had to)

1 tbsp of water kefir grains

a few organic raisins

a handful of organic fruit, such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries

about 1 quart of filtered or spring water (enough to fill jar while leaving ½ to 1 inch of space at the top)

To make a larger quantity, simply scale the ingredients. 

The ratios for 1 gallon are:

1 to 1 ¼ cup (20 tbsps) organic white sugar, sucanat, rapadura, agave nectar, or maple syrup

3 to 4 tbsp of water kefir grains

small handful of raisins

a handful of organic fruit, such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries

about 1 gallon of filtered or spring water (enough to fill jar while leaving ½ to 1 inch of space at the top)

Shake or stir until the sugars are completely dissolved. Cover with a non-air tight lid (most screw on lids are fine or cover with a coffee filter held on by rubber band) and allow to brew at room temperature for 24 to 48+ hours. Don't use canning lids and rings because your jars might explode...sparkley/kefir is naturally carbonated :-). I recommend for the first couple of batches, that you taste the water kefir every 12 hours after the first day. If it’s too sweet, let ferment longer. If you forget and it’s too sour, dilute with juice or sweetened tea when drinking.

When the water kefir’s done, strain the grains out, discard any fruit you’ve added and store the finished water kefir in the fridge in a covered jar or in airtight bottles. Decanting into airtight bottles while the brew is still slightly sweet and allowing to brew in the airtight bottles for a few hours at room temperature will yield a fizzy drink. Do not bottle in airtight bottles while the brew is too sweet or too much pressure may build up and you may end up with kefir soda all over your counters when you open the bottle.

Directions for double ferment - this is the way we prefer to do it at our house!

Follow the directions for the first ferment but do not add fruit - only the sugar, water and raisins (if desired) with the grains. After 48 hours you will strain the kefir into another jar of equal volumn, and start another batch with the grains. To the strained kefir you will add a handful of fruit, we like either strawberries (for a really sweet drink) or a mixed berry (raspberry, blackberry, blueberry blend) for a more tart flavor. You can also add a few slices of fresh ginger or a 1/4-1/2 tsp of dried organic ginger powder, and let this ferment another 48 hours. You will have more probiotic activity this way. 

I use two gallon jars and fill only half way. I find this the easiest to work with and always have two jars fermenting on my counter. Our entire family, grandkids too, LOVE the water kefir. They call it "Bug Juice" because of the good bacteria (bugs) or "Sparkly" because the kefir has a natural fizz!

Here are the freshly made first ferment and the strained off second ferment,
ready to cover and let sit for two days....

This is the first ferment with only sugar, a few raisins (if you have them) and the kefir grains.
This will ferment for 24 to 48 hours. Then strain into the second jar.

I use a large canning funnel, a nylon strainer and a plastic sink strainer. 
I like to make do - don't use metal strainers or utensils when working with kefir.

This is my little sink strainer with the kefir grains strained out.

This is the second ferment after straining - add ginger and fruit. 
This will ferment for 24 to 48 hours. Then strain into your pitcher
and refrigerate.

I cover my jars with coffee filters held on with rubber bands,
or plastic lids ...never cover with canning lids 
because the kefir builds up natural carbonation and you will have a mess on your hands :-).
Always mark the day and time you start your ferment...
if you are anything like me, you will not remember when you did it :-)

Note: It is not recommended to brew the kefir in a metal or plastic container as metal is reactive and the acidic nature of kefir may wear down and leach plastic into your brew. Avoid letting the kefir grains come in contact with metal utensils. Do not rinse or brew grains in chlorinated water as chlorine may damage or kill your grains.

Growing the Kefir Grains

The water kefir grains will grow better in a high-mineral environment. Using high mineral sweeteners such as sucanat, rapadura, or adding a bit of molasses to your brew will help your grains grow faster. I usually use raw sugar or plain white sugar so growth is slow, but if you do want your grains to grow you can brew one or two rounds with only sucanat, rapadura, or with some added molasses. Some juices are also high mineral and work well for growing your grains.

Storing the Grains

When you are not making water kefir, you can store your grains in a glass jar with anywhere from double to several times the amount of liquid as grains. Add one or two tbsps of sugar to feed the grains. You may store it at room temperature or in the fridge. If storing at room temperature, change out the liquid for new water and sugar every 2 to 3 days. If storing in the fridge, you can go up to a week or two. If storing in the fridge, the first brew that you make from the grains may take a bit longer since the bacteria and yeasts will take awhile to become active again.

Alcohol Content

Water kefir can contain anywhere from .2 to 2% alcohol with a 48 hour fermentation. To put it into perspective, wine is usually 7 to 15% alcohol. The alcohol content in water kefir varies widely depending on the type and amount of sweetener added, amount of grains, and fermentation time. A higher ratio of sugar will yield a more alcoholic drink, as will a shorter fermentation time. If you are alcohol sensitive, I would recommend using less kefir grain to sugar water ratio and doing a longer brew, tasting periodically.

What do I do with my extra grains? Eat them! They are a great source of probiotics!

Give them away. Give a tbsp or two to a friend so they can make their own healthful sodas and beverages. Lacto-fermented beverages aid in digestion, provide lots of good nutrients and enzymes, and are an excellent and inexpensive source of probiotics.

Use them to make lacto-fermented vegetables like sauerkraut. You can use kefir grains instead of whey to inoculate your lacto-fermented vegetables with good bacteria and yeast.

Compost them. If your grains are taking over your fridge and counters like they do mine, throw them in your compost pile. The bacteria will happily help you munch away at your compost pile. Microbials are great for soil health too!

What do I do with overbrewed water kefir?

Sometimes you let your water kefir go too long and make water kefir vinegar. If this happens, you can:

Use the water kefir vinegar as a cleaner. It smells great and works great – just place in a spray bottle and use on your counters.

Use it as a hair rinse. If you’re doing “no poo” (no shampoo), water kefir is great for rebalancing your hair PH after a baking soda wash.

Here is a good video from Wellness Mama showing how to brew water kefir - there are so many links on the internet with many recipes, many different ways to brew...I have been doing our kefir this way for years and it works well for us, but you can try other blends, other flavor additives...the sky is the limit!!  Wellness Mama

Friday, November 15, 2013

Homemade Gifts - Placemat Purse or Book Bag

This was my favorite project last year. You can find pretty placemats all over the place, very inexpensive! All you have to do is fold it over, sew up the two sides, sew across the seam to make a box bottom, add some handles and some decorations and voila! I made all the ladies and girls in my family one last year and put other homemade gifts inside. They LOVED them!! There is a link at the bottom with detailed instructions.

I picked iron on patches, buttons, and applique to make each one unique.
We call our Grand Daughter Kyra Lady Bug so this was perfect for her!

I put Soup in a Jar, Dessert in a Jar 
and a bag of Cornbread in each bag...a complete meal!

I ordered some little glue on labels with my name on it! The sky is the limit!

The link below has detailed instructions 
and some other placemat purse ideas. Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Homemade Gifts in a Jar

Yummy Gifts in a Jar!

These are always a welcome gift. Get a dozen or so quart canning jars, gather the ingredients for your favorites and start stuffing. 

Butterscotch Brownies
1/2 cup packed flaked coconut
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups packed brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Mix together all-purpose flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside. Layer ingredients in order given, adding all-purpose flour mixture last. Press each layer firmly in place.

Attach this message to jar:
Empty brownie mix into large mixing bowl and blend together thoroughly. Add: 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened. (Do not use diet margarine.) Mix in 2 eggs, slightly beaten and 2 tsp vanilla. Mix until completely blended. Spread batter into a greased 9- x 13-inch pan. Bake at 375°F for 25 minutes. Cool 15 minutes in baking pan. Cut brownies into 1 1/2 inch squares. Cool completely in pan. Yield: 2 dozen brownies.

M&M's Cookies
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1 1/4 cups M&M’s
2 cups all-purpose flour, mixed with 
1/2 tsp baking soda and 
1/2 tsp baking powder

Layer ingredients in jar in order given. Press each layer firmly in place before adding next ingredient.

Attach this message to jar: 
Empty cookie mix in large mixing bowl; mix thoroughly. Add 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 egg slightly beaten and 1 tsp vanilla; mix until completely blended. Roll dough into walnut-sized balls. Place 2 inches apart on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375°F for 12 to 14 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Dreamsicle Cookies
1/2 cup Tang Instant Breakfast drink powder
3/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups vanilla chips
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, mixed with
1/2 tsp baking soda and
1/2 tsp baking powder

Layer ingredients in jar in order given. Press each layer firmly in place before adding next ingredient.

Attach this message to jar:
Empty cookie mix into a large mixing bowl; mix thoroughly. Add 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 egg
slightly beaten and 1 tsp vanilla; mix until completely blended. Roll heaping spoonfuls into balls. Place 2 inches apart on a lightly greased
baking sheet. Bake at 375°F for 12 to 14 minutes, or until tops are very lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Yield: 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

Easiest Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup white sugar
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Combine the all-purpose flour, baking soda, white sugar, and the chocolate chips. Place 1/2 of the mixture in the jar, and pack firmly. Place the brown sugar on top, again packing firmly. Finish with the remaining all purpose flour mixture on top.

Attach this message to jar:
Empty cookie mix into a large bowl. In separate bowl combine 3/4 cup of butter, 2 eggs, and 1 tsp vanilla. Beat until creamy. Add to dry mixture. Drop by spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

Holiday Cookies in a Jar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup chocolate-covered candy (such as holiday M&M's or Hershey's Holiday Candy Coated Bits)
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup cocoa crisped-rice cereal (or regular flavor)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
How to make it

In a 1-quart widemouthed jar, add the ingredients in the order listed. Pack them down firmly after each addition (use the blunt end of a table knife or a wooden spoon to level and tamp down each layer). Screw on the cover (see Wrapping It Up for a note on securing a ribbon beneath the threads) and prepare a gift tag with the following instructions:

 "To make your holiday cookies, cream together 1/2 cup of butter or margarine, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 egg in a large bowl. Add the contents of the jar and stir until well blended. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes. Makes 4 dozen."

Holiday Hash

3 cups Rice Chex
3 cups Corn Chex
3 cups Cheerios
2 cups small pretzels
2 cups salted peanuts
1 bag (12 oz.) plain M&Ms
1 bag (12 oz.) peanut M&Ms
2 bags (12 oz.) white chocolate chips or melting wafers

Combine all ingredients except white chocolate in a very big bowl. Melt white chocolate or wafers according to the package instructions.* Be careful to not overcook as these chips burn quickly. Pour the melted white chocolate over the mixture and with a strong, long-handled wooden spoon toss well to coat. Spread the hash out on waxed paper and let set until the chocolate hardens. Store in an airtight container or pour into gift bags. If you get the red and green M&Ms you’ll have a very festive-looking batch for the Christmas holidays. This makes a lot. You should be able to make 10 to 15 gifts depending on the size of your containers.

Chocolate Chunk Hot Cocoa Mix
2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup sugar
8 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate

In a bowl, combine the cocoa, sugar, and chocolate. Store in an airtight container. Keep at room temperature for up to 4 months. Makes 4 cups

Transfer the cocoa mix to a resealable airtight container (such as a canning jar).

Handwrite the following instructions on a gift tag or label to include with your gift: 

“In a small saucepan, whisk ¼ cup cocoa mix with ¾ cup milk. Bring to a bare simmer. 
Serves 1.”

Tie a ribbon around the container, looping it through a measuring scoop if desired, and the gift tag with the instructions.

S’mores in a Jar
Layer in a large wide mouthed 1 quart mason jar:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (one sleeve of crackers, crushed)
1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows.
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (or mini Hershey Kisses or M&M’s)
1/3 cup brown sugar

Gift Tags:

Combine jar contents with 1/2 cup melted butter and 1 tsp vanilla. Press mixture into a 9 inch square baking pan. Place marshmallows on top. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes. Let cool completely. Cut into bars. Makes 12 yummy bars.

WRAPPING IT UP: Theses gifts, with their various layers of colorful ingredients, are most beautiful unwrapped. You can make the instructional tags from a folded rectangle of white card stock, decorate it, and write the all-important baking directions on the inside. Punch a hole in the corner for a length of narrow ribbon, which can then be tied around the jar's neck or secured beneath the threads of the lid.

Homemade Gift Ideas - Journal in a Jar

Journal in a Jar

Journal in a Jar requires the traditional jar plus a gift pack. The idea is to give everything your recipient needs to write the story of his or her life, including appropriate and specific questions. You can include as many questions or prompts as you like, even 365 to make it easy for your recipient to simply pull out one at random each day and write about it. Include with this gift jar a nice blank book or writing paper, an appropriate binder and a nice pen. Include everything required to get started. At first I found this to be a terrific gift idea for a parent or grandparent. But then it dawned on me this could be adapted for any age, even a child just learning to read, write and draw. Of course every Jar Gift needs
a recipe or instruction card tied to it. 

Here’s an idea:

Recipe for Your Life History.
Combine a generous slice of your life history, a dash of nostalgia, several cups of facts and feelings using these deliciously interesting questions. Draw one slip of paper. Take a few minutes to enjoy the memories. Paste or write the question at the top of a blank page. Fill in your answer. Don’t worry about your handwriting or spelling—just tell your story. The purpose of this gift is to help you preserve a written account of your life. Enjoy the homemade memories that celebrate something very important ... you!

This is an idea that can be adapted in so many ways. The more you can personalize it, the better. Adapt your questions and prompts to the specific recipient so the result will be more detailed and the answers more complete and specific. Make it fun by including questions you know will make the person laugh because the answers are so hilarious. To help you get going you will find a few idea starters below. If you need more, you can find hundreds for all age groups—as young as 5 and as old as 105— on the following website. Just log on to www.debtproofliving.com and click on Mary’s Web Desk. You can copy and paste them to your word processing program or write them longhand. Add your own unique questions. Print, cut apart and drop them into the jar. Journal in a Jar is not a gift you can make on Christmas Eve. You need to get started now. While you’re at it, make one for yourself. It will become a legacy for your children.

Question Ideas for Adults:
Why was your name chosen for you?
What was happening in the world when you were born?
What is your earliest memory of home?
What was your favorite hiding place as a child?
What is your favorite hiding place as an adult?
What was your favorite store and why did you like to go there?
What were your chores as a child?
What did your mother do during the day?
What did you do on summer days?
What did you enjoy in the winter?
What was your favorite fairy tale or bedtime story?
What was your favorite doll or toy?
What was your favorite treat?
What pets have you had?
What pet did you always want?
Do you remember what an ice cream cone cost when you were a child?
What does one cost today?
What kind of car did your family have?
Describe how people dressed when you were a child.
Describe your favorite outfit as a child and as a youth.
How were children expected to behave?
How did you learn about God?
Who set a good example for you?
What was your favorite scripture as a child?
What is your favorite scripture now?
What was your favorite television show as a child or youth?
Describe getting a Christmas tree with your family as a child.

For older children:
Tell about your favorite pet – what kind of animal? When did you get him/her? Why do you like him/her?
What’s your favorite thing to do in the summertime? Why?
Tell about a trip your family took that you particularly enjoyed. Where did you go?
What did you see?
What’s your favorite movie?
Why do you like it? What’s it about?
Tell something you enjoyed doing with your grandma or grandpa.
What is the best Christmas best one you gave?
What is your favorite thing to play at the park?
If you could have your favorite dinner for your birthday, what would it be?
Tell all about your favorite friend and why they are special to you.
What is your best and worst subject in school? What do and don’t you like about them?
If you could have any animal as a pet, what kind would you choose and why?
Write something nice about your family that they do that makes you happy.
Tell your favorite joke or write about something that makes you laugh!
What is your favorite board game or computer game and why do you like it?
If you could watch a video over and over, what would it be and why? What’s it about?
Tell about the house you live in. Have you lived anywhere else? If so, do you remember the addresses, phone numbers?
Tell about a special birthday party you’ve had? Given? Or been to?
How do you like being the older, middle, or youngest child?
Does it have any particular advantages or disadvantages?

For young children:
Draw a picture of your favorite pet or animal.
Draw a picture of your favorite thing to do in the summertime.
Draw a picture of your favorite place to go.
Draw a picture of your favorite thing to do with Grandma or Grandpa.
Draw a picture of what you want for Christmas or what you are giving your mom.
Draw a picture of what you play with at the park.
Draw a funny picture about something that makes you laugh!
Draw a picture of the house you live in.
Draw a picture of your favorite birthday present.
Draw a picture of your favorite toy.
Draw a picture of your family.
Draw a picture of anything that you are afraid of.
Draw a picture of what you would buy if you had all the money in the world.
Draw a picture of your favorite outfit to wear.
Draw a picture of your room and what makes it special.

Homemade Gifts - No Sew Sachets

No Sew Sachet’s

Fabric scraps
Fabric glue
Potpourri, such as lavender flowers or balsam fir needles

For each sachet, place 2 matching 3 to 5-inch fabric squares back-to-back and glue the edges together on 3 sides. Spread the glue close to the edges to prevent fraying.

Once the glue is dry, fill the sachet with about 1/4 cup of potpourri or loose herbs. Then glue together the open edges and again let the glue dry.

Arrange the finished sachets in multicolored stacks and tie them together with a festive ribbon or yarn.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Recipe Conversions

Sometimes...most of the time I am in a bit of a hurry and don't want to think about this stuff, so charts are handy. Here's a little help when you need to cut a recipe in half or in third. I am usually doubling and tripling recipes, but for my hubby and me alone, I occasionally have to use this. 

Puppy Potty Bags

I am going to apologize right up front for this if you're already doing it, but seeing the large displays in the local stores and checking online, there seems to be a HUGE market for doggy poo bags. We never leave our FurBabies gifts on other peoples lawns, and ALWAYS carry our little baggies, BUT, I have never bought those bags and dispensers that are sold for that purpose. They are VERY expensive. The cheapest plain bags I found are $3.49 for 30, and cute ones with hearts and flowers on them are as high as $15.00 for 150. Let me tell you, your pups don't care what these bags look like and neither do your neighbors. We buy a pack of 150 baggies with the fold over top at the local Dollar Store (yes, for a buck) and those work just as well. I don't have a fancy dispenser to carry them in, just stick them in my pocket... and to store them I repurposed an old diaper wipe box and labeled it in my sloppy handwriting with a magic marker and keep it on the counter right outside our back door. We just grab the halters, the leashes, the pups, and two bags, and off we go. Save your money for other things!! You'll get a lot more appreciative glances as you carry that little present home than snarls if you leave it in your neighbors yard. And you will never guess...the added bonus for us is that our young granddaughter Belle doesn't mind hunting for doggy presents in the back yard with "Mimi's neat baggies" before everyone gets out there to play...oh, life's simple pleasures!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Essential Oil Conversions - Ounces to Milliliters to Drops

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to converting ounces to milliliters to drops and diluting essential oils with ease.

1/8 oz. = 3.75 ml.          1/4 oz. = 7.5 ml.
1/2 oz. = 15 ml.             
1 oz. = 30 ml.
         4 oz. = 120 ml.          8 oz. = 237 ml.          16 oz. = 473 ml.

Technically, there are 29.57 ml. in 1 oz., however, this is usually rounded up to 30 ml. on labels and in recipes. This gives you a nice whole number to work with and less agonizing over decimals.
There are around 20 drops of essential oil in 1 ml. This works out to be…

1/8 oz. = 75 drops          1/4 oz. = 150 drops
1/2 oz. = 300 drops          1 oz. = 600 drops

These drop conversions will help you increase any 10 drop blend to the appropriate size that you need.

Essential Oils are very strong and must be diluted (usually in a carrier oil) or incorporated into a finished product such as a massage oil, lotion, or aroma spray. Whether diluting an essential oil or adding it to a finished product, the oil content should only account for 1 to 2% of the total blend. Here is the break down of how much essential oil to add to 1 oz. of carrier oil or to a finished product. These dilutions for 1 oz. can easily be multiplied for larger batches of finished product or divided for a fraction of an ounce.

We are going to use our conversions from above!
1% dilution: 1 oz. = 30 ml. = 600 drops of oil. 1% of 600 drops is 6, so………. for 1 oz. of carrier oil or finished product you are going to add 6 drops of essential oil.

2% dilution: 1 oz. = 30 ml. = 600 drops of oil. 2% of 600 drops is 12, so………. for 1 oz. of carrier oil or finished product you are going to add 12 drops of essential oil.

This information comes from Mountain Rose Herbs

How to Make Homemade Hand Lotion with Preservative

This is a great recipe and comes from A Sonoma Garden
In my first batch I used grapefruit essential oil and it's wonderful!! My next will be lavender! And just so you know, I don't own a microwave so I do it on the stove...and it works perfectly :-)

1 1/4 cup hot water
1/4 cup emulsifying wax (Don’t use beeswax, here’s an easy homemade beeswax lotion recipe)
1/4 cup olive oil  or grapeseed oil
1/4 teaspoon Potassium Sorbate
24-36 drops essential oil

Combine olive oil and emulsifying wax in a microwaveable container and heat until just melted. About a minute in my case. Once it is melted, you may add your essential oils.
Then heat water to approximately the same temperature as the oil (again about a minute in the microwave). Then add 1/4 t. Potassium Sorbate. Stir well.
Pour water mixture into oil mixture and give it a good stir with a spoon.
Pour it into a decorative pump bottle, let it cool and you’ll have a beautiful, longer lasting lotion to enjoy!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Headache Balm

Headache Balm - this recipe comes from Everyday Roots with just a tiny change or two :-)

You will need…
-15-20 drops of peppermint oil
-10 drops of lavender oil
-2-3 drops of eucalyptus oil
-¼ cup Shea nut oil (I used shea butter)
-1 tablespoon almond oil 
-2 tablespoons beeswax pastilles/grated beeswax

Making your roots balm is easy, and takes around 20 minutes from start to finish. In a double boiler over medium heat melt ¼ cup of Shea nut oil, 1 tablespoon of grapeseed oil, and 2 tablespoons of beeswax pastilles or grated beeswax together. Note from Mimi: I didn't have shea nut oil so used shea butter instead - you'll need a little more almond oil to keep your balm from being too solid.

Turn off the heat when thoroughly blended, and add 20 drops of peppermint oil, 10 drops of lavender oil, and 2-3 drops of eucalyptus oil. Pour into a small container with a tightly fitting lid, and let cool and solidify.

Massage a bit onto your temples, back of neck, the pressure point between the thumb and forefinger, or anywhere that needs some soothing when you feel tense or a headache coming on. Breathe deeply.

Note: Adding more wax yields a more solid balm, whereas adding more oil yields a softer one. You can also infuse your oil to give your balm an extra boost.

Why peppermint oil: Peppermint contains menthol, and menthol produces a cooling sensation on the skin which, couples with the refreshing scent, helps relieve tension and resulting tension headaches.

Why eucalyptus oil: Fresh and invigorating, eucalyptus soothes without making you sleepy. Studies have shown the scent increases brainwave activity, reducing fatigue. Rubbed on muscles, it helps relieve tension and soreness.

Why lavender oil: Lavender is also a wonderfully soothing scent, being used in a number of studies testing the benefits of aromatherapy. Changes in brain wave patterns for people exposed to the scent suggested increased relaxation and a resulting loss of tension in muscles.

Why beeswax/Shea nut oil or butter/almond oil: All of these ingredients are what give the balm its body, and dilute the essential oils. Good and nourishing for the skin.

Linen Spray

This recipe comes from TheDabblist.com
I spray this on my pillow right before bed - I think it helps me to sleep better...I am not a very good sleeper :-)

2 ounces Cheap Vodka
4 ounces Water
10-15 drops Essential Oils (I Used Lavender)


Shake up the bottle before use.

Cold and Flu Tonic

Here is my recipe for a tonic that I make to ward off colds and flu. Our son Robbie is never without a jar and he swears by it. I cannot remember where I got my recipe but I can tell you it works. It's hot and takes a little getting used to, but you will love it!

Mimi's Tonic
1 White Onion
1 head Garlic
4 Hot Peppers
4 inches Horseradish Root
4 inches Ginger Root
1 quart Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (like Braggs)


Process in processor and store in quart jar in fridge indefinitely. Take 1 tbs at first sign of cold, flu, etc.

Here is a very similar recipe with added turmeric from TrueEarthMama.com. And it is strained so it is probably a little easier to take. I think I will try it this way next time!! You'll also find some excellent information about the ingredients after the recipe.

Organic Super Cleansing Tonic
1 30 Oz. Bottle Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (I Recommend Braggs)
¼ cup Chopped Garlic
¼ cup Onions
¼ cup Habanero Peppers (Or Hottest Peppers You Can Find)
¼ cup Grated Ginger
¼ cup Grated Horseradish
2 Tbsp Turmeric

Blend ingredients together for a couple of minutes - Strain - Pour liquid back in bottle - Compost everything else!

You can store the tonic in a cupboard for long periods of time. No need to keep in the refrigerator. You can also use it mixed with olive oil for a salad dressing. Or a shot full on your stir fry.

**It is a good idea to wear gloves especially when handling the peppers as it is difficult to get the heat off of your hands!

*For sore throat, gargle a bit in the mouth and swallow.

*For an illness, such as a cold or flu, take about 2 droppers full or a Tablespoon every couple of hours. 

*For daily immune support drink 2 droppers full/ 1Tablespoon every day. Build up tolerance to a shot glass full.

*Eat an orange, lemon, or lime slice after to ease the heat.


The super cleansing tonic is an antibiotic, destroying both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. It is also a potent anti-viral and anti-fungal/yeast formula, and will increase blood and lymph circulation to every part of the body. It is so effective that it is said to be the cure for colds and the flu, and is the herbal preparation of choice against Candida. This basic formula dates back to medieval Europe and the plagues. 

Benefit of each Ingredient: (All Organic Of Course!!)

Garlic is a broad spectrum antibiotic. Unlike chemical antibiotics that kill off millions of friendly bacteria that your body needs, Garlic only targets the invading bacteria and even promotes and increases your healthy bacteria. Garlic is also a powerful anti-fungal and literally destroys any antigen, pathogen and any harmful or disease causing micro-organism. 

Onion is Garlic's next of kin and has similar but milder action. Together they are a tremendous fighting duo. 

Horseradish is a potent herb for the sinus and lungs. It opens up the sinus passages and increases the circulation there, where most doctors agree, the common cold and influenza often starts. 

Ginger contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties and is a tremendous circulatory stimulant.

Hot Peppers are the most powerful circulatory propellant known. It simply sends the antibiotic and disease fighting properties of the other herbs where they're needed most.

Turmeric clears infection and reduces inflammation inside of the body. It blocks cancer from developing. Especially helpful for those with joint pain.

Apple Cider Vinegar (I use Braggs Organic ACV) There surely must be something really healthy in using apple cider vinegar, since The Father of Medicine, Hippocrates, used this vinegar around 400 B.C. for its health giving qualities. It is said that he had only two remedies: honey and apple cider vinegar. 

All About Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is made from fresh ripe apples that are fermented and undergo a stringent process to create the final product. The vinegar contains a host of vitamins, beta-carotene, pectin and vital minerals such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, chlorine, sulphur, iron, and fluorine. 

Pectin in the vinegar is a fiber which helps reduce bad cholesterol and helps in regulating blood pressure. The need for calcium supplements once you start growing older is very well known. This vinegar helps extract calcium from the fruits, vegetables and meat it is mixed with, helping in the process of maintaining strong bones. Potassium deficiency causes a variety of ailments including hair loss, weak finger nails, brittle teeth, sinusitis, and a permanently running nose. Apple cider vinegar is loaded with potassium. Studies have shown that potassium deficiency results in stunted growth. All these ailments can be avoided with the intake of apple cider vinegar. The potassium in this vinegar also helps in eliminating toxic waste from the body. The beta-carotene helps in countering damage caused by free radicals, helping one maintain firmer skin and a youthful appearance. Apple cider vinegar is good for those wanting to lose weight. It helps in breaking down fat which helps in natural weight reduction. 

Apple cider vinegar contains malic acid which is very helpful in fighting fungal and bacterial infections. This acid dissolves uric acid deposits that form around joints, helping relieve joint pains. This dissolved uric acid is gradually eliminated from the body. 

It is claimed that apple cider vinegar is helpful in ailments such as constipation, headaches, arthritis, weak bones, indigestion, high cholesterol, diarrhea, eczema, sore eyes, chronic fatigue, mild food poisoning, hair loss, high blood pressure, obesity, along with a host of many other ailments. No wonder then many know apple cider vinegar as the "Wonder Drug". 

Just thought you would like to know how powerful this tonic is!

DIY Deodorizing Disks

This recipe comes from OneGoodThingByJillee.com

2 cups Baking Soda
1 – 2 Cups Distilled Water (Or You Can Boil Your Water For 10 Minutes.)
Lavender Essential Oil (Or Whatever Oil You Choose. Citrus Would Be Good Too!)
Silicone Mold Or Muffin Pan

Add a 3 to 4 drops of essential oil to approximately ½ cup water. Pour the water/oil mixture into the baking soda and mix well. Continue to add water until you have a THICK paste.

Divide the mixture into your molds or muffin tin cups.

Let dry 24 to 48 hours until completely hardened. 

I love the way they turned out. Cute design for a practical purpose! And they smell SO good!

According to Jennifer at Diapers, Dirt, etc…each disk should last about a month in a diaper pail. I’m guessing a month is also long enough to leave them in a smelly trashcan or compactor. Then when you are ready to replace it, take the OLD disk and crumble it into a load of laundry to help deodorize there as well.

Now go forth and make the world a better smelling place to dwell!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Health and Beauty Uses for Common Household Ingredients

Here is another hand-out I'll be using for my DIY class, and again, the information comes from a combination of great ideas you'll find in the "Links You'll Like" area on the right.


The anti-inflammatory properties of apple cider vinegar work to help internal inflammation within the gastrointestinal tract when added to salads or taken diluted with water. It helps reduce bloating, belching and heartburns.

Aids with weight loss:
By regulating blood sugar levels, apple cider vinegar also assists in weight loss. Insulin will not direct sugar to be stored as fat.

Clears skin:
Apple cider vinegar is astringent and is an antiseptic. It helps with acne and pimples.

Gets rid of dandruff:
The fungus, Malassezia furfur, which causes dandruff, is eradicated by the antifungal properties of apple cider vinegar.

Helps with Arthritis:
Apple cider vinegar has potent anti-inflammatory properties and helps with pain of the joints.

Lowers glucose in diabetics:
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which can slow down starch digestion. This will help lower glucose levels in the bloodstream.

Lowers bad cholesterol:
The presence of pectin in apple cider vinegar helps reduce bad cholesterol in the body.

Rich in minerals:
Potassium, magnesium and many other minerals are in apple cider vinegar. Potassium controls the water balance in the body. Magnesium helps with digestion.

Protects against cancer:
Apple cider vinegar contains beta-carotene, which according to the Mayo Clinic possesses antioxidant properties that counteract damage caused by free radicals. ACV protect against cancer and  boost the immune system.

Hair: It is widely known that apple cider vinegar can be used as a rinse for your hair after shampooing to add healthy body and shine. Recycle an old shampoo bottle and fill it with ½ a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a cup of cold water. Pour through your hair after shampooing several times a week.

As an after shampoo rinse it removes soap scum on your hair. Rinse with a cup filled with ½ a cup of warm water and ½ a cup of vinegar, and your locks will be shiny and free of buildup.

For dandruff use the same technique as the hair rinse above but with a higher concentration of vinegar; also acts as an effective dandruff treatment.

Face: Did you know that apple cider vinegar can help regulate the pH of your skin? Dilute apple cider vinegar with two parts water, and spread the concoction over your face with a cotton ball as a toner. You can do this at night after washing, and in the morning before you apply your moisturizer. You can also dab apple cider vinegar directly onto age spots and leave them on overnight to lighten their color.

Acne treatment: Apply equal parts vinegar and water to problem areas.

Facial toner: Using vinegar as toner is a great (and inexpensive) alternative to using alpha hydroxyl based products.

Hands and Feet: Are your hands and feet feeling tired and swollen after a long day? Treat yourself to a personal spa massage by rubbing apple cider vinegar onto them.

Athletes foot (and other fungus): Apply full-strength vinegar to the affected area twice daily until symptoms abate.

Sunburn: Suffering from a bad sunburn? Add a cup of apple cider vinegar to your bath and soak for 10 minutes.

Teeth: Did you know that apple cider vinegar can help remove stains from teeth? Rub teeth directly with apple cider vinegar and rinse out.

Aftershave: Fill a bottle with equal parts apple cider vinegar and water and shake to blend.


Soothe insect bites and bee stings: Create a paste with baking soda and water and pat over the affected area. It will create a cool relief and draw the sting out.

Smooth your skin: Create a soothing bath salt recipe and use in a warm soaking bath to smooth your skin.

Whiten your teeth:  Use a little toothpaste, mix in one teaspoon baking soda, plus one teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide, and a 1/2 tsp. of  water. Thoroughly mix then brush your teeth for two minutes.  Repeat this once a week till you have desired results. Once your teeth are whitened, just repeat once a month.

Mouthwash: To make your own mouth rinse; You will need 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon salt,  and 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil. Add ingredients to a quart of boiling hot water and stir. Let cool and store in a glass jar with lid.

Homemade toothpaste: Dunk a wet toothbrush in baking soda to help whiten and freshen teeth. For a minty flavor. Make a paste of baking soda with a few drops of water and one drop of peppermint essential oil and stir together and brush away.

Relieve indigestion: Combine 1/2 cup of water with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 drop of peppermint essential oil, and drink for indigestion.

Relieve sunburn: To relieve pain, make a thin paste using water and baking soda. Gently apply to the burned area.

Exfoliate Skin:  To exfoliate your skin, make a paste using 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water. Apply to your face with your hands and rub gently to slough off dead skin, and leave your skin with a glow.

Soothe sore throat: Gargle with warm water and baking soda to heal and calm sore throats.

Detox: To relieve aches and pains, mix 1 cup baking soda and 1 cup apple cider vinegar in a warm tub of water.

Clean dentures and retainers: To clean, soak dentures and retainers  in 1 cup warm water and 3 tablespoons baking soda.

Soothe itchy rashes: Add baking soda to a warn bath and soak to relieve itchy rashes and dry skin.

Relieve heartburn:  to relieve heartburn, drink 4 ounces of water mixed with 1 teaspoon baking soda.

Antiperspirant: Apply baking soda under arms for quick-dry antiperspirant.

Soothe baby’s bottom rash: Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda, to a lukewarm bath, and have baby sit in it for a few minutes to soothe diaper rash.


Most people are familiar with the traditional uses for lemons to soothe sore throats and add some citrus flavor to our foods.

However the diversity of applications for lemons far exceeds general knowledge and once you read the following list, you’ll likely want to stock at least a few lemons in your kitchen 24-7.

High Blood Pressure
Lemon contains potassium which controls high blood pressure and reduces the effect of nausea and dizziness

Mental Health
Lemon water can also pep up your mood and relieve depression and stress. Long distance walkers and world travelers as well as explorers look upon the lemon as a Godsend. When fatigue begins, a lemon is sucked through a hole in the top. Quick acting medicine it is, giving almost unbelievable refreshments.

Respiratory Problems
Lemon water can reduce phlegm; and can also help you breathe properly and aids a person suffering with asthma.

Treating Arthritis and Rheumatism
Lemon is a diuretic – assists in the production of urine which helps you to reduce inflammation by flushing out toxins and bacteria while also giving you relief from arthritis and rheumatism.

Prevents Kidney Stones
Regular consumption of lemon juice mixed with water may increase the production of urinary citrate, a chemical in the urine that prevents the formation of crystals that may build up into kidney stones.

Lemon water reduces the production of free radicals which are responsible for aging skin and skin damage. Lemon water is calorie free and an antioxidant.

Treat Infections
Lemon water can fight throat infections thanks to its antibacterial property. If salt water does not work for you, try lemon and water for gargling.

Purges The Blood
We consume a lot of junk food or food with a lot of preservatives and artificial flavors. This builds up a lot of toxins in the blood and body but daily consumption of lemon water helps to purify the blood.

Oral Health
Lemon juice also stops bleeding gums and reduces toothaches.

Lighten Age Spots
To lighten liver spots or freckles, try applying lemon juice directly to the area. Let it sit for 15 minutes and then rinse your skin clean. It’s a safe and effective skin-lightening agent.

Create Blonde Highlights
For highlights, add 1/4 cup lemon juice to 3/4 cup water and rinse your hair with the mixture. Then, sit in the sun until your hair dries. To maximize the effect, repeat daily for a week.

Make a Room Scent/Humidifier
Freshen and moisturize the air in your home on dry winter days. Make your own room scent that also doubles as a humidifier. If you have a wood-burning stove, place an enameled cast-iron pot or bowl on top, fill with water, and add lemon (and/or orange) peels, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and apple skins. No wood-burning stove? Use your stovetop instead and just simmer the water periodically.

Clean and Whiten Nails
Pamper your hands without a manicurist. Add the juice of 1/2 lemon to 1 cup warm water and soak your fingertips in the mixture for 5 minutes. After pushing back the cuticles, rub some lemon peel back and forth against the nail.

Cleanse Your Face
Dab lemon juice on blackheads to draw them out during the day. You can also wash your face with lemon juice for a natural cleanse and exfoliation. Your skin should improve after several days of treatment. Lemon water is also a cooling agent, best way to beat the heat.

Freshen Your Breath
Make an impromptu mouthwash by rinsing with lemon juice straight from the bottle. Swallow for longer-lasting fresh breath. The citric acid in the juice alters the pH level in your mouth, killing bacteria that causes bad breath. Rinse after a few minutes because long-term exposure to the acid in lemons can harm tooth enamel.

Treat Flaky Dandruff
Massage two tablespoons lemon juice into your scalp and rinse with water. Then stir one teaspoon lemon juice into one cup water and rinse your hair with it. Repeat daily until your dandruff disappears.

Soften Dry, Scaly Elbows
Mix baking soda and lemon juice to make an abrasive paste, then rub it into your elbows for a soothing, smoothing, and exfoliating treatment. Rinse your extremities in a mixture of equal parts lemon juice and water, then massage with olive oil and dab dry with a soft cloth.

Lemon juice with a few teaspoons of hot tea added is the treatment of a sophisticated New York bartender, for those who suffer with hangover headaches–and from headaches due to many other causes. He converts his customers to this regime, and weans them away from drug remedies completely.

Chills and Fevers
Chills and fevers may be due to a variety of causes; never the less the lemon is always a helpful remedy. Spanish physicians regard it as an infallible friend.

Stomach Health
Digestive problems are the most common ailments but warm water and lemon or lime juice is the solution to most digestive problems. Lemon juice helps to purify the blood, reduces your chances of indigestion, constipation, eliminates toxins from the body, adds digestion and reduces phlegm.

Disinfect Cuts and Scrapes
Stop bleeding and disinfect minor cuts and scraps by pouring a few drops of lemon juice directly on the cut. You can also apply the juice with a cotton ball and hold firmly in place for one minute.

Soothe Poison Ivy Rash
You won’t need an ocean of calamine lotion the next time poison ivy comes a-creeping. Just apply lemon juice directly to the affected area to soothe itching and alleviate the rash.

Remove Warts
You’ve tried countless remedies to banish warts and nothing seems to work. Next time, apply a dab of lemon juice directly to the wart using a cotton swab. Repeat for several days until the acids in the lemon juice dissolve the wart completely.

Reduce Asthma Symptoms
In addition to a general detoxifying diet, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice before each meal, and before retiring can reduce asthma symptoms.

  • If you do consume lemon peel, stick to organic lemons to reduce your pesticide exposure.


Slice open a clove of raw, fresh garlic and apply it to breakouts as a home remedy for acne. Your skin won’t smell terribly good, but the antibacterial properties of garlic will help lessen the appearance of acne, even those deep acne cysts that can otherwise be difficult to treat.

Cold sore treatment
These unsightly lesions always seem to pop up at the most inopportune times, like the morning before a big date. Raw garlic may work just as well as commercial medical treatments, though the acidity may cause discomfort at first. Cut a garlic clove in half and place it directly on the cold sore for 10 minutes, several times a day. Garlic supplements in capsule form may also speed up the healing process.

Weight Loss Aid
Even though it’s potent flavor may make you want to eat a lot of it, garlic actually has weight loss properties, according to some research. Compounds found in garlic send your brain signals of satiety, which will actually help you to feel full faster. It also boosts metabolic function helping you to burn more calories as well.

Athlete’s foot
Garlic is a potent natural anti-fungal, making it ideal for treating fungal infections like irritating and itchy athlete’s foot. Add a few cloves of crushed garlic to warm water in a foot bath and soak the affected foot for 30 minutes.

Ear infections
A common folk remedy for centuries, garlic can indeed kill the bacteria that cause ear infections. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should shove a clove of garlic into your ear and hope for the best. Crush a clove of garlic with a press and place it in a teaspoon of hot olive oil for five minutes. Strain, allow to cool and drip a few drops at a time into your ear canal. You can also purchase garlic oil made for this purpose at natural health food stores.

Splinter removal
Splinters! They’re painful to remove, and sometimes they slice too far into the skin to pull out. Instead of waiting for it to come out on its own, try this odd trick: place a thin slice over the splinter and hold on with a bandage. The garlic should help the splinter work its way out of the skin within hours.

Psoriasis relief
The persistent tightness and itching of psoriasis could be eased or even prevented by garlic’s anti-inflammatory properties. Active compounds in garlic interact with arachidonic acid, an omega fatty acid in the skin linked to psoriasis. Garlic oil may be rubbed directly on affected areas once or twice per day.

Cough syrup
Ease inflammation in the throat and clear up excess mucus by using garlic as cough syrup. Try steeping raw, minced garlic in hot water, straining it after five minutes and drinking the liquid as tea; you can add ginger and honey to make it more palatable.

Cold banisher
Can garlic cure and prevent colds naturally? It’s been in use for this purpose for centuries, and there’s a good reason for that. Researchers believe that allicin, the main biologically active component of garlic, could block enzymes that may impede bacterial and viral infections. Eat three to four cloves of garlic per day, preferably raw and crushed, adding them to soups, stews, pasta sauces and salad dressings.


facial cleansing: Witch hazel has the unique ability to clean skin pores and dry up excessive oil without leaving skin too dry. For healthy, normal skin, witch hazel can often replace a daily cleanser. For oily or acne prone skin, swabbing witch hazel throughout the day is a great way to quickly wipe off excessive oil without the hassle of a full face wash.

acne treatment: The tannin content in witch hazel has strong astringent as well as antioxidant properties. These astringent properties are cleansing to the skin, while minimizing the size of skin pores. Unlike many harsh commercial acne formulations, it is gentle and non-drying when used to tone and cleanse acne-infected or acne-prone skin. Plain witch hazel may be applied to the skin straight from the bottle using cotton balls. It should be applied to the acne-infected skin twice a day. It should never be applied more than three times a day.

scars & stretch marks: Witch hazel is often used by pregnant women to prevent stretch marks, but it can be used to help loose or excessive skin around scars or stretch marks to tighten, helping to minimize the scar.

soothe diaper rash: If your baby’s rash isn’t healing quick enough, apply witch hazel solution (Dickinson’s is good) with a cotton ball and you should see immediate improvement to your baby’s bottom.

bags under the eyes: Some people say that the application of hemorrhoid cream to those little baggies under your eyes can take them away. It’s not an old wives’ tale. One of the magic ingredients in a product like Preparation H is witch hazel, which helps tighten up the skin and reduce the bagginess.

varicose veins: Soak wash cloths in witch hazel and lay on legs, which are propped straight out, to reduce pain and swelling from varicose veins. The witch hazel helps to tighten the veins, relieving the discomfort temporarily.

soothe chicken pox blisters: Witch Hazel can also help the itching caused from chicken pox. To make a Witch Hazel mixture, take one cup of witch hazel and one cup of water. Mix the two and apply to the skin. Don’t be afraid to lavish this mixture on the skin. The witch hazel can be applied as often as needed. Once you apply the witch hazel and water, let dry.

heal cuts and scrapes: Many chemists and pharmacists refer to witch hazel as nature’s answer to Neosporin. Witch hazel can be a substitute for hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol when it comes to cleaning out a cut. Pour a liberal amount of witch hazel over the cut or sore and allow it to dry. Add a bandage and you’re set. You can also use witch hazel on bruises or skin that is blistered or cracked.

soothe razor burn: The anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel stop itchy bumps from forming up around your irritated hair follicles. Splash on after shaving legs or face.

treat sunburn: Healing damaged skin is one of witch hazel’s specialties. But as sunburn is also a type of skin inflammation, witch hazel is ideal for treating this too (despite swelling not being obvious). Treating sunburn with witch hazel will lessen healing time and prevent the infamous skin peeling and flaking. Apply with a washcloth soaked in witch hazel, allowing it to soak into your skin for several minutes before removing.

treat dry skin: Apply witch hazel immediately after showering to lock in the moisture that has just soaked into your skin.

soothe tired, puffy eyes: If your eyes are puffy from crying or lack of sleep (or both), then soak two small cotton pads with witch hazel and put them over your eyes. After 10 minutes, your eyes should be refreshed, and any redness should be gone. Witch hazel is famous for shrinking blood vessels (which is why it’s one of the main ingredients in Preparation H cream).

natural deodorant: Witch hazel is often used in deodorants due to its natural skin-healing and skin-care properties.

sore gums, sore throat, laryngitis: The antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and astringent activity of Witch Hazel may help shrink and heal inflamed and sore throats, gums and larynx. Witch hazel tea infused with myrrh and cloves can make your sore throat feel better after gargling.

cold sores: Witch Hazel applied on a cold sore when you feel it coming on will prevent it from becoming a blister. If you already have one, use it right away and often and the blister will heal quicker.

scalp deep cleanse: Use a witch hazel hair-cleansing routine if you suffer from psoriasis, eczema, or dandruff. Massage the scalp with the witch hazel, followed with shampoo and conditioner. It is also an efficient “between-shampoos” method of washing your hair and scalp.

bug bites: With its anti-itch and anti-inflammatory properties, witch hazel is ideal for treating bug bites. Apply the witch hazel with a cotton ball, square or swab directly on the bite. It also works to soothe bites from fleas, flies and insect stings.

poison ivy and poison oak: Just like acne and blemishes, the witch hazel reduces itching and relieves swelling. Something definitely worth packing on your next camping trip.


Whiten Nails. Who needs a French manicure when you can make your nails shine with a little hydrogen peroxide? Just soak a cotton ball with peroxide and rub it on your nails.

Get Rid of a Cold. It might sound a little strange, but putting a few drops of hydrogen peroxide into each of your ears every morning can help you beat a cold.

Use as a Mouthwash. Dilute in water (the mixture should be about half water-half hydrogen peroxide) and use as a mouthwash, being very careful not to swallow any of the stuff. It’ll kill germs & whiten your teeth. Some experts even think it helps alleviate toothaches and canker sores!


One of the most effective natural anti-aging skin care ingredients available is Shea butter. Shea butter helps to improve skin tone and elasticity while moisturizing to help skin appear smoother, making wrinkling less noticeable. Shea butter also helps to even skin tone and eliminates rough, scaly, dry skin; making skin softer and supple.
Shea butter is a slightly yellowish or ivory-colored natural fat extracted from the nut of the African Shea tree.

Shea butter helps diminish wrinkles by moisturizing your skin, promoting cell renewal, and increasing circulation.

Shea butter also contains cinnamic acid, a substance that helps protect the skin from harmful UV rays. Although Shea butter should not be used instead of sunscreen, Shea butter does offer some sunscreen protection, making it a beneficial moisturizing choice to help protect your skin.

Shea butter softens dry, winter skin.

Shea butter is very good for dry and brittle hair and prevents breakage.

Shea butter is used for the management of sinusitis and relief of nasal congestion. This is due to its hydrating properties which help in relaxing the tension in the facial skin thus easing respiration.

How To Apply Shea Butter For Everyday Use!
Before application, melt completely by rubbing in your hands until butter is perfectly liquid.

Revitalizing Your Hair
The day before shampooing, oil your hair by massaging your scalp with a plop of butter. Wrap your hair in a hot towel; your keratin will absorb all that is required. 

Love Your Face
The face is the main beneficiary of the daily use of Shea butter especially for those with dry skin; concentrate on inner parts (lower part of the nose, the corners of lips). Massage about ten minutes.

Protect Your Body in Winter
All of your body parts that are exposed are attacked by the cold weather. The film that Shea butter leaves on your skin will screen and protect it for hours. Never forget that the fight against aging begins with protection.

Dry Hair Care
If you have very dry hair, ten minutes after shampooing, apply a little Shea butter to bring brightness and life to your hair.

The superficial layers of the skin absolutely require an acceleration of blood circulation. The butter will penetrate deep into your skin, leaving a satin finish to the skin. The protection is real and will last a long time.

Kissable Lips
Shea butter softens the lips and gives them a protective film against dryness and cold. Shea butter also helps irritated noses due to allergies or colds. A little Shea butter may be applied in each nostril. 

Relax Your Muscles
Apply carefully on arms and thighs for instantaneous muscular well-being.

Applying Shea butter immediately after shaving or waxing will prevent irritation and give your skin a lustrous, satiny look and feel.

Essential For Baby's Daily Care
Africans have been using Shea butter daily for centuries as a unique link between mother and child to prevent delicate baby skin irritations.

To Regain Freshness
Apply butter to every part of your body after a warm bath.

Care For The Summer
Your skin suffers during the whole summer. Regular use of Shea butter in addition to sun screen products, before and after sun exposure, leaves you with tanned skin and avoids peeling.

Shea Butter and Sport
Shea butter is particularly recommended for sportsmen. It has been used by Africans for centuries to relieve muscles tension and stress, Shea butter accelerates warm-ups, afterwards Shea butter helps drain toxins from sore muscles for a faster recovery.

Take note that Raw Shea butter offers the highest amount of anti-aging nutrients. This is Shea butter that has not been exposed to a refinement process.