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“Two wings lift a person up from earthy concerns: simplicity and purity. Simplicity should be in intention, purity in feelings. Simplicity reaches out after God, purity catches hold and tastes. ~ Thomas A’Kempis

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

St John's Wort & Lavender Honey Soap

Hi everyone,
At the moment I am recovering from hurting my back (again). It's been about a year since I hurt it this bad, so I'd forgotten how awful it is. The up-side is I'm personally testing out a Pain Salve I made (with Arnica & St John's wort infused oils - plus essential oils of Wintergreen, Clove, Fir, Peppermint, Basil, and a few others.  I find St John's Wort to be a fascinating herb !! When the flowers are squeezed a tiny bit of reddish oil oozes out. This red oil is the power house, its the most potent part of the plant. 



 I took some photos last year  when I made a St John's Wort balm to share in a post and never got round to it. The pictures tell their own story of what I normally do when making a balm (if I infuse the oils myself). Often I purchase infused oils when I intend to sell the balms on the website.

gathering flowers and leaves...placing them in the jar (chopped up a bit), then covering with oil.


The oil after 1 month infusing..note the reddish hue

When making balms etc,  I generally refer to my trusty herbal books eg: Rosemary Gladstar for more concrete information and guidelines for usage. The great thing is that anyone can make these if they have enough interest and desire to make their own natural remedies. 

For anyone interested I wrote this little bit of info:

Infusing St John;s Wort in Olive Oil
Leaves can also be infused, but generally the more flowers the better. A lot of people use dried plant material, but I get better results from fresh. I generally gather dry flowers/leaves on a warm day, then let the plants wilt a bit (up to one day) on a tray to further 'dry them out' and remove any excess moisture.
 I then pack them (not tightly)  into a jar, leaving about an inch head space from the top of the jar or plant material, depending how much there is. Then I cover with pure olive oil - extra virgin (organic if I have it). I cover the jar with either muslin or a  paper towel and a rubber band. This allows for the mixture to breathe when heat builds up in the oil from the sun (I read this somewhere). I find if it's covered with a lid, moisture can build up on the lid & you don't want moisture !!. The pictures show when I used to use a regular lid.  Then I sit it on a sunny window sill - this is a solar infusion. Each day I remove the cover, and gently stir with a clean teaspoon. I then replace the cover and wait up up to 4 weeks (usually), 6 weeks in coller weather, until all the goodness of the plant has been absorbed into the oil. Usually you will see the oil has changed colour - darkened etc. Then I strain it and make it into a balm.

This is the pain balm I made:


I'm enjoying using it for my back  as its very soothing. I purchased the infused oils in this 
particular balm. 

SOAP MAKING NEWS:

Here's a pic of  some honey/lavender soap I made about a week ago. The smell is very beautiful and I love the soft pale amber colour. Next to goats milk soap I think this is my new favorite soap !!





Thats all for now - Blessings and peace - Linda




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