Welcome to Hill Country Herbalist

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Products with New Label

Introducing my new logo! ivita botanicals - vitamins for your skin. I've been busy in the herbal kitchen whipping up nutritive lotions, scrubs, facial elixirs, lip balms, salt soaks - all packed with vitamins and organic herbs that feed our skin what it needs to stay happy and healthy (not the bad stuff - synthetic preservatives, toxins and chemicals). With the philosophy of we should be as discriminating with what we apply on our skin as we are about what we ingest in our bodies - I've been careful to create a toxin-free line that our skin craves.

One of my newer products is an under eye elixir that helps with puffy weary eyes. Made with organic cucumber, aloe vera gel, and vitamins for the skin this lovely "rejuvenator" feels cool and soothing when applied to the delicate skin under our eyes. A little goes a long way, too. I've been using it happily for the last few days (I've also enjoyed applying it on skin beyond under the eye with great results!). This elixir works well when applied on freshly cleansed skin and followed with my Cell Rejuvenator lotion featuring jojoba oil, aloe vera, calendula and vitamins for the skin.

My lovely and talented herbsister in-law is a marketing genius. She and I met for lunch some time back and she designed my new logo! I just love it, don't you? Tell me what you think..... ;)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Updates & Feedback

...so, a friend of a friend had a head to toe rash from heat, working with pets at an animal shelter (SARA), and various other reasons. I gave my friend a large jar full of the salt soak I made with chamomile and lavender flowers and she reported that all of the rash went away with the exception of a small area on his back. That's wonderful! I will definitely be making more herbal salt soaks.

I've also been receiving great feedback from my calendula lip balm sticks. I wear this balm each day - I love the way it feels - not greasy or heavy - just soft nurtured lips...ahhh.

Still getting great reviews on my Orange Blossom lotion - this is such a wonderful lotion that feeds the skin and keeps it healthy. I've heard this lotion helping people with really dry, irritated and even sun damaged skin. I love the way my hands look after just a few uses - the skin looks smoother and more vibrant.

I'm loving the Raspberry Calendula under eye cream I made about a month ago. I've noted the skin under my eye area looking brighter and smoother. I'm definitely making more of this lotion in the next few days.

I'm surprised both men and women are loving my patchouli sugar scrub - it's a wonderful scrub with almond oil and essential oils for mature or blemished skin. I have both of these so I use daily! I'm getting requests for this one and I have to say - I wasn't expecting that. It's a great surprise.

I spoke with herbdad today and he told me a sample I had given my aunt in April was really well received by a friend of hers who is inquiring about how to get some more. I love this! I love being able to feed our skin with plants I've either grown or purchased from reputable vendors. If it's organic, I buy it. I buy the best I can buy - extra virgin olive oil, high quality aloe vera, organic plants...you get the picture - only the best for our skin. If we can't eat it, why put it on our skin? Our skin is the largest organ we have and it does "digest" what we apply on it. Anyway - I'm off - much to do in the herbworld....be back with more good news and latest products in a few days....ciao for now!

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I have some dried Arnica flowers in my herbal pantry I hadn't used until today. When I called my neighbor and heard he re-injured his shoulder and was in some pain, I decided to infuse the Arnica in oil to make an anti-inflammatory salve.

Arnica (Arnica montana)is an orange/yellow flower with hairy leaves belonging to the Asteracea family. Other members of the Asteracea family: chamomile, calendula, dandelion, sunflowers....and what do these flowers all have in common? Mostly yellow, disk flowers surrounded by "petals" or ray flowers. That's right! Even the "petals" we often admire in these flowers are each individual flowers capable of producing it's very own seed. Take the sunflower for example, the inner area is made up of many tiny disk flowers and the "petals" are each individual ray flowers. Fascinating...

Arnica has long fibrous hairs that appear fluffy once dried. These fibers are from the flower's hairy pappus or the modified version of this plant's sepals. (I'm smiling as I type "hairy pappus" since my herb teacher often giggled when she would teach us botany and touched on the flowers which demonstrated a hairy pappus. Doesn't it just sound so dirty!?).

Arnica is best used externally for topical use. I have read it can be quite toxic when used internally. It has been used for its anti-inflammatory and vulnerary actions. Topically, it has been used in the form of salves, rubbing oil, or liniments. People have come to rely on Arnica when they are hurting due to sprains or deep bruising; however, it should not be used if the skin is broken.

Arnica seems to work by stimulating and dilating the blood vessels near the surface, improving circulation to the injured area.

It's going to take me a couple weeks before I can make this salve. I sure hope my neighbor is better by then and doesn't need it. I still think it's good to have it around the house for those times I get bumps and bruises - not to mention when herbhusband does a number on himself when he's working around the house.

A bit of caution, Arnica can sometimes irritate the skin and if you are hurt you should seek medical assistance. This blog entry is not meant to diagnose, treat or subsitute professional medical advice.