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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Calendula: making tincture and infused oil

Today, I made the beginnings of a calundula tincture and infused oil for future use in salves and other means for wellness. I started by grinding the dried flowers in a coffee grinder and for every cup of calendula I added 2 cups vodka for preservative. I have this sitting in a jar in a dark/cool location. I will keep it there for about 2 weeks rocking the jar each day.

For infused oil, I used one cup powdered calendula with extra virgin olive oil until it was all saturated and covered with the oil. I have this in a jar that is inside a brown paper bag in the greenhouse. I will keep the oil there for about two weeks, rocking the jar each day.

For tincure it's stored in dark cool location and for infusing oil it's stored in a warm location. Can't wait for the second week in April when I will strain the goodness and begin using in my products!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Harvesting Hill Country Herbs

It reached the mid 80's today in the hill country. It's time to harvest the chickweed and cleavers I've been admiring and allowing to grow at will before the heat of the sun wilts them down first. I harvested enough chickweed to fill the four trays in my dehydrator. I'm very excited about this as chickweed is a nutrative plant that can feed us inside and out. Once dehydrated, I plan on infusing it into olive oil for a nutrative healing salve and lotion I'm preparing to make. Chickweed is perfect for healing and feeding our skin. I'll be doing the same with cleavers, henbit, calendula and other plants I find on the property. I cannot wait!

Monday, March 22, 2010


Received my new dehydrator! Now, I'm ready to preserve all the lovely spring herbs growing in my garden before the Texas heat gets to them first. Last night when I returned from herb class, I walked around the property gathering henbit. Henbit is so misunderstood. So many gardners view this lovely purple flowering plant as a weed and a royal pain to deal with. As I picked the plants, I noted their lovely purple flowers with white and purple spotted throats. So very cute. Now, they are dehydrated and marinating the grapeseed oil I have them in. This will be one of my ingredients in the salves and lotion project I have. Next up....cleavers.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Bees Wax and First Day of Spring

Just got back from a wonderful day spent with a wonderful and gifted herbalist who teaches here in Central Texas. Today is the first day of Spring and as I happily walked to the mailbox reflecting on this exciting day I noticed how the crisp cool wind whirled about all the trees as if energizing them to transform into a glory of foliage and blooms. Opening the mailbox, I realized I received a package in the mail. As I tore into the package, I assumed it was a book I recently ordered. It was not the book. It was 2 gorgeous bricks of golden yellow bees wax!!

It is a wonderful feeling to see this bees wax as it reflects my first step towards transfering the knowleage I've collected over the years into special products for our skin. I cannot wait to begin shaving it and melting it and incorporating it in my healing and nutrative salves and lotions.

Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Suffering from skin blemishes I of course became quite curious about this little plant, also known as gooseberry. Cleavers is bright green with thin leaves that when touched seem to grab you and not let go. It is easy to spot in the hill country due to it's bright green color against the brown earth and leaves. Most other plants are still dormant, but cleavers appears juicy and vibrant as it grows.

Cleavers is considered a lymphatic cleanser and when ingested and/or applied to the skin can have wonderful results on tired looking winter skin. Many people relied on it as a blood cleanser and enjoyed drinking juice made from Cleavers during this time of year. I made a skin tonic that I applied twice a day after washing my face. It works by drawing moisture to the skin and leaves skin clean and fresh looking. I also drank an infusion of Cleavers each day and found my skin to be blemish free for the weeks I drank it. In fact, it's been about 3 weeks since I last drank a Cleavers infusion and my skin is still blemish free.

Labels: Spring