Herbdad gave us a cabernet grape vine several years ago. We planted it off the back patio and each year it offers shade and year-round beauty. It's wonderful to see the vine take hold and grow stronger each year while producing clusters of small red grapes. The grapes have rich peppery flavor and are smaller than regular table grapes. This time of year, the grapes are still green and hang in small clusters from the vine.
When growing plants in the herb garden, I'm always curious how I can take my appreciation one step further by learning how to make them into skin care products. In this case, the grape leaf is very high in vitamins and antioxidants, perfect for our skin!
Each year, I harvest the most vibrant and unblemished grape leaves. I carefully dehydrate them and store them until I'm ready to grind them and infuse them in oil. Today, I made a wonderful lotion featuring a combination of my grape leaves and raspberry leaves (harvested earlier this year).
This lotion is rich and luxurious. Raspberry leaves, grape leaves, calendula blossoms, mango butter and other butters simply make skin smile the moment you glide on this lotion. Oh, and the smell is wonderful - light and sweet! I used hints of mint and chamomile in this recipe. I am looking forward to sharing this with my friends - it's delightful!
I'm also growing two other varieties of grapes in the garden. Here you can see how different the leaves are from one another. Other herbs I recommend to grow during the summer for food, nutrition, wellness and skin care are Echinacea (great for skin toners for very oily and blemished skin),rosemary, and mint family herbs like bee balm, lemon balm, self heal, and basil. You can infuse these giving plants into vinegars, glycerin or oils - depending on the type of product you need. Infused oils are key for lotions and salves. Vinegars are great for hair rinses and facial toners. Glycerin infusions are great for ingestion as well as application on the skin.
In this case, the raspberry and grape leaves are my secret heroes in anti-aging crèmes. The skin drinks up these pants and becomes smooth and radiant with each use. I've noted when real plants are used in our products, they last longer, they are more effective and the visual effects linger well after the product has been applied. Experiencing the vibrancy of plants in skin care products makes it hard to go back to stale, artificial, lifeless lotions at the stores. There simply is no comparison.
Wow, is it Summer! It's only the first days of June and we are in the 90's by midday. Quite a contrast from last year's rainy cloudy Spring/Summer.
I've noted a bloom delay due to the heat with my bee balm. This time last year, I was collecting blossoms and making bee balm honey and bee balm infusions. What a difference. They are struggling to bloom this year. I'm taking close care of them in hopes of a delayed bloom and wonderful 2011 honey infusion.
The dry hot heat does make for some scrumptious tomatoes, though! Tomatoes just love the heat. This fruit originates near the equator so the hotter and sunnier the better!
We are having so much fun celebrating the heirlooms we planted earlier this year. Just take a look at these beauties fresh picked from the garden!
To make this simple summer salad all you need is:
- fresh picked basil from the garden
- organic red lettuce
- cottage cheese
- tomatoes from the garden (shown here Thomas Yellow and Black Pearl)
Be sure to eat outdoors to celebrate nature's bounty, no matter how big or small!
In honor of the blooming herbs here in the Hill Country garden I dedicate this post to the topical uses of Borage, Yarrow, Vitex, Calendula...
Interested in IVITA botanical products?
Hill Country Herbalist lovingly makes vibrant, nutrient rich, nourishing lotions, serums, balms, salves, facial scrubs and elixers for your face and body. All products are handmade using organic and pesticide free herbs and oils. Interested? It's simple! Email me for a price list at email@example.com. Unleash your skin's smile!
I am a Texas native, an artist, a foodie, and an herbalist. I studied under Nicole Telkes Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine in Austin. I mostly focus on developing and producing body care products using plants I grow or purchase organically.
I’m a nutritionist to dear friends and family, I understand food sensitivities and intolerances and how foods can affect cognitive and physical health. I once suffered from GI illness and through studying alternative means of healing and applying discipline to my wellness plan have overcome chronic inflammation and pain. I was fortunate to heal myself outside of the typical medical model of prescriptions and think many of us can, too. I believe we have the power to heal our bodies. We are all introduced to a myriad of pollutants each day. We are eating, applying them, or inhaling them with little thought. I aim too reduce this minefield by producing toxin free products that are beneficial, nutritive, and easily absorbed through the skin. We all need a little help navigating through today’s exposures. My mission is to help reduce pollution in people, one product at a time. Thank you for joining me in my herbal adventures!
Statements made on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA. Entries made by Hill Country Herbalist are not intented to replace medical care, nor are they intended to diagnose, cure or prevent illness or disease. Please speak with your health care practicioner for health concerns. Discussions and comments made on Hill Country Herbalist are not intended to replace consultations with your health care provider and should not be construed as medical advice.
we all grow up
Verbena (Vervain) Loving Spring
Cactus in Bloom
Spring in the Hill Country 2010
Flowers for Mum
reaching towards the sun
Briar and Basil in the Greenhouse
Pets love to garden too!
IVITA Botanicals on Etsy!
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