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    Alteratives

    Alteratives are herbs that gradually restore the proper function of the body and increase health and vitality.  They seem to alter the body’s processes of metabolism so that tissues can best deal with a range of functions from nutrition to elimination. Many herbs with this action improve the body’s ability to eliminate waste through the kidneys, liver, lungs, or skin. Some stimulate digestion or are anti-microbial. Alteratives move the body to a state of health, removing indicators of systemic disintegration. They are often used for skin conditions to take some of the pressure of “detoxifying” the body and off of the skin while at the same time improving the skin’s ability to eliminate waste and heal. Alterative herbs are best used internally for their properties and can be particularly helpful for psoriasis, eczema, acne and many other skin conditions.

    OREGON GRAPE – MAHONIA AQUIFOLIUM (BERBERIDACEAE) – ROOT AND BARK     

    Oregon grape root is a bitter herb with a cooling and drying effect on the body. In addition to assisting the eliminatory functions of the body, it also acts as an antibacterial, antifungal, and aperient (has a mild laxative effect).
    Oregon grape root bark contains berberine, an alkaloid also found in goldenseal— goldenseal and oregon grape root have many similar qualities. Bernstein et al. (2006) conducted a clinical trial on a proprietary blend of Oregon grape root and found it to be effective and well tolerated in patients with mild to moderate psoriasis.
    Oregon grape root is also commonly used for acne and eczema.

    Oregon grape root is contraindicated in pregnancy and should be used with caution if breastfeeding.

    Dose: 1-2 teaspoon of dried root bark decocted in 8 ounces water for 10 minutes. Steep for 45 minutes and drink 4 ounces three times a day; 2-4 mL of a 1:5 tincture 4x/day*

    RED CLOVER – TRIFOLIUM PRATENSE (FABACEAE) – FLOWERING TOPS (LEAF AND FLOWER)

    Red clover blossoms are common in farm fields all over the U.S. and are known for their lymphatic, anti-cancer, expectorant, and anti-catarrhal properties. Particularly useful for eczema and psoriasis, red clover is best taken as a tea because it is loaded with minerals.
    Red clover contains iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and manganese. It is also high in protein. Red clover is a very safe remedy, though if fermented can affect the coagulability of the blood. Stop using red clover 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

    Dose:  1-2 teaspoon of dried flowering tops in 8 ounces of hot water, steep for half an hour to overnight (the longer you steep, the more minerals will be extracted) and drink 2-3 cups/day; 3-5 mL of a 1:5 tincture 3x/day

    STINGING NETTLE – URTICA DIOICA (URTICACEAE) – AERIAL PARTS                     

    Stinging nettle leaves have a salty/minerally taste and a drying effect on the body. Like red clover, nettle is a mineral-rich alterative, containing calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, silica, selenium, and zinc. Nettle also has a diuretic effect but spares potassium, unlike many pharmaceutical diuretics. Nettle’s anti-inflammatory and astringent properties make it not only helpful for the skin, but also for allergies and hyper-reactive conditions. Taken internally, nettle can be helpful for acne, eczema, and other skin rashes. Don’t let nettle’s stinging nature scare you away from harvesting this useful plant! Just grab a pair of gloves and cut the new growth of the nettle plant into your harvesting basket. Dry young leaves for tea or try using fresh leaves in place of spinach in any recipe.

    Dose: Steep 1-2 teaspoon of dried herb in 8 ounces of hot water for 20-30 minutes, drink 2-4 cups/day; 3-5 mL of a 1:5 tincture, 3x/day

    BURDOCK ROOT - ARCTIUM LAPPA - ROOTS, SEEDS & LEAVES

    Digestive problems are also linked to skin flare-ups. So If your gut is out of balance because it doesn’t have enough “good bacteria”, or lacks sufficient stomach acid, digestive enzymes, or carries too much candida fungus, the imbalance will be reflected in breakouts onto your skin. Burdock root works on gastrointestinal health and regularity. So from acne to eczema to psoriasis, burdock root is known to calm and heal these common skin issues. Consumption of burdock has also helped many people with skin issues through its blood-cleansing and internal cooling abilities detoxifying the body, and so helping to reduce flare-ups. Steep these roots in boiling water to make a daily detox tea.

    Dose: Steep Half to 1tsp root to each cup and drink 3x/day, Tincture 1:5, 25%, 8-12ml 3x/day.

    meadowsweet

    Anti-­Inflammatory Herbs

    Many skin conditions arise from inflammation, whether from within the body or from an external source. Inflammatory skin conditions include acne, eczema, contact dermatitis, and anything that is warm/burning and/or red. Below are several anti-inflammatory herbs with an affinity for the skin. There are many more anti-inflammatory herbs such as: aloe, liquorice, St. John’s wort, plantain, rosemary, comfrey, lavender, violet, chickweed, and marshmallow.

    CALENDULA – CALENDULA OFFICINALIS (ASTERACEAE) – FLOWER

    Calendula is an easy herb to start from seed in the garden and it can be quite prolific—producing flower after flower all summer long. Flowers can be continually harvested as they come into bloom and dried for tea or made into tincture or infused oil. Calendula promotes the growth and healing of epithelial tissue. It is not only anti-inflammatory but also antimicrobial, reducing the possibility of infection from a cyst or wound. Calendula can be used internally and externally for wounds, inflammatory skin conditions, boils, burns, and bruises. Try rinsing or compressing the affected area with a strong infusion of calendula or making an oil, salve, or cream with a calendula base for burns, bruises, or inflamed areas of the skin.

    Safety: Not to be taken internally in pregnancy.

    Dose:  3-6 g 3x/day; 1.5-3 mL of a 1:5 tincture 3x/day*

    CHAMOMILE – MATRICARIA RECUTITA (ASTERACEAE) – FLOWERS

    Chamomile is a great external and internal remedy for skin or gut inflammation. Try using a strong infusion of chamomile tea as a face wash for acne, or taking a chamomile bath for inflammatory conditions that are more widespread. Chamomile flowers can also be made into a poultice for smaller areas of skin inflammation.

    Dose:  Steep 1-2 tablespoons dried flowers in a cup of hot water for 5-10 minutes, drink 3-4 cups/day; 3-6 mL 3x/day of a 1:5 tincture*

    MEADOWSWEET – FILIPENULA ULMARIA (ROSACEAE) – LEAVES AND FLOWERS

    Meadowsweet blooms from around June through August with beautiful, fragrant white flowers. These flowers, along with the leaves of meadowsweet, are used as a cooling and drying anti-inflammatory remedy especially useful for acne. Try using a strong meadowsweet infusion as a face wash or mist. In addition to its anti-inflammatory effects, meadowsweet is also used as an analgesic, alterative, antibacterial, astringent, and diaphoretic. Meadowsweet is commonly used for digestive disorders, especially with heartburn or gastric ulcers. In a recently published article in the journal Phytotherapy Research, Drummond et al. (2013) demonstrated a significant anti-inflammatory affect in chamomile and meadowsweet, as well as willow bark.

    Dose: 1-2 teaspoon of dried herb/flowers in 8 ounces of hot water, steep for 30 minutes and drink 2-3 cups/day; 2-4 mL of a 1:5 tincture up to 3x/day*

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    Anti-microbial's

    Antimicrobial herbs (those that have a broad-spectrum activity against tiny creatures like bacteria, fungi, and viruses) are useful for infective skin conditions including acne, herpes, athlete’s foot, yeast infections, etc. Below are detailed descriptions of a few herbal antimicrobial's. Others include calendula, chamomile, meadowsweet, thyme, sage, St. John’s wort, and goldenseal.

    ROSEMARY – ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS (LAMIACEAE) – LEAVES

    Rosemary has long been used as an antimicrobial agent in the kitchen to keep food from spoiling. Recent research indicates that it also suppresses the activity of common acne-causing bacteria (Tsai et al., 2013). Another study found antimicrobial effects of rosemary that suggests its usefulness in certain types of eczema (Weckesser et al., 2007). Rosemary has also been found to have a photoprotective effect against UV-radiation (Martin et al., 2008)! Use a strong infusion of rosemary as a face-wash for infective acne or try some rosemary essential oil in your moisturiser. For eczema, rosemary essential oil or tea can be used to make a soothing cream.

    Dose: 1 teaspoon dried herb in 8 ounces hot water, steep covered for 15-20 minutes, drink 2 cups/day; 1-4 mL 3x/day of a 1:5 tincture*

    LAVENDER – LAVANDULA OFFICINALIS (LAMIACEAE) – FLOWER BUDS

    Lavender is commonly used in skin preparations for its antimicrobial, vulnerary, and anti-inflammatory properties. Try a topical application of a strong lavender infusion for acne, eczema, or psoriasis. Lavender essential oil can be used on its own or with a carrier oil for burns, eczema, psoriasis, acne, bruises, sprains, and to minimise scar formation.

    Dose:  1 teaspoon of dried lavender buds in 8 ounces of water (steep for 20-30 minutes and drink 4 ounces 3x/day); 1.5-2 mL 3x/day of a 1:5 tincture*

    YARROW – ACHILLEA MILLEFOLIUM (ASTERACEAE) – AERIAL PARTS

    Yarrow’s genus name comes from the Greek warrior, Achilles. Achilles’ mother bathed him in a bath of yarrow to keep him protected but was holding on to his heel while she dunked him in! And so, Achilles’ heel didn’t get the magical protection of yarrow. Yarrow not only offers energetic protection but also protects us from bacteria, fungus, blood loss, and inflammation. One of the best remedies for wounds, yarrow promotes the growth of new healthy tissue while protecting against infection and preventing blood loss.

    Safety: Yarrow is contraindicated during pregnancy due to its high volatile oil content.

    Dose: 1 teaspoon of dried aerial parts in 8 ounces of hot water, steep covered 20-30 minutes, drink up to 3 cups/day; 2-5 mL of a 1:5 tincture 3x/day*

  2. Wow what a stunning weekend its been, and what with the Royal Wedding, you can definitely say England Showcased its finest look, I couldnt resist sitting down and watching most of it again this morning, with a cuppa in hand, as yesterday i had to go out, so missed the middle section. Anyway lets get back on topic....

    So whats been happening in the Soap kitchen this week..... 

    Well for a start the Jars and ingredients finally arrived for the new Body Scrub Bar, all i need to do now is make the oil and it will be ready to go, hopefully everything should be up and running in time for half term, so i will post pictures on my next update, as i dont want to ruin the surprise.

    This week was all about finishing off topping up the bath bombs and making sample batches of our New Shower Steamers, the first lot i made were Peppermint & Eucalyptus, Now i made shower bombs about 6 years ago, but they weren't that successful as people couldn't get their head around them, but now, thanks to a lot of big companies making them, they have become the new norm. I gave one to a friend to try and this is what she said about them. "love the smell so nice in the steam. Lasted my whole shower had to stay in extra to finish it up! It was quite a subtle fizz. loved it will defo need to invest in some made my shower feel a little more luxurious". They have been packed in 2's and will be on the website soon. I have still to decide what fragrance to do the second one.

    shower

    The next product i was playing with this week, was the Bubbling Doh! Bombs, now with the laws over here, we're not allowed to make skincare that looks like food, due to the Food Imitation Act, now the only way around this that i have found is to brightly colour them so at the moment i am doing 2 fragrances, Jelly Bean and Raspberry Ripple. The Jelly Bean, will be bright yellow, with a bright orange drizzle and the Raspberry Ripple is a Bright Pink with a softer pink frosting/ drizzle.... Now thanks to my hubby stating i need to learn a bit of finesse with my pouring, i have been watching you tube videos this morning, to teach me how to drizzle lol and i think i have the idea, but personally i don't think mine looked to bad, yes this picture shows the ones where i just poured the frosting over, but the next batch will look better (hopefully). 

    rasp

     Again, these will be on the website soon, i just need to make the Jelly Bean ones, they are quite hefty in weight and size so they will be £2.99 each, you can probably get about 2/3 baths out of one bomb, that's if you don't mind taking a hammer and chisel to it, but at the moment they will make the bath slippy as these don't have an emulsifier in them, but that should be arriving on Monday, so all Bubbling Doh! Bombs will be dispersing after that, I can't wait to try one of these babies.

    So what else did I make this week.... apart from bath bombs, I topped up the skincare, Lip Balms and started making soaps, as most are getting quite low, its getting harder to make now as our season is starting to pick up, so soon i will need all hands on deck, getting Soapy Hubby to serve while i make, Thank you for reading and i will speak to you all next week.

    TTFN XX

  3. Being a manufacturer of Soap & Skincare, the one question i get asked alot is, "do you do anything for acne prone skin?", in answer to that question yes we do, but before i go into any more details, let me run through a few tips on what to do if your skin breaks out or you develop an acne problem.

    1. Fight acne from the inside out by eating a balanced diet full of fibre, fresh vegetables and fruits.
    2. Drink plenty of liquids to flush any impurities from your system, at least 12 glasses of water or water based drinks, such as herbal teas or diluted fruit juices, NOT Coffee or sweet fizzy drinks.
    3. Chocolate is fine, but avoid seafood and salty snacks, as they both contain iodine, which can aggravate acne in some people.
    4. Take a well balanced vitamin and mineral supplement. Vitamins A and B6, Zinc and Chromium help to clear acne.
    5. Keep your fingers out of cosmetic products, always use a small spatula or spoon, place the product into the palm of your hand and apply from there. This stops you adding bacteria and germs to the products.
    6. Keep your hands off your face, I always remember my mum yelling at me time and time again, "will you stop touching your face" when i was little, now im older i know why lol. Touching your face during the day will only irritate blemishes, plus it exposes your skin to harmful bacteria.
    7. Keep your skin clean, wash your face before going to bed at night and use a weekly scrub such as ground oatmeal or ground sunflower seeds, to keep pores clear.
    8. If your have a skin breakout, do NOT use a steam to open the pores. This can aggravate your condition by stimulating blood vessels and activating oil glands. Instead apply hot towels to your face for no more than 1 minute.
    9. Get plenty of rest> Lack of Sleep can cause stress and lead to unexpected breakouts.

    Whenever i have breakouts, yes i maybe 43 but i still get zits/spots, I like to use witch hazel as my astringent, i find its really gentle on my skin plus its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory and being a rosacea sufferer you need something that isnt going to flair your skin up, so you look like a red tomato. I cant say witch hazel is suitable for all as some people can find it very drying on their skin, so as with anything its best to do a patch test first. Here are a couple of recipes that you can make from things in your kitchen cupboards.

    Strawberry Acne Mask

    Strawberries are rich in salicylic acid, the same key ingredient in many commercial acne products, Honey is also a known anti-bacterial ingredient. Together they make a powerful facial treatment for troubled skin.

    1/2 cup fresh Strawberries

    1 Egg White

    2 tsp Honey

    Mix together all ingredients until smooth, using a blender or a fork.

    To Use: Spread over your face and neck and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with cool water and pat your skin dry. Store any left over ingredients in the fridge and throw away after a week.

    Fresh Carrot Mask

    1/4 cup fresh Carrot Juice, made from about 2 large Carrots.

    1/4 cup White Kaolin clay or any natural clay.

    The Orange coloured roots of the carrot plant are rich in vitamin A, often referred to as the beauty vitamin because of its importance in maintaining healthy skin and hair.  Fresh carrot juice has strong antiseptic qualities, making it an excellent ingredient for a facial treatment for blemished skin. You can make your own carrot juice using a high speed blender, food processor or juicer. For extremely dry skin add 1 tsp of light oil to this recipe.

    Mix together the carrot juice and clay until smooth. for a thicker mask you may add more clay.

    To Use: Spread the mixture on to clean skin using your fingertips or a small brush. Let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse well with warm water followed by cool and pat your skin dry. Store the remaining ingredients in the fridge for upto 1 week.

    So as mentioned back at the beginning of this post I said that I make products for Acne prone skin, Now the main one i do and had the most amazing feedback from is our Deep Cleanse Soap (aka Teenage Angst). 

    13267955_1152793084773237_4434801146942910973_n

    This is made with Charcoal, Dead Sea Mud, Sea Salt, Frankincense, Rosewood & Sandalwood Essential Oil, and has helped so many people with their skin. The next product is a Liquid Soap, thats called Cleanse & Exfoliate and is made with Tea Tree, Lavender, Lemon, Green Clay, Comfrey & Calendula Oils

    cleanse

     


    For the moisturising the skin I make an Elderflower Facial Serum, which has had Dried Elderflowers infused in Argan Oil for 6 weeks, and is fragranced with Frankincense and Rose essential oils which are also known to have healing properties for the skin.

     

     

    References

    Natural beauty at home by Janice Cox

  4. I have only just realised its been a couple of months since i last did an update on whats been going one in the Soap Kitchen, I have been flat out making and restocking all of your favourite skin goodies, with the addition of some new products. So where do i begin…..

    Lets start with the shop, to say it was looking very tired  on the outside was an understatement, its been 4 years since she was painted, so Soapy hubby in his infinate wisdom though it would be a good idea to decorate, an idea which he soon came to regret, as with all old buildings underneath the paint work was a multitude of horrors, the first one we knew about, the base of the window frame was totally rotten, but then we discovered the lintel above the window frame was rotten….. That one we didnt know about and the base frame of the long window was rotten, this decorating project was turning more and more into a nightmare. But luckily we had a very good decorator come builder, not only did he replace the base of both frame but he patched up the lintel, until the winter and did a very good job. We have had a couple of comments on the colour, but i assure you it is grey, even though all the pictures seem to make it look purple lol. But from the feedback most people seem to like it.

     

     

     


                            

     

    Now we Just Need New Signage  

    Now back to the soapy kitchen….. This past couple of months saw me treat myself to some new bath bomb moulds and this time of year being quiet i have had a chance to play, So i would like to introduce our Aroma-Heart Bath Bombs… These are made with pure essential oils, at the moment we have 3 fragrances

     

    Maychang & ElderFlower, This heart also has Jasmine & Neroli in it, it has a sharp citrusy top note which is from the Maychang & Neroli, with the gentle base note of warming Jasmine.

     

    Lavender & Patchouli, This one speaks for itself, both these essential oils are warming and relaxing, perfect for a long hot soak after a busy day to help you unwind.

     

    And Finally or Rose, Geranium & Frankincense, Again this is a warming and relaxing bath treat thanks to the frankincense, which is known to quieten the mind, Geranium which is a known hormone balancer, making it perfect after a stressful day and finally the added floral note of Rose, which is calming.

     

    The next new products will be the introduction of our Fizzing Doh Bombs, which are a mixture of Bath Bomb & Bubble bars, these are still a work in progress as the first batch, even though they set hard, crumbled after a couple of days, but in the bath worked brilliantly.

     

    And Finally… I would like to introduce our New Sensitive Skin Deodorant, our other deodorants are very popular, but we still have a couple of people who have allergies to certain ingredients, and so they cant use them, but know you can, this deodorant is unfragranced and made with Clay instead of Bicarb and so far the feedback has been really good, so we added it to our range, also we have dropped the plastic containers, so now we should be able to send them out during the heat of the summer, it wont stop them melting but at least they wont leak everywhere and can easily be put in the fridge to firm back up.

           

     

    Well i hope you enjoyed my update and hopefully it wont be as long before i do another.

     

    TTFN

    XX