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    aloe vera


    Morning.. Ok... wow it seems to be one of those mornings where my my brain isn't functioning properly and my words don't want to flow... so this could be fun. Right lets give it a shot, I wanted to share some simple recipes with you linking to the herbs etc that i will be talking about in my blog, these will be simple recipes, nothing too fancy, to start with anyway... so the star of the show today is Aloe Vera, now Aloe Vera, doesn't actually need any additives it works perfectly fine on its own for soothing the skin if its been burnt by the sun or if you have a burn, a lot of people have a plant in the house and when needed they just snap a leaf off, but there's a lot more to Aloe Vera, so lets get started. I would recommend if you've never used Aloe Vera before please do a patch test, to make sure your not allergic, also please read the Safety Notice at the bottom of this post.

    Cooling Aloe Lotion,

    This is a light weight lotion, and feels not only soothing but refreshing on the skin after a day in the sun.


    1/2 Cup Aloe Gel

    1 Tbsp Chamomile Flowers or Lavender Flowers

    1 Tbsp Vit E Oil

    2/3 drops of Peppermint Oil or you can use Chamomile or Lavender Essential Oil


    • Mix together the aloe gel and flowers and heat gently. Do NOT boil for 1 minute in a microwave on high or in water bath for a few minutes
    • Let the Mixture cool completely
    • Strain off the flowers and discard
    • Add the Vit E oil & the Essential of your choice and stir until combined
    • Pour into a clean jar with a tight fitting lid,
    • Store in the fridge to cool the lotion before using
    • Use within 2 weeks if your using the gel straight from the plant or 3 months if your using store bought Aloe Vera Gel.

    How to Use

    Massage into Clear Skin, if your Skin is sun burnt use gentles strokes.


    Hydrating Aloe Face Mask

    Aloe Vera is rich in vitamins and minerals, and is known to sink 7 layers beneath the surface of the skin enabling to nourish and hydrate deep down, where the skin needs it. It is also know to attract moisture to the skin, and help to prevent it from evaporating. So what better way to Moisturise your dry skin by treating it to a hydrating aloe vera and yogurt face mask.


    • 2 tbsps aloe vera gel
    • 1 tbsp of natural yogurt

    Mix the aloe vera gel with the yogurt until you get a smooth liquid. Apply it to your face and leave for 10 minutes. Rinse off with cold water.


    Aloe Cleansing Gel

    This Next recipe is perfect to use before applying any other facial care products, also the lather from this makes it a really good shaving cream for men and women.

    • 1/4 cup Aloe Vera Gel
    • 1Tbsp Grated Soap
    • 2 drops of any essential oil of your choice


    • Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
    • Let the mixture sit over night, so that the Aloe Gel softens the grated soap.
    • Stir gently
    • Store in a wide mouthed jar.

    How to Use:

    Place 1-2 tsps of the mixture in your hands, add water and then work into a lather and then cleanse as usual.


    Aloe Gel: Topical Applications Of The Gel Is Considered Safe In Treating Skin Irritations And Minor Burns And Cuts. It Should Not Be Applied To A Deep Wound, Serious Burn, Or Very Severe Rash Without The Supervision Of A Medical Doctor.

    Some Herbal Medicine Sources Recommend The Ingestion Of Aloe Vera Gel; For Example, By Putting The Gel In A Blender And Making A Smoothie. This Is Not Necessarily A Safe Practice, Especially Since The Dosage Is Uncontrolled And Too Much Of The Latex May Be Mixed In With The Gel. The Results Could Be Quite Harmful To The Digestive Tract And Cause Other Problems. Therefore, A Gel Preparation Intended For Consumption Should Be Obtained From A Reputable Herbalist Rather Than Prepared At Home.

    Aloe Latex There Has Been Much Debate Regarding The Safety Of Aloe Latex. Experts In Botany And Herbalism Differ In Their Opinions On Consuming The Latex. At The Very Least, One Should Not Attempt To Make A Home Concoction Of Aloe Juice And Any Commercial Aloe Juice Should Be Assessed For Standardized Dosage.

    Some Resource Stress That The Latex In Any Form, Even From A Reputable Source, Should Never Be Used By Children, Pregnant Or Nursing Mothers And By Women During Their Menstrual Cycle (As It Can Increase Blood Flow). People Suffering From Intestinal Or Kidney Problems Should Also Avoid Using The Latex.The Ingredients In The Latex Can Also Lower Potassium Levels, Making It Dangerous When Used With Heart Medicines. The Us Food And Drug Administration Banned The Sale Of The Aloe-derived Laxative As Over-the-counter Medicines.

    I hope you enjoyed these recipes.

    TTFN x






    Herb: Cayenne Pepper

    BOTANICAL NAME Capsicum Annuum Or Capisicum Frutescens.

    COMMON NAME Capsicum, Tabasco, Hot Pepper, Chili, Chili Pepper, Spur Pepper

    FAMILY solanaceae


    PARTS USED The Fruit Or Pod Of The Plant Is Used For Both Culinary And Medical Purposes.

    NATIVE REGION They Are Mostly Perennials In Subtropical And Tropical Regions, But Are Usually Grown As Annuals In Temperate Climates. Now Grown In Many Locations, Cayenne Prefers Warm, Moist, Nutrient Soils In Warm Climates. Originally Said To Come From French Guiana.

    BOTANICAL DESCRIPTION The Capsicum Herb Is A Tender, Variable Annual. It Has A Branched Stem And A Leaf-shaped Much Like A Lance. It Grows A Bell-shaped White Or Green Flower, Which Appears During The Spring And Summer Months. After It Flowers, Its Hollow And Elongated Fruit Appears – The Fruit Is Often Referred To As A Pod. When Ripened, The Fruit Is Normally A Bright And Shining Fiery Red, But Can Also Be Orange, Yellow Or Green. The Cayenne Pepper Itself Is Made From The Dried Pods Of The Plant.

    HARVESTING GUIDELINES: If You Prefer A More Mild Pepper, Harvesting Early May Be Exactly The Trick To Sneaking Cayenne Into Your Diet. When Harvesting Green Peppers, Wait Until The Skin Has A Waxy Appearance And Is Firm To The Touch, With Only A Slight Give When Pressed. This Is Usually Around August. They Should Be 4-5 Inches Long.

    CONSTITUENTS Alkaloids, Capsaicin, Capsacutin, Capsaicin, Capsantine, Capsico Paba, Fatty Acids, Flavonoids, Sugars, Carotene, Volatile Oil, Vitamins A, B1 B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 And High Vitamin C Levels. Potassium, Riboflavin And Manganese Are Also Present.







    If You’ve Been Cursed, Scatter Red Pepper Around Your House To Break The Spell.


    WORKS WELL WITH Cayenne Combines Exceptionally Well With Hawthorn For People With Poor Circulation Or A Weak Heart And It Can Work Perfectly With Juniper Berry And/Or Garlic For Sluggish Energy And Sticky Blood

    TASTE Hot, Spicy, Pungent

    ENERGY Very Hot & Dry


    The main medicinal properties of cayenne are derived from a chemical called capsaicin. Capsaicin is the ingredient which gives peppers their heat. Cayenne is a very high source of Vitamins A and C. It also has the complete B complex family while being rich in organic calcium and potassium, which is one of the reasons it has been suggested for the heart. It contains capsaicnoids such as capsaicin, as well as saponins and pyrazines. The fruit gets its color because of the carotenoids it contains. Cayenne pepper has been described by some herbalists and physicians as the catalyst herb. Many herbalists believe that cayenne is the most useful and valuable herb in the herb kingdom, not only for the entire digestive system, but also for the heart and circulatory system. Because it acts as a catalyst, it increases the effectiveness of other herbs. In addition to its ability to stimulatethe circulatory and digestive systems, it has a tonic and antiseptic affect as well. It is not uncommon for it to increase perspiration thus eliminating toxins through the skin. It is considered a good herb to prevent colds, sinus infections and as an herbal treatment for sore throats and to resolve the cold stage of fevers. Cayenne can be recommended for the improvement of circulation, varicose veins, and digestive problems such as dyspepsia furthermore it is also used as an herbal remedy for colic, Crohn’s disease, motion sickness, flatulence, and bleeding ulcers. It aids in the support of the following organs: heart, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, spleen and stomach. It is thought useful in treating various forms of topical pain associated with arthritis, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, rheumatism, lumbago and spasms. It is used externally as an herbal remedy for psoriasis, sprains, itching, unbroken chilblains, neuralgia, and pleurisy. Cayenne is used for laryngitis as a gargle and is thought to be important as a gastrointestinal detoxicant. It is attributed to stopping heart attacks, nourishes the cells and has been suggested as an herbal remedy for regulating blood pressure. Cayenne pepper is also thermogenic and is thought to reduce appetite, hence its reputation as a good herb for weight loss. Also, the herb has been found useful for providing protection to the stomach lining from aspirin.


    HERBAL ACTIONS Anti-inflammatory, Stomachic, Aphrodisiac, Stimulant, Alterative, Rubefacient, Carminative, Digestive, Antiseptic, Diaphoretic.


    Dried Fruit Powdered And Mixed With A Pinch Of Lemon Juice, Diluted With Hot Water And Honey To Taste Makes A Good Gargle For A Sore Throat.        

    Infused Oil Is Massaged Into Arthritic Or Rheumatic Joints. It Is Less Irritating Than Applying The Fresh Raw Fruits. Infused Oil Mixed With A Neutral Oil Can Be Applied To The Area Around A Varicose Ulcer, But Not Directly On It, To Encourage Blood Flow Away From The Area.        

    Tincture For Arthritis Is Best Mixed With Willow Bark Tincture; Taken As A Circulatory Stimulant, The Tincture Is Diluted In Hot Water.        

    Tablets Or Capsules Are Convenient For Long-term Use And Used To Correct Poor Circulation.        

    Ointment Is Applied To Chilblains But Only If The Skin Is Unbroken.        

    Infusions Made With The Powder And Hot Water Is Ideal For Colds And Chills And For Treating Shock Or Depression.        

    Compresses Soaked In An Infusion Is Placed On Rheumatic Pain Areas, Sprains, And Bruises. Do Not Leave On The Skin For Long Periods Of Time As Blistering May Occur.     

    Gargles And Mouthwashes Are Used For Throat Problems.       

    Massage Oil, From An Infused Oil, Is Used On Rheumatism, Arthritis, And Lumbago.

    SAFETY Cayenne Is Easily Available In Health Food Stores Or Pharmacies. But Before Using It, It Is Always A Good Idea To Consult A Health Care Provider To Ascertain Whether The Herb Is Suitable. Those Suffering From Gastritis Or Ulcers Need To Use Cayenne Cautiously, As It May Exacerbate Their Condition.


  3. Catnip



    Botanical Name Nepeta cataria L.

    Other Names, Catmint, Catswort, Fieldbalm, Katzenminze (German), Hierba Gatera (Spanish), Katteurt (Danish), Cataire (French).

    Family Lamiaceae

    Ayurvedic/ TCM Name jia jing jie

    Parts Used 

    Dried leaves, and/or whole flowering top and leaf, as a tea, sachet, or tincture

    Fresh leaves, and/or whole flowering top as an essential oil, or tincture

    Native Region Catnip is native to the countries of Europe with milder climates. It has been introduced and become naturalized in North America and Asia as well.

    Botanical Description The plant belongs to the mint family (Lamiaceae). It has erect, square, branched stems and it can grow to a height of 2 to 3 feet. The catnip plant sports heart-shaped, toothed leaves in an opposite pattern, which are covered with fine downy hairs, especially on the under sides, giving the plant a grayish appearance. The small, tubular, two-lipped flowers grow in whorls that become denser as they approach the summit. The flowers are white to lavender with reddish-purple spots. This herb blooms from June to September and has a strong minty fragrance.

    Harvesting Guidelines The entire above-the-ground part of the plant is used and can be gathered just after full bloom and then dried for later use.

    CONSTITUENTS: Volatile oils containing nepetalactone, tannins, bitter principle

    ORGANS & SYSTEMS AFFECTED: Central Nervous System, Respiratory System, Stomach

    WORKS WITH: catnip is sometimes mixed with boneset, elder, yarrow, or cayenne as a treatment for colds. Mint or Lemongrass for teas and Lavender & Hops for sleep pillows

    TASTE Aromatic, Bitter, Mildly Sharp.

    ENERGY Bitter, Spicy, Cool



    Gender, Feminine

    Planet: Venus

    Element, Water

    Powers, Cat Magic, Love, Beauty, Happiness


    Catnip contains essential oil (consisting of nepetalactone, carvacrol, citronellol, nerol, geraniol, pulegon, thymol, caryophyllene and nepetalinic acid), iridoids, tannins and rosmarinic acid. The soothing effect of catnip is attributed to the substance nepetalactone, not unlike the soothing ingredient found in valerian (Valeriana officinalis). Both nepetalactone and nepetalinic acid have been shown to significantly increase sleep duration in mice. The plant has been cultivated for centuries and has been used both as an herbal medicine and in cooking. It was one of the most important medicinal herbs in medieval monastery gardens. Catnip has a diaphoretic effect (increasing perspiration without raising body temperature) and antipyretic (anti-fever) effects so it could have uses for treating colds and as an herbal remedy for symptoms of the flu (influenza). A mild tea made from the flowering tops may be effective in treating colic, restlessness, motion sickness and nervousness in children. The antispasmodic qualities of this herb help to relieve many gastrointestinal disorders and cramping. A poultice of the leaves and flowers can be applied to reduce swelling from rheumatism, soft-tissue injuries and other inflammatory conditions. A mixture of catnip tea and saffron has shown promise in treating scarlet-fever and small-pox. Catnip is also used as a muscle relaxant and mild sedative, which is why it is often used to relieve the pain of headaches (especially tension headaches) and migraines. This also explains its use to combat insomnia and other sleep disorders. Because of the herb’s mild sedative effect it has recently been proposed for use in the treatment of ADHD (hyperactivity) in children. This plant is also used to bring about the menses in delayed menstruation and increase tone in the uterus. Nepetalactone, one of the ingredients of the essential oil, is shown to be effective as an insect repellant. It may also work as an external flea treatment on animals. Catnip has an intoxicating and almost an aphrodisiac effect on many cats. They eat the plants and roll in them with great pleasure. The substance that is most likely responsible for this effect is actinidine, an iridoid glycoside similar to those found in valerian (Valeriana officinalis). A small cloth bag containing dried leaves can be given to the cat to play with. Most of the time it is a big hit both for the cat and the owner. Research has shown that approximately one-third of cats do not respond to the plant. It is likely the reaction to it is genetically determined, and is transmitted through a dominant gene. Cats that lack this particular gene do not respond to catnip. This herb is often used for seasoning and meat tenderizing.


    HERBAL ACTIONS Calmative, Diaphoretic, Relaxant, Carminative, Astringent, Digestive Stimulant, Insect Repellant (Volatile Oil), Emmenagogue, Tonic Antispasmodic, Nervine, And Anodyne


    Catnip is not associated with any common side effects.  The possibility of this herb causing uterine. contractions means pregnant women should avoid using it. This herb has also shown no contraindications with other medicines. However, it is always a good idea to discuss any new herbal treatments with a professional health care provider if it´s an addition to existing prescription medications.               

  4. Wow what a start to March... I thought we were meant to be in spring, but i dont think anyones told Mother Nature. We had to close from the Wednesday through til the following Monday as not only did we get hit with the snow, we also hit with storm force winds, rain and spring high tides.


    But thankfully that has now passed and i am back in the full swing of making, This week saw me restock our Unicorn Magic Bath Bombs and Our Monkey Fart Bath Bombs, plus i made a special order for a lovely little girl, I made her some Mermaid Bath Bombs, which are very similar to the unicorn, they have more pink & purple in and they smell of coconut, apparently they went down very well.


    This week also saw us take the next step towards going plastic free, I had finally reached the end of my supply of PET 250ml bottles so now all Shampoos, Shower Gels and Hand Wash's will be in Aluminium bottles with screw tops unless otherwise requested, we will have the pump tops available for you to purchase separately if you wish. All i have to do now is use up all the 150ml PET bottles which some of our skincare goes in, but we are still trying to figure out whether those products will go into glass jars or aluminium bottles... 


    So what else did we make this week; Well there was the Wild Nettle & Rosemary Shampoo Soap, Lavender Soap, Lemon Fresh Scrub Soap, plus Lemongrass & Ginger Shampoo & Hand wash, Rose & Geranium Shampoo & Hand wash, and Lavender Shampoo & Hand wash. On next weeks making, I will mostly be making Bath Milks & Fizzes and topping up the rest of the bath bombs.

    So TTFN xx