Friday, 22 April 2011

Natural Skin care

The dandelions are all in flower and I haven’t had much time to spend with them. I gathered a big bowlful yesterday and I am trying to decide what to make. I've got a bit behind as last week I spent a few days in London on a course making natural skin care products. I've been interested for years and have taught myself a lot but now I’ve learnt to make creams, gels, balms, shampoos, conditioners and poultices and how I can incorporate herbs and tinctures into these recipes. Using natural plant derived products rather than petroleum based mineral products allows the skin to function properly, the pores aren’t blocked up. If we have difficulty eliminating through the skin then this will put pressure on the kidneys and the bowels (and give us smelly breath!)
 We focussed on eczema and psoriasis and I learnt so much; I had looked at psoriasis as part of my February task but could add lots more now about methods of using herbs. I had never seen a compress of dried herbs used before and it was very effective. I heard the theory from homeopathy that the scabies Miasm  leads to psoriasis, this doesn’t mean psoriasis sufferers have scabies, but that it has been survived in past generations, all new to me, I had not heard of a Miasm before and thought homeopathy just involved little white pills.
 I have discovered new essential oils and purchased two, fragonia which is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial and champaca which warms, calms, reduces stress and can lead to euphoria. I want to try fragonia for joint pain and champaca in facial massages to relax jaw tension and teeth grinding. I've also come back with bags of dried herbs to put into the bath to help troubled skin; wild pansy, horsetail, lady's mantle and chamomile.
 As with our apprenticeship workshops there were lots of other friendly and interesting students who were from all over the world. I enjoyed hearing from an Italian who works with Aloe Vera in Spain who explained how I could put aloe vera in massage oil and a German living in London who has encouraged me to have a go at making cold processed soap some time which always seems a bit scary to me.
 I was glad to see the allotment after a week away from it. Disappointingly pigeons seem to enjoy young cabbages but otherwise all is growing well, even our jersey mid from the allotment competition to see who can get the most spuds from one, has started to make an appearance. I shall be glad when the risk of frost has passed so as I can plant out all my baby plants and reclaim the windowsills!

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