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Posts Tagged ‘bath salts’

When spring arrived, I had one wish: to spend more time with my hands in the earth. Thankfully, that wish was granted but I had no idea how deeply my perception would change after spending so much time in gardens and fields.  When I see rain I think of plants now. When there was the recent threat of a hurricane, I wondered how it would affect the farmers who bring produce to the local market. While rinsing green string beans for dinner I remembered being in a small field carefully deciding which beans were ready to harvest. I don’t look at my food the same way I did at the beginning of the summer.

This change reminds me of how after taking my first herbal class, something in my world seemed to shift.

Me and my friend Oak

Suddenly I wanted to know the names of trees. I was fascinated by the plants growing in the cracks of the sidewalk. I could not go to the woods without coming back with something to make tea or a tincture from.  I had no clue that herbs would become as important to me as they have.

Recently a beautiful film crew of two came to my home to interview me about my surprise journey into herbalism. This is the video they made:

http://mondoblack.com/2011/08/black-roots-episode-8/

Please check it out and let me know what you think.

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My love affair with lavender started long ago.  It began with lavender’s intoxicating scent. This calming, complex, sensual fragrance is not one that is easily forgotten. The scent of lavender has followed me from New York where I first encountered it in an essential oil, to the South of Spain where I saw dried lavender buds in a market, bought a bag and placed buds in my pillowcase nightly. Lavender’s scent is a lullaby, the herb is known for inducing sleep, sweet dreams and relaxation. Lavender’s small delicate buds are surprisingly powerful, they have a way of smoothing rough emotional edges and soothing tense physical ones. The essential oil, or an infused one, is a popular addition to many massage oils because of these qualities.

When I was in Spain a poet friend told me that lavender could also help heal cuts and burns. I had first-hand experience with this when I scalded my eyelid with just boiled water (long story). I used a lavender infused honey to soothe the pain and an hour or so later when friends came to visit, no one could see any evidence that I’d burned my eyelid!  Of course you don’t have to be in dire straits to enjoy this herb. Lavender infused honey is delicious in tea and on bread. My good friend, Lorenza, even makes a delectable cake using dried lavender buds.

Recipe: Lavender Infused Honey

  • Harvest or buy fresh lavender (summer)
  • Put the buds in a glass jar, cover them with the best honey you can get your hands on.
  • Cover and let this sit for four weeks.
  • Enjoy!

When I have a headache, particularly one caused by nervous tension, I’ll rub a bit of lavender oil on my temples or my wrists. A lavender bath is also a wonderful way to get rid of a tension headache.

And did you know you can make delicious tea with lavender?  I learned this when my sister gave me a lavender travel kit. (yes, my family knows me) Put a half teaspoon of dried buds in a cup, cover with just- boiled water, let it steep about 10 minutes (do not let it sit too long –the bitterness will make the tea impossible to drink). Enjoy. A rose and lavender infusion is also a heavenly mix. Again, make sure not to let the roses steep for more than 60-75 minutes. Add the lavender during the last ten minutes or brew it separately and add to taste.

Now speaking of rose and lavender, These two ingredients feature prominently in my home made cosmetics.  My facial scrub includes lavender, rose and oats. These are all great for the skin, they exfoliate gently and the rose and lavender are toning and delicious smelling. My bath salts are a heady lavender experience with rose petals sprinkled in for good measure.

Homemade lavender bath salts

Lavender is a soothing, powerful, healer in a delicately regal body. Is it any wonder I feel my medicine bag is incomplete without lavender in it? Is it any wonder my love affair with lavender has spanned continents and time and shows no signs of ever ending?

Are you in love with lavender? How do you use it?

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