Monday, February 22, 2016

Moving Blogs

Yes I have come to the realization that I just cannot manage so many different blogs !
So I am moving all my writings over to my business blog for now .
I will still do my writing on abuse , health , magic , culture  homeschooling, gardening , chicken escapades  etc.
I just need to get it all contained & organized .
Eventually I am hoping I can have a shop organized once I open up my practice .
so you can reach me via the
Womb of Willow blog from now on

Monday, December 21, 2015

Menopause , yeah that

 " Ok I will tell you now, menopause for me was like another puberty for older women ! "
Menopause , first off , what the heck is it ? sheesh well with all the new terms in place now & descriptions for some they say it is just a small window like a yr when you have not had a menstrual cycle for 12 months . then you go in to post menopause . .many list peri-menopause as the time surrounding menopause as that leading up to & after menopause .
some say crooning is only with menopause .
so honestly I am going to share & tell what menopause is for me & what my personal menopause experience has been . & most of all share truths rather than stereotypical media made assumptions .
just a very short note on my peri-meno time .
if you want to know more just ask me .
it began just very shortly after I turned 40 yrs old . my cycle began to change & my pms symptoms came on & would last a full on two weeks . Basically after ovulation I began pms .
I will also say my reproductive body is like that of the women on my father's side not my mother . My mother basically had maybe two hot flashes & her menopause lasted probably one year . yeah I know ridiculous eh .
This was a big change compared to my usual pms time of 3 days before menstruating .
I used wild yam cream & within 3 weeks my cycle went back to normal. I used this for a period of 3 months then stopped . I was good for 3 yrs then it happened again . Again I used wild yam & same thing pms symptoms vanished & my cycle returned to normal.
Ok so that peri was really not that bad . not compared to yes age 45 when my menopause began .
I call this menopause because the cycle changed . what worked for me in peri-menopause did not work for me in menopause . so I know my body . different cycles. childhood, puberty , childbearing fertility years, perimenopause & now  menopause . These were & are different stages for me .
so yes age 45 years . Year of the hot flash !
Walking , sitting , sleeping , eating . No time , place , or inactivity or activity is free from experiencing the flash !
Hence another journey . Trying wild yam again . It is promoted to help once again with this phase . well I can say for me a big NOPE , to wild yam helping with menopause . Nothing what so ever .
So I found books & the most helpful just as her birthing books helped was reading the book by Susun Weed on Menopausal years .
 & several other articles via she & other women .
 my gosh how this helped me !
& isn't it strange how plants that we have not known come to us when needed ?
For me it was Motherwort , yes named after mother yet for me I had many plant allies I had in my motherings years . Motherwort never was one of them . Yet she mothered me in this phase . My god/dess how I needed mothering !
 Ok I will tell you now, menopause for me was like another puberty for older women !
I felt outside of my norm . Where was my body ? gaining weight . I as a small thin person this was tramatic for me putting on 20-25lbs ! I felt sluggish & slow . My diet changed I craved foods I'd never enjoyed nor given second thought to . mostly sweet & salty .
 Ok motherwort , yes she helped me immensely back then . Hot flashes disappeared .
My cycle though I began bleeding every two weeks . Yes ! every two weeks ! sheesh
all you ever hear about menopause is that you stop bleeding . No many women do this bleeding more thing !
 Relief to me connecting with other women at our local goddess festival ! Ha , also the year of the crone Baba Yaga ! I learned I was not the only one !
 So yes I feel the need very much to share & help the women younger than myself who will eventually come upon this stage.
 We have in our  lifestyles all these teachings for our young women changing from girl to woman , ceremony , honouring , gifting , teachings & fasting , red tents , honouring blood & mothering , birth & breast feeding . & yes I do wish to teach & care for younger ones , so many need us older ones to give them comfort . Yet we also need caring . My older body needs just as much love & attention .
 There will be a time & a need for honouring , helping , gifting , caring for the elder woman .
I personally do not have a red tent I have an Indigo tent , a tent of my ancestors , a tent of those Indigo workers , those older wise women . a place to share & give .
So yes My Motherwort ally helped me . Hot flashes gone . then again probably another 3 yrs later they came again . Motherwort worked great . Oh by the way I use tincture or mix the dried plant in with other crone herbs because I cannot stand the taste of motherwort !
Ok that was until this past spring ! I had known , read that some women need rest during menopause . Well what hit me in mid June was sleeping for 3 days in a row & my 4th day would be ok . I honestly thought I had Lymes ! No, then they came , those Flashes , yes they did ! in the heat & worst humidity of summers we have ever had !
I am not kidding when I say this lasted in to mid August . I finally regained my energy levels !
 Yet the flashes no .
Ok I am not talking a few per week as I began my menopause all those yrs ago . No . I am talking 20 per day ! Yes that is correct ! This is not an uncommon thing !
Even entering Autumn & Winter I would be flinging my blankets off . Motherwort tincture helped to some extent but not ridding me of the flashes as it had in earlier yrs.
 I was at a loss what to do. My Vitex wasn't helping . I couldn't take black cohosh as I 've had bad reaction to it before .
 bring me to late November & honouring one of those cravings .
 Huh , the Pomegranate ! Again , this came just via craving . I began eating , just devouring these fruits of my ancestry . I began all sorts of love  with this fruit ! I did ceremony , bathed with it , divined with the seeds .
 & my flashes well they just sort of began to subside . Being me I did not make this connection though . yeah , that is me ahead & yet slow at the same time ha ha
 No that did not happen until a beautiful friend was over & I offered her some of my pomegranate . She told me that they are estrogen producing !
Well my goodness ! So now when I go to research this information . Yes !
 I cannot say how much this is working ! For me !
Again this is my personal experience . Is it because of part of my ancestry , my body hormonally is like my Middle Eastern/Indian side ?   who the heck knows .
All I know is that yet again a calling , a craving has worked . & I am sharing because honestly if I can help another woman not have to go through 3-4 months of 20 some hot flashes per day it is well worth sharing .
 Does pomegranate juice work ? I have no idea because right now I have access to fresh fruit .
 So I am sticking to that . If & when I do need to try juice I will try & find the best raw form I can .
I am not sure if the juicing process changes the structure or not .
So this is me now in my 52 year old body .
 I can't speak or say more because this is all I've got .
 a little on the vaginal dryness , thinning of skin etc.
 Thus far I have found aloe vera , yes weird because I absolutely did not like it on my eczema or dry skin but my vag does like it &  it helps .
Yeasty stuff as always acidophilous & yogurt 
 bladder , well bladder excrecises do work ! But for infection , yes for the first time in my life I did get bladder infection ! cranberry, yarrow & bear berry work !   but also my bladder was out of place ! yes that can happen,  especially with older women & those of us who have given birth ! For me 6 times birthing . So I did exercises to put it in to place again . A good friend told me she went to the chiropractor to have this done & it worked as well .
 I also am doing the yoni steams . I make my own teas . Personally because of my age I have a crone tisane for vaginal steaming . I also added olive oil to my steam because of my age & ancestry etc.
 But I can say all stereotypes & what we just grew up hearing in general was not true in my case .
I wish I had had more sharing , more teachings given to me like with our moon time etc.
So I really want to help younger women be prepared & help women my age & older to learn & care for each other .

Friday, February 20, 2015

My Little Flower Girl ~ A Birth Story

This is the birth story of my second child , my beautiful daughter Jasmine Milan .
A gift to her for her 29th birthday .
She is now a beautiful young mother herself .
I'm copying the story from the Compleat Mother
My Little Flower Girl
I was a single parent when Natasha was born . Three years later, I met Bob and we traveled to Mexico.
I became pregnant there but on the way home I miscarried. This baby was about 12 weeks it was very painful physically & emotionally and especially hard on Bob. We think it happened due to so much non stop travel which was extremely stressing on my body .
Back in Winnipeg we knew we really wanted another child but then I got pregnant and miscarried again . I went to a hospital : it was the first and last time I would get medical help for a miscarriage . Three student doctors looked at me as if I were an anatomy lesson instead of a grieving mother.
As one checked me a gush of blood flowed out . " Yuck " he said as if this was the grossest thing he had ever seen . " Fetal tissue " they said, but to Bob and I this was our baby .
I never got another period . I wasn't going to lose this one . I found a doctor through the woman's clinic but I still can't believe they recommended her to me . She wrote out a prescription for valium to be taken for the first 3 months .
Instead of following that advise I went to my mother's dr. who was cool , who also had homebirths with his children. I wanted a dr. for backup in case of emergency so if we had to go to a hospital we'd have someone who knows us to meet us there . Bob and I both wanted a homebirth with a midwife.
For the first 3 months I drank red raspberry and lobelia tea. I believe it made me strong and relaxed .
Darlene the midwife came when I was 14 weeks . I couldn't believe she stayed for two hours . We talked about Bob and I and raising kids. Then she checked my blood pressure and urine . I told her how I'd been craving ice and chewing on it . She told me I might be low in iron . I took a supplement and the craving went away .
At prenatal visits Darlene helped me feel confident showing me where the baby was , how much baby weighed . She was a true friend . I went through my first birth with her and although it took place in the first birthing room in Winnipeg I shared what had bothered me . Noise, distraction and lots of people in the room . The Lamaze method was shit actually . To look at a focal point - forget it ! I needed to close my eyes and get in to my body .
Natasha and I really got in to each other , playing cards late at night , drawing or reading . We rubbed my big belly with coconut oil and then I massaged her to sleep . We looked at birth books a lot and she was excited this baby would be born at home . She asked if it would hurt and I said if it did I'd wiggle my finger so she would know when to be quiet .
One night I had a dream that I was with my pregnant friends . One of them had her baby and Darlene helped her put the baby back inside her warm , safe belly . It was like a demonstration of birthing for us all. Simple and easy .
It was a cold, cold winter with a lot of storms . One night we went to see my mother and after we ate Natasha fell asleep. Mum was playing the piano for gramma Grace who slept on the couch . I suddenly thought " I should wash the sticky floor in the kitchen " So much energy , eh ? On the drive home I had contractions so mild you say " no, it can't be "
The next day contractions came and went .Then the next day yet again I woke with them finally good and strong , and think ohooooo. I showered and rolled around on the futon , then called the midwife , my mother and sister , then the dr. just so he'd know what was going on .
My mum ended up doing the dishes over and over again . Darlene arrived after I'd had about 8 hot showers . Bob and I sat next to the radiator and I loved the warmth on my back . Natasha came in the room and I wiggled my finger , she giggled and ran out of the room .
Darlene nursed her little boy to sleep and I seemed to have heavy endless contractions . I looked at Darlene with lost eyes and said " is it coming ?"
" It's going really smoothly " she said , so gently . I looked at Bob during one of the contractions he looked so big and strong , so love him . I actually felt horny
I tried being on hands and knees, but my head was to low , so I hung on the hammock under my arms , this was perfect . I could hand and push, oooooh .
 Darlene put a warm wet cloth on my bottom. Great. My arms were sore on the hammock, so Bob held me up while I pushed and pushed .
Natasha gave me an apple juice popcicle and I sucked it right up. Darlene was looking at the baby moving down , then WHAM ! My waters broke , splash, all over her. We all laughed, but I was so tired , oh please.....
Then it happened. My mind left the room and took me , my body and my baby to a forest that was hot , moist and misty . I saw it clearly , and I was there naked and sweaty . There were dead leaves and fresh cool earth I dug my toes in to . Big branches of cedar and pine spread out over me with patches of light filtering through . I was birthing in a forest and I began to hoot . The birthing call . Then I heard them, the others, other women also birthing . answering each other  hooting , hooting hooting ....
Darlene was asking me if I wanted to feel the baby's head . I was back in the room , then , felt the burning . ohhhhh, The head is there . My mother is there . Oh , no , she takes Natasha out ! I want to run and get her back , but I'm having the baby ... Natasha is crying " I want to see the baby " the burning , Ohhh .
The head comes. I feel it, then the shoulders , swish . and out she comes . Cry ? Not really strong , but a cry nonetheless .Natasha came in and put her dolly blanket on the baby . Later the placenta came . Natasha wanted to go get her little scissors to cut the cord ! Everyone took turns holding baby Jasmine . Darlene ran a bath for us and Jasmine nursed in it for a long time .
We learned Jasmine had, had her hand on her head which may have been why my labouring was so very long .
Bob and I cuddled down to sleep with Jasmine between us and Natasha beside us on her own little futon bed.
Darlene came over a few times in the next couple days . weighing baby . Jasmine's eye had a bit of infection but that cleared up the next day after I dripped breastmilk on it. Her cord got a little smelly so Darlene said to bath in salt water  , it dried up nice and clean .
We froze the placenta in the freezer and this was the reason for writing the story . This summer we buried the placenta out where my mother was raised . We dug a hole in the yard and lay pine branches down first then the placenta , Natasha's daisies and buttercups , some bluebells and birch bark and a stick of Jasmine incense .
Finally we sprinkled rose petals from gramma Grace's rose bush which hadn't bloomed in years . Gramma Grace had died in spring and it was like the plant came back to life , her soul nursing it back to bloom .
I cuddled Jasmine with the sun shining down on us and told her " I love you Noonie , you're a special little girl "
my flower girl

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Use What Ya Got

this is a write up in response to my midwinter brokedom which comes every single yr at this time .
response to feeling low enough without seeing all the posts out there on facebook & blogs & pods .
 to buy & try every essential oil & exotic herb out there .
I'm not knocking oils or our beautiful teachers from far off places . I myself use essential oils but I've run out of the oil I used since early winter & can't purchase more .
so get this , that oil was spruce . I live in abundance of spruce .
 LOL I was thinking how I bet spruce is an exotic plant to someone in Belize !
what did common people , lay folk use ? In our area for all our ailments . Just like we use cotton rags for bandages I'm going back to remedies my people used here .
& essential oils the distilling aside from making alcohol perhaps, my people did not make essential oils or use them . yes made & used all over the world by many of my cultures but by the common people ? I really doubt it . I personally believe just like the so called book of shadows was an upper elitist class thing so were essential oils . infused in animal fat or nut oils seed oils & tinctures made using local wine  yes .
I always was a person to use the plant first , capsule tea or tincture , bathes  , salves , soups , poultices ...... but like anyone especially online social media I get influenced .
I feel I'm not doing enough . I need to use everything out there & do everything out there .
 in fact if I return to be more focused on my local area & using & conserving what we have here I'm not just helping myself but my grandchildren too !
I don't want them to feel the need to use things from far away across an ocean . that is the whole purpose of unglobalizing , undoing the new world order .
get back to here . use what I got , be the lay folk granny that I am .
& yes of course I'm not that radical but I need balance . do what is right for myself & our family .
I can't afford 5 different types of oils so I can buy a bottle of white flower oil for our chest colds because I certainly can't afford to make my own right now .
make us teas , drink cider vinegar , have herbal baths  etc. even my salves I can't sell right now because I can't afford the oils or containers . but for myself I can do what my gramma did & that is use the animal fat given to me  by friends . use pint glass pickle jars for my own salves & rubs . because really I need to look after us before others .
we may not be able to mail out things right now but I can trade with people right here in all 4 directions !
I look to some of my fav herbalists . while they were knowledgeable of so many plants & remedies  they used what was in their own backyards . Even if they traveled they used the botanical remedies of the local places .
Anyway for now I'm broke so I'm going back to it being simple actually using onions , garlic , & blueberries . cedar, pine & juniper . bearfat , vinegar & honey .

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A Pad & A Sponge ( keeping it simple )

I've been thinking on the keeping it simple , keeping it cheap theme again .
I wondered why post this ? people out there know it already . shit they can google anything LOL
so on the subject of environmentally friendly & low cost regarding menstration comes up . It will in each generation be a new topic . so should we not keep
 re-sharing ? many young women use the cup the menstration cup which catches your cycle blood . it is inexpensive & is a convienent way to save your blood to use in ritual or give back to the earth etc.
yet some of us have a tippy or irregular shaped cervix . some of us do not wish to use plastic or latex materials due to allergies or environmental reasons .
so what else can we use . what did your great grandmothers use ? aside from having a sacred space with a hole in the ground to bleed each cycle or collecting mosses ;-)
 rags . I don't think the younger generations may even know what the term " I'm on the rag or I got my rags " means LOL
  Women can purchase pre sewn menstrual flannel pads already made if they like . I don't . Now I'm sharing my experience , what I use . what works for me . I am not a working outside the home woman like my daughter is .
So what I do may not be best for her . maybe it is . I'm just sharing because it is extremely simple & cheap.
I use flannel rags & a small sea sponge . This works well for me . Personally if I did not go out or travel I do not even use the sponge when at home . but the sponge is a great alternative to tampons or the cups .
 So let's start with the rag ! I do not pre-sew my flannel . I use long rectangular shaped pieces of flannel . that is it . my mother & grandmother taught me via diapers that you need not hem flannel . it frays at first but it eventually after a few washings closes up along the torn edges & no longer frays . so just snip the lose little ends that come the first couple washes & eventually that stops & you do not need deal with a lumpy hem either .
 You can make a few sizes of rectangles depending on the flow of your bleed . the longer the rectangle the thicker your pad will be . you can make smaller pieces to add within larger pieces too. the reason I just fold my flannel & not sew is that it saves on drying time ! within the dryer or if you hang wash .dryer time for a thick pad takes time & energy & hanging them takes time too .
How to clean your flannel . to avoid stains , if that bothers you . soak in salt water in a bucket , yogurt container etc. salt cuts mucus ! this is how people in the olden days cleaned their hankerchief ;-)
once you are finished soaking if you want you can pre-wash by hand with laundry bar soap . don't rinse it & let it sit for about 20 min .
I rarely do this but for those who want totally stainless pads go for it .
 So the sponge ! replacement for a tampon , natural & you can easily use it to collect your cycle blood if you like to do that .   here in Canada they legally cannot be sold as menstrual sponges doe to the issue of TSS . Personally I don't believe this is about the health safety of women at all but more about money in the pockets of big manufacturers . However you cannot purchase an actual menstrual sponge here in Canada . Yet what is a menstrual sponge anyway ? A sea sponge of course ! & Yes ! We can purchase sea sponges . You can find them at cosmetic counters , women use these sponges to remove makeup . I did when I needed a new sponge went to purchase one at the local pharmacy . I ended up not buying it there because the sponges were not quite big enough for myself . So I went to the pet store & purchased a hermit crab sea sponge . The important thing about sponges is to clean properly & store them properly . sterilizing is easy , you boil the sponge !
You can find different cleaning instructions online . I will share what I do . during my cycle I actually boil my sponge before first use . insert like a tampon . remove & save blood in a jar . again you can cut mucus by rinsing the sponge in salt water . I then rinse the sponge using laundry bar soap . .remember to rinse well so all soap is removed because some of us are sensitive to detergents .
squish dry as best you can & re-use . you can also dry really well by rolling in a clean dry towel .
ok so when finished your cycle , I clean once again with the laundry bar soap & rinse but I then boil the sponge again then dry then store in a dry dark space . waiting for use again come next cycle .
I know this is rather long but really it is so very Simple !  

Thursday, March 27, 2014

That demon Ecsema

First off I have to say I never tell someone this will cure or work for Your Eczema !
Having suffered from Eczema since early childhood the one true fact I have learned is that every ones skin is unique . So if anyone tells You try this it will work , please do not have false expectation or hope .
So I will be talking about works for myself & my experiences . My beliefs regarding oils, plants, foods etc. from a personal level .If it in someway helps another to have relief through the insanity that would be a big plus !
For me Eczema always has been an autoimmune thing .triggered by such things as allergies , food , animals , chemicals & hormonal changes .I know there is some debate on this but again this is what my body is .
I had Eczema in the very typical childhood spots behind the knees , the inside elbows , sometimes the hands .moisture & heat always have been a big instigator in triggering outbreaks . things that inflame irritate .Clothing .I always have had to wear cotton or nothing when possible . As a child in the 60's & 70's there was not much given to me for remedy .Luckily I spent most summers free of constricting clothing & lots of air & sun .I know I said heat irritates my eczema it depends in what form it comes in . As a child I did learn a trick a fast relief .To run my hands under cold water & since now in adulthood I will grab an ice pack & place on the itch for fast relief .
Eczema is not dry skin ! I think this is one of the biggest misconceptions regarding eczema . Even I was under the impression we should moisten Eczema . While I could place some oils on the rest of my skin there are some I could absolutely not .then there are oils like hemp which make my skin burn any old place .
I totally had it booked marked in The Herbal Medicine Maker's Handbook but of course I used the bookmark to save a different reading lol . It is in there though the good stuff on why not to place oils on Eczema . 
Okay oils are a big no no .why ? They promote the retention of heat & they block the pores . So while some oils may not give a reaction they all do that same thing just to varying degree .
The best way to treat eczema externally with herbal remedies is via poultices & tea bath .
However also internally we need to look at what is the trigger of the autoimmune in the first place . So diet plays a huge role . cleansing ourselves as much as possible of irritants is a must .
Also again on the topic of hormonal triggers. I have found my eczema to have changed yet again now with menopause . When I entered puberty & motherhood my Eczema changed areas as did my skin somewhat . I literally stopped sweating , I had eczema on the outside of my knees , elbows & on my ankles & my head ! Now with menopause it has returned in the same spots I had in early childhood .
So air , sun , bath teas & very mild oils are what I find best .
I will share what irritates & causes me , myself to have outbreaks .As well some that help .remember this is personal for each one of us .
Remember our skin is our biggest organ so everything is absorbed through it via air , water , oils , plant ,animals etc.
Some food that irritates me are those that tend to cause inflammation anyway acidic foods especially tomatoes , oranges even certain yogurts .coffee & certain nuts .
if I feel my skin is dry & may trigger eczema I might put oil on my skin but actually not on the eczema itself . oils do help our bodies retain moisture . & again this can be a good or bad thing depending on our skin type , dehydration etc. so the oils that I am okay on my body are olive , coconut , grapeseed & almond . on my eczema itself only almond or grapeseed .I absolutely cannot use hemp oil it inflamed my skin right away ! again if I feel dry skin may trigger eczema I drink water , lots 7&lots .flavour it with wild mint or lemon , cucumber if you hate the taste of city water .just drink lots .
okay because I have allergies & skin sensitivities anyway I tend to have reactions anyway which then can also trigger eczema . fun eh .if you really have this You know exactly how it is to suffer not just days but yrs never ending arrgh of yet again that horrid itch .So some herbs I cannot put on my skin at all . comfrey & poplar resin , peppermint, cinnamon oil,
juniper , cedar, sage , wormwood ,mugwort . now I do work with all these plants but rarely would I let them touch my skin .when I pick poplar, cedar & juniper my skin once again turns red & burns .I have had bad side effects from breathing in sage , mugwort & wormwood . so again I'm very careful when I work with them .
Plants that are kind to my skin & are helpers with skin issues & inflammation are spruce, rose, lavender, calendula, plantain, horsetail, sweet grass, arnica, daisy leaf
maybe just a note on items I can & cannot put in the bath baking soda irritates my skin as do those Epsom salts . Yet sea salt works wonders on my skin & eczema .
That is it for now the kid needs supper & this is a never ending topic lol
I do hope if You are as old as I am You too have by now also discovered some relief & also please share what works for You here & with others

tips making creams rubs ointment salve

This is not going to be a post on what herbs for what remedy it is just a quick short on tips for those making those homemade remedies .perhaps because if You have been making them you will have encountered problems .Also the sooner we can get a recipe down the better because the making of these items is not cheap & it is often extremely time consuming especially when we are taking time to harvest & process our own ingredients . To start the first question might be what the heck is the difference between ointments, rubs , salves etc. Honestly I think it is a regional thing & also even varies within families . As long as the product has information on proper use, ingredients etc. who the heck cares lol for my grandmother a cream or salve was just animal fat mixed with infused plants , resin & sometimes rose water . she would just whip it together to make it light & fluffy in order to be a cream .
however I found this site rather helpful & liked the explanations
So the two issues I find most often encountered in production are the issue of both moisture & heat !
there is nothing more frustrating than making a nice cream, salve etc. & the old separation of oil & moisture takes place . even more frustrating if you have paid money for the item . 
 The measurement of adding water /liquid to the recipe which also includes an emulsifying agent . Just adding more beeswax will not solve this problem !  You can read more about this in The Herbalist's Way
The biggest problem I find leading to moisture is in the infusion process of plant material .Especially when people use fresh herbs & resins . Moisture has got to be evaporated to prevent mold/ bacteria & also to prevent that separation . I personally dry almost all of my ingredients first before infusing .Of course the time takes almost the same but it is much more difficult to get moisture out of infused oil than it is the actual plant . resins can have an large amount of moisture when collected fresh . Also when moisture is added to anything it is very much prone to mold . You can decant moisture off after infusion but I find it tedious .
If You want to learn more about oils etc. please try out The Herbal Medicine Maker's Handbook
Okay the next thing is heat , the use of heat to infuse plant material in the making of these remedies . the best tip is , not to much ! keep the heat down .You can infuse as the folk method which is adding dried material to oils & let sit for periods of time in dark warm place .  Also some plants need cold infusion not warm/hot . when melting your beeswax do this before adding the oil & always in a double boiler. Remove it from the heat & let sit a minute then add your infused oils & essential oils if using .
Also another tip for a more fluffy creamy lip balm or rub etc. whisk your oil/wax mixture for a time before pouring .

Drying herbs out doors is best done not in direct sunlight & if so sacks & pillow cases make great drying tools if you do not have screens or shelves .
Store in paper bags rather than glass jars unless using fairly soon .

crock pots are great for warm/hot infusion but keep an eye on temp because healing properties & nutrients can be lost

cream made with rain water & gentle oils remember if there is a moisture content we need add ingredients that have mold/bacteria preventing properties