Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Herbal Bath

If you haven't figured out I like baths yet well lol you either are here for the first time or not been paying attention ;-)
I love the art of herbal bathing . I am also interested in exploring the art of dry bathing as well but this focus is on my most wonderful tub .
I've mentioned before I love oils for the tub and afterwards. This also goes for my hair. I've read different herbs are good for different hairtypes as well for those with different colours. I read rosemary is nice for darker colourings so I tried it and it is absolutely heavnly. I also usually mix this up with lavender I find the two scents compliment each other. I rcently read spices can enhance ones colour like red with cinnamon and dark with nutmeg .
I use olive oil for my hair I prefer the heavy thick texture for my long hair . For skin though I use coconut and almond oils . I never had a stretch mark in my life and I like to think it came from a good supply of oil to my skin .
So where do the herbs come in . Well I use mostly trees in my bathing . Makes sence as this is what I have access to most often and there are many medicinal uses for trees be it root, leave or stem even sap is used for making sauves .
I am so blessed to have a really wonderful and wise spiritual director . One time I was questioning some thing or other and he said to me " well just ask  "
 lol the wise often are very plain and simple . Well I do that I pray in regards to my healing and I must say I am always blessed with the way when I am open to believing .
Remember our skin is our biggest organ so it makes sence we take in not only toxins this way but also the good stuff. So if my bones are achy from my arthritus not only does the warm bath help but the addition of willow in a tub and a glass of willow tea really work .
For purification juniper almost always does the job for me . Spruce and balsam help with healing and also really awaken the mind . Lately I've been using alot of comfrey as I've been fighting an infection and low immune lately.
I personally prefer to make my herbal tub by brewing up a pot of bath tea. I quite often am going to also drink the tea as well . I know some like to use the herbal bag right to the tub but I like the boiling water ,add the herbs and then let it steap just like a pot of tea. I then strain it off into the tub . Unless of course I am having a flower tub then I leave the petals in .There is nothing more soothing then having a tub with lavender buds and rose petals floating around .
If you really want to make a bath bag I just cut up pieces of old sheets and save them for dusting , first aide and such. Fill a piece of sheeting with your herbal mix and drop it into your boiling pot or like some do add right to your tub. I am thinking to do a thistle tub soon for cleansing and I will take care to strain this mixture well ;-)
So again nothing really over the top just a nice way in which Spirit teaches us how to use  beautiful gifts for thier real purpose . Again if you feel the need for  help remember just ask , I think you may be pleasantly surprised and perhaps also end up in a wonderful herbal tub like me ;-)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We have a Winner !

Yes we do have a winner for our Father's day give away ! This time we have a local winner ! Our friends The Van Erds' a wonderful homeschool family and friends . Congrats to Marcel Van Erd we hope he will enjoy the iet,ms and our products . Aventure boy of course always has fun helping mum put together ietms and do the actual drawing of the winner . This time we used my toolbox ;-) I thought it fitting to honour ST. Joseph .

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Father's Day Giveaway

Yes I've been busy this past week putting together a pack I hope will be pleasing for the Father's day give away ;-) The entries begin today June 15th and Draw will be morning June 21st . I have to say this pack was a bit of a challenge for me to put together . I knew I wanted to offer something but hadn't a clue what . So I began with a prayer and off He sent me on a wonderful journey . First came to me was of course my bath salts and the blend I like and find nice for men is the orange / cedar combo. I call this my saint Joseph mix because he came to me guiding the way . I like to think of him with the cedar as it represents protection and often is considered a male tree . In fact in many cultures it is used to protect clothing , buildings etc. The orange helps wake us up and keep us alert ! I like to think of ST. Jospeh always being open and aware like when the angel came to him ;-) is he not the example father of fathers !
I then got into the bathing theme and I thought why not a herbal bath bomb to help heal , purify and strengthen . These herbs I like to use for dh . Cedar again for strength , juniper for purification and comfrey for healing . I prepare the bath bomb by placing the cotton bomb in water which has been brought to a boil then turn off the element .Basically you are making a tea bath . I know some people just place right into the tub but I find it is more beneficial being brwed like a tea and let sit and steep for 20min then strain herbal water into the tub .
There is then the luffa sponge which I pick up at the east indian market . The sponge is sterilized as well . This is very beneficial in bathing especially if your dh works in heavy labour intensive work . This is an excellent scrub .I then found these sweet little boxes with image of ST.Joseph on them. I knew I would use a box in the give away but wanted something to place inside it . I somehow was drawn to using clay this past two weeks and writing about it. I've wanted to create our own clay tooth powder and had been experimenting with flavours. Of course it came to me what I could place within this little ST.Joseph box. Our toothpowder . made from sterilized caly and two flavours , First is wild mint which offers a nice sweet mint cooling not hot like peppermint .My ds8 who detests any spicey mint loves this wild mint . Next flavour is my absolute fav and a new taste . It is clove , licorice and anise the flavours go together really well. which is so yummy you almost want to eat it ;-) While on the topic of healing & ST.Joseph I had the topic of a book come up. Yet a fatherly inspiring book . My sil gave me a sort of handyman book titled Care for Your Home the Lazy Way but I still wanted to find something a bit spiritual . There sitting on my bookshelf by my bed was brother Andre . A man so very dedicated and yes a special bond to ST.Joseph . His ST.Jospeh Oratory is world famous all inpsired and brought about by this humble sweet man . This book is titled The Wonder Man and printing is 1988 . It truely is a treasure but I feel I am to pass this along .
Then I inspired by brother Andre found a beautiful picture I have had stored on our shelf .It is a picture of two brothers ST.Ciril & ST.Methodious . These brothers two were missionaries amongst the slavic peoples .
I have also included my homemade ST.Francis Forest spruce resin insence and charcoal .This is made over an open fire each autumn and made from true spruce gum of the boreal forest .
Last of all is a small ST.Joseph prayer card
I have included some photos of items and products used in making some of our items sorry but the basket is not included as it will not fit in a box . Enjoy !

Little ST.J box with tooth powders

Brother Andre Book

ST.Francis Forest spruce resin insence & charcoal pack
Luffa Sponge Handyman Special ST. Ciril & ST. Methodious

Cotton Bath Bomb & ST.Joseph prayer card

Ingredients cedar , juniper , comfrey Bath Epsom Salts cedar & orange a few yummy ingredients for tooth powder

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Healing Clay

I've been dreaming of working with clay lately . All the benefits health wise plus just using clay as an art form . All the many useful ways , methods and techniques in which clay has been used . Reading the book Baking Bread with Children there are instructions for making a a clay oven and I am so tempted to try it this yr.
Of course my first experiences with clay are from when I was a child . Not in the classroom however but along the lake shores of lake Winnipeg where my mothers family is from . We grew up knowing that ancient peoples had indeed used the clay for pot making used in a mix for mortor and also cooking . My grandfather is said to have made the best baked fish when he would enclose the fish in a clay wrap . Roast the fish in amongst the goals and then remove the clay shell . We of course grew up platying in the clay deposits and hauling clay chunks out of the lake to make our own creations be they clay homes for stick people or pots and masks . Our own children now have a blast each summer mucking about emerging as clay beasties and I with my hobbit feet ;-) .
One of my first encounters with clay as a health benefit however was when I was 4 yrs. My mother had taken us camping in the mountains of Alberta one summer. Even though it was summer it was very cold at night . We had one of the small cabins rented on a mountainside along with an old aboriginal man . That was it no one else . So there we were a pregnant woman with 4 young children . My two older cousins were along with us they must've only been about 8 & 9 yrs . They were going to explore one day up the mountainside . I of course being the uoungest wanted to tag along . Up we began . They ahead of me by several feet over deadfall etc. It is not easy hiking this is for sure . Of course I was told to be careful . However being the 4 yo that I was how careful could I be ;-) . I stepped on a wasp or hornet nest . That was it . My cousins both yelling run run . The eldest finially ran and picked me up quick and ran down to my mother . She hadn't clue what to do . I'd been stung all over . This was the first and last time I'd hear the native man speak . He motioned his hand and said to my mother " bring her here " she of course did . He must have spoke to my mother somewhat but I do not recall . I just remember he showed her how to cover me in mud / clay . He smeared it all over me . It dried on .I hadn't an itch or a swelling etc. Since I've heard of others who have been stung using earth & clay for stings . It draws the toxins out I guess that we would normally react to that cause swelling . Apparently any earth will do but the higher clay content the better . I think you can see why I value very much the opinion of my elders ;-)
Later in life I would have another encounter with clay this time in art class . Yes art is theraputic to me as for many . As a teenager in highschool I just so happened to have an art teacher Steve Repa who was indeed a well known potter here . I would have him for close to 3 yrs . He taught me much from stained glass to making homemade wooden beads . However it was the pottery I loved . I preferred working without a wheel just very primative vessels . We even did fire and straw firing . Art & pottery were the subjects that got me threw highschool .
Still later on in my mid twenties pregnant with child 33 I would yet encounter clay once again as a health benefit . My dh and I were living in a small apartment with our two little girls . I was now pregnant with our 3 rd child and we were very low income at the time . We had not much and at times we were very hungry . My body craved ice at one point and my midwife and dear friend told me it is often a sign one is lacking in iron . So I began some supliments and yes no more ice craving . However around my 5-7th months I began another craving . I craved sometype of earthy substance . At first chalk came to mind . Well no I was not about to eat chalk . I told my mum who was a nurse I said it is strange but when I open the bag of kitty litter I get this wierd scent and craving . No I was not going to eat kitty litter . She then told me kitty litter was indeed cay . That was it clay I was craving clay .Dry hard clay . I aksed my midwife she said if my mother could bring me some from her property it should be fine to eat. So I did .I ate little dried bits of clay . Just small amounts . The craving went away But again It appeared to be lack of minerals and calcium . I later learned in Guatemala when visiting & in a national geographic article that they make small crosses out of clay and sell them in the markets .This is not for decoration but indeed for people , mostly women to eat . Small thin wafers shaped into croses. Also in other parts of the world women do this . Of course I also read in some western medical mag that this is all a pyscological thing and only in the mind . lol it seems once again like the old we don't understand it so therefore those crazy pregnant women haven't a clue what they are doing . Well I personally believe my body and instinct and people who have eaten clay for hundreds if not thousands of yrs . I just do and I know enough now to know it is often Him leading me to the right diagnosis & remedey ;-) .
I now have been inspired the last few yrs to try this clay as a cosmetic as a clay mask for cleansing and equally inspired by Anne via her post on clay tooth powder . I also found this blog which has a recipe for tooth powder . So I've been mixing wild mint so far and it is great on the face . A bit cooling and smells nice too . This mint is also from my families property and grows wild now here in our garden as well . I do stereolize the clay in a very hot oven and I do not believe this effects the mineral content or ability to draw out toxins from the body .
I've since been reading more about the benefits of clay helping detox from the liver and the body in general . I have not read this book but it looks interesting I'll first check with the library as I always seem to find so many herbal helps there . I am now a tad curious to read deeper into the history of clay helps for personal health benefits etc. How did the greeks and other cultures use clay . How might our Lady have used clay ? Helping to cleanse , baking , making pots , structures ? Possibly ;-) the never ending art of learning ... on we go . For now I hope you get a smile out of our clay summer fun .

Our Clay Boys
lol I can't say much he was so funny

Even great Gramma got in on the fun
My Hobbit Feet