The Summer of Experimentation


This summer, for me, it’s going to be all about experimenting. I received a fun package full of goodies from Mountain Rose Herbs plus a few new books to get me started. My thoughts are of finding the perfect herbal iced tea, making variations on my favorite lotions and maybe making a fantastic smelling household cleaner. Note the very large box of Peace Tea, summer vacation for the boys started last Thursday…I will be needing this! It actually is good to have them home and not have the pressure of quickly making lunches and getting out the door in the mornings.

We have so many calendulas growing here that sometimes I think we should go into the calendula business. Until then, I dry as many petals as I can to infuse into oils for lotions and soaps. My method simply is to fill a canning jar with a heaping handful of dried calendula petals along with my desired oil, cover and set out in full sun for an entire day. Then strain and store.

Calendula petals are also good for adding to tea blends. This one is a custom blend I made with helichrysum, rose petals, nettle, and fennel pollen. This mixture of herbs (minus the fennel pollen, which I just added for taste) was recommended to me by a friend who’s an herbalist to infuse into oils for making eczema salves. (more on that later)

It too spent a few hours out on the back deck and then into the fridge to cool. It tasted just great, the key was in the fennel pollen. Yesterday I sat out another jar of this with a jar of Peace Tea, they chilled overnight and today I’ll see which I like better.

It’s fun to experiment. In my school days, I never did have a head much for the sciences, but as an adult, playing around with lotions and melting points and infusions and herbal properties and natural dying makes me feel like a mad scientist!


Filed under Body Care

13 responses to “The Summer of Experimentation

  1. Looking forward to reading about your experiments.
    I am new to your blog and was wondering whether you have any book suggestions for herbal “recipes”? Are you enjoying the two you’ve got recently?

    Thank you!

  2. It all looks lovely. My lotion based on your recipe was a big hit. I’m really opposed to purchasing beeswax, but rendering it is a real pain.

  3. Jennifer

    Alchemy is much more fun for me as well. I LOVE LOTION! I would like to have more lotion varieties. Presently I have your original recipe that have some of my personal touches, and I now have a lotion starting from your original recipe that has an spf of 8, without using zinc or titanium oxide, Very Cool. Would like to have a recipe for soothing aches and pains. I would like to have a variety so I can maybe be a farmers market vendor in our small quaint community. Love Love Love your blog

  4. Michelle

    Oooh, what a big box of fun! I love seeing all the things you create with the flowers and plants you find around the place, it’s very inspiring and eye-opening -keep up the experimentation!

  5. I love herbal teas. I don’t know what calendula is. I’m off to google it.

  6. I love the book Organic Body Care Recipes. I carry it in my store and I use it myself. I love you you make your calendula oil. I’m going to do that. Thank you for the tips.

    • Laurie

      The “brewing” of herbs into the oil is very beneficial. And, the process can be doubled with a second “brewing” of a fresh batch of herbs the following day (which can be replicated in the oven, set at 200 degrees, put in the oil and herbs, shut off the temp and leave for 4 hours). Also, dried lavender buds can be added for help with the eczema. It’s marvelous for that skin condition!

  7. M H

    I love your blog! I can’t wait for more DIY recipes for body care. Its so hard finding blogs that share these. Do you follow any blogs that have DIY body care recipes? From your list I’ve only found blogs that mainly focus on farming or food. (Which I love as well.)

    • Katie

      MH, check out the blog by SwiftCraftyMonkey. She’s very extensive with her explainations of ingredients, preservatives, additives, etc. It’s quite daunting and may be intimidating, but well worth the read.

  8. I have been using fresh lavender to make infused oil and have been wanting to plant calendula to use too (everyone in my family has eczema)… but should I be drying the flowers first?

  9. Erin Rothie

    A friend let me borrow the Organic Body Care Recipes book and I really enjoyed looking through it. It’s so fun and {rewarding} making products/cleaners. Enjoy your new bounty!

  10. all of your posts are great. do you have a facebook page i can like and share with my friends?

  11. Chris

    Regarding your purchase of “Peace Tea”…MRH has another wonderful tea which is good hot or cold. It is Vanilla Rooibus, a red herbal tea from Africa. No caffeine. Heavenly!

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