Archive for July, 2012

July 26, 2012

Echinacea with Amazing Butterfly Pictures

Echinacea is blooming and what a beautiful butterfly magnet it is! Echinacea is the latin name that people are familiar with, but the common name for this amazing perennial wildflower is purple coneflower. ‘Echinos’ is the Greek word for sea urchin or hedgehog, which relates to the look of the center cones that resemble the spines of hedgehogs, especially when dried.

There are three types or species of Echinacea:

  1. ‘purpurea’ is the purple variety
  2. ‘angustifolia’ is the narrow leaf variety
  3. ‘pallida’ means pale, named for the paler varieties. This variety is used less  medicinally.

Do not misuse Echinacea as a long-term immune enhancer, it is not like adaptogens such as ginseng. Echinacea is a cool detoxicant that reduces infection and heat. Use it for short-term infections and acute conditions only.

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***Echinacea should only be used as short-term immune stimulant. Do not use long-term and avoid overuse. Do not pick it in the wild, it is extinct and endangered. Cultivate it yourself or buy the root dried. Echinacea is also a good ingredient in gargles, washes, compresses, syrups, and used externally to treat injuries, burns, and skin disorders.

Common Name  Echinacea/ Purple coneflower root
Latin Name  Echinacea spp. angustifolia/ purpurea/pallida
Family Asteraceae
Parts Used perennial flowers rarely used/ root harvested in late summer /fall after blooming
Target Organs Blood, lymphatic, skin, stomach, urogenital, immune,
Common Uses bacterial viral infections, first sign cold, flu, chills, swollen glands lymph congestion, runny stuffy nose, cough, laryngitis, food allergies, UTI, skin infections, fever, inflammation, discharge,  wounds, ulcers, burns,
Properties Cool, dry, calming, stimulating, restoring, dissolving, anti-microbial, antibacterial, antiallergenic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, anti-toxic, astringent, alterative, anti-catarrhal, antiviral, antineoplastic, febrifuge, depurative, detoxicant, diuretic, lymphatic, decongestant, stimulating/regulating, immune stimulant, vulnerary
Constituents Essential oil, humulene, sesquiterpenes, glycoside echinoside, polysaccharides-echinacin, inulin, isobutylamides, polyines, polyenes, echinolone, betaine, tannins, resins, oleic/cerotic/ linolic/ palmatic acids, 13 polyacetylenes, enzymes, fatty acids, phytosterols, trace minerals, vitamin C
Cautions Mild remedy but may cause dizziness, nausea, numb tongue, gastric upset, cankers, throat irritation due to its stimulating nature.
Dosage Most effective: Tincture: 2-4ml                 Decoction: 6-10 g

Acute conditions like infection or onset of a cold

Take up to 2 tablespoons of decoction or 1 tsp. of tincture every two hours at acute protocols

July 20, 2012

Beaded Treasures

 I married my love of beads and precious healing stones from the earth together to create high vibe healing jewelry. I love working with these amazing gifts from the earth!

I love working with turquoise, lapis lazuli, crystals, tiger’s eye, jade, amethyst, jasper, hematite, and other gems and stones from our amazing earth to create beautiful healing jewelry.

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This is the hematite sodalite double necklace I beaded. I enjoy wearing them as much as I like making them. I also do custom designs.

July 19, 2012

DIY Floral Waters

These types of floral waters are different from hydrosols. A Hydrosol is the water part that has been separated from the essential oil part of a plant during the distillation process.

These DIY floral waters are cold water infusions that you can make at home if you have these flowers around the garden or are able to wildcraft them. If you don’t grow them or wildcraft them you can buy them dried. Use floral waters as a wash or compress to cleanse and heal wounds, as a skin toner, aftershave, face wash, and in many other recipes.

Gather and pick the flowers. I picked lavender, rose, yarrow flowers for their wonderful smell and healing abilities. Fill a glass mason jar 1/4 to 1/3 full of flowers and add water. Screw the lid on the jar and shake it vigorously. Let it steep overnight. Next day shake it again, and strain it through an unbleached fabric coffee filter or fine unbleached muslin, cotton, or hemp cloth.

Compresses: Use this floral water as a compress or wash for wounds. Pour on a face cloth or dip in a bowl, and bandage and dress wounds.

Drink Infusions: The rose-water infusion is drinkable and I love it mixed with mint. It is so cooling and refreshing in this summer heat.

Facial toner:

Witch hazel toner: Mix 3/4 floral water (rose, yarrow, lavender) with 1/4 witch hazel hydrosol for a face toner, or aftershave to tighten and refresh.

Cider vinegar toner: Mix 2 cups of (rose, yarrow, lavender) floral water infusion with 3 tablespoons of mint cider vinegar ( 2 tablespoons of mint (spearmint or peppermint) marinated in cider vinegar for a week and strained.) The vinegar acts as a preservative for longer shelf life, otherwise the waters are very delicate.

July 14, 2012

DIY Lavender Bundles

I call this craft lavender bundles, but they are known as Lavender “bottles” or “rattles.” These beautiful smelling decorations freshen up linen drawers and closets.

What you will need :

18-22 (always choose an even number) supple fresh stalks of lavender in full flower just picked

2 feet (about) of satin ribbon, 1/4 inch wide works best, in colour of your choice.

Directions:

Gather the lavender stems together with the flower tops even and level.

Tie the stems with one end of the ribbon just below the flowers.

Turn the flower bunch upside down and carefully bend the stalks down so that they cage the flower heads.

Space out the stems in pairs and weave the free end of the ribbon over and under the alternate pairs of stems to enclose the flowers.

Pull the ribbon tighter at the top and bottom so that the center looks fuller.

Tie the ribbon in a knot and bow to finish the ends, and add more ribbon with a bow.

Trim the stalks. Voila!

Place the bundle in a drawer or closet to scent clothes and linens, and help to deter moths, and insects. Hang these lavender bundles anywhere to freshen, and clean the air. I like squeezing them like a stress ball, :) squeezing the bundle helps to release the scent.

These bundles will hold their aroma a long time, but you can add a couple of drops of essential oil in the end to spruce it up. Enjoy!

I am giving away one of these lavender bundles to one of my top readers on a first come basis. If you would like one message me colleenchafe@rogers.com

July 14, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

Thanks to Katiepede http://katiepede.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/the-versatile-blogger-award-oh-la-la/ for nominating my blog earth elixir http://www.earthelixir.ca for the versatile blog award. I’m an aromatherapist, herbalist, nutritionist, and natural health practitioner who combines my love of photography, gardening, arts & crafts, cooking, and natural health remedies to help to connect with nature for maximum healing.

I love katipedes blog, and I shared her (ug!:) slughouse blog and learned that leopard slugs are beneficial.

Here are some other blogs that also blow me away with their beauty, creativity, caring, and versatility.

http://serenityspell.com/

http://thebeadden.wordpress.com/

http://stayathomescientist.com/

http://thepyjamagardener.wordpress.com/

http://soulsbyfarm.wordpress.com/

http://arignagardener.wordpress.com/

http://livinginnatureengland.wordpress.com/

http://arealfoodlover.wordpress.com/

I nominate these blogs for the versatile blogger award :) and I appreciate my nomination.

July 12, 2012

Lavender

The lavender is blooming and it smells so wonderful! I love making delicious smelling crafts, perfume, food, and medicine with it. 

I made lavender “bottles” or “rattles” by wrapping ribbon around the flowers and stems. Put them in drawers or in a linen closet, or hang them on a closet hanger to freshen and clean the air and clothes, and to deter moths and pests. I think they make a great stress ball too :D Lavender relaxes and relieves stress.Lavender has an extensive history of use dating back thousands of years. Used by the Phoenicians, Arabians, Romans, Victorians, Egyptians for mummification, perfume, medicine, crafts, cooking, and bathing, it still remains a popular favourite.

During the Black Plague robbers included Lavender in the “Four Thieves” recipe to protect themselves from illness. During the Dark ages, Lavender field farm workers were not greatly affected by the plague because the smell deters pests. 

Depending on which country Lavender is grown the composition greatly varies. French lavender has a higher amount of esters, because it is grown at higher altitudes.

 Modern uses of lavender include the industrial, pharmaceutical, perfume and aromatherapy sectors. 

Lavender essential oil is a healing first-aid kit in a bottle!  Use it for all kinds of wounds, cuts, burns, scrapes, and bites. It is applied ‘neat,’ which means put it directly on skin without diluting it first. It is the best essential oil to use to treat burns, and use it with aloe vera or alcohol free witch hazel, preferably cold.

Common Name  Lavender flowers
Latin Name  Lavandula angustifolia
Family Lamiaceae (Mint Family)
Parts Used Perennial- flowering spikes picked in summer
Target Organs Digestion, Central Nervous System, Nerves, Skin, Muscular
Common Uses Digestion: IBS, colic, spasms, emotional digestive upset, nauseaNervous system: regulates, insomnia, stress, sciatica, migraines, headaches, anxiety

Skin: Healing minor wounds, abrasions, burns, insect bites, powerful cell regenerator

Muscular: aches, pains, arthritis,

Properties Analgesic, antibacterial, anticatarrhal, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory (local, systemic) antioxidant, antispasmodic(digestive) anxiolytic, astringent, carminative, deodorant, diaphoretic, febrifuge, nervine, relaxant, tranquilizer, vascular tonic, vasodilator, vulnerary
Constituents Essential Oil: 

Esters: 40-55%Linalyl acetate 30-53%, lavandulyl acetate .2-.5.9% terpenyl acetate .5% geranyl acetate .5% linaylbutyrate, linalylvalerianate,  Monoterpenes: 4-5% limonene, a+b pinene, camphene

Ketone: 4%: camphor 1% octanone-3 .5-1.5%, p-menthyl-acetophenone, amylketone, Aldehydes: 2%

Monoterpene alcohol: linalool 30-50%, geraniol 1%, borneol .8-1.4%, lavandulol .5-1.5% , terpinen-4-ol .3-6.5%,a-terpineol .1-1.4% amylalcohol, nerol

Oxides:2%: 1, 8 cineol .5-2.5%, linalool oxide, caryophyllene oxideTrace lactones and coumarins

Cautions Mild remedy: Do not use during pregnancy.
Dosage Tincture: 2-4ml               Tea: 2 tsp. infuse 
July 4, 2012

Making Natural Perfume Update

The full moon in Capricorn thunder moon has been busy, of course!  The flowers that have been macerating for perfume from my blog a month ago, that I’d made during the Sun Venus transit,

http://earthelixir.ca/2012/06/05/making-natural-perfume-from-flower-petals/

I filtered and pressed the petal pulp out from the luscious liquid yesterday during the full moon. It was a wonderful surprise to smell those long-lost smells of spring. The anticipation was well worth it!

I was so impressed with the rose one, I tinctured more. I used pink roses this time because of their peak bloom, and wonderful strong odour.  I wonder if it will give me a light pink liquid along with its divine aroma. The bees certainly love it!

The rose tincture is edible, and I will use it internally as delicious medicine, as well as externally for perfume.

The Dianthus looks and smells like grape juice, which is a far cry from my white chocolate wishes, but I will still use it. If all else it will become an air freshener and cleaning product.

The Peony is very subtle in smell, and next time I will use more petals, they are so delicate.

The Lilac is strong, but next time I will use all varieties I have, which is four, to see which one is the best.

 

I have essential oils in tincture, and I am looking forward to creating perfume blend alchemy with these lovely beauties!

Stay tuned to see how they turn out!

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