From the Blog of Pure Wellness

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A Red Tent Series: Women’s Self-Care Part 1

This 5 part series will take you through my own personal red tent of self-care. Though I am guilty of falling off sometimes, I make sure to get back to a routine as much as I can. Some days if I have gone the whole day without some type of conscious self-care, I lay down in my bed for the night, close my eyes and take 3 nice deep, slow breaths. That’s just enough.

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Women’s Self-Care

For a very long time, women were pushed further and further into the background. Though we have been making strides in the last century, women still tend to forget themselves. Taking care of loved ones, working, keeping up the home, and general modern life stress can take a toll. We make excuses, even sub-consciously, “no time”, “too tired”, “not in the budget”. But it is extremely important to even take a moment each day to breathe. Being tapped out on energy can leak into other areas of our lives.

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Wellness Education

As my business has evolved, it has ironically turned to more classes. I say ironically because I think back to my youth and I remember how much I struggled as a student and my wonderment of how anyone would ever want to be a teacher. As I matured and grew over the years, it was crystal clear. Not only are you allowed to spread the exciting information that you are interested in to others, but you become a better student yourself. Education is something I seek on a daily basis. Always reading, always experiencing.

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Herbalism Education: Linden Blossom

The Linden flower comes from the Tilia tree family. Some common names you might recognize are Basswood trees or Linden tree or Lime Flower Tree.

Linden flowers may be used fresh or dried in infusions, teas, tinctures, infused oils and essential oil. It has a sweet taste and aroma. Suggested uses: uplifting, calming, expectorant, anti-inflammation, anti-spasmodic, sedative.

Quick Tip: Use the light green straight leaf attached to the flowers in a tea for a cheerful treat, served hot or iced.

Aromatherapy Education: Balsam Fir

Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea canadensis) is associated with winter time and the holidays, but it can also be a refreshing aroma for any time of the year! Some benefits:

  • grounding
  • great for aching muscles

The essential oil is distilled from the needles. It’s great diluted and used topically for achy muscles and joints. Diffused it is said to help tight coughs and congestion as well as calming and grounding.

Herbalism Education: Herbs in Massage

Did you know you can add food into the mix without being messy?
Did you know you can make massage oils without buying expensive essential oils?

Making your own herbal infused massage oil is actually very easy! You only need 3 supplies and a good 6 weeks to make it happen.
Read below to see which type of massage oil you would like to make.

Pick an herb
Lavender – relaxing
Chamomile – relaxing
Comfrey – soothing
Ginger – warming
Calendula – hydrating
Rosemary – muscle rub
or pick an herb to experiment with. There are SO many!
Pick a carrier oil
Almond Oil
Grapeseed Oil
Olive Oil
Jojoba Oil
or pick another carrier oil that you love.
Mason Jar with Lid

Directions: You can use dried or fresh herbs (make sure you leave no space for any bacteria to grow if you are using fresh). Fill the jar with chopped herb, cover completely with your carrier oil, cap the jar tight and set in a sunny area in the house. You will notice infusion with some herbs with the oil changes color (depending on the herb) or just wait 6 weeks until it’s ready. Strain the oil through cheesecloth and bottle your lovely, new herbal massage oil and keep it in a dark, cool cabinet when not in use.

For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.  This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Herbalism Education: Cayenne

Cayenne Pepper (Capsicum frutescens)

Essential Oil: none

Uses: antiseptic, stimulant, diaphoretic, warming. Fresh or dried pods with seeds can be used in teas, tinctures, washes and infused oils.

Quick Tip: Add a teaspoon of powdered cayenne to a meal or tea at the beginning of a cold or with inflamed throats. If you do not consume Cayenne regularly, work up to a teaspoon slowly.

Herb of the week is to give you a brief overview of the many plants that grace our Earth. Please research further into herbs before using these on yourself and loved ones. Especially if you are pregnant.

Herbalism Education: Understanding Herbal Preparations

There are many ways to invite herbs into your life. Sometimes it can get confusing reading about the different ways you can administer them. Here’s a run-down of major preparations and how they are made.

Herbal Teas/Infusion – A tea or infusion can be a mixture of herbs which include leaves, stems, and flowers. Steeping herbal teas for at least 10 minutes in boiling water allows for most benefits.

Decoction – This also is steeping plants in boiled water, but decoctions include bark, nuts, roots, and seeds steeping from 20 minutes to overnight.

Syrup – A syrup is infused herbs in boiling water mixed with honey and may or may not include alcohol. The end result is a thick, syrup.

Elixir/Tonic – An elixir is similar to how a syrup is made, but it is not heated  to make a thick syrup. Herbs are infused with an alcohol and honey and left to sit for several weeks similar to how a cordial might taste.

Poultice – Ground herbs mixed with a liquid to become a paste to spread on a cloth over wounds or infections.

Extract – Herbs are infused in 80% alcohol for a long period of time (usually 2 months and longer). Either fresh herbs are used in 1:2 ratio or dried herbs used 1:5 ratio.

Tincture – A tincture is taken by diluting an extract in boiling water or juice.

Capsule – Most herbal supplements are taken by a capsule form full of powdered herbs.

Liniment – Herbal extract used for exterior use. (i.e. sore muscles)

Lozenge/pastilles  – A paste of powdered herbs and honey are hardened into a lozenge.

Salve – Used on the skin, usually made with beeswax, infused oils, and sometimes essential oils. Ingredients are heated and then left to cool into a solid.

Cream/lotions – Also used on the skin made with beeswax, infused oils, a butter (like Shea) essential oils and distilled waters. Depending on ratios a cream can be thicker than a lotion.

Infused Oils – Carrier oils infused with herbs and set for at least a couple weeks in the sun (or in a double boiler for quicker infusions)

Diffusions – Using hot or cold steam to diffuse essential oils into the air.

Hydrosol – Steam condensation left over from infusing floral waters. Used mostly as toners.

Essential Oil – concentrated liquid containing volatile compounds from the plant. This is the true aroma essence from plants.

Herbalism Education: Thyme

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

Essential Oil: Steam Distilled

Uses: expectorant, carminative, antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal. Fresh or dried leaves and flowers can be used in essential oils, teas, tinctures, salves and infused oils.

Quick Tip: Steep dried or fresh Thyme in boiling water for 10 minutes for relief with any respiratory issues.

Herb of the week is to give you a brief overview of the many plants that grace our Earth. Please research further into herbs before using these on yourself and loved ones. Especially if you are pregnant.

Herbalism Education: Calendula

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Essential Oil: CO2 extracted

Uses: anti inflammatory, anti-oxidant, antispasmodic, anti fungal, astringent, antimicrobial. Fresh or dried leaves and flowers can be used in essential oils, teas, tinctures, salves and infused oils.

Quick Tip: To have on hand for minor scrapes and bruises, fill a sterilized mason jar with fresh Calendula flowers and top off with any carrier oil (such as Olive oil or jojoba). Let sit in the sun from 2-4 weeks. Strain flowers and keep oil in a dark, cool cabinet. (Compost your flowers!)

Herb of the week is to give you a brief overview of the many plants that grace our Earth. Please research further into herbs before using these on yourself and loved ones. Especially if you are pregnant.