From My Apothecary Cabinet: Ginger & Lavender Oil

I just finished my online class, Apothecary: Beginners Guide To Crafting Herbal Medicine. I must say that not only have learned so many things, but quite a few of the remedies I learned about have been extremely beneficial to both my husband and myself.

Today I am making my third batch a massage oil that contains three simple ingredients… ginger, lavender and apricot oil. This massage oil helps to increase circulation, reduce inflammation and ease muscle tension caused by stress. I will share that I’ve been using this massage oil on my husband’s knees (arthritic pain) and his back (muscle tension) over the last 6 weeks. He has shared that it has helped, and he is no longer using IcyHot. For me personally, I have an ankle injury and it has helped reduce the throbbing pain. Please note that while this massage oil has helped us, it may not provide the same results for you but it’s definitely worth trying.

Benefits of using ginger and lavender have one thing in common, they both have anti-inflammatory properties.

Ginger is an anti-inflammatory, which means it reduces swelling. That may be especially helpful for treating symptoms of both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. You might get relief from pain and swelling either by taking ginger by mouth or by using a ginger compress or patch on your skin. Ginger won’t whisk away muscle pain on the spot, but it may tame soreness over time. In some studies, people with muscle aches from exercise who took ginger had less pain the next day than those who didn’t.

WebMD

Lavender is known for its antiseptic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. True Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is the best variety to use for healing and aromatherapy, as the hybrid oils are much higher in camphor, and are more stimulating than calming. Lavender essential oil has been a prominent and important part of history, bringing clarity, peace of mind, emotional balance as well as healing and overall wellness to the body. Lavender is one of the most versatile essentials oils.

Lavender Essentials of Vermont

For the massage oil….

1/4 of fresh ginger grated or finely chopped ( grated it for the first 2 batches and finely chopped for the 3rd batch)

1/2 cup of Apricot oil ( I use the 4 oz bottle of Now Apricot Oil )

10 drops of Lavender essential oil ( I use Cliganic Organic Lavender Essential Oil )

Add the freshly grated or chopped ginger and apricot oil into a jar and let it set for 24 hours. Using cheese cloth or a fine mesh strainer, strain the oil completely. Add the lavender essential oil and stir. You will the store in a jar or a bottle of choice. The water in the fresh ginger will cause this mixture to eventually spoil, so for best results, store in the refrigerator and use within 1 to 2 weeks. I’ve been using mine up in 2 weeks.

Thank you for letting me share my herbal remedies adventures with you !

From My Apothecary Cabinet – Calendula Salve

Calendula heals wounds, relieves inflammation, increases beneficial immune responses, is mildly antimicrobial, and even protects the skin from radiation damage. 

Rosalee de la Foret – See full benefits and video here

Since we have been back in Arizona, and as I get older, my skin gets so dry any more that lotion doesn’t seem to help. I have noticed that I’m beginning to develope dry patches and find that my face especially gets dry, which amazes me as when I was younger I tended to have very oily skin. I began researching the benefits of Calendula, especially the use of Calendula salve, and was amazed how beneficial this flower is to have and maintain in my apothecary cabinet.

Herbalists have long used calendula for skin health, including it in luscious creams or even herbal steams. Science has further validated this use by showing that calendula improves elasticity and skin hydration.4 I recommend frequently using calendula creams on your skin to keep it healthy, soft, and pliable. 

Rosalee de la Foret – Herbs With Rosalee

It took me about two weeks to collect enough flower heads to dry (I used my food dehydrator and the sun) and then I used the dried flowers to infuse into 4oz of grapeseed oil, which sat on my kitchen counter for about three weeks.

This past Sunday I made my first salve and it feels so amazing on my skin! I started a new facial skin care regimen too and have started cleansing my face with pure honey and water (which will leave your face soft) and then follow with my newly made calendula salve. My face hasn’t been this soft in years and I am hopeful that this salve, along with the use of honey, will help reduce my dry patches and help restore balance to my skin.


Here’s the recipe I used, which I cut in half (link to my post)

Ingredients:

Preparation:

Using a fine mesh strainer, I strained all the oil so there would be no petals in the salve, and used a spoon to mash down the flowers to make sure no oil was left behind. I ended up with almost a half of a cup of golden orange calendula infused oil. Next I poured the oil into my double boiler and added a half bar of beeswax. Over medium heat, I stirred the oil and beeswax until the wax was completely melted and then added 10 drops of lavender essential oil. I immediately removed it from the heat and poured into my 2 oz tins. This batch yielded two tins of salve.

One thing I noticed while making this salve was the smell of the calendula. It smelled like sunflower oil, which too me is a nice scent. This was exciting and fun to make and I definitely will be making more.

Courtesy of The Herbal Academy – A Family Herb: Helpful Calendula Blossoms

➡️ Next Tuesday I will be writing about a natural pain relieving massage oil (simple ingredients) that I’ve been using not only for myself, but on my husband too.

Sunday Musings

“Sunday is the golden clasp that binds together the volume of the week.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Why do Sundays come around so fast? For me they always seem too and I’m not quite ready yet for another Monday. I will say though, the best part about working from home is having the extra time in the day to be able to do a few things that get missed over the weekend.

Today I will be busy baking, planting peppers as a replacement to our lettuce and making my very first calendula salve, which for me is exciting. My calendula infused oil has been sitting on the kitchen counter now for four weeks, so its time to make the salve. I can’t wait to make this today!

So what did we do on Saturday? We had a fun day filled with antiquing and thrifting. We didn’t find anything to bring home other than books, but thats a good thing as both of us have been really reading lately. I found two vintage books at the antique store that I couldn’t resist, a 1948 copy of The Winstons Dictionary For Children and a 1913 copy of Time of Roses by L.T.Meade. We also stopped at Home Depot and picked up four pepper plants (a jalapeño, a candy cane, a Carmen and a Mad Hatter), a Thai Basil and a Mexican Tarragon. We’re both excited about the peppers, as a few of these are new to us. We also stopped into Tractor Supply, were I found the perfect sign to hang under our sun and picked up Dawn Combs book, Sweet Remedies: Herbal Healing Honeys.

Friday I finished spinning my 2 oz of Radnor fiber. This coming week I will be chain plying it with the hope of achieving between 80 and 100 yards. I also managed to get quite a bit of knitting in on Friday as well, and now working on the foot of my sock. Maybe I will finally have a finished pair of socks before the month is over. I also received Aprils fiber and I love the cheery yellows and golds.

I hope you have had a wonderful weekend so far and that your Sunday brings you joy!

From My Apothecary Cabinet – Rosemary Ginger Tea

Fresh Rosemary is the best!

This simple tea is made with 1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary leaves, 1 thin slice of fresh ginger root and 1 teaspoon of raw honey. I used my large tea strainer and seeped for 15 minutes, then added honey and drank hot. It’s definitely an aromatic tea and to me it taste quite good. I found another version of this tea on Nmami Life that I plan to make too, which as basil in it. I think this tea would also be good cold and refreshing to drink cold.

Rosemary is not only known for its taste and smell; it is also renowned for the many health benefits it possesses. A good source of iron, calcium and vitamins A, C, and B-6, rosemary has been used for its medicinal purposes for centuries.

Flushing Hospital- click here for the full article

So why Rosemary and ginger?

As stated in the quote above, Rosemary has many health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties, can help improve memory and can provide pain relief when massaged into the skin. Ginger also has anti-inflammatory properties, can boost immunity, lower blood sugar levels, can help with indigestion, can help improve brain function, can help to lower cholesterol and can help with weight management.

Last week I watched the latest episode of Rosalee’s podcast featuring Phoenix resident Felicia Cocotzin Ruiz who talked about the benefits of using rosemary. She talked about her rosemary tonic that she makes that is massaged into joints and muscles to aid circulation. So of course I had to make it !

The recipe for this can be found on the podcast page here.

I’m on a quest to find the best herbal combination possible to help with inflammation. My husband has joint pain and has the beginning stages of arthritis. He cannot take prescription medication due to the side affects he has had and he wants to try going the natural route to help relieve his pain. Inflammation in the body is the largest culprit to pain and arthritis, and my journey of learning natural remedies is to help my husband gain relief from this pain.

Thank you for letting me share!