“The Greatest Trunk Show on Earth”
featuring 50 local boutiques and artisans
November 28 :: 10-3pm
Whew, holiday season has HIT but most of my orders on etsy still seem very personal, rather than gifts for family or friends. I love helping people craft custom formulas, and it’s so rewarding to get feedback that my creations are really working. What’s really amazing is how simple, pure ingredients are so much better for the skin than these expensive commercial foaming creamy whaznits! Love the feedback, guys! I am especially delighted that the Cleansing elixirs and Clarifying Facial Serums are having such success against acne.
Maeve and I went out to California last week to visit some LA cousins ~ we had a great time, enjoyed the fantabulous weather and also learned a lot about a product called Xango, a natural supplement that harnesses the power of mangosteen, a southeast asian fruit that has been used as a tea, a topical salve, and a medicinal remedy for many common complaints, including inflammation, pain, skin conditions, and infections. Xango is a *tasty* supplement and I’d love to start using it myself. I found that I was looking forward to having a little xango ‘shot’ every day, just knowing I was gifting myself with all that antioxidant, anti-inflammatory goodness. Yeah, mangosteen!
Tomorrow I will have a table at the Indie Craft Market in Philadelphia. It’s a great marketplace of indie artisans of all kinds ~ a great place to start picking up things for the holidays! It would be great to see some of my beloved customers, friends, and family there.
There will be food, music, and “cool peddlers”, as they say:
@ Backseat Conceptions 941 Theater:
941 N. Front Street Philadelphia, PA (Northern Liberties)
So this is what I try to sneak in as mini-moments of me time:
* blog entries!
* reading Herbal Quarterly and Herbal Gram, to great herb-based magazines/journals
* etsy surfing
* a glance at Mothering magazine or natural toys catalogues (with my toddler in mind!)
* a nice cup of tea in the afternoon ~ maybe even with a treat if I’m lucky.
* True Blood or Dexter (though now I’m trying to watch Bleakhouse, a BBC Masterpiece theatre production
* movies with my huspea! (that’s hubby to you)
Still, i am feeling pretty out of balance these days but it’s the holiday season so I don’t think I have much choice in the matter! Tough luck
So we all know that herbs can benefit us by way of a ‘tea’ or, more accurately, infusion. “Tea” is actually meant to refer to the use of the tea leaf (camellia sinensis), which has wonderful anti-oxident benefits. An “Infusion” (or tisane) is a hot-water infusion of other plant material (herbs or fruits) and can refer to all sorts of wonderful combinations and blends.
An infusion of delicate flower material, such as chamomile, need only be done for a relatively brief amount of time in order to reap the rewards. Medicinal infusions of hardier herbs should really be done with a LOT of herb (1 oz) for a long time (4-8 hours or overnight). A little tea bag with nettle leaf in it, steeped for a few minutes is nice, and it certainly will impart some of its nutritional goodness to you, but to really have an effective, therapeutic result, you need to steep a lot of it (1 oz equates to about 5-7 Tbsp) in a quart of water (a mason jar will do).
Again, it’s kind of a question of what you’re aiming to do with the herb! But nourishing, green infusions steeped for 8 hours are such a boon to your systems and can do transformative work over time when taken consistently and persistently. My personal favorite daily tonic is one with red raspberry leaf, oatstraw, spearmint. Red Raspberry is high in tannins, has lots of vitamin and mineral content, and is tonifying to the uterus (which preceeding or following childbirth is a very good thing); oatstraw is nourishing to the nervous system (help!); and spearmint is helpful for digestion and also tastes good! Simple infusions of nettle, oatstraw, red clover leaf & flower, or alfalfa are all nutritious and highly beneficial.
Herbalist Susun Weed has a great article for making herbal infusions found in her resources. She includes detailed information on what to do with various types of herbal matter, including barks, roots, berries, leaves, and flowers. I hope it is a great resource for you!
It’s great to get comments and suggestions about herbal teas, though. One of my etsy customers, Waterlilysage, commissioned one of her favorites, and so I added a new spin off of that one. I drink thyme tea as a matter of course, so this jazzed up version is even more delightful and a new favorite for me too!