How To Make Herbal Oils – Warm Infusion Folk Method

herbal oils worts and cunning apothecary

The infusion of herbs in an oil-based menstruum is a wonderful way of using herbs medicinally and can be a base for further medicine-making adventures including salves, lotions, and creams.  We’ll be using a warm infusion folk method of creating a herbal oil which more or less means that exact measurements are not used and we’re not looking for an exact herb-to-oil ratio (it is all very hang-loose in the Apothecary today!).  We’ll also be gently warming our oil as part of the infusion process, so it is important to set aside time that you’ll be able to be home and checking in on your herbal oil potion throughout the day.

Let’s start with the foundation of our Herbal Oil – the Oil Menstruum. (more…)

The Magical Herbs of Harry Potter : Pottermore Apothecary

Diagon Alley of Pottermore

You may have noticed that around the Apothecary, mundanity is taken on faith, while magic is all very real.  Continuing in our exploration of the magic of herbs (see our first post on the Magical Herbs of Harry Potter here), we now take a visit of Diagon Alley in the virtual world of Pottermore to peruse the shelves of the local apothecary.   In addition to Unicorn Hair and Horklump Juice you’ll find a few more familiar but just as mystical and powerful herbs such as Valerian Sprigs and Infusion of Wormwood.

So just what do these herbs do? (more…)

Flower + Gem Essences for the Journey: The Second Trimester

lavender from wikipedia.org

Over the next few weeks we’ll be exploring Flower + Gem Essences that are particularly useful during pregnancy, labor and postpartum (to learn more about what Flower + Gem Essences are visit our previous blog post).  The great thing about Flower + Gem Essences is that they are good remedies that, by their very nature, can do no harm which makes them wonderfully safe to take during pregnancy.

Now let’s look at the Second Trimester:

Woah, I am really, really pregnant.

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Owl Post! ~ Hogwarts House Teas Have Arrived ~

image from the hp-lexicon.org

We are delighted to introduce our new line of Hogwarts-inspired House Teas to those lovely Muggles, Witches, and Wizards who shop the Apothecary.  It is no secret that we’re fans of the magical world of Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, and have spent many an hour dressed up as Professor Trelawney and dreaming of having a copy of One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by former Hogwarts Headmistress Phyllida Spore.  Hopefully our new Hogwarts House Teas will inspire the student of magic in you! (more…)

Luxurious Locks: Herbal Hair Vinegar

Our Herbal Hair Rinse combines golden, raw apple cider vinegar with healing herbs that will help promote hair growth and beautiful locks.  Raw apple cider vinegar is an all-natural conditioner for the hair, aids in manageability of your luscious locks, and cleans the scalp of residue and build-up.  Vinegar is balancing and helps restore health to a scalp prone to dandruff and itchiness.

To use combine 1 – 3 tablespoons of our Herbal Hair Rinse with 1 cup water.  Generally, you’ll need 1/8 to ¼ cup of Herbal Hair Rinse per bowl of water.  After you’ve wet your hair thoroughly, slowly pour the Herbal Hair Rinse mixed with warm water onto your head, massaging it into your scalp.  Rinse and enjoy your majestic mane!

Our Herbal Hair Rinse includes the following scalp-nourishing, itch-reliving, hair-growing, highlight-enhancing herbs:

CHAMOMILE Matricaria recutita: Accentuates golden highlights as well as relieves an itchy scalp.

LAVENDER Lavandula officinalis: Soothing to the scalp and spirit while helping the hair to grow

ROSEMARY Rosmarinus officinalis: Prevents hair loss and promotes hair growth

PEPPERMINT Mentha piperita: Balances the pH of the scalp so hair is not too oily or too dry.

ROSE Rosa damascena: Nourishes and revitalizes hair.

BASIL Ocimum basilicum: Great for hair growth.

NETTLES Urtica dioica: Promotes the growth and regrowth of hair, reduces dandruff and helps thicken hair.

YLANG YLANG Cananga odorata Essential Oil

LAVENDER Lavandula officinalis Essential Oil

ROSEMARY Rosmarinus officinalis Essential Oil

Our Herbal Hair Rinse and other enchanted herbal goods

are available in our S H O P.

Vibrational Medicine: Flower + Gem Essences

Borage
Flower and gem essences are a form of vibrational healing that recognizes the energetic foundation of all healing work and that all living things are infused with energy. Flowers and gems appear again and again through the ages as potent healing medicines, often used in religious rites to alter the states of those present, to cleanse hearts, bodies, and minds of impurities, and to protect against illness and disease. There has been a recent renaissance of the use of flower and gem essences as a healing therapy, starting in the early 20th century with the work of Dr. Edward Bach and continuing to grow and flourish as a practice around the world.

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A History of Thievery: Making Medicinal Vinegars

Death Plays with Medicine
Hartman Schedel, 1493
Image: Histoire de la Medecine

What is full of essential amino acids, vibrant enzymes, vitamins, and minerals and balances the bodies acid/alkaline state and tastes good?  Apple cider vinegar!  In the body, apple cider vinegar diminishes thirsts, helps to relieve feelings of restlessness, manages fevers, and has an overall cooling effect.  Externally, apple cider vinegar keeps skin smooth, treats sprains and bruises, checks perspiration odor, and relieves inflammation and itching.  Making medicinal vinegars is abundantly easy.  They are great alternatives to alcohol and glycerine based extracts and have a long history of use in western herbalism.  Ever heard of the infamous Four Thieves Vinegar?

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Teas to Bring About a State of Awesome

Sometimes we just need a tea to help us restore us to the state of awesome we deserve to be in.  What, pray tell, is the state of awesome?  Awesome is a state of inspiration, of being awe-full, and full of wonder all at once.  In many ways, being in a state of awesome is what so many of us need to be able to remember the world as an enchanted place.  The more folks reside in a state of awesome the closer we get to bringing the unicorns back.
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Herbs for Sassiness

The first of a series of teas for pregnancy, labor, and postpartum, Sassy Mama, was made with the postpartum in mind, whether it has been a few weeks since the birth of your bundle of baby or a few years.  Or let’s be honest, a decade plus.  With the entrance of a new member of the family into your life it is important to feed body and spirit because so much change has occurred and sometimes it can seem hard to keep up with it all.  That’s why we keep it sassy!
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Tea to soothe, to calm, to sing a song…

When I was working at a local café here in Portland, I had the opportunity to create custom teas for our customers.  In the process of creating blends for the café, I asked many of our customers not only what kind of teas they liked, but why they drank tea.  Many responses included drinking tea because it was “soothing” and “de-stressing,” as well as a time to be still and mindful.  Sounds pretty good to me!

I know I enjoy walking into a café, a friend’s kitchen or backyard and having the opportunity to sit down with a cuppa.  It’s not only the tea that centers me but also the environment I’m in, the way the tea is served, its scent, color, and, of course, its taste.  I love especially seeing the tea before it is brewed and I often choose teas by sight, attracted to its particular colors and texture.  Beauty, in its multitude of manifestations, soothes the soul, and with that in mind I created Flower Song as a tea that inhabits the realm of beauty quite comfortably.

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