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Herbal Bath Bouquet

I love a bath. In all seasons.

You read that right, I love baths even in the summertime. Summer baths are super helpful in cooling an overheated body and soothing sore muscles from all that summer movement.

What makes bathtime even dreamier is the addition of an herbal bath bouquet, which is literally fresh flowers and herbs from your garden bundled up and added to the bath. It’s like you’re bathing in a big cup of herbal tea, which makes your body very very happy.

I found adding herbs to my bath helps to ground me in gratitude for my life and the gifts of mama nature. She heals, she soothes, she coos at us as we bathe.

Herbal Bath Bouquet

Herbal Bath Bouquet

If you have a garden or nearby place you can forage for fresh herbal sprigs, pick some of your favorites. You could also run to the store and grab some there.

Some examples: lavender, eucalyptus, mint, lemon verbena, lemon balm, rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, and chamomile.

I’ve used spearmint, lemon balm, rosemary, sage, yerba buena, and lavender.

Bundle the botanicals and wrap with twine. Hang under the water faucet of your bathtub, allowing the water to run freely through the herbs before hitting the tub. Once your tub is full, plop those herbs right in the water (or leave them hanging) and soak up the healing and aromatic elements of mama earth.

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I’m super excited for today’s post. While I’m off in Iceland enjoying 23 hours of sunlight at the edge of mama earth, I’ve asked an amazing lady to write a special post for you. Let me introduce you to Summer Ashley of The Great Kosmic Kitchen

I first discovered Summer on instagram, where she posts gorgeous photos and musings on the healing power of plants. Summer (along with her partner Sarah) is a real-deal herbalist, having studied under many of the elders whose books line the bookshelf in my magical cottage. Her connection to the plants and vast knowledge of their healing magic makes her the perfect lady to share today’s post about the upcoming summer solstice and how to gently de-stress your precious body. 

Simple Herbal Remedies for Stress

The Summer Equinox is not just the longest day of the year, it’s a time when ancient cultures would take the time to celebrate the Earth’s fertility, and the abundance created by the Gods, Goddesses, and the power of our great Sun. During this time of year, we often find ourselves spending entire days in the garden and getting creative with the fruits of our labor. While we love all the sunny days, it can also be quite stressful if we expend too much outward energy. This is when we turn to our herbal allies for stress, also known as nervines in herbalism.

I like to think of nervines as a siesta in a tea cup.

Though, they can be effectively consumed in many other ways outside of herbal teas. Nervines are herbs that work hard to support our nervous system. They can additionally be tonics, which help tone and strengthen different parts of the body, and they can also be sedatives, which are herbs that help us fall asleep. Herbs often have additional herbal actions, which is why herbalism is so great. You can pick and choose herbs that create a unique formula to help your unique needs.

For this post, I’ll go over a handful of my favorite nervines that just so happen to be growing abundantly this season.

If you can’t grow these herbs, be sure to buy herbs that are clean and sustainable. We love to order in bulk from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Simple Herbal Remedies for Stress

Lemon balm in full bloom.

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinales) can often be found growing wild in Northern California. It is great to use during the day when you are looking for an herb to relieve stress and soothe a nervous stomach, without feeling lethargic. Sometimes stress shows up in the gut, and when this happens lemon balm and chamomile are an excellent combination. We love adding this lemon-y herb to pestos, salad dressings, infusing it into white wine, or just simply drinking it as a tea.

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is probably one of the most widely known herbs for relaxation. While many enjoy its therapeutic properties through aromatherapy (smelling it), you can also ingest this herb to induce tranquility. Try creating lavender syrups, or adding it into a floral tea to promote relaxation and ease nervous tension.

Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum), also known as tulsi, is a sacred herb in the Ayurvedic healing tradition that has been used for thousands of years. It is in the mint family and helps to calm nerves, create balance, and lift one’s spirits. The plant is so highly regarded in Hinduism that you can find tulsi prayer beads made from the stem or root of the plant. This herb can be cooked into an herbal ghee on the full moon, chopped into pesto, or try putting it in a shrub (which could then be used to make one sacred cocktail). Many herbalists also consider this herb to be an adaptogen, which in short, means this herb helps bring the body back to balance and adapt to stress.

Simple Herbal Remedies for Stress

An ornamental passionflower from a friend’s backyard in Northern California. 

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is adored for its exquisite patterns, that look out of this world. This herb is native to the Americas, and grows abundantly here in California and in the South East. Incarnata is one of the most medicinal varieties, and can be a little challenging to identify. We suggest sourcing this herb from a reputable business, or take a class with a local botanist or herbalist to sharpen up your plant I.D. skills. This beautiful plant is as incredible as it looks. It is a sedative and is great for those who have issues falling asleep, and can be used for those who suffer from anxiety. Please check with your healthcare practitioner or herbalist before using this herb with medications, or any other herb. Herbs are powerful!

To learn more about healing herbs and how to incorporate them into your daily life, be sure to check out the blog I write with herbalist Sarah Benjamin, called The Great Kosmic Kitchen. We also offer one on one herbal meal planning consultations for those of you looking for some herbal guidance.

Simple Herbal Remedies for Stress

***Please be mindful when using medicinal plants. This article is not meant to treat, diagnose, or cure. It is meant to inspire! Please check with your local herbalist, your internal guides, and/or healthcare provider to find out what herbs are best for you and your unique body.

 

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Cooling Summer Tea

Can you feel it coming? Summer, I mean.

Depending on where you live, it might be super hot and summery already or you’re finally enjoying the spring weather and you’ve got a few more weeks before summer really hits. Either way, I think we can all agree that it’s warming up and, with that, our bodies experience a shift in temperature as well.

I’ve really been working on upping my water intake to keep my body cool and cells hydrated, but sometimes my body needs a bit more. This is especially important when you think about the effects overheating can have on your body – headaches, breakouts, insomnia, digestive issues, etc.

Cooling Summer Tea

So I’ve been making teas and incorporating fresh herbs that have cooling properties.

There are so many cooling herbs out there like chamomile, hibiscus, peppermint, lemon balm, yarrow and sage. I have loads of mint and lemon balm in my garden so I used those and added in goji berries to naturally sweeten. If you don’t have garden herbs, then you can grab some mint, sage, and maybe some lemongrass (mmm yes!) to infuse at home.

It’s a beautifully nourishing experience – infusing fresh herbs into water. I make a big batch and put them in mason jars in the fridge to drink throughout the week. So much yum and my body says “yay!”

Cooling Summer Tea

Cooling Summer Tea

  • Water
  • Several handfuls of fresh, washed herbs. I used:
  • Peppermint
  • Yerba Buena
  • Lemon Balm
  • Sage
  • Elder Flowers

Bring a large pot of water to boil and turn off heat Add in the fresh herbs and goji berries and let steep for 1 hour, covered with a plate or other top.

Once steeped, filter out the solid bits and pour into glass jars. Let sit until they are room temperature, cover and place in fridge.

When ready to drink, pop in a few ice cubes and a squeeze of lemon juice before drinking.

Cooling Summer Tea

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Thyme + Tea Tree Healing Tonic

When I stumbled upon this recipe, I couldn’t believe how stupid easy it was. But that’s what I love about working with nature’s ingredients – they contain so much powerful medicine already. So easy and naturally effective = win/win for me and you.

The base of this mixture is a strong thyme infusion. I literally cut a handful of thyme from my garden but you could grab some from the market as well. Thyme is amazingly antibacterial and, when combined with tea tree oil, this concoction becomes super healing and highly preventative.

It’s a great tonic for skin (acne, burns, infections, and inflamed eczema for example) but also for spraying on doorknobs and telephones and even to purify the air if you are living with people who are sick.

Thyme + Tea Tree Healing Tonic

Thyme + Tea Tree Tonic

  • 2 cups water
  • handful fresh thyme
  • 25 drops tea tree oil
  • Splash of vodka

Bring water to a boil.

Place thyme in bowl, cover with boiling water and place a plate over to steep for 30 mins.
Strain into bowl and add in tea tree oil and vodka. Add to bottles (spray or stopper/cork) and shake vigorously.

Keeps for 2 weeks.

Apply with a spritz or a swipe of a cotton pad.

Thyme + Tea Tree Healing Tonic

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Hair & Scalp Butter

I may be a dabblist, but I also really enjoy buying maker’s amazing products. I especially love going to my local herbal apothecary and seeing what the local artisans are making, the pretty labels they create, and the lovely bottles they choose.

But, inevitably, I find myself obsessing over the ingredients and trying to reverse engineer them to make it myself. Sometimes it’s a total disaster, but sometimes it’s a total success.

This hair and scalp butter was a success, thankfully.

My man’s scalp gets irritated easily. So, rather than rubbing some lighter oil in it, I was looking for a thicker butter consistency that I got with the combination of shea and cocoa butter. Adding in the healing calendula, lavender, and bergamot oils felt right too. He uses it once a week on his scalp before bed (washing it out in the morning) and I like to apply it to my ends as a conditioning treatment.

Hair & Scalp Butter

Hair & Scalp Butter

  • 1 cup sunflower oil (like this)
  • 2 tbsp (8 chips) cocoa butter wafers (like this)
  • 4 tbsp shea butter (like here)
  • 7 tsp beeswax pellets (like these)
  • 1 tsp vitamin e oil (like this)
  • 1 tsp calendula oil (like this)
  • 15 drops lavender oil (like this)
  • 10 drops bergamot oil (like this)

Combine sunflower oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, and beeswax in a glass bowl and place over a shallow water bath over medium heat. Heat until everything is just melted, using a chopstick or wooden spoon to mix it around.

Once melted, take the mixture off of the hot water bath and let sit for a few minutes to reduce in temperature. Then add in your vitamin e oil and essential oils and mix around with chopstick or wooden spoon.

Pour your mixture into the container you’ll be storing it in. I’m a big fan of these tins.

Hair & Scalp Butter


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