Getting Healthy, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

April Essential Oil of the Month—Chamomile—The How?

 

Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla

We are all familiar with chamomile tea, having been read The Tale of Peter Rabbit,  written by Beatrix Potter in 1902, and hearing how chamomile tea was given to Peter after being chased by Mr McGregor.

But chamomile tea has been around since the Indian days, at least.

And it seemed like the Indians enjoyed their chamomile tea. The Tzeltal Mayan Indians in the highlands of southern Mexico brew chamomile tea with an orange and a lime leaf to “lift the mood.” Aleuts brewed chamomile tea to alleviate gas. Drinking the tea was a Cherokee trick for “regularity.”

 

Today chamomile tea remains one of the most popular varieties of tea in the market. In fact more than one million cups of chamomile tea are consumed per day.

But not only has chamomile used for nearly 5,000 years for chamomile tea. Throughout the centuries, there have been many other uses also, including…

 

Bath Soaks…Lavender Chamomile Bath Soak…Combine 1C Epsom Salt, the contents of 2 chamomile tea bags in a blender. Pulverize into a fine powder. Add 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil and 5 drops Roman Chamomile Essential Oil.

Candles

  • Place soy wax chips in a heatproof glass measuring cup. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds. Stir. Repeat until completely melted.
  • Attach a wooden candle wick to its metal tab. Dip the tab in melted wax. Center at bottom of a glass jar.
  • Heat 1Tbsp cooking oil on a stovetop. Steep two chamomile tea bags and 10 drops lavender essential oil until the oil is scented.
  • Remove the tea-infused oil from the heat.
  • Combine tea-infused and oil and the melted wax together.
  • Slowly pour the mixture into your glass jar. Let the wax  cool and solidify. Trim the wood wick.

 Compresses..Steep a chamomile tea bag in boiling water, as if you were going to drink it. Pour tea into a bowl. Let tea cool completely. Add a few ice cubes. Soak a muslin cloth in the cool tea and squeeze out. Place on eyes or sore area and leave for at least ten minutes.

Hand Rinse…Chamomile has been used as a hand rinse for gamblers needing good luck, because of its supposed magical ability to attract money…Steep a chamomile teabag as if you were making yourself a cup of tea. Set aside 1/4C of the tea to cool. Combine ¼C liquid castile soap, ¾tsp olive oil, 8 drops chamomile essential oil, and several drops of Vitamin E oil. Add tea when completely cooled. Mix ingredients well. Pour into a labeled pump bottle.

 

Liqueur...Chamomile has also been used as a flavoring agent for liqueurs such as Benedictine and vermouth…so why not tequila?!

  • Measure out 1C reposado tequila. Add two chamomile tea bags. Let steep thirty minutes. Place this mixture in the fridge for later.
  • Combine 1/2C honey, 2tsp dried lavender, and 1/2C water in a small saucepan over medium heat and warm, stirring once or twice, until the honey melts to make a simple syrup.
  • Fill a rocks glass with crushed ice.
  • Shake 2oz of the tequila mixture, 3/4oz of the simple syrup, 3/4oz freshly squeezed lime juice, and a dash of bitters in a cocktail shaker.

Mouthwash…

  • Combine 1/4C witch hazel, 1/4C aloe vera juice, 1/8C distilled water. Add two drops of chamomile essential oil and two drops of mint essential oil. Shake well. After thirty minutes, set the mixture in the fridge.
  • To use, combine 2Tbsp mixture with 1/4C warm water. 

Perfume…Perfume has been made from the pulverized dry flowers.

  • Combine 6 drops lavender essential oil, 10 drops chamomile essential oil, 1Tbsp carrier oil, and 3Tbsp vodka. Shake well. Place in a dark bottle. Let mixture remain undisturbed for two days.
  • After two days, add 2C distilled water. Let mixture stand for at least three weeks in a cool, dark place.
  • After this time, filter the mixture. Store it in a glass bottle that has a stopper.
  • To use, dab on pulse points.

 

 

 

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Sweet, Sweet Sunday

11 OTC Cruelty-Free Body Washes

  Making the commitment to a cruelty-free lifestyle should involve every single product that you purchase and use from now on…from the minute you first wake up until the moment you go back to bed.

And if you’re like me, the very first thing that I do every morning is jump in the shower with loofah and lather.

But when you are shopping, stop grabbing the first body wash you see, the cheapest one, or the one your mom always used. Do you really feel comfortable rubbing your butt, boobs, and back with a body was that has also been rubbed into the eyes or forced into the mouths of helpless rabbits, rats, and mice.

Look for products that have the internationally recognized Leaping Bunny Logo on the packaging.

You could also scroll through the list of ingredients, but this can often be confusing.

Or you could first check with a comprehensive list of cruelty-free and vegan body washes, such as this one…

       
    1.  Acure–energizing body wash 

    • Availability…Target, Kroger
    • Ingredients…organic Argan oil, sea buckthorn oil, Moroccan Argan stem cells, coq10, and pumpkin seed oil
    • Kudos…100% biodegradable, gluten-free, and free of any parabens or sulfates
    • Price…$10

      
    2.  Ahava—Mineral Botanic Cream Wash

    • Availability…Ulta, Macy’s, Kohl’s, Nordstrom
    • Kudos…cruelty-free, and PETA certified vegan company 
    • Scents Available (4)...Hibiscus & Fig, Lotus Flower & Chestnut, Tropical Pineapple & White Peach, Lemon & Sage
    • Price…$24 

      

    3. Alba Botanica Bath & Shower Gel

    • Availability…Target, Walmart, Vitacost
    • Ingredients…pure botanical emollients, aloe vera, (varies by scent)
    • Kudos…hypoallergenic, made from 100% natural ingredients,  contains no parabens or synthetic fragrances
    • Price…$12
    • Scents…Honey Mango, Sparkling Mint, French Lavender, Midnight Tuberose, Herbal Healing, Island Citrus, Coconut Rescue

      
    4.  Andalou Naturals Body Wash

    • Ingredients…active fruit stem cell and antioxidants
    • Price…$10
    • Scents…Citrus Sunflower, Lavender Thyme, Mandarin Vanilla, Aloe Mint, Clementine Ginger, 1000 Roses

      
    5.  Avalon Organics Bath & Shower Gel

    • Availability…Sprouts, Whole Foods
    • Ingredients…plant-based formula that joins quinoa protein, lavender essential oil, aloe and botanical cleansers 
    • Kudos…packaging made from high post-consumer material content and sustainably sourced paperboard that is recyclable after use
    • Mission…to create products that are safe, effective and conscious of the greater good…to not only nourish the body, but also nourish the mind and the soul.
    • Price…$7
    • Scents……Nourishing Lavender, Grapefruit and Geranium, Lemon, Peppermint, Rosemary, and Ylang Ylang

      

    6.  Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap 

    • Availability... Rite Aid, Whole Foods, Walgreens, and CVS
    • Fragrances…Almond, Unscented, Citrus, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Peppermint, Rose and Tea Tree
    • Kudos…certified organic, fair trade, non-GMO, Kosher, 
    • Price…$17.99

      

     

    7.  Éclair Naturals

    • Availability…Target
    • Belief…”We believe that everybody deserves to have access to luxurious body care products that are also natural, efficacious and affordable.”
    • Ingredients…food-grade ingredients…such as vegetable glycerin, aloe, vitamin e, and botanical extracts 
    • Kudos…all products are GMO free, gluten-free, soy-free, cruelty-free, and vegan
    • Mission…to create great natural products for great people and to bring the highest quality allergen-free body care products to everyone
    • Scents: Grapefruit, French Lavender, Creamy Coconut, Vanilla & Sweet Orange, and Shea Butter & Oatmeal

       
    8. Hugo Naturals

    • Availability…iHerb
    •  Ingredients…jojoba, vegetable glycerin, Vitamin E, Shea Butter, Oat extract, and olive oil 
    • Kudos…vegan, gluten, and soy free…completely free of parabens and synthetic fragrances 
    • Price…$9
    • Scents: Shea Butter & Oatmeal, French Lavender, Grapefruit, and Vanilla & Sweet Orange. 

           
        9.  Jack BlackPrice…$21 for three tubes  @ 3 oz. and three bonus samples 

          

           10.  Jason Pure Natural Body Wash

          • Ingredients…botanical surfactants, Vitamin E, Pro-Vitamin B5, rosewater, and calendula extract 
          • Price…$10.99
          • Scents…Smoothing Coconut, Gluten-Free, Calming Lavender, Purifying Tea Tree, Soothing Aloe Vera, Revitalizing Citrus, Glowing Apricot, Relaxing Chamomile, Moisturizing Herbs, Softening Mango, Rosewater, Antioxidant Cranberry and Men’s All-in-One 

             

          11.  John Masters

          • Ingredients…botanically-based ingredients such as corn and coconut
          • Kudos…certified organic, gluten-free
          • Price…$18
          • Scents…Blood Orange & Vanilla, Rosemary & Arnica, and Geranium & Grapefruit 
            Getting Dressed

            Cruelty-Free Body and Skin Care Brands…#1

              

              Not only are there more and more cruelty-free natural and organic cosmetic companies being started these days…but also a slew of cruelty-free natural and organic body and skin care companies popping up.

              These products-which are good replacements for brands that test on animals…including Aveeno, Garnier, Olay, Neutrogena, and St. Ives…can more easily be found and are being formulated to address various skin type needs and concerns.

              The next few posts will be a guide to cruelty-free skincare brands and the locations where they can be found. 

                  

                1.   Alba Botanical

                • Availability…available in many drugstores, Amazon, iHerb.
                • Focus…acne-prone skin
                • Ingredients…high quality, 100% vegetarian products that overflow with botanical ingredients such as aloe vera, green tea and chamomile extracts
                • Mission…to Do Beautiful…to help fellow women look beautiful on the outside while feeling beautiful on the inside
                • Price Range… $10 for body lotion

                  

                2.  Athar’a Pure

                • Focus…ancient Ayurvedic skin care treatments and dosha types 
                • Ingredients…the best natural and organic pure, plant-based ingredients found on earth…without the use of toxins, chemicals, parabens, dyes, phthalates, sulfates, artificial fragrances.synthetics, alcohol or any other harmful ingredient or preservatives
                • Mission…providing you with high quality, luxurious, vegan beauty products that are cruelty free and never tested on animals
                • Price Range…$22 for body lotion

                  

                3.  Avalon Organics

                • Availability…Walmart, Kroger, Sprouts, Amazon, iHerb
                • Focus…anti-aging 
                • Ingredients…plant-based organic ingredients from only trusted sources
                • Mission…founded on the deep-rooted belief that all beauty comes from the Earth…deep reverence for the Earth and a respect for all living creatures. 
                • Price Range… $9

                  
                4.  Andalou Naturals

                • Availability…Amazon, iHerb
                • Founded…by Stacey Kelly and Mark Egide in 1999 as the very first certified organic personal care line 
                • Ingredients…fruit and plant stem cells 
                • Philosophy…Beauty is YOU – a simple and bold empowerment message to consumers and the industry at large. Beauty happens in the moments of the everyday (for individuals and organizations) – the little choices that we make along the way that all add up to monumental change: Commit to defining beauty one action at a time and be Empowered, Radiant and True. Beauty is YOU.
                • Price Range…$15 for body lotion

                  

                  
                5.  Blissoma

                • Focus…demanding skin types, such as extremely sensitive skin and allergies
                • Ingredients…100% natural, Certified Vegan…a much stricter ingredient palette than even most “natural” brands…packed with certified organic botanicals, bioavailable vitamins, essential fatty acids, and skin-soothing seed oils
                • Mission…to provide true solutions to uncomfortable skin conditions…to help people develop a healthy, happy relationship with their skin… to bring forth a positive, loving vision of what beauty can be, embody inclusion, and enhance the dignity of all people
                • Price Range…$36 for body lotion

                    

                6.  COOLA

                • Availability…Sephora, Ulta
                • Focus…sunscreen
                • Ingredients…natural, organic, sustainable and locally sourced…vitamins and age-defying antioxidants…without parabens, paba and phthalates
                • Mission…Better for your skin, better for the environment. 
                • Price Range…$32

                  

                7.  Derma E

                • Availability…Whole Foods, Sprouts, Ulta, CVS, Walgreen’s
                • Focus…the belief that skin health can be visibly improved through the right combination of potent vitamins, wholesome nutrients and exceptional ingredients.
                • Ingredients
                • Mission…to honor our customers with products that promote healthier-looking skin and business ethics that promote a healthier world.
                • Price Range…$13

                  

                8.  Dermadoctor

                • Availability…Sephora
                • Focus…problem-solving solutions for skin concerns ranging from anti-aging challenges to blemishes, chicken skin bumps and perspiration dilemmas
                • Founded…by Dr. Audrey Kunin
                • Ingredients…include Artichoke Bud Extract and Bayberry Fruit Extract
                • Mission… to provide effective solutions to skincare problems without the need of a prescription
                • Philosophy…DERMAdoctor is truly just what the skin doctor ordered.®
                • Price Range…$58 for body lotion
                            Getting Healthy

                            How to Be Kind on Cyber Monday

                               
                            One of the first steps to making a lifestyle change is finding websites and actual stores where you feel comfortable shopping for cosmetics and skincare.

                              Below is my rendition of an online shopping guide for online sources  primarily focused on vegan and vegan-friendly cosmetics and skincare.

                              *****

                                  

                                

                              1.   Citrine

                              Brands…Jane Iredale, Tata Harper, RMS Beauty, Kjaer Weis, May Lindstrom, and many more

                              Mission.. to promote healthy choices while exuding the most luxurious and glamorous aspects that all beauty products should have

                              Started…opened their flagship store at Biltmore Fashion Park’s UNION in Phoenix AZ in November 2012

                              Products…the latest and best in all natural and clean beauty products
                               
                                
                               2. Credo…Credo stands for I “believe,” and we believe in a world of beauty where effective makeup and skincare products are safe and clean. We provide you eco-friendly and cruelty free and organic cosmetics that will give you the complexion you desire without causing any health issues.

                                
                              3.  Edson FarmsBrands…Acure, Aura Cacia, Mineral Fusion, Pacifica, Simpler’s Botanicals, Tom’s of Maine, ….
                               

                               

                               4.  Grove Collobaratives

                              Products…the best affordable and effective natural products for your home and family – from non-toxic laundry detergents that are tough on stains to sustainably sourced argan oil that will make your hair and skin glow

                              Purpose…to help everyone create a healthy, beautiful home

                                  

                                 

                                5. IHerb

                                Company…one of the world’s largest online stores for natural products…the world’s leader in bringing the best overall value in natural products to its customers

                                Founded…1996 
                                Prices…typically 30 – 40% less than what you may find at health food stores and natural pharmacies

                                Products Offered… over 1,200 brands and 35,000 brand name products of cruelty-free skincare, bath, toothpaste, shaving, laundry, 

                                Reviews…only honest and candid customer product reviews  written by iHerb customers who have actually ordered the specific product from iHerb

                                  
                                6.   Makeup Geek

                                Company Goal
                                …to make applying makeup easy and fun, and enhance your makeup skills in the comfort of your own home…to help even just one person feel more beautiful

                                Products…cruelty-free makeup at affordable prices

                                Website…a variety of videos on almost every makeup technique

                                  

                                 7. Petit Vour
                                 
                                Based out of...Austin, Texas

                                Founded…2013.

                                Founder…Madeline Alcott

                                Mission…to be a lifestyle brand that caters to modern, educated women with a softness for animals, nature, and life’s little luxuries

                                Number of clients…
                                over 10,000 women worldwide, each and every month.

                                Products…
                                only cruelty-free makeup to body products

                                    
                                8.  Sephora

                                Founded…in France by Dominique Mandonnaud in 1970

                                Known for……
                                unparalleled assortment of prestige cruelty-free brands and product, unbiased service from experts, and interactive shopping environment

                                Mission
                                …to inspire clients to “play” in a world of beauty

                                Number of stores.
                                .approximately 2,300 stores in 33 countries worldwide, with an expanding base of over 430 stores across the Americas

                                Opened its first U.S. store..
                                .in New York’s Soho neighborhood in 1998

                                Owned by…
                                LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading luxury goods group

                                Philosophy
                                …”every stroke, swipe and dab reveals possibility”

                                    
                                  9.  The Detox Market


                                  Founder…
                                  Valerie, a health and wellness coach, and breast cancer survivor

                                  Mission…
                                  to create an educated community of health and beauty experts and to educate and serve our community of like-minded and like-hearted individuals who believe in the power of pure products

                                  Products…
                                  pure, effective and elegant cruelty-free and vegan natural products

                                     
                                  10. Ulta

                                  Company…the largest beauty retailer in the United States and the premier beauty destination for cosmetics, fragrance, skin care products, hair care products and salon services

                                  Founded…opened its first store in 1990

                                  Number of stores…1,010 retail stores across 48 states and the District of Columbia

                                  Products…more than 20,000 budget-friendly and high-end products from approximately 500 well-established and emerging beauty brands across all categories and price points, including Ulta Beauty’s own private label…a full-service salon in every stores featuring hair, skin and brow services

                                    
                                  11. Vitacost

                                  • Prices…offers savings up to 50% off retail 
                                  • Products…over 45,000 different healthy products from more than 2,500 leading brands—vitamins, supplements, health foods, sports nutrition products, bath & beauty favorites, home and pet products