Our newest product, Summer Bug & Sun Creme was featured today on author Jessie Knadler’s blog, Rurally Screwed.
Summer Bug & Sun Creme…endorsed!
Read the post here. Soothing Herbals is a proud sponsor of Rurally Screwed, and it’s great to have an endorsement from such a talented writer like Jessie. Thanks so much, Jessie!
White Peony blooming this week in the gardens
Now that school is out for summer vacation, Summer Hours for the Apothecary are as follows:Monday- By Appointment Tuesday-By Appointment Wednesday- 9am-3pm Thursday- 9am-noon Friday- By Appointment Saturday- By Appointment Sunday- CLOSED
Also, we will be taking a few trips over the summer so I will be sure to update hours when that happens, so please stay tuned. Remember, you can always call or email me to pre-order your products and we can make an appointment for pick up.
It’s June 1st. I see that I have neglected my blog posting duties here and have not told you one story since the holidays! My apologies. It’s a little in my nature to do this. It was a cold, quiet winter, which I love for the downtime it gives me. Spring came in like a Lion and went out like a Lion. The past few weeks have been filled with a lot of busy work at home, at the shop and also in the garden- weeding, planting, watering (and Instagramming)! And now it’s June, which to me, means it’s summer. The weather as of late has been scorching and I already have tan lines on my back, from hovering over plants all day. And I love it. I love everything about summer and I’m all for it.
A lot of new things are happening here at Soothing Herbals’ headquarters. The newest and best thing about the 2013 growing season is that I have welcomed 2 new apprentices on board, and I’m so thrilled to be able to teach my craft and have help at the same time! (For more info on our Apprenticeship Program, click here)
So I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce my apprentices, Kay Staton and Lee Felty (pictured below, left to right)
Kay (left), and Lee, my new apprentices
Lee recently moved to Rockbridge County and is a new mom as well! She is building a new home here and eager to learn as much as possible about gardening, herbs, chickens and more. Her and her sweet little daughter, Lily always arrive ready to work! It’s been a blessing to have these women (and the little one too) come over twice a week to work and learn together.
Kay is a Lexington resident and owner of Blue Haven Herbals. She makes all natural handmade bar soap and other herbal products which is for sale at Soothing Herbals Apothecary. She is a talented soap maker who has taught me and Lee a few things about soapmaking. She is also an avid gardener and lover of plants and has been a huge help in the gardens and the Apothecary.
Lee and Kay started working with me in my gardens in March, and so far we’ve gotten a lot accomplished these past few months. I look forward to a summer full of harvesting and creating products with them.
Moving right along, I now want to introduce to you our latest and greatest new product, Summer Bug & Sun Creme. Kay and I made this together a couple of days ago, and, it’s awesome, if I do say so myself. I was inspired to create this due to the hot afternoons I’ve recently spent sweating and weeding in my garden, mosquitoes biting me and no see ums hovering in my face. Not to mention the plethora of ticks I’ve been finding about.
Summer Bug & Sun Creme is that all-in-one product that serves to moisturize your skin with soothing botanical oils of Sweet Almond and Jojoba, luscious butters of shea and cocoa to soften, and an inspiring, warming essential oil blend of Lavender, Lemongrass, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Cinnamon and Clove to keep pesky little flies, mosquitoes, ticks, gnats and no see ums at bay. Natural sunscreens like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are in the formula/recipe to offer sun protection (SPF 30). I’m excited about this product because it’s DEET FREE, ALUMINUM FREE, PARABEN FREE, and made with integrity. I do hope you’ll try it this summer.
Don’t forget our Hibiscus Summertime Tea, it has become a local favorite.
Finally, I’d like to take this moment to thank my amazing web designer, Sheila Igoe, of IgoeCreative for all her support and beautiful work she’s done to this website and blog. We launched this new site during Summer 2011, 2 years ago, and it’s grown into a beautiful spot on the interwebs, I must say. Sheila is moving to Singapore in just a few weeks, and about to embark on a new journey and start a new chapter in her life. She has just put some last finishing touches on the home page of this site, adding new images of my recent botanical Instagrams, as well as links to all of Soothing Herbals’ social media activity. So check it out, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and I promise I’ll be better at keeping you updated to the actions and adventures of Soothing Herbals this summer and beyond. Thanks for all of your support. I could not do this without you: my loyal customers, clients, students and friends.
The holidays are upon us and I am busy creating products and gifts for the masses. I’d like to announce 3 local events you are invited to. So come and visit with me and do some holiday shopping as well. If you can’t make it, no worries! You can always shop online or stop in the Apothecary on Wed & Thurs during the week. Happy Holiday Blessings to you all.
Friday, November 30 6:30-8:30pm at Soothing Herbals Apothecary, 205 S Main St in downtown Lexington
During the city of Lexington’s Downtown Christmas parade, stop by and grab a warm cup of Soothing Chai Tea to sip while watching the parade. Come in to browse and shop for holiday gifts.
5th Annual Holiday Shopping Party–Friday, December 7, 10am-2pm, 6-9pm at 207 N. Randolph St, downtown Lexington
Come join us for our 5th Annual. Drinks and hors’ doeuvres will be served. First shopping session will be 10am to 2pm, second shopping session will be 6 to 9pm.
The artists include;
Tis the season. Time is flying. It’s Small Business Saturday today. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and are having a good time with your loved ones this weekend. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I would like to express my gratitude to my customers and clients, by offering you the following Holiday Specials now through Dec 25:
1) $6 Flat rate shipping on all orders.
2) FREE shipping and FREE gift with all orders $100 and up.
3) 25% off all in-store Aromatherapy Bar creations. This means if you come to the Apothecary and create your own product, you’ll receive the discount.
4) 50% off your first Reiki session.
5) 50% off your first Holistic Health Consultation.
And here are some quality, affordable and unique Featured Products that make a great addition to your Holidays, either as a gift or just for you…
This is a delicious blend of Chai Tea made with the traditions from India in mind. It’s a very warming, soothing, sweet and aromatic chai experience. It’makes a great gift and is great for Holiday entertaining. Only $10 a jar which will make gallons of Chai. Click title link above the photo to learn more and buy.
Now in stock we have a limited supply of beautiful and functional Aromatherapy diffusers in 3 different sizes:
1) Small- Lamp Ring Diffuser, $8- (Lightbulb Ring Diffuser) for Essential Oils
Place ceramic light bulb ring on low wattage light bulb and add a few drops of essential oil for rapid diffusion of aroma. Use on bulb 60 watts or lower – we prefer 25W to 40W – the lower the wattage – the longer the aroma.
2)Medium- Soapstone Elephant Candle Diffuser, $15- This adorable little candle diffuser is made of natural soapstone and has a carving of two elephants with trunks raised. The bowl is removable, and sits inside the base of the diffuser.
Natural, matte finish. Note that because soapstone is a natural material, the color may vary.
To use, simply fill the upper reservoir with water and add a few drops of essential oil. Light a tea candle under the bowl for a long lasting gentle diffusion of aroma. Measures 2.75″ height.
3)Large- Soapstone Sunflower Candle Diffuser, $25- This Sunflower Soapstone Aromalamp is absolutely beautiful, with gorgeous carvings and a substantial, solid shape and size. It’s breathtaking when lit!
To use, simply fill the removable bowl with water and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Light your tea candle and place beneath the bowl. Measures 4.5″ in height.
Bergamot, Eucalyptus, Clary Sage, Geranium, Cinnamon, Lavender, Lemongrass, Sweet Orange, Peppermint are just a few of the many essential oils we have in stock. Prices range from $13-$15
Please stay tuned for the next post about some upcoming Holiday events. Thanks to you all for your support in my small business. Blessings and gratitude.
Tomorrow marks the Autumnal Equinox, the first day of Fall and balance of light and darkness on the planet. I am offering an invitation for you participate in this year’s Autumnal Equinox evening for giving or receiving some long distance Reiki from the comfort of your own home or Sacred Space. The Autumnal Equinox Offering will be held tomorrow, Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 9 PM EST. If you would like to receive Reiki at the time specified, please email me or comment here so I can write down your name and include you in the intention. There will be other Reiki Practitioners and Reiki Masters around the world joining me to do this work together which will create a focused and expanded sharing.
To receive Reiki (Universal Healing Energy and Light) on the Equinox evening, all you have to do is to be ready to receive and then set the intention to receive from the blanket of Reiki we will be creating. A sample statement of intention would be: I tap into the web of Reiki so I can receive Reiki to heal myself and the Earth for the highest good of all.
The session will last for 45 minutes. Please make the 45 minutes SACRED. Create a healing and nurturing space for yourself. Go to your Sacred place, be still and be open to receive, starting 10-15minutes before 9:00. Create your own ritual, light a candle, relax, meditate, sing, dance, whatever. Have your intentions and manifestation wishes for the new season ready and written down, if you wish. Fee free to recite them at any point between 9 and 9:45.
In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), the season of Autumn is ruled by the element Metal, and the corresponding organs in the human body are the Lungs and Large Intestines. The emotion that is processed here is grief. This is a time to let yourself grieve, if needed, or to shed away that which no longer serves you. Letting go or letting yourself grieve can be very powerful and poignant. It can be a celebration as well. As I recently discovered my high school classmate passed away last week, I can feel the energy of grief at this time, and will be holding a special place for her (Alisa) and her loved ones when I send out Reiki tomorrow.
You may or may not feel the energy reaching you. But know that it is happening. I will be holding this space for myself and sending out Reiki to anyone who wishes to receive it. May this Autumnal Equinox give you strength, courage and continue to bless you. Namaste.
I went to a concert this past weekend and experienced pure joy while there– dancing, singing, jumping up and down, and Woo-Hoo-ing all day and into the night, as the evening got better and better. I came home with a hoarse, dry, throat and felt a little tired. Yesterday morning, I woke up to a full-on sore throat with icky phlegm stuck inside. It hurt to swallow. Then my nose started running. I felt a cold coming on. My head was starting to hurt. What to do? I immediately took a shot of Elderberry Syrup, made a cup of Tulsi (Holy Basil) tea and went straight to my Apothecary to prepare a tincture of Echinacea, Ginger and Tulsi. I simply placed a dropperful (approximately 30 drops) of this tincture either directly into my mouth or in a cup of tea or water, every 1 to 2 hours for the next 24-48 hours. I made some homemade Chicken soup for dinner, then I went to bed early and got 10 hours of sleep. When I woke up this morning, I felt SO MUCH BETTER. The sore throat and icky phlegm are gone. I truly credit it to the herbs. Here’s a quick run-down/ profile of these medicinal herbs which are always my go-to whenever I feel run down or have a cold.
Echinacea is well known as an all- purpose remedy for colds and flu. This plant is a strong immune booster that helps the body combat all types of infection. It is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, antiseptic, diaphoretic (makes you sweat), analgesic (pain reliever) and also alterative (blood cleanser). It’s a powerful herb and is recommended as a daily tonic, especially during winter or when the seasons are changing.
Echinacea is known to stimulate the white blood cells at the area of infection and contains a substance that keeps the invaders out of the bodies’ tissues; it also increases the production of interferon which boosts the cells ability to fight infection. This is why it is especially useful at the onset of a cold, as opposed to after onset, when the cold has already settled in the body. I grow this plant in my garden and harvest leaves and flowers when they are in bloom in June/July for tinctures. I also harvest the root in the Spring and Fall to make a separate tincture, then after straining, blend them into one bottle containing flowers, leaves and root to yield a potent formula. Suggested use at onset is 30 drops every hour as needed.
Tulsi, otherwise known as Holy Basil, or Sacred Basil, is excellent to have on hand for a cold or flu. It is anti-bacterial, anti-viral, antiseptic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, febrifuge (reduces fever). These properties make Tulsi very effective in reducing fevers, fighting bacteria and clearing congestion from the lungs and sinuses. In addition, it is also carminative (helping digestion), adaptogen (helps the body adapt to stress and restore balance), nervine, antidepressant, and immuno-modulating. In other words, it’s also good for digestion, stress, anxiety, grief, depression and the immune system. Plus it smells and tastes great!
In India, this plant is considered to be the most sacred, next to the Lotus flower. Its quality is pure Sattva (balance, harmony, goodness & purity). It is known to open the heart and mind, and bestow the energies of Love and Devotion. It is sacred to Krishna and Vishnu in Hinduism, strengthening faith, clarity and compassion. It also believed to give the protection of the Divine by clearing the aura and strengthening the immune system.
Tulsi is very easy to grow, harvest and prepare. I harvest all aerial parts: leaves, flowers, seed and stem. They can be used fresh or dried in tea, but always fresh for tincture. On the first day of harvest, I usually brew up a couple handfuls in a gallon of water, let stand for an hour and strain. I love the sweet aroma and taste it brings to my mouth, as it barely needs any honey or sweetener. It tastes heavenly as hot tea, or can be put on ice during the summer. When I have a lot of it I usually drink it daily, as it really does calm stress and anxiety. It is my go-to herb for chilling out, hands down. When I travel, if I can’t bring tea with me, I have my Tulsi tincture to take by the dropper for a quick fix.
Ginger root is commonly used in the kitchen, added to stir frys and other recipes for its warm, robust flavor. Believe it or not, Ginger is a must have when a cold or flu is present. It is diaphoretic, expectorant (promotes discharge of mucus from lungs and throat), analgesic, carminative and a warming stimulant (increases internal heat, dispels internal chill and strengthens metabolism and circulation). In India, it has been called the “Universal Medicine” because it is so useful for digestion, colds, cough, fever, congestion and even menstrual cramps. I find its warming energy welcome to the cold, damp energy that comes with having a cold, and it really gets rid of mucus fast. Plus it tastes great and made my blended tincture go down smoothly. I strongly recommend it this time of year.
Elder berries and flowers are my final standby herb for colds and flu. They are so helpful in boosting the immune system, reducing fever, and decreasing cough. The fresh flowers are a stimulating diaphoretic, help bring blood to the surface, strengthen the periphery and bring forth a sweat in weak circulation. Dried flowers are a sedating diaphoretic, which reduces heat, opens the pores, dispersing the blood. Flowers are a relaxing expectorant which help spasmodic coughs, stomach spasm and intestinal colic. Flowers are also anti-catarrhal (dispel mucus) which is helpful for congestion and runny nose.
Berries have many of the same diaphoretic properties, are antiviral, immune boosting, diuretic and laxative. They help with the same symptoms as above: fever, cough, head, sinus and lung congestion, making this an excellent remedy when you’re feeling sick. Plus, the berries are tasty and make an excellent syrup that children love.
So next time you feel yourself coming down with something, don’t hesitate to call upon any of these herbal allies to assist you. I have to say that they definitely shortened the duration of my cold, making it last only a day, instead of a full week or more. If you can’t grow them yourself or find them locally, feel free to call or email me, as they are available for sale in the Apothecary and here on my website as well.
Now that it’s September, Soothing Herbals Apothecary is back to regular business hours: Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9am-3pm, with all other days by appointment only. So come visit if you’re in the neighborhood.
I’d like to introduce some New Products: (photos coming soon)
Argan Hair Oil- A nourishing oil for the hair with essential oils to make your hair look, feel and smell great!
Mimosa Grapefruit Ruby Red Lip Balm- Great color for the ladies! This new lip balm is made with Mimosa flower wax infused in Sweet almond oil with cocoa butter and Grapefruit essential oil. Its ruby red color comes from Alkanet root, a biennial European herb. The Mimosa and Grapefruit make a great combination for the lips.
And.. we’re also having an End of Summer Sale with some Special Offers to boot! Check them out…
30% off Face & Body Sun Creme- click here to buy
FREE gift with any $25 purchase ** while supplies last
25% off any private Herbal/Aromatherapy class ** when booked with 3 or more students
So come on by and tell your friends. I am looking forward to seeing you this fall.
It’s been a while. I apologize for not posting a single thing all summer long. I tend to get very busy during the summer months, and I usually go offline during that time. Facebook, blogging and newsletters have all gone by the wayside. It was a fabulous summer, though. It was worth it to unplug from social media and blogging and stay in the present moment, savoring as many moments of summer bliss that I could. Here’s a quick recap of what I did this summer:
In June, we took the kids on a camping vacation. We stopped at Mount Rogers, then ventured down to Asheville, NC for a waterfall tour around the area. We saw some really amazing falls, including the highest waterfall on the east coast, as well as some 20 footers we could swim in. Camping and fishing around the area was fun, as the whole area is incredibly beautiful. We found out that’s where The Hunger Games movie was filmed. At the end of that trip, the crazy Derecho storm hit as we were driving home on I-81. Trees and power lines were falling all around us and we never made it home that night. It was scary! We came home to a messed up yard and no power for a week. My husband is an Arborist, and received 30 calls for tree work that morning. 2 months later, he is still working on storm damage from the Derecho. I’ve never seen a storm like that before.
July and August were spent mostly at home– gardening, harvesting, canning. We did go on some short weekend trips to the beach and a week long visit to my sisters in Massachusetts to see family, and by the time we got home from all of it, it was time to get ready for the first day of school. It’s always a whirlwind. Summer vacation is never long enough. How was your summer?
But now it’s September– my favorite month. Indian summer, cool, crisp evenings, abundant harvests in the garden and sunshine that’s not too hot. I’m sitting in the Apothecary right now, organizing. Soothing Herbals has a lot of news to share with you for this month: new products, specials, and an End of Summer sale coming up. That’s what’s coming in the next blog post. So please stay tuned. Thanks so much!