An Afternoon in the Herbal Kitchen: DIY Deodorant, Herbal Tea & A Two Tonic Syrups

Today I took a day off because I was not coping at work. Although I only have a month to go, it's hard to get to that finish line and I find myself hating everyone, even with all the yoga tricks in the book! I'm not going out too gracefully, that's for sure, and every moment I'm there just reminds me why I'm leaving. Today was about self care. I went for a surf in the morning, and then decided a gentle pottering day was in order, being creative and playing with my herbs and natural products that I love to experiment with. I ended up making three things - a syrup (well, two), some more natural deodorant, and some herbal tea. Now, for a bath with the magnesium floral bath salts I made last week! Then I might, just might, survive two days until the weekend.

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Herbal Syrups

With the warm weather coming up, we're drinking a lot more water. What better way to flavour your water than with a nutritious herbal syrup? I've recently been playing around with a few concoctions. The first is a liver tonic - ginger, turmeric, burdock root, dandelion, a little licorice to taste, and milk thistle. One simply puts it on a slow simmer with about two litres of water until reduced by half. Add about 1/4 cup of black strap molasses (full of nutrients!) and cool. You can add a little honey to taste but I like the dark, slightly earthy and a wee bit bitter taste of this brew. It's lovely as a kind of cordial mix for soda water.

The other one I made out of the Plant Clinic book, which I adore. The only thing I did a little differently was add the crushed rose hip last, rather than boil it, as I was uncertain about the vitamin C content being lost from simmering. The ingredients were nettle, rosehips, hibiscus, burdock root, yellow dock root, alfalfa leaf, dandelion root, hawthorn berries and chlorella. I find syrups fairly forgiving so you can swap out ones to suit - I didn't have chlorella so I used papaya leaf. I'm still uncertain about the simmering and wonder how much nutritional content is lost that way, so I'd love to hear from a herbalist on that matter!

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Her recipe for a slow syrup is basically two cups of water, 1/4 cup of sugar free juice (I used pomegranate), and the herbs into a large saucepan. Once brought to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for an hour or so until reduced by half. Once it's lukewarm, strain, and add a cup of honey and half a cup of brandy. Once it's cool, you pour into sterilised bottles and keep in the fridge. You don't HAVE to add the brandy - but it helps it keep. I find I drink mine fast enough and if you add raw honey that preserves it further, though I find it a little sweet! But that's definitely something that's a personal taste.

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Rancho Relaxo Herbal Tea

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I'm experimenting with making herbal tea blends for Christmas gifts too. This one is for soothing frazzled nerves and hopefully helping with sleep. It contains oatstraw, hops, lavender, chamomile and skullcap. The lavender, chamomile and hops are home grown. I just love making herbal teas - it's a very tactile experience, mixing them up in the bowl.

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Homemade Deodorant

Every time I go to make my own herbal deodorant, I change the recipe slightly. What would it be like with less beeswax? No beeswax? Some people request no bicarb as they have sensitive skin, others request vegan. I'm at loathe to change my perfect recipe, but this time I thought I'd experiment, basically halving what I'd normally do, putting in less beeswax, no bi carb and doubling the arrowroot, and adding kaolin clay. I'll let you know if it works, but I'm pretty happy with the consistency so far. I usually have a tub in the van which heats up a bit on warm days so it has to stand that test too - I don't want it going liquid, but I want it to be smooth.

30 coconut oil
15 beeswax
20 shea
35 arrowroot
10 g kaolin clay
10 mango butter

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However, to be on the safe side, I made a heap with the old recipe too. I have a friend at work who absolutely loves it, and wants to buy some for stocking fillers. I'm also thinking of selling it in the local community but I'm a bit shy! Plus, there are heaps of alternatives these days and people have a lot of income to throw away around here, so I figure why bother with little old me? I just loving making it to gift, so I'll do that for the foreseeable future.

Oh, and you may have notice the labels! I asked advice on these the other week, and Hive folk made a few suggestions that resulted in something I'm pretty happy with. What do you think?

What's going on in your herbal kitchens? Do share! You might like to check out this weekly challenge over at The Herbal Hive.

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With Love,

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The Herbal Hive Community

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Some awesome stuff here! I love the look and thought of those syrups. I think adding micronutrients like that, taken from all of those wonderful plants and parts, is important. I've been really enjoying my micro-nutrient journey! I don't know if I'm just full of shit but I think I feel better drinking different herbal tea combinations and the occasional syrup.

I know what you mean, not wanting to go out to the larger community and sell your wares. We have some stuff that we know people would like around us but we aren't very aggressive to go out and sell it lol

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Yeah it does take some self promotion doesn't it? Something I'm not too good at. Plus i worry about laws and regs.

Did you read what I said the other day about nutritional dark matter? I can't stop thinking about it.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6601448/

Dark matter is a commonly used term in the study of genetics. It refers to genetic material that is poorly understood as of yet, but may play a powerful role within humans and other organisms. Can the case be made that there is also dark matter in the study of nutrition? Are there dietary factors that can influence our patterns of health and disease that haven’t been decoded and revealed to us?

There's so much we don't know. I figure on the bright side - the more we take in from a varied diet, the more we benefit from it.

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Damn that was a great read! Prions messed me up mentally. Are they good, are they bad? I need to read more about it lol. Thanks for that one! :D the article is awesome. The studying of those people and the sheep with neurological issues and it stemming from consuming potentially the brain of infected things is wild. I'm glad that I'm not into eating organ meat that's for sure! Lol. I don't know if anyone eats brains that much, but that's some crazy stuff!

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Isn't it crazy? And on the flip side, I was watching that Fantastic Fungi show the other day on Netflix and it reminded me of that theory that the human brain developed because of our ancestors eating 'those kind' of mushrooms, becaues it opens up all these neural pathways - and boom, next minute, Einstein!

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Rancho Relaxo Herbal Tea

You named it after @ranchorelaxo ? 😀

The lavender, chamomile and hops are home grown. I just love making herbal teas - it's a very tactile experience, mixing them up in the bowl.

Feeling jealous 😉 Why shy to sell ? People would love to buy. And I would have come to your home to get it, if it were on my reach.

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You named it after @ranchorelaxo

Ahahahaha - I didn't even think of that! That's funny.

Thanks so much @sanjeevm - everyone on HIVE is so kind. I'm going to advertise a few things on Facebook marketplace locally and see what happens. xx

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Vit C is VERY sensitive to temperature. Anything over 145F will kill the enzymes and destroy many nutrients in most plants.

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Yes, I thought so - I'm just really puzzled why those ingredients are in there if not for the vitamin C content. I wonder if she'd answer an email? Because it's great in theory and I love the syrup!

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It would be interesting to find out her thoughts on this.... I've often wondered about medicines that were heated more than 145F and what happened to the benefits...

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Ooh, this is my favorite kind of post! Your tea looks so inviting, and that deodorant recipe is super intriguing, I love the addition of mango butter and am so going to give that a try!

Thank you so much for sharing this awesomeness😊

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Aw, thanks! I have a better recipe to be honest - I found this one okay, but a bit hard. Or maybe I did'nt like the scent I put in it. I'm going back to my old recipe which I love, just reducing the beeswax a little so it's a bit softer. But it's worth experimenting with for sure!

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I hear ya on the experimenting thing! Even though I have some tried and true recipes, it seems like I rarely make things the same way twice, as I am always seeking that perfect combination. Thanks again for sharing that recipe though, it's always nice to see what other body care products crafters are up too:)

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Same same! Did you see @buckaroobaby's deodorant post? She also has a good recipe.

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Thanks @riverflows. The wonderful thing about these recipes is that once you get the rough quantities of your oils versus your butters versus your powders you can really play around. Of course ANY essential oils in ANY products are amazing

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I did look that post up, and it's wonderful! And I so agree with what @buckaroobaby said below, once you get your ratios down it's fun to just play with textures and additives of the good kind. This year I have my very own farm grown, harvested, and distilled lavender oil to add to my formulations, lots of smiles all around!😊

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OH WOW - distilled lavender oil is next level for sure!!!!!! Impressed. I'm going to give that a go next year. How much lavender did you use?

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I have about 300 hundred Munstead Lavender plants (augustifolia), so it took a lot to get a little oil, like 2 plants worth of buds to get maybe a 1/2 oz. You can get higher yields if you have the French variety of lavender (Lavandins), but oh my goodness is that augustifolia oil just so very fine! And aside from that I got gallons of hydrosol which I use in everything! I hope you get a great yield next year!

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Distilled lavender oil! I am IMPRESSED! That's amazing. Was it easy? I'll aspire to do that .... when I'm big ;)

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Well, I wouldn't say it was super easy, but it was one of the best smelling jobs ever, lol! We built our own still, as we had some odds and ends laying about the farm, just had to spend a small fortune on copper for the innards and the condenser of the still. We have 300 fully mature lavender plants on the farm, so I had plenty of buds to practice with! I am long over due for writing a post about the process, I need to get that done, I'll let you know when I post it!

And anyone who can handle 60 does will crush lavender EO distillation!😊

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(Edited)

Yes well....the trick is to make sure that no matter what the butting order in the flock they know I am the matriach! Don't think hierachy works among herbs. Can you imagine? There would probably be splatters of EO flying all over the homestead

Yes please let me know. I'd love to follow the process. Wait....did you say THREE HUNDRED LAVENDER!!!

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LOL! I don't even want to think about herbs asserting dominance, lol lol!

And yep, three hundred. It's a lot of work, but oh so pretty:) I put them in when my daughter was a baby, they are fifteen years old now! I need to propagate and expand the field, but haven't gotten to that yet.

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That is really amazing. What variety are they? I would love to have the white ones growing here. I've only ever managed to keep one alive. The ants are such a plague. They have killed many of my herbs over the years. Entire gardens of them!

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Don' t be shy, you have a great talent for making natural products! I am sure you would sell many of these

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Thanks! I think I'm going to try to get over some personal barriers. But it's kinda nice just to make as gifts too. I like giving, it's nice.

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Awww you are a giver, that is awesome! I love giving too, especially handmade stuff. It is just something else in a world filled with ready-to-buy gifts shipped from a cargo from China lol.
Handmade shows love🥰

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Although I only have a month to go, it's hard to get to that finish line and I find myself hating everyone.

That is because you've had enough of it and can't simply deal with the BS anymore.

I should definitely give your homemade herbal deodorant recipe a try. I've been feeling very experimental these days 😄.

Thank you for sharing @riverflows
P.S: Hang in there, you are almost at the end of this work tunnel.

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Wow! This is so awesome.Your deodorant ! So much joy to see this! Really blows my mind. The labels look so great! Very inspiring!! This is how big things start. Humble beginnings. Battle hymni feel like a bath and some herbal tea now. Use a deo once im out. Are you making any face packs?

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