Aloe Vera, The “First Aid” Plant

All About Aloe Vera

 

Aloe Vera Properties

Aloe Vera Is:

·       Anti-inflammatory
·       Antibacterial
·       Antifungal
·       Antiviral
·       Antioxidant

Aloe Vera plants produce a variety of substances with antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and antioxidant properties; Aloe Vera made the list of superfoods and super herbs!

aloe3
For thousands of years, people have used the gel from aloe vera leaves for healing and softening the skin. Aloe Vera is the “First Aid” plant.  The gel inside the Aloe Vera leaves is soothing & has incredible, natural, skin care properties!

Aloe Vera plants provide high amounts of vitamins and minerals; its leaf is filled with a gel containing at least 75 nutrients, 20 minerals, 12 vitamins, & 18 amino acids.

Aloe Vera produces at least six natural antiseptics, which are able to kill mold, bacteria, funguses, and viruses.  Learn about  ways to put your magical Aloe Vera plant to use after splitting the leaves lengthwise down the middle.

Aloe Vera Recipes

Exfoliate dry skin by mixing two tbsp. each Aloe Vera gel and organic brown sugar with two tsp. lemon juice

Mix equal parts of Aloe Vera gel with lemon juice to decrease dark spots and brighten skin. Aloe Vera can decrease pigmentation

Make a homemade burn healer by mixing 1/4 cup each Aloe vera gel and liquid Calendula with a few drops of vitamin E oil & Lavender Essential oil. Store in a little, airtight jar. Give Aloe Vera as gifts, share Aloe Vera with friends & family!

Soft feet! Get rid of Eczema!  Exfoliate feet, knees and elbows with a mixture of 1/2 c. each oatmeal, four tbsp. Aloe Vera gel, and 1/2 c. coconut oil

White flakes? Reduce hair dandruff by mixing Aloe Vera juice with coconut milk and wheat germ oil. Massage into scalp and rinse.

aloe vera1

Uses for Aloe Vera

Shaving – Replace shaving cream and use Aloe Vera gel; soothe razor burn and save money & your skin!

Dandruff – White flakes? Reduce hair dandruff by mixing aloe vera juice with coconut milk and wheat germ oil. Massage into scalp and rinse.

Exfoliator – coconut oil mixed with sugar or sea salt is a very nourishing and effective exfoliator and safe to use all over the body.

Athlete’s Foot – Relieve athlete’s foot by mixing Aloe Vera Gel with a drop or two of Tea Tree essential oil; it works!!

Frizz – helps smooth away those pesky static-frizzed hairs. Simply rub a bit of coconut oil in your hand and swipe over your hair

Burns, poison ivy, and blisters – Aloe Vera contains cooling properties similar to menthol. Combine with Lavender or Peppermint essential oils for a dual benefit!

Healing – apply to cuts, sores, and other skin infections;  Aloe Vera has excellent antibacterial properties

Make up remover – save your money while healing your skin!

Beauty – Apply straight Aloe vera gel to skin to reduce age lines, remove scars and stretch marks; Cleopatra did!

Shower – Rub the inner sides of a cut Aloe Vera leaf on skin to use as a shower scrub (slice the aloe leaves lengthwise and use the inner sides)

aloe2
Hair – Stimulate hair growth & say goodbye to frizzy hair by massaging aloe into the scalp and hair; leave on for as long as possible, at least half an hour.
Aloe Vera restores for silky smooth and promotes growth.  Aloe Vera keeps hair well moisturized, combating the heat from styling appliances.
Moisturizer – simply scoop some out and apply; Aloe Vera absorbs quickly

Allergies, rashes – Relieve itching due to allergies and rashes or take the sting & itch out of insect bites (fight back! grow Citronella & Lemongrass plants in pots where you gather outside to keep those bugs away!)

aloe brown scrub2

Aloe Vera Sugar Lemon Scrub Recipe

Mixing Aloe Vera gel, lemon juice or essential oil and organic brown sugar makes for an energizing exfoliation experience! Want a healthy glow?

Stir Aloe Vera gel, organic brown sugar and Lemon Essential Oil or juice together and ta-da!

aloe brown scrub

Homemade Burn Healer Recipe

Make a homemade burn healer by mixing 1/4 cup each Aloe vera gel and liquid Calendula with a few drops of vitamin E oil & Lavender Essential oil. Store in an airtight jar.

DIY Homemade Burn Healer
Jar
1/4 cup Aloe Vera gel
1/4 cup Calendula liquid
Few drops of Vitamin E oil
Few drips of Lavender Essential Oil

Give as gifts, share with friends & family!

coco4

Oatmeal Coconut Aloe Scrub

Soft feet! Get rid of Eczema!

Exfoliate feet, knees and elbows with a mixture of  1/2 c. Oatmeal
4 tbsp. Aloe Vera gel
1/2 c. Coconut Oil

Aloe Vera’s healing properties repair skin problems such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, and rosacea, as well

Relieve athlete’s foot by mixing Aloe Vera Gel with a drop or two of Tea Tree essential oil; it works!!

I hope you enjoyed this post!!!  Have a sparkling day!
Vanessa
vmbsrm@mindbodysoulessentials.com
Advertisements

Calendula, Calendula, Calendula

They should make a song about Calendula.  Or maybe they already have.  It should be catchy and light and fancy free.  Simply put, Calendula ROCKS.

Calendula is is a beautiful flower, when looked upon brings a smile to your face.  An even bigger smile should appear when you find out that it is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial – among other things.

Look at this gorgeous creature

Calendula

Calendula Powder, Flowers, Oil can be fund to purchase at Mind Body Soul Essentials!

Calendula has been used medicinally for centuries to heal wounds, burns and rashes, internally and externally. Calendula flowers have also been used traditionally to support the immune system and lift the spirits.

Calendula flowers, are also known as Calendula officinalis, Gold-bloom, Marigold, Marybud and Pot Marigold.

The resin, which forms at the green base of the Calendula flower head, are an important part of calendula’s healing. If you are buying calendula, make sure it has a bright yellow or orange color, which is a good measure of its freshness and medicinal quality.

calendula1

 

Therapeutic Properties: Anti-inflammatory to skin and mucosa, Lymphagogue (moves lymph), promotes healing of damaged tissue, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, stimulates menstrual flow, warming, drying, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial

Topical Uses: poultice, compress, infused oil and salve. Dilute tincture with water (1 part tincture to 3 parts water) for topical use.

Common Uses: Rashes, stings, wounds, burns, sunburns, abrasions, swellings, eczema, acne, surgical wounds, scrapes, chicken pox, cold sores, genital herpes sores, and as a douche for bacterial vaginosis, yeast infection and cervical dysplasia.

calendula2

Calendula Inspiring Information

Calendula tea is commonly used to help heal peptic ulcers, esophageal irritation from GERD, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Calendula may be called upon for grief and sadness along with other cheering flowers: rose, mimosa and lavender.

Gargle for sore throat, canker sores, periodontal disease, thrush, sore and bleeding gums.

Calendula helps heal inflammation from infection or irritation through its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial actions.

Used for poor immunity, respiratory infection, to help prevent infection through stimulating the lymphatic system.

Helpful herbal companions, Lemon Balm and Lemon Verbena.

calendula3

How to Make Calendula Infused Oil Recipe

Put calendula flowers into a mason jar. Cover calendula to the top of the jar with olive oil, stir slowly to relase air bubbles and cover tightly. Let sit for two weeks to infuse. Remember, the long it sits, the stronger the infusion. Drain with a cheescloth and ta-da! You’ve made an herbal infusion! Now store the covered jar in a cool, dark place.
You can also put fresh petals in a jar of oil in the sun for two weeks to create a solar-infused oil.

Organic Calendula Flowers

How to Make Calendula Salve Recipe

To create a calendula salve, blend four parts infused oil and one part melted bees wax. Or combine four parts cocoa butter, shea butter, or a combination with one part beeswax and one part oil. Definately adjust the amount of oil and beeswax to create the consistency you want. According to renown herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, salves are made by adding ¼ cup of beeswax to one cup of infused oil. Heat until the beeswax has melted.
Pour into a wide jar and cover. This mixture will thicken into a salve that you can use for burns and abrasions. It is also useful for diaper rash and other skin ailments.

calendula salve

 

How to Make Calendula Tea Recipe
Calendula tea is so easy to make. Put a couple of teaspoons of calendula petals in an infuser ball and pour a cup of boiling water over it; steep for 7-10 minutes. Drink up for tummy aches or use the tea to make a hot or cold compress.

calendula4

Making your own herbal products gives you control over the ingredients you chose to put in or on your body. Experiment, experiment, experiment!!  Add other herbs to your salves and infusions.

 

Pinterest!

 

Easy, Fun and Healthy Green Tips for Around Your Home!

Going Green with Mind Body Soul Essentials

Today’s Going Green tips and recipes are all about the inside of your home

We can control what goes into the air we breathe inside our home.  Let’s get started!

Do you enjoy the smell of Bleach or Synthetic Air Fresheners?  I don’t!  And it’s not FUN to clean and deodorize with that stuff!  You spray it into the air and POOF!…it’s gone in a flash.  Just the opposite, that bleach smell has eyes watering, noses burning and that smell lingers forever! Eww!

So what are we doing?!  We don’t sit there and say “Hey! I’ve got an idea! Let’s spray some toxic chemicals into the air today!”

No.  We are busy.  There is not enough time in the day.  We are always on the move.  We are multitasking machines!!  We have to go grocery shopping or no one eats and while we are at the store, cruising around, we grab & go; taking a bottle of air freshener for our fabric couches and rugs and air for $5.  We throw it in the cart and off we go to the milk section!

Do you love yourself?  Do you love your children? Your pets? Your family?

Of course you do.  I do, too.  Ever wonder why we are tired of being tired and sick of being sick?

Take the time to read that label before you put those cleansers, disinfectants, air fresheners into your cart.  There’s a LOT of really bad ingredients in what you are buying for $5.  Cheap toxic items…come and get it!  Sale on bad for you cleaners and 50% off chemical filled products for your family!

Essential Oils.  Maybe you don’t know what they are.  That’s ok!  Think about it this way…you know what plants are.  What trees, leaves and flowers are.

Essential oils are distilled from the leaves, bark, roots and other aromatic portions of a botanical plant.

Nature at it’s best!

It is the essential oils within plants that gives each oil their characteristic smell and flavor. When we smell the delightful fragrance of roses, open a cedarwood box and inhale its woody smell, or add the zest of orange or lemon to a drink, it is the essential oil that we are enjoying!

Essential Oils are medicines from the earth! A whole world of possibility is awaiting you!  Nature – in one of its most powerful forms – aromatic liquid extracted from certain flowers, grasses, fruits, trees, leaves, roots and herbs.

Any part of a plant may contain its essential oil! Each single oil is used for many purposes. They are indispensable to medicine, food and cosmetic industries. In food and drink, they are used to give natural flavor and aroma, and as preservatives.

Want to learn more? Read What Are Essential Oils? or How Do Essential Oils Work? or come to my website and search for the answers to what you are looking to learn. If it’s not on there, send me an email and I’ll answer you!  I’m a real person, not a commercial giant!

Why should you be Going Green in your Home?  Better question: why haven’t you?

Cleaning!

We make messes.  We do! We’re human! Then we clean it up (usually the same day)…

Essential oils, vinegar and baking soda can be used to create many effective non-toxic (and wonderfully fragrant) cleansers and disinfectants.  Clean, disinfect and shine for pennies!  A straight 5% solution of vinegar kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of viruses.  Clean the dishwasher, coffeepot, windows,  Deodorize your sink drains.  Remove pet urine stains, grease from kitchen walls and mineral deposits around faucets.

You can easily click Natural Cleaning With Essential Oils for more ideas and recipes 🙂

Oils excellent for cleaning:

· Cinnamon Essential Oil
· Clove Essential Oil
· Eucalyptus Essential Oil
· Thyme Essential Oil
· Spruce Essential Oil
· Lemon Essential Oil
· Lemongrass Essential Oil
· Grapefruit Essential Oil
· Orange Essential Oil

Orange and Lemon are my personal favorites.  The smell, the antibacterial, antidepressant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antiseptic and astringent power these oils have!

When I clean, I put Orange and/or Lemon Essential oil to work!  Put on some music, smell those delicious smells and get my clean on!

Ever wonder why there are so many orange cleaners today? Make your own orange cleaner to DISINFECT, SAVE MONEY and ENERGIZE.

These oils are UPLIFTING to the spirit but CALMING to your body!

Essential Oils are disinfectants!  Add to a spray bottle of water and spray into the air to deodorize, neutralize, and sterilize the air.

The majority of Essential Oils are inexpensive.  There are a handful that are not, simply because of the large number of flowers required to produce a small amount of it.

Floor Cleaner:
Add 1/4 cup white vinegar to a bucket of water. Add 10 drops of lemon oil and 4 drops of oregano essential oil. Oregano oil has powerful antiseptic properties!

Carpet freshener:
Add 16-20 drops of essential oils to a cup of baking soda. Mix well and place in a covered container overnight so that the oil can be absorbed. Sprinkle over your carpet the next day and then vacuum the powder up!

Painting:
Adding essential oil to paint will counteract the unpleasant smell. And because essential oils are not fatty oils, they will leave no oil spots on the walls. Add a 5 ml. bottle of your favorite essential oil, such as White Angelica, Abundance, or Sacred Mountain, to 1 gallon of paint. Mix well.

Recipes for you below and so many more at Mind Body Soul Essentials – click here for more recipes or here for a ton of ways to use essential oils and go green the easy way!

Aromatherapy Air Fresheners

ROOM AIR FRESHENING RECIPES
It’s been proven that with the effects of aromatherapy, just the way things smell can altar your mood.

Ingredients
1 cup distilled water
8 -10 drops Essential Oils, of your choice

Antiseptic, Antibacterial and Antiviral
3 drops Lemon Essential Oil

Deodorizing
6 drops Bergamot Essential Oil
1 drop Eucalyptus Essential Oil
2 drops Lemon Essential Oil

Pet Deodorizing
6 drops Cedarwood Essential Oil
3 drops tea Tree Essential Oil

Apple Pie Spice
6 drops Cinnamon Essential Oil
3 drops Clove Essential Oil

Orange Spice
5 drops Orange Essential Oil
2 drops Cinnamon Essential Oil

Mood Lifter
4 drops Chamomile Essential Oil
3 drops Orange Essential Oil
2 drops Ylang Ylang Essential Oil

Stress Reliever
4 drops Lavender Essential Oil
3 drops Rose Essential Oil
2 drops Clary Sage Essential Oil (optional)

Sleepy-Hour Relaxation
4 drops Lavender Essential Oil
3 drops Chamomile Essential Oil

Uplifting
8 drops Orange Essential Oil

Vitality & Freshness
3 drops Lemon Essential Oil
1 drop Grapefruit Essential Oil

Amazing Dryer Sheets

Aromatherapy Candle Magic

or easily buy a candle made with Essential Oils!  Come see all of the beautiful, affordable candles here!

coffee pot c

I need to do this more often…as I consume FAR too much coffee… 🙂

microwave

So many more recipes & tips – click Natural Cleaning With Essential Oils for more free ideas!

Love, love, love that you are here reading this!  Spread the knowledge! Share with your loved ones!

I am now on Pinterest!

Best Tips and Recipes for Going Green Series

jBr1tv1355309168  It’s simple! Just follow this blog! 🙂 From now until the end of December, daily tips for going green in our life! Going green is cost effective, easy and fun! Why should you be Going Green in your Home? Do you enjoy the smell of Bleach or Synthetic Air Fresheners? Are you cleaning your body on one end (detoxing) by eating right and then bombarding it with toxins on another end by using toxic products in our home? About 98% of store bought products are made with synthetically made chemicals. And we wonder why we are tired of being tired and sick of being sick! Commercial products you are using in your home are not good for our planet and the environment The home products you are using are toxic to your our dogs, cats and…children! Who is Really Winning? The companies who manufacture drugs, cleaning products, paints, insecticides are slowing killing us with toxicity. They care about their bottom line; not our health. I hope you become committed to going green in your home. Do it as a gift to yourself, your children, your animals and your planet! I wish you the best in your life and your home!

I am now on Pinterest!

Learn how to make your own Echinacea Tincture

http://www.mindbodysoulessentials.com

ECHINACEA TINCTURE

Picture

Echinacea is also referred to as “purple coneflower”.
ECHINACEA TINCTURE
It takes very little time and money to make your own Echinacea tincture.  It rewarding to to do things for yourself and know exactly what is in the “medicine” you are taking. Making herbal remedies is as grounding and fulfilling as growing our own food.

Echinacea stimulates the immune system and its antiviral activities help fight colds and flu, as well as promote the healing of infections.

This is an oral application.  You will need:
1 one pint glass jar (make sure it is clean) Do not use anything but glass to make your tinctures.
¼ cup dried or 1/2 cup fresh finely chopped or crushed Echinacea flowers and leaves
1 cup vodka (60% alcohol with dried and 80-100% alcohol with fresh)  You can use another alcohol such as rum or gin, if that is your preference.

One part plant to two parts alcohol.  EXAMPLE: Three ounces (dry measure) of fresh Echinacea flower heads would be placed in a jar with six ounces (liquid measure) of alcohol.

Place dried Echinacea in the jar.

NOTE: If you have fresh Echinacea available there is no need to dry it. Fresh is better than dried. If you  use fresh Echinacea, gently wash off the petals and measure about 1 cup of flowers and leaves. You can use the whole plant, flowers, leaves, and root. Many people use the flowers and leaves only since they don’t want to dig up the roots.

Pour vodka over the top. Fill as completely as possible to eliminate air, and seal tightly with lid. Label the bottles with the herb name, date made, and the expected date your tincture will be ready. Store in a cool, dark cabinet until needed.

You have now created a menstruum. A menstruum is the liquid used to extract the soluble principles from the herbs or roots.  Leave menstruum at room temperature for four to six weeks. Place the jar in a cabinet that you go into daily, so you can shake it every day for thirty days.  The tincture will get stronger the longer it sits.  The dark brown color indicates that the essential oils from the root have been absorbed by the alcohol.

After the four to six weeks has passed, you will need to strain the herbs out of the vodka. To do this, place a layer of cheesecloth over a large glass measuring cup or small glass mixing bowl and secure with a rubber band. Pour menstruum slowly onto the cheesecloth and allow to drain for a few minutes. Then use your hands to wrap the cheesecloth around the herbs and squeeze out the excess liquid.

Strain herbs as described above.  Then discard the herbs.
You now have your very own Echinacea tincture!
Pour tincture into dark, glass bottles for storage. And don’t forget to label them.

To use:
At the first sign of a cold or throughout a cold take take ½ to ¾ of a teaspoon 3 to 4 times a day, per day.  Echinacea has shown to be most beneficial at the beginning and for the duration of a cold. It is not intended as a long term preventative.

Tinctures from different herbs can be combined for dispensing as a blend!

For topical applications, use olive oil; it’s much easier on the skin than alcohol, and has it’s own nutritive properties. And you can easily use your tincture made with oil into a salve by melting in some beeswax and adding drops of Essential Oils, if you want.

The key advantages to tinctures are that they are convenient to use, easy to mix into combinations, dosages are easier to control and they have excellent shelf lives.

USING THE ROOTS: You can also use the roots in lieu of flowers and leaves.  Fresh roots should be ground with the alcohol in a blender into a pulpy mush.

The ratio of echinacea root to menstruum is 1 to 2. If there is 1 cup of root, add 2 cups of menstruum.

Harvest Echinacea roots by sinking a garden spading fork (a shovel works, too) deeply into the soil, and lean back on the tool handle to GENTLY lift the root ball. The roots grow deep and wide. The idea is to harvest as much root as possible.  Keep the tops of the plants intact with the roots so that the echinacea will be easy to identify from the roots of neighboring plants

Shake and massage the soil and unwanted plant roots from the clump. This is a good time to kill a few weeds! Leave as much soil as possible in the garden.  Scrub roots with a brush and rinse while rubbing the roots to remove any grit. Place all of the washed roots in a colander to drain.  Slice big roots crosswise into rounds (as if cutting carrots) and then chop them into smaller pieces.

As Echinacea ages, clumps are formed with new plants sprouting around the original plant. The oldest plants in the clump may decline as the younger vigorous plants compete for nutritional resources. Dividing the clumps regenerates the plants and gives a perfect opportunity to harvest the roots for tincture. For tincturing, choose Echinacea plants that are at least three years old.

Echinacea works to prevent.  Once you get a cold, try Thyme. Thyme acts as an expectorant and boosts your immune system 🙂
Hope you try this out!  Thank you reading!
Vanessa
Mind Body Soul Essentials
PS – here are some pictures of my Echi from my gardens!

Growing, Harvesting & Propogating Basil

Growing, Harvesting & Propogating Basil

This is a picture of what my Basil and Rosemary looked like after cutting and placing into small plastic bottles and glass jars to begin growing their roots.

Growing, Harvesting & Propogating Basil

Picture


Basil, Week 2

Picture

Ocimum basilicum, is a popular sweet herb of the Mint FamilyBasil grown indoors requires at least six hours of sunlight

Grows easily from seed ~ Basil loves well drained soil

I use organic soil & peat pots to grow the babies.  In the fall, I cover the way back of my yard with the leaves and every two years, I use that beautiful soil in my gardening.


Basil, Week 3

Picture

Starting Basil indoors: 
Place peat pots in a flat; cover with a plastic dome.  Rotate flat each morning to provide equal sun on both sides.Lift dome & gently spray the pots with water every other day or as needed; replace dome top.  You are checking to see if the soil is moist.

Seed Germination Period is 5 to 10 days.  See pics on this page showing the progress.


Basil, Week 5

Picture

Once the seedlings have developed two (2) pairs of true leaves, then you can thin out the weakest seedlings in each peat pot.  This is when you can begin to use organic fertilizer.
Think of a newborn baby.  The baby needs food and to be kept directly out of the sun or the baby will get sunburned, right?  As you grow your basil, think of your seedlings as babies.  Treat them as such.

Allow adequate drainage ~ after transplanting to a pot, line the base of the pot with dime sized rocks

Hang bunches of stems up to air dry.  We also keep basil cuttings in water in a little gatorade bottle on our dinner table for easy access – whatever works

Basil is easily propagated through herbaceous stem cuttings. Place cuttings in water to root.  You’ll see roots shortly.  It’s amazing to see – get your kids involved


Basil outdoors in the garden

Picture

Mother nature provides most of what Basil needs naturally! Basil is an annual plant, and loves the sun!  

Plant basil outdoors after the last spring frost.  

Plant in well drained soil; basil will grow in soils ranging in acidity.  


Companion gardening with Basil

Picture

Plant Basil near tomatoes to improve growth and flavor. Basil also does well with peppers, oregano, asparagus and petunias. 

Basil can be helpful in repelling thrips. 

Basil is said to repel flies and mosquitoes. 

Do not plant Basil near Sage. 


Basil in my garden!   

Picture

Leaf production slows or stops on any stem which flowers, so you should pinch off any flower stems to keep the plant in production ~ SAVE THOSE SEEDS FOR FUTURE PLANTING    Or if you know that you want your Basil to return, pick the flowers and let them drop to the ground!

After your Basil is done for the season, the leaves are beginning to yellow or wilt, it is time to cut. 


Propagating Basil

Picture

Basil propagation from cuttings is easy!  Share your basil!  Take new plantings and give them as gifts!  Swap herbs with others!  It’s free!Take a four to five (4-5) inch basil cutting right below a leaf node. Remove the leaves off the bottom; approx. two inches from the end making sure that this cutting hasn’t flowered yet.

Place the cutting in a glass of water and put it where it can get good sunlight. Use a clear container so you can watch your basil propagation grow root!  I use little gatorade bottles or cleaned out jelly and sauce jars 🙂

Change the water every few days until you see root growth. Once the roots on your basil cutting are two inches or longer, you can plant the cutting in a pot indoors. Make sure you put the planter in a place where the plant will get sunlight.

Keep the basil on hand for cooking and for adding to your food after it’s prepared!

All of the pictures here are of my basil, from different years.  I have grown to love this herb; in cooking, while growing, the smell of it on my fingertips…
Give it a try!  You’ve got nothing to lose 🙂
Thank you!