Self-isolation is even more challenging when there is 6 inches of snow on the ground. The girls can’t even ride their bikes in circles around the cul de sac. We depend on the library to homeschool and we are competing with my husband for precious bandwidth. There are suddenly so many reasons to begin their apprenticeship. I started studying medicinal herbs when I was 12 years old. Our formal lessons this week included reading lots of books, playing games with botanical themes, and some fun project based learning. Shampoo bars are really easy for kids to make and we already had all the ingredients here in the house. No need to shop or order anything on-line.
I have to overwinter my rosemary in the house. It currently lives in my kitchen and seems to be pretty happy there but I have to remember to water it.
Rosemarinus is an evergreen shrub in the mint family, cultivated worldwide for its aromatic leaves. It can vary in size and shape depending on the variety. Some cultivars appear as small bushes, while others trail over low walls. Look for ash colored scaly bark on the numerous lengthy branches. The leaves are 1 inch long and very narrow, leathery, dark green on top, and downy white underneath. You will notice a prominent central vein and margins with rolled down edges. The plant produces lots of small delicate two lipped, blue flowers at its tips. Rosemary likes dry sandy soil, lots of sun and a warm/temperate climate. It will tolerate the the drought of the dessert better than cold, snowy winter.
The volatile oils in rosemary are very stimulating in the body, moving blood and stagnation. They help to increase liver/galbaldder function and the production of bile. This plant raises blood pressure and improves percirculation. It increases metabolism and the processing of sugar and fats.
The nervous system loves rosemary. Headaches depression, stress, vertigo, epilepsy, concentration and memory loss may often improve with use of this herb. We find rosemary as a culinary spice because it can relieve gas, poor appetite, bloating, vomiting, and other digestive issues. This herb moves energy so well that it could be helpful for any issue related to the menstrual cycle, the heart, poor circulation and inflammation. This plant has a history of being used for asthma, respiratory issues/infection, high blood pressure, cardiopulmonary edema, cold hands/feet, adrenal fatigue, stress, anxiety and cancer. Therapeutic use is best reserved externally to treat sore muscles, bruises, sprains, wrinkles, dry skin, eczema, neuralgia, poor circulation, cellulite, and rheumatism. Rosemary is often used as an ingredient in shampoo to prevent dandruff, gray hair and hair loss. As a gargle it has been used to treat sore throat, bad breath, gum disease, and sores.
Parts used: Leaves
Energetics/Taste:Warming, spicy, bitter and drying
Contraindications:Avoid therapeutic doses during pregnancy and if you have hypertension. Large doses can cause poisoning.
I happened to find the fresh bay leaves at the grocery store and knew I needed to find something to make with them as well. Bay is thought to help digest and assimilate food. It is a useful poultice for bronchitis, coughs, or congestion. It has a history of being used to treat arthritis, colic, gas, indigestion, cramps, flu, dandruff, memory loss, sore muscles, sprains, fungal infections, and headaches. Like rosemary it may improve circulation to the scalp and is a good choice for an ingredient in a shampoo bar.
Bay and Rosemary Shampoo Bars
You will need
1 pound of goat milk and glycerin, Melt & Pour Soap Base. (kids can use a butter knife to help cut this up into squares/chunks).
2tsp of castor oil (kids can measure and add this to pot)
1tsp of shea butter (kids can add this to the pot)
1TBSP of finely diced fresh rosemary and bay leaves (kids can add these to the pot)
10 drops of rosemary oil essential and 10 drops of bay essential oil
Rubbing alcohol (optional)
Gently melt the cut solid soap squares over a double boiler. Once all liquid, remove from heat, add in the other ingredients. Stir until well mixed. This will be hot so kids should be closely supervised.
Kids can spray the soap mold with rubbing alcohol. This will prevent bubbles.
An adult should probably pour the liquid into the mold.
Place the mold into the freezer. Remove the shampoo bars from the molds when totally set.
Bars can be wrapped with wax paper or placed into cellophane envelopes. These make really nice gifts or items to sell at a craft bazaar.
What DIY projects are you making at this time?