Most people may have seen calendula, but they may not know it's actually Calendula. Calendula is pronounced [kuh-len-juh-luh] and is part of the marigold family. They are easy to grow in your garden, and pretty too. They attract insects, are great cover crops, wonderful companion plants in your vegetable garden, and the calendula species of the marigold offers some absolutely amazing health benefits.
Why You Should Grow & Use Calendula:
Calendula’s anti-bacterial properties work really well for oral health. You can make your own mouthwash with calendula tea to kill nasty bacteria in your mouth. This helps reduce the chances of developing cavities and even gingivitis.
Calendula contains anti-septic properties which help with acne and skin irritations. You can use a calendula oil, tea, or skin products that contain calendula to ease skin irritations.
If you suffer from an itchy scalp and/or dandruff, try using a calendula tea rinse after using your normal hair cleansing routine. The calendula should ease and reduce the irritation on your scalp.
Calendula’s anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory nature can help relieve the itching and scaling that comes with athlete’s foot. Use calendula tea to soak your feet in, dry and apply a moisturizer like the Soothing Foot Balm and you should see improvements after a few soaks.
Use calendula tea for tummy troubles and more. This can help with urinary tract infections, sore throats, and gastric ulcers.
Calendula oil can help reduce the pain and peeling associated with sunburns, and has been shown to make stretch marks and scars less visible.
The anti-inflammatory assets in calendula make for a great relief for joint pain sufferers. You can add calendula to your diet by adding to soups or salads. You can drink calendula tea, or you can use a calendula oil rub topically on your inflamed areas.
You can use calendula oil, rubbed on the belly, or drink calendula tea to ease the symptoms of menstrual cramping. It has also been used to treat irregular periods. *Do not take calendula tea while pregnant.
Adding a few drops of calendula oil to your dog’s ears will kill the mites. Add the drops into the ear and use a gentle massaging motion to spread the oil within the ear.
Skin Hot Spots
Our dogs can suffer from skin irritations just like we do. You can use calendula tea or oil to treat irritated skin areas. With all of the anti-everything properties within calendula, your dog’s skin will look and feel much better after a few treatments.
To Make Calendula Tea:
Pour boiling water (one cup water to 1 tablespoon flowers) on top of dried calendula flower heads, or individual petals, cover and let the flowers steep into the hot water for 15 minutes. You can drink one to four cups of tea per day.
*You should consult with your doctor before adding any herbs to your diet, and always avoid large doses.
9 Amazing Benefits of Rosemary
Whether you grow your own rosemary in your garden, purchase rosemary essential oils, products that include rosemary oil or purchase rosemary sprigs at the grocery store for cooking - you can’t go wrong. Rosemary has some amazing benefits, no matter what application method you use. From healing skin irritations to settling an unfocused mind, to re-growing hair – it is a simple, amazing plant.
1. Stimulates hair growth
Not only does rosemary stimulate hair follicles to produce hair growth, but it can slow your grey hair production and reduces dry scalp and dandruff. If you use rosemary for only one thing in your life, it should be on your hair. You can mix a few drops of essential oil into your shampoo bottle, and reap all the benefits of this amazing plant. Rosemary will not dry out your hair like a dandruff shampoo will, and it doesn’t have any of the harmful chemicals that hair regrowth serums tend to have.
2. Insect repellant
Rosemary can repel flies and mosquitos. You can add a few sprigs to your fire pit – the fragrant smoke will keep the pests at bay. Or you can add rosemary and citronella or lemongrass essential oils to a carrier liquid (such as witch hazel or olive oil). This can be applied via spray bottle to the exposed skin before going outside. I would suggest using 10 to 20 drops per two ounces of carrier liquid.
3. Skin Care
Rosemary contains anti-aging compounds that are amazing for your skin. Rosemary can protect your skin from free-radicals that increase the effects of aging. It also contains antiseptic properties which work well at fighting acne and skin irritations.
My favorite use for Rosemary is in a sugar scrub. I use it in the shower it has a wonderful uplifting scent to get you going first thing in the morning.
4. Mild pain reliever
Rosemary can be used topically for an analgesic pain reliever. It can also be used to reduce the pain caused by headaches by taking it orally, such as in a tea.
Rosemary packs a load of anti-inflammatory compounds. This can help treat muscle and joint pain due to inflammation. If you suffer from inflammation, try cooking with rosemary a few times a week, or drink rosemary tea.
6. Improves digestion
Rosemary works wonders for the gall-bladder function and increases the flow of bile to ensure your digestive tract is working its best. There are times when we could all use a little help in boosting our digestive system.
7. Brain function
Rosemary naturally contains carnosic acid (it is also found in sage). This fights the free radicals that build up in your brain. Not only that, it can be used as a natural preservative. By inhaling rosemary scent, studies have shown that people are better able to focus and recall things that they have seen and read. Try using an essential oil diffuser in your room while you are working to see improvements in brain functionality.
8. Stress reducer
Rosemary reduces cortisol levels in the brain. Much like what you would do to improve brain function, diffuse some rosemary essential oil in the room you are in, soak in the delicious smells, and relax. This can also be immensely helpful while working on a stressful project, or before bed.
Rosemary is high in dietary fiber and can help limit weight gain. Use it as a rub for meats. Add it to soups, stews, and sauces. Infuse some olive oil with a few sprigs of rosemary to use in your cooking. Or make a rosemary tea.
Even though Rosemary has several benefits, be cautious. Too much of anything can cause issues. High doses or prolonged use of rosemary can cause health issues. Be cautious when using it, as with all herbs.
Do not take rosemary essential oil orally.
Use the herb to cook with or steep the leaves for a tea if you are looking to consume it orally.
Lavender for Healing & Relaxation
Spring is near – I know I’m starting to feel the tug toward the garden. One of the easiest herbs to grow (other than the mint family), and the most beneficial herbs to have at your disposal is lavender. Lavender is one of the best herbs for healing and relaxation. And, it looks gorgeous in your garden too.
Lavender is a versatile herb that can easily be incorporated into your life through teas, balms, oils, diffusions, and even in your baking. It has a mild inoffensive flavor that works wonders on mind and body.
Lavender’s Healing Properties
Lavender has been shown to relax an anxious mind. You can diffuse the oil, use a lavender body oil on your skin, or use a roller ball oil applicator to your wrist when you are feeling anxious.
Due to lavender’s calming properties, it can help ease a person to sleep. If you have troubles falling, or staying, asleep try using an essential oil diffuser by your bed at night or have a cup of hot lavender and chamomile tea before laying down. Both of these herbs contain a mild, natural, sedative.
Restlessness goes along with anxiety to some extent. If you are feeling restless and unfocused, try diffusing lavender or use a roll-on to help you get your work done.
Lavender works well to heal minor abrasions, burns (sunburns), sores, and bug bites. It contains anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
Lavender also contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties which can heal some fungal infections. It’s great for using on your feet.
Drinking a tea made from lavender and lemon balm can help ease an irritated belly. Again, lavender’s anti-inflammatory properties can have a soothing effect for mild nausea, gas or irritable bowel.
Lavender Application Methods
Oils are a great application method. You can use lavender oil for inflammations, burns, or to ease anxiety or restlessness.
Lavender is the perfect ingredient to soaps. It’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it can help reduce acne, and soothe eczema related skin irritations.
Tea is an amazing method of administering lavender. Lavender tea is soothing and fragrant. It can also be combined with other herbs to gain even more benefits and taste sensations. You can make your own lavender tea by adding 4 teaspoons lavender buds to 8 ounces of hot water.
From helping you ease to sleep at night, to curbing anxiety, drinking lavender tea is the way to go.
Many people use diffusers in their houses and offices. It’s a great way to get the benefits of the relaxing effects of lavender. One caution when using a diffuser is that house pets can be poisoned by breathing certain essential oils. Lavender is one that is safe to have around pets.
Alternative to a diffuser is a Lavender smudge stick. I use them to clean the air in my house regularly and they are easy to make. Dry a small bunch your favorite lavender, wrap in twine and hang dry. When dry, place in a heat proof dish, light the end with a lighter or match and carry through your home.
Adding lavender to food can be fun and beneficial. Make lavender and lemon cookies, add lavender to your favorite meat rub, add it to soups and sauces, or make a lavender syrup to add to lemonade or sun tea.
Lotions and creams are another great way to get the benefits of lavender. Use a lavender lip balm or lotion to soothe your nerves. Do the same before bed to help you fall asleep. It’s like a two-for-one – soft skin and a calm mind.
Not only can lavender do all of the wonderful things mentioned above, it can also attract bees. As you may know, our honey bee population is in danger. Anything you can plant in your yard to keep honey bees happy is beneficial to their population.
Can you imagine a world without honey? Or without flowers for that matter?
That being said, if you have bee hives – planting lavender nearby can provide you with delicious lavender flavored honey. I can’t think of anything better than that!
You can find a wide array of lavender products at the MB Botanicals Online Shop! From balms to oils, we’ve got you covered.
How to Store Beauty Products
How to store beauty products is probably not something you stress about much. But how you choose to store them could have radicle effects on how long they last, and how well they work. There are a few basic principles to storing your beauty products, and it won’t take much to store them in the best possible places.
Keep it Dark
If you purchase any serums or creams that come to you in a see-through container, make sure you keep them in the dark. Better yet buy products that come in containers that light can’t easily penetrate. UV rays can end up altering the components of your products. This means your products could become useless, and that is not something you want in your beauty products. Colored or tinted glass are the best to keep products fresh.
This may surprise you, but a few of your beauty products should be stored in the fridge.
Eyecream is a great contender for fridge time. Keeping your non-oil-based creams cold will ensure they last longer. Applying cold creams also helps your skin by tightening blood vessels. This assists in swelling reduction – especially nice after a rough night’s sleep.
Make sure you research your ingredients if making products yourself. Some oils require refrigeration. Rose hip oil is a good example. These oils can become rancid if not stored at the proper temperature.
Be sure to check the shelf life and temperature specs of any ingredients. Any extremes can make an ingredient less effective.
Keep it out of the Bathroom
Ok this is a tough on for people including me. It’s true, our bathrooms contain bacteria – whether you are diligent about cleaning or not. They are also humid little saunas at least once a day. All of those airborne bacteria and hot air particles can damage our skin care products.
If you have the option, take your products out of your bathroom. If not, make sure products are put away in cabinets or drawers and be sure to close those lids tightly after each use. The last thing you want is cakey and gooey mascara, eyeshadow, and eyeliner.
The exception for this is sugar scrubs and soap of course. Those belong in the shower but remember to keep the lid closed on the scrubs after each use and make sure you place your soap on a slotted rack or dish. This helps the soap dry out in between uses and makes it last longer. You don’t want it sitting in a pool of water.
Perfumes & Fragrances
Fragrances should be kept dry and dark as well. Essential oils especially. This keeps the scents from becoming altered by sunlight, humidity, and warm temperatures. Perfumes are expensive, you don’t want to ruin them before you’ve had a chance to use the entire bottle.
How do you store your beauty products?
Spring just can’t arrive soon enough. Is your skin cracked and dry from the incessant frigid temperatures? Have your lips been cracked and chapped since Fall? Then you should try one of my new products, Lip Scrubs to exfoliate and heal those painfully chapped lips.
Why do you need to use lip scrub? The sugar in lip scrubs exfoliate the dead, chapped skin off your lips and include oils that heal and moisturize.
Sugar is an exfoliator and naturally contains alpha hydroxy acid that breaks through the skin and encourages new skin cell generation. It doesn’t only remove dead skin, but it helps regrow healthy new skin. It is great at repairing aging and sun damaged skin.
After using a lip scrub, you will want to follow up with a lip balm to add extra moisture back into the lips. Each scrub includes a blend of olive oil and coconut oils to help moisturize, but you will want that extra layer to keep your lips from continued cracking.
Not only do these lip scrubs remove dead dry skin, but they also stimulate blood flow to the lips making them plumper and more luscious looking. Use a lip scrub before applying lipstick before a night out and rock those lips!
You can purchase the lip scrubs individually or as a set with the complimentary lip balm flavor. They make the perfect gift for a friend or yourself!
These lip scrubs come in six enticing flavors, and they pair with your favorite MB Botanicals lip balm.
To exfoliate the face and body, try MB Botanicals Sugar Scrubs.