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 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.
Valentine’s Day is over – but that doesn’t mean you have a romance drought the rest of the year. I’m of the opinion that romance shouldn’t be celebrated one day a year, but we should focus on it all year long. This post is meant to showcase ways to be romantic and care for your skin at the same time – and this can be done whenever you feel the need for closeness with your partner. Don’t wait for an excuse to show your significant other what they mean to you.
Romance is a very important part of any relationship. It can bring you closer and help you appreciate the bond and love you have for each other. Romance isn’t just “Netflix and Chill” – it’s taking time to be alone and quiet together without TV, phones or other interruptions.
Here are some ideas for bringing more romance into your relationships, and using great skincare to boost the romantic feelings.
If you are lucky enough to have a bathtub that fits two people comfortably, great! Taking a bath with your partner is a great way to bring you closer together (especially if you only have a tiny tub). Add a bath bomb or bath salts in the water to create a more sensual experience. Scents can calm the over-stressed mind and create a feeling of peace and love.
MB Botanicals Bath Salts come in four different scents, so there is something for whatever mood you are in. These contain Epsom, Sea and Himalayan Pink salts blended with essential oils and botanicals to comfort your body and mind and spark those romantic thoughts.
Massage can be one of the best ways to get closer to your partner. The act of gentle touching is rewarding for both people. Taking time to massage each other creates an intimate bond that will last for days.
Remember to communicate with your partner what feels good and what to avoid doing and be open to hearing the same from them. A massage is meant to feel good and to increase trust between you and your partner.
You don’t have to lie down to give a massage either – you can do it seated or standing, whichever way you are both comfortable and close to each other. This is meant to create an intense connection between two loved ones, so get into it and make sure your companion is comfortable and relaxed.
Try one of the three different scents of MB Botanicals Body Oil as your massage oil. They absorb into the skin quickly and do not leave a greasy feeling behind. They will make your skin feel as good as that massage did!
Another great massage option is the Moisturizing Body Bar. It warms up with your skin and doesn't dry out as quickly so you're not constantly adding oil. It also leaves your skin extra soft.
While feet tend to get a bad rap for being nasty – you should feel good enough about your significant other to suck it up and rub their feet for them. And don’t stop at the feet – give the ankles and calves a massage while you are at it. It feels divine and much like the massage, it will build trust and create a greater feeling of intimacy.
With a foot massage, you will want to use massage oil or lotion. Start with gentle rubs in a circular motion – beginning with at the toes and working toward the ankles. Once your partner has started to relax into the rub, you can increase pressure. Just make sure you are both communicating as to what type of pressure they are comfortable with.
Try using Body Butter for sensual foot rubs. It is soft and creamy and will leave the feet silky and moisturized.
It doesn’t matter what type of thing you do to add more romance into your relationship, as long as you add it to your routine more than just on Valentine’s Day. Surprise your significant other with a bath or massage and I guarantee you will feel closer to them afterward. Keeping the spark takes time and attention to both partners. Enjoy each other!
I’m beyond excited to announce a new line of MB Botanicals products. I have quite a few runner friends and after listening to them complain about a myriad of ailments, I got the idea that I could help them with at least a few. Introducing MB Botanicals products for the runner!
Out of the complaints of runners comes the new product line for athletes. There are two new products that have been added to the online store. They have been tested by runners and the feedback was excellent.
This balm works great for preventing nasty chaffing. It can be used on any part of the body that is susceptible to rubbing and irritation.
This balm also works well to prevent blisters. Just roll onto feet right before you put on your socks.
Made with coconut oil, shea butter, beeswax, vitamin E, tea tree and lavender essential oils. It not only smells amazing, but it moisturizes and protects the skin anywhere its applied.
Even if you aren’t a runner, this balm works wonders for keeping chaffing and blisters away.
The Ultra Body Balm comes in two sizes – a 2oz and a 0.5oz stick. It’s easy to apply and it holds up to sweating. The 0.5oz stick is perfect for your purse, gym bag or car. Have new work shoes? You can use it to prevent blisters from those as well.
This salt scrub came about when a friend mentioned she was too sore to walk after an intense trail run. She wanted something that would ease her muscles but didn’t require her to spend a lot of time in the bath.
This salt scrub is meant to be used in the shower to reduce muscle soreness and body aches when you are pressed for time, or even if you’re not. Simply rub the scrub into the sore areas with massaging fingers and let it sit without washing it off for 2 to 3 minutes. Rinse lightly, leaving the oils on your skin – do not wash off with soap.
Relief Salt Scrub is made with Epsom, Sea and Himalayan Pink salts, menthol, peppermint, eucalyptus, rosemary, and grapefruit essential oils to pull toxins from the body and ease muscle soreness and body aches. It also contains coconut and olive oil to moisturize your skin while it calms the pain.
Both of these new products can be found at the MB Botanicals online store. Give them a try and let me know how they work!
We all have bad habits. Some of them, like bad skin habits can age our skin and make us look older than our years. Or can cause embarrassing breakouts. Take charge of your skin health and learn how you can go about breaking bad skin habits.
Quit touching your face – Do you find yourself resting your face in a hand while in a meeting? Or playing with that zit on your chin numerous times a day?
Quit touching your face so much. Dirt, germs, and oils from your hands transfer to your face making breakouts worse.
Also, being rough with your face can lead to undereye bags and can cause excess wrinkles. Touch your face only when necessary and with gentle fingers.
If you need help keeping your hands off your face, ask a friend or loved one to mention it to you when they notice you doing it. This can be annoying enough to make you stop.
Remove makeup at night – One of the most beneficial things you can do for your skin is to wash your face and moisturize at night. You not only wash off all of the dirt and grime (and makeup) from your skin, but you prevent clogged pores and allow your face to breath while you sleep.
By having a nighttime skin care routine you can go to bed with a clean face and you will reduce skin damage and aging. Sleeping with your makeup on and face dirty is a recipe for wrinkles.
If you need a reminder to wash your face at night, set a reminder on your phone each night. Or place a washcloth next to your toothbrush so you see it. Make it pat of your routine.
Wash after working out – Not washing your face after working out will lead to breakouts and can increase premature aging in your skin.
While sweating is good for your skin – it releases toxins and grime from your pores, if you don’t wash it off right away, it will turn into bacteria and sink back into your skin.
Wash your face with soap and immediately moisturize to maintain hydration in your skin. This should be done as soon as you are done working out.
Improve your diet – What you put in your body can have an impact on on your skin. Everyone's body reacts to food differently. Some people have breakouts from eating too much oily food or sugar.
If greasy foods are one of your triggers opt for healthy oils and Omega-3s. Healthy oils and fats can increase collagen in and improve the look and feel of your skin.
Pay attention to your body and note what triggers breakouts.
Drink more water – Our bodies are mostly water, so it makes sense that staying well hydrated will have a beneficial effect on your skin. If you want a natural glow, drink more water.
Drinking adequate amounts of water will flush toxins from your body, ensuring you and your skin is healthy.
Do you have a hard time remembering to drink enough water? Find a water app for your phone or start carrying a water bottle with you wherever you go.
Stick with a beauty routine – This is fairly general, but it is a bad habit many have. Make sure you are taking care of your skin more than once a day.
Set yourself up with a skin care routine and stick to it. You will see improvements in your skin within six weeks.
Sunscreen (year-round) – Many of us neglect to wear sunscreen during the winter. We believe that the overcast days will not harm our skin, but they can and they will.
Break the bad habit of not wearing sunscreen outside. Most foundations contain SPF – look for ones that have the highest rating. And if you head outside without makeup on, make sure you apply a normal sunscreen half an hour before going out.
If you have a hard time remembering to apply sunscreen – try putting a tube in your car, your bag, by your front door, etc. The easier you make it for yourself, the easier it will be to break the habit.
Practice good pimple care - Quit picking at your pimples. It can be very tempting to pop that zit on the end of your nose, but when you do, you push bacteria into the now open pore which can lead to extra redness, swelling and/or infection. And if things get bad enough you can end up with acne scars.
If you want to reduce the appearance of pimples – you can use a little tea tree essential oil as a spot treatment, add toothpaste to the zit overnight, ice it, apple cider vinegar, aloe vera, or use a concealer.
However, if you feel you must pop your zit before leaving the house, wash your hands thoroughly. You can attempt to use two cotton swabs to pop a white head.
For blackheads, you can use blackhead remover tools. They are inexpensive and can be found on Amazon. If you’ve ever watched Dr. Pimple Popper, you know what I’m talking about.
You can also use an allover facial serum as part of your skincare routine to help balance out the skin and prevent those breakouts from happening in the first place.
By breaking your bad skin habits, you should see an improvement in how your face looks and feels. Use quality skin care products and put quality food into your body.
A good healthy habit to have is a solid healthy skin care routine. Our skin takes a beating all day long, whether we are in an office with recirculated air or outside working in the sun, wind and rain. By caring for it with a daily ritual you will see improvements in not only how your skin looks but in your confidence too.
What makes a good routine? Consistency and a knowledge of what order to complete your routine. Order matters – you will want to complete the steps in succession to get the most out of each step.
It can take up to 6 weeks to notice a difference from a skin care routine. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t notice an improvement right away, you will.
Remember, anytime you start a new skin care product, give it about a week for your skin to adjust to it.
Our current society is plagued with anxiety, stress and preoccupation. There is always something demanding our time and attention – it can wear a person down. We often find ourselves medicating our minds to get through the day. While some medication can be necessary, there are also some natural alternatives to keep our heads on straight. We can improve our minds naturally to bring us back to center.
It’s a new year which means it’s the perfect time to set a goal for healthy habits to improve how your mind reacts to the stressors surrounding you.
There are many herbs out there and many different applications of those herbs that can help us improve brain function, reduce stress levels, combat pain and just plain get us through the day. If you find yourself muddled and ready to give up, try some of the solutions below, they may help.
When we are overly stressed, we can have a hard time focusing on simple everyday tasks. Try some of the solutions below to improve your focus:
We all experience stress. Some people have more than others, but it’s something that no one is able to escape. Whether you are constantly stressed or not, here are some helpful tips:
Anxiety is a close cousin to stress, but unlike stress, anxiety can crop up for no reason at all. If you suffer from anxiety occasionally or all the time, here are a few methods that can reduce it:
You may not believe in essential oils. You may not want to create tinctures or rubs and that’s okay. Sometimes all we need is to shut off the world around us and get outside. Take a walk in the fresh air. Run in the rain. Hike a trail and get your blood pumping. Disconnect for an hour from society, technology, your job and you will be on your way to improving your mind naturally.
Whichever method you choose, I hope this article helps you improve your mind naturally this year.
January 1st brings resolutions for exercise, diet or other body-related topics. It seems like a cliché to sign up for a gym membership in January only to stop going in February and finally cancel it in November. How can we increase our chances of actually improving our bodies?
With natural skincare products – that’s how.
As mentioned in my article on how to create Healthy Habits for the New Year, taking good care of your body will help complete the big huge resolutions or goals you have set for yourself in the coming year. Let’s dive into how to improve your body with natural skincare products.
How to Boost Your Chances of Reaching Your Goals
Delectable skincare products are not going to miraculously make you more accountable and/or productive, but they can help.
Here are a few areas you can use natural skincare products to boost your chances of succeeding in your body resolutions this year:
Muscle Aches – Since you’ve signed up for the gym again and you started working out ferociously, you are going to have some major body aches. Your muscles will be fatigued and screaming at every step. Thinking of taking the stairs? Forget about it!
However, I have some help for you – here are a few things you can do to reduce your muscle soreness so you won’t wince and groan with every stair step.
Meditation– Meditation or yoga can do wonders for your body and your mind. Teaching yourself to relax and listen to everything your body has to say will help you ease into bedtime after a stressful day, hard workout or if you struggle with sleep in general.
Not only will it help you destress from your day, but it will do wonders for you the next day as well. By calming the mind and body after a hard day, you are giving yourself a boost for days to come. By stretching, relaxing and becoming more in-tune with your body, you will improve your workouts as well. Stretching eases muscles and reduces injuries and burnout.
Try using one of MB Botanicals body oils on your skin before meditation or yoga – this will give your senses a boost and help you get into the focused mindset you need to fully relax and take care of yourself.
Sleep – Sleep can be elusive sometimes and there is nothing more frustrating than having to cope with life when you are groggy and crabby.
Lavender works wonders to calm the mind and body and prepare it for sleep. Many MB Botanicals products are made with lavender. Here are a few suggestions to help you sleep at night:
Energize– Even if you have a bad night’s sleep, you can help boost your energy (or at least your attitude) in the morning with MB Botanicals Sugar Scrub in the shower. It will wake you up and make you feel ready to take on the day.
If you are feeling overly fatigued, the Citrus Mix, Lavender Eucalyptus, or Rosemary Mint will be your best options. (MB's favorite is the Rosemary Mint:)
Putting it all Together
If you use one of the methods above or all of them to improve your body this year – make sure you outline a routine and track your progress. Tracking your progress will let you know what is working and what isn’t.
Set aside time in the morning to take care of your skin and use the right skincare products to ensure you have a great day.
Also set aside time in the evening to take care of any muscle aches and to make sure you are preparing yourself for a good night’s rest.
With a healthier more well-rested body, you will have all the energy and ambition you need to tackle whatever is on your list this year.
Are you using MB Botanicals to improve how your body works and feels? I would love to hear how you are improving your routines and the way you feel. Leave a comment to reach out me.
While it is not officially winter yet, cold and flu season is here. Whether you’re sick from your co-workers or your kids, it can bring you down for a few days. There is still no cure for the common cold and many people resist getting their flu shot. I’ve put together a list of things that can help ease you through cold and flu season.
Lemon Balm – Lemon Balm is an herb that smells wonderful, attracts bees to your garden, and has many useful purposes. One of those being a relief from colds. It can be infused with alcohol (vodka works great) and taken a teaspoon at a time to reduce the discomfort of a cold. Or you can make lemon balm into a hot tea. Lemon balm contains antiviral properties and helps calm the mind and body.
Peppermint – Peppermint is an amazing herb. It has so many uses and it smells great too. Peppermint can be used as a natural fever reducer and nasal decongestant. Peppermint oil can be applied to the forehead to relieve a headache. It can also be used in combination with a steam tent (see below) to reduce inflammation in the lungs.
Peppermint is also great at settling an upset stomach or bowel issues. Drinking peppermint in tea is the best way to ease stomach discomfort.
Rosemary – Rosemary is helpful for boosting the immune system. It also reduces inflammation and is an antiviral. This means it can open up congested sinuses and help reduce lung discomfort. It is also known as a warming herb and can greatly reduce muscle aches and pains.
Epsom Salt Baths – Epsom salt baths aren’t only good for sore muscles, although we can all agree that sore muscles come with most colds and flu. Epsom salts help detoxify our bodies by drawing out the toxins via our skin. Mix Epsom salt with some powerful essential oils and you will help your body fight off the sickness. It’s also well known that a hot bath will help you sleep better and sleeping is so important when you aren’t feeling well.
MB Botanicals offers four different bath salt options. Soak in a hot bath while the salts extract toxins from your body and the essential oils ease the pain from your head and chest.
Scented Steam – There is a bevy of herbal options when using steam to clear a foggy head. Peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus, tea tree, lavender, lemon, etc. will all help reduce inflammation in your sinuses and lungs and work to ease congestion.
You have a few options when it comes to steaming. You can boil water, add a few drops of preferred essential oil and then, with a towel over your head place your face at a safe distance over the water. The steam will penetrate your sinuses and provide the relief you need.
You can also add essential oils to the bottom of your bathtub while taking a hot shower. Or use one of MB Botanicals sugar scrubs Sugar Scrubs on your face, neck and chest to relieve pain and pressure from your sinuses. The Lavender Eucalyptus and Rosemary Mint are both amazing when you’re feeling under the weather.
Compresses – Compresses work great for relieving sinus pressure. If you are suffering from a sinus headache or your sinuses are painful, try a hot compress on your face.
To make a compress
Sleep – Never underestimate the power of rest and sleep while you are sick. Take it easy and sleep when you need to. If that means you don’t get out of bed for two days, so be it! Just make sure you are staying hydrated and taking care of any fever you may have.
Herbal Tea with Honey and Lemon – Herbal tea can provide an immense amount of comfort when you are sick. The herbs will help heal by antiviral or anti-inflammatory properties within the herb. By adding lemon to the tea, you give yourself a boost of vitamin C to reduce the length and severity of your sickness. Raw honey can help soothe a sore throat and it comes packed with antioxidants and antibacterial properties.
For the best results, ensure you are using a non-caffeinated herbal tea.
Apple Cider Vinegar – There are entire books written about the virtues of apple cider vinegarand for good reason. ACV detoxifies your body and supports a healthy immune system. The following drink can be used to clear up a cold that just won’t go away.
A note of caution when drinking apple cider vinegar – it is acidic and can burn your esophagus if it’s not diluted. Always dilute before drinking.
Apple Cider Cold Tonic
When using herbs and essential oils, always take caution and follow usage recommendations. Pregnant or nursing women must be very cautious when using herbal remedies.
I hope that all of you stay healthy this winter and have no use for these tips, but if you use one I would love to hear how it worked for you. Or, do you have something that isn’t on the list?