The Green Gardener Soap Recipe with Hemp Oil, Mint and Green Tea.

Green Gardener soap watermarked and titledI am an avid gardener and I spend hours wrist-deep and bare-foot in sun, clay, and manure.  While the last three ingredients result in beautiful vegetables, they take a toll on your skin.  Dirt sucks the moisture out of your skin.  Sunshine and wind further dry and age your skin.  A good soap is a valuable commodity in a homesteader’s wash basin.

The Green Gardener bar is one of my absolute favorites.  It makes a beautiful hard, pale green soap with a fantastic lather.  Using nourishing ingredients such as moisturizing hemp oil, anti-oxidizing green tea and soothing, refreshing mint extract, this soap is great for dry gardeners’ hands.  I added clay to 1/4 of the batch at trace to make a lighter layer on top, but this is totally optional.  This one is a must for any gardener on your list!

Shopping List:

Lye
Sustainably Sourced Palm Oil
Coconut Oil
Hemp Oil
Olive Oil Pomace
Vitamin E
Green Tea
Peppermint Essential Oil
Kaolin Clay

This recipe is written for people who have made soap before.  If you are looking for a basic soap tutorial with pictures click here.

The Green Gardener Soap Recipe.
Author: 
Recipe type: Soap Making
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Green Gardener's Soap makes a beautiful, hard bar of soap combining the nourishing properties of hemp oil with the rejuvenating and anti-aging properties of green tea.
Ingredients
  • 32 ozs. Palm Oil (Sustainably Sourced)
  • 27 ozs. Coconut Oil 76
  • 16 ozs. Hemp Oil
  • 15 ozs. Olive Oil Pomace
  • 10 drops of Vitamin E Oil
  • 13 ozs. Lye (Sodium Hydroxide)
  • 30 ozs. Green Tea (yes, make up a batch of strong tea)
  • 4 ozs. Peppermint essential oil or oils of your choice.
  • 1-2 tsps. of Kaolin Clay (Optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine the oils in a large pot and melt until almost totally melted. Turn off heat.
  2. Combine the lye with the green tea.
  3. Take the temperature of both and add the lye mixture to the oil mixture when the temperatures are the same. As long as the temperatures of both are within 5 degrees F of each other, and are between 90F and 120F, you can combine them.
  4. Blend with an electric hand mixer (stick blender) until the soap reaches trace.
  5. Working quickly to avoid cooling, separate ¼ of the mixture into a different bowl
  6. Pour the rest into your prepared mold.
  7. Quickly mix the clay with the ¼ batch. Then pour on top of the soap that is already in the mold.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and then wrap the batch well with a towel.
  9. Store in a warm place (70 F) for 24 hours.
  10. Remove soap from mold and cut into pieces.
  11. Place soap pieces on edge on a towel where they aren't touching each other (kind of like dominoes) so they can harden and finish the soap making process. Leave for 3-4 weeks before using.

 

 

 

Soothing Body Butter With Aloe

Body ButterI’d like to introduce you all to a fellow Canadian blogger who has a beautiful new blog all about natural living.  She has some fantastic DIY tutorials for all natural body products and she has offered to share one here, in a guest post!  Please welcome Carly from Modern Hippie Housewife! -Leona from My Healthy Green Family

So another weekend unfolds, and my kitchen, once again, resembles a meth lab (Breaking Bad fan over here.) This weekend I’ve been experimenting with body butter. And I don’t mean to “toot my own horn” but, after some trial and error, I’ve really nailed it–this body butter is one-of-a-kind!

[Read more...]

With coconut oil, shea butter, avocado oil, vitamin E oil, and aloe vera, this body butter is soothing, nourishing, and highly moisturizing.  Use as your daily, body moisturizer or to sooth after-sun skin. If you’re pregnant, rub it on your baby-bump (and boobies) to ease the itchiness of a growing belly.

Why I Switched to Homemade Moisturizer

Aside from the obvious savings, I’ve made the switch to homemade body butter with my health, and the environment in mind. Fragrances, preservatives and dyes, found in the majority of moisturizers and cosmetics, are absorbed into your skin, and are toxic to your body, as well as the environment. The David Suzuki Foundation has compiled a helpful list of the “Dirty Dozen” Cosmetic Chemicals to Avoid–so at the very least, avoid cosmetics that contain harmful ingredients on the list. Or, even more effectively, make your own! It’s easy, affordable, and you’ll ALWAYS know what the ingredients are!

A Bit About Aloe…

This is my first time experimenting with aloe vera in my lotions, and after researching it further, it seems like a no-brainer. Aloe vera gel, commonly used for soothing sun-burns, has so many incredible properties–to name a few…

  • Aloe vera gel contains more than 200 active amino acids, vitamins, anti-oxidants, minerals, enzymes and sterols.
  • Aloe vera is rich in nutrients, and when consumed, is believed to aid in digestion, relieve ulcers, and help combat constipation.
  • There have also been claims that aloe “boosts the immune system and acts directly on abnormal cells, thus preventing or treating cancer.”
  • Used externally, aloe vera gel is highly moisturizing, can help treat acne, and decreases the appearance of scars, stretch marks and aging.

So naturally, I wanted to incorporate it in to this body butter.

How to Make Body Butter with Aloe Vera

First you’ll need to gather your ingredients. For this recipe, you’ll need coconut oil, shea butter OR cocoa butter, organic aloe vera juice, vitamin E oil, and some kind of unrefined, liquid oil, such as avocado, olive, jajoba or almond oil. I use avocado oil in the recipe below because that’s what I have on hand at the moment. (Read more about the benefits of avocado oil in my Homemade Facial Cleanser post.)

If you have an aloe vera plant, you can use the gel from that instead of buying the juice. Just make sure you pulse the gel in a blender prior to adding it to the lotion.

Melt  the coconut oil and shea butter in a double-boiler. Anyone can do this: first, add the two ingredients to a small, glass jar, then place the jar in a pan of lightly simmering water.

Double-Boiler Method

As soon as the mixture has melted (the shea butter will be the last to melt), remove it from the heat, and leave it at room temperature until it becomes opaque, but still soft.

Opaque

Next, add the “opaque mixture” to a stand mixer bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, and using the wire whip attachment, whip the ingredients until it’s light and fluffy. This will take about between 5-10 minutes–let’s say 7 :) If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can achieve the same result using a hand-mixer. The picture below still needs to be whipped for a couple more minutes.

006

The body butter is complete once it becomes light, fluffy, and can stick to an upside-down spoon.

Spoon Test

Transfer your body butter to an airtight container, and store in a cool place. Apply it to your whole body as frequently desired!

As you can see, this soothing body butter with aloe vera  is easy and affordable to make–I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Body Butter with Aloe Vera
Author: Modern Hippie Housewife
Soothing Body Butter with Aloe Vera
Ingredients
  • 3 Tbsp Shea Butter
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut oil
  • 1 tsp Vitamin E Oil
  • 3 Tbsp Aloe Vera
  • 1 Tbsp Avocado Oil (OR Olive, Jajoba or Almond Oil)
  • 10-15 Drops of Essential oils of choice (optional)
Instructions
  1. Melt coconut oil and shea butter in a double boiler. You can create this by putting the ingredients in a small, glass jar and then placing the jar in a pan of simmering water.
  2. Remove from heat once melted and let the mixture cool until it's opaque (to speed this is you can put it in the fridge, but don't let it become solid.)
  3. Next, add the remaining ingredients and the coconut/shea mix to a stand mixer bowl, and whip until ingredients are well combined, and the mixture is light and fluffy (about 5-10 minutes.) It's finished when the body butter can stick to a spoon when held upside-down.
  4. Transfer to an a small container or jar and store in a cool place.

Meet Carly, the Modern Hippie Housewife

MODERNHIPPIEHOUSEWIFE_logo-page-001 (1)Carly is a stay-at-home-mom and wife, who left her career in finance to stay at home, raise her daughter, and pursue her passion: growing and cooking awesome, wholesome food for her family, and leading a sustainable, minimalistic life. You can follow her journey to cleaner, greener living (on a budget) by visiting her blog at www.modernhippiehousewife.com.

 

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Homemade Shampoo With Rye Flour: Natural Pro-V for Thick, Shiny, Healthy Hair!


In our day and age shampoo is a necessity.  Everyone has it, and everyone uses it frequently.  Most commercial shampoos are made of a number of ingredients, almost all of them being chemicals, and almost none of them being natural.  Shampoo is actually a detergent, rather than a soap.  If you read the ingredients, you won’t find soap in there at all.  Many of the ingredients are questionable as far as our health goes, including potential carcinogens and developmental and reproductive toxicity such as glycol, diethanolamine DEA and cocamide DEA, methylparabens, propylparabens and formaldehyde.  Shampoos contain many thickeners, artificial fragrances and colors, and known skin irritants such as sodium laureth sulphate and alcohol.  If you can’t pronounce the words on the ingredient list, chances are you shouldn’t be pouring it on your scalp at regular intervals.

The good news is that there ARE alternatives.  Many of you have probably heard about washing your hair with baking soda.  This works in that it cleans the oil out of your hair, but it is also a strong base on the pH scale, and can dry out your hair if you use it long enough.  Some people also complain that it changes your hair color.  I used baking soda for 2 and a half years.  I liked using a 1-ingredient product that I was familiar with, but eventually I started noticing it was drying out my hair, and I started using conditioner to help with that.

Then I came across an article from another green blogger. Sonya from Kanelstrand shared her experience using rye flour. This article has inspired me to write this post.  In fact, it has brought me to great levels of excitement and I can’t help but tell everyone I see…

Rye flour.

Yes!  3 heaping tbsp. of organic, finely ground rye flour mixed with water so that it resembles a runny paste.  Rub it evenly onto your scalp and let it sit a few minutes while you finish your shower.  Then rinse off very well with warm water.

It is as easy and as cheap as that.

Does it work?
Yes!  Check out my pictures!  It leaves my hair squeaky clean, and adds a shine and softness incomparable to baking soda, or anything else.  No greasy roots, no dry ends.  No stripped hair.

Why does it leave your hair shiny and healthy?
Rye flour is loaded with vitamins, proteins and minerals.  You remember all those Pantene ads on TV where they talk about the Pro-V they add to their shampoo?  Well, the pantothenic acid they add in synthetic form is actually present in rye flour, in its natural form.  You can actually buy synthetic pantothenic acid vitamins to add to your hair to increase the strength, shine and overall health.  While those versions are man-made these occur naturally in rye flour, helping restructure dry and damaged hair, boost shine and improve manageability. Click here for more information on how pantothenic acid benefits hair.

Rye flour also contains all the vitamin Bs, vitamin E, and phytonutrients such as lignans, phenolic acids, phytic acid, plant sterols and saponins which are also used to help with hair re-growth and even skin regeneration.

Rye flour is naturally perfectly pH balanced.  This is a huge reason why you should use it over baking soda.  Rye flour tests 5.5 on the pH scale which is the same as our hair, and so will not dry it out or strip it of its natural oils.

What kind of rye flour to buy?
I use certified organic dark rye flour that is finely ground.  (ie. you can’t see bits of husk in it).  I have a flour mill so will likely try grinding my own soon…

Who shouldn’t use it?
Those with Celiac disease should not use it since rye flour contains gluten.

Is it easy to switch to using rye flour?
As with the baking soda method, you may experience a period of time when your scalp and hair adjust to the change.  If you have been shampooing every day with a regular commercial shampoo you may notice a few weeks where your hair gets greasier faster, but you may not experience it at all.

Can I use a conditioner with it?
Yes you can.  Or you can use apple cider vinegar (with a ratio of 1 cup water to 1 tbsp. vinegar) as a rinse.  Pour it on your hair, let it sit a moment, then rinse well.  Once your hair dries, it no longer smells like vinegar.  Apple Cider Vinegar works as a detangler.

Tips:

  • After washing with rye flour, rinse VERY WELL to make sure there is no flour left in your hair.  It will itch… I have done it.
  • Do not use if you have Celiac Disease.
  • Make sure the flour you use is finely ground and doesn’t contain bits of husk or you’ll be brushing that out of your hair forever.

For more information on washing your hair with rye flour read:
Kanelstrand: Homemade Shampoo Review: Rye Flour
Washing Hair Without Shampoo: Rye Flour

This post has been shared on From The Farm Blog Hop, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways #112, and Heritage Homesteaders Blog Hop #4.

 

Oil Cleansing Facial Bar Tutorial: Soap-Free!

The premise behind oil cleansing is that, rather than washing your face with soap or detergent and removing all of the natural oils, you wash your face with a clean oil, which not only removes the old, dirty oils, but replaces them with a clean oil thereby cleansing your skin and moisturizing it at the same time. A daily moisturizer is not needed when you cleanse with oil.

Does it work? Yes! I was sure it would clog my pores when I first read about it, but it stayed on my mind, since a lot of my readers use this method, and so when I finally ran out of my commercial facial cleanser, I gave it a go. Quite simply, you apply a small amount of your oil of choice to your face as you would a cleanser. Rub it in well. You can wash it off immediately with warm water or you can wait 15 minutes while you… tidy your bedroom or brush your teeth… and then wash it off. I was immediately pleased with how well it cleaned, while at the same time leaving my skin feeling moisturized. I stopped using my daily moisturizer as a result, which saves me some money.

A friend and I played around with cleansing bars recently. We found some recipes to try, and I substituted ingredients that were known for their anti-aging properties like green tea, mango and kokum butter. Now I have a cleansing bar that is loaded with anti-oxidants and can be used every day to exfoliate, cleanse, and moisturize all at the same time.

How To Get Started!

1. Choose your liquid oils: Start with half castor oil and then add the other half from the list below, or try a different one.

Safflower (for dry, sensitive skin)
Sweet Almond (for normal to oily skin)
Apricot Kernel (for dry, aging skin)
Grapeseed (for normal skin)
Avocado (dry, aging skin)

2. Add your choice of the following ingredients or you can simply use the oils above.

Cocoa Butter (for dry skin)
Shea Butter (for dry skin)
Kokum Butter (for normal to oily skin)
Mango Butter (for aging skin)

3. Add some optional additives:
Clay for exfoliation (let the world of clays open up to you! I chose a local glacial clay)
Oatmeal flour (for exfoliation)
Green tea extract (anti-oxidant)

4. Add Essential Oils of your choice

5. Then follow my directions below, subbing whatever oil or additive you have chosen:

5.0 from 2 reviews
Oil Cleansing Facial Bar: Soap-Free!
Author: 
Recipe type: Body Product
 
An all-natural facial cleanser that cleanses and moisturizes at the same time without clogging pores.
Ingredients
  • 28 grams kokum butter
  • 26 grams mango butter
  • 30 grams almond oil
  • 22 grams castor oil
  • 39 grams glacial clay
  • 1 tsp. green tea extract (powder)
  • 20 drops bergamot essential oil (or oil of your choice)
Instructions
  1. Combine solid oils in a thick-bottomed pot and heat on low until melted.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Add almond oil and castor oil
  4. Add clay, essential oils and additives (if desired) and stir well.
  5. Pour into molds (or into a small jar)
  6. Cool in fridge for several hours.
  7. Remove and store in fridge until needed.
Notes
Put the molds into the freezer to speed setting and help it solidify.

This post has been linked to From The Farm Blog Hop and The Homesteader’s Hop #21.

DIY Solid Perfume: Sweet and Sensual Vanilla, Sandalwood and Sweet Orange

All natural, sweet and sensual solid perfume. Forget the $50 bottle of perfume made with toxic ingredients that will make everyone choke as soon as you walk in the room. Make your own in 5 minutes for a fraction of the cost and save yourself, at the very least, a headache.

When I stopped using traditional body products due to the nasty ingredients, I also chose to stop wearing perfume. Before too long my body no longer tolerated synthetic perfumes. Now I feel ill, and develop a headache. When I am in the same room as someone wearing a strong-smelling, synthetic fragrance, whether it be perfume, lotion, soap or hand sanitizer, I have a hard time not opening the nearest window. When I began to make my own body products and realized I could also make perfume REALLY easily, I was quite thrilled. I don’t know WHAT it is in the perfumes that bothers me, but whatever it is, it isn’t in all natural perfumes. I love it.

Perfumes are generally made up of top, middle and base notes.

Notes in perfumery are descriptors of scents that can be sensed upon the application of a perfume. Notes are separated into three classes; top/head notes, middle/heart notes, and base notes; which denote groups of scents which can be sensed with respect to the time after the application of a perfume. These notes are created carefully with knowledge of the evaporation process and intended use of the perfume. The presence of one note may alter the perception of another – for instance, the presence of a certain base or heart notes will alter the scent perceived when the top notes are strongest, and likewise the scent of base notes in the dry-down will often be altered depending on the smells of the heart notes.

-Wikipedia

This means that, while you can make a perfume from just one or two essential oils, the fragrance has a much more “full” aroma when you have top, middle and base notes in your fragrance. Click here for a list of notes to choose your fragrance. Then, for fun, try some samples out at your local essential oil supplier, and choose your favorites.

Solid perfumes are pretty much made up of half oil and half beeswax. This creates the perfect texture for your perfume: not too hard and not too soft. When choosing your oil, make sure you are buying a fresh one that isn’t rancid. Choose a mild one that doesn’t have a strong odor on its own. Great ones are apricot kernel oil, almond oil, jojoba oil and grape seed oil. Less desirable would be olive oil.

You can buy beeswax online in little pellets, or you can just use a pure beeswax candle, melted down. Either will work: make sure it is pure beeswax.

When choosing your essential oils, look high quality, pure ones, preferably not ones that are mixed with carrier oils, which dilutes the overall product and may alter the scent of your perfume. If you are shopping online, Mountain Rose Herbs is the line of essential oils that I recommend: they are pure, high quality, and dependable.

When combining your essential oils, use a total of 45 drops, and make your largest portion the fragrance you would like to stand out most.  The latest perfume combination I am thrilled with is 25 drops sandalwood, 10 drops vanilla absolute, and 10 drops of sweet orange.

You can use any small container you want.  You can buy them here or you can reuse ones that you have collected over time.  Even an old roll-up lip balm container will work well!

Have fun creating the perfect perfume for you! And please take a moment to name and share the combinations of essential oils work best for you!

Crunchy Betty has some great looking essential oil combinations on her site.  Click here to check them out.

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
DIY Solid Perfume: Spotlighting Sweet and Sentual Vanilla, Sandalwood and Sweet Orange
Author: 
Recipe type: Body Product
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Make your own all natural solid perfume! Learn how to combine essential oils for the perfect, full fragrance especially tailored to your liking. Skip the synthetic and toxic ingredients by using safe, natural ones!
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp. grated beeswax
  • 2 tsp. carrier oil (sweet almond, jojoba, apricot seed, grape seed etc)
  • 45 drops total of your three essential oils (top, middle and base)
Instructions
  1. In a thick bottomed pot on low heat, melt wax with oil.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Add essential oils.
  4. Pour into perfume container.
  5. Allow to cool until solid.
  6. Enjoy!

This article has been shared on The Homesteader’s Hop #16, Frugal Days Sustainable Ways #97 and From The Farm Blog Hop.