The Harem Special

One of the most luxurious and sensual body preparations comes to us from the East where, reputedly, it was used when women in the harem were prepared for the sultan’s pleasure. It removes dead skin cells and leaves the skin glowing, fragrant, and soft as silk.

harem beauty2Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon ground, dried citrus peel
  • 3 teaspoons ground almonds
  • 2 teaspoons oatmeal
  • 1 pinch clove powder
  • 1 teaspoon crushed, dried rose petals
  • 1 pinch nutmeg powder
  • 2 tablespoons almond oil
  • 2 drops Neroli oil
  • 2 drops Patchouli oil

Blend all the ingredients together until you have a paste. Add more almond oil if you feel it needs it. Have a bath, dry yourself off, and standing in the bath, roll the mixture all over your body. Massage into very dry areas of skin.

harem beautyThe idea is to cover the skin with a very fine layer, which is why you roll the paste over the body. (This is a technique we don’t know or use very much in the West but which is employed, for example, in Morocco when making very thin pasty. The ball of dough is slapped on to a hot place so that just the thinnest layer of dough is left on its surface. )

By the time you have finished rolling the paste all over your body you’ll be ready to go back to the part of the body you started with and brush the fine dust off. Gently wipe any remaining areas of paste with a dry washcloth.

This wonderful recipes is from The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood

All images were pulled from Google.com

Vegan Rainbow Cake

Hello everyone! This video will show you how to create a vegan rainbow cake which draws inspiration from the chakras, and is topped with the symbol for Ohm.

It is from Ashley Adams, one of my favorite YouTube cooks, who hosts the Feast of Fiction show along with Jimmy Wong.

She has a new show on the Hungry Channel called How to Bake it in Hollywood. Check it out and show her some love!

Enjoy!

Buying Quality Essential Oils

Buying quality essential oils is the most important step of aromatherapy. If your oils are not pure, they can’t perform as well as they should; and can even be irritating to you. Remember aromatherapy works because of the properties of the oils, not the scent.

Lavener Oil With the popularity of essential oils increasing daily, it has become somewhat of a challenge to find good quality essential oils. Many marketers are diluting quality oils down to get more money from them or even worse; they’re passing off fakes as the real thing!

Caution and discernment must be used when purchasing essential oils. The most common thinning procedure combines our beautiful oils with kerosene to water them down, and fill more bottles. This can be dangerous if you are using some of the aromatherapy methods involving heat, not to mention who wants to inhale kerosene or rub it on their skin?

Here are some tips for ensuring you are purchasing quality essential oils.

  1. 1.       Know the fragrance of a true essential oil. There will be links at the end of this article where you can purchase quality essential oils, and I recommend buying from these retailers. If you have access to essential oils locally however, at least purchase one bottle from these sites to have a knowledge of what the oil should smell like for future shopping.
  2. 2.       Know the proper price range. A good way to tell if an essential oil is a fake is to simply examine the price tag. The oil I use as a standard for measuring others is Lavender. If their Lavender oil is in the correct price range, then you should be in the clear. Give everything a sniff as well to ensure that they aren’t trying to pass off a watered down oil for a real one.
  3. 3.       If you’ve already purchased an oil, test its flammability. Essential oils are non-flammable, so if one you’ve purchased catches flame it is either full of kerosene or other awful chemicals.

Ginger OilIf you follow these simple tips you will have a much more pleasant shopping experience, and will be able to use the oils you’ve purchased for aromatherapy (as opposed to just perfumery.)

I also can’t stress tip number one enough. There is only one way to tell for sure if an oil is true, and that is smelling it. The other tips give you hints, but the nose knows.

Remember to always smell oils before you buy them, and if the store won’t allow you to do so; they probably have fakes.

Links for Quality Essential Oils

Mountain Rose Herbs: My absolute favorite place to buy herbs, oils, and even baking soda. I would recommend this company to anyone.

Snow Lotus: This company is a little more pricey, but it is better to get the precious oils from this company because they make 10% dilutions to make them readily available.

All Images pulled from Google.com

Essential Oils in the Hallway

All of the doors of a home open into some sort of hallway. This area is where scents mingle and create the aroma fingerprint of the home. Since they are often windowless with poor ventilation, this aroma can hang around like a smog; and if it is not a pleasant aroma it can leave a bad impression with guests and can bring the moods of the family down.

A Lovely HallwayHallways need something pleasant and fresh, rather than the spice and herb aromas of the kitchen or more heavy scented oils we might use elsewhere. The citrus oils of Lemon, Lime, Bergamot, and Grapefruit are favorites for the hall. Good mixers with these are Geranium and Lavender; lavender is better in the morning, giving an uplifting aspect, while geranium is better in the afternoon when things are winding down for the day. Geranium is a wonderful choice when guests are due as well because it makes them feel good before they even sit down.

If someone in the house has a cold or flu add three drops of Rosemary to the citrus base and use with the desired method. Hallways can also become quite dusty from being high traffic areas, but the essential oils can make dusting and washing walls an (almost) enjoyable task. Simply add a few drops of essential oils to your washing water or one drop directly on your rag, and wash away. A good choice would be one of the oils above or one of the Bacteria Busters.

A Lovely HallwayA nice touch to add to your hallways is a scent appropriate for the season:

Recommended oils for Spring and Summer- Lime, Lemon, Geranium, Pettitgrain, Lavender

Recommended oils for Fall and Winter: Orange, Nutmeg, Benzoin, Frankincense, Cypress

Notice the Spring and Summer oils are light and springy while the Fall and Winter oils are warm and sturdy. The recommended methods of use in the hallway are listed below:

Candles– Light a candle and wait until the wax begins to melt, then add one or two drops of essential oils to the warm wax. Essential oils are inflammable, so be careful to not get them on the wick.

Diffusers– These are especially made for use with essential oils. There are all sorts of diffusers, some heated by candle flame and others by electricity, but it is important that the surface of the bowl section is nonporous so that it can be wiped clean and a different essential oil can be used later. The recommended dosage is 1-6 drops of oil in a diffuser bowl full of water.

Light Bulbs– The heat generated by a light bulb can be used to release the molecules of essential oils into the atmosphere. There are various attachments made of nonflammable material or metal which can be used in conjunction with light bulbs; or add 1-2 drops to a standing lamp bulb when it is not switched on and cool. Do not put the oil onto a light bulb which is already heated, as essential oils are inflammable. Make sure to not use more than 1-2 drops or it the oil may run down the bulb into the circuitry.

Humidifiers– Add 1-9 drops of oils to the humidifier water.

Radiators– Add 1-9 drops of oil to a cotton ball and lodge it by the pipe or somewhere where it is in contact with the heat.

Room Sprays– Use a new plant sprayer. Put in warm, but not boiling water, add 4 drops of essential oils per cup and shake before use. It can be sprayed in the air as you would any spray or on the carpets, curtains, and furniture, but do not let water fall on good wood, silk, velvet, or leather.

Water Bowls– Put boiling water into a bowl and add 1-9 drops of essential oils. Close doors and windows, and allow five minutes for the scent to permeate the room.

This article was adapted from:
The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood

All Images are Pulled from Google.com

Working with Sacred Soil

In a garden, roots grow together to form a complex network, a web that shares nutrients, water, and structural support. Arthropods, earthworms, and bacteria live among the lacing of roots, which cradles stones, sustains fungi, and wraps around bones left behind.

Healthy SoilWe who walk on the surface of the Earth rarely see this dynamic labyrinth, but we are a part of it. We are a part of the flow of water as it slips up trees and whispers into the sky, as it falls on the soil and returns to the sea. We too are a part of the burn and glory of sunlight, which sparks all life on Earth. We are a part of the One Breath.

We are the gardeners, the stewards of the land.

The soil is a vast kingdom beneath our feet, home to giant and minute earthworms, billions of bacteria and micro-organisms, spiders and ants, and wise, ancient stones. Rich black, sandy red, or pale and gritty, it is in the soil that life on land begins. But not all soil is the same -far from it.

The first step to getting to know a garden is to meet and appreciate the soil. The health of a garden depends on its soil. Just as a good house needs a strong foundation or a healthy child needs a stable home, a garden needs well-balanced, healthy soil. Soil is a garden’s immune system.

Since soil builds a garden, and the garden brings health and healing to the gardener and the land, we begin our magic-making and world-healing in the dirt. Continue reading