Mmmmmm! Yum!

So, I just got about 20 pounds of herbs and teas for making bath teas. My house smells like I imagine old alchemy shops must have once smelled. ;) Plus, I got a pound of Neroli oil. Neroli, neroli…whee! I love the smell of neroli so much. For the shows I’ve got coming up, since I can’t possibly do the custom stuff I do for the website orders, I’ve decided to narrow down selections considerably for products I’m taking. For the aloe based (non-oil) scrub, Neroli is going to be one “flavor” and I think “Citrus Sunshine”, a blend of citrus oils, is going to be the other. I may also do the Dead Sea Scrubs in the same flavors. Everyone loves Neroli. How can you not? Yum! Gods, I love it so much. :) It smells like the beach, to me. Like a Maui beach, with the wind gently blowing, and a tanned boy bringing you drinks with an umbrella. Yeah, baby…how I do love Neroli. Hee. I also got some Litsea cubeba essential oil…a sweet, spicy and citrus fragrance with vegetative notes. It is antidepressant, antiseptic, astringent, insecticide, calming and sedative EO. I’m using it in an annointing oil blend for which I haven’t quite finalized the recipe.

The organic herbs I got in are: Comfrey leaf, cut and sifted, Rosebuds and petals, red, premium grade, Rooibos tea, tea bag cut, Green tea, tea bag cut, Chamomile flower, whole, Orange peel, cut, Arnica flower, whole, Calendula flower whole, Lemongrass.

Combined, that will make the most kickass bath tea of all time. Cheap? Not so much, no. But lordy, you couldn’t get much more restorative. So, what I’m going to do for packaging is package 2 big bath tea bags with herbal goodness and package them with 4 Fortune cookie bath bombs and call it “Tea and Cookies”. Hee. I just tried making the bath bombs this morning. The mold is a little more forgiving with bombs than it was with soaps, but still an incredibly tedious process. I may switch to mold that is actually round cookie shaped instead. Or go with one of my pretty little guest bar molds. If I use the little flower molds, I could do 6 or 8 cookies for the same price as 4 of the fortune cookies, and the bombs are way less likely to fall apart. The fortune cookies seem pretty darned delicate. Not a great thing for product that has to be shipped, really. I’ll try shrinkwrapping some this evening and see if that solves the problem.

Notes on aromatherapy/medicinal values of herbs/oils just in

Neroli essential oil (Citrus aurantium var. amara), Tunisia, steam distilled. Named for an Italian princess who wore the flower as a perfume , this oil is certainly fit for a queen. Benefits dry mature and aging skin and balances emotions. Aromatherapy Uses: anti-depressant, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, anti-bacterial, anti-hypertension, bactericidal, cicatrizant, antiseptic, deodorant, fungicidal, emollient, cytophylactic, hypnotic, tonic: digestive-carminative, hepato-pancreatic, calms SNS. Skin: acne, regenerating, thread veins, stretch marks, scars; dry, devitalized, oily, and mature skins, improves elasticity. Respiratory: pleurisy(MDR), pulmonary tuberculosis(MDR), bronchitis.  Muscular/Skeletal: useful for increasing muscular tone. Cardio-vascular/Lymphatic: regulates blood pressure, poor circulation, eases palpitations, eases phlebitis, varicosities. 
Immune: immuno-stimulant. Digestive: tonic effect on intestines, chronic diarrhea, colic, colitis, gas, tonic effect on liver and pancreas. Genito-Urinary/ Reproductive: aphrodisiac, relieves emotional depression with PMS, aids labor (sustains uterine tone). Nervous Brain/ Mind: shock, stress, anxiety and depression, insomnia due to depression, disappointment and sadness, mild hypnotic. Emotional/Energetic: instills peace and purity and aids in all Spiritual work, allows a reconnection with the Higher Self, promotes self confidence and the ability to take initiative.
Blends well with: clary sage, German and Roman chamomile, frankincense, lemon, palmarosa, tangerine, geranium, lavender, rose, lime, orange, petitgrain, sage, ylang ylang
Litsea cubeba essential oil Litsea Cubeba, Litsea cubeba a/k/a May Chang, Litsea citrata and tropical verbena, steam distilled fruit, China. Despite these names, it is not related to lemon verbena but belongs to the same family as the rosewood or
cinnamon tree. Sweet, spicy and citrus fragrance with vegetative notes. It is antidepressant, antiseptic, astringent, insecticide, calming and sedative. Very uplifting and stimulating. It is a known tonic to the heart and respiratory system. May be helpful in cases of bronchitis and asthma.
Used as an insect repellent. Blends well with lavender, neroli, and verbena. Flash point: 160°F.
Comfrey leaf (Symphytum officinale), cut and sifted, USA, a/k/a Knitbone, Knitback, Bruisewort and Boneset. Formerly country people cultivated comfrey in their gardens for its virtue in wound healing, and the many local names of the plant testify to its long reputation as a vulnerary (a healing application for wounds)herb – in the Middle Ages it was a famous remedy for broken bones. The chief and most important constituent of Comfrey root is mucilage, which it contains in great abundance, more even than Marshmallow. It also contains from 0.6 to 0.8 % of allantoin and a little tannin. For its demulcent action it has long been used in lung troubles and whooping cough. The root is more effectual than the leaves and is the part usually used in cases of coughs. It has been used for all pulmonary complaints, consumption and bleeding of the lungs. Effective for eczema and dry skin. The infused oil has been used externally for sprains, swelling and bruising. Comfrey root and leaves have been used externally as a poultice to heal boils and abscesses. Caution: In 2001 the U.S. government warned manufacturers of dietary supplements that comfrey, an herb in some of their products, is known to cause liver damage.
Rosebuds and petals (Rosa centifolia)  It’s pretty and smells nice. 
Rooibos tea, tea bag cut,  Rooibos tea is a natural beverage which doesn’t contain caffeine, artificial colors, additives or preservatives. According to studies conducted in South Africa and Japan Rooibos has been shown to aid in health problems such as insomnia, irritability, headaches, nervous tension, and hypertension. Studies also show that Rooibos tea provides anti-spasmodic benefits which could relieve stomach cramping and colic. Rooibos tea has
been used to treat allergies such as hay fever, asthma and eczema. It is also used to treat irritated skin by brewing the tea and placing it directly on the affected areas. Rooibos contains anti-oxidants which can help slow the aging process and boost the immune system. Rooibos tea doesn’t contain oxalic acid which makes it a good beverage for people prone to kidney stones. Rooibos contains the minerals, copper, iron and potassium, calcium, fluoride, zinc, manganese, alpha-hydroxy ( for healthy skin ) and magnesium (for the nervous system ) are also components of this tea. Rooibos tea is also used as an additive in toiletries either as a powder or as an infusion in water and then added to the toiletry recipe.
Green tea, tea bag cut,  Camellia sinensis, China. Green tea is the second most consumed beverage in the
world (water is the first) and has been used medicinally for centuries in
China and Japan. That is because a number of beneficial health effects in
green tea are attributed to regular consumption of green tea and
dried/powdered extracts of green tea. Green tea comes from the leaves of
the white-flowered tea plant, Camellia sinensis, a bush native to Asia.
These tea leaves are less processed than black tea and contain rich
sources of antioxidants which protect the body’s cells from damage and
fight diseases. The antioxidants, which are the beneficial particles in
green tea, have been linked to cancer prevention, decreased risk of
stroke, heart diseases, and lowered blood cholesterol. Catechin, a tanin
derivative found in tea, is the main component which provides benefits in
green tea and is present in higher amounts than in grape juice and red
wine, which are also believed to reduce the rate of heart disease. In
toiletries, green tea powder is a wonderful addition to provide skin
soothing properties to toiletries along with possible antioxidant
benefits.
Chamomile flower, whole,  (Matricaria chamomilla), flower, whole, Egypt, a/k/a German chamomile, Hungarian chamomile, and Manzanilla, not to be confused with Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile). The chamazulene in this flower has antiallergenic and anti-inflammatory properties and it works along with other components against inflammation, allergies, muscle spasms and certain fungi and bacteria. Ingesting Roman chamomile sometimes induces allergic responses in ragweed-sensitive individuals, but such responses are rare for German chamomile. The fresh plant is strongly and agreeably aromatic, with a distinct scent of apples – a characteristic noted by the Greeks, on account of which they named it ‘ground-apple’ – kamai (on the ground) and melon (an apple) – the origin of the name Chamomile. The Spaniards call it
‘Manzanilla’ which signifies ‘a little apple,’ and give the same name to one of their lightest sherries, flavored with this plant. Among its properties are tonic, achic, anodyne and antispasmodic. The official preparations are a decoction, an infusion, the extract and the oil. Apart from their employment internally, Chamomile flowers are also extensively used by themselves, or combined with an equal quantity of crushed poppy-heads (not seeds), as a poultice and fomentation for external swelling, inflammatory pain or congested neuralgia, and will relieve where other remedies have failed, proving invaluable for reducing swellings of the face caused through abscesses. Bags may be loosely stuffed with flowers and steeped well in boiling water before being applied as a fomentation. The antiseptic powers of Chamomile are stated to be 120 times stronger than sea-water.
Orange peel, cut,  (Citrus sinensis) Smells nice, looks pretty.  No real aromatherapy or medical value
Arnica flower, whole,  (Arnica montana), flower, whole, Mexico. Oral administration of arnica is often accompanied by severe side effects!! For external use in injury and for consequences of accidents, e.g., hematoma, dislocations, contusions, edema due to fracture, rheumatic muscle and joint problems. Especially when applied topically, arnica preparations have antiphlogistic activity. In cases of inflammation, arnica preparations also show analgesic and antiseptic activity. One of the best ways to use Arnica is to make an oil infusion and then apply it to the affected area.
Calendula flower whole, (Calendula officinalis), dried whole flower, Egypt. Also known as Maravilla, Souci, Pot Marigold, Golds and Ruddles. The carotenoid-rich yellow to orange petals of this annual daisy were once used to color butter, cheeses, and custards, to thicken soups, to add a pleasant, spicy taste to salads, and to substitute for expensive imported saffron. The petals also yield a dye for fabric, hair or toiletries. Wide-ranging medicinal claims have been made for its petals, but little research has tested these assertions. The petals have been found to be anti-inflammatory, however. Carotenoids provide the distinct yellow to orange of the petals (beta-carotene, lycopene, violaxanthin and lutein). The petals can be used whole or cut in toiletries such as scrubs, soaps or bath salts. The infused oil is highly recommended for dry, mature skin as well as for skin sores, diaper rash and sunburn. The infused oil may be applied directly on the skin or may be added to handcrafted soaps and toiletries.
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), Egypt, a/k/a citronel, pasto limón, té de limón, caña santa, iang mao. While commonly called lemongrass, the commercial name for this herb is West Indian Lemongrass to differentiate it from East Indian and Jammu lemongrasses. In Thailand, finely ground fresh lemon grass is added to curry pastes. Lemongrass has been used for centuries in India to treat fever. You can make an aromatic, antiseptic bath using dried lemongrass. Lemongrass tea is a mild sedative.

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