Friday, November 08, 2013

American Herbalists Guild: Free Symposium Notes (Herbalism, Natural Healing)

I wish I was at the American Herbalists Guild's annual symposium! (It is going on now, from the 7th to the 10th).  So many amazing herbalists are speaking, and the conference looks amazing!  One of these days I hope I will get to go!

But I am still psyched!  This year the AHG is offering its symposium speaker notes for free.  Now why am I excited about herbalism lecture notes aside from the fact I study herbalism? ;P  For one thing I paid for the notes last year so free notes are fabulous!  At the yearly conference they tend to discuss advanced herbalism topics or topics that don't always crop up in books. The notes are also pretty detailed.  Some topics are mrsa, establishing a holistic clinic, hypothyroidism, asthma, epilepsy, and many more topics!

I can't wait to go through the notes!  Every day I study something differently related to plants, whether it is for my western herbalism/TCM/Ayuverda 2 year course, my aromatherapy course, books, webinars, or working directly with the plants and crafting something!  So it may be a while before I get all through the notes.  But I am glad I got them!

I am not sure how long they are leaving them up so I suggest downloading them as soon as possible!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Earth Alkemie's fanpage web address

I usually try to keep my business and personal thoughts separate (hence why I have my personal blog--which is this blog--and also a business blog, facebook, and forum).  But just thought I would announce that I have changed the url for Earth Alkemie's facebook fan page.  It is now easier to type and remember: 

Please update your bookmarks, and check out Earth Alkemie's facebook if you're not a fan yet! :)  I post many different topics: eco living, natural skin care, aromatherapy, herbalism, and more!  And when Earth Alkemie reopens--hopefully early next year, if my health gets much better--I will be posting more ingredient related information, product info, and will be resuming regular contests.  I often post a few times a week and often daily there.

The past week or two, when time permits, I have been trying to post some of the same information on this blog and Earth Alkemie's blog and forum (that I post on the fanpage), but some of the stuff I post on the fan page, I don't post on the blogs.  Since I've only been posting on the blogs regularly again recently, there are a lot of posts on the fan page that aren't on the blogs.  The opposite is true too--I usually don't post reviews about other companies or products I have tried on the fan page (since Earth Alkemie's fan page is my business's official fan page).  So my thoughts of eco-friendly products are only posted here on this blog.

On the fan page, I also post a lot of my older articles or blog posts for new readers to see (I have written over 60 eco living articles, and almost a couple dozen eco living/DIY articles, as well a few hundred blog posts).  So I hope to see you on facebook!

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Free Kindle Perfume Book

I was on amazon and I saw that G. W. Septimus Piesse's perfume book was free!  I am not sure how long it is free for, but I recommend getting it!  It is in the kindle format.

G. W. Septimus Piesse was a perfumer who lived from 1820 to 1882.  In the 1850s he wrote a perfume book called "The Art of Perfumery And Methods Of Obtaining The Odors Of Plants".  Piesse believed that scents were linked to sounds and he assigned a musical note to scents.  For example he considered the scent of rose to be a C.  It is an interesting read because the book contains many recipes for perfumes and scents for products; an interesting look into the historic past of perfume and scent making!

So if you love learning about the history of perfumery, I recommend downloading this book.  Many natural perfumers still refer to his concept of scents as music notes!  It is a must read for all that are interested in the art of perfumery. :)

Project Glutenburg has his book on their website too so if the amazon link doesn't work anymore, then try their website (they have many different formats available).

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Wishing everyone a Happy Halloween!  Have a fun and green Halloween!  :)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween Scent Blends (Aromatherapy, Essential Oils, All Natural)

Trick or treat!  I love Halloween and sharing eco-friendly tips!  I've been writing so much recently; I've just finished writing my third Halloween related article!  I just wrote about creating essential oil blends for scent and for other uses, such as spiritual uses, or blends specifically used for Halloween and the fall months.  The article is on Earth Alkemie's (my green business) blog.  In the post, I have shared a yummy smelling recipe for an essential oil diffuser blend.  I hope you enjoy my article and that you have an awesome Halloween tomorrow!  

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Numen (Herbs, Film, Eco)

What does herbalism mean to me?  It is about our connection to the plants and the Earth!  It is about becoming aware of ecological threats to our wilderness areas.  It is about healing the mind, body, soul, and emotions.  There is a wonderful new film on the healing power of plants called Numen that is being shown for free for until the 30th so go see it!  A lot of herbal pioneers are in the film.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Have a Green Halloween! (Eco Living Article, All Natural Green Halloween Tips)

 I am so behind in posting here!  In the last few months I've been focusing on posting on Earth Alkemie's facebook fan page, so I have only been blogging on and off.

So I need to get busy writing here again!  As in the past, some things I will cross post (with added information here, of course! :) ) and some blog posts will be totally brand new here!

First up, here is my October eco living article on Green Halloween tips!  In the article I have listed many tips on how to celebrate Halloween in a green, more eco-friendly manner!  I've discussed everything from candy collecting, costumes, decorations, food, and more!  I've also included links to lots of other websites for ideas.  Here is the link to my main eco living page at anb (all natural beauty) mall, where you will currently find the first half of the article.  And here is the link to the second half of my Green Halloween article.  Note: this second link will lead to the full, complete article starting in early November (after the newest eco living article is put on the main page!)

A couple other green Halloween tips: I mentioned in my article that to make a washable hair color you could mix mineral makeup with hair gel or aloe.  To make liquid mineral makeup for the face and body, you could also mix it with aloe, or try mixing it with a lotion, or a balm base!

Many people buy mineral makeup online but you can find some mineral makeup companies locally: such as Whole Foods, Wegman's, and even places like CVS and Sephora!

Just thought I would mention some great Halloween games for kids!  Bobbing for apples was a popular Halloween pastime.  Or I remember there are some food games for kids in which you close your eyes and touch certain foods or objects, and guess what they are.  Basically you use foods for 'monster parts' or other slimy things--such as eye balls (use grapes) or worms (spaghetti).   Just found a great article on this game!  To make this game more eco-friendly, use leftover foods and compost them if you can!

Have a Happy Green Halloween!  :)

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Blackfish Film (Environmental Issues and Killer Whales)

CNN will be showing a documentary called Blackfish tonight (Thursday). It is on killer whales in captivity, namely at Sea World.  Afterwards there will be a live panel discussion including wildlife experts and marine scientists. (On a related note: one of the experts/scientists, Dr. Naomi Rose is the wife of Dr. Parsons, who was my grad school advisor and thesis committee chair.  They are both passionate about marine wildlife!). The film starts at 9 pm and they will replay it at midnight.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Happy Moon Festival!

Happy Chinese Mid-Autumn (Moon) Festival!  I always take a few moments during this time of year to observe the moon, and revel in the shear awesomeness of nature!  

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Light a candle and remember what happened today.  9-11.  

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Uses Of Roman Chamomile Essential Oil (Aromatherapy And Essential Oils)

I have been using essential oils for about thirteen years now.  The power of essential oils never ceases to amaze me.  Today I used roman chamomile essential oil (latin name: Anthemis nobilis); it has been a favorite of mine for years.  There are a few different chamomiles used in aromatherapy; all of them are lovely, but they have some similar and also some different properties.  Roman chamomile is a well known anti-inflammatory so it is thought to be helpful for sore muscles, as well as for irritated skin.  I have found that it is good for all skin types, especially sensitive (though if you have a rag weed allergy, don’t use it).  It is used for emotional uses too: it is thought to be calming, so it is useful for issues like anxiety and stress. 

I can attest to its useful for many of these issues.  I was in a lot of pain today (I usually have daily all over body tension or pain, but today was especially bad) and I had a severe headache on top of that.  So I used a body oil made with roman chamomile essential oil (a very simple formulation, just 1% in an ounce of carrier oil), and lightly massaged it in.  Immediately my muscles relaxed and stopped hurting.  The headache lessened and within minutes was nearly gone.  I felt calm too, and I could finally think since the pain was gone.  I have used roman chamomile many times over the years for my muscles, and it usually works for me.  I have also used roman chamomile numerous times for irritated skin and insect bites with success.

The scent is sweet, herbaceous, and many people describe it as apple like.  The color varies from yellow to a very light blue.  Children seem to especially like the scent too (one of the few essential oils that is totally safe for babies and children.  Dilute well for kids: use half the adult concentration).  The price of roman chamomile (as well as german chamomile) has gone up a lot in recent years (in the past, it used to be pretty inexpensive but recently I’ve seen it for $60-80 or more an ounce retail wise), but since essential oils are used well diluted, only buying a few ml is plenty.   Some companies also sell it diluted in a carrier oil, which is more affordable (depending on the dilution, it can probably be diluted even further).  Most essential oil vendors sell roman chamomile essential oil, but be sure to buy only from reputable vendors (see the right hand side of the blog, or my old posts on where to buy essential oil for some good vendors).

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day!  I hope all the dads out there are having a marvelous day with their children!

I wrote an eco living article for today, so I hope you enjoy the article and spend some time with your dad. :)

Friday, June 07, 2013

Happy 10th All Natural Beauty!

Ten years ago my friend Sharon started the all natural beauty website and anb portal (and over five years ago started the anb mall), which I have been glad to be a part of!  I found the anb websites in 2005; I first started as a fan and forum poster.  Then Sharon invited me to write a couple articles and contribute recipes to the website.  We became friends and I eventually met Sharon (at a Jeanne Rose aromatherapy class hosted at her house). When Sharon started the anb mall, she asked me to be the eco living writer there.  And when I started my skin care business a few years ago, I naturally became a partner to all three of the all natural beauty websites.  Last year I also became the eco living and DIY natural beauty formulating expert too.

The anb websites are more than just a bunch of great articles, recipes, and links to natural skin care companies.  It is a community of Indie businesses, aromatherapists, herbalists, natural skin care formulators and crafters, natural perfumers, and the readers and all natural beauty enthusiasts!  To me natural skin care is more than just beauty, it is about taking care of ourselves and the Earth too!  And that is the true spirit of the anb websites and its community.  So Happy 10th Sharon and anb!  And here's to another 10 more!

To celebrate there is a weekly free skin care product giveaway on the anb websites, as well as a nearly sold out summer sampler.  Sadly I could not contribute to the sampler or the giveaway this time, since Earth Alkemie is currently still closed (I need to renew my business insurance before I start selling or donating products again.  I hope to reopen during the summer).  But definitely check out the giveaway and the sampler; lots of other good companies have contributed, including some of my personal favorite companies like Monave (a mineral makeup and skin care company), and (which sells many different natural brands of natural skin care, including Earth's Beauty and Cosmetics without synthetics--which is their signature line).

New anb eco living and DIY formulating articles

I've been extremely busy the past couple months (helping take care of my family, way too many doctors appointments, and trying to find time to craft and work on reopening my skin care business).  The past couple weeks I have done a lot of writing (three articles and working on a fourth).  The first two are up, they are on coconut cream and coconut juice in cosmetics, and fruit and herb powders in cosmetics (by cosmetics I mean skin, hair, and body care).  These two articles were all natural beauty eco living and DIY expert questions (I get asked so many great questions!).  The articles are long (I am wordy and try to be very complete in my answers) and I took some time to write and answer them.

Blog posts with more information on these coming soon (I have a lot of those posts to write, so recently I have just been posting the links to the actual articles without related blog posts with extra information).

Enjoy the articles!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Mother's Day!  May all the moms out there have a joyous day, today and every single day.   And may people respect Mother Earth and all her bounty.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Some of my more recent articles (Eco Living, DIY Natural Beauty Formulating)

I am behind on blogging.  Things here have been overwhelming for the past month (with my dad's health, my health, plus I have a nephew now!).  I am working on a few new entries, and have to blog about my most recent articles that I haven't blogged about yet (I usually add extra information related to the articles on this blog, and also Earth Alkemie's--my skin care business--blog).  So for now, I will just post the links to the articles, and write or finish my blog entries later.

Here are the links to my two most recent eco living articles on anb (all natural beauty) mall.  The first is on spring cleaning.  And the newest one is a Mother's Day article which has a recipe for a lovely vegan coconut scrub!  You can currently access my coconut scrub article using this link, which goes to the main page of my eco living articles.  In june, however, you'll want to use this link, which currently goes to page 2 of the article, but come June it will be the link for the whole article.

Did you know you can use tea as a fake tanner?  Read my article for information on how!

I also wrote a very long article on ingredients to use on dry hair and dry skin (includes links to many of my previous recipes on the anb websites).

Happy reading and crafting/trying all my recipes! :)

Monday, April 01, 2013

Eco Living: Deep Conditioning Hot Oil Hair Treatment

Winter can really dry out the hair.  Since it is now spring, I have shared my recipe for a deep conditioning hot oil hair treatment in one of my eco living articles. 

This recipe is very versatile, you can make it as simple or as complex as you want!  For example to make a really simple treatment just use one carrier oil or one carrier oil plus one essential oil.  Or you can use a few different carrier oils and a mix of essential oils.  The possiblities are endless.

I recommend doing at least one deep conditioning treatment a week.  You can use a hot oil treatment (like in my article) or something like mayo (check out one of my older eco living articles for a mayo based hair treatment).  Or even something as simple as using a store bought conditioner as a deep conditioner: wet the hair, and leave it in for an hour or so.  Rinse or shampoo out.

Sometimes I will take a store bought conditioner, and enrich it with other ingredients (like a hair oil, mayo, honey, essential oils, etc).  Then I will dampen my hair, apply the conditioner, and leave it in for at least an hour (while I do errands around the house), and then I shampoo it out with soap (usually African Black soap or another real soap).  Other people may be able to just rinse it out (depends how dry your hair is).  Follow with an acidic rinse (vinegar rinse or an infusion) and done!

More articles and blog posts to come! :)

For more information on ingredients used in hair treatments check out Earth Alkemie’s (my aromatherapy skin/hair care and perfumery business) blog.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Chinese New Year, Newest Eco Living Article On Tea (Eco Living, All Natural and DIY Skin and Hair Care)

Happy Chinese New Year! Gongxi fa cai!  It is now the year of the Snake (which started on the 10th).

Because it is Chinese New Year (we celebrate it for two weeks to a month), I wrote this month’s Eco Living article on green and white tea in cosmetics.  I have included two hair and skin care recipes.  One is an infusion (strong tea), which can be used in many different skin and hair care products, such as toners and hair rinses.  The other is a clay based mask that is made with the infusion.  It is simple but pure bliss!

Writing about green and white tea was inspired by my first trip to China many years ago.  During my trip I visited the Dragon Well tea plantation in Hangzhou. Dragon Well green tea is one of the most famous and highest quality teas.  The tea there is very special;  when I visited the plantation, they told us that the highest grade of Dragon Well tea was only sold in China and that they did not export it outside of the country (so anything sold in the US and other countries is the second highest grade and lower grades; or at least that was how it was 10 years ago, not sure about now).  Dragon Well first grade tea is a national gift (so Chinese leaders/diplomats give this tea to leaders and diplomats of other countries).  While we were there, some of the employees at the plantation told us about the benefits of green tea in skin care.  So when I was thinking of what to write this year for Chinese New Year, I thought about my trip and the use of green tea in cosmetics.  :)

A funny story: after my family visited the Dragon Well tea plantation and bought some of the first grade tea (we couldn’t resist, it really was the best green tea I have ever tried), the tour guide took us to a nearby shop in the area that sold tea and other gifts.  At the store, I bought a jasmine scented green tea (a mix of rolled jasmine flowers with green tea).  When the tour guide saw what I had brought, she made a face and commented it wasn’t that good quality, but I shrugged since I had already bought it.  To me, it smelled good and was inexpensive, and I figured if it wasn’t that good I could still use it for skin care.  After I got back home, I tried a cup, and that cheap tea was better than any of the jasmine green teas I had tried here in the U.S!  

I hope to revisit China again one day (when health and finances allow).  I'd like to revisit some of the same places I saw last time, but also visit some new places too.  I've heard from others that have visited it within the past few years how much it has changed so it will be interesting to see how much the same or how different it is.

Another post about the green and white tea article, with more info on green and white tea in skin care, on Earth Alkemie's blog, my business blog.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Natural Ingredients And Acne (Eco Living and DIY Natural Beauty Formulating Expert article)

I have a few new articles to post here (some eco living ones, and also working on some new entries just for this blog).  The first article is an article on natural ingredients and acne.  It is both an Eco Living and DIY Beauty Formulating Expert article and also a natural info article (thanks Sharon for making the article the main article on anb portal for February!).

There are so many great ingredients that I couldn’t mention in the article (not enough room)!  But I mentioned a few of my favorites that are easy to find, and most of them can be found locally.  I also try to focus on a lot of fresh ingredients that most people already have in their kitchens!

A few other lovely ingredients I didn’t get to mention are papaya (which has natural enzymes that mildly exfoliate the skin.  Plus papaya in masks is a traditional remedy for clear skin!) and shea butter.  Shea butter is very easy to find, but it can sometimes be hard to find cold pressed, unrefined shea butter (I recommend cold pressed, unrefined shea butter because it is very different than a solvent/hexane extracted, highly refined shea.  The textures are very different, and highly refined shea is stripped of its nutrients).  Shea was one of the ingredients that helped clear my skin many years ago (12 or so years ago) when I had acne (I can't believe I've been learning about natural skin care for that long, and plants for far longer than that.  I first became interested in botany/biology in high school!).

For more ingredients and products that are great for acne check out the post on my business blog (this post is in regards to Earth Alkemie products that are good for acne).

Thursday, February 07, 2013

anb's 2012: The Year Of Natural Skin Care

I really enjoy writing for the three all natural beauty websites (all natural beauty website and anb portal and anb mall) since I not only love educating people on all natural skin care, but also on green alternatives.  When my friend Sharon (owner of the three anb websites) released her ‘2012: The Year OfNatural Skin Care’ article, I was pleasantly surprised that three of my articles made the list!  My Eco Living/DIY Natural Beauty Formulating articles on professional made products versus home made products, lemon juice in skincare, and age spots made the cut!  Yay!  Thanks Sharon, so happy that you love my articles!  Many other great articles and product spotlights are listed too!  Check it out!

Friday, February 01, 2013

Eco Living: Green Resolutions

I am behind on posting about some of my articles.  My most recent (January's) eco living article is on green resolutions!  It is really easy to be green, it all begins with just a few simple changes.  

This year I have a lot of eco resolutions.  I am working hard to reopen my eco-friendly natural skin care and perfume company, Earth Alkemie (I've been closed for over a year due to my health issues, and my dad's health issues.  I help take care of my dad).  I hope to write more eco living articles and continue to educate people on all things green (so far I am off to a great start.  I will post about my articles as soon as they are finished and published online).   I am also always on the lookout for finding even more green alternatives and solutions, and just living my life as green as I can.  I eventually hope to return to ecological biology or community work in the future but I am still dealing with my health issues (so it won't be anytime soon but I am working towards that) so I am taking one step at a time. :)   I am a big believer in small changes=huge impacts. In my opinion, both small and huge changes are needed for environmental sustainability.

I hope you enjoy the article, and choose to make a few green resolutions this year too!  

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

ANB spotlight

I think most people by now know how much I love natural skin care and eco alternatives.  But I also love how many people I have met because of my interests in the natural world. I have made several friends over the years because of all things green.  Some I’ve had the pleasure to meet face to face, and some I haven't met in person yet, but I feel so honored that they are part of my journey.

The all natural beauty (anb) websites recently started doing spotlights on their readers (the three anb websites are owned by my friend Sharon).   I was pleasantly surprised that the first spotlight is on my friend Barbara.  Barbara and I have been friends for years (we met on a forum), she is a very kind and very sweet woman.  Reading her spotlight really moved me; she mentioned how much I helped her with her skin, and how much she loved my skin care products.  Thank you Barbara for not only being a friend, but for spreading the word on natural beauty!  :)