Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Welcome To Ella's Herbal Apothecary

 I remember as a child taking small carnation flowers from my Mother's garden, removing the petals and simmering them in a small amount of water in an old pot to extract the 'perfume'.  As you can imagine it was a very diluted mix, but it worked!  I was fuelled by this success and wondered at the many possibilities of making from scratch, creams and soaps and all those things that would have been made by hand in the 'good 'ole days'.  Ingredients were severely limited where I grew up.  But I was rich in imagination.  I loved making candles and I had a go at soap, but the lack of ingredients eventually bought this love of experiementation to an end.  I don't even remember having olive oil at the supermarket in the late 70's.
So fast forward 20 years when my first child was born and I began to wonder again at the possibilities.  I wanted products that did not contain parabens, that contained only natural ingredients.  I have continued to experiment over the last ten years.  I make beeswax candles for birthdays and gratitude time at the table and make a cream called Mummy's Magic Cream (because it fixes anything from bruises to hurt feelings to small cuts and even pimples).And now Ella is carrying on this sense of curiosity and delight of 'making from scratch'.

This is Ella's Lab which is located in our laundry.  We set it up to give her a work space that doesn't use kitchen utensils or leave wax on the stove or benchtop.  In affect she can make a mess out here to her hearts delight and she is responsible for keeping it tidy.  For her birthday this year Ella received essential oils and lots of other ingredients so that she can mix and play and try out various skin care receipes.

Here's a list of the books she recommends:

 Do It Yourself Pure Plant Skincare by Carolyn Stubbin
The Natural Beauty Book by Joanna Sheen
Jeanne Rose's Herbal Body Book by Jeanne Rose
Introducing Aromatherapy by Margrit Bachman
The Fragrant Mind by Valerie Ann Worwood

So far lip balm seems to be the hot favourite of recipes but I got a lovely mix of hand and face creams for my birthday and felt very spoilt.

Harvested from our own beehive this is one of the most healing and cure-all ingredients that can be used, that and New Zealand grown Lavender oil.

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