Making Cone Incense

The first time I made cone incense was a fun gathering. We purchased the supplies for a Nerdy Witches Study Group and we had a great time goofing it all up. Since then I’ve enjoyed adjusting and crafting formed incenses. I recorded a fun tutorial for Pagan Pride LA/OC’s Patreon. Head over and support them to check it out!  Below is my tried and true receipt.

2 Tablespoons sandalwood powder

1/4 teaspoon binder such as Gum tex, gum arabic, guar gum or makko

1 teaspoon powdered smelly component such as herb, resin, or spice

1 Tablespoon of liquid

Enjoy the incense crafting and let me know how it goes!

 

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Tranquility Tonic #2

MJ17-HealthyLifestyle-AnxietyI got a message from a friend today asking about ways to ease the anxiety she is feeling due to daily medical injections. It’s been a week of talking about anxiety. Just yesterday my doctor made some changes to my own anxiety medication. Last night I chatted with a friend about some healthy and not so healthy ways we each response to our own feelings of stress and overwhelm. Maybe it’s Mercury in retrograde that’s helping me open up on this topic I rarely share but it’s refreshing to talk so openly. With the recent legalization of THC in California I look forward to a time when low dose edibles and tinctures are available.

Of course there are so many natural options to try and if those aren’t helpful there are so many safe and effective prescription solutions available by working with your physician.  For my friend we decided that she would try a few things and see what works.  One that I’m providing is an adjustment to my original Tranquility Tonic to make it a bit heavier hitting with the addition of Valerian tincture. Because the Valerian flavor is so strong I switched out the chamomile tincture for a glycerite and it really did tame the bite. It’s not going to win any taste contests but I think it just might do the trick.

4 parts lavender tincture
2 part chamomile glycerite
1 part valerian tincture

No Headache Inhaler

IMG_5537This must be the first thing I have ever done with non diluted essential oils. I got the idea from an allergy inhaler recipe I saw on the interweb. I keep a small jar of lavender in my desk to smell when I have a slight headache and don’t want to take anything and I thought this would be a nice alternative.

Despite the heavy lavender use the chamomile is quite forward. I added the eucalyptus primarily to open up the nasal passages.

2 inhaler tubes

30 drops lavender essential oil
15 drops chamomile essential oil
2 drops eucalyptus essential oil

Mix all drops, then use the absorption core that comes with the inhalers (or a refill) to soak up the oil. Use tweezers to move the soaked core to the inhaler tube and then cap it on the bottom.

Pain and Swelling

A friend expressed concern over taking Advil for her chronic back pain and was looking into a herbal solution. I suggested Ashwagandha as her pain is along the spine and  any joint related pain is often a swelling and inflammation issue. I choose the chamomile because of it’s analgesic properties but also it’s nervine affects. We can all use a little calm in our lives. The choice of the lemon was driven in part by the need to smooth out the flavor of the Ashwagandha.

1 part Ashwagandha Tincture
1 part Lemon Tincture
2 parts Chamomile Tincture

Honey Lip Balm

lip balmIt took some trial and error to work out the best way to incorporate the the honey into the lip balm so it did not simply form drops of honey on the surface. I’ve now used this method several times with success but it’s also gone pear shaped once or twice.

Your mise en place will be very important. Once of the trickier parts is finding a bowl that will hold the less than one cup of lip balm, be deep enough to use the immersion blender on and easy to pour into the lip tubes. I use a small pyrex measuring cup with quite a bit of success.

Tools:
Double boiler
Immersion blender
12 lip tubes or other small containers

2 Tbs Shea butter
6 Tbs Calendula oil
2 Tbs Bees Wax
1 Tbs Honey
up to 20 drops of preferred essential oil

This recipe will yield 12 tubes of lip balm. In a double boiler, melt the shea butter, bees wax and blend with the calendula oil. Once the three are incorporated remove from the heat and add the honey. Stir then honey in and notice that it will form small droplets in the mixture. The next step will make those droplets event small so they can be suspended throughout the lip balm. Use an immersion blender to blend the mixture. This will break up the honey and also begin to cool the lip balm. Once well blended (it only takes 30 seconds or so) add in your preferred essential oils. Some suggestions are below.

Honey lemon: 15 drops of lemon
Honey basil: 15 drops of basil
Lemon basil: 10 drops lemon 5 drops basil
Cinnamon: 5 drops vanilla 5 drops cinnamon

Dreamtime Tincture

why-we-dreamMy most widely used product is the Dreamtime Tincture. The remedy is used to help a person fall asleep. It has gone through many iterations and now even has several different formulas based on the different needs. Below is the receipt for the basic tincture.

Basic Dreamtime Blend
1/2 part Kava Kava tincture
2 part Lavender tincture
1 part Echinacea root tincture
3 part Passion Flower tincture
2 part Valerian Root TinctureWhen dear Kristina was pregnant she asked for a modified version of the Dreamtime tincture to help her fall asleep. The Kava Kava mixture had always been too strong for her so we did a little experimenting and came up with this lovely mild blend that worked well.

Irie’s Mommies Dreamtime Blend
1 part Echinacea root tincture
1 part Lemon Balm tincture
2 part Lavender tincture
2 part Valerian Root tinctureFor those folks with more serious insomnia I have a Dreamtime blend that is more aptly named “Knockout Drops”. This is not a blend for most of us and I only offer it after the standard doesn’t work. There are two strengths here because one time the first one just wasn’t enough.

Ninja strength has me drooling on my pillow in only a few minutes and I wake up feeling groggy and achy.

Knockout Drops Ninja strength
6 parts Basic Dreamtime tincture
2 parts Valerian tincture
1 part Kava Kava tincture

I have never taken with Godzilla strength myself.

Knockout Drops Godzilla strength
6 parts Basic Dreamtime tincture
2 parts Valerian tincture
2 parts Kava Kava tincture

After my first early attempts with kava kava I found that the tincture was just overpowering in nearly any dosage. I now make the tincture in the typical way but always cut it 50/50 with un steeped alcohol to store and use.

Lemon Thyme Cough Syrup

heavy
Heavy and Bud

When cold and flu season comes around it’s a good idea to have a bit of cough syrup on hand. My quick go to cough syrup is called Heavy’s Cough Syrup because it was what my grandpa (aka Heavy) had on hand when I was growing up. This is a simple recipe of 1 part honey, 1 part lemon juice and 1 part whisky and you can whip it up in a jiffy.

I attended a class on the lovely herb Thyme by Green Wisdom Herbal Studies a while ago and learned so very much that I thought this recipe could use a little herbal boost so here is my plant enhanced version of Heavy’s Cough Syrup. It takes a bit longer to make but it is very worth the trouble.

  1. Roughly chop 1 large lemon (peel and all) and place in a quart jar
  2. Add 2 ounces of dried thyme
  3. Fill jar with raw honey
  4. Let this steep in a cool dark place for 4 to 6 weeks turning (upside down) daily
  5. Make a 1:2 ratio peppermint tincture with with alcohol of your choice but making sure it is not less than 80% (Heavy liked corn whiskey)
  6. Steep in a cool dark place for 4 to 6 weeks shaking daily
  7. Decant the honey and tincture separately (both are lovely on their own so I keep some of each)
  8. Then mix them by a 2 parts honey to 1 part tincture to make the final cough syrup