Friday, February 27, 2015

Uses for Myrrh Resin in Body Care

Myrrh is a dried resin from Commiphora trees. Myrrh trees are native to arid and semi arid areas of North East Africa and the Arabian peninsula. The exotic resin was famously mentioned in the Bible as a gift from the Magi together with Frankincense and gold. The name Myrrha comes from Greek mythology. Myrrha, the daughter of Cinyrus was transformed into the tree and her tears, the resin droplets. The resin is used medicinally as well as in perfumery, and incense. Egyptians used it for embalming.
Myrrh resin photo by Sjschen
Frankincense and Myrrh are also commonly paired together in Chinese Traditional Medicine most often for trauma due to sports injury with bruising. The Chinese name for Myrrh is “Mo Yao.” Myrrh has opiate properties for pain relief. Also, it is beneficial for circulation and useful in reducing swelling. Myrrh resin is decocted in water for at least an hour at a dosage of 3-12 grams for adults in Chinese Herbal formulas. The herb is for short term internal use.  I used it recently both internally and externally to help with my recovery from a sprained elbow with severe swelling and bruising.  5:1 Myrrh extract powder is also used in lower doses in Chinese medicine. This type of extract powder is made from dried tincture of Myrrh resin. The Myrrh dosages used in Chinese medicine described above are not appropriate for people who are taking blood thinners or who are pregnant. 
For pain from toothache or mouth sores myrrh can be applied externally. For example, 1 ml of Myrrh tincture can be added to 4 oz of water to make a mouth wash. Good quality myrrh tincture is made with very high proof alcohol in order to extract the resin.  Our tooth powders contain a conservative amount of 5:1 Myrrh extract powder for gently toning sensitive gums, which is safe for daily use.
Myrrh essential oil is beneficial for reducing inflammation, as an expectorant, for slow healing wounds, and even for improving digestion. Myrrh oil is considered one of the safest essential oils, because it has been in use for thousands of years. Myrrh essential oil is also an ingredient in our Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon Balm and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon Massage oil. Another Aquarian Bath product which contains Myrrh essential oil is our Frankincense and Myrrh solid perfume. This natural botanical perfume was made with a blend of African essential oils including pure Frankincense and Myrrh essential oils in an Organic golden Jojoba and beeswax base. The scent is spicy and sweet.

In conclusion Myrrh resin has a long history of use for many purposes including pain relief, wound healing, perfuming and improving circulation. It can be used both internally or externally, but high therapeutic doses are for short term use only, and should be avoided for those on blood thinners or who are pregnant. Because of it’s beneficial properties we use it in many of our products and formulate them with careful attention to concentration for best results and safety.  Try one of our products containing with Myrrh with your next Aquarian Bath order.

The information included in this blog post is educational, and not meant to be a substitute for medical consultation or treatment from a Doctor or Herbal professional.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

SolarNetOne Advanced Solar Battery Backup System for Home or Business

This is a video I made with my husband Scott last week. He is giving a tour of a new solar powered battery backup system that he designed, the latest technology from our other company SolarNetOne. The system allows the home owner to power the house, sell excess power back to the grid, and have days of emergency back up power during power outages, for example from hurricane. We are currently planning a similar install for outside the US this year.

Are you interested in a system like this for your home or business? Let us know, and we will contact you when more will be available later in the year.

Cory Trusty
president @ Aquarian Bath
VP @ SolarNetOne

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ingredient Spotlight: Henna

Henna is the common name for the shrub Lawsonia inermsis. The plant is best known for its green leaves, which when dried, powdered, and mixed into a paste, are used for skin and hair dying. Other common names for the plant are the Mignonette tree, Egyptian privet and Mehndi. This plant grows as a native shrub in Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Palestine and  Syria. There plants may reach 8 to 10 feet high or more. The henna plant can also be grown in the United States in USDA growing zones 9b, 10a, 10b, and 11. The plant likes full sun and needs to be taken inside when the weather gets cold. I grew this plant in Daytona Beach for a while. It was growing really well for a while, but if I recall right I did not give it enough water. The plant can also be grown indoors. Cultivation is possible from cuttings or seeds.

Henna is used decoratively and medicinally in India. As a skin dye henna is popular as a wedding body decoration particularly for brides. The bride's hands and soles of her feet are painted in elaborate fertility and floral designs. This plant is also used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic medicine for treatment of skin irritations such as heat rash. Henna leaves and flowers may be applied in external preparations to inflamed skin conditions including burns, boils and sores.

The henna powder was used in ancient times is a hair dye in countries where it grew natively. In the late 1800's it also became popular as a hair colorant in Europe. By mixing the henna with other herbs different shades of color can be achieved, for example Indigo powder can be added to darken the color. You can check out our latest blog post to learn how to dye hair red naturally with henna. As an additive in our unscented Henna shampoo bars, the henna provides added conditioning, but it does not deposit color into the hair. You need the raw henna made into a paste that stays in the hair for 30 minutes or longer in order to dye the hair. We are now offering red henna powder in biodegradable compostable cellophane bags at Aquarian Bath.

We use henna powder as a natural hair dye and also to make a strong tea for our henna shampoo bars. Our bars are hand stamped with a wooden hand-carved leaf stamp from India.  Our henna shampoo bars are on sale until February 1st for 25% off. Also, our Henna powder will be offered at an introductory lower price through February 1.

Enter to win one of our henna shampoo bars using the rafflecopter widget below. Open to adults 18 and over. Sweepstakes ends February 11th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 26, 2015

How to Dye Hair Red Naturally with Henna Powder

Dying hair with henna is easy to do. I will explain the steps to dye your hair with henna in this blog post. We like using henna as a hair dye because it conditioning to the hair. Regular chemical hair dyes damage the hair cuticle. Henna is also is very compatible with our shampoo bars and diluted vinegar rinses. As hair dye, henna works best on lighter colored hair. Aquarian Bath is now offering powdered red Henna for hair dying, which is what I used to dye Tessa's hair (above).

How to Dye Hair with Henna

Preliminary precautions: Some people are allergic to henna. If you have never used henna before, then it is best to do a patch test on your skin. Make a patch test on the inside of your wrist with a little bit of henna mixed with water. Wait 24 hours to see if your skin has a reaction. If there is no reaction then you can begin the process below for dying your hair.  

Hair Prep: For best results, start out with clean dry hair that has been brushed and divided into smaller sections with clips. It is a messy job, so try to get help from a friend if you can. Wear your old work clothes, or black to avoid staining good fabrics.

8 oz of red henna powder now available at Aquarian Bath
Ingredients: The first step is to put your henna powder in a bowl with the juice of one half of a lemon and 1 tablespoon of oil such as Extra Virgin olive oil or grape seed oil. If you do not have lemon juice you could use vinegar instead. The lemon juice or vinegar helps the henna color stay in the hair for a long time. For short or thin hair you may only need a couple ounces of henna. For longer or thicker hair you will need more henna. Eight ounces works for my shoulder length thick hair. You can start out with a moderate amount of henna add more to the bowl if it looks like there is not enough. 

Form a Paste: Mix the henna, lemon juice and 1 T of oil with enough hot or boiling water to form a paste with the consistency of a creamy soup. At this point you need to decide if you have enough henna paste in your bowl to completely saturate your dry hair. If you think there may not be enough henna paste to completely cover your dry hair, then add more henna powder and water. Let the paste sit for around 30 minutes to allow the lemon juice to react with the henna powder.

Coat the hair evenly and wait: Next apply the henna paste to your hair completely covering each strand down to the roots. Avoid applying the paste to the forehead and around the ears and neck, because the henna paste will also stain the skin temporarily.  Leave the henna paste on your hair for 30 minutes to 2 hours. The longer you leave the paste on your hair the stronger the final hair color will be. You can freeze any leftover paste in a jar for future use.

 Rinse clean: Here is Tessa's hair after approximately 30 minutes of dying.

Wash as usual: Here is her hair after a couple of washes.  You can see that the bright orange fades out to a more natural looking color.  

Sunday, January 25, 2015

New Hemp-Organic Cotton Canvas Hot or Cold Therapy Pillows

Aquarian Bath is happy to offer more heat or cold therapy flaxseed pillows in this new canvas single layer fabric. This pinstripe fabric is made from a blend of hemp and Organic cotton which is exceptionally soft and sturdy. At this time we have these pillows in candy striper red and white or tan and white, perfect to match with cottage chic decor.  We hope to add blue and white later this year.

These pillows have again proved to me their practicality in design and functionality recently. Aquarian Bath pillows are loose and free-form without sections they can wrap easily around any injured area of the body not just around the neck and shoulders. Last week I fell while gardening and severely injured my arm. The physician's assistant at the ER gave me a diagnosis of a sprained elbow. She recommended ice on my arm for 20 minutes at a time, 4 times a day. It was nice to have the pillows on hand in our freezer, because they were not damp and leaky like the "leak proof" ice pack from the hospital. The flaxseed pillows of course do not get as cold as a water filled ice pack, however there is no risk of an ice water leak in your bed while you are injured. Also the flax pillows felt very soft and flexible compared to the solid ice packs and chunked-ice packs which felt too hard and painful on my swollen arm.  I also tried using an old experimental pillow which had corn instead of flax filling. The corn-filled pillow was too painful to use on the tender inflamed areas because corn kernels are large and hard. 

My arm is still healing. I have been using Speech Notes for longer emails and this blog post.  I can still sew and fill orders, and am hoping to regain all of my flexibility and strength.  I had to stop making soap, so if you need our original Ocean Waves sea salt soaps, you might want to pick one up. We will likely have a wait time for those soon.  

~ Cory Trusty, president