Friday, May 28, 2010

Three Beautiful Treasury East Collections

I'm very thankful to have some of my items featured in a few beautiful treasuries recently. I thought I would take the opportunity to share them with you and beautify my blog at the same time.

First this Treasury is by Keri of the Garden Vibe. This is one of my favorite treasuries of all time, entitled 'The Depths of the Ocean.' My last bar of Vegan Ocean Waves Sea Salt Soap is included in the treasury.

Next this is a brand new 'Bath Time' treasury by Red Line Art. Tracey has included my Rose Geranium Conditioning Hair Rinse and Lavender and Flax neck pillow in this collection.

The next collection was made by LeoandJunie. She has a great eye for coordination and this collection is entitle 'Gray Skies.' My Ocean Waves Sea Salt Soap is also featured in this treasury.

The curators and I would love for you to visit the treasuries on etsy and check out all the great items and leave your comments. Enjoy.

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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend Sale 20% Off Storewide

Hope you all have some fun plans for this weekend. Anything exciting? I'm still in bed recovering with the new baby, but my in laws are taking my six year old for a drive south on my birthday this Saturday.

For the weekend I will be offering a 20% off discount on all products in my etsy shop starting tomorrow Friday the 28th through Monday May 31st. To take advantage of this sale you can check out as usual through Etsy and request a revised paypal invoice, or you can check out, pay by paypal and I will refund you 20% off your products. All orders placed through the weekend will be shipped out on Tuesday June 1st.

Thanks for shopping and have a great weekend.

Something for Dad:

Dark Stout Soap

Best Sellers on Sale:

Black Licorice Tooth Powder

Carrot Top Shampoo Bar

Patchouli Natural Perfume for him or her

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Win a $60 Gift Certificate to CSN Stores

May 31: update. This contest is now closed. Congratulations Jennai! You will be contacted by CSN Stores shortly.

I'm excited to offer my readers a chance to win a $60 Gift card from CSN Stores this week. CSN stores features products from over 200 stores with a wide range of items including kitchenware, garden items, home decor, baby gear, as well as everyday needs such as ecofriendly LED lighting or school and office needs.

Here are a few of the items from CNS Stores that I liked:

This Magnetic Spice Rack looks like a great item for the chef or herbalist who can always use more convenient herbal storage space. I would love to fill them up with Holy Basils and Mints from the garden.

Here is a fun item for the gardener or nature lover, an audio field guide to song birds of the Eastern Region. I have lived on the East Coast for seven years now, and I know I still have bird calls to identify.

Who doesn't love new bath towels? These are made with bamboo and cotton.

There are many more fun and useful items to be found if you take a moment to browse.

How to enter: let me count the ways, one entry per activity.....
1. There are lots of cool items to choose from, leave a comment with a link to one of your favorites or something you think I would like.
2. Post a link about this contest on your blog in a new blog post on or before May 29th
3. Tweet about this contest on twitter including @aquarianbath in the post.
4. Become a follower to this blog or a fan on facebook.
5. Leave a comment with a review of one of your favorite items from, or leave a comment about something you would like to try from AquarianBath.

This contest is open to US and Canadian residents. The winner will receive a $60 gift card which can be used toward products at CSN Stores, shipping is excluded, however many items have free shipping available. This contest ends May 30th and the winner will be chosen at random from the entries. Please be sure to leave your contact information in case you win.

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New Baby on Board

I'm pleased to announce that our new baby Tessa arrived last week. She was born at home and weighed approximately 8.5 pounds. She is doing great, and I am recovering well. I have some wonderful helpers here and my various shops will be staying open, however shipping times will change from next day to twice a week for approximately the next 3 weeks. Thanks for your patience and stay tuned. Next up on the blog I will be hosting a great giveaway followed by an introduction to my other new 'baby,' my new sister shop on etsy for my handmade jewelry.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Giveaway Monday – Mortar and Pestle

A quick note to my herbie and foodie friends. Be sure to check out this mortar and pestle giveaway on Herbal Roots Zine. It's a free granite set from Import foods.

Giveaway Monday – Mortar and Pestle

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Souper Tonic Recipe for Stock & Miso Soup

This is a special soup stock recipe that contains immune boosting and general tonic herbs to keep you strong or give you an added boost if your body needs strengthening. Tonics such as those included in this recipe are great to take especially during two particular changes of season when colds are common. These two periods are the Summer to Autumn transition and the Winter to Summer transition. Another great time to prepare a soup like this is during periods of athletic training and conditioning. Tonics are also beneficial for those with chronic illnesses or those who are recovering from an acute illness (but not during acute infection).

As for me, I made this soup recently to build my strength and energy for my upcoming home birth and delivery. I especially added Red Raspberry leaf for this purpose. You are free to leave that ingredient out if you are not pregnant, post partum, or trying to conceive (Red Raspberry leaf is also beneficial for both men and women with fertility issues). If you wish to substitute Red Raspberry leaf for something else, then you could substitute double the amount of celery or other fresh garden greens. A second alternative would be to substitute the Red Raspberry leaf for additional dried Nettle.

Soup Stock Ingredients with a Few Attributes of Main Tonics:

3 carrots
1 large onion
2 oz dry shitake mushrooms
: immune enhancer, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant.
1 cup dried Red Rasperry Leaf: uterine tonic, promotes efficient labor and delivery, fertility tonic for women and men
1 cup dried Oatstraw: nourishes the nervous system, calming, relaxing, especially for those with mild anxiety and insomnia
3/4 cup dried Dulce Seaweed: benefits the Thyroid for underactive Thyroid function, mineral rich, anti-stress, and soothes or lubricates irritated tissues.
1/2 cup dried Nettle: high in vitamins, minerals and protein, benefits the immune system and kidneys, blood building for Iron-deficient anaemics
1/3 cup dried Lemongrass: a flavorful immune system booster, benefits digestive system
1/4 cup dried Astragalus Root powder: #1 energy and immune system tonic used in Traditional Chinese medicine
5 garlic cloves lowers blood sugar, benefits the circulatory system, anti-microbial
1 tsp fresh Thyme (or 1/2 tsp dry)
1/2 tsp Black pepper


Add all the ingredients into a large non-metallic pot and cover with water. Make sure all the dry herbs are soaked well. Cover the vegetables and herbs such that there is about 4-6 inches of water over the level of the ingredients (for this recipe around 5 quarts or more of water). Bring the water to a boil and simmer for 2 hours. Stir occasionally.

Allow stock to cool somewhat. Line a colander with multi-layers of cheese cloth or a natural cotton, hemp or linen cloth. Strain and press out the soup stock into a new pot.

Reserve 3 cups to make miso soup if you would like to make soup right away. The rest can be stored in quart containers or freezer bags in the refrigerator or the freezer. Soup stock stored in the refrigerator should be used within 3 days. Soup stock stored in the freezer can be used within 6 months.

Now here is the easy part:

Miso Soup Recipe

3 cups soup stock from above
3 Tablespoons Miso paste
sliced green onions to garnish

Persons with high blood pressure should reduce the amount of Miso paste by half or more.


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Happy Mother's Day: Bath Salt Recipe for Mom

Happy Day to all the Mother's out there. I just made myself a big batch of bath salts today. Maybe you would like to make some for yourself or for your mom. The ingredients are not hard to find. This recipe will fit in a 1 quart mason jar.

Lavender Bath Salts:
1.75 cups unscented Epsom Salts (available at drug stores)
1.5 cups coarse or fine Sea Salt
0.5 cup Borax (or Baking Soda)
0.25 cups Bentonite or Kaolin Clay
1 tsp Lavender essential oil.

Stir together and add to your mason jar.

Enjoy! This is a better recipe than what you will find at the corner drug store. Bath salts at the average drug store may have essential oils, but I challenge you to find one that has not been polluted with cheap chemical fragrance oils. For a review of why we want products with essential oils instead of Fragrance oils you can review this older blog post Comparing Essential oils with Fragrance Oils in Consumer Products, How and Why to Spot the Difference.

There are a million and one variations on bath salt recipes do you have one to share? Please feel welcome to comment with a recipe.

Photo by Rowan.M.McDonald. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 1.0 Generic license.

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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Use of Epimedium for Exhaustion and Headache Recovery

This blog post is a part of Sean Donahoe's blog party at Green Man Ramblings on Herbs for sexual vitality, pleasure, and health. Be sure to check in at his blog after May 15th to see all the related blog entries.

Epimedium grandiflorum, also known as Horny goat weed, or Yin Yang Huo in Chinese, is not the first herb to come to mind when you think of something to treat or prevent migraine-type head aches. Epimedium is best known for it's use as aphrodisiac. Specifically, it known for improving blood flow to help with erections. Epimedium is classified as a Kidney Yang tonic from the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Kindney Yang tonics are used for persons with acute or constitutional Kidney Yang deficiency who may have one or more of the following signs or symptoms: swollen tongue, low back pain improved by warmth, subjective feelings of cold, pear shaped body, frequent pale urination, cold knees, poor memory, withdrawal, desire for warm drinks. I have seen Epimedium growing well in Northern gardens, for example at the Bastyr University garden in Seattle. It is reported to grow well in USDA zones 4b - 9a.

It's been about 3 years since I last used Epimedium, and I find it interesting that the opportunity to write about it comes up when I am expecting a new baby. I hope this anecdotal account will be helpful to someone with this type of headache that I treated with Epimedium. In December of 2006 I weaned my daughter who was about 2.5 years old at the time. I suppose I had been a follower or at least influenced by the philosophy of child-led weaning as the gold standard. However, by the time my daughter was 2 and a half, the nursing was really depleting me. While she was full of energy and vitality, I was physically exhausted and depleted, despite my balanced diet. I had to stop and I did. By January of 2007 I was still recovering my energy and felt the first severe affects from the depletion and exhaustion, even though I had already stopped nursing a month before. In January I had my *first ever* severe and debilitating headache that started with my menstrual cycle. One side of my head was throbbing unbearably. I couldn't stand any sounds or light. I couldn't walk with out severe head pain, and I confined myself to bed in a dark room. In the morning the headache would start and then not go away until the sun went down. Migraines with menstrual cycles are such a common complaint, including among women in my family. I could feel the expectation that this was going to become a chronic issue for me.

With the help of Giovanni Maciocia's classic textbook The Practice of Chinese Medicine, I was able to narrow down my headache type of one of more than 17 different headache pathologies described in terms of Traditional Chinese medical diagnosis. By the book my headache type appeared to be due to Kidney Yang deficiency leading to Liver Yang Rising, a rather uncommon diagnosis, but not surprising given my constitutional type. The more common features of severe headaches due to Liver Yang Rising headache are throbbing headache that affects one or both sides of the head. More often than not, Liver Yang Rising headaches are due to underlying Liver and/or Kidney Yin or Blood deficiency such as is common in peri-menopausal or menopausal women. The point that my headaches were worse during the day, and faded out at night was key in pointing to a Liver Yang Rising Headache due to Kidney Yang deficiency. As soon as I finished my cycle I started supplementing with the one Kidney Yang tonic that I happened to have on hand, which was Epimedium. I took this herb decoction for a month. By the time my next menstrual cycle came around I was overjoyed that I had absolutely no trace of headache to accompany it.

My main take home lesson from this experience was nursing is great, but not at the expense of mom's health. I'm hoping that I will not have any issues with nursing the new baby, but if I do have depletion headache come up in spite of a nourishing diet again I will be taking Epimedium again.

For more information about the Actions, Indications, and Medical uses for Epimedium a great site to check out is Alternative Healing.

Certified organic Epimedium powder, which is far superior to that in any drugstore tablets can be found at Mountain Rose Herbs.

The Epimedium photo was taken by Sphl and used with Permission. Regarding the photo: permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts.

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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Body Powder Recipe for Hot and Humid Weather

Hot summer weather is here again in Central Florida. With a new baby on the way now a safe and effective body powder is essential for preventing heat rash. True heat rash, also known as Milaria, is the result of overgrowth of the bacteria Staphylococcus epidermidis. Young babies and children are especially susceptible to heat rash because of their under developed sweat glands. The neck and skin folds are common areas for heat rash which can appear as small red dots. This form of the rash is known as Milaria rubra, which is the most common. Another type of rash that is common in hot humid weather conditions is Candida, which is a fungal over growth. This rash can also manifest around the neck and between skin folds, groin, etc.

For heat true heat rash avoiding hot temperatures and humidity is essential, in children a short hair cut can be helpful. Cool baths and air conditioned environments can help clear up the rash. For persons with Candida, dietary changes and weight loss can be important factors for clearing the rash. In either case it is very important to keep the skin dry because bacteria and fungus proliferate well in damp environments.

The following is a body powder recipe that I created for use in persons with either type of rash in conjunction with such lifestyle changes. This recipe is contains no essential oils and is safe for use with babies and young children.

3/4 cup Arrowroot powder
1/4 cup Baking soda
1/4 cup Licorice root powder
1/4 cup Myrrh powder
1/8 cup French green clay
1/8 cup Bentonite clay

About these ingredients:
Arrowroot provides a gentle non-irritating base for this formula. Baking soda is deodorizing. Licorice root is specific against both Staph and Candida. Licorice root is one common herb used in Chinese medicine powders for heat rash, for example it is found among recipes compiled for Milaria by Liang Jian-Hui in A Handbook of Traditional Chinese Dermatology. Myrrh is known for it's anti-fungal properties. The French green and Bentonite clays help absorb moisture from the body to keep the skin dry.

Measure out and mix all ingredients together in a clean mixing bowl. Add your mixed body powder to a clean powder dispenser of your choice. You could put it in a wide-mounthed glass jar and apply the powder with a large soft make up brush, add the powder to a fancy pepper shaker, add the powder to a recycled spice jar with shaker holes, or purchase a specialized powder shaker container to use with this recipe.

Directions for use:
To use dust this powder lightly over the body after a shower, before going outside into the heat, or as needed throughout the day.

This recipe is part of the Mountain Rose Herbs Recipe Contest. Mountain Rose offers a great selection of organic herbs and herbal supplies. All the ingredients can be found to make this recipe for your self at Mountain rose. Follow the link below to shop.

Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c

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