Not long now until the Bushcraft Magazine’s annual May Meet in Kent. the first bank holiday weekend in May. There will be a wealth of activities including fire making, wild food cookery and herb walks. See http://www.bushcraft-magazine.co.uk/ for full details.
The knowledge of how to formulate a product and control the PH (acid/alkaline balance) is vital for more than one reason.
PH affects bacterial and fungal growth. There are bacteria and fungal spores all around us, in the air and on every surface. This is normal life, we cannot sterilise everything, and nor should we. Our bodies are adapted to live with this. However, when needing to preserve a product, food or cosmetic, we certainly don’t want it to spoil within a few days. Bacteria, like us, have favoured conditions to grow in. The commenest ones PH preference is between about 5 and 7 to 8. Therefore anything outside this range will reduce their ability to grow.
Above PH 7.5 to 8, is fairly unfriendly to our skin, think of the harshest soap and how dry and tight your skin feels after using it. So we don’t want to create face creams and such like, with that feeling, nobody would want them.
Luckily, our skin actually likes a slightly acid PH, it becomes softer, more pliable and naturally anti-bacterial.
Green Wyse products are formulated with this in mind, and the toner, creams and lotions all have a PH of around 4 which is ideal for use following the slightly alkaline cleansing routine of soaps, gels or cleansers.
If you want to read more in depth about this subject, you can go to this website.
This is just one of the natural ways Green Wyse products are preserved. Enjoy using them! 🙂
Yesterday I heard the weather forecast, and thought I’d better get out and harvest before the rain and gales. I picked just under a kilo of elderberries, leaving plenty for the birds higher up. They seem to have eaten a lot this year already, and my theory is that due to the wet summer the insect population is vastly reduced leaving them with less to eat.
Today the elderberries were made into lovely tincture medicine ready for the winter ahead as the amazing anti-viral remedy they are. Traditionally many people use them to make syrup, but I thought I might get the tincture made first. Any I pick later can be made into syrup.
The herb walk and workshop at Lydford Gorge National Trust on Saturday 14th September, went well, and the rain encountered on the way there, passed over and vanished.
We found plenty of Yarrow, some in flower, and gathered mainly the leaves to try in teas. Yarrow has astringent properties and has a traditional use as a wound healer and circulatory stimulant. We used it in a tea combined with Lemon Balm (Melissa) – a delicious combination, with the thought that the calming properties of the Melissa would be carried around the body efficiently by the circulatory influence of Yarrow.
We found the lance leaved type (Plantago lanceolata) and discussed how nibbling on a leaf or two can help reduce the dripping tap type of runny nose that comes with hayfever or the first day of a cold. Used on the skin as a poultice its anti-inflammatory effects help sooth stings and bites.
We also visited the tiny courtyard medicinal herb garden and harvested some of the Lemon Balm.
After lunch we made a chest plaister, with eucalyptus essential oil and cocoa butter ointment, Plantago poultices, Yarrow macerated oil, and a healing cream with horse chestnut, plantain, and witch hazel.
The weather was good, the rain staying off whilst we did our walk, and for the rest of the day.
There are already dates set for 2013 workshops…look out for Natural Beauty, a Mothers Day Treat, Chocolate and Rose…Chocolate face masks, and Rose day face cream…on 1st March. And on Friday 13th September, Potions and Lotions…magical healing herbs.