Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holiday Herbal Gift Series #11 - Herb "Kit" and a Lip Balm

This idea came to me the other day after a friend asked me to make up a couple aromatherapy kits for her to give as gifts. They will consist of 5 common essential oils, 5 rare essential oils, some carrier oil, pipettes, and various types of containers, like roll-on bottles, spray bottles, and dropper bottles so that the recipients can play with the oils. My friend has added a good essential oil book.
For an Herb Kit, there are so many things you could add, so we'll just list some of them here. I think this is a sort of Pick and Choose thing.

***The very first thing would HAVE to be a subscription to The Essential Herbal Magazine. Sorry if that seems self-serving, but seriously, it is a must-have.
***An ounce or so of 10 herbs. Now this would depend on what sort of herbal interest the recipient has. Is it culinary? Then perhaps we'd choose:
Coriander ~~ Lemon Thyme
Cardamom ~~ Nutmegs and a grater
Rosemary ~~ Cumin
Dill Seeds ~~ Pink, Green, and Black Peppercorns
Star Anise ~~ Saffron

Is the interest medicinal? Then choices might be:
Echinacea ~~ Elderberry
Ginger ~~ Licorice Root

Lemon Balm ~~ Comfrey
St Johns Wort ~~ Chamomile
Ginseng ~~ Nettle
And there is always the magickal herbalist who might like:
Cinquefoil ~~ Lucky Hand
Mandrake ~~ Frankincense
Galangal ~~ Mugwort
Bay ~~ Oak Moss
Patchouli ~~ Sandalwood
Among all of those categories, things like Lavender, Roses, and Sage (the old stand-bys) could also go.
***Muslin bags or heat sealable tea bags
***one ounce dropper bottles
***mortar and pestle
***a few ounces of a good base oil, like jojoba or apricot kernal
***1 pint canning jars and lids
***Under the Sun (of course! on our website...)
***a few essential oils
***a few distillates
***inexpensive scale
***empty vials, tins, and bottles to contain any completed projects
***special notebook to contain all recipes and results as they are tried
As you can see, there are a lot of ways to go with this. I'm certain that there are some important things I'm missing. If it were a culinary kit, a few kitchen tools would undoubtedly be welcome. In the medicinal kit it would be good to add some vodka and a good screened strainer - maybe a jelly strainer. The magickal kit might include candles and a gemstone of some sort.
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Now to the Lip Balm...
1 T jojoba oil
1 t cocoa butter
1 t beeswax
Melt the beeswax along with the oil and butter in a double boiler. Add any flavoring you might like at this stage. A drop of lavender is really nice on chapped lips! Alcohol based flavorings will not incorporate. A drop or two of various essential oils will. Rose, lavender, orange, grapefruit, or lime all work well.
Pour into small tubes, pots, or slip-tins and allow to set-up.

Please look over the previous 10 posts for sources. Thanks!

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