Monday, April 3, 2017

Add It Again, Monday: Part 1 (Lavender Blossoms)

Today starts the first of my weekly Add It Again, Monday series. Add it again Monday is a tribute to all the amazing additives that can be put into bath and beauty products to personalize and enhance each product. This means oils, herbs, clays, and many other awesome additives.
I like to start things off strong so I want to talk about a well-known additive, Lavender blossoms. While you may not find many products that add the flowers from the lavender plant, I’m sure that you have seen plenty of products with lavender in them. There is a good reason for this: Lavender is good for everything!
As you may already know, lavender is used in aromatherapy. Why is this? Because just the smell of lavender can calm anxiety and relieve stress. So, if you have the oil, add a drop or five to your bath water to promote relaxation after a long day. I say one to five so that you can gauge your drops on how stressed out you are that day! If you are fresh out of lavender essential oil, but you have the lavender blossoms, you can put them in an organza bag and place it in your bath like a bath tea. It will have the same effect.
While a little can go a long way for relaxation, the same can be true about promoting sleep. If you are someone who does not easily fall asleep or possibly one whose mind does not stop going even after you lie down for the night, you can use a lavender blossom sachet under your pillow to help you sleep. If you have the lavender oils, use them in a diffuser in your bedroom for the same effect. I have a Pink Himalayan Sea Salt bowl that I like to put lavender oil on when I am feeling the need for extra help to get me to sleep and it works great!
Don’t think that people are the only ones who can benefit from the smell of lavender. Overanxious pets can also benefit from lavender oil. While you should not put it on their skin, an oil diffuser in the home can help calm your pet down. Furthermore, lavender oil can help keep fleas and other pests from bothering your dog. After I bathe my Pomeranian, I always put a few drops of lavender essential oil on her collar. This makes her sleep for a few hours after her bath which is relaxing for both of us, and it helps keep away any pesky tag-a-long that may want to hide in her coat.
Ok. Now that we have the nose out of the way. Let’s talk about some other senses that lavender can benefit. For one, did you know that lavender is edible?? And is it good?? Lavender tea is becoming a little bit more popular and you can now find it in some grocery stores. Of course, drinking lavender tea promotes stress relief just like when you smell it. However, you can also add it to recipes (yes, it is an herb) for an amazing flavorful dish. My favorite lavender dish is chicken breast with lavender. You split the breast just enough to stuff a small sprig of lavender in the chicken and then bake it. So good!
Finally, lavender is great for your skin. It is a natural antiseptic so you can use it to clean out and protect cuts and scrapes (Yay! No more rubbing alcohol for this girl). It can also soothe burned or irritated skin. However, you should not put lavender essential oil directly on your skin without a carrier oil (like palm oil, olive oil, etc.). Additionally, women who are expecting or attempting to become pregnant really should not use this oil until they have delivered or are no longer attempting to conceive.  
So, to end my salute to lavender and lavender blossoms, here are a few products from Black Willow Soaps that have lavender blossoms already in them for you (Fun Fact: In the soaps, they provide a nice soft exfoliation and help build a better lather). I have also included a recipe for homemade lavender room/body spray. I hope you enjoy! Have a great Monday!
Earthy Lavender scented Olive Oil Soap
Lavender Oatmeal scented Shea Butter Soap
French Vanilla Lavender scented Avocado Cucumber Soap

Homemade Lavender Room & Body Spray
Items needed:
1 spray bottle
Distilled Water
Isopropyl Alcohol
Lavender Essential Oil

Fill your spray bottle ¾ full with distilled water. Add 3 drops of isopropyl alcohol. Then add 10-15 drops of essential oil (more if you have a large spray bottle, less if you are using any bottle under 4 ounces. Shake it up and spray (it will take a couple of sprays for the essential oils to come through). This recipe works best with an 8 ounce spray bottle (adjust your oils accordingly). Spot test on skin and/or fabric before use.

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