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Posts tagged: winter wellness

How to do an Herbal Face Steam

 

This winter, my body has been calling for extra restoration. Herbal steams are one of my favorite remedies for congested skin, sinuses, or just a stagnant winter feeling. By infusing herbs in boiling water, a steam releases  the herbs’ nutrient-rich volatile oils. Herbal steams have two primary benefits:


BENEFITS / HERBS

Skincare

The heat of the steam opens up pores, melts sebum and blackheads, and releases volatile oils. For skincare-focused steams, I recommend herbs with circulatory, antimicrobial, and brightening properties:

  • Green tea - tone and tighten
  • Calendula - gentle, all skin types, soothe and nourish
  • Lavender - calm and relax, treat acne
  • Rose - calm and relax, treat acne
  • Licorice - brighten
  • Rosemary - boost circulation
  • Yarrow - heal, stop bleeding, heal infection, treat acne
  • Chamomile - calm, relax, gentle, all skin types
  • Marshmallow - soothing demulcent, calming

Immune, lymph, and respiratory systems

Breathing in the herbs’ volatile oils opens your respiratory system, clears mucus, and brings the benefits of these potent oils into your bloodstream. It’s an especially good remedy during cold and allergy seasons. For these steams, I recommend herbs that calm, soothe, and promote immunity:

  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Eucalyptus
  • Yarrow
  • Elderflower

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. Start with a clean face, cleansing & wiping off any makeup or products.
  2. Fill 11”x7” pot (you want a large pot for this!) with 6.5 cups water or a one inch layer of water in pot. Put on high heat, bring to just under a boil, turn heat off.
  3. Add your herbal mixture and let steep for 10 minutes covered. For proportions use one tablespoon of herbs to every cup of water (so for my recipe, I use 6-7 tablespoons of herbs per pot). Use the benefits guide above to choose herb(s) that fit your needs.
  4. Bring covered pot to an area where you can comfortably sit or stand, and place the hot pot on a heat-proof surface (such as a towel or cutting board). Drape a large towel over your entire head, torso, and pot--tenting yourself. Uncover pot and steam for 2-5 min, breathing deeply and staying tented so no steam escapes. After the steam, your skin will be flushed, pores and sinuses will be wide open.

 

Pro tips:

Right after a steam is a great time to follow with your favorite face mask–open pores will allow your mask to work deeper. You can also use the leftover herbal steam water from the pot to make an herbal bath. For the bath, just pour the pot through a strainer, cheesecloth, or muslin sack or pour the mixture right in and strain after. Your skin will absorb the benefits of the herbal infusion. 

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Night Cloud Elixir / A Delicious Detox

Night Cloud Elixir / A Cozy Detox for Cooler Days

Did you know the name for our newest Eau de Parfum Night Cloud began with an herbal elixir? Our launch last week has me thinking about my journey to Night Cloud, and I want to share with you the drink that started it all. With warm sesame milk, charcoal, lavender, and honey, Night Cloud Elixir is a detox that feels like a treat.

I first created the elixir last summer, when I was scheming up all sorts of herbal concoctions, from matcha to golden milk. I named it Night Cloud, and I told myself it would be the name of my next perfume. In many ways, the ingredients laid the foundation for the fragrance – dark, rich, and lavender based.

Lavender and reishi calm. Activated charcoal draws out toxins and can settle an upset stomach. Mineral-rich sesame milk contains healthy fats that feel fortifying on winter days.

I hope you love it. 

 

Night Cloud Elixir Recipe
Ingredients for 2 servings

16 oz. homemade black sesame milk*
1 heaping tablespoon lavender buds
1 half tablespoon activated charcoal powder
2 teaspoons reishi powder
1 tablespoon of honey, or to taste

Instructions

1. Heat sesame milk on medium-low or until nut milk is warm to touch.
2. Pour into blender. Add lavender, charcoal, and reishi.
3. Blend on high until smooth.
4. In blender, add honey to taste and blend. Pour, garnish with lavender buds and charcoal if desired, and enjoy!

*Homemade Sesame Milk

Black sesame milk is key to the making this drink rich and creamy. I also like sesame milk because it is so nutrient dense and has a very high mineral content. Homemade sesame milk is easy – I promise! All it requires is a blender, cheesecloth, sesame seeds, and water. In a pinch, you can also sub your favorite nut milk.

Ingredients

1 cup black sesame seeds
4 cups water
 
Instructions

  1. Mix sesame seeds and water.
  2. Soak overnight
  3. Optional: sweet with 2 dates. Because I add honey to the Night Cloud Elixir, I recommend skipping this step for this recipe.
  4. Pour mixture into blender and blend on high.
  5. Strain ingredients carefully into a bowl. For straining, I use a nut milk bag, but you can also use a cheesecloth or dish cloth.  

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Herbal Kitchen / Golden Milk

turmeric

 

Happy Fall! Even though the temperature is still in the nineties here in New Orleans, I can feel the shift from Summer to Fall...The geese have made their way from up north to winter in Bayou St. John & City Park, the beauty berries have come in fuchsia (a sure sign of Fall here), and I've been craving my daily cup of golden milk! 

Turmeric is the key ingredient in golden milk, and its benefits are innumerable. It's best known for its anti-inflammatory superpowers due to high levels of curcumin––aiding all sorts of aches and pains specific to the neuromuscular and digestive systems. Turmeric is known to balance skin (due to its liver-nourishing properties), boost brain power, and ward off all sorts of illnesses. It's no wonder that this root gets hailed as one of the most beneficial superfoods on the planet. And don't forget that gorgeous color!

Golden milk is an easy and tasty way to give yourself some nourishing support any time of the year. This bev is packed with antioxidant-rich ingredients and is wonderful first thing in the morning to wake up our livers, or right before bed to ease into deep, restorative slumber. Either way, I've come to rely on this comforting cup throughout the years.

 

turmeric based Golden Milk

Recipe:

1 tsp ground organic turmeric powder 

1/4 tsp black pepper (aids absorption of turmeric––don't skip this!)

2 scoops collagen peptides (ok, this is a new addition for me. I jumped on the paleo-popularized collagen bandwagon, for skin health and inflammation management, and I will say my skin has been loving it! This is optional. I find it adds a slightly creamy consistency to the drink and doesn't affect taste.)

1 T. coconut oil

1 T. raw honey

1.5 cups boiling water

Add all ingredients in a blender, blend for 30 seconds on high, pour into a mug, sit back, sip & GLOW!

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