Tag Archives: Spring 2013 Catalog

Wild Edibles- Spring 2013 Catalog

Surviving the Way It Is, with Wild Edibles

B. J. Rucker

BobbiJoRucker2

Surviving the way it is.

That phrase always comes to my mind when I ponder the abundance of edible wild foods out there. You have to learn to survive the way it is in whatever environment you are in. And right now with the high cost of groceries, learning about a few wild foods is a good way to help your wallet survive.
I won’t tell you that all wild foods are delicious. The truth is, many are not very tasty, and some are downright nasty—unless you enjoy lip-curling bitterness. But if in a pinch, you found yourself needing food, you would welcome those edible plants regardless of taste. There are, however, certain wild treats that are a delight to eat.

Weed Eater
Many of the plants some people call troublesome weeds, I call salad. Dandelions, lambs quarters, plantain, clovers, goldenrod, wild carrot, burdock, chicory, garlic, and mustard, to name a few, all qualify. Since I was young, God’s creation has fascinated me, and although my parents taught me a few things about wild edibles, most of what I have learned stems (so to speak) from many hours of research and experimentation. Much of my motivation is simply that I want to use and respect the plants God made for us.
If you are fortunate enough to have great-grandparents who are still living—or perhaps grandparents—try asking them if they ever ate things we now call weeds, such as dandelion greens. We have lost the knowledge of which wild foods are safe to eat since our survival no longer depends on foraging for food like many of our ancestors did. I have often wondered how it has come to be this way, and my theory is that many of those wild edibles grow easily on their own, which means cultivating them would not be cost effective. If people could simply step outside and pick their own, they would not need to spend money on them.
Once you get to know outdoor edibles, you may be surprised to find out how many “weeds” are actually safe to eat. But before you go out and start grazing, please do your own research and become familiar with the plants. To jumpstart your study, here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:
(1) I tend to lean on the side of caution and will research a plant over and over from a variety of published sources and knowledgeable people and compare notes. Never trust just one source.
(2) Take a digital picture of the plant from several angles. Photograph its root, leaves, stems, seeds, and flowers–any different part your specimen offers. And then find a forum or other place online to post the pictures, and ask for help in identifying it.
(3) Do a Google search of your plant, starting with a description of what you see. For example, if you wanted to research wild carrot, a.k.a., Queens Ann’s Lace, and you did not know its name, you could type in something like “late summer tall white flower” to start your inquiry. In your search results, look for both descriptions and pictures of the plant.
(4) Eat only one new plant at a time. Once you are positive the plant is safe to eat, testing is still in order. By eating just the one species at a time, if you get any bad side effects, you will know it is likely from the new plant you just tried.
(5) Look in the library for books on wild edibles and herbs as well, although doing your research this way will take a lot longer.
(6) There are dangerous look-a-likes among some wild edibles. As part of your online search, it is a good idea to type in something like “[plant name] look alikes.”

Be Bold but Not Too Bold
I must admit it is scary to eat a plant I have been taught was poisonous all of my life, but there are myths about edibles that are worth busting. I was always told, for instance, that burdock was deadly, so it took huge amounts of research before I was confident enough to try it myself. Now I love burdock root fried in olive oil.

To make the wild edible adventure work, you have to step out of your comfort zone a little bit. As you begin to enjoy Creation in a new way, you can also pray for the Maker’s direction in guiding your research of His plants. Use every means you can to identify the good from the bad. Smell the plants. Examine them from the top to the root. Feel their texture, and examine leaf shape. Keep an eye on the plant throughout the growing season if possible to notice its many phases. Some wild edibles are safe to eat only during certain parts of their growing season, and some have both safe and unsafe parts, so you must learn which plant pieces are safe to eat before trying them.

You will likely encounter conflicting information that at times will confuse and worry you. Some “experts” will claim a plant is most certainly unsafe while other sources will say it is most certainly safe. When you run into this situation (and you will!), don’t give up. Keep researching until you find an answer that satisfies you.
Because I am cautious, my personal data base of wild edibles is still small, but each year brings a new growing season and more of God’s plants to research and try. I am a stay-at-home housewife and mother, and my kids and I love going out to find wild edibles every summer. But this sort of education can have amusing—and occasionally a bit awkward—results. Several years ago, when my daughter was seven, she participated at our church in a special kids outing at which she began picking plantain and clovers to eat. This freaked out her Sunday school teacher who hurried to tell me that my daughter was eating the church yard! The teacher knew something of our reputation for eating forage, so she wasn’t too worried about it, but I remind my children from time to time not to make a show of eating wild edibles around other children. There’s always the danger that others may try eating wild edibles on their own and, if untrained, end
up consuming something unsafe.

Wild edibles make a great study for your children. Take them outside to examine plants, and teach them which ones are safe (and don’t forget your camera). As a result of our times outdoors, my six- and nine-year-old daughters, Miracle-Grace and Faith, have even come up with their own “Yard-Grazing Salad”:
• Clover flowers and leaves
• Wild carrot flowers
• Dandelion leaves and flowers
• Plantain leaves and seeds
• Lambs quarters leaves
• Garlic mustard leaves and flowers
• And some lettuce from the fridge.
To make it “just right,” toss it and serve with your favorite salad dressing. Throwing in a few nuts, seeds, and pieces of fruit adds a fun extra touch.

The sidebars accompanying this article will help you identify several of the most common outdoor edibles. With some “due diligence,” perhaps someday you’ll be that grandmother or grandfather the kids come to for advice about what to eat in the wild. Meanwhile, you and your family can supplement your groceries and have a great time surviving the way it is.

[Sidebars]
WILD CARROT (also known as Queen Ann’s Lace)
This plant seems to grow everywhere on its own with virtually no help at all. (I must be clear and say that there is a deadly plant called poison hemlock that resembles the wild carrot, but once you research “Queen Ann’s Lace,” you can feel comfortable in positively identifying and safely using wild carrot. Although even my six- and nine-year-old children can properly identify wild carrot, I always have them show me the plant before they eat it, just to be sure.)
Ways to identify wild carrot:
• It is a tall plant with white flowers. A purplish dark spot, often—though not always—sits in the center of the white. The dark spot could be considered a tiny flower within the big white, wide flower.
• Oftentimes, more than one flower branches off of each stem. Every once in a while a wild carrot flower will have a pinkish hue in the tiny flowers that appear to make up the giant white flower.
• The leaves resemble those of a regular garden carrot and of the parsley plant.
• The carrot-like smell of the root is a good way to determine if it is wild carrot. However, it is not bright orange like a cultivated carrot. The root has an off-white color.

• The stem has tiny hairs here and there up and down its length. By contrast, the deadly poison hemlock plant does not have hairs on the stem.
• Wild carrot often grows in large groups along roadsides, in fields, in grassy areas, and most anywhere else.
Edible parts:
• Leaves. Some sources say wild carrot leaves are safe to eat only when the plant is young, before the flowers appear, but I have eaten my share of leaves from mature, late summer plants and have been fine.
• Flowers. Eating them raw is okay but not the best taste in the world. I like dipping them in batter and frying!
• Roots. I have a hard time finding the root before it has become too hard and woody to eat, but if you come across an older root, you can still use it to flavor other foods such as stew. To harvest root before it turns woody, you must find the wild carrot plant when it is a baby. This makes it harder to identify because the flower has not yet appeared. A good indicator of whether or not it is a wild carrot plant in any stage of its life is to smell the root. The carrot scent is always noticeable.

People have found wild carrot to be good to use as:
• A diuretic;
• A cleanser for the liver and kidneys;
• A help to sooth and comfort the digestive tract.
It also:

• Encourages the flow of urine and removal of waste by the kidneys which helps with certain health problems in the urinary system including, decreasing the chance of kidney stones forming.
• Is said to contain a compound called porphyrin that encourages the pituitary gland to increase the amount of sex hormones it releases.
• Helps with a diabetic’s blood sugars. My own experience as a diabetic suggests the reports of its benefits are true. Due to the nature of my diabetes, no herb works full time for long, but for a time, wild carrot helped keep my blood sugars down which meant I took less insulin.
• Stimulates the uterus and is said to help start delayed menstruation. Which is why wild carrot is NOT safe to eat during pregnancy or if you want to get pregnant. This plant was used in the old days as a form of birth control. From what I have learned, it will allow conception but can possibly kill a newly fertilized egg by not allowing the baby to attach to the lining of the uterus.

WARNINGS!

(1) There is a very dangerous plant that resembles wild carrot. Poison hemlock can be mistaken for wild carrot by those not familiar enough with the carrot. Ingesting even trace amounts of poison hemlock can be deadly. (2) Wild carrot should not be eaten by pregnant women or women who want to become pregnant. It has birth-control-like properties and was used in the times past to cause miscarriages.

BURDOCK
If you have ever been roaming in the woods or along unmowed grassy areas, you have most likely come across the burdock plant. You may have even wished you could banish all burdock if it were in your power to. Burdock burs entangle themselves into your hair, clothing,
shoes, and into the fur of your pets—and they are not easy to remove. Rumor has it that burdock burs are what spawned the idea for Velcro, and I can believe it.

Ways to identify burdock:
• Its large leaves resemble rhubarb leaves. People often mistake burdock for rhubarb in the earlier stages of its growth, before the burs appear.
• In late summer, it sports those large burs that seem to jump out and stick like super glue to your clothing.
• The stems are not juicy, tart, and sweet like rhubarb and have hair on them, unlike the rhubarb stem.
• The root is whitish in coloring and very hard to dig up.
Edible parts:
• All parts of the burdock, except the burs, are edible, but I must warn you that just because it is said to be safe to eat does not mean it is tasty. Burdock stems and leaves are horribly bitter. I would have to be absolutely starving to death with no hope of finding anything else to eat before I would eat the above-ground portions of a burdock plant! But this often-hated plant makes up for its infamous above ground portions by providing a delicious and healthy root.
• The root contains most of this plant’s helpful nutrients, but digging it up is not easy. With my husband’s help I have dug up 2-3 feet of root that always seem to break off and appear to have a large portion still under the ground. I have never been able (or patient enough) to dig up an entire root of this plant. I would like to try getting soft dirt from the store and planting some burdock in it to see how well the digging goes when it comes to harvesting the roots.
• The root is tasty. You can eat it raw, or cook it any way you like. The flavor reminds me of a carrot. I prefer slicing it up and frying it in olive oil. If you happen to get hold of a woody root, simply peel off the outer layer.
• If you have ever eaten in an Asian restaurant, it is very possible you have already eaten burdock root. It is known as gobo in Asian markets and dishes and is a common food in certain parts of the world.
People have found the burdock plant to be good for:
• Helping to sooth burns. I crinkled up a burdock leaf and let it sit in hot water for a few minutes before I put it on my great-niece’s sunburn. She said it helped relieve the pain and fell asleep soon after I applied the leaf. That confirmed to me that it did help because she had not been able to sleep due to the sunburn beforehand.
• Fiber.
• Helping to lower fevers.
• Use as a prebiotic. A prebiotic is a food that has some non-digestible parts that pass though the digestive system and help the good bacteria (probiotics) do their job better.
• Improving digestion.
• Use as a diuretic

• Use as a blood purifier.

• Fighting off infections.
• Cleansing the liver.
• Combatting cancer. Some information suggests the burdock plant, mainly the root, contains a compound that helps fight off cancer. I repeatedly found sources saying that it has been used for many years to fight cancer.
WARNING!
There isn’t much to warn about regarding burdock other than to not mistake burdock leaves for rhubarb leaves, which are said to be poisonous.

Natural Energy for You and Your Little House- Spring 2013 Catalog

Natural Energy for You and Your Little House

Nancy Webster

Ma Ingalls and her girls gave their house a thorough scrub-down every spring. But if you’re like me, you’re exhausted at the mere thought of doing a Little-House-onthe-Prairie style spring cleaning on top of the regular dishes and laundry. You may also wonder exactly why it seems so hard to accomplish the things on your to-do list.

Do your hair and nails look as dragged out as you feel? Are seasonal allergies your excuse? Or maybe you’re pregnant and just counting down the months until you can feel like yourself again—who cares about clean windows anyway?

Off to a Super Start

Even if you’ve made great changes in favor of eating more nutrient-dense, whole foods, it also takes superfoods to help your body stay in top health. These days, pollution, stress, your past history of junky eating and pharmaceutical use all work against every glass of raw milk or organic veggies you consume. Superfoods, though, are super full of nutrition, and because they are nature-made, your body can easily absorb and use their goodness.

So where do you start with adding superfoods to your diet? Which one will jumpstart your system and help you feel like washing windows after folding four loads of laundry, cooking for a crowd, and/or a long day at the office? Spirulina!

This humble, algae-like plant (called a cyanobacteria) is one of the most potent protein and nutrient sources available. And boosting energy is just one of its many abilities. Spirulina also works to relieve congestion, sniffling, and sneezing caused by all types of allergies. It boosts the immune system, helps control high blood pressure and cholesterol, protects from cancer, and more.

How does spirulina come by this impressive resume? As a source of protein, it is 65 percent complete protein. By comparison, beef is only 22 percent complete. This also makes it a far healthier choice than those much-touted, dubious protein powders, especially when you consider all the other goodies you get with spirulina (see http://holisticsquid.com/the-problem-with-protein-powders/). Spirulina contains all the essential amino acids, plus some, and provides a healthy portion of Omega-3 (like in salmon) as well as Omega 6 and 9. Omega-6 is gamma linoleic acid (GLA), known to be anti -inflammatory (for arthritis relief!), to increase fat burn after exercising, and to make beautiful hair and nails.

Spirulina is high in chlorophyll, which removes toxins from the blood and boosts the immune system. Chlorophyll and iron are a great friend to pregnant mamas, as the tendency for anemia at this season of life is significant. That’s why spirulina is a main ingredient in Beeyoutiful’s SuperMom multi-vitamins. The easily absorbable, non-constipating iron content of spirulina is 58 times that of raw spinach and 28 times that of raw beef liver 1. Spirulina is replete with vital minerals most of those pretty veggies at the store can’t provide any more, thanks to being grown in depleted soils.

 Better Off Teeth, Nerves, and Both Brains

 If weeds get the best of your garden, or your kids (or you!) don’t like vegetables, or you simply wish you could juice but just can’t swing it, handy, mineral-rich spirulina is the way to get your cancer-fighting daily quota of greens. Calcium and phosphorus are two of the major mineral players in this fantastic superfood. If these minerals are lacking or out of balance in the blood, tooth decay is in your near future. So spirulina is also recommended as part of a tooth remineralization program. And because the calcium content is more than 26 times that of milk, spirulina is excellent for children, the elderly, and pregnant women, and especially for folks who are casein- or lactose-intolerant.

If your nerves are on edge or your digestion is off, you need spirulina for all the B complex vitamins it contains. Our gut is our “second brain,” and it needs the B’s to work well. Do you have candida? Most people do these days, and spirulina has been shown to encourage and support the growth of healthy bacterial gut flora, which helps keep candida overgrowth under control. Because candida will cause and worsen symptoms, this is especially important if you have an autoimmune disease such as Crohn’s, chronic fatigue, lupus, or fibromyalgia.

Yet another feature of spirulina is its ability to chelate arsenic from the body. Hair analysis on one of our daughters showed her to be loaded with arsenic, which mystified me until I learned of the many places she might have encountered it in her young life. Arsenic is often present in well water, in pressure-treated wood like that at playgrounds, and in insect and rodent poison (used in public places even if not at your house). Last year, the news came out that it can be present even in rice, which especially impacts the gluten-free crowd. Yet the good news for my family was that after taking spirulina for six months, repeated tests showed the arsenic had cleared from my daughter’s body!

“But wait….There’s more!”

Spirulina’s antioxidant ability ranks 24,000 on the ORAC scale (Oxygen Radical A irulina’s antioxidant ability ranks 24,000 on the ORAC scale (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity), right up there with weird spices we might use only in teeny amounts and four times the ORAC score of blueberries. Feed your eyesight with spirulina’s antioxidant-rich carotenoids (nutrients found in green and brightly-colored vegetables) including beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein. The high antioxidant amounts in spirulina also lower risk of strokes, inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells, and regulate blood pressure. They also normalize extreme cholesterol levels without the need for dangerous statin drugs 2.

spiru;ina

Although the sixteenth century Aztecs harvested and ate spirulina from Mexico’sLake Texcoco, Spirulina is now often grown in protected, organic ponds. Otherwise, spirulina from polluted sources can cause excess levels of lead, mercury, and cadmium in the body. Beeyoutiful does multiple sample mass spectrometer testing on each and every batch harvested to assure that no environmental, pesticide or heavy metal contaminants are present in the end product they offer their customers. So you can have peace of mind knowing it is truly pure and safe! Spirulina does wonders for almost everyone, but if you are prone to gout, have hyperparathyroidism, PKU, or a seafood or iodine allergy, you should avoid it. Because it does have some carbs, you should also consult a physician before using spirulina if you have Type 2 diabetes.

So how much spirulina do you need to get you going? A therapeutic serving size is between three and five grams, preferably broken up throughout the day. Since six tablets of Beeyoutiful brand spirulina equal three grams, a bottle will last one person approximately one month. For more serious health conditions, take the higher amount, but build up slowly to this dose to avoid detox reactions. Once you re-energize with spirulina, you’ll be ready to tackle that makeover spring cleaning—and to give Ma Ingalls a run for her money!

 Nancy Webster is a homeschool mother of eight and leader of the Southern Middle Tennessee chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation. She is an ardent researcher on nutrition and alternative approaches to good health.  Nancy lives with her family on their “partially working” farm in Tennessee.


[1] But don’t let these facts keep you from taking cod liver oil daily and eating liver weekly as well. Liver, also a superfood, contains full-blown vitamin B12 and vitamin A—not the pre-cursors present in spirulina. The pre-cursors are generally usable in the body, but young children and many adults with even mild digestive issues have trouble converting beta-carotene into vitamin A. Also, since it is disputed whether or not the body is able to absorb the B12 found in spirulina, animal products are necessary, too.

[2] The Weston A. Price Foundation says “young and middle-aged men…who have cholesterol levels just below 350 are at no greater risk than those whose cholesterol is very low. For elderly men and for women of all ages, high cholesterol is associated with a longer lifespan.”

More Than Skin Deep- Spring 2013 Catalog

More than Skin Deep

Solving Problems on the Surface by Healing Inside

Mary Ewing

Mary Ewing Bio Picture 

Beauty may only be skin deep, but problems that show up on the surface often are not. They come from hidden places in the gut and become painful and impossible to ignore on our skin. Yet most conventional treatments offer little hope, with words like “idiopathic” (unknown cause), “lifelong and chronic,” and “no cure.” If you’ve ever sought treatment for skin problems, you’ve likely been offered a steroid cream or ointment to help with discomfort but given little actual help curing the fundamental problem. Doctors often do not even recognize the presence of underlying causes.

Although I’ve experienced a few mild bouts of adult onset acne, my main battle with skin problems has been on behalf of my son. Our sweet Elliot was born six years ago and struggled with stomach issues from the beginning. He eventually developed extreme eczema—to the point that his feet would crack and bleed when he walked. At times, he screamed for hours on end because of the discomfort. A doctor “assured” us this was “hopefully” just a childhood problem he would grow out of but left open the dismal prospect that it could be a lifelong condition. As instructed, we smothered the affected areas with an assortment of creams, all of which included petroleum or steroids, and none of which did a bit of good. It broke our hearts. For almost a year, my husband and I took turns sleeping on an air mattress by Elliot’s bed so we could press on his breakouts to help relieve the pain and “itchies” when he woke up in the night.

Gutting It Out

Studies show that most skin disorders are related primarily to the gut—either with food allergies or intolerances—and/or poor bowel health altogether. This is especially true for those whose bodies have significant yeast overgrowth. When we discovered the skin-gut connection, we began to explore healing through adjustments in Elliot’s diet. Recognizing that healthful eating would benefit the whole family, I made sure our diet included healthy fats, grass-fed and organic meats, and organic vegetables and fruits low in allergens. We started with an elimination diet and found that Elliot’s triggers were corn (he doesn’t seem to react to organic corn, but we still limit it in his diet) and sugar. By eliminating just these two foods, he improved greatly.

We augmented his diet with gut-healing helpers like Tummy Tuneup and Digestive Enzymes at each meal and did a gentle yeast cleanse on him. Elliot took daily servings of coconut oil, and once he could swallow the necessary capsules, we gave him Yeast Assassin Lite. Finally, we started him on cod liver oil every day. At that point, not only did his symptoms disappear, but his skin became softer and less prone to itching.

Meanwhile, Back on the Surface

While the foods and supplements worked on Elliot’s insides, one of the things for which we will be forever grateful is the lotions, astringents, and essential oils that became the daily regimen of relief! (I’ve also seen the benefits in friends suffering with rosacea, psoriasis, and acne.) Using natural treatments like these increased my peace of mind, knowing they didn’t add a toxic burden to Elliot’s already overtaxed system. When people lather up with chemically-based potions, they often pump toxins—such as fragrances, dyes, petroleum, and parabens—into an already stressed body.

As a barrier to the outside world, skin is designed with a waterproof layer—the stratum corneum—which both keeps moisture in and foreign substances out. The problem is that when exposed to water or liquids for a long period of time—like soaking in a bath or using a warm facial—the skin starts opening up and accepting moisture. This also tends to be when we start slathering! So coating ourselves with non-natural products actually infuses these toxins into our bodies.

The other problem with these toxic treatments is that many have a lower molecular weight than water which enables them, even without soaking, to slip through the skin’s protective matrix. Since most chronic skin issues result from toxin overload, “traditional” treatments thereby compound the existing problem. And for teens or adults who suffer from blackheads or acne, it may even exacerbate the situation in the long run because the body’s other detoxification methods—bowels, liver, and kidneys—are already stressed. As a result, the body may turn even more to the skin for detoxification, which can lead to even more acne—a vicious cycle!

So even if the entire gut-healing regimen seems out of reach to you, healing with natural-based lotions, astringents, soaps, and other topical aids can go a long way to reducing the burden on your skin. Let me recommend a few that Beeyoutiful can help you with.

(1)    Astringents

All Beeyoutiful astringents are handmade with organic or wild-crafted herbs, specifically formulated to address acne and other facial problems. They also work well on bug bites and flare ups of eczema. We offer three types—normal, dry, and oily–corresponding to your type skin. All have a base of plantain, calendula, comfrey, rosemary, sage, thyme, and horsetail in alcohol and witch hazel, combined in varying proportions as appropriate to skin type. These herbs help moisturize while they promote healing of damaged skin, cell renewal, and tightening of pores. They also ease itching associated with eczema and bug bites. We suggest applying in both morning and evening, but you can use them as needed for discomfort.

astringent_group

(Tip: Since small flecks of the herbs often get on your cotton pad, the slight residue may leave minute smears on your face. So we astringent cottonsuggest putting the astringent on your cotton pad and then flipping it over and applying it to your skin with the other side. The astringent absorbs through the cotton, but the green flecks don’t. Although the flecks can actually be beneficial to problems you’re treating, you probably don’t want to wear them around all day!)

(2)    Laveshmint Daily Moisturizing Lotion

This lovely, light facial moisturizer has such a wonderful cooling and soothing sensation that it is my go-to daily lotion. This can be especially helpful for itchy, scaly skin associated with eczema and psoriasis, but it also helps calm the flushing and breakouts in skin ailments like rosacea. Aloe and Coconut oil are the primary moisturizers in Laveshmint. Both are natural moisturizers—even safe to take internally—but they also offer healing properties from antimicrobial affects to nourishing the skin as it softens and moistens. In addition, the essential oils, Lavender and Peppermint, are tremendous for the skin! Peppermint’s cool, tingly, refreshing aroma enlivens the skin and stimulates blood flow while it soothes aggravated areas.  Lavender does double duty by decreasing skin irritation, and its healing properties help restore the supple skin that should have been there to begin with.

(3)    Miracle

When a moisturizer isn’t enough, we reach for the miracle in a jar: Miracle Skin Salve. Like Laveshmint, it contains Coconut oil and Lavender but also other natural healing ingredients such as plantain, comfrey, propolis, and Rosemary Essential Oil! Plantain has long been used as a natural and easy-to-find cure for cuts, abrasions, and stings. It works well to heal and promote blood supply in affected areas. Comfrey has anti-inflammatory properties, and it supports the healing of cuts and abrasions. Propolis is well-known for helping skin problems ranging from acne to eczema to psoriasis. Finally, Rosemary Essential Oil has strong anti-inflammatory properties which can be especially helpful with rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema!

(4)    Tea Tree OilTeaTreeEOil

Since many of these conditions have roots in fungal infections, specifically candida, I highly recommend washing the areas with a Tea Tree Oil bath each night. This is not only good for treating the underlying problem if it is fungal, but it prevents microbes from gaining a foothold in or around the affected area. Since problem skin is inflamed and often has abrasions, it is more susceptible to infections or fungal growth. Cleansing with a simple Tea Tree wash—approximately ½ cup of warm water with 5 drops of Tea Tree Oil—and then patting dry can help deter microbial growth for many hours. It has also been known to diminish acne overnight!

(5)    Bamboo Charcoal Unscented Soap and Charcoal Masks

I discovered with Elliot that it is immensely cool to a young boy to smear himself with black soap, but he had no clue that I did not choose the soap for its fun in the tub! It actually helps bind and cleanse the impurities expelled from the skin. This can be especially helpful for those with blemishes and acne, because it serves to draw out toxins the skin is eliminating while reducing redness and swelling. In addition to the soap, a charcoal mask can be used weekly to diminish acne and blackheads. A tutorial video on how to do this is available on the Beeyoutiful website: http://articles.beeyoutiful.com/2011/12/02/1086/

charcoal soap

Like we did with Elliot, the ultimate solution for skin disorders is to treat the internal causes. But reducing the external manifestations can prevent complications such as infections from broken or irritated areas. The goal in our family remains complete, deep healing, but attacking the inner problems from inside and out is the best way to bring back skin-deep beauty and gut-deep health.

 

Charcoal Mask

• 1 spoonful of raw honey

• 1 spoonful of charcoal powder

• 1 tsp of Sweet Almond or Jojoba Oil

• Several drops of Tea Tree, Chamomile or Peppermint Oil

• 1-2 capsules of Bee Strong and Bee Immune

Mix well, and then apply to face (avoid eyes!). Allow to dry as long as desired, and then rinse with water. Wash with your favorite soap or cleanser (natural, please).  Dab problem areas with a small amount of Miracle Skin Salve. Then use the herbal astringent of your choice, and follow up with Laveshmint Daily Facial Moisturizer to complete your routine.