What Do You Put On Your Skin?

Hello Herbies!I'm Alison, a new teacher at the UHS.  So new, in fact, that my first class is coming up in 2 weeks.  In light of the upcoming Cream Making Workshop, I would like to share some of my thoughts on the relationship we have with plants. As I sit here in this moment my thoughts take me back through history to the expansive role plants have played for our healing, well being, growth and protection. Why not take a moment to remember how plants have been used to aid humans. What have they been able to provide? Their fibers that clothe and shelter us, their nutrients that feed, nourish and fill us, their medicine that heals and protects us, their dyes that add colour to our lives, their beauty that inspires us, their aromas that seduce us, their earth connection that grounds us, their constituents that expand consciousness and their oxygen that feeds the life within us. Just as a plant breathes out, we breath in and as we breath out plants breath in. What an incredibly intimate and symbiotic relationship! We are so fortunate to live in a time where more and more people are turning back, or shall we say looking forward, and seeing the benefit of incorporating traditional uses of plants in their lives. More people seem to be on board when it comes to using plants for healing and preventative medicine. I've seen this most often come out of being unsatisfied with certain modern medical approaches or out of the simple desire to understand what our ancestors knew so that a green and earth connected future can follow. A great way to start understanding the relationship between plants and our health is to put them ON our bodies. Our skin is the largest organ in our body, and as a living, breathing organ it needs to be fed, nourished and looked after much like our internal organs. Just as plants nourish us with nutrients through ingestion, they also nourish us through topical application. Have you ever looked at the olive oil in your cupboard and been curious about it's topical healing and moisturizing use? Did you know that oil is one of the 3 necessary ingredients needed to make a homemade cream? So why make your own cream? Well, our skin will literally eat anything that is rubbed into it, so we should be mindful about what we choose to put on it, hence the wise saying, "don't put anything on your skin that you wouldn't eat". However, many products on the shelf today have a list of ingredients that seem foreign and meaningless to us. We are also finding out that many of these hard to pronounce words can be harmful to us and lead to a variety of health problems. Some of these questionable ingredients can be found under the names of: mineral oil, dioxane, fragrance, parabens and propylene glycol.  I would love to talk more on this topic but perhaps this will be better saved for another blog post.I’d like to end here by saying that engaging in the process of making your own body care products is easy and some of the most gratifying work.  It allows you to see how natural ingredients nourish and protect us; it allows you to customize ingredients to meet specific needs, and is yet another way to take control of the health of your skin and body. Thanks everyone!  I'll see some of you soon.Alison BrownBlue Iris Creations