Salve Making Class


On August 5th, 2017 I taught a salve making class at my home in Graham. We made plantain and chickweed salve with essential oils of Frankincense.

This is a wonderful combination of three powerful plant oils for healing itchy skin from bug bites, for healing burns including sunburn, dry and cracked skin and rashes.

We also made a spiritual bath with the sacred plants of Tulsi, basil and marigolds.

Each woman took a bowl of this healing water and went outside and meditated in Nature.

Gratitude for the plants and a lovely day spent with wonderful women!




Roselle Hibiscus

Aromatherapy Tour Brazil 2016

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 Late February I travelled with two friends to the state of Sao Paulo in Brazil. With bug repellant clothing and DEET in my suitcase I felt prepared for touring the Atlantic rainforest.
Arriving in the city of Sao Paulo, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself in a city of over 20 million, where most people spoke only Portuguese but  like many places I have travelled we found ways to communicate!
With Google translator on our phone and much gesturing we were able to travel by subway to the Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo (MASP), where there was a beautiful exhibit that included Asian, African, Brazilian and European paintings and sculptures.
IMG_0161The next day our tour leaders Yan and Carla came to our small motel called a “Pousado” and drove us to the nearby city of Campinas where Carla’s aromatherapy school called “Aroma Luz” is located. Carla has taught over 1,000 students in the art of aromatherapy and Yan is cofounder of an aromatherapy company in Brazil called Tunupa.
We spent four days in Campinas learning about many of the oils of Brazil. One of my favorite oils is COPAIBA, also known as Copaifera officinalis. Copaiba is a native tree to the Amazon of Brazil and is also found in Western Africa. This tree can grow to 40 meters high and live for 400 years!
 It has numerous therapeutic properties including being anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial. I was happy to learn that the tree did not have to be cut down to process the oil, but was tapped, similar to the process of collecting maple sap from Maple trees. This oil has an amazing aroma and is very relaxing when combined with many carrier oils and applied to the neck muscles.
Please enjoy these pictures of Brazil including the Botanical Gardens near Campinas, the rainforest,  and the beautiful city of Ubatuba which is on the Atlantic Ocean.
Obrigada!   (Thank you in Portuguese!)

Elderberry Syrup

IMG_2159At the end of July the Elderberries’ beautiful dark purple fruit was hanging on the branches and it was time to make Elderberry Syrup. The birds had been also enjoying the berries, especially the mocking birds and I realized if I didn’t make my syrup that weekend; the berries would soon be gone.

 This simple recipe is what I like to use:

1 cup of ripe elderberries (don’t use the green unripe ones)

2 cups of water

1 cup of honey

Note: Other recipes call for cinnamon sticks or ginger. I like to make this basic recipe as you can always add other ingredients in later.

I carefully destemmed the elderberries and had 10 cups of berries. An abundance of fruit!  In a large pot I poured the 10 cups of berries and added 20 cups of water and gently simmered it for an hour with the lid off.

IMG_2162 Note: Don’t worry if the mixture looks watery, some of the liquid will evaporate off.

I occasionally stirred and pressed the berries against the side of the pot with a slotted spoon to squeeze out as much juice as possible. When I was done simmering, I strained all the berries out as the seeds are not edible. The rich purple liquid smelled wonderful and I was excited to have this delicious Elderberry elixir.

When the juice cooled down but was still hot; I added 10 cups of local Graham tulip poplar honey.  I stirred the honey into the liquid till it was completely dissolved in the warm juice and then poured it into canning jars.  The syrup is amazingly sweet and stays preserved up to 6 months in the refrigerator.

You can enjoy this syrup with hot water as a tea. Or enjoy it cold by adding seltzer and making a wonderful spritzer.  I also enjoy a teaspoon a day starting in the Fall to boost my immune system.

These pictures show the elderberry bush behind me which is now 7 years old. I have a gutter by the bush which gives it ample water which it loves. Enjoy!

Elderberry copy