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To Trip the Light Fantastic & Liquid Fasting

So yesterday was International No Diet Day and the 11th is Eat What You Want Day (as well as Mothers Day outside the UK).

Sounds good/tempting doesn’t it?

You know, normally it would. However I’m currently on the 13th day of liquid fasting and so food doesn’t appeal to me even though I’m not fasting by choice. Strange? Well yes and no. Many of you may have noticed the recently renewed popularity of juice fasting – something which as a general health maintainer and fixer-upper has been around for ages – but as a fad it comes and goes like anything else. Many of you who’ve tried it may have noticed the detoxing and energizing effects it has perhaps with weight loss and better mobility as side effects. The typical amount of time newbies juice fast for is 7 days.

What is the difference between juice fasting and liquid fasting?

Juice fasting is bloody expensive. There was a point when mum and I had two fridges; one for raw fruit/veg/herbs (that we were able to buy wholesale) and one for everything prepared/processed. However even though we’d have loads of fresh fruit/veg/herbs we never used it for juice fasting; nope we ate it with meal plans and preserved it in various ways and froze it so it damned well lasted months. If I had juice fasted I would have gone through it like that *snaps fingers*.

Market Vegetables Fruit

What is the difference between juice and smoothies?

This is a crux debate between many, personally I don’t care but I see it as: juice is easier and faster to metabolize for many especially when there is veg/herbs in the mix and not just fruit. Many people don’t process raw veg well or quickly and need it fermented or cooked e.g. steamed, sauteed or slow cooked to reap the benefits and not feel bloated. People also mistake beans and nuts as foods that cause bloating and spending longer in the bathroom, but those foods move along what is already there. So basically, even though there was a smoothie ‘revolution’ some years back where people ‘realized’ the benefit of having the whole food/skin/seed (some leaves/branches) people have now gone back to juicing and some think of all the pulp as ‘nothing but fibre without any nutritional value at all’… Yeah I’m not going there. Plus you need a pretty powerful blender to juice properly and I ain’t forking out for that let alone being able to in the first place. Buying fruit juice in recyclable (actual, practical, recyclable materials like cardboard rather than say the neigh difficult to find tetra pak style material recycling plants) works out cheaper – make sure it’s not from concentrate. I’m not saying it’s anywhere near as good as organic fruit/veg/herbs that were grown with organic seed and if it actually happens – protected from contaminated soil, acid/chemtrail rain/water, wind carrying gm seed – and handmade by yourself but it’s more economically viable for many (just make sure it’s fairtrade at least) and bear in mind the controversy over processing for common items like apples, oranges and tomatoes.

Green juice herb vegetable fasting glass drink

So what is liquid fasting?

Just as it says, straightforward, anything liquid. In my case it’s been mainly herbal tea but also homemade alternative milks and at times water with a bit of superfood Green powders and/or extremely nutritious clays (yes it tastes like grass juice or soil water but as I’ve oft been told “beggars can’t be choosers”). Dried foods (e.g sundried or dehydrated – I prefer sundried) can be bought so much cheaper than fresh and easier in bulk plus you can make milks with the constituent ‘flour’ and water like coconut, rice or soy flour). I haven’t been taking diluted, unrefined apple cider vinegar with the ‘mother’ intact since we don’t have enough left but that’s a good choice too.

ACV Apple Cider Vinegar

Why am I liquid fasting?

Because I can’t open my mouth other than to talk and drink at the moment.

Why am I not hungry?

That’s an interesting one. People who are used to fasting can probably empathise and say that ‘fasting makes you stronger’ or ‘you get used to it’. In my case once the initial hunger pangs from the first or second day (usually the second day as I have enough left over in the digestive system to get to the next day without stomach grumbling) are over that’s it, no more. Seriously? Yes. I just don’t get hungry after that neither do I feel weaker, more tired, slower etc. I just feel normal and if I’m doing a lot of walking and/or yoga/meditation at the same time I actually feel a lot stronger and calmer. Whilst fasting and post-fasting (until I get lazy and normalize into regular eating habits again) I need less and less to keep me going for longer, the body just becomes more efficient and uses everything better.

Chakras Art Artwork

saffronlungs.deviantart.com/ art/ The-Seven-Kundalini-Chakras-357608866

Lalita MahaKali Kali Goddess Mother Sri Chakras Tatvas Sanksrit Yantra Mandala

Pic of mum illustrating chakras in tandem with tatvas

How did I get into this?

Started when I approx 14 and between then until 18 I would attempt 21-28 day liquid fasts, mostly successfully. I thought that if ‘spiritually enlightened’ folk aka mostly priests and monks (yeah you never hear of the women) could do it then so could I. If they could train themselves mentally and emotionally with physical endurance then so could I. What they could do, why the heck couldn’t I? I later had to acknowledge that they have massive advantages in knowledge, cleaner environments and less people getting in their way or trying to sabotage them. They can sit under waterfalls with the pressure and sound blocking out everything and no electronic pollution, noise and tinnitus or regular pollution, they can sit in the sun and breathe the air and feel the natural power. I can’t.

That said I didn’t do a bad job, I was already used to asceticism or I was ascestically minded never being attracted to materialism for the sake of it and growing up the way I did meant there wasn’t much choice anyway. School meals were my main meals baby until I became a teen and mum had discovered the need to cut out all artificial preservatives, colourings, flavourings, e-numbers, MSG and aspartame. Then we had a bit more choice but by that time I’d decided on the above anyway. After 18 I didn’t keep up with it, too many distractions but I did fast now and then usually 7-10 days. Wish I’d discovered coconut water/juice earlier! I could have done with it in my early-mid 20’s.

Nowadays most of my liquid fasts are just practical like when I soup fast in Winter which is very easy to do both economically and on the stomach with dried beans, water and a bit of seasoning. Can have 1-2 portions of that a day and it sees me through well. Much like with foraging for ‘carpet plants’ and well known weeds or hedgerow plants/fruit for teas and salad/veg intake – saves massively on food budgeting. Those who are old enough/remember the world/post war days can probably see where I’m coming from rationing to growing their own and that group of people you barely hear of nowadays the proud ‘honest poor’. People take for granted how nutritious (and lovely) such plants are and if you can find places that are public (if you don’t have a garden or space) and not so affected by nastiness/pollution like roadsides how readily available they can be depending on the weather. Though it’s true they tend to be quite bitter in general so more for those who don’t mind that so much.

So why am I talking about food when I’m not eating?

Well it’s true I’m not hungry but we all know how in the modern or non-major food producing countries though including the US even when its a major crop producer (yes the cruel irony there where ‘third/developing world’ people grow but can’t afford their own foods or at least not regularly in comparison to us expecting everything and anything in supermarkets) we’re addicted to food in some way or another. I noticed these two days side by side and thought it was interesting. I figure once I can eat again I’ll have chips which are my stock answer and since chocolate is drinkable. ‘Chunky fries’ or ‘wedges’ as I suppose they’d be similar to for US folk don’t sound healthy but they can be, I’m not one to have ever have thought of natural unrefined oils as ‘(useless) fat’ (the kind that the body doesn’t essentially need after a certain point) or that naturally high oil rich items like olives, peanut butter, humous/hummus etc were bad for the body even when eaten regularly and find they have quite the opposite effect and I’ve never thought of potatoes as just ’empty carbs’ if that were the case they wouldn’t work so well on light burns for example. The same goes for the multitudes of salts and sugars, I don’t think of one as ‘sodium’ or the other as ’empty calories’, each salt can be used for different things and Earth thank you so much for SUGAR! Lol if it weren’t for unrefined salts and sugars (‘nutritional’ values on packaging are based on refined White table salt and sugar) where would I be.

It’s like this ‘new’ way of thinking that has spread over here where people think of and call soil ‘dirt’ – how grateful of them, not. That reverse way of thinking is something else begetting questions like why are foods that come from farmers who wear hazmat style suits and then refined and/or added to with extra ingredients more expensive than simple foods and why grocery coupons tend to be for junk food and household items you should wonder what the consequences are of washing that stuff down the drain is, what is released when incinerated or recycled and having contact with/consuming/forcing into others over years.

What do you essentially need to stay ‘alive’ or at least not total zombie mode, or what you get in hospitals if you can’t consume food/drink yourself or you know they’ve sedated you into oblivion? Saline solution. What is saline solution? Salt, sugar & water. Period. Now I can’t comment on their quality/purity since you know I doubt they’d fork out for Himalayan Pink, Black, Red or rock salt in general – heck they may go for sea salt since the seas and oceans and life within are so contaminated it’s cheap, and I don’t know if they’d go for beet, cane or fruit rich sugars but Goddess I know the we animal life on this planet love salt and sugar, you can see non-human animals loving their salt/sugar licks or crowding around salt and/or chalk rich cliffs etc and if it weren’t for good salt and sugar I’d probably be hungry since you know I can’t access ‘prana’ from clean air, water or sunlight. That’s just too much to ask ain’t it *rolls eyes* 🙄

I praise natural salt, sugar and clay (hey everything goes back to the Earth, you can only be vegan to the extent that you’re consuming what has come from death and returned to soil/water – which is what I settle for seeing as I haven’t and am unlikely to get to inedian/bretharian).

Panda Eating Sugar Cane Relaxing

That is the life, basking in the sunshine, fresh air & eatin’ sugar cane. Oh yeah. – pinterest.com

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Weleda Wild Rose Body Oil – Beauty is only skin deep? I don’t think so

Weleda Wild Musk Rose Body Oil

Introduction

I bought the full sized 100ml rose oil (£19.95) after having received a tester 10ml (£2.95). Now the price alone is usually out of my price range which goes to show just how impressed with it I was and still am. Acquiring a little rose oil from masses of petals is resource heavy and labour intensive hence it is quite pricey in general and the process also renders the more popular rose water. Used sparingly it can last a long time with good results and I bought Weleda’s version rather than a cheaper one because not only had I tested it but because Weleda is known as a high quality and ethically invested company. I try to support such companies, in my own tiny way as an individual, in order to help increase their market presence but also to help keep them in business – they only use basic natural ingredients without extras, synthetic alternatives and excessive processing and packaging yet their items are considered to be luxury items because they are not high street brands and less widely available. Then once these items are gone, they’re gone and as with any business everyone in the supply chain suffers and you might be left trying to find a replacement for an item you love with less choices then the local beauty store.

You can find more information about Weleda in general: http://www.weleda.co.uk/scat/aboutus

That said I’m not sure which process of extraction Weleda uses, each method produces a different type of oil and since this oil is mixed with other oils it’s hard to tell what it physically originally was or where it likely came from. Rose oils are commonly made from Damask Rose (Rosa Damascena) which is a Eurasian rose, or the Cabbage Rose (Rosa Centifolia) which is largely an African rose. However Weleda specifies Wild Musk Rose (Rosa Moschata) in their publicity/advertising which is the parent rose for Damask and is a mountain rose thought to have originated in the Himalayas – it’s a rose noted for it’s strong scent. Included in the mix is Rosehip Seed oil (seed oil extracted from wild roses) – Rosehip is generally extracted from Wild Musk Rose from the Andes but can also be found from common Dog Roses (Rosa Canina) which are found in many places (I pick wild ones for eating – not the bulbs which can make itching powder). The reason why I’m going into the types is because if you know your roses you may want the more often used/sold rose oil smell. I find this one to be quite pungent (and lovely).

Experience

This isn’t an essential oil or pure oil, it’s been diluted in carrier oils and hence is ready for cosmetic use without worry over whether using too much, that said there’s no need to go overboard and a little goes a long way 🙂

Ingredients:

Jojoba Seed Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Rosehip Seed Oil, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Oil, Fragrance*, Limonene*, Linalool*, Citronellol*, Benzyl Alcohol*, Benzyl Benzoate*, Geraniol*, Citral*, Eugenol*, Farnesol*. (*From natural essential oils)

(I know it says Rosa Damascena – confusing right? I’ve put the Weleda promo info at the bottom of the review so you can see why I’m a little flummoxed – all I know is that the oil I’ve tried from them seems quite potent and so would guess that it’s made from a fair bit more ‘fresh’ rose than the geraniol* in the ingredients which is a common filler in rose oil and can come from roses, palmarosa (a perennial Asian lemongrass) or geraniums which are obviously cheaper to produce. From the ingredients I can’t tell where it comes from.)

The combined oil comes in a dark glass bottle to help preserve it as long as possible and prevent sun damage and as oils have a long lifespan it’s better if they can retain their strength over the period until you finish them.

The first things I noticed was that the oil itself has quite a strong Yellow colour and the smell, wow the smell. The first time I opened the bottle and got a waft of the scent I thought ‘beautiful’ and then when I put it on the palms of my hands to put on my face and it warmed with the temperature, only then did I realize fully how beautiful the aroma was. It is enchanting and I can see why rose oils have been used since ancient times to attract one’s love interest. It really is like walking into a rose garden every time I use it – something to bear in mind for romantic occasions and use on pulse points unless you or the partner dislikes strong fragrances.

The oil is fairly absorbent and doesn’t take too long to sink in with massaging so I am able to use it during the day (hands, face and neck) as well as overnight. I noticed that not only was my skin very soft, it was also smooth and more taut. There were a few nights during the testing period where I was too tired to moisturise before bed and where I didn’t sleep in good positions i.e. I ended up sleeping on my face but the following mornings I noticed that the tautness remained from the day use of the rose oil, all the way through the night and to the next morning. My skin would be drier than when I’d first applied it but as soon as I got up it went straight back into place rather than leaving sleep lines. That said, the oil doesn’t make my skin appear more ‘youthful’ i.e. fuller and radiant but the skin is left in better condition which in itself can take years off your appearance.

Personal Tip:

I usually like to use more than one oil, either separately in a day/night or blended but this is ready mixed and yet when I use this oil I like to use it by itself and without using other oils in the same time period. I do that because of its strong scent and I like to get the maximum effect over a small period of time (up to one week) before going back and rotating oils or using combinations based on what I need/feel at the time. When I say maximum effect I mean that the skin absorbs and gives out the fragrance in a ‘natural’ way i.e. you exude the scent without having to use as much oil. For people wanting to try this simply spread a thin layer of the oil over the desired body area (if not the whole body) and let it absorb. This can be done day or night but it’s usually best after you’ve washed and if you are warm – the recently moist skin will still have open pores so the oil will sink in faster and deeper leaving less residue on clothes or other surfaces and the body temperature will help both to absorb and release the fragrance. Do this twice daily for the first 2-3 days and then once a day until the end of the experiment. Unless you sweat a lot or work in conditions which mean you have to wash more frequently than average you should find that you don’t have to wear perfumes or deodorants as much if at all, which have on average up 200-300 ingredients but are simply labelled as ‘fragrance’ or ‘parfum’ on product packaging without any further explanation. Hence using oils for scent is much healthier.

Other Uses for Rose Oil

This an be added to baths for relaxation; rose oil can be used to aid stress/anxiety relief as it is soothing and uplifting. As this is already diluted you don’t have to worry about how many drops you use.

The steam from such a bath, or by inhaling separately such as over a bowl of hot water with your head under a towel, can also help with respiration or again stress/anxiety.

Rose oil has been known as a ‘feminine oil’ not just for its beauty/amorous uses but because it can help with hormonal balance helping to regulate menstruation. As a hot compress it has been used to relieve menstrual cramps.

It’s one of those multi-faceted oils being known for antidepressant, antiphlogistic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, aphrodisiac, astringent, bactericidal, cholagogue, cicatrisant, depurative, emenagogue, haemostatic, hepatic, laxative, nervine, stomachic and uterine properties. (Obviously research this before trying anything.) Do not take internally.

Conclusion

Overall I’d give this 10/10 – it’s another Weleda oil that does was it says on the box and it has everything my skin needs. It’s moisturising, nourishing, improves the skin’s condition, is absorbent, long lasting and smells heavenly. I don’t need anti-aging items to fill out lines/wrinkles so this suits me just fine. For those who do I would recommend combining the oil with an unscented or complimentary scented lotion/base unless your skin can’t take heavy concoctions, in that case rose oil might not be a long term solution for you but rather an occasional item and the tester size (10ml) could be more practical.

I had tried a couple of rose products before but hadn’t been too impressed and put ‘rose’ items on the back-burner but that was until I tried this oil… Now I’m looking forward to trying other products from the rose range at Weleda, which includes soap, lotion, facial oil and body wash.

Sidenote:

I would recommend this product for women from about 30 and upwards rather than younger ages because not only does it improve skin tone but it has a mature quality to it. This is going to sound vague but it has a personality like with wines, where it’s more full bodied and wouldn’t seem appropriate for girls or young ladies. That might sound biased and of course there will be younger women who are exceptions but overall I’ll just say people throughout the ages have used rose oil as an aphrodisiac and there are people who will monitor their consumption (orally and through the skin) of particular ingredients to affect their hormones and after using this oil I understand why.

What Weleda has to say

From the packaging:

‘Wild Rose Body Oil. Pampering care. Helps improve skin’s suppleness and elasticity leaving it smooth and radiant.’

From advertising received:

‘Musk rose oil is rich in skin-caring essential fatty acids, and helps stimulate the skin’s natural functions. The Wild Rose Smoothing Facial Care range contains a selection of products to protect, moisturise and care intensively for delicate skin. The scent is uplifting, refreshing and feminine. It takes three tonnes of fresh rose petals to make just one litre of precious essential oil of rose.

Weleda’s European beauty consultant, Lilith Schwertle, explains: “In our 30s the skin retains still its youthful resilience and elasticity but is also starting to show the fist signs of ageing, mostly around the eyes. Our unique facial characteristics are beginning to form. The skin may not glow as much as it used to in our 20s, and may be drier. At this time it’s important to support the regenerating processes in the skin with ingredients high in polyunsaturated fatty acids such as Rosa Mosqueta seed oil. This helps skin stay elastic and firm, strengthens the skin and builds up the protective barrier functions. Rose seed oil has also been traditionally used to counteract and reduce scar tissue and pigmentation, and to stimulate skin cell renewal. This nourishing oil contains vitamins A and E which help minimise the signs of ageing. Rosa Mosqueta helps the skin to maintain a harmonious balance.” ‘

Victorian Tip of the Day 3: Chilblains

Soak them in warm bran with water; then rub them well with mustard-seed flour. This must be done before they break.

The Housewife’s Receipt Book, 1837

That reminds me, wish I had some mustard oil for the now semi-swollen toes I have… Though I think I have some apple cider vinegar left…

A few tips for swollen toes and sore heels

It’s raining or pouring? Snowing? Windy? Or it’s simply bloody cold. At times like these hands and feet tend to get really cold and after a while they can start to swell. My toes decided to morph into cocktail sausage lookalikes which have prevented me from walking much today so here are a few tips that worked for me:

1. Don’t wait, leaving it and hoping/thinking it will get better by itself and not wanting to face it because, and in truth, there are so many other things to do/think about. I’m saying that because I do that a fair bit and sometimes the situation goes from annoying to quite distracting to the toes saying “That’s it! Dolly, deal with us now, we are not standing for this any more!” Which is what happened yesterday after a week of itching, tickling/tingling, being swollen but still walkable to being quite distracting on and off to the “That’s it!” point. Luckily it was in the evening as all of a sudden they got painful and hot and it was a mad dash for the things I needed as I knew I’d be sitting down for a while.

2. Traditional Epsom salt soak – approx 1/4 cup to a bowl of warm water, soak footsies for approx 25min. I actually soaked them for an hour as unfortunately I had to keep topping up the water (and used about 1/2 a cup of salt by the end) because the water kept going cold after a few minutes. After soaking, remember to gently remove any dead skin before tip 3.

3. Tea Tree oil and/or Lavender Oil gently applied over the feet. Remember not to use essential oil unless it’s been blended with a base oil.

4. If the swelling hasn’t gone down after the above (and it didn’t for me) – Neem oil mixed with a bit turmeric to make a paste and gently applied like a masque – obviously have to be prepared to sit down for a while with feet up for this one so have everything you need beside you first. I left it on until it completely dried, gently wiped off with a damp cloth and then applied some neem oil by itself. NOTE – turmeric is used as a colouring because it stains Yellow/Orange so the skin can change colour with this but it does wash off after 1-3 washes lol, use cool to warm water and a gentle/mild soap if you want and a towel/cloth that you don’t mind staining.

5. Warm to cool. When my feet are really swollen the worst bits ‘change their mind’ as to what they prefer, they’ll feel soothed for a while in a warm situation and then get irritated and will settle down a bit if moved to a cool environment. This pattern tends to happen when they are really swollen and continues for a while until the swelling goes down a bit. (I find the same happens with bruising as well.) This obviously means covering them lightly with a blanket (I tend to bend the blanket/duvet to form a cave so that the fabric isn’t touching the skin) for a while and then moving them out of the blanket, ongoing. For those ok with using heating if available, you can have them near a warm heater for a while, then move them, put them back, move them etc as necessary. I sleep sitting up at this point as they’re sore and don’t want fabrics rubbing them.

5. Hot water bottle – except not hot morelike warm-hot, or in a bag/carrier. When the feet are feeling slightly mollified I find they like a hot water bottle placed near them (lower legs, ankles) and sometimes on them.

6. Once the hot water bottle stage is reached pressure tends to help as well so I find sitting crossed legged helps.

7. When going out or just being unable to go barefoot indoors don’t aggravate the skin with rough fabrics. When my feet are swollen/sore they are very sensitive and the slightest touch of fabric irritates them/increases itchiness regardless of whether it’s cool cotton or something ‘furry’. So socks that are super soft or super smooth can help as a barrier for a while from rougher textures but bear in mind how breathable they are. I have some filmy thin, soft bandage that I wrap around my feet before putting anything else on. It’s best to just rest though if possible.

I’m no stranger to inflammation and swelling as I’ve had sore knees, regular jaw flame-ups and rsi in my fingers since I was 18, a bad hip since I was 23 and bad lower back since 27 as well as breathing/congestion (consistently blocked nose/throat) which involves inflamed breathing passages since 15. Hence I’ve tried lots of techniques from natural ointments akin to ‘deep heat’ to placing and holding raw garlic cloves in my jaw/back of the mouth behind the molars for upto two hours refreshing the garlic each half hour. I don’t mind putting ice on swollen parts of the body in general but I don’t use it on the extremities (hands/feet) where thousands and thousands of nerve endings are.

Happy feet are better feet 😀 !

Victorian Tip of the Day 2: Homemade Perfume

Eau de Cologne

Into 2 quarts of wine at 36, put 2 drachms essence of bergamot, the same essence of cedrat (a superior kind of bergamot), 2 drachms essence of citron, 1 oz essence of rosemary, and a 1/4 drachm of the essence of neroly (an oil produced from the flowers of the Seville orange tree): let it stand twenty-four hours, then straining through brown paper, and bottle it.

Anne Cobbett, The English Housekeeper, 1842

In his room at the end of the day the valet might prepare a mustard bath for his master’s feet or rub him down with eau de Cologne to prevent his taking a chill.

Victorian Household Tips, 2006

1 drachm = 1/8 of an oz or 3.6g.

I can imagine the scent of this and it’s dreamy; I’m a fan of bergamot and neroly (neroli), and my all time favourite which might go well here – patchouli. I think it would be a unisex fragrance and of course I’m a fan of perfumed oils (e.g. uses of Rose oil) over modern perfumes with hundreds of ingredients of who knows what, have an astringent/household cleaner  tone to them and of course can’t be used in a quantity or more than a couple of spritzes for the sake of those around you. Plus they need to be topped up and can’t be used all over the body for not only smell but for nutritional/health value or as a barrier to the cold.

On a sidenote – ew, the ‘master’ can’t even rub himself down with oil, tch. For shame (and no I’m not including people who are physically unable to do so).

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Simple To Make – Homemade Clay Face Masque

Clay Bentonite Face Masque Facial Mask

2 tsp clay bentonite
1 tsp apple cider vinegar (always better to go for unrefined with the ‘mother’ intact for the nutritional value)
1 tsp water (purified or filtered)

Introduction

The weather has made it perfect to use fresh mud however I was not feeling up getting some and mum refused to get some for me lol. So I thought ‘fine I’ll make it myself’ and went to dig out some clay bentonite (not actually dig it out, just get it from the cupboard). Now usually I prefer to use milk (soya or oat milk especially) but I seriously needed a facial, I haven’t had one in ages and my skin was feeling really ‘thick’ and ‘heavy’ so I went for the stronger vinegar mix. If apple cider vinegar is unavailable, lemon juice can alternatively used.

Clay bentonite is a volcanic clay (volcanic ash and water) with lots of health giving properties (hey soil is full of the nutrients of life afterall and volcanic clay has additional) for topical and internal use. It is the main ingredient in the more commonly known ‘Fullers Earth’. The two main types available for cosmetic use are sodium bentonite and calcium bentonite. Both have many uses from skin cleansing to deep internal cleansing if drank and for heavy metal detoxing. The heavy metal detoxing is an affect of the negative electromagnetic charge of the clay whereas metals and ‘toxins’ are apparently positively charged; meaning that the clay swaps or draws out metals and toxins and replaces them with sodium or calcium when made into a paste with water (don’t mistake the word ‘sodium’ for ‘salt’, obviously sodium is part of salt and natural salt – and sugar – is necessary in the body e.g. saline solution or salt licks for remineralization, but not all salts are the same or ‘bad’ for you). In a very basic way I’d think the sodium bentonite is better for cleansing, and the calcium bentonite better for enriching the calcium/silica. Both are helpful though and provide properties needed by the skin/body (just remember to research before taking internally and only in moderation). There’s a wealth of other uses such as for poultices, toothpaste and deodorant but that’s a different post.

Steps

The above mixture should make enough ‘mud’ for the face and neck or two applications for the face. Remember to keep it covered and put it in the fridge if it’s too much to prevent it drying it. If it still dries a bit in the fridge just add a few drops of water to hydrate it again.

1) Mix the above in a non-metallic bow with a non-metallic spoon/stirrer. Nothing obvious will happen if you use metal crockery for this (not sure about doing that regularly though) but remember the point about clay bentonite being used as a heavy metal detoxer. The point of a face mask is to draw out things you don’t want in your skin so its best to use clay that still has ‘space’/propensity left in it to take those metals, toxins (and fat, oil & grease) rather than already being filled with metals from your tools.

(On a sidenote – that begs the question of the state in which your bentonite is in when you purchase it. If it’s a strong heavy metal ‘leacher’ then how much has it taken in before it got to you…? Always checkout the company you buy it from first to see if they have information as to how the clay was mined in the first place – with machinery that the clay would absorb metals from or something else?)

2) Stir until the mixture turns into a paste, apply liberally over the face & neck, leave for 10-20min. The mask dries quite fast.

3) Gently wipe off with a warm damp cloth and splash skin with cool water afterwards. I prefer a warm damp cloth especially in this weather and because warm water opens the pores making it easier to remove grime whilst the wiping creates friction removing dead skin and then the cold water to reinvigorate the skin and close the pores. Though if you’re running short on time you can simply wash your face with warm or cold water afterwards instead of wiping and splashing.

4) Voila you should find the skin feeling refreshed, looking more radiant and very soft to the touch.

Victorian Tip of the Day – Homemade Eye Makeup

I got a book titled ‘Victorian Household Hints’ published in 2006 which features interesting information on the roles of servants in the household and some of their tips for keeping the roost running efficiently. I thought I’d post some of them one by one for the sake of cultural interest, I am not advocating or disagreeing with them. Hope you find them interesting too!

HOW TO BLACKEN EYE-LASHES AND EYEBROWS

Rub them often with elder-berries. For the same purpose, some make use of burnt cork, or clove burnt at the candle.

The Duties of a Lady’s Maid, 1825

Sound weird?! Homemade mascara has been around for ages with the the usual formulations including ashes and oil and/or some kind of metal like with kajal and kohl for lining the eyes and other religious/cultural uses.

I don’t wear mascara and have only tried it a couple of times in the past but generally have found the thought offputting since lashes are there to prevent things getting into the eyes yet mascara is in constant contact with them. Added to that modern chemical concoctions are really offputting and having heard from a number of older women that they believe their eyesight has deteriorated from lifetimes of wearing them I steer well and truly clear. That said there are a number of natural mascaras on the market with beneficial ingredients so if I were a mascara wearer those would be worth a look see .