Herbal Teas Everyone Should Have!

Ah! It’s Fall! How glorious is that? I’m so ready for some colder temperatures, if only because it means I can cozy up with some warm tea in bed with a good book. If you know me, you will know that I’ve been on a tea-buying ban for two years now because my tea collection has gotten out of hand. Yeah. I haven’t bought any tea in two years, and I’d say I still have enough for 3 maybe 4 years… My tea collection has warranted comissioning my boyfriend for a special tea shelf to save room for food and plates in our cupboards. Seriously, if I don’t open up my own tea room someday, I’ll be shocked!

herbal tea

The only exception to my tea-buying ban has been herbal teas. Free of caffeine, I drink these every day as a gentle healing ritual. Medicinal herbal teas are very potent for small, daily aches, and so they don’t really count as tea, right?

I usually prepare a tea pot mixing a few herbs and spices. I love adding crushed cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, cloves or peppercorns as these spices help me stay warm in the colder months. Over the years, I’ve come to know what I like, and so I gravitate around the same herbs, but really, the possibilities are endless! Here are a few of my most favourite herbal teas.

  1. Oatstraw: Yes, I know. Not only do I have a slight addiction to my morning oatmeal, I also drink oatstraw! Well, what can I say? This plant is wonderful! I like to drink oatstraw herbal tea because it is soothing and calming. Perfect if you are feeling like a buzzball! As it has a very mild taste, it’s a perfect base for all of your herbal tea mixes.
  2. Holy Basil or Tulsi: Another great one if you feel like you need to be more grounded, holy basil supports the nervous system and helps releave stress and anxiety. Plus, it is really yummy!
  3. Nettle: Super rich in nutrients and minerals, stingy nettle is delicious! It has a really “green” taste, and I think it’s one of the best plants for anyone, but especially for women and vegans who are always on the hunt for extra nutrients! Extra points to this one to help releave seasonal allergy symptoms!
  4. Rasberry leaves: Girls, if you have any, and I mean any, issue with your periods, this is the BOMB! It releaves PMS (crazy peach alert, be gone!), cramps, bloathing, heavy flow, and even the length of the period. It’s seriously a magical plant. It’s also very astringent, so I suppose it’s good for everyone, but really a must-have for all women.
  5. Calendula flowers: This one is so pretty! Bright yellow or explosive orange, I love adding these to my teapots as it makes everything more beautiful! These flowers are also very soothing and healing for the digestive track.
  6. Lavender buds: One of my favourite plants ever, lavender buds are so relaxing! I love how they add a touch of Provence to my teas. Plus, they are also great for your immune system. Be careful with this one: a little goes a long way!
  7. Thyme: A stapple in my house since I’ve been a kid, thyme is great for your immune system. Mix in a bit of honey or maple syrup, and you are in business!
  8. Verbena: A classic for a reason, this beautiful herb is lemony and fresh. Also a great one to drink to relax before going to bed or after a heavy meal to aid diggestion.

I hope this will encourage you to explore the facinating world of herbal teas! I easily find my herbs in health food stores and at my local herbalist (I’m very grateful to have such a good one so close by!), but you can also find them online. Be sure to by organic teas! A great option is also to grow them yourself! Calendula are super easy, and so is thyme. Have fun mixing and matching the different herbs and spices to create your own perfect cup of tea! Let me know what your favourites are and if you’d like me to share my favourite mixes!

Thank you for reading my post! I’m currently doing a kickstarter campaign for a planner, the LEAFY planner, I created! It would be great if you checked it out!

Remember that I’m not a doctor or a healthcare specialist. Please consult a doctor before adding these herbal teas into your life if you have any concerns or conditions.

 

DIY Gifts #1: Bath Salts \\\ Cadeau-maison #1: Sels de bain

(version française plus bas!)

If you want to go DIY this year, I have some great “recipes” for some wonderfully relaxing and pampering products that will please anyone on your list. Today, the easiest recipe of all: bath salts.

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Bath salts are a great way to make any bath more relaxing and luxurious. They are so simple to make, and you can customize them to serve different purposes. I prepared three mixes: one to invigorate sore muscles, one to relax and get ready to sleep, and the last one to help you breathe when you have a cold.

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To make my bath salts, I used Epsom salts and essential oils. Epsom salts are a great addition to all bathrooms. Very rich in magnesium, that is easily absorbed through the skin, these salts are great to relax muscles, to relieve headaches and PMS, and to give your immune system a boost. These salts are also very easy to find in any drugstore and are super cheap. You really have no excuse not to have some next to your bathtub!

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For the essential oils, make sure to use some that are not irritating to the skin. I kept everything fairly traditional with some lavender, eucalyptus, verbena, and rosemary. You can also add some fresh or dried herbs to your mixes, if you don’t mind rinsing off the bathtub after your bath. Personally, that’s the last thing I want to do after a relaxing bath, so I skipped it.

Here is what you need:

  • 2 cups of Epsom salts
  • Mix 1: Invigorating Bath Salts: 10-20 drops of rosemary essential oil
  • Mix 2: Relaxing Bath Salts: 10-20 drops of lavender essential oil + 5 drops of verbena essential oil
  • Mix 3: Breathe again: 10-20 drops of lavender essential oil + 10-20 drops of peppermint essential oil + 10-20 eucalyptus essential oil

Here is what you do:

  1. Mix all your ingredients in a large glass or metal bowl. Add the essential oils gradually and stop when it is fragrant, but not to intense.
  2. Place in your selected container, make a cute label and enjoy!
  3. In your bath, add about 1/2 cup or 3-4 tbs of salt to your warm bath.

I love these bath salts because they are super quick to prepare and make for great gifts. They are also great last minute gifts! I really encourage you to explore essential oils to find mixes that best suit your needs. Pamper yourself!


Pour tous les amoureux du DIY, j’ai quelques “recettes” parfaites pour des cadeaux de Noël simples, mais si agréables à utiliser et à donner! Tous les petits crapauds de vos listes seront heureux, relaxés et parfumés. Aujourd’hui, la plus simple de toutes les recettes: les sels pour le bain.

bath_salts

Les sels de bain sont un moyen simple de rendre n’importe quel bain plus luxieux et plus relaxant. En plus, ils sont super simples à préparer, et vous pouvez les personnaliser selon vos envies et vos besoins! J’ai préparé 3 mélanges: un revigorant, un relaxant pour bien dormir et un dernier pour vous aidez à respirer lorsque vous êtes enrhubés…

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Pour faire mes sels de bains, j’utilise des sels d’Epsom et des huiles essentielles. J’aime les sels d’Epsom car ils sont très riches en magnésium, qui est facilement absorbé par la peau, ce qui aide à détendre les muscles, à faire disparaître les maux de têtes et les SPM, et donne un petit coup de pouce au système immunitaire. Finalement, comme ils sont faciles à trouver dans toutes les pharmacies et très peu chers, ils sont indispensables à toutes les salles de bain!

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Pour les huiles essentielles, faites attention de n’utiliser que des huiles non-irritantes pour la peau. J’ai gardé mes mélanges assez traditionnels avec de la lavande, de l’eucalyptus, de la verveine et du romarin. Vous pouvez également ajouter des herbes fraîches ou sèches, si rincer votre baignoire après votre bain ne vous dérange pas. Comme c’est la dernière chose que je veux faire après m’être relaxée dans mon bain, j’ai sauté cette étape.

Voici ce dont vous aurez besoin:

  • 2 tasses de sel d’Epsom
  • Mélange 1: Le Revigorant: 10-20 gouttes d’huile essentielle de romarin
  • Mélange 2: Le relaxant: 10-20 gouttes d’huile essentielle de lavande + 5 gouttes d’huile essentielle de verveine
  • Mélange 3: L’Enrhubé: 10-20 gouttes d’huile essentielle de lavande + 10-20 gouttes d’huile essentielle de menthe poivrée + 10-20 gouttes d’huile essentielle d’eucalyptus

Ce qu’il faut faire:

  1. Mélangez tous vos ingrédients dans un bol en verre ou en metal (pas en plastique). Ajoutez les huiles essentielles goutte à goutte et arrêtez-vous lorsque le mélange sent bon, mais n’est pas trop intense.
  2. Placez le tout dans un contenant hermétique, fabriquez une petite étiquette, et relaxez!
  3. Dans votre bain, ajoutez environs 1/2 tasse ou 3 à 4 cuillères à soupe de sels dans votre bain bien chaud.

J’adore ces sels de bain car ils sont super rapides à fabriquer et font des petits cadeaux sympas… particulièrement pour les Pères Noël retardataires! Je vous envourage fortement à explorer différents mélanges d’huiles essentielles pour trouver des mélanges que vous adorerez. Prenez soins de vous!

DIY easy fragrant face cream!

For the last few weeks, I have been looking for a simple way of making my own face cream. I really loved Kariderm’s protective face cream, but I wanted to make my own with simple ingredients. I also like the idea of making a flexible product that I could adapt to my skin’s needs, the season and my mood.

With colder temperatures, I started using pure coconut oil as a night moisturizer and have been reasonably happy with the results. However, I wanted something more unctuous. I also really liked using Shea butter, and so I wanted to incorporate that.

Shea butter has many amazing benefits for the skin. First, it is a great moisturizer. It also contains a lot of vitamin A, E and D and acts as an anti-inflammatory… and it smells amazing!

As I searched the perfect recipe, I noticed that most DIY face cream recipes used beeswax. From what I know, I understood that this was, first, to make the cream thicker and help the cream set to a solid form at room temperature. Beeswax is also known for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties. Also, this product helps keep the moisture in the skin while still letting it breath. Sounds great!

Another thing I wanted to consider is the fact that I have oily, acne-prone skin. To manage this, I decided to include some essential oils: lavender and rosemary. These two essential oils are easy to find, and also have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that are great against acne. They also smell great together and help relax, which is great as I will use this cream everyday.

Here is a mix I recently put together which combines my need for moisture, and acne fighting properties:

– 2 tablespoons solid organic unrefined coconut oil

– 2 tablespoons solid organic unrefined Shea butter

– 1/2 teaspoon solid beeswax

– 2-5 drops lavender essential oil (as usual with essential oil, don’t put too much or they will burn your skin)

– 2-5 drops rosemary essential oil

– a small glass container with lid.

 

Here is what you need to do:

– In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil and sterilize the container you are going to use to store your cream. You can do so by submerging the container for 5 minutes.

– Empty and dry the container, and put it back in the saucepan (you don’t want any water to get into it however).

– Put all the ingredients except the essential oils in the glass container and mix with a wooden spoon as they start melting.

– When all the ingredients are melted, take the container out of the water and add the essential oils. Mix well.

– Put the lid on and wait for the cream to set. You can put it in the fridge, or just let it out.

The feeling of this cream on my face is simply glorious: the smell is relaxing and sweet, the feeling is moisturizing but not clogging, and the moisturizing effect is great for wintertime. This cream is also quickly absorbed by the skin, which makes it a good day cream.

Give it a try!