Get Happy Skin Again!

Thank you Emm at Vintage and Vampires for the review of our Facial Steamers and Rosehip and Neroli Face Oil:

“Wild Medicines Helping Me Get Happy Skin Again…”

When I was younger, my mum used to have a facial steamer and would pop in a few drops of essential oils to the hot water and let the vapours from the steam work wonders on her skin. I was too young to be interested in doing the same at the time but i always loved the scent that would waft around the room whilst she was doing this.
My skin has been feeling very irritated and congested for the last few months, i’ve noticed a lot more breakouts and felt my skin looked bumpy since the holiday definitely but I put this down the sun lotion I was using and thought it would clear up in time. Nothing has really changed so I thought about what I could do or change in my daily skincare routine to make my skin happy again – it just suddenly occurred to me that i should try steaming my face. I googled a few things and was looking for facial steaming bags when I came across Wild Medicines; a must have brand for any green beauty lover!
Wild Medicines was created by the lovely Louise Bowery who believes we can both sooth our skin and our minds by using and listening to nature, which is all around us. We all have a fragrance that when we smell it, it has the power to move us and alter our moods… I absolutely love the scent of jasmine for its uplifting properties and woody scents such as patchouli to calm my mind. Her powerful and potent products are paraben & cruelty free and never test on animals.

I have been using the Facial Steamers (£4 for 4 bags) designed for oily/teenage skin as I wanted to feel like my skin was being purified and decongested of any toxins and grime from every day life. They aim to do just this and leave you with healthy glowing skin afterwards which  can safely vouch for! I popped a bag in a bowl of hot water (you don’t need a fancy steaming facial kit to use these like my mum had) and put a small towel over my head and breathed in the vapours whilst they got to work on my skin for around 5 minutes. I’m not a massive fan of steam rooms and find it hard to breathe so i don’t tend to use for longer than 5 minutes and pop out for air but you can use for 5-10 minutes quite happily if you wanted to. My skin felt fresh as a daisy and totally rebalanced and i felt like i’d had a mini spa session minus the price tag! I think another positive of using steaming in your skincare routine every now and then is that your skin is primed for any skincare that you use afterwards – especially face masks or serums/oils as your pores are open and more receptive to lotions and potions. The bags come in a handily little tin to keep them fresh and can be easily stored in your vanity cupboard.

I have only just started using the Neroli Facial Oil (£16 for 30ml) but even though I have oily skin, i’m finding it a real pleasure to use. I’ve not had any breakouts and don’t find it heavy, plus the scent it divine. I try to steam once a week and choose to use a facial oil every other night or so. I’m not sure why, I just don’t feel the need to use it every night, but i love using oils like this one when my skin needs a serious hit of moisture.

If you want to try these products for yourself or find out more, visit Wild Medicines or why not tweet Louise on Twitter who will be happy to advise!

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Press – Grazia

This week Wild Medicines features in Grazia Magazine. Our Facial Steamers, now also available from VictoriaHealth.com, grabbed the attention of Grazia’s Health and Beauty writer as a great product to help stop winter flu.

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Press – Cream of the Crop

This month Simply Worthing have written about the Wild Medicines natural skin care range in the September issue of Simply Health and Beauty.

For further information on the products they have selected please visit:

Face Cream with Rosehip and Avocado Oil

Face Oil with Otto Rose, Nettle, organic Rosehip and Vitamin E oils

Face Oil with organic Rosehip, Evening Primrose, Patchouli and Neroli

Body Butter with Oilve, Papaya and Juniper Berry

Unfortunately some of the prices in the article were in correct, but if you would like to order please use coupon code ‘happy’ for 15% off.

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Press – Women Actually

Local Press Coverage:

We were very excited to have an article about our skin care products in the Women Actually pages of the Argos recently. Thank you to the editor for writing a great article about Wild Medicines skin care and including product photos of our Avocado Face Cream, Rosehip and Patchouli Face OIl and Papya Body Balm.

Press release are available on request from Louise@Wild Medicines.co.uk.

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Berry Picking for Herbal Medicine

Although we are still in August, there is the beginnings of a chill in the early morning air that is a gentle reminder that Autumn is on its way. This makes the clear, warm mornings even more precious, knowing they will soon be few and far between. Whilst on my downland walks over the last few weeks, I have noticed the berries slowly ripening and my walk this morning was the first foraging session of the season.
There is nothing more delightful that picking berries early on a sun filled morning… one for the bag and one for breakfast! Why is it they taste so much sweeter straight from the bush, its rather like fish and chips eaten out of paper. The same food eaten off a plate at the dining table just does not have the same flavour does it?
This mornings harvest comprised blackberries, sloes, elderberries hawthorn and rosehips. Their colours reflect the deep reds and purples that encompass the early Autumn tones.

 

Tonights dessert will be vanilla ice cream with blackberry sauce and what is left (if there is any!) will be frozen. The berries don’t just taste good, they have many health benefits too – blackberries are used by herbalists for sore throats, so having them ready in the freezer means I am ready to make a sore throat gargle, just in case the children get a throat infection over the winter.
Sloes will be used to make Sloe Gin, and the best thing about this is that sloes are wonderful blood cleansers and in turn are a remedy for arthritis and gout. Turn your gin into medicine and know that whilst you are sipping your slow g and t you are also detoxing your body. Isn’t nature great?
The elderberries, hawthorn and rosehips will make an immune boosting winter syrup. Elderberries have anti-inflammatory properties and are the perfect winter cold and flu remedy as they help the body flush out toxins and are anti viral as they strengthen cell membranes making them less penetrable to attack.

 

Hawthorn stimulates blood flow to all the tissues and arteries and encourages a good circulation and Rosehips boost the immune system with a very high vitamin C content. They also contain vitamin A and have astringent and anti-inflammatory qualities, which make them wonderful to use in skin care.

Please remember if you do go on a little forage in the hedgerows, just pick a little and leave a lot for nature. Never pick more than a third of the flowers or fruit and never, ever leave the plant with no fruit or flowers. Be sure to forage well away from farmers fields or near the road, where there may be pesticides and chemicals.

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Review – Nappy Balm

Thank you Baby Buzz magazine for the great review of our Wild Medicines Natural Nappy Balm with Chamomile and Yarrow. The reviewer used the natural nappy balm on her 3 year old daughters rash and she said ‘it worked wonders soothing what had become quite sore’. She also used the natural nappy balm on dry skin on feet, elbow and arms and it worked really well. Baby Buzz also loves the fact there are no chemicals in this product.
To win a pot, why not enter the Baby Buzz competition?
Q: what are the main ingredients in the Wild Medicines natural nappy balm to help make baby feel relaxed and sleepy?
Email the answer to info@babybuzzmagazine.com

Visit the webpage to find out…
Nappy Rash Balm with Calendula and Yarrow

 

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Elderflower

The Medicine Garden Herb Fact File No.1 Elder
(Sambucus niger)
The common Elderberry bush is one of the most significant trees in the Underworld, and legend has it that it serves as a doorway to the Underworld, or magical fairy realm and it’s hollow stems have long been associated with this shamanic journey.
It grows wild all over southern Britain and Europe, on meadows, down land, in hedgerows, light forests and on the sides or railway lines. It has light grey bark, with bendy branches and in May the bushy, shrub like tree erupts into white, fluffy, umbel shaped flowers that smell sort of sweet but heady. The flowers turn into tiny, dark purple berries in autumn, before the tree loses it’s leaves for winter. The Elderflower is one of the most prominent plants used in herbal medicine and is wrapped in European folklore and picking the plant was considered a fatal mistake, if an offering was not made. Later, it was tabooed to cut an Elder down, or burn it’s wood – and that lasted well into this century. The flowers were used in wish-fulfillment spells.
The Elderberry is cocooned in mythology and ancient folklore. Thought to take it’s name from the Anglo Saxon word ‘Aeld’ meaning fire, as it’s hollow stems are perfect to get fires going. The Elder is associated with the German word Holunder, which refers to the ancient vegetarian Goddess of the Underworld, Hylder Moer, who guarded over the souls of the dead and the tree’s gifts were thought to be her blessings.  In Denmark this goddess presided over the realm of the fairies, and it was thought that if you hid in the Elder bushes at the Summer Solstice, one would see the fairies on the way to their mid summer feasts. The sight of the fairies may have been due to the plant’s slightly psychoactive properties, which can alter the mind and senses and may contribute to the many mysterious traditions surrounding this rather strange smelling, small tree.
As Christianity rose and tree worship was prosecuted, the sacred Elderberry tree became associated with Jesus and it is told that the cross of Jesus was made of Elder wood, and Elder leaves were pinned to doors to disappoint ‘the charms of witches, demons and evil spirits’.
Elder has been used in folk medicine since the days of ancient Rome when Hippocrates recommended it to encourage vomiting and purging. Many medieval herbalists believed Elderberry to be ‘nature’s cure-all’, with all parts of the plant used. Elderberry roots were used as a diuretic while the leaves were used to make ointments for treating bruises, sprains and wounds. A tea made from the flowers was considered a wonderful spring tonic, good for purifying the blood, and a cure for mucous membrane inflammations, colds and coughs. These days the flowers and berries, rather than the root are used in herbal medicine.
Medicinally, Elder was the medicine chest of the country people and many of its medicinal uses are still widely employed by modern herbalists today. Every single part of the plant has a medicinal use, from the cure of the common cold, to treating toothache and the plague. Used to make a syrup, tincture, oil, ointment, spirit, water, liniment, extract, salt, conserve, vinegar, sugar, decoction and bath. However, in the old days the healing powers of a plant were not diagnosed due to the chemical properties of the Elder, but the subtle energy of the plant contributed to it’s magical healing operations.
The modern Herbalist still values Elderberry as one of the most useful. The leaves can be collected in Spring and used externally as an anti-inflammatory or internally as a diuretic and expectorant. Ointments are made for treating chilblains, sprains and bruises or nervous headaches. The flowers contain flavonoids and are used widely for a variety of symptoms caused by inflammation and congestion. A hot infusion of fresh flowers induces fever and calms inflamed lungs. Added to a bath they create a gentle remedy for itchy skin and irritated nervous problems. The flowers are also used by herbalists today as a hay fever remedy, as Elderflower is thought to strengthen the mucus membranes of the respiratory tract, increasing resistance to allergens. Drinking Elderflower tea in early spring can help reduce symptoms of hay fever later in the year. Cold infusions soothe inflamed, tired eyes.
In American herbalism the berries were used as a blood tonic for anemia, and the inner bark to break up congealed blood. The berries are rich in vitamins and minerals and can be made into a syrup to keep away colds. They are packed full of Vitamin C and support the immune system, can help rheumatism, gout and soothe inflamed sore throats. They oxygenate the blood flow around the body, stimulating the kidneys, remove stagnation and bring toxins to the surface.
Matthew Wood suggests that the one indication that the use of Elder is required would be a puffy, mottled skin, with a look of fullness with a reddish-blue tinge. The would also be visible on the legs, thighs and forearms. He suggests it is a wonderful remedy for the young and also for old age, although the bark is poisonous and should only be used when dried and kept for several months.
Elder has also been long used to support the digestive tract – it’s gentle nerve relaxing properties act as soothing relief to the digestive tissues and it useful in cases of colic, bloating and gas. It also increases acidity, aiding secretion which enhances digestion.
It is considered a good idea to plant an Elder in the corner of your herb garden as the small repels insects, it is also thought that the hollow stems serve as a plant spirit.

Recipe for Elderflower Cordial:

 

Take about 20 flower heads, picked in full bloom, or some just a little before and place them in a jug of about 1 litre of water. Allow to infuse over night in the fridge, with the zest of a couple of lemons. The next morning sieve into a saucepan and add 8-12 teaspoons of sugar, depending on your taste, and the juice of the 2 lemons and an orange. Allow to simmer for a few minutes for the sugar to dissolve then pour into suitable, sterilised bottles with an airtight lid.
Mix with water, lemonade or soda water and plenty of ice for a delicious and refreshing Elderflower summer drink. Make a jug when you have guests and add a few rose petals, or some mint to the jug for decoration and flavor.

How to make Elderflower Tea:
Place 1 large teaspoon of dried Elder flower, or a handful of fresh flowers into a large cup or mug and pour over boiling water. Cover for at least 20 minutes to allow all the properties to be released into the water, and then sip. Be sure to have 2-3 cups a day in early summer to help prevent hay fever. Local honey can be added to increase the in take of local pollen to build up resistance to allergies.

IMPORTANT:
Do not take elder if you are pregnant and never use the root as it can be poisonous.
ALWAYS SEEK MEDICAL ADVICE FROM A QUALIFIED HERBALIST BEFORE USING ANY PLANTS AS MEDICINES.

References:
http://www.sacredearth.com
The Book of Herbal Wisdom by Matthew Wood

 

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