The Herbs I Use
For those with skin that is dry, oily or a combination. Intended for gently tackling acne and rosacea.

Most of the herbs used in my products I either grow or have grown. While I don't make essential oils (that is a business unto itself), I do use many of my awn plants to create infused oils. Infusing is a process something like making sun tea. I fill a large glass jar with a measured amount of the plant, cover it with a specific plant oil (like olive oil for example) and let it sit for a period of time. The result is that, once strained, the olive oil retains the what might be called the imprint of the herb used.

A good example of how I use these infused oils is "QuickFix." This is a lip balm made from grape seed oil infused with comfrey (Symphytum officinale).

Other plants I use in my products would be very familiar to you and some, you might be surprised to know, are the same ones you use in seasoning your food. So they are already in use in your household. (Examples rosemary, thyme, parsley, oregano and even garlic!)

I live in Front Royal, Virginia, and our generally respected planting zone (Zone 6) doesn't allow me to grow some plants that I use, but these would also be familiar to you: Cinnamon, cloves, turmeric, and ginger, for example. But again, they are plants you know well and probably use in cooking.

When I began making herbal products, I used1he herbs I grew (unless the recipe called for the roots, which would have destroyed my plants). But as word spread that I was making products just with plants, it began to be next to impossible for me to grow and maintain enough. So I began seeking out companies that sell organically grown plants. So while it is true I use plants I grow, it is not true that my ingredients are limited to only my own plants.

ComfreyA little about Comfrey. The photo shown here is one of my comfrey plants. Our forefathers used the comfrey plant for such things, as well as to set bones. A careful look at the labels of many skin-care products sold in stores will show you that allantoin is often an ingredient. The reason is that allantoin is what is called the active component of the comfrey plant (and other plants as well) which has been proven to promote cell regeneration, be anti-itch and anti-bacterial. As an herbalist, I use the entire plant when possible as I believe that all the components of the plant work best together and scientific research tends to back this up. Further, I ascribe to the school of thought that use of the entire plant balances the needed healing properties, and makes and adverse reaction to the active component less likely.

Also, in most cases, I believe that for skin care, some products should contain more, not less, of the plant. That's why I include large amounts of healing herbs and oils in my recipes and why I choose to use nothing but plants (and a minimum amount of water where there is a need for processing). This by the very nature of containing no fillers makes my products more concentrated; a very small amount of any of them is all that is needed.

There is no comparison of what I make to other products, because I do my own research and formulary, based on my knowledge of the herbs and their effectiveness, and formularies of dermatological, herbal and medical experts.

I am not a medical doctor. I am simply a mother and grandmother who has learned and continues to learn through personal study and application over more than thirty years. I like to think of myself as a bit of a throwback to the mountain women of old who went into the woods and found an herb to fix just about any problem you might have — except old age! (Let's work on that together!)

Note: Comfrey (Symphytum officinale), used topically, is considered safe and is coming back into popular use. Rarely comfrey, taken orally in large amounts over long periods, can have hepatotoxic effects. The carcinogenic danger is about that of a peanut butter sandwich (B.N. Ames, R. Magaw, and L.S. Gold, 198. Ranking of Possible Carcinogens, Science, Vol. 236.)