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2 handfuls each of fresh plantain leaf, calendula flowers {Calendula officinalis), St.-John's-wort flowers (Hypericum perforatum), and black cohosh leaf (C.imicifiuja racetnosa) Double boiler Extra-virgin olive oil Strainer

Linen towel, fine cotton handkerchief, or cheesecloth Bowl Class jar

4-inch piece of Solomon's seal root (Polygonatum biflorum) (optional: see "Use Solomon's Seal Sparingly" on the facing page) 1 tablespoon hexane-free castor oil 1 tablespoon coconut oil Vi ounce (or more) beeswax, grated Blender

/4 cup floral water (lavender, lilac, or rose water) % cup aloe vera gel Glass wide-mouth jar





Wilt your herbs overnight by spreading them out between sheets of newspaper. The next day, they'll be ready to use in the Gardeners' Hand Cream recipe or in any formula that calls for herb-infused oil.


1. Let the herbs wilt overnight to reduce their water content.

2. Place the herbs in the double boiler. Pour olive oil over the herbs until there arc 2 to

3 inches of oil topping the herbs.

3. Heat the herbs and oil for about 2 hours with the lid of the pot slightly askew.

4. Allow the oil to cool to room temperature

5. Line the strainer with the towel, handkerchief, or cheesecloth and pour the herb mixture into the strainer.

6. Let the oil drain into a clean bowl for several hours; squeeze out any excess oil.

7. Pour the oil into a glass jar, and label and date it. Set it on a windowsill at eye level.

8. After a day or two, check for any water droplets in the bottom of the jar. If water is evident, pour off the oil into another glass jar, leaving the watery oil at the bottom. "Water will cause the oil to turn rancid, so don't forget this step," cautions Margi. "But don't waste the watery oil. Mix it with some sea salt to make herbal salts for a soothing bath." Margi recommends mixing 3 tablespoons of the oil with 1 cup of sea salt and adding I'A cup of herbal salt per tubful of bathwater.

9. Place Vj cup of infused oil in the double boiler. (Also include 3 tablespoons of Solomon's seal, if desired.)

10. Add castor and coconut oils and beeswax. Heat just until the wax has melted.

11. Let the wax and oil mixture cool to room temperature. While it cools, put the aloe vera and floral water into a blender.

12. Turn on the blender to its highest speed and slowly pour the oil-wax mixture into the blender.

13. Pour the finished cream into sterile wide-mouth jars.

14. To use the cream, dab some of it onto the backs of your hands and rub it into your hands and fingers until it is well absorbed.

Another plant with healing qualities is Solomon's seal, says Margi Flint. She also extracts oil from its roots to add to her hand cream, especially for clients with tendon problems.

However, she cautions: "Solomon's seal is abundant where I live but endan-gered in other areas. Because you destroy the plant by harvesting the root, only harvest from a prolific stand on your own property. And say lots of prayers of gratitude!" When you're gathering herbs for infusions or other formulas, make a habit of taking them only from your own property. That way, you know they're 100 percent organic and you don't deplete wild plant populations.

To infuse oil with Solomon's seal root, repeat steps 2 through 9 of the directions for "Gardeners' Hand Cream," using a 4-inch piece of root, cut into small pieces, and 1 cup of extra-virgin olive oil.

Margi makes the Solomon's seal root oil in a separate batch and uses it in her hand cream only when needed. "Remember to compost any remaining plant material—even the herbs strained from the oil," she adds. "As the Cherokees say, you don't get the medicine until everything goes back to the earth." V


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36 Fat Burning Potent Foods

36 Fat Burning Potent Foods

If you’re overweight, you are not a bad person. You’re simply overweight. But it’s important to lose the extra pounds so you’ll look good, feel healthier and develop a sense of pride and self-esteem. Once you’ve lost the fat, you’ll need to maintain your weight.

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