Saturday, December 14, 2013

Raw "Lemon Doodle" Cookie Recipe

To Everyone . . . Tidings of Great Joy!  Christmas is upon us and here in Maine - at noon - it is sunny and a balmy 2 degrees!  Quite wintry indeed!  The forecast is for 14" of dry, fluffy white stuff by tomorrow night . . . better get some sleep, I guess, 'cuz I'll be shoveling my arms off all day.  If you're a southerner, snow shoveling, by the way, is a wonderful, cardiovascular, calorie-burning exercise - extraordinaire!

On the theme of Christmas, today I'll share with you one of my special raw, Holiday cookie recipes . . . Lemon Doodles.  They're one of my favorites . . . and if you love raw food desserts, I'm sure you'll find them most delicious (and nutritious, too)!  Enjoy!

Lemon Doodles

The contrasting flavors of sweet buttery richness and light lemony tartness make an invigorating combination.  Be careful not to eat too many of these confections; they're addictive!  Kids love them, and they make fabulous "finger food" sweets for parties.  Plus, they're full of powerful beauty nutrients . . . perfect for making skin glow, nails strong and long, and hair shine! 

- 4 teaspoons lemon zest (from 2 medium lemons)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 1/2 cup raw sesame seeds, hulled or unhulled
- 2 tablespoons raw agave nectar, raw honey, or maple syrup
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, finely shredded

1.  Zest the lemons before juicing one lemon for your 2 tablespoons of juice.  The other lemon will keep for a few days in the refrigerator for another use.

2.  Put the lemon zest, juice, walnuts, sesame seeds, raw agave, raw honey, or maple syrup, and salt in a food processor and blend for about 10 seconds.  Scrape the mixture from the sides of the bowl with a spatula and blend again for 15 seconds.  Repeat once more until a moist, seedy dough ball forms.

3.  Scrape the dough into a medium bowl.  Place the coconut in a separate, smaller bowl.

4.  Pinch off pieces of the dough and roll into balls about 1 inch in diameter.  Toss the balls in coconut shreds to coat.  If you hands get too sticky, wash with warm water, dry, and begin rolling balls again.

5.  Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Yield:  About 25 cookie balls

A good source of:  vitamins B, C, and E, plentiful calcium, plus potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, natural sugars, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber 

NOTE:  This blog was written by Stephanie Tourles and adapted from her book, Raw Energy:  124 Raw Food Recipes for Energy Bars, Smoothies, and Other Snacks to Supercharge your Body (Storey Publishing, c2009).  The information is true and complete to the best of her knowledge.  All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles.  She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information.  It is for educational purposes only.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Vegan Raw Dark Chocolate Syrup

Hi Everyone . . . winter is rapidly encroaching upon me up here in Maine.  This week's temps are predicted to be in the 30's by day and teens by night!  Not sure if I'm ready for that just yet!  Hunkering down, making tasty foods, and preparing for the Holidays sounds like fun, though. 

In today's short blog, I'm going to share with you one of my favorite Healthy Holiday raw chocolate recipes.  If you're a fan of all things dark chocolate, then throw a party and share this yummy treat with your friends.  It's absolutely fabulous!  Enjoy!

Raw Vegan Dark Chocolate Syrup

Chocolate syrup that's actually good for you?  This one is!  Because this syrup is free of refined sugar and sweetened with raw agave nectar, which rates low on the glycemic index, it is even suitable for diabetics.  My favorite way to enjoy this shiny, decadent syrup is to drizzle it over fresh pear, apple, or bananas slices, use it as a dip for sweet, ripe strawberries, or drizzle it atop muesli or parfait recipes.  I'm a big fan of raw, giant Texas pecans and I adore dipping them into the syrup . . . tastes like pure HEAVEN!

- 3 tablespoons raw agave syrup
- 2 tablespoons raw cocoa (cacao) powder
- 1 teaspoon raw, unrefined, virgin coconut oil
- 1/4 teaspoon natural vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- dash of ground cinnamon (Vietnamese cinnamon is wonderful!)
- pinch of sea salt

Directions:  Put the agave, cocoa, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl and stir vigorously to blend.  The mixture should resemble traditional chocolate syrup.  Store the syrup in a tightly sealed container and refrigerate for up to 1 month.

Yield:   About 1/3 cup

A Good Source Of:  antioxidants, B vitamins, magnesium, calcium, iron, sulfur, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, protein, manganese, fiber, and healthful fat

NOTE:  This blog was written by Stephanie Tourles, lic. esthetician, herbalist, and author, and adapted from her book, Raw Energy:  124 Raw Food Recipes for Energy Bars, Smoothies, and Other Snacks to Supercharge Your Body. The information in this blog is true and complete to the best of her knowledge.  All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles.  She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information.  It is for educational purposes only.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Topical Herbal Pain Relief Salve

Greetings Everyone!  Harvest season is winding down for my  coastal Maine garden . . . the last of the winter squashes, cucumbers, and sweet orange cherry tomatoes were collected as of yesterday.  There are a few jumbo domestic blackberries desperately trying to ripen on the canes and they are oh-so-luscious - each cane yielding only a couple of delectable fruits per day.  Hopefully Jack Frost will remain to the north for a while longer so I can enjoy a few more weeks of their deep purple juiciness!

Today, my dear friends, I will be sharing with you a pain-relieving, herbal salve recipe that has grown near and dear to my heart.  If I haven't told you already, I have been suffering from severe osteoarthritis hip pain in my left hip for over a year now - due to falling twice down my home stairs - once in February of 2012 and then again in March.  Go figure . . . I'm not normally clutzy.  After trying every source of complimentary treatment I could find that would help heal my damaged joint and relieve my pain, such as chiropractic, osteopathy, EMF, intense nutritional mineral therapy and bone-building herbal remedies, homeopathy, Eden Energy Medicine, massage, and yoga, plus trying an inversion table, gentle walking and weight-lifting to strengthen the surrounding musculature, my damaged hip socket has not healed - the pain is getting worse and walking has become difficult.  There is no cushioning synovial fluid left in my hip socket as a result of the fall and my joint is now bone-on-bone.  I will be having a complete hip replacement, sad to say, but that's just the way it is.  As much as I dislike much of what Western medicine represents, I do think they excel in emergency services and joint replacements.  When you need help, you need help.

Anyway, the recipe I will be sharing with you has given me much in the way of pain relief, especially when the hip pain was minor to moderate in intensity.  Now that the pain has increased well beyond the moderate level, the salve no longer delivers the relief I need.  But, I wanted to share the recipe so that those of you suffering from arthritis or gout pain could try it and see if it works for you. Remember that it is indicated for symptomatic pain relief only - it is not a cure.  It is easy to make and doesn't smell overly medicinal - the recipe will give you full directions.  I was able to use the salve in lieu of taking Advil or Tylenol for quite some time.  It worked best when applied to warm skin - right out of the shower or tub or if I warmed my hip using a heating pad first.  I think it works best on small joints such as in the fingers, toes, wrists, and elbows.  For relief of pain in the larger joints such as shoulders, knees, and hips, you will have to apply it to pre-warmed skin - like I previously said.

It's also great applied to injured tissue to prevent bruising or to help relieve muscle strain or tendonitis if you've done too much yard work or exercised too heavily.  Makes a wonderful salve to rub on your feet and calves at the end of a long day spent walking, hiking, or standing.  Every medicine cabinet should have a jar.  Good stuff!

Contraindication:  I have to say this . . . because the salve contains naturally-derived salicylic acid (the natural form of the chemical that is in aspirin), you should not use it if you have an allergy to aspirin or are on an aspirin regimen prescribed by your physician or are self-medicating with aspirin or a product containing aspirin on a regular basis.  It is a topically-applied herbal remedy - not oral, I realize, but your skin will absorb some of the salicylic acid (which is why it works) and it can get absorbed by your bloodstream.  DO NOT USE IF ALLERGIC TO ASPIRIN OR ORALLY TAKING ASPIRIN REGULARLY.

The 2 main herbal ingredients in the recipe are arnica and meadowsweet flowers, so I will give you information on each of those herbs first, then share the recipe.  I hope you'll try this formula for yourself or a friend or family member. 

Arnica (arnica Montana)
Parts Used:  Flowers
A well-known plant with golden yellow daisy-like flowers, arnica has been used for centuries to relieve pain and inflammation from sprains, bruises, sore muscles, stressed ligaments and tendons, and arthritis.  In fact, it is often referred to as the "aches and pains" herb.  Used in infused oils, salves, or liniments, it yields a warming energy and stimulates the peripheral blood supply, enhancing circulation.
Contraindications:  Do not use on abraded skin or open wounds; may cause contact dermatitis in sensitive individuals.

Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria):
Parts Used:  Leaf, flower
A native of Europe and Asia but naturalized in eastern North America, this stout, dense, upright shrub, also known as "queen of the meadow," has creamy white, slightly almond-scented flowers that grow in tight clusters.  In 1838 chemists isolated salicylic acid from its flower buds (as well as from the bark of the willow tree).  In 1899 the drug company Bayer formulated a new synthetic drug, acetylsalicylic acid, and called it "aspirin" - derived from the former botanical name for meadowsweet, Spirea ulmaria.  Meadowsweet, often referred to as "herbal aspirin," has a cooling energy with astringent, antirheumatic, analgesic, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, exfoliant, and antispasmodic properties.  I use the flowers primarily, but you can mix in the leaves when making infused oils for inclusion in salves and balms for easing muscular and arthritic aches and pains.


When you combine meadowsweet, known as "herbal aspirin," with the flowers of arnica, the "aches and pains herb," the result is a rather powerful infused oil that boasts astringent, antirheumatic, analgesic, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic properties.  When massaged into a joint exhibiting arthritis pain, sore muscles, areas with tendonitis, or into sore feet and calves, Herbal Aspirin Salve will temporarily relieve the pain, inflammation, and stiffness.  I find it to be pure "salve-ation" for my sore hands and wrists after a couple hours spent hoeing weeds in the garden or typing at 120 words per minute on my computer!

- 1 cup dried or 2 cups freshly wilted meadowsweet flowers (note:  to freshly wilt means to allow the flower to slightly dry for 48 hours prior to use.  This lets a great deal of the moisture evaporate before adding the herbs to the oil.  Simply spread the fresh herbs out in a thin layer atop some paper towels or other toweling in an area that is free from dust and bugs and dew - indoors preferably - for 48 hours.  They will be limp and "freshly wilted" and ready to use.)
- 1 cup dried arnica flowers
- 3 cups extra-virgin olive base oil
- 2,000 IU vitamin E oil
- 3-4 tablespoons beeswax (use the larger amount if you want a firmer salve)

Equipment Needed:  2-quart saucepan or double boiler, stirring utensil, candy or yogurt thermometer, strainer, fine filter, funnel, glass or plastic storage container (for the infused oil), glass or plastic jars or tins (for the salve)

Prep Time:  4 hours to infuse the oil, plus 20 minutes to make the salve and 30 minutes for it to thicken

Yield:  Approximately 2 1/2 cups of infused oil and 1 1/4 cups of salve

Storage:  Store at room temperature, away from heat and light; use within 1 year

Application:  Up to 3 times per day

Preparing The Herbal Infused Oil:  If you're using freshly wilted meadowsweet flowers, strip them from their stems along with the small bits of attached leaves prior to adding to the pan.  Discard the stems.  Combine the meadowsweet and arnica flowers with the olive base oil in a 2-quart saucepan or double boiler, and stir thoroughly to blend.  The mixture should look like a thick floral soup.  Bring the mixture to just shy of a simmer, between 125 degrees Fahrenheit and 135 degrees Fahrenheit.  Do not let the oil actually simmer - it will degrade the quality of your infused oil.  DO NOT put the lid on the pot during this process.

Allow the herbs to macerate (steep) in the oil over low heat for 4 hours.  Check the temperature every 30 minutes or so with a thermometer and adjust the heat accordingly.  If you're using a double boiler, add more water to the bottom pot as necessary, so it doesn't dry out.  Stir the infusing mixture at least every 30 minutes or so, as the herb bits tend to settle to the bottom.

After 4 hours, remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.  While the oil is still warm, carefully strain it through a fine-mesh strainer lined with a fine filter such as muslin or, preferably, a paper coffee filter, then strain again if necessary to remove all debris.  Squeeze the herbs to extract as much of the precious oil as possible.  Discard the marc (or spent herbs).

Add the vitamin E oil and stir to blend.  The resulting infused oil blend will be golden-green in color.  Pour the finished oil into a storage container, then cap, label, and store in a dark cabinet.

Preparing The Salve:  Combine 1 cup of the infused oil with the beeswax in a small saucepan or double boiler, and warm over low heat until the beeswax is just melted.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes, stirring a few times to blend.  Pour into plastic or glass jars or tins, cap, label, and set aside for 30 minutes to thicken.

Application Instructions:  Massage a bit of salve into sore joints, muscles, tendons, or feet and calves. Apply up to 3 times per day.

Note:  This blog was written by Stephanie Tourles, licensed esthetician, herbalist, and aromatherapist.  The content was adapted from her book, Hands-On Healing Remedies, c2012, Storey Publishing, and used with permission.  The information is true and complete to the best of the author's knowledge.  All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles.  The author disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information.  It is for educational purposes only.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Make Your Own Aromatic, Herbal Body Powder

Greetings Health Seekers!  I hope everyone is well and making an easy transition into the busy fall season . . . summer's almost over, kids have gone back to school, the evenings are blessedly cooler, and it's the time of year when I like to make plenty of fresh, herbal personal care products and restock my bathroom shelves. 

Today, I'm going to share with you a deodorizing and aromatically stimulating body powder recipe from my latest book -  Hands-On Healing Remedies - that utilizes some of my dried garden peppermint.  I love this powder . . . it smells wonderful, is totally chemical-free, keeps you feeling wonderfully clean and fresh, plus it helps eliminate morning fatigue . . . read on and you'll find out how.  Enjoy!

Peppy Peppermint & Ginger Body Powder

A body powder that helps eliminate morning fatigue?  Of course, why not?  Here's a stimulating, refreshing body powder to keep you cool and dry and start your day off on an energized note.  The chilling effects of the powdered peppermint and the concentrated menthol send signals to your brain that energy is abundant.  Powdered ginger root revitalizes the circulation as well, but it is a warming stimulant.  Your body and senses are being bombarded by herbal rechargers that deliver a one-two punch, leaving you rarin' to go!

Bonus:  This powder can double as a simple underarm deodorant for those who want to avoid the chemicals in commercial deodorants or as a foot powder for odoriferous "dogs" (feet).

1/4 cup dried peppermint leaves
1 teaspoon menthol crystals (available from
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup white cosmetic clay
3 tablespoons ground ginger root

Equipment:  Grinder or mortar and pestle, fine-mesh strainer or flour sifter, medium bowl and whisk or food processor, airtight storage container(s)

Prep Time:  20 minutes, plus 3 days to synergize

Yield:  Approximately 2 cups

Storage:  Store at room temperature, away from heat and light; use within 1 year

Application:  As desired

Method:  Grind the dried peppermint leaves and menthol crystals into a fine powder using a coffee or spice grinder or a mortar and pestle.  Sift out the larger, grainy particles using a fine-mesh strainer or flour sifter, if needed.  Combine the ground peppermint and menthol crystals with the baking soda, cornstarch, clay, and ground ginger in a medium bowl or a food processor.  Gently whisk together or pulse in the food processor for 15 seconds until well blended.  Avoid breathing the dust as it might make you sneeze.

Store the powder in an airtight storage container in a cool, dark place for 3 days to allow the herbal scents to permeate the mixture.  Then package the powder into smaller containers, if desired.

Application Instructions:  Apply as you would any body powder, by sprinkling or using a powder puff where needed.

Note:  This blog was written by Stephanie Tourles, Lic. Esthetician, Herbalist, and Author.  The recipe herein is from her book, Hands-On Healing Remedies (c2012), and reprinted with permission by Storey Publishing.  The information in this blog is true and complete to the best of Ms. Tourles' knowledge.  All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of the author.  She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information.  It is for educational purposes only.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Essential Oils For Health & Home - Part 4

Hello Everyone!  I'm not quite sure what to think of this summer's weather in Maine . . . it's been quite rainy, then we had a two-week blazing hot & humid spell, then rainy again, and then unseasonably cool.  My garden was slow to start and I'm now finally picking green beans and still picking peas - which are actually a late spring/early summer veggie.  The zucchini is doing fine as are the giant red raspberries, but my winter squashes and pumpkins are still only baseball size - that's pretty pitiful!  We've only got approximately 10 more weeks of growing season left - and much of that will consist of cool evenings with moderately warm days.  Hmmmmm . . . a tough year for vegetables, but my flowers are fabulous as are my herbs.  C'est la vie!

Today I'll conclude the Essential Oils For Health & Home series by discussing three more of my favorite, affordable, and quite useful essential oils:  eucalyptus, rosemary, and fir.  They all smell clean, fresh, and wonderful - hope you find the information beneficial and educational.  Remember, you can learn more about essential oils and their properties and uses in my Organic Body Care Recipes book, and in my latest Hands-On Healing Remedies book.  Both are available through my website, and through Amazon, and in bookstores everywhere.

Eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus or eucalyptus radiata):  Eucalyptus is one of the most commonly used essential oils and has hundreds of uses.  There are over 700 varieties of eucalyptus, some trees growing to 500 feet tall, and they all possess similar properties which are balancing, stimulating, circulatory enhancing, antiseptic, and antiviral. It is one of the four best essential oils for use with any respiratory tract problem (the other three being pine, fir, and rosemary cineole) because the component eucalyptol  is mucolytic (it relaxes and thins the flow of mucous) and it excretes the eucalyptol out through the lung surface.  When inhaled, it gives an immediate effect to clogged sinuses and lungs, then repeats its healing actions as it circulates out of the body.  Eucalyptus has a heating and moisturizing energy and a pungent, sharp aroma.  It feels cool to the sinuses when inhaled, but actually warms the respiratory tract.

Eucalyptus essential oil should be in everyone's medicine cabinet.  My favorite and most gentle aromatic form of eucalyptus essential oil is eucalyptus radiata.  It is surprisingly quite powerful in the antiviral department.  Perfectly suited for daily use while body brushing, in the sauna, or on the chest - when diluted properly (12 to 20 drops per ounce of carrier oil).  This form is very child-safe, too.  I like to add this essential oil when making vapor rub and sinus balms.

You can make a wonderful antiseptic and antiviral room spray to use throughout the house during cold and flu season . . . I also use it to clean bathroom and kitchen counters.  Simply add 4 ounces of cheap vodka to a 4-ounce glass spray bottle, then add 40 drops of eucalyptus globulus or eucalyptus radiata essential oil.  Shake well before each use.  You can also use 20 drops of eucalyptus with 20 drops of lavender essential oil - the aroma is quite pleasing and you get the added benefit of the relaxing property of lavender, plus lavender is quite antiseptic, as well.

Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis or rosmarinus, chemotype verbenon or rosmarinus, chemotype cineole):  I adore rosemary - in all forms - the leaves for culinary purposes; the infused leaf oil for making healing salves and use as a scalp stimulating/hair conditioning oil; the verbenon chemotype of essential oil for use in rejuvenative skin care preparations; and the hotter cineole chemotype of essential oil for use in healing body oils and salves because of its respiratory disinfecting, circulatory stimulating, and energizing properties. For relief of arthritis pain in the fingers, toes, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and knees, I like to mix 20 drops of rosemary cineole with 5 drops each of essential oils of eucalyptus, pine, fir, lavender in a 2-ounce base of St. John's Wort infused oil.  Store it in a glass bottle and shake well before each application.  For relief, simply rub a small amount into sore, stiff joints several times per day.  It smells quite nice - won't leave you smelling like a "little old man".

Rosemary essential oils have a general heating, drying energy and a pungent aroma.  A couple of types of rosemary essential should be in everyone's medicine cabinet.  It has almost as many uses as lavender.  It is also known as the "herb of remembrance" and simply inhaling a drop placed on a tissue or cotton ball will stimulate circulation to the brain - enhancing memory. Great for use while studying.

Fir, Balsam (Abies balsamea) or can substitute Fir, Douglas (Pseudotsuga menziesii):  The balsam fir tree grows everywhere in my state of Maine and in New England/eastern Canada and smells like a Christmas wreath. Douglas fir grows in the western United States and western Canada. Both essential oils can be used interchangeably.  Ever take a walk in an evergreen forest and feel recharged and rejuvenated - like your lungs have expanded and taken in more oxygen?  This is what fir essential oil does - clear and relax the lungs - resulting in more oxygen uptake, thus increased energy. 

This aromatically pungent, clean, fresh, green needle essential oil has a heating, drying energy with antiseptic, relaxing, refreshing, and expectorant properties.  Fir essential oil can be inhaled directly from the bottle to decongest blocked sinuses and lungs - acting as a respiratory antiseptic - perfect for cold and flu season.  I love to add it to respiratory balms, combined with rosemary cineole, eucalyptus radiata, and sea pine essential oils.  Though fir has a relaxing property, many people, my self included, find that it is a superior stimulating, energetically reviving oil when massaged onto the body via a salve or fir needle infused oil.

Fir essential oil is used by many massage therapists because it is a relaxant to the nervous system and to muscular spasms.  I like to make a room spray to spritz around the house during the holidays and also use it to clear the "cat litter box room" of nasty odors.  Works fabulously.  To make, simply add 4 ounces of cheap vodka to a 4-ounce glass spray bottle and then add 40 drops of fir essential oil (either Balsam or Douglas fir will do).  Shake well before each use. 

NOTE:  This blog was written by Stephanie Tourles, author, lic. holistic esthetician, aromatherapist, and skin care herbalist.  The information in this article is true and complete to the best of her knowledge.  All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles.  She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information.  It is for educational purposes only.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Essential Oils For Health & Home - Part 3

Summer Greetings To All!  Summer has arrived on a soggy note here in coastal Maine.  We've had the 6th wettest June on record and quite a few cool evenings, but my garden is apparently delighting in this weather - growing like gangbusters with nary a potato or cucumber or squash beetle or slug in sight!  My soil is superb - mineral-rich and light and fluffy with plenty of residual ash blended in from burning lawn clippings and leaves in the garden last winter and spring. 

On a personal note, I'm going through a bit of a difficult, life-changing situation right now and came across this quote that I found comforting and I thought some of you might benefit from it, too:  Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.  It's about learning how to dance in the rain . . .   - Vivian Greene

Today, I will continue with Part 3 of our discussion of my favorite essential oils for promoting health and use in the home.  You can find more information about essential oils (and recipes in which to use them) in my Organic Body Care Recipes book and my Hands-On Healing Remedies book - both good resources for using herbs and essential oils for skin and body care plus topically-applied herbal medicine.

I'm going to be imparting information about 3 popular essential oils:  lavender, tea tree, and lemon.  These are widely available and usually reasonably priced.

1.  Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) - A member of the mint family with a strong, pungent, floral taste and slightly cooling / neutral energy. It is said to have over 150 medicinal uses which have all been tested and is good for almost any imbalance. If you are tired and stressed out, it will relax you.  If you are depressed, it will uplift you.  If you are angry and hypertensive, it will calm you down. A most gentle oil with a soft, floral familiar herbal scent.  Known for its calming, relaxing and soothing effects, lavender is said to balance the central nervous system and is extremely useful for children due to it's myriad healing properties, pleasant aroma, as well as being so incredibly mild on the skin and respiratory system - yet powerful enough to be an effective medicinal.

Lavender is considered the most universally useful oil, it is excellent for all skin types.  A must for every first aid kit, it can be used for burns, sunburns, stings, muscular aches, cuts, blemishes, bruises, headaches, insect bites, colds, flu, stress & menstrual cramps.  It can be inhaled directly from the bottle or applied "neat" or undiluted onto the skin.  In France, lavender is used as a base oil or carrier oil for other essential oils to be diluted into.  If you'd like to make a standard 2% dilution of lavender essential oil (recommended for very sensitive folks, the elderly, and children under 6), simply blend 12-15 drops of essential oil in 1 ounce of 2 tablespoons of base oil such as almond, hazelnut, coconut, jojoba, or olive - or whatever base oil strikes your fancy. Store this blend in a dark, glass bottle and apply as needed.

Lavender's medicinal actions include it being antiseptic, antispasmodic, nervine, carminative, slightly diuretic, analgesic, and sedative.  It promote deep restful sleep. One of my favorite ways to use lavender is to get a 4 oz. glass spray bottle and add 40 drops of lavender essential oil to 4 ounces of distilled water.  Shake well before each use.  I spray my pillow lightly with it each night before bed as well as spraying the air in my bedroom.  I'm nodding off to sleep in no time!  If you've got hyperactive children or they're irritable and don't want to go to bed, then spray their room and massage a bit of the spray into their feet.  They'll significantly calm down within 10 minutes - guaranteed!

2.  Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) - Tea tree essential oil has a bitter, pungent, heavy medicinal taste and penetrating, camphorous odor with a cooling, moisturizing energy.  It is distilled from the leaves and twigs of a small, shrubby tree native to Australia. It is probably one of the most commonly used medicinal essential oils in the U.S., in part due to a multi-level marketing company that highly promotes its healing properties.  Tea tree essential oil is unusual in that it is effective against all three varieties of infectious organisms:  viruses, bacteria, and fungi.  It is also a powerful immune-stimulant, anti-inflammatory, and vulnerary (tissue healing agent), making it an excellent addition to the home medicine chest.  You can apply it "neat" or undiluted directly on burns, abrasions, abscesses, acne or wherever there is sign of infection or fungus.  May be safely used in gargles, vaginal douches, sitz baths or externally for ear infections.  Child-safe.

I add this essential oil to oil blends, salves, balms, and clay packs to treat cuts and scrapes, all manner of rashes, athlete's foot / nail fungus, and skin, sinus, and respiratory infections.  It can be used "neat" as a spot treatment for blemishes, warts, and insect bites and stings.

3.  Lemon (Citrus x limon) - this essential oil, like pine and orange, is one of the most common and least expensive. It is cold-pressed from the peel or rind and has a clean, light, sharp, refreshing, familiar citrus aroma and a cooling, drying energy.  Commercially, it is a favorite additive to detergents, dish soap, household cleansers, bleach, and many foods.  I frequently add a few drops to my vacuum bag, shower scrub cleanser, toilet bowl, and kitchen surface cleaner so that my house smells clean and fresh.

Lemon essential oil may be a potential skin irritant, so do a patch test for 24 hours prior to using it.  To do a patch test, add 2-4 drops to a teaspoon of base oil, apply some of the mixture to the back of your knee, inside your elbow, or behind your ear, top with an adhesive bandage and wait 24 hours.  If there is no redness or irritation, then you may feel safe to use the oil in moderation - always diluted - never "neat" or undiluted.  Avoid lemon oil if pregnant or epileptic and it may be photosensitizing - so avoid use if going out in the sun.

Medicinally, I use lemon essential oil in oil blends for thinning hair and alopecia for its gentle astringency and circulation-stimulating properties.  It also acts as a mental stimulant, increasing alertness and clarity, and so I add it to balms and oil blends that lift mental fog and that "stuck-in-the-mud" feeling.  It is also a wonderful invigorating antiseptic and can be added to cold and flu and respiratory formulations.  By the very tiny drop, it can be applied directly to stubborn warts to aid in removal, but be careful not to get the oil on surrounding skin.

Lemon essential oil is a citrus oil, and like other citrus oils such as lime, orange, bergamot, and grapefruit, it is highly volatile and will lose its potency and aroma within 1 year or less.  Please store the bottle in a dark, cool cabinet or refrigerator.

NOTE:  This blog was written by Stephanie Tourles, lic. holistic esthetician, herbalist, certified aromatherapist, and author of Organic Body Care Recipes, Hands-On Healing Remedies, and other wellness and nutrition books.  The information in this blog is true and complete to the best of her knowledge.  All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles.  She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information.  It is for educational purposes only.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Essential Oils For Health & Home - Part 2

Hello Fellow Health Seekers!  Spring is in full swing here in coastal Maine.  Our official state bird - the black fly - ha ha ha  - is arriving in droves to bite everyone's flesh and hover around their heads!  The joy of a Maine spring!  It's still too cool at night to plant the vegetable garden yet - I'll give it another two weeks just to play it safe.

Here's a quote I came across that I really like:  "Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts." - Rachael Carson

Today, I'll continue with the essential oil series that I began last blog - Essential Oils For Health & Home - Part 2.  I'll discuss spearmint, peppermint, and sweet orange and how to use them to help improve health and freshen your home, etc.  You can find more information and uses for essential oils in my Organic Body Care Recipes book as well as my latest, Hands-On Healing Remedies book.  Hope you find this blog to your benefit!

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) - Derived from the plant leaf, this is one of the most common medicinal and culinary herbs in the world with cooling, antiseptic, and expectorant qualitites - valued for an inflamed respiratory tract.  Hot peppermint tea with 1 added drop of essential oil does wonders for sore throats and helps calm the spasms of coughing while a drop of pepperint oil applied to the nape of the neck will help relieve a tension headache.  Apply a hot, damp washcloth over the back of the neck after application of the essential oil and your headache will vanish even faster!

Cold, strong peppermint tea makes an excellent, slightly astringent mouthwash and a drop or 2 of essential oil can be added to your toothpaste to help heal gum infections and canker sores.

I like to place a few drops of a combination of peppermint and lemon essential oils in my vacuum bag when cleaning the house.  My home fills with the fresh, minty-citrus aroma and enlivens my senses.  Nothing smells cleaner than mint and lemon!

Spearmint  (Mentha Spicata) - is used much in the same way as peppermint.  It has a more calming and mild or more yin action than peppermint.  Spearmint essential oil makes for a quick, temporary stress reliever using just a drop applied to the temples, forehead, and back of neck.  A few inhalations taken directly from the bottle works well, too, just don't overdo it, or you might get a wee bit lightheaded.  You can also try placing a drop in your palms and cupping your hands over your nose and mouth and inhaling.  As a digestive aid, place a drop or 2 in your cup of herbal tea or per quart of drinking water.

To freshen the bathroom, I like to add a few drops to my baking soda-based shower scrub.  To freshen the cat litter box room, I make an aromatic spritzer using 4 ounces of inexpensive vodka combined with 10 drops of spearmint oil and 10 drops of sweet orange oil.  Shake well and spray at least 6 feet away from the litter box.  Really neutralizes odors.  You can also soak a few cotton balls with this blend and scatter them around the room.  Smells quite nice!

Sweet Orange (Citrus Sinensis) - This is one of the least expensive and most common of all essential oils on the market. Like lemon, sweet orange, derived from the orange peel, has a universally pleasing aroma that acts on the mind.  While lemon is more stimulating and makes you more alert, clear-headed, and analytical, orange activates the more intuitive, artistic side of your nature. Sweet orange essential oil is rather calming, having sedative effects.  Wonderful for easing indigestion, relieving stress, sadness, nervousness, and anxiety.  But . . . as with all naturally-derived ingredients, it can be relaxing or energizing, depending on the your constitution and needs at the time - rather amazing, actually.

I use this essential oil to flavor lip balms due to the sweet taste and to scent foot balms, due to it's deodorizing properties.  This is another disinfectant oil that I like to add to my vacuum bag when cleaning the house as well as add to my baking soda shower scrub - makes the house smell so fresh and delightful.  Orange essential oil is fabulous when combined with lavender essential oil - both are antiseptic and calming to the psyche.

Orange essential oil can be added to recipes when making sleep balms and dream balms (my Organic Body Care Recipes book has a couple of recipes like this that you'd probably like) . . . it is said to help induce colorful dreams and also make you relax when you've had a very stressful day and your mind just won't shut off - and we've all had days like that!

Until next time . . . be happy and whole, enjoy your relationships, and celebrate life!  Life is indeed short so make the most of it . . .

NOTE:  This blog was written by Stephanie Tourles, lic. esthetician, herbalist, and author.  Her website is  The information is true and complete to the best of her knowledge.  All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of the author.  She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information.  It is for educational purposes only.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Essential Oils For Health & Home - Part 1

Hello Fellow Health Enthusiasts!  I hope you're enjoying the early spring weather in your part of the country and if you are, I'm jealous!  Here it is April 12th in northern, coastal Maine and it just started snowing - again -  ugh!  No signs of spring yet except for the daffodils that are barely poking their green stems up by about an inch; a few spring onions are attempting to awaken from winter's grasp, peeking up from the crumbly garden soil; and a fresh bunch of robins landed in my back yard this morning, tilting their heads as they listened for worms.  Spring's coming - just being terribly slow this year.

Today, I want to begin a new series about the use of essential oils for both health and home.  Essential oils bring "living vibrations" or "vibrational energy" into your body.  They are totally unlike lifeless, synthetically-produced "meds" or "vitamin pills" that you get in pharmacies or even health food stores.  To truly benefit from using essential oils, and not have them become merely an occasional fragrance agent or inconsequential thing in your life, you must get into the habit of using them daily as part of your beauty and healing regimen - don't wait until you have skin problems or are suffering from sickness to reach for them.  The knowledgeable and frequent use of essential oils will prevent a multitude of illnesses and beauty problems.  Learn to love essential oils and make it a point to research all of their properties and contraindications before applying them to your skin, inhaling them, or adding them to your food.  Remember to always keep them stored in a dark, cool place, away from children and pets.

My favorite source of superior essential oils is Simplers Botanical Company, (800) 652-7646 or  Additionally, both of my best-selling books, Organic Body Care Recipes and Hands-On Healing Remedies are good sources for learning about essential oils and how they are best used in personal care and topically-applied herbal remedies.

In this blog, I'll begin by discussing frankincense and myrrh - which are gaining in popularity these days.  I can't list every known use for these essential oils, so learn what I"ve listed then look up the oils in other resources and expand your knowledge.  Enjoy!

- Frankincense:  Sometimes called olibanum, frankincense (Boswellia carterii) is one of the first spices brought back from the East.  It is a resin gathered from the stems and trunk of small trees which grow in the Arabian peninsula, India, and northern Africa.  Wonderful for preserving spiritual energy, enhancing meditation, and helping maintain a clear mind. Frankincense is part of the recipe found in the Bible for "holy anointing oil" and has been used in religious rituals for centuries. It is excellent for the sixth chakra, assisting in altering perception of truth and promoting clairvoyance.

It has a heating, drying energy with alterative, analgesic, rejuvenative, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant, antiseptic, and astringent properties.  Excellent for healing wounds, bronchitis, colds, sinusitis, and comforting and protecting environmentally damaged and aging skin.

For emotional trauma, sinus, and lung infections, inhale a few drops rubbed between your hands and cupped over your mouth and nose.  You can even mix a drop of frankincense with a 1/2 teaspoon of honey - chase it down with warm water - to help relieve sore throat.  A drop on each temple will help relieve stress headaches.  A massage oil made using 1/2 cup of jojoba oil or coconut oil to which you've added 30 drops of frankincense or 15 drops each of frankincense and myrrh, is wonderful as a relaxing perfumed body oil or bath oil.  Men and women like the aroma.

- Myrrh:  One of the oldest essential oils, myrrh (commophora myrrha) is made from the gum resin of a bush that grows in Arabia and Africa.  Myrrh essential oil creates confidence and awareness and is valuable for those who are afraid to speak up about their feelings.  Used for centuries as an embalming fluid, it continues to be used as a restorative / preserver of youthful skin and is often added to cosmetics for mature skin and prevention of wrinkles.

Myrrh has a heating energy with alterative, analgesic, emmenagogue, rejuvenative, astringent, expectorant, antispasmodic, and antiseptic properties.  Excellent for alleviating coughs, asthma, bronchitis, arthritis, rheumatism, traumatic injuries, ulcerated surfaces, and pyorrhea. 

I make a disinfecting spray that I use on my hands, to purify the air inside the house, and to clean bathroom surfaces by mixing 1 cup of cheap 80-proof vodka with 20 drops of frankincense and 20 drops of myrrh essential oils.  Shake well.  Smells nice, warm and fresh.

Until next time, be well, be happy, and be whole!

NOTE:  This blog was written by Stephanie Tourles, lic. esthetician, aromatherapist, herbalist, and author. The information is true and complete to the best of her knowledge.  All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles.  She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information.  It is for educational purposes only.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Skin FAQS 101 - Basic Information About Your Skin & Its Function

Hello Fellow Health Seekers - I hope everyone is well and energetic these days.  Spring is just around the corner (especially if you live in the southern states) and now is the time to get to know your skin again . . . what I mean by that is . . . it's getting to be that time of year when your skin will be more exposed to the elements and you'll want it to look its best and be comfortable.  So what I want to do today is to educate you as to what it does, how it functions, and how important it is that you take utmost care of it so that it will provide you with a lifetime of health and good looks.  Your skin is your largest organ and is not to be neglected nor taken for granted, which unfortunately, is often the case - especially with men.

Skin FAQS 101 - Interesting Information About Your Skin

1. Skin cells die and re-grow every 19-28 days.

2.  The skin produces approximately 2 teaspoons or 10 grams of dead skin dander per day.  The fine flakes of skin make up a large propotion of the dust in your house - which is eaten by dust mites - and hopefully they are sucked up by your vacuum cleaner!

3.  The skin loses approximately 30,000+ dead cells off the surface every minute.

4.  The skin measures 16-21 square feet.

5.  An average square inch of the skin has 90-100 sebaceous glands (oil glands); 20 blood arteries/veins/capillaries; 50,000+ melanocytes; 600+ sweat glands; and over 1,000 nerve endings.

6.  The skin's average thickness is approximately .10 inches.

7.  The hair on the head grows about 1 mm in 3 days and a fingernails grows 1 mm in 12 days.

8.  The skin does not "breathe" in the sense that the lungs breathe; nevertheless, the skin takes in (through its pores) 1.9% of the oxygen and gives off 2.7 % of the carbon dioxide converted in the organism as a whole.  Your skin does absorb approximately 60% of what is applied to it, depending on the size of the molecules of the substance and the condition of the skin at the time of application.  So, in a sense it "eats" and can transport some substances - good or bad - directly into the subsurface of the skin and even into the bloodstream.  That's good enough reason to use only pure, chemical-free skin care and personal care products!  You are what you eat . . . and absorb through your skin, lungs, and digestive system.

9.  As a complex structure, your skin performs 9 essential jobs for the body:
- It protects us from physical, chemical, biological, thermal, and electrical damage.
- Helps the body maintain a steady temperature.
- Acts as a moisture regulator, preventing excessive entry and evaporation of water.
- Prevents excessive loss of minerals.
- Converts ultraviolet rays into vitamin D3, part of the vitamin D complex that helps us maintain strong bones by enhancing absorption of calcium and other minerals.
- Serves as a highly sensitive sensory organ, responding to heat, cold, pain, pleasure, and pressure.
- Metabolizes and stores fat.
- Secretes sebum, an oily lubricating substance.
- Assists in processes of excretion of salts, urea, water, and toxins via sweating.

10. The skin's ability to self-heal decreases as a person ages.  Because the epidermis - or outermost visible layer - has no blood supply its source comes from infusion through the lower layers of the skin - the dermis and subcutaneous.  As a result of the skin being forced to intake oxygen through its pores, a clean regime (both through clean-eating & keeping the skin clean) is of utmost importance to eliminating the deficiencies of both the necessary oxidation of the cells as well as the antioxidation effect on "free radicals" that are inherent in the aging process.

11. The varioius internal glands responsible for supplying the various elements necessary for a healthy skin cells such as nutrients, oxygenation, hydration, lubrication, protection, desquamation (exfoliation), etc., decrease their production abilities during aging thereby reducing the skin's ability to self-repair, self-protect, and perform its functions as mandated.

12. Stress in the human body as well as excess sugar and flour intake (refined or unrefined) causes an increase of cortisol, which in turn causes a degradation of the protein collagen  which then accelerates skin aging (wrinkling / sagging).  Learn destressing techniques such as tai chi, qi gong, yoga, meditation, walking, gardening, etc. and by all means keep refined foods to an absolute minimum!

13. The cells in younger skin have a faster turnover rate.

14.  The more layers of melanin cells (melanocytes), the darker the color of the skin.

15.  As skin cells are formed, they move in an upward direction normally starting at the basal (base) layer and, depending on the age and other influences, will arrive at the top layer (stratun corneum or epidermis) some 20 to 60 days later where they should be automatically "sloughed off".  Depending on the age, skin care regimen, and health of the individual, skin cells are shed at differing rates.  If they are allowed to build up, extreme dry skin and discomfort can result.  Illnesses such as eczema and psoriasis reveal themselves as patches of thickened skin, some dead and some still living.

16. Aging skin becomes thinner causing the cell repair rate to decrease which could result in the dermis layer being damaged.

Your skin is apparently a very busy organ, so in order to keep it at peak function level and at its healthiest, be sure to eat well everyday, avoiding all refined and synthetic foods. Take care while out in the sun - avoid over exposure!  Exercise daily to oxygenate your cells and eliminate waste through your lungs and pores.  Drink lots of water and a minimal amount of caffeinated beverages to remain hydrated.  Moisturize your skin or "living hide" daily so as to avoid dehydration and premature wrinkling. And, be sure that your colon is working as it should . . . evacuation should take place at least 2-3x per day so that all toxins are eliminated from your body and not reabsorbed.

I hope you found this blog educational.  Don't forget to wash and moisturize your face tonight and don't ignore your skin from the neck down, either.  Remember, good looking healthy skin doesn't stop at your collar bones.

Until next time - be happy, healthy, and whole.

NOTE:  This blog was written by Stephanie Tourles, Lic. esthetician, herbalist, aromatherapist, and author. All recommendation are made without guarantee on the part of the author.  She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information.  It is for educational purposes only.  Portions of this article were adapated from DERMASCOPE Magazine, August 2011 issue, page 89.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Evening Primrose & Rose Hip Healing Oil

Greetings of Winter Health to All!  I hope everyone is well and has managed to stave off this season's flu and norovirus!  Flu-like symptoms keep trying to take hold of my body, but so far, "knock on wood", they go away within an hour or so of attempting invasion.  I chalk this up to good "whole food"eating, getting sufficient vitamin D3, sleeping well, washing my hands often, exercising regularly, using anti-viral essential oil sprays throughout the house, and keeping my skin in good shape.

Today's topic, in fact, is about keeping skin in tip-top shape (and also healing it) by using nourishing ingredients.  I recently had a reader inquire as to how to formulate a healing blend using aloe vera, evening primrose oil, and rose hip seed oil as she had just had some tattoos removed and wanted to help the affected area heal smoothly with no scars.  The following is the recipe/treatment sequence that I relayed to her.  It can be used as facial care or applied to any area that needs anti-inflammatory action, nourishment, pampering, and healing . . . such as dry eczema and psoriasis patches, scaly skin, cracked heels, cuts and scrapes, new scar tissue, ragged nails and cuticles, or sunburn or windburn.  Avoid use on oily or acneic skin as the rose hip seed oil will exacerbate that condition.  It is perfect for normal, normal-to-dry, and very dry skins.

Evening Primrose & Rose Hip Healing Oil


- Aloe vera juice, commercially prepared (with less than 1% preservatives)
- 3 tablespoons almond oil or apricot seed oil or hazelnut oil
- 1 teaspoon jojoba oil (stabilizes the product, soaks in well, and acts as a preservative)
- 1 teaspoon rose hip seed oil
- 1 teaspoon evening primrose oil
- 1 small vitamin E capsule, 200 IU (acts as a preservative)
- 20 drops lavender essential oil (optional - but extremely gentle and very healing)


1.  The aloe vera juice will be used as a hydrating, healing toner - separately - and NOT blended with the oils.  Set it aside for now.

2.  To a 2 ounce, dropper cap, dark glass bottle, add the almond or apricot or hazelnut oil, jojoba oil, rose hip seed oil, evening primrose oil, and vitamin E oil (pierce and squeeze the capsule into the other oils).  Add the lavender essential oil drops, if desired.  Cap, label, and shake vigorously for 2 minutes to blend thoroughly.  Set aside for 24 hours in a dark, cool cabinet so that the ingredients can synergize.

3.  From now on, the bottle will need to be stored in a dark, cool place for up to 6 months maximum - no longer - as the rose hip and evening primrose oils have a short shelf life.  If you refrigerate it, the jojoba oil will get very hard and the product will thicken a bit - so I don't suggest it.

4.  After you clean your face & throat or other area that you want to apply this healing, nourishing oil,  moisten the area with a cotton ball saturated with aloe vera juice.  It is incredibly healing and moisturizing.  Next, apply a few drops of the oil blend to your palms, rub hands together to warm the oil, then gently press into your skin.  Do this morning and night.  If you want to add your regular face or body cream or lotion over the oil, then wait at least 5 minutes for the oil to soak in first.

Note:  If you are just applying the oil to very small areas - like a cut or scrape or fingernails - you can apply a tiny bit of aloe vera first, then just use a drop or two of oil.  Gently massage it in and cover with a bandage, if necessary.

5.  Your skin should now feel very hydrated and comfortable.

Disclaimer:  This blog was written by and recipe formulated by Stephanie Tourles - Lic. Esthetician, Herbalist, Certified Aromatherapist, and author of Organic Body Care Recipes and Hands- On Healing Remedies. The information is true and complete to the best of her knowledge.  All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles.  She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information.  It is for educational purposes only.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Herbal Cracked Skin Remedy

Happy 2013!  I hope everyone is healthy and warm this winter and managing to avoid the terrible flu virus that's making the rounds . . . what a nasty bug! Winter also brings with it plenty of both indoor and outdoor dry air that saps moisture from your skin, leaving you with flaky, itchy, and even fissured or cracked skin, especially on your palms and soles of your feet.  Today I will share with you a recipe from my newest book, Hands-On Healing Remedies, (available from or bookstore chains) that will help heal and soothe dry skin in a snap. The ingredients are easy to find at your local health food store and the recipe is super-simple to make at home.  I hope it will become one of your favorite dry skin remedies.  Enjoy!

Vegan Lanolin

Want a cracked-skin remedy with an incredibly creamy texture that melts at body temperature and penetrates amazingly well?  Then this is the one for you.  It has all the moisturizing and conditioning benefits of lanolin, without the odd smell, stickiness, and potential irritation, plus it's vegan!  It acts as a mild antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and vulnerary (tissue healer). In addition to moisturizing dry hands and feet, it is also excellent for ragged cuticles, dry knees, shins, and elbows, and even makes a wonderful plain lip balm.


4 tablespoons castor base oil
2 tablespoons cocoa butter
2 tablespoons shea butter, refined or unrefined
10 drops calendula, myrrh, or lavender essential oil

Equipment Needed:  Small saucepan or double boiler, stirring utensil, plastic or glass jar or tin

Prep Time:  30 minutes, plus 24 hours to thicken completely

Yield:  Approximately 1/2 cup

Storage:  Store at room temperature, away from heat and light; use within 1 year

Directions To Make Product:

1.  Combine the castor oil, cocoa butter, and shea butter in a small saucepan (a 3/4-quart size works great) or double boiler over low heat, and warm until the solids are just melted.

2.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes.  Stir a few times to blend the mixture thoroughly.

3.  Add the chosen essential oil directly to the storage container, then slowly pour in the oil mixture.  Gently stir to blend. Cap and label the container and set it aside until the balm has thickened.  Unlike beeswax, cocoa and shea butters can take a long time to completely thicken, and this formula may need up to 24 hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.  The balm may continue to change texture slightly for another 24 hours.

Application Instructions:  Massage a dab of the balm into feet or hands or other dry skin areas at least twice daily to seal in moisture.

NOTE:  This blog was written by Stephanie Tourles and adapted from her book, Hands-On Healing Remedies, Storey Publishing, copyright 2012. The information in this blog is true and complete to the best of the author's knowledge.  All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in connection with the use of this information.  It is for educational purposes only.