Friday, November 28, 2014

Eucalyptus Spotlight

Did you know there are 300 species of Eucalyptus trees? These trees are indigenous to Australia where the fresh leaves have been used traditionally in wound treatments, and the wood is used for making didgeridoo wind instruments. Trees are also used for making pulp and charcoal.  Eucalyptus essential oil, which is powerfully cleansing, antiseptic, and deodorizing, is steam distilled from the leaves.

Eucalyptus tree in bloom, photo by Starr. Trees can grow as high as 90 meters

We use Australian Eucalyptus globulus essential oil in our products. Due to its camphoraceous, sweet and woody scent, 75% of "Eucalyptus Oil" actually comes from China where the faux oil is made from Camphor Trees. True Eucalyptus oil is refreshing and stimulating; a favorite to use in steams or bath formulas for people with congested sinuses. A 2% Eucalyptus oil room spray emulsion is extremely antiseptic, with the ability to kill 70% of airborne Staph bacteria. The oil provides a cooling and stimulating sensation useful in a congested chest rubs or lip balms for blistered lips. It smells especially refreshing in our shampoo bars when paired with Tea Tree or Key Lime. Below is a demonstration from Aromatherapy Oasis on how to use essential oils safely in a steam inhalation. You can find Organic Eucalyptus globulus essential oil for use in steam inhalations at Mountain Rose Herbs.

There are environmental and safety concerns regarding cultivation of Eucalyptus outside of Australia. Eucalyptus has become invasive in many areas including California, where it is also a fire hazard due to the volatility of the essential oil. The Seminole Indian tribe has taken a stand against the planting of genetically engineered (GE) Eucalyptus trees in Florida. Native pine forests are being cut down to plant GE Eucalyptus, which worsens climate change and is a threat to biodiversity. People living near the GE Eucalyptus plantations are concerned with health risks from altered tree pollen and toxic chemicals used on the plantations. Eucalyptus trees are also require a lot of water. We are against the destruction of native South Eastern forests for Eucalyptus production
Eucalyptus globulus trees in Hawaii, photo by Starr
We have recently reformulated our Tea Tree Eucalyptus shampoo bar to match our Key Lime Eucalyptus shampoo formula, which works very well with hard water and is vegan. Both of these bars are naturally colored with French green clay. They are made with a blend of saponified Organic Extra Virgin Olive oil, Organic Coconut oil, Olive oil pomace, raw unrefined Shea butter and Castor oil. These shampoo bars are on special this weekend.  You can check out the details in our November newsletter. Subscribe here to receive our monthly ingredient spotlight.
Our reformulated our Tea Tree Eucalyptus shampoo bar

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

This Neck Exercise Works Wonders for Upper Back Pain and Stiffness

I found this helpful exercise video by chiropractor Dr. Paula Moore of at Erin Elizabeth's Health Nut News blog. I have been doing the exercise demonstrated here daily for the past week, and have noticed major improvement with some upper back tightness around the first through third thoracic vertebrae. Maybe the fact that I had only been having that pain for a few months, contributed to this exercise clearing up the tension so quickly, which was after only three days. The exercise itself takes less than 5 minutes a day. After the first day of trying it, I did a few neck rotations and experiences around 10 neck or back pops through out the day. The second day, I felt stiffness like my spine had been replaced with a rod. It felt strange but not painful. The third day, my neck and upper back just felt loose, more relaxed, and more mobile.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

New Product: Lemon Laundry Soap Powder

We just added a new product to our website.  Aquarian Bath's new laundry soap is made with Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda), Aquarian Bath vegan soap scraps that have been finely powdered in our Vitamix, Sodium Tetraborate (borax), and Lemon essential oil. Lemon essential oil doesn't mask odors like chemical fragrance oils, it deodorizes and removes them.
I hope my grandmother would approve this recipe.  She took in laundry to support my mother and uncle when they were young children. 
Dorathy Trusty, Grandma Marjorie Ekstedt, and future Aquarian Bath president Cory Trusty

This laundry soap is low/no lather and can be used with top loading or side loading high efficiency machines. We currently have this laundry soap available in 1 pound biodegradable & compostable cellophane bags with a wooden scoop. One pound is enough for 42 side loading high efficiency machines or 21 top loading machines. No fabric softener is needed.

Does not contain the following:
Sodium Laurel Sulfate
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Nonylphenol Ethoxylate
GMO ingredients
Chemical Fragrance oils
Palm oil
Washing soda

Would you like to see this laundry soap in different sizes? Sample/travel, larger size, in jars? Please let us know by leaving a comment. 

If you are more of a do it yourself type person, then please check out this Liquid Laundry Soap recipe on our blog.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

New Flax Pillow Fabrics for Winter

Organic Cotton - Hemp Canvas with Organic Cotton Cover. This is a print I had been looking at for a long time.  I like the soft autumn tones combined with the pink and grey. 

Organic Cotton - Hemp Canvas with Organic Cotton Cover.  This print is the popular so far since the cold weather has arrived. You can also pick up a matching catnip pillow for your kitty with this print from Organic Kitty Land.  Thanks to Moira at Organic Kitty Land for picking out this fabric.  

This is a Tan Hemp Linen, natural color, pesticide-free.  I love the fabric, and may use it to make myself a pair of pants or skirt. 

Purple Organic Cotton Canvas, the dark plum color is a bit difficult to photograph. The hue in this photo is slightly on the brown side, but the color is a true dark purple. It is a bet if you are shopping for someone who likes purple.

Pink, Gray, and White Damask Print Cotton Scott and I fell in love with this print and picked up a couple of yards for the customers who consistently want fanciful or feminine pink prints when shopping for Moms, Great Aunties and Grandmas. Unfortunately this print is a conventional cotton. I've been disappointed with the selection of Organic pink fabrics in canvas and twill. It is hard to believe considering how much emphasis was placed on pink for October's Breast Cancer awareness. There is strong demand for pink! Our one pink Organic canvas is this hot pink geometric design, which is more fitting for a younger crowd. We also have a Hemp-Organic cotton canvas with a light pink Organic cotton cover, but again it is a geometric design which hasn't gone over well with the great Auntie demographic. We would love to offer more variety in Organic pink cotton canvas pillows.

This Blue Toile cotton I found in a remnants section at the fabric store. It is also a conventional cotton and we just have a very limited quantity (4-5). 

There is no shortage of fresh modern and geometric Organic cottons, but I have yet to find any traditional looking Toile or attractive Damask prints in Organic cotton. We are hoping to see more traditional designs from the Organic Cotton companies, like Cloud 9 Fabrics in 2015, and will be ready to purchase these types of fabrics if they become available.  If you would like to see more traditional designs in Organic Cotton Fabric too, please sent a tweet or an email to @cloud9fabrics to let them know.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Photos from the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse

 We spent yesterday at the Ponce Inlet lighthouse for the annual homeschool day. This 175 feet hand-built lighthouse is the tallest in Florida. It was first lit in 1887 after many difficulties with the construction, including the death of its engineer Orville E. Babcock who drown in the first attempt to transport bricks into the inlet by boat. Two other boats hauling bricks subsequently sunk as well. This historical site is open to the public.  It is both a museum and an active lighthouse. Here are some photos we took.
My littlest is not afraid of heights or climbing towers.
A spectacular view of the ocean and Ponce inlet. 
The preserved buildings contain artifacts that were used in early life at the lighthouse.

This little soap cage was used for sudsing up water for washing laundry and dishes.

The glass bottles and metal tools and containers really give a good idea about kitchens before the invention of plastics.

Here is a collection of old time medicines, one of which was Choroform liniment!  Eek!  

This was the medicine chest provided to the Light House keepers by the Coast Guard which contained the medicines listed above.

There were also herbal medicines on site.
Popular herbal medicines from the 1800's.  Lydia Pinkham's Vegetable Compound and Atwoods Jaundice Bitters.

One building contains a stunning collection of Fresnel lenses from other lighthouses.  

Below is my favorite lens from an Australian lighthouse. It reminds me of a big insect.

Hope you liked the photos. What fun lighthouses have you visited?