One of the best things I have done was to work in the soil, get my hands dirty and watch my plants grow! I love working in the garden!
Though there has been obstacles and the biggest one is that we live in a rain forest at our 2000 feet elevation, which we call the squeeze zone and yes it is quite wet. I am sure that sounds strange from someone who lives in Hawaii and you think of ocean, sun and fun; but those of us that live in the higher elevations often pray for sun and blue skies.
In 2018 we received a total of 51.53 inches of rain in a 5 day period of time from a storm that blew through the islands. Yes this is not normal, in fact our street literally became a river that was over 4 feet. It took a long time to dry out and we definitely needed rubber boots to walk around here. Our family was thankful that we did not have any property damage as many did.
Our soil here is quite mucky, so most everything we do here is in raised beds, containers or our trees, bushes or vines are hardy enough to survive the rain in the ground. We use lots of cinder and mulch to keep our plants happy.
Since the conditions are not optimal, many ask why did I choose to grown my own plants? For me it was to make sure my plants are healthy and not drenched in insecticides, plus they are at your fingertips to harvest.
Here are some of the plants and their benefits:
Calendula is temperamental at times and I have to make sure it doesn’t get too wet. In bloom I let the flowers come to fruition and then pinch the tops off to dry for my calendula oil I make. This wonderful plant loves full sun and good drainage.
It is known for its anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties that is known for its healing properties for wounds, soothing eczema, and relieving diaper rash for the skin. This herb also astringes the capillaries, an action that explains its effectiveness for cuts, wounds, varicose veins, and various inflammatory conditions. We infuse our petals and flower heads in a carrier oil for our body products.
Aloe Vera is such a handy all around plant that is known for the clear gel in its leaf to effectively heal wounds and burns, speeding up the rate of healing and reducing the risk of infection. Our Aloe Vera plants love our location of overcast skies.
Aloe Vera is know for beauty treatments for skin lotion, in fact Cleopatra attributed her beauty to this. To be real with you, beauty is in the eye of the beholder whether you are a Cleopatra or not, my experience with Aloe Vera is wonderful. For my facial cream instead of using a water base for our lotion, we use a Aloe Vera base which makes a wonderful difference on your skin.
Lemongrass is a wonderful plant for skin and hair benefits. It is an effective cleanser for all skin types; its antiseptic and astringent properties make lemongrass oil perfect for getting even and glowing skin, and thus part of your natural skin care routine. It can sterilize your pores, serve as a natural toner and strengthen your skin tissues.
Lemongrass oil is also great for hair health and strengthen your hair follicles, it is said to help hair loss or an itchy and irritated scalp, by massaging a few drops of lemongrass oil into your scalp for two minutes and then rinse. The soothing and bacteria-killing properties will leave your hair shiny, fresh and odor-free.
Lemongrass is used in many of our products for both skin and hair; and as a fragrance component.
Here at In the Garden Body & Bath Botanicals we do not use lemongrass essential oils without having it diluted in a carrier oil or in a compound/recipe of other ingredients. For those who love Lemongrass and purchase it as an essential oil, please be careful of not putting it directly on your skin. This is the same for may essential oils (EO’s), most EO’s are never to be put directly on your skin, unless the directions otherwise states it.
Here are the precautions:
For those who have sensitive skin and purchase lemongrass essential oil, do not put this directly on your skin, since it may cause side effects may include a rash, discomfort or even a burning sensation. Perform a patch test first to make sure you have no irritations and dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil.
Because lemongrass stimulates menstrual flow, it should not be used by women who are pregnant as there is a slight chance that this may lead to a miscarriage. Lemongrass oil should not be used while breastfeeding, and it should not be used topically on children under the age of two.
Always make sure that you check for skin sensitivity in all your products.
Have a great day and hope to hear from you!