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Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap with Soap Nuts

I have to admit, it was really difficult for me to believe that soap nuts could actually work. My skepticism caused me to walk by them at my local natural grocery store for years. I liked the idea of an all-natural laundry solution, but I figured soap nuts would not be effective enough to take on the stains and scents of my active lifestyle and dirty gardening clothes.

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Posted by Jessicka

How to Make Quick-Pickled Vegetables + Homemade Pickling Spice Recipe

It’s the season of fresh and vibrant produce, and as my garden bounty gets close to being harvested, the anticipation of pickling season has me dreaming of all the food preservation projects I will be undertaking. I look forward to donning my kitchen apron and preserving the fruits (and vegetables) of my labor. While I whole-heartedly love canning, sometimes it’s nice to knock a little time off the process. I can’t tell you how many all-nighters I have pulled in the name of saving all the produce, but as I get a bit older, I don’t bounce back from those long nights quite as fast as I used to. One of my tricks for saving a considerable amount of time is quick pickling!

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Posted by Jessicka

Building an Herbal Library: Our Favorite Botanical Books

If you ask herbalists, botanists, and body care enthusiasts, most say that building a library of reference and recipe books is one of the most important steps in becoming an expert. Gathering books from professionals who offer their experiences, philosophies, and expertise gives you a strong foundation on which to build your practice.  Here are some of our favorite books on herbal education, aromatherapy, healthy eating, skincare, and growing and foraging plants. 

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Posted by Jessicka

How to Make Natural Dog Shampoo with Soothing Tea Base

The 4-leggers in my household are not entirely pro-bath. Our terrier mix loves life after a bath; she runs madly about the house with pure joy. During the bath, however, she looks like we’re torturing her. We’re just grateful she stands still for it because her “little brother” is a corgi-mix built for escape. He is slippery and wily when wet and groans out his woes the entire bath time. And then there is the big queen-to-rule-them-all kitty who needs regular brushing and occasional “spot cleaning” assistance with her thick double coat because one cat tongue is simply not enough to manage it all. This crew loves to sleep on the foot of our bed, so whatever dirt and smells they’ve tucked away throughout the day end up on my handmade quilts. Simple answer: regular baths, right? The double-conundrum is that good pet shampoo is ridiculously expensive, and I am also on a quest to stop buying plastic packaging (apparently, there is a rule somewhere that dog shampoo must be sold only in plastic bottles that I cannot recycle here in Oregon). Fortunately, it’s easy and inexpensive to make good homemade dog shampoo with gentle, sustainable ingredients I always have on hand.

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Posted by Heidi

Essential Oils for Sleep + Diffuser Blend for a Restful Slumber

Dear sleep, I’m sorry we broke up this morning. I want you back! ~ Anonymous

We all know that getting adequate sleep on a regular basis is important for good health and attitude. Good sleep habits are linked to a whole variety of wellness goals: improved concentration, better organization and productivity, healthy body weight, better physical performance, heart and brain health, increased immune function, and more. We also know that lack of sleep on a regular basis worsens depression, impacts blood sugar, antagonizes inflammation, and affects our ability to participate in healthy social relationships. As we’re all figuring out how to re-engage with our world, finding ways to sleep peacefully and to create a healthy schedule is more imperative than ever. Happily, incorporating pure, natural essential oils into your bedtime routine is a wonderful way to let your body and mind know that it’s now okay to rest.

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Posted by Christine

Smoke Cleansing Around the World

Smoke cleansing—burning botanicals, resins, wood, etc. for health and/or spiritual purposes—is an ancient practice that is common in a wide variety of cultures and faiths around the world. For instance, I was introduced to smoke cleansing through the practice of “fire saining,” a Celtic tradition that resonates well with my cultural and personal history. However, the form of smoke cleansing that most people are familiar with today is “smudging.” The commercialization of smudging is unfortunate on multiple fronts—it is cultural appropriation of North American indigenous practices, it has created serious issues around illegal and/or irresponsible wildharvesting of traditional smudging herbs, and it disregards the wealth of other forms of smoke cleansing that are just as ancient and powerful. Many times, looking to our own culture, faith, community, or heritage in our relationship to the botanical world can help us identify herbal allies that are particularly aligned with us as individuals. Our ancestors had personal relationships with these plants; they have been part of our people—our DNA—for time immemorial. Smoke cleansing can be a powerful, renewing, and healing practice for many people, particularly when they are embracing a form that resonates with their genuine self.

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Posted by Heidi

Meet Our On-Staff Certified Aromatherapist

In the past few years, interest in aromatherapy has skyrocketed. More and more people are looking at alternative ways to manage their own wellness, build resilience, and create a peaceful, clean space to rejuvenate and renew. Increasingly, people are reaching out to us with questions, and inevitably we look to our Director of Product Development and Certified Aromatherapist, Christine, to provide us with guidance. Having a talented aromatherapist on staff and continuing to invest in her ongoing professional development has been one of the best decisions for both Mountain Rose Herbs and our wonderful customers. Christine brings remarkable expertise to both product creation and quality control, keeps us in close touch with the aromatherapy community and trade associations, and is the mastermind behind our new lines of oil blends and essential oil kits. She also has excellent insights for others who are interested in pursuing aromatherapy personally or professionally. We love her story, and we want to share it with you, along with her tips for those who have discovered their own passion for essential oils and want to learn more.

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Posted by Heidi

Berry Summer Mocktail Recipe with Cooling Herbs

My husband recently went on a summer-mocktail quest. It started because he made homemade ginger beer, which was good, but lacked some important refreshing element; it was a bit “much” on a hot day. Still, it was inspirational. The delicious, summery, layered mocktail that my honey ultimately came up with utilizes ginger beer (homemade or store-bought) and some of the most refreshing, cooling herbal allies. It also celebrates both summer berries and the beautiful roses of the season with a berry and rose simple syrup. Make tea and simple syrup the evening before so all you have to do is find some shade and settle in for a revitalizing, enjoyable day. Bring on the sun, we’re ready!

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Posted by Heidi

How to Make Cold Brew Coffee + 3 Herbal Additions

Now that summer has arrived, I find myself constantly craving cold brew coffee. This beverage is not simply a traditionally hot brewed coffee, with ice added to it. It’s even simpler than that! Basically, it’s coarse ground coffee beans steeped in room temperature water, overnight. However, as per usual, I will complicate the process by adding a bunch of herbs and spices to the recipe. I can’t help myself; herbalism infuses so many aspects of my life. I’m sure you can relate.

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Posted by Mason

Licorice and Black Tea Poached Cherries

Waking each morning rested and ready to take on the day seems more of a luxury these days than a reality. Late nights, heavy workloads, and an endless stream of stressors and obligations can sap you of energy before you even have a chance to begin. While herbs can’t give you an extra hour of rest in the morning or cross anything off your ever-growing to-do list, they can help bring balance to your mornings. Energy-boosting herbs can nurture your stress response system and provide the support you need to start your day. As a result, you can start out feeling nourished, enlivened, and full of vitality.

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