When Europeans arrived on the east coast of what was to become the United States, they found that the indigenous people regularly made an astringent decoction by boiling the leaves and twigs of a particular deciduous, flowering shrub. These Native Americans were making the decoction from Hamamelis virginiana, or American witch hazel, and they used it extensively for a wide variety of health supporting applications and skin irritations. Today, high-quality witch hazel, distilled as an extract, is still beloved as a gentle skin toner and astringent. It is a key ingredient the best DIY and over the counter toners, cleansers, makeup removers, after sun sprays, etc. Additionally, the extract’s naturally low pH helps balance the typically high pH of soap, so it makes a wonderful after-wash refresher that is suitable for most skin types and can be used alone or incorporated with other ingredients. And, best of all, because witch hazel takes on the properties of whatever herbs you infuse it with, you can customize it for your skin’s specific needs!Read More
I was born with hands stained crimson. The coagulated blood of the black women who came before me pulses through my veins. It is their calluses I can feel pushing through the tender surface of each aching palm; a young corn stalk fighting to witness the waning light.
We work hard here at Mountain Rose Herbs to be an example of a business that puts people, plants, and planet before profit. You’ve heard of “the bottom line,” which in business parlance means thinking about profitability. But in our changing world, business leaders are considering whether there is a better, more sustainable model than a purely profit driven one. The “triple bottom line” model brings social and environmental impact into play. It insists on corporate responsibility and sustainable development, it prioritizes people, plants, and planet. We strive to raise the bar for ethical business practices and to model how to integrate sustainability into business strategies in a way that drives company success.Read More
You may have noticed that many DIY skincare recipes include coconut oil. While the moisturizing benefits of coconut oil are a great option for many, it is problematic for those who are allergic to coconut*. In addition to coconut allergies, some find coconut oil to exacerbate acne. In this case, a suitable substitute is necessary.Read More
Nepeta cataria, commonly called catnip, is an ancient member of the mint family. It has been used in western folk practices for millennia, and is loved for its gentle, calming properties. Herbalists and parents often brew this child-friendly herb into a soothing tisane, but it can also be taken internally as a tincture. For topical use, catnip can be infused in oils, or used as an essential oil or hydrosol to bring an herbaceous, relaxing scent to body care products. Perhaps, however, catnip is best known as the herb most loved by our feline friends.Read More
When the thermometer starts to register in the 80s and 90s, my mind takes up residence in the shade of my patio, situated near the grill and not too far from the drinks’ cooler. For foodies like the folks in my family, backyard cookouts mean long lazy days brushing a perfect protein with a tangy sauce over a slow fire. It means tossing together colorful, herby appetizers and barbecue side dishes, imbibing in a newly invented icy drink, and whipping up a batch of homemade ice cream to go with pie. Other than a loose plan of when we want to eat, we let the day guide itself. We just sink into the mindful, soul nurturing process of preparing a meal to eat outside. I think of this time as some of the very best summer medicine.Read More
With the dog days of summer stretching out before us, it’s time to think more seriously about hydration. Every organ, tissue, and cell in our bodies requires water—it is essential for us to keep a steady temperature, to lubricate our joints, to eliminate waste, etc. Because we lose water through sweating, digesting, and even breathing, it’s important to regularly rehydrate, particularly when it gets hot and we’re doing more physical activity outside. And while you’re responsibly drinking plenty of fluids to rehydrate your internal organs, tissues, and cells, don’t forget about the largest organ in your body: your skin. Now is the perfect time to whip up a super-hydrating, cooling body butter!Read More
Who doesn’t love a frosty, foamy root beer on a hot day? From drive in burger joints to movie theaters, root beer is the classic American drink. However, the corporate world has turned root beer into a cheap artificial drink full of high fructose corn syrup and other artificial flavors. Real homemade root beer is full of healthful and flavorful herbs.Read More
In 2010, when we moved to our current facility in Eugene, Oregon, we knew we needed to address some landscaping issues on the 3.5-acre campus. From a sustainability point of view, there was a lot to love about the new Mountain Rose Herbs facility and grounds, but we were extremely aware of the impact that businesses have on water quality and habitat in their watersheds and communities, and how company decisions regarding landscaping, rain runoff, and storm water management can affect river habitats further downstream.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a full-fledged advocate of bitters. Properly introduced to me by my teacher, Howie Brounstein of Columbines School of Botanical Studies, I’ve come to appreciate the taste of bitter in my daily life and have personally experienced the wonderful effects of this unique flavor. Before herbal school, my first experience of bitters was as a cocktail ingredient. Since then, I’ve learned that this elixir, made from both bitter and aromatic botanicals, has a history dating back thousands of years of wellness-supporting use. This got me thinking, where and how did bitters originate and evolve?Read More