Make Your Own Spa Product Workshop at Be Clean Shop, 11/21

lavender-rosemary-bath-saltsCome to Be Clean’s studio to get a hands-on lesson on natural ingredients and the product-making process! After an explanation of the properties of various herbs, spices and essential oils (think sandalwood and lavender), enjoy crafting your own spa products, such as soaks and sugar scrubs. Throughout, we will give you the tools and knowledge that can be applied to your future DIY projects. Head home with some Herban Lifestyle sample products and your own soothing, aromatic creations. The cost for the workshop is $60.00 per person.

IMG_9550This workshop will be held at the historic 52 O Street Studios, Studio #308. We will have a 6′ table with seats that can accommodate up 6-8 folks. It’s on the third floor, which requires a walk up stairs. We will have sips and snacks for everyone to enjoy throughout the class.

And we will have a special shopping event after the class – attendees can take 20% off their Be Clean purchase.

The workshop will be facilitated by Mary Kearns, who has made it her mission in life to make the world a happier, healthier and more fragrant place. Raised in a family that prized natural foods and recycling, Mary has had a lifelong a passion for the natural, organic and earth-friendly. With a background in health and cancer prevention, Mary is committed to helping people live their best, healthiest lives through her business, Herban Lifestyle.

You can sign up on the Herban Lifestyle website. Or, for more information, please email us at info [at] herbanlifestyle [dot] com or call us at (202) 321-2479.

aphrodisiac

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The Benefits of Sea Salt Baths

SOSALT_CROPThe following post is by guest blogger, Kia Guarino.

Known as Thalassotherapy, the practice of bathing in salt water is not only relaxing, but it also increases blood circulation, and helps the body eliminate toxins. It also activates the body’s own healing mechanisms, strengthening the immune system. Salt water has desirable beauty benefits as well since sea salt granules can act as an exfoliant scrub, removing dulling skin cells. Bathing with bath salts improves skin’s look and feel, resulting in a radiant, healthy glow.

As an added benefit, Herban LifestyleTM bath salts are made with essential oils that enhance salt’s natural healing powers. Lavender, for example, offers amazing natural benefits. Beyond its enchanting scent, lavender helps rejuvenate skin while clearing up problem areas. It also encourages balance for the nervous system and has been used as a powerful antiseptic and pain reliever. Most notably, however, lavender’s natural soothing properties help reduce stress, especially when added to a hot bath.

Tangerine is another of nature’s miracles. With a delicious and invigorating scent, tangerine helps to prevent heart disease and to reduce the risk of cancer through its abundance of antioxidants. Although these benefits can be received through consumption, the rind is where most healing powers are stored.

Finally, vanilla is another ingredient that does more than please the nose. As one of the most powerful natural healing plants, vanilla has been shown to provide antioxidants and anti-depressant properties. It also acts as a tranquilizer and fever reducer. When in a bath, vanilla can increase muscle energy and lower blood pressure, while relieving emotional stresses such as anxiety and anger.

With all of this amazing healing power found in nature, it is time that people got back into baths! For relaxation in mind, body, and soul, all natural scented salt baths are an inexpensive, convenient, healthy and easy solution.

Handmade Bath Products Workshop 11/1 in Bethesda

handmade bath and body products

On Saturday, November 1st, from 11:00 – 1:00, I’ll be holding a workshop at Be You Wellness Center and Spa in Bethesda, MD. In this 2-hour hands-on workshop you will learn the basics of making natural bath and body products. We will talk about how to use various ingredients, including essential oils, and how they benefit your body. We will get our hands dirty (or clean, as it were), by making a selection of guest soaps, a jar of bath scrub and a jar of facial masque for you to take home. We will also work on packaging, making these items great gifts for friends, family or yourself!

For more info, or to register, call (301) 493-4911, email info [at] beyouspa.com or visit http://www.beyouspa.com/events.html.

The cost is $40 including materials.

I Love Lavender

photo from Purple Haze Lavender Farm blog

photo from Purple Haze Lavender Farm blog

The first time I visited a farmers market was when a friend took me to a huge one in San Francisco several years ago. I was in awe of the variety of products being offered. My favorite was a lavender stand featuring dried culinary-grade lavender, along with a variety of other lavender products. I was mesmerized by the deep, clean, delicious scent of the dark purple buds.

Lavender is an incredibly versatile flower with many health, cosmetic and culinary uses. In aromatherapy, lavender is a popular remedy for stress, as it has wonderful calming properties. It also has antiseptic and insect-repelling properties — try it instead of moth balls (does anyone use those anymore?)! Lavender is a wonderful addition to salads, soups and sweets. A couple of days ago, when the heat index hit 109 degrees farenheit, I headed over to my local chocolatier for their lavender-infused lemonade (see my easy recipe below), an incredibly refreshing drink.

Two years ago today, I had the opportunity to visit Sequim, Washington, the Lavender Capital of North America. It was just past season, so the pick-your-own farms were not open, but you could still drive around and see the many lavender-devoted farms. One farm, Purple Haze Lavender Farm, had a store in downtown Sequim that featured a variety of lavender products, including culinary-grade lavender. They have an excellent website with lots of lavender information, and a store featuring their many dried lavender products. I recommend their cookbook, a sampling of which is available on their website.

The Herban Lifestyle Story

Once upon a time (back in the late 1990s/early 2000s), I had a handcrafted herbal bath and body product business in New England. I sold my all-natural lotions, masques, balms and oils at my local farmers market, as well as through my (primitive by today’s standards) online store. I delighted in the process of creating new products, and I took great pleasure in learning about the aromatherapeutic properties of essential oils and the healing properties of herbs. When people came to my house, they always commented on how wonderful it smelled. I did all this while working full time, raising my two daughters and working on my doctorate in psychology. I didn’t have much spare time, but I relished the moments when I was able to work on my herbal business – it provided me with a creative outlet and much needed stress-relief.

Then one day, I took a position in NYC, which made my days very long. I soon found that I had little time for my business. So, reluctantly, I let it go.

Over the years, people have inquired about my old herbal business, and I always responded that I hoped to resurrect it some day. I never let go of my herbal habit – I loved the process, and continued to make bath and body products for myself, family and friends.

I reside in the DC area now, working as a wellness consultant and Reiki practitioner. I’m learning to balance my urban lifestyle with healthful habits – mind, body and spirit – and I share this knowledge with others through my workshops and writing. Since moving to DC, as part of this balance, I began formal herbalism studies, and it occurred to me that this would be a great time to re-start my herbal bath and body product business. So, after several months of planning and formulating, I would like to introduce you to my new love child – Herban Lifestyle™.

Welcome! And please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. And please do visit my Etsy store!