Part of the fun of getting into herbal concoctions and such is the joy of experimentation. Fiddling around with different oils and scents, decoctions and remedies. Have wicked bad rosacea problems today? Try cool lavender tea with a little drop or two of olive oil. Mix it all up and dampen a soft washcloth with it. Lay that across your face (be sure you can breath!) and let the soothing solution relax your blood vessels.
Want to know how I came up with that? My wifey has rosacea and it was really irritated one day. I started fiddling around with some compresses and stuff and after some trials we discovered this worked.
Want to kill a sore throat and chest congestion? Take dark, natural honey (look for dark or local, grocery stores often cut honey with corn syrup), and cook it on a double boiler with a generous helping of chopped ginger root. Does wonders for clearing your sinuses and phlegm. Figured that out last allergy season when I was drinking tea like crazy and tried some raw ginger root and honey together. Did wonders and actually made it so my chest didn’t crackle.
The point is, when you are getting into herbalism and home health care, you start to take a stronger notice of what happens to you and family when you use certain things. You notice that you aren’t having such bad allergy problems after eating spicy foods (it’s the capsaicin). How a plate of handmade cinnamon rolls makes everything seem just a little bit easier to cope with.
All these things are important to observe and remember, and good basis for experimentation. Most of the time you start out from a simple recipe you found on-line, in my case from a lip balm recipe I got from Mountain Rose Herbs. Then after you get down the basics you expand on it, trying it with peppermint, pumpkin seed oil…all sorts of stuff.
You have to be careful of course. ALWAYS careful, especially if you are selling the stuff like me. Making sure you don’t use herbs that could provoke a bad allergic reaction or ones that shouldn’t come into contact with skin (like cinnamon). My rule of thumb is TRY IT YOURSELF FIRST! if you made something that you aren’t secure enough in to use on yourself on a frequent basis, then it probably isn’t a product you want to make a lot off. Also, always start small. Small batches, small amounts, small orders. Don’t drop $50 on something you’ve never made before.
EX: I was bound and determined to make a nice, thick body butter to sell in my shop. I had done lotion but body butter is a different animal all together. I used shea and coco butter and the essential oils I wanted…well…when I had melted everything together and mixed in the scents how I wanted I was (after an hour of stirring) left with a gloopy, melted mess of sloppy lilac smelling STUFF. I fiddled and worked and worked and fiddled and after 3 hours it still wasn’t a viable product. I was so sick of it at this point I didn’t even want to look at it any more! Not even to throw it away. i tossed it in the kitchen and went to bed. Well I must have kitchen faeries or something because when i got up in the morning it was smooth, creamy and whipped just the way i wanted. Yes it turned out well, but it could have been a gigantic fuck up that would have wasted around $30 of product right there.
So experiment, but in small steps.