This is my all-time favorite salve and perfect to keep the desert skin looking and feeling great. I was first introduced to it by my grandmother who always kept it on hand for us grand children’s “boo boo’s”
Infuse organic olive oil with calendula, following one of the recipes of previous blog on infused oils.
For the salve you will need:
8 oz calendula infused oil
1 oz beeswax
10-20 drops essential oil of choice (comfrey would be complementary)
glass jars or tin containers.
Place the herbal infuse oil and wax together over a double boiler, and gently warm over low heat until the wax melts. Remove from heat and add the essential oil. Quickly pour into prepared tins or glass jars and allow to cool completely.
Store the salve in a cool location and it will last for several months.
Have you ever wondered what this certification is all about? There certainly is enough promotion of Fair Trade Products these days and we are often asked for teas that are certified in this way.
Here are some quick facts about what Fair Trade is and how it works.
What is Fair Trade
Fair Trade certification identifies teas produced by gardensÂ and cooperatives in the tea production. Fair Trade standardsÂ are:
- Guarantee fair wages and decent working conditions
- Establish a Fair Trade premium, managed by the workers for the benefit of their community
- Promote the use of sustainable farming methods that are safer for humans and the environment
How Fair Trade Works
The best tea gardens and cooperatives understand that specialty teas depend on the people and the environment that produce them. Fair Trade Certification verifies and acknowledges the commitment of these producers to meeting internationally recognized standards. For tea, the standards, include:
- Wages that meet or exceed legally established minimums
- Absence of forced or child labor
- Freedom of associations and organizations
- Safe working conditions, including protection from exposure to harmful agrochemicals
While it is great that there is a label that helps the consumer purchase products that align with their values, it needs to be said that this certification is not inexpensive and smaller tea gardens simply do not have the funds to pay for it. In order to pay proper wages, they have to make a choice to get certified or spend the money on their workers. A tea estate owner in Sri Lanka once explained to me that he provides housing, schools, health care and retirement benefits for all his workers, but chooses not to have his teas Fair Trade certified since the true benefactor is the in most cases the retailer who marks the tea up because of the certification – yet none of those funds ever reach the source.
Trust your tea purveyer to buy from respectful tea growers and ask questions about the origin and production circumstance of the teas offered.
Latin Name: Hibiscus sabdariffa
Parts Used: Flowers
Contra Indications: none known
Hibiscus is a beautiful red flower native to Egypt and North Africa. There are over 200 varieties of this plant, most of them are of the “garden” variety and the only species used for tea is the Hibiscus sabdariffa.
Hibiscus has long been valued by Egyptians for its refreshingly tart taste, its cooling effects and is said to have aphrodisiac powers. It is rich in Vitamin A, C and beta-carotene, therefore making it a good antioxidant.
Medicinally, hibiscus is used in form of tea to treat loss of appetite, to ease symptoms of colds, flus and couhgs. Externally used it can help reduce bruises and swelling.
Lately, hibiscus has gotten much attention because clinical research studies showed that drinking hibiscus tea can lower high blood pressure and reduce high cholesterol levels, thereby helping to maintain overall cardiovascular health.
But aside from its benefits to your health, hibiscus makes a wonderful thirst-quenching iced tea and the ruby red color provides a dramatic effect to many herbal blends and lemonades.
For an extra cooling summer iced tea blend, mix equal parts of hibiscus and mint (either spearmint or peppermint). Pour boiling water over the leaves, steep for 5-8 minutes and pour over ice – Delicious!