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Besides the candy canes that are popular around the holiday season, what is peppermint used for and what is it's benefit?  Well I will tell you but first let me share a little story about how strong this natural oils is.

When I started making Soap sometime ago I used to get a lot of request for Peppermint Soap.  Even though I do like this scent, it was not top priority on my list.  After making so many different types of soaps that I know are great for healthy skin such as Tea Tree and other soaps with natural ingredients, I would still  get many requests for Peppermint Soap, so finally, I decided to listen to my customers and make it. 

I used a manufacturer that I trusted (because you can't trust them all) and ordered some pure peppermint essential oil.  I was pleased with the product after initial testing and I felt it would be a good fit for my soap products.

The smell?  Great!

The oil substance?  Great!

The price?  Great!

Time to make some soap!

On the first batch, I whipped all of my ingredients together as I usually do and everything was moving along and going great.  There are a few dangerous parts to making soap so I, almost always use gloves.  This time, however I was in a hurry to get this great product out to my customers so I skipped the gloves and went straight to work!

After I started my little kitchen soap factory up (note: its not a real factory and my wife hates the mess lol) the whole house was smelling wonderful like a candy cane shop!  It was truly amazing and unique compared to other essential oils that I have used.  There was only one problem..  I got the oil soaked in my hands!  I didn't think much of it because the oil is nontoxic or harmful on normal skin so I continued working without another thought. 

Finally, I got everything put into soap molds and cleaned up the mess (Your welcome Wifey.)  Now lets pop the top on a beer take a break and relax!  

Oh, wait...  Why are my eye's burning!??  Omg!  My face is on fire!!!

I quickly rushed back into the kitchen to flush my eye's and face because I seem to have rubbed the oil all over myself! Ok, before I tell you the rest of my kitchen adventure let me first get to the original point of this post.  

First let me say, I know now, and can explain to you, that peppermint essential oil is a really strong oil and is wonderful for many soothing things such as a decongestant, antiseptic, or just a therapeutic and refreshing feeling to your skin.

There are many types and breeds of peppermint plants that are grown in many areas of the world but it was originally from the Mediterranean region.  Peppermint essential oil is commonly extracted from piperita which is a hybrid of watermint (M. aquatica) and spearmint (M. spicata.  It is not harmful or irritant for most anyone's skin.  The oil goes back thousands of years and has treated mental, physical, and infectious ailments to people all over the world.  So many of these great plants and oils have been forgotten in our day and age of pharmaceutical dependency.  There are those of us, however that are doing our best to bring back some of this knowledge and promote plant based foods and cures.  You are welcome to join our mission and learn more about these subjects by checking out our website below.  Don't forget to sign up to our email newsletter list!


  Peppermint Plant

So, what ever happened to my burning face you ask?  Well, after I flushed my face with copious amounts of water, guess what?  Nothing!  In fact, I believe it made it worse since it only aided in spreading the oil around a bit but not removing it.  Having such a high concentration of pure essential oil soaked into my skin was not going to be cured with just a little water splashing.  The good news is that it was not really painful or harmful to me, it's just that it shocked me at first as I had not felt that type of intense burning all over my skin before.  Much like pepper spray, the effect of the oils eventually goes away on its own.  No lasting impression or damage, just an eventful experience and lesson learned...  Always wear gloves when dealing with pure essential oils!  I also realized there is a special balance needed when making soap using this strong oil.  I have since tested the ratios to make the perfect balance of peppermint essential oil that is therapeutic for your skin and health.

Oh, and in case your wondering about how the soap came out?  Perfect!  It is one of my most popular scents and will give you a great crisp feeling all over Your body with a therapeutic bonus during your shower.  Take a look for yourself below

  Click on the picture to buy Peppermint Soap

 

Click on link below to visit our website.

Organic Soap  at SheaGarden

 

 

 

 

 

 

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All of these skin products we see in the store love to put the words 'Shea' on the description but why?  What is Shea? Why do I want it on my skin?  Is it even worth it, and if it is, how can I get the most and best quality of it. Lets try to tackle a couple of these questions.  First off lets explain what it is and where it comes from.  

We can call this tree the Karite tree, Vitellaria Paradoxa, or just Shea tree (I promise it will answer to either of its names.)  It comes from the Sopotaceae family of trees that is common in Africa.

Karite nuts are harvested from these trees to make a wonderful and magical butter that has been providing its residents in Africa many benefits since the days of early Egypt!  

What are these benefits you ask?  Well let me be perfectly honest and explain that it is the best moisturizers I have ever used on my skin!  That's right, it is second to none for the purpose of moisturizing.  If you have damaged, dry, cracking, or rough skin, look no further than Shea Butter.  It is naturally solid at room temperature but melts in the heat, so basically you can take a little of the butter itself and use hand friction to prepare it to be applied to any area of your body.  Especially your feet, hands, dry spots.  Many people like to use Soap and  Body Butters with Shea added so that it treats and moisturizes their skin on a regular basis.  

Speaking of vitamins, It has been used for many years for a healing agent on cuts, rashes, scrapes, eczema, scars, stretch marks, and other skin conditions.  Many women and men in Africa, as well as the U.S. also use this Shea for their hair as a moisturizer and stabilizer.

Guess what else you can do with it?  Eat it!  Yup, this a food grade oil that can be ingested as well as applied topically.  Many natives of Africa have used it to cook their food or even add it to it directly.  It can also be used as a substitute for Cocoa butter which is not so bad considering its low cost in comparison.

 

 

The Nuts from the Shea tree are roasted and cracked to harvest the butter from the nut.  It goes through a long and detailed process that ensures all the vitamins and natural properties are in tact and ready to eat or use for body products.  The roasting process is what gives it the nutty scent that is most common to Shea Butter.  Most any Shea Butter you get that is raw and unrefined will have this nutty scent to it.  Most users of Shea Butter are fine with the scent and know they are getting the real thing when they smell this distinctive scent.

100% of any product you buy commercially that has the words 'shea' added to the description has a refined version of this butter.  The refined process takes all of the scent away as well as the vitamins and healing properties.  It still remains just as moisturizing but will not help your skin as much as the raw Shea Butter will.  

Most Shea Butter is yellow or ivory.  The refined version is white.  How to tell the difference?  The smell.  Any raw Shea is going to have a nutty smell.  You will also get used to the difference as you try a few brands.  I will post a link to certified brands of butters and whipped body butters below this post.  

 

 

 SheaGarden Organic Soaps                  SheaGarden Organic Body Butters

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My absolute favorite essential oils for Handmade Soap is Tea Tree.  I started using the oil by itself years ago to treat itchy insect bites, and skin rashes.  I quickly learned that it’s great for just about any skin issues!  

                           

The oil itself goes back thousands of years for treating many conditions, including respiratory systems, infections, acne, sunburns and much more; some estimates report hundreds of uses!  You can find many reputable sources online to get more information about Tea Tree Oil or you can always just try it for yourself.

 

As with any natural cures and ointments you want to proceed with caution.  Tea Tree Oil is very potent on its own and is usually mixed with a carrier oil such as olive oil or grape seed oil before being applied topically.  The good news is that not much of the oil is required in creams, soaps and medicines in order for you to benefit from its healing properties.

You also want to find a pure Tea Tree essential oil because not all manufacturers are created equal.  I have searched many companies and have had my share of failure.  I currently use Essential Depot for most of my essential oils and fragrance oils (there is a difference) but there are of course a ton of companies out there.  

I would encourage anyone that has never tried Handmade Soap to start with Tea Tree Soap or unscented Shea Butter Soap first.  Its mild enough for your skin and has a refreshing scent, it was one of the first soaps I ever made and a fan favorite.  Have a look at what we have below in the link.

Shop Tea Tree Soap Here

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The short answer is, yes you should.  But it's so expensive and hard to find!  Yes it does cost more than regular soap and it can be tricky to find a trusted brand that you like, however, the benefits are worth it.  Try to think of soap like you would your favorite meats at the grocery store.  You and I both know that if we only buy sausage, bacon, and processed canned meat that our heart and blood pressure would eventually have a melt down.  So what do we do?  We try our best to split the difference and get that healthy and lean chicken breast and turkey to even it out.  Well it's somewhat the same with skin products.

 

The good news is that we can enjoy 100% of the soap we use and really do not have to give up anything as good as a good ole slice of bacon!  In fact, most anyone will enjoy natural and organic soap much more that the store bought ones.  The bonus part is that it really is not any more expensive when you add up the cost correctly.  Most handmade soap is crafted using natural ingredients that have a longer lasting bar than the products they sell you at the store, some Handmade Soap even last twice as long as normal ones!  Just that benefit alone can even the cost out but there is another thing to consider. How much moisturizer do you have to use to counteract the drying conditions that cheap soap leaves you with?  How much time and effort do you spend on rubbing lotions and creams because your skin is just not right after that shower?  Is it really worth it?  Not to us, which is why we craft and use our own natural and pure soap. 

With many Handcrafted Soaps, all the raw nutrients that are good for our skin and healthy for our body are still within the soap itself.  It has not been refined and processed so that the good stuff is removed.  With these facts in mind wouldn't it be worth it to make the switch to organic soap?  Are you willing to try something new that your body and health will benefit from for years to come?  It is a great time to join the millions that have given up those heavily marketed cheap store products and switch over to the real and natural stuff!  Find out more.

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