Chocolate, chocolate..

If anything was a major theme in the last week of mine, it was definitely chocolate. We placed a bulk order for professional quality dark chocolate with group of my friends and logistical center was localized in my small flat. I must say I haven’t seen such quantity of chocolate in my whole life! Only my part was 2,5kg (over 5.5lbs), most of it in 96% Ebony black chocolate.

My original plan was using of this no-sugar chocolate for cosmetic purposes. But it tastes absolutely great! There are no additives, only high percentage of cocoa which you can perceive as a kind of dark brutality on your tongue. Bitter taste of this chocolate is not for people of weak character. You have to be stable adult to enjoy it fully. Then you feel a dark heaven in your mouth!

Anyway I haven’t forgotten the original plans.

First, I made herbal-chocolate foot cream with horsetail, sage, yarrow and oak bark. It has antibacterial and antiperspirant effects, smooth consistency and smells like chocolate. Due to high concentration of effective herbs is small amount enough which is also safer. In case of careless application it could let brown color on clothes or shoes. Nevertheless, it is absolutely amazing!

Then I made two kinds of herbal chocolate soap which I can recommend to everyone. In this activity I joined two great loves – herbs and chocolate, and I believe that among you are many with the same preferences.

Do you have your own experience with dark chocolate in cosmetic? I’d be happy to read your comments.

With love, Ivana

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Yellow Bedstraw: Galium verum

Abundant plant on sunny slopes, dry meadows or along the roads looks more like bushy weed than a useful medicinal herb. Perhaps only huge amount of little yellow flowers attracts careful attention of people and lovely attention of bees.

I chose this herb among the five for my Herbal Materia Medica course and before I am going to be overwhelmed by scientific information I would like to share my existing experience.

Yellow Bedstraw (Galium verum) is not as friendly or sticky as its more famous relative Galium aparine. It doesn’t play the major role in homeopathic or Chinese medicine but it stands nearby and waits for being understood and wisely used.

This herb is for those who cannot be discouraged by untidy appearance, a little bit prickly inaccessibility or unpleasant bitter astringent taste. That’s why it’s mostly used externally.

I love its effects in soaps for problematic skin treatment, no matter if it’s adolescent acne or adults’ hemorrhoids. In facial treatment can be used also as a bath or tonic. Affected areas are treated well by yellow bedstraw which I occasionally supplement by other potent herbs.

If I want to use yellow bedstraw internally, I usually go for capsules. My tired kidneys like to be refreshed from time to time, so I combine yellow bedstraw with heather and goldenrod, manually powder them and fill the capsules. There is very welcome side effect because yellow bedstraw also helps with night spasm in legs which I sometimes suffer.

Before other products appeared on the market, yellow bedstraw was widely used in cheese production. In accordance to its astringent taste yellow bedstraw is able to coagulate milk very effectively. You can try and have a useful fun.

Back to School!

I live with my herbs on daily and more or less intuitive basis. Of course, I have some knowledge. Herbs interested me since childhood, but I cannot call it an obsession. That changed in the last few years, when I use them also externally for ointments, salves and especially soaps.

With herbs, I usually follow my instincts and then I double check the nature of my intuitive recipes in books and online resources. I would like to continue in this manner, but recently I decided to structure the knowledge base a little bit.

I enrolled in the Herbal Materia Medica Course on The Herbal Academy website last week. They impressed me by the combination of scientific and intuitive approach and I’m happy for the practical exercises. And what’s more, they push us to study only one plant in one moment, which I consider very useful. So back to school!

It is necessary to quickly pass the botanical definitions, which I learned in elementary school already, although not in English. It means shapes of leaves, their arrangements on stem, types of inflorescences, etc. Plus to observe the herbs of my choice according to these definitions. And because the fresh herbs are not available under snow, I have to work with dried ones. Luckily I still have enough from the last year’s harvest.

However, there is one thing which I do not feel harmony with. I should find the names of my herbs according to Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. I spent a lot of time on the internet with very disappointing results. First, I am not familiar with these types of medicine. I fully respect both because they proved their longterm validity and efficiency. But somehow they are not compatible with my body and mind. All my inner setup has four elements rather than five. I am able to perceive how the herb works inside of the Kabalistic Tree of Life but my effort to see anything through the five elements leads me into the empty darkness again and again. So I gave up!

Instead, I returned to my own setup. I will continue in the course, looking forward to next interesting lessons. I will continue to believe that the most effective medicinal herb grows for anyone near his home because I continue to trust in wisdom of the Creator.

What is your opinion?

With love, Ivana

Roots: The Safety Zone

There is snowing outside the window and I think about the roots. It freezes and we are looking for the safety zones, where to survive bad weather. People have shelters in their houses and trees in the roots.

Humans also have the roots, and on many levels. As an individual, as a member of the family, tribe, nation, continent and the entire Universe. Every part of our Self has its own safety zone, the roots. They are represented by our past – history, ancestors, relationships, successes and failures. We cannot erase them, but we can learn and change our perspective. Every new beginning includes our entire history. As if you replant the tree – you can find a better environment for it, but do not damage the roots during transport otherwise you damage the entire tree.

Does it mean that we have to store all even traumatic experiences in the roots? No, it doesn’t. Every experience can be used as a fuel for our inner fire. All sun and shadows are endless source of woods for our warmth and hospitality. We have to accept our history as a fact, and then we may not be traumatized by it. The worst thing is to preserve the pain because that part of roots is cold and lifeless. It is a risk factor for our future, frozen can be easily broken.

If the roots are working properly, they are open to receive nutrients and excrete waste products. Unlike trees, we don’t always recognize good nutrients from waste products. Sometimes it takes a long time to understand. Don’t give up! It helps if you understand where your roots on some of your levels are. Where are your safety zones? First, it should be your body and your home. These are places where you should feel free in all manifestations of the spirit. The basic safety zones for the life and growth.

Some people examine factors too deep in the past and don’t care enough about the present. They forget that life is not just the roots. The roots are shelter and source of life, but we cannot live a life locked inside. Like trees, we can hide the power in the roots for winter, but in the spring we have to go out and move forward.

Happy and Healthy New Year!

While drawing the picture of the tree of wishes, which finally looks more like tree of turbulences, I’ve been receiving a list of advices from the Universe which I would like to share:

Don’t ignore new impulses and fill your cup of love by creative moments according to your preferences.

Be open to change your mind. Let the others to inspire you, but stay yourself. This is the only way how to inspire the others. Let the inspiration’s channel always open in both ways.

Don’t stay alone more than necessary. Tell the others you want to share your moments with them. There are millions people alone, so don’t give up and continue in case you’ve been refused.

Don’t try to do all the work yourself. Let the others to help you even you consider them weak or useless. Such result is not going to be perfect but more realistic with higher chance to survive.

Let joy to enter into your life more often. You couldn’t organize it. Let it simply come inside your heart.

None of us is alone in the Universe and each of us is surrounded by love in many forms.

So enjoy the Life and Love in the New Year 2017!