Friday, January 4, 2013

Sage and Cedar Milled Soap

In ancient Arabia, sage was associated with longevity and increasing mental capacity. Native Americans made a salve with sage to heal skin sores and in the 19th century it was used to cure warts. The list of its historical uses ranges from treating epilepsy to measles to worms. Today it is still added to soaps, shampoos, ointments and other cosmetics to treat dandruff, varicose veins, acne, athlete's foot, eczema and psoriasis. The volatile oils in the sage leaf have antiseptic and astringent properties and can be used to dry up perspiration.
Salvia officinalis

 Cedar wood essential oil derived from the Red Cedar has a myriad of therapeutic properties both internally and externally. It is an anti-seborrhoeic (controls oily secretion of sweat glands) antiseptic (fights bacterial infection), antispasmodic (relieves muscle spasms and cramps), astringent (contracts organic tissue), diuretic (produce urine and remove water from the body), emmenagogue (induces and regulates menstruation), expectorant (helps expel mucus from the lungs), fungicide (fights fungal infection), and a sedative. Like sage, it can be used as an insect repellent, making this soap perfect for hiking and camping. Its scent is used in aromatherapy to sooth and balance and is said to comfort and build courage in difficult situations. Used regularly, it promotes positive thinking and emotional balance. All in all, it's pretty kick ass but keep in mind that it can cause skin irritations if applied at a high concentration and should not be used by pregnant women.
Juniperus virginiana

Sage and Cedar Milled Soap
2 lbs of basic soap from my Hand Milled Soap Recipe (prepared in advance)
5 tablespoons rubbed sage
2 teaspoons cedarwood essential oil

Step 1
Grate and melt soap according to directions in my Hand Milled Soap Recipe.

Step 2
 When the soap is melted, remove from heat and thoroughly stir in the sage and essential oil.

Step 3
Pour soap into final molds and leave undisturbed in a warm place for a few days, until the soap is firm enough to hold its shape outside the mold. At this point, remove the soap from the final mold, cut into bars if desired and allow to cure indoors for about 3 to 4 weeks. The longer you allow the bars to cure, the harder they will become as moisture evaporates out of the soap. The sage in this soap gives it a lovely speckled dark green color.

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