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More home made natural remedies!

More home made natural remedies!
Seems that everything natural is becoming all the rage. We have gotten some great feedback from our previous blogs and recipes. We figured this time it would be better to take a simpler approach to showing you just how much stuff you likely have in your home already, that you could be using to replace products you don't care for. Some people call them life hacks.. we just call them natural solutions.

When it comes to skin care, a lot of people are afraid to change from their routine. In fact, most people agree that taking the plunge from a store line skin care product to something natural or homemade, is the hardest change to make when it comes to natural products. This is mostly because those chemical filled, big brand, products come with promises and guarantees plastered all over commercials and billboards. 

Here are some quick and easy remedies with stuff you probably already have lying around:

"Natural Face Wash

I’ve been using the oil cleansing method for a couple of years, and I’d still highly recommend it, but I’ve recently switched to a faster, easier and even cheaper option: Microfiber. My favorite company makes a natural body cloth with silver wound into the thread so it is completely antibacterial. It takes off makeup, food (kids faces, not mine!), dirt, etc. without any soap at all (which is great since soap strips the natural oils in the skin). It is also completely safe to use on babies and kids (which would be especially helpful for any kids with eczema) and the cheapest/most environmentally friendly.

You can also use pure, organic Liquid Castille soap in water to naturally cleanse the face. A few drops on a wash cloth or in a sink full of water will naturally clean your face.

Natural Make-Up Remover

Microfiber works great for this too and even removes mascara without soap or oils.

Plain olive or coconut oil will also remove mascara (even waterproof) and will remove other make-up as well but isn’t as ideal if you have oily skin.

For oily skin- Liquid Castille soap in water will remove makeup without adding oils to the skin or stripping the natural ones.

Lotions and Moisturizers

For most people, pure coconut oil is all that is needed for moisturizing the face. It is naturally full of collagen supporting lauric acid and is easily absorbed by the skin. Even for oily and acne prone skin, coconut oil’s natural anti-bacterial properties make it a great option.

For those with dry skin or who want to prevent aging naturally, a homemade lotion bar is a great (and naturally SPF 5) option. You can even add zinc oxide to make a sunscreen bar if you need the extra protection, or alter into a natural deodorant.

Natural Exfoliators

A sugar/oil scrub is great for most skin types when extra exfoliation is needed. Just mix equal parts oil (coconut, olive, etc.) and sugar (white or brown) and use as a whole body exfoliator.

For more oily skin, plain baking soda can be used to exfoliate skin and remove blackheads or dirt.

Natural Anti-Aging

There are a ton of anti-aging products available but the best options are the ones you take internally. All of the collagen products that are supposed to firm up skin don’t take into account that collagen must be produced internally and is too large to absorb through the skin.

To promote natural collagen production, I’d suggest using coconut oil as a moisturizer and taking Gelatin, Fermented Cod Liver Oil/Butter Blend and Vitamin C to support natural Collagen production internally.

What is your skin care regime? Is it natural? Let me know below!"

More at: http://wellnessmama.com/

What's so great about handmade, all-natural soaps?

What's so great about handmade, all-natural soaps?
After posting our step by step guide for making soap at home, and other various articles regarding the topic, we have received some questions from many customers. A lot of you simply wanted to know where you could find the ingredients for making your own soap from our recipe (what can be added, what are the benefits of additives), wanting to know more about kratom as an exfoliant (what is the difference in strains), and, most of all, people just wanted to know what the benefits of making their own soap at home would be.

In this article, we will explore the many benefits of making your own all natural soap at home. We will keep the overall recipe simple (the basic recipe you can find in our blog), as far as the soap we will talk about in general, but we will also speak about the benefits of different additives to the soaps.

One of the biggest benefits of making your own soap is: you know exactly what you're getting. Since you made it, you know exactly what went into it (and you control what goes into it!). So, let's start with that control, even before we talk about the ingredients. being in control of what goes into your soap means you can tailor your recipe to your needs. Have dry skin? Add something like argon oil to help remedy your specific issue. With the huge amount of products we offer, there is an almost endless supply of all natural botanicals that can be used to combat everything from dry skin to sweating issues.

Although the control over what goes into your soaps is great, it is the ingredients themselves that can be considered the greatest benefit. Handmade soaps are usually made from all natural ingredients (that's where we come in), like vegetable oils, salves, and butters. These all natural materials are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and contain many nutrients that are essential and vital to healthy, beautiful skin. As mentioned above, dry skin and sweating issues are some of the things we have heard of soap being used for, but people also use them for itchy skin, conditions like psoriasis, excema, and even acne. Younger people also find natural products more attractive than something with a list of chemicals in it that they can not even pronounce. 

Another huge benefit of making your own soaps is that you can be 100% sure that it is cruelty free. You know that no animals were hurt, no people were working in sweatshops, etc. You have a product that you made with your own bare hands and no animals suffered during testing, no people worked long hours for little pay in third world countries. This is one product that you know is 100% cruelty free, without question. Also, for our vegan friends, you have the opportunity to make sure none of your ingredients conflict with your lifestyle (this all goes back to the control you have when making your own products).

You also have a huge variety when it comes to making your own soap. The botanical world is almost endless, as there are many products which share certain benefits. Your options are virtually unlimited. We try to be as helpful and as knowledgeable as possible, so we can answer all of your questions and help you find exactly what you're looking for. After all, what good is making your own soap if it doesn't suit your needs? As mentioned in our last post, kratom is becoming an increasingly popular choice for exfoliation and we even recently had a customer contact us with questions about creating an exfoliating facial mask with it. She had already been using it in her soaps that she made at home, and wanted to make something different. We helped go over different botanicals that would work well in theory, and she put everything to the test. We are waiting to hear back to see how it all turned out, so you can expect a blog post about that when the time comes.

Finally, arguably the biggest benefit of making your own soaps isn't what is in it or what the ingredients can do, but it is what is not in it and what you can save yourself from. As mentioned above, there are countless chemicals in many of the soaps and lotions and masks on the market that contain a long list of chemicals with names longer than "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious". 

As you can see, a large part of the benefits of handmade, natural soaps, is the ability to customize the product to your own needs, the pride that comes with creating something, and you can even try to sell your soaps to others and make some extra money. Who knows, you might even end up with a successful company someday. Whether you make 3 bars for yourself, or a large batch for you, your friends, and your family, you have a final product you can believe in, be proud of, and enjoy, knowing you made it yourself from some of the best raw materials on Earth!




A popular, natural exfoliant: Kratom!

A popular, natural exfoliant: Kratom!
Recently, there has been a huge increase in the amount of people using mitragyna speciosa (Kratom) as an exfoliant in their soaps and lotions. Kratom is a well known plant in Southeast Asia, and has been used by cultures there for hundreds of years (at least) for many things. Cultures such as these do not depend on pharmaceuticals to the extent that we do in the United States, for instance.

Kratom is not approved for many of the uses employed over seas, and there has been some very strict guidelines set by the FDA here in America regarding this plant. However, its use as an exfoliant is becoming more and more prevalent, and people are starting to speak up about the benefits of using kratom in their soaps and lotions. These all-natural products are largely in demand over the offerings from major companies, and many people are making a living by making their own soaps and lotions and selling them on sites like etsy. We support the natural movement and are proud to offer most of the materials needed for making handmade soaps and lotions.

Of course, we also make our own soaps, and sell them in our store on on our website. We have been using kratom and sea salts in some of our soaps, and the mixture of the hard scrub of the salts and the softer scrub of the kratom is immensely helpful in scrubbing away dry and dead skin. We have even written a series of articles in this very blog about how to make your own soap at home using kratom and other natural products. Since many people are looking for ways to avoid unnecessary chemicals in the everyday products that they use, we have received a lot of positive feedback about the soap making articles and have many customers asking more about kratom, since the soap recipe is the first time they are hearing about it. You can find a great deal of information about kratom (mitragyna speciosa) online, through Google or any other search engine.

Kratom is available in our store, in bulk, as a raw material for the manufacture of items like soaps and lotions. Although some stores sell kratom as a consumable product (capsules, teas, and other consumable products) and some people also use it as such, our kratom is sold in its raw form in bulk packaging solely intended for non-food preparations. When used in the making of soaps and lotions, kratom is perfectly safe and natural. Our kratom comes from trusted farmers and workers in Indonesia, Thialand, Malaysia, Cambodia, and even Vietnam. Our kratom is often tested by the FDA during import for adulterants and other potential hazards. We appreciate the work the FDA does in trying to ensure the safety of Americans when it comes to natural products being imported from other countries around the world and do our best to stay informed of, and abide by all guidelines set forth by the regulatory agencies like FDA and US Customs. By doing so, we help to ensure that our responsible customers can obtain the raw materials they need for their own handmade natural products.

To learn more about kratom and its use as an exfoliant, we recommend using a search engine like Google.

Aloe Vera: The most versatile plant on Earth?

Aloe Vera: The most versatile plant on Earth?

There are many known health benefits of Aloe Vera, from digestive system regulation to use as an all natural food preservative. Aloe Vera helps the body heal, aids the immune system, cools acid reflux (GERD), helps to heal ulcers, ends nausea, has many benefits to skin and in treating dermatitis, is also used by many women during their menstrual cycle, has been shown to lower blood sugar levels, and recently is being used by many cancer patients and survivors to help heal and reduce symptoms from treatment and more. As you can see, the uses of Aloe Vera are many, and the more it is being used, the more people are discovering new ways to use this amazing botanical product, including lowering and eliminating certain joint and muscle pain, enhanced cardiovascular performance, and is also believed to be helpful in lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body.

Of course, more studies are being carried out to determine if there are even more benefits of this amazing plant. Historically, Aloe Vera is one of the most widely-used medicinal botanicals in the world.

Below is an excerpt of an article which gives some great information, going even deeper into the facts we have listed regarding Aloe Vera. Remember, we have some of the freshest and finest Aloe Vera you can find, in stock and ready for you (http://kbotanicals.com/search?q=Aloe)!


From organicfacts.net:

“Aloe Vera is also known as medicinal aloe, and some of its common names are Lily of the Desert, Burn Plant, and Elephant’s Gall. It belongs to the family of succulent plants in the genus ‘Aloe’. The origin of Aloe Vera is believed to be in Sudan and has been used for more than 6,000 years. The great virtues of this plant have been recognized by many civilizations, including the Egyptians, Spanish, Persians, Greek, Italians, Africans, Japanese and Indians. Aloe Vera grows best in warm, dry climates and is densely found in India, Africa, and other arid zones. This species has a wide usage in herbal medicine. The Aloe Vera plant has compounds such as mannans, polysaccharides, lectins, and anthraquinones that are extremely beneficial for human health.

Aloe Vera plant is often a stemless or sometimes very short-stemmed juicy plant that grows 60–100 cm (24–39 in) height, and the offsets spread out wide. The leaves of this plant are thick and fleshy; and the color varies from green to grey-green. Some varieties of this plant have white flecks on the upper and lower portions of the stem surfaces. The margin of the leaves is like saw-tooth and the flowers bloom during the summer. This plant can be easily grown both indoors and outdoors.

How does Aloe Vera help you?

For decades, the soothing nature of Aloe Vera has been known and respected by the people who believe in naturopathy. Aloe Vera has 18 amino acids that work in association with other compounds of the human body to deliver numerous health benefits. Aloe Vera is best known for its natural healing of the skin, wounds and other skin issues. However, it also has many other benefits like curing heart diseases, diabetes, asthma and arthritis. If you include Aloe Vera products in your regular nutritional plan, you will automatically notice a regenerated body and an attractive, youthful appearance. The common healing qualities of Aloe Vera are discussed below.

Health Benefits of Aloe Vera:

Improves Digestive System: Aloe Vera helps in the proper functioning of the digestive system. The adaptogenic properties of this plant are beneficial for proper digestive function. It ensures better nutrient absorption and also eliminates harmful elements through smooth excretion. A healthy digestive process positively affects your thoughts and actions, thus promoting overall health. Thus, Aloe Vera cures irritable bowel syndrome and keeps constipation, piles and other gastrointestinal conditions from damaging your system.

Aloe Vera has compounds called polysaccharides that have the ability to cure a host of digestive disorders and even ulcers. Ulcers are one of the most prominent consequences of digestive problems that are effectively cured by this plant extract. Many studies have proved that Aloe Vera cures issues like Crohn’s disease, peptic ulcers and other digestive tract disorders. If you suffer from ulcers and consume Aloe Vera extract for at least 3 – 4 weeks, you are sure to notice positive results.

Boosts Immune System: Drinks made from Aloe Vera juice possess natural detoxifying properties that effectively cleanse the digestive system and the circulatory system. As the absorption level of nutrients accelerates, it results in better blood circulation and also improves the body’s nutritional quality within the cells. When the blood is oxygen rich, it automatically provides nutrients within the cells more proficiently. These healthy cells ensure your body’s ability to ward off infections, thereby strengthening your immune system. Aloe Vera has the capability to neutralize harmful bacteria; its rejuvenating properties work within your body to keep it fresh and active throughout the day. Many studies have shown that these antitumor and immunomodulatory properties are due to Aloe Vera polysaccharides.

Halts Cancerous Growth: As discussed in the previous sections, Aloe Vera helps in strengthening your immune system; the use of aloe gel also destroys cancerous tumors effectively. According to studies published in International Immunopharmacology (1995), Aloe Vera polysaccharides contain some effective macrophages that produce huge volumes of nitric oxide, which has antitumor potential. In naturopathy, there are innumerable methods of cancer prevention and the Aloe Vera-based method has proven to be one of the most successful ones. However, some experts say that Aloe Vera may when used alone may not be very effective in advanced cases so a combination of proper herbs like spirulina, cat’s claw and advanced therapies like intravenous vitamin C should also be included. It is always advisable to start any kind of cancer treatment after consulting a medical professional or physician.

Heals Side Effects of Radiotherapy Treatments: In cancer treatment, radiotherapy is inevitable in most cases. Cancer treatment patients often experience many uncomfortable side effects due to radiotherapy. Topical application of Aloe Vera gel to the radiation area will make the patient immediately feel the soothing effect and it also accelerates the healing response. If you drink Aloe Vera juice in such conditions, it will also help you in healing the radiation burns.

Cures Dermatitis: Aloe Vera has been used for skin ailments since ancient times. The pure inner gel extracted from the aloe leaf is the best natural remedy for skin abrasions and it also helps to diminish the symptoms of aging skin conditions. Today, many topical skin care products and even personal care products, toiletries, and skin cosmetics include Aloe Vera extract. Aloe is now recommended as the most widely-used ingredients for popular skin care products. In fact, if you have an Aloe Vera plant in your home, simply tear a small part of the leaf, take the gel and apply it in raw form on your face. This therapy will prove to be far better and more effective than many expensive skin creams on the market. Most people prefer drinking Aloe Vera juice, which also enhances skin health, as the properties of the plant work internally. Aloe Vera also helps in curing stings, rashes, acne, and psoriasis.

Promotes Hair Growth: Aloe Vera has proven to be an excellent option for promoting hair growth naturally. The hair products that contain Aloe Vera are essential to retain voluminous and healthy hair. You can apply Aloe Vera gel on the entire scalp and hair to treat hair loss. Aloe Vera has an enzyme that is beneficial in stimulating hair growth. Aloe Vera shampoo improves blood circulation and keeps you away from stress and mental strain. In fact, Aloe Vera has anti-inflammatory properties that effectively treat ‘Androgenetic Alopecia’. If you use Aloe Vera regularly as your shampoo and conditioner, you are sure to prevent the disturbing problem of premature hair loss.

Reduces Arthritis Pain: Aloe Vera is noted for its amazing anti-inflammatory properties that work instantly on the pain and swelling resulting from arthritis. Aloe Vera juice is extremely effective in calming the swelling and inflammation that are closely associated with arthritis conditions. In fact, topical application on swelling or drinking Aloe Vera juice both show positive results in curing arthritis pain.

Relieves Joint and Muscle Pain: The anti-inflammatory properties of Aloe Vera help it to work efficiently on joint and muscle pains. Applying aloe gel topically eases inflammation of the joints. Aloe juice can also be consumed to reduce inflammation throughout the body, thus revitalizing your body. In some studies, it has been reported that people who regularly consume Aloe Vera juice for at least two weeks experience a significant improvement in inflammation issues. However, Aloe Vera works efficiently only when your diet is also regulated for the same goals. You need to reduce your intake of red meat, sugar, milk, fried foods, and white flour consumption.

Cures Wounds: Aloe Vera has been considered a natural healer ever since it was discovered thousands of years ago. If used externally, Aloe Vera is the best option for wound dressing. In fact, in many cases it is seen that Aloe Vera works like magic, even in the most serious of emergency room wound cases. The juice instantly seals the wound while drawing the flow of blood to the wound, thus enhancing the process of wound healing. In many studies, it has been proven that aloe effectively treats third-degree burn victims and it restores the burned skin faster. In some instances, it is also known that large amounts of Aloe Vera gel can heal wounds of gunshots and tissue tears.

Cures Menstrual Problems: The extract of Aloe Vera has been shown to be an excellent stimulant of the uterus. Intake of Aloe Vera juice is very beneficial during painful menstruation.

Alleviates Nausea: Nausea can occur due to a host of reasons, including consuming contaminated food, having a virus or flu, or even due to chemotherapy treatments. There are many man-made medicines for nausea, however nowadays doctors are also prescribing natural options for treatment. Oftentimes, nausea feelings originate from disorders in the stomach or in the digestive tract. Aloe Vera juice is excellent for a sick stomach and makes you feel better by bringing a calm feeling throughout the body. This indirectly helps to alleviate the feelings of nausea.

Reduces Blood Sugar Level: Aloe Vera is also used for lowering blood sugar levels. Consumption of Aloe Vera has beneficial effects on reducing blood sugar levels. A result of the study of effects of Aloe Vera on diabetic rat models suggests that it is useful in the treatment of diabetes.

Prevents Oxidative Stress: Aloe Vera gel is rich in vitamins like B12, B1, B2, B6, A, E and C, niacin and folic acid. These vitamins are required for a proper functioning of human body. The body’s defensive system is thus kept intact with the regular intake of Aloe Vera juice and thus keeps you away from the dangerous impact of oxidative stress.

Soothes Acid Reflux Symptoms: Acid reflux is often wrongly known to be a disease, while it is actually just a symptom that involves heart burn and discomfort. Initially, you can try the natural remedy of consuming the soothing Aloe Vera juice, which usually works effectively and initiates proper functioning. However, you should also avoid eating fried foods and processed foods.

Lowers Cholesterol and Triglycerides: Aloe Vera gel, when used internally, automatically improves the blood quality and thus helps in re-balancing the other components in your blood like cholesterol and glucose. Aloe Vera effectively lowers cholesterol and total triglyceride content. Blueberries are also powerful, cholesterol-lowering agents, thus you can imagine how great a natural remedy it can be if you combine blueberries and Aloe Vera. Before starting the powerful pharmaceutical drugs immediately, you should try out this natural remedy.

Improves Cardiovascular Functions: Aloe Vera extract accelerates the supply of blood and purifies it at the same time. This blood accelerates the delivery of oxygen to the organs in the body, thereby maximizing their functionality. Organs like the brain and the heart need oxygen compulsorily that is supported by this purified blood. Therefore, Aloe Vera indirectly keeps the blood fresh and rich in oxygen to serve these purposes perfectly.

Cures Gum Diseases: Dental and gum diseases can also be cured by Aloe Vera. You can try out this natural remedy at home; put some Aloe Vera powder on your toothbrush, then do your normal brushing. The Aloe Vera powder will soothe your gums inside and cure any kind of infection or bruises. Even if you only drink Aloe Vera juice, your gums will still be very healthy. Just gargle the liquid around your mouth before swallowing. Also, try to increase your vitamin D intake, both these measures will be enough to get your gums back in shape within a few months.

Preserves Food: Professor Daniel Valero, from the University of Miguel Hernández in Alicante, Spain has proved that a thin layer of Aloe Vera gel can act as a natural food preservative. In the experiment, they immersed some table grapes into a bowl of Aloe Vera gel and then kept it in the refrigerator temperatures. The table grape without aloe vera gel went bad in 7 days, but the gelled ones stayed fresh for more than 35 days and left its taste intact.

Many scientists say that this one benefit of Aloe Vera can bring a new dimension to the food safety regulations around the world. Further experiments showed that dipping fruits and vegetables in Aloe Vera gel effectively eliminated E.coli, retained the freshness, and also extended its shelf life. The FDA has also approved Aloe Vera to be a natural food flavoring agent.

Boosts Oxygenation of the Blood: Blood oxygenation benefits the supplying of CO2 (carbon dioxide) to vital organs. In some studies, it has been reported that Aloe Vera aids in blood oxygenation. However, more evidence is required to back up this potential benefit.

Delays the Aging Process: Aloe Vera has been a primary component in many skin products that help in retaining youthfulness through healthier skin. The added support of aloe in any skin cream enhances its function as a wrinkle fader and skin rejuvenator. The anti-aging properties of Aloe Vera works on the skin and keeps it fresh, supple, wrinkle-free and bright. The properties of Aloe Vera make it penetrate quickly within the various layers of the skin, even down to the muscles of the body. In fact, it’s penetrating ability can even go deep into the bones. Thus, Aloe Vera is probably the best natural way to nurture and rejuvenate the skin cells.”


Available here and in store: http://kbotanicals.com/collections/botanicals/products/aloe-leaf-powder-og-16oz

Learn more here:

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-aloe-vera.html
http://www.naturalhealers.com/holistic-health/aloe-vera-ultimate-guide/


The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. No part of this article should be taken as medical advice. Always consult your physician before taking any supplement. 

Getting to know: Chamomile

Getting to know: Chamomile
Chamomile comes from the same family as daisy (Astereraceae). The most prevalent types that we see in use today would be German and Roman (Matricaria recutita and Chamaemelum nobile, respectively) chamomile. Here in the United States, we mostly enjoy the German variety, while our friends in the United Kingdom choose the Roman. Chamomile plants grow best with full sun exposure, but can also benefit from partial shade. This is likely due to the ability of the plant to thrive, even in conditions where water may be a little scarce. The ability to grow in a range of conditions, while not dominating the surrounding soil, is likely why chamomile is known as the “plant's physician”.

In North America, as mentioned, we mostly use (Matricaria recutita), which is actually native to Europe, and parts of Asia. Initially seeds must be sown in the spring (not before the final frost, which can destroy the plants, especially in early stages). After the initial seed laying, chamomile is able to self-sow, dropping seeds for the next season, after it reaches about 3 feet in height. While the Roman (native to North Africa and Europe) variety is more low-growing and is also a perennial, it has a larger flower than its German counterpart. Because of it's ability to cover the ground and spread, chamomile has actually been used in place of regular grass.

When it comes to chamomile, harvesting is not very easy. Not impossible, but since the flower itself is the part of the plant that contains the active elements people are after, it does take a little bit of care to harvest them properly, without damaging the plant. Once the flowers have been carefully plucked, all material should be dried immediately (put them in some air tight or lightly vac sealed containers, to avoid the moisture in he air), and kept out of further sunlight, as much as possible.

As far as uses, chamomile is one of the plants we find documented throughout history, in different cultures, that was used for a lot of varying reasons. Egyptians considered chamomile to be a universal remedy, and was even used aesthetically in Egyptian makeup. Chamomile was also used by Vikings, Romans, and many other ancient cultures that reached high societal levels within their civilizations.

There are many ways to take advantage of the benefits of chamomile. Obviously, it is used in many teas. Most people have probably tried chamomile at least once in their lives, although most wouldn't know it. This method is called infusion, and involves soaking the chamomile in hot water (best NOT to use boiling), and best not to leave the tea steeping for too long. Teas can be milk, for stress, or a little stronger, for someone who experiences insomnia, for instance.

However, although teas are the most popular, there are other forms of chamomile that people use every day. Tinctures, syrup, poultices, compresses, lotions, and salves are also great ways to utilize chamomile. It is possible to have an allergy to chamomile, so please be careful before using too much. Always check with your doctor before trying anything new, just to be safe. Once you have the okay, you can use chamomile at night, in bed, before bed, or even in the bath. You can infuse your bath water with epsom salts, lavender, and chamomile. Check our site for chamomile products and more!

Making your own soap! Part 4: Cutting and ageing

Making your own soap! Part 4: Cutting and ageing
After letting your soap cure in the mold for about 24 hours (you can wait less time, but 24 hours means it will be 100% ready to cut), it's time to take it out and cut it up into smaller pieces for use. 

Take the lid off the of the mold, if you haven't already, and peel the paper off carefully. It should come off in one piece without any issues, but don't worry if it does tear into smaller pieces and takes a little while to peel off. This really depends on the quality of the paper.

Once you have the soap out and the paper off, you basically have a huge piece of soap, and once it is fully aged and cured, it's ready to use.. if you're a giant. Since we're not giants, we will probably want to cut the soap up into smaller pieces. An easy way to do this is to use a knife to lightly score or mark the brick of soap, so you can see how you want to cut it, and how many pieces it will yield. For this exercise, we will cut out soap into simple bars.

Score your soap vertically, down the middle, and then lines down the sides keeping in mind how large you want the bars to be. Repeat the process horizontally until you have your soap cut up completely into bars. At this point, you probably want to go ahead and use the soap, but it's not quite time yet. Before it can actually be used, the soap needs to finish the curing process by taking some time to age before use. We recommend about 30 days, but you can let your soap age even longer if you'd like (longer ageing may give your soap better, richer lather, longer lasting bars, and produces a generally milder soap).

We hope you enjoy your home made, all natural, exfoliating kratom soap. Take some time to browse our store for some ideas on your next soap making adventure!

Making your own soap! Part 3: Let's get to work

Making your own soap! Part 3: Let's get to work

IMPORTANT: Before moving forward, make sure you have read the first two parts of this article, which cover ingredients, tools, and utensils necessary to create your very own handmade soaps from home. It is recommended that you read this part and wait for next weeks final piece before actually attempting to make the soap. Give yourself some time to read this and fully understand the process. By the time the next part is released, you will be ready to make and finish your soap without any mistakes.

For the past two weeks, we here at KBotanicals have been helping you prepare for making your own soaps at home. Of course, we also make soaps, and offer them at our store and online for you to purchase, but we get very many questions from people asking how they can make their very own soaps at home. As much as we'd like for everyone to purchase our natual, handmade soaps, we also love teaching people to do things that help them become even more self-sufficient. So, please go back and use the last two articles as a checklist to make sure you have all of the ingredients and tools/utensils necessary to move forward, and let's put on our smocks and get dirty!

Please refer to the ingredient list (from part 1):

  • 18.5 ounces Olive oil / great natural oil used for moisturizing.
  • 12 ounces Coconut oil / popular and used for many things, including fantastic lather.
  • 13.5 ounces water / we use distilled water or spring water, but filtered or even tap water is fine.
  • 9 ounces Palm oil / great for making sure your soap is firm, even when wet!
  • 5.8 ounces Lye (sodium hydroxide) / necessary for saponification but does not remain in soap.
  • 4 ounces of Kratom (mitragyna speciosa) - for exfoliant (can be adjusted for better scrubbing).
  • 1 ounce Shea butter / provides extra moisturizing and texture.

First, get all of your ingredients together and laid out, and check to make sure everything is there, as mentioned above. Once you are sure you have everything you can begin by taking your wax/freezer paper and using it to line your mold or molds, making sure that the non-stick (shiny) side is facing up. 

Now, take your shea butter, palm oil, coconut oil and set them aside. Grab your main pot you will be using (stainless steel would be best). If you have never used a scale for measuring ingredients before, please read the next section carefully, if you have, you may skip it if you wish. DO NOT USE ANY OF YOUR LIQUID OILS YET, only the hard oils.

You must put a bowl (or the actual pot you will be using, if it will fit on your scale) that you use be using to measure out all of your ingredients on top of your scale. What you want to do is power on your scale, then place the bowl (or pot) onto the scale and press the TARE or ZERO button. What this does is negate the weight of whatever is currently on the scale, so the only thing being weighed is your current ingredient. So, what you will do is measure out 12 ounces of coconut oil. So, with your pot on the scale and set at zero, add the coconut oil in until the scale reads 12 ounces, and then hit the TARE or ZERO button again. The scale should read zero again. Next, add your palm oil until the scale reads 9 ounces. Once it does, hit TARE or ZERO again so the scale shows 0 once again. Repeat this process until you have all of your oils in the bowl or pot. If you have used a bowl, now is the time to transfer the ingredients from the bowl into the pot, for heating. 

Place the pot on the stove and set the flame to low heat. The solid oils should melt and everything should become liquid. Leave the flame on low, you will come back to it later.

Next, measure out 13.5 ounces of water into a stainless steel or tempered glass bowl (remember, even tap is fine). 

Carefully, with gloves and safety glasses (they should be used at all times, but using them for this step is EXTREMELY important), measure out the lye and add to the bowl of water (remember, stainless steel or high heat capable glass ONLY). 

Begin stirring the lye and water together, there will be a chemical reaction and some fumes (this is why you want to make sure the area is well ventilated, for large batches you may even put a fan directly in the window, blowing outward, making sure you are not standing directly in the path that the fumes would be vented). After a couple minutes of stirring, the mixture will again turn clear. Once it does, carefully pick up the bowl with insulated cooking gloves or oven pads and set it aside where it will be safe and not likely to be bumped or spilled. 

Next, you will work with your liquid oils. For our recipe, we are only using one, which is olive oil, although you can use any manner of liquid oil. Try experimenting with other oils, like argon oil, for instance. 

Check the temperature of your lye and water solution, you want it to be below 110 degrees. 

Check your pot on the stove, make sure that your oils are, in fact, melted. At this point, they should definitely be liquid, so you can go ahead and add the other liquid oils into the pot (in this case, olive oil, unless you decide to use others as well). Once added, you can check the temperature with your thermometer. Once it reaches at least 110 degrees, you can turn off the burner.

Carefully add your lye/water solution to your oils and use your stick blender to blend the mixture. Alternate between mixing with the blender on and mixing with the blender turned off. Take extra care that you do not spill any of the mixture outside of the pot, and try to avoid creating too many air bubbles within the mixture. You will mix and blend for about 5 minutes, with the mixture taking on a pancake like consistency. 

Once the mixture begins to reach that consistency and begins to leave a dull wax like coating on the mixer, now is the time to pour into the mold. Before pouring, now you will mix your kratom into the pot as well. Remember, it is not so much about the exact weight being used, as it is about the amount within the mixture that will give you a nice sandy exfoliant. The more kratom you add, the more scrub to the soap. Some people also add sea salts, etc. Also, if you were to be using any color or fragrances, you would add them now, but since this is going to be a beginners recipe, we are skipping this step. You can add anything you'd like in future batches.  

At this point, your mold should have the wax paper in it with the shiny side facing outward. Pour your mixture into the mold and try to keep it level (make sure the surface it will sit on while setting is level as well). Cover the mold with your cover (mentioned in part 2). 

Next, you will allow the soap to set and cure (which could take anywhere from 8-24 hours). Next part of this series will focus on the final steps including cutting the soap. Please wait for next issue before you attempt making your soap. Simply read and digest this article and be ready for next week.

Thanks for reading, see you next week!

Making your own soap! Part 2: Tools and Utensils

Making your own soap! Part 2: Tools and Utensils

Last week, we began talking about making our own soaps at home. We decided on a simple, scent and dye free soap which uses all natural, organic kratom (mitragyna speciosa), as a fantastic exfoliant. We made an easy list of ingredients we will need to make our first batch of 15 bars of high quality soap. Please check part 1 if you have not already done so, for a list of ingredients needed to move forward. 

Aside from materials and ingredients, there are also some tools and utensils we will need to make our soap (some of which you probably already have).

Let's start with the most common items. A lot of us will likely have almost everything we need already, especially if we do a lot of baking and craft work, for example.

Here's what we'll need:

Spoons: you will need a set of spoons for measuring and also for some light stirring. Stainless steel or other metal spoons will work. Plastic measuring spoons are okay, too. Please do NOT use wooden utensils at all. 

Bowls: you will also need 2 or 3 bowls for mixing and holding ingredients. You can use plastic, but we recommend heat tempered glass or stainless steel. Remember never to use aluminum.

Knife: A nice large cutting knife with a good sized blade and sturdy handle.

Cooking Pot: This pot MUST be stainless steel, as the lye used during saponification can react with other materials. This post will be your main vessel for your soap making.

Now, the rest of the things you need, you may not have. Make sure you have them before you begin, as they are necessary.

Thermometer: You can use any cooking thermometer. Some people prefer candy making thermometers.

Scale: You may have one for other uses in the home (postage, baking), any scale will do, but it must be able to handle the smaller increments.

Blender: Save a lot of time and effort by using an immersion blender. These are the hand held blenders that can easily get in and mix quickly with little mess and easy cleanup.
Soap Mold – a wood or plastic box. Your soap mold can be any container. I used a wooden plant box from Ikea. Some people have even used milk cartons or pringle cans.

Wax Paper: Any type of coated, non stick paper will work, even freezer paper.

Soap Mold: This can be anything you like that can hold and shape the soap. You can make one out of wood, plastic, or even cardboard. Some people use existing containers like food and drink containers. Anything that has the shape you would like for your soap. You can cut to size later.

Lid: You can use a piece of plastic or cardboard that is big enough to cover your mold.

Safety Glasses: Always wear safety glasses when working with chemicals and mixing.

Gloves: Make sure your hands are protected from the materials and ingredients used while making your soap.

That covers everything you will need to make your own soap. Along with last weeks article, you now have a complete list of ingredients, tools, and other materials you will need. Next week, we start getting out hands dirty and dive right into the art of soap making. Thanks for reading!

Making your own soap! Part 1: Ingredients

Making your own soap! Part 1: Ingredients
One of our most popular products is our handmade, all natural soaps. Many of our customers write us and ask how we make our soaps, and if they can make their own at home. As much as we would love for everyone to simply purchase our soaps directly, we support the idea of people learning to make their own natural products at home, and this is why we also sell raw materials for soap making (essential oils, exfoliants like kratom (mitragyna speciosa), and assorted natural coloring agents. The end result can be a wonderful soap for your family that you can take pride in, knowing you made it yourself, with natural, organic, and safe ingredients. In a world where companies are turning to harsh chemicals to keep costs down, and organic/natural products are costing more and more, it makes sense to empower yourself and begin making your own soaps.

So, today we will be talking about the ingredients that are used in the process, what they do, and what options exist for different types of soaps, based on your specific needs. Everyone loves relaxing in a nice hot bath, helping to reduce your stress, relax your muscles, and give yourself an overall sense of comfort and well being. Add your own homemade soap into the mix, and you've got perfection.

In our soaps, there are some general, basic ingredients we use. Of course, we produce our soaps in larger batches, and you may be looking to produce smaller batches. So, for this article and recipes to follow, we will base our ingredients on enough to make about 15 bars of soap.

Our soaps contain natural oils, for moisturizing, firming and lathering purposes. A few examples of these would be olive oil, palm oil, and coconut oil. Of course, you can use any oils you'd like, but these are the ones we will be working with for this exercise. For moisturizing, we also recommend something like shea butter, which is an excellent natural product that can help keep your skin moist and healthy. A lot of people cringe when they hear about Lye (sodium hydroxide) being used in soaps, but it is a necessary component for saponification, and does not remain in the soap after it performs this critical function. 

For most of your ingredients, you can likely purchase all of them locally. Some of the specifics are up to you, extra virgin, organic, etc. Of course, if you plan on making a lot of soap, you can save money by purchasing your ingredients in bulk. Keep in mind, the soap we will be making will be unscented and uncolored, for simplicity. You can look into many of the different essential oils and natural colors to make your soap your own!

Ingredients:

18.5 ounces Olive oil / great natural oil used for moisturizing.

12 ounces Coconut oil / popular and used for many things, including fantastic lather.

13.5 ounces water / we use distilled water or spring water, but filtered or even tap water is fine.

9 ounces Palm oil /  great for making sure your soap is firm, even when wet!

5.8 ounces Lye (sodium hydroxide) / necessary for saponification but does not remain in soap.


4 ounces of Kratom (mitragyna speciosa) - for exfoliant (can be adjusted for better scrubbing).

1 ounce Shea butter / provides extra moisturizing and texture.

Again, these are quantities meant for the production of about 50 small bars of soap. You can adjust them as necessary and use substitutions if you'd like. You can also add scents and colors and other exfoliants. This is just a basic example.

So, next week we will dive into what tools are necessary for soap making. In the meantime, you can research and figure out exactly what you want out of your soap, figure out what ingredients you want to add or change in this recipe, and get ready to start making your very own soaps, with products from your friends at K Botanicals!

See you next time and thanks for reading. 




Tea Time!

Tea Time!

Everyone loves tea, but did you know that some of our Buddha teas are specifically formulated to help you in many areas of life where you be looking for some help? Not many people do. 

Well, it just so happens that our friends at Buddha provided some information on their teas and how they can help people with their New Year's resolutions. Everyone makes them, and they're hard to keep. But what happens when they are long forgotten? Maybe you want to stay in shape, sleep well, or have some other issues, and want a solution that is free of harsh chemicals.

Check out an excerpt from an article from Buddah, and see how their teas can help you today. Remember, come see us today if you're interested in any of these products, or check us out online.

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From Buddha Teas:

Teas for Weight Loss

Losing weight is one of the most common resolutions in any given year. In fact, the new year is a great time to kick off a new diet or exercise program. If you want to give your weight loss efforts an extra boost, take a look at these teas.

Teas from K Botanicals.

Green Tea

Moderate caffeine levels boost the metabolism for a time, important for burning off some of the excess sugars from that extra cookie you just couldn’t say no to. High in antioxidants and great for a quick energy boost, green tea is a tasty way to burn off unwanted calories.

Gymnema Tea

This tea's benefit may seem incredible, but studies back up its unique effect. Gymnema actually temporarily blocks your ability to taste sweetness. Over time, this effect helps to make your taste buds more sensitive to sugar, so you need to use less, and can gradually reduce sugar cravings. A true weight loss weapon!

Hibiscus Tea

This delicious herbal tea is mainly used to support cardiovascular health, but it’s also helpful for weight loss. Hibiscus naturally blocks the absorption of complex carbs, which would be turned into sugars by the metabolism. This might reduce the amount of sugars your body takes in, limiting new fat storage. Best of all, hibiscus works easily as a hot or cold tea, perfect to keep you on track all year long.

Skinny Buddha Blend

Skinny Buddha Blend incorporates a variety of herbs known to aid weight loss. With a stimulating green tea as the base, this blend uses hibiscus, bilberry leaf, chickweed, cranberry, triphala and lemongrass.

Teas for Focus

Want to learn a new skill or have better focus in your life? We’ve chosen a few teas to help make that happen.

Buddha teas from K Botanicals!

Holy Basil Tea

This savory herbal tea helps to sharpen focus and boost brain function. It’s also able to reduce stress, which often affects our ability to concentrate and learn. These two effects combined make it a powerful ally for learning and exploring.

Sage Leaf Tea

It’s no coincidence that wise men are called “sages”. Sage tea supports neural and nervous system function, and boosts circulation to the brain. Like holy basil, it also has mild stress relieving properties, which makes it perfect for boosting brain power.

Rosemary Tea

Rosemary tea's real strength is in promoting memory. In studies, the scent of rosemary alone has been shown to promote mental focus and strengthen memory, and one compound in particular can heartily boost cognitive function.

Pure Mind Blend

This savory tea combines our top brain-boosting herbs into one stimulating cup. Holy basil, rosemary, sage, gotu kola and oregano all combine to help stimulate focus, memory and creativity.

Teas for Building Muscles

Whether you’ve committed to running your first marathon, taking up a new sport, or just getting in better shape this year, these herbal teas will help you to build the muscles you need to do it.

Buddha teas from K Botanicals!

Flax Seed Tea

With several important nutrients, flax seed tea is an easy choice for muscle growth. Especially important is its natural content of omega 3, which studies suggest can help make muscles strong. Flax seed also counters inflammation, which may help muscles to heal and repair more quickly.

Turmeric Ginger Tea

The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of this tea protect developing muscles and may help to reduce soreness and swelling. When working to build muscle mass, these effects can be helpful indeed.

Fenugreek Seed Tea

Like flax seed, fenugreek seeds are full of a variety of nutrients that can help build up muscles. Choline, niacin, potassium, ascorbic acid are just a few of its nutrients, as are the amino acids tryptophan and 4-hydroxyisoleucine. (Try saying that one five times fast!)

Teas for Better Nutrition

Eating healthier is another common resolution, and a good idea for most of us. The modern diet is unfortunately lacking in many of the daily nutrients we need. While you’re stocking up on fruits and veggies, consider these herbal teas as well.

Buddha teas from K Botanicals!

Afalfa Leaf Tea

The amazing thing about the alfalfa plant is that its deep roots can extract minerals from the soil most plants can’t reach. Because of this, a cup of alfalfa leaf tea is a healthy and natural way to boost your daily nutrients. Calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium top its mineral offerings, and it offers vitamins like A, E, K, and the elusive vitamin D.

Corn Silk Tea

Vitamin B complex and calcium, potassium and zinc are just some of the nutrients you find in corn silk tea. This mild tea is very pleasant to drink, and is often used to promote healthy joints and bladder function.

Oat Straw Tea

In a cup of oat straw tea, you’ll find vitamins, minerals, fiber and more. This tea also contains omega 3 fatty acids, which make it great for promoting beautiful skin and hair.

Teas for Less Stress

If you look back on the past year and feel overwhelmed, you might make a resolution to avoid stress in the year to come. Whether it’s finding a new job, reevaluating relationships or starting a new hobby, decreasing your stress load will do wonders for your health and happiness. For the stress you just can’t avoid, these teas might be able to help.

Buddha teas from K Botanicals!

Lavender Tea

Lavender tea helps to alleviate your feelings of stress from the very first whiff of its relaxing aroma. With a smooth, floral taste, this is one tea you’ll happily sit back and savor.

Ashwagandha Tea

The root of this Indian herb makes a powerful tea for de-stressing. As an adaptogen, ashwagandha tea works to balance the body’s systems and limit the negative effects of stress. It may even help to decrease stress levels by blocking the release of stress hormones.

Kava Kava Root Tea

The peppery taste of this tea leaves a tingle on your tongue as it relaxes the body with its calming properties. Though its effects are not a sedative, kava kava’s antispasmodic properties release tension in the muscles, helping you to feel calm and comfortable.

Skullcap Tea

This tea does have mild sedative properties – not strong enough to make you sleep, but enough to help you to relax. It’s an excellent choice for cooling down after a long, hard day, and can help you to deal with the physical, mental and emotional burdens of stress.

Calm Buddha Blend

This soothing floral blend counters the negative impact of stress with these stress-reducing herbs. Enjoy the relaxing effects of chamomile, kava kava, passion flower, lavender, spearmint, skullcap and St. John’s wort in every restorative sip.

Teas for Sleep

If you’ve been known to pull all-nighters on a weekly basis, your dream for the new year might be, well, more dreaming. The herbal teas can help you to reset your internal clock while you practice setting a new curfew.Buddha teas from K Botanicals!

Chamomile Flower Tea

Bedtime comes easier with a warm cup of chamomile tea. Everything from its fresh, fruity taste and soothing warmth to its antispasmodic and sedative properties makes this a delightful tea for lulling yourself to sleep.

Jasmine Flower Tea

Don’t confuse this with jasmine tea, a green tea blended with jasmine. This fragrant floral tea is 100% jasmine blossoms, giving a soothing aroma that will help you to instantly banish the day’s trouble and drift off to slumber.

Valerian Root Tea

Valerian root tea has been compared to melatonin for its potent natural sedative effects. Research hasn’t yet determined how it works, but for many people, this tea is a one-way ticket to dreamland.

Sleepy Temple Blend

Chamomile, jasmine, lavender and skullcap blend with spearmint and a touch of licorice for a truly soothing blend. Let this tea lead you off to a refreshing, restful sleep with every sip.

Teas to Quit Smoking

Many people want to decrease the amount of cigarettes they smoke, or even quit completely, and New Year’s Day is an ideal time to make a commitment. These herbal teas alone won’t make you stop smoking, but their positive effects may help to reduce cravings and deal with some of smoking’s damaging effects.

Buddha teas from K Botanicals!

Horsetail Tea

The horsetail plant contains small amounts of nicotine. While not enough to affect most people, it may be helpful in alleviating cravings for those trying to quit, and might help to replace one habit with a healthier one.

Hyssop Tea

The respiratory benefits of hyssop tea help to protect and aid the healing of the lungs, especially helpful for those who smoke cigarettes. Hyssop also alleviates stress, and may help to relax and ease some withdrawal symptoms.

Passion Flower Tea

This herbal tea helps to calm the nerves and relax feelings of stress, an important benefit for smokers. Although studies have not been conducted, some anecdotal evidence suggests it may reduce nicotine cravings.

Plantain Leaf Tea

Clinical trials on plantain leaf have indicated that this plant may create an aversion to cigarettes. Not only that, but its expectorant properties help to soothe the lungs, making this an exceptional tea for would-be quitters.

Teas to Quit Drinking

Reducing your alcohol intake is another common resolution, but it can be a hard one to achieve. Along with will power and a good support system, these herbal teas may help to give you the edge to see this one through this year.

Buddha teas from K Botanicals!

Milk Thistle Tea

The liver cleansing power of milk thistle tea makes it a favorite of detox routines. It’s hardly surprising, then, that it can help the body to eliminate the alcoholic toxins, and may ease withdrawal symptoms. Milk thistle may also promote healing of the liver in cases of mild liver disorders.

St. John’s Wort Tea

This herbal tea is most frequently used to promote a positive mood, thus countering the depressive effects of alcohol. Recent evidence suggests that its chief constituent, hyperforin, can actually curb the desire for alcohol and thus reduce alcohol consumption. St. John’s wort is known to interact with certain medications like blood thinners and antidepressants, so consult with a doctor before you give this one a try.

Passion Flower Tea

As it helps with cigarettes, passion flower tea can also help to reduce alcohol consumption by promoting relaxation and easing feelings of stress. It may also soften some withdrawal symptoms.

Goldenseal Tea

This herbal tea works in a unique way. Studies have shown that goldenseal can kill the Candida bacteria, which is believed to be connected to alcohol sugar cravings. Its bitter taste actually enhances this effect and may even act as an alcohol deterrent.

Take all of these facts into consideration and try some  Buddha brand tea today from K Botanicals!