Spray a hydrosol mist on your face just before applying one of the oils. The water and oil will emulsify as you massage them into your skin, creating a “cream” that is better at hydrating than oil alone. I promise that your glow will surprise you.
I grew up in the largest community of Hungarians outside of Budapest, fairly immersed in the culture of my Magyar ancestors. While the food and customs were a prominent thread in my everyday life the folk medicine traditions were not.... though once I began researching I learned that linden trees, like the ones I used to climb in my grandparents' backyard, are a treasured medicine. And the anise-y unicum and sharp palinka brandy that we drank at the end of my grandfather's toasts every holiday are both digestives when sipped.
There was the ever-present chamomile tea in the cupboard, not to mention the traditional herbs I was taught to flavor with, not knowing their medicinal origins: caraway, dill, parsley root, sorrel, garlic, horseradish... I learned that my great grandfather would drink hot, sweet red wine and bundle up in blankets to sweat out his colds and my great grandmother would make herbal teas for the colicky babies in the family. It feels really good to make and use the medicines that my family have been making and using for at least the past several hundred years, to work with my hands to make the same cherry or elderberry syrup, to pack the same crock my grandmother used for kraut (which, yes, is absolutely medicinal). There's the medicine of the plants and the medicine of moving through the same practices of my ancestors and I have been thinking so much about that.
pictured: me, Mama, Nagymama, Dédi
My dreams have lately been full of my family's history. At night I move fluidly in and out of the rooms and hallways of memory-- mine and my parents' and my grandparents' all together in the same architecture. It feels so different from how and what I normally dream.
I'm a child playing with my brother, surrounded by adults talking, drinking, laughing, fussing over a pig roasting on a spit. When I walk inside the house I see my dad as a teenager clowning around for my mom's attention at the Hungarian Ball and I smile, excited for them. I turn and there's my great grandmother in Hungary sewing animals for grandchildren she knows largely through pictures and letters, love and longing saturating every stitch. Behind me Maxwell asks for the giraffe his nagymama's nagymama made and I hand it to him in bed, telling him how special it is. I crouch down and I'm beside my 8 year old grandmother in a ditch while American planes blow up a nearby train, feeling fear I have not known in my waking life. I stand up and will myself to walk down the hall of that hospital in Budapest, something like dread but worse quietly rising as I get closer to the ICU. When I nod to the ICU guard and am let through the door I see myself standing at an overlook with my parents in our backyard. I'm home from college and we're watching deer gather below in the river at dusk. "It's Deer Thirty," my dad says, taking a swig and smiling.
Hydrosols are now in the shop, available to preorder!
They are your post shower body spray, a pre-meditation spritz, a facial toner, a fresh cooling mist on a hot day, an inflammation soother, a face wash (on its own or mixed with the face wash powder), an emulsified cream when mixed in your hands with a body oil, an aromatherapy pick-me-up or calm-me-down. Just follow the link in bio to learn more.
photo by @stefstreb
I’m sourcing more of the herbs I use from my garden or local sources and am slowly phasing out many (though not all) of the products that use plants grown far away or don't overall fit with my vision anymore. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Distilling hydrosols is a perfect way to align my values with my practice. To make this potent medicine it's best to harvest a few minutes before the distillation starts. Time and place are relevant when making a hydrosol in a way that's not so with the other products I make.
I just made the last (admittedly enormous) batches of salves and balms. Once these are gone I will no longer offer them except perhaps during some workshops. The last of the salt scrubs are sitting on the shelf too. I'm ready to retire all of these to make room for new, and better, things.
Would you want to buy one of the hydrosols @columbus_flea if I’m am able to make labels this week? I’m planning on only offering about a dozen or so bottles of each kind in a season. And then that’s it until next year for these ephemeral body sprays / toners / meditation spritzes.
Thank you to the friend who last spring simply asked what I was working on next for Wild Origins. Right then it had been months since I'd meditated on anything other than healing and I hadn't thought much at all about what was next with my work. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Once home I wrote and wrote about sustainability, bioregional medicine, plant magick, and emotional healing. Everything that came up easily wove in the distillation of hydrosols. I'd been enamored since I attended an ethereal distillation workshop last year but until I was asked what was next I hadn't realized that this was obviously it, intersecting so beautifully with all of my current curiosities.
I found my beautiful still, handcrafted in Portugal, and started playing. It's still a bit of a mystery, unlike all the other medicines I've read lots about before, during, and after making. I have dozens of books on herbal medicine and only a few even mention hydrosols. It feels very much like lightly trodden ground, at least in our culture, and I'm so excited to start sharing.
If you want to glow all day... 1. Massage your skin with herbal oil or body butter. 2. Take a shower and continue the massage. 3. Pat dry.
The oil and water emulsify from the pressure of your hands, essentially creating a cream that is better at hydrating and plumping your skin than oil alone. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
snapped by @stefstreb
The hydrosols I've been working on are not made of essential oils added to or diluted in water. They are not herbal teas. They are not an essential oil byproduct. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Distilling plants I harvested minutes before creates a potent medicinal water with a delicate scent. It looks like tea but it's more like an essential oil in its behavior.
I use the hydrosols in a lot of ways through out my day... at the start of a meditation, as face wash (on its own or mixed with the face wash powder), on my pillow before sleep, as toner, mixed with oil in my hands to make an emulsified cream, as a cooling mist on a hot day, as a compress, to soothe inflammation... Please tell me how you use hydrosols. I'm getting deep into my love affair with this medicine and want to know more.
With fire and water and lots of time I gently coax the most incredible medicine I've worked with out of the plants. The slow, patient heat creates steam that travels through the leaf-packed column, picking up the water soluble components, water from within the plant's cells, and tiny amount of essential oils. When the steam cools in the condenser coil it becomes liquid again, but vibrant, and alive.
The distillations I've been making with my copper alembic have been pure, potent, live medicine. It's hard to describe with words. It's something that needs to be tasted, smelled, felt. But on Instagram it just looks like tap water.
I grew up next to a river but it was only in the last 8 years that I noticed who was living on its banks. Mullein, jewelweed, blackberry, willow, rose, clover, bee balm are some of the medicinals I played alongside without seeing. When I took the copper Alembic out of its box last month I knew that one of the first hydrosols I’d distill would be the the mugwort that lines the path to that river. Mugwort has lately been a special ally to me, helping me release the tension of sorrow that can build, helping me to fall asleep and dream sweetly. It’s a magical herb, alright. But to distill it, capturing its pure, complex essence reveals its magic in new ways. It’s like everything else just falls away with one spray of this hydrosol with its clear, intoxicating scent. This is medicine. Such medicine.
I love orienting myself in real time by watching what's stretching, blooming, swelling, just ready to harvest in the garden. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
First it was nettles and chives. Then so many strawberries followed by elder flowers, gooseberries, currants, yarrow, red clover. Now I'm awash in blueberries and heaps of sage, mugwort, lemon balm, tulsi, and peppermint. I'm catching the leafy herbs just before they flower and the flowers before they brown.
The waxing and waning of plants over a season is reassuring in its familiarity. Plant garlic at Thanksgiving. Harvest it at the 4th of July. When the chives come up I know to expect strawberries soon. When the greens can no longer withstand the heat it's not too long before the tiniest cherry tomatoes will be ready. What a pleasure to be learning from and living in my garden after having spent so much of my adulthood cloistered in an NYC apartment.
Painful periods indicate hormonal imbalance. PMS indicates imbalance. Brown blood at any point in a cycle indicates imbalance. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Today in my stories I’m taking requests for information on herbs and practices to help in maidenhood + motherhood. It’s what I did my research on during the second year of my apprenticeship and I’ve seen so many dramatic shifts using a few herbs. Send me a question or topic through my stories if you have something specific you’d like me to focus on 💚
(I’ll likely save the info in a highlight tomorrow if you missed the live stories)
I wanted everyone to feel the openness of heart I experienced after attending Spirit Weavers so I put together a code... all orders over $50 will receive a free AWAKENING OIL + shipping through 7/10 with the code AWAKENING. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Awakening Oil will help your heart and mind open. It's suggested for use before meditation, big conversations, loving on yourself or another person, or working on a creative project.
Beautiful photo by @stefstreb
I’m sending out my newsletter in a couple days. The link to sign up is in my bio if you’re interested in learning what I’m thinking about, working on, listening to, and reading right now. I also include a code for free Awakening Oil for orders over $30. (There will be a code on Instagram too but it’ll be for orders over $50.)
What are you currently working on/ listening to/ reading? Photo by @stefstreb
I just remembered I set up a few jars of gorgeous medicine to solar-infuse while I’m out of town. Decanting the jars to smell and feel and see the end result holds the same anticipation as opening a waited for gift. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Pic by @angelafortinstudio
Just finished an incredible week @spiritweavers filled to the brim with kitchen seva work, healing ceremonies, and workshops on ancestral ways. Now I’m on the Oregon coast with family reveling in the chilly, beautiful beaches and the aromatic rainforests, dreaming new medicines up for Wild Origins. This trip has been everything I needed and more. ✨✨
Orders placed now may not go out until 6/28. That's when I'll be back from Oregon after spending a week in the woods with @spiritweavers and a week on the coast with family for some emotional recovery.
I've been writing a lot in my journal about pleasure since we lost the baby, specifically about not putting it off. It's been shifting a lot for me actually-- how I dress, the choices I make around travel (and my thoughts about whether or not I can afford it and how to get around not being able to afford it), how I react when I'm frustrated with my partner, the music I listen to, the amount of time I'm spending in movement or outside, how much time I spend in front of my computer for this work instead of tending to the plants, and my plans for what I want to offer next through Wild Origins. I'm slowly, steadily feeling restored.
portrait by @angelafortinstudio
The rose + mugwort oil relieves tension, opens a heavy heart, and helps us to slip into dream states. It's my favorite to massage into my shoulders and across my chest at night.
photo by @stefstreb
I'm really loving my Leonorus cardiaca (motherwort) this year and the healing it's bringing me. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
The latin binomial and the common name are clues as to how it supports the body. LEONORUS just means that the flowering top looks like a lion's tail but CARDIACA = heart. This plant is relaxing, great at relieving a racing heart or heart palpitations. It helps with anxiety, especially post partum anxiety or depression. Once I recognized and accepted that I am post partum and need to take care of myself with that in mind this was the first plant I gathered. MOTHERWORT is an apt common name as it also helps with other reproductive imbalances like cramping during a period.
Motherwort is great at helping a cycle start when it feels stalled. This is something that I regularly experience when I’m out of balance— it’s a full-force hormonal, bloaty, crampy feeling of my period about to start, an uncomfortable premenstrual state that can last for days. When I’m balanced I’ll just feel it for the hour before I start bleeding, if at all. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I’ve just been harvesting it one leaf at a time because it’s bringing bees to the garden and it’s kind of stunning. Mine is already taller than me.