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Read and learn at Lisa's Library of Writing. Discover the diverse writings ranging from free soap and bath & body recipes to fiction, figure skating, herbal hints, and helpful publishing advice. Explore an extensive array of links. This is the literary home of Lisa Maliga, owner of EverythingShea.com. Link to: http://www.lisamaliga.com

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SILK ROAD BATH OR MASSAGE OIL RECIPE

3 teaspoons [15 ml] grapeseed oil
2 drops each:
sandalwood essential oil
patchouli essential oil
orange essential oil
4-6 drops vanilla essential oil
Recipe yields one treatment at a time. You can increase as needed. Make sure you have a nice supply of soft, all cotton towels. And yes, some elbow grease and cleaning supplies so you can scrub the bathtub the next day! Happy Bathing!  


TANTALIZING TUBEROSEtuberose

Most flowers begin to lose their scent when they are picked. Not so with tuberose, like jasmine, the heady floral scent continues to produce itself. Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) is native to Central America. Aztec healers called it omixochitl (bone-flower) due to the waxy, luminous white flowers that actually contain anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. Tuberose may grow wild in Mexico and surrounding countries, but the cultivation of tuberose is usually in Morocco, the Comores Islands, France, Hawaii, South Africa, India, and China.

For the Gardener:
The tuberose grows in elongated spikes that produce clusters of aromatic white flowers. They can be grown outdoors in warm climates. Tuberoses flourish in sunny places and bloom in late summer. After the last frost, plant your tuberoses in a sunny spot, beneath a couple of inches of soil and almost a foot apart. Fertilize and water regularly.

If you pot and grow tuberose indoors, keep at a temperature of 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Potted bulbs take about four to five months to bloom.

Tuberose in Hawaii:
For millions of tourists who have been to Hawaii, the first scent to greet their nostrils has been that of the offered tuberose leis. The ancient tradition for a Hawaiian wedding is for the bride and groom to wear flowers. The groom wears a maile lei, which is a native Kauai plant, while the bride wears a wreath of tuberose and pikaki flowers around her head called a haku. The custom is still popular as a part of a time-honored Hawaiian wedding ceremony.

If you're interested in purchasing tuberose bulbs from Hawaii, contact Paradise Flowers. You can also order tuberose leis, bouquets, and hakus too!

The Healing Powers of Tuberose:
The legend of the tuberose in France warns that young girls should not breathe in its fragrance after dark for fear that it would put them in a romantic mood. In India, tuberose is known as rat ki rani, (The Mistress of the Night) for similar reasons. In Ayurvedic medicine, attars are held in high esteem not only for their exquisite fragrance, but their healing properties. Tuberose is known to improve one's capacity for emotional depth. By opening the crown chakra it improves psychic powers. Tuberose also amplifies artistic inspiration as it stimulates the creative right side of the brain. And it brings serenity to the mind and heart. Maybe these reasons are why tuberose essential oil is so expensive!

More expensive than most rose attars, pure tuberose essential oil is difficult to find. "If you want to be precise, there is no ‘essential oil' of tuberose. The flowers won't stand up to the high temperature of water/steam distillation. Therefore a solvent, usually hexane, is used. Solvent extracted oils are absolutes. Some aromatherapists will not use them, as they believe there are traces of the solvent in the oil, even if only on a vibrational level. I disagree with this in general, and use absolutes quite often, however, it is case by case, as I often will choose to use only distilled oils in a blend." Trygve Harris, Enfleurage, New York City."But this is where phytol enters center stage…the product of the amazing Phytonics process, conceived and developed by Peter Wilde in England. Phytonics uses low pressure, involves no heat and uses a solvent which is recyclable; it produces an essential oil that requires no additional processing unlike other concretes and, remarkably, does not emit by-products that damage the endangered ozone layer." Eva-Marie Lind, Dean of the Aromatherapy Department of the Australasian College of Herbal Studies.

Make Your Own Tuberose E.O. Recipe
You can make your own tuberose perfume using other pure essential oils. This won't really save you that much money if you have to buy these essential oils, but if you have them on hand, then give it a try! To make this perfume for one application, remember to use a carrier oil such as sweet almond or jojoba. Add jasmine, rose and ylang ylang oil with just a hint of neroli oil. It will be a wonderful floral combination that will be a sincere imitation for tuberose.

Where to Buy Tuberose Essential Oil:
Note: While the companies listed here sell tuberose oil that is as close to pure as can be found, please make sure that you don't buy products that are ‘bargains.' When double-checking references, I surfed upon a web site where tuberose essential oil was sold at $3.50 for ¼ ounce! This is impossibly cheap and makes mockery of the term essential which cannot possibly apply to this ‘tuberose' oil. When purchasing pure essential oils, you really do get what you pay for.
Enfleurage -- "Essential Oils That Are Out of This World.”
Materia Aromatica – Organic and wild-crafted essential oils.

GINGER FOR COLDS & FLUginger

This is the season when people generally suffer form colds and flu. Chinese medicine refers to this form of sickness as "invading cold" or "invading damp" which means that our system has been assailed by the cold weather. Whether in the form of: influenza, chills, coughs, or bronchitis, this is a condition that lasts far too long for anyone. Herbal help can be found as close to you as your spice rack or local grocery store. Spices are thought of as warm to hot, and ginger is strong enough to repel the assailant.

Good News About Ginger:
Whether fresh or ground, ginger is a marvelous spice as well as a delicious non-alcoholic beverage. Ginger used in baking livens up cookies, cakes and breads and naturally helps create that fabulous Christmas mainstay: the Gingerbread House.

1. Ginger contains a high level of enzymes that break down meat, similar to our own natural stomach enzymes. Ginger can be used as a meat tenderizer.
2. If you want to stimulate circulation in the intestines, then ginger is the herb you're looking for.
3. Want a natural antioxidant? Ginger's your herb.
4. Ginger helps balance your diet. Too many cooling foods, such as vegetables, need a counter balance. Ginger is known in all forms of Eastern medicine as a warming herb.
5. Ginger helps relieve motion sickness and nausea.
6. Ginger is used to help detoxify the body, especially aching muscles from colds and flu.
7. If you've exerted yourself too much, ginger relaxes tight muscles.

Types of Ginger:
Fresh ginger root is what you'll find the most beneficial in easing your colds and flu symptoms. One whiff of a fresh ginger root will have you starting onto your road to recovery. It's a distinctive scent, highly aromatic, and images of far off lands might come to mind. Once it's consumed, it radiates outwards, warming your body and clearing away your illness. Fresh ginger can be added to food or brewed into a tea.

Dried/powdered is the simplest way to take ginger. You can buy the capsules in health food stores. It's easy to find bulk ginger at Chinese grocery stores or via the Internet. When you purchase ready-made capsules, take as many as directed on the label.

Tea is found anywhere, but make sure you read the ingredients. You can find it mixed with other herbs or else listed so far down on the label that it'll be useless. Ginger should always be listed first for it to be effective. However, the following recipe is the best for cold/flu conditions.

RECIPES
Ginger Tea:
This should be made with a fresh root.
Grate a small piece of ginger [about the size of a nickel] into a mug. Add the juice of a ½ lemon. Fill the mug with boiling water. Stir in a teaspoon of organic honey.

Ginger Socks:
This will keep your feet warm and boost sluggish circulation.

You will need powdered cayenne pepper for this to be even more effective. Mix ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper with 1 teaspoon powdered ginger. Add the mixture to a pair of socks. If you are very cold and are not moving, this remedy won't be of much help. The more you move, whether you're walking around in your home or are outdoors really getting a workout, the better this is. A lot of movement will heat your feet too much so be careful! If you are really feeling unwell, you should still attempt to do some form of exercise, even if it's just wiggling your toes, so that the cayenne/ginger mixture has some kick to it!

Ginger Bath:
Bathing in fragrant ginger is a luxury as well as a recipe for getting better. Powdered ginger is the recommended form and it should be added slowly. Start with the addition of 1 tablespoon's worth of ginger. If that isn't enough, add another. Don't add too much. You will feel your heart rate increase and you'll begin to detoxify your symptoms soon after bathing in ginger. Drinking plenty of water is recommended.

Where To Buy Ginger:
You can find ginger at your supermarket or health food store.
Herb Products
Here you can make your own ginger capsules as they sell powdered or cut ginger and gelatin capsules in ‘O' and the standard ‘OO' size. They also sell ready-made ginger capsules [100] for $4.00.Note: Consult your physician before trying any of these remedies. Ginger is not recommended for infants.


VARIETIES OF CHINESE TEASteacup

Tea and China are two words that go extremely well together. For Americans it's probably the first Asian herb they have ever used. During the days of the Peoples Revolution in China, workers were paid mostly in rice as tea was considered an extravagance or a medicine. Nowadays, green tea is the most popular variety in China. China produces more green tea than any other country. There are many types of green tea, all of which share the characteristic of being light and refreshing. Although green tea is recognized as an antioxidant, and for possessing qualities that guard against cancer, further research in Australia and Japan reveal that all teas have similar qualities.

The Legend Of How Tea-Drinking Began:
Five thousand years ago, the Chinese Emperor, Shen Nung, accidentally discovered a new beverage. He believed, as did those who practiced Indian Ayurvedic medicine, that boiled water was the safest to drink. The Emperor was traveling in a distant region with his court and they were hot and thirsty, so stopped to rest and have boiled water. The servants prepared the water but dried leaves from a tea bush fell into the pot and were infused into the water. Shen Nung drank this new beverage and liked it so much that it soon became all the rage. And that was how tea was introduced into China.

How Teas Are Made:
Fermentation of tea leaves occurs as a process of oxidation immediately after gathering. The leaves are broken to expose the oil to air. The intensity of fermentation depends on the amount of time allowed for oxidation before the roasting process begins. Green teas typically undergo no fermentation. Lightly fermented teas such as some Oolongs may range from 10% to 50%.

Roasting is done in an oven after the desired level of oxidation is achieved. The amount of time the leaves are roasted categorizes them from light through heavy. The more roasted the leaves, the darker the tea will be. A combination of fermentation and roasting gives each type of tea the particular qualities for which it is named. For example, a typical Oolong tea is fermented to more than 50%, but only lightly roasted. This gives Oolong its distinguishing aroma of honey. A green tea with minimal fermentation and roasting will have a fragrance and flavor of just-picked flowers.

The Classifications of Chinese Teas

White Teas:
Naturally these are the lightest color teas and possess a very mild flavor. White teas are often sun dried and free of processing, as the leaves are usually just-picked. Their leaves are flat and silvery, as are those in Sow Mee, which translates as "Old Man's Eyebrows."

Green Teas:
This color of tea has been getting lots of praise over the past decade as being a cure for all manner of ailments ranging from mild to serious. A more bitter tea, the leaves are very curly and dark green. Green tea is excellent for one's digestive system and can increase energy. Many green teas take their names from the region in which they are grown, such as Jin Chu ["Sun-Poured"] from the southeastern area of China. Despite its name, Gunpowder is a green tea that contains only a small amount of caffeine. It is made from young leaves that are tightly rolled in order to maintain freshness.

Oolong teas:
They are made by semi-fermenting green tea leaves. Some of the best Oolong teas are cultivated on the steep mountain slopes. With tea trees growing almost 100 feet in height, trained monkeys can only pick tealeaves. Those teas are nick named " Monkey Teas."

Red Teas:
A Chinese red tea, Qimun, is valued for the compact size and shape of the dry tealeaves, and the resulting color: bright red. The tea is heavy bodied and strong. Red tea is fermented, thereby containing no more caffeine than green tea.

Black Teas:
There is some mix-up about the difference between black and red teas as the Chinese refer to them as "red" tea, which describes the color of the liquor they produce. Some of this is attributed to the fact that the leaves change color when brewed. Whether black or red, these are the most familiar to Western tea drinkers, and are often taken with the addition of milk and/or sugar. They also contain the highest amounts of caffeine.
Drinking tea will help lower your cholesterol and can be beneficial for those who are trying to lose excess weight. However, to determine the best type of tea for your needs, it is recommended that you consult with a licensed practitioner of Chinese medicine.

Where To Buy Chinese Teas:
Any Chinese grocery or herb store
Any tea shop
Wing Hop Fung ~ If you live in the Los Angeles area, pay a visit to this wonderful store located in Chinatown. You can select from a huge array of tea, in tea bag or bulk form. Their website is also comprehensive and worth investigating!

HERBAL HANGOVER CURES

oranges
The problem with drinking alcohol is that it dehydrates you. Dehydration is the main cause in any alcohol-related hangover. The aches and pains that throb throughout your system are trying to tell you in a very obvious way that what you did was really silly and now how are you going to fix the mistake? Most people take aspirin and sleep it off. But you can beat that hangover in a natural way and be feeling a lot better.
Whether you read this before or after your big New Year's celebration, hopefully you won't need any of these recipes. But if you or someone you know does, then here they are!

Herbal Fixit
The best herbal fixit you can drink is peppermint tea. Adding organic honey will also ease your headache and begin the process of re-hydration.

Citrus-C!
Replenish your lost vitamin C with a glass of fresh orange juice. Add 1 teaspoon lime juice and 1/8 teaspoon cumin powder. This will get you back in gear.

The Morning-After Blissful Bath
If you don't have the following ingredients, you can order them at: Herb Products or check any search engine with the words ‘essential oils' or ‘aromatherapy' and you'll find many sources where you can buy pure essential oils online.You'll need the following three essential oils: eucalyptus, peppermint and sandalwood.
Add about 5 drops of each essential oil to a very warm bath. Allow the various fragrances to drift over you and know that the peppermint is revitalizing, the sandalwood is soothing and the eucalyptus is clearing the toxins from your system. Resolve to celebrate next New Year's with a glass of unspiked eggnog or some sparkling apple cider.

New Year's Day Icy Blast
Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. At any rate, it's worth a try. All you need is a clean cotton towel, washcloth or bandana. Soak in cold water. Wrap around your forehead – or wherever the pain is the strongest. Don't wear this outside in cold weather! The coldness should help shrink away your headache.

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