happy skin, happy spring!

Spring is in full swing, and we have been enjoying the bounty! As an herbalist, I am busy in my garden and kitchen, harvesting, nurturing, and creating. In Chinese medicine, one of our ancient texts, the Nei Jing says this about summertime “luxuriant flowering, the time when the qi of heaven and earth mingle, when ten thousand things fruit and flower.”

The Nei Jing also tells us to get outside in the spring and enjoy the earth. The mother earth is certainly glorious in the spring, and we hope you are all getting outdoors, moving your qi, and finding ways to enjoy nature. At Benedictine Herbs this is the season we harvest fresh flowers and aromatic leaves for making our luxurious line of healing oils and salve. Our topical oils and salve are just what people need to sooth and prevent the common injuries we all get in the summertime, such as bug bites, sun, sand and salt skin irritation, bonks and bruises, strains and pain, and more. This blog is about all the topical herbal oils and salve we make, and how to use them.

Benedictine Herbs use only the highest quality carrier oils, and beeswax. They are pure, un-deodorized, cold pressed, unrefined, and unadulterated, making all of our topical oils and salves fragrant, earthy, and of the highest quality. We harvest many of our own homegrown herbs fresh for highest potency and aroma. Martha Benedict had this to say about her line of healing oils and salve:

“When a patient has an injury or is postoperative, I usually suggest they experiment with several herbal topicals in addition to herbs used internally. One or two for pain and inflammation and another to speed cellular repair and decrease the likelihood of scar tissue and adhesions all can work together at different stages of the healing process or in a rotation to bring greater comfort and a more rapid rate of healing.”

In the traditions of our founder, we continue her herbal legacy.

Arnica Oil Plus is Arnica and far more! Arnica is an herb renowned for its traditional uses in acute inflammation, sports injuries, bruising, sprains, strains, dislocations, arthritic joints, and rheumatic conditions. Our formulation also includes Willow, Poplar and Meadowsweet, San qi, Gugul, Boswellia, and Erythrina for their traditional analgesic, or pain relieving effects. We add Comfey for its traditional bone healing effects, Passion Flower, Rosemary and Lavender to calm shock and trauma. In traditional Asian medicine we would say this formula moves qi and blood and is our version of a Ti Ta Jiao, or hit and fall liniment. Several of the herbal ingredients in our Arnica Oil Plus come directly from our Benedictine garden, making it an “earth potent” and divine healing oil.

Anti-Fungal Oil was formulated for fungus related skin and nail issues, including athlete’s foot. This formula combines traditional Asian herbs and western herbs, essential oils, and minerals. The traditional Asian herbs clear damp-heat and wind from the skin- or in other words are used for symptoms such as itching, which may move around a location, and rashes that may burn or ooze. The Western herbs and essential oils have traditionally been used as an anti-fungal agent, to relieve itching and burning. We receive a lot of positive feedback and testimonials from customers about this product’s effectiveness!

Boo Boo Juice is an all purpose first aid oil. All of the herbs in this formula are freshly harvested from our garden. Martha raised her children applying this oil to their minor skin wounds, sunburns, itchy skin, dry skin, bumps, bites, ulcerations, wind chapped skin, scrapes, scratches, abrasions and bruises. She called it “first aid in a bottle”, and we sure find it useful to always have on hand!

Bug Bane is a non-insecticide based bug repellent. This is such an important time to keep yourself and your family safe from bugs which can be vectors for serious and deadly diseases. Mosquito and tick borne diseases are on the rise, and are not always easy to treat. It is highly advisable to prevent contact with the vector of these diseases through bug repellent. However, chemical insecticides are also highly toxic and so we made an effective, natural, and safe alternative, Bug Bane! It’s safe and gentle enough for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and young children.

Calendula Oil is one of the beautiful simples we make at Benedictine. It is simply calendula flowers, olive oil and vitamin E. Calendula is such a powerful healing oil on its own, Martha saw no need to add anything to it. Here’s what Martha had to say about Calendula.

“Personally, I am indebted to this particular plant for being the first that opened my eyes to the world of healing plants. I was studying at the World Health Organization library in Geneva, Switzerland in the 60’s when I read a report about gangrene on the battlefield in World War 2. The article indicated that American GIs still died in large numbers when medics administered a drug discovered in the 1930’s by the British scientist, Sir Alexander Flemming, called penicillin. However, the French doctors did not lose one soldier, according to World Health Organization statistics, to gangrene on the battlefield using a tincture of Calendula. Our medical students weren’t taught about calendula at Stanford Medical School. Trying to find out why not introduced me to the politics of plants and the rest is my history.”

Healing Salve is our all purpose first aid in a bottle. All of the ingredients are harvested fresh from our garden, and it is a labor of love. We love bringing the world this salve made just how Martha formulated it in her garden and kitchen. Salve travels well and is essential for any natural home first aid kit.

Lymph Oil was formulated to stimulate lymphatic drainage and circulation. This formula in traditional Asian medicine clears toxic heat, and clears water overflowing which can create symptoms such as sore throat or edema. It can be rubbed on necks, behind ears, and over throats for earaches, sore throats, and lymphatic congestion, and it can be applied to ankles and knees for fluid retention. Additionally it can be used in pelvic infections, cysts and lumps. This oil is made with Poke Root and is contraindicated in pregnancy, and breastfeeding.

Moxa Oil is a warming massage oil, formulated to stimulate the circulation, alleviate pain and warm deeply. The queen ingredient is moxa, also known as Ai ye or Mugwort. In traditional Asian medicine moxa is often burned to warm a patient. Moxa Oil is a wonderful substitute for burning moxa, for patients who cannot tolerate smoke inhalation, and for places which may not permit the use of burning herbs. Moxa is paired with Fu zi, or Aconite, for deep penetration of warmth to the bone level which burning moxa can accomplish. This formula is powerful, and is not suitable for pregnant women, or breastfeeding mothers.

Yoni Oil is our pride and joy oil. This is a beautiful formulation Martha formulated for post and perimenopausal women, as well as women who have had hysterectomies. It is not recommended for women with fibroids.

I hope your enjoying the fruits of your labors, readers. Happy spring everyone!

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