Make a Winter Care Kit

4 Jan
During our December weekend in Hot Springs, NC, my friends and I had a little homemade gift exchange.  Everyone brought something they’d made and we randomly exchanged the gifts we’d nestled under the Solstice Tree.  I’m not exaggerating when I say these were the coolest gifts I’ve ever seen and I would have been thrilled to take home each and every one.  We had a brilliant photograph, a kick-ass woodcut, a beautiful gold macaroni frame, a handsome scarf, an herbal winter care kit, delicious jams and chutneys and the gift I received, these adorable napkins made by my dear friend Amy.  I can’t tell you how smitten I am with these little buddies.

For my part, I gave the aforementioned winter care kit, complete with eucalyptus bath salts, winter cough syrup, relaxation syrup with chamomile and lavender and a salve for dry skin, among other things.  Recipes below.
energizing bath salts
1 cup rock or epsom salt
5 drops each eucalyptus, peppermint and spearmint essential oils
pour salt in a bowl, add essential oils and stir for a few minutes until oil is well distributed.  Store in an airtight jar.
cough syrup
1 teaspoon wild cherry bark
1/2 teaspoon orange peel
1/2 teaspoon lemon balm
1 teaspoon honey or sugar
Boil 1 cup of water and add wild cherry bark, orange peel and lemon balm in a tea bag or tea ball (or strain after brewing).  Allow to steep for 5 minutes, add 1 teaspoon honey or sugar and stir until dissolved.  Store in an airtight container.
relaxation syrup
2 teaspoon lavender
2 teaspoon lemon balm
1 teaspoon chamomile
1 teaspoon honey or sugar
Boil 1 cup of water and add lavender, lemon balm and chamomile in a tea bag or tea ball (or strain after brewing).  Allow to steep for 5 minutes, add 1 teaspoon honey or sugar and stir until dissolved.  Store in an airtight container.

Salve for Dry Skin (also makes a nice lip balm)
1/2 cup olive or canola oil
1 teaspoon rosemary
10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
10 drops peppermint essential oil
Heat oil over low flame, add rosemary in a tea bag or tea ball (or strain after infusing) and essential oils and allow to infuse for 1-3 hours.  Add beeswax and stir until melted.  Pour into container or containers with sealable lid and allow to set before closing container.
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