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Why Use Shampoo Soap Bars?

In this article:

Introduction

Detergents Vs. Soaps

Hair Benefits

-Hair Growth

-Body & Texture

-Less Split-Ends

-More Moisture

-Colored Hair

-Less Products

Environmental Benefits

-No Plastic

-Less Water Transport

-Less Products

-Local & Natural Ingredients


Before the 20th Century, people used soap bars to wash themselves – including their hair. The Victorian women had beautiful, long, flowing locks of hair, even during old age.

A quick internet search of “Victorian hair” will give you hundreds of photographic examples of what women’s hair used to look like before the birth of industrial chemical haircare.

How did these women get such long, flowing locks of hair without all of the “innovative” modern haircare concoctions – which never seem to follow through with their grandiose claims?

It was soap they used to cleanse – pure, plain soap. Most of the time castile (olive oil) soap or lard (pig fat) soap was used to cleanse the body and hair. They also conditioned their hair with plain oils or animal fats.

There were articles in magazines and books written about how to properly wash one’s huge mane with a soap bar – recommended once per week. Most of the time it involved a hour or more of washing the hair section-by-section. Since modern plumbing was not available to most, it took women much longer to wash their incredibly long, thick hair compared to today.

If you are interested in learning about how to wash your hair with our shampoo soap bars, click here.

Now, this isn’t to say that soap was the only factor contributing to those waterfalls of hairy waves – these women were also forced to eat mostly local and in-season without modern-day conveniences. This means that a lot of meats and fats and other fresh seasonal foods were consumed, further nourishing their hair and scalp.

So don’t expect to be able to grow locks like your great-great-great grandmother simply from using soap. You haven’t lived like a Victorian for one reason, plus consider the common practice of using chemical detergents on one’s hair and skin from birth.


Detergents Vs. Soaps

Detergent Shampoos

Detergents are synthetically made surfactants that act like soap, but actually strip the hair and skin of everything good and kill the microbiome of your skin and hair. Often times waxes, silicones, sulfates, emulsifiers, esters, and other additives are thrown into the chemical cocktails to make them work like original soap… And your hair becomes dependent upon these chemicals instead of your natural microbiome.

Detergents also affect the sulfide bonds in your hair (whether or not they are “sulfate-free”), this weakens the sulfide bonds and causes your hair to go flat or lack body and curl. This causes you to need more haircare products to fix what the detergents broke.

We cover the process of detoxing from your hair’s addiction to drugstore shampoos, click here to learn more!

About 99% of you have been using detergents as shampoos all of your lives. Even if the shampoo was claimed to be “natural” or “organic”, just research ALL of the ingredients you couldn’t pronounce. Spoiler alert: “surfactants” are another word for detergents! We encourage you to challenge/ask us if you think what you have been using is truly not a surfactant or detergent.

It would take an additional article to list and define all of the surfactants and detergents companies use – literally hundreds of different chemicals are commonly used . They are often cleverly hidden in online listings or with additional natural-sounding names such as “cleanser derived from plants” or they are omitted completely from sight.

Don’t worry – it’s easy to become a conscious consumer with a computer at your fingertips 24/7. Type the confusing-sounding ingredients into your search engine and see what pops up. Or highlight the word on your device, tap and hold it, and select “web search” from the expanded pop up options.

Shampoo Soaps

On the same note, it’s quite easy to determine if a shampoo is truly natural or not – it needs to be 100% pure soap.

Saponified fats or “Sodium (fat or oil)-ate” are the common ingredients naming what soap is. Make sure no other surfactants or detergents are mixed in though!

Unfortunately liquid soap will never hold as much moisturization and nutrients as cold process soap bars do – for reasons of chemistry. Pure and true liquid soap does not and will never hold a candle to cold process soap bars in hair care for 3 main reasons:

  • Liquid soap is only stable if it has less than HALF the moisturizing superfats as cold process soap!
  • Liquid soapmaking requires many hours of high heat, destroying a lot of nutrients!
  • Liquid soap does not lather like bar soap, which makes hair-washing extremely difficult.

If you are interested in more details, read our Why We Don’t Make Liquid Soap article (coming soon).

So even if you don’t stick with our shampoo soap bars, try to stick with only natural soap bars – for your hair’s sake!

Hair Benefits

These are based on hundreds of real customer reports and reviews. You may take a look for yourself on our shampoo soap listing reviews and our testimonials.

Hair Growth

Customers report new hair growth as soon as 1 month of using shampoo soap bars exclusively and consistently.

Many customers report markedly faster hair growth after only a few months. We even receive “complaints” of customers needing to dye their roots more often!

Body & Texture

Customers report improvements in hair body and texture!

Because their hair had been stripped with detergents all of their life, they never knew how much natural body and texture their hair really had until they started using shampoo soap.

Detergents stifle many beautiful genetic expressions of hair that shampoo soaps allow to develop.

Less Split-Ends

Another plus to using shampoo soaps is not needing as many hair cuts due to lack of split ends!

Since shampoo soaps are so much more nourishing and moisturizing than detergents are, your hair’s integrity and strength is kept in tact for much longer. Which leads us to our next benefit…

More Moisture

upside down photo of a woman

Since shampoo soap doesn’t strip the hair like detergents, hair is much more moisturized and strengthened.

Soap provides literally hundreds of times the amount of nourishing fats, oils, and butters than detergents do.

We also include about 25% raw grassfed buttermilk in all of our shampoo soaps – nothing like the powdered milk or extracts in other shampoo soaps.

Colored Hair

Customers who use shampoo soap bars report longer times between full permanent dye treatments.

Customers with light blonde or grey hair also report less issues with brassy tones.

However, we don’t recommend using shampoo soap bars with semi-permanent dyes. Since shampoo soap needs more massaging during the lathering process, this can rub the semi-permanent dyes off of the hair shafts faster.

Less Products

We’re so happy to hear when a customer says they’ve eliminated most of the haircare products they used before.

Since detergents are the cause of so many cosmetic hair issues: lack of body, lack of definition, lack of texture, lack of color, etc. Many people find they don’t need as many care products as before.

This also reduces your exposure to more chemicals.


Environmental Benefits

No Plastic

This one is pretty obvious, but it can’t never be understated. The early 21st century is swimming in plastic: polluting our ecosystems at alarming rates and wrecking havoc upon our health. Using shampoo soaps is another way to eliminate plastic from your life and future generations – for good.

Less Transport

When you’re able to condense a oddly-shaped 12 oz plastic bottle of liquid shampoo into a 4 oz rectangular solid soap bar – the transportation implications are massive.

This ultimately results in reducing transportation waste by at least 2/3, maybe more if you purchase directly from the soapmaker. That means 2/3 less gas being used and 2/3 less trucks on the highways.

Then consider all of the other haircare products eliminated from being transported due to the hair benefits of shampoo soap!

Less Products

If you are consuming less haircare products due to the hair benefits of shampoo soap – you are cutting out a lot of waste.

From transportation wastes, to plastic waste, to the wastes of manufacturing and sourcing production – all of those are eliminated when you eliminate the unnecessary products.

Did you know the beauty-care industry is considered by some economic circles to be the top-grossing in the world? That’s a LOT of stuff being produced and consumed!

Local & Natural Ingredients

90%-100% of our ingredients are completely natural. 50%-100% of our ingredients are local. Many of our ingredients are certified organic.

All of these factors combined can make a gigantic environmental impact – imagine if everyone used locally produced body care!

You can read more about our ingredients here and more about lard vs. tallow here.

If you can think of any other benefits and reasons why to use shampoo soap bars, or if you have any questions or concerns – please let us know! We’re always happy to help.

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Shampoo Soap Detox For Beginners

In this article:

Introduction

Why The Detox Happens

If It’s Not Soap, It’s Not Natural!

What Happens During Detox?

-How Long Does It Last?

-But Why? Hair Chemistry

-Dandruff

-Frizz

-Tangles

-Waxiness

-Greasiness

-Dryness

-What Factors Determine This?

How to Help the Detox Period

“Are you telling me… that I may have to endure up to a week (OR MORE) of bad hair days in order to get the best hair of my life??” Yes… that’s exactly it! Keep on reading to make it make sense.

We’re delivering the dirty details of the often unavoidable detox period which plagues beginners… The detox period is necessary for 90% of beginners using shampoo soaps for the first time after using detergent shampoos their whole life.

If you are racking your brain trying to figure out why people even want to endure this hairy ordeal – take a look at our other article Why Use Shampoo Soap.


Why The Detox Happens

The detox period isn’t caused by shampoo soaps — it’s caused by the nasty detergents you’ve used as shampoos your entire life… That’s a lot to detox from! If you used shampoo soaps from birth, you wouldn’t have to detox!

If you have nightmares about bad hair days, then the detox period will sound terrifying – and rightfully so. BUT we’re here to shatter all of your dreams of having the best hair of your life without any work on your part. There is always a price to pay for things that are worth it – usually the price is something you needed to pay anyway! It stinks, but it’s the truth.

And remember, good things come to those who wait… … Are you still here? The virtue of patience is uncommon these days and it’s only getting worse in this microwaved, instant gratification generation. Let’s help reverse that impatient attitude through amazing haircare that will blow. your. mind!


You will (most likely) have unattractive hair that feels “greasy, coarse, waxy, sticky, gummy, heavy, limp, and downright disgusting” during the start of using any natural shampoo soap if you have used detergent shampoos all of your life – and 99% of you probably have!!

Trust us – about 99% of you have been using nasty detergents as shampoos all of your lives. Even if the shampoo was claimed to be “natural” or “organic”, just research ALL of the ingredients you couldn’t pronounce. Spoiler alert: “surfactants” are another word for detergents! We encourage you to challenge/ask us if you think what you have been using is truly not a surfactant or detergent.

It would take an additional article to list and define all of the surfactants and detergents companies use – literally hundreds of different chemicals are commonly used . They are often cleverly hidden in online listings or with additional natural-sounding names such as “cleanser derived from plants” or they are omitted completely from sight.

Don’t worry – it’s easy to become a conscious consumer with a computer in your back pocket 24/7. Type the confusing-sounding ingredients into your search engine and see what pops up. Or highlight the word on your device, tap and hold it, and select “web search” from the expanded pop up options.


If It’s Not Soap, It’s Not Natural!

On the same note, it’s quite easy to determine if a shampoo is truly natural or not – it needs to be 100% pure soap. Saponified fats or “Sodium (fat or oil)-ate” are the common ingredients naming what soap is. Make sure no other surfactants or detergents are mixed in though!

Unfortunately liquid soap will never hold as much moisturization and nutrients as cold process soap bars do – for reasons of chemistry. Pure and true liquid soap does not and will never hold a candle to cold process soap bars in hair care for 3 main reasons: #1. Liquid soap is only stable if it has less than HALF the moisturizing superfats as cold process soap! #2. Liquid soapmaking requires many hours of high heat, destroying a lot of nutrients! #3. True liquid soap does not lather like bar soap. If you are interested in more details, read our Why We Don’t Make Liquid Soap article (coming soon).

So even if you don’t stick with our shampoo soap bars, try to stick with only natural soap bars – for your hair’s sake!


What Happens During Detox?

Over 90% of people using shampoo soaps for the first time will go through a detox period due to using detergents their whole life.

During the detox period, the hair may feel “unattractive, greasy, waxy, sticky, heavy, limp, and downright disgusting”, using some choice words from our customers… But don’t fret, when they stuck it out, it ended up being the best decision they ever made for their hair.

The reasons for why this happens are many and complicated – because detergents affect hair in ways we don’t see until we get rid of them and start using the good stuff.

Switching from detergents to real soap requires a total overhaul in how your hair has been cleansed your entire life. From differences in pH, chemistry, and changes in washing technique – your hair will go through a transformation for the better. Just think of it as the cocoon effect, out pops a beautiful butterfly in the end!

How long does the detox period last?

This transition period, which can range from a few days to a few weeks or even a month, is literally a time for your hair, which has been addicted to chemical-laden shampoos, to go through withdrawal, and learn to live a chemical-free life. It’s not easy! Your hair has literally become dependent upon the drugstore formulas, which isn’t a good thing.

Since everyone’s hair is unique, it is impossible to tell you exactly how long your transition will be, if any, or how intense it will be, or how many stages it will go through. Sometimes the “weird feelings” take several weeks to pass due to the detox, transition, and adjustments to your washing technique. Sometimes people don’t go through hardly any detox symptoms at all (in rare cases).

More on this below…

But, why? We can deduce what might be going on from what we already know about hair chemistry.

Our natural shampoo bars do not strip the hairs or coat them with waxes, silicones, esters, emulsifiers, or other additives to make it feel smooth like detergent-based shampoos do. Therefore, you may notice your hair feels different immediately after washing because your hair is accustomed to the chemically clean feel of detergent-based shampoo.

Switching from conventional shampoo to a natural shampoo soap most likely means a transition or adjustment period. While some folks have only minor problems with their hair adjusting to a new routine, many struggle during this period.

Like your gut and your skin, your scalp has a microbiome that has developed over the years. While it may not be the best microbiome for healthy hair, it is the only one your scalp knows. As you transition to a completely new product, your microbiome will change. 

Since everyone’s hair is unique, it is difficult to tell you exactly what your transition, if any, will look and feel like. Your hair may feel greasier than normal or it may even feel drier than normal. It may feel waxy, coated or just plain weird.

When you first begin, your hair or scalp may become oily or dry or even switch between the two extremes. You may have increased tangles or frizz and the hair shafts may feel weird or waxy. Let’s go into more detail!

The pH Factor

In chemistry, pH (historically denoting “potential of hydrogen” or “power of hydrogen”) is a scale used to specify the acidity or basicity of an aqueous solution. Acidic solutions (solutions with higher concentrations of H+ ions) are measured to have lower pH values than basic or alkaline solutions.

Detergent shampoos have a much more acidic pH than soap – similar to the skin’s acid mantle – yet they disrupt the skin and scalp’s acid mantle by stripping the hair and skin with harsh surfactants. This defeats the claim of “pH balanced” cleansers.

Natural soap has a more alkaline pH of 8 or 9 – similar to that of sea water. Soap will not disrupt the skin and scalp’s acid mantle after the wash since the skin and scalp regulate their mantles minutes after being exposed to substances above their 5.5pH – like if they are exposed to water which is found to be anywhere between 5.5-9pH.

Soap actually helps protect the acid mantle better than detergents because it helps to moisturize and gently cleanse the skin and scalp rather than stripping them with harsh chemicals.

A baking soda water pre-rinse and apple cider vinegar water after-rinse can help this factor during the detox period. More tips on improving the detox period are listed near the bottom of this page.

This factor is important to consider in many of the detox symptoms listed below.

Dandruff

Detergent shampoos, which your hair is used to, strip the hairs and also coats the hair (and scalp) with waxes, silicones, emulsifiers, esters, and the like. Your scalp is adjusting to a new life without these!

Your hair is adjusting to a completely new microbiome and moisturization balance – TRUE moisturization with real fats and natural saponins. Allow it to regain its balance and over time you will have a clear scalp.

Now although your hair feels nice and soft while using detergents, your scalp is actually dry and will produce excess sebum (natural oil) to compensate. Your scalp then becomes conditioned to this vicious cycle of excess oil production. This is why people often have to wash much more often with detergents versus much less often with shampoo soap.

Like your gut and your skin, your scalp has a microbiome that has developed over the years. While it may not be the best microbiome for healthy hair, it is the only one your scalp knows. As you transition to a completely new product, your microbiome will change. This can cause scalp dryness and dandruff for some as it attempts to adjust to new levels of sebum production.

Our shampoo soaps are also made with buttermilk, which is high in an alpha-hydroxy acid called lactic acid – considered very anti-aging due to its ability to overturn skin cells, helping you retain a more youthful appearance. Your scalp may shed old, dead cells considerably faster during your first few uses while it adjusts to the new shampoo formula. In the end, your scalp and hair will definitely thank you!

The “pH Factor” described above also plays a part in the dandruff detox symptom.

Frizz

Your hair is used to the detergent shampoos and the way they coat the hair with waxes, silicones, emulsifiers, esters, and the like – helping to weigh it down, making it look smooth.

Your hair is adjusting to a new life without these and feels lighter than ever! Allow it to get tame again (it’s like fuzzy baby hair) and over time you will have more manageable hair.

The “pH Factor” described above also plays a part in the frizz detox symptom.

Tangles

Similar to what is described above with the frizz factor, tangles are caused by a lot of the same adjustments.

Detergent shampoos, which your hair is used to, strips the hair shaft and then coats them with waxes, silicones, emulsifiers, esters, and the like, which helps to coat and straighten the hair unnaturally.

Detergents also weaken the sulfide bonds in the hair (even in sulfate-free shampoos) – causing hair shafts to be as flat and straight as physically possible – suppressing your hair’s natural body and texture.

Your hair is breaking loose to a new life without these and feels freer than ever! Allow it to adjust to its natural texture and over time you will have more manageable hair.

Since the hair shafts are lifted and exposed like never before due to the lack of these chemicals (like shingles on a roof in high winds), it may be less manageable after the washing process until it adjusts to the new cleanse.

The “pH Factor” described above also plays a part in the tangle detox symptom.

We highly recommend using one of our conditioners if this is a major problem for you.

Waxiness

Again, this is still similar to what is described above.

Detergent shampoos, which your hair is used to, strips the hair shaft and then coats them with waxes, silicones, emulsifiers, esters, and the like, which helps to coat the hair after the intense chemical cleanse.

Your hair is adjusting to a life without the chemical cleanse and waxes/silicones – possibly exposing the hair shaft in ways it might not be used to since it relied on the detergents to tame and coat it.

Since the hair shafts are lifted and exposed (like shingles on a roof in high winds), it may be holding onto any soap residue left behind during the washing process until it adjusts to the new cleanse.

It is also really important to make sure you are getting a good wash and following our shampoo soap directions.

If you are still applying the same amount of conditioner, that could also be contributing to a “waxy” feeling because natural shampoo soaps are so much more nourishing and moisturizing than detergents. Your hair may get weighed down with that same conditioner application method now. Try going without conditioner for a wash and see how you feel and where your hair really needs it and where it does not!

Greasiness

Detergent shampoos, which your hair is used to, strips the hair shaft. Your hair is adjusting to a completely new microbiome and moisturization balance – TRUE moisturization with real fats and natural saponins.

Like your gut and your skin, your scalp has a microbiome that has developed over the years. While it may not be the best microbiome for healthy hair, it is the only one your scalp knows. As you transition to a completely new product, your microbiome will change. 

Now although your hair feels nice and soft while using detergents, your scalp is actually dry and will produce excess sebum (natural oil) to compensate. Your scalp then becomes conditioned to this vicious cycle of excess oil production. This is why people often have to wash much more often with detergents versus much less often with shampoo soap.

As you transition to a gentle natural shampoo bar, your scalp needs time to rebalance scalp oil production. During this transition period, which varies by person and hair type, hair may feel extra greasy or heavy. 

It will take some time for your hair to adjust, but once it does you will have soft, light, and flowing locks!

It is also really important to make sure you are getting a good wash and following our shampoo soap directions.

If you are still applying the same amount of conditioner, that could also be contributing to a “waxy” feeling because natural shampoo soaps are so much more nourishing and moisturizing than detergents. Your hair may get weighed down with that same conditioner application method now. Try going without conditioner for a wash and see how you feel and where your hair really needs it and where it does not!

Dryness

Similar to what is described above, your hair and scalp is used to the detergents stripping away everything with deep-reaching chemicals and then coating the hair and scalp with waxes, silicones, esters, emulsifiers, and the like.

The great thing is that your body is extremely adaptable and will adjust to the new, more gentle cleansing environment that soap provides – it just needs time and patience and regular washes with the new soap formula.

Some people confuse dryness and flakiness or dandruff – described above.

The “pH Factor” described above also plays a part in the dry detox symptom.

What Factors May Determine Detox Intensity?

It really depends on how damaged your hair is, how many chemicals you have used on your hair, how much previous product residue and build-up is present, your genetics, your water, and especially the technique that you use. Click here to learn how to wash your hair with shampoo soap bars.

We have been making and using natural shampoo bars for over 10 years and have received so many questions…

It may take some patience, but if you can persevere, your reward will be healthy, soft, and silky hair!

Can I Quicken or Soften The Detox Period?

You can potentially mitigate or reduce the symptoms of hair detox after quitting detergents. Although not necessary, it may help. Here are some all-natural tips!

  • A baking soda water pre-rinse
    • Grab a pinch of baking soda and throw it into a quart of warm water. Stir until dissolved, and then apply to your hair for a pre-wash rinse. This prepares the hair by softening the water, raising pH, and helps pull out those chemicals.
  • An apple cider vinegar water after-rinse
    • Mix 1/2 to 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with 8 oz of warm water. Rinse your hair with this solution after a shampoo wash. This will lower the hair’s pH, also assisting in smoothing the hair shafts. Be careful not to overapply, it can easily weigh down hair or cause static. This may or may not help some people.
  • Clay hair masks between washes
    • Similar to a clay facial mask, you can try a clay hair mask by mixing water with clay into a paste (bentonite, kaolin, or rhassoul are good choices). Apply this paste to your hair and scalp, allow to dry and then rinse out. Do this between shampoo washes to help the detox process along! We also offer our own buttermilk clay masks.
    • All of our shampoo soap bars contain kaolin clay which also helps the detox process along with many other washing aspects such as dandruff and cleansing.
  • Shampoo no more than twice per day.
    • Sometimes a double wash per day can help quicken the detox period. Try it and see. If it doesn’t help, switch back to once per day until the detox period subsides.
  • Keep your hair as natural as possible.
    • The products you use on your hair can definitely have an effect upon the detox period and the effectiveness of the shampoo soaps. Carefully research each ingredient of the products you use on your hair – you may contact us if you have any questions regarding this.
  • Try different shampoo soaps
    • Switching up shampoo soaps may help to “shock” your hair again into submission – this often actually works. We recommend finishing one soap bar completely before switching. Everyone tends to dislike their first shampoo bar due to the detox experience, but if they come back to their first bar after the detox, it treats their hair just fine.

Still Have Questions?

Feel free to contact us so we can help and have a happy hair life!

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Lard Vs. Tallow

In this article:

Definitions

History of Use

Our Sources

Fatty Acid & Nutrient Profiles

Preferable Uses

Defining Lard and Tallow – What Are They?

Lard is the rendered fat from swine animals
  • Lard is the rendered fat from swine – commonly known as pig’s fat.
  • “Rendered” fat means that the fat is heated to a melting point (around 120-150 degrees F) for a short period of time to filter the fat from any other natural meaty substances that remain after butchering.
  • The end result is called lard and is shelf-stable for up to 6 months in the right environment.
The final rendered lard is shown above – it is much softer than tallow due to the fatty acid profiles listed below
Tallow is the rendered fat from bovine animals.
  • Tallow is the rendered fat from bovine – commonly known as cow’s fat. Tallow is also the name used to define other animal fats, which can be confusing.
  • “Rendered” fat means that the fat is heated to a melting point (around 150-170 degrees F) for a short period of time to filter the fat for purity.
  • The end result is called tallow and is shelf-stable for up to 12 months in the right environment.
The final rendered tallow is shown above – it is much harder than lard due to the fatty acid profiles listed below

History of Use for Lard and Tallow

History of Lard Uses

  • FOOD: Since the dawn of humanity, humans have eaten the fats of wild animals, including hogs and swine. Fats were rendered from cooking meats over a fire and also using those fats to cook other plant matter, making them more digestible.

Lard has extensive uses in baking as a natural, healthy shortening – providing a flaky, hearty and delicious crust or bread.

  • SOAP: Animal fat soaps were the original soap made. Likely discovered by accident – a crude form of soap was reported to happen from the fat drippings cooked over a primitive fire mixed with a natural lye made from wood ash that had been filtered with rainwater, resulting in a soapy substance!
  • BEAUTY: As long as people have been using lard for food purposes, it easily migrated its way over to the beauty counter of women and men.

As lard is rendered animal fat, the composition of the lard oil is most similar to the composition of human skin’s natural sebum. This makes it often a suitable moisturizer for individuals who have sensitivities to commercial moisturizers.

Many people on the lard train like to claim that lard contains Vitamins K & B, but these claims have yet to be accepted by nutritional scientists. More on this is found below!

Lard also has a history of use for haircare. Since medieval times women have used pig fat to help regrow hair with success. Women also used to set and condition their hair with lard. The combination of lard and starches produced rigid curls and stiff hair styles for women and men in the 17th and 18th centuries.

While lard is wonderful for skincare and haircare, there are stability issues that prevent it from mainstream commercialization – which is why we add an extra dose of natural Vitamin E for preservation. Lard does not always have a consistent color, appearance, and odor from batch-to-batch based on seasonal diet and environmental exposures of the pigs.

History of Tallow Uses

  • FOOD: Since the dawn of humanity, humans have eaten the fats of ruminants, including bovine. Fats were rendered from cooking meats over a fire and also using those fats to cook other plant matter, making them more digestible.
  • SOAP: Animal fat soaps were the original soap made. Likely discovered by accident – a crude form of soap was reported to happen from the fat drippings cooked over a primitive fire mixed with a natural lye made from wood ash that had been filtered with rainwater, resulting in a soapy substance!
  • BEAUTY: Tallow has a long history in humanity of being used to soothe and moisturize skin. It is only in more recent times that plant oils and petroleum based products have taken the place of tallow in skincare.

As tallow is rendered animal fat, the composition of the tallow oil is similar to the composition of human skin’s natural sebum. This makes it often a suitable moisturizer for individuals who have sensitivities to commercial moisturizers.

Many people on the tallow train like to claim that tallow contains Vitamins A, K, & B, but these claims have yet to be accepted by nutritional scientists. More on this is found below!

While tallow is great for skincare and a hair pomade, there are stability issues that prevent it from mainstream commercialization – which is why we add an extra dose of natural Vitamin E for preservation. Tallow does not always have a consistent color, appearance, and odor from batch-to-batch based on seasonal diet and environmental exposures of the cows.

  • CANDLES: Tallow once was widely used to make molded candles before more convenient wax varieties became available—and for some time after since they continued to be a cheaper alternative. For those too poor even to avail themselves of homemade, molded tallow candles, the “tallow dip”—a reed that had been dipped in melted tallow or sometimes a strip of burning cloth in a saucer of tallow grease—was an accessible substitute. Such a candle was often simply called a “dip” or, because of its low cost, a “farthing dip” or “penny dip”.

Our Sources – Where Do We Get Our Lard and Tallow?

The source of fat we use is extremely important to us as source affects many nutritional factors of lard and tallow:

  • Pasture-Raised, Grassfed fats are very important to retain the most natural, balanced, and nutritious fatty acid profiles, which contributes to the effectiveness of our claims (described in more detail below). For instance, sunlight exposure is absolutely crucial for the development of Vitamin D3 levels.
  • Hand-Rendered fats are important to make sure no additives were unnecessarily mixed into the final product (such as nitrates, BHT, chemical bleaches, chemical preservatives, etc.) Hand-rendering also insures that the temperatures were never raised to scalding levels, which destroys some vitamins and other nutrients.
  • Farm-Fresh, Local fats are very important to insure the provision of the freshest, most nutrient-dense fats available.

Fatty Acid & Nutrient Profiles – Lard and Tallow Are Chemically Different!

First let’s review lard and tallow’s fatty acid profiles. Fatty acids are the building blocks of fat, these fats are necessary for all life forms including animals, plants, and microorganisms. All 3 categories of fats are essential for basic biological functions (including basic skincare and haircare) in their proper proportions.

Fatty AcidsLardTallow
Saturated Fats43%46%
Palmitic Acid
Stearic Acid
Myristic
28%
14%
1%
26%
17%
3%
Unsaturated Fats
(Mono & Poly)
57%54%
Monounsaturated
Oleic Acid
Palmitoleic Acid
47%
44%
3%
50%
47%
3%
Polyunsaturated
Linoleic Acid
Linolenic Acid
10%
10%
0%
4%
3%
1%
Lard and tallow are both affected by their diet, lard more-so than tallow. Pasture-raised, grass-fed lard and tallow will both have higher saturated fatty acids and lower unsaturated fatty acids – the table above is a round average estimate.

As you can see, the differences in fatty profiles vary but are still very similar! The main outlying difference in tallow from lard is that it has slightly more saturated fatty acids and an additional polyunsaturated fatty acid called Linolenic Acid. All of these minute chemical differences causes us to treat them very differently. We have to make products in various ways depending upon the fat we choose to use and their applications.

We also take into great consideration the different nutrients that (pasture-raised) lard and tallow offer. Let’s dive into that!

NutrientsLard (per 1 Tbsp)Tallow (per 1 Tbsp)
Vit. D3
Retinol-A
Choline
Vit. E
Zinc
Selenium
13 IU
5 IU
6.4mg
0.08mg
0.01mg
0.03mg
4 IU
0 IU
0 mg
0.35mg
0 mg
0.03mg
These numbers are according to educational and scientifically verified nutritional sources. You may do your own research – remember to look for scientific sources! Vitamin D3 levels are greatly affected by sunlight exposure – this is another reason why pasture-raised is so important! Did you know that Lard is the 2nd most concentrated Vitamin D3 food-source in the world, second only to Cod Live Oil?!

Due to lard’s larger nutrient profile and differing fatty acids, we find lard much more useful for certain applications than tallow and visa-versa – let’s dive deeper into that next!

Various Uses Based On All The Differences – Both Have Their Proper Places!

Lard’s Best Uses for Us

  • Hair Products
    • Since pasture-raised lard is lighter and softer in texture, higher in unsaturated fatty acids, and higher in certain nutrients like Vitamin D3 – it makes a perfect fat to use as a base for our shampoo soaps, conditioners, and hair oils!
  • Liquid Lotions & Scrubs
    • Since lard is lighter and softer in texture, it makes a perfect fat to use as a base for our liquid lotions and scrubs – insuring better stability for varying temperatures.
  • Soap Products
    • Since lard is low (0-2) on the comedogenic scale (0-5, coconut and palm oils being 4) it will not clog pores – great for facial soaps! Since it is higher in unsaturated fatty acids, it provides more bubbly lather and a squeakier cleanse.
    • A pure lard soap designed for the skin even cleanses and nourishes hair quite well – unlike pure tallow soap.
    • A pure lard soap designed for NOT washing the skin will even make a wonderful laundry, dish, and surface cleaning soap due to its superior lather abilities.
  • Bath Bombs
    • Since lard is softer at lower temperatures, it is great for fatty bath bombs – Insuring well-nourished skin and cleaner drains that won’t clog up as easily!

Tallow’s Best Uses For Us

  • Moisturizers
    • Since tallow is heavier and harder in texture, higher in saturated fatty acids, and higher in Vitamin E (also more shelf-stable) – it makes a perfect fat to use as the main base for our body butters and butter balms!
  • Soap Products
    • Since tallow is a heavier and harder fat, higher in saturated fatty acids and low (0-2) on the comedogenic scale (0-5, coconut and palm oils being 4)- it makes a good, moisturizing soap. Tallow soap has a creamy but flat lather, making it perfect for a hand/body soap!
    • NOT recommended for hair although with some practice and patience one could manage to use it as a shampoo soap – it tends to weigh down hair easily and causes more of a waxy texture.
  • Deodorants
    • Tallow makes a great fat base for our deodorants since it is hard enough to be stable, yet soft enough to apply and absorb easily on the skin.
  • Candles & Wax Melts
    • Since tallow is a harder fat, higher in saturated fatty acids – it makes a very useful candle fuel and wax melts. When mixed with beeswax in the correct proportions, tallow helps to create a brighter candle flame and softer wax melt for healthier scent distributions that require lower temperatures.

Have More Questions?

Feel free to reach out to us! You can ask us any questions via commenting below, our social media pages, email, or contact form all found in the links below. We are happy to help you learn more about this fascinating topic!

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Fragrances VS. Essential Oils

In this article:

Fragrances and Essential Oils We Use

Phthalates, Parabens, and Certifications

Naturally-Derived Fragrances

Synthetic Fragrances

Essential Oils

What Should I Use?

Fragrances and Essential Oils We Use

Fragrances

Perma-Earth Bath + Body only uses certified skin-safe, phthalate-free and paraben-free fragrance oils, naturally-derived fragrances, and/or essential oils. We specify what is in each and every product with a full list of ingredients: we share absolute everything we know in terms of ingredients.

We blatantly separate fragrances and essential oils, but for a slight few formulations we may mix the two. In blended cases, we automatically categorize the product as “Fragranced”, also listing the specific essential oils used in the formulation. For products categorized as “Essential Oil” we exclusively use only essential oils in those products.

For fragrances, we always use the recommended amount for every application according to the specifications of each fragrance approved by the INCI (International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients), which is directed by the Personal Care Products Council. These are the experts who test and certify the fragrances for multiple cosmetic uses.

Fragrance ingredients in cosmetics must meet the same requirement for safety as other cosmetic ingredients. The law does not require FDA approval before they go on the market, but they must be considered “safe for consumers” (in FDA’s standards) when they are used according to labeled directions, or as people customarily use them. www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetic-ingredients/fragrances-cosmetics More information about fragrances are detailed below.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are quite different from fragrances in that there is no official recommended usage rate (by the FDA or otherwise). We usually follow recommended usage rates from the essential oil companies themselves. All essential oil companies are regulated by their own scientists when this article was written. Therefore, each and every essential oil company claim is their own and they are not regulated by any other party. This includes claims of “therapeutic-grade”, “medicinal”, “edible”, “scientist-approved”, etc.

For informational purposes only, our stance is that we do not consider any essential oil to be safely edible unless specifically directed by a licensed healthcare practitioner under special supervision and circumstances.

The owner of Perma-Earth (and author of this article) is someone who has worked with essential oils for over a decade at the time of this writing. I know how to properly test essential oils myself, I have personally compared dozens of different essential oil companies, I make myself aware of their origins, and I make sure that we only use 100% pure, therapeutic-grade (non-diluted, properly extracted, responsibly sourced) essential oils in our products.

More information about essential oils are detailed below.

Phthalates, Parabens, and Certifications

As mentioned above, we use phthalate-free, paraben-free, and certified skin-safe fragrances in some of our products according to the INCI and Personal Care Products Council (click links on names in the previous section to learn more).

What Are Phthalates?

Phthalates are defined as a salt or ester of phthalic acid.

Why Are Phthalates Used In Most Fragrances?

Phthalates are often used in most fragrances as solvents or to strengthen the scent and help it linger longer – for days, months, or even years.

Again, Perma-Earth chooses never to use fragrances which contain phthalates!

Why Are Phthalates Considered Dangerous?

Phthalates are linked to cancers, metabolic syndromes (such as diabetes), and hormonal imbalances.

Many people also associate headaches and migraine triggers while inhaling “phthalated” fragrances.

Where Else Are Phthalates Found?

Mainly in plastics to increase durability. This is just another reason why we attempt to avoid choosing plastics as much as possible.


What Are Parabens?

Parabens are a class of widely used preservatives in cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. Chemically, they are a series of parahydroxybenzoates or esters of parahydroxybenzoic acid.

Why Are Parabens Used In Some Fragrances?

Parabens are often used in some fragrances to act as a preservative, helping to keep the integrity of the scent for longer periods of time and to also increase the strength of the fragrance.

Why Are Parabens Considered Dangerous?

Parabens have been linked to inflammatory responses and immune-system disruptions.

Many people have reported increased skin and scalp sensitivity when using paraben-containing products.

Where Else Are Parabens Found?

Mainly in the cosmetics industry. This is ironic considering how irritating it can be for many.


Certifications

As stated and linked above, we only use phthalate-free and paraben-free fragrances with an INCI from the Personal Care Products Council. Please search above in the first section for links in the names.

Naturally-Derived Fragrances

Perma-Earth uses naturally-derived fragrances in some products, which are clearly defined as “naturally-derived fragrances” in the ingredients list.

What Are Naturally-Derived Fragrances?

In summary, natural aromatics are made by physically extracting the volatile fractions from plants without chemically altering them. Natural fragrances are complex fragrance compounds made exclusively from natural aromatics as defined by IFRA (the International Fragrance Association). The ingredients used in natural fragrances can be essential oils, oleoresins, distillates, fractions, concretes, absolutes, etc.

Why Not Use Only Natural Fragrances?

Natural fragrances, similar to essential oils, are very limited in scope of scent variety – not many choices. Of these limited choices, very few hold up to the standard that many are conditioned to know from fragrances. These include: strength, durability, and trueness to scent ideals.

In short, they are very similar to essential oils, but often less potent and easily broken down by environmental factors such as sunlight, air-exposure, age, etc.

Synthetic Fragrances

Perma-Earth Bath + Body uses phthalate-free, paraben-free, and certified skin-safe fragrances oils in some of our body care products. Abstaining from these ingredients in fragrances often eliminates many issues people have with fragrances in general. You may read more information about phthalates and parabens above in this article.

What Are Synthetic Fragrances?

“We know that fragrance oils can be a mix of essential oils, synthetic aromatic chemicals, and resins.  We know that a perfumist must use the proper solvents to dissolve powder and crystalline ingredients into the fragrance oil.  A perfumist can either duplicate an aroma by use of gas chromatographic (GC)-mass spectrometric (GC-MS) (which shows him the ingredients contained in a fragrance), or he can create a unique fragrance oil by combining the right combinations of top, middle, and base notes.” – Nature’s Garden Wholesale Candle & Soap Supplies

Sometimes, it’s better to let the experts, or one of our fragrance suppliers, explain the matter in their terms. Please visit this link for a more thorough introduction into the world of fragrances, then come back and finish this article: What are Fragrance Oils Made Of – Natures Garden Fragrance Oils (naturesgardencandles.com)

The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act requires a product marketed to consumers include a list of ingredients. The product must also be labeled with its net contents, the identity of the item and the name or place of business of the products’ manufacturer, packer or distributor.

Under U.S. regulations, fragrance ingredients can simply be listed as “Fragrance” as they are legally protected trade-secrets. People with questions about allergic reactions to a fragrance may wish to contact the product manufacturer for more information. Learn more about this confusing subject here: Trade Secrets – Safe Cosmetics

We, as non-producers of the fragrance, do not have access to what constitutes each and every fragrance. HOWEVER, if you have any questions about any fragrances we use in a specific product, we can provide you with as much information we know about that fragrance – including our source of purchase and the INCI sheet.

Why Use Synthetic Fragrances?

Eco-Friendly! SAY WHAT?? Environmentally speaking, synthetic fragrances are much less of a burden on the environment… let me explain. It takes 60,000 roses to produce a single 1 oz of rose essential oil. It takes nearly 16 pounds of lavender buds to produce a single 1 oz of lavender essential oil. To put this in perspective, we use approximately 1 oz of essential oil per 5 bars of soap… That’s a LOT of farming and processing just for scenting a few bars of soap!

The sky’s the limit! Some of our favorite scents such as fruits (apples, pumpkins, peaches, etc.), flowers (such as lilies, wildflowers, and more), musks, citruses, clean scents, etc. cannot be produced naturally with an ideal outcome or even at all for any use in body care products. The saponification process alone in cold-process soaps (mixing fats with a natural alkaline to make soap) renders many natural fragrances and essential oils worthless in the end and completely void of scent (citruses for example).

Essential Oils Can Cause Issues… Some essential oils have a negative, irritating effect when applied on the body in some body care products, no matter how diluted they are. These include but are not limited to: cinnamon, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and more. This is especially noticeable in leave-on body-care products.

Less irritations. This may come as a shock, but here goes: we have many MORE reports of essential oil sensitivity in comparison to our phthalate-free paraben-free fragrance oils! Meaning: essential oils actually cause more irritations than do the fragrances we use – according to our customers!

They perform to most people’s ideals. We want to get nourishing body care products into as many hands (and on as many bodies) as possible. We want to appeal to those who may not even try the more natural products otherwise: we choose to cater to our customers. Therefore, we offer completely naturally-scented (or unscented) products in every category, while also offering what most customers want as well: strong, safe, and creative scents in a large variety with familiar fragrances.

In the beginning we used ONLY 100% natural fragrances and essential oils. We still do use them! But guess what? Most people weren’t happy – they didn’t stick around for very long either because they missed their old fragrances… So we listened to our customers and fixed that issue! Yes, it’s a completely superficial reason why people want synthetic fragrances, but humans are creatures of habit and this is backed by science. Fragrances are strongly associated with feelings of nostalgia: the olfactory (nasal) system in humans is directly linked to the memory bank of the brain. Many people feel very unhappy, or even lost, without the scents linked with positive memories in their lifetime, especially during their formative years.

We will always offer 100% natural fragrances and essential oils as well. No need to panic, we keep everything quite separate and we clean all equipment thoroughly between uses. We pride ourselves in offering the best of both worlds to the most quality-seeking customers!

Where do you source your phthalate-free, paraben-free synthetic fragrances?

Here is our short list with links attached: Brambleberry, Nature’s Garden, Smell No Evil, Lone Star Candle, and Nurture Soap.

What Are Essential Oils?

An essential oil is a natural oil typically obtained by distillation or pressing and having the characteristic fragrance of the plant or other source from which it is extracted. Essential oils are considered volatile since they readily evaporate when left uncontained as they only contain the volatile organic compounds of a plant. Essential oils are often used in aromatherapy or topical therapy for evoking natural biological responses in the human body when exposed to these organic chemical compounds.

Essential oils are quite different from fragrances in that there is no official recommended usage rate (by the FDA or otherwise). We usually follow recommended usage rates from the essential oil companies themselves. All essential oil companies are regulated by their own scientists when this article was written. Therefore, each and every essential oil company claim is their own and they are not regulated by any other party. This includes claims of “therapeutic-grade”, “medicinal”, “edible”, “scientist-approved”, etc.

For informational purposes only, our stance is that we do not consider any essential oil to be safely edible unless specifically directed by a licensed healthcare practitioner under special supervision and circumstances.

The owner of Perma-Earth (and author of this article) is someone who has worked with essential oils for over a decade at the time of this writing. I know how to properly test essential oils myself, I have personally compared dozens of different essential oil companies, I make myself aware of their origins, and I make sure that we only use 100% pure, therapeutic-grade (non-diluted, properly extracted, responsibly sourced) essential oils in our products.

Where Do You Source Your Essential Oils?

Here is our short list with links attached: Brambleberry, Bulk Apothecary, and Now FOODS.

What Should I Use?

We leave this entirely up to the consumer’s discretion, however – here are some clues!

We break everything up into “Fragranced”, “Essential Oil”, and “Unscented” in our main product categories – or we always suggest to check the ingredients list in the product tab called “INGREDIENTS”.

Do you have a sensitivity to all scents and fragrances? Stick with our unscented selections in our Sensitive product category!

Do you only use certain brands of essential oils? No worries, make your own concoctions with our base of unscented products in our Sensitive category!

Do you have a history of fragrance sensitivity, but still want to try something of ours that is phthalate-free and paraben-free fragranced? Maybe start with some fragranced Samples and see how that does you!

Don’t see something you want? Contact us and let us know what we can do to improve your experience!


Thank you for taking the time and initiative to learn more about Perma-Earth Bath + Body products – for your health and the health of our ecosystems. Please let us know if you have any other questions or concerns!

  • written by Mariah Campbell, owner/founder of Perma-Earth LLC
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Grow Roses for Beauty, Food, and Health

Around Valentine’s Day, Buy Living Roses!

Roses are the Perfect Early Addition to your Garden Landscape for Beauty and Practicality!

Written by a Certified Permaculture Landscape Designer

This is the year for you to grow attractive perennials that are also edible or medicinal, adding not only beauty but value to your landscape.

In this article, you will find tips on planting hardy roses early in the spring! How does Late-February to Early March sound? As long as the ground is thawed and all danger of severe frost has passed, you will be good to go!

Most people think of roses as finicky, disease-prone, and overall too fancy and high-maintenance of a plant for their natural gardens.

Well, I LOVE to burst this bubble because there is a perfect solution for most of your rose desires! Good news if you want ease of maintenance or are a black thumb, these roses should survive your neglect. Of course, try to follow the directions on how to plant it and care for it when you purchase!

Now, Let’s Get Planting!

All Roses love well-drained soil, a good pH balance (around the acidic to neutral 5.5-6.5 area), and full sun (6+ hours per day). Keep these factors in mind when planning your rose plot.

As we organic gardeners know, the natural way to attain a fertile and slightly acidic pH soil range is to amend the soil with sulfurous compost (freshly decayed biological matter).

Roses are notorious for being difficult to grow and maintain, which is why we will focus on the hardier variety in this article.

Rosa Rugosa – “Beach Rose”, “Japanese Rose”

Hardy to: USDA ZONES 2-7

Growth Habit: Vining to Impenetrable Bush

Best time to plant: February-March

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A very hardy and yet beautiful addition to the garden!

The Rosa Rugosa has many different sizes, varieties, and shades of flower petals like the traditional pinks (from light blush to striking magenta), reds, yellows, and white to the newer varieties of wine-red, striped, or a slightly peachy shade. But, only the original plants with pink-colored flowers will be a guarantee for all of Rugosa‘s distinguishing characteristics.

These flowers are not particularly a show-stopper, except when seen in sheer numbers on a large and fragrant specimen. The flowers are also not good for cut arrangements, although they are extremely useful in crafts, potpourri, and other décor.

Despite a few superficial drawbacks, another positive aspect of the Rugosa is that it is a recurrent bloomer except in much warmer climates, meaning that it will have more than one blooming period in a season!

Edibility & Health

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The Rugosa is known for producing a sour, astringent, but edible cherry-tomato-sized reddish-orange fruit called “Rose Hips”.

You can eat the sour-tasting fruit for their extremely high levels of natural Vitamin C, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatories (a great winter survival food).

Rose Hip Tea is available for easier absorption and palatability. The homesteader can even use fresh rose hips to make deliciously tart jams and jellies!

The naturally high content of Vitamin C also makes rose hips a booster for the body to synthesize collagen, helping to restore lubrication and youthfulness to the skin and joints.

Beauty & Cosmetics

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Rose Hip Seeds are also useful as they are made into an anti-aging skin oil high in beneficial fatty acids. This oil is great for wrinkles and dry skin, but should not be used on skin prone to acne, as it’s humectant abilities are too powerful for oily skin types.

Use the flower’s small and sparse, yet delicate and powerfully fragrant, petals to make a natural perfume or potpourri to freshen up your body and home.

Or make infused rosewater (rose hydrosol) to naturally brighten up your face.

Rose Hydrosol Recipe

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You can easily make your own rose hydrosol by:

#1. The Quick Method:

Lightly steam or “simmer” a handful of dried rose petals and 1 cup of purified water in a stainless steel pot, tightly covered for 15 minutes to an hour.

The length of time will determine concentration of rose biochemical ingredients: The longer, the more concentrated. But don’t steam the petals at too high of a temperature for too long, or else you will destroy the benefits.

#1. The Cold Method:

This method keeps more of the beneficial biochemicals intact, but it takes longer, so you will need patience!

A. Fill a clear jar up with dried rose petals, stuff as much as you can in there, but not too tight!

B. Fill the remaining space of the jar up with purified water and close the jar.

C. Allow water and roses to sit in a sunny window for 1-3 days, shaking contents occasionally. Again, the longer you let it sit, the more concentrated it will get, but don’t let it sit for too long or else bacteria and mold might start to grow!

#2. Put the remaining water it in a spray bottle. Dark glass bottles are best to eliminate plastic chemical exposure and to protect the hydrosol from sun damage.

#3. Spritz your clean face every morning and evening.

#4. Store in the refrigerator for long-term use (good up to 1 month), or your shower (good up to 1 week) to use quickly.

Or you can purchase one premade from a reputable source from the affiliate link embedded in the image shown above.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the plant has been used for centuries to treat irregular menstruation and gastritis, as Rosa Rugosa is one of the original rose cultivars, going back thousands of years to its origins in Japan and Siberia.

Reddish-Orange Rose Hip Powder is useful in soaps and other cosmetic colorants. In Ancient China, dried rose petals were ground up and processed to make lip colors and rouge blushes.

History & Hardiness

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The plant has been naturalized in the Northeastern part of the United States ever since it’s first documented planting in the mid-1800’s.

It has since spread far and wide due to its weedy growth habit, which does not respond well to cuttings, so expect to let it grow to full size for best results in your garden.

Sometimes considered an invasive species and will readily hybridize with other roses, so you might want to check with local authorities.

But this actually makes it more appealing to me–the hardier and less maintenance means the better suitable for my organic gardens!

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Rosa Rugosa is resistant to many diseases that other roses are prone to contracting like rose rust and black spot.

It’s pollen, bold fragrance, and bright colors will also attract and feed pollinators like butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.

Be forewarned in that it is like most roses, thorny and prickly. But, unlike other roses, the Rugosa only needs at minimum a few hours of sun in the right conditions.

Of course, it will produce best and be its healthiest in full sun (6+ hours per day)!However, if the rugged Rugosa is not your thing, there are other options!

Companion Plants

Who wants to see just one plant dominate the landscape? Although Rugosa roses are wonderful and hardy specimens by themselves, they will be healthier and happier-looking with other helpers around it.

Some of these perennial plants that form a symbiotic relationship with roses are:

Garlic – or any other plant from the Allium family

Another beautiful, hardy, and incredibly useful plant is garlic! Not only will it be good for your roses, but they are amazing for your health and cooking recipes!

Planting bulbs around any large perennial (tree or bush) is a good idea, for when spring comes, they help break up the soil, letting the warm sunlight and rain come pouring into the ground!

Geranium – think wild geranium, or “Cranesbill”, for your perennial garden

Beneficial for keeping those pesky bugs at bay, the Cranesbill wild geranium is also useful in the home apothecary for numerous reasons. Its traditional uses include reducing signs of aging in skin and helping stop diarrhea

Lavender

Wow, can you get any more of a fragrance northern perennial pairing? Roses and lavender are both beautiful in their own way, complimenting each other in shape and color! The spiked small purple flowers and silvery soft leaf foliage of the lavender contrast beautifully with the glossy, sharp dark green foliage of the bigger, round roses.

Lavender is another one of those garden plants good at keeping pests away. Its herbal uses are that it can be used as a calming tea or for a good nights sleep.

Sage – Salvia

Similar to lavender, some sages are also great for cooking and herbal uses! Sage can help liven dishes with its herbaceous and fresh flavor. Or you can use sage in your herbal recipes to help with digestion and other issues. Sage is known to ward off negative emotions or heavy feelings.

Other

Other types of hardier roses (but not as hardy or as practical as the Rugosa), would also do well when properly cared for. Here are some other books and articles about Rugosa roses and other hardy roses that will give you more varieties so you can find the perfect one for your needs!

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The Rugged Rugosa – American Rose Society

10 Hardy Roses to Plant in Your Garden – Canada

Hardy Roses to Minnesota Gardens – Minnesota

Different Kinds of Roses – Illinois

 

**Statements on this website have not been approved by the FDA. These statements are for educational purposes only and not intended to cure or treat any disease. Please consult with your healthcare provider before implementing any new health program.**

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DIY Easy Feather Lampshade

DIY Easy Feather Lamp

Here’s how to turn your old unsightly lampshade into a whimsical, romantic, and naturally charming light!

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I adore our guinea fowl, not only are they a bit of comedic relief, but they are good security alarms, tick & insect hunters, and the females lay eggs. I also love their feathers! I had been collecting them in hopes of finding something to do with them on a rainy day, and did I ever!

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I picked up this vintage lamp at an antique store a while back and thought it was simply charming, except the stained shade, which I had intended to replace long ago… Then, Voilá! I had an idea!

What I thought would take me a couple of hours ended up taking me around 4-5 hours of straight work by myself (set-up and clean-up included). So, this is definitely something for a rainy day with a friend and no distracting television, especially if you want it to look decent.

This is also a simple and easy project for you and (older) children to do! I’d say from 12+ years could do this with no problem. Any younger and they might be getting bored too quickly and be too messy with it for a professional look.
Get ready! You will need:

MATERIALS

1. A lamp with a cleaned lampshade, preferably a light or white colored shade that isn’t in too shabby of shape. You don’t want to put these beautiful feathers on a crumbling structure. Have fun picking out your lamp from a yard sale, consignment shop, antique store, or your storage closet!
2. Tacky glue. Any will do, but make sure you get the sturdy crafting kind.
3. An iron with ironing board (I’ll explain later).
4. FEATHERS!!! We want feathers with a backbone (wing feathers) in this particular project. If you want to use downy feathers, that is fine too, but you might want to use a brush to “paint” the glue on the lampshade instead of putting it down in globs, which will block out more light than necessary and might alter your design when the lamp is lit.
5. Some spare paper like newspaper or anything that you don’t mind getting glue all over to cover your workspace.
6. Strong scissors for cutting the feathers.

All set? Let’s get creative in making our own décor!

INSTRUCTIONS

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1. Set out the paper or covering material on your workspace, preferably a cleared table with plenty of room for you to spread out your iron (plus access to a socket to plug it in), ironing board, glue, feathers, scissors, and lampshade. If you don’t have access to a table, don’t feel bad, you can also do all of this on the floor, which is where I ended up!

2. Decide what kind of design you want to put on your lampshade. I could visualize it in my mind because mine was a simple design to look like a bird’s wing, but if yours is more complicated, then might I suggest you draw it out to make sure that is what you want before committing?

3. Cut your feathers to your liking. I cut my feathers’ “stems” off so that they wouldn’t get in the way and to prevent a wavy texture from fuddling up the gluing process.

4. Iron all of your feathers. If you have a buddy, you can get them to iron the feathers while you glue the finished pieces on. It doesn’t take very long, but every feather is different. Do some timed tests to figure out the most efficient way to iron your feathers, whether you need to only iron them for 20 seconds on each side or one minute on one side, or something else entirely. I heated my iron up all the way on high heat and ironed them for at least one minute on both sides (my feathers were sturdy). You can always run a test by ironing one of your least favorite feathers and making sure it doesn’t burn while it is flattening. Yes, that’s why we need an iron! If the feathers aren’t perfectly level with the shade, the feather will have more chances to come unglued and then your lamp will look a little haywire… Unless you’re going for that style of course!

5. Put some glue on your feather or on the lampshade, one feather at a time or one space at a time, whichever way feels best for you. I put the glue on my feathers first and then pressed them onto the lampshade. Make sure you do the ones you want to cover up FIRST and then glue on the ones you want to cover the ones under it. Sound confusing? Make sure you glue them in the order you want! For instance, I wanted the bigger parts of the flight feathers to be covered up by the softer feathers to make it look more wing-like, so I started from the bottom and glued the big flight feathers on first, then worked my way around in one direction and then up in sections.

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6. You can finish with some hairspray if you prefer or just leave it as-is (that’s what I did)! Put it back on your lamp base and place it somewhere beautiful! I tend to like feather lamps in a bedroom or living room. Feather lamps can give these rooms a sense of whimsical, romantic, and natural charm!

Check out another project made with Guinea Fowl Feathers:

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This “Yin & Yang” Chinese Dreamcatcher is what my husband and I made to match our lamp!

COMMENT BELOW: Let us know how you did and don’t forget to share pictures of your masterpiece!

Blessings, Grace, Love & Thanks!
PERMA-EARTH 2018
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Save The Seeds!

Why Should We Save Our Seed?

hemp-seeds-hands

         Did you know that most commercial farms grow large mono-crops and cannot save their seed? Their seed has been genetically modified by the corporation known as Monsanto who says they want to stop world hunger through better hybrids, genetic modifications, biocides (pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, etc…), synthetic fertilizers, and infertile seeds. Monsanto claims that because of their genetic modification, we can have plants that will kill or repel pests, withstand drought, have a tolerance to high doses of herbicides, and produce seeds that self-destruct. Does that sound like food you want to put in your body? Would you call that “sustainable agricultural practice”? (Yes, that is their new slogan.)

         If you think that Monsanto does this out of goodwill, think again. There is no reason to have a plant rendered infertile by reconstructing its DNA, only if you wanted a farmer to have to repay you every year for the seed and chemicals you constructed in a laboratory, which is exactly what Monsanto forces farmers to do. It is a plant’s natural ability to be able to reproduce itself, that is how life continues to exist.

         The unsettling part is that the pollen from these infertile plants can be carried by wind into other non-genetically modified but genetically similar crops (GM corn to non-GM corn) and pollinate with them to form a hybrid. Monsanto can then sue the other farmer for “stealing copyrighted property”. This isn’t ethical and should not be supported in the courts. Monsanto has pulled many farmers into their trap by passively fertilizing their crops with unwanted pollination, then threatening to sue or to have the threatened farmer start growing their crops using Monsanto’s methods (high amounts of chemicals, mono-cultures, and re-buying infertile seed every season). It is a genius business scheme, but is it good for the Earth? Certainly not. Is it even good for people? Definitely not. Life should not be copyrighted. All life should be allowed to continue through trial and error of nature. This is why it is so important for organic farmers to save their seed using traditional methods.

How Do We Save Seeds?

         Seed saving is extremely easy and fun to practice. You first collect seeds from the plants in your crops (or from local, organic, non-gmo produce that you buy) that have exhibited the most desired qualities of that season (the most drought-tolerant, the most flood-tolerant, the most pest-tolerant, the tastiest, the biggest, the fastest-growing, early bloomers, late bloomers, et cetera), then dry, label, and store them properly, and you will have seed security for years to come. They can also be a source of income by your local community who will be needing local seed varieties that have adapted to your specific soil and weather conditions for your region.

         Make sure you dry your seeds in the sun on a dry surface to let most of the moisture escape, just enough to store them without attracting mold or other pests. They should not be overly shriveled or cracked, this is an indication you have over-dried them or that they weren’t good (matured) seeds to begin with. You should immediately store them in an air-tight container away from light, heat, and moisture. The perfect place would be a pantry or a dry root cellar. Even your refrigerator would work if you have enough room, they will last longer in there!

         After a few years, the seeds will not be at their peak and you may not be able to germinate the majority of them, so be sure to keep on planting, growing, and saving! Freezing the seeds is the best way to keep them at their peak for the longest time possible, although I would only do this for an emergency.

Where Can We Start?

         If you do not have some organic heirloom seeds ready to plant right now, go to your local farmers or farmer’s market to ask around for some there. Make sure to ask the farmer how they grow their produce/seed and what the characteristics of that specific plant is. A good farmer will know the answers to your questions about the details of the crop. Make sure to not get seeds from farmers who use any sort of chemicals on their plants because that will weaken the plants’ abilities to develop their own protection against the variables of nature. Connecting with local farmers is the smartest option because you can get to know how they farm and they may share some valuable information with you (and vice-versa). If you do not have access to enough local varieties, you can order them online from organic heirloom seed saving catalogues. Here’s a short list for you to look through:

Seed Saving Catalogues Online

Seed Savers Exchange -“A non-profit organization dedicated to sharing and saving heirloom seeds.”

Here’s an article about them and their history from an interview in 2011.

Sustainable Seed Company Certified Organic -“The only sustainably powered seed company.”

Annie’s Heirloom Seeds -“Your Source for the Best Varieties of Heirloom Vegetable Seeds.”

The Organic Gardening Catalogue -“Only Good Things for Your Garden.”

Seeds of Change -“100% CERTIFIED ORGANIC goodness from the ground up.”

Articles About Seed Saving From AWESOME Websites!

Permaculture Research Institute: Seed Saving, Part 2: Practical Ways to Save Seed

International Seed Saving Institute: Basic Seed Saving

Organic Gardening: It’s Seed Catalogue Time