Frequently Asked Questions
i'm going to the store
Will your salves stain my clothes or sheets?
The salves are all made with oil and will stain if left on the surface of the skin before touching clothing, sheets, etc. There are several things you can do:
Use less of the salve. Our products are made with a high ratio of herbs to carrier oils and beeswax, so you can usually get just as much relief with a smaller amount.
Rub the salve in until it absorbs. If it won't absorb in a localized area, spread it from the pain site towards your spinal column
After you rub the salve on, rub an unfragranced lotion with no petroleum products over it. This often helps with absorption and holds the salve onto the skin. Trader Joe’s carries an inexpensive one, and so do many other stores. We don’t make lotions because they are more complicated than salves. They have a high percentage of water and/or glycerin, making them heavy, cumbersome and expensive, but adding nothing medicinally.
If you still have residuals staining your clothes and/or sheets you can usually get them out with an oil releasing detergent. Try using dish soap directly on the stain before you throw your clothes in the machine. We use Melaleuca’s stain remover because it is more eco friendly. Neither are as effective on synthetic fabrics as on 100% cotton.
Are your tinctures safe for children/babies?
We use 80 proof rum to extract medicinal properties from herbs. This may seem dangerous for use on children, but the dosage (25-50 drops on the labels) is for adult use. When giving products to children, the dosages should be lowered to 5-10 drops for babies and about 15 drops for children under 100 pounds. This is not enough to cause harm or intoxication. If you need to eliminate alcohol entirely for your own comfort or safety, add boiling water to any tincture and stir it for a minute or so to evaporate the alcohol.. The herbs will remain unaltered.
Our Arnica Tincture (for external use only) is the only tincture we make that shouldn’t be used on babies or people with very sensitive skin. It is designed to penetrate deep into muscles and joints and should not be used on children or adults with fragile skin, as the alcohol can be irritating and drying. Arnica comes in cream or gel form and is available for purchase by many companies. It is very effective and is safer for children and more sensitive adults.
Is it safe to mix your products with prescription medications or over-the-counter products?
We have been very careful to offer products which are safe to combine with most medications. However, individuals who have complex health issues and take multiple medications should check with their doctors and exercise caution in using our products.
Why doesn’t your Lavender/Chamomile Salve have a stronger lavender scent?
Chamomile is tremendously nourishing to the skin and relaxing to the system as a whole and is a stronger component of the product. Lavender is medicinal in small quantities for skin repair. It has antimicrobial and antifungal properties and is soothing to burns. Chamomile is the primary herb you smell in the salve because we don’t use large enough quantities of lavender for it to smell strongly. All our products are formulated primarily for their medicinal effects and to be used by people who are sensitive to fragrance and scents, so we refrain from using them unless they are included for healing purposes.
What do you use the Nerve Pain Salve for?
The herbs in the Nerve Salve are traditionally used to calm overactive nerves that cause sharp, burning pain on nerve endings. This type of pain is typical of nerves enduring the healing process from direct injury. Examples include:
cuts that have severed a nerve,
nerves that have had infections set into them (chicken pox, herpes sores, shingles),
throbbing pain from injury to tissues surrounding the nerves.
Nerve Salve can be used as often as needed to give temporary relief.
Does the Kidney Cleanse cause pain?
If your kidneys are normal and you are simply clearing out debris/deposits in the kidney tract, our Kidney Cleanse will not cause pain. In fact, the cleanse can actually ease back pain, as it releases the impingement on the sciatic nerve. The key is to drink the cleanse slowly throughout the course of the day with lots of water and avoid food and drinks which challenge the kidneys: large quantities of protein at one meal, sodas, alcohol, caffeinated beverages (or anything dehydrating), painkillers which clear through the kidneys (ibuprofen, naproxen), artificial sweeteners (aspartame etc.), and foods containing MSG or other color and flavor enhancing additives in foods.
If you start having upper/mid back pain after you’ve started the cleanse, you could be moving old debris and/or a stone. Sometimes starting a cleanse will dislodge a bit of debris and cause pain. If that’s the case, rub some castor oil and arnica on your kidney area and/or anywhere along the urinary tract where you are feeling pain. Then put a hot pack over for 15 minutes and see if it relieves the pain. If pain doesn't resolve, add a bit more arnica and castor oil and then put an ice pack on the area for another 15-30 minutes. That will resolve the pain unless you have very large stones. Even if you do have big stones, continuing with the herbal cleanse and using arnica and castor oil packs and alternating cold and heat therapy will break them down, relieve the pain and prevent a crisis with a stone moving. You will notice cloudy urine when mineral debris is coming out through your urination; this is normal and should not be painful. Over the course of the 3 week cleanse, any cloudiness in the urine will resolve. If you are doing all of the above and still have sharp pain in the kidneys or urinary tract, there is either infection or stones moving, and you need to use very guided herbal therapy from a trained herbalist or go to the Urgent Care for medical treatment.
What are cold-pressed oils and why use them? What about organic oils?
A cold-pressed oil is one which is expelled without heat. It is the pure oil from a seed without any additives. This is the only type of oil we use in our products.
If a label doesn’t explicitly say an oil is cold-pressed, it is generally extracted with hexane. Hexane is a solvent which separates the oil from the other parts of a seed and allows it to be suctioned off the top. When ingested, our livers filter out the hexane, and we can use the nutritional components of the oil. When applied topically, the hexane will go directly into our tissues, bloodstream and lymphatic system and cause cellular damage.
We use organic oils in our products for the same reasons: traces of toxic chemicals remain in all products which are not grown organically and can cause cellular damage in our bodies when applied topically.
Why do you use canola oil in your products?
Some people are wary of using canola oil because it comes from a genetically-modified seed. We want to share why we use it:
Canola Oil (short for Canada oil) was modified from rapeseed oil, a plant in the mustard family found all over the world. Rapeseed oil is a non-food grade oil used as a commercial lubricant in mechanical products. It is high in erucic acid (or Omega-9), which is toxic to the cardiac muscle. When modified for use as a food, it was altered to retain the excellent Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats (which are cardio-protective). Its resistance to pesticides and herbicides, lack of odor, and light-gauge texture were also retained and are all qualities for which it is revered.
The process of choosing seeds based on their desired qualities has traditionally been done by hand, based on observations of farmers. Specific plants from a crop that have desirable qualities are picked and cross-pollinated with each other. The seeds are selectively chosen to be high yield, bug resistant, high-quality plants from any crop. Whether modified in a lab to select these desirable qualities, or done through observation in fields, the nutritional content is the same; we are not ingesting or absorbing toxins from the food unless it has been doused with herbicides and pesticides or extracted with toxic chemicals.
Canola oil’s odorless and light-gauge qualities make it an excellent base for skin care products because it allows the herbs and essential oils to bind to it in large quantities and remain stable until melted at body temperature to be absorbed into the skin. These qualities allow us to make a very concentrated infused oil that is shelf-stable for years unless exposed to high heat, air, or direct sunlight. Unlike the base oils used for most skin care products (grapeseed, olive, almond, safflower, sunflower), canola oil holds higher quantities of the medicinal products from the herbs and doesn’t infuse any of its own odor into the products. The texture, when combined with coconut, shea, castor oil and beeswax is easy to spread, highly absorbent and lasts for years when stored in a cool, dark place.