Category Archives: Health & Wellness

DIY: Salt Scrub

I have been making various body products for our home for past few years – soaps, scrubs, lip balms, salves and body butters, the usual suspects.

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Poison Ivy

It should come as no surprise that with all of the overgrown areas we have been weeding and clearing, that this day would come… or rather, this past month. For almost the entire month of March, I’ve had poison ivy over most of my body – toes, ankles, legs, torso, chest, neck, arms, and even two spots on my face. It’s been absolutely torturous!

As someone who has never had a reaction to poison ivy, I’ve lived a life being blissfully unaware of the agony it wreaks. Honestly, I can barely identify poison ivy because I’ve just never had to worry about it – I’ve walked right through it and not had even the smallest reaction.

After being nearly recovered from the extreme breakout, I’ve come in contact with even more, and even my husband is afflicted. So I thought, what a better time than now to talk about tips and advice so you can hopefully avoid poison ivy yourself, as well as to help you recover quickly.

 

 

Protect Yourself

  1. Don’t be like me – just because “everything is dead” and there is no poison ivy in sight, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. The urushiol oils, which cause the unpleasant itching and burning sensations, can live on the dead plant, and the root systems, so if you are weeding in March like I did, assume it’s everywhere.
  2. Wear pants, long-sleeve shirts and work gloves. Making sure you are covered up is your best chance at keeping the oils away from making skin contact. Try to avoid touching your face, neck or adjusting your clothing in anyway that could spread poison ivy oils from your gloves to your skin.
  3. Learn to identify poison ivy. We all know the saying, “Leaves of three, let it be”, right? Here are some tips on identifying poison ivy:
    • Bunches of three leaves, pointed and with jagged edges.
    • Poison ivy grows like a ground cover, creeping out and quickly up – wrapping itself around bushes, trees and more.
    • Leaves may be red in the spring, and are always one of the first to change in the fall, becoming a vibrant orange/red

 

Too Late? Reduce your reaction to Poison Ivy by . . . 

  1. If you do come in contact with poison ivy: wash immediately! Get in there and scrub, scrub, scrub! Using cold water will also keep your pores from opening, reducing the amount of oils absorbed by your skin. The average absorption rate fluctuates between 10 and 30 minutes, so the sooner you wash up, the better your chances are of having a mild-to-none reaction.After being absorbed, poison ivy takes anywhere from 24-72 hours to develop symptoms.
  2. Wash your work gloves, boots and tools. Since these items don’t absorb the oils the way our skin does, your tools can continue to be carriers for poison ivy, increasing your risk of future contact and breakouts. Wash clothing, glove and boots in hot water with a good laundry or dish soap. You can use the same soap, or even isopropyl alcohol, to wipe down any tools or items that you may have touched while working. These will remove the oils and make them safe for skin contact again.

 

Experiencing an itchy-nightmare?

  1. How you decide to treat your poison is up to you. There are a lot of herbal remedies out there that can help, and trust me, those are my go-to as well. In my situation, I had SO much poison ivy covering my body, that after a day of borderline-insanity-inducing itching and scratching, I bought a medicated ointment and some store-brand benadryl. Always check with a physician if you take medications or have any health conditions that could be affected or interact adversely with a medication or ointment. I was concerned about the potential effects these medications could have since I am a breastfeeding mom, and made sure I called my midwife before I went shopping.
  2. Shower often — nothing feels better than a nice hot shower when your skin is burning and itching.
  3. Epsom salts – Add 1-2 cups of Epsom salts to a hot bath and soak it up! My husband and I both agree that while the Ivarest and Benadryl helped save our sanity, the Epsom salt baths are what really seemed to make a difference. Everything seemed to stop oozing, really being to dry out and we went longer without feeling the urge to itch after a nice bath.
  4. The average outbreak from poison ivy lasts anywhere from 5 to 10 days. If you find your poison ivy bumps & blisters aren’t improving, or is dragging on longer than this average, you should definitely consult your physician as you may be more sensitive to poison ivy and may need something stronger. Oral antibiotics are commonly prescribed to help manage the symptoms, and beat the itch.

 

Depending on where you live and how much poison ivy is around, some serious steps may be needed to eradicate poison ivy from your property. In our situation, we have pretty much pulled it all up and murdered it’s root systems, so I am hoping this year is the last year we will have to experience such an intense relationship with the plant. By pulling up the plant, we are able (I hope!) to avoid needing to spray toxic chemicals to kill any remaining poison ivy, but this might not be the option for you. There are lots of suggestions out there, from using a hot-water and vinegar mixture, to using a chemical spray. Talking with someone at your local plant nursery is a great option to help you make the best choice for you.

 

 

Farm Girl Beauty

 
If there is one thing we all know, farm chores aren’t easy, and they aren’t glamorous. Which is fine, that’s not why we chose this life, right ladies? Continue reading

Home Birth & Postpartum Supplies

 

There are already tons of blog posts and Pinterest links out there with lists of things you “need” to have a baby. Everytime I see these lists, I laugh. They’re so over the top (laptops? Makeup and eyelash curlers? Really??!) that I had to say enough already. For all the sensible women who just want to deliver their baby and be comfortable, here are my suggestions, the real things that I used when I had my daughter.

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New: Fall Spice Soap

Hello all! Just a quick look at a new product we are offering in our Etsy store as of this morning: a beautiful, hand crafted Fall Spice Soap. Available in 5-oz bars, these have a delicious, warming scent that is perfect for the upcoming fall season!

 
Made with organic ingredients, our soaps are always additive and chemical free! Each batch also features our signature Calendula Oil, so these soaps are nourishing and hydrating for your skin in addition to being a treat to wash with!

 
We always keep the environment in mind, so these soaps are also 100% safe to use outdoors, or in the water, and are safe for my fellow septic system users out there!

These are made to order, and I can do bundle prices as well, so head over to our Etsy store and take a look!

 

Mama’s Body Butter

This post is for all the other expectant mothers out there! Winter has a strong hold on New England here, with super cold, dry temperatures and strong winds; all of which equals up to a lot of dry skin (and a hell of a lot of snow!).

So I wanted to share my new favorite product: Mama’s Body Butter. One of the tasks that immediately made it onto my To-Do list when I got that positive pregnancy test was to make a body butter. Not only will being pregnant stretch and test your skin like never before, but since I knew I would be pregnant throughout the winter, I knew that keeping my skin moisturized an even tougher task.

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Mama’s Body Butter is a nourishing blend of coconut oil, shea butter, beeswax and a calendula-infused grapeseed oil that I created. All ingredients are organic and I am in LOVE with the creamy consistency. It comes in a large 8-oz, wide-mouthed jar that is easy to use. The body butter has a soft, warm scent from the shea butter and my skin just soaks it up! I love that it doesn’t leave me feeling greasy and doesn’t leave clothing marks or stains like some moisturizers on the market.

I use this daily – once when I get out of the shower, and again before bed. Although on days when I feel especially tight and stretched, I’ll rub it on again. I’m halfway through my pregnancy and only halfway through the jar! Keeping your skin hydrated and moisturized is key to avoiding &/or reducing stretchmarks. While drinking lots of water is necessary to hydrate from the inside, a good moisturizer is also important.

Mama’s Body Butter currently comes in an 8-oz BPA-free plastic container (easier on shipping than the glass I previously used) for $11.99. I can make it in custom sizes depending on jar availability if you are looking for a smaller size or a sample. Just contact me directly through my Etsy store: LittleChickNaturals.Etsy.com

Don’t let a cold keep you down!

There are so many options nowadays, from cold prevention to treatment, and it can be overwhelming! I’m the type that avoids the conventional doctor, and take medications almost never.  Whil living a healthy lifestyle is critical to maintaining health, try adding these herbs to you meals, teas, or takes a supplements to support your immune system!

1)Before you get sick:

Echinachea – This familiar herb supports your immune and lymphatic systems. It fights infections and bacteria before they can take hold and cause those dreadful cold and flu symptoms that can ruin your day. Echinachea is great in teas, but can be found in capsule form as well.

Red Clover – Less popular than Echinachea, red clover is a wonderful herb. Red Clover is relaxing, anti-inflammatory and restores your energy, and has a mild, sweet taste the blends well with stronger-tasting herbs. Try spearmint, ginger or cinnamon for great warming blends!

 2) Get over a cold quickly!

Elderberry – This super-hero of the cold and flu world, Elderberry has gained popularity over the past few years for it’s ability to shorten and reduce cold and flu symptoms, and can even stop a cold from developing if taken at the onset of symptoms. Elderberry is available in many forms – dried/raw, teas, tablets and even a syrup that can be mixed into juice, water or teas for an extra boost.

Ginger –  Ginger is anti-inflammatory, will reduce nausea and settle upset stomachs. It’s spicy, warming nature makes it a great additive to teas and asian stir fry – just remember a little goes a long way! Make sure you peel or cut the outer skin off prior to use.

Garlic – Most common as a dish ingredient, garlic has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for hundreds of years. It’s antibacterial properties are amazing. It is also a natural expectorant which will help clear out your sinuses and ditch the tissues! Add garlic to your pasta, stir-fry or sauteed veggies!

 

Intended for informational purposes only. Consult your physician prior to making any changes in your diet or medications.