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In Partnership with the Planet
Here at Rosie’s Apothecary, we like to use plants that we either grow or are familiar with. We feel it is important to understand what we are using on our bodies, so we wanted to share a brief, but fascinating history of some of the plants we use in our products with you! We hope our plant partners bring you as much joy as they have brought us! If you want to learn more about these plants, and others, sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media, where we feature a different plant partner every week!
Disclaimer: The following information is intended for education and entertainment purposes only. It does not reflect the intended use of any product distributed by Rosie's Apothecary LLC. Our products are not intended to cure, treat, or heal any conditions or diseases. We are not medical professionals and recommend consulting a medical professional about health concerns. Our only intention is to share the rich history of the ingredients we utilize in our products.
Calendula, Calendula officinalis, a member of the Aster family more commonly known as pot marigold, is easily distinguished by its sun-like flowerheads and stickiness. Thought to be a tissue healer in German folk medicine, it was historically used for cuts, bites, burns, sunburns, scars and other skin issues. It has even been believed to be antifungal and a pain reliever. A favorite of Rosie's founder, Casey, who calls a calendula oil infusion “liquid gold”, calendula can be found scattered around her backyard in the late summer. Easy to grow in the ground or in pots, it's a great plant for beginner or busy gardeners! Should be avoided during pregnancy.
Lemon Balm, Melissa officinalis, was historically believed to be a mood booster. Used in herbal medicine to ease anxiety and depression, tension, and nervousness, lemon balm was a popular ingredient for teas and infusions, and still is due to its fresh, tart flavor described in its name. An easy-to-grow, drought-tolerant perennial that thrives in part shade, we highly recommend adding lemon balm to your garden. We let it take over, and allow some parts to go to bloom for pollinators. When using the plant for teas and other recipes, it is best to harvest before it blooms and use fresh. Propagate and share with friends!
Lavender, Lavandula spp., has long held the place in the hearts of many for its incredible aroma. It has been used for bathing since ancient times, though was believed to do more than sweeten one’s scent; lavender was believed to be antibacterial and antiseptic. Historically it was used to disinfect wounds, soothe pain, and aid in healing. Lavender was also believed to be a mood stabilizer and mild sedative. At Rosie’s Apothecary, we love the soft, purple color of lavender flowers, and enjoy watching the hummingbirds dip their bills in the cup-like petals in the summertime.
German Chamomile, Matricaria recutita, is a well-known herb from the Aster family and a popular ingredient in bedtime teas. Historically, chamomile was thought to be anti inflammatory and a powerful nervine to ease anxiety and tension. A lesser known fact is that chamomile was used for minor skin irritations. German Chamomile is an annual plant, but Roman Chamomile is a perennial. Both are believed to have similar healing properties, and pollinators can be found hanging out on the large yellow centers. Also a low maintenance, easy-to-grow plant!
Rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis, another favorite of owner Casey Downs, and the plant featured in our logo! You’ve probably heard of rosemary, and maybe even used it in your cooking. It has long been used to spice up poultry dishes and scent cleaning products. Historically, rosemary was believed to be stimulating and restorative - in many ways! An herb for the brain, rosemary was believed to increase mental clarity and focus. Though it’s stimulating, rosemary was also believed to ease anxiety, depression, and tension in the muscles, relieve headache, as well as aiding in the healing of wounds. Believed to be antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal, rosemary was often used in cleaning. Rosemary is still used in haircare today, for scent, but in the past it was thought to aid in hair growth by stimulating the follicles.
Lemongrass, Cymbopogon spp., was historically believed to be antibacterial, anti inflammatory, and antifungal. Like it’s citrus namesake, it was also believed to be a stimulant and mood enhancer. We chose to use lemongrass essential oil because of its similar scent to lemon, without the phototoxic reaction that some citrus essential oils can cause.
Plantain, Plantago spp., is well-known as a stubborn weed that scatters lawns but it has a rich history as one of the most beloved plants for pain and skin issues. Historically, plantain was used as a remedy for anything from stings, to bites, scrapes, cuts, burns, sunburns, and even eczema and rosacea. Those of us who have had outdoor training may have been taught how to make the infamous spit-poultice. Plantain was also thought to be anti inflammatory, astringent, and antiviral. Some herbalists revere it for its alleged ability to pull toxins and impurities from the body, like splinters and dirt.
Rose, Rosa spp., is often considered a symbol of beauty. That, paired with its scent, has made it a staple in the beauty products since ancient times. At Rosie’s Apothecary, we use both rose petals and rosehip oil. Rosehips are the accessory fruit of the rose and are known for their Vitamin C content. In herbal medicine, roses to have anti inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, but it is their scent and flavor that has made them a household name.
(Information from "Eyewitness Handbooks: Herbs" by Lesley Bremness, "Rodale's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs" edited by Claire Kowalchik and William H. Hylton, "The New American Herbal" by Stephen Orr, The Herbarium, and personal experience.)
Intentional Breathing: Stop what you are doing and take a few deep, intentional breaths; inhale through your nose, fill your lungs to capacity, pause, and exhale through your mouth. Notice how your chest expands as you inhale, and contracts as you exhale.
Self Check-In: While breathing intentionally, ask yourself how you are feeling, why you are feeling that way, and what you can do moving forward to either continue or stop feeling that way. And remember, “just because” or “I don’t know” are valid answers. You may need more self-reflection, or perhaps there is a mental condition behind your feelings. The important thing is that you are taking the time to check-in with yourself.
Journaling: Writing down your self check-in with the date will allow you to track your mood and your life, and possibly discover triggers, things that make you happy, toxic relationships, etc. Journaling is an incredible outlet and essential for self-reflection. Being able to look back at our journey, determine cycles we are stuck in, and/or discover clues about our purpose is a gift. It is a difficult habit to build, even for people who love to write, but even five minutes a day when you wake up or before you go to sleep is worth committing to.
Tarot Cards: All of these practices intertwine beautifully, and tarot cards are no exception. They are far more than cards used for fortune telling, they can be invaluable for diving into your subconscious, providing inspiration, and facilitating communication between you and the Divine. Whenever I am feeling stuck or unsure what to write about or meditate on, I turn to my tarot cards. I take note of the first thing that pops into my head and where my eyes are drawn to on the card(s) I pull. This is a great way to exercise your intuition and peek into your subconscious.
Meditation: Meditation is the ultimate mindfulness practice. However, people often turn away from it because they dread sitting still or cannot quiet their mind. This is when we need meditation the most, and it is more than sitting cross-legged and being silent. Meditation is being mindful enough to greet our thoughts without judgement and send them on their way. Meditation is intentional breathing. It can be done when you are walking, riding the bus, or even dancing. You can incorporate chants, affirmations, or listen to a guide. Choose one or two meditations and commit to doing them everyday for a week, then pick out a new one the next week, and so on. Journal before and after your experience. Do some research on the origins of different practices. Create your own meditation! Do not forget to always include intentional breathing. Whenever my mind wanders, rather than getting mad at myself I simply come back to my breathing and ease into the practice once more.
Affirmations: Part of being mindful is recognizing not only who you are, but who you want to be. Affirmations allow us to hyperfocus on something we desire. They can aid in building habits, changing our mindset, and motivating us towards our goals. You can have one affirmation that provides you comfort, mine is “I am safe, happy, healthy, successful, and strong”, you can choose an affirmation to accompany your meditation practice each week, or just choose one intuitively in the moment. Affirmations can give our mind something to focus on and help clear external distractions. Affirmations are a lot like spells, and the intention behind them should be clear. Put faith behind your affirmations, and they become manifestations.
Using a Planner: It may seem counterintuitive to use a planner when developing your intuition, but on the contrary, being organized and disciplined frees up our intuition to do its job and clears up our communication lines with our inner self. It can be overwhelming to think about all the things we need to get done or want to do. Prioritizing our goals will help us to accomplish them quicker. There comes a point where we have to stop asking ourselves where to begin and just start. Use your intuition to choose which path to follow, plan it out, and see it through. Make your goals specific and realistic. Start small. Each goal you reach will boost you higher and higher towards fulfilling your purpose. You will start to see your potential, recognize your gifts, and develop them. You will learn the necessary lessons to get you to where you want to go.
Visualize the Life You Want: This is a great practice to use when journaling. Write down what you want for yourself, and be as specific as possible. Describe a walkthrough of your typical day in the future, from your family and friends, to the house you live in, to your yard, the car you drive, your career, any hobbies, pets, vacations. Dream big. Create a vision board to go with your story. Try doing this practice once a month or every six months. See what changes, and what stays the same. Prioritize. Brainstorm what steps you can take to achieve each priority. Make a five year plan. Make a plan for the year ahead. Start planning out your months and weeks. Turn your dream into a reality.
Self-Care: If we want something to work for us to the best of its ability, it requires maintenance. The way our cars need gas and oil changes, our bodies requires our attention. From drinking enough water, to eating nutritious foods, getting enough sleep, stretching, exercising, fresh air and sunlight, and keeping our skin clean and moisturized… self-care is an investment in ourselves that will provide unimaginable benefits to our lives. It’s difficult to justify spending the time and money (PSA: you do not have to spend a lot of money to take care of yourself!) when we have bills to pay and mouths to feed, but neglecting ourselves can lead to an expensive lesson down the road. When your body starts giving out and you need time off work, frequent visits to the doctor, and expensive prescriptions, you’ll realize that it would have been far easier to invest in preventative care. And it is more than taking care of your physical body, mental health matters as well. Stress can manifest itself in physical ways: inflammation, migraines, back pain, and heart disease are just a few. Make the effort to take care of yourself, little by little. Make an appointment with your doctor (find one you like - don’t give up!), drink more water, check out www.choosemyplate.gov and start eating better, stretch in the morning, get on a consistent sleep schedule, start going for walks… do a self check-in each morning and/or night and track the changes. If you need a little guidance, try referring to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and see if you are fulfilling each level. What aspects could use extra attention?
Gardening: I am a tad bit biased on this one, gardening is my passion, and it is not for everyone. However, if you want to garden and bring plants into your life, ANYONE can. It doesn’t matter if you lack a yard, it’s all about finding the right plant for the conditions you can provide. If you lack even a small space outside for a container, research houseplants! Take note of the climate you are in (is it cold, hot, humid, dry?) and the natural lighting in your space (does the sun come directly through any of your windows?). How often do you go away? Maybe succulents or cacti are ideal for you. If you do have a small space for a small container, there are plants that require very little room, especially herbs. Think about the types of food you like to eat and the herbs you reach for frequently. Basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, cilantro, chives, tomatoes are a few common plants to grow in containers. Which plants pair well together and can share a container? Maybe you have enough space for a raised bed, check out what that entails on Pinterest or Google! Winter is the perfect time to start scoping out your space, time availability, and budget. I would advise starting out with one to three plants that you can devote your time and energy to. Study how much light, water, and nutrients they require. Are you going to start them from seed? Do you need to start them indoors? When? Can you buy a plant already started from a local plant nursery? What is the best way to harvest and preserve the plant? Gardening is more than nurturing and taking responsibility for a living thing, and plants give us more than nourishment and beauty, they provide us a lesson in how the Universe works and how we can take care of ourselves. They can change our entire outlook on life.