With Black Friday behind us, along with all of the advertisements and anti-Black Friday social media posts, we may take a moment to consider our own consumption patterns. A question I try to always ask myself before making any purchase is, “Do I really need this, or do I just want it?” The answer can lead to various thoughts in my head. I can either convince myself I really need it, listing reasons why what I already have isn’t good enough, too old, or why I can’t make it myself (or don’t have time). This often ends with me regretting the purchase and reprimanding myself for buying things I don’t really need. If I decide I don’t need it, it’s usually because either I don’t have the money to buy it and I’m being realistic, I have the energy and motivation to find an alternative, or I am adhering to my belief that the less you own, the less that owns you. When I decide to opt-out of the consumerist patterns we are all so used it, I am driven to action to create what I need or want myself – using the resources and remedies the earth so readily provides.
Being part of Concho Community Garden has helped me connect more with what I put into my body – food. Not only I am more aware of the energy and resources that go into food production, but I also realize how much more we can do with plants we grow ourselves. A lot of herbs have healing properties for ailments we all suffer from. So taking a step further than just the food I eat, I try to be more connected with what I put on my body. Cosmetic or hygienic products can be full of chemicals we can’t recognize and are often harmful to our health if used habitually. By opting out of buying those products we not only stop supporting companies that are neither socially or environmentally conscious, but we also make use of natural resources and the beneficial properties they possess. Below are some recipes to make your own bath bag, eye gel, and tea – all things you might need in this stressful time of the semester! Opt out and reconnect!
When you just need a break from all the studying, give yourself some self-love. Let the water hug your body and let the herbs ease your worries. Wash the day’s stresses away!
Relaxing Bath Bag
¼ cup (8g) dried chamomile
¼ cup (8g) dried lavender
¼ cup (8g) dried rose hips
1 tablespoon (8g) dried comfrey leaf
DIRECTIONS: Put all of the ingredients in a muslin bag (or a clean pillowcase, handkerchief, cheese cloth, etc.), shake it all up and tie it shut. Place the bag in the tub under warm running water. Relax and soak. The bag can stay in the tub until you get out.
If you are one of the many who compromise much needed sleep in order to study, surely you have experienced your fair share of baggy eyes and tired face the next day. Ditch the concealer and use this eye gel to rehydrate your eyes! The cucumber and aloe act like an instant drink of water for your eyes while soothing and calming the skin.
Cucumber Eye Gel
1 tablespoon (14g) aloe vera gel
1 teaspoon fresh cucumber juice, strained (best if you juice it)
¼ teaspoon corn starch
1 tablespoon (15ml) witch hazel
DIRECTIONS: In a double boiler, combine all ingredients except the witch hazel and warm carefully – be careful not to overheat or bring to a boil. Remove and transfer to a bowl and mix in the witch hazel. Allow to cool completely. Transfer to a sterile container and store in the fridge for up to a week, this will also make it more refreshing and cool. To use, apply under the eye in an upward otting motion, being careful not to pull on the skin.
You are what you eat!….or what you drink too! Make this stress relieving tea to drink yourself out of anxiety. Be calm like chamomile and high spirited like lemon balm.
1 liter of water
2 tbsp dried chamomile
1 tbsp dried rosehips
1 tsp dried lemon balm
1 tsp dried orange peel
1 tsp dried linden blossoms
1 tsp dried oat straw
*fresh ingredients can be used as well
DIRECTIONS:Place all ingredients in a cup/container and pour simmering (not boiling) water over them, letting them steep for 15-25 minutes. Cover while steeping to make sure you don’t lose any of the plants’ goodness through evaporation. Place a strainer over another cup and pour tea. Drink, relax, and enjoy!
*You can get all of the ingredients listed above at The Herb Bar on W. Mary St, some local grocery stores such as Wheatsville, The Natural Grocer, and Whole Foods, or grow and dry your own herbs!
(Recipes from “The Home Apothecary” by Stacey Dugliss-Wesselman)
-Mijal Grosman, Assistant Coordinator of Concho Community Garden