Welcome to the Order of the Sacred Star! This Pagan/Wiccan group, based in Winnipeg, Canada, is committed to teaching the Craft to all those who wish to learn. Our goal is to provide a complete and fulfulling learning experience. Our public classes are offered through the Winnipeg Pagan Teaching Circle.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Herbal Preparations: Soaps

When we think of herbs and their uses, soaps aren't necessarily the first thing that come to mind. But they can be used in herbal medicine and magick, especially if you take the time to study the herbs you'd like to use.

When we talk about making soaps at home, we're not really making soap. Instead we're purchasing a soap base, usually from a craft store, melting it, adding scents and colors, and pouring it into a mold. Truly making soap is a complicated and sometimes dangerous process. As such, it is outside the scope of this article. The melt and pour method is safer and is easy enough for just about anyone to pull off.

Besides your soap base and a double boiler (because you do not want to put melted soap directly over heat; it may catch fire), you'll need molds and soap additives. Molds are typically sold wherever you buy the soap. You can get your additives there too, but beware. While the soap colors are perfectly fine, you probably don't want to buy the scents. Instead, use true essential oils. They have medicinal and magickal properties not present in fragrance oils.

Once you have your supplies, you'll need a recipe. For the most part, you can take any essential oil recipe and convert it you a soap recipe simply by omitting the base oil. Add the oils, using just a few drops at a time, slowly increasing the amount until the scent is pleasing to your nostrils. Take into consideration your skin's sensitivity. If you have sensitive skin, you might want to be conservative with the amount of oil you add until you know how you might react.

You can also add dried herbs to your soaps, which have the added benefit of exfoliating the skin a bit. Make sure these are well distributed throughout the soap before pouring your soaps into molds. When using your soaps, bathe in warm, but not hot, water to maximize their effectiveness.

The ingredients in your soaps will determine their magickal and medicinal effects, so choose your recipes carefully.

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