Winter Rose: A Simple, Natural Beauty Tonic


In our islands, roses are a brief winter delight. This morning, Fernando brought me some wild roses – they were already wilting because of the very cold night we had, so I decided to make a skin tonic before they were gone.

This tonic is formulated to smooth, clean, and revitalize your skin. It does not matter which skin type you have, and it can be used in your entire body if you want to.

I get extremely dry skin in the winter, and because of fibromyalgia I am very prone to itchy skin in any season, and this always works beautifully for me. Of course, you don’t need to have any skin problem to use it – a healthy skin is very important for good health, and cleaning it + feeding it will always make you feel and look better. Here’s the recipe:


In a salad bowl or similar, mix the following ingredients:

· Rose petals (one handful if dry, two handfuls if fresh) – Roses smooth the skin, improves skin circulation, and help removing blemishes.

Note – please notice that they must be wild roses, or from any place where you are sure that they are not loaded with chemicals. Usually, flower store roses are, so avoid them.

· Honey (a teaspoon) – It is antibiotic, so it helps with clogged and infected pores, adds elasticity, and heals small wounds.

Note – the more pure the honey, the better. Avoid supermarket honey and get honey from a local beekeper if possible.

· Calendula Petals ( one handful if dry, two handfuls if fresh). Heals and strengthens the skin at all levels, reduces inflammation and alleviates discomfort.

· Lavender Flowers (around a dozen flowers if fresh, two teaspoons of flowers if dry, no leaves). Disinfects skin and helps healing acne, rashes, cold bites, etc.

· A slice of Lemon. Removes excess oils gently and disinfects skin.

Put all ingredients together in the bowl, and pour about two glasses of boiling hot water over them. Cover and let sit until the tonic is back at room temperature, strain and keep in a sterilized jar.

Use it as soon as possible, preferably that same day. To apply, soak a ball of cotton, and dab the skin gently and generously. You can just let it dry on the skin, but if you put too much honey and it feels sticky when dry, just wash the skin with warm water only. You can repeat the treatment several times during the day, or in different body areas. You can keep it refrigerated for 3-4 days, but not more.

And Witches – remember intention! While preparing your tonic, concentrate on healing, restoration, wellness, health, vibrancy, beauty, and anything you relate to the ingredients of the tonic, and to what you want to get from it. Of course, if you work with any deity or Spirit that patronages any of these qualities, you can do the work under their presence, or ask them to bless the tonic as you make it. Magic becomes a million times more powerful when you make it yours!



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Art And Illustration Portfolio: The Art Of Carolina Gonzalez

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Service Preparations: Fortuna Incense Recipe


Our upcoming 2017 Blessing Service, which will happen on December 21st, is focused on attracting blessings of all kinds for the coming year, and on releasing and cleansing negativity from the previous one. For it, I have been working on a very special herbal incense, using our most powerful Green Allies – and, just as the altar tree, it has been baptized as Fortuna Incense, because I think it encompasses what I want to provide to my customers through this service: good fortune for 2017.

This incense, as you can see in the pictures, will be made using exactly eight equal parts of the following ingredients:

  • One part is powdered resins; this time, I have mixed and powdered Storax Benzoin, Frankincense and Rose resin (Arabic type) – but any mixture of your choice is fine, as long as it is good quality. This ensures good burning, and adds a soft element of fragrance. And, no matter how many resins you use, they should not be more than one eighth of the mixture.
  • One part Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis); the holy warrior, cleansing and blessing on its way. A plant that is also related to good health and to prosperous businesses, it had to be the first on the formula. For those who need obstacles removed, healing and good luck.
  • One part Canarian Juniper (Juniperus Phoenicea, endemic); emblem of the island of El Hierro, for strength, courage, healing and endurance at all levels. For those who want to achieve ambitious goals, or need extra strength to heal and grow.
  • One part Ginger root (Ginziber Officinalis); equal parts luck, passion and joy, ginger brings opportunity, opens roads, and attracts love and inspiration. For those who want to want to find love, heal relationships and open communication at all levels.
  • One part Cinnamon bark (Cinnamomun Verum); money, money, money! Cinnamon brings wealth, financial growth and all the blessings of abundance. For those who need financial blessings in the upcoming year.
  • One part Moorish Sage (Salvia Canariensis, endemic); the gentle but powerful healer, that brings balance to the mind, body and spirit. For those who need healing of any kind, and for those who are working on personal improvement.
  • One part Dragon’s Blood root (Draco Dracaena, endemic), emblem tree of Tenerife, and the tree with the most famous magical resin in Western magic. The roots are from our own tree, which I have grown from seed, so this is VERY special. For those that need empowerment, psychic and spiritual growth, and guidance.
  • One part Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus Globulus): one of our greatest warriors and protectors; for protection, cleansing, and removal of negativity. For all participants, since we all can use the Eucalyptus’ power.


Of course, there is more than just the recipe – so much more. After mixing the herbs, the mixture is ensalmada (prayed over) along several days, and will stay at the altar until the 21st, constantly receiving energy from the altar. We have been working on charging the altar for two weeks already, so this incense is going to be quite powerful when offered to the Spirits during the service.

But, creating this process depends on you and your path; all the information I have shared about each plant should be enough so you can build a ritual process for waking it up, that works according to your own path, and your own level of growth.

And, if you want to make substitutions, make them without hesitation, again according to your ecosystem and surrounding Green Allies – but please understand that I cannot help you with that, because I may not know a thing about the green life in your area :). Making this yours is your job.

If you are interested in participating in our Service, you can do so clicking here – it’s really affordable, for those who actually need more blessings!




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Herbalism: Herb Bundle Recipes For Kitchen Witches


Herbal bundles, fresh or dry, made for the occasion or in advance, are a very easy way to add herbs to your everyday Kitchen Witch routines – and make a lovely gift for those around you that don’t know much about herbs, because you can make them for their specific needs and taste, and choose the herbs yourself. They can be used in teas and soups/stews, or they can be untied and powdered in a coffee grinder, to be sprinkled as a spice. In this blog post, I am presenting you five of the most useful recipes that I use constantly, but as always, I encourage you to adapt them to what’s local and available where you live. There is only one thing to remember – that you use unbleached, 100% natural cotton thread to tie them, so it’s safe to heat it.

I have chosen the herbs for their medicinal/health properties, but Witches – remember intention when you are gathering them and tying them together. All herbs have magical properties, so connect with them while working!


Bundle 1: To Flavour Soups, Meats And Stews: 1 part Rosemary, 3 parts Thyme, 3 parts Thyme, 2 parts Spearmint.


Bundle 2: For When You Know You’re Getting Sick: 1 part Sage, 2 parts Peppermint, 1 part Lavender, 1 part Thyme. Strong taste, but it will stop that cold in its tracks!


Bundle 3: For An Upset Stomach, Or After Binging On Heavy Foods: 1 part Fennel, 1 part Peppermint, 1 part Spearmint, 1 part Marjoram.


Bundle 4: For Adding Scent To Your Barbecue Or Fireplace (Place On Coals): Equal parts of Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme. The moore “woody” the cuts, the better, so choose the older branches of each plant.


Bundle 5: Anti-Anxiety, And For A Good Sleep: 2 parts Lemon Verbena, 2 parts Linden, 1 Part Lavender, 2 parts Lemon Balm.


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Recipes: A Prosperity Spell (And The Building Of The Imagination Muscle)

The two purposes of this very simple but effective spell are empowering your visualization skills – the Imagination Muscle – and attract Prosperity in all areas of your life. Since this spell is not only beneficial for its actual results, but for its practise as a magical exercise, I would definitely suggest doing it regulary. In the end, there is no such thing as too much prosperity, right?

In my opinion, performing spells that are disconnected from your own way of working, from your own traditions and personal heritage, is completely useless. So, I have created this spell with a lot of room for adapting it to your own Spiritual path, and that’s how you should proceed. Do not copy my recipe – it is very important that, for every element on the list below, you look for an equivalent that’s traditional to your Spiritual path, and/or your local flora/fauna, and/or your own ancestry. For that, I have tried to explain clearly which is the purpose of each element, so you can translate that meaning to your own path. Make things yours.

Setting The Physical Spell Items

Note – the order of steps is specific, make them as suggested.

· One piece of fruit that can has been hollowed, like a passion fruit, a small pumpkin, a squash, etc. It has to be big enough to fit a candle in it. This fruit will represent the home. We chose a passion fruit, because it grows in our land, it’s my favourite fruit, and it’s in season. Fernando carved a sun and moon sign to represent our marriage and its unity, but you can carve runes, sigils, or any symbol that, for you, is a metaphor of what you want to have in your home. Place that in the center of your table.

· A candle that fits inside the carved fruit, of any type and colour of your choice, as long as it represents prosperity for you. I chose a tealight candle because the maracuja fruit is quite small.

· Three leaves from a tree that represents strength and protection in your Spiritual Path – we chose leaves from the chestnut tree. Place those as you can see in the pictures, radiating from the centre.

· Around twenty pennies, of course of your own currency. The amount of pennies depends only on the size of the circle, so they can be really close to each other. These, of course, represent wealth and luck. Make a circle around the centre with them, going over the leaves.

· Corn Meal, that represents prosperity and abundance. If you can’t find or don’t use corn meal, you can use any flour of a seed/grain that’s traditional to your country/tradition, as long as you get a quality one. Make another circle just outside the circle of pennies, again going over the leaves.

· Finally, three feathers, that represent wisdom, clarity, and Spiritual growth – we chose crow feathers, but as with all the previous elements, you should choose if you can a bird (or more than one) that has a symbolic meaning for you. Place those between the leaves.

Setting The Intention

First and most important, prepare yourself for the ritual – turn off the TV, the computer and the phone and practise any activity that relaxes your mind completely – dance, sing, go for a walk, play with your dog, meditate… anything that clears your mind of any worry and anxiety.

Once you are relaxed, set the elements on the table and light the candle. Depending on your tradition and practise, you can light incense, play some music, or recite an invocation to the Spirits/Ancestors/Deities that you want help from, so they are aware of your work and grant you with their company while you perform the spell. If you think it will help you, do it – as I said, make it yours.

Then, you must focus on the candle, and visualize how its light expands and fills your home and its inhabitants completely. Try to hold that image for a few minutes, and then simply imagine (yes, imagine) good things happening to you. Imagine for as long as you want, as wildly as you want – actually, the wilder, the better.

There is no chanting, and no reciting verbal castings on this work – this is a spell created to expand your imagination, which is an often overlooked magical tool, but in my opinion and experience a very powerful one, if not the greatest one.

The Reasons Behind It

This idea is based on a very simple concept – that we all have a spark of the Power Of Creation inside us. To create, we need our imagination; when we create, we align with Divinity. But our imagination is not a fully grown reality without practise – it is what I would call a magical muscle. A magical muscle, like Intuition, like Clairvoyance, like Mediumship, requires a consistent and lengthy practise to provide any efficient results; exactly the same thing happens to your Imagination.

Most of all, imagine things that you do not believe possible – because those are the exact limits of your self-image. And, knowing where those limits lie will not only teach you a very valuable lesson about yourself, they will be the keys to overcoming those limits and expanding your personal power.

At the beginning of the article, I recommended to make this spell regularly, as an exercise more than as just a spell – but, in truth, that doesn’t take one bit from the actual magical effect, because the more you practise it, the more powerful your imagination is, and thus the more effective the spell. Just so, expanding your imagination will make you more aware to any opportunities for growth and happiness, which will only increase any protection and prosperity the spell can bring into your life. As you repeat it, your imagination and your magical power will feed each other continuously, multiplying your Blessings.

Can you imagine what you will be able to do and experience when your Imagination Muscle is fully working? Well, now go and IMAGINE. Imagine yourself Connected With Life.


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Recipes: Rosemary Alcohol


Rosemary alcohol, which is the tincture of fresh Rosemary in rubbing alcohol for external use, is one of those staples of both my apothecary and my magical cupboard that I use all the time. It’s extremely easy to make, and just as useful, so today I’m sharing the recipe and properties.

As a medicine, Rosemary Alcohol is a wonderful aid for muscle pain, used for a quick relief as it absorbs very quickly. It creates a feeling of heat as it stimulates circulation, and relaxes cramped and aching muscles very quickly. Rosemary is also a fabulous disinfectant, cicatrizant and antibiotic, so if you can take a bit of stinging, it’s perfect for cleaning scratches and small wounds. I also use it for stopping the itching of mosquito bites, and add it to foot baths.

As a magical element – well, Rosemary is one of the holiest herbs that we have in this planet, so you can use the concoction for almost any blessing, healing, cleansing, banishing, and consecrating works. Besides its many ritual uses, there are also a lot of everyday magic uses – you can dab it on yourself, spray it around the house, carry a small bottle in your purse or in the car, and anoint anything and everywhere where you want protection and cleanliness.


To make it, you only need a wide jar, a bottle of rubbing alcohol (I use  a 500 ml/17 liquid ounces bottle from the drugstore, no special brand or type), and fresh Rosemary. Yes, it has to be fresh – I have tried it with dry Rosemary, and the tincture was very weak, totally worthless.

Place the chopped herbs first, leaves and stalks, and add enough alcohol just to cover them. Close the jar tightly, and place for six weeks in a dark and cool cupboard. After that, you can use it, strained or not. I have to say I don’t strain it or bottle it, I just use it from the jar, and when it’s almost over, I change the herbs for fresh ones and add more alcohol, so I have a continuous supply available. Below, you can see a new jar we just made.


Witches, remember INTENTION. Align with the powerful Spirit of the Rosemany plant while you are working, and feel its energy and the holiness of its being. The more powerfully you feel this while you are working, the more focused you are on uniting yourself with its Spirit, the more efficacious it will be at healing you.


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Recipes: Teas For Witches

Herb bundles, from our magicla urban gerden: Thyme, Lavender, Pennyroyal,

Herb bundles, harvested from our magical urban garden: Thyme, Lavender, and Pennyroyal.

As you all know, I use herbs all the time, for magic and medicine alike. For me, the healing they do on our mind and Spirit is just as important as the healing they do on our physical body; they are very powerful magical tools, and a cup of herbal tea can have the same positive effects than a Spiritual Bath, a Sahumerio (burning herbs as in smudging), or an ointment. For today’s post, I have a list of seven herbal teas specially formulated for witches – how cool is that? Very :).

“One Part” equals  one teaspoon of fresh or dry herb per cup of tea. All of them are enhanced by the addition of honey. As a medicine for the body, and as a magical element, honey has tremendous healing, protection and nourishing properties.

1· For Grounding And Centering Before Spiritual Work:

Equal parts of Chamomile (Matricaria Chamomila), Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis), and Lemon Verbena (Aloysia Citriodora).

2· To Recharge Your Energy After Spiritual Work, Or After Being In A Magically Draining Situation:

Equal parts of Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis), Thyme (Thymus Vulgaris), and a fresh slice of Ginger root (Zingiber Officinalis)

Note – not very tasty if you’re not used to herbal brews, but it works!

3· When Spiritual Energy Is Really High And It’s Driving You Insane, For Good And Bad:

One part Fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare), one part Sage (Salvia Officinalis), Two Parts Peppermint or Spearmint (Mentha Piperita or Mentha Spicata).

Flowering Spearmint.

Flowering Spearmint.

4· When You’ve Been In A Place Filled With Spiritual Muck (Paranormal Investigator Witches, This One’s For You):

One part Sage (Salvia Officinalis), one part Lavender (Lavandula Genus), 1/3 of a Cinnamon stick (Cinnamomum Verum).

5· When You’ve Been With Someone Filled With Spiritual Muck (for negative people, but also after doing cleansing or hex-breaking work on someone):

One part Stinging Nettle (Urtica Dicoica), one part Lemongrass (Cymbopogon Citratus), one part Basil (Ocimum Basilicum).

6· To Increase Psychic Abilities And Magical Focus – 1:

One part Lavender (Lavandula Genus), one part Rose petals (Rosa Genus), one fresh Lemon slice.

7: To Increase Psychic Abilities And Magical Focus – 2:

One part Lemongrass (Cymbopogon Citratus), one part Fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare), one fresh slice of Ginger (Zingiber Officinalis).

Flowering Tulasi Basil.

Flowering Tulasi Basil.

And remember – do your research, and know your own health. Herbs are not harmless, and their chemicals can be very potent, specially if they are homegrown and fresh from the garden/farm. Read, research, read, research – knowledge is freedom and self-sufficiency!


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Recipes: Basil Tincture


In the picture above, you can see my favourite tincture of the past year – a Basil tincture made with Genovese, Tulasi, and Cinnamon Basil. We grow Basil almost all year round for kitchen and magic use, but at the end of the summer, we let all our plants flower and go to seed, so we have seeds to plant and share.

Once seeds are mature, plants are cut off completely and the bundles dried and processed; after saving the seeds, we are always left with a bunch of woody stalks and small leaves – not particularly useful for the kitchen, but perfect to make a tincture :). One big recycled  and sterilized jar, enough white rum to cover the herbs, and three weeks in a dark and cool cupboard, and the tincture was ready to be strained and bottled.

In my experience, Basil tincture helps you feel you grounded and present, and keeps negative thoughts and energies away. It makes me feel stronger, less fatigued and anxious, and more positive and centered. Of course, a shot glass of tincture is an offering that hardly any Spirit will refuse, so I don’t make them only for us, but also for them :).

The exact plants used in the tincture, right after harvesting them. Once they were dry and the seeds were saved, all remaining leaves and stalks were used to make it.

With tinctures, I usually take one dropper (or a spoonful, or a small shot glass) a day, for no more than five days in a row. Then I change to another herb for another five days, and so on. Actually, as I do with everything related to food+medicine, I do seasonal – when the tincture is gone, I change to other combinations of plants until I have another Basil harvest.

Understanding this seasonal cycle is something very important in herbal medicine – you must always remember that organic, well fed herbs have strong chemicals, and are not harmless; a medicine always becomes a poison when the treatment is not followed properly. Educate yourself, and do your research before taking any medicine, herbal of pharmaceutical – education is freedom and self-sufficiency!


And, here’s an extra gardening tip about Basil: if you want your plants to grow strong, cut off the first flower buds as they appear. Basils are obsessed with flowering, and if the temperatures rises suddenly, they will start flowering before they have grown enough. Every time you cut off a flower bud, the plant will grow two new stems, and will give you twice as many leaves. When the plant is around five months old, you can let it flower and go to seed, and collect the seeds for the next year.


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Recipes: Herbal Sugar

This short article was published on my website’s newsletter in the summer of 2013. It has been slightly edited to add extra content, and also because my English has improved a bit :). Enjoy!

Spirits devour anything with sugar, honey or any type of molasses/syrups. In Afro-Latin traditions, they are used not only as an offering, but also  as a magical element in itself; they are a symbol of love (family love, couple’s love, love for the Spirits), but also a symbol of wealth, joy and abundance. Whatever you want to grow in your life, whatever you want to attract, you drown it in sweetness.

Herbal sugar, which is just your choice of sweetener steeped with fresh or dry herbs/condiments, is a very easy way to create edible (and extremely discreet) magic. The variations of this type of recipe are endless – just as many as magical intents are. You can offer it to the Spirits, in your altar or outdoors; you can serve it to your family or your lover, for good communication and loving atmosphere in the home; you can add it to your baking and cooking; and of course, you can make yourself a very powerful treat by adding it to your herbal tea.

Herbal sugar, either for magical or medicinal use, also makes an original and very affordable gift, as long as it is made months in advance. Recycle and decorate jars to give it away, and you will also be doing Mother Nature a favour.

These recipes can be made with any type of sugar, or with any type of honey/syrup, as long as it is of good quality. The basic procedure for any recipe is to powder all ingredients in a coffee grinder, and steep them in the sugar/honey for at least two months in a cool and dark place, shaking the mixture regularly. It is always best when made with fresh ingredients, but dry herbs work too.

The strength in taste and smell will depend on the amount of herbs/roots/seeds added per ounce of sweetener, and that’s where you personal taste comes, and where you’ll have to experiment.

All recipes presented here start with 100 grams (around four ounces) of sugar or honey.

Recipe 1:  Add one teaspoon of powdered cinnamon, two teaspoons of lavender flowers, two teaspoons of rose petals, two teaspoon of orange blossom flowers, and one teaspoon of ginger.

Magical Use: for love, reconciliation, and family spells.

Medicinal Use: to ease anxiety, stress and grief.

Recipe 2:  Add one teaspoon of  ginger, two teaspoons of Tulasi/Holy basil leaves, two teaspoons of thyme leaves, one teaspoon of rosemary leaves and one teaspoon of powdered cinnamon.

Magical Use: for success, money and luck spells.

Medicinal Use: antibiotic, disinfectant and stimulating.

Recipe 3: Add one teaspoon of fennel seeds, two teaspoons of peppermint leaves, one teaspoon of sage leaves,  and two teaspoons of Lemon Balm leaves.

Magical Use: for protection, cleansing and hex-breaking spells.

Medicinal Use: eases depression and imbalance, helps digestion.

Recipe 4:  Fill a jar with garlic, fresh marjoram, fresh thyme, a piece of fresh ginger root, and add honey to fill. Strong taste, but best anti-flu medicine ever! Also useful for disinfecting wounds and healing skin ailments.


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Recipes: Saint Expedite’s Banana Cake


I want to start this post saying that this specific recipe is not a traditional offering to Saint Expedite in any way – it is actually a very Canarian recipe. In my view of Spirit Work, while it is quite important to offer food that Spirits enjoy, and that honours their culture, it is equally important to give what is best from our land, sharing from our culture as well. And, dirty jokes aside, we have the best bananas in the world :).

So, I mix traditional offerings with the best recipes and ingredients of Canarian food – in my experience of almost 30 years serving the Spirits, I have never had a Spirit refuse such offerings. The love, time and experience that you put into cooking, and the quality of the ingredients used, are things that Spirits will always appreciate – and that always shows in their protection and generosity.

So, this recipe was chosen for those reasons, because everyone knows that Saint Expedite loves cake :), and because it was made on his feast day – but it could be offered to any Spirit.

Ingredients (14-16 servings):

  • 300 grams/ 10,5 ounces of regular flour;
  • 150 grams/ 5,2 ounces of brown sugar;
  • 150 grams/ 5,2 ounces of butter;
  • 3 eggs;
  • One big banana, as ripe as possible, mashed;
  • A pinch of salt;
  • 16 grams/ 0,5 ounces of baking yeast;
  • 200 ml/7 ounces of milk;
  • A vanilla flavoured youghurt, 125 grams/ 4,4 ounces;
  • A teaspoon of powdered cinnamon;
  • Freshly grated lemon rind, about three spoonfuls.


How To Make It:

  • In a double boiler, melt the butter.
  • Take a big bowl, pour the melted butter, and mix it with the sugar until it’s creamy and fluffy; then add the eggs, milk, youghurt, the mashed banana, and set aside.
  • In another big bowl, mix all the dry ingredients well.
  • Start adding the dry mix to the wet mix, slowly, mixing carefully.

                            Witches, now it’s the time to infuse the baking with intention!

  • Once you have finished mixing both bowls together, just pour into a silicon mould and bake for 35-40 minutes on medium heat, checking every ten minutes to adjust heat if needed.
  • Once baked, let it cool and serve to the Spirits with fresh herbs and a tasty drink :).


A question I always get is – what do you do with the food offerings? Well, once the Spirit has absorbed its energy, and blessed it with their presence, I do whatever I choose with them. Depending on what the food is, I share a part with wildlife during our wildharvesting trips, we eat a part, we share with friends and family, or we give it to people in need. We do NOT throw away offerings, ever – that would not only be wasteful, but also totally disrespectful; I am not a superstitious person, but I totally believe that throwing away brings bad luck, as any kind of useless waste. My only concern is that, when offering food to wildlife, it is 100% safe for animals and completely biodegradable.


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Recipes: Herbal Infused Olive Oil Soap


We wanted  to formulate a soap that we could use every day, specially after gardening and crafting, but that was soft enough for me, since I have very sensitive skin that is prone to drying and itching.  All the herbs used have strong antibiotic, antifungal and antimicrobial properties, and Olive oil is highly hydrating for the skin, so it seemed like a perfect  combination for very clean, but not dry skin.

Spiritually, this soap has powerful blessing, cleansing, and road opening properties – it removes physical, AND spiritual dirt. In Afro Latin traditions, magical soaps are used daily, for all kinds of purposes; so, for me (and as usual), there is no difference between home making and magic making. When I use it, I can remember what it was made for, and what are its properties, focusing my intent and empowering it even more.

(And that, dear readers, is what the Connected With Life thing is basically about.)


· Olive Oil, sun-infused for two weeks with:

  • – Moorish Sage flowers (Salvia Canariensis)
  • – Balm Of Gilead leaves (Cedronella Canariensis)
  • – Lavender leaves and flowers (Lavandula Stoechas)
  • – Dry Orange Rind

Note – use a LOT of herbs. For 1 litre (33 ounces) of oil, I used three bowls of Sage flowers, one bowl of Cedronella, two bowls of Orange rind, and two bowls of Lavender, and I’m meaning breakfast size bowls, full. The volume of herbs was actually the same volume of the oil, so keep that in mind when choosing a jar for the sun infusing. If you use “just a pinch” you will not get any medicinal properties in the oil.

· Lye

· Distilled Water

· Perfume Oil: the same type that is used for bath and body products; you can also use essential oils, or combine them. Since the herb infused olive oil already has plenty of medicinal properties, I chose a pleasant and soft fragrance instead of EOs. Remember that a lot of EOs can damage the skin, so do your research before using them.

· Decoration: Geranium, Saint John’s Wort and Moorish Sage flowers, only on the top, and used very sparingly so it can be easily scraped off if the recipient of the soap doesn’t like it – we will be getting over a dozen soaps, so we will give away a few to friends and family.

Percentages: Per each 100 grams /3,5 ounces of weight of Olive oil, we added 32 grams/1,1 ounces of water, 14 grams/0,5 ounces of lye, and 2 ml. of essential or perfume oil.

How To Make It:

The oil and the herbs must be sun infused  for two weeks – in our weather, that is not a problem; if your weather does not allow it, you can always infuse it at very low heat in the oven for around 12 hours.

After the two weeks of infusion,  the oil was drained  using a strainer that was lined with a clean piece of cotton fabric, so any herb bits would not pass through it. The herb matter retains a lot of oil, so the lined strainer was left on top of the jar for a full day, with a stone as a weight over the herbs, to extract as much oil as possible.

The following day, the lye was added to the distilled water, mixed very slowly and left to cool until it reached the right temperature for making the soap, which is around 40C/104 F. Then, it was slowly added to the oil and mixed until it thickened enough to pour it in the silicon moulds. The flower bits were sprinkled evenly over the top of the soap, and flattened with a wooden spoon. After a few hours, it was ready to be removed from the mould and cut with a very sharp blade; finally, the soaps were left to cure for three weeks in a well ventilated place.


· PLEASE REMEMBER SAFETY. Lye can seriously burn you, so protect yourself and your space well, and send away pets and children. Soap making is very gratifying, but not harmless. Gloves, full sleeves and protective glasses are non-negotiable.

· Whatever utensils you need to make the soap, keep them for soap making only – and never for cooking again! I use glass/ceramic bowls and jars, wooden spoons and silicon moulds. Metal utensils can react with lye, so it’s better to avoid them.

· The herbs used in this recipe grow around me in abundance, and that is why I chose them; do the same for your own version of this recipe. Choose herbs with antibiotic, antifungal, and antimicrobial properties, and you’ll have a perfect equivalent of this recipe.


One Last Note

This recipe was originally published on the blog I had at my website, on July 2015.  Since then, we have given away quite a few soaps, but we are still using this batch daily to wash our hands and face, and we still have enough soap for a few months. Considering how much we garden and craft, and that we live with a small army of pets, we do wash our hands a gazillion times a day :). So, after months using it, I can tell you that this recipe ROCKS. My skin is hydrated and clean, the soap really removes dirt of all kinds from the skin, and compared to any commercial soap I’ve used, this is a thousand times better. The only change I’d make for the next batch is to add more perfume to it, because I love strongly scented toiletries. This summer I am making another batch for sure!