MAKING HEALING GARDEN SOAP

SUMMER SOAP MAKING WITH GARDEN HERBS

                A HEALING SOAP TO KEEP THROUGH THE WINTER



This soap was made with basic vegetable glycerin, purchased in blocks, and has fresh calendula flowers and leaves added to soap base and strained out before pouring into molds. 


This is the same basic soap, but with a French milled soap base added, which is white , not transparent, this makes the soap harder and last longer and lightens the color of it.



The soap base that I am using today has cocoa butter added to it for more moisture and all the nice qualities cocoa butter has! The blocks are cut into roughly 1" chunks.


The chunks are put into an appropriate size pot. This pot has to be placed inside a second pot with water in it. Be careful about not putting too much water in the lower pot so that it spills over when you lower the soap pot in.  This always must be done, never put a pot with soap base directly on a burner, always use the double pot system.  This is medium heat until the water simmers and then can be put on low heat. Stir gently along the way, it will take about 20 minutes to melt the soap, depending on quantity you are working with.


 Once melted it is time to add the finally chopped or minced calendula blossoms. 


This is a double handful of fresh flowers and leaves. I work on finally chopping these while I stir the melting soap.



This is now ready to add to the melted soap base. It can also be rolled with a rolling pin or macerated so as to release the maximum amount of healing qualities into the soap base. 
I have also done this with yarrow, lavender, rose petals (not all together!) I favor the calendula however, and have added just yarrow to it.
Many other things can be added to melt and pour soap, from oatmeal, beeswax and herbal teas.  There are very nice books and recipes available if research is done. The beeswax will tend to make the soap stick to the molds, so use sparingly!

The chopped calendula is gently stirred in, stirring so that the plant material gets to the bottom of the pan.  The idea is to just get this mixed and then remove from heat to maintain the integrity of the healing materials in the herbs. Over heating it will not make it stronger in this case.



The pan is taken out of its water bath and set out to re-harden. The process of hardening draws the essential parts out of the flowers and leaves into the soap base itself.  This should set a few hours, I often let it set over night, it can be put in a cool place as it hardens.

Once hardened, the pot is placed back into it's second pot with the water and reheated, as in the first steps. Now a solid lump , heat gently and stir, pushing the unmelted lump to the bottom as you stir.
Melting this will take longer than the cut up pieces. The heat needs to be kept medium to low  during this remelt. Once remelted, the pot of soap is poured into a secondary glass container for pouring or another pot, through a sieve or cheesecloth, to strain it of the plant materials.  It is important to move though this quickly as soon as the soap is off the heat it starts to harden.  As it hardens and sticks to pots and sieve you will loose precious soap!  I keep my glass container for the strained soap warm also, in a pot of hot water while I do this part.  This is also when essential oils are added.  It takes a fairly good amount of oils to really make the soap keep a fragrance. I only use real oils and do not use "fragrances" per se.  I add lemongrass, ylang ylang and clary sage, as I like this combination. I added a teaspoon of lemon grass and 20 drops of ylang ylang and few drops of clary sage, which is strong.
After stirring the oils in, I pour the mixture into molds I have laid out on oil cloth on the table .











 I got 13 bars of soap, this is a good sized mold, from the 3 blocks of soap base. These need to set  until they are hardened, I usually set them over night, or if there is room, you can speed it up by putting them in a freezer(keeping them level!)


This is the finished soap, removed from the molds. I will put these in individual cellophane bags and store them in the refrigerator to preserve essential oils, fragrance and healing qualities. These make a lovely gift for many occasions!
I have been getting my soap supplies at Wisteria Lane Soap Co.     http://www.wisterialane.com

I found their prices to be excellent, with quick delivery. Their soap bases are as pure as I have found. All soap bases(vegetable glycerin, etc) are not the same and all have other things added for better performance.
As a bonus this year, in November, I found I had enough blossoms  in the garden to make another batch!






All content of this post is protected by my copyright and may not be copied, transferred or used with out my permission. Thank you.   Copyright 2015 by Lucinda Claire Macy


5 comments:

  1. What a beautiful soap mold! Where can I get one? You've inspired me to try this.

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    Replies
    1. I got this a business called The Soap Salon, they have an online store, it was a really long time ago and I don't know if they still have this mold or not.

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  2. These look beautiful! My daughter had been making soap and we have calendulas blooming now so I'm sure she would love to give this a go :)

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  3. Just got some going, right now.!

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