I grow vegetables to feed us, make natural ingredient creams, lotion and shampoo, cook all meals from scratch and detest E numbers. I live in the beautiful South Island of New Zealand

Posts tagged ‘home remedies’

Homemade deodorant recipe

While I had the coconut oil out, I made more of my beeswax deodorant. This is the recipe I have been using for years.

Now one thing you need to realise is, this is a Deodorant, not an antiperspirant.  The difference is that you will still perspire, but this inhibits the bacteria that give you the sweat smell. This is a very natural product and does not have aluminium in it that commercial deodorants do. The use of aluminium is now being looked at seriously as there are believed to be a serious link to lymphatic and breast cancer.

Because of my age and also fibromyalgia, I have a real sweating problem. I know the common saying is that ‘horses sweat, gentlemen perspire and ladies ‘glow’ ‘. Believe me, I am well past glowing and there are prolonged times when I really ooze sweat. It is very unpleasant for me and anyone else near me, but because there is no way to prevent this. I also use this under my boobs and under all other bulges too. It prevents the awful sweat rash us bigger girls are susceptible to.

Because this is a solid deodorant, you need either a push up or screw up tube to keep it in. I am having difficulty finding a supplier of them here in New Zealand, but I have seen them on overseas sites. If anyone knows where I can buy them here, I would love to know. I have half a dozen that I recycle after a  trip through the dishwasher.

The oils I use have been chosen for their antiseptic and antibacterial qualities. I don’t use tea tree oil because it irritates me, but I love the fragrance combination  these oil make. This mix  is enough to fill 2 x 65 gm tubes shown.



My Homemade Deodorant


30 gm Beeswax

45 gm cocoa butter

45 gm coconut oil

15 gm maize or corn flour


5 gm oil*


10 drops white thyme essential oil (EO)

10 drops rosemary EO

10 drops clary sage EO

10 drops palmarosa EO

10 drops lavender EO

(* I use Hemp seed oil, safflower oil or macadamia oil as they are less likely to absorb into the skin.)


In a 1 cup glass jug, melt all of (1) in short bursts in microwave, or in a double boiler,  until melted.


Add (2) and stir.

Add (3) and stir to combine all oils

If you are using bottom fill  tubes like the ones I use, make sure you have all parts.



Put the little oval cover on the top of the tube, followed by the lid.


Turn the tube upside down and using a small funnel and another hand to hold it steady, start pouring in the waxy mix until about 1/3rd full.


Leave this for about 10 minutes to start to set. Usually there will be a hole form in the wax as it sets. Reheat the jug and repeat the pouring until 2/3rd full. Do not be tempted just fill the tube in one go as the wax will sink as it cools and the hole that forms, will prevent the wind up mechanism from working. Let this new layer set then repeat until it is just below the circle of the winder. Keep any left over wax until you know the tubes are full the next day. I pour it into a large spoon to let it set so it can either be melted again or stored for reuse.P1010517

Carefully move the still upside down tube to the refrigerator and leave over night. This is essential as the winder mechanism will have nothing to grip into if it does not set completely solid.

Next day, check to see if there is a melt hole in it and melt the saved wax and fill it again if there is. Chill again over night. If no need to refill, you are good to go.

Firstly take off  the lid and remove the oval cap that acted as an end cap inside the lid. Save this as you will need it next time you make more. Check to see if the wheel and winder will work. If  it doesn’t, then look at the wheel and thread and using a pointed knife, clear any wax overfill that is preventing it moving. A splash of hot water can be all that’s needed to free it up.

Now there should be a little circular disk that presses into the base wheel, but mine have long since gone. Once everything is working, push in the circle disk to the bottom.

There is no need to keep this in the refrigerator, but let common sense prevail and do not leave it sitting in the sun. Mine resides in the drawer of my bedside table or the bathroom cupboard and the other is usually in my handbag. I have never had it melt stored this way.



Why weeds? What are they?

What is a weed? It is a plant that is growing where it is not wanted. Many of what we class as weeds are garden plants in other countries and  introduced to our country but have since become a pest.

Many of what we call weeds have medicinal or healing properties and are edible raw or cooked.

Way back last century, when I was young and charming, I became interested in the healing properties of weeds and plants. As a child I was brought up on the family farm.

Many of the men who worked on the farm were in the habit of going to the dry creek paddock and picking what we called flannel leaf or wild toilet paper, but is correctly know as woolly mullein (verbascum thapsus) .

Woolley mullein

Woolley mullein

Some used the leaves in their shoes as inner soles but most picked them to dry and add to their tobacco. It was many year later, when I started studying herbs, I discovered it is excellent for asthma and breathing difficulties. Its is now an ingredient in my homemade cough mixture.

When I was mid teens I started suffering from headaches and migraines. I used to go fishing with my dad to the Rangitata or Orari Rivers. One evening we were fishing and my head started pounding so I sat down in the shade. Dad disappeared into the trees and came back with a small willow (salix alba)  branch.

Foliage of the willow tree

Foliage of the willow tree

He said to chew it, hold some under your tongue  then spit it out. It was pretty bitter and awful, but I gnawed away at it. Very rapidly my headache started to go away and I was able to carry on fishing.

My third childhood memory is of the elderberry (sambucus nigra) trees that grew wild around the farm.

The flower of the elderberry tree.

The flower of the elderberry tree.

There were several growing near the sheep yards and also in the farm yard beside the house. In the summer we collected some of the soft wood and leaves and put them in the dogs kennels, under the new straw when we cleaned out the kennels. This acted as a flea deterrent.

I was thrilled by this but it was many many years later that I had the time and chance to study weeds and herbs more closely. I plan to take you thru some of my favourites in times to come.