Metaphysical Farms Soap

Metaphysical Farms offers soap making tutorials, a free lye calculator and recipe creation as well as homeopathy and meditation techniques to support your sustainable lifestyle

Binaural Audio Brain Training

Posted by David DeLauro on Monday, March 28. 2011 at 11:30 in Homeopathy, Meditation

Someone suggested in a recent post about meditation that I look into the effects of Binaural Beats. I had researched the subject several years ago and had good results but the technology for generating the audio was still in its proprietary phase and so the (free) tools that I was using required C compilers and building your own waveforms in text files. Today, there are binaural sound production application all over the mobile market as well as for home usage.

Binaural BeatsFor those unfamiliar with binaural audio (or binaural beats), the basic premise is that playing two different frequencies, one in the left ear and the other in the right, results in a perceived third frequency. Scientific research has shown that the aural effects are measurable and actually do create these audio frequency hallucinations as well as physical responses to the hallucinated sound as if the listener was actually "hearing" the sound. Further research has shown that brainwave patterns will begin to move closer to the frequency of continual sound. This process is called entrainment and it is this process that has lead to the study and use of binaural beats to change brainwave patterns to reach a desired mental state. The table below lists observed brainwave frequencies and what they are associated with when observing them:

Frequency rangeNameUsually associated with:
> 40 HzGamma wavesHigher mental activity, including perception, problem solving, fear, and consciousness
13–39 HzBeta wavesActive, busy or anxious thinking and active concentration, arousal, cognition, and or paranoia
7–13 HzAlpha wavesRelaxation (while awake), pre-sleep and pre-wake drowsiness, REM sleep, Dreams
4–7 HzTheta wavesdeep meditation/relaxation, NREM sleep
< 4 HzDelta wavesDeep dreamless sleep, loss of body awareness

Binaural beat stimulation has been used fairly extensively to induce a variety of states of consciousness, and there has been some work done in regards to the effects of these stimuli on relaxation, focus, attention, and states of consciousness. Studies have shown that with repeated training to distinguish close frequency sounds that a plastic reorganization of the brain occurs for the trained frequencies. So, in theory, those that have trouble quieting the mind or sitting still long enough to focus for meditation could use this method to train the mind to be able to enter into these brainwave states.

Kidney Cleanse

Posted by David DeLauro on Wednesday, March 23. 2011 at 10:44 in Homeopathy, How-to

A kidney cleanse is a great way to avoid kidney stones, but how do they form? If you are dehydrated or have consumed lots of toxic substances, the urine that passes through the kidney can crystallize, forming mineral deposits or kidney stones. Drinking lots of sugary sodas adds to the stress of your system. If the stones become too big they can block urine flow, causing extreme pain in your lower back. A kidney cleanse helps these stones to dissolve, easing your pain, and can also prevent them from forming in the first place.

How the Kidney Works

KidneyThe duties of the kidneys are best described by calling them the filters of the blood. Your blood flows constantly through your kidneys to be purified or filtered. You might be surprised to learn that more than 500 grains of waste matter, acids and poisons have to be moved from the blood through the kidneys every 24 hours. You can easily see, therefore, that on this filtering and eliminating depends your health, to a very great extent. Let the kidneys fail to function properly and nature will call your attention to it right away. When your kidneys fail to function correctly you will feel depressed and tired, restless at night, and pains in the back will show up. There might be scanty urine or a desire to urinate frequently. Your head will ache and many other aches and pains will be making their appearance. You really cannot be surprised that you do not feel well. Just figure your kidneys would do only half the work and eliminate only 250 grains of waste, what will become of the other 250 grains? They will be carried back into your blood and poison your system. Watch, therefore, your kidneys and deal with even minor irregularity promptly.To avoid trouble be careful with your diet. Americans consume daily 80 grams of meat or nearly 3 ounces more of proteinthus attempting to dispose of about 35 grams more than we have capacity for. This overload gradually smashes the kidneys and throws them out of commission.

How to do the Kidney Cleanse

Kidney CirculatoryThe kidney cleanse is a 3-day fast during which you must drink large quantities of distilled water and apple juice. You can drink up to a gallon of each, separately or mixed together. If you haven't tried a fast before, don't worry this cleanse is perfectly healthy. You may be a little hungry, but the apple juice will give you energy and help you feel more full. You can start checking for kidney stones immediately after your first drink of apple juice. Use a simple tea strainer to look for them - they might be very small so look carefully. Not everyone passes kidney stones on this cleanse, but even if you don't its very healthy and will prevent any future problems.

Rainy Morning Soap Recipe

Posted by David DeLauro on Monday, March 21. 2011 at 10:40 in Recipes, Soap
Permanant link: http://metaphysicalfarms.com/r/2e Metaphysical Farms Soap

Metaphysical Farms Lye Calculator allows you to quickly and easily create soap recipes. Rainy Morning created by David on Monday, March 21. 2011 at 10:41 am This recipe uses 7 oils totaling 54 oz. Check out the free calculator today! Metaphysical Farms offers soap making tutorials, soap recipes, a free lye calculator and recipe creation as well as homeopathy and meditation techniques to support your sustainable lifestyle

Lipids
LipidAmount
in oz
Percent
Palm1222.22
Coconut 76°1222.22
Olive1222.22
Soybean814.81
Castor4 7.41
Blueberry Butter4 7.41
Lanolin2 3.70
Total Weight54

Fluid (water) needed:
15.12 - 19.98 fluid oz


blue coloring


Lye (NaOH)
Superfatting
Percent
Amount
in oz
07.91
17.83
27.75
37.67
47.59
57.51
67.43
77.35
87.28
97.20
107.12
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How to Make Bath Salts

Posted by David DeLauro on Wednesday, March 16. 2011 at 13:04 in Homeopathy

Bath SaltsWalking down the bath salts aisle (yes an entire aisle), you will notice an array of various concoctions to add to your bath to make it more soothing or better for your skin. The prices of these additives can be beyond belief, if you know of what they are actually made. Bath Salts are by far one of the easiest things to make. You probably have all of the ingredients to make a very simple unscented bath salt right now.

Really all you need to make bath salts is salt of any kind. A good simple recipe is combining 1 cup of Kosher Salt with 3 tablespoons of Baking Soda. For a cheaper Bath Salt that actually soothes the muscles even more, combine 3 cups of Epsom Salts with 2 cup Kosher Salt and 4 tablespoons of Baking Soda. If you would like to add fragrance to the mixture you can just add about 20 or so drops of some essential oil or even your own handmade fragrance oil to the salt mixture. You can experiment with exactly what combination of salts you have on hand or prefer. The basic recipe I have provided is a 3:2 ratio of Epsom salt and salt. Really that is all there is to the basic salt recipe. In more posts I will talk about more advanced techniques including the use of colors and Dendritic salt.

Meditation Techniques Overview

Posted by David DeLauro on Monday, March 14. 2011 at 11:16 in How-to, Meditation

As I indicated in my previous post Meditation Changes the Brain, there is scientific evidence that meditation has beneficial effects not only on your mood and outlook on life but actual physical changes in your brain that increase your capacity to think and reason. Then question then becomes, "How do I meditate?" or even, "What is meditation?" Merriam-Webster defines the act of meditating as engaging in contemplation, reflection or a similar mental exercise. Some of the simplest exercises can be considered meditation. Many people subscribe to the simple 5-10 minute breathing meditation where you simply focus all of your attention on the act of breathing (usually focusing on the breath entering and leaving your nose) and counting those breaths with one count being an inhale and an exhale. Another meditation for those that have trouble sitting still is paying attention to the act of walkingLavender Fragrance--when your foot hits the ground; what parts hit first, next and last. Another meditation technique that helps those that are easily distracted is lighting a candle and focusing on the flame. A good addition to this exercise is to have a paper and pen ready and just mark down each time your mind wanders. When your mind wanders, simple put the mark on the paper and refocus on the flame. Do this for as long as you can muster. With this technique you can keep track of your focusing progress and how disciplined your mind has become.

These practices can help us understand our own minds. With the fast paced nature of modern western culture, often times we don't have time to examine who we are as human beings and our relationships with others around us. As you grow in your meditation practices, more advanced techniques can be employed involving mantras and focusing on ideas instead of physical objects. You might even find you can meditate on your morning commute (if you don't drive and take a train!) filled with the hussle and bussle of people. Outside distractions will no longer bother you. Good luck on your practice!

Fresh Verdant Soap Recipe

Posted by David DeLauro on Thursday, March 10. 2011 at 09:17 in How-to, Recipes, Soap
Lipids
LipidAmount
in oz
Percent
Coconut 76°1320.97
Palm1219.35
Soybean1016.13
Olive812.90
Hemp5 8.06
Castor5 8.06
Green Tea Butter3 4.84
Shea Butter2 3.23
Meadowfoam2 3.23
Rosehip2 3.23
Total Weight62

Fluid (mint tea) needed:
17.36 - 22.94 fluid oz


green coloring, rosemary for preservative and lilac and sage scents


Lye (NaOH)
Superfatting
Percent
Amount
in oz
09.01
18.92
28.83
38.74
48.65
58.56
68.47
78.38
88.29
98.20
108.11
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Metaphysical Farms offers soap making tutorials, soap recipes, a free lye calculator and recipe creation as well as homeopathy and meditation techniques to support your sustainable lifestyle

Handmade Fragrances

Posted by David DeLauro on Monday, March 7. 2011 at 11:16 in How-to

Metaphysical Farms Lavender FieldThe use of flowers as perfume dates back too far to be traced by man. At one time diseases were thought to be transmitted through bad odors, which led to the use of flowers and scents to purify the air. Religious ceremonies using herbs and resins have been used since Egyptian times. Over the centuries flowers have taken on a special meaning. In soap making, these fragrances are prized and often times hard to come by when looking for the perfect scent.

Today, most of the fragrances you buy are synthetic and do not come from flowers themselves. If you do find a pure flower extraction, it is often times very expensive. But using a technique known as enfleurage you can extract some of the scents of flowers right in your own home. To begin this process you will need to melt down enough solid unscented oil to cover the bottom of at least two large shallow plates. Each plate should have approximately 1/2 inch of the melted substance. The plates need to match so you can place them upside down on top of each other without any gaps. When the fat has solidified, score it in crisscross patterns and fill the space between the plates with the petals of highly scented flowers. If you would like you can add a bit of citrus peel, herbs or spice to accent the scent. Be very careful not to allow any of the plant parts to drop on the plates since they can introduce fungi that will spoil your perfume.

Metaphysical Farms Lavender FieldSeal the plates together with tape and put them aside for two days. After this time you should remove the wilted petals and repeat this process using fresh petals. After eight changes of flowers cut the lard and place it in several small sterile glass bottles, filling each half full. Top this off with pure ethyl alcohol or if cannot get ethyl alcohol that is pure, you can use rubbing alcohol as well. Close each of the bottles tightly and shake them thoroughly. Then place them in a dark area for about 12 weeks. You will need to shake each bottle daily if possible to blend the ingredients. When the 12 weeks are up, use a funnel with a piece of muslin placed over it to pour the perfume into a bottle. The muslin will strain out all the fat globules. Next you should add a very small amount of fixative oil as a preservative. If you prefer to measure the amount of fixative it should be approximately two drops per 1/4 cup of perfume. In this process the aroma of the petals you have chosen are absorbed by the lard and held by the alcohol. The best aromatic flowers to use are gardenias, roses, honey suckle, lavender and carnations. Any aromatic mixture must be composed carefully to achieve the perfect blend. It is best to choose one ingredient for the primary fragrance and then add small amounts of other scents to get the best results.

Honey Mask

Posted by David DeLauro on Thursday, March 3. 2011 at 10:59 in How-to

Metaphysical Farms SoapHoney has a long history in human societies around the world. It is used in various foods and beverages as a sweetener and flavoring. What is more interesting is that it also has a role in religion and symbolism sometimes being called the nectar of the gods. It is also used in various medicinal traditions to treat ailments. In fact recent studies of honey have indicated that these traditional uses actually have scientific merit. Antibacterial properties of honey are the result of the low water activity causing osmosis, hydrogen peroxide effect, high acidity, and the antibacterial activity of methylglyoxal. Because of all of that honey makes an excellent face mask.


Metaphysical Farms SoapTo get the most out of your honey mask, you will want to add an exfolient to the honey. I have always found that adding sugar to the honey is ideal because of the small size of the sugar grains and the fact that the sugar dissolves and washes away cleanly with just simple water. The ratio is up to you but a nice ratio of honey to sugar is 2-1. You want to wait to make the honey-sugar mix until you are ready to scrub your face as some of the sugar will dissolve in the honey if you put it in beforehand. Once you have scrubbed you face with the honey-sugar mix, let the honey sit on your face and go to work on your pours and any acne you might have. When you are done a simple wash of water will clean off the goopy mess and you will be left with a radient face.

Metaphysical Farms Soap

Metaphysical Farms offers soap making tutorials, soap recipes, a free lye calculator and recipe creation as well as homeopathy and meditation techniques to support your sustainable lifestyle

Lip Balm Emulsions

Posted by David DeLauro on Monday, February 28. 2011 at 10:04 in How-to
Lip Balm

There are a lot of different things you can do with the various oils that are used in soap making. One of the easiest things is to turn a few of the best oils into an emulsion for a lip-balm or body moisturizer. The process really is simple and actually has fewer steps than making your own soap.

For anyone who has made a salad with an oil and a liquid, you know how oil and water can be combined into a new product. The basic process is to melt the solid oils and add them to the fluid oils. Once you have combined the oils then you can start adding different flavors or sweeteners (like honey) which have water in them. If you just want the lip balm to be plain, just add water. At this point you need to stir the fluid/water vigorously as you slowly drizzle the oil into the mixture. This should create the perfect emulsion and you will be able to chill the emulsion to form an even more solid lip balm.

Here is a simple olive oil and beeswax recipe:

  • 2 Teaspoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Beeswax
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Shea Butter
  • Any Flavored Oil To Taste
  • 2-3 drops of Vitamin E (as a preservative)

Meditation Changes the Brain

Posted by David DeLauro on Thursday, February 24. 2011 at 07:25 in Meditation
Lavender FragrancePractitioners of meditation have long believed that the centering and calming ways of their life were directly related to their mindful meditations. A recent scientific study published in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging shows that subjects who meditated 30 minutes a day for eight weeks had measurable increases in the amount of grey matter in regions of the brain associated with learning and memory processes, emotion regulation, self-referential processing, and perspective taking. The other surprising aspect is that the meditation not only increased grey matter in areas of the brain associated with positive aspects of our society but it also showed that grey matter was reduced in the amygdala, a region connected to anxiety and stress. A control group that did not practice meditation showed no such changes.

What we can find from this study is that mindfulness as slowing one's self down, while not necessary to life, would improve brain function. Who knows to what limits we could achieve if we just spent 30 minutes a day meditating?

Simple Castile Soap

Posted by David DeLauro on Tuesday, February 22. 2011 at 10:07 in How-to, Recipes, Soap
Lipids
LipidAmount
in oz
Percent
Olive4366.15
Palm1116.92
Coconut 76°1116.92
Total Weight65

Fluid (water) needed:
18.2 - 24.05 fluid oz

Lye (NaOH)
Superfatting
Percent
Amount
in oz
09.40
19.31
29.21
39.12
49.03
58.93
68.84
78.74
88.65
98.56
108.46

Castile soap is just another name for an olive oil based soap. The major feature of these soaps are the moisturizing qualities attributed to the olive oil. When you make this recipe, be sure to use a stick-blender, otherwise it will take a very long time for the soap to reach trace. I've added some palm oil and coconut oil to harden the bar a little bit.

Saponification of Oils into Soap

Posted by David DeLauro on Friday, February 18. 2011 at 07:21 in How-to, Soap

The processes of making soap are all centered around the chemical process of saponification. Soap makers have for years had huge lists of SAP (saponification) tables that describes the basic process of converting fats into soap. For new soap makers, the process may seem almost like magic because of all the mathematical formulas and conversions. Really, what every soap maker is doing when he or she makes a batch of soap is stepping into an organic chemistry lab and forcing a chemical reaction to take place.

The Chemicals Involved

The basic ingredients in any batch of soap are a strong base (lye, caustic potash, etc), water and an oil of some kind. When you put the lye into water, the water molecules ionize the bond between the sodium and hydroxide forming: Na+(aq) + OH-(aq). The final ingredient is where the complexity and the artistry of soap making enters the equation. Most oils are comprised of triglycerides. This basically means that oils are made up of three fatty acids with a glycerol backbone. The glycerol molecule has three hydroxyl (HO-) groups. Each fatty acid has a carboxyl group (COOH), a central long unbranched aliphatic chain (saturated (CH2)n or unsaturated (CH2)nCH=CH(CH2)n) and an omega carbon at the end that has 3 hydrogens (CH3). It is in the middle chain that the properties of the oil come from. Because of the limitless number of repeats and configurations of this middle chain, there are literally an unknown number of fatty acids in the world. Fortunately for us, when mother-nature finds a formula she likes, she reproduces it quite a bit in different places. The most common fatty acids that make up vegetable and animal lipids (at least the ones soap makers are interested in) are Lauric, Linoleic, Linolenic, Myristic, Oleic, Palmitic, Ricinoleic and Stearic acids. So, it are these three ingredients, when broken down to their base molecules, that form the palette for a bar of soap.

The Saponification Reaction

As any kid playing with vinegar and baking soda knows, when you mix an acid and a base together, you get a reaction. When soap makers mix their lye water into a vat of oil, what they are doing is really just this simple process of mixing a base with an acid. The first thing that takes place, is that the hydroxide (OH-) attacks the carboxyl group of the fatty acid which is attached to the glycerol. This causes the carboxyl to break away and form carboxylic acid. The lye base is attracted to the carboxylic acid and forms a salt with the aliphatic chain hanging off the side. At this point a single molecule of "soap" has been formed. This chemical reaction continues until all the lye or fatty acids are spent. Soap makers can play with this knowledge and discount/superfat the soap. That is to say, they can reduce the amount of lye they add to the oils so that the reaction stops before all of the oil has been converted to soap. While this saponification process is going on, a lot of heat is released during each of the reactions. This is why soap goes through a "gel" phase before it hardens into its final product.

Woody Suspend Soap

Adding Fragrance to Homemade Soap

Posted by David DeLauro on Wednesday, April 28. 2010 at 15:54 in How-to, Soap
Lavender Fragrance

In a lot of my soap making videos, I simply show myself adding a particular fragrance to the soap without explaining much about the different options there are to making your soap smell like it just came out of a designer spa but at a far cheaper price. In this article I hope to explain some of the basics to adding fragrance to your soap so that you can feel more confident to experiment with your own scents as you join the wonderful community of soapmakers.

There are basically two chances you will have to add fragrance to your soap. The most common way is to add either a fragrance oil or a pure essential oil to your soap. The second way in which to add scent to your soap is to use various aromatic liquids like tea or coffee. There is a third way that is sometimes suggested by adding herbs or flowers to your soap but I have never had much luck with this method and if the cuttings are not heat safe, you will find most of the time they end up being burned by the saponification process.

Crazy Woody Soap

Posted by David DeLauro on Monday, November 9. 2009 at 14:38 in How-to, Recipes, Soap
Lipids
LipidAmount
in oz
Percent
Coconut 76°15.224.72
Palm1524.39
Soybean1219.51
Olive813.01
Hemp6 9.76
Castor3.3 5.37
Shea Butter2 3.25
Total Weight61.5

Fluid (water) needed:
17.22 - 22.755 fluid oz

Lye (NaOH)
Superfatting
Percent
Amount
in oz
09.14
19.05
28.95
38.86
48.77
58.68
68.59
78.50
88.41
98.32
108.22

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