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
This video is an updated version of a previous video that had audio problems. This is a quick video to show the process I went through to create a very nice soap with lavender flowers embedded in it. The soap is made with milk (heavy whipping cream) and then palm oil, coconut oil, soybean oil and cocoa butter. I added Vitamin E, Peach coloring and Lotus Blossom fragrance after the soap reached trace. Enjoy!
This video talks about some tricks you can use to preserve the oils that you use to make soap. You can use Vit. E, BHT, Rosemary oil or just put the oil in a fridge. Here is the recipe: http://metaphysicalfarms.com/r/3e
Buy a download of this video here.
Fluid (goat's milk) needed:
When making natural handmade soap, you can make all types of soaps to fit your desired niche. One of the possibilities is that of including an exfoliant in your soap to help lift away any dead skin or caked on dirt that needs a little extra scrubbing to get clean. One such exfoliant is Sodium Bentonite Powder which can be found at most health-food stores. This exfoliant will not only remove dirt and dead skin but also help to lift away the toxins in your skin. If you don't have access to this clay, you can also start using products you probably have sitting around in your kitchen right now. You can use poppy seeds, blueberry seeds, ground almond meal, ground walnut husk meal or even ground oatmeal. Below you will find a more complete list which you can experiment with.
Once you have chosen what exfoliant to use, you will need to add it to your soap recipe. The perfect spot to add exfoliants is right after your soap has reached trace and you are adding your fragrance, superfat or color to the soap batch. With most exfoliants, because of their fine granular nature, you will want to mix them beforehand with a carrier oil so you don't have to worry about lumps in your soap. There is nothing worse than finding huge pockets of exfoliant in your soap when you are using the soap. Once you have added the exfoliant to the soap mixture, you just need to mix it in thoroughly. Some exfoliants may thicken your soap batch while you are stirring it. Don't panic! Your soap will be fine. Just continue to mix the soap but get it into the mold quickly before it thickens beyond your ability to fill the mold. At this point, you would treat this soap as you would any other soap and allow it to saponify for a few days, cut it and then let it dry in bars.
Fluid (kombucha tea) needed:
added patchouli and cedar essential oils
If you are a soap maker, you have at some point come across the controversy of soaps verses detergents. Many see soap as a natural product whereas detergents are synthetic creations coming from a lab. In reality, both soaps and detergents are synthetic products that take naturally occurring chemicals and synthesize them into a new product. The big difference for soapers is that soap is easy to make at home while detergent is far too complex. Soap and detergent, while both good at cleaning, have different properties when placed in different environments. The biggest difference is that when soap is placed in hard water or an acidic solution, it forms a scum that is difficult to get out of clothes (if using for washing). Detergent does not suffer from this problem. The other major difference is that detergent works as efficiently in cold water as in warm. It is really these two reasons that detergent has taken over the laundry soap business.
The basic ingredients you will need to make your own laundry soap are:
- 3 oz soap (preferably homemade)
- half a cup washing soda
- half a cup borax
Soap: You really can use any bar of soap you like for this. I tend to like to use a simple soap that is made of 1/3 olive oil, 1/3 palm oil and 1/3 coconut oil that has been made with very little superfat discount. You will need to use about 3-4 oz of soap for this recipe.
Washing Soda: The biggest supplier of washing soda is Arm and Hammer. Because of this you might get confused between this product and their baking soda product. They are not the same! Washing soda is sodium carbonate whereas baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. This powder will give your soap a boost in removing dirt and odors.
Borax: This ingredient is a naturally occurring mineral that helps remove various forms of oils and dirts as well as deodorizing the laundry. Borax is just another name for sodium borate and can be found in most grocery stores in the laundry aisle.
The process of putting these ingredients together is not very time consuming and is well worth the cost savings per load of laundry (it costs about a penny a load). Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan. Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts. Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved. Remove from heat. Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket. Now add your soap mixture and stir. Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel. You use half a cup per load. You now have homemade laundry soap!
When you use this soap, you will notice it does not act like laundry detergent when cleaning your clothes. The homemade soap will be a little thiner of a gel than detergent and you will not notice as many soap bubbles when washing. This is perfectly natural and in fact, the bubbles do not indicate any type of cleaning properties. Now enjoy your freedom from the laundry detergent companies!
If you look on various food products like candy bars, yogurt, protein powders, baby milk powders, rice milk powders, toothpaste and animal and pet foods; you will notice a peculiar ingredient: Sodium Bentonite. This substance expands when wet, absorbing as much as several times its dry mass in water. Despite its fancy name, sodium bentonite is really just clay. Because of it's absorbing properties, bentonite clay has been used the world around for medicinal purposes. The first known use of clay for medicine was in ancient Mesopotamia where physicians used the material as an anti-inflammatory agent and antiseptic. A recent study has found that Bentonite clay is actually anti-bacterial even able to take on the super bacteria MRSA. Further use of clay is by taking it internally to sweep away harmful toxins and heavy metals that may be residing in the body. In the stomach, the negative electrical charges of tiny clay particles attract positively charged toxins from stomach fluids. This clumping prevents very small particles, such as toxic molecules, from passing through the walls of the intestines and entering the bloodstream. The toxins and the clay are then expelled from the body in the normal bowel movements.
The actual use of the clay is fairly simple. One way you can use it is in a face-mask. The anti-bacterial properties and the toxin absorbing properties of the clay will work effectively against various types of acne. The clay will also give you skin a radiant glow. To make such a mask, you just need to get a quarter of a cup of bentonite powder and mix in enough water to make a substance that is similar to room-temperature butter. After applying the clay to your face and allowing it to dry, wash off the clay and apply a gentle moisturizer to replace any rancid oil that the clay has removed from your skin.
To take the clay internally, you will want to start out with no more than a teaspoon of clay in an entire glass of water. Your body will need to adjust to the clay just as it does to adding fiber to your diet. The key is to not intake too much clay as to have it start absorbing water from your body making you dehydrated. The more clay you drink, the more you may notice your bowel movements to turn grey. This is normal but it does mean you should not increase the amount of clay you are intaking.
Overall, bentonite powder is a nice natural way to gently flush your body of harmful toxins and heavy metals as well as making your skin look amazing.
One of the major ingredients in soap making is Caustic Soda or Lye. Most soap-makers use industrial grade Sodium Hydroxide as their Caustic Soda but really any strong base would work in the soap making process. One such caustic that can be produced at home is Caustic Potash, or Potassium Hydroxide. While potassium hydroxide is often used to make softer bars of soap or even liquid soap, the type of wood ashes that are used can be selected to impart extra properties to the soap that would not be available to industrially purified chemicals. What every lye you choose to use the metaphysical farms lye calculator lets you choose either sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide when making soap. If you want to know how to make your own lye you will need the following equipment:
The first ingredient you will need is soft water. You can obtain this by buying soft distilled water (no mineral water), getting water from a dehumidifier or the traditional way is to collect rain water in a barrel. This ingredient by far is the most important to get right to ensure a good leaching of lye. Next you will need a container with a spout at the bottom. Traditionally this has been a wooden barrel with a hole drilled on the bottom big enough for a cork but if you don't have access to wooden barrels, you can easily use a cooler with a spout at the bottom. You will also need rocks and straw or cheese cloth to filter the ash. The final ingredient you need is wood ashes. The best ashes to use are hardwoods and you want to avoid evergreens (like pine and fir). Other things you can use are ashes of herbs and flowers to add a special touch to your lye.
- Soft Water
- Straw, grass or cheese cloth
- Container with a closable spout at the bottom
- Wood ash
- A wood, glass or plastic bucket to collect the lye water. (no metal)
Fluid (water and honey) needed:
vanilla and rose fragrance
The process for making soap via the Hot Process method is quite similar to the Cold Process method. In fact many of the same recipes can be use interchangeably between the two methods. In the extended entry below, I have listed the materials needed to start the soap making process. The basic premis behind soap making is to take an acid (fat) and mix it with a base (lye) to form a salt like product that is able to change the surface tension when mixed with water making it ideal for whisking away particles of dirt and oil.
Safety First! You will need a pair of safety goggles and a pair of safety gloves. Lye is extremely caustic. You'll notice just how caustic if you leave it open on a humid day. You might want to also consider an apron specifically for making soap. Unless you're like me and you think holes in your jeans are cool.
Meditation is all about finding a space where you can quiet your mind and focus on the present moment. The medical benefits speak for themselves but finding that space can be quiet difficult. Some use binaural audio to help them focus, others find a quiet spot. Others use specially designed seating to help improve the quiet space. One such method is the use of a zafu cushion.
Although 'zafu' is often translated as 'sewn seat' in American English, the meaning of the Japanese 'kanji' is different. 'za' means 'seat' and 'fu' means a seat stuffed with Typha (the fluffy, soft, downy fibres of the disintegrating Typha heads). The Japanese zafu originates in China, where these meditation seats were originally filled with Typha. Today, that is no longer the case in Japan or China. An alternate translation of zafu is 'cushion for sitting' or 'sitting cushion', where za means 'sitting' or 'sit' and fu means 'cushion'. The words zabuton, zafuton and futon are closely linked. The word 'zazen' meaning 'seated meditation' or 'sitting meditation' is also closely linked. In western terms, colloquially speaking, 'zafu' refers to a meditation cushion, and 'zabuton' refers to the cushioned mat on which a zafu is placed.
Fluid (mint tea) needed:
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
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.
For 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 range||Name||Usually associated with:|
|> 40 Hz||Gamma waves||Higher mental activity, including perception, problem solving, fear, and consciousness|
|13â39 Hz||Beta waves||Active, busy or anxious thinking and active concentration, arousal, cognition, and or paranoia|
|7â13 Hz||Alpha waves||Relaxation (while awake), pre-sleep and pre-wake drowsiness, REM sleep, Dreams|
|4â7 Hz||Theta waves||deep meditation/relaxation, NREM sleep|
|< 4 Hz||Delta waves||Deep 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.