Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Happy Pits!

     One of the worst things about living is Florida is that it's hot. Not just in the summer, but all year round, it's hot. Since moving to Central Florida 11 years ago, I have used my winter coat maybe 10 times. Last year I didn't even have to put it on once. This consistently high temperature is great for growing plants, but not so good for for the whole BO (body odor) situation. While having a good diet and being in moderately good health can go a long way to eliminating the stink of BO, sometimes you need a little extra boost. Enter, deodorant.

     Deodorant is part of my morning (and sometimes afternoon) routine. I wake up, brush my teeth, do a little dry brushing, take a shower, and apply my deodorant before I really get my day started. But I cannot justify using typical deodorants. There are so many ingredients, even in some of the “natural” deodorants, that are linked to health problems. Aluminum has been linked to Alzheimer's and breast cancer. Parabens have also been linked to cancer, as well as several hormone conditions. And there are many more of these nasty ingredients in most store-bought deodorants. This is why I decided to make my own.

     Making the switch to a homemade deodorant seems like an easy thing to do, but I just want to warn you that there is a detox period. Your body detoxes itself by sweating. Conventional deodorant and antiperspirant clog your pores. When you sweat, your body pushes out those toxins, but if you are using a typical deodorant, you're just putting those toxins right back. This is why pit stains occur. After you make the switch to natural deodorant, your body will push out all those toxins that have been clogging your pores, and after a few days your pits will be detoxed and much happier.

     Now, there are hundreds of recipes for homemade deodorant online now a days. They range from a liquid spray, to a cream, to powder, and all in between. This recipe is for my favorite application, deodorant bars. I tend to work in hot environments, moving around quite a bit. I wanted a deodorant that I could take with me and use when I felt I needed a touch up. So I worked on a few recipes, combining ideas and finally developed my deodorant bar. This recipe mashed together the concept of deodorant and lotion bars. You can use an old deodorant container if you want, but I like to use silicone molds for mine. It stays solid enough that I can leave a small bar in my bag during most of the Florida year (as long as I remember to not leave it in the car).

A Word on Ingredients:

Coconut Oil is super antibiotic, and when you're dealing with your pits, you want as much antibiotic action as possible. You can choose a different oil, but coconut oil is semi-solid at room temperature so if you decide to substitute, make sure you increase your beeswax to match it.

Almond Oil is full of amino acids and vitamins that your skin needs to stay healthy. It also helps the more solid oils, such as coconut oil, to penetrate deeply. You can choose a different oil here if you'd like. One of my other favorites is olive oil.

Cocoa Butter will help your deodorant to stay more creamy and less oily. It's also super packed full of nutrients that help to keep your skin happy. You can substitute Shea butter if you'd like, but cocoa butter is more dense and will help your deodorant bar stay more solid in those hot months.

Arrowroot Powder is a must for deodorants. Not only does it act as a thickener to help your deodorant bar stay solid. It also helps to draw toxins out of your body.

Beeswax helps to solidify these deodorant bars, but it also helps to provide a protective layer on your skin, without clogging your pores.

Vitamin E can be found in most oils you might use, but it's essential for healthy skin. This is why I like to add extra vitamin E to all of my skin products.

Tea Tree Oil may not be 100% necessary for a deodorant recipe, but I like to add it in to all of mine. The #1 reason? Because it is one of the most powerfully antibiotic essential oils I know of. Your pits are breeding grounds for bacteria, and bacteria is the leading cause of body odor. It just makes since to pack extra antibiotic power into your deodorant. Plus, it doesn't irritate most people's skin! If you don't like the scent, don't worry. This recipe only calls for 5 drops, you can overpower it easily by adding more of your favorite essential oils. However, I think it blends very well with lavender essential oil, which is one of my favorites.

Essential Oils are all antibiotic to a certain extent. However, the main reason for these is to make you happy. Add whatever essential oils you want, in order to make your deodorant smell pleasant. I personally like to do 5 drops Lavender, 5 drops Cedarwood, and 5 drops Lemongrass. A word of caution however, make sure to test your essential oils on the inside of your wrist first. That way you don't put irritating oils on such a sensitive area.

Happy Pits Deodorant Bars
¼ cup Coconut Oil
½ cup Almond Oil
½ cup Beeswax (grated or pellets)
¼ cup Cocoa Butter
8 tsp Arrowroot Powder
Vitamin E (2 capsules or ½ tsp)
5 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil
15-20 drops Essential Oils of your choice

Combine first four ingredients in a glass jar and place in a pot half filled with water. Bring water to a boil and stir ingredients until melted. Remove jar from pan and slowly add arrowroot powder, stirring constantly to prevent the formation of clumps. Allow to rest until you are able to safely handle the jar (don't wait too long or the mixture will be mostly solid and hard to work with). Add remaining ingredients and stir. Pour liquid into molds (or deodorant containers), cover, and allow to cool overnight. You can put them in the refrigerator to speed up the cooling process if you want. Once completely cooled, remove from molds and wrap with wax paper. Store in a cool, dry place.

I hope you enjoy these deodorant bars. For more essential oil blend ideas, check out my previous entry, Herbal Home Fresheners for Spring. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below!


Homemade DIY Deodorant Recipe: Pronounce Skincare:
How to Make Natural Deodorant: Wellness Mama:
Luxurious Lotion Bars: Fabulous Farmgirl :

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Healthy Eyes: Natural Tips for Eye Health

I have a confession to make. I wear glasses. Shocking, I know. However, the real confession is that even though I wear glasses, I don't ever really think about eye health. I mean, I know about glaucoma, cataracts, and how diabetes can be disastrous for your eyes. I just never really give a thought to general eye health. I never question just how healthy glasses/contacts really are. I never really think anything of it when my prescription glasses have to strengthen. I just go to my annual checkup, wear my glasses, and occasionally remember to turn on the blue light filters on my devices.

Recently, I came across a great article while browsing Wellness Mama's blog. It went into great detail on how she began improving the eyesight of her daughter using natural methods. I had never thought to even ask if you could use more natural methods. This sparked a frenzy of research and a decision to inform myself, and you, about natural eye health.


Like so many things in life, your eyesight can be greatly improved by what you eat. Your diet can also play a big part in preventing future eye conditions. One of the most notorious nutrients for eye health is vitamin A. There are actually 2 different forms that this vitamin can be found in. First there is retinol. Retinol is vitamin A that is derived from animal products. This version can be used directly by our bodies and is found abundantly in whole milk dairy, and beef or chicken liver. Provitamin A carotenoids are found in fruit and vegetables (carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, and cantelope). These are converted to retinol in our bodies. The most infamous one of these is Beta-Carotene. Vitamin A helps to protect the surface of our eyes, preventing infections and helping to prevent vision loss due to macular degeneration (AMD). Vitamin A also helps improve night vision. Vitamins C and E, as well as Lutein are also great for your eyes and can help prevent age related vision loss (from AMD), slow down the formation of cataracts, and help keep your eyes healthy over all.


You should all know by now that I have a love for herbs and all the amazing things they can do for us. Like in every other situation in life, there are several herbs that you can turn to for help with your eyes. Eyebright, Euphrisia officinalis, has a reputation for being great for your eyes. A reputation that has been well, and truly, earned throughout the years. In the 14th century, it was a cure-all for the eyes. It is used to reduce inflammation of the eye caused by irritation or infection. Other beneficial herbs for the eyes include garlic and turmeric (help prevent cataracts), bilberry and black current (help improve night vision and reduce visual fatigue), ginko (improves blood circulation to the retna), and coleus (reduces the production of fluid in the eye).

Healthy Habits

One of the most important things you can do for your eyes is to utilize proper eye protection. I'm talking sunglasses, blue light filters, etc. UV damage can severely increase the risk of developing major eye issues later in life, as well as cause a loss of vision in the shorter term. Keeping your blood pressure and blood sugar under control are also great ideas to keep your eyes healthy. Both can severely effect your vision and eye health. The absolute most important tip for eye health, however, is to visit your eye doctor regularly. Many problems with your eyes start with little to no symptoms. Your eye doctor, however, will test for these and knows what to look for to get an early diagnosis.

I hope this has encouraged you (and me) to think more about your eyes. Please seek out other tips and feel free to share. Do you have any questions or comments? Post them below!


5 Foods for Healthy Eyes: Health:,,20680738,00.html#beyond-carrots-0
9 Herbs for Healthy Eyes: Mother Earth Living:
How to Improve Eyesight Naturally: Wellness Mama:
Keeping Eyes Healthy: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services:
Natural Eye Health: Mother Earth Living:
Vitamin A and Beta-Cerotine: Eye Benefits: All About Vision:
Vitamins for Vision: Cooper Vision:

Sunday, September 10, 2017


     One of my favorite things about living in Florida is the plant life. We have amazing plants growing everywhere. There are beautiful vines and flowers on every fence in my neighborhood. Most people have at least one tree somewhere on their property. Even the weeds growing in the sidewalk or pavement can be extraordinary. However, there is one flowering vine that sticks out for it's unique beauty.

     Passionflower is a Florida native and has been used medicinally by Native Americans for centuries. When the Spanish came to America, they used this flower to help teach the Native Americans about Christ and the crucifixion. These missionaries are where we get the name Passionflower from, as they named it after the Passion of Christ. The 10 petals represent the disciples that were present for the crucifixion. The three stigma represent the nails, while the five anthers represent the wounds of Christ, and the fringes represent the crown of thorns.

     There are quite a few different species of passionflower, many of which have edible fruit. Some of these species are purely ornamental and not safe for consumption. If you are interested in wildcrafting or growing this plant for either edible or medicinal use, make sure you have one of the acceptable species. Passiflora incarnata is the most commonly used species, and is generally recognized as safe.

Medicinal Uses:

Scientific Name- Passiflora incarnata

Common Names- Passionflower, Maypop, Passion Vine

Parts Used- Leaves, stem, and flowers.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)- Though this herb is native to America, it has become widely used throughout most of the world. In TCM, it is used to help calm the Qi in cases of overload, as opposed to blockage. It's particularly good for Fire-types who are prone to heart conditions.

Native American- The Cherokee were very fond of using the root. They used a poultice of the root to draw out inflammation in wounds. They also used a tea of the root to wean infants, and for earache.

Insomnia- Passiflora works directly on the nervous system to help lull us to sleep. It's particularly effective for those who suffer from insomnia, as it allows for restful sleep and does not leave one with a “narcotic” hangover. This herb is especially good for people who suffer from circular thinking, acting as an “off switch” for their minds.

Anxiety- Much like it's use as an “off switch” for circular thinking that leads to insomnia, passiflora helps to stop nervous and anxious thoughts from taking hold in our day-to-day lives. It also helps soothe our nerves when overstimulated and overworked.

Nervous System- Passiflora is an excellent herb for the nervous system. Historically it's even been used to calm seizures. It is considered to be a great nervine tonic, which means that it soothes nerves. It helps in cases of insomnia, anxiety, anxietous depression, hypersensitivity to pain, headaches, agitation, transitioning from addictions, nervous tics, PMS, menstrual cramps, and overstimulation. Passiflora also helps those who have a tendency to dissolve into circular thinking, especially when insomnia is involved.

Herpes Simplex Virus- Passiflora helps prevent outbreaks of the herpes simplex virus. It's especially helpful in stress-induced outbreaks.

Summary of actions- Hypnotic, analgesic, hypotensive, nervine, anxiolytic, anti-spasmodic, and antidepressant.

Drug Interactions and Contraindications- Passiflora is a strong, natural sedative and has great potential to interact with certain drugs. Please use caution if you are taking any sedatives, antiplatelets, anticoagulants, tricyclic antidepressants, or monoamine oxidase inhibitors. For most other people, this herb is considered safe for regular use, however pregnant or nursing women should exercise caution and check with their doctor before use.

     I only included a basic introduction to this amazing herb. I hope you have learned a new appreciation for how amazing passionflower is. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

Acupuncture Today: Passion Flower :
Alternative Nature Online Herbal: Passionflower Herb Uses and Medicinal Properties:
Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine: Passionflower-Ecology Cultivation Botany and Medicinal and Edible Uses:
Henriette's Herbal Home Page : Passiflora-Passionflower :
Herb Rally: Passionflower:
Modern Herbal: Passion Flower:
Sama Ayurveda: Passion Flower:
University of Maryland Medical Center: Passionflower:


Greetings from the Bat Lady!

     Welcome to Bat Lady Herbals.  I have been fascinated by herbs and various herbal uses for quite a few years now.  Plants are amazing t...