The Bookshelf: The Herb Lover’s Spa Book

The Bookshelf: The Herb Lover’s Spa Book

Review by: Paris Wolfe, Blogmaster, The Herb Society of America

pg37 HLSBDraw a bath, drop in lavender essential oil, fluff an oversized towel, silence your mobile phone. OR slouch into your favorite garden chair, with sassy sunglasses and a sweating glass of iced tea.

Designate a relaxation place in your own space. Then, cozy up with The Herb Lover’s Spa Book by Sue Goetz (St. Lynn’s Press, 2015, $18.95).

Put a journal and pen nearby. When you’ve dried off from the bath or finished your tea, you’ll want to create a list. Goetz uses 19 herbs to build 50 recipes. You might harvest the botanicals, but you’ll want a shopping list for salts, oils, packaging and more.

Hers are recipes for women of the 2010s. Sophisticated and easy on your time. Peppermint foot soak uses four ingredients; lavender green tub tea uses just two. Not sure how to package your final products? The lush images throughout the hardcover book are inspiring: Canning jars, antique glassware, ribbons and tags.

Goetz says her creative drive inspires her garden. “I tend to think ‘What can I make with this plant?’ before I put it in my garden,” she says. Working with these herbs through time has been both inspiration and test laboratory for her.

“The recipes I have included are ones that I have made over the years,” she notes. “But I must say I am always experimenting, refining and learning with new ideas, recipes and keeping up with the study of what herbs can do for us.”

pg102 HLSBWhile she doesn’t claim a favorite recipe, she admits, “The ones I tend to make regularly are the lavender salt scrub because it is a nice way to treat my hands after a day of gardening; and rose water or lavender water in a spray bottle is a refresher to lift the mood in my office or a mist of fragrance on my clothes and hair as I go out the door.”

Goetz has chosen both her bathroom and garden as relaxation spaces. “This morning I hung a fresh bundle of eucalyptus (I grew it in a pot over the summer) from the shower to clear my head and have a mini-spa moment. The house still smells wonderful,” she says. “In the garden, I have a comfy wicker chair that gives me a quiet retreat space.”

Herb Society members get a 10% discount on herb materials at Richters. Find membership login information on the society’s website.

The Herb Lover’s Spa Book is in the HSA library.  Like all books, members can borrow it via email or phone call. It will be mailed out and must be returned after 30 days. Non-members can stop by the Herb Society to peruse it in the library.

Lavender Love: It’s everywhere

By Paris Wolfe, Blogmaster, The Herb Society of America

It’s synchronicity … a meaningful coincidence … that I’m finding lavender everywhere. Or perhaps a trend that I didn’t know about?

In August I ordered bulk lavender buds to make sachets for Christmas gifts.

Next thing I know my friend, travel writer Janet Podolak, posts a picture of herself in French lavender fields.Lavendar Janet

The weekend came and I was at a family gathering where the virtues of lavender essential oil became a topic.

lavender margharetaThen, at Barrio taqueria in Cleveland, the specials included a lavender margarita.  You bet that I ordered it.

A day later I was at a conference – Content Marketing World – and one of the vendors was treating us to lemon-lavender shortbread.

Back at the Willoughby (Ohio) Farmer’s Market vendor Maggie Fusco was selling aromatic, handcrafted lavender wands.Lavendar wands

Its as though the lavender gods were blessing me with my favorite herb. Now, if I could just get it to grow it without getting so spindly and sad in the limited sunshine over my Northeast Ohio parcel of clay.

P.S. After I’d written this I stumbled upon Luvin’ Lavender Farm in Madison, Ohio. I’ll hold on to their story for another blog. Watch this space!

Share your synchronous herb experience in the comments below.