Beach Rose-Seaweed Mermaid Bath Salts

Summer in New England is fleeting and beautiful and- for me- is not complete without numerous visits to the ocean.  Maybe it’s because I’m a life-long New Englander, or because I grew-up going to the ocean every summer, or because I’m a water sign, or because the ocean never fails to put it all into perspective, and feel like a beyond nourishing and calming presence…but for me connecting with that ocean energy for just a few months a year never feels like enough! Hence the creation of Beach Rose-Seaweed Bath salts, which I affectionately call “mermaid bath salts.”  This is basically the ocean in a bottle!


These are so easy to make, and I really do encourage you all to make your own!  To make about about 1 quart of bath salts you'll need....

20-25 Beach Rose (Rosa rugosa) blossoms
2 handfuls of seaweed
1 handful of shells of choice
1.25 lbs of sea salt

Start by gathering your Beach Rose (Rosa rugosa) blossoms, but before you start picking take some time to sit with the plant. Engage with your senses- the smells, sounds, feelings, tastes (yes, taste the plant!) and sights. Try to align your energy with the roses. Simple tools for this include exchanging breath with rose (remembering we breathe in what they breath out, and vice versa!).  You can also sketch or photograph the plant, journal about your experience, nibble on a petal or leaf, meditate with it, or just take a little nap with it! These are all valid ways of engaging with the energy of a plant.  When you feel like you’ve tapped into rose’s energy, ask if you can harvest, and if you get a “yes” then go for it! It’s ok if you don’t get a clear voice in your head- just a feeling that it’s “right” is enough.   I prefer to harvest the whole flower, as opposed to just the petals, for this particular preparation. Next collect your seaweed- any kind will do. I prefer to take what has washed-up or is floating in the water as opposed to harvesting the living seaweed from the rocks as much as possible.  You can gather some special shells to add if you like- this year I added some of my beloved moon snails. And of course- as always- feel free to play around with this recipe and make it your own!

Once you’ve gathered your materials, you’re ready to make your bath salts!  The process is simple and takes 5 minutes. Start by adding about a 1 inch layer of sea salt to the bottom of your jar. You can use fine or coarse, Celtic, Himalayan, or any kind really. One of my current favorite sea salt brand is Redmond’s Real Salt, which comes from salt flats from ancient oceans in Utah! But in my wildest dreams I’m using my own homemade sea salt I’ve made myself by cooking down the seawater, but that time hasn’t come for me yet! Next add a ½- 1 inch layer of the roses, seaweed, and a sprinkling of shells if you’d like. Then add another layer of salt until the plant material is covered, then another rose/seaweed/shell layer, and so on, ending with a 1 inch layer of sea salt at the top! Cap and let sit at least a week before use. It will have the heady smell of seaweed and rose when it’s done.

Misty morning in Maine

Misty morning in Maine

When you’re ready to take your mermaid bath (I prefer to use mine in the dead of the New England winter when I need that summer and ocean connection, and the comforting feeling of the sea), add as much as you want to your bath. Be sure to add the roses and seaweed right into the bath too where they will re-hydrate for full mermaid effect!  (You can get little mesh screens that fit over your drain for easy clean-up.)  Sit in your bath and dream summer dreams and memories, and relax in the nourishment the beach and essence of summer has to give! And of course both rose and seaweed are emollients, and deeply nourishing and softening to the skin! 

Happy high summer to you all!

Beach Rose Love

Beach Rose Love

Summer 2015

It's been a beautiful, busy summer- too busy to blog much in-fact!  Its been full of travel, harvesting & medicine-making, time with my daughters and family, swim-dates, and teaching.  But I did manage to get a lot of pics and commentaries on the Milk & Honey Herbs Facebook page, and here is a wrap-up (and condensed version) all in one place!

Summer Nervines

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Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata)
Family Verbenaceae
This is a potent nervine of summer, blooming late July and August. Blue Vervain is deeply calming and is a relaxant nervine, useful at night for insomnia and during the day for mild to acute anxiety. Its strong bitter components support the liver (a major organ of elimination and detoxification) and help us process all of our "stuff"- be it physical or emotional. This same liver-supportive action also makes it a useful ally for treating hormonal imbalance and I love using it to treat PMS, menstrual cramps, and menstrual irregularity- what an herb! The tea is quite bitter so I prefer to make a tincture out of this one. Look for it growing in wet meadows with Goldenrod, Boneset and sometimes Cattail.


Milky Oat Tops (Avena sativa)
Family Poaceae
I was beyond thrilled to discover my oat patch in the milky oat stage! This is the same grass that gives us oatmeal, and when the seeds are harvested in the "milky stage" it makes one of the absolute finest restorative nerve tonics one can find.  It's a staple in my herbal practice and I use it for folks with anxiety and an over-all "frazzled" feeling in their nervous system. I also love it in combination with Skullcap (Scutellaria lateraflora) for withdrawal symptoms in those dosing down in meds, quitting smoking, and the like.


St Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum)
Family Hypericaceae
I am so in love with this plant! I use it mostly as a nervine (although it is a also a great hepatic), especially for those experiencing nerve pain, which the plant is a specific for. It has a long history of use in ancient herbals for "dispelling evil influences," which to me speaks to its well-known action as an anti-depressant. The flower essence (which is AMAZING!) helps with protection, especially if you suffer from nightmares, and also treats shock and burn-out that comes from a weakened energetic field. Anyone who knows the botany of this plants knows that the perforations in the leaf are a signature for this......think "perforations" in the energetic field.

Calendula Harvest

calendula close up.jpg

Calendula officinalis

Calendula in olive oil. Oils are great base preparations that may then be used to make salves, creams, body butters, salt or sugar scrubs, or just used on their own. Calendula is an amazing wound healer, as well as an anti-microbial and anti-septic, and makes a fabulous all-purpose salve

calendula flower essence.jpg

Calendula Flower Essence. Brings warmth and compassion to communication.

Elder Flower Cordial

Elder Flowers (Sambucus canadensis) contain enough natural yeast to make a "wild fermentation." This brew is just Elder Flowers, local raw honey, lemons, and water! Just be sure not to wash your fresh Elder Flower, as it will wash off the beneficial microbes that make fermenting with these particular flowers so easy!




Wild Edibles walk at Red Fire Farm Tomato Festival

Wild Edibles walk at Red Fire Farm Tomato Festival

Beautiful visiting students from the  Spiral Program  at Dig In Farm   

Beautiful visiting students from the Spiral Program at Dig In Farm


Saying good-bye to summer, and looking forward to the gorgeous, resplendent Fall!