Workshop at the Negotkuk Wellness Center

Frances, Azibis, Jennifer and Kim mixing their own unique lotion blends at the Negotkuk Language Initiative Workshop

Frances, Azibis, Jennifer and Kim mixing their own unique lotion blends at the Negotkuk Language Initiative Workshop

Every Tuesday night the Negotkuk Wellness Center has been hosting workshops sponsored by the Negotkuk Language Initiative. The workshops have been on all manner of topics. On March 4th Doreen Sappier gave a workshop teaching participants how to craft their own hand made chemical free lotions and soaps using basic and easily obtained ingredients. As soon as I found out about this workshop, I made plans to attend. I love using locally made, hand crafted soaps and lotions and wanted to learn more about making my own. And, this turned out to be a popular subject with other people as well…in all, 22 people of all ages attended the workshop!
Doreen brought all the ingredients, tools and containers that would be needed for the participants to make their own bar soap, a calendula and shea butter lip balm, calendula salve and a beeswax hand lotion which everyone got to take home with them. Everyone enthusiastically dove in as soon as we’d gotten the basic instructions…it was an entire room of mad scientists!

The Community Health Room at the Wellness Center is a wonderful space for workshops and meetings. It offers a full kitchen, plenty of tools and a huge table to work at. The Language Initiative workshops are sponsored by Heritage Canada, and are all video-taped. They will be translated into Maliseet by Henrietta Black and posted on the Negotkuk Language Initiative website.

Doreen explains the steps to take when making your own soap while participants in the background heat up their lotions to blend them

Doreen explains the steps to take when making your own soap while participants in the background heat up their lotions to blend them

We started out with the Calendula Hand Lotion. Marigolds is one species of calendula, and the flowers of calendula plants have long been used for both culinary and medicinal purposes. The flower petal are edible and can be used fresh in salads, and calendula oil is used medicinally as an anti-inflammatory, an anti-tumour, and to heal wounds.

Doreen brought a large jar of calendula petals that had been steeping in olive oil for 3 weeks. We then mixed this with coconut oil, shea butter and then beeswax to give the lotion some body. Everyone then added the essential oil fragrance they liked best, and voila! We all hand our very own hand made lotion that contained all natural ingredients.

Doreen owns and operates Majestic Moon New Age Store. She closed the downtown store last year,
but still sells New Age tools, books, stones, incense and so on from out of her home on Till Road.
Last year she attended the Wild-crafting Herbal Workshop at Falls Brook Centre in Knowlesville and became hooked on the idea of making her own lotions and body care potions. They would be economical to make, easier on the environment because they contain all natural ingredients, and so much healthier for personal use.

A sample of Majestic Moon Personal Care Products

A sample of Majestic Moon Personal Care Products

She’s now been producing her own line of Majestic Moon body care products for the past year. Her line has grown to include soaps, lotions, facial scrubs, bath salts, body butters and natural insect repellent.

Doreen told me that this insect repellent even kept the flies away in Riley Brook! Yet it’s safe even for kids, as it contains no toxic ingredients, just stuff that the blood-sucking critters hate such as citronella, garlic, lavender, cloves, baby oil, alcohol and bay leaves.
You simply spray it on lightly and rub it into your skin.

She also makes her own specialty tea blends using all organic ingredients. Restful Sleep Blend contains lemon balm, St. John’s Wort, chamomile, hops, valerian and lavender. Her Mind Calming Blend contains lemon balm, valerian, St. John’s Wort and red clover.

Doreen makes a point of shopping local, sourcing as many ingredients as possible from our community shops. Our own local supermarkets carry a variety of vegetable oils, and she uses local organic honey and beeswax.

She plans to relocate her shop up on her property on the Tobique River later this year, where she will plant an organic herb garden so she can grow her own medicines and ingredients. She will offer classes and workshops at the store as well.

Doreen emphasizes how important it is to make products as pure as possible. Everything that goes on our skin gets absorbed into our bodies. Most, if not all, commercially made body products contain dangerous chemicals, synthetic ingredients, dangerous dyes, preservatives and allergy causing scents.

It is far safer for our bodies and our health to use products that are actually safe enough to eat! A caveat, though. Although some natural ingredients in these products, such as vitamin E, have preservative qualities, in general organic body products have a much shorter shelf life than commercial products.
So you want to buy or make small batches, and use them up within 6 to 12 months.

Doreen sent me home with a tub of lovely “Thunthine Body Lotion” which is a beautiful skin emollient, and a supply of Pine Bark Salve to help ease my joint pains.

You may call Doreen at 273-6162 to find out more, inquire about classes or order products.

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