The Humble Beginnings of UniqueGardenEssences

You are driving along an old gravel road, windows down, enjoying the fresh country air on your face as the breeze flows in and hits you. Suddenly you notice that the air is filled with a sweet, light and slightly elusive fragrance. You inadvertently close your eyes for a moment, inhaling deeply. As you capture the scent in your lungs, it forces the corners of your mouth to begin to curl upwards, forming an unconscious smile. A gentle feeling of peace and warmth flow through your body. A sense of relaxation overtakes you. No you know why you went out of your way to drive this lonely, old, bumpy road....and you are glad that you did! Long before scientists speculated, ancient man was aware that certain scents could provoke specific emotions and even alter particular bodily conditions. For hundreds of years it was common practice to use herbs and flowers to treat conditions and heal the body. For centuries this knowledge was passed down from generation to generation. Many books were dedicated to preserving this knowledge, but somewhere in the supposed advancement of civilization, this knowledge was set aside to make room for "progress". Now, thanks to a ground swelling movement, many are looking at ways to preserve our Earth and return to all natural ways to live. In doing so, we are once again exploring the healing methods of old and affording Mother Earth the opportunity to to provide us with her natural way to good health. I began with a small herbal garden on the south shores of my Buckeye Lake (Oh.), which quickly morphed into a large herbal garden! This was over eleven years ago and it didn't take much before I became hooked on what, besides cooking, could be done with those herbs. Since I was always a veracious reader, even before I became a RN, I quickly educated myself on uses of herbs and flowers for healing, as well as for sensory stimulation. That is when I decided that I needed to DO something with those herbs, especially the lavender that was again, overgrowing my garden. That would be when I got the bright idea that I could make my own essential oils. Little did I realize at the time, but this was to become the start of a whole new business venture for me. My first batches of essential oils were started in old baby jars, which I then placed under my bed (they must be in a dark place for several weeks to distill). Of course not everything went smoothly. In fact, my first batch of essential oils spoiled. After three weeks of patiently waiting, I opened the jars and found that my plants had molded. Frustrated but not dissuaded, I had to go back to the books, study some more, and begin again! Eventually though, I did it! I actually made my own essential oil (of lavender). I was so proud, even though I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do with all of it, I knew I wasn't finished. So I decided that I needed/wanted to share my oil. At this time I was working in management, as a Nurse. Since all Nurses wash their hands many times during the day, it finally hit me one day as I was looking over charts at the Nurses' station. I glanced over at the desktop and noticed a bottle of hand lotion at each end of the station, and another in the drawer, yet the Nurse that entered the station went to her purse and got a bottle from there. Looking over the ingredient lists, I noticed that they contained alcohol. Curious, I checked out more labels at the store that night. Most all of them contained alcohol, which made NO sense to me because alcohol dries the skin! Of course this meant that I had to hit the books again. After a lot of research, I made a plan for making my own! I began by hitting the kitchen and testing different combinations of oils and butters, then I experimented with varying herbal additives. I would jot down the recipe as I went along , when I remembered too!, then put it on myself, a friend or two, if I could, then go to bed and wait to see what my skin looked and felt like when I got up. If I liked a certain combination I would wash my hands repeatedly, dig in dirt, and anything else that I could get into, just to test the recipe further. I then talked various friends and family into doing the same, just so that I could see what the recipe could/would handle. Eventually I hit upon, what I feel is, the BEST lotion that you will ever use! The [secret] combination that I found moisturizes deeply, yet stays on the skin throughout repeated hand-washing! I was amazed at how smooth and silky my skin felt and how little product I had to use to achieve that smoothness. Such a little bit goes a long way, and it LASTS longer than the store products. There was no constant reapplying ! Of course I had to test market the lotion on my staff because I thought I might be delusional, lol. But it turned out that I wasn' least not about the lotion! That was the beginning of my little cottage company, Unique Garden Essences. It was a one product shop, selling mostly to my friends and Nursing staff for about a month. Then, while in a staff meeting, it was brought to my attention that a diabetic patient needed a treatment for cracks in the heel skin. The team had already tried many traditional and prescription products, but they were not producing results. Although we wanted to try a natural approach, we were unsure where to find one. At that point I decided that I should be able to find something that would work from my garden, so once again, I hit the kitchen and began experimenting in earnest. After a few failed recipes, I hit came up with the product that I call Heel and Elbow Cream. I saw immediate results on myself, then gave some to a friend to test, and when she called me the next morning reporting that she also saw immediate results, I took it into work. It took some time, but it worked on healing the patient it was created for.
It actually is a really neat product, as it presents in a solid state, yet melts when it comes in contact with warm skin. The herbs that are used in it heal and moisturize the skin, and a very little goes a very long way! The best part? It is all natural and safe for everyone to use! As you probably can tell by now, one thing [frequently] leads to another in my life, and in my business. It wasn't long before my two product shop grew to become a shop of about twenty different products, with at least 100 different essential oils. I found that I truly LOVE mixing and creating new products and new scent combinations. I can often be found in the kitchen, testing and experimenting away!
While I no longer make my own essential oils, I am fortunate to have found a supply of the finest, purest, (most often food grade) quality essential oils. For the times when Mother Earth doesn't provide an essential oil for the scent (like baked bread or bubble gum), I stock high quality fragrance oils. Any herbs or flowers used in the creation of a product come from my garden or the garden of a personal friend (thank you Cora & Sherri!). I will slowly, albeit surely, be adding descriptions of herbs and essential oil, and what they can do for you. I will also be adding recipes that you can whip up at home! So, please, come back and visit again! I make what I love and I love what I make. So come visit me @ or and enjoy something from my garden to you! For jewelry and crafts visit my uniqueXpression shop @ For all natural dog treats visit me @

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