101 Easy Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health & Home: A Nerdy Farm Wife's All-Natural DIY Projects Using Commonly Found Herbs, Flowers & Other Plants
101 Easy Homemade Products For Your Skin, Health & Home by Jan Berry
I have mixed feelings about this book. Originally I felt it was just "okay" but after starting my review, I realized that there are a lot of recipes that I like so it is better than "okay" but not a favorite.
While I don't consider myself an expert, I do have some experience making organic skin, lip, & pet products both for my family, farm, pets & as a small part of my business income at Running Bug Farm. Mainly I stick with methods that do not use water as they are much safer & I feel they deliver better results.
My main interests are medicinal, & this book does contain some medicinal recipes but she doesn't really add much depth compared to other (better) books. While you can throw together some ingredients safely, others have much greater risks & the author should have done a better job stressing this to the reader. This is especially important for beginners who might not grasp just how important it is to follow certain safety guidelines. Many recipes are so fragile the author recommends keeping them in the refrigerator & using the product up in less than a week. These products are quick to spoil & can become contaminated very easily. As the reader you must use common sense & know not to put wet fingers for example into a product otherwise you have just increased it's likelihood of spoiling. Other recipes require constant shaking along with refrigeration prior to use. If you understand proper handling & don't mind making certain items often, then this is not a big deal. If on the other hand, you are pressed for time & don't understand proper handling, you could have a real problem on your hands esp. if you decide to give or sell the items.
Personally I feel Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, & Other Natural Remedies for the Entire Family & Healthy at Home: Get Well and Stay Well Without Prescriptions are much better choices.
On the other end, there are some really great recipes that I love from this book. There are only a few sections that hold little interest to me. If you are a beginner, I strongly recommend you read Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health first. If you find you want to further explore medicinal products, I highly recommend Dr. Low Dog's book. I would also recommend reading an in-depth book on soap making if that is of interest to you. The soap making section in this book covers the basics, but you are better off learning all that you can before you begin. Also, the author provides links to only a few products &/orcompanies she recommends that I've never heard of. I have my own preferred suppliers for what I do not grow on the farm & none of these well known suppliers are in her book. The fact that she only recommends a child size handful of suppliers makes me think she is getting paid to recommend them.
On a final note, this book is not bad if you are already experienced. The book is chock full of beautiful full color photos giving the reader many ideas for gift giving &/or marketing.
Whatever you do, make sure you get a more informative book prior to this book so that you can get a proper education regarding making your own products at home.
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