KM Herbals Blog
Feet – our source of stability, of balance, of traction and propulsion. Too often overlooked and undervalued, they are our means of mobility and independence. They are also our consistent point of contact with the earth!
Though our feet bear the brunt of gravity, our sensitive soles also allow us an intimate means of feeling our source, our home, our Pachamama beneath us. How often do you take your shoes off and walk barefoot in the grass or wiggle your toes in the sand?
Most of us spend the majority of our lives with our feet encased - for support and for protection - but contemporary sciences and the recent rediscovery of ancient wisdom points to the importance and power of taking time within our busy lives to reunite our bare feet with nature.
The process of ‘grounding’ or ‘earthing’ refers to our electrical connection with the earth, balancing our natural charge as individuals as well as reducing the voltages of electromagnetic radiation we experience daily through our use of technology.
Earth Day acts as an annual reminder of the many ways in which our planet sustains us, as a people and as individuals. It’s a time of renewed appreciation and respect, but also an opportunity to assess the ways in which distance may have grown between us and our most original source…
Sustainability in Relationships
Most of us understand the value of living sustainably – for the planet and for ourselves. We understand that carpooling, shorter showers, and recycling can reduce our carbon footprint – lightening our impact and allowing valuable natural resources to thrive. Sustainability has become such a coveted and even commodified notion, in fact, that those harboring a keen eye and fierce social conscience have come to seek out brands in daily life that make ‘eco-friendliness’ a priority. We can all do our part to further conversations, contribute to the needed work of environmental programs, and vote with each and every dollar.
But for most of us, our ability to manifest sustainable practices, choices, and partnerships will remain limited until we are first able to model each within ourselves and in our closest relationships…which can often prove to be the most difficult. Relationships are at the heart of sustainability. We, as human beings, continue to live as a part of a deeply interdependent ecosystem in both biological and emotional ways. Our actions (and even our existence) have an inevitable and tangible impact on those around us.
This reality carries with it the opportunity to be intentional about the form that these impacts and impressions take, expanding our awareness to consider the well-being of the whole. The principles of biodynamics when applied to farming and agriculture, in many ways, parallel how we structure and navigate our relational world – placing this plant strategically in the shade of another or recognizing that it’s best not to store the cow manure next to your water source. Extending the wisdom and key philosophies of this practice to our daily lives may, in fact, offer insights into how to build a more sustainable world, beginning at the source.
Biodynamic gardening seeks to mirror the inevitable interdependence of the plant kingdom that exists in nature. It recognizes the ways in which each individual plant (and person) naturally offer one another unique and mutual support. The means of support might vary between species, but each meets a need of those around it. Applying this to our personal lives, we might take a moment to reflect on the ways that we as individuals most naturally support others. We might take inventory of all those we trust and on whom we’ve naturally come to rely. We can examine the ways that interdependence starkly differs from unhealthy reliance and attachment in our lives and embrace it in all its mutual glory!
Avoidance of Chemicals & Artificial Fertilizers
We all know what we’re talking about here. Chemicals and artificial fertilizers are used as mindless short-cuts in the agricultural process – sacrificing quality for quantity in the name of mass yield. Most of us need not look far to identify examples in our own lives where we might opt for the feel good that lacks substance, for the things and people that distract but ultimately leave us less fulfilled. The artificial can sometimes be difficult for us acknowledge and release, but harder still are the toxic presences in our lives. These are examples of interdependence morphing into co-dependence and can often be difficult to see until the runoff pools and becomes a greater problem.
Though much easier said than done, we must be patient with ourselves. We must trust that our tendency to hold on to toxic connections longer than is sustainable points to a need we are hoping to fill, and that by having faith in the process of letting go we create room for powerful new shoots to grow.
Diversification and Decentralization
Diversification can be a challenge for those of us who prefer a tight circle of community that largely reflects our own values back to us – there is security in this. But for growth to occur, biodynamic gardeners recognize the value of planting diverse crops.
They view the differences of each as potential complements to one another, assisting in building strong interdependent relationships.
Decentralization refers to the ability to create a full and rich community rather than a purely an insular one. Consider what it is that you are ‘watering’ in your life – to what do you give the most attention and provide the most nourishment needed to grow? Perhaps it is all in one place, leaving other areas dry and barren. Perhaps it is a light mist over everything equally without taking the time to listen to each relationship’s unique needs.
Knowing when and what to water is a subtle science learned through experience and made stronger through reflection.
Because relationships are at the root of it all.
I was feeling sluggish. It’s true. My thoughts going in and out like waves, each cresting, then overtaking the next – never staying put. Spaced and wandering rather than falling in line like I’d always taught them to. I could hear my muffled heartbeat in my ears – a slow and steady drumbeat. I imagined my blood circulating, moving through my veins like molasses.
Albeit I’d had the flu all weekend, but sluggish is something winter can do to you.
It’s strange, isn’t it? The way you can feel sore from not moving? Tired from not exerting? That’s because it’s the natural state of things for our bodies to move, to bend, to circulate. This is the way that our many interdependent systems work best - fueled and running smoothly. And of course, it proves all the more important to bolster our immunity during the cold wet winter months.
Along with important work done daily and naturally by our circulatory, digestive, urinary, respiratory, and lymphatic systems, the skin is a primary means of our body’s detoxification! Though undeniably a wellness buzzword, detoxification is a process as essential and innate to us as breathing. The skin is the interface between our external and internal world and is so often our first indication systemic imbalance.
Keeping the skin open allows for the release of toxins and absorption of nutrients most efficiently. While the circulatory system is powered by the heart, and our respiratory system by our breath, the lymphatic system requires motion (and hydration!) to be stimulated. Lying just under the surface of the skin, the lymphatic system can also be stimulated through the simple yet ancient practice of dry brushing.
This practice can be done once a day just before showering, bathing, entering a steam room, or sauna. You will use 1-2 drops of detoxifying essential oil on the brush before applying it to the body (we recommend sprinkling the drops on your palm first and sliding the bristles over it to distribute them evenly). Gently running the bristles of the brush, lightly coated with essential oil, along the surface of the skin from extremities inward, towards the heart, in light thorough strokes.
Essential oils can deeply enhance the benefits of this practice. Some essential oils known for their detoxifying abilities are:
** We recommend diffusing the essential oils in your bathroom and dry brushing before taking a bath with aromatherapeutic bath salts. **
Explore our most detoxifying essential oils for purchase below!
I was feeling sluggish. It’s true. It’s something winter can do to you. And dry brushing is something you can do for yourself!
Exfoliation – a process of sloughing off our outermost layer. Though not the most pleasant of imagery, we know we all do it…the evidence is everywhere, from the dust on our windowsill to the hair we snake from the drain. It is our human equivalent of molting, shedding, of metamorphosis.
The Latin root of the verb ‘exfoliate’ is to be ‘stripped of leaves’ - and how appropriate – not only in its visual parallel to our skin, but also as an indication of the changing of the seasons. Yes, we experienced the orange-hued foliage and crunchy leaves beneath our feet in the fall, but there is also something to be said for the perpetual exfoliation and regeneration that occurs within us and around us all year long. In so many ways we intentionally and subconsciously let go of what’s dead and no longer serving us to reveal what’s most alive!
The dawning of the new year provides a time of reflection and introspection from which we carve out paths towards change. But it isn’t until the days begin to lengthen and the light to remerge that we experience the warmth and the clarity needed to truly let go. The metaphor can be stretched further, of course, to both the benefits and risks of shedding our layers. Exfoliating too much, going too deep too fast, can cause irritation. It takes true education, practice, and understanding of the self (and skin) to recognize what is ‘new’ and what is ‘raw.’
And what’s truly amazing is that the fresh and supple skin, or inspiration, or version of ourselves that we reveal isn’t actually new at all, rather it is ‘RE-newed’! So perhaps what exfoliation truly reveals to us is our core, our central essence, what’s been within us all along, rather than simply a need for cleansing. And we could all use that reminder and revelation!
In the month of February, where the expansion of the light and of the earth begins truly taking shape, let us ask (and remind) ourselves about our core, our origin, the pieces we neither can nor wish to change. What is the core of your practice? Why do you love the work that you do? What unique essence would exfoliation reveal to you?
For KMH, our inspiration quite literally came from within – in the form of a little one. Kim Manley, our founder and creator’s, enthusiasm for formulating personal care products developed while awaiting the arrival of her daughter, Bonnie Rose. Concerned about the harsh chemicals used in mainstream baby care products, Kim instead created her own collection of gentle and soothing formulas, planting the seed from which her business has grown.
Our passion, the core revealed to us in the exfoliation of the external, is a commitment to quality, purity, and intention. Our mission to now supplying industry professionals with the same tender and carefully-crafted products is our love and our calling – and it renews us.
In the month to come, look forward to further reflection and education on the process of exfoliation!
Self-Care. We hear this term often…amidst photos of everyday yogis and yoginis and Pinterest recipes made in mason jars. Our ever-accelerating world has acknowledged the power of a pause - of a breath, of silence - and created a push for a holistic understanding of wellness. This trend, while finding inspiration in practices as ancient as crystals and Ayurveda, is still a challenge to define and even more challenging to put into practice.
Let self-care be your first step to self-love!
A beautiful sentiment to be sure, and one that KM believes to its core – reflected in our mission to the intention infused in each of our beautiful products – and yet, this progression from self-care to self-love isn’t always that simple, now is it?
Consider the way that we so often discuss ‘self-care’ as a society. Though meant to empower of us each as individuals, ‘self-care’ has in many ways become commodified – from products and retreats, to cookbooks and workshops. The risk inherent in this commodification is the assumption that through consumption, through continual striving, we will eventually achieve wholeness. That the state of health and belonging exists somewhere beyond ourselves.
But I suggest turning inward as an alternative to always reaching. It is only by keeping a keen and open ear in our own direction that we can clearly hear what we truly need, as unique individuals. Like your very own piece of art, a self-care practice can borrow from a variety of modalities, each adding a distinct hue to your palette!
It is widely acknowledged that creating ritual and taking time to invest in oneself ultimately yields a healthier, happier individual - that self-care can, in fact, be a first step to self-love. So why does this prove so difficult? Where does the process get interrupted?
More than ever, our voices matter. In a time of shifting paradigms and sociocultural transition, our collective power to influence and to shape our world has never been more valuable. This January, thousands met in various locations all over the world to reaffirm commitment to building a positive and just future for all as a part of The Women’s March. The rally sought to engage and empower all people to support women's rights, human rights, as well as social and environmental justice.
As I stood in the square in the cold January sunshine, I couldn’t help but glance around me at the many people, the many signs, the many causes, the many stories that surrounded me. Not one of ours was the same. And yet, we each had something to say. We listened together, we danced together, we sang together, and we raised our voices in a chorus of distinct rhythms and melodies. But we did share a voice. As Margaret Mead once said we should, ‘never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.’
It occurred to me then, that what we each ultimately seek is acceptance and belonging, and that perhaps this same truth is shared when our self-care practice fails to manifest the deep and loving relationships we hope to build within ourselves. What emerged was the need for acceptance – of all colors and creeds. That it is through acceptance that we find healing.
Perhaps it is self-acceptance that need be the bedrock of our self-care practice. Perhaps it is acknowledging and respecting exactly where we are in the process rather than keeping our eye on some distant horizon that will allow for self-care to be our first step on the path to self-love.
While this may prove an ideal, it can also be difficult to know where to begin! Consider the following as potential places to start:
Offer yourself acceptance on your journey to self-love through self-care – because the world needs your unique voice.
At KM Herbals, we are committed to inspiring action and embodying holistic business practices by serving our community and prioritizing sustainability at every stage of our manufacturing process.
An inevitable consequence of the modern lifestyle is unrelenting extraction from our precious earth. We seek to revive, rebuild, and reinvest in a flourishing and vibrant planet for all...and for our future!
Sustainability in Action...is creating:
Sweet, Spicy, and Stimulating!
As the days get shorter and evenings chillier...as foliage turns a fiery spectrum of yellows and reds, and crunch beneath our feet...
It is the time for winter warming!
KMH holds deep respect for the interplay and healthy balance of both light and dark. While our lighter products serve to clarify and uplift, our rich winter line provides your body the warmth and nourishment it needs.
At KM Herbals, We Make Every Product Fresh to Order
This means that only when we receive your order, via phone, email, or the web, does the process officially begin! Only then are the freshest of ingredients hand-crafted into our premiere formulations with care, and sent straight to you...without spending time on a shelf.
Known for its immune-enhancing properties, Echinacea (E. purpurea, angustifolia, pallida), has a rich history of use by Native American and indigenous groups to address external injuries.
Since then, modern science has demonstrated the plant extract's cleansing, purifying, and rejuvenating properties. Chemical constituents of echinacea have been shown to improve hydration and to protect skin from environmental damage.
Our Lavandin Cleansing Milk works wonders on young, oily or congested skin to not only sooth blemishes but heal and improve the look of scars from past breakouts. This cleanser leaves skin refreshed and protected, and its classic calming aroma is a therapy in itself.
Anti-Acne Facial Serum helps purify and balance troubled skin with a gentle, non-sticky, and lightweight formula that can be used as a spot treatment, or as part of an all-over preventative facial regimen.
Cleanse, Tone, Moisturize & Uplift, both Face and Body
As a wonderfully hydrating ingredient, rose creates an unparalleled self-care experience.
Cold weather aggravates, dries, and irritates, often making it difficult to find moisturizing products that are both effective and gentle enough for chapped or injured skin. With its classic alluring scent, Rose is one of our favorite essential winter allies that makes us happy all year long!
Extracts of Rose are strongly hydrating and rejuvenating, supporting skin texture and tone to improve the look of scars, wrinkles, and large pores. Rose is a powerful astringent, and those who suffer from inflammatory skin conditions can appreciate Rose's cooling properties that naturally help balance the complexion.
Rose has something for every skin type, and we have Rose for every step in your skincare routine...Explore our ROSE COLLECTION below:
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