This is a gift set intended for you or for a loved one who finds themselves with sore muscles. It ships in a festive winter holidays box and contains:
- One 4 oz Whidbey Sore Muscle Rub soap. Made with ethically gathered native black cottonwood buds, native Douglas fir branches, native stinging nettles, and homegrown yarrow infused into olive oil for between 6 weeks and 6 months (depending on the plant/tree) plus some Douglas fir and peppermint essential oils (detailed ingredients list follows). We gather tree branches and buds off the ground after winter wind storms here. We don't cut trees just for our products.
- One 4 oz Whidbey Sore Muscle Rub massage oil. Native black cottonwood buds + native Douglas fir branches + homegrown peppermint leaves and soft stems + organic olive oil + 6 months of infused-oil babysitting & brewing time all come together in this massage oil, which we use here to soothe our sore neck, back, shoulder, arm, and leg muscles. The idea for this particular oil came from the trees themselves. Who are we to argue with trees? :-) I refill these for about half price ($13) at my studio on Whidbey.
The gift set ships in a festive winter holidays gift box with images of green and white evergreen branches, holly branches, and pine cones on the box (see photos). You can also choose to give the gift in our Silly Dog Studios gift bag.
Whidbey folks, you can choose the Pick Up option to avoid shipping costs at check out, and you can pick up from our herbal studio here. We can ship priority in the continental US until December 15, 2021 to get this gift to someone in time for Christmas. If there's another winter holiday you're aiming for (hurray for Diwali, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Boxing Day!), please allow 10 calendar days for shipping in the continental US. It likely won't take that long but we don't want to disappoint you if the post office decides to take its sweet time!
To use this gift set: Our idea was that we could start pampering our sore muscles in the shower or the bath tub with the soap, and then we could finish rubbing sore muscles with the massage oil while our skin and muscles are still warm from bathing. So, start by rubbing this soap into sore muscles as you bathe, and avoid getting this soap in your eyes. After you finish bathing and dry off, rub the massage oil into your sore muscle(s) while your skin and muscles are still warm (but not wet) from bathing. A great time to do this is before bed or before taking a nap. Additional tips for using the massage oil follow below.
Seasonality notice: These products are made seasonally as local trees and plants are ready, and they're made in small batches that don't over tax the plants and trees and humans, so these gift sets are not available year round. When they're gone, they're gone until the fall of the following year, assuming all goes well for the plants, trees, land, and humans.
Storage, size, and life of the soap bar: To extend the life of the soap bar, store it where it can dry quickly after use and where it doesn't receive regular spray from a faucet. Placing the bar on a soap holder or on a folded up wash cloth are lovely ideas. The bars are roughly 4 ounces. All are made by hand in small batches and are individually hand cut by cool women, not machines. This means most 4 ounce bars are 4 ounces but they can range from 3.8 to 4.5 ounces. We're not machines, people, nor do we want to be. :-) We keep anything cut smaller than that for ourselves and our families and to give as gifts to neighbors in need and to people working extra hard during the pandemic or otherwise struggling.
Soap ingredients: Locally grown and ethically gathered storm-fallen black cottonwood buds and Douglas fir branches, stinging nettles, and grown-at-Silly Dog Studios yarrow infused into organic extra virgin olive oil, plus coconut oil, shea butter, castor oil, distilled water, sodium hydroxide, sodium lactate, and fir and peppermint essential oils.
Massage oil ingredients: Whidbey forest storm-fallen Douglas Fir branches (from Silly Dog Studios & walks in neighboring woods), peppermint leaves and soft upper stems (grown at Silly Dog Studios), and storm-fallen cottonwood buds (from Mountain Tree Farm in Arlington and our friend Laura's farm on Whidbey) infused into organic extra virgin olive oil. The fir is infused into olive oil for 6 to 8 weeks, the peppermint for 6 weeks, and the cottonwood buds for at least 6 months, often longer.
Tips for using olive oil as massage oil... With olive oil, you cannot rush. This oil takes it's own sweet time with human skin. It doesn't disappear immediately. Rushing doesn't work. You may have to rub it into your muscles and skin for a longer period of time than you think you have time for. This slowing down to the oil's pace may feel awkward, very slow, or self-indulgent, especially if you were raised not to center your body or you have been punished for listening to and supporting your own body in the past. If you do rush with this oil, you'll likely end up with oil on your clothing, bedding, and/or furniture. Here, depending on which sore muscle we're massaging, we may change into old t-shirts or lay on old towels that we don't mind staining a bit with oil. Sometimes I'll rub muscles in my feet and then put an old pair of socks on and go to bed. Please take your time, rub the oil in thoroughly. I practice welcoming the idea that this long-loved oil from old trees knows that we are worth the extra time, even when we (or other humans) don't. And, if you do rush and end up with oil on valuable clothing, bedding, or furniture, clean them thoroughly, in accordance with creators/manufacturers instructions, as soon as you can so the oil doesn't set and stain. Unless a few stains don't bother you: if that's the case, go wild! ;-)
Storage, size, life of the product, and packaging for the oil: This oil comes in a 4-ounce reusable, clear glass bottle with a metal screw-top lid. Store your bottle in a cool, dry, dark place where direct sunlight never touches the bottle. We suggest using this massage oil within 12 to 18 months of purchase, because the only preservative is the nature of the plants (especially the cottonwood buds) themselves. Cottonwood buds are a powerful preservative in oil, so your oil may last longer than this, too. If at any point it doesn't smell good or starts to look different, stop using it. I refill these for about half price ($13) at my studio on Whidbey. Lastly, we've learned that plant-infused oils have minds of their own. They may ooze a little bit (oozing is part of their nature and charm), and you may find that a tiny bit of oil pools under the bottle itself, so we recommend storing the bottle on a hard surface--like stone or metal or glass--that you don't mind getting a teeny bit of oil on.
Soap packaging: Our soaps are wrapped in a small piece of compostable food-safe paper to ensure safe handling. If you would prefer no packaging at all, just put that in the comments field when you order (or tell me in person if you're at my studio), and you'll get them bare naked! If you live off island and we ship them to you, they will still need to show up in a (made-from-recycled-materials) cardboard box. We're magic, but not that magic. Yet. :-)
Medical Disclaimer: The information on this page is for general reference for further exploration and study. It is not intended as a replacement for professional medical advice. I'm an herbalist like my grandmother before me, and I am interested in community, planetary, personal, emotional, and spiritual wellness. I have a doctorate degree in education (EdD). I am not a medical doctor or a scientist, nor have I been pregnant or raised children. I lean on ever-deepening relationships with local forests, plants and herbs and flowers and lichen, local wise women, ancestors, other herbalists, insects, birds, and I love learning traditional folk ways from people who love to share them across old boundaries, every chance I get. I intentionally study forests and plants directly, plus community wellness and connectedness, resilience, self-organizing groups, playfulness and deep fun, and life as experienced by those with different ancestors than my own--because I believe these are what we need to learn more about right now. I don't study human illness and disease. So please, to make well-informed decisions for yourself, seek the guidance of your qualified health professional, such your medical doctor, nurse practitioner, naturopathic physician, and/or clinical herbalist with questions regarding your medical conditions, dosage information, and possible interactions with prescription drugs. This is especially important if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, taking prescription drugs, have a chronic disease or any chronic concern, have allergies, or if you are considering using products with children. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.