“Madeleine!” I hear the bellow echo around me. I’m completely covered in debris; bits of glass, fungus, cheesecloth, and oils and smelly liquids are sliding over me.
I blink stupidly as the cupboard door, unharmed, bursts open. My mother storms in, eyes blazing, and stops dead at the sight of me lying there.
“For pity’s sake Madeleine, are you trying to blow the house down?”
“No,” I gasp, coughing as the fumes mix and clog my air. “I was experimenting. It wasn’t supposed to do that.”
With difficulty, I manage to extricate myself from the deluge of broken bottles and clamber painfully to my feet. My mother looks half-annoyed, half-frightened.
“Well. Well, clean it up, anyway. It smells terrible.” She waves a hand at her nose and departs.
I wince and shudder as I gaze around at the hopeless mess. Fortunately, my stock is kept in another area of the house, or several hundred dollars worth of materials would have just been lost. But it’s a blow nevertheless. Sighing heavily, I start to clean up.
I begin my series with this book review. Why? Because it was this book that fueled my fervor for all things natural.
The Book: Organic Body Care Recipes by Stephanie Tourles.
Reasons Why It’s Amazing: First off, it’s a compendium. It has about 175 recipes for skin, hair, nails, colds, headaches, bugs, insomnia and stress-relief balms, tonics, creams, concoctions and elixirs. All in all, it’s an all-in-one inclusive resource for your day-to-day needs. And apart from the recipes, it also educates the reader on skin and hair composition. (Complete with drawings. Woo.) After detailing all the sebums and layers making up that large organ covering us, she goes into detail about the different skin types and how to care for them. Excellent, as I have troublesome skin that wavers somewhere between dry, combination, and hypersensitive.
For me, who had no clue about most of this stuff, and felt a leetle overwhelmed by all the information being thrown at my face, this book was a nice, soothing, and well-organized draught of comfort. I highly recommend it for the starting herbalist/naturalist/granola.