How to use Mimosa hostilis in soap?

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SomethingGoodAustin

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Hello there. A friend has requested a soap with mimosa hostilis root bark (jurema, tepezacohuite) in it. I’ve been making soap since 2012, but I don’t work often with herbs or herbal infusions in soap. Has anyone worked with this additive in soap before, and what is the best way to use it? I’ve done some research, and I’ve seen a handful of soap recipes out there – none of which I think are particularly great, to be honest – but not much is out there regarding how to prepare an infusion or extract in a way that would preserve the helpful properties of the herb. Would an oil infusion the effective, perhaps added as superfat during hot process after the cook?

Unfortunately, my friend is not much help – she’s not a soap maker, just a person who used a great soap and wants more of it.

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.

EDIT: I realize there’s generally some question as to how much of an herb or roots benefits persist in the finished soap. However, at least I’d like to know the recommended PPO for the powder, whether staining washcloths is a potential problem, what color I can expect, etc. Thanks!
 
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earlene

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Perhaps you found this link wherein they say they use a cold-infusion method (oil) for at least 6 weeks. That seems pretty straight forward for figuring out how to prepare the infusion.

One thing I'd try to find out from you friend, though, is where did she buy the soap that she wants you to reproduce and with that information, you can look at the ingredients list attempt your duplication of the soap recipe at least.

What color to expect looks like brown. It is commonly used for staining leather, so I would expect it would probably discolor washcloths, so perhaps suggest using with dark colored washcloths to avoid staining white or light colored cloths.

Several sources that picture soap made with this product show brown soap. One site event mentions adding TD to lighten the soap to make it a lighter shade, but one photo I found looked like a deep milk chocolate. Others look akin to the color of dark coffee.

In this link, powdered MHRB is added to the lye solution, and not an oil-infusion. I believe that is generally done for color and with no attempt to 'retain' any 'beneficial' properties. It does specify a specific weight of the powder for that specific formula, so you may be able to extrapolate a 'suggested' amount from that, but if it is only for color, that may not be what you are looking for.

I could not find anything and I am sure you did more research than I, that actually gave a weight/PPO for an infusion. But when doing oil infusions, with something like bark or roots or leaves, generally what I have read is to submerge the product in oil, and I have not seen anything about specific weights of herbs, root, etc. PPO. But I don't generally do infusions with any kind of attempt to obtain 'beneficial' qualities that I would expect to survive in lye soap, so maybe looking for suggested amounts for infusions for use in lotions, salves, balms, etc. would give you more of what you are looking for.

This link may address the latter, using s a cold water extraction method.

I doubt many 'beneficial' properties would remain in the soap, but if you friend loved the soap she bought that had MHRB as an ingredient, then I'd say go for it. Remember that soap should really not be medicinal since we don't really leave it on the skin for very long, but again, if she found it to be beneficial, I probably would just go ahead and try the oil infusion method. If you want more 'beneficial' properties to remain, perhaps make the soap via HP and add the oil infusion later in the process so it is not exposed to the lye for as long.

I found this on dosing with MHRB and reading up on sensitivities to it would be something I would do before attempting to make a product containing it. The article may not be very informative as related to your intended use, but if you search you may find more about sensitivity with topical use.
 

SomethingGoodAustin

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Perhaps you found this link wherein they say they use a cold-infusion method (oil) for at least 6 weeks. That seems pretty straight forward for figuring out how to prepare the infusion.

One thing I'd try to find out from you friend, though, is where did she buy the soap that she wants you to reproduce and with that information, you can look at the ingredients list attempt your duplication of the soap recipe at least.

What color to expect looks like brown. It is commonly used for staining leather, so I would expect it would probably discolor washcloths, so perhaps suggest using with dark colored washcloths to avoid staining white or light colored cloths.

Several sources that picture soap made with this product show brown soap. One site event mentions adding TD to lighten the soap to make it a lighter shade, but one photo I found looked like a deep milk chocolate. Others look akin to the color of dark coffee.

In this link, powdered MHRB is added to the lye solution, and not an oil-infusion. I believe that is generally done for color and with no attempt to 'retain' any 'beneficial' properties. It does specify a specific weight of the powder for that specific formula, so you may be able to extrapolate a 'suggested' amount from that, but if it is only for color, that may not be what you are looking for.

I could not find anything and I am sure you did more research than I, that actually gave a weight/PPO for an infusion. But when doing oil infusions, with something like bark or roots or leaves, generally what I have read is to submerge the product in oil, and I have not seen anything about specific weights of herbs, root, etc. PPO. But I don't generally do infusions with any kind of attempt to obtain 'beneficial' qualities that I would expect to survive in lye soap, so maybe looking for suggested amounts for infusions for use in lotions, salves, balms, etc. would give you more of what you are looking for.

This link may address the latter, using s a cold water extraction method.

I doubt many 'beneficial' properties would remain in the soap, but if you friend loved the soap she bought that had MHRB as an ingredient, then I'd say go for it. Remember that soap should really not be medicinal since we don't really leave it on the skin for very long, but again, if she found it to be beneficial, I probably would just go ahead and try the oil infusion method. If you want more 'beneficial' properties to remain, perhaps make the soap via HP and add the oil infusion later in the process so it is not exposed to the lye for as long.

I found this on dosing with MHRB and reading up on sensitivities to it would be something I would do before attempting to make a product containing it. The article may not be very informative as related to your intended use, but if you search you may find more about sensitivity with topical use.
Earlene, thanks for this great response! I appreciate your taking the time to be so comprehensive. Many hearts to you.

The soap my friend used was itself handmade, she believes—so no label from which to backengineer a recipe, sadly.

One of the reasons I don’t work with herbal or root infusions much in soap is that, yeah, not a whole lot—if any—of the good stuff logically makes it into the soap, and what little there might be probably doesn’t stay long enough on the skin to be helpful (see: wash off vs. leave on product).

I mean, it’s entirely possible that she was gifted a great bar of soap that just happened to have mimosa hostilis in it. If you’re not a soap maker, you don’t know the difference between a well made, gentle soap and a well made, gentle soap with neato exotic additives in it. Insert shrug emoji here. :)

I hadn’t seen the first link you posted in your response. But I came across the second and third links, plus a couple of soap recipes that I frankly would not use or recommend – with one the super fat was too low and the water looked too high and it included beeswax in a proportion that seemed unnecessary. The other recommended infusing MHRB in alcohol and adding it, and I guess you could, but…?)

While I’ve soaped with various liquids (milk, tea, mead) as my lye solution, I’ve never added anything (honey, herbs, clay, etc) directly to the lye, only after trace or after the cook in HP. Hmm.

Another soaper recommended a tea infusion as the liquid and powder added to the soap. There again, though—adding powder to the soap raises the issue of PPO, staining, etc.

The method that makes the most sense to me is what you suggest, an oil infusion. I may have to do some rudimentary sciencing and make a couple batches with different techniques (only a couple, though—this stuff is pricy for me). I’ll report back when I can. Again, thanks so much!
 

Zany_in_CO

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The method that makes the most sense to me is what you suggest, an oil infusion.
To me too! 😁 I've done herbal oil infusions for years. There are a few different ways to do it. There's both cold infusion and warm crock pot method. Hopefully @curlycoat2 can pop in to advise you.

I may have to do some rudimentary sciencing and make a couple batches with different techniques (only a couple, though—this stuff is pricy for me).
Before investing in a pricey item, you may want to first try the technique with calendula petals. It's one of the most available and widely used oil infusions. Makes a lovely yellow shade when added to CP or HP castile. Often featured in Baby Shower gifts.

I prefer doing it range top. I put an ounce of the herb in a 10" stainless steel frying pan; cover with 20 oz. olive oil or sunflower oil; bring it up to almost boiling and turn it down to low/warm simmer for 3-4 hours until the oil has a nice color.

With some intense herbs, you can repeat the process with half the amount of oil to get a second batch from the same amount of herb.

Here's a link describing the process I use, but with fresh carrot, not the dried herbs I normally use. I don't have a link for that but you can use the SEARCH feature in the upper right corner of the page to learn more. :)

CARROT TISSUE OIL
 
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SomethingGoodAustin

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To me too! 😁 I've done herbal oil infusions for years. There are a few different ways to do it. There's both cold infusion and warm crock pot method. Hopefully @curlycoat2 can pop in to advise you.


Before investing in a pricey item, you may want to first try the technique with calendula petals. It's one of the most available and widely used oil infusions. Makes a lovely yellow shade when added to CP or HP castile. Often featured in Baby Shower gifts.

I prefer doing it range top. I put an ounce of the herb in a 10" stainless steel frying pan; cover with 20 oz. olive oil or sunflower oil; bring it up to almost boiling and turn it down to low/warm simmer for 3-4 hours until the oil has a nice color.

With some intense herbs, you can repeat the process with half the amount of oil to get a second batch from the same amount of herb.

Here's a link describing the process I use, but with fresh carrot, not the dried herbs I normally use. I don't have a link for that but you can use the SEARCH feature in the upper right corner of the page to learn more. :)

CARROT TISSUE OIL
Thank you!
 
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