Using herbals in soaps

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Hi everyone.
So I have few questions about using herbal material in soaps.
I basically made my first CP loaf few days ago and did one M&P before that. The M&P I did, was done without much research. Just took the base, put all my fancy herbal material in it, and then got criticised about it. Which I didn't mind as it have tought me a good lesson. Before doing my CP, I took about one month of research, before doing it. And it turned lovely. I do realize I am just at the top of the iceberg when it comes to soaping.
Now I understand that herbals don't behave good in M&P.
But I really want to use them. So I decided to start researching about it.
I see people making stuff like pumpkin or carrot purees to make soaps. Infusing their oils before use, like macerating different herbs in different oils. Or just adding herbal powders to the batter.
I would really like to learn about all this and what it gives to a bar of soap and how to do it properly. Most videos online say you can't say your soaps are having medicinal properties, but then I keep seing posts where people swear about it.
I did learn a lot from Brambleberry or similar but I think their videos have a lack of this knowledge. Just like, more natural way of making soaps.
Could you direct a beginner as me, to this kind of knowledge? Maybe share some links where I could spent another month of my life learning.
Is any of you here doing this kind of stuff? What are your experiences or opinions?
 
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Take a look at the YouTube channel of Kapia Mera. She does a fair amount of oil infusions and explains them in pretty good detail. You can also go to naturalsoapcolor.com where Jo Haslauer aka @curlycoat2 has some fantastic ebooks about creating natural soap colorants, including oil infusions.

Yes, you will see a lot of folks bragging about the benefits of their herbal–infused soap. We aren’t saying that such claims are untrue, necessarily. We are saying that people who publicly make those claims to sell their soaps are violating the labeling and product laws of most developed countries. In the US for instance, those kinds of claims put the product into the category of a drug, which requires FDA approval and expensive testing.
 
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Take a look at the YouTube channel of Kapia Mera. She does a fair amount of oil infusions and explains them in pretty good detail. You can also go to naturalsoapcolor.com where Jo Haslauer aka @curlycoat2 has some fantastic ebooks about creating natural soap colorants, including oil infusions.

Yes, you will see a lot of folks bragging about the benefits of their herbal–infused soap. We aren’t saying that such claims are untrue, necessarily. We are saying that people who publicly make those claims to sell their soaps are violating the labeling and product laws of most developed countries. In the US for instance, those kinds of claims put the product into the category of a drug, which requires FDA approval and expensive testing.
Thanks, I will sure check those channels. Much appreciated.
Yeah, I am actually growing medicinal plants and making herbal medicine, and it is quite a big project now. Recently started doing some natural cosmetics that I would also integrate in my shop after I am completely happy with the effects of it. Obviously this path crossed with soap making. So this is why I am starting to research about the medicinal side of soaps. Like ayurvedic soaps and so. As I would also like to have some in my shop.
I will take my time to gather as much as knowledge as I can before I get relaxed in this and start selling them,if so.
I find this forum very supportive and knowledgeable, very different vibes from those in facebook groups.
Really appreciate it.
 

Zany_in_CO

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Just took the base, put all my fancy herbal material in it, and then got criticised about it. Which I didn't mind as it have tought me a good lesson. ... Now I understand that herbals don't behave good in M&P.
Good attitude! :D
Most videos online say you can't say your soaps are having medicinal properties, but then I keep seing posts where people swear about it.
Yeah, that's true. And, yes, that does happen, unfortunately. Any claims about soap other than it is "cleansing" puts it in the drug (medicinal) or cosmetic category and thus becomes subject to regulation by the FDA for proper labeling and proof of any statement like that. It's best to avoid doing it.
I would really like to learn about all this and what it gives to a bar of soap and how to do it properly.
I raised my own herbs for soap for many years. My favorite herbal soaps are made with infused calendula petals (golden yellow), soothing & healing. For use in soap and balms.
comfrey leaves (green), soothing & healing. For use in soap and balms.
Carrot Tissue Oil (yellow to orange), beneficial especially for faces in soap and balms.
yellow dock for raspberry pink soap -- no medicinal value as far as I know.

There are a few different ways to infuse herbs in oils
Cold Process: Stuff a Mason jar with the herb. Cover with oil, leaving 1" of oil at the top. Put in a sunny window for 4 weeks or so. Shake or turn often.
Hot Process - Warm dried herbs in oil of choice in a crockpot for a few hours. Let set until cool.

When I developed my MIY Carrot Tissue Oil method I've been doing infusions like that ever since, using 1 oz of dried herbs to 20 oz. olive oil or Sunflower. I have a 10" stainless steel fry pan that I picked up at a garage sale. that works perfectly for me. Lovely color in soap.
Could you direct a beginner as me, to this kind of knowledge?
As both a gardener and soap maker you will love Tanya of Lovely Greens on the Isle of Man. Sign up for her weekly newsletter. Check out her Rosemary Soap and Lavender Soap tutorials.
I am actually growing medicinal plants and making herbal medicine, and it is quite a big project now. ... this path crossed with soap making. So this is why I am starting to research about the medicinal side of soaps.
Mountain Rose Herbs is the best source for medicinal use of plants.

For a good range of variety, good quality, & best prices for herbs, spices & teas for infusion, I buy the 4 oz. size, at HerbCo

I'm looking forward to seeing what you make. You may want to show off your soaps in the Photo Gallery. We LUV pictures -- even when a batch goes awry. Hopefully that won't happen, but if it does, see it as an opportunity to learn more. You can also use the Photo Gallery as a log of every batch you make. Include the recipe as well as your comments about how you processed it for future reference. I only wish I had that available to me when I first started making soap in 2003. It's a great way to chronicle your progress in the Wonderful World of Soapmaking!!!

HAPPY SOAPING! :hippo::hippo::hippo:
 

curlycoat2

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Growing your own herbs, fruits, veggies and nuts/grains is a fantastic way to enjoy soap and know what you are putting into it. Sadly you cant claim anything with soap other than cleaning but most herbal soapers will tell you there is a different "feel" to the soap same as milk soapers will notice a different when they dont use milk. Herbs that are not dehydrated don't do well in mp. As far as additives go for mp there are very few that can be added that were once alive - at least in any quantity. I did start with mp myself and I am sure I added everything from beeswax to salt and back again but only 1 Tablespoon max of each into the bar of soap. Some were successful and most not.

I really look forward to the soap you make - please post pics so we can share the excitement!

Take a look at the YouTube channel of Kapia Mera. She does a fair amount of oil infusions and explains them in pretty good detail. You can also go to naturalsoapcolor.com where Jo Haslauer aka @curlycoat2 has some fantastic ebooks about creating natural soap colorants, including oil infusions.

Yes, you will see a lot of folks bragging about the benefits of their herbal–infused soap. We aren’t saying that such claims are untrue, necessarily. We are saying that people who publicly make those claims to sell their soaps are violating the labeling and product laws of most developed countries. In the US for instance, those kinds of claims put the product into the category of a drug, which requires FDA approval and expensive testing.
Thank you so much you are so kind to me - I really appreciate you mentioning my work with plants and soap x
 

DeeAnna

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...most will tell you there is a different "feel" to the soap same as milk soapers will notice a different when they dont use milk...

The problem with taking this information at face value is the person is biased toward finding the difference and knows which soap "should" be better. That's certainly an understandable human behavior, but biased tests and testimonials like this are not proof there truly is a benefit.

People who have done blind trials to test various ingredients in their soap soaps get varied results. Sometimes their testers perceive differences and sometimes they don't. These are the tests you want to pay attention to, because the bias in tests like this is as low as possible.

Even if we do learn something from a blind trial like this, it doesn't tell us anything about WHY there might be differences. For example, many milk soap makers don't include the fat in the milk as part of their saponifiable ingredients. If there's a difference in their milk soap compared to the same soap without milk, the difference might simply be due to the higher superfat in the soap. So you might get the same result by increasing the superfat in a non-milk version of the recipe.
 
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All valid points, DeeAnna. I think the other issue is how individually we react to certain ingredients, whether that is based on skin type, medical conditions, or other known and unknown factors.

Even in clinical trials for FDA-approved substances, the benefits (and side effects!) never materialize for 100% of the people, and often far less. That doesn't mean that there are no benefits (or side effects) - just that not everyone will experience them.
 
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Good attitude! :D

Yeah, that's true. And, yes, that does happen, unfortunately. Any claims about soap other than it is "cleansing" puts it in the drug (medicinal) or cosmetic category and thus becomes subject to regulation by the FDA for proper labeling and proof of any statement like that. It's best to avoid doing it.

I raised my own herbs for soap for many years. My favorite herbal soaps are made with infused calendula petals (golden yellow), soothing & healing. For use in soap and balms.
comfrey leaves (green), soothing & healing. For use in soap and balms.
Carrot Tissue Oil (yellow to orange), beneficial especially for faces in soap and balms.
yellow dock for raspberry pink soap -- no medicinal value as far as I know.

There are a few different ways to infuse herbs in oils
Cold Process: Stuff a Mason jar with the herb. Cover with oil, leaving 1" of oil at the top. Put in a sunny window for 4 weeks or so. Shake or turn often.
Hot Process - Warm dried herbs in oil of choice in a crockpot for a few hours. Let set until cool.

When I developed my MIY Carrot Tissue Oil method I've been doing infusions like that ever since, using 1 oz of dried herbs to 20 oz. olive oil or Sunflower. I have a 10" stainless steel fry pan that I picked up at a garage sale. that works perfectly for me. Lovely color in soap.

As both a gardener and soap maker you will love Tanya of Lovely Greens on the Isle of Man. Sign up for her weekly newsletter. Check out her Rosemary Soap and Lavender Soap tutorials.

Mountain Rose Herbs is the best source for medicinal use of plants.

For a good range of variety, good quality, & best prices for herbs, spices & teas for infusion, I buy the 4 oz. size, at HerbCo

I'm looking forward to seeing what you make. You may want to show off your soaps in the Photo Gallery. We LUV pictures -- even when a batch goes awry. Hopefully that won't happen, but if it does, see it as an opportunity to learn more. You can also use the Photo Gallery as a log of every batch you make. Include the recipe as well as your comments about how you processed it for future reference. I only wish I had that available to me when I first started making soap in 2003. It's a great way to chronicle your progress in the Wonderful World of Soapmaking!!!

HAPPY SOAPING! :hippo::hippo::hippo:
Amazing information. Much appreciated
 

Lindainms

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Additives may also not be affective do to the lye. I am wondering if putting the additives closer to the end of the cooking may keep some of the benefits such as rosemary, calendula, nettle, etc. my new balanced bar is awesome- thanks to this group. What additives can be used for sensitive skin?
 

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