Oct 122016

Making Apple Cider Vinegar is pretty easy. It can be made from apple scraps, whole apples cut into pieces, or even from unpasteurized cider (which you can make yourself).

When using apples, you will be filling sugared water into glass jars that have been filled with apple scraps or chunks.

So you will need

  • A GLASS JAR (You might want to sterilize but not sure if it is necessary or even helpful.
  • APPLE CHUNKS OR APPLE SCRAPS (well wash your apples before peeling or even better use organic)
  • SUGAR WATER (1 TABLESPOON PER CUP WATER). You might want to use distilled water or filtered water for fewer minerals etc.

Fill glass Jar with apple chunks and/or scraps (peels and cores) to 3/4 full.

Pour in sugar water until apple pieces until covered, you might want to leave a little room at top of jar.

Cover loosely with a piece of fabric or a coffee filter secured with a rubber band.

<y Apple Cider Vinegar Lotion

Set in Warm, Dark Place for about 2 weeks.

You can stir every few days if you want. If any ugly scum appears just scrape off.

After about two weeks, strain out liquid.

It won’t be vinegar yet.  Just set aside for another 2 to 4 weeks until it smells like vinegar. Keep in mind that unless you can test it’s acidity to make sure it is at 5%, you shouldn’t use it for preserving.

Jill Winger from www.theprairiehomestead.com writes:

“If a gelatinous blob develops on the top of your vinegar, congratulations! You have created a vinegar “mother”. This mother can be use to jump-start future vinegar batches. You can remove it and store it separately, but I usually just allow mine to float around in the vinegar as I store it.”

Jill has more tips on her website: Check it out….

One Green Planet has a more in-depth article on making ACV as well.  Check it out here…

Mar 072016

Poison Ivy Relief with Pine Tar Salve and Pine Tar Soap

Stacy wrote to me asking;

Any suggestions for one of your products to help relieve poison ivy itchiness?

Thanks for asking Stacy!  I know the pain and irritation of Poison Ivy!

You could try my Pine Tar Salve.

Pine Tar is a traditional treatment for poison ivy. I also add some other helpful ingredients for itchy skin including Neem and herbal infusion. Check out the listing for why these ingredients are good. According to my customers, my pine tar salve has been helping their hard to treat itchy skin conditions.


Keep in mind though that the Pine Tar Salve is black and could stain. Also, it has a strong smell of pine that some people like and others don’t.

You Could Try My Pine Tar Soap

Also, I have Pine Tar Soap, which -although isn’t as strong – is good for wide spread issues, scalp itchiness, will sooth skin and will also stop the poison Ivy from spreading.

Mar 072016

About My Pine Tar Salve

My Pine Tar Salve is made from Pine Tar which is a old-fashioned treatment for itchy skin caused by culprits like eczema and psoriasis and dermatitis. This salve goes beyond treating eczema and psoriasis and dermatitis with  my Pine Tar soap, which is great for dry, itchy scalp but less impactful on really itchy spots on body. This is where Pine Tar Salve can come in. My customers have reported immediate relief for dry, itchy patches using my pine tar salve.

Check out the listing for sale of this 2 oz Jar here: https://ziryabs-body-brew.zibbet.com/pine-tar-salve-with-organic-extra-virgin-coconut-oil-eczema-treatment-itchy-spots-shea-butter-best-oil-for-eczema-113381

My Pine Tar Salve Ingredients include:

Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Apricot Oil infused with Chamomile, Calendula, Comfrey and Gotu Kola Herbs
Pine Tar
Shea Butter
Organic Neem Oil
Wheatgerm Oil
Sea Buckthorn Oil
Activated Charcoal
Lemon Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Sweet orange Essential Oil
Rosemary Essential Oil,
Cedarwood Essential Oil
Vit. E.


As you probably know, Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is rich in antioxidants and fatty acids. It has been shown to decrease topical bacteria colonization in eczema sufferers. In fact, try Extra Virgin Coconut Oil first before purchasing this or other more complex products, medications or salves to see how effective it is, especially if treating a child with eczema.

Pine Tar stimulates skin growth, Reduces itch and inflammation and is used as an alternative to topical steroids.
According to the Tao of herbs, the FDA has approved pine tar as a treatment for mild psoriasis. In 1991, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said the amount used in over-the-counter products is safe.

I use Apricot Oil to infuse 4 important healing herbs in because it is easily absorbed into skin and is less likely than sweet almond oil to cause allergic reactions.

Calendula has been proven to reduce inflammation and preventing skin dermatitis.

Comfrey leaf has anti inflammatory and analgesic effects. Comfrey also stimulates tissue regeneration, and speeds healing.

Chamomile is 60% as effective as 0.25% hydrocortisone cream. Chamomile flavonoids and essential oils penetrate below the skin surface into the deeper skin layers

Gotu Kola is a traditional healing herb from asia for skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. it is one of the reported “miracle elixirs of life” known over 2000 years ago

Neem Oil is an incredible oil with strong antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal components and has been used in India to treat skin ailments for hundred of years.

Sea Buckthorn is a “super” oil with extraordinarily rich levels of Vit. C as well as carotenoids, Vit., E and Vit. K. – all excellent for skin health.

Wheatgerm is high in essential fatty acids, protein and Vit E which all go a long way to hydrate cracked, flakey, dry skin.

Unrefined yellow shea butter retains all the rich ingredients Africans have been using to treat dry, itchy skin for millennia.

Activated Charcoal Is full of tiny holes so it can collect bad things like bacteria and toxins.

While few studies have been made proving the efficacy of essential oils in treating eczema, certain essential oils are frequently referred to by the essential oil and eczema pundits, inclufin Sweet orange, Essential Oil, Lemon Eucalyptus, Rosemary and Cedarwood. I suspect the lemon Eucalyptus ans sweet orange are good antibacterials, Rosemary and cedarwood may sooth skin and stimulate skin healing.

A few cautions
This Pine Tar salve is strong and is not recommended for children or pets. (For them try my milder Black African Soap first). Also, it does use pine tar and activated charcoal as important ingredients so could stain light colored clothing and sheets. Finally, the salve definitely smells like pine tar and Lemon Eucalyptus.

Feb 042016

Toothpowder Puts you Back in Control of Your Teeth

toothpowdersNo preservatives needed in this dry toothpowder. YOU add the water! Use toothpowder to clean your mouth and raise your ph so bacteria don’t like you or your mouth. Yeah! No bacteria, no plaque. No plaque, no gum disease or tooth decay.


Pour a little on the palm of your hand and use a wet toothbrush to scoop up with your brush. Brush your teeth for two minutes, remember to give your tongue and top of your mouth a brush too.


My (Hi, it’s Brenda) toothpowders all have baking soda, cream of tarter, calcium carbonate, diatomaceous earth, clay and special exotic salts, and herbs.

Baking Soda is the powerhouse in this toothpowder because it raises the Ph in your mouth and provides a soft, gentle cleaning of your teeth. Baking Soda might seem to grainy for teeth enamel but as long as it is wet, I am told it is good for your teeth, well more than good, great!

Cream of Tarter comes from the production of wine, it is a little bit acidic and it adds that effervescence in my toothpowder that makes the teeth feel clean.

Calcium Carbonate is a great little mineral, especially for teeth and you’ll see it in most good toothpastes as a way to keep your teeth nice and mineralized.

Diatomaceous Earth is a natural tooth cleaner. In fact, most commercial brands of toothpaste have silica in their toothpaste. Well, DE is a natural silica. It is hard, so it acts as an abrasive but it is also microscopic, which makes it a nice and exceptionally gentle abrasive. It also keep the toothpowder dry once you’ve opened it.

Clays are naturally detoxing, meaning they attract bad stuff, the bad stuff sticks to the clay and it becomes easy to get rid of. Also, clay s have minerals in them andthese  minerals can be absorbed by your teeth, protecting them.

Salts provide antibacterial action, remineralizing power and preservative help.

Cinnamon and Clove Toothpowder

Cinnamon and Clove Toothpowder LabelCinnamon and Clove are the tastiest antibacterials I know of. They are great for those of us who worry about or suffer from gum disease.  These two herbs will keep gums healthy, which will keep them from receding and will add to our already youthful appearance, yes? If you are interested in purchasing Cinnamon and Clove Toothpowder from us, click here.

Activated Charcoal Toothpowder


Activated Charcoal is an adsorper, meaning it has microscopic crags and crevices which trap toxins and carry them away. This is why Activated Charcoal is used in hospitals to treat poison victims and used in water filtration systems to clean water. It is this detoxifying effect that actually whitens teeth.

Licorice prevents cavities and helps gums studies suggest by inhibiting bacteria.

Fennel is often offered at the end of an Indian meals to freshen breath and clean teeth. It has been used in this way for millennia.

If you are interested in purchasing my Activated Charcoal Toothpowder, click here.

toothpowder_Green15-01Spearmint, Spinach and Spirolina Toothpowder

Spearmint, Spinach and Spirolina freshens your mouth and is good for Sensitive Teeth.

If you are interested in purchasing my Spearmint, Spinach and Spirolina Toothpowder, click here.

Feb 032016

Butter for Cracked Heels and Dry Cracked Damaged Skin

Mend Me Butter for Dry Cracked Damaged SkinIntroducing my new Mend Me Butter to mend dry, cracked skin.  I packed in as many skin healing, moisturizing, bacteria and fungus fighting ingredients  into this mending butter lotion. I created this for those who suffer from cracked heels, hands, fingers and elbows as well as those who simply have very dry skin.   This butter stays where you put it, warding off further drying and protecting overly stressed skin from further damage and infection so your skin can begin to mend those painful cracks and dry spots while preventing them from getting worse.

Even better when applied to damp skin!

Ingredients: Aloe Juice, Rice Bran Oil, Lanolin, Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Coconut Oil, E-Wax, BTMS (an emulsifier and skin conditioner), Sunflower Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Castor Oil, Sodium Lactate, Frankincense Powder, Magnesium Chloride, Neem Oil,Optiphen Plus (a non-paraffin and formaldehyde free preservative), Sea Buckthorn Powder, Turmeric Powder, Essential Oils of Mhyrr, Palmrosa, Peppermint and Tea Tree Oil and Vit E.

Aloe Juice

The juice of this ancient plant has been used around the world to treat skin disorders ranging from dry and flaking skin, sunburn and is used to heal skin faster while soothing inflammation.

Rice Bran OilMend Me Butter for Dry Cracked Damaged Skin

Rice Bran is high in tocopherols (Vit E) which helps skin healing. It is also a significant source of the antioxidant γ-oryzanol, and squalene which keeps skin soft and supple.


Lanolin is a wax from sheeps wool during the sheering process and is therefore okay for vegetarians. It has marvelous ability to protect skin and seal in moisture from the elements. Perfect to keep skin from drying out so much that it cracks and also great to protect already cracking skin from the elements and further cracking. Lanolin is used to protect the skin of babies and also helps protect and heal nipples during breastfeeding.  It is also a popular wax for lips, heels, elbows and to protect athletes from chafing.

 Shea Butter

Shea butter is collected  in western Africa, usually by women who turn it into raw Shea butter, soaps and other products. It has been traded throughout Africa as a skin healer since the 14th century. Shea butter protects skin by stimulating structural protein production. Its high stearic acid content promotes and protects skin while the high level of triterpene alcohols in Shea butter reduce inflammation.  Shea also contains ultraviolet absorbing cinnamic acid esters, and lupeol, which helps prevent the effects of skin aging by blocking the  degradation of skin proteins.

 Cocoa Butter

Scientific evidence suggests that cocoa beans and butter contain  antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components that help skin health and offer skin protection.   Cocoa is richer in phenolic and flavonoid contents than most other foods which give it a greater  antioxidant capacity. Cocoa contains several botanical agents, including theobromine, which neutralizes reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated in the skin as a consequence of UV exposure. Flavanols may influence healing properties and offer a wide range of health benefits.  Cocoa has a long history of being used to treat  skin diseases, psoriasis, acne and wound healing.  The “International Journal of Cosmetic Science” published a study which found that the polyphenols in cocoa butter improved skin elasticity and tone.

 Coconut Oil

Obviously Coconut oil significantly improves skin hydration but its  medium-chain fatty acid constituents (including lauric acid, capric acid, and others) provide an antimicrobial effect by making it difficult for bacterias, fuNguses and viruses to grow.


An extremely stable emulsifier and allows us to bring water into our oil and butter. Oils and butters alone aren’t aCtually able to moisturize, rather they seal moisture in.  Using e-wax allows me to provide the moisture cracking skin requires.  It is a synthetic group pf chemicals including Cetearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, PEG-150 Stearate & Steareth-20. Keep in mind that the percentage of this to other ingredients is usually no more than 3%)

 BTMS (an emulsifier and skin conditioner)

I use BTMS in this formula as it is not only an emulsifier contributor to the E-wax (and allowing me to use less e-wax), but a skin conditioner in its own right.  Often used in hair care products.

 Sunflower Oil

This well balanced oil is very gentle and provides Vitamin A, C, D, and E.  It is high in linoleic acid which helps decrease inflammation found in cracked skin and thereby  encouraging healing.

 MendMeVegetable Glycerin

Glycerin is a way to bring water and moisture to the skin.

 Stearic Acid

This saturated fatty acid is one of the most common fatty acids found in nature., it is lubricating and softening.

 Castor Oil

Topically, it has been used as a wound healer, anti-inflammatory agent, detoxifieR,  active component is considered to be ricinoleic acid (RA), which exerts analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. Castor Oil softens cracked skin stopping further cracking from occurring.

 Sodium Lactate

An outstanding skin hydrator, this is a non-dairy sourced ingredient

 Frankincense Powder

A traditional skin treatment to aid healing.

 Magnesium Chloride

Also known as Magnesium Oil, this mineral helps keep cracked skin clean and encourage healing.

Neem Oil

An excellent and mild antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral, some cracked skin is not only susceptible to these kind of infections, some dry skin and skin issues are caused by funguses and bacterias.  Neem Oil will provide a clean environment  for your skin.

Optiphen Plus
(a non-paraffin and formaldehyde free preservative)

A small amount of preservative is necessary to make sure the butter is very clean and your skin is not exposed to unwanted microbes.

 Sea Buckthorn Powder

Very rich in Vitamin C, the Russians used this powder to heal radiation burns.

Turmeric Powder

Turmeric powder has an ancient history as a wound healer. Turmeric contains a lot of a chemical called  curcumin which is being studied for its possible anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

 Essential Oils of Mhyrr

Myrrh, like Frankincense, is a traditional skin treatment to aid healing.


Floracopeia says that Palmrosa regulates skin moisture and oil production, offers cell renewal benefits, nourishes and restores skin health and is known for its ability to rejuvenate tired, sore feet.

 PeppermintMend me

Peppermint essential oil helps cool the skin, making it feel less painful and raw.

Tea Tree

Tea Tree seems to have a strong ability to keep infection at bay, reduce itchiness of healing skin and increase skin health.

Vit. E.

A natural antioxidant which speeds healing of skin.





Dec 302015

Rosemary: Traditional Hair Growth Stimulator

10488017_f260I love everything about rosemary and my instincts tell me it is a very healthy plant for us.  Instinct aside, a little research backs me up. Rosemary not only is a traditional hair growth stimulator but also used to alleviate pain, boost immune system, improve circulation and help memory. Rosemary contains phenolic Acids which are the main polyphenols in plants and act as a way to defend againts pathogens.

Plants and herbs consumed by humans may contain thousands of different phenolic acid and flavonoid components. The effect of dietary phenolics is currently of great interest due to their antioxidative and possible anticarcinogenic activities. Phenolic acids and flavonoids also function as reducing agents, free radical scavengers, and quenchers of singlet oxygen formation. See Source

Not only does Rosemary give great flavor in cooking and food, it offers us a very important health benefit – Bitter Diterpenes and Triterpene. Our sweet obsesses culture often does not get enough of the beneficial qualities of food classified as bitter.

Grow Your Own Rosemary

Growing Rosemary can be pretty easy with the right environment. It doesn’t like to be too wet and enjoys hot climates but can withstand winters.

To learn how to grow your own rosemary plants from cuttings, go to this site: How to Take Rosemary Cuttings.

And please note, while there is little doubt the the use of purchased hormone rooting powder will help your Rosemary plants take hold, you might try making your own from honey, cinnamon, aspirin, willow tree bark, apple cider vinegar or even, yes, your own saliva. I haven’t tried any of these yet but for more information see this website:  http://preparednessmama.com/natural-rooting-hormone/


Aug 202015

Baking Soda Deodorant Rash Solved

Here’s a portion of a conversation I had with a customer about his experience with a deodorant rash:

Hi Brenda,

Recently I’ve developed a rash on my armpits. I am not sure why all the sudden but I suspect the heat in combination with the deodorant is what’s causing it all of the sudden. I have tried to dial back the amount I use which helps a bit

Hi Alan,

Thanks for writing about your concern. First, I think the rash might be caused exactly for the reasons you describe. Also, is there a chance, because of the heat, that you’ve applying more? Another cause could be diet, we tend to eat a little bit better at this time of year because of all the greens and good veggies available. This, at least theoretically, can raise our Ph slightly (a good thing many suspect) which would impact your skin’s Ph, which would impact your need for a high alkaline deo. So, you could try to dilute it too, with Aloe or Coconut Oil or witch hazel.
Here’s a link to my Mineral Deo, if you’d like to try that…, it has a lower Ph.

Hey Brenda,
Thanks for the info! Luckily the rashing has gone down, and it doesn’t seem to be peeling anymore since using less deo. So less is definitely more. Also been using some jojoba and coconut oil to help soothe and heal. I think I’ll be OK using less deo though as I’ve already gone 13 hours today already and don’t stink! Prior to using yours I was making my own with coconut oil, arrowroot powder and baking soda which worked well but simply got too busy to worry about making my own all the time. Thanks for making such a great product!

Jojoba is an excellent addition and I’m glad you mentioned it. Also glad it seems to be working out. Have a great week! Yours,

Jun 052015

There are Ways to Have No Rash Baking Soda Deodorant

IMG_20121216_121435As you know because you found this post that there is a percentage of people who rash with baking soda deodorants. And I write about this in other posts. This time I want to share solutions my customers found that allowed them to use my deodorant and would probably work for other baking soda deodorants too.  I think because we are all different no one solution is going to fit every person.  We need to recognize ( hopefully just a little bit of) trial and error is necessary for many of us. Sharing what worked for others helps us all add to our repertoire of solutions that might work for us.  Remember to be gentle with your underarms when experimenting with deodorants. It is important to give your underarms a chance to heal  before trying new solutions.  Just like breaking in a pair of shoes or hiking boots. You don’t keep wearing footwear once the blister has happened, you have to let it heal and try again.

Dilute the Deodorant

Kroger Milk of magnesia without sodium hypochloriteBecause I am a copious sweat producer, I needed to make my deodorant pretty strong and then add things that will help my skin accept it (Aloe, Vit. E., Coconut Oil, Hemp Oil, Avocado Oil, Clay) but it might be too strong for some people. This is such an easy fix though, and helps the deo last longer… Dilute it! I haven’t tried all the ingredients you could use to dilute Ziryab’s deodorant but many of the ideas probably won’t lessen the very long shelf life of the deodorant (unless you put something in it very degradable like milk, cream or avocados!)

Laurie R from Wisconsin writes:

the baking soda tore up my underarms…redness,leathery skin etc. and I’ve never had a problem with baking soda before….just way too much in it. These are symptoms of what baking soda does to many (I looked online) The good news is that this deodorant is SO WORTH looking for a way to make it work….and I did! A little research online and inexpensive trial and error with something made this work. 24 hours later and heavy sweat and still didn’t have odor! The sample size itself is huge…never saw one like it before. I personally love the herbal scent it has as well. I didn’t expect it to work any better than my other favorite from another shop (which is great) but it far exceeds it. Will most definitely buy a bottle when the samples are gone!

I wrote to her and asked her what worked for her and she wrote back and told me, thank you Laurie!

I mixed in a little milk of magnesia. It worked perfectly for me by diluting the baking soda just enough but not taking anything away from the deodorant. Some may not want to use it as m.o.m. contains bleach…but if you can take it internally without dying from it, I myself am not worried about a little of it in deodorant. People may also try magnesium oil…I just didn’t have any. I will be buying a bottle of your deodorant in the near future….thank you it truly is wonderful stuff!

I really admire people like Laurie who do their research and are willing to share their solutions.  I think using Milk of Magnesia is very smart (of course I would because I sell an alternative deo called Mineral Deodorant which has Magnesium Hydroxide as a main ingredient). The reason it worked for Laurie is that Milk of Magnesia is still pretty high alkaline so it dilutes the Baking Soda but only a little bit.   So it is an ingredient that really won’t interfere with the way the deodorant works but might not dilute it enough for some people…  Glad it worked for Laurie and it might work for others too.

About bleach in Milk of Magnesia… Laurie is right about the bleach, sodium hypochlorite.  Probably acting as a preservative.   I am not so sure it is neccessary though nor can I say  whether the chemical is present in a large enough quantity to hurt us but who really knows?  So I think if it is avoidable, avoid it.  The good news is that there are brands that don’t list sodium hypochlorite on their labels.

Dan Wich has very kindly posted on his website Toxinless a list of places that sell Milk of Magnesia without sodium hypochlorite.



Mar 092015

Apple Cider Vinegar, the old and now new cure for many ailments. Whether you believe Apple Cider “with the mother” will cure you of your acne, varicose veins, rashes, athlete’s foot, blisters, styes, rashes, eczema, psoriasis,  poison ivy or ease your aches and pains, sunburn, and itchy skin or fade your age spots and scars, I know a few things for sure that make apple cider vinegar lotion a great addition to lotion


Apple cider vinegar allows for less chemical preservative

Since all lotions by definition include water and all products that combine water and oil together require preservation, adding vinegar makes a lotion less likely to go bad. Apple cider vinegar provides a natural preservative that can work support chemical preservatives, allowing me to lower the amount of chemickla preservatives required.

Apple cider vinegar can provide – at low levels – a natural acidic environment which skin naturally enjoys. This may explain why skin feels soothed by diluted viner applications.


Apple cider vinegar, at higher levels, can be an antibacterial, which is probably why acne sufferers swear by using it in their toner recipes.

Apple Cider vinegars acidity probably explains why it can fade age spots.

Apple cider vinegar is a great way to change skin’s Ph which might explain its effectiveness on anything that is relying on our skin’s Ph to remain constant. Apple cider vinegar, by disrupt the Ph, makes the skin less attractive to a hoost of funguses, viruses and bacteria’s that require a fairly neutral Ph.



People who do work that makes their hands smelly. Apple Cider Vinegar lotion is great for those whose work gives them stinky hands. One clients raves about it for when they slaughter the chickens. It will help stinky fish hands, garlic and onion smells on hands and other difficult to remove smells.


Many people work with alkaline products occasionally or daily. Drywallers, bricklayers, people who work with cement, potters and ceramicist are just afew of people I can think of who need to rebalance their skin after working.  Apple Cider Vinegar lotion is a quick way of protecting and soothing hands by counteracting the overly alkaline exposure.


70, 000 go to Burning Man each year (including me) which is a highly alkaline dry lake bed in Nevada. Many also work for weeks in this alkaline environment before the festival.  I found that Apple Cider Vinegar is the perfect lotion for my alkaline challenged skin.


Apple Cider Vinegar Lotion is an inexpensive way to treat the whole body with a lotion able to fade sun damage while re-hydrating skin.


I continue to search for an explanation for why people suffering from eczema and psiorises might experience relief from Apple Cider Vinegar Lotion. Many testimonials claim they acheive relief with ACV applied topically and when it comes to these difficult to treat conditions, ACV is certainly worth a try.

 To purchase my Apple Cider Vinegar Lotion…. click on this link.

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