Interview w/ Heidi Kessler

In anticipation of our upcoming one day workshop, we chatted up our instructor, herbalist Heidi Kessler. Read on for a quick look into the Process and inspirations behind Heidi’s craft.

M: Why plants?

Plants make my world go ‘round. They lift nutrients from the earth, pair them with the light of the sun, and create powerful energy.  If we are good to them, and pay attention, they share their medicine, wisdom, and love with us. I spend days wildcrafting plants from across the front range of the Rocky Mountains. I capture and share their magic.

M: Why make your own body products and herbal goods?

Making my own body products and herbal medicines allows me to have complete control over how I am serving my body.  I know every ingredient, where it came from, and how it was harvested. My body thanks me.

M: What are some DIY pitfalls or disaster stories you could share?

Most commercial herbal products are made with dried plants.  I make my products with fresh plants. This can be challenging when infusing herbs into oil.  The moisture of the fresh plants can lead to mold. Properly infusing oils with fresh plants requires constant attention. The infusing oil must be allowed to release the moisture. I cover my infusing oils with cheesecloth or a coffee filter instead of a lid.  Even with great precautions, I lose at least one jar of oil to mold a year!

M: Everyone around Boulder knows someone who knows someone or makes their own stuff themselves. Why this workshop?

I am a purest.  I use only top quality ingredients and only use what is necessary. Herbal medicine is people’s medicine.  I love breaking down the process to make it accessible to everyone. You will leave the class with the knowledge you need to forever make your own lotions and lip balms.  The oil we will be using to make our lotion bars is infused with fresh calendula grown in my garden. It’s golden and full of the resin from the buds of the flower. it’s vibrant, truly, it’s magical.

M: How come lotion bars? And what do I do with them anyway? What are they good for?

I use pure shea butter as a moisturizer here in Colorado, but it is very thick and takes a long time to penetrate the skin. I also wanted the added benefit of Calendula, a flower from the Asteraceae family.  Topically, calendula brightens and soothes the skin. It has anti-inflammatory properties, making it helpful for small bites and cuts.  We will combine the infused oil, beeswax, and shea butter to make the lotion bars and lip balm. I keep one in my purse and one in my car.  My skin asks for it regularly. The smell is divine.

Don’t miss Heidi’s one day workshop at Madelife. Stay warm, make friends, create, and learn! Drink herbal tea and chat with others as you learn how to make lotion bars and lip balms and bring them home with you at the end of the workshop. Sign up here. See you there!

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