Homemade citronella bug spray


It’s spring time which means it’s insect time.  No worries, get some citronella oil and get outside!

 Citronella has been registered as a gentle, plant-based insect repellent in the United States since 1948. It has even been shown to repel dangerous Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are capable of spreading “dengue fever.” It’s also effective for helping to prevent body lice, head lice and flies.

According to some research, you need to reapply citronella oil about every 30–60 minutes for its bug-repelling effects to last. However, I find that one application lasts for hours.  You can combine several drops with coconut oil and spread it on your body like lotion, or add some to a spray bottle with water and cover your skin, hair and clothes. Applying pure citronella oil directly to the body is considered more effective for fighting bugs than citronella candles are.

Homemade citronella bug spray:

Instead of using conventional recipes and showering your body in harmful chemicals, try this homemade bug spray recipe. In addition to keeping away bugs, it also helps kill bacteria and nourish your skin. And unlike conventional brands, it smells amazing!


  • 1/2 cup witch hazel
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  •  40 drops mixed essential oils (citronella, eucalyptus, lemongrass, tea tree or rosemary)  glass spray bottle


Mix all ingredients in eight-ounce spray bottle. Spray over all portions of the body, but avoid repellent in eyes and mouth.

Now get outside and get going!


10 Health Benefits of Honey


  1. Helps prevent cancer and heart disease:
    Honey contains flavonoids, antioxidants which help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease.
  2. Reduces ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders:
    Honey treatment may help disorders such as ulcers and bacterial gastroenteritis. This may be related to the 3rd benefit…
  3. Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal:
    “All honey is antibacterial, because the bees add an enzyme that makes hydrogen peroxide,” said Peter Molan, director of the Honey Research Unit at the University of Waikato in New Zealand. This contributes to the incredibly
  4. Increases athletic performance:
    Ancient Olympic athletes ate honey and dried figs to enhance their performance. This has now been verified with modern studies, showing that it is superior in maintaining glycogen levels and improving recovery time than other sweeteners.
  5. Reduces cough and throat irritation:
    Honey helps with coughs, particularly buckwheat honey. In a study of 110 children, a single dose of buckwheat honey was just as effective as a single dose of dextromethorphan in relieving nocturnal cough and allowing proper sleep.
  1. Balances the 5 elements: 
    Honey has been used in Ayurvedic medicine in India for at least 4,000 years and is considered to affect all three of the body’s primitive material imbalances positively. It is also said to be useful in improving eyesight, weight loss, curing impotence and premature ejaculation, urinary tract disorders, bronchial asthma, diarrhea and nausea.

Honey is referred as “Yogavahi” since it has a quality of penetrating the deepest tissues of the body. When honey is used with other herbal preparations, it enhances the medicinal qualities of those preparations and also helps them to reach the deeper tissues.

  1. Helps regulate blood sugar:
    Even though honey contains simple sugars, it is not the same as white sugar or artificial sweeteners. Its exact combination of fructose and glucose actually helps the body regulate blood sugar levels. Some honeys have a low hypoglycemic index, so they don’t jolt your blood sugar. (Watch this video Sweetener Comparison where I compare stevia, brown rice syrup, honey, molasses and agave, and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each.)
  2. Heals wounds and burns:
    External application of honey has been shown to be as effective as conventional treatment with silver sulfadiazene. It is speculated that the drying effect of the simple sugars and honey’s anti-bacterial nature combine to create this effect.
  3. Is probiotic:
    Some varieties of honey possess large amounts of friendly bacteria. This includes up to 6 species of lactobacilli and 4 species of bifidobacteria. This may explain many of the mysterious therapeutic properties of honey.
  4. Helps improve skin:
    Its anti-bacterial qualities are particularly useful for the skin, and, when used with the other ingredients, honey can also be moisturizing and nourishing.

Lovely Lavender


Open a jar of any one of our products and you’re likely to recognize the seductive scent of lavender used liberally in our blends.  Sure, the addition of this ancient herb contributes greatly to our mesmerizing scents, but what you may not know is that it contributes therapeutic properties and boosts product performance.

As an anti-acne agent

Lavender essential oil naturally inhibits bacteria. The ingredient also works as an astringent and helps in normalizing oil production.

As a healer

Lavender helps stimulate new cell growth and regeneration. Bottom of Form

As a cleanser

Lavender can be used as an antibacterial and antifungal agent when used as a supporting ingredient.

As a detox

Lavender contains powerful antioxidants that will prevent and counteract the irritating effects of pollutants on the skin. Lavender-infused products calm your nerves and your skin.

For relaxation

The scent of lavender increases alpha waves in the area of the brain responsible for relaxation. Not only does lavender relieve tension during waking hours, it can also help you to sleep. While you sleep, your skin recuperates and regenerates, so the more sleep you get, the better your skin recovers from any damage done the day before.

What is propolis and why use it in skincare?



Propolis is a tough, dark brown, glue like substances bees use to build panels and to line the crevices and openings in their hives.  They create it by collecting a myriad of resins, saps and botanical fluids.  It contains over 300 compounds and is one of the most complex matters found in nature.

Its architectural function in the hive is secondary to its primary purpose which is to serve as an antiseptic, antimicrobial, antiviral barrier defending the hive from microbial contamination.


Propolis has been used by man for thousands of years in natural healing.  Modern science is only now uncovering what a miracle substance it truly is. A search of PubMed shows over 2,000 studies on bee propolis.    These studies confirm the long list of health benefits of propolis.  Among these, propolis demonstrates efficacy against many cancers, including skin cancer.

In skin care it facilitates rapid healing, tissue repair and collagen renewal. It scavenges free radicals which damage skin at the cellular level and works as a potent antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal.

At Meadowlake Farm we’ve developed a proprietary method of breaking propolis down into a suitable raw material which serves as the basis for many of our formulas so that your skin can reap the benefits of this amazing substance.

Don’t be Fooled by Natural Claims



The ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ skin care industry is exploding.  US sales are set to reach 16 billion dollars a year by 2020.  Unfortunately, truth in labelling has not kept pace.  The fact remains as it always has, few companies produce products that are truly 100 percent natural.  Claims of natural are often bold, blatant lies.  I’m offended by this and you should be too.  Here’s one example, from a popular line.

Their Claim:

100% Natural & Non-Toxic Ingredients 100% of the time

….We are committed to using natural and nontoxic ingredients for health and for the results they deliver, not so that we can advertise ourselves as “green” for marketing purposes.


The Reality:


A quick scan of the ingredient list for one of their facial care formulas told a different story.  It was looking OK until I got toward the bottom:

….Sambucus Nigra Fruit Extract, Menyanthes rifoliate (Buckbean) Flower Extract, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Sorbitan Olivate, Sclerotium gum, Cetyl Palmitate, Sorbitan Palmitate, Propanediol, Sodium Phytate, Superoxide Dismutase, Soybean Peroxidase, Mica, Iron Oxide (C.I. 77891, C.I. 77491), Aroma**, Citral, Citronellol, Eugenol, Geraniol, Limonene, Linalool


Among other suspect ingredients, this one really jumps out at me:  Propanediol.


As a cosmetic chemist I can tell you this.  1,2 Propanediol is another name for propylene glycol. It’s a synthetic chemical obtained from the hydration of propylene oxide, which is derived from petroleum products.  There is no natural source for this chemical.


The Facts:

They claim they are 100 percent natural and synthetic free. They say they are not advertising themselves as green for marketing purposes.   So, what then, are they doing?



The History of Cold Cream

cold cream


What is a cold cream?  Historically it was a mixture of a natural plant oil, beeswax and floral water used to nourish and cleanse the skin. The first cold cream is attributed to the Roman physician Galen (CE 150) who made a basic emulsion by mixing rose-water with beeswax and olive oil. Vegetable oils in these emulsions would deteriorate when mixed with water, so early forms were not long-lasting. Their short shelf life meant that cold creams were purchased in small quantities, freshly made up by a local pharmacist.

For centuries, prominent society ladies, noted for their exquisite skin and complexions, used cold cream.

In the second half of the nineteenth century cold cream was manufactured on an industrial scale.  Natural oils were replaced with cheaper, more stable petrolatum and mineral oil and borax was added to ensure emulsion.

Cold creams formed the basis of early beauty regimes developed by Pond’s, Elizabeth Arden, Helena Rubinstein and others.

By the 1920’s the all-purpose nature of the original cold cream, which had been its strength, was also its weakness. Keep in mind, natural plant oil based creams like the first cold cream, had long since disappeared.  It wasn’t long  before the recognition of the skin’s need for nutritive ingredients which petroleum products could not provide, lead to the proliferation of skin creams containing ‘beneficial additives’. Manufacturers began adding things like lanolin to cold creams, allowing them to make claims that these creams had ‘nutritive’ value.  Additionally, the development and marketing of detergent based cleansers reduced the appeal of cold creams as facial cleansers and petroleum-based moisturizer, filled with ‘beneficial additives’ finally took their place completely.

Today, thanks to the efforts of green cosmetic chemists consumers once again have come to recognize that formulas akin to the original cold creams, those rich in natural oils and beeswax, nourish and protected the skin and are far superior to their industrial counterparts. Likewise, they are superior to drying detergent based cleansers and petroleum based moisturizers which, thanks to those early marketing efforts, still dominate the shelves today.

We encourage you to try our unique formulas which are wonderful blends of ancient cold cream magic and modern-day science.  Like everything else we create they are 100 percent natural and highly effective.

Your skin, and the environment, will thank you.



Ayer, A. G. (Ed.). (1890). Facts for ladies. Chicago: Any G. Ayer.

Jellinek, J. S. (1970). Formulation and function of cosmetics (G. L. Fenton, Trans.). New York: Wiley-Interscience.

Phillips, M. C. (1934). Skin deep: The truth about beauty aids. New York: Garden City Publishing.

Schlossman, M. L. (Ed.). (2009). The chemistry and manufacture of cosmetics (4th ed., Vol. II). Carol Stream, Il: Allured Publishing Corporation.

Verni, M. (1946). Modern beauty culture (2nd ed.). London: New Era Publishing.

Sagarin, E. (Ed.). (1957). Cosmetics: Science and technology. New York: Interscience Publishers, Inc.

Schlossman, M. L. (Ed.). (2009). The chemistry and manufacture of cosmetics (4th ed., Vol. II). Carol Stream, Il: Allured Publishing Corporation.

Thomssen, B. S. (1947). Modern cosmetics (3rd ed.). New York: Drug & Cosmetic Industry.



Honey’s Unique Antibacterial Properties Discovered

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For millennia we’ve known that honey is good for what ails us but no one knew why. It was hypothesized that honey’s antibacterial properties came exclusively from the natural hydrogen peroxide it contains.  Then researchers in Amsterdam completely elucidated the molecular basis of the antibacterial activity of medical grade honey.  They isolated a protein, defensin-1, which is part of the honey bee immune system and is added by bees to honey. The scientists concluded that the vast majority of honey’s antibacterial properties come from this protein.

Isolating this potent antibacterial ingredient from honey may be of great value in medicine for the prevention and treatment of infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria as well as in the breading of stronger, healthier honeybee colonies.