We use only the finest hive and plant-based ingredients in our products. We produce our own honey and beeswax using organic beekeeping methods and source hive products from Pacific Northwest beekeepers. Our products contain organic herbs sourced through Oregon-based companies. We also grow, harvest and process many herbs in our organic garden and wild-craft herbs to deepen our connection with these useful plants. We select the highest quality organic and/or local sources for oils and other botanical ingredients.
Please read below to learn more about each ingredient we use.
Ingredients from the Garden
calendula, chamomile, cinnamon, comfrey, echinacea, elderberry, ginger, ginseng, lavender, lemon balm, mullein, passionflower, plantain, rose hips, rosemary, sage, skullcap, st. john’s wort, stinging nettle, western red cedar, wild cherry bark
Other Plant-Based Ingredients
almond oil, apple cider vinegar, apricot kernel oil, borage seed oil, grapeseed oil, olive oil, rosehip seed oil, shea butter, Vitamin E
Raw Honey has not been heated above 110 degrees Fahrenheit, which preserves its many therapeutic virtues and delicate fragrance. Honey contains the essence of flowers. The honeybee (apis mellifera) creates honey by foraging nectar from a wide range of flowers and depositing it into the honeycomb. The bees collect nectar from approximately 5 million flowers to produce just one pint of honey!
Raw honey has an indefinite shelf life. Even a 2,000 year old jar excavated from an Egyptian tomb was reported to taste delicious. People of many cultures have used honey for thousands of years, and humans have developed a very special relationship with honey bees over millenia. Honey has been a long-understood medicinal and therapeutic gift, and its medicinal qualities have been mentioned in all major religious texts.
Raw honey is therapeutic and healing both internally and externally. Honey is a complex and unique blend of many different sugars, aromas, enzymes, vitamins, proteins, minerals, salts, acids, lipids, pigments and flavor compounds. Since honey contains pollen grains from a wide array of local plants, daily consumption of locally harvested honey provides a homeopathic dose of potential allergens. Raw local honey can assist in decreasing the immune response to and relieving symptoms of pollen-based allergies. Oral ingestion of honey can help combat insomnia and sleeplessness, laryngitis, indigestion and constipation. Honey does not stimulate insulin secretion to the degree that regular sugar does. Externally, honey has been known to help heal burns, wounds, athlete’s foot, and eczema. It is anti-viral as well as anti-fungal and helps support the growth and maintenance of beneficial bacteria.
The raw honey in our products comes from our own organic apiary and is harvested with the honeybees’ well-being in mind. We also source raw honey from other Pacific Northwest beekeepers. We use raw Pacific Northwest honey in our all of our Honey Tonics, Honey Propolis Throat Spray, Honey Propolis Tincture, Raw Honey and Sugar Body Scrub and Cinnamon and Ginger-Infused Honey Set.
Beeswax is secreted by glands in the worker bee’s abdomen and is used by the bees to build their architectural masterpiece: honeycomb. Honeycomb serves as the structure, storage mechanism and nursery for the hive. Beeswax is also used to cap the honey, and is mixed with propolis to seal cracks and cover foreign objects in the hive.
Beeswax is both soothing and protective to the skin. The beeswax we use in our skin care products is almost exclusively from capped honey. It is very light in color and provides a fabulous texture and delicate fragrance. Beeswax has been trusted for centuries to work in concert with herbs and high-quality oils to nourish and heal the skin, nails and hair. We use our beeswax in products such as Love Your Lips Balm, Soothing Salve and Happy Baby Salve.
Propolis is a fragrant anti-microbial resin that bees gather from cone-bearing trees. Read our blog about propolis here: http://www.mickelberrygardens.com/2012/01/all-about-propolis/ We sell alcohol-based Propolis Tincture and Honey Propolis Tincture made from Oregon propolis. We also include propolis in our Elderberry Honey Tonic, Throat and Lung Honey Tonic and Honey Propolis Throat Spray.
Ingredients from the Garden
Calendula (calendula officinalis) is an annual flowering herb that is renowned for its gentle healing powers. This herb is a vulnerary, promoting cell repair. It is also antiseptic, keeping infection from occurring in injuries. It is safe and effective for baby, mama, elder, and everyone in between. We grow six different kinds of calendula in our organic garden, pluck the blossoms just as they bloom, and infuse them in organic olive oil. We use calendula oil extensively in our skin care products for its gentle healing power. Our Soothing Salve, Happy Baby Salve, Love Your Lips Balm and Honey Sugar Body Scrub contain our handmade calendula-infused olive oil.
Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is a wonderfully fragrant flowering herb, and is known to assist with digestion, calm nerves after a stressful day, and promote deep sleep. Our Relaxation Honey Tonic contains chamomile.
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is a vigorous perennial plant whose leaf, when applied externally, is useful in speeding healing of bruises, pulled muscles and ligaments, and sprains. Comfrey is in our Soothing Salve for its ability to soothe the skin.
Echinacea (echinacea purpurea) is an immune-boosting herb that is both incredibly effective and does not have any known side effects (Gladstar). It is used to prevent and cure illness, and is safe for children, the elderly, and everyone in between. Echinacea is a famous immunotonic, and has been subjected to intensive research. American Indians introduced echinacea to early American settlers. Physicians quickly adopted the herb and frequently used it during years of widespread infectious epidemics. Researchers have determined that echinacea has a profound effect on tonifying and improving the function of the immune system.
Echinacea is safe to use every day – the best rule of thumb is to use small daily or semi-daily amounts for immune system enhancement, and larger acute doses during the course of an ongoing infection, cold, flu or fever (Mowrey, 1993). Echinacea has become so well known for its healing powers that over-harvesting has become a serious issue for the continued survival of this plant in the wild. We use only organically cultivated echinacea in our Elderberry Honey Tonic, Throat and Lung Honey Tonic, and Honey Propolis Throat Spray to reduce pressure on wild plant populations.
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is ananti-viral and immune-stimulating herb. Read our blog about Elderberry here. We use certified organic black elderberries (Sambucus nigra) grown in Europe in our Elderberry Honey Tonic, utilizing their cold-and-flu fighting powers to support your good health.
Ginseng, American (Panax quinquefolius) is a cultivated root that does not reach full medicinal potency until 7 years of age, though it can be dug and used after the third year of growth. American Ginseng is known to have an adaptogenic effect on the body, assisting in adaptation to emotional, physical, or environmental stress. It boosts energy, increases resistance to disease, tonifies nerves, and has a normalizing effect on the body by reducing high blood sugar and cholesterol, increases red blood cell count, raises low blood pressure, lowers high blood pressure. It is a digestive tonic, protects from the effects of radiation therapy and chemotherapy, and promotes longevity (Cech 2000). Ginseng is also known to act as an aphrodisiac. Ginseng is best used only by teenagers and adults. We offer a Ginseng Honey Tonic made with Pacific-Northwest grown organic American Ginseng, alcohol and raw honey.
Lavender (Lavendula angustifola) is a gorgeous perennial flowering plant whose flowers are used medicinally both internally and externally. Lavender is mildly sedative and is useful for treating headaches, insomnia, and nervousness. It is also useful as a digestive remedy. Externally, lavender flowers’ aromatic oils provide gentle antiseptic properties. We use lavender blossoms infused in olive oil in our Soothing Salve, and essential oil of lavender in our Relaxation Honey Tonic. The essential oil of lavender we use is therapeutic grade, made of 100% lavender flowers with no other laboratory-synthesized agents, and safe for internal use.
Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis) is a calming, anti-viral, anti-septic, and relaxing herb. It is fragrant, gentle and mildly sedative. It is included in our Relaxation Honey Tonic.
Mullein (Verbascum olympicum) leaf is a soothing demulcent to the upper respiratory tract – it is gently astringent and expectorant (Cech 2001). It is good medicine for upper respiratory tract infections, cough or sore throat. It is also mildly sedative. Mullein is known as the “lungs of the earth” and its statuesque profile can often be spotted near freeways and areas with air pollution offering its filtering ecosystem services where needed. The mullein leaf that we use in our Throat & Lung Honey Tonic is certified organic.
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is a gentle sedative and anti-spasmodic, and is an effective, gentle, calming and relaxing herb. It is useful in treating stress, anxiety, restlessness and insomnia, and assists in deepening the sleep, enhancing restfulness and bringing good dreams. It is included in our Relaxation Honey Tonic.
Plantain (plantago major) is not the starchy tropical fruit, but an unsuspecting wild plant often written off as a weed. You may have pulled up plantain growing in your garden, without realizing that the succulent greens are far more nutritious than lettuce! Plantain leaf contains gentle anti-inflammatory properties, which is why we include this herb in our Soothing Salve.
Rose hips (Rosa canina and other related species) is the fruit of the rose plant. It is one of the most concentrated sources of vitamin C, containing more than almost any other herbs and many times the amount found in citrus fruit. Vitamin C is known as an antioxidant with disease-fighting abilities, and so we include rose hips in both our Throat & Lung Honey Tonic and our Honey Propolis Throat Spray.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is an excellent herb for healthy hair. It can be used to treat dandruff, and promotes hair growth. The aromatic oils in the plant’s leaves are also gently antiseptic and toning. We use rosemary leaves infused in organic olive oil in our Soothing Salve.
Sage (Salvia officinalis) is a wonderfully aromatic plant that is antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial. Taken internally it helps to fight infection and is a useful treatment for sore throat. Sage is found in our Throat & Lung Honey Tonic and Honey Propolis Throat Spray.
Skullcap (skutellaria lateriflora) leaves treat headache and nervous stress, menstrual tension, anxiety and insomnia. We use skullcap in our Relaxation Honey Tonic.
St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is valued as a treatment for damage to the skin from trauma. Oil infused with St. John’s Wort flowers is one of the finest medicines for bruises, sprains, and injuries of all kinds. We use olive oil infused with St. John’s Wort flowers in our Soothing Salve.
Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) grows abundantly in clearings and ecological “edges”. It particularly seems to prefer the borders between human civilization and nature. It is an excellent nutritive spring tonic, the young tips gathered freshly and cooked or made into tea. The young leaves are also gathered and dried. The use of nettles bolsters the entire body and also improves the body’s resistance to allergens, including environmental pollutants and pollen (Cech, 2000). Nettle is also a nutrient factory, rich in Vitamins C & A, protein, fiber, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and chromium, as well as a host of other vitamins and minerals. It activates the metabolism, strengthening and toning the entire system (Gladstar 2008). We use stinging nettle in our Northwest Pollen Honey Tonic.
Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata), called the “tree of life” by coastal Pacific Northwest Native American tribes, is an anti-fungal and antiseptic herb renowned for its strength, healing and spiritual power. We use this herb in our Soothing Salve. Read our blog about Western Red Cedar here.
Wild Cherry Bark (Prunus serotina) is native to North America. The inner bark has been traditionally used by both Native Americans and, once they learned of it’s medicinal properties, by European settlers. It counters irritable coughs. Find wild cherry bark in our Throat and Lung Honey Tonic
Other Plant-Based Ingredients
Almond Oil is well known for its ability to soften, smooth, and re-condition the skin. It is expeller-pressed from raw almonds. We use almond oil in our Love Your Lips Balm.
Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar is renowned for its beneficial healing properties. Hippocrates promoted using vinegar mixed with honey as both an energizing tonic and a healing elixir. Raw cider vinegar retains all the nutritional goodness of the apples from which it was made, and it is rich with potassium and enzymes produced during fermentation. Raw apple cider vinegar supports a healthy immune system, promotes digestion, and soothes a sore throat. Find the multiple healing and therapeutic benefits of apple cider vinegar in our honey tonics.
Apricot Kernel Oil is cold-pressed from the seeds of the apricot fruit (Prunus armeniaca). It is an excellent moisturizing cosmetic oil choice for sensitive skin. It is deep gold in color and emollient. We use apricot kernel oil in our Happy Baby Salve and our Honey Sugar Body Scrub.
Borage Seed Oil is cold pressed from the seeds of the adorable little blue borage flower (Borago officinalis). It has the highest concentration of gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) of any other plant source every found! GLA is an essential fatty acid, which means our bodies can not synthesize it and need to obtain it from food sources. When used externally, borage seed oil is excellent for a variety of skin disorders such as rosacea, acne, psoriasis, and premature aging. It is an especially skin-nourishing ingredient in our luxurious Honey Sugar Body Scrub.
Evening Primrose Oil is made from cold-pressing the seeds of the evening primrose plant Oenothera biennis. The lovely yellow flowers open in the evening, giving this plant it’s common name. Evening Primrose seeds are high in the omega-6 essential fatty acids, and can be used to help with skin issues such as eczema, rosacea, acne, and signs of aging. It is a wonderfully skin-nourishing oil, and is included in our luxurious Honey Sugar Body Scrub.
Olive Oil has remarkable abilities to nourish the skin and hair. We use organic cold-pressed olive oil infused with a variety of different herbs in our skin care products. Olive oil is an excellent infusion agent for herbal compounds, which allows the beneficial herbal properties to be absorbed when applied to the skin. This also means that olive oil is good at harboring pesticides and agricultural chemicals, which is why we only choose certified-organic olive oil in our products. We use certified organic olive oil for all of our handmade herbal oils found in our Soothing Salve, Happy Baby Salve, Raw Honey and Sugar Body Scrub, and Love Your Lips Balm.
Grapeseed Oil has a very pleasant odor and taste, and absorbs into the skin readily without greasiness. The organic, unrefined oil we use in our Love Your Lips Balm is a deep green color.
Rosehip seed oil is made from the seed of the rose fruit. It is a delicate oil with a gorgeous amber hue that is extremely high in essential fatty acids, and is wonderful for nourishing dry and dehydrated skin. We use only certified organic cold-pressed rosehip seed oil in our Love Your Lips Balm.
Shea butter is raw, unrefined, and comes from the Karite Tree of Africa. It has been used in Africa for centuries for it’s moisturizing and healing properties. It is rich in vitamins and minerals and soothes, balances, heals, and hydrates the skin. It also offers low levels of sun protection (~SPF 6), and prevents and reduces stretch marks. Our shea butter comes directly from a village in Ghana, processed by village women in the tradition as passed down from elders. Use of this fair-trade product supports social sustainability in these women’s communities. We use shea butter in our Soothing Salve and our Happy Baby Salve.
Vitamin E Oil is a source of tocopherols, and is a useful anti-oxidant in skin care products. It is also known to be beneficial and healing for the skin. We use GMO-free vitamin E oil in our Soothing Salve, Happy Baby Salve, Raw Honey and Sugar Body Scrub, and Love Your Lips Balm.
Works cited here, and good books on herbs I regularly consult:
Bankova VB, De Castro SL, Marcucci MC. Propolis: recent advances in chemistry and plant origin. Apidologie. 2000;31:3–15.
Richo Cech, Making Plant Medicine
Crane E. Beekeeping: Science, Practice and World Recourses. London: Heinemann; 1988.
Andrew Chevallier, The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants
James Duke, The Green Pharmacy
Rosemary Gladstar, Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health and many other books.
James Green, The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook
Maude Grieve, A Modern Herbal
Pojar & Mackinnon, Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast
Daniel B. Mowrey, Ph.D. Herbal Tonic Therapies.
Michael Tierra, The Way of Herbs
Gregory Tilford, Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West