One of my readers the other day wrote about making her own cold processed soap and that one comment sent me on a new tangent. I’ve wanted to make soap, but I was always afraid of using lye. After reading on a soap site someone’s observation that driving a car is dangerous too if you do it wrong, I decided to finally try it.
There are two reasons I wanted to make my own soap. First, it’s really difficult to find soap without palm oil. (Palm oil is that controversial oil that is responsible for orangutans losing their habitats.) Second, I can’t find real soap anywhere that does not have additives. Actually, most soap you buy is really detergent. It has all kinds of stuff in it.
As you know if you are histamine intolerant, you have to be as careful with what you put on your body as what you put in it. At least I hope you know!
Anyway, it turns out it is not hard to make soap at all. It’s fun and easy and the results are great. I’ve used only one recipe so far that I want to perfect before I get all fancy, but it’s a great recipe. It is food grade olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, and sunflower oil. That’s it. Distilled water and lye are also in it, but the lye disappears in the process. What you’re left with is a very pure product. And the smell…even without essential oils, the smell of just the soap is amazing!
Now I don’t expect everyone to go out and start making soap. But I do think using this soap could be a really good thing for a lot of my readers. I ultimately would like to start selling it in the summer when I actually have time to make it while I’m off from teaching.
I’m quite sure I will not get rich selling soap. That’s not really even my motivation. I want to sell it because I want people like me, who have histamine intolerance to be able to have access to a product that might help them heal, or at the very least keep them from getting worse.
So I’ll keep you posted when Bernard’s Soap Co. comes off the ground!
So why the crazy name? Because I’m naming it in memory of my cat Buzz who I’ve written about in the past. Buzz had a major skin issue that I managed to heal the same way I healed myself. I used Quercetin, salmon oil (for omega 3), and B vitamins. His vet wanted to put him on steroids but I didn’t want to do that to him. So year after year, when May rolled around and everything came into bloom, the boy would break out into a rash that I battled and beat back.
December of last year he showed up with a swollen cheek. Antibiotics seemed to get rid of whatever was brewing. But it happened two more times and I knew I had to take him in, which I knew would be traumatizing to this particular cat. They had to use gas to even look at him and then did a dental on him. They sent me home with him and he seemed fine, but the next morning he apparently had a stroke. Two days later I had someone come to the house to help him pass peacefully. Trust me that’s the short version…
The soap thing is actually an offshoot of me trying to handle my grief with a new distraction. And the name Bernard is Buzz’s nickname. I religiously watched HBO’s Westworld and loved the way Anthony Hopkins would say the character’s name and I started calling Buzz: Bernard. He even started to answer to it.
He was my companion for fourteen years and I was completely grief stricken. I ate badly and struggled to find my footing. Along the was my histamine started to rise and I had symptoms of it getting out of control. But the human spirit is resilient and I managed to regain my equilibrium and get myself back into control. My body has responded and is healing, as is my soul.
I read somewhere that when you are working through grief you should do what you love, and writers love to write. I tried writing about Buzz earlier but I couldn’t. Today the words came easily.
So there are many lessons in this one post. One of them is that you probably will always have histamine intolerance and even when you think you are completely healed it can make itself known if you are not careful. The other is you’re probably using inferior soap on your body. And the third is… well I don’t know what the third thing is.
Maybe I just needed to tell you about Buzz. And soap. And grief. Maybe this post is something I wrote for myself more than for you. I don’t know. I only know I will miss my boy forever. And the soap that bares his name is made with all good stuff. And mostly love.
I guess that was reason enough to write today after all.