Monday, June 13, 2011

I got it totally WRONG!

I was wrong...  If you have not seen my post Back to Nature No. 5 click on the link, read it quickly and come back to understand why I said what I said...
This is a classic case of lost in translation.  I got this purpleish herb from Taiwan (where I came from) awhile back and the store told me the English translation is "Comfrey".  I don't know much about herb, only know that Chinese and Japanese use this a lot as  a natural dye for purple.  I thought that was a great idea for using it to make purple soap so I bought some.  I should have checked myself on the translation part, but instead, I took the herbal shop's word for it and have been calling it Comfrey...
Until one day, one soaper friend emailed me and told me about the bane of comfrey in the US and Canada for certain use and I might want to get some deeper research about it.  And she also pointed out how she had never seen purple comfrey in her life.  I took some time and did a little internet digging (I do not know how anyone can live without internet these days, it's like a bible!) and found I was so WRONG.  This purpleish herb is actually called Gromwell or Stoneseeds in common name or Lithospermum in botanical name.
I feel embarrassed... how can I be so wrong...  Anyway, I made another batch using infused Apricot kernel oil.  I added red clay and active charcoal to do a little swirling.  It is scented with Ultraviolet fragrance oil mixed with Sultry Amber and a little Vetiver essential oil.  Oh very floral and strong. 
This batch came out with a more magenta hue compared to the last batch I did which is more blue toned.  The strange thing is both batches got this ash on the outside and inside.  Is this prompt to heat lose?!  Next time I will insulate it and force gel to see what the difference it can make.


  1. I rather like the coloring! Did the fragrance move fast on you? The fragrance sounds like an amazing blend.

  2. No, the fragrance didn't accelerate at all. just the herb is causing ash.

  3. how much stoneseed did you add per pound of soap?
    i tried 1/2tsp for a pound but it didnt become purple.

    1. I infused the root in the liquid oil mixture for a long time and used it to soap this to get a decent color.

    2. Perhaps the root use and powder use produces different colour..
      Thanks for the information. i guess i better find alkanet for purple?