Handmade Soap Shop

Friday, October 1, 2010

Catmint...who knew?

I just love happy surprises, don't you?  Although I tend to go about many projects "bass-ackwards" as my Dad used to say,  often times there are happy & interesting details discovered along the way!

For instance, this "Catmint-as-soap colorant" experiment of mine:  I only decided to use it because I can't identify Nettle, as many of my wise soap sisters can...plus, I have 7 HUGE plants in front of my porch.   I knew that it was non-toxic, that you could put it into tea.  That was the extent of my knowledge.

 However, after steeping, grinding and adding it to my soap, I then decided to do some additional research.   I've learned since that Catmint (Nepeta mussinii) made into a tea is great to help you fall asleep!  It also has the same component that drives cats crazy in Catnip. (Maybe that's why the neighbor's cat risks life and limb to come to our yard?)  Check out this link for all the info:  http://www.djroger.com/catmint.htm

Probably more than you want to know about this lovely plant, eh?  I guess the happiest surprise is the lovely green that it seems to have given my soap!  I'm anxious to see how the color looks when the soap is cut, as well as how it "holds" in the final product.  I've scented this HP batch with cornmint EO, so it should be a very refreshing & cooling soap. 

Hoping to cut & photograph it this weekend.

 

10 comments:

cocobong said...

yes, and whoda knownit that the catnip cocktail would turn your soap such a LOVERLY green??? man oh man I am stunned here. Just beautiful and look fwd to a cut version of this wondiferous log. And here I was Naw..it's gonna turn brown for sure. Looks like your catnip is my stinging nettle! Way to go!

Jennifer said...

Woah! Love the minty green you have achieved! You discovered something new! Look foward to seeing how the colour sets in. What a brilliant result to your experiment. Cornmint EO? Never heard of it... going to go look it up! Have a great weekend. xo Jen

Amy said...

Ooooh, I like it! I'm surprised it's not brown, either, but Yay!!! Looking forward to the cut pix! I'll have to do some research, too. I always thought that catmint and catnip were the same thing....

thesoapsister said...

Thank you ladies! I was a fearin' the worst (brown) but a hopin' fer the best! :)
From what I've gathered catmint and catnip are in the same family... like I said there's a rogue cat that's been doin' his business on our DRIVEWAY! (Stupid cat....doesn't he know he's supposed to use a sandbox (eeew! That's what our cats did when we were little....that will make you cautious at a young age, let me tell ya') I wonder if it would have gotten brown in CP, though?

Jen, it's a great, fragrant plant that grows in full sun & blooms here from spring through late fall. The bees just love it! It's super easy to grow, and the plants have a nice natural round shape. I'm just amazed that it can be used to color soap! WooHoo!

Anne-Marie Faiola said...

Thanks for teaching us about catmint. Great natural minty green color! I bet you can't wait to cut it. Looking forward to more pictures :)

Maggie said...

Hi Becky! Looks like this one is worth the wait! That green looks surprisingly refreshing, and I'm interested to know whether its EO stays - based on my very limited knowledge of EOs, mint family seems to have a relatively low flash point. Look forward to your next post!

thesoapsister said...

Hi Anne-Marie, I'm glad that the Catmint info was new.... it was right here under my nose and I never knew or thought to use it! I can't wait to show you all how pretty it is cut -I'm really surprised at the green. :)

thesoapsister said...

Hi Maggie,

Yes, I was checking the temp carefully on this HP before I added the EO! I'm always a little apprehensive when adding EOs to HP...I like to check the flashpoints just to be safe! Don't want to lose my eyebrows! ;) I hope the pics do the green justice....it's really nice here in person! Yay! :)

Michael Hughes said...

Thank you Soap Sister. This is a humorous yet helpful suggestion. It worked well for the soap. I think this particular soap will turn out to be very refreshing and boost your spirits in the morning. Very thoughtful approach to soap making.

thesoapsister said...

Thanks Michael! The catmint experiment turned out better than most, if you know what I mean...this soap was rare in that it turned out AS EXPECTED! It was a fun experiment, and I hope I've helped someone out there with an easy to grow & inexpensive green colorant.
(I don't know how the color will do in CP though -an experiment for another day!)