I recently received soooo many fantastic products from Nittany Valley Organics! Not only did I receive the items photographed above, but I received Soap Nuts and Essential Oils which are further down in this post. I am absolutely in love with every product I was sent! Seriously. I am not going to go into full detail on every single item shown above, because I could write a book! Instead I will talk about a few of my very favorite products! This is a really fantastic generous organic company who carries a VERY wide variety of products, and I encourage you to check out their website to see all of the other fantastic goodies that they offer! http://www.nittanyvalleyorganics.com/
If you have read my blog at all in the past, you probably know that I do not use your run of the mill deodorants that you can pick up from your big box stores…and I rarely find deodorants that work for me, but I have found another that I can add to my safe list! This organic deodorant smells absolutely wonderful, a very strong lovely peppermint that leaves you with a bit of a tingling sensation ( in a good way ) and has really been nice to my skin! It really keeps the stink away and lasts throughout the day…my armpit rashes have completely went away while using this deodorant. It is definitely a new favorite! I will be ordering more of this wonderful deodorant once I run out!
I really adored the Lavender Organic Facial and Body lotion! Not only does it smell super fantastic, but it is very effective in moisturizing my skin and leaving me feeling peaceful and calm! It didn’t really work for my face because of my super super super crazy sensitive roasacea inflamed face, but it was wonderful on the rest of my body.
The calendula tincture has excellent skin-healing properties and when combined with the healing properties of organic olive oil and organic hemp oil, we have created an organic lotion that is excellent for dry skin, irritations, eczema and the beautiful bellies of pregnant and postpartum mothers! Lightly scented with Lavender.
Ingredients: Distilled water, organic aloe vera, organic olive oil, organic hemp oil, organic
coconut oil, organic shea butter, calendula tincture, vegetable glycerin, vegetable
emulsifying wax, polyquaternium-10, leucidal liquid, tea tree essential oil, lavender essential oil, rosemary anti-oxidant, Vitamin E, ProVitamin B5 and xanthan gum.
I absolutely LOVED the Sweet Nectar soap bar! It smells lovely and super natural as well as moisturizes my skin and leaves it super duper soft. I have rosacea and I didn’t find this soap to be irritating at all, in fact I found it to be very soothing and healthful for my skin.
This rich, moisturizing soap has a wonderful creamy lather and a perfect balance of Honey, Shea Butter and finely ground Oatmea. A unique combination that makes this bar ideal for all skin types. The Natural Honey and Shea Butter helps you to soothe irritated, dry and chapped skin as the honey and shea butter retain their all-natural, moisturizing ability. Oatmeal flakes are very effective against dry skin and are good for your body too as they help to exfoliate, removing dead skin and exposing the softer, smoother skin underneath. Oats also contains natural saponins that cleanse pores and remove grime. The FDA recognizes oatmeal as a soothing skin aid, helpful for reducing inflammation, relieving irritation and combating dryness.
Ingredients – Saponified safflower oil, organic sunflower oil, organic palm oil, organic coconut oil with retained glycerin; organic ground oats; organic, natural shea butter; natural honey and rosemary extract.
We have been using the soap nuts for several weeks now and we really like them! They seem to leave our clothing very clean and have no scent, which is very nice for those who desire to have scent free laundry! They also are GREAT odor removers…my husband works out in the woods each day and comes home smelling like a variation and or combination of sawdust, smoke and gasoline! My soap nuts have had no issue getting the smell out of our icky laundry completely! I have also noticed that our laundry has been softer and our towels more snuggly! Yay for snuggly laundry! At first I wondered if there would be any sort of mess, but now realize that Soap Nuts are completely mess free! I am so happy to have had the opportunity to try these out, as I have always wanted to!
Read below for a ton of wonderful information on and about Soap Nuts!
Nittany Valley Organics carries only the highest quality Sapindus Mukorossi Soap Nuts. Soap Nuts are the only laundry soap that grows on trees. They are harvested, dried in the sun, and then deseeded. No chemicals are added. They are 100% natural, organically grown, and will not harm the environment. Soap Nuts have been used for thousands of years in Asian cultures.
Benefits of using Soap Nuts as Laundry Soap
- No dryer sheets or fabric softener required so it will cost you less to do your laundry.
- Your towels will become more absorbent.
- Your sheets become much softer, less scratching and more comfortable aiding in a more relaxing sleep.
- Very good at removing odors especially on smelly clothes from fishing, body odor smell from sports, etc
- Hypo-allergenic since they are fragrance free.
- Eliminates detergent residue that is built-up in your washing machine, and the resulting mildew and odors.
- Biodegradable. When finished using the soap nut, simply add to the compost pile or flush down the toilet.
What is a soap nut?
Soap Nuts are the fruit of the Sapindus Mukarossi Tree. The nuts are harvested and then dried in the sun. No GMO’s, parabens or chamicals are added to the nut so your current laundry detergent that contains chemicals is replaced with something completely organic – a natural soap called saponin.
How do I use them?
Just place 4 to 6 whole soap nuts in the drawstring wash bag (included with your purchase) and toss it into the washing machinewith your clothes. No additional fabric softener is needed. Soap nuts work equally well in top loaders or the newer HE front loaders. With a top loader expect about 6-8 wash loads using the same soap nuts. With a front loader HE machine you can expect about 8-10 wash loads. Extra bags are provided. The best way to tell if your soap nuts are used up is to put your used soap nuts in a jar with a lid with a few ounces of water and shake them up. If you get suds, you can get another load out of them. Pour the sudsy water in the washer and put the soap nuts back in the wash bag and toss them in for another load. Remember that the hardness of water has an effect on all cleaning products.
When adding your sop nuts to bags, please make sure the nuts are broken in half. We do not break them prior to shipping-we allow the natural bounciness of being trucked all over the place to break them up. If they are not all broken, break them in half prior to adding them to the wash bag so water can circulate more freely through the inside of the shell so they can release their saponin easier. The best way to tell if your soap nuts are used up is to put your used soap nuts in a jar with a lid with a few ounces of water and shake them up. If you get suds, you can get another load out of them. Pour the sudsy water in the washer and put the soap nuts back in the wash bag and toss them in for another load.
Warm or Hot Water Wash:
Put 6 whole soap nut shells or equivalent pieces, about a half-ounce, in muslin drawstring bag. Tie bag securely. Toss in washing machine before you add your clothes. Remove from washer at end of the wash to dry (leave soap nuts in bag). Re-use 5 to 7 times.
Cold Water Wash:
Simply make a cup of soap nut ‘tea’ by soaking 4 or 5 bagged soap nuts in a cup of very hot water for approximately 3 minutes. Pour both the soap nuts liquid and bag in wash.
Remove from washer at end of the wash to dry (leave soap nuts in bag). Re-use 5 to 7 times.
The soap nuts will be mushy and gray when they are ready to be composted. To check to see if your soap nuts are ready to be composted, take a small jar and fill it with water. Add the soap nuts in question. Shake the jar hard. If you see soapy bubbles, the soap nuts are still working and you can use them again. If not, put them in the compost heap and use a new batch of soap nuts. Remember – Soap Nuts are natural therefore easily biodegradable.
I think these are my most favorite things I received from Nittany Valley Organics! ( though I loved every single product! ) These essential oils have came in handy in SO many ways in so many areas of my life! We have used the Peppermint recently in several different ways during a big bought of a tummy virus that has been plaguing our household…first of all we have been diffusing the Peppermint oil in our diffuser like crazy! We have also been rubbing it on our tummies to help our horrendous tummy aches…did this work? You bet ya! First of all diffusing the peppermint into the air helped with my nausea so so much…I literally would feel sick all over again when leaving the room for long periods of time. It was miraculous! The peppermint on the tummies also really helped soothe my children’s aches and pains and they now request it when they are suffering from a tummy ache! We have used the Eucalyptus in our diffuser as well during a breakout of cold symptoms we have experienced. It helped clear our chests and head congestion allowing us to breath more easily.
The lavender oil is probably the most common essential used in our home…I feel that diffusing it throughout the house has created a much more peaceful and stress free environment. There are so so many more uses for all of these oils, but these are just examples of ways that we have used them in our home. Here is a link of some of the many uses for various essential oils Nittany Valley Organics hasavailable: http://www.nittanyvalleyorganics.com/images/Essential_Oil_Directory.pdf
Here is some really great info from their website for those of you who aren’t familiar with the wonderfulness of essential oils!
21 Things You Should Know About Essential Oils •
Essential oils are not really oils. They do not contain the fatty acids that constitute
what we would consider an actual oil.
• Most essential oils are high in antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties:
This makes them an excellent addition to your homemade cleaning preparations.
Oils that are best for cleaning are: Lemon, grapefruit, eucalyptus, peppermint,
tea tree, lavender, and rosemary.
• Essential oils are miniscule in molecular size, which means they are absorbed well
by the skin – making them perfect ingredients in personal care items intended to
heal, soften, and nourish. However, they do not accumulate in the body over time
– they simply offer up their healing properties and then pass on through.
• Scientific studies have shown that rosemary essential oil helps your brain
perform. Specifically, smelling rosemary essential oil helps memory recall and
performance on tests. Interestingly, this study also showed that groups that
inhaled either rosemary or lavender essential oil felt much more relaxed than
those who inhaled no odor at all.
• Fragrance oils and essential oils are NOT the same thing. As a rule of thumb, if
you see the word “fragrance” or “fragrance oil” or even “perfume” on anything,
you can assume this is synthetic and NOT natural. (Even if it says natural
• Essential oils are wholly natural and cannot be patented; which means that youʼll
never see an essential oil in a pharmaceutical drug. As such, you can expect that
the vast majority of mainstream healthcare practitioners will never recommend
essential oils as therapeutic alternatives to drugs. More importantly, because
essential oils cannot be patented, drug companies will not waste money studying
them. This limits our scientific knowledge of essential oils GREATLY, and the
majority of what we know about them are things that have been passed down
through thousands of years of personal use and experimentation.
• Enormous amounts of plants are needed to produce essential oil. In fact, on the
extreme end, it takes 4000 pounds of Bulgarian roses to produce 1 pound of
essential oil. Other plants like lavender only take 100 pounds of plant material to
produce a pound of essential oil. Still, can you imagine how concentrated
essential oils must be, in light of how many plants are used to produce them?
• Most essential oils should never be used undiluted on the skin. Instead, they
should be combined with “real” oils (called carrier oils), waxes, butters, alcohols,
or other diluting measures. Because theyʼre so concentrated, if you donʼt dilute,
you may end up with an unfortunate reaction (and unhappy skin).
• There are a few essential oils that are generally recognized as safe to use
undiluted. There are only a few essential oils that are widely acknowledged as
safe to use undiluted but sparingly. They are: lavender, German chamomile, tea
tree, sandalwood, and rose geranium.
• NEVER use an undiluted essential oil on a baby or child. Children have much
thinner, more delicate skin than adults have, and tend to be very sensitive to the
potency of essential oils. In fact, even if you do use essential oil in a recipe for
children, only use half of the essential oil recommended in the recipe. Thatʼs all
theyʼll need, anyway.
• Avoid the following essential oils while pregnant or nursing (and skip EOs
completely in your first trimester): Aniseed, cedarwood, chamomile,
cinnamon, clary sage, clove, ginger, jasmine, lemon, nutmeg, rosemary, sage.
• Its best not to use ANY essential oils when pregnant!
• To test if youʼre sensitive to an essential oil (which is probably best to do
before using it in a skincare preparation): Combine one drop of essential oil
with 1/2 tsp carrier oil (like olive, jojoba, or sweet almond). Rub this on the inside,
upper portion of your arm and wait a few hours. If no redness or itching develops,
youʼre most likely not sensitive to that essential oil.
• Keep all essential oils out of the reach of children – and avoid contact with your
eyes. This is just standard safety precautions, but must be mentioned.
• Do not take essential oils internally, especially oils like wintergreen and
eucalyptus. While some essential oils may be used well-diluted in something
like toothpaste with safety, itʼs generally recognized that thereʼs no need to take
essential oils internally. In fact, there are several toxic essential oils that should
be avoided even through skin contact. Luckily, these are NOT common essential
oils, and most of them youʼll never find in the store.
• To test your essential oil to see how “pure” it is, put a single drop of it on a piece
of construction paper. If it evaporates quickly and leaves no noticeable ring, it is
pure. If you have a ring left, then it is likely diluted by the manufacturer with an oil
of some sort (this test will not work for myrrh, patchouli, and absolutes).
• Essential oils will last for at least 5 years (if not 10), so one bottle could literally
last you a decade. Hopefully that thought will help mitigate the cost involved in
purchasing some essential oils. Because they are SO concentrated and only a
tiny amount is needed in anything you do, theyʼll last you a very, very long time.
The only exception to this rule is citrus oils, which will see a reduction in potency
after a year or two.
• Store your essential oils in dark glass bottles (which they were probably packaged
in) and out of direct sunlight. This is simply to help preserve their potency.
• Remember that what youʼre allergic to in food, you will be allergic to in
essential oils. So if, for some reason, you canʼt eat sage without breaking out in
a rash, steer clear of sage essential oil (or any product containing it).
• USE ESSENTIAL OILS TO HELP YOUR MOOD. Lavender, peppermint, grapefruit,
chamomile, lemon, ylang-ylang all help produce happy, joyous moods. Clary
sage helps with PMS (although there have been reports that overuse of clary
sage can lead to intoxication). Rosemary increases focus and concentration.
Donʼt forget the mood benefits of essential oils. Hereʼs an information packed
aromatherapy reference chart to refer to.
• The recommended usage of many essential oils is hotly contested throughout
the aromatherapy profession. But, by all means, do NOT be afraid of essential
oils. Just use them with care and respect, and all will be fine.
Recommended Essential Oils to Get You Started
• Peppermint (good for lip balms, oily/acneic skin, and cleaning products)
• Rosemary (good for hair preparations, oily/acneic skin, and cleaning products)
• Sweet orange (good for all skin types and very soothing in room sprays for children)
• Rose geranium (good for all skin types, creating perfumes, and for use in homemade
• Tea tree (great for healing, getting rid of dandruff, oily/acneic skin, and cleaning
• Lavender (great for all skin types, for relaxation, hair preparations, and cleaning
Lemon (great for lifting moods, cleaning preparations, and sparingly in toners and
products for oily skin
My overall opinion is that this is a fantastic company with a ton of great products! I will continue to purchase their products in the future and hope that you, my friends and family will give them a shot as well! 5/5!