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Aimee O'Donnell Saunders

In the Kingston Market Place, in the autumn of 1999, Aimee O’Donnell Saunders became hooked on the idea of LUSH, on cosmetics made FRESH, out of beautiful, active ingredients. The products have been a part of her life (and bathroom) ever since. As luck would have it, Aimee got a temporary job at the Powell Street shop in San Francisco in November 2004. Another toss of the LUSH dice found her keeping that job well beyond the holidays as she’s still around! Aimee’s enjoyed the opportunity to be a Product Trainer for North America for over 7 years, travel extensively, and work with LUSH folk in a plethora of projects. She is known for ever-changing hairstyles, favoring bold patterns and bright colors, and rowdy cheering at baseball games. You can find her in San Francisco most days - just follow the scent of Furze perfume.

May 05.7

Grow Your Own LUSH Herb Garden

Posted In: LUSH Life >> Green


Fresh herbs are used every day in LUSH kitchens.

Whole bundles of herbs are inspected and prepared by our compounders for each batch they make of anything calling for an “infusion” or “decoction”. As well, they pour into our mixtures delicate essential oils from herbs and plant material gathered from across the globe. We start with material from nature, and rely on our vast knowledge about herbal medicine, aromatherapy and horticulture. Best-selling products like Angels On Bare SkinNew Shampoo Bar, and the entire FRESH Face Mask range just the start of the products that brim with herbal infusions, powders, essential oils, and sometimes, a flower too. Taking inspiration from these and other LUSH products, you can easily till your own herb garden before spring is over--and enjoy all the benefits these useful friends can offer. 

 Gardening--whether outside or deskside--is a great way to connect with nature.  It doesn’t have to be difficult or costly, and the benefits are well worth any initial effort.  Before getting started, here are a few tips for tilling your own LUSH garden.

Easy Herbs to start with: 

We love Lavender. It's one of the most versatile, familiar and effective crops, and we use the flowers as well as the essential oil from this precious Provencal plant. Lavender has remarkable abilities at helping calm irritation, reduce redness and inflammation, and also to relieve tension and stress. It is one of the most universally-used ingredients in perfumes and products, and lends a distinctly serene character, like a sunset walk through a field carpeted with purple flowers might do.

Mints also trumpet through our full range, like a parade of tiny alarm bells for our senses. They pick you up, and can help sharpen concentration on a task. Mints are active, and help increase our circulation, providing healthy oxygen to our follicles and pores. This helps our body pump out toxins, just like when we exercise and sweat. The results are decongested pores, and a tingly, happy scalp ready to produce healthy, happy hair. We use English peppermint as well as spearmint in our products - both add their signature scent and tingle. Mints are especially easy to care for and a great accompaniment to your desk, as mint can help enhance concentration and focus. There are dozens of mint varieties - all the more fun. 

Rosemary is another friend from the garden used in products that can be found throughout our shops. It’s woody and green, and very potent as an antiseptic - which is why we add it to Herbalism Cleansing Roll, and Grease Lightning, among other products helpful in clearing up breakouts. We use rosemary oil, and in our fiery blend of Caca Rouge Henna Hair Color, we use finely-powdered rosemary as well. Rosemary adds shine to hair along with an uplifting herbal fragrance. Perhaps its most valuable use for hair care is the way it works on the scalp, helping to regulate overactive sebum production, which can cause a greasy scalp. It helps bring balance and promotes harmony on the scalp while glossing the hair at the same time. Another bonus, folklore tells that rosemary planted by your garden gate is said to provide protection from harmful spirits.  

When trouble on the skin and scalp does flare up, however, another herb saves the day:  Chamomile is quite delicate with its sweet flowers. Consumed as a tea for calming tension, insomnia, chamomile infusions are also common in skin care for reducing redness, itch and irritation. When the tiny flowers are steam distilled, they produce one of the hardest-working essential oils. Our products that contain chamomile are some of the most gentle and mild - intended to set the skin right, especially where inflammation has arisen, due to the anti-inflammatory component called azulene inside the chamomile. Cosmetic Lad, for example, is often suggested for skin post-shaving, as instant relief to any redness or irritation. Chamomile also has natural brightening qualities on the skin and hair, which makes it an ideal ingredient for the softening Hair Treatment, Marilyn. Chamomile helps calm irritation on the scalp from any chemical treatments, as well as conditions and softens the hair, while maintaining brightness. 

Thyme stands out as another time-tested favorite herb. An edible flowering shrub, it can also be infused as tea or applied topically in a salve to help ease respiratory congestion. We love its antiseptic powers for deodorizing the body. It's a primary note in The Greeench Deodorant Powder. Those same bacteria-zapping qualities make it a handy ingredient in Grease Lightning as well. One other product range you’ll catch a whiff of the fragrant herb is the Dirty line-up. The decidedly dashing men’s range has multiple layers to it, but one unmistakable one is the herbal soothers like thyme and lavender, both at work in the Dirty Shaving Cream to calm skin and keep it comfortable.   

Good To Know, Before You Grow:

- Plants are meant to grow, so imagine a few months into the future. How will their root system expand? Choose containers or a spot in your yard thoughtfully. 

- Pay attention to the kind of sunshine and amount of water suggested for your particular crop. The earth you are planting into is also important, so select soil suitable for kitchen-use produce.

- Simple gardening tools like a trowel (small shovel) and a watering can make the job easy, and gloves and a hat keep you tidy and sun-protected. 

- Go nuts planting whatever sounds tasty or healthy. A local nursery is a good place to start, or search for special seeds on the web. 

- Kids are keen to help, and often take more interest in eating fresh produce they grow themselves. Have a picky eater? Get them in the garden. 

- Many common household things can help your starter garden. This is a great way to up-cycle LUSH black pots, as well as egg cartons. The key to any good container is drainage, so drill a few holes if you're using black pots. 

- Planting herbs in the ground gives them room to grow and signals to neighborhood pollinators your garden is open for business. You’ll have a busier yard as a result, which is beneficial to the greater ecosystem. 

- In-ground herbs can get big and take over garden space, which is why they are so often grown in containers. They will need pruning and regular tending once in the ground and thriving. 

When you’re ready to dig: 

- Dig a hole into healthy soil--enough to allow for root expansion. In a container, cover the bottom 1/3 with potting mix. In the ground, about 6-8 inches deep is usually ok. 

- Loosen the whole potted herb with root system and gently place into the hole. If you're planting from seed, place a few seeds in each hole, spaced apart. 

- Cover with more soil and pat gently into the ground. This is a great time to offer a hopeful wish for the plant to thrive in your garden.

- Watering will help a transplant’s acclimation to a new container and aid germination for new sprouts. Check dryness levels regularly and make sure water is draining properly to avoid rot issues.

- Seeds also need warmth from sunshine to germinate. At night, keep in a greenhouse, outdoor terrarium, or inside on a windowsill. It'll be at least a week before you’ll start to see activity.

- Once thriving, transplant into larger containers or vegetable beds. Ask for advice from people with horticulture backgrounds in your area, or a green-thumbed neighbor. Hey, you might even work out a crop-share system between your backyards!

Get Thee To The Garden

Using LUSH products brings the powers of herbs and other plant material to you. But there is no replacement for making a connection with where ingredients come from, and the experience of helping them grow. Herb gardening is an easy place to inaugurate that energy.

A garden is a journey, not a destination, says Leigh Casbourne, LUSH Trainer and avid gardener: “Snowdrops and crocuses bursting through frost, water droplets glistening on new leaves, the unfurling of scented petals. Gardening, for me, is always a work in progress--there are no completed projects, only bits of yard I haven't touched yet, fruits waiting to ripen and flowers yet to bloom. The constant anticipation of what will happen next keeps me (literally) grounded…I don't for a second think that I am the artist of all this...Mother Nature's been doing it herself all these years. I'm just a messy assistant.”