A Few of Our Favorite Things!
With Christmas right around the corner, I have been thinking about some of my favorite things at Over the Rainbow. Many of our products are just made to be Stocking Stuffers, and I can’t think of anything much better to find in the big sock on Christmas Morning than a tin of Terlingua Rain Creosote Salve or Lip Balm. Both of these products are essentials for dry winter weather, particularly here in the West Texas desert. It’s so satisfying to carry products that we believe in, that align so well with our own philosophies and lifestyle.
We have been associated with Evan and Laura, and their company Terlingua Oasis Project, for quite a while now, and we have nothing but good things to say about them or their products.
We carry their salves in one and two ounce tins, and more recently, the lip balm as well. I use both and can’t praise this desert pharmacy in a tin enough. They are also making a beard oil now as well, and we would be happy to carry it if there are requests. Let us know what you think.
Keep reading for more information about these great products and the company that makes them.
Creosote, Greasewood, Chaparral (And other Names as Well)
What is Creosote Good For?
Here are some facts, and anecdotes, about this plant known as “The Desert’s Medicine Cabinet.” At one time, Larrea tridentata (scientific name of this member of the caltrop family) was included in the United States official Pharmacopoeia (a publication listing medicinal drugs and plants along with their uses, preparation, dosages, etc.)
The plant was used traditionally by Native Americans, and that custom was adapted by peoples who subsequently settled in the lands where it grows (Southwestern desert areas in this country. Closely related species are found in South America as well.). Taken internally, in the form of tea or tincture, Creosote Bush/Chaparral has been used to treat a variety of illnesses including infertility, rheumatism, arthritis, diabetes, gallbladder and kidney stones, pain and inflammation. More recently, it has been used as a nutritional supplement. Like many traditional and herbal medicines, this plant has come under scrutiny, and some of its uses are controversial. However, there is little doubt that as an external application, Creosote, most often in the form of a salve, is highly beneficial.
The plant has well documented anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It has been employed as a wash for athlete’s foot, ringworm and other fungal skin infections. As a salve, it is not only hydrating, it is healing and analgesic (pain killer), and contains antifungal and antimicrobial compounds. Use it for skin irritations and muscle pain. I have found it to work well on those cracks and splits that winter weather causes, and have used it on insect bites with very good results as well. I could go on. This plant is versatile and quite extraordinary.
And the name, Terlingua Rain (or Desert Rain in other locales ;)) comes from the aroma. It infuses the air with the smell of the desert after a rainstorm (and if you’ve smelled that, you will understand perfectly just how wonderful it is.)
About Terlingua Rain
Before starting this post, I asked Laura of Terlingua Oasis Project (Facebook Link) about what is important to her, and stands out about their products and business. I loved what she had to say about it, and have used mostly her words in this section.
- Everything is made as sustainably as possible. The bushes themselves are sustainably harvested, meaning we never harvest more than 1/3 of their leaves so as not to kill them. We also clear neighbor’s building sites to make use of what they are removing (plus we save cacti while doing so!) And all of the products are made off grid ( with solar powered energy.)
- Products are made in small batches which = very little waste and higher quality products. And because of that, we use only the minimal ingredients that serve a distinct purpose in each product.
- It’s really cool making a product that results in actual visceral experiences for customers from all over. So many people have a connection to the scent of creosote in a way that feels deeper than just “smelling good”, and we love to hear everyone’s connection to it! The desert is such a special place, and it’s amazing that this ancient bush is a way that people can think of and remember their desert experiences.
I loved doing this piece. I learned so much about this magnificent desert plant in the process. I feel that it deserves a great deal more space than I can devote to it here.
I want to thank Terlingua Oasis Project (Instagram link) for the information and these amazing photos of their products.
Much of the information was from the Terlingua Rain website. Additionally, I drew upon articles from universities, medical sources, and other online research. As I said, this plant has a rich history of use and usefulness.
I hope you enjoy.