by guest writer, Jayde Silbernagel
I am Jayde, the founder and creatrix of Earthly Ether, a line of botanically infused castor oil. I am so honored to be a guest on the Vervain blog today. Let’s just dive right in here.
Castor oil is an oil that is pressed from the seed pods of the castor plant, which can hilariously be invasive when in the environment. Though, as we know around here in the world of The Vervain Collective, there are many invasive plants that hold the exact support that we are needing as an earthly culture. I think of castor oil as the dandelion of the oil world, including the ability to support healthy detoxification of the liver, which is where my personal journey with this oil began. Detoxing the liver!
Sometime in 2017, after working a summer on a biodynamic farm, I had my birth control removed, let go of any and all makeup products that were from toxic brands, stopped buying from low quality companies, and the bravest move of all . . . I threw away my topical steroids that were prescribed for my experience of chronic eczema. I remember the day so vividly. Even though I had hoped this wouldn’t be the truth, I intuitively knew it was going to have to get worse before it got better.
With the support of a caring and incredibly intelligent Naturopath, Dr. Emily Wiggins, I took the herbal UNDA remedies, the pellets, and also began putting this sticky oil on my abdomen every evening before bed. This sticky oil was castor oil. Even though I had claustrophobic tendencies, I became obsessed. Intuitively, I felt the oil’s supportive nature while I was revving through intense emotions of unprocessed anger (liver) and grief (lungs) from my childhood.
A couple years later, I found myself delving into a book that I had sitting on my shelf for quite some time about herbalism and women’s health. It’s always funny to buy a book and then to never look at it . . . until the decisive moment hits and it’s like the eyes (all three) become opened up to the new possibilities of creation and becoming.
I found a couple recipes for infused castor oil and began experimenting with a variety of recipes and ways of curating. There was something about the botanical presence in the oil that moved me and I continued my endeavor and my play by researching different herbs for their energetic contributions as equally as their physiological properties. There was so much to learn!
At the time, I was selling herbally enhanced almond milk and chaga tea out of my home, so I started telling my friends about this castor oil and began selling it casually as well. The call was so profound that over the years, I had meetings with other makers about where to source bottles and such, talked about rules and regulations, and eventually manifested the most amazing graphic designer at a retreat that I was photographing on Vashon Island. Things came together organically and gradually, perfectly in the way of the oil herself.
Just as any herbalist knows, especially the budding ones, there seems to be an infinite amount of learning to be done regarding our plant friends. It is absolutely amazing. So after delving into the making and formulating and re-formulating and adding and subtracting pieces of the Earthly Ether line, I have learned more and more about the origins of Castor oil as a remedy.
As many of the best things, honey and wine included, castor oil was found in the Egyptian tombs and it was said to be utilized by Cleopatra to whiten her eyes (oh my), which I would not advise, but nonetheless, the Egyptians understood the power of this substance. Castor oil was also often prescribed by the intuitive medium, Edgar Casey, for a myriad of ailments. This is the model that I tend to follow, as my line is inspired by the variety of uses that castor oil has to offer from the womb to the lungs to achy joints and so on. Truly anywhere that needs a little extra love and surrender ~ opening the opportunity for more blood flow and less inflammation. Two elements that tend to be at the root of most (if not all) ailments in our current society on a physiological level.
I have heard so, so many first hand stories, both castor oil solo and earthly ether related, since beginning this endeavor. I will forever be grateful for Dr. Emily for introducing me to this substance, as well as being such a crucial part of my healing journey.
Thank you soul much for your time in reading this and for The Vervain Collective for welcoming me. into the space in this way! For more information or specific questions, please visit my website and/or reach out to me at: