Thursday, September 4, 2014

Author Spotlight: Deborah Dolen

Author Deborah Dolen is the busy author of 29 books. Her work all seems to share a common thread of working with natural ingredients, such as honey, beeswax to make lip balm, bee pollen to make healing salves, and easy-to-grow flowers that are fun to cut and arrange for the home.

For example, Deborah has written about edible flower petals, and she offers tips for making great salads and wowing your guests with sprinkles of bright orange marigold petals and violet impatiens petals. Deborah helps inspire me to garden with her writing about the ways that flowers are meant to do many things. In designing a garden, I like Deborah's advice to choose some plants designed just for making fresh cut floral designs to bring in the home, plus a selection of herbs for making skin care products and medicinal syrups. Beyond putting flower petals in salads, you can also make floral petal extracts for skin care. Deborah Dolen covers all of these--and more--concepts in her books.

If you have even the slightest interest in beekeeping, you may well find that after reading Deborah's book, The Beekeeper's Digest, you'll really want to be a beekeeper and raise honey bees.

Deborah Dolen

Beekeeping has become more and more popular for backyard gardeners. As Deborah writes in The Beekeeper's Digest, honey bees make so many byproducts it is amazing! And you don't have to be a beekeeper to make natural products using things made by the bees. For instance, you can buy bee pollen from a local beekeeper and make "bee pollen oil" by just soaking the bee pollen in macadamia nut oil. Deborah writes that macadamia nut and jojoba oil is most closest to our own skin chemistry, so she uses these two oils for making almost all body care recipes, including lip products, cleansing creams, and even soap. In fact, it was from Deborah Dolen I learned soap is basically oil. Back to bee pollen oil, you simply soak bee pollen in macadamia nut oil for a week, and you'll find that you suddenly have a beautiful orange oil packed with micronutrients and very healing for the skin. Deborah says marigold petals are also dynamic to infuse if you'd like because marigold oil, also known as Calendula oil, is great for anti-inflammatory purposes and circulation. She highly recommends it for people with edema.

Another interesting point in The Beekeeper's Digest is that the source of the hive is very important. The more remotely the honey and byproducts are produced from a major city pollution the better. There are a lot of interesting beekeeping facts in Deborah's book, and she has a wealth of recipes for products like lip balms and soothing creams. You'll never think about beeswax the same way again!

Aromatherapy is another topic dear to the heart of Deborah Dolen. Her work on the topic helps you understand essential oils and what they are known to do, which is a good topic to research if you want to make your own skin care products. Aromatherapy Basics is Deborah's book designed to help you tlearn how nature and botanicals work. &

Many botanicals are natural healers, and essential oils from them can go into a lip balm type recipe and become a healing "salve." One of Deborah's recipes along this line is for a lavender super-healing burn butter. Another example is her bruise balm using blue chamomile. The book helps you create essential oil blends for specific results. It can be a helpful guide if you want to make your own bath bombs and bath salts, as described in two other of her books, The Self Apothecary and The Bathroom Chemist. These books offer a ton of bath and body products to give as gifts for Christmas or other holidays. The cost is very low compared to buying finished body care products, and you can trust the high quality of products you make yourself.

In addition to making bath and body products for the coming holiday season, Deborah Dolen shares a lot of recipes for food items that make great gifts in her Kitchen Arts Collection. This book contains a selection of dry dip mix recipes and loads of "gifts in a mason jar" recipes. For a sample recipe, check out Deborah's .org site:


  1. I have tried lip balm with beeswax and it was so good! I have horribly dry lips and that's one of the few lip balms I found that actually worked. I never thought of making it myself though. Thanks Deborah Dolen for inspiring me!! :)

  2. I absolutely love flowers! I am so interested in learning more from Deborah Dolan on what else I can do with them. For now I only cut them and put them in vases, but it looks like I have a lot more to learn!

  3. I love Aromatherapy and I have read Deborah Dolens book on it as well! She is such a talented writer and does a great job explaining everything to you very clearly. I highly recommend her book.

  4. Deborah Dolen sounds like a very talented women. I have always wanted to be crafty but didn't really know how to start. I will definitely check out her books since she really seems to know what she is talking about. :)