MONMOUTH — Watching Genna Briggs, creator of Healthy Houseful, work in her tiny kitchen is like watching a chemist — or a good witch.    She carefully measures oils, beeswax and other natural ingredients into a Pyrex glass measuring cup, heats it in her convection-toaster oven, and waits for it to cool before adding aloe vera and other essential oils.    Briggs lines up the small containers for her antibiotic “Owie Ointment,” which is packaged like a tube of lip balm, and carefully, meticulously pours the ointment into each tube.    The whole process takes less than 45 minutes, and is amazing to witness, all the while her 3-year-old son, Liam, sits on the counter holding her recipe book — which, by the way, looks a lot like an old high-school composition book. Photo by Emily Mentzer Briggs carefully pours her “Owie Ointment” into tubes to allow it to cool. Once it’s ready to sell, the all-natural antibacterial concoction comes out like lip balm.    The 27-year-old Monmouth resident has been making her own home remedies for about six years, and selling what works best at Independence markets for the last two.    Briggs has five children, ranging in age from 4 months to 7 years old, and everyone — except the baby — helps.    “Because my 7-year-old can understand some fractions, he will actually help me with some things like the ‘After Burn,’ which is used for sunburns,” Briggs said.    She didn’t grow up in a “natural leaning” family, but her husband, Matt, did.    “As we had more kids and I started learning about what’s in stuff and what’s good for your body, I just started doing a lot of research and keeping a journal about what I did,” Briggs said. Photo by Emily Mentzer Sea salt, olive oil and essential oils make up Healthy Houseful’s body scrub, a little something Genna Briggs mixes up in about five minutes.    She discovered some things work well for one person, but not necessarily for another.    For example, in her “Solar Screen,” a sunscreen, she uses carrot seed oil, but also offers a version without it.    “Carrot seed oil is great for blocking (the sun), but it can cause contractions (in pregnancy),” Briggs said. “So, if you’re prone to pre-term labor, you don’t want to use that. I used it and had no problems, but, just in case, better play safe than sorry.”    Briggs said with so many children — and often being pregnant — it was important to her to make all her products safe and family-friendly. Photo by Emily Mentzer Briggs counts the drops of essential oil into her body scrub, which uses sea salt. The scrub comes in mint or lavender-eucalyptus scents.    “The idea is you don’t have to call poison control if your kid eats the ‘Tender Tush,’” she said, adding with a laugh that she hears about kids eating that product, used for diaper rash, often.    “It’s something about the green color, which looks delicious. There’s frankincense in it, so it smells really good. Maybe they think it’s a Popsicle.    “I haven’t tasted it,” she added.    Another thing that was important to her was keeping the prices down.    After deciding petroleum-based lotions with alcohol preservatives were not the best for herself or her family, she got sticker shock from organic, all-natural products on store shelves.    “It’s ridiculously expensive,” Briggs said, “so I thought I can just do this myself.”    One thing she enjoys about using essential oils is the versatility. Although she didn’t intend for her concoction to relieve cramping to also ease hot flashes, she said she has had a number of people say it does. Photo by Emily Mentzer Briggs carefully labels each product. A friend of hers makes the labels in Bend.    “Essential oils have multiple uses, so things that you didn’t even intend them for, you find that they work for,” Briggs said. “I enjoy coming up with things, tweaking it here and there, and finding out what works.”    She home-schools all of her children, and also enjoys teaching people at the farmers market.    “I don’t always have something they can use,” Briggs said. “But I can say, ‘I don’t have this problem, but I’ve heard X,’ or, ‘you can look here.’ That’s the really fun part for me is being able to help out like that.”    One of her favorite products is her lotions, but lately, she has added the bug repellant to that list.    It goes on smooth, Briggs said, and the packaging lets hikers, backpackers and farmers hook it to their belt.        Check It Out What: Healthy Houseful, an all-natural beauty and home remedy products business. Where: Products are available at the Independence Riverview Market, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays; or online at www.healthyhouseful.com. Of note: Prices are slightly higher online than in person at the Riverview Market. Briggs often asks for input on things such as naming new products on the Healthy Houseful Facebook page. The chosen winner of a new name gets the first product free.    


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