Although herbs are well-known for their culinary and even medicinal purposes, these are by no means the only uses for these wonderful plants.
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Even back in ancient times it was known that herbs not only add flavor to food, but can also be used for cosmetic purposes. In fact, women as far back as the Egyptian period used perfumes that were made with the essences of herbs as a main ingredient. The ancient Greeks and Romans were also well aware of the beauty benefits locked away in herbs. Since so many modern beauty products contain more chemicals than natural ingredients, there are compelling reasons to opt for herbal recipes instead. Thankfully, there is no shortage of recipes to choose from when it comes to treating your skin and hair.
Before starting to create your own natural herbal beauty products, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. Firstly, since these homemade recipes don’t make use of any sort of chemical preservatives, they will not last as long as commercial products. This just means that it is better to create smaller batches to avoid wasting anything due to spoilage. Also, always make use of clean equipment.
1. Herbal Hair Rinse
An herbal hair rinse is not only natural and simple to prepare, but when mixed with lemon juice or vinegar, offers a great way to restore the natural pH level of hair. The following recipe provides enough rinse for a single use.
One teaspoon of dried herbs or a handful of fresh herbs. Good options include bay, nettle, rosemary, Roman chamomile and calendula. Nettle in particular is rich in iron, which can promote hair growth or prevent hair loss.
One tablespoon of lemon juice or, alternatively, apple cider vinegar.
Place the herbs of your choice in a bowl and then add one cup of boiling water.
Add the lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to the mix, and leave it covered for between 10 and 15 minutes to steep.
After the mixture has cooled down to a comfortable level pour it through hair that has been freshly shampooed.
2. Herbal Facial Scrub
An herbal facial scrub provides a natural way to get rid of dead skin cells and to stimulate better circulation. It will also leave your face feeling softer and looking more radiant due to the exfoliation. However, care must be taken with sensitive skin, so don’t scrub too vigorously. The following recipe should be sealed in a container and then stored in a cool, dry location where it can last for up to three months.
One-third cup of dried herbs. Good options include lavender, peppermint, calendula or rose petals. A mixture of herbs can also be used.
One-third cup of cornmeal.
One cup of rolled oats.
One tablespoon of clay, sugar or almonds. A combination of these can also be used.
Put all the ingredients in a clean coffee grinder, and then grind the mixture until it is a fine powder. In the absence of a coffee grinder you can also use a mortar and pestle.
Place some of the powdery mixture in the palm of your hand, and then turn it into a paste by adding water.
Cover your face with the mixture, taking care to avoid your eyes.
Gently massage the scrub into your skin by using circular motions.
Rinse thoroughly upon completion.
3. Herbal Hair Conditioner
This herbal hair conditioner is quick to prepare and gentler on the hair than commercial conditioner.
One tablespoon of chopped fresh mint.
½ cup of full fat coconut milk.
One ripe avocado that has been peeled, pitted and mashed.
Mix together the ingredients until a thick mixture is produced.
Comb the mixture through your hair.
After ten minutes, rinse your hair with warm water.
4. Rosemary Sage Skin Toner
This herbal skin toner won’t dry out your skin like commercial toners that are heavy on alcohol. It is not only less caustic, but also very straightforward to make.
1-½ teaspoons of rosemary.
1-½ teaspoons of sage.
Mix the rosemary and sage together.
Pour half a cup of boiled water over the mixture.
Cover the mixture and allow it to steep for up to 60 minutes before straining.
Shake the mixture after it has cooled down, and then use a cotton ball to apply it to your face.
5. Cilantro Celery Toner
Instead of rosemary and sage it is also possible to make a nice natural toner using cilantro and celery.
1/3-cup of cilantro (finely chopped).
4 tablespoons of celery (finely chopped.)
¾-cup of boiling filtered water.
Place the cilantro and celery in a large bowl and then add the water.
Leave the mixture to steep for about 40 minutes before straining into another bowl.
Apply to your upper body, neck and face as a toner.
6. Blackberry Leaf Rinse
The blackberry leaf rinse is ideal for any hair color and not only treats dandruff, but will also result in hair that looks shiny. This rinse gently enhances the natural color of our hair, so it will deepen darker hair and highlight lighter ones.
½-cup of clean blackberry leaves (fresh).
3 blackberries (fresh).
Place the leaves in a saucepan and add two cups of water.
Add the berries and then boil the water using medium heat.
Lower the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for 15 minutes.
Take the pan off the stove, and let it cool down for 20 minutes.
Strain the liquid and use it as a rinse after shampooing your hair.
7. Calendula Herbal Oil
Since calendula has anti-fungal, astringent, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, it works well as a skin care product. Best of all, it is also very gentle on the skin. The following recipe is ideal for chafed and chapped skin or to heal acne, rashes or eczema.
Organic calendula flowers.
Organic olive oil.
Add the calendula flowers to a dry, clean glass jar.
Add enough olive oil to cover the flowers. The ideal ratio is about two parts olive oil to one part blossoms.
Stir the mixture and then close the jar with a tight cap.
Store the jar in a warm, dark place for two weeks, shaking it occasionally.
After two weeks, strain the mixture, and add vitamin E to serve as a preservative.
Apply the oil to your skin for a cooling and soothing effect.
8. Horsetail Hair Tonic
Horsetail hair tonic has the benefit of containing silica, another ingredient that can strengthen hair and prevent it from thinning or falling out.
One handful of fresh horsetail
Place water in a pot and bring it to a boil.
Reduce the heat to a simmer, and then add the handful of fresh horsetail to the water.
Steep the mixture for 20 minutes before straining the liquid.
Allow the liquid to cool completely, and then pour it over your hair after shampooing.
Keep your hair wrapped in a warm towel for about 20 minutes and then rinse.