MAKE YOUR OWN
HERBAL BATHROOM PRODUCTS
Granny's herbal remedies. Do-it-yourself alternatives that won't cost the earth:
Thyme Bath Bags
A refreshing herbal bath to soothe the skin and relax aching muscles.
Place dried thyme in an 8-inch square of cheesecloth. Add a little raw oats to soften the water. Tie with string and either hang from the tap as bath runs or let it float in the water.
Oatmeal Bath Softener
Put a handful of oatmeal into a square of muslin or cheesecloth. Tie with string and hang from tap when you run your bath to soften the water.
For itchy dry skin add a cup of vinegar to the bath water.
Put some dried basil in a muslin/cheesecloth bag and tie to bath tap or put in bathwater for a stimulating and invigorating bath.
Did you know using just a few drops of essential oils in your bath is a cheap non-chemical alternative to bubble baths that is chemical free and won't dry out your skin? As an added bonus, different oils have different properties to match your mood - lavender is calming and relaxing, lemon stimulating and invigorating.
Put 10 fluid ounces of fresh milk in a bowl. Wash and dry 4 TBS of fresh apple mint or peppermint.Chop the mint finely and add to the milk. Leave in fridge for 12 hoursStrain and bottle. Store in fridge.To use, apply with cotton wool and rub over your skin. Rinse face after applying.
Steaming is the most thorough, deep-cleansing method of cleansing your skin and is beneficial to all skin types. Once a week normally, less often if skin very dry, daily if very greasy.
Lean over a bowl of boiling water, cover your head with a towel and make a tent around the bowl. Stay one to two feet away from the water surface and add herbs or essential oil to the water for even more benefit. Use lavender, thyme and rosemary for a stimulating cleanse.
Take 1 tsp of finely ground oatmeal (available from health food shops) in the palm of your hand, mix with a little water and wash your face with the paste. Slightly abrasive and very cleansing.
Soap your face well and add a small handful of sugar to the lather. Massage in for a couple of minutes and rinse with warm water. Great cleanser.
Cucumber skin tonic
Cut half a cucumber into chunks and liquidize. Strain it and you have a fresh and cool cucumber lotion. Use as soon as possible as it goes off quickly.
Mash and sieve or liquidize ¼ of a cucumber and add two TBS of yoghurt.
Egg White Mask
Egg white is a really effective skin toner. You can use as is, or beat it to make it frothy. Either way, spread on your face, leave on for 10-20 minutes and rinse off. Tightens the skin and leaves it feeling smooth and satiny. It's ideal for greasy skin. If your skin is dry, add a tsp of oil and/or honey.
Mash and sieve a ripe pear and use to cleanse and tone a greasy skin.
Mash and sieve an avocado and add a few drops of lemon juice to stop it discolouring. Add 1tsp liquid honey, mix together and apply to skin, leaving on as long as possible. It counteracts the drying effects of the sun, softens, moisturises and nourishes the skin.
Mash and sieve half a ripe banana. Add 1tsp honey and 2 tsp cream. Great for dry skin.
Did you know that honey acts as a moisturiser? Honey on its own, or added to rosewater, can be applied to chapped skin or used as a moisturiser to restore dry skin to normal.
Boil water, add it to some chamomile flowers, close your eyes and allow the steam to open the pores on your face, making a tent over your head with a towel. Releases dirt and black heads. Cleanse face immediately afterwards.
Rub lemon juice on the skin to banish blackheads and acne.
Mix lemon juice with salt and use to rub off dead skins cells on the thighs and elbows.
Lemon Hair Rinse
Use diluted lemon juice in your final rinse when washing fair hair to increase shine. (1 part lemon juice to 8 parts water).
Vinegar Hair Rinse
Use diluted vinegar in final rinse for dark hair to add shine. (1 part vinegar to 8 parts water).
Dry Hair Conditioner
For dry, damaged hair heat some oil and massage into the scalp. Wrap your head in a warm towel and leave for half an hour. Wash off with a mild shampoo. Coconut, olive and castor oil can all be used.
Did you know?
Adding apple cider vinegar to your rinse water cleanses hair of soap.
Strong camomile tea is a good rinse for light hair or to add highlights to light brown hair.
Nettle juice helps improve dull hair and skin.
Sage tea stimulates hair growth.
Mix together 1 egg, 1 tsp honey, 2tsp of coconut or olive oil. Massage into scalp. Wrap head in a warm towel and leave for half an hour. Wash off with mild shampoo. Good for dry fine hair.
This is a very old recipe. Beat one or two eggs in a cup of water and massage into wet hair for five to ten minutes. It is important to allow time for the egg to clean the hair and the protein in it to act as a conditioner. It is important to rinse off thoroughly. Don't use hot water as this will scramble the egg!
Never throw a squeezed lemon away without first using it to rub over yours hands and elbows. It softens, cleans and bleaches them.
Rinse fingernails and hands daily in a lemon rinse.
Camomile Eye Freshener
After a cup of camomile tea, don't throw the bag away - squeeze out excess water and put over your eyes for ten minutes. Reduces puffiness and refreshes tired eyes.
Thin slices of cucumber placed over closed eyes is refreshing and soothing and can relieve eyestrain, pink eyes and sunburn.
Very thin slices of raw potato placed on the eyes reduces puffiness and leaves the eyes clear.
2-4 TBS of rose or marigold petals
1 cup almond oil
Fill a sterilized jar with petals and slowly pour the oil over them. Fill to within one inch of the top of the jar. Close and label and leave in the sun for five days in summer, 15 in winter. Strain oil off during warm part of the day. Press the petals to extract all the oil. Warm this oil in a double boiler, stirring continuously. Add 1 TBS of beeswax. Add 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp vanilla extract, tsp vitamin e oil, and 1 tsp aloe vera gel. Close tightly. The balm will harden quickly. Apply it as needed.
Grind: ½ tsp cloves
1 tsp myrrh
1 TBS coriander seeds
1 tsp cassia
2 TBS lavender flowers
1 tsp thyme
with a pestle and mortar. Use under arms as a deodorant. Some skins are sensitive to dried herbs so test a little first.
MOUTH AND TEETH
½ tsp peppermint, dried
½ tsp thyme leaves, dried
½ tsp cloves, crushed
½ tsp nutmeg, grated
½ pint sherry
10 drops of oil of peppermint
Steep herbs in sherry for 7-10 days. Strain off herbs and add peppermint oil.
Sage Tooth Powder
A couple of handfuls of sage leaves
1 handful of sea salt
With a pestle and mortar grind the sage leaves into the sea salt. Bake in the oven until hard. Grind again into a fine powder. Put in a sealed jar and use instead of toothpaste.
Alternatively, rubbing sage leaves across the teeth cleanses them and sweetens the breath.
Rub a strawberry over your teeth to clean them.
Mix 2 TBS salt with 3 TBS of bicarbonate of soda and use as a toothpaste.
Chew cloves to sweeten the breath.
Written by: Clare Maxwell-Hudson - The Natural Beauty Book, published by MacDonald, and Herbal Medicine by Dian Dincin Buchman, published by Rider
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