Buy dried yellowroot and other wild herbs at Payne Mountain Farms.
Salt scrubs are easy to make at home. They are inexpensive, remove dead skin cells, and stimulate circulation. Just pour sea salt into a wide mouth jar leaving some head space. Pour almond oil over the salt. Add several drops of favorite essential oil and stir with a wooden spoon. (Lavender and rosemary essential oils make a good addition for winter use.) Epsom salts may be added for extra strength. In the shower, rub body with salt once a week. Use on the feet and elbows more often. Salt scrubs leave the skin soft and glowing.
A good muscle-rub recipe includes almond oil, rosemary essential oil, frankincense essential oil, and lavender essential oil. Use on tired, aching muscles and as massage oil. This blend may also be used as a scalp treatment for dandruff and flaky skin.
Ointments are easy to make. Just melt beeswax with any cold pressed vegetable oil. Cool. Add essential oil while it can still be stirred into the mixture. Dried plant material may also be added. Add powdered comfrey for rapid healing. Add powdered calendula petals to soothe itchy skin. Add powdered plantain for less scarring. (As mixture cools, it will become solid.)
A basic white cream can be made from just a few ingredients. Melt a tablespoon of paraffin wax with a quarter cup of almond or safflower oil. While hot, stir in a teaspoon of borax and a quarter cup of boiling water. These four ingredients made a rich, luxurious cream that can be used as a moisturizer. Add favorite essential oils for extra benefits.
Many ingredients can be added to homemade creams, ointments, and lotions. Add cocoa butter or coconut oil for added protection. Use tea tree oil for a longer shelf life. Add frankincense essential oil to heal irritated skin. Add ylang-ylang essential oil for exotic fragrance. Add the oil from a vitamin E capsule for extra healing power. Add powdered ginger for warmth.
A basic bath or body oil can be made from any good cold pressed vegetable or nut oil. Pour into a jar or bottle, add a teaspoon of wheat germ oil, and add ten drops of lavender essential oil. Use after (or in) a warm bath every day during the winter months.
Facials and cleansing masks are also easy to make at home. Many things can be added to facials including vegetable oils, green clay, honey, essential oils, aloe vera, oats, eggs, raw vegetables, cider vinegar, and fruit pulp. Add geranium essential oil for normal skin, rose oil for dry skin, jojoba oil for oily skin, avocado oil for sensitive skin, and frankincense essential oil for mature skin. Good carrier oils include apricot kernel, almond, hazelnut, walnut, jojoba, olive, flaxseed, grape seed, and safflower.
A favorite facial oil for dry to normal skin combines a tablespoon of jojoba oil, two drops of geranium essential oil, a drop of frankincense essential oil, and a drop of myrrh essential oil. A good facial oil for normal to oily skin combines a tablespoon of jojoba oil, three drops of lavender, and three drops of ylang-ylang essential oil. Apply before bedtime with fingertips, using gentle circular motions.
To deep cleanse the face after normal washing, prepare a home steam facial. Add three drops of eucalyptus essential oil and three drops of lavender essential oil to a pot of boiling water that has been removed from heat source. Drape a towel over head and lean over pot. Do not get so close that face is burned. About twelve to eighteen inches is safe. Always use common sense when in the kitchen!
Fresh and dried herbs may also be used in a steam facial. Try chamomile, rose, comfrey, lavender, sage, rosemary, or calendula. Steam the face for five to eight minutes. Rinse with cold water and follow with a good moisturizing cream or oil. Herbal steam facials are best when done on a weekly basis.
Lavender facial and body spritz is a great way to cool off during the summer months. Use a pint size spray bottle with fine misting nozzle (the finer the spray the better). Add a half teaspoon of lavender essential oil, a cup of aloe vera juice, and fill with distilled water. Shake gently, then spray on face throughout the day to hydrate, cleanse, refresh, and vitalize the skin.
Hair and scalp can benefit from something as simple as adding essential oil to store bought shampoo and conditioner. Add orange, sandalwood, or rosewood essential oil if hair is dry. Add peppermint or lemon grass essential oil if hair is oily. Add lavender, chamomile, rosemary, or rose essential oil if hair is normal. When treating dandruff use vinegar and water with carrot seed, geranium, juniper, tea tree, cedarwood, or sage essential oil as a final rinse.
For increased shine with blonde hair add chamomile to shampoo and conditioner. For gorgeous brunette hair, use rosemary, sage, cloves, lavender, mint, or marjoram essential oil. On red hair, try clove essential oil. Use approximately one half teaspoon of essential oil to every eight ounces of shampoo.
Homemade natural room sprays are a breeze to make. Use a pint size spray bottle with fine misting nozzle. Add a teaspoon of favorite essential oil, a quarter cup of rubbing alcohol, and fill with water. A favorite recipe combines a half cup of alcohol, two cups of water, two teaspoons of bergamot essential oil, sixteen drops of clove essential oil, and ten drops of lemon essential oil. Shake gently before using in every room of the house.
Many people are looking for products that don’t pollute the environment and don’t cost a fortune. For anyone interested in natural household products and other herbal goodies, here are a few ideas and recipes to try at home.
Natural furniture polish is simple and inexpensive to make. Just add a few drops of lemon or orange essential oil to a quarter cup of vegetable oil. Rub into wooden surfaces for protection and glossy shine. Make spray glass cleaner by mixing a quarter cup of white vinegar, a tablespoon of cornstarch, and two cups of warm water. Use with old newspapers for streak free results.
Freshen carpet and rugs with crushed lavender flowers. Sprinkle liberally, wait thirty minutes, then vacuum. Upholstery shampoo is easy to make. Mix six tablespoons of soap flakes, two tablespoons of borax, and a pint of boiling water. Stir well. Let cool, then whip into foam with an egg beater. Brush dry suds on furniture. (Test on hidden part of fabric first to see if results are as expected.) Quickly wipe off with damp sponge and repeat if needed.
Natural toilet bowl cleaner can be made at home, too. Just mix a cup of borax with a half cup of vinegar. Complete bathroom cleaning chores with a paste made from borax, vinegar, and water. This mix is a good mold remover and can be used on most surfaces.
If drains or septic tanks start acting up, try a septic tank activator before calling a plumber. Dissolve one cup of sugar in a pint of hot water. When lukewarm, stir in three teaspoons of dried yeast. Wait a couple of minutes and then flush entire mixture down toilet.
Another remedy for sluggish drains is baking soda and vinegar. Pour a half cup of baking soda down the drain. Then pour in one cup of vinegar. Wait several minutes and then rinse with a gallon of hot water.
Herbal sachets make linens, closets, and drawers smell fabulous. Use bags of lavender, patchouli, and other favorite herbs (alone or mixed). The sachet bag can be as simple as a brown paper sack or as elaborate as embroidered silk. To protect from moths, use wormwood, thyme, lavender, patchouli, and sage. Sachets make nice gifts and the choices of herbs and fabrics are unlimited.
A sleep pillow also makes a nice gift for a loved one or friend. Sew an eight by eight inch pouch (or larger), leave an opening, and stuff loosely with herbs like lavender, chamomile, and rose petals. Add mugwort for enhanced dreaming. Sew up opening and sleep with it under a regular sized pillow.
* Homemade products do not contain preservatives and should be kept in a cool, dark place. Use within a few weeks. Discard if mold appears or scent becomes rancid. Always consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy especially if pregnant, nursing, or taking other medicines.