Herbal ointments are very useful and easy to make at home. Just melt beeswax with any cold pressed vegetable oil -- I like grape seed oil, almond oil, olive oil, or walnut oil. Add essential oil while it can still be stirred into the mixture (the wax will thicken mixture as it cools). Dried and powdered 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 a solid like lip balm. You can also add infused herbal oils instead of the plant material depending on what is available. Experiment and see what works best for you.
Herbal bath and beauty products do not contain toxic chemicals and are easy to make at home.
Use muscle rub on tired, aching muscles and as a massage oil. A good herbal muscle-rub recipe includes almond oil, rosemary essential oil, frankincense essential oil, and lavender essential oil. This blend may also be used as a scalp treatment for dandruff and flaky skin. Visit our Lotions and Potions page to find out how to make ointments, astringents, tinctures, poultices, and more.
A basic white face-cream can be made at home with just four ingredients. This recipe makes a rich, luxurious herbal cream that can be used as a moisturizing facial or overnight cream.
Please note that the above recipe makes a thick cream. You can also just use the almond oil and a drop or two of essential oil mixed together in the palm of your hand. Almond oil is a wonderful moisturizer and what could be easier than that?.
Many ingredients can be added to homemade creams, ointments, and lotions. Use cocoa butter or coconut oil for protection against diaper rash and other irritants. Use tea tree oil for a longer shelf life. Add frankincense essential oil to heal irritated skin or sore muscles. 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 especially in arthritis creams and foot rubs.
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. You can also use this spray as a room freshener.
For an invigorating morning shower try adding mint essential oil, lavender essential oil, or orange essential oil to your favorite shampoos and body washes. Afterwards, gently pat skin dry and apply a vegetable or nut oil based moisturizer. If you don't make your own herbal products, look for ingredients such as almond and grapeseed oil instead of mineral oil. Vegetable oils penetrate outer skin layers to heal and protect. Petroleum products, like mineral oil, just sit on top of the skin.
Make your own homemade herbal cleaning products, toothpastes, gargles, drain cleaners, and more! There are many ways that herbs can be used in our daily lives including potpourri, make-up, and household products. Herbalists tend to use herbs for all kinds of things. A good mouthwash can be made from a pint of strong peppermint tea. Add anise, cloves, cinnamon, or rosemary for flavor and added benefits. Combine with a pint of sherry and a few drops of myrrh tincture for daily use.
This woman scrubs her tub with a paste of baking soda and water. Natural household products are effective, inexpensive, and better for the environment than harsh chemicals.
Myrrh is a good investment. An excellent treatment for mouth and gum problems, it can be bought in powdered form and sprinkled on toothpaste right before brushing. Myrrh is known to prevent and cure periodontal disease. Make your own myrrh toothpaste by combining a dab of coconut oil and a sprinkle of myrrh powder. Brush gently in circular motions taking care not to injure delicate gum tissue.
Niamh gives us complete instructions for making an effective and safe laundry soap in the following video:
Here is a simple recipe for upholstery shampoo. In a large bowl, mix 6 tablespoons of pure soap flakes with 2 tablespoons of powdered borax. Slowly add 1 pint of boiling water and mix well. Let cool, add a few drops of favorite essential oil, then whip into foam with electric mixer or egg-beater. Apply dry suds to hidden part of furniture, wait a few minutes, and then wipe off with a damp sponge. If colors do not bleed, then continue until upholstery is clean and fresh.
Combine 1 cup baking soda with a half-cup of any crushed, scented floral material such as lavender flowers or geranium leaves. Sprinkle liberally on rug, leave for an hour or two, and shake off outdoors. Vacuuming baking soda or any powder can cause motor failure so beware before using on large area rugs or wall-to-wall carpet. You don't want to ruin your vacuum cleaner.
Are your drains sluggish? Pour one-half cup of baking soda down the drain. Then pour in one-cup of vinegar. Stand back just in case reaction is more than expected -- you don't want it to spew on to your face or into your eyes!. After several minutes, flush with a gallon of hot water. Don't be alarmed if it foams up like a volcano! Don't fret too much, this method is much safer than commercial lye based drain-cleaners that can cause blindness if an accident occurs.
Here's a recipe for windshield cleanser. Mix one-half cup of cornstarch with 2 quarts of warm water. Vinegar can be added for extra strength. To prevent streaking, do not use in direct sunlight.
Need to clean leather or vinyl car upholstery? Try mixing 2 tablespoons of vegetable-oil soap (castile soap), one-fourth cup of olive oil, and one teaspoon of lemon essential oil. Test on hidden spot before rubbing entire area.
A natural car wax can be prepared at home. In a double boiler, melt 7 tablespoons of beeswax with 12 tablespoons of carnauba wax. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add 2 cups of mineral oil, 4 tablespoons of turpentine, and 1 tablespoon of pine oil. Mix and pour into an old, clean coffee can. To use, scoop up a small amount of wax with a soft dish-cloth. Rub wax onto the automobile with small circular motions and let it sit for a couple of minutes. Buff to a high shine. All auto paints are not the same. Test first on a hidden part like under the hood.
Natural beauty products, cleansers, and fresheners are good for the body, mind, and environment. They are not expensive and give good results.
Homemade natural room sprays are a breeze to make. Use a pint size spray bottle with fine misting nozzle. Add half 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, one 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 herbal 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.
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.
Herbal sachets make your 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.
* Note - the information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
** Most of the articles in this online herbal encyclopedia were first published by the North Georgia News in a weekly column titled Every Green Herb (by Janice Boling).
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