Beauty with Wild Herbs
Take a walk along a country road or in your own garden and you may discover several useful “wild” herbs. These useful plants just seem to grow wherever the wind or birds take them and pop up where you can discover them while out for a morning walk or garden stroll. If you are a reader of folklore and folk medicine books there are several old fashioned treatments on how to use these plants for food, crafts and beauty. Here are a few easy to make recipes to get you started in using wild herbs. Enjoy!
Note: When gathering up fresh plant material make sure you have permission to do so and that the plants have not been sprayed with harmful chemicals.
Blackberry Leaf Hair Rinse
Fresh blackberry leaves are naturally acidic and cleansing. They have been used by women for years to treat the skin and hair. This rinse for your hair and scalp will help deep cleanse and remove any soap and shampoo residues from your hair and skin. If you can’t find fresh leaves in the wild look for teas made from the dried leaves and substitute those for fresh in this recipe.
1 cup fresh blackberry leaves, washed and chopped (may use 1 /2 cup dried leaves)
2 cups boiling water
Place the leaves in a glass bowl and pour the boiling water over them. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes then strain. Pour the liquid into a clean bottle. To use: After shampooing pour through your hair as a final rinse and massage into your scalp. Rinse again with cool water.
Yield: 16 ounces
Fresh Poppy lotion
The bright orange poppy that you see growing along roadways and in meadows makes a wonderful light facial lotion perfect for oily skin types because it is light in texture. Use it after washing your face and your skin will feel like velvet.
1 /2 cup fresh poppy flower petals , rinsed
1 cup boiling water
1 /8 teaspoon vitamin E oil
Place the flower petals in a glass or ceramic bowl. Pour the boiling water over the petals and stir in the vitamin E oil. Let the mixture cool and steep for several hours or even overnight. Strain and pour into a clean container. To use: Splash the lotion on your face and body and gently massage onto your skin. Do not rinse off.
Yield: 8 ounces
Red Clover Lip Gloss
This is an old folk remedy for dry, chapped lips. Red clover is commonly found in fields and gardens. It has three green leaflets and a red purple flower. The flowers yield a sweet honeylike substance that has anti inflammatory and skin soothing properties. Dried flowers are also found at many natural food stores.
1 /2 tablespoon dried red clover flowers or 1 tablespoon fresh
1 /4 cup water
1 /4 teaspoon clover honey
1 /8 teaspoon vitamin E oil
1 /8 teaspoon cornstarch
Combine the clover flowers, water, and honey and bring the mixture to a boil using either the microwave or stove top. Boil for 2 minutes then remove from the heat and and strain the liquid. Stir in the vitamin E oil and cornstarch, mixing well. Heat this mixture until it forms a clear gel. Cool this gel completely, stirring occasionally. Spoon into a clean container. To use: spread on your lips.
Yield: 1 /2 ounce
Alfalfa Herbal Footbath
Alfalfa a common roadside crop and farm staple makes an energizing foot soak when combined with fresh mint and thyme from the garden. This soak followed by a simple foot massage using a natural oil such as almond or grapeseed oil will do wonders for tired feet.
1 gallon hot water
2 tablespoons Epsom salts
2 tablespoons dried alfalfa leaves or 1 /4 cup fresh
1 tablespoon dried mint leaves or 2 tablespoons fresh
1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves or 2 tablespoons fresh
Place the Epsom salt, alfalfa leaves and herbs inside a large basin or footbath and fill with hot water. Let the mixture steep until warm and the water is cool enough for your feet. To use: Soak your feet in the soft water for 15 to 20 minutes. Pat your skin dry and massage a rich natural oil into your feet.
Yield: one gallon or enough for one footbath
Have a beautiful day!!