Lemongrass Oil.

You may have tasted the refreshingly mild flavor of lemongrass, a herb that’s commonly added to foods and beverages. But have you ever tried using lemongrass oil, an all-around herbal oil with many health benefits? Keep on reading to discover more about lemongrass oil.

What Is Lemongrass Oil?

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon) is a tall perennial plant from the Poaceae grass family, which thrives in tropical and subtropical regions, such as in India, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, China, and Guatemala. This plant grows in dense clumps and has bright-green, sharp-edged leaves, similar to grass.

Lemongrass is a popular flavoring in Asian cooking – added to curries and soups, or paired with beef, fish, poultry, and seafood. Fresh lemongrass is also used to make lemongrass tea.

There are over 50 varieties of lemongrass, but not all are edible or ideal for medicinal purposes. The two varieties of lemongrass most popularly used today are Cymbopogon citratus and Cymbopogon flexuosus. While they can be used interchangeably, especially for making lemongrass oil, C. citratus is more popularly known in culinary applications, while C. flexuosus is more dominant in industrial applications, such as perfumery.

Lemongrass oil is extracted from the leaves of the plant. It has a thin consistency and a pale or bright yellow color. It has a strong, fresh, lemony, and earthy scent.

Uses of Lemongrass Oil

Lemongrass oil is a great addition to various skin care and cosmetic products, such as soaps, deodorants, shampoos, lotions, and tonics. It also works as an air freshener and deodorizer, especially when blended with other essential oils like geranium or bergamot. Simply put it in an oil burner, diffuser, or vaporizer.

Lemongrass oil is also known for its ability to repel insects, such as mosquitoes and ants, due to its high citral and geraniol content. Spray it around your home, diffuse it, or rub a diluted mixture on your skin.

Lemongrass oil’s refreshing scent makes it a valuable aroma therapeutic oil. It’s clean and calming aroma helps relieve stress, anxiety, irritability, and insomnia, and prevent drowsiness.Lemongrass oil can also help relax and tone your muscles, as well as relieve muscle pain, rheumatism, period cramps, stomachache, toothache, migraines, and headaches.

Here are some ways to use lemongrass oil:

  • Make a refreshing foot bath. Add two drops to a bowl of warm water, and soak your feet for 10 minutes. If your feet are aching, add two tablespoons of Epsom salts.
  • Make a massage oil by mixing it with sweet almond or jojoba oil.
  • Kill your pet’s fleas and lice by spraying diluted lemongrass oil all over his coat. You can also soak his collar in it, add it to his final rinse after shampooing, or spray it on his bedding.
  • Blend it into your favorite bath products or add it to your bath water. 

Composition of Lemongrass Oil

The main compounds of lemongrass oil are geranyl acetate, myrcene, nerol, citronellol, terpineol, methyl heptanone, di pentane, geraniol, neral, farnesol, limonene, and citral. These are known to have anti-fungal, antiseptic, insecticidal, and counter-irritant properties.

Citral is known for its antimicrobial effects, and can help kill or suppress the growth of bacteria and fungi. It’s said that lemongrass oil’s quality is generally determined by its citral content.

Another beneficial compound in lemongrass is limonene, which helps reduce inflammation and kill bacteria, according to research.

Benefits of Lemongrass Oil

Lemongrass oil has analgesic, antimicrobial, antiseptic, carminative, astringent, antipyretic, fungicidal, bactericidal, and antidepressant properties, making it one of the most versatile and health-promoting essential oils. It works well for:

  • Inflammation – Lemongrass is an analgesic that can help reduce pain and inflammation, which can lead to many chronic diseases. According to a 2005 study by Dr. Sue Chao, lemongrass oil is one of the top six essential oils with anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Hair problems – If you’re struggling with hair loss, oily hair, and other scalp conditions, lemongrass oil may be beneficial as it can help strengthen your hair follicles. Just apply a diluted solution onto your scalp, and then rinse out.
  • Infections – Lemongrass can help kill both internal and external bacterial and fungal infections, such as ringworm and athlete’s foot.  In a 2008 study from the Weber State University in Utah, it was found that out of 91 essential oils tested, lemongrass ranked highest in inhibitory activity against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection.
  • Fever – The antipyretic effect of lemongrass oil helps bring down very high fever, especially when it is beginning to reach dangerous levels.23
  • Digestive issues – A diluted lemongrass mixture helps facilitate nutrient assimilation and boosts the functioning of the digestive system, which is helpful for treating bowel problems and digestive disorders. It also prevents the formation of excessive gas and increases urination, which helps eliminate toxins from the body.

How to Make Lemongrass Oil

Lemongrass oil sold in the market today is made via steam distillation. But if you have lemongrass growing in your backyard, you can easily make this oil by infusing it with another carrier oil. Here’s a simple method:

Materials:

4 to 6 lemongrass stalks
Fine cheesecloth
Mortar and pestle
Carrier oil (Olive, rice bran, grapeseed, or any unscented natural oil)
Two jars
Dark glass container

Procedure:

  1. Get two lemongrass stalks and remove the leaves. Crush the stalks using a mortar and pestle (or any heavy object) to release the oil.
  2. Fill a jar with your carrier oil of choice and put the crushed stalk in it. Leave the jar for two days in a place where it can get plenty of heat and sunshine.
  3. After two days, strain the oil using the cheesecloth and transfer it into another jar. Make sure to press and squeeze the stalks until they’re completely dry.
  4. You may need to repeat the process using fresh new stalks to achieve the desired lemongrass fragrance. Just keep replacing the stalks every two days to increase the oil’s potency.
  5. Once you’ve reached the desired fragrance, transfer the oil into a dark glass container and leave it in a cool, dry and dark place. You can use this oil for a year or more.

How Does Lemongrass Oil Work?

Lemongrass oil is a tonic that influences and helps keep the systems in your body working properly, including the respiratory, digestive, nervous, and excretory systems. It also allows nutrients to be absorbed into the body, which keeps your immune system strong and robust.

Lemongrass oil can be diffused using a vaporizer, inhaled, applied topically, or ingested. To ensure the efficiency of lemongrass oil, you should use it depending on the health condition that you want to improve. For example, if you want to quell stress and anxiety, diffuse the oil using a vaporizer. But if you want to relieve muscle pain or use it to treat infections, it’s better to massage a diluted solution in the affected areas.

For internal health ailments, such as digestive issues, lemongrass oil can be taken internally in a diluted form. However, I do not recommend taking this oil orally without the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider.

Is Lemongrass Oil Safe?

Lemongrass oil is generally safe as long as it is used in small quantities (it is one of the strongest-smelling oils in aromatherapy) and properly blended with a carrier oil. Undiluted lemongrass can actually burn and injure your skin due to its high citral content, so it’s best to mix it with a carrier oil. Some of the best carrier oils you can use with lemongrass oil are basil, palmarosa, vetiver oil, lavender, rose, clary sage, patchouli, ginger, fennel, geranium, sandalwood, and cedarwood.

I advise doing a patch test before applying lemongrass oil on your skin, to see if you have any adverse reactions to this essential oil.

Side Effects of Lemongrass Oil

Skin irritation, discomfort, rashes and a burning sensation are some topical side effects experienced by people with sensitivity to lemongrass oil. Using the oil may also lead to lowered blood glucose, and may have contraindications for people who are taking oral diabetes drugs or antihypertensive medications, as well as those who are diabetic and hypoglycemic.

I do not recommend children, pregnant women, and nursing moms to use lemongrass oil orally. Those with liver or kidney disease and other health conditions should also consult their physician before using lemongrass oil.

Calendula Oil.

Marigold has much value today and in traditional cultures as a homeopathic remedy, but the oil extracted from the flowers, called calendula oil, is not far behind in providing benefits. Learn more about this oil distilled from the petals of the pot marigold or Calendula officinalis, and how you can harness its health and practical everyday uses.

What Is Calendula Oil?

Marigold is a genus of about 15 to 20 species of plants in the Asteraceae family. This flower is native to Southwestern Asia, as well as Western Europe and the Mediterranean. The common name “marigold” refers to the Virgin Mary, to which it is associated in the 17th century.

Apart from being used to honor the Virgin Mary during Catholic events, marigold was also considered by ancient Egyptians to have rejuvenating properties. Hindus used the flowers to adorn statues of gods in their temples, as well as to color their food, fabrics, and cosmetics.

Pot marigold or C. Officinalis is the most commonly cultivated and used species and is the source of the herbal oil. “Calendula” comes from the Latin word “calendar,” meaning “little calendar,” because the flower blooms on the calends or the first of most months. It should not be confused with ornamental marigolds of the Tagetes genus, commonly grown in vegetable gardens.

Calendula, with fiery red and yellow petals, is full of flavonoids, which are found naturally in vegetables and fruits and are substances that give plants their lovely bright colors.

Calendula oil is distilled from the flower tops and is quite sticky and viscous. It has a very strange smell described as musky, woody, and even rotten – like the marigold flowers themselves. This smell does not readily appeal to many individuals, even in when used in a remedy.

Uses of Calendula Oil

Here are three classifications of calendula plant and oil uses:

  1. Health and wellness – It has tonic, sudorific, emmenagogic, and antispasmodic properties, but it is mainly used for skin care and treatment. It has great anti-inflammatory and vulnerary action, making it helpful for stubborn wounds, acne, ulcers, bed sores, varicose veins, rashes, eczema, and related conditions. It addresses sore, inflamed, and itchy skin conditions.Calendula massage oil also greatly heals, soothes, and softens skin, making it a good addition to massage oils or when preparing a carrier oil blend.
  2. Cooking – Since the Middle Ages, the petals of marigold have been used as “the poor man’s saffron” for coloring cheeses, butter, and dishes. During the Elizabethan era, both petals and leaves were used in salads, although the latter showed to be very strong. The petals flavored soups and stews.
  3. Practical uses – Marigold has been used as a dye. Dried petals can also be added in potpourris.

Composition of Calendula Oil

In a study, calendula oil was obtained in low yield (0.3 percent) by steam distillation with cohabitation from flowers and whole plants. Identified by the researchers were 66 components, mainly sesquiterpene alcohols. α-cadinol was the main constituent, about 25 percent. The essential oil from the whole plant was found different from that of the flowers through the presence of monoterpenes hydrocarbons aside from the alcohols.

The principal constitutes of calendula essential oil are flavonoids, saponoside, triterpene alcohol, and a bitter principle. The useful components of calendula itself include a volatile oil, carotenoids, flavonoids, mucilage, resin, polysaccharides, aromatic plant acids, saponins, glycosides, and sterols.

Benefits of Calendula Oil

Calendula oil is traditionally used for abdominal cramps and constipation. It’s your skin that will receive a good bulk of the benefits, thanks to the oil’s anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and related properties. Here are some of the promoted benefits of this oil:

  1. Skin dryness or chapping – Calendula oil is a great moisturizer for dry skin and for severely chapped or split skin. It soothes the area and reduces the pain.
  2. Inflammation – It works well on swelling sprained muscles or bruises; its anti-inflammatory action helps lessen swelling from injury. Calendula oil also helps treat spider veins, varicose veins, leg ulcers, and chilblains.
  3. Baby care – The oil helps relief diaper rashes, which can extremely irritate an infant.
  4. Minor cuts and wounds – The antiseptic and antimicrobial action of the oil help speed up healing of wounds and minor cuts, and also benefit insect bites, acne, and bed sores.
  5. Skin issues – Eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, and other skin problems can be soothed using calendula oil, applied topically. Calendula oil’s antifungal action is also great for treating athlete’s foot, ringworm, and jock itch.

How to Make Calendula Oil

Calendula oil is extracted by steam distillation. There is almost no way to obtain 100 percent pure calendula essential oil, so this makes calendula essential oil an infusion and not a pure extract. In order to get the oil from the flower, the petals are steeped in oil, preferably olive oil. The oil left over when distillation is done is calendula oil, which should be a golden orange color.

You can create homemade calendula oil using the following instructions:

What you will need:

  • Dried calendula petals
  • Carrier oil (olive oil, almond oil, or sunflower oil are some great options)
  • A clean glass jar with a lid

There are two methods to infuse the oil:

  • Cold infusion method – This is the usually preferred techniques because it protects the delicate calendula from heat damage.
    1. Put your desired amount of dried calendula petals in a clean, dry glass jar.
    2. Fill the jar with your carrier oil of choice to cover the petals by an inch.
    3. Put in a sunny place to infuse for four weeks.
    4. Drain the petals from the oil and store the oil in a container with a lid for up to one year.
  • Hot infusion method – This method is much quicker than the cold infusion method but won’t have the same strength because of the presence of heat.
    1. Put your desired amount of dried calendula petals in a clean, dry glass jar.
    2. Fill the jar with your carrier oil of choice to cover the petals by an inch.
    3. Dump the entire contents of the jar (the petals and the oil) in a small saucepan or slow cookers. Heat on low for four hours, stirring occasionally.
    4. Let cool. Drain the petals from the oil and store the oil in a container with a lid for up to one year.

You can use the homemade calendula oil as an after-bath body oil, salve, baby oil, lotion, or home remedy for dry skin, inflamed areas, or rashes.

How Does Calendula Oil Work?

Calendula oil is used in various products, oftentimes as a great base for lotions, salves, creams, several natural cosmetics and personal care products, and herbal ointments. It also very commonly works as a base oil in aromatherapy. Furthermore, you can use calendula oil in an all-natural herbal hair color recipe.

You can create an infused oil by filling a jar with the dried flowers, which you cover with a carrier oil. You can get more out of these flowers by macerating the mixture in a blender. Leave it infused for two weeks or more to extract the flowers’ beneficial properties. When ready to use, filter the oil through cheesecloth, and use it directly in a balm or as part of a homemade cream or lotion.

Is Calendula Oil Safe?

Calendula oil is generally safe for use, but I advise you to heed the following safety guidelines and considerations:

  1. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should generally avoid using calendula oil. Do not take calendula by mouth, as there is a concern that it might cause a miscarriage. Avoid topical use as well.
  2. An allergic reaction may occur in individuals who are sensitivity to ragweed and related plants, such as marigolds, chrysanthemums, and daisies. Before using calendula oil, check with your doctor if you have allergies.
  3. Combined with medications used during and after surgery, calendula use might cause too much drowsiness and should be stopped at least two weeks before surgery.

Side Effects of Calendula Oil

If you are not pregnant, nursing, allergic, or about to undergo surgery, you can use calendula oil with likely no side effect. It is best, however, to consult your healthcare provider, especially for therapeutic use.

Remember, though, that sedative medications or CNS depressants interact with calendula. The plant extract might cause sleepiness and drowsiness, and taking it with sedative drugs might result in excess sleepiness. Some sedative drugs include clonazepam, (Klonopin), phenobarbital (Donnatal), and zolpidem (Ambien). I advise you to also explore safe, natural ways to get a good night’s sleep.

What is Aromatherapy?

What is aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from plants for healing. Although the word “aroma” makes it sound as if the oils are inhaled, they can also be massaged into the skin or — rarely — taken by mouth. You should never take essential oils by mouth without specific instruction from a trained and qualified specialist. Whether inhaled or applied to the skin, essential oils are gaining new attention as an alternative treatment for infections, stress, and other health problems. However, in most cases scientific evidence is still lacking.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are concentrated extracts taken from the roots, leaves, seeds, or blossoms of plants. Each contains its own mix of active ingredients, and this mix determines what the oil is used for. Some oils are used to promote physical healing — for example, to treat swelling or fungal infections. Others are used for their emotional value — they may enhance relaxation or make a room smell pleasant. Orange blossom oil, for example, contains a large amount of an active ingredient that is thought to be calming.
What is the history of aromatherapy?
Essential oils have been used for therapeutic purposes for nearly 6,000 years. The ancient Chinese, Indians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used them in cosmetics, perfumes, and drugs. Essential oils were also commonly used for spiritual, therapeutic, hygienic, and ritualistic purposes.
More recently, René-Maurice Gattefossé, a French chemist, discovered the healing properties of lavender oil when he applied it to a burn on his hand caused by an explosion in his laboratory. He then started to analyze the chemical properties of essential oils and how they were used to treat burns, skin infections, gangrene, and wounds in soldiers during World War I. In 1928, Gattefossé founded the science of aromatherapy. By the 1950s massage therapists, beauticians, nurses, physiotherapists, doctors, and other healthcare providers began using aromatherapy.
Aromatherapy did not become popular in the United States until the 1980s. Today, many lotions, candles, and beauty products are sold as “aromatherapy.” However, many of these products contain synthetic fragrances that do not have the same properties as essential oils.
How does aromatherapy work?
Researchers are not entirely clear how aromatherapy may work. Some experts believe our sense of smell may play a role. The “smell” receptors in your nose communicate with parts of your brain (the amygdala and hippocampus) that serve as storehouses for emotions and memories. When you breathe in essential oil molecules, some researchers believe they stimulate these parts of your brain and influence physical, emotional, and mental health. For example, scientists believe lavender stimulates the activity of brain cells in the amygdala similar to the way some sedative medications work. Other researchers think that molecules from essential oils may interact in the blood with hormones or enzymes.
Aromatherapy massage is a popular way of using essential oils because it works in several ways at the same time. Your skin absorbs essential oils and you also breathe them in. Plus, you experience the physical therapy of the massage itself.
What happens during an aromatherapy session?
Professional aromatherapists, nurses, physical therapists, pharmacists, and massage therapists can provide topical or inhaled aromatherapy treatment. Only specially trained professionals can provide treatment that involves taking essential oils by mouth.
At an aromatherapy session, the practitioner will ask about your medical history and symptoms, as well any scents you may like. You may be directed to breathe in essential oils directly from a piece of cloth or indirectly through steam inhalations, vaporizers, or sprays. The practitioner may also apply diluted essential oils to your skin during a massage. In most cases, the practitioner will tell you how to use aromatherapy at home, by mixing essential oils into your bath, for example.
What is aromatherapy good for?
Aromatherapy is used in a wide range of settings — from health spas to hospitals — to treat a variety of conditions. In general, it seems to relieve pain, improve mood, and promote a sense of relaxation. In fact, several essential oils — including lavender, rose, orange, bergamot, lemon, sandalwood, and others — have been shown to relieve anxiety, stress, and depression.
Several clinical studies suggest that when essential oils (particularly rose, lavender, and frankincense) were used by qualified midwives, pregnant women felt less anxiety and fear, had a stronger sense of well-being and had less need for pain medications during delivery. Many women also report that peppermint oil relieves nausea and vomiting during labor.
Massage therapy with essential oils (combined with medications or therapy) may benefit people with depression. The scents are thought by some to stimulate positive emotions in the area of the brain responsible for memories and emotions, but the benefits seem to be related to relaxation caused by the scents and the massage. A person’s belief that the treatment will help also influences whether it works.
In one study, Neroli oil helped reduce blood pressure and pre-procedure anxiety among people undergoing a colonoscopy.
In test tubes, chemical compounds from some essential oils have shown antibacterial and antifungal properties. Some evidence also suggests that citrus oils may strengthen the immune system and that peppermint oil may help with digestion. Fennel, aniseed, sage, and clary sage have estrogens-like compounds, which may help relieve symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and menopause. However, human studies are lacking.
Other conditions for which aromatherapy may be helpful include:
  • Alopecia areata (hair loss)
  • Agitation, possibly including agitation related to dementia
  • Anxiety
  • Constipation (with abdominal massage using aromatherapy)
  • Insomnia
  • Pain: Studies have found that people with rheumatoid arthritis, cancer (using topical chamomile), and headaches (using topical peppermint) require fewer pain medications when they use aromatherapy
  • Itching, a common side effect for those receiving dialysis
  • Psoriasis
Should anyone avoid aromatherapy?
Pregnant women, people with severe asthma, and people with a history of allergies should only use essential oils under the guidance of a trained professional and with full knowledge of your physician.
Pregnant women and people with a history of seizures should avoid hyssop oil.
People with high blood pressure should avoid stimulating essential oils, such as rosemary and spike lavender.
People with estrogen-dependent tumors (such as breast or ovarian cancer) should not use oils with estrogens like compounds such as fennel, aniseed, sage, and clary sage.
People receiving chemotherapy should talk to their doctor before trying aromatherapy.
Is there anything I should watch out for?
Most topical and inhaled essential oils are generally considered safe. You should never take essential oils by mouth unless you are under the supervision of a trained professional. Some oils are toxic, and taking them by mouth could be fatal.
Rarely, aromatherapy can induce side effects, such as rash, asthma, headache, liver and nerve damage, as well as harm to a fetus.
Oils that are high in phenols, such as cinnamon, can irritate the skin. Add water or a base massage oil (such as almond or sesame oil) to the essential oil before applying to your skin. Avoid using near your eyes.
Essential oils are highly volatile and flammable so they should never be used near an open flame.
Animal studies suggest that active ingredients in certain essential oils may interact with some medications. Researchers don’t know if they have the same effect in humans. Eucalyptus, for example, may cause certain medications, including pentobarbital (used for seizures) and amphetamine (used for narcolepsy and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) to be less effective.
How can I find an aromatherapist?
While there are currently no boards that certify or license aromatherapists in the United States, many professionals are members of professional organizations. To locate a qualified aromatherapist in your area, contact the National Association of Holistic Therapy at www.naha.org. Many aromatherapists are trained in some other form of therapy or healing system, such as massage or chiropractic, and include aromatherapy in their practice.
What is the future of aromatherapy?
Although essential oils have been used for centuries, few studies have looked the safety and effectiveness of aromatherapy in people. Scientific evidence is lacking, and there are some concerns about the safety and quality of certain essential oils. More research is needed before aromatherapy becomes a widely accepted alternative remedy.

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Understanding Herbal Hair Care.

People have been using herbs for their hair care and, over and again, they form vital ingredients of many shampoos, conditioners as well as rinses. As far as hair care is concerned, rosemary is the herb that is highly valued and has the repute of being an excellent common conditioner which makes the hair glossy, silky, aromatic and somewhat darker. In fact, there are two more herbs, sage, and chamomile, which have also been prized highly over the centuries. While sage is valued in the form of a hair conditioner and darkener, it is believed that chamomile possesses the aptitude to make fair hair brighter and, at the same time, make all types of hair softer. In addition, the golden flowers of mullein are also thought to exaggerate blond highlights.

Traditionally, it has been claimed that parsley helps to make the hair dense as well as enhance its color. Similarly, the herb called southernwood augments hair growth, while the burdock roots regulate dandruff and the herb stinging nettle works as an excellent conditioner while also assisting in curing dandruff. Precisely speaking, there are numerous herbs right from kelp to yarrow that is believed to help in arresting hair loss and, simultaneously, encourage hair growth. However, it is unfortunate that there is no herb that has been scientifically proved to be effective in hair care. There are some more herbs which just help to make the hair pleasantly fragrant.

Like in the instance of preparing cosmetic formulations using herbs, the recipes discussed in this article are just the preliminary ideas intended to illustrate the manner in which you are able to use herbs to prepare hair care products. In fact, it is advisable that you should try and experiment to discover the most excellent combination of herbal constituents to prepare the most suitable hair care product for you. All the ingredients mentioned in this article are either familiar plants or domestic items.

It is worth mentioning here that the state of your hair is considered to be an excellent sign of your overall health as well as nourishment. When an individual is exhausted and shabby and also ailing or miserable, his or her hair is likely to be devoid of its shine. In addition, various aspects, such as the sun, the wind, chlorine, chemical treatment of hair as well as hormonal changes also have the potential to have an effect on the health of your hair. It needs to be underlined that a nutritious diet is necessary for attractive hair and, hence, you need to ensure that your diet comprises lots of vitamin A, vitamin B, essential minerals like iron, calcium, zinc, iodine, silica. In addition, you also need to intake appropriate amounts of essential fatty acids and proteins.

Moreover, the type of shampoo you are using is vital. Several commercially available shampoos mainly comprise alkaline detergents that eliminate the natural oils from your hair as well as scalp. It is advisable that you should not wash your hair too often since this may stimulate the scalp excessively and, thereby, augment the hair’s oiliness. It is preferable that you opt for a natural bristle brush because using nylon brushes actually harm the hair and results in the splitting of the hair ends.

Shampoos:

There are numerous herbs that make excellent natural shampoos, which nourish your hair and make it healthier. Some of the herbal shampoos that you may prepare yourself at home are bouncing bet natural shampoo, herbal Castile shampoo and quick herbal shampoo. The recipes for these are given in brief below.

BOUNCING BET NATURAL SHAMPOO

As the herb bouncing bet forms foams, it is often referred to as the soapwort. In the event it is available, you may also replace bouncing bet with more leathery dried root of bouncing bet. In order to get a variation, you may also substitute chamomile with rosemary, lavender, southernwood or even sage to get a darker hair complexion. You should use more of this shampoo prepared with indigenous herbs and should expect to see a lesser amount of lather compared to the commercially available shampoos. It may be noted here that unadulterated quality borax is commercially available in your neighborhood drugstore.

  • Three tablespoonfuls of dehydrated bouncing bet herb
  • One teaspoon of unadulterated quality borax
  • One-and-a-half tablespoonful of dehydrated flowers of chamomile
  • Two cups of steaming water

To prepare the bouncing bet natural shampoo, you need to put all the above-mentioned ingredients – bouncing bet herb, borax and dried chamomile flowers in a jar that is heat proof or any other container which can be sealed firmly. Add two cups of boiling water to these ingredients and stir it thoroughly. Allow the mixture to permeate, cover the container loosely till the solution becomes cool. Subsequently, cover the container tightly and shake the mixture thoroughly. Allow the mixture to hold for a couple of days and keep shaking it at intervals of once every few hours. Next, filter the liquid and apply it on your hair when necessary.

HERBAL CASTILE SHAMPOO

This natural shampoo is prepared to form castile soap which is based on olive oil. This is one herbal shampoo that creates as much lather as any other shampoo sold commercially and also cleanses thoroughly, washes off without any difficulty and is much gentler. Make use of unadulterated castile soap, either in the crumbling or powdered form or even grated from any solid soap bar. It may be noted that generally peppermint or other constituents are incorporated into the liquid Castile soaps. In case you have light hair, you may also use chamomile. Alternately, if the complexion of your hair is dark, you may add sage. You are also at liberty to include one tablespoonful of stinging nettle, southernwood or any other herb that is traditionally used for hair care. Alternately, you may also add any fragrant constituent, for example, orange peel or lemon.

  • Two tablespoonfuls of dried up leaves of rosemary
  • One-fourth cup of dried up flowers of chamomile or one tablespoonful of dehydrated leaves of sage
  • One tablespoonful of dehydrated peppermint
  • Two ounces of castile soap
  • 2 1/4 cups of distilled water
  • Two tablespoonfuls of vodka and three drops of either peppermint or eucalyptus oil

To prepare herbal Castile shampoo, you need to put all the dried herbs mentioned above in a weighty saucepan, pour in the distilled water on them and bring the mixture to boil. Lower the heat after some time and seethe the mixture for about 10 minutes. Subsequently, cover the container and steep the herbs for approximately 30 minutes. Filter the resultant liquid in a mixing bowl; compress the herbs with a view to extracting the entire liquid before throwing them away. Next, place the castile soap in a saucepan and pour in the liquid containing the essence of the herbs. Allow the soap and the herbal brew to bubble over low heat till the entire soap liquefies completely while continuing to stir the mixture using a wooden spoon. Allow the mixture to cool and when it cools completely, it ought to be thin as well as buttery. Now, blend the drops of eucalyptus or peppermint oil with vodka and keep whisking it into the shampoo mixture. Now the shampoo is ready. Pour it into a clean jar and seal it firmly. Place the jar containing the mixture in a warm place and allow it to stand for about four to five days prior to using it.

QUICK HERBAL SHAMPOO

The name of this herbal shampoo is an indication of the fact that it is one herbal shampoo that can be prepared very easily and quickly. All that you need to do to prepare the quick herbal shampoo is to blend a potent infusion of any herb used for hair care with any mild or baby shampoo that is available commercially.

  • one-fourth cup of any baby or any other soft shampoo
  • one-fourth cup of boiling water and one heaped teaspoon of dried up rosemary sage or stinging nettle. Alternately you may also use one tablespoon of dried flowers of chamomile

To prepare this herbal shampoo, add any of the above-mentioned herbs to boiling water and put off the heat after some time. Allow the mixture to steep for about 30 minutes, filter the herbal brew and, subsequently, blend it with the baby or mild shampoo. The quick herbal shampoo is now ready for use.

Conditioners:

A number of hair conditioners, as well as rinses, can be prepared with herbs at home. These conditioners and rinses are effective in nourishing your hair, making it appear healthy and attractive. In addition, they do not have any side effects as the commercially available conditioners and rinses. Some of the common herbal hair conditioners and rinses along with their recipes are discussed in brief below.

HERBAL CONDITIONING OIL

This herbal oil ought to be prepared at least a week before the day you plan to use it because this conditioning oil requires sufficient time for it to soak up all the herbal essences. While preparing this herbal conditioning oil you may feel free to replace any traditionally herb used for hair care or any of the plant oils, for instance, soy, sunflower, jojoba, corn and peanut. In case the scent of the olive oil is not too potent, you may even substitute this oil. However, it is advisable not to use the extremely potently scented sesame oil. When you have already discovered a combination that you prefer most, you may prepare this hair conditioning oil in double or even more quantities and store the additional conditioner in a sealed bottle for use when necessary.

  • One cup of safflower oil
  • Half a cup of dried up flowers of chamomile
  • One-fourth cup of dehydrated leaves of rosemary

To prepare this conditioner, place all the herbs in the top of a double boiler (any utensil having two pots) and pour the oil into it. Heat this mixture of the herbs and safflower oil for about 30 minutes and, subsequently, pour the blend into a jar having a wide opening. Next, wrap the mouth of the jar using a number of muslin layers put in place using a string or a rubber band. Place the jar in a warm place for about a week and keep stirring the mixture each day. When you find that the oil has acquired a distinct herbal fragrance, filter it into a spotless pot.

Depending on the texture and length of your hair, warm approximately one-third or half a cup of the oil over extremely low heat for some minutes. Then drench your hair with hot water and remove the water squeezing your hair. Subsequently, using your fingers spread the tepid oil all over your hair till the hair is completely covered with the oil conditioner. When you have applied the herbal conditioning oil thoroughly to your hair, cover the head using a shower cap or plastic bag and, if required, also pin it up. In order to maintain the oil warm, immerse a heavy towel in hot water, squeeze out the water and cover the damp hot towel firmly over the shower cap or plastic bag. If the towel becomes cool, wet it in hot water again, wring out the water and place it in the same position once more. Treat your hair using this technique for about anything between 20 minutes and 30 minutes. Eventually, shampoo your hair twice.

HERBAL EGG CONDITIONER

Herbal egg conditioner is a somewhat unique herbal hair conditioner, which is made up of herbal oils, egg and honey. This hair conditioner should be used in the manner described in the earlier recipe – the herbal conditioning oil. Alternately, you may just warm this hair conditioner and apply it directly to your hair and allow it to remain for about 15 minutes prior to shampooing.

  • One egg
  • Two teaspoonfuls of lemon juice
  • About two to three drops of rosemary oil
  • One-fourth cup of safflower or any other fine vegetable oil
  • One teaspoonful of honey

To prepare this unique hair conditioner, first add honey and the lemon juice to the egg and whip them together. Next, decant the blend in the top of a double boiler (any utensil comprising two pots) and heat it, while keeping on stirring, till the blend becomes warm as well as creamy. Then allow the mixture to cool and when cooled slowly add the vegetable and rosemary oils to the creamy egg blend and continue to whip it using a whisk to make it combine well. Instead of using rosemary oil and vegetable oil, you may also use one-fourth cup of herbal conditioning oil (see the earlier recipe) to prepare this hair conditioner.

Rinses:

Herbs that have been traditionally used for hair care may be used to prepare effective rinses at home quite easily. These rinses not only nourish and shine your hair but also make it healthy. Besides, they do not result in any side effects like those of the commercially available hair rinses, which are mostly prepared using chemicals. The recipes of some of these herbal rinses are given below.

BLOND HIGHLIGHTING RINSE

In order to obtain the optimum benefits, the blond highlighting rinse should be used on a regular basis and, subsequently, dry your hair in the clear sunlight. Prior to applying this rinse, you need to shampoo and wash your hair using plain water.

  • Two cups of water
  • Two tablespoonfuls of dried out flowers of mullein
  • Half cup of dried flowers of chamomile
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • One tablespoonful of orange flower water

To prepare this rinse, boil the water in a container and then reduce the heat. Add the dry chamomile and mullein flowers to the hot water and keep stirring using a spoon. Seethe the mixture for about 30 minutes and, subsequently, cover the container and allow the herbs to suffuse for many hours or during the night. Filter the resultant liquid, compress the herbs to take out the complete liquid. Next, whip the lemon juice and orange blossom water and add the herbal brew to it. Pour this blond highlighting rinse all over your hair many times. Once you have poured the rinse over your hair, collect the liquid in a bowl and reuse it several times.

DEEPENING RINSE FOR DARK HAIR

The deepening rinse for dark hair ought to be used in the form of a final wash following shampooing as well as rinsing properly using plain water.

  • Two cups of boiling water
  • One-fourth cup of dehydrated leaves of the herb sage
  • Two tablespoonfuls of dried up leaves of rosemary
  • Two tea bags of any common beverage tea
  • One tablespoonful of dried up stinging nettles

To prepare the deepening rinse for dark hair, you need to add water to the tea bags and suffuse them in a covered container for about 15 minutes. Subsequently, take the bags out and compress them to bring out the entire liquid. Heat the tea once again till it comes to a boil. Next, pour the tea over the dried herbs, cover the container and allow the herbs to soak in the tea for approximately 30 minutes to an hour. Filter the resultant liquid and pour it over your hair many times using it as a rinse. Once you pour the rinse over your hair, catch it in a bowl and reuse it several times.

HERBAL VINEGAR RINSE

The herbal vinegar hair rinses assists in bringing back the natural acid balance of the hair and, at the same time, facilitates in getting rid of the insipid morsels of soap. While the herb bergamot is best for preparing this hair rinse, you may also substitute it with any other aromatic herb belonging to the mint family if bergamot is not available. As a substitute, you may use herbs like peppermint or basil.

  • One-fourth cup of dried up bergamot
  • One-fourth cup of dehydrated leaves of rosemary
  • Two cups of clear cider vinegar

To prepare herbal vinegar rinse, place the dried herbs mentioned above in a jar with a wide opening. Next, heat the clear cider vinegar till it is on the verge of boiling and pour it on the herbs. When the vinegar cools down, cover the jar tightly. In case the jar has a metal lid, you should screw it using a few layers of plastic cover below the lid to ensure that the acidic vinegar does not react with the metallic lid of the jar. Allow the mixture to stand in a tepid place for about a week. In the meantime, shake the mixture thoroughly each day. Make use of a refined cheesecloth in a funnel to filter the vinegar containing the herbal essence in a bottle and cover it tightly. In order to use this herbal vinegar rinse, you may dilute the rinse by adding two to three cups of tepid water and pour the liquid over your hair once or twice in the form of a final rinse.

QUICK HERBAL RINSE

You may use any herb that has been traditionally used for hair care to prepare an infusion, which may be used in the form of a quick rinse. Allow the infusion to cool down to become tepid prior to using the rinse.

  • Two cups of boiling water
  • One or two tablespoonfuls of dehydrated rosemary, sage or even stinging nettle

Add the herbs to boiling water and put off the heat after some time. Let the mixture to suffuse for about 15 minutes and, subsequently, filter the resultant liquid and use it in the form of a hair rinse.

FLAXSEED SETTING LOTION

Flaxseed setting lotion helps in the growth of hair and makes it thick and healthy. The ingredients required to prepare this herbal hair setting lotion include a one-third cup of flaxseeds and one cup (250 ml) of water.

To prepare this flaxseed setting lotion, you need to squash the flaxseed using a spoon. Boil the water in a saucepan and, subsequently, lower the heat and whip the flaxseeds into the seething water. Use one teaspoon of flaxseed at one time and continue the process till the mixture becomes thick. Next, filter the seeds and dilute the mixture to the consistency level desired by you.

4 Complexion Garden Beauty Recipes.

Soothing Cucumber Splash
Makes 8 ounces
This splash has a cool scent that will lift your spirits and tone your skin. Cucumber juice is a natural astringent that also is cleansing and refreshing. It can be used all over your body and works wonders to soothe a sunburn.
1 medium cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup witch hazel extract
1/4 cup distilled water
1 teaspoon aloe vera gel
1. In a blender, process cucumber into a smooth puree and strain.
2. Mix cucumber juice with remaining ingredients and stir well. Pour into a clean spray bottle.
3. To use: Spray onto clean skin after bathing or whenever your skin could use a boost. It can spoil easily, so store in the refrigerator between uses.
Relaxing Lavender Bath
Makes 12 ounces
For easy cleanup [and to preserve your plumbing}, tie your mixture in a bit of cotton fabric {or use a tea ball}. Relax and enjoy.
1 cup lavender flowers, dried
2 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup baking soda
1. Place all ingredients in food processor or blender.
2. Grind to smooth, fine powder the consistency of whole-grain flour. Pour into clean, airtight container.
To use: Pour 1/2 cup into your bath as you fill the tub or place inside a metal tea ball or piece of cotton fabric.
Herbal Body Scrub
Makes 16 ounces
Salt scrubs have been used since ancient times. This recipe combines exfoliation, moisturization and light massage, plus the benefits of your favorite garden herbs.
2 cups sea salt or kosher salt
1 cup sunflower oil
1 teaspoon vitamin E oil
2 tablespoons chopped herbs OR 1 tablespoon dried herbs {use parsley, mint, lavender or a combination}
1 to 2 drops lavender essential oil {optional}
1. Mix together all ingredients and pour into the clean jar with a tight-fitting lid.
2. To use: While standing in the tub or shower, take a handful of the scrub and, starting with your feet, gently massage into skin. {Be careful; the oil will make them very slippery.} Massage salt all over the body, rinses with warm water and pat dry. Do not use soap or other cleansers, to preserve the moisturizing effect. Store any leftover scrub in a cool, dry place.
Pineapple Sage Facial Mask
Makes 2 ounces
Pineapple sage adds a fresh, uplifting scent. The oatmeal and honey rid your pores of any surface impurities and the egg white is astringent. If you have very dry skin, you can add a teaspoon of olive oil.
1/2 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon fresh pineapple sage leaves {or any sage variety}
3 tablespoons oatmeal
2 tablespoons honey
1 egg white
1. Pour boiling water over sage leaves and allow to cool completely.
2. Strain and pour the sage liquid over oatmeal, honey and egg white. Mix well until creamy and smooth.
3. To use; Spread mask on face and neck; let sit 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse well with warm water and pat skin dry. Follow with moisturizer. Store leftover masks in the refrigerator.