Enchanting Tea – For Body and Soul.

Wake Up Skin and Hair with Refreshing Tea.

The tea plant {Camellia sinensis} has been used for more than 4,000 years to treat the body, mind, and spirit. According to legend, the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung was boiling water when a windstorm blew leaves from a nearby shrub into his pot. The aroma so captivated him, he decided to taste the mixture, possibly the first cup of tea brewed.
Tea has been valued by societies throughout history, around the world. In colonial America, tea became so synonymous with quality of life that colonists used it to make political statements, such as the Boston Tea Party in 1773.
Although “tea” technically refers to the tea shrub, C. Sinensis, today the term also is used to describe a variety of aromatic plants brewed into health tonics and refreshing drinks.
Because tea is a powerful antioxidant, it also has become a key ingredient in the natural skin- and hair-care products. Japanese research has shown tea to be effective against free radicals, which cause our bodies to age. Tea also offers beauty benefits: You can use it to cleanse skin, soothe sunburn, highlight hair, relax muscles and calm puffy eyes. Here are some of my favorite ways to apply tea’s rejuvenating powers to skin and hair.

Green Tea Soother

Makes 4 ounces
Green tea will tighten pores, calm sensitive skin and provide anti-aging benefits when used regularly. This recipe is ideal for soothing troubled or sunburned skin.
1/2 cup distilled water
2 teaspoons green tea leaves
1. Bring water to a boil.
2. Place tea leaves in a clean glass or ceramic bowl.
3. Pour boiling water over leaves and steep for 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Strain tea leaves and allows for cooling. Apply with a clean cotton ball. Do not rinse off.

English Tea Astringent

Makes 4 ounces
In England, tea is much more than just a popular beverage; it is part of the culture and has become an important part of the beauty scene.
Try this mild astringent toner to keep your complexion clean, smooth and glowing.
1/4 cup boiling water
2 tea bags of your choice {green, orange pekoe, Earl Grey and jasmine are nice}
1/4 cup witch hazel extract
1. Pour boiling water over tea bags. Steep at least 1 hour to make a strong infusion.
2. Combine cooled tea with witch hazel. Stir mixture well; pour into a clean bottle. Apply to skin with a cotton ball or pad.

Herbal Tub Tea

Makes 2-4 ounces; enough for one bath.
Nothing could be easier than creating a bath from your favorite herbal tea blend. Simply fill a large tea ball or muslin bag with a few chosen herbs, hang it under your bath spout and lie back! This Herbal Tub Tea also makes a great gift; just fill a china cup with a muslin bag of tea herbs tied with a gorgeous bow.
Large tea ball, muslin sack or square of cheesecloth
1/4 cup dried herbs or 1/2 cup fresh herbs
Suggested Blends:
Stimulating-rosemary, lavender, mint
Relaxing-chamomile, elder flower, angelica
Refreshing-basil, lemon balm, mint
Invigorating-raspberry leaves, bay leaves, mugwort
Cleansing-sage, thyme, lemon verbena
1. Fill the container with desired herbs; use either a blend of your choice or individual herbs.
2. Hang tea-filled container under the spout as you run your bath, letting the water flow through it. Gently squeeze tea bag or allow tea ball to float in the water as you bathe.

Mint Tea Scalp Toner

Makes 8 ounces
Use this stimulating toner after shampooing to help keep your scalp healthy and clean. Or, fill a small spray bottle with this toner and spritz it onto your hair for a refreshing, pick-me-up anytime throughout the day.
1/4 cup mint tea OR 3 to 4 tea bags
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup witch hazel
1. Steep tea in boiling water 5 to 10 minutes, or until tea is strong.
2. Cool completely. Strain out all leaves or remove bags. Stir in witch hazel.
3. To use, massage a small amount into your scalp after shampooing to increase circulation and stimulate your scalp.

German Chamomile Tea Soother

Makes 8 ounces
Chamomile has many healing properties, including anti-inflammatory and disinfectant abilities. Use this recipe to soothe chapped or sunburned skin.
2 tablespoons dried chamomile flowers OR 2 chamomile tea bags
1 cup boiling water
1. Steep tea in boiling water until cool. Strain out all solids and pour into a clean container.
2. To use, apply to skin with a clean cotton pad, or spray on skin.

Highlighting Herbal Hair Rinses

Makes 16 ounces; enough for one to two treatments.
You can use herbal “teas” to make natural hair rinses for adding color highlights to hair. These rinses work gradually; the longer you use them, the more dramatic the results. After shampooing, try one of the following herbal rinses: 1} chamomile to lighten fair hair; 2} sage to darken hair, or 3} hibiscus to add red highlights.
2 tablespoons dried herbs OR 1/4 cup fresh herbs
2 cups boiling water
1. Steep herbs in boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes. Start with the shorter steeping time. You can lengthen the steeping time of future treatments if you decide you want more color.
2. Strain. Allow liquid to cool before use.

Sweet Feet

Makes 80 ounces; enough for a one-foot bath.
To keep your feet smelling their best, try a foot soak in natural tea. Soaking your feet in black tea will help reduce foot odor because tea is naturally astringent. It also can help reduce perspiration. The tannic acid in the tea changes the skin’s pH level, making it unfriendly to odor-causing bacteria.
2 black tea bags
2 cups boiling water
2 quarts cool water
1. Make a very strong tea by steeping tea bags in boiling water for at least 15 minutes.
2. Fill a large bowl or plastic pan with cool water; stir in tea solution.
3. Soak feet for 20 to 30 minutes. Repeat treatment daily for about a week; you should notice a decrease in foot odor.

 Beauty in the Bag

Tea bags are ideal for making scented baths, toners, sprays, and oils, as you do not have to strain out any leaves. A wide variety of blends, from traditional English teas to exotic herbal teas, are packaged and sold in bags. You also can purchase small kits to make your own tea bags for garden herbs.

 Terrific Tea Tips

Try these six easy ways to look and feel your best with tea:
1. Reduce under-eye puffiness by placing two cool tea bags over each eye; relax for 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Soothe an insect bite or cut by placing a green tea bag over the affected area. The tea will reduce itching and swelling.
3. For a bad sunburn, try a tea bath. Hang four or five oolong, jasmine or green tea bags under your bath spout as you fill your tub. Soak in the fragrant, warm water.
4. If you use henna to color your hair, use tea instead of water when mixing your paste for a richer color. Try black or Ceylon tea if you are a brunette, use chamomile if you are blonde.
5. Use herbal tea blends as simple skin fresheners and toners. Make a strong infusion and pour into a clean spray bottle. Mint tea has an uplifting fragrance.
6. A great way to relax or practice simple meditation is with a cup of tea. Start your day with a cup, or take a tea break to refocus during hectic times.

Good Night Beauty Regime.

A good night’s sleep is an essential part of your beauty regimen and does more for your good looks than the best balm or treatment. While you sleep, blood continuously replenishes your skin, giving it a rosy glow. A well-rested complexion is also less prone to breakouts. Of course, night time is also the right time to treat your body to some extra conditioning and moisture.
Here are a few recipes to try that you can use right before you get in bed.
Night Time Lotion
This rich lotion is packed with oils and vitamins. Massage it into your body and face before going to bed at night and you’ll wake up with soft, smooth skin that looks and feels amazing. Make sure to remove any jewelry and wash your skin before applying it.
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup distilled water
1 tablespoon vitamin E oil
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 teaspoon wheat germ oil
1 tablespoon grated beeswax
In a glass container, dissolve baking soda in the water and set aside.
In a small saucepan or microwave-safe dish, mix the oils and wax together and heat gently {use the stove-top or microwave} until wax is melted. Heat the soda-water mixture but do not boil and then pour it into a blender. Blend on slow speed, slowly adding the oil-wax mixture in a steady stream. Mix well and transfer to a heat-resistant container. Allow the mixture to cool. {The lotion will thicken as it cools.} Yield: 6 ounces
Lullaby Massage Oil
With lavender and chamomile in the mix, this massage oil is the perfect cure for a bad case of insomnia. The almond oil conditions skin.
1 tablespoon dried chamomile flowers
1/2 cup sweet almond oil
5 drops essential oil of Lavender
Place chamomile flowers in a small saucepan and pour the almond oil over them. Gently warm the oil for a few minutes, but do not boil. Allow the oil to cool; then strain out the flowers. Add the lavender essential oil and pour into a clean bottle. To use: Slowly massage a small amount onto dry skin or tired muscles. Yield: 4 ounces
Relaxing Lavender Bath
This is the perfect herbal bath to ease your mind and body after a full day. Along with lavender, it contains oatmeal and baking soda to soothe dry, sensitive skin. Substitute dried chamomile for the lavender in this recipe if you prefer.
1 cup dried lavender flowers
2 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup baking soda
In a blender or food processor combine all ingredients and process until you have a smooth, fine powder. To use: Pour 1/2 cup into your bath as you fill the tub. Yield: 28 ounces
Eye Rest Pillows
These pretty silk pillows are simple to make and offer an effective way to ease eye strain and relax at the end of the day. You can find flax seeds at most grocery and natural food stores. If you can’t find silk fabric, try using old scarves.
2 rectangle pieces of silky material, 5″ x 9″
1 cup flaxseeds
1 tablespoon dried lavender
Stitch the material together to form a small sack, and fill it with flax seeds and lavender. Stitch the remaining end closed. To use: Lie down with the pillow over your eyes. To calm inflamed skin, cool the pillow by placing it in the refrigerator.
Evening Nail Oil
Massage this rich combination of natural oils onto your nails before going to bed to strengthen and condition them. Do this regularly and you’ll see improvements in a few short weeks even with dry, cracked nails. Find liquid lecithin at your local natural food store.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons liquid lecithin
1/4 teaspoon vitamin E oil
Combine all ingredients and mix well. To use: Dab a small amount on your fingers and rub thoroughly into your nails. Yield: 1/2 ounce
Tips for a Good Night’s Rest
 
* Stick to a sleep schedule to keep your biological clock in sync.
* Avoid late dinners.
* Exercise at least four times a week, but avoid workouts close to bedtime.
* Use your bedroom only for sleep, not for surfing the web or work.
* Practice a sleep ritual like a warm bath, reading, or listening to music before going to bed.

How To Apply A Face Mask, Recipes to Get You Started & A Little Bit About Wrinkles!

Woman have used face masks for centuries to clean and tone the skin and give it a glowing vitality. Face masks give their best results if used regularly once a week is not often.
1. To make the process easier, sit or stand in front of a mirror. Cover your shoulders with a clean towel and have a damp washrag or hand towel ready for wiping up any drips.
2. Apply the mask with a clean cotton ball or with your fingers. The mask should cover your face from the hairline to the chin, missing only the area around the eyes.
3. Leave the mask on for 15 minutes the first few times you use it. Later, if your skin is not irritated and you like the mask’s effects, you can slowly increase the time to 30 minutes. To best enjoy the facial mask, lie down, shut your eyes, and relax while the mask is working.
4. When the time is up, remove the mask with your fingers over a basin. If the mask has dried, splash warm water on your face and try again to remove the mask with your fingers. Then use a wet washcloth to remove the last residue of the mask. Finally, splash your face with cool water, pat the skin dry, and apply a toner.
Facial Cleansing Mask.
This simple recipe is aimed at deep cleansing and is especially suited for young faces and the treatment of oily skin.
1 packet dry yeast
3 drops lemon juice
2 teaspoons water
1. In a small bowl, mix the yeast, lemon juice, and water vigorously until thick paste forms. If necessary, add more water to achieve the correct consistency for applying to the face.
2. Pat the mixture on the face, avoiding the eyes. Allow to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse off with warm water. Pat skin dry.
Honey Mask.
The ingredients in this mask would make up a solid breakfast, but they’re nourishing for your skin too!
1/2 cup hot water
10 tablespoons quick oats
1/2 apple, cored but with peel on
2 heaping tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
1 egg white
1. Clean your face thoroughly with any natural cleanser. In a small bowl, stir the oats into the hot water until you have a smooth mixture. Let stand for about 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens to a paste.
2. Put the apple, yogurt, and egg white in a blender or food processor and pulse for 45 seconds just to mix. Now add oatmeal mixture and pulse for 20 seconds more.
3. Apply this mask evenly to the face, avoiding the eyes, and let sit for 15 minutes or until skin feels tight. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and pat skin dry.
Yogurt and Oatmeal Deep-Cleansing Mask.
Imagine!
You can mix up this deep-cleansing face mask for less than a spa-treatment.
Your face and pocketbook will thank you.
1 tablespoon finely ground oatmeal
1 tablespoon yogurt {any kind}
1/2 teaspoon honey
1. Before starting, clean your face thoroughly with any natural cleanser so that you can immediately apply the deep-cleansing facial mixture when it has been stirred together.
2. In a clean bowl, combine the yogurt and oatmeal and mix to a spreadable consistency. In a small glass bowl sitting in a larger bowl of hot water, warm the honey and pour it into the yogurt and oatmeal mixture. Using a spoon, blend the ingredients thoroughly.
3. Immediately apply the mask to your face, avoiding the eyes, and let it stay on for 10 to 15 minutes. Wash  it off with warm water. Pat skin dry and apply a toner and moisturizer to your face.
Green Clay Purifying Face Mask.
Green clay also known as bentonite is the most commonly used clay in face masks. It can absorb large quantities of water. In this mask, it is used to draw out excess sebum and dirt from deep down, making the mask suited to oily complexions. Green clay powder can be purchased online or in health food stores.
Palmarosa is an essential oil available at health food or “new age” shops.
1 teaspoon apricot kernel oil
2 drops palmarosa
1 tablespoon green clay
Warm water
1. Clean your face thoroughly using any natural cleanser. In a small dish, mix the apricot oil and the palmarosa together. Put the green clay in a small bowl and stir in the apricot oil mixture. Add just enough warm water to make a spreadable paste. With your fingers, work the mixture thoroughly to incorporate all the ingredients.
2. Apply the mask immediately, avoiding the eyes. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. As the moisture evaporates, you will feel the mask tighten.
3. Rinse the mask off with warm water, pat skin dry, and follow with an application of toner and then of moisturizer.
One-Minute Substitute: Instant Grape Cleanser for Your Face.
Here’s a sweet way to clean and refresh your skin.
Split 3 or 4 large green or red grapes, remove any seeds and rub the fleshy interior on your face and neck. The grapes condition your skin and reduce dryness, restoring suppleness. Rinse with cool water and gently pat skin dry.

Wrinkles!

A woman has never heard anyone stating that men appear to be prudent as well as eminent when they have wrinkles while women having wrinkles seem to look old. While the baby boomers of the day draw close to middle age, sales of cosmetics are rocketing. The most widespread outlook toward aging in present times is, ‘age elegantly by combating it in each stage of the way’. In fact, you will find that most of the bathroom cabinets are packed with jars, chemical peels, elixirs, and potions that intend to hoodwink Mother Nature. However, it is fateful that wrinkles triumph every time when one tries to conceal them.

It is unfortunate that in spite of our passion and endeavors to wipe out wrinkles, they are a normal feature of the aging process. They occur owing to the slow but steady erosion of the most external skin layer known as epidermis that is made up of lifeless tissue. This part of our skin is replaced by new dead tissue that originates at the base of the lining. In fact, wrinkles form an everlasting aspect of aging skin, as they come from the dermis that lies deeper compared to the epidermis.

The cells in the dermis region of the skin start dying and also shrink in individuals who are over 25 years of age. As a result of this, the suppleness, as well as pliability of the skin, also begins to decline. Any kind of shriveling of the skin tissue in the dermis region results in wrinkles on the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). In addition, as people age, their dermis turns out to be more inflexible. The stretching of the dermis is directly related to developing wrinkles – any increase in the expansion of the dermis results in the development of more wrinkles on the epidermis. And, since our face and the facial muscles are very active, usually there is a significant development of wrinkles in these areas of the body.

In opposition to the well-accepted conviction, dry skin or dehydration is not responsible for developing wrinkles. However, pulling a face (frowning) and narrowing your eyes (squinting) too often do result in the development of wrinkles, as these acts stretch the dermis all the time. In addition, scrubbing your skin using any caustic or harsh substance, a deficient intake of vitamins as well as minerals, smoking, consuming alcoholic beverages, damage caused to the skin due to radiation from exposing oneself to too much sunlight, and even sleeping on your stomach or any side contributes to the development of wrinkles.

Using specific herbal products and dietary supplements may be helpful in preventing the development of new wrinkles. For instance, it has been found that taking a diet that is rich in saturated fat content may make your skin dry. Hence, you should ensure that you take a diet that has low-fat content, but includes lots of fiber. In addition, you should preferably use monounsaturated oils and polyunsaturated oils. Also, ensure that your diet includes essential fatty acids in the way of omega 3 oils. Some of the healthy oils that you may use to avoid wrinkles include corn, sunflower, safflower, olive, sesame, flaxseed, pumpkin seed, canola, hazelnut, and almond.

Moreover, you should also keep away from shortening animal fats, coconut oil and hydrogenated oil. On the contrary, you should take a diet that incorporates plenty of raw vegetable and fruits; whole grains; lean meats, dairy products having low fat; and also drink lots of clean water.

Some of the other essential nutrients that you need to prevent new wrinkles from developing are discussed in brief below.

Vitamin A plus beta-carotene: You should take antioxidants that have the aptitude to diminish the damage to cells. Having an extremely dry skin may possibly be a sign of the fact that you are suffering from a deficiency of vitamin A. Therefore, in a number of instances using cod liver oil that has extremely high vitamin A content on the dehydrated skin areas may provide additional relief compared to the lotions sold commercially. Also, consume lots of sweet potatoes, carrots, and tomatoes, as they provide vitamin A. You may also use dietary supplements in measures that will not cause any harm to your body. Most importantly, consuming lots of carrots, green leafy vegetable, and fresh fruits may help in encouraging as well as sustaining a hale and hearty skin.

B complex vitamins are vital for your skin’s health. It may be noted that formation of cracks as well as a line in the region of the lips may possibly be an indication of the fact that you are suffering from a deficiency of B vitamins. Food products like eggs, chicken as well as whole wheat contain B vitamins and may help in encouraging the health of your skin and make it appear more youthful.

Vitamin C is useful for repairing the connective tissues, which are made up of the skin’s dermis layer.

Vitamin E aids in lessening scratches and blemishes, while helping in repairing the skin. In addition, vitamin E is also effective in alleviating dehydrated as well as rough skin.

Unlike many other types of vitamins, you may directly apply vitamin E to your skin. Most of the vitamin E preparations available commercially do not contain this vitamin in adequate strength and, hence, they do not offer excellent results. Hence, it is advisable that you break open a vitamin E capsule or, alternately, directly apply wheat germ oil.

In addition to these vitamins, you may also apply honey facials as they aid in making the skin softer as well as more elastic. Apply soft, raw honey on your face and allow it to remain for about 15 minutes. Subsequently, wash your face with cold water using a washcloth.

Filter one pint of tea prepared from dehydrated peppermint leaf and add it to one pint of apple cider vinegar. This blend is an excellent facial rinse and is especially recommended for people having dehydrated skin. You may also use watered down myrrh extract, which is believed to be an excellent herbal skin conditioner.

Aloe vera facilitates the healing of damaged skin cells and may be used in the form of a lotion or gel.

Several generations of native Indian Americans have used jojoba oil as a skin conditioner as well as to enhance the quality of their skin. The structure of jojoba oil is akin to the natural sebum present in our skin.

Though the name suggests some kind of earth, Redmond clay is basically a conventional herbal therapy used to tone up the skin.

Comfrey, marshmallow, and Irish moss are herbs that possess the ability to make the skin relax or soothe it. These herbs are known to possess emollient properties and have the aptitude to help in lubricating the dehydrated skin. They may be used in various forms, including wet compresses, rinses after preparing a tea from them, or utilized in a gadget called facial mist machine.

Herbs like witch hazel, lady’s mantle, and marigold are regarded to be natural astringent agents that have the ability to tone as well as invigorate the skin. These herbs may be used to prepare a tea, which is used as a rinse, or also sprayed on the face using a good mist atomizer. In addition, herbs like yarrow, violet, elderflower and chamomile work as excellent cleansers. On the other hand, thyme and lavender possess antiseptic properties and possess the aptitude to refresh the skin.

It is advisable that you may also use herbal ointments and creams enclosing comfrey, marigold, olive oil, peppermint oil and marshmallow, as they are effective in repairing damaged skin.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is effective in diminishing the wrinkles from appearing and also put off development of new wrinkles. In order to achieve this, it is advisable that you use face oil that helps to nourish the skin. Prepare this face oil by adding one drop of rose essential oil plus two drops of helichrysum or immortelle essential oil (commonly called ever last) to approximately 30 grams of the essential oil of rose hip seed. Store this blend in an opaque glass bottle and spread on this mixture to your face each morning, soon after cleansing. This mixture of essential oils has a wonderful aroma and also helps to sustain the moistness of the skin.

In Addition

Besides using commercial cosmetic products, herbal remedies, supplements and aromatherapy, you may do a few more things to prevent the development of wrinkles. Be careful to keep away from exposing yourself to the sun for too long or during the mid-day. In fact, when the new or young skin cells are exposed to sunlight for a prolonged period, they have the same appearance as those of the old skin that has developed wrinkles naturally. You should know that exposing yourself to the sun in an unprotected manner can definitely result in premature aging. The sunlight during midday causes maximum damage to the skin. Therefore, it is advisable that you should take care not to expose yourself to the sun between 10.00 am and 3.00 pm.

Even if it is essential for you to go outdoors during the day, you should use potent sunscreens having an elevated SPF (sun protection factor). You need to apply these sunscreens no less than 30 minutes prior to going out in the sun and you should apply them once more after having a swim. In addition, surfaces that are extremely reflective, for instance, water, concrete, and sand, may result in significant damage by the sun as these surfaces exaggerate the effect of sunlight on the cells of the skin. In addition, tanning booths may also cause as much damage to the skin as sunlight during midday.

In addition, you will benefit by using a good quality moisturizer every day. Although using a moisturizer will not help to stop the formation of wrinkles, it can definitely enhance the skin texture considerably and make it look softer and gleaming. You may also whip the egg white as fine as that of meringue and apply it to your face. Allow it to stay for about 20 minutes and then wash your face. This technique will aid in tightening your skin for the short term – usually, the effect of this endures for just a couple of hours. It is advisable that you use soaps and cleansers that are mild and those that will not dehydrate or remove the oils that aid in maintaining the suppleness of the skin as well as nourishing it. You may use soaps like Neutrogena, which are sufficiently mild and never disturb the skin’s normal balance.

At the same time, you need to practice sleeping on your back, because when you sleep on your stomach or any side, it may result in the development of unusual wrinkles on your face. Similarly, if you squeeze up the pillow and cuddle up your face in it, it is likely that this will crumple the facial tissues and develop unwanted lines.

If you sincerely wish to avoid the formation of wrinkles it is essential that you quit a few bad habits – drinking and smoking tobacco.

It has been noted that people who smoke generally have noticeably more wrinkles compared to those who don’t. In addition, people smoking tobacco also age more prematurely and faster. In effect, smoking reduces the supply of oxygen to the body and this may result in poor blood circulation to the face causing further damage to the epidermis. Moreover, when one is actually smoking, his/ her face contracts in a number of ways and this may also add to the development of wrinkles and creases.

People who want to avoid wrinkles should know that consumption of alcoholic beverages may result in the swelling of the face that causes the skin to expand and, in this way, creates wrinkles. In addition, alcohol may also deprive one’s body of the essential nourishments that encourage the robust functioning of the skin’s cells.

You also need to wear sunglasses and hats in order to put off frowning, straining your eyes and also damage due to the sun’s rays.

In case you are living in a dry climate, you need to use a humidifier in your residence. Although the moisture from the humidifier will not help to stop or treat wrinkles, it may definitely diminish their appearance or other people noticing them.

Ensure that you use facial massages that augment blood circulation and also enhance stimulation. In addition, you should work to maintain the best possible weight. When you have excessive weight or become obese, you may have wrinkles and floppy skin after losing those extra pounds.

Regular exercise helps to improve blood circulation to the cells of the skin and also results in the general improvement of oxygenation. It has been found that the skin of people who undertake regular work-outs in general has an enhanced suppleness and density. In addition, regular exercise adds a healthy radiance to the skin.

In addition, it is recommended that you do mudra and shoulder stand practices in yoga to avoid as well as control the formation of wrinkles.

Practice various relaxation methods to deal with stress. When people are under pressure, they usually frown too much and this results in the development of ugly creases and lines on their face. There is no doubt that people would any day have a preference to laugh lines than unsightly furrows and ridges on their face.

Although the wrinkle creams are usually very expensive, often they do not prove to be worth the claims made by some. Therefore, prior to spending a fortune, it is advisable that you do some homework to evaluate the constituents as well as the proportions of chemical substances present in some wrinkle cream/ ointment brands. A lot of times, the price of a wrinkle cream is based on its brand name instead of its contents.

Other Beneficial Herbs to Consider

  • Amla
  • Acerola
  • Andiroba
  • Avocado
  • Chaga Mushroom
  • Cleavers
  • Evening Primrose
  • Frankincense
  • Maqui
  • Tamanu Nut Oil

A Few Soothing And Nurturing Skin Care Recipes To Tempt You!

Soothing Massage Oil.

1/2 cup safflower or sunflower oil

Dried pot marigold petals

12 drops essential oil of rose geranium

12 drops essential oil of lavender

10 drops essential pine oil or oil of cypress

Place the safflower oil in a glass jar and add as many freshly dried pot marigold petals as possible.

Cap the bottle and place in the sun for 4-5 days. Filter off the petals and squeeze out any retained oil from them before discarding. The oil will now be deep orange and fully charged with the active healing principles of calendula. Mix the other essential oils into the infused oil of marigold, bottle and store in the refrigerator.

Soothing Foot Bath.

This relaxing foot soak will work wonders on your entire body.

Use a large dishpan or kiddie tub if you don’t have a special foot tub.

1 tablespoon sea salt

2 drops lavender essential oil

1 drop rosemary essential oil

1 drop bay essential oil

1 drop geranium essential oil

Rose petals {optional}

1. Fill the soaking pan or tub with enough warm water to cover the feet.

2. Stir in the sea salt until it dissolves. Use your toes to stir, if you wish. Add the essential oils, mixing them well. Float rose petals on the surface.

3. Soak your feet in the basin for 10 minutes, or until the water has cooled off. Pat your feet dry with a towel.

Eucalyptus Foot Lotion.

Use this rich and refreshing foot lotion to follow the *Soothing Foot Bath, or simply to salve sore feet.

1 tablespoon almond oil

1 teaspoon avocado oil

1 teaspoon wheat germ oil

10 drops eucalyptus essential oil

1. Put all the ingredients in a small, sterilized glass bottle with a tight-fitting stopper. Shake the liquid vigorously until it is completely combined.

2. Store the bottle in a cool, dark place. Shake well before using.

Love Your Feet Cream.

Our feet take a lot of abuse.
Here’s a special treatment to apply to dry, cracked feet that will leave them soft and pretty and costs less than a visit to the salon for a pedicure.
1 ounce grated or shaved beeswax
3/4 cup almond oil
1. Place the beeswax and almond oil in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir together until they are blended and the wax has melted. Remove from heat and pour into two 4-ounce sterilized containers with tight tops.
2. Allow mixture to cool before applying to feet. Spread on feet at night before bedtime. Wear a pair of clean cotton socks over the cream. In the morning, your feet will be much softer.

Leg Massage Cream.

Treat yourself to a massage from your knees to your toes with this easy-to-make cream especially for the legs.
3 tablespoons anhydrous {water-free} lanolin
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apricot oil
1. Put all the ingredients together in the nonreactive top of a double boiler over simmering water. Heat and stir with a wooden spoon until the lanolin has liquefied.
2. Pour the mixture into a sterilized 4-ounce jar with a tight-fitting lid and allow to cool. Keep in a cool, dark place.

Strawberry Foot Scrub.

Can’t get to the spa for a luxury treatment for those tired feet?
Work this simple and sweetly scented natural scrub into your feet and feel like a queen.
2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 fresh strawberries
1. Pour salt into a mixing bowl. Add the oil and stir to combine. Remove caps from strawberries and slice or chop them. Add strawberries to the salt and oil mixture and mash with a potato masher or fork. The resulting mixture should be chunky but well blended.
2. Rub this mixture onto your feet, massaging the balls of the feet and the heels. If desired, use a body puff or foot brush. Rinse off and coat feet with a gentle lotion.
Makes enough for one treatment.

Inspiration for Winter Skin {Any Time of the Year}

When the weather is cold and dark, nature still provides us with seasonal herbs to help us look and feel our best. Warm, pungent cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and mace emit a comforting and delicious aroma while evergreens like juniper, fir, and cedar offer a crisp and invigorating breath of fresh air.
Here are a few recipes that incorporate these fragrant herbs.

Rosemary and Juniper Skin-Smoothing Scrub

Grapefruit, rosemary, and juniper essential oils are often used in cellulite-reducing formulas. While I certainly can’t promise that this blend of essential oils will eliminate cellulite, I will say that these herbs are reputed to improve skin tone, promote healthy circulation, and reduce water retention. Pure sea salt has a scrubbing texture that cleanses, purifies, and exfoliates dry winter skin while hazelnut oil moisturizes and tones. Hazelnut also has gentle astringent and skin-toning properties. {If you can’t find hazelnut, jojoba oil is a great substitute}.
1 cup fine sea salt
1/2 cup hazelnut oil
4 drops juniper essential oil
4 drops rosemary essential oil
6 drops grapefruit essential oil
Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly. Place in a wide-mouth plastic jar with a tight lid. To use: Rub gently all over the body. Rinse. Yield: one application.

Deep Forest Detox Bath

Before you get rid of your holiday tree or wreath, consider saving some of the needles to use in this calming bath. This formula is particularly nice if you have needles from the fragrant balsam fir greens, but the scent of most evergreens, such as fir, pine and cedarwood, are calming and helpful for detoxifying. Most of us can use a little post-holiday detox session.
1 cup sea salt
1 handful pine or fir needles {fresh or dried}
5 drops fir essential oil
5 drops cedarwood essential oil
Combine all ingredients and mix well. Store in an airtight plastic or glass container. To use: Tie a generous handful of this mixture into a muslin bag, square of cheesecloth, or an old, thin, washcloth. Draw a warm bath and add the herbal mixture. Soak for at least 20 minutes.

Eastern Spice Body Powder

I discovered the sweet, spicy scent of mace on a trip to my favorite spice shop. Not to be confused with the self-defense spray {originally manufactured under the name “Chemical Mace”}, the herb mace refers to a lace-like outer covering found on nutmeg seeds. It has a softer and sweeter scent than nutmeg, with a delicious hint of spice. The exotic and heady scent is well-suited to massage oils, perfumes, and bath products. Use a small, handheld coffee grinder to powder the dried mace for this recipe. {Mace adds a delicious flavor to coffee, but if you don’t want the two to mix, use a separate grinder.}
2 teaspoons dried mace, ground
1/2 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch
Combine ingredients thoroughly. If you desire a little extra “spice,” add ground cinnamon powder as well. Store the powder in an airtight container. To use: I prefer using a wide-mouth tin or jar and applying the powder with a soft fabric “puff.” However, you can also use a shaker powder or even a salt or cheese shaker to store and apply the powder.

Sweet Spice Milk Bath

This was a recipe I came up with as I was cleaning out my spice cupboard to make room for a batch of fresh new baking spices. The combination of the old spices smelled so divine, I had to create this recipe, and I’ve made it many times since. You can use any combination of spices that you have, but I find this recipe works best when it relies heavily on cinnamon and cloves, with smaller amounts of the other herbs. Milk baths in the winter are soothing and moisturizing to dry, winter skin, and don’t have the mess or slipperiness of a bath oil. I use a non-fat dry milk powder in this recipe because it’s easy to find and fairly inexpensive. If you’d like to make this recipe a bit more luxurious, substitute a full-fat dried milk powder. You can usually find this in the refrigerated section of your health food store.
1/4 cup dried spices, such as cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, and clove
2 cups dried milk powder
 Combine all ingredients; stir well. Store extra milk bath in an airtight container. To use: Add 1/2 cup to a tub full of warm water and soak.

Bath Cookies; Cinnamon Oatmeal Milk Bath; A Scented Bath Powder..

Bath Cookies

If you like experimenting with recipes in the kitchen, you’ll get a real kick out of making these “cookies” for the tub. Bakers will recognize the steps in dough-making, rolling, and baking, but there’s a twist!
Make one batch for yourself and another for friends.
2 cups fine sea salt
1/2 cup cornstarch, plus more for rolling dough
1/2 cup baking soda
1 tablespoon dried, chopped lavender or sage {optional}
2 eggs
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vitamin E oil {if necessary, break open several capsules}
8 drops essential oil or perfume oil of your choosing
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine salt, cornstarch, and baking soda. Stir in chopped herbs, if using. Stir in eggs, vegetable oil, vitamin E oil, and essential oil and keep stirring until you form a dough.
2. Rub cornstarch on a rolling pin and spread some on a work surface. Roll the dough out to about 3/4 inch. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters or a biscuit cutter. Place your “cookies” on an ungreased cookie sheet about 1-inch apart. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool and store in a tight-topped cookie tin in a cool, dry place.
3. When ready to use, place one to two of your bath cookies into the tub as the water runs.

Cinnamon Oatmeal Milk Bath.

Mixing up this pleasantly scented bath will give you a double benefit. You’ll gain as much pleasure making the concoction as you will from soaking in it. The combination of powdered milk, oatmeal, and cornstarch will leave you feeling silky and soft. The cinnamon will gently warm you and offer up a soothing aroma.
1 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup finely ground oatmeal
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and whirl to combine. Transfer into a clean, tightly covered, moisture-proof container, where it will keep indefinitely.

2. Add about 1/2 cup of the Cinnamon Oatmeal Milk Bath to a full tub of warm water and enjoy the soak.

Delicately Scented Bath Powder.

This variation provides a lightly scented powder suitable for adults.
While alum is used as an antiperspirant and deodorant for adults, it is best to use a simple sprinkle of cornstarch on baby’s skin.
2 tablespoons crumbled dried chamomile flowers
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon orris root
1/2 teaspoon alum
1. Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Let stand a few days.

Gypsy Herbal Astringent Lotion.

This wonderful herbal astringent lotion has been hailed as the first herbal product ever produced and marketed. Legend has it that the early Gypsies formulated it and claimed it to be a cure-all. Whether or not it is I hardly know, but I do know that it is an excellent astringent for the face and a great rinse for dark hair.

This Gypsy herbal astringent lotion combines gentle common herbs in a masterful way, it’s easy to make, and it’s a versatile formula that serves many purposes. The Gypsies used it as a hair rinse, mouthwash, headache remedy, aftershave, footbath, and who knows what else! I have seen this formula sold in department stores in exotic little bottles for a fancy price. You can make it for the cost of a few herbs and a bottle of vinegar.

  • 6 parts lemon balm
  • 4 parts chamomile
  • 4 parts roses
  • 3 parts calendula
  • 3 parts comfrey leaf
  • 1 part lemon peel
  • 1 part rosemary
  • 1 part sage
  • Vinegar to cover (apple cider or wine vinegar)
  • Rose water or witch hazel extract
  • Essential oil of lavender or rose (optional)
  1. Place the herbs in a widemouthed jar. Fill the jar with enough vinegar that it rises an inch or two above the herb mixture. Cover tightly and let it sit in a warm spot for 2 to 3 weeks.
  2. Strain out the herbs. To each cup of herbal vinegar, add 2/3 to 1 cup of rose water or witch hazel. Add a drop or two of essential oil, if desired. Rebottle. This product does not need to be refrigerated and will keep indefinitely.
  3.  To use: Pour a small amount of the toner onto a clean cotton ball and rub over your scalp or massage lightly into your scalp after shampooing.

Marshmallow

Althaea Officinalis

Also, Known As:

  • Althaea
  • Marshmallow
  • Mortification Root
  • Sweetweed

Found growing in abundance in moist and wet places all over the world, marshmallow is a perennial aromatic herb that is sometimes found to grow up to four feet in height. While the herb can be found growing in plenty in the wild, it is also cultivated commercially for medicinal use. The root of the plant is white in color and tastes sweet similar to the parsnip (a long tapering cream-colored root cooked and consumed as a vegetable). However, unlike the parsnip, marshmallow roots contain plenty of mucilage (a gummy substance secreted by some plants containing protein and carbohydrates). The plant has numerous branchless stems that are wooly or covered with long, soft, white hairs. The marshmallow stems bear serrate (edged with indentations or with projections that resemble the teeth of a saw) and pubescent (covered with down or fine hair) leaves. The flowers of the herb are approximately two inches in width and they may be found in white, light red or royal purple colors.

Ointment or cream prepared with marshmallow leaves and elder flowers is an excellent remedy to cure facial aching, skin rashes or eruptions, leg ulcers and repulsive-looking wounds more rapidly. To prepare the useful ointment, first gently mash about one gallon of fresh marshmallow leaves and mature flowers each. Next, spread out the mashed leaves and flowers uniformly in a big roast pan and add approximately two-and-one-fourth cups of liquefied lard and one-and-a-half pounds of beeswax. Blend and beat the ingredients systematically with a wooden serving spoon, cover the pan and allow the ingredients to simmer or boil on an oven in 150° F. Continue simmering the ingredients until the herbs are reasonably crunchy and crush when touched. Then drain out the liquid mixture using a wire net strainer and keep on stirring the liquid with a wooden ladle till it is completely cold. Once the mixture has cooled, you may add half a cup of glycerin or 2/3 cup of pulverized slippery elm to preserve the ointment. Next, pour the ointment into clean jars or containers while it is still fairly warm and let it become firm to some extent. Seal the jars with air-tight lids and store the ointment in a cool and dry place till it is required for use.

Parts Used:

Root, leaves, flowers.

Uses:

Researchers over the years have shown that marshmallow has numerous medicinal benefits, particularly in safeguarding and soothing the mucous membranes. The roots of the herb are effective in counteracting additional stomach acid, peptic ulcers as well as gastritis. In addition, marshmallow has moderate laxative (a substance used to promote bowel movements) properties and hence is helpful in healing several problems of the intestines, including colitis, ileitis, irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulitis. Ingesting warm infusion of marshmallow leaves is effectual in curing cystitis as well as frequent urination. The demulcent (soothing irritated or inflamed skin or mucous membranes) properties of marshmallow offer respite from dry coughs, bronchial asthma, bronchial congestion or jamming of the bronchioles and even pleurisy. One may apply crushed fresh marshmallow flowers or a warm infusion prepared from the herb’s flowers to comfort the inflammatory (irritating and swelled) skin. On the other hand, marshmallow roots form a crucial ingredient of an ointment or cream that effectually cures boils and abscesses. The roots are also used in mouthwash for treating inflammation. In addition, peeled fresh roots of marshmallow can be given as a chew stick to teething infants.

Other medical uses
  • Gastritis
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Wrinkles

Habitat of Marshmallow:

Although the marshmallow is indigenous to Europe, over the years, the herb has acclimatized itself in the Americas where it is now commercially cultivated for medical use. Usually, marshmallow grows best in marshy lands. The above-ground parts of the plants are collected in summer when they just begin to blossom. On the other hand, the marshmallow roots are dug out or harvested during the autumn.

Constituents:

Marshmallow root contains about 37% starch, 11% mucilage, 11% pectin, flavonoids,  phenol acids, sucrose, and asparagine.

Usual Dosage:

Marshmallow can be ingested in various ways. One may consume a tea prepared with marshmallow both hot or cold. In order to prepare tea with marshmallow, add the herb’s roots and/ or leaves to cold or hot water and allow it to steep for some time. You may drink the tea three to five times every day. Extracts of the herb are also available in capsule and tablet forms. One may use these tablets or capsules that provide five to six grams of marshmallow daily. As an alternative, it may also be ingested as a tincture. Taking five to fifteen ml of marshmallow tincture three times every day is effective to cure several disorders.

Possible Side Effects and Precautions:

Researchers over the years have not found any side-effects of marshmallow application. The herb has been reported safe for use.

How Marshmallow Works in the Body:

What the mucilage presents in the marshmallow is the primary component that not only safeguards the body tissues but also soothes them during inflammation. While it is an established fact that marshmallow is extremely useful in soothing inflammations in conditions such as bronchitis, pleurisy, even dry cough and other respiratory problems, since ages the herb has also been used to protect and heal the digestive system. It is particularly useful in curing digestive system disorders such as ulcers and gastric inflammation which often lead to tetchy bowel syndrome and other symptoms. Marshmallow and its extracts are used in the urinary system to comfort the aggravated tissues in urinary tract infections like cystitis. Poultice prepared with marshmallow leaves and roots may be applied externally to heal skin problems like ulcers and boils. In fact, the herb has a double action – it soothes the irritation as well as heals the disorder.

Applications:

Flowers:
SYRUP: Syrup prepared from the infusion of the marshmallow flower is beneficial in curing various types of coughs. It may be used as a cough expectorant.
Leaves:
INFUSION: An infusion prepared by boiling and then cooling the marshmallow leaves may be used to cure bronchial and urinary disorders.
Root:
DECOCTION: In order to cure inflammations like esophagitis and cystitis (an inflammation of the urinary bladder owing to infections). To prepare the decoction, add 25 g of marshmallow root to one liter of water and then boil it down to about 750 ml. In certain cases, the decoction may require some dilution by adding water.
TINCTURE: Tinctures prepared from the marshmallow roots may be used to cure swellings and irritations (inflammation) of the mucous membrane in the digestive and urinary systems.
POULTICE: To prepare a poultice of marshmallow, use the plant’s root or a paste prepared from the powdered root blended with water. This poultice is effectual in curing skin irritations and swellings (inflammation) as well as ulcers.
OINTMENT: Ointments or creams prepared from marshmallow or its extracts are highly effectual in healing injuries, skin ulcers and even to even pull out unwarranted particles from the skin. To prepare an ointment with marshmallow, liquefy 50 g of lanolin, 50 g beeswax and 300 g of soft paraffin (a white colored waxy solid combination of hydrocarbons acquired from petroleum) collectively. Next, heat 100 g of powdered marshmallow root in these liquid fats for an hour over a water bath and after it cools, blend 100 g of powdered slippery elm bark by stirring.

Marshmallow Face Mask –

The marshmallow face mask is also apt for sensitive skin and the ingredients required to prepare it to include:

  • 2 tablespoonfuls (30 ml) of a potent decoction prepared with marshmallow root
  • Superior quality oatmeal
  • 2 tablespoonfuls (30 grams) of natural yogurt

Blend the marshmallow infusion and the yogurt and add the oatmeal. Stir the mixture thoroughly to prepare a paste. Apply this mixture uniformly and gently to your face.

Herbal Marshmallow Root Detangler.

marshmallow detanglerRecipe:
3 cups distilled water (purified will work in a pinch)
2 tablespoons marshmallow root
1 tablespoon horsetail
1 tablespoon oat straw
1 cup aloe vera juice (or so, read directions)
10-30 drops essential oil *optional

  1. Make an herbal decoction with the marshmallow root and water – Boil water and add marshmallow root then turn down to simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Take off heat and remaining herbs. Let rest at least 15 more minutes.
  3. Strain through cheesecloth-lined sieve into the bottle when cool.
  4. Add aloe vera juice (if the infusion results in less than one cup, I just use equal parts aloe vera juice so its half infusion and half aloe).
  5. Spritz on comb or hair and get to work!

CHAKRA HEALING ESSENTIAL OILS.

Just as color, sound and stones have a certain resonance with the Chakras, so do different plants. Essential oils are the fragrant distilled essence of plants, and can be used to help balance the chakras. Use the fragrances which are the most appealing and pleasing to you, and it is recommended to blend the pure essential oils with a carrier oil, such as almond oil.

 

Essential Oils Which Resonate with the Chakras

Root Chakra: Among the essential oils and flower essences used to balance the Root Chakra are corn, clematis, rosemary, ylang-ylang, myrrh, frankincense, benzoin, patchouli and sandalwood.

Sacral Chakra: Among the essential oils and flower essences used to balance the Second Chakra are all citrus oils, such as neroli, melissa, and orange. Also rose, hibiscus, jasmine, Indian Paintbrush, and lady’s slipper.

Solar Plexus Chakra: Among the essential oils and flower essences used to balance the Third Chakra are yarrow, chamomile, peppermint, lemon juniper, vetiver, petitgrain and marjoram.

Heart Chakra: Among the essential oils and flower essences used to balance the Fourth Chakra are holly, poppy, rose, eucalyptus and pine, bergamot, melissa, jasmine or rosewood.

Throat Chakra: Among the essential oils and flower essences used to balance the Fifth Chakra are cosmos, trumpet vine, larch, blue chamomile, sage, lemongrass, geranium or hyssop.

Third Eye Chakra: Among the essential oils and flower essences used to balance the Sixth Chakra are wild oat, Queen Anne’s Lace, madia, rosemary, lavender, peppermint, spruce, frankincense, patchouli, elemi or clary sage.

Crown Chakra: Among the essential oils and flower essences used to balance the Seventh Chakra are lotus, angelica, star tulip, frankincense, sandalwood, myrrh, jasmine, benzoin, neroli, lavender, angelica or St. John’s Wort.

How to Use Essential Oils for Chakra Balancing:

The simplest and most direct way is to rub a drop or two, blended with your carrier oil, onto the skin above the Chakra you wish to treat.

Another way is to rub the oils into your palms, then wave your hands through your aura, rather than placing the oil directly on the skin. This will disperse any negative energy which has collected in your aura. Swirl your hands first in a clockwise motion, to break up and dispel unwanted energies, then go clockwise, to rebalance your aura.

You can also treat your environment, by using an oil diffuser. This is a small ceramic piece, with a shallow bowl shape at the top, and a hollow area underneath, where you place a small candle. Place a little water, plus a few drops of essential oil in the shallow bowl, and light a candle underneath; as the candle warms the bowl, the oil will begin to burn off, and diffuse into the air.

Essential oils are generally safe, but do not ingest them, and use caution on your skin. It is possible to develop allergies. Essential oil treatments are also not recommended for pregnant women or children.

Aromatherapy Peppermint.

Menta Piperita

Peppermint (botanical name Menta Piperita) is basically a hybrid plant – a cross between the spearmint and watermint. Although the herb is native to Europe, presently it is grown across the globe. This perennial herb possesses numerous therapeutic properties that were identified and used by the Indians, Egyptians and Chinese since the ancient times. In order to avail the detoxifying attributes of the peppermint, the ancient Romans used to make wreaths with this herb and wear them as crowns during festivities. Owing to its sharp and spicy fragrance, peppermint is well accepted by most people.

The peppermint plant usually grows up to a height of 30 cm to 90 cm. The plant has smooth stems that are squares in cross section. The rhizomes or subterraneous roots of the plant are fleshy and travel far and wide while the bare roots are fibrous. The plant bears deep green leaves with reddish veins that are 4 cm to 9 cm in length and 1.5 cm to 4 cm in width. The peppermint plant bears purplish blooms that have four-lobed corolla in whorls around the stem. The plant usually blossoms between mid and late summer.

The essential oil extracted from peppermint not only has a soothing effect, but it also rejuvenates the skin and is tremendously resourceful for household use. The oil possesses a clearing aroma that is effective in fighting fatigue and, at the same time, very stimulating. Use of this essential oil enhances the capability to concentrate as well as brings clarity of thoughts and decisions. Peppermint essential oil is said to be inspiring and revitalizing.

It may be mentioned here that irrespective of the herb, all essential oils are prepared solely using the herbs or the plants. This denotes that the essential oils do not enclose any outside element, such as moisturizer, which could dilute their attributes or potency. As a result, whenever bottles containing essential oils are opened, they exude an exceptionally strong smell.

Peppermint essential oil is beneficial for people enduring headaches, asthma, cramps, fainting, colic, flatulence, nausea, and fevers. It is known to be highly effective in relieving pains associated with these conditions. This oil also has the potential to alleviate the symptoms of insomnia, distress, tension, anxiousness, lethargy and/ or vertigo (light-headedness).

The essential oil extracted from peppermint can be used in various ways. Some of the different uses of peppermint essential oil are briefly mentioned below.

Provided you have a water spritzer (a container for two different liquids or drinks), fill it up with water and add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to it. If the bottles are small, you need to add just 15 to 20 drops of the oil, while you may add 20-30 drops of oil in medium-sized bottles. Shake the mixture of oil and water thoroughly and gently spray it on your bedding, curtains and also carpets as an alternative to a room deodorizer.

Get a small pot filled with water for boiling over a stove top. Add three to five drops of peppermint essential oil to the water and inhale the aromatic vapor. While doing so, ensure that you take deep and slow breaths enabling the mixture to infuse your lungs.

In aromatherapy, peppermint can be effectively used as a massage oil to alleviate a number of conditions. However, as in the case of any essential oil, remember to dilute the peppermint essential oil blending it with any suitable carrier oil before use. In fact, the moisturizers present in carrier oils help to make the skin smooth and softer – supple to touch. As the concentration of peppermint essential oil is extremely high, only a few drops (one to three) of it need to be added to a little amount of carrier oil.

These days, there are several stores that sell ceramic oil burners meant for aromatherapy. Generally, these ceramic oil burners have the appearance of archetypal, glass milk bottles, but are smaller having a small, detachable, saucer-shaped lid, underneath which one can position a tea-candle. When you have lit the candle, replace the lid and pour in a small quantity of peppermint essential oil in the lid. As the candle will heat the oil in the lid, the sharp and spicy aroma of peppermint will infuse the air. This will help to refresh your senses.

You may also put in two to three drops of peppermint essential oil on a handkerchief and fold it before placing it under a pillow. While the delicate aroma of the oil will not be too intense for your nose, it will help in ensuring sound sleep.

As mentioned earlier, peppermint essential oil possesses numerous therapeutic properties and is, hence, used to treat a number of conditions. Its health benefits are many and some of them are briefly discussed below.

  • Since peppermint oil possesses potent antiseptic properties, it is very helpful in dental care. This oil not only helps to get rid of foul breath but also aids the gums and teeth to fight germs. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that peppermint essential oil forms an active ingredient in toothpaste. In addition, like clove oil, peppermint essential oil is highly effective in healing toothaches.
  • The essential oil extracted from peppermint is also effective in alleviating digestive problems while promoting digestion. On many occasions, people add a few drops of peppermint essential oil in a glassful of water and drink it following a meal with a view to facilitating digestion. The digestive properties of peppermint essential oil make it an excellent tonic for those enduring poor appetite. This oil also possesses carminative properties and, hence, is effective in expelling gas formed in the stomach and intestines, thereby, providing relief from flatulence and bloating. In addition, this essential oil is also useful when one is suffering from an upset stomach or motion sickness. Initial researches have established that a blend of peppermint essential oil and caraway oil can also be used to effectively treat heartburn.
  • Peppermint essential oil is also a good home remedy to cure a headache and nausea. Topical application of watered down peppermint oil on the forehead is helpful in providing relief from headaches.
  • As in the case of a majority of the essential oils, peppermint essential oil also has the aptitude to alleviate tension, depression as well as mental exhaustion. These actions of peppermint essential oil are attributed to its ability to revitalize and refresh. This oil is also helpful in providing relief from nervous anxiety and restiveness. It is also known to be an effective remedy for insomnia.
  • Peppermint essential oil is rich in menthol content and, hence, is helpful in clearing the congestion in the respiratory tract. It also possesses potent expectorant properties which help it to draw out mucus and phlegm from the lungs, providing instant, albeit provisional, relief in several respiratory problems, such as cold and cough, sinusitis, nasal congestion, bronchitis and even asthma. Owing to these actions of peppermint essential oil, it is widely used in several formulations for cold rubs. Massaging or rubbing the cold rubs enclosing peppermint essential oil on the chest helps to get rid of nasal congestion as well as blockage of the respiratory tract almost instantly.
  • The essential oil extracted from the peppermint plant also possesses analgesic properties and, hence, it can be used topically to get relief from pains and aches. Peppermint essential oil encloses calcium antagonism which is believed to facilitate in providing relief from pain. This oil also has a cooling nature, which is effective in bringing down high temperatures during fever.
  • It is important to note that peppermint essential oil is highly effectual for colonoscopy, gastroscopy, and also during double-contrast barium enema (the inducement of a barium salt suspension into the rectum and colon before taking an X-ray). In such cases, peppermint essential oil is applied intraluminally (a lumen inside the space of a tubular structure, such as an artery or intestine). Presently, scientists are studying the additional benefits of the oil’s anti-spasmodic properties.
  • Peppermint essential oil is also known to augment blood circulation throughout the body.
  • It has been found that the essential oil extracted from peppermint plant possesses the property to relax the muscles. Also, relaxing the stomach muscles helps in alleviating irritable bowel syndrome. Initial findings of several types of research have proved this action of the oil, but the scientists are yet to determine the precise manner in which it works.
  • As mentioned before, peppermint essential oil contains high amounts of menthol which is beneficial for the health of the skin. Owing to the presence of menthol, using this oil topically on the skin brings forth a cooling effect. In addition, this oil nurtures dry skin and removes the problems associated with oily skin.
  • Peppermint essential oil also helps to fortify the immune system, thereby, enhancing the body’s capability to fight against diseases. In addition, this essential oil also helps to safeguard the body against several ailments.
  • Peppermint essential oil is also extremely beneficial for our hair. It brings forth a calming effect when applied on the head and facilitates getting rid of dandruff and lice. In addition, peppermint nourishes the hair follicles and makes the hair appear glistening.
  • Although researchers are still trying to ascertain the anti-cancerous properties of peppermint essential oil, it is generally believed that this oil is helpful in treating cancer. Moreover, peppermint essential oil is said to be effective in curing tuberculosis.
  • Many herbalists recommend the use of peppermint essential oil for people suffering from urinary tract infection {UTI}. Nevertheless, it needs to be mentioned that the scientists are yet to ascertain the use of peppermint essential oil for this purpose.

General Properties:

  • antibacterial
  • antiseptic
  • antispasmodic
  • carminative
  • stimulant
  • stomachic
  • tonic

Blends Well With:

  • eucalyptus
  • juniper
  • lemon
  • rosemary
  • rosewood

General uses

  • abdominal pains
  • acne
  • anorexia nervosa
  • bites
  • bruises
  • colic
  • coughing
  • mouth thrush
  • mouth ulcers
  • nausea
  • painful menstruation
  • stings
  • stress
  • swollen gums
  • toothache

Precaution:

Although the essential oil extracted from peppermint possesses several therapeutic properties, it is said that this oil negates the efficacy of a number of homeopathic medications. Similar is the case for the essential oil derived from eucalyptus

 

Peppermint Oil: Four Surprising Utilities.

For several centuries, the oil obtained from the peppermint plant has been a vital element of several medications and there are sufficient reasons for this too. Peppermint oil is not only intense but also highly aromatic. In addition to being an established analgesic, carminative, and expectorant, peppermint oil possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties and, it is widely used to treat gastrointestinal (GI) problems like indigestion as well as stomach spasms. However, this oil is used in mild doses for these purposes. There are an increasing number of evidence indicating that peppermint oil can also be used for treating irritable bowel syndrome {IBS}.

Generally, peppermint oil has been extensively used in the form of an internal medication. However, it also offers a number of cosmetic benefits; for instance, it is especially effectual in augmenting the health of our mouth, skin, hair and nails.

Four Amazing Uses of Peppermint Oil:

Mouth care

Peppermint oil possesses antiseptic, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties. Therefore, it effectively kills several harmful microbes that may be present in our mouth and eventually lead to tooth decay. It has been found that menthol, an active element present in peppermint oil, is effective in treating foul breath.

You may use peppermint oil to prepare an effective mouthwash. Add three to four drops of the oil to a little amount of clean purified water and gargle with this solution for anything between 30 seconds and one minute. For best results, you may add one teaspoon of baking soda to the solution as this will enhance its tooth whitening attributes.

Skincare

Individuals who want their skin to appear more youthful and healthy will find peppermint oil very beneficial. This oil is a proven astringent and possesses the ability to put off blockage of the skin pores. In fact, peppermint oil has been proven to be a very effectual natural therapy for acne. It contains elevated levels of menthol, which aids in keeping the skin cool and make the dull patches brighter. Applying peppermint oil to the face helps to cleanse the waste and dirt build-up.

A solution prepared by adding peppermint oil to water is ideal for external use on the skin all over the body. You may also add other ingredients beneficial for the health of the skin like aloe vera gel and apple cider vinegar to augment the potency of the solution.

Hair care

Many commercial shampoos and conditioners enclose peppermint oil as an active ingredient and there are important reasons for this. This oil possesses significant invigorating and regenerative actions, which may aid in alleviating scalp irritation, encourage new hair growth as well as revitalize the existing hair. In addition, application of peppermint oil to the scalp results in a cooling sensation, making the entire head feel stimulated and refreshed.

You can prepare an effective natural shampoo at home by blending peppermint oil (10 drops), olive oil (three tablespoons), baking soda (10 tablespoons), and aloe vera gel (6 ounces) with purified water (7 ounces). You can store this home-made shampoo in a bottle for use when necessary. It is much more nourishing compared to commercial shampoos and does not contain any chemicals that may deplete the natural oils from the hair.

Nail care

Many people across the world are affected by fungal nail infections like ringworm and athlete’s foot. While such problems hardly ever raise medical concerns, they definitely are cosmetic problems and may be responsible for obstinate itching and other bothersome symptoms. Since peppermint oil possesses anti-fungal attributes, it can effectively deal with fungal nail infections. Just apply peppermint oil to the infected nails once or twice every day till the problem disappears.

A Natural Antibiotic: Thyme Oil

Superbugs like methicillin – resistant Staphylococcus aureus {MRSA} are on the rise and, unfortunately, are becoming resistant to the drugs used to treat them. When faced with a microbial infection, using natural antibacterial agents may not only be more effective but also safe and risk-free.

Apart from using spices like garlic, I recommend you try essential oils derived from herbs like thyme oil. Not only do they have antibacterial properties, but they also provide a number of health benefits. Before I go into thyme oil’s antimicrobial functions, let me share some information on the essential oil.

What Is Thyme Oil?

Oil of thyme is derived from thyme, also known as Thymus vulgaris. The perennial herb, a member of the mint family, is used in aromatherapy, cooking, potpourri, mouthwashes, and elixirs, as well as added to ointments. Thyme also has a number of medicinal properties, which is due to the herb’s essential oils.

The benefits of thyme essential oil have been recognized for thousands of years in Mediterranean countries. This substance is also a common agent in Ayurveda practice. Today, among the many producers of thyme oil, France, Morocco, and Spain emerge as the primary ones.

Uses of Thyme Oil

Due to thyme oil’s antibacterial, antispasmodic, antirheumatic, expectorant, hypertensive, and calming properties, it has a long list of uses that include:

  • Home remedy – Thyme oil is used to relieve and treat problems like gout, arthritis, wounds, bites, and sores, water retention, menstrual and menopausal problems, nausea and fatigue, respiratory problems (like colds), skin conditions (oily skin and scars), athlete’s foot, hangovers, and even depression.
  • Aromatherapy oil – The oil can be used to stimulate the mind, strengthen memory and concentration, and calm the nerves.
  • Hair product – It is said that thyme oil can prevent hair loss. It is used as a treatment for the scalp and is added to shampoos and other hair products.
  • Skin product – Thyme oil can help tone aged skin and prevent acne outbreaks.
  • Mouthwashes and herbal rinses – Like peppermint, wintergreen, and eucalyptus oil, thyme oil is used to improve oral health.
  • Insecticide/insect repellent – Thyme oil can keep insects and parasites like mosquitoes, fleas, lice, and moths away.

Composition of Thyme Oil

Thyme is an example of a herb with over 300 varieties and various chemotypes, which are plants with the same appearance but have different chemical compositions. Each chemotype yields different oils with corresponding therapeutic benefits. This occurs when the plant is grown in different environments, climates, and soil.

Depending on which chemotype it is derived from, the oil of thyme produced will have a distinct chemical structure. The known chemotypes are:

  • Thymus vulgaris thymolThis chemotype has strong antiseptic activities and is 60 to 70 percent thymol. It goes by the name of “thyme” and “red thyme,” and is harvested during the fall.
  • Thymus vulgaris linalool This is the most gentle of all thyme chemotypes. Referred to as “garden thyme,” this variation has potent antiparasitic and antifungal properties and is grown at high altitudes.
  • Thymus vulgaris carvacrol– As its name suggests, this type contains the chemical constituent carvacrol. Its amount will depend on when it is harvested. When collected in the spring, it will contain 30 percent carvacrol, and 60 to 80 percent when harvested right after flowering or during the fall. T. Vulgaris carvacrol is known for its antiseptic properties.
  • Thymus vulgaris thujanol– Found only in the wild, this plant contains 50 percent thuja oil and is known for its beneficial effects on the immune system and hormones. It is often called “sweet thyme.”
  • Thymus vulgaris alphaterpineolThis type is harvested during the early spring and has a pepper-like smell.
  • Thymus vulgaris geraniol ­– The geraniol chemotype has a lemon-like fragrance and is grown in high altitudes. It is often picked during autumn.
  • Thymus vulgaris 1,8 cineole – This contains 80 to 90 percent cineole and has diuretic, anticatarrhal, expectorant, and analgesic properties.
  • Thymus vulgaris p-cymene– This should be obtained from spring or else it becomes a different chemotype.
  • Thymus vulgaris phenol­– These are thyme plants that grow in high altitudes and contain up to 90 percent of phenol compounds.

Benefits of Thyme Oil

As I previously mentioned, thyme oil is an effective natural agent against nasty bacterial strains. A study presented at the Society for General Microbiology’s spring conference in Edinburgh pointed out that essential oils may be efficient and affordable alternatives to antibiotics in the battle against resistant bacteria.

Among the essential oils tested, cinnamon oil and thyme oil were found to be the most successful against various Staphylococcus species, including the dreaded MRSA.  Researchers said that this can help lower antibiotic use and minimize the formation of new resistant strains of microorganisms.

Oil of thyme can also function as a decontaminate for food products. As shown in Food Microbiology, both basil, and thyme essential oils exhibited antimicrobial properties against Shigella sonnei and Shigella flexneri that may contaminate food. The compounds thymol and carvacrol in thyme oil demonstrated this benefit.

Furthermore, thyme oil can be used as a preservative against spoilage and several foodborne germs that can contribute to health problems. It is effective against other forms of bacteria like Salmonella, Enterococcus, Escherichia, and Pseudomonas species.

Other reports also show that oil of thyme has anti-inflammatory properties. In a research published in the Journal of Lipid Research, six essential oils including thyme oil showed the ability to suppress the inflammatory cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme in the same manner as the antioxidant resveratrol does. It was noted that the chemical constituent carvacrol was responsible for this effect.

The same study also noted that thyme and the other essential oils activated peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), which help suppress COX-2 expression.

In addition to these, significant health benefits of thyme oil include:

  • Helps reduce symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Stimulates menstrual flow
  • Increases circulation and elevates low blood pressure
  • Triggers the removal of waste that may lead to cellulite
  • Eases nervousness and anxiety
  • Helps fight insomnia
  • Eliminates bad breath and body odor

How to Make Thyme Oil

Thyme essential oil is produced through the steam distillation of the fresh or partially dried leaves and flowers of the thyme plant. Distillation produces a red-, browns, or orange-colored thyme oil, which has a strong, spicy smell. Further distillation yields white thyme oil, a clear or pale yellow oil with a mild fragrance. As mentioned before, its chemical composition varies depending on the type of thyme used in production.

Fortunately, you can make infused thyme oil at home. Here’s is one guide you can use.

What You Need:

  • ½ cup fresh thyme
  • 8 ounces carrier oil (ex. olive oil)
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Saucepan
  • Funnel
  • Glass container

Procedure:

  • Wash the herbs and dry it by patting it with a clean cloth. You may also dry it in the sun or place it in a salad spinner.
  • Crush the herbs using the mortar and pestle to release their natural oils.
  • Place the crushed thyme and its oil into the saucepan, and place the carrier oil. Simmer this mixture over medium heat for at least five minutes or until it produces bubbles.
  • Turn the heat off and allow the mixture to cool. Pour the mixture into the glass container then store in a cool place.

How Does Thyme Oil Work?

Thyme oil can be used in a number of ways. It can be inhaled, applied topically, or used as a mouthwash. Below are some particular ways to enjoy its benefits:

  • Relieve pain – Mix three drops of thyme oil with two teaspoons of sesame oil. Use this mixture as a massage oil and apply on the abdominal area to relieve pain. This may also be used as a massage oil to treat other types of pain.
  • Alleviate fatigue – Add two drops of thyme oil to your bath water.
  • Improve sleep – Add a few drops to your diffuser.
  • Promote oral health – Use thyme oil as a mouthwash by adding one drop to a cup of warm water.
  • Reduce the appearance of scars and skin marks – Apply oil of thyme mixed with any carrier oil (like almond oil) on the affected area.
  • Use as cleanser – Add a few drops of thyme oil to your facial wash.
  • Treat or protect against respiratory problems – Add two drops of thyme oil to hot water and use for steam inhalation.
  • Uplift mood – Simply inhale the scent of thyme oil.

Is Thyme Oil Safe?

Thyme oil should not be used directly on the skin, as it can cause sensitization. It must be first diluted with a carrier oil (like olive oil or almond oil). Before use, test on a small area to see if you have any allergies.

This herbal oil should not be taken internally, as it can cause nausea, dizziness, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle problems. Doing so may also negatively impact your heart, lungs, and body temperature. It may also stimulate the thyroid gland, which is why this essential oil is not recommended for people with hyperthyroidism.

Since thyme oil can be used to increase circulation, it should be avoided by people with high blood pressure. Pregnant women should steer clear of thyme oil because it can stimulate menstrual flow. Thyme oil should also be kept away from infants and young children because they are sensitive.

Thyme Oil Side Effects

Use of thyme oil may result in allergic reactions, even when it’s diluted. Some people who use it may experience dermatitis or inflammation of the skin. People with allergies to rosemary or mint oils should also stay away from thyme and its essential oil.

Always consult a physician or anyone knowledgeable in essential oils before using one, especially if you’re suffering from any disease or are taking certain medications.