acidophilus (1) activated charcoal (1) ACV (2) Aga (2) allergy testing (1) aloe (1) anaesthesia (1) anti-acne (3) arnica (1) arrowroot (1) art (1) autumn (5) baby (2) baby wearing (1) bags (3) bath (2) beans (2) beet (1) bentonite (1) berries (1) blackberry (1) body (12) bread (6) breakfast (5) bruise (1) cake (8) calendula (1) calories (3) canning (6) carb-free (1) carbs (21) cargo pants (1) catnip (1) cedar (1) chamomile (3) child play (9) chocolate box (10) Christmas (6) cinnamon (2) clay (1) cleaning (6) cloth pads (1) clothing (1) clove (1) coconut oil (13) coffee (1) comfrey (2) cookies and bars (6) cradle cap (1) dairy (11) dairy-free (20) date sugar (2) decadence (19) decorations (3) dehydrating (2) denim (2) dessert (12) dinner (7) dressings (1) drinks (13) emergency first aid (5) EPS (1) essential oils (32) ethnic food (7) eucalyptus (1) face (9) feet (4) fever recovery (1) fish (1) frosting (1) frugality (61) garden (4) geranium (2) gifts (1) ginger (1) graham cracker pie crust (1) hair (4) hair mask (1) Harcombe (7) hawthorne (1) herbal (48) herbal hair mask (1) home remedies (57) homeschool (4) hot chocolate (1) hot cross buns (1) infused oil (2) jam (1) jewelry (1) juicing (1) kitchen (20) knitting (2) lactation (3) laundry (1) lavender (4) lemon (2) lemon balm (2) man food (31) marshmallow root (1) meat (2) mud (1) NeilMed (1) nettle (2) oatstraw (2) oil diffuser (1) orange (2) paint (3) parenting (4) pasta (1) pastry (3) peppermint (1) pimple (1) pine (1) post-op (1) postpartum (1) potato (1) powders (1) precautions (1) pregnant (1) preschool (23) pressure cooker (1) pus (1) quotes (1) rapha (2) recycling (3) red rose hips (1) roller ball (1) rose (1) rose hip (1) rosemary (1) salve (10) sauces (4) savory baked goods (10) seaweed (1) serotonin (1) sewing (10) shavegrass (1) snacks (18) soups and stews (7) spices (5) spring (2) St John's wort (1) stamping (1) star anise (1) stevia (1) stock (4) storage (1) sugar-free (1) summer (5) sunburn (1) sunshine salve (1) surgery (1) sweets (27) tea (13) tincture (3) travel (5) turmeric (1) tutorials (14) Valentine's Day (7) vegetarian (10) veggies (6) vitamins (1) walks (1) wardrobe (1) wedding (2) wildcrafting (4) winter (1) wormwood (1) yarn (1)

Monday, December 24, 2012

bath salts and scrubs

Bath Salts
baking soda, Epsom salts, ground dried lavender buds, lavender and tea tree essential oils, olive oil
Recently, a conversation piqued my interest and I had to do some more reading to follow up on it. I'm not one to avidly follow the news, even while an election is taking place, so much of this passed me by at the time. It seems that stupid people can't find enough stupid ways to mess their stupid brains and bodies up with drugs that make them even more stupid. The latest craze? Bath salts. Different articles purport slightly different information about what these "bath salts" really are and where they may be found. Some sources imply that regular old bath salts one might find in the grocery store are dangerous, high classed drugs if used the right way. I'm not entirely sure I believe that claim.

At any rate, all this got me thinking. I make my own bath body scrubs, and although I generally tend to prefer clear water in my bath there are some times when a beautifully scented cup of salts added to the hot water is incredibly appealing. Would you like to give my recipes a try? They really are ridiculously easy ... and cheap, and healthy, and the results on the skin are decadence worthy of a fancy spa treatment.

Citrus Spice Bath Scrub
1 cup white or brown sugar 
olive oil 
vitamin E oil 
5 drops cinnamon essential oil 
15 drops orange essential oil 
5 drops chamomile essential oil 
fresh peeled rind of one orange
1 cinnamon stick 

Fill a pint jar part-way with desired sugar. White sugar tends to be the cheapest. Brown sugar feels a little silkier on the skin and is gentler on delicate facial skin.

Now, add your oil. I prefer extra virgin olive oil. Add 1/2 a teaspoon of vitamin E oil, both to preserve the scrub for a good long shelf life in damp bathrooms and to really punch up the beautification on your skin. Poke things around in the jar with a knife a bit to fully saturate the sugar.

Add essential oils now. You can play around with them a bit, and you can very easily make your own combinations of scents. Essential oils, like the herbs they come from, bear huge healing properties that can be very beneficial to the body in the right combinations and uses. For this Citrus Spice blend, add 15 drops of orange, 5 drops of cinnamon, and 5 drops of chamomile. Orange helps brighten the skin and reduce varicose veins. Cinnamon increases circulation. Chamomile is very soothing to delicate skin areas and will calm redness. Once you have all the oils and sugar mixed up beautifully, push in some orange rind that you have peeled from a fresh, clean orange with a vegetable peeler -- only the colored part is beneficial here. The white pith is bitter and doesn't look pretty. I like to push orange rind in long strips down the sides of the glass. Add a cinnamon stick, as well. Fill up the jar to the top with more olive oil, and cap.

Use this scrub on face and body, all over, any time your skin needs a pick-me-up brightening, softening, and smoothing treatment. You can use this daily if you like. Rub in circular motions over damp skin, rinse off, and pat dry. There will be little need for extra lotion, and your skin will thank you for the kindness!

Bath Salts
6 cups epsom salts or rock sea salt, or a blend of both
1 cup baking soda
30-40 drops of essential oils
1 cup herbs

You need a large jar or tupperware for this recipe. It is worth making a lot! If you put the effort in this Christmas season and gift some homemade herbal bath salts to family and friends, you will know the bigger payout of your efforts in following weeks and months as you hear back from their improved bathing and pampering experiences. It is so simple to whip up a batch of something beautiful and healthy for a tired mom or lonely grandma, package it in something recyclable and pleasing, and if you are careful with your scents then a lot of men adore bath salts, too, for aching muscles and sore feet.

In a large bowl, mix up salts and baking soda. Epsom salts are readily available in large bags from most pharmacies. Baking soda is cheap almost everywhere, but I find that Cosco and other bulk buy stores sell extra big bags for a very reasonable price. Rock sea salt is more expensive, but again, still not much compared to bought bath salts and efforts in bulk buying will save you a lot of money.

Add essential oils and stir well with a wooden stick before tossing in herbs and transferring the mix to a beautiful jar.

Make a Citrus Spice blend to complement the scrub you made, using 20 drops orange, 10 drops cinnamon, 10 drops chamomile essential oils. Toss in a handful of cinnamon sticks lightly bashed in half with a hammer, 1/2 cup dried orange peel, 1/2 cup dried lemon peel, 1/2 cup chamomile flowers.

Make an uplifting mint blend to tingle tired nerves and clear the mind. This is especially great for tired feet, and for men. Use essential oils of peppermint or spearmint, eucalyptus, rosemary. Add 1 cup of mixed rosemary and sweet mint dried herbs.

Make a more womanly blend, using scents more often favored by girls and women, and herbs that heal delicate areas after childbirth or soothe an infant's tender skin. Use rose and jasmine essential oils, with rose petals, rose hips for vitamin C, and calendula flowers and chickweed herb for healing tears and skin abrasions. If preparing a bath salt for a postpartum mother, you may prefer to stick with sea salts and go heavy on the healing herbs.

You may, of course, leave out the herbs if you like, but where's the fun in that? Bath salts may be added directly under running water in the bath, and larger herbs are easily scooped out with a kitchen sieve before draining the tub. Alternatively, you may tie up bath salts with herbs as possets bound in cheesecloth and ribbon, like giant tea bags, which are then easily removed. The cloths may be reused many times once you shake out the old tea, rinse and let dry. 

No comments:

Post a Comment