Parsley, mint and Co. enjoy the spring sunshine in the garden. The power of fresh herbs can be used for the care of skin and hair.
For spring, they have neatly spruced up: parsley, dill, mint, melissa, rosemary, sage and thyme dominate the herbal beds with their juicy-fresh green and compete with daisies, pansies and violets for our attention.
Even now there are many herbs and flowers in the garden and in the wild, which we can use for the care of skin and hair, as herbalists were doing so hundreds of years ago. Many of their knowledge are scientifically proven today.
All plants needed for the preparation of herbal cosmetics can be cultivated in your own garden. Nettle and ribwort, which many consider annoying weeds, can usually be found there as well. Anyone who picks and processes the plants from their own beds and pots can rest assured that they are absolutely fresh – and have neither been fertilized nor treated with chemical substances.
In addition, if the oils and fats used are organically grown, it ensures that the self-made creams and lotions are real natural products.
Herbs for the care
Probably not so easily available is the peppermint hydrolate. But it can be easily produced at home without a distillery, but with a classic Italian espresso maker. Although the resulting mint water has a slightly lower concentration, it can be used in many ways for the preparation of face and hair lotions, creams, shampoos and refreshing foot baths.
The peppermint with its cooling, circulation-promoting and disinfecting ingredients has always been a fixture in herbal cosmetics. It was often used for itchy skin diseases; Mint tea was very popular for refreshing body and mind.
Above all, impure, large-pored and poorly perfused skin, benefits from the soothing components of peppermint (Mentha piperita). A facial steam bath is therefore a wonderful way to clarify the complexion. For this, dash a handful of leaves with a liter (34 fl oz) of boiling water, perhaps adding one or two drops of peppermint essential oil.
The ribwort plantain that is effective in our tonic is also good for the impure and oily skin. Its mucilages have a soothing effect and its tannins have a contracting effect. In addition, it has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory substances that can benefit the youthful acne skin.
The bacteria-inhibiting powers of ribwort plantain are all the greater, the younger the leaves are – therefore it is recommended to pick the young shoots for the preparation of herbal cosmetics.
A variety of skin diseases were treated in medieval monastery medicine with fresh, mashed parsley, which was then valued more as a medicinal than kitchen herb. Today, the nutrient-rich plant is used inwardly for the health of the skin, because it contains a lot of vitamin E. But even outwardly – for a face mask or herbal bath – it can develop its caring qualities.
Alternatively, you can add sage to this face mask. Sage (salvia officinalis) is one of the most effective herbal remedies for acne and blemished skin due to its high content of essential oil. Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial ingredients are used in herbal cosmetics like in the production of tonic, creams or peelings.
Flowers for the beauty
For the skin
In addition to herbs, there are already some flowers available for beauty care in spring. So the pansy is not just a feast for the eyes in beds and flower pots: The application for acne and eczema is scientifically recognized today. Its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties are displayed in a soothing facial cream, which has a fresh, slightly greenish coloring.
Even the little daisy, which remains almost into November, has great powers. As an old home remedy, its crushed flowers and leaves – or a soaked wrap with its tea – are still used today to help heal rashes and wounds. In the self-produced natural cosmetics, it is well suited as a clarifying and caring ingredient for the sensitive skin.
For the hair
The spring garden also offers a variety of helpful herbs for your hair, such as the ribwort plantain, which is anti-inflammatory and balancing, the peppermint, which refreshes the scalp, and the disinfectant sage.
However, the most important plants for the head and scalp are birch trees and stinging nettles. These promote blood circulation, inhibit inflammation and are used for fast greasy hair, dandruff and hair loss.
A proven remedy for greasy hair is made with one tablespoon of nettle, birch and lemon balm in 100 milliliters (3.3 fl oz) of 70 percent alcohol. The tincture must cool and put in a dark place for about three weeks and is poured after distilling with 150 milliliters (5 fl oz) of mint hydrolate. This hair lotion is massaged into the hair after washing and not rinsed out.
The hair gets a beautiful shine with a rinse, for which nettle tea (two handfuls of fresh leaves per pint of boiling water, but only stained and then used after it has cooled down) is mixed with a quarter liter (½ pint) of fruit vinegar. The rinse is also not washed out.
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