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» Listings for March 2012

  1. Beta vulgaris

     

     

    Beetroot is cleansing, nourishing and detoxifying when used in herbal skin care. Cooked, mashed and applied as a poultice it can be used to draw toxins from infected sores and wounds.

     

    Beetroot’s dark blue-red colour is due to the presence of anthocyanin, or red betaine pigments, and powdered beetroot can be used as a natural colourant for soaps, creams and gels. To make beetroot oil, place powdered beetroot and sweet almond oil in a double boiler or bain marie. The amount of powder added will depend upon the desired intensity of colour and the length of time the ingredients are heated. The finished oil will be dark pink to deep bluish-purple.

     

    Natural red tones can be added to brown or red hair with the use of beetroot. Combine 250ml each beetroot and carrot juice. Pour over damp, freshly washed hair and leave on for one hour. If it is possible to lie in the sun, even better. Shampoo out and condition as usual.

     

    Rub some raw beetroot over chapped lips for natural colour and healing. Finish with a slick of natural lip balm to keep lips soft and protected.

     

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  2. Used regularly, this mouthwash will help treat and prevent oral bacteria. If you have a condition that is giving you cause for concern, however, do consult a doctor or dentist.

     

     

    You will need:

     

    300ml witch hazel water

    6 drops fennel essential oil

    6 drops tea tree essential oil

     

     

    Method:

     

    Drop the essential oils into a dark glass bottle. Add a little witch hazel water and shake well. Add the remaining witch hazel water and shake again. This is a concentrate and is not to be used neat.

     

     

    To use:

     

    Shake the bottle well and add 10ml of the mouthwash concentrate to 250ml warm water in which you have dissolved 2.5ml sea salt. Rinse the mouth with the diluted mouthwash after brushing the teeth.

     

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  3. Myrica cerifera

     

    Also known as wax myrtle, Bayberry is a large evergreen shrub native to the US whose roots and root bark are used in herbal remedies.

     

    Bayberry root bark is astringent and naturally antibiotic and is used on wounds and bacterial and fungal skin infections, as well as throat and gum inflammations. A decoction can be made and used as a wash, mouthwash or gargle. Combined with slippery elm, bayberry can be used as a poultice for skin wounds, sores and ulcers.

     

    Bayberry wax, made by boiling the berries to separate the wax from the skin, makes naturally fragrant candles and in the past was used for sealing and healing wounds.

     

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  4. Essential oils teamed with certain plant oils can be used to help soothe and calm redness, itching and/or irritated skin. The following suggestions are easily and quickly made when the need arises. These recipes are suitable for facial skin.

     

     

    You will need:

     

    30ml peach kernel oil

    1ml vitamin E oil

    3 drops sandalwood essential oil

    2 drops yarrow essential oil

     

    or

     

    30ml apricot kernel oil

    1ml vitamin E oil

    3 drops chamomile German essential oil

    2 drops lavender essential oil

     

     

    Method:

     

    Pour a little of the peach/apricot kernel oil into a dark glass bottle then drop in the essential oils. Shake well to mix. Add the remainder of the carrier oil and the vitamin E and shake well. Apply directly to skin as needed, avoided the eye area.

     

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  5. Laurus nobilis

     

     

    Bay leaves have a toning effect on the skin and can also be used to stimulate hair growth.

     

    To make a bay leaf tisane (tea) for use as a skin toner, after-shave splash or scalp stimulant, place 250ml bay leaves in 500ml spring water. Bring to the boil and leave to infuse for thirty minutes. Strain and pour into a clean glass bottle. Refrigerate and use within one week.

     

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