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» Listings for April 2013

  1. Carica papaya

     

     

    Also known as Pawpaw, papaya is exfoliating and astringent and can be used in masks for oily, mature and blemished skins. The fruit pulp can be mashed and applied to dampened skin as a cleansing mask, For a more deep cleansing mask, grind the seeds and mix with oatmeal and mashed papaya. Apply to dampened skin and leave on for fifteen minutes then rinse off with warm water.

     

    The active ingredient in papaya is the enzyme known as papin. This enzyme dissolves dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, promotes regeneration and softens, smoothes and tones the skin.

     

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  2. Origanum vulgare

     

     

    Origanum is a soothing herb that can be used to soothe aching muscles. Origanum bath oil can be made for this purpose.

     

    Make origanum bath oil by placing several sprigs of the fresh herb in a bottle of sweet almond or sunflower oil, and steeping for several days before use. A small amount of origanum bath oil may then be added to your bath for a soothing soak.

     

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  3. Citrus species

     

     

    Oranges have many uses in herbal skin care. Dried orange peel and orange blossom can be added to revitalising bath vinegars and hair rinses, while orange leaves can be placed in wash mitts and bags for their stimulating effect.

     Orange blossom is helpful for dry and mature skins and orange flower water can be added to natural skin fresheners, creams, lotions and gels for these skin types. To make orange flower water, fill a jar with orange blossoms, a handful of leaves and a piece of peel. Fill the jar with vodka and leave the mixture for three weeks. Shake the jar once per day. Dilute this concentrate with spring water at a ratio of 1:10. For extra skin benefits for dry or mature skin, replace the spring water with rosewater. The diluted orange flower water can be used on its own as a skin freshener or facial mist.

     Orange peel can be dried and ground into a powder for use in soaps and exfoliating body scrubs.

     

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  4. Myristica fragrans

     

     

    Nutmeg is stimulating, toning and soothing for sore legs and muscles, and makes an excellent warming rub. Crack some nutmegs and soak them in sweet almond oil for three weeks.  Strain the oil off and use the nutmeg oil as a sore muscle rub.

     

    Make a nutmeg face mask: apply a paste of nutmeg and water or milk to blemished, spotty skin. Leave on for fifteen minutes then rinse off. Ground nutmegs can be added to soaps and body scrubs for blemished skin.

     

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  5. Azadirachta indica

     

    Neem leaf and bark are taken from the evergreen neem tree, which is cultivated in the Indian sub-continent, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Japan, Africa, Australia and the US. Neem leaf, bark and oil are known to be antibacterial, antifungal and antiparasitic and have many uses in herbal hair and skin care.

     

    Neem powder can be combined with olive oil and used as a scalp massage for dandruff. Neem is also beneficial for skin troubled with skin eruptions, spots, boils and wounds. Melt some coconut oil then add neem powder. Combine the coconut oil and neem powder, then pour into a jar. Keep stirring until the mixture has cooled and started to set to ensure even distribution of the neem powder. (Stand the jar in a bowl of cold water while stirring to help the oil cool faster) Store in the refrigerator and use as a skin ointment. The coconut oil can be combined with neem oil if desired.

     

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