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» Listings for July 2013

  1. Artemisia abrotanum



    Southernwood is an antiseptic herb, most useful in herbal preparations for problem skin and hair care. It can also be used an insect repellent.


    To use Southernwood in skin care remedies for problem skin, use 500ml Southernwood leaves, 125ml barley and 1l spring water. Boil all ingredients together then simmer gently for thirty minutes. Strain the liquid off, pour into a clean bottle and refrigerate. The liquid can be used as a wash. Use within one week.


    Make a Southernwood infusion to stimulate hair growth – infuse 250ml fresh herb to 250ml boiling spring water. Strain and bottle. To use, massage regularly into the scalp. Keep refrigerated and use within one week.




  2. Saponaria officinalis



    Soapwort , as its name suggests, contains natural saponins which results in a bubbly brew when boiled in water. Soapwort used in this way will rejuvenate dry, heat-damaged and bleached/dyed hair. Used weekly as a conditioner, it can restore shine to the hair. It can also be used as a calming wash for spots, eczema, rashes and nappy rash.


    To use soapwort, place the leaves, stems, roots and flowers into a large pot, and add enough water to cover. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and leave to stand for 30 minutes. Strain and refrigerate. Use within one week.




  3. Snapdragon flowers are astringent and can be infused in sweet almond oil to make a soothing salve for bruises, chafed and irritated skin.


    To make snapdragon oil, fill a screw-top glass jar with fresh snapdragon flowers. Top up with sweet almond oil and replace the lid. Place on a sunny windowsill and leave for one month, shaking once each day. Strain the infused oil through muslin or cheesecloth and pour into a clean, dark glass bottle. Store in a cool, dark place.


    Snapdragon (whole plant) can be made into an ointment for skin eruptions, sores and ulcers. Chop up the whole plant finely then cook in coconut oil until crisp. Strain and pour into a clean glass jar.




  4. Salva officinalis

    Sage leaves have antibacterial, astringent, deodorising and antifungal actions on the skin. An infusion can be used in mouthwashes for for mouth and throat inflammations.

    In skin care it is used for oily and blemished skin, and also for aging skin. It is cleansing, stimulating and restorative. It can be used in deodorants and foot products.

    For herbal lotions, creams and shampoos, make an infusion - use 30mg to 1 litre water. People with epilepsy should avoid sage, due to its thujone content.



  5. Rosmarinus officinalis

    Rosemary has long been used in folk medicine for healing bruises and sprains, for healing sores and sore throats. It is also an old favourite in hair products such as shampoos and rinses, said to give shine and enhance brown hair tones as well as stimulating growth.

    In skin care preparations rosemary is added to products to improve circulation and elasticity. Oily skin with blackheads and spots also benefits from rosemary, as it is healing and antibacterial.

    To use rosemary in skin and hair care products, use both an infusion and the essential oil for best results. To make the infusion, use 25g dried rosemary per 1 litre of water.

    NB. Pregnant women and people with epilepsy and/or high blood pressure should avoid rosemary essential oil.




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