HERBS AT CHRISTMAS Potpourri Sweet Bag Mix 1 litre mixed thyme, lemon balm, mint, marjoram 25g lavender 25g orris root powder 1 teaspoon crushed cloves 4 drops lavender oil 4 drops lemon oil Bath bags Dry herbs, 25g each of:rose petals, geranium, lavender, grated citrus peel, plus 15g rolled oats to soften skin (optional). Wrap in cotton or muslin and put in a jar. Fresh herbs like lavender and rosemary have anti-bacterial properties and preserve themselves. Rose Mint Mix 1 litre rose petals and blooms 25g mint leaves 25g lavender 25g orris root powder 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder 1/2 teaspoon ground mace 3 drops rose essential oil 2 drops rose-geranium essential oil 1 drop lemon essential oil. Herb moth balls:Dried herbs 1/4 cup mint 1/4 cup wormwood 1/4 cup tansy ¼ cup thyme 1 tablespoon crushed or powdered cinnamon. Mix as in sweet bag mix above. Potpourri Peppermint Mix:Scented Leaves 500mls peppermint leaves 500mls eau-de-cologne mint, thyme Herbs 50g rosemary 25g lavender Fixative 25g orris root powder (cinnamon powder, gum of benzoin, cloves, nutmeg can also be used as fixatives). Spices 1 teaspoon ground allspice 1 teaspoon whole cloves 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg 2 pieces cinnamon bark Essential oils 2 drops peppermint oil 2 drops basil oil 1 drop lemon oil Sleep pillow:One part each chamomile, lemon balm, lavender, roses Add 1-2 drops lavender essential oil or use the ones you have. Lip balm:- make a batch 250mls infused oil (calendula in macadamia) 60g bees wax 2 teaspoons jojoba oil 1/2 teaspoon Vit. E oil 2 teaspoons rose hip oil 10 drops chamomile essential oil (Make up your own recipe). Men’s Face Tonic/Aftershave. (Can also be used as a skin toner after cleansing) Fresh bay leaves – if possible Allspice – ground or grated Whole cloves Ginger – grated (preferably) or ground. Rum Pack wide mouthed jar with bay leaves, leaving about 3cm at the top. Add desired amount of other spices. (suggestions only – for a 2 cup jar, a stick of cinnamon, 3-5 cloves, 3-5 allspice whole or crushed a bit), 2 cm knob ginger). Cover with rum. Tighten lid, shake daily for 3-4 weeks. Strain herbs, rebottle in dark glass, add a gift label. If you have used dry bay leaves you could add a few drops of Bay West Indies essential oil. Alternative Aftershave Recipe:2 cups witch hazel extract 30g rum Zest of an orange 1 stick cinnamon 3-5 cloves 3-5 whole allspice 1/2 teaspoon glycerine (optional) 1/2 teaspoon aloe vera gel (optional) 25-40 drops Bay West Indies essential oil Add essential oil at the end just before you seal with tight lid as above. Alternative Face Tonic:Queen of Hungary’s Water 6 parts lemon balm 4 parts chamomile 4 parts roses 3 parts calendula 3 parts comfrey 1 part lemon peel 1 part rosemary 1 part sage Put in wide mouth jar and cover with sufficient cider or white wine vinegar to cover all plus 3 cm above ingredients. Cover with tight plastic lid or plastic wrap under lid. Leave for 2-3 weeks, shake daily. Strain herbs. Dilute one cup of infusion with one cup rose water or witchhazel. Add essential oil if desired. Rebottle into decorative bottles for gifts. Keeps indefinitely. Astringent lotion used as a cure all by the Gypsies. Use as a skin toner, hair rinse, mouthwash, aftershave, footbath, headache remedy (soak a cloth and lay across forehead. Baby Oil Recipe:Dry infusion, cold method - 2 weeks in warm spot. Fresh infusion, hot method – about an hour, use double the quantities below. Keep temperature as low as it can go so oil does not get too hot. 30g chamomile 15g comfrey leaf 15g roses 500ml apricot or almond oil. In both cases, strain – you can add a few drops of pure essential oils such as lavender, rose or chamomile. Use oil at room temperature. Face and Body Scrub:2 cups white clay 1 cup finely ground oats ¼ cup finely ground almonds 1/8 cup finely ground lavender (approx 1 tablespoon) 1/8 cup poppy seeds (optional) 1/8 ground roses, lavender or chamomile. Combine. Sugar Facial Scrub:2/3 cup sugar 1 tablespoon rose hip oil (promotes cell regeneration, improves elasticity, repairs damage from sun, burns, aging etc). You can substitute jojoba or grapeseed oils, they are light and easily absorbed). 10 drops essential oil of your choice. Sugar Body Scrub:1cup brown sugar 1/2 to 1 cup infused oil (calendula, rose, chamomile, lavender, heartsease, chickweed, gotu kola). 10-15 drops essential oil of your choice. Mix to desired consistency. Keep scrub in plastic in bath room, remainder in glass in the fridge. How to use:Put an old towel or rag on the shower floor, as the oil does make it slippery. Start with dry body, at shoulders, do it with a friend, work your way down for 5-10 minutes, rinse off with warm water. Salt Scrub:1cup fine sea salt 2 cups oil (almond, apricot, macadamia, grapeseed, olive etc) 12 drops essential oil (or as strong as you prefer). This time, dampen body and start at feet and work up, rinse with warm water. Bath Salts:2 cups borax (it is a natural mineral salt) 1/8 cup sea salt 1/8 cup white clay. Whisk evenly – add essential oil of your choice, rose is special; eucalyptus ,thyme, rosemary, lavender are all beneficial. Distribute throughout mixture. Allow twice the strength you want in the end – the smell should be strong, as it will dilute in the water. Cover with gauze or porous cloth for several hours, blend again. To use add 2-4 tablespoons to a bath. Warming Cinnamon Herbal Salts:1 cup coarse salt 3 tablespoons cinnamon powder 1 teaspoon ginger powder 1 teaspoon cardamom powder 2 tablespoons rose petals (optional) Mix together in a jar. Use 1/4 cup per bath. Body Powder:1 cup cosmetic clay (kaolin) 2 cups arrowroot or cornflour Essential oil, lots of, your choice. Again, it needs to smell quite strong to start with (optional). Lavender and/or rose petals ground to a powder (optional) Whisk all together, cover with porous cloth and leave to sit for several hours to dry. Pack in a wide mouth container, make a powder-puff out of gauze and cotton wool tied with ribbon. You can also use spice shakers. Cold Oil Infusion:1. Pack a jar with your chosen herb (not too tightly) then completely cover with your chosen oil, seal with lid. 2. Put in a warm place, but not direct sunlight, for two to four weeks, shaking the jar each day, or as you go past. 3. Strain out the herb and pour oil into a dark bottle, store in a cool place. To make a stronger infusion, repeat the above procedure another 1 or 2 times. Hot Oil Infusion:Place your chosen herb in a double boiler or in a glass bowl over just-simmering water, allow to infuse for 1 to 2 hours. Then continue with step 3 as for cold infusion. Ointment:Infuse your herb in oil, either cold method or hot method. Chop or grate 15g of bees wax per 100ml of oil, and add to oil infusion, i.e. in a double boiler or in a bowl over simmering water. When the wax has melted, pour into glass jars, allow to cool and set. Red Wine Tonic:Handful of crushed rosemary 2 cinnamon quills or 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder 5 cloves or half teaspoon clove powder 2cm knob fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ginger powder Add all to a bottle of red wine, leave in warm place for 10 days, strain bottle and seal.