A Herbal/Floral Facial Toner

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This recipe is adapted from The Queen of Hungary’s Water recipe I found in a book of herbal beauty recipes Earthly Bodies, Heavenly Hair written by Dina Falconi. It has the most gorgeous herbal recipes in and I can recommend it, I downloaded it from The Kindle service at Amazon.

Doing a search on this tells me the water was firstly created for Queen Elizabeth of Hungary in the 1300’s, other sources believe it to have been created by gypsies but whatever the folklore surrounding it, it is a most beautiful thing to use. There are many variations on-line so it’s easy to actually just adapt using whatever grows in the garden. Though Dina Falconi suggests it’s use for Normal/Oily Skin I have Dry/Mature skin and I really like using this. It leaves skin feeling fresh, dewy and soft.

You will need Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, Witch Hazel, Lavender Essential Oil (optional) and your selected herbs and florals. This quantity makes around 6 x 100 gram bottles which may be too much for the average woman to use but you get the idea of the technique.

Basically you infuse your herbs and petals in raw organic cider vinegar and leave to sit for up to two months. Other recipes have suggested 2 weeks…I left mine for 6 weeks. I used around 2 handfuls of Lavender flowers and leaf, Calendula petals, Rose petals, Violet leaf and flowers, Sage, Comfrey, Chamomile, Rosemary, Lemon Balm, Peppermint and a little lemon zest.

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Pack into a preserving jar and pour vinegar over, seal and leave to sit. After 6 weeks you have some faded herbs and a very astringent smell.

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Strain the liquid through fine muslin (or similar) squeezing to get all the liquid out. Measure and add an equal quantity of Witch Hazel. Add some Lavender Essential oil to suit, I only added around 15 drops to this quanity of liquid. Bottle, it will keep for “many” months though I am not sure how many that means. (Don’t pour it into a jar that previously contained Pickled Garlic as I did with the amount I put aside for me!) Use a cotton wool ball to apply.

I love this recipe, nice to make and lovely to use.

 

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Calendula and Lemon Balm Salve

I found this recipe on Ecocrazymum.com last year and have only just managed to find some beeswax locally. My husband suffers from eczema so I have been wanting him to try it rather than prescribed creams, and it would appear to be a handy salve to have on hand. The list of ailments it is supposed to help is long:

  • Diaper Rash
  • Cuts & Scrapes
  • Minor Burns
  • Bug Bites & Stings
  • Psoriasis
  • Topical Thrush
  • Inflammation
  • Itching
  • Eczema
  • Chapped Lips
  • Cold Sores
  • Dry Skin
  • Athletes Foot
  • Warts
  • Cracked Heals
  • Sunburn
  • Stretchmarks
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Shingles
  • Muscle Aches & Menstrual Cramps
  • And so much more!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups Olive Oil
  • 3/4 Cup Dried Lemon Balm & Calendula (Just throw in a couple handfuls of each until you get 3/4 cup- try to use equal parts of each.)
  • 1/2 Cup Beeswax
  • 3 TBSP. Coconut Oil
  • 2 TBSP. Shea Butter
  • 5 Drops Tea Tree Oil
  • 5 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
*I do not add preservatives. Many of the ingredients contain natural preservatives, so your salve will have a shelf life of 1-2 years.
Directions:
  1. Add dried herbs, olive and coconut oil into crock pot and heat on low for 3-4 hours.
  2. Strain oil through cheesecloth and return to (clean) crock pot on low heat.
  3. Microwave beeswax and shea butter in 1 minute increments until fully melted.
  4. Immediately add melted beeswax and shea butter into crock pot & mix well with wooden spoon. If the wax starts to harden up turn the crock pot up to the high heat setting and stir until completely liquified.
  5. Add in tea tree and lavender essential oils and mix well.
  6. Pour mixture into small containers with lids and keep lids off until salve becomes solid.

This made over 3 cups of salve. I didn’t have shea butter so excluded this. I managed to pick up little blocks of 50g beeswax for 50 cents each from a local apiary which I was really pleased with. I also altered the method – simmering the oils and herbs for 2 hours over low heat in a double boiler, straining then adding the beeswax and returning to heat, adding essentials oils when finished. I will add to this at a later date to say how we have found it

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