Garden Beauty

I am back from Texas and my talk at  the Mother Earth News Fair event in Belton, Texas.  I thought I would share a few of the recipes I presented there.  Garden plants have been used for centuries to cleanse, nourish, and treat our bodies.  Using the plants in your yard or from a local source is a great way to treat yourself!

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Menthe Hair Rinse

This minty rinse will rid your hair of soap residues and restore your natural acid balance, often stripped by modern shampoos, leaving your hair cleaner and healthier.

Ingredients:

1 /4 cup fresh mint leaves, gently crushed

1 cup mineral water

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Directions:

Place the mint leaves in a glass bowl. Heat the water and pour over the fresh leaves letting them steep for several hours. Strain out the leaves, and stir in the vinegar. Pour into a clean container. To use: Pour over your hair after shampooing. Let sit for a few minutes then rinse with the coldest water you can stand.

Yield: 8 ounces, enough for one rinse

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Fresh Parsley Facial Mask

Finely chopped, parsley is soothing to blotchy or troubled complexions. To deep-cleanse and freshen normal-to-dry skin add some parsley to a few tablespoons of sour cream, or for oily skin to a well-beaten egg white or aloe vera gel. Spread the mixture onto your face and leave on for 15 -20 mines. Rinse well with warm water.

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Calendula Foot Powder

Calendula or “pot marigolds,” have bright orange-yellow flowers that bloom profusely from spring to fall. Sometimes, given the right growing conditions, even year round. The dried flower petals have antibacterial properties and combined with baking soda make a soothing, deodorizing foot powder.

Ingredients:

1 /4 cup cornstarch or rice flour

2 tablespoons baking soda

1 tablespoon finely ground, dried calendula petals

1-2 drops essential oil of geranium

Directions:

Place all the ingredients in a dry jar or resealable plastic bag and shake well to mix. Pour the powder into a clean, dry container. To use: Sprinkle the powder on clean, dry feet and gently massage into your feet, especially between your toes.

Yield: 3 ounces

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Thanks again Texas for a great time! next fair is in Asheville, North Carolina April 28-29.  I can’t wait –

xoxo Have a beautiful day,

Janice

Natural Beauty with Corn

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I know all you modern farm girls  love corn – it is one of the most versatile of the natural grains and can be used from head to toe to keep your skin clean, soft and comfortable.

Corn often gets a bad rap because so many food products are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup.  But there are other corn base ingredients that are naturally good for your skin and hair.  Ground Corn Meal is an amazing skin scrubber.  Cornstarch is a soothing natural powder and also used to make gel lotions and corn oil is a soothing and moisturizing oil that works wonders on dry skin.  Here are a few of my favorite recipes using this farm favorite.  Enjoy!

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Corn Flour or Cornstarch – Easily found in your kitchen cupboard or at the grocery store

Corn Flour Lotion

Corn Flour or Cornstarch makes a light, non greasy lotion that is perfect for soothing dry, chapped hands.  This is an old fashioned recipe that some of you may remember your grandmothers using.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons vegetable glycerine

2 tablespoons corn flour (cornstarch)

/2 cup distilled water

2 tablespoons rose water

Directions:

Mix together all ingredients in an ovenproof glass container.  Heat until just boiling and thick  a few minutes in the microwave or on the stove top.  The lotions will be clear and jelly like: stir thoroughly and let cool completely.  To use: Massage into your skin.

Yield: 6 ounces

Note: If your lotion is too thick you may thin it with more water or rose water.

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Fresh ground yellow corn meal — For fun try blue or white cornmeal in recipes

Corn Meal Dry Shampoo

Using a dry shampoo can be an effective way to remove grease and dirt from your hair without getting it wet.  It can be a bit messy so make sure you stand on a towel or lean over a sink while “shampooing.”

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon cornmeal

Directions:

Massage the cornmeal into your scalp and let sit for a few minutes.  Leaning over a sink or tub gently brush your hair with a natural bristle brush to remove the cornmeal.

Yield: .5 ounces (one shampoo)

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Pure Natural Corn Oil perfect for soothing dry skin

Corn oil and sugar body scrub

Pure corn oil makes a nice all over natural body oil it also can be used as the base for a moisturizing and cleansing body scrub.  This is the perfect treatment to even out a fading tan and get your skin super clean.

Ingredients:

1 /4 cup corn oil

1 Tablespoon corn meal

1 /4 cup raw sugar

2-3 drops essential oil of sweet orange

Directions:

Mix together all ingredients and spoon into a clean container with a  tight fitting lid.  To use:  In the bath or shower massage sugar scrub into damp skin then rinse well.  You may follow up with more natural corn oil to lock in moisture.

Yield: 3 ounces

 

Happy Fall !! You are beautiful

xoxo Janice

 

 

 

 

Hops for Health

This is the year to celebrate all things Hops, as it was chosen as the 2018 International Herb of the year.  Hops may best be known for giving your favorite IPA a bitter taste, they are also a valuable health and beauty ingredients.

I will be teaching a workshop in February at Mother Earth News Fair in Belton, TX.  I hope if you are in the area you will sign up and join me in making dream pillows and hop infused bath bombs.   Here is the workshop sign up link: Hops for Health Workshop.

The following is one of my favorite recipes  for a a rich body butter to try at home this winter.  Hoppy New Year!!

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Calming Hops Body Butter

This is a rich skin soothing body butter.  It can be used to soothe classic dry skin spots such as elbows, knees, feet and hands.  Coconut oil is easily absorbed into your skin.  Both Calendula and Hops help reduce inflammation.

Ingredients: 

1 tablespoon dried hops flowers

1 Tablespoon dried calendula petals

1 /2 cup coconut oil

1 Tablespoon cocoa butter

Directions: 

Mix together all ingredients and gently heat until the coconut oil and cocoa butter is melted.  Let the mixture cool completely and sit for a few days for the oil to become infused with the herbs.  Gently reheat the mixture and strain out all solids and pour into a clean container.  To use:  Massage a small amount of the oil into your skin.

Yield: 4 ounces

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“Don’t worry be Hoppy — You are beautiful!”

xoxo Janice

 

 

 

 

Simple Skin Scrubs

Cleansing scrubs are an important part of your healthy skin care regime.  They exfoliate or remove dead skin cells, which improves the texture of your skin and allows it to retain more moisture.  This in turn, enhances the efficiency of your creams, lotions and body butters.  Depending on your skin type, cleansing scrubs should be used two to three times a week to keep your skin clean and healthy.  Scrubs are not limited to the face; they can be used all over the body to keep skin soft and glowing.  Don’t forget classic rough skin areas such as knees, heels, and elbows.  When making scrubs to use on your face, grind the ingredients as finely as possible.  Treat your skin with care and gently scrub in a circular motions.  Here are a  couple of simple skin scrubs for you to DIY at home.

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Favorite Cleansing Grains

Whenever I ask people what their favorite cleansing scrub is, I usually get three answers; oatmeal, cornmeal, or wheat germ.  Each one of these on their own are an effective simple scrub combined they create and even more effective scrub.  Oatmeal is cleansing and softening.  Cornmeal is deep cleansing (especially helpful at removing blackheads) and wheat germ is gentle, mild and soothing to your skin.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons oatmeal

2 tablespoons cornmeal

2 teaspoons wheat germ

Mix all ingredients together and place in an air tight container.  To use: Combine a teaspoon or two with equal parts water or cleanser to create a paste.  Massage gently into your face and neck.  Rinse well with warm water and pat dry.

Yield: 2 ounces

Note you can also use this scrub on your body — you will just need to use more approx 1 /2 cup.

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Citrus Peel Scrub

Whenever you use citrus fruits save the colored part of their peel.  This is where all the essential oils are and when dried and finely ground they make an effective skin scrub.

Here are the steps to follow:

Remove the colored part of the peel; this can be done with a zester or sharp pairing knife.  Dry the peels thoroughly; this can be done in four different ways

Sunshine: Lay the peel on a rack to air dry near a sunny window

Microwave: Place the peels in a microwave safe ceramic bowl and microwave on low until dry (about 5 to 6 minutes).  Allow to cool completely.

Oven: Arrange the peels on a cookie sheet and place in a very low temperature oven for several hours or overnight (remember to turn the oven off when you go to bed).

Food Dehydrator: Use an electric food dehydrator and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for drying citrus peels.

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Now that you have your dried peels.  Coarsely grind them in a food processor or clean coffee grinder.   To use:  Mix with a bit a water to form a paste and massage into clean skin.  You can also combine your dried peels with other ingredients such as raw sugar, cornmeal or sea salt.

Note: sea salt is too harsh and abrasive for facial skin but fine for your body just avoid sensitive skin areas.

 

Let me know if you have any recipe requests or a favorite scrub recipe of your own!

Keep Glowing,

xoxo Janice

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