Plants as Cosmetics – Part 1

Bath and Body Substitutions

Over the years Americans have gotten used to running to the market or pharmacy to get all the little personal cleaning aides needed. From shampoos to toothpaste to mouth wash to soap and beyond. Often these things are not always earth friendly; they leave a footprint in our lives and on our Mother that are not healthy or wise.

In the old days these products were not available, so how did our ancestors survive? They used more earth friendly, often earth provided things to do the same jobs.

Avocado Deep Conditioner for the Hair:

Ingredients: 1 small jar of mayonnaise, 1/2 avocado

Directions: Peel avocado and remove pit. Mash avocado then mix all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl with your hands until it’s a consistent green color. Smooth into hair. Use shower cap or plastic wrap to seal body heat in. Leave on hair for 20 minutes. For deeper conditioning wrap a hot, damp towel around your head over the plastic, or use a hair dryer set to a low to medium heat setting. Store extra in the refrigerator.

Rosemary as a versatile hair aid: Add an infusion of rosemary to the final rinse after a shampoo to prevent oiliness and give a sheen to dark hair. A rosemary rinse also makes hair more manageable and easy to set. It is said to help with dandruff also.

Bath oils: Turkey-red oil, a derivative of castor oil (made from the Castor Bean Plant), acts as an emulsifying agent on other oils so that they do not leave a film of oil on the skin or the bathtub. Mix three parts turkey oil with one part essential oil of your choice and add a few drops to your bath.

Oatmeal scrub: Oatmeal makes an excellent non-alkaline  soap substitute. Wrap a handful of dry oatmeal in a wash cloth (a sock can work very well), dampen it, and rub it over your body in place of soap when you shower or bathe. Oatmeal is a soothing, softening cleanser. If your skin is dry, use ground almonds in place of the oatmeal, they are particularly moisturizing.

Honey and Almond Cream: This traditional recipe makes a very moisturizing night cream for dry hands. Melt 2 oz honey in a double boiler and mix in 4 ounces lanolin until thoroughly combined. Remove from heat and allow to cool before stirring in 2 ounces sweet almond oil and a few drops of your favorite essential oil.

Age Spot and Freckle Fading: An old French recipe uses fresh cucumber juice.

Cucumbers are said to be excellent bleaching agents for the skin, and can be used on brown spots. To make a lotion, mix 1 tsp of the cucumber juice with 2 tsps of  water. Apply once in the morning and once at night, letting it dry on the skin

In France, a freckle lotion is made from 1 oz. of powdered alum and 1 oz. of lemon juice in a pint of rose water. Shake well and apply.In Israel, brown spots are treated with a paste made by mashing 1/3 cup of chickpeas in a little water. Smear on  the paste and leave it on until dry and crumbly. Wash completely. You can apply this mixture daily.

Cucumber Facial: Use this facial to soothe and cleanse the skin. Some say cucumbers with lemon juice ease freckles. This recipe is certainly astringent. Cukes also contain a hormone thought to work against wrinkles. For best effect, apply after a shower or facial steaming. Be sure the skin is clean before you apply the mask.

2″ chunk fresh cucumber, seeded, and pureed

1 tsp. witch hazel

1 tsp. lemon juice

1 egg white

1 tblsp. plain yogurt

2 tsp. powdered milk

Blend this mixture well, and apply to the face. Allow to set, then rinse with cool, clean water. Pat dry, DO NOT rub!

Athletes Foot Remedies: Applying aloe vera gel twice daily on the affected area is one athlete’s foot remedy.

Apple cider vinegar, having antifungal properties, is one of the most widely used athletes foot remedies. Soak the feet in a mixture of equal amounts of apple cider vinegar and water for ten minutes daily for up to ten days or until symptoms disappear.

Soaking the feet in a solution of baking soda and water for about 30 minutes daily is one athlete’s foot remedy. This helps change the pH of the skin. Chaparral is another effective athletes foot remedy.

Healing Cracked Heels: Clean and moisturize your feet daily. Before going to bed, soak your feet in warm, soapy water for 15 minutes, rinse and pat them dry. Take one teaspoon Vaseline, add lemon juice extracted from one lemon; Rub this mixture on your feet mainly the cracked areas. Allow the skin absorb this mixture. To protect your sheets from the Vaseline stains put on a pair of plain white cotton socks to sleep in. Do this daily to get maximum benefits.

A mixture of glycerin and rosewater applied on daily basis can help heal cracked heels.

Cold Sore Treatment: Lemon balm has been known to have strong anti-viral properties. In a research study, patient’s cold sore blisters went away 5 days quicker than patients that didn’t use lemon balm. Another good homeopathic remedy is peppermint oil. Studies done found that peppermint essential oil was found to enter the skin and have a strong anti-viral effect.

Acne Treatment: Steam your face for five to ten minutes to clean and open the pores with hot infusions of lavender, chamomile, or thyme. Rinse your face with honey water, rosewater, or a diluted infusion of marigold tea to tone and close the pores. Do this every day until the skin starts to heal.

For Bad Breath: A Gargle

1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lavender (1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) peppermint (1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried)
1 cup (250 ml) water

Bring the water to a boil. Put the herbs into a clean glass jar. Pour the boiling water over the herbs and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain the solution. Now simply Gargle.

A Taste:

Parsley is used as a decorative agent on plates of food when it is being served. There are two reasons: as decoration; and (more importantly) as a breath freshener. So after you eat the meal, eat the parsely!

To Sooth and Refresh the Eyes: Lie down, place Cucumber slices over the eyes, and relax for 20 to 30 minutes. The combination of the relaxation and the cucumber can do wonders for your eyes reducing bagginess and those ugly dark circles!

One response to this post.

  1. I really enjoy making hair products. Most of my products I use on my hair are made at home. I don’t use shampoos at all because I don’t want SLS on my body. I use Bentonite clay mask as a hair cleanser. Or Castille Soap. Both work wonderfully without drying out my hair. I make conditioners out of yogurt and other herbs. And I color with henna and indigo I buy off line. This is the healthiest my hair has ever been.


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