How to Make Your Own Lotion (from my shop to your farm kitchen)

Lotion is messy to make and clean up but oh so worth it!  This is the very recipe I have been using in my shop for years.  In a world of sodium laurel sulfate and other cancer causing ingredients at each turn, it is nice to have a really great lotion recipe at one’s fingertips.  This can be made in your farm kitchen without much difficulty.

lotion

You will need:

a large mouth quart sized canning jar

an immersion blender

1/2 pint or pint sized jars to transfer lotion to

saucepan

scale to measure beeswax

stir stick (a chop stick works great)

beeswax (preferably pastilles)

olive oil

water

essential oils of your choice

Directions:

In canning jar measure 1 1/2 cups of oil and 1 and an 1/8 ounces of beeswax.

Place in saucepan and pour water to reach half way up jar to create a double boiler.

Stir with chop stick every so often to fully incorporate and help melt wax.

Meanwhile measure out 1 1/2 cups of cool water.  Set aside.  Plug in immersion blender and be ready.

When wax is fully melted, remove from saucepan and add water.  Immediately blend thoroughly until emulsified.  While warm pour into desired jars and add essential oils.  12 drops per 4 ounces is a good measure.

Don’t use oils that are too hot like cinnamon.  A few favorite blends over the years have been 6 drops of lavender and 6 drops of rose.  8 drops of lime and 4 drops of mint.  8 drops of orange and 4 drops of ylang ylang.  Or whatever you desire!

This will keep for over a year without any preservatives.  It is a SPF 12 naturally and is safe for absolutely all skin types.   Tomorrow I will show you how to turn this humble lotion into powerful sunscreen!

 

How to Make Your Own Witchhazel

 

IMG_2302I held the bottle of witchhazel in my hands at the store and wondered why it was clear.  Plant extracts are never clear!  There are pigments in plants.  I decided to make my own.  That was years ago and my face wash in my shop was one of my best sellers.  It is astringent without being drying.  It clears skin.  It heals up wounds.  It works as deodorant.  It has many uses.  So, are you ready to see how easy it is to make?  Here is my recipe.

You will need 4 Tablespoons of either witch hazel bark or leaf.  If using to heal varicose veins (yes, topically it does this) then get the bark.  If you are not lucky enough to have it growing by you (it does not grow in Colorado) then you will need to order some.  mountainroseherbs.com or starwest_botanicals.com are both good sources.

Place the 4 Tablespoons in a pint canning jar.  At this point I like to add other herbs.  Calendula, lavender, and roses are all lovely on the skin.  Goldenseal and arnica could be added for wounds.  Nettle for bug bites.  Yarrow could be added for veins.  A fresh leaf of aloe.  Maybe 2 Tablespoons total of extra herbs.  It doesn’t really matter, you can’t mess it up!

Now pour vodka over the herbs leaving 1/2 inch head space.  Yes, all extracts whether in shampoo or witch hazel are indeed alcohol based.  Alcohol is what pulls the plant medicines from the plant.  Screw on lid and label what you put in it and the date.  You will likely forget, trust me!

Place in window for two weeks, shaking when you see it.  Now the base is complete.

It is important to cut this extract as it would be too strong for the skin.  1 part base to 3 parts water will make a lovely extract.  Add some essential oils and make your own face wash/deodorant.  This is a great gift.  Add aloe or a tea of chamomile and comfrey for a wound healer.  Use in a spray bottle with essential oils to make a room spray.  Or a facial spray.

Witchhazel is a wonderful thing to keep on hand.  Now that you see how easy it is to make I hope you will whip up a batch!

 

 

“Nature”al Body Products

rose

Just for fun!  It’s nice to see that simple things in the kitchen cupboard and nature can provide everything we need if we wanted or needed to use it.  These are truly the cleanest body products around!

Shampoo:

From the cupboard- Baking soda.  Put a little in your hand and make a paste with water.  Only wash the scalp.  Rinse.  Follow with homemade conditioner.

yucca lamb's quarters

From the field- Yucca roots or Lamb’s quarters roots boiled will release saponin which is essentially soap!  It won’t lather but it will clean.

Conditioner:

From the cupboard- Apple cider vinegar. (Use before you shave your legs.  Just sayin’.)  The smell does not linger.  Pour over hair and rinse.  Super shiny hair will ensue.

From the field- Rosemary tea for dark hair, chamomile tea for blonde hair. (Make tea by pouring 1 cup of boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of herbs.)

Soap:

From the cupboard- Olive oil was used in centuries past as a cleanser.  Also doubles as moisturizer!

From the field- A sponge bath of rose, lavender (any flower) and yucca root or lambs quarters tea will be quite refreshing.

Toothpaste:

From the cupboard- Baking soda.  Whitens, cleans, disinfects.

From the field- A sage leaf.  I use this often when I feel like I have a bit of “coffee breath” as I run out the door.  I keep a pot of it on the front porch.  Simply run the leaf around your teeth and tongue and receive instant fresh breath and clean teeth.

mallow

You can get your toothbrush in a pinch from the field as well.  Pioneers often used the root of the Mallow plant.

Mouthwash:

From the cupboard- A bit of apple cider vinegar.

From the field- Chew on parsley, sage, or peppermint.

Deodorant:

From the cupboard- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt dissolved in a cup of water.  Spray or apply with cotton ball.

From the field- Crushed mint leaves, or simply or rose water.

Body Scrub:

From the cupboard- Sugar or Salt blended with a little olive oil.

From the field- Straight mud!  It’s actually quite lovely.

IMG_0659

How to make rose water two ways:

Steam distillation (this is how you make any flower essence)- Place a brick or rock in the center of a large pot and set a bowl on top of stone.  Surround the stone with rose petals then pour a few inches of water over flowers.  Replace lid to pot and simmer water.  The water that condenses on the lid and drips into the bowl is your flower essence.  Pour this into a spray bottle and add more water or witch hazel.

Infusion– Pour two cups of boiling water over a cup of rose petals and let steep for 30 minutes.  Pour into spray bottle.  Add a little witch hazel if desired.

Use the rose water to refresh skin and brighten mood.  Will keep in the refrigerator for about 3-5 days.