Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Herbal Alchemy: Luscious Lavender

Something different today! Oh my! I want to do an "Herbal Alchemy" post once a month or so. After all, you can't be a kitchen witch without having some herbal knowledge right? I will tackle different blends for soaps, bathsalts, lotions, ect. We will also discuss the health and spiritual benifits of the various herbs used. For our first venture in the land of herbal goodness, a relaxing bathsalt with some of my favorite herbs.
Herbs can come in many forms and we will discus these as needed. Of course, there are fresh, dried, powdered, and so on, but for today, we will need essential oils. Personally, oils are my favourite form of herb to work with so far. But be warned, they can be expensive. However they will last quite a while, and some can be found in the spice isle of your grocer. And really, if you enjoy working with them, oils are a great investment; for instance, homemade bath and body goodies are wonderful gifts and a great way to save on Holiday shopping. Who doesn't like that idea, right?
Now, without further delay, my Luscious Lavender Relaxing Bathsalt.


You'll need a mixing bowl, a smaller bowl to mix your oils, an eyedropper is optional, and a spoon.


Epsom salt
Sea salt
Baking powder
Lavender essential oil
Vanilla oil or extract (make sure it's genuine!)
Chamomile oil
Vitamin E oil
Food coloring (optional)


In the big mixing bowl combine your Epsom salt and sea salt at a 2:1 ratio and add just a pinch or two of the baking powder (just to help keep it dry and usable and retains the smells).
Now you'll want to get your oil mixture right before adding it to your salt. Lets discuss these one by one.
5 parts Lavender: This is great for cleansing body and mind, relaxing, and dreams. It has a wonderful, unique earthly floral smell.
2 parts Vanilla: This is great for comfort and bringing back good memories and thoughts of home and is also a good moisturizer I've found. We all know what vanilla smells like.
1 part chamomile: Chamomile is great in tea and has long been used to induce sleep and has a long range of other health benefits. It has also has a floral earthy smell.
1 part Vitamin E oil: No smell here. Vitamin E is just great for skin. Sometimes it can be sticky though, so be careful.
When you mix these, be sure if your using a universal dropper that its thoroughly washed after each oil. You don't want to contaminate your oils with the smell of another oil. Typically, you can find bottles of oils that allow you to dispense individual drops slowly without the need for separate equipment. Smell constantly, and don't be afraid to tinker with the ratios to your liking.
If your making a big batch you may need a carrier oil like evoo or jabooba oil to put the essential oil mixture in. I typically don't do this for salts though.
Now that your oils are mixed, you can add it to the salts, mixing thoroughly. Once satisfied, you can add color if you want, or leave it white. Just allow to dry and store in a cool place in an air tight container or divide into little bags.
Bathe and enjoy!!!

I hope you learn to love herbs like I do. Once you get familiar with them, they offer such a wide variety of uses, you will use them everywhere.

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