Tuesday, August 4, 2009
I love lavender and have a lot of it growing around Cedar Pond. Not just in the herb garden either. We have it in many of the flower beds and some of my big pots of plant groupings. The bees around here love it too. I have always enjoyed cutting the long stemmed blooms and drying them for scenting my drawers, and using a bit for cooking, and used to add ground up lavender and oatmeal to my goat milk soap. Once I stopped making my own soap I forgot about using lavender for other things...until recently. I have very sensitive and dry skin and had been purchasing some special oils from a company in California. The oils were wonderful and did the job most lotions did not do so well, but they were very, very expensive. I noted that the base of most of the products was Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and it clicked, ANYONE can buy that at the supermarket, and I also realized I had baskets full of the many herbal ingredients these oils had. I could buy the best oils ( they're spendy) and use my herbs and make at least 10 times the oils for the same price as purchasing a 1 to 2 ounce bottle from the company in CA. The bottles above are Grape- seed Oil and Almond Oil that have had lavender from our garden crushed and steeped in them for at least 10 days. I filtered out the crushed lavender today and swiped the oil still clinging to the sides of the steeping jar and massaged it into my arms. I chose grape-seed and almond oils after reading about their benefits on-line, but Olive Oil would do quite well too. You need clean sterile canning jars or bottles with tight fitting lids. Oil of choice ( 32 ounces), and herb or herbs of choice, about 1 cup fresh or dried..put washed, dried, and crushed herbs of choice in the jar and then pour oil into jar. Put tight fitting lid on and place the jar in a sunny spot for about 10 days. You can add up to 20 drops of essential oil to this for fragrance, but when I strained the oil, I discovered it had a delicate lavender/ grassy smell and I like it fine. I can use this on my feet and legs too, just remember oil is, well..oily, and blot it after applying or wear cotton socks and gloves for special soothing and softening. It can be stored in a cool dark place for several months unrefrigerated, or indefinitely in the fridge. And you can cook with them too! I have filled the cleaned and sterilized old , antique cosmetic and medicine bottles with the oils for my facial needs, to be refilled with oil from the big jars when needed. There are so many fragrant herbs and herbal combinations you can use, and the supermarkets have such a wide variety of oils available. Do some research on-line and see which oils might appeal to you. Your cosmetic and skin needs are only as far away as your local supermarket and herb garden, at a very attractive price! "Almond oil, The most popular carrier oil, as it has little smell, is rich in protein and is emollient, nourishing, and slow to become rancid." "Grape- seed Oil,Very fine and clear; it gives a satin-smooth finish without a greasy touch."
The Complete Book Of Herbs by Leslie Bremness