Hair Care & Hygiene
Shampoos & Rinses
Stinging Nettle: Nettles have a long-standing reputation for preventing hair loss and making the hair soft and shiny. Nettle is an excellent hair conditioner. It is an acidic plant and promotes a healthy gloss. Use it as a final rinse after washing your hair, or massage it into the scalp and comb some through the hair every other day. Keep it in small bottles in the refrigerator. NOTE: Always wear gloves when gathering the nettles and when cutting them up.
1 tsp dried nettle leaf
1 tsp comfrey root (cut up)
1 tsp basil
10 oz water
1/4 tsp almond oil
3 oz castile soap
20 drops basil essential oil (optional)
30 drops lavender essential oil (optional)
Make herbal infusion with the herbs and water. Let steep for 8 hours and
strain. Pour strained infusion, liquid castile soap, almond oil and essential
oils in a jar or squeeze bottle, cap and shake. It is now ready for use.
Always shake before using. Makes about 11 ounces.
1 Tbsp dried nettle leaf
1 Tbsp comfrey root (cut up)
1 Tbsp basil
16 oz water
A few drops of basil or lavender essential oil (optional)
Make herbal infusion with herbs and water, let steep for 8 hours and strain. Gently warm infusion. Add the essential oils, if desired, and apply to scalp and hair, taking the time to catch the liquid and reapply. Repeat this several times. Rinse out if desired. Makes enough for 1 to 2 treatments.
Simple Nettle Rinse & Conditioner
A big handful of nettles
Wash the nettles thoroughly and put the bunch into an enamel saucepan
with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 15
minutes. Strain the liquid into a jar and allow to cool before using.
Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis): Soapwort contains saponins, chemicals that foam when added to water. All parts of the plant produce a gentle cleansing lather that does not sting the eyes or make the hair brittle. Do not take soapwort internally.
Fresh Soapwort Shampoo
About 10 leafy soapwort stems, 6 to 8 inches long
1 pint water
Some of your favorite herbs
Cut the stems into short lengths and put them into an enamel saucepan, bruise lightly with a wooden spoon, and add the water. Bring to a boil,
cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring two or three times. Remove from the heat. Allow the liquid to cool, then strain and bottle for future use.
Before you use the shampoo, add 3 tablespoons of strong herb or flower infusion. For immediate use, and while the liquid is still hot, add a few sprigs each of several mixed fresh herbs, or two large handfuls of any one herb. Cover the shampoo, allow it to cool, and then strain. Use all the liquid for one hair wash.
Dried Soapwort Root Shampoo
Herbal suppliers sell dried soapwort root. You should prepare the root in
advance; before you add the herbs, boil, and simmer the mixture.
1 oz dried soapwort root
1-1/4 pint boiling water
1 oz dried herbs and flowers
Pour the boiling water on the broken up roots, cover, and leave to soak for
12 hours, or overnight. Put the root and liquid in into an enamel pan, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, add the dried herbs or flowers, stir, cover, and leave to cool. Strain into a jar, and use for one hair wash.
Toothpaste & Mouthwash
Many herbs have cleansing and antiseptic properties that make them suitable for oral hygiene. The most important herbs for oral hygiene are sage (astringent), cloves, peppermint and thyme (antiseptics), parsley, marjoram, bramble and blackcurrant leaves, and juniper berries. Chewing juniper berries, peppermint, or parsley will kill the odors of onion, garlic or alcohol; rubbing the teeth with sage will clean them and sweeten the breath. Strawberries whiten and clean the teeth, and remove plaque. You can make an effective mouthwash with a normal infusion of sage, mint, thyme, or marjoram.
This mixture cleans the teeth and freshens the mouth. Use it with a damp
1 tablespoon arrowroot
1 teaspoon milled sea-salt
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
15 to 20 drops oil of peppermint
Mix the ingredients with a spoon, then pound to a dry paste with a pestle
and mortar. Keep in a jar with a tight lid.
Use fresh sage for this powder — it tastes good and its volatile oil has
antiseptic properties. Rinse your mouth well after use.
1 small handful fresh sage leaves
Wash the sage. Pick off the tips and the freshest leaves and chop finely or put through a parsley mill. To each spoonful of chopped sage, add 1/2 spoonful milled sea-salt. Measure on to a flat ovenproof dish and bake in a preheated oven (300°F.) for 20 minutes, until the sage is dry. Remove from the oven and pound the mixture to a fine powder with a pestle and mortar. Return to oven for an additional 15 minutes, until powdery. Cool and store
in a screw-top jar.
1 drop Peppermint Essential Oil
1 drop Thyme Essential Oil
1 drop Eucalyptus Essential Oil
1 drop Wintergreen Essential Oil
1 Tablespoon 190 Proof Ethyl Alcohol
6 Tablespoons Distilled Water
Pour all ingredients into to glass jar with tight fitting lid. Shake before each use. Use less water and more alcohol if you use 50% alcohol. The final alcohol concentration should be 15-20%.
Add 10 – 15 drops of cinnamon essential oil to a cup of water. Shake
before each use. Cinnamon is antiseptic and antibacterial, therefore it is quite effective. It is also the best essential oil to use for garlic breath.
WARNING! Cinnamon Essential Oil can be highly irritating. Patch test before using.
Pick the leaves when they are young and fresh, taking the bramble leaves from the tops of the stems.
1 large handful blackcurrant or bramble leaves
1 pint water
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Put the leaves and water into an open saucepan and boil until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the lemon juice, strain, and use immediately.
2 Tablespoons Thyme Leaf
1/3 Cup Water
1 Tablespoon Vodka
Make and infusion of the thyme and water. Keep covered while steeping. Add 1 Tablespoon Vodka. Use as a mouth rinse after brushing.
When you wash after using a deodorant you will usually notice the skin has a slight resistance to soap. Cleavers has the same effect on the skin, which is entirely harmless. If you prefer to use dried herbs as a deodorant powder, try a mixture of dried powdered orange peel, lemon peel, and orris root.
1 large handful of fresh, green cleavers stems and leaves
2 pints water
Put the cleavers and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer in the open pan for 15 minutes. Allow to cool, then strain and bottle. The deodorant keeps for 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator, so make fresh batches regularly.