Here’s how to create a jar full of loveliness to destress, ease and delight.
Make it for a special friend, or as a gift to yourself.
This is so simple to make, but requires a little forethought in macerating the herbs to create your own blend herbal oil. It’s an especially thoughtful gift that you can personalise for the recipient through your choice of herbs and your style of presentation.
Prepare in advance
The preparatory work you need to do is very simple. Do it at least a week, ideally 3 weeks or so before you intend to create the final gift.
1. Select your herbs
You’ll need about 4 tablespoons of herbs. This can be a single herb, or a combination of herbs to suit your recipient.
Good combinations include:
loveage, parsley, spearmint and borage – great for post sport restoring and deodorising
bay, borage, hyssop and St John’s Wort – a lovely combination for relieving aches and pains
yarrow, plantain, spearmint and parsley – great to condition and freshen oily skin
comfrey, chamomile, elderflower and marshmallow leaf – great to condition dry skin
[ Field Fresh Skincare’s Hands On Herbs packs provide a selection of seasonal herbs which are just right for using in this kind of recipe ]
2. Macerate your herbs
Once you’ve made your selection of herbs. Put them in a clean jar with a screw top lid and pour over 2/3 cup (158ml) sunflower oil. Make sure the herbs are fully covered and then seal the jar and place it on a sunny windowsill.
Return to the jar every day and gently rock it to stir the ingredients, making sure the herbs remain covered.
Time to blend
After about 3 weeks of gently macerating your herbs in the oil, they’ll be ready to strain. Pour them through a muslin into a clean jug. In the jug you will have your hand-created herbal infused oil ready to blend into your body scrub.
To blend your scrub, put 400g fine grain salt into a large bowl and gradually add the macerated oil, mixing thoroughly. Reserve a tablespoon of oil.
Pack the salt into a sterilised jar and pour the remaining oil on top to create an air lock.
The personal touch
With your product made, it’s time to present the jar in a way your recipient will love. You know their style so do you keep it clean and simple, naturally adored or sumptuously arrayed?
A hand-written label emphasises the care you’ve put into making the gift. Be sure to let them know:
- what you call your product: be inventive, let the herbs and their benefits inspire you, put your recipient’s name in the blend to make it totally special to them
- the ingredients you’ve used, you can also say why you’ve selected them and the good they will do
- how to use the scrub: Apply to wet skin in the bath or shower. Scoop a handful of the herbal salt out of the jar and rub in small circles over your body. Leave for a minute before rinsing off thoroughly with warm water.
- and when to use it by: which will be a year after the time you’ve packed it into the jar.
Last minute alternative
If you haven’t three weeks spare before the gift-giving day, there is a means to achieve herbal loveliness in half an hour.
The heat method
Replace the gentle window-sill ‘sun method’ for macerating your herbs with the pan-over-pan ‘heat method’. It’s quite easy, but you will need to keep an eye on the hot oil.
Instead of putting your herbs into a jar (see step 1 above), put them into heat proof bowl that will fit neatly over a saucepan. Put some water in the saucepan below the bowl and put this on the stove to heat. Carefully pour the oil over the herbs in the bowl and let the water below come to boiling. Leave it all to heat gently for five minutes then turn off the stove, remove the bowl from the pan, cover it allowing it all to cool down.
Then you can pick things up from the ‘Time to Blend’ instructions above. Simple.
The freshest herbal skincare, made by you
For more really easy ways to use herbs in your skincare to benefit you and the environment. Take a look at Vital Skincare, this recipe is in the book, along with about 130 others to take you through the seasons.