The scent of fresh basil is a stimulant to your mind and helps crystallize your thoughts and energize your body. Cinnamon basil, with its sweet fragrance, is an unusual basil and perfect for this simple massage oil recipe. Makes 4 ounces.
• 2 teaspoons dried basil leaves and flower buds
• 1 tablespoon dried orange peel, grated
• 1⁄2 cup light oil (such as almond, sesame or walnut)
1. Place ingredients in a small saucepan and warm gently; do not boil. Allow to cool completely, place in a clean jar and let sit for at least 1 week.
2. Strain out leaves and peels; pour into a clean bottle with tight-fitting lid. Add a few decorative dried leaves or an orange peel to the bottle, if you wish.
3. To use: Pour a small amount onto hands and massage into skin.
Tip: In the garden, cinnamon basil grows about 2 feet tall with purple stems and lavender and white flowers. The leaves and flowers can easily be dried for year-round use. Hang small bunches of leaves upside-down in a cool, arid spot until dry. Then remove the leaves and flower buds from the stems and store in a clean, airtight container.
Janice Cox and her daughter, Lauren Cox, recently co-authored a book, EcoBeauty: Scrubs, Rubs, Masks, and Bath Bombs for You and Your Friends (Ten Speed Press, 2009). Find it at www.herbcompanion.com/shopping or order by phone.
Click here for the main article, Body & Soul: Exotic Spa Treatments .