As natural home remedies get more popular, the available information about the best herbs, recipes, and treatments for common ailments grows longer and longer. It can be hard to sift through the surplus and find simple, reliable medicinal methods created from basic ingredients. If you agree, then Tina Sams’ book, Healing Herbs, may be the place to go. Sams focuses her lens on only 20 herbs, but all have a variety of uses, from remedies — of which this book has over 100 — to recipes. Her cures are inexpensive and effective, and you can find or grow any plant she mentions. Healing Herbs makes this vast subject accessible and easy.
This is a scaled-down version of a product that my sister’s soap and body care company makes. Nourishing to the skin and a pleasure to use, it can be personalized with your own choice of wetting agent. Plain water is fine, but a nice hydrosol, yogurt, an egg, milk, or an oil are just a few ideas for making this your own.
Yield: 4 or 5 applications
• 1 tablespoon rose petals
• 1 tablespoon yarrow leaves and flowers
• 1 tablespoon calendula
• 2 tablespoons oatmeal
• Almond meal, cosmetic clay powder, milk powder, or other botanicals (optional)
1. Rose petals will often resist breaking down, so begin by putting them into a food processor, or if you’re like me you have a coffee grinder (or two) just for herbs and resins. Pulse to break down.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and process until they are a fairly uniform consistency about the size of grains of sand. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container.
3. To use, put about a tablespoon of the mixture in a small dish, and add enough of your wetting agent to form a spreadable paste. Wash your face using your normal cleansing method, and then spread on the facial, rubbing it around to exfoliate a little bit. Leave it on for 5 minutes before rinsing and patting dry.
Reprinted with permission from Healing Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide to Identifying, Foraging, and Using Medicinal Plants by Tina Sams, published by Fair Winds Press, 2015.