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 (Fair Winds Press, 2015), 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.
You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: Healing Herbs.
Blue violet has an affinity to the lymphatic system and is classified as an alliterative, or “blood purifier”; it is known to promote the body’s own cleansing action. It is a great herb for swollen glands and helping the body eliminate bacteria and other toxins, which is why violets are traditionally known for their use in body and breast care, and also for chapped and dry spots. Here’s one of my favorite lusciously clean-smelling creams perfect for thirsty skin. It’s light and dreamy and filled with the essence of spring.
Yields 12 ounces (355 mL)
• 1 cup fresh blue violet flowers
• 3 ounces (90 ml) nettle and violet leaf-infused sunflower oil 1/2 ounce (15 ml) castor oil
• 1-1/2 ounces (42 g) shea butter
• 1/2 ounce (14 g) grated beeswax
• 2 vitamin E capsules
• 5 to 8 drops ylang ylang, jasmine, neroli, or essential oil of choice
1. Place the fresh violet flowers into a small heatproof mason jar and pour hot water over them. Cover and let steep.
2. Place the nettle and violet leaf-infused oil into a heatproof measuring cup. Add the castor oil, shea butter, and beeswax. Set the cup into a pan filled with several inches of water and heat on medium-low until everything melts together.
3. Remove from the pan, let cool to body temperature, and then add the vitamin E.
4. Strain the violet flower tea and measure out 5 to 6 ounces (150 to 180 mL) of liquid.
5. Using a hand mixer (or blender) on low, slowly drizzle the violet flower tea into the oil mixture. As the oils start to thicken, increase the speed to high. Beat on high until your mixture is thick and creamy, and then stir in your desired essential oils.
6. Spoon the cream into a clean sterilized jar and enjoy generously!
More from Healing Herbs:
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. Buy this book form our store: Healing Herbs.