Makes about 3 1/4 cups
This shampoo features calendula and St. John’s wort, both noted historically for their moisturizing and softening abilities. Dainty, bright-yellow calendula petals soothe the scalp and help control dandruff, eczema, psoriasis, and itching. St. John’s wort is emollient when used topically. Fresh, organic dandelion leaves are incorporated because of their high quantity of healthful phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals. Peppermint and coltsfoot are useful softening agents.
• 4 cups rainwater or spring water
• 1 cup dried, cut-and-sifted soap-bark tree (available from soapmaking suppliers)
• 1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup dried soapwort leaves, roots, and/or flowers
• 1 cup fresh or 1/3 cup dried St. John’s wort flowers
• 1 peppermint tea bag
• 1/2 cup liquid Castile soap
• 1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup dried calendula flower petals
• 1/2 cup fresh, organic, or wild dandelion petals and leaves
• 1/2 cup dried coltsfoot herb
• 1/2 teaspoon lemon essential oil
• 1/2 teaspoon neroli essential oil
• 1/2 teaspoon German chamomile essential oil
• 2 tablespoons 100-proof vodka
1. Begin this project on a sunny morning. Pour the water into a large, clear plastic or glass container with a lid. Pulverize the soap-bark tree chips by grinding with a mortar and pestle, a food processor, or a clean coffee grinder. Add the pulverized soap-bark to the water. Add the St. John’s wort, peppermint, calendula, dandelion, and coltsfoot, cover, and shake to mix.
2. Set this herbal mixture out in the sun at noon. Let steep until dusk. Bring the mixture inside and strain, using a fine sieve placed over a large stainless steel or glass bowl. Whisk in the Castile soap.
3. In a small bowl, add the essential oils to the vodka and swirl to mix. Whisk this perfume into the strained herbal mixture. For an extra scalp-soothing treat, try using this shampoo the same evening, while it’s still warm from the sun. Store at room temperature. Keeps for seven to ten days.