PLANT POTIONS

Spring Blossoms Facial Steam & "Tea"

Spring is abundant with skin-loving plants - many of them cooling, soothing and astringent. Just what skin needs after the winter months and headed into summer. 

This versatile facial blend - featuring violet leaf and flower, apple leaf and blossom, strawberry leaf, mint, ground ivy and chickweed - will calm, cool and tone skin with plant love. <3

Want an ready-made facial steam blend? You can purchase :SRING BLOSSOMS:: in the Autumn Moon etsy boutique - with botanicals from our pesticide-free family farm - carefully harvested by hand, by me, with love. <3

When harvesting plants for this blend, please make certain you have properly identified them and harvest them in a sustainable way. You can check the USDA Plants Database to assist in identification. 

Spring Blossoms Facial Steam / Tea

Violet Leaf and Flower

Apple Leaf and Blossom

Strawberry Leaf

Mint Leaf

Chickweed

Ground Ivy 

  1. Collect a few handfuls of each plant - whichever you have available.
  2. Dry the plants, gently, in a dehydrator or in the lowest setting on your oven until totally dry.
  3. Store your dried plants in a glass container with a tight fitting lid (like a Mason jar).

TO USE AS AN HERBAL STEAM

Cleanse skin. Place a small handful of your dried blend in a shallow dish. Pour boiling water over the blend, cover your head with a large towel and place your face over the steam coming from the bowl (not too close - you just want a warm, gentle steam - not hot). Follow with a facial mask (if desired) and then your favorite toner and protective moisturizer.

This herbal steam will rejuvenate the skin, allowing it to release toxins from the pores and tone tissues, as well as hydrating itself. 

Please note: Facial steams are not recommended for those with rosacea, broken capillaries or inflamed/irritated skin, as it can make these conditions worse. 

TO USE AS A FACIAL "TEA"

After your facial steam has cooled, strain the infused liquid and use it as a cool facial compress with a cloth, a facial splash or in a spray bottle as a toner. Keep the liquid refrigerated and use it within 48 hours, discarding unused liquid.

Using this "tea" will instantly soothe, tone and tighten skin. Follow with your favorite moisturizer.

WILD VIOLET (Viola papilionacea) LEAF & BLOSSOM are:
- cooling
- moistening
- comforting
- anti-inflammatory 

CHICKWEED (Stellaria media) is:
- cooling
- soothing
- anti-inflammatory

APPLE (Malus domestica) LEAF & BLOSSOMS from our family apple tree are:
- cooling
- astringent 

LEMON BALM (Melissa officinalis) is:
- anti-inflammatory
- antioxidant rich

WILD STRAWBERRY (Fragaria virginiana) LEAF is:
- astringent
- anti-inflammatory

GROUND IVY (Glechoma hederacea) is:
- cooling
- astringent

While this blend incorporates plants that are safe for internal use, this blend intended to be used externally, rather than being consumed.  

 

 

 

 

 

5 Ways to Love: Hydrosols

One of my favorite herbal delights is the wispy and mysterious hydrosol. What is a hydrosol - or sometimes called "herbal distillate?" It is the aqueous product that is left over after distilling plants to extract their essential oils. What is left is the water soluble, aromatic and therapeutic qualities of the plant. These aromatic waters offer a myriad of wonderful applications for body and home.

1. A natural body fragrance spray.

Hydrosols make a wonderful alternative to body sprays containing artificial fragrances. Spray them all over skin and hair for a subtle scent.

2. An aromatic and therapeutic facial mist.

Since hydrosols retain the treatment properties of plants, they can help to support healthy skin. Try rose hydrosol for dry/mature skin, neroli for oilier skins, calendula or chamomile for sensitive skins and tulsi (holy basil) for acne prone skin.

3. A luxurious addition to your bath.

Add a cup of hydrosol to your bathwater for a plant energized, aromatic and therapeutic soak.

4. Add them to your food.

Hydrosols (food grade only) can be added to food and beverages to excite your tastebuds and offer a tasty treat. Try a splash of rose hydrosol in a mug of warm milk and honey with a dash of cinnamon. Divine!

5. Scent your home.

Hydrosols offer a gentle fragrance that can be used to scent your rooms and linens.

How do you like to use hydrosols?

Lavender Infused Witch Hazel

lavenderhazel.jpg

THIS LAVENDER/WITCH HAZEL INFUSION IS LOVELY TO HAVE ON HAND AS AN ELEMENTAL SKIN CARE PREPARATION. USE IT "AS IS" OR AS AN ADDITION TO OTHER SKIN CARE PRODUCTS.

Witch hazel, which can be found readily in your local store or purchased in specialty varieties (organic, etc.) online, works great for infusions of dried plants. It seems to take on a true quality of various plants in a short amount of time and has a variety of uses.

You can use this lavender/witch hazel infusion for:

  • Toning facial skin - witch hazel is a wonderful astringent that is perfect for combination to oily skin types.
  • Cleaning minor scrapes - the witch hazel helps to constrict capillaries and encourage swifter healing, while the lavender helps fight infections.
  • Aftershave- witch hazel and lavender both have anti-inflammatory properties good for razor burn.
  • A soothing sunburn spray - place in a spray bottle and keep it in the refrigerator for cooling relief.
  • Itch relief - dab on bug bites or other itchy areas to soothe.
  • A "mixer" - use a splash with a facial cleanser or mask to customize your products.

Some other materials that lend themselves beautifully to a witch hazel infusion are any type of mint, elderflower, lemon balm, roses, orange and lemon peel, vanilla bean or even spices like cinnamon. Get creative and let me know what you infuse!

  1. Fill a glass jar to the top with dried lavender buds.
  2. Pour the witch hazel over the buds until it completely covers them. Place a lid on the jar, label it with the preparation date and contents and place it in a cool, dark place for two weeks (or more), shaking the jar daily.
  3. Strain the infusion through a funnel lined with cheesecloth into a clean glass jar. This is the easiest way I have found for straining just about any plant preparation, after much trial and error (not to mention lost infusions on my countertop!). You can cut the infusion with a bit of distilled water, at this time, to vary the potency of the brew, should you wish.
  4. Place a lid on the jar and label with the date (I usually use the original date it was prepared). You can also store it in a pretty bottle with a cork, just because it is fancier :) This does not have to be stored in the fridge, but it will keep it fresher, longer, if you do and will have additional cooling effects. Just remember to throw it out if it starts to smell funky or grow anything weird.