Creative, Natural and Inexpensive DIY Beauty Solutions
This post focuses on beauty remedies using four of my favorite herbs; Peppermint, Rosemary, Basil and Neem. I call it my amazing, special, wonderful, fantastic Four Herbs mix. You may substitute any or all of these herbs in the recipes described here with your favorites.
What You’ll Need:
(1) FRESH HERBS
Scientifically known as Mentha, mint/peppermint has a number of medicinal properties when ingested or used topically.
– It promotes digestion and soothes the stomach in cases of indigestion or inflammation. It also stimulates digestive enzymes making it good as a weight loss aid
– It alleviates the inflammation and temperature rises often associated with headaches and migraines
– It gives relief from respiratory disorders such as coughs, sore throats and congestion (However, using too much mint can also irritate the throat and nose)
– It is a natural stimulant against fatigue. It also cools the body down.
– It is good for cleansing skin and fighting against acne as it has antiseptic and antipruritic (anti-itch) properties
– It has germicidal properties and freshens breath making it a good oral aid
Rosmarinus officinalis has been used for hundreds, if not thousands of years, in various ways for its medicinal properties.
– It supports circulation to the brain and thus helps alleviate the potential of diseases such as Alzheimer’s
– It contains carnosic acid, a potent antioxidant, effective in anti-aging and toning by protecting cells from free-radical damage
– It stimulates blood flow and helps with cell growth
– It has powerful acerbic, anti-inflammatory, disinfectant and antibiotic properties
Click here for a more in-depth description of the Rosemary herb and its properties.
Native to the India, Ocimum basilicum (sometimes known as Holy Tulsi or St Joseph’s Wort) has been used for centuries in herbal medicine to alleviate the symptoms of various disorders.
– It is rich in anti-oxidants and important nutrients (e.g. vitamin K)
– It is used in treating mental disorders as it promotes circulation to the brain. It is also known to improve brain action and memory.
– It contains phytosterols reported to have a cooling action
– It has been used in the treatment of uterine disorders and stomach cramps
– It has anti-perspirant and anti-inflammatory properties
– Like rosemary and neem, it is used in treatment of itching skin and scalp conditions, treating oily skin and hair and alleviating the scalp from dandruff
Known in Swahili as Muarubaini (translated as ‘the panacea‘ or ‘the tree of forty uses‘), neem has been used in ayurveda for over 4000 years.
– It has anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties
– It is used in the treatment of skin disorders such as eczema and scalp problems
Click here for more information on the Neem plant, its benefits and more uses.
(2) DISTILLED WATER, POTS / PANS for brewing tea and CONTAINERS / BOTTLES for storage
How to Prepare the “Four Herbs” Mix:
(1) “FOUR HERBS” HERBAL TEA
Brewing herbal tea from fresh herbs is a very simple process. After harvesting / purchasing fresh leaves of the herbs of your choice, clean your herbs by running cool water over them or placing them in a cool water bath. This removes any soil, foreign particles or toxins than may be on the leaves.
Cut / pull the leaves from the stems and discard the stems. You may choose to chop your herbs into smaller parts or brew the leaves whole.
Place the herbs in a pot and cover them completely with water. Here, I use about 7 cups of water to cover the Peppermint, Rosemary and Basil mix and about 4 cups to cover the Neem and Basil mix.
Note: I brew and store my neem tea separately because of it’s overpoweringly strong, bitter taste and add it to the other herbal tea when required.
Boil the herbs in the water for about 20 – 25 minutes. Thereafter, turn off the heat and steep the herbs in the water for a further 10 – 15 minutes.
Strain the tea (do not throw away the spent leaves) into a container or bottle and allow to cool at rtp.
If you are not using the freshly brewed Four Herbs herbal tea immediately, store in the refrigerator. This will keep fresh for about 3 – 5 days. Alternatively, you may freeze the brewed Four Herbs tea for up to 6 – 8 months.
(2) “FOUR HERBS” HERBAL PASTE
Combine the spent leaves (used to brew the herbal tea) with fresh leaves of the 4 herbs and blend into a paste. I use a handheld blender but you may also use a mortar and pestle if you wish.
Add a few tbsp of water or the brewed Four Herbs tea to make it easier to blend / grind the leaves into a paste.
I spoon the paste into an ice cube tray for storage in the freezer.
7 Simple Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your “Four Herbs” Mix:
1. BREW A HOT CUP OF FOUR HERBS TEA
– Heat up the Four Herbs tea and add honey to taste
2. PREPARE A PITCHER OF FOUR HERBS ICED TEA
– Add 3 cups of the Four Herbs tea, 1 cups of 100% lemon juice, 1 cup 100% apple juice, ice cubes, honey to taste and some slices of lemon and apple. Mix well in a pitcher and serve
– Alternatively, make yourself a glass of fizzy Four Herbs iced tea by combining 3/4 cup Four Herbs tea, 1/4 cup ice-cold carbonated water and 1/2 tbsp honey to taste. You may add some lemon slices and ice cubes.
– Add 1/2 cup of Four Herbs tea to 1/2 cup of freshly squeezed fruit juice of your choice. Add slices of fresh fruit. You may sweeten with honey if desired.
3. STEAM YOUR FACE WITH FOUR HERBS TEA
– Simply pour some Four Herbs tea into a bowl, cover your head over the bowl with a towel and steam your face as you normally would to open up your pores.
Tip: Add some rosemary, neem, sage or peppermint essential oils to the Four Herbs face steam for extra benefits and a lovely aroma.
4. RINSE YOUR HAIR WITH FOUR HERBS TEA
Tea rinses strengthen hair, reduce shedding and breakage and give the hair a healthy glow.
– Put 1/2 a cup to 1 cup (depending on the length of your hair) of cool Four Herbs tea in a spray bottle. After shampoo/conditioning your hair, saturate your hair from ends to roots with the herbal tea. Allow it to sit for anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes (you may cover with a plastic cap) then lightly rinse off with cool water.
Here is a link to a post that lists the different was that different herbs benefit our hair and scalp
5. TREAT AND PREVENT ACNE AND BLEMISHES WITH A FOUR HERBS MASK OR SCRUB
– Use the Four Herbs paste as a mask; apply to a cleansed face and let it sit until dry then rinse off
– Add the Four Herbs paste to yogurt, egg, honey or anything you like to make an herbal face mask
– Mix the Four Herbs paste with about 4 tablets of aspirin (a great source of salicylic acid) and/or aloe vera and make a facial scrub or mask. Here is a neem tea mask that uses this concept.
– Mix the Four Herbs paste with 1 egg yolk, 1 tsp of turmeric and 1 tsp of honey for a moisturizing acne and blemish-blasting mask! (I made an excessive amount so I froze the remaining mix and thaw one cube each time I need to do the mask)
6. MAKE A FOUR HERBS ANTISEPTIC MOUTHWASH
– Add 2 tsp of the herbal paste, 1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda and 1 tsp of salt to 1 cup of water. Use this as a daily mouthwash.
– Add 2 tsp of the herbal paste, 1 tsp of salt, 1 tbsp of vodka to 1 cup water. Use this as a daily mouthwash.
7. SOAK YOUR FEET IN A SOOTHING FOUR HERBS FOOT BATH
– Add the Four Herbs tea and Four Herbs paste to hot water in a foot bath (basin). Steep your feet in this foot bath and relax. You may add some apple cider vinegar (it has anti-fungal and deodorizing properties), Bicarbonate of soda (it has deodorizing properties) or Epsom salts (soothes and relaxes tired, achy feet) to the foot bath.
Tip: Put some marbles at the bottom of your foot bath and as you relax, allow your feet to roll over the marbles. This stimulates blood circulation in your feet and also gives you a nice little massage.
And… it’s as easy as that.
Hope you all love the Four Herbs Mix as much as (if not more than) I do!
Please feel free to comment, ask questions or send me feedback. I would love to hear back from you. Tell me how your Four Herbs Mix turns out and what other herbs you love to use!
Bonus 2: Here is and awesome all natural way to make soap using Neem Oil.