Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Making herby fabric conditioner

Just making some herbal fabric conditioner, thanks to a suggestion from Debs at Herbal Haven. Nice and simple:- I've used dried rose petals and lavender, and filled up the jar with white vinegar. In fact, I used ascetic acid diluted 1:7 with water to make the white vinegar, which is less fish and chip shop smelly. I'll leave it to brew for... a few weeks (?) before trying it. I've used white vinegar with essential oils before, which was Ok but took a lot of oil to get any scent on the clothes.
Making herbal fabric conditioner
Update: I've had a chance to try this one out and I'm not that impressed with it. Although it smells good before going in the wash none of the scent is left afterwards. The clothes do come out soft, but I find this is the case anyway using Eco Balls (as I have been since January). A downer is that it makes a mess of the washing machine draw too (the colour from the rose petals). Last week I attended a Mercian Herb Group meeting where Debs gave us lots of new ideas to try out, including a fabric softener recipe - so more on that soon! :-)

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Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Herbal shampoos

It's been a (wonderfully) busy start to the year. Every so often I remembered my blog but didn't have time to write... and not for a lack of things to write about. I made a variety of potions in January including a wicked and very girley chocolate lip balm, a calendula ointment for cracked skin, and some perfume. But mostly I've been focussing on shampoo, and now feel that I have a lovely range of herbal shampoos.

Herbal shampoos

Rose and Chamomile shampoo (normal to dry hair) - this is made with an infusion of rose petals and chamomile flowers - these provide some of the qualities of the shampoo, as well as colour, and some of the scent (which is then boosted with essential oils of rosewood, geranium and ylang ylang). Both rose and chamomile have soothing, cooling and healing qualities. 

Rosemary and Nettle shampoo (normal or thin hair) - this is made with an infusion of rosemary and nettles, giving it a dark green colour. Both rosemary and nettle are often used in haircare formulations to counteract hair loss and dandruff, and is said to stimulate the scalp. Essential oils of rosemary, sage and lavender give it a lovely herby smell and complement the overall purpose of the shampoo.

Sage and Yarrow shampoo (normal or oily hair) - this is my most recent formulation and I'm really pleased with it. The sage and yarrow infusion gives is a yellow/greenish colour and the qualities. Yarrow and sage together bring strengthening, drying and healing properties to the shampoo. The essential oils of lemon and cypress give it an enlivening smell and are also suitable for oily hair. This formulation uses a slightly different basic recipe than the previous two shampoos, with less olive oil, again making it more suited to oily hair.

The final shampoo in the range is, quite simply, a Mild Calendula Shampoo (sensitive or baby hair) made with a decoction of calendula petals and a little lavender essential oil, and a very gentle basic formulation.

I really feel so pleased with these shampoos and its now time to get them laboratory tested, and design some labels - wow! Progress. :-) And as always, I'm grateful to Kolbjorn/ Aromantic for sharing his knowledge of how to make my own natural cosmetics.

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Spring is coming! Yay!

I always think snowdrops look so brave, they really get the spring party going. And then the crocusses get in on the act... and before we know it the whole dance floor will be teaming. :)))

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