Pamper Me Wednesday: Milk and Honey Bath

Throughout the world Cleopatra of Egypt is known as one of the most beautiful women in history. One of the things that made her into the woman who seduced both Julius Caesar and Mark Antony was her beautiful skin. Cleopatra was rumored to bathe in honey and the milk of goats.

This Pamper Me Wednesday we are going to try one of the world’s oldest beauty regime: A milk and honey bath.

Once you have all of your ingredients gathered and prepared, set the mood. Light a scented candle, and start the bath. I usually spend about 30 minutes to an hour or so soaking. Instead of music, I sometimes play ocean, running water, or other nature sounds. This goes well with a good book. Keeping a dry towel nearby eliminates getting water or oil onto your reading materials. If you use an eReading device (Kobo, Kindle, nook, Sony, etc.) you want to get a large plastic zip-lock bag and place your device in the bag before getting into the tub.

Items used to create a relaxing setting, such as the scented candle, are optional, and can be tweaked depending on the individual.

Here’s what you need:
Powdered Milk
Honey
Jojoba or olive oil (optional)
Dried Lavender flowers (optional)
Scented Candle (optional)
Soft music or ocean sounds (optional)
Book (optional)
Bathrobe
Slippers (optional)
Bath Pillow (or rolled up towel)
Towel

Milk and Honey Bath
Milk contains vitamins A & D which helps to soften the skin. The lactic acid in milk has beta hydroxy acids that soothes while exfoliating your skin. Honey (a humectant) is high in potassium and helps clarify the skin while retaining moisture. Honey is also anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and is rich in vitamins and minerals.

¼ cup honey (runny)
¼ cup powdered milk

Mix the dried milk with the honey in a bowl. If desired add jojoba or olive oil. Pour mixture into hot running bathwater. Soak for 30 minutes to 1 hour (or to your desired time).

Advertisements

Pamper Me Wednesday: Coffee Cellulite Body Wrap

Coffee grounds

Now that the Holidays have officially begun, I’ve decided that now is the best time to start getting myself ready for the summer! No, I’m not talking diets or anything un-natural like that, I’m talking firm and smooth skin. This Pamper Me Wednesday we are going to harness the cellulite busting power of caffeine.

This post contains a recipe for creating either a Cellulite Coffee Wrap or a coffee ground body scrub. Getting used coffee grounds are very easy, even if you are not a coffee drinker. I like to go to one of my local coffee shops and simply ask for a large cup full of already used coffee grounds. Of course, it will help to show up before or after any customer rushes and willing to purchase an item or two.

Once you have all of your ingredients gathered and prepared, go ahead and get prepared. One of the first things I like to do is to line the dry bathtub with a few towels to sit and lean on comfortably. I always do these wraps sitting inside the bathtub because it’s messy! This treatment is more of a functional/medicinal spa treatment rather than a relaxing one, so I either listen to upbeat music or I read a good book or magazine. After completing my wrap, I always take a quick shower to rinse away any additional coffee grinds.

Here’s what you need:
½ cup warm used coffee grounds
2 tbsp of olive oil
Roll of plastic wrap
Several towels
Bathrobe
Small trash bag
Small bowl
Book/magazine

What is Cellulite?
Cellulite is a term used to describe the dimpled appearance of skin caused by fat deposits that are just below the surface of the skin. It is mostly seen in women on skin in the abdomen, lower limbs, and pelvic region, usually after puberty. It can occur in men, too. Cellulite is caused by the herniation of subcutaneous fat (top layer of fat just under the skin surface) within fibrous connective tissue (septae), leading to a padded or orange peel–like appearance. With time, the septae become a fiberous honeycomb-like structure that traps fat cells. This causes the large bumps that are the hallmark of cellulite. These areas will have very poor blood supply, which is why the skin where cellulite occurs often feels cool to the touch. Cellulite is not caused by body weight, but it can be aggravated by body weight. Other factors are a poor diet, water retention, and a sedentary lifestyle.

Cross section of skin

Cross section of Cellulite: Hypodermische Vetcellen = Hypoderic Fat & Diepliggende Vetlagen = deep fat tissue

What is caffeine?
Caffeine, the most widely used and unregulated drug known to man, is a bitter substance found in coffee, tea, and chocolate. It dilates blood vessels, increasing the speed and volume of blood flow throughout the body and makes the heart pump faster. Caffeine can also provide significant benefit when used as a topical agent.

What does caffeine do to cellulite?
Caffeine combats poor circulation by increasing the speed and volume of blood flow. When someone suffers from poor circulation, the body cannot get rid of toxins and excess water. Caffeine’s ability to increase circulation, even when applied topically, can help stop water retention. Water retention can cause fat to be pushed against the skin, emphasizing the lumpy appearance. With regular use caffeine gives the skin a more toned and firm appearance – rather like the results of exercise. This also helps to reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Why coffee?
Coffee beans have more caffeine than any other plant. Coffee beans are ground and treated with hot water to release the large amounts of caffeine within. When using coffee grounds as a cellulite fighter, make sure to get warm, recently used coffee grounds. Make sure that the coffee grounds were not soaked in water for an extended period or burned – both of these things will mean that there is very little to no caffeine left in the coffee grounds to use.

Coffee grounds


Ingredients:
½ cup warm used coffee grounds
1-2 tbsp of olive oil
Roll of plastic wrap

Thoroughly mix the coffee grounds with the olive oil in a small bowl. Once complete, place the mixture in the microwave to heat for about 15-30 seconds. Once sitting in the bathtub, apply coffee mix to all areas to be treated then cover area in plastic wrap. Leave the body wrap on for 20-30 minutes. When you are finished, remove the plastic wrap (carefully!), trying to catch as much of the coffee grounds as possible. Toss the used plastic in the small trash bag. Take a quick warm shower to rinse off any left over coffee grounds. Pat skin dry and apply your favorite skin moisturizer.

This treatment can be done up to twice a week. The effects of this body wrap are temporary.

Photo Credits:
www.infovisual.info

Source http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Cellulitis.jpg
Author SUNBEAM VISION
Diepliggende Vetlagen = deep fat tissue
Hypodermische Vetcellen = Hypoderic Fat

Information Credits:
Wikipedia
Free Dictionary.com: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/cellulite
What Causes Cellulite:
Your Cellulite Solution

Pamper Me Wednesday: Pumpkin Honey Facial & Buttermilk Acne Bath

Welcome back to being Pampered!

This Pamper Me Wednesday is all about anti-aging and anti-acne. We are going to give ourselves an acne fighting bath, an acne face wash, and a skin firming facial. This is a great combination to help clear up both facial and body acne as well as reduce large pores.

This post contains 2 different relaxing spa recipes, which are listed below. Most of the ingredients should be available in your kitchen cupboard (or pantry). There is a Buttermilk Acne Bath that doubles as an acne wash and a Pumpkin Honey facial.

Once you have all of your ingredients gathered and prepared, set the mood and start your bath. For me, this is more of a functional/medicinal spa treatment rather than a relaxing one, so I like to listen to upbeat music while bathing. I typically apply facials before climbing into the tub, but since this week there is a face wash as well as a facial, I don’t apply my facial until after the face wash (while sitting in the tub). I always keep a clean washcloth and bowl of cool water in arm’s reach. While in the bath, I sink down and rest my head on a bath pillow and read until it’s time to remove the facial mask. Here’s where the washcloth and water come in handy.

Here’s what you need:
Bathrobe/towel
Bath pillow/Rolled towel
1 small pumpkin, boiled and peeled
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp honey
2 small bowls
2 soft washcloths
1 ½ cup buttermilk (substitution: 1 ½ cup milk & 1 ½ tbsp vinegar mixed)
½ cup sea salt
6 tbsp honey (runny)

Buttermilk Acne Bath Ingredients

Buttermilk Acne bath
Buttermilk naturally softens and soothes inflamed skin- it will also help remove the dirt and oils from your skin that cause acne breakouts. Sea salt is excellent for skin and makes a great acne treatment. Use of sea salt in the bath will soften skin and help remove acne causing dirt and oils. Sea salt is also an excellent source of minerals that will nourish your skin and help it look healthier. Make sure to use sea salt that does not have iodine added as it is very drying to skin.

Ingredients
1 small mixing bowl
1 soft washcloth
1 ½ cup buttermilk (substitution: 1 ½ cup milk & 1 ½ tbsp vinegar mixed)
½ cup sea salt
6 tbsp honey (runny)

Heat buttermilk on stovetop over low heat. Stir often to avoid scorching. Once buttermilk is warm, add sea salt. Stir until salt is dissolved. Add honey and stir until well blended. Remove from heat. Pour 1/4 cup of mixture in a small bowl and pour rest into running bathwater. You do not need a full tub of water for this bath – ½ full should be sufficient.

Soak in tub for 20 minutes. Wash face with remaining mix in separate bowl while soaking.

Pumpking Honey Facial

Pumpkin Honey Facial
Fresh and cooked pumpkin is a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants – it is full of vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, potassium, alpha-carotene, zinc, beta carotene, and lutein, which help to help nourish and brighten the complexion. These nutrients help soothe and reduce inflammation, helping skin recover from acne-related damage. Egg white nourishes the skin, refines pores, reduces oiliness, tightens skin and lightens dark spots. Egg yolks can improve the look and feel of skin, making the skin soft and glowing, reducing the appearance of pores, and reducing acne. Honey is naturally anti-bacteria and will kill germs and bacteria and help prevent acne breakouts. Milk exfoliates, softens and nourishes the skin.

Note: If you are allergic to poultry or eggs, you should not use this facial.

Ingredients
1 small pumpkin, boiled and peeled
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp honey

Take the small (peeled and boiled) pumpkin and puree in a blender or food processor until lump free. Add egg, honey and cup milk. Blend until well mixed. Apply to cleaned face and neck. Leave facial on for 15-20 minutes, then rinse with cool water.

Pamper Me Wednesday! Nov. 10, 2010

Welcome back to another Pamper Me Wednesday!

This week we are going to give ourselves a gentle exfoliating facial and a relaxing foot soak. This is a great combination for an end of the week decompress.

This post contains two (2) recipes, which are listed below. A lot of the ingredients should be available in your kitchen cupboard (or pantry). There is a Honey Buttermilk facial and a Lemon Peppermint foot soak.

Once you have all of your ingredients gathered and prepared, set the mood. I apply my facial and sit in a comfortable chair (with back and neck support!) before I soak my feet. It’s easier to keep a clean washcloth and bowl of cool water on a small table (or on the floor) in arm’s reach. While soaking my feet, I rest my head, read a book or listen to calming music until it’s time to remove my facial. Here’s where the washcloth and water come in handy.

From here, I usually add a little additional hot water so I can soak my feet a little longer. Then I usually give myself a full pedicure or simply refresh my toenail polish. The options are endless and up to you.

Here’s what you need:
2 towels
2 small bowls
Wash cloth
1/4 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk
1/2 cup oatmeal
2 tablespoons of honey
Foot tub
½ lemon, sliced
½ lime, sliced (optional)
Lavender essential oil
2 drops Peppermint essential oil
4 drops Juniper berry essential oil
1 ½ tbsp Baking Soda
Dead sea salts
Epsom salts

Honey Buttermilk Facial
Oatmeal absorbs excess oil from skin and works as a gentle exfoliant. Honey is a natural antiseptic and is also used to bind the honey and buttermilk. Buttermilk nourishes and softens skin, helps control acne and is a mild yet deep cleansing agent. If you don’t have any buttermilk, plain yogurt is a good substitute.

1/4 cup buttermilk or plain yogurt
1/2 cup oatmeal
2 tablespoons of honey

Finely grind or process the oatmeal in a blender or food processor. In a small bowl, stir together honey and buttermilk, and then add ground oatmeal. Mix thoroughly until a smooth paste. Smooth over your face and neck, leave on for fifteen minutes, and rinse off with warm water. Apply your favorite facial moisturizer. This can be used daily.

Refrigerate left over facial in an airtight container. It should keep for up to 3 days.

Lemon Peppermint Foot Soak
The lemon acts as a bleach to gently remove discoloration from toe nails while the lavender and juniper berry essential oils are for aromatherapy. The Epsom salt soothes muscle aches and pains while the baking soda gently exfoliates. Dead Sea salts contain magnesium, potassium, calcium chloride and bromides. Magnesium is important for both combating stress and fluid retention, slowing skin aging and calming the nervous system. Calcium helps prevents water retention, increases circulation and strengthens bones and nails. Potassium energizes the body, helps to balance skin moisture and is a crucial mineral to replenish following intense exercise. Bromides act to ease muscle stiffness and relax muscles.

Foot tub
½ lemon, sliced
½ lime, sliced (optional)
Lavender essential oil
2 drops Peppermint essential oil
4 drops Juniper berry essential oil
1 ½ tbsp Baking Soda
Dead sea salts
Epsom salts

Put lemon and lime slices in empty tub. Fill the tub with hot (boiling) water, letting sit for 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients. Let water cool until water is safe to touch. Soak for 20 minutes or until water begins to cool. If necessary, add more hot water to lengthen soaking time.

Pamper Me Wednesday!

Everyone deserves to be pampered. Going to the spa, while wonderful, can be extremely expensive and time-consuming. Personally, I love to give myself a little at-home treat once a week.

Pamper Me Wednesdays is a new segment dedicated to looking beautiful and being relaxed! Every Wednesday I will try to post a new home spa activity for you to try.

This week we are going to give ourselves a relaxing and skin softening soak, a revitalizing facial, and a dark eye circle remedy. This is a great combination to do when getting ready for that special date or an indulging beauty treatment the night before a big day.

This post contains 3 different relaxing spa recipes, which are listed below. Most of the ingredients should be available in your kitchen cupboard (or pantry). There is an Oatmeal Lavender Bath, a Banana Facial, and a Potato Dark Eye Remedy.

Once you have all of your ingredients gathered and prepared, set the mood. Light a scented candle, and start the bath. I apply my facial before climbing into the tub. It’s easier to keep a clean washcloth and bowl of cool water in arm’s reach. While in the bath, I sink down and rest my head on a bath pillow, then apply my eye cloths. Soak, relax, and listen to calming music until it’s time to remove the potato eye pads and the facial mask. Here’s where the washcloth and water come in handy.

From here, I usually spend an extra 30 minutes or so soaking. Instead of music, I sometimes play ocean, running water, or other nature sounds. This goes well with a good book. Keeping a dry towel nearby eliminates getting water or oil onto your reading.

Items used to create a relaxing setting, such as the scented candle, are optional, and can be tweaked depending on the individual.

Here’s what you need:
Scented Candle (optional)
Soft music or ocean sounds (optional)
Book (optional)
Bathrobe
Slippers
Bath Pillow (or rolled up towel)
Wash cloth
2 Small bowls
Towel
Food Processor
Pantyhose
Oatmeal (rolled oats, NOT instant)
Olive oil infused with lavender essential oil
Powdered Milk
Banana (overripe)
Honey
Lemon juice (fresh or purchased)
Vitamin E Oil
Cheesecloth or cotton balls
½ small potato, chilled (any kind except sweet potato)

Banana Facial
Bananas soften the skin, due to the vitamin A and potassium they contain. They help soften, heal cracked, dry skin, and combat environmental damage. Honey, with natural antibacterial properties, is also high in potassium and clarifies the skin while helping to retain moisture. Together, these two ingredients help plump the skin which visually decreases sagging. Vitamin E oil helps fight free radicals while repairing environmental damage. If you don’t have any, an avocado works just as well. Lemon juice is great for eliminating blackheads and its natural acidic lighteners diminish the appearance of blemishes.

lemon juice, honey, vitamin E oil, and banana

1 tbsp Honey
1 Banana
½ tsp Lemon juice
5 drops Vitamin E Oil or 1 tbsp avocado
Wash cloth

Peel banana and mash thoroughly. Mix banana with honey, lemon juice, and vitamin E oil (or avocado). Spread mixture evenly on face (avoiding the eyes) and leave for about 25 minutes. Gently remove the mask and wash your face with a wash cloth and follow with your favorite moisturizer.

Banana Facial

Potato Dark Eye Circle Remedy
Potatoes and their juice work wonders on eye circles and puffiness due to an enzyme named catecholase. This natural anti-inflammatory lightens skin in a natural, non-damaging manner. Cooling the potato makes it more refreshing for the skin, similar to chilled cucumber slices. Room temperature will not affect the results.

catecholase showing on knife

½ Potato, chilled
2 pcs cheesecloth, cut into squares/cotton balls
Food processor/Grater

Take chilled potato and process it in the food processor. Once the potato is processed, scoop two small amounts in to the cheesecloth squares – enough to cover both eyes. Apply processed potato to eyes and leave for anywhere from 20 – 30 minutes.

scoop of processed potato in cheesecloth

potato eye pads

If you don’t have a food processor and cheesecloth, you can grate the potato and the soak up the potato juice with cotton balls. Apply the potato juice directly to the under eye area and let it dry. Leave on for about 30 minutes then wash off.

Oatmeal Lavender Milk Bath
Oatmeal is a gentle but effective natural skin cleanser. It is also good for bath soaks, facial and body scrubs, and masks. Oatmeal helps relieve dry skin, heal minor skin irritations and itchiness, and aids in restoring skin’s natural moisture balance. Oatmeal absorbs and removes dirt and impurities from the skin while gently exfoliating. Milk contains vitamins A & D which helps to soften the skin. The lactic acid in milk has beta hydroxy acids that soothes while exfoliating your skin. Lavender calms and soothes. Honey is high in potassium and helps clarify the skin while retaining moisture.

1/2 cup oatmeal

ground oatmeal & stocking

1-2 cups dried milk
5 tbsp honey
¼ cup lavender infused olive oil (or unscented olive oil)
¼ cup oatmeal, ground (rolled oats, not instant)
Scissors
Pantyhose
Bathrobe
Bath Pillow
Slippers
Scented candle
Towel
Music (optional)

oatmeal filled stocking with removable knot

Take a pair of pantyhose and cut off the feet, leaving the foot at least 6-8 inches long. Grind the oatmeal in a food processor. Once ground, scoop the oatmeal into the stocking foot and tie with a knot, then drop into the bath. If you want to reuse the socking (my preference), tie a removable knot instead. Use the filled stocking as a loofah during your bath. Pour dried milk, honey, and oil into bath. Soak in the tub for up to one hour. Be careful! The tub will be oily.

Olive Oil skin care recipes

Here are four more natural skin care recipes that I have collected that feature olive oil as the star. All of these items can be created using 5 simple ingrediants that you can locate in your kitchen: olive oil, honey, lemon juice, sugar, and lavender essential oil.

Quick Olive Oil Recipes


Moisturizing Lavender Bath Soak

¼ cup olive oil
5-8 drops of lavender essential oil

Fill bathtub with warm water. Place olive oil and lavender in bath and soak. The lavender will help you relax before bed.

Lemon Sugar Scrub

1/2 cup sugar (or salt, if preferred)
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Apply to hands or feet above the tub or sink. Scrub thoroughly for 2-3 minutes. When done scrubbing, rinse briefly with lukewarm water and pat dry.

Moisturizing and Skin Tightening Facial Mask

1 egg yolk
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey

Mix egg yolk, olive oil, and honey. Beat mixture until well blended. Apply to face and leave for 15 minutes or until dry. Remove with warm water, then rinse face with cool water.

Olive Oil Cuticle Soak

Small bowl
3 tbsp olive oil
1tbsp lemon juice

Mix oil and lemon juice. Warm olive oil mixture in bowl, careful not to make it too hot to touch. Let nails (especially cuticle) soak in mixture for 5-10 minutes. This should soften cuticles. I like to do this treatment prior to using the Lemon Sugar Scrub or prior to making a regular body scrub so that I don’t waste the ingredients.

Lavender Essential Oil Profile

Essential Oils Profile Series
This is the first segment of my Essential Oils Profile Series. I plan to profile all of the essential oils (eventually!), starting with the ones I use the most.

Lavender essential oil is one of the most commonly used essential oils. There used to be two different names for the purest form of lavender essential oil: Lavandula officinalis and Lavandula angustifolia. Lavandula simply means “lavender,” the name is derived from the Latin word ‘lavare’ meaning “to wash,” referring to the use of infusions of the plant. The Romans also used it in their bath routine, and it is said to have been introduced by the Romans into England, where it soon became a favorite (thus ‘English Lavender’). The name “officinalis” means “official” or “true” and is the common name used to designate the medicinal form of lavender. It has since been changed to “angustifolia” which is Latin for “narrow leaf.”

Plant description:
Lavender is native to the mountainous zones of the Mediterranean where it grows in sunny, stony habitats. Today, it flourishes throughout southern Europe, Australia, and the United States. Lavender is a heavily branched short shrub that grows to a height of roughly 60 centimeters (about 24 inches). Its broad rootstock bears woody branches with upright, rod-like, leafy, green shoots. A silvery down covers the gray-green narrow leaves, which are oblong and tapered, attached directly at the base, and curled spirally.
The oil in lavender’s small, blue-violet flowers gives the herb its fragrant scent. The flowers are arranged in spirals of 6 – 10 blossoms, forming interrupted spikes above the foliage.

Essential Oil:
Lavender essential oil is made by steam distillation using only the flowers of the lavender plant.

Scent:
Lavender essential oil has a sweet, floral scent.

Color and Scent Notes:
A clear oil, Lavender is generally considered a middle note oil, but can be used as a top note depending on what other essential oils you combine it with.

Chemical Content:
Linalyl acetate (30-60%), linaloal, geranial, caryophyllene, lavandulylacetate, cineol, nerol, cumarin, and fat aldehydes.

Properties:
Lavender essential oil has soothing, calming, and restorative properties. The essential oil is antiseptic, cooling and mild. Lavender Essential Oil is often referred to as the universal oil, because there is such a multitude of uses for this oil, such as cuts, bruises, burns, headaches, and insomnia. Lavender can be used neat (undiluted) and combines well with almost all other oils for a wide variety of benefits.

Physical Benefits:
• Tones and revitalizes skin
• Anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory effects assist with bronchitis and asthma
• Anti- Inflammatory effects helps throat infections and whooping cough
• Stimulates hair growth and degreases hair
• Helps the digestive system deal with colic, nausea, vomiting and flatulence
• Soothes sunburn and helps heat stroke
• Helps lower blood pressure by relieving stress
• Helps to soothe colds, laryngitis
• Helps to reduce halitosis
• Relieves pain when used for rheumatism, arthritis, lumbago and muscular aches and pains, especially sport related
• Useful for all types of skin problems such as acne, abscesses, oily skin, boils, burns, sunburn, wounds, lice, insect bites, psoriasis, and stings
• Acts as an insect repellent and soothes the stings from insects


Mental Benefits:
• Has a soothing and calming effect on the nerves
• Helps to balance mood swings
• Helps to suppress PMS symptoms
• Relieves tension
• Helps to relieve depression
• Calms panic and hysteria
• Helps relieve nervous exhaustion in general
• Effective for headaches, migraines
• Helps to relieve insomnia by causing drowsiness

Precautions:
• Can be a powerful allergen. Nausea, vomiting, headache, and chills have also been reported in some people after inhaling or absorbing lavender through the skin.
• Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid taking Lavender internally, as it may stimulate uterine contractions. In vitro, lavender oil is cytotoxic. It increases photosensitivity as well. Lavender oil is cytotoxic to human skin cells in vitro at a concentration of 0.25%.
• In 2007 a study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine which indicated that studies in human cell lines indicated that lavender oil had estrogenic and antiandrogenic activities. They concluded that repeated topical exposure to lavender and tea tree oils probably caused prepubertal gynaecomastia (the development of abnormally large mammary glands in males resulting in breast enlargement) in some boys.
• Extreme over-dosage may cause drowsiness. Rare side effects have included constipation, skin rash, headache or nausea.
• CNS Depressants — There are no known scientific reports of interactions between lavender and conventional medications. However, because lavender promotes relaxation, it may make the effects of central nervous depressants stronger. These drugs include narcotics such as morphine or oxycodone (OxyContin) for pain, and sedative and anti-anxiety agents such as lorazepam (Ativan), diazepam (Valium), and alprazolam (Xanax). Ask your doctor before using lavender with these and other sedatives.

Consumption:
Pediatric
Oral use in children is not recommended.
• May be used topically in diluted concentrations to treat skin infections and injuries, such as minor cuts and scrapes. Never use lavender on an open wound; seek immediate medical attention.
• A small study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 concluded that lavender and tea oils in some shampoos, soaps, and lotions may cause gynecomastia, breast development in a male, in boys. If you have any concerns, ask your doctor about using lavender for a child.
• May be used as aromatherapy for children. Use 2 – 4 drops in 2 – 3 cups of boiling water. Inhale vapors for headache, depression, or insomnia.

Adult
The following are recommended adult doses for lavender:
• Internal use: Tea: 1 – 2 tsp whole herb per cup of hot water. Steep for 10 – 15 minutes and drink, 1 – 3 times a day.
• Tincture (1:4): 20 – 40 drops, 3 times a day
• Inhalation: 2 – 4 drops in 2 – 3 cups of boiling water. Inhale vapors for headache, depression, or insomnia.
• Topical external application: lavender oil is one of the few oils that can be safely applied undiluted. For ease of application, add 1 – 4 drops per tablespoon of base oil (such as almond or olive oil). Lavender oil is toxic if taken orally. Only use the oil externally or by inhalation. Also, avoid contact with eyes or mucous membranes such as the lips and nostril.

Some General Uses:
• Rub Lavender oil on the feet for a calming effect on the body.
• Rub a drop of Lavender oil on your palms and smooth on your pillow to help you sleep.
• Put a drop of Lavender oil on a bee sting or insect bite to stop itching and reduce swelling.
• Put 2-3 drops of Lavender oil on a minor burn to decrease pain.
• Mix several drops of Lavender oil with V-6 Vegetable Mixing Oil and use topically on eczema and dermatitis.
• To alleviate the symptoms of motion sickness, place a drop of Lavender oil on the end of the tongue or around the naval or behind the ears.
• To stop a nosebleed, put a drop of Lavender oil on a tissue and wrap it around a small chip of ice. Push the tissue covered ice chip up under the middle of the top lip to the base of the nose and hold as long as comfortable or until the bleeding stops (do not freeze the lip or gum).
• Rub a drop of Lavender oil over the bridge of the nose to unblock tear ducts.
• Rub Lavender oil on dry or chapped skin
• Rub a drop of Lavender oil on chapped or sunburned lips.
• To reduce or minimize the formation of scar tissue, massage Lavender oil on and around the affected area
• Rub 2 – 4 drops of Lavender oil over the armpit area to act as a deodorant.
• Rub a drop of Lavender oil between your palms and inhale deeply to help alleviate the symptoms of hay fever.
• Rub several drops of Lavender oil into the scalp to help eliminate dandruff.
• Place a few drops of Lavender oil on a cotton ball and place in your linen closet to scent the linens and repel moths and insects.
• Place a drop of Lavender oil in your water fountain to scent the air, kill bacteria and prolong the time between cleanings.
• Place a few drops of Lavender oil on a wet cloth and throw into the dryer, which will deodorize and freshen your laundry.
• Put a drop of Lavender oil on a cold sore.
• Diffuse Lavender oil to alleviate the symptoms of allergies.
• Spritz several drops of Lavender oil mixed with distilled water on a sunburn to decrease pain.
• Drop Lavender oil on a cut to clean the wound and kill bacteria.
• Apply 2-3 drops of Lavender oil to a rash to stop the itching and heal the skin.

Simple Recipes

Skin
Skin Astringent Recipe
2 bags of green tea
1 tablespoon rosemary
16 oz boiling water
1/2 cup witch hazel
5 drops lavender essential oil
juice from a half of lemon

Place rosemary into a strainer or muslin bag and place it into a glass container. and the tea bags and pour the water into it. Let it stand until it’s completely cool. Then add the witch hazel, lemon juice and lavender oil. Store in the fridge. It may separate so shake before use.

Hair:
Concentrated Lavender Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
CAUTION: This rinse needs to be diluted in water prior to use in hair

2 cups of cider vinegar
1 cup lavender
1 large (greater than 4 cups) airtight glass jar

Place 1 cup of lavender in a large glass jar and cover with 2 cups of vinegar. Steep this mixture in a tightly closed jar in the refrigerator or in a dark, cool place for two weeks. After steeping, strain vinegar from herbs through cheesecloth or a coffee filter into a fresh, clean bottle or glass jar. This mixture can be refrigerated up to 6 months.
Tip: If you don’t want to wait the two weeks, speed up infusion by heating the vinegar before pouring over herbs. Allow to sit for at least 3 days before straining.

When ready to use: dilute 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of the herbal vinegar in 1 cup of water. Rinse through wet hair after shampooing. Rinse it out with fresh water or, for extra conditioning benefits, just leave it in and towel dry hair. The vinegar scent will disappear as your hair dries.

Food: (requires culinary dried lavender)

Lavender Lemonade
2 ½ cups water
1 ½ cups sugar
1 large lavender tea bag
2 ½ cups water
1 cup lemon juice
Ice cubes

Preparation:
In small sauce pan, add
2 ½ cups water
1 ½ cups sugar

Heat until sugar dissolves. Add lavender tea bag and let cool to room temperature. Remove tea bag. In a 2 quart pitcher, add remaining water, lemon juice and lavender sugar infusion. Add more sugar or lemon to taste. Serve chilled over ice and garnish with lavender sprig.

Quicker method: Use one can of frozen lemonade concentrate and pour content into pitcher. In a sauce pan measure 3 1/2 cans of water, bring to boil and add large lavender tea bag. Turn off heat and let steep until room temperature. Remove tea bag and add infusion to pitcher with lemonade concentrate. Stir and serve over ice. If you leave the tea bag in overnight, the tea will turn a very light pinkish color and will have a stronger flavor which I prefer.

Medicinal:

Lavender Mouthwash
100ml of water
two drops of pure lavender essential oil

Shake the bottle well. Take a teaspoon of the mixed liquid and swill around the mouth and spit out. However, take care not to drink fluids immediately after this or bacteria killing lavender could get diluted.

Where to Buy:
You can buy products made with lavender at most local stores. The best places to try would be your local health food markets, however. This would include places like Yes! Organic Market and Whole Foods. These places should also sell dried lavender flower buds in bulk as well. Bulk lavender is also available directly from local lavender growers. Once place I love is The Lavender Path. They sell lavender in bulk by the pound. One pound is only $20.
The Lavender Path
Yes! Organic Market
Whole Foods Market
Amazon.com

Notes:
Wikipedia: Lavender and Lavandula Angustifolia
Suite 101: Lavender Essential Oil Profile: Properties, Characteristics and Uses of Lavender EO in Aromatherapy
University of Maryland Medical Encyclopedia
Esoteric Oils

Photo Credits:
Freefoto.com
Bumblebee Blog

Previous Older Entries