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Back to basics: give yourself a herbal top-to-toe makeover

Tue 11 Jan 2011 11:43

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It's the start of the year so there’s no better time to make a promise to start looking after yourself better. It’s also a time of year when our skin and hair tends to look pretty dull, so herbalist Karon Grieve has devised some homemade products that tackle these body problems in a jiffy.

Here she shares recipes for some of her favourite herbal remedies, from a rosemary and thyme rinse that’ll put the sparkle back in dark hair, to a sugar scrub that’ll give a gleaming complexion.

The best bit about the treatments is that they’re all made from totally natural ingredients, without the use of any chemicals.

1. Rosemary and thyme rinse
No, not the programme, but a great rinse to use for darker shades of hair. The antiseptic properties of both of these herbs will also keep your scalp healthy and clean.

Ingredients:
• 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary
• 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh thyme, or 1 tablespoon of dried thyme
• 3 cups of boiling water

Method:
1. Get a glass bowl and pour the boiling water over the herbs and leave them in there till water has cooled.
2. Now strain out the herbs (very important this as you don’t want to pour all the bits on your head!) and then use this as your final rinse when you have washed your hair. Do not wash it out.

2. Chamomile rinse
This is a great rinse for lighter hair shades, really refreshing the colour and condition to give lovely shine, as well as scenting it beautifully.

Ingredients:
• 2 tablespoons of dried chamomile (or 4 chamomile tea bags)
• 3 cups of boiling water

Method:
Same method as above

3. Sage rinse
Sage has been used for centuries and is an excellent herb for helping to grey hair.

Ingredients:
• 2 tablespoons of chopped dried sage
• 3 cups of boiling water

Method:
•    Same method as above

4. Sugar scrub for your face:
This is a great treatment for your face, which helps slough away all the old, dead skin.

Ingredients:
• A chamomile tea bag
• A teaspoon of dried sage
• 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar

Method:
1. Mix everything together and moisten your face with warm water
2. Now in the palm of your hand use your sugar mix and add a little water before gently rubbing in circular motions on your face; the sugar dissolves very quickly so is not harsh on the skin. The chamomile is soothing to skin and sage a natural astringent to tone the skin
3. Rinse with cold water and you are ready to moisturize and start your day the natural way

4. Salt body scrub
Get a great start to the day with this simple salt scrub made with course salt, sesame oil and rosemary.

Ingredients:
• 1 cup of course salt (the chunkier the better)
• ¼ cup of sesame oil
(this is a very light oil with great nutrients for the skin)
• 1 tablespoon of chopped dried rosemary

Method:
1. Mix all ingredients in a jar and shake well.

To use:
1. Step into the shower and rub the scrub all over your body in circular motions always towards your heart. Be careful as the oil will make the shower floor slippery. The salt removes dead skin cells and the oil soothes and lubricates the skin. The rosemary is a natural antiseptic and is invigorating too. Just rinse with water after words, do not use soap. This is a great way to wake up and start the day

5. Pebbly foot spa
Give those tired feet a treat with this simple foot treatment.

Ingredients:
• ½ cup of Epsom salts
• ½ cup of coarse salt
• 4 drops of lavender essential oil
• 4 drops of peppermint essential oil

Method:
1. Handful of smooth pebbles or kid’s marbles
2. Mix salts and essential oils in a basin and pour in warm water
3. Toss in the pebbles/marbles
4. Now pop your feet in and let then roll backwards and forwards on the pebbles/marbles. This is massaging your feet which really helps relax them and distress the muscles. Peppermint cools and soothes the tired feet and the lavender cleanses and deodorises

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