After a hot day in the yard covered with god knows what (undoubtedly some array of grass trimmings, compost and chicken "charms," and good ole sweat) what I really want is a nice soothing bath. Preferably one that helps me breathe and eases the contact dermatitis I keep getting from that darn poke weed... or poison ivy, not sure. Anyways those who know me can vouch for my bath and herbal smelly products habit.
Herbal scrubs made correctly with good ingredients and essential oils are incredibly healing, though beware that most commercial scrubs use petroleum based oils (Bath and Body Works for one) and other non desirable chemicals. More ranting on that later- suffice it to say an herbal bath junkie wants affordable aromatic and quality scrubs. I am a big fan of Sunshine scrubs which I order online (no I am not an affiliate, I just like their ingredients), however my bath scrub and essential oil buying habit was starting to plunder the piggybank. Thus I now make my own and it's so easy and fun anyone can do it (mental glimpses of sundry Geiko commercials here).
To make a pint wide mouth mason jar of scrub:
wide mouth mason jar with lid
sea salt, coarse ground for maximal exfoliation or fine ground for more sensitive skin
extra virgin olive oil*
~1/4 c virgin coconut oil, melted (optional- you can use all olive oil if desired)
~1.5 T. cut and dried sage leaf (I used some from my garden)
1 T. dried orange peel granules
1 T. brown sugar (optional)
to smell and preference: essential oils of Eucalyptus, orange, and grapefruit
*often sweet almond oil, sunflower, safflower and other oils are used as carriers (bases) but I used olive oil since it is cheap and almost everyone has it on hand.
|just add water and skin!|
In your glass jar melt the coconut oil and add one part oil to two parts mix of sugar and salt. Add the amount of salt/sugar you desire for the "scrub" feel- anywhere from a few tablespoons to a cup. Add half that amount of oil, the orange peel (just for more "grit" and orange essence), sage, and essential oils. Mix with a spoon. That's it! Cancer promoting estrogenic free holistic scrub to soothe your body and soul for cheap!
The Romans called sage "herba sacra" and its namesake "salvation" attests to its healing powers. Sage is useful for skin and oral infections, irritations, can help boost mood and even ease mild depression. Sage also effectively reduces fatigue without the edginess of a stimulant. For you Ayurvedic folks out there, it helps balance the pelvic chakra and for us common folk it supports the metabolism. Sage is antifungal, slightly phytoestrogenic, and antitumorial and is often used to balance the hormones.
Orange essential oil is a common blending oil and like most of the citrus family oils is composed of 80% to 96% limonene. The high limonene content contributes the antiturmoral aspect of orange oil, though it is more commonly know for its uplifting, relaxant, and circulatory stimulant qualities. Orange oil aids with muscle spasms and is a useful tool for both sore muscles and irritable bowel syndrome or dyspepsia. Citrus oils also contain potent bioflavonoids such as Vitamin P. Dr. David Jockers recently blogged about a few essential oils for ingestion and skincare, as can be read in his newsletter.
Eucalyptus essential oil contains concentrated eucalyptol and is know for its antimicrobial action in mouth washes like Lysterine, though it is also used in chest vapor rubs and toothpastes due to its expectorant and mucolytic qualities (a potent decongestant). Eucalyptus oil is antibacterial, antifungal, and antivirual properties to boot. I know I can finally get a good chest full of air taking a steep in it after a day in the yard.
Grapefruit seems to be the hot item in beauty products currently with brands like Neutrogena pushing their pink grapefruit facial products for grapefruit's antiseptic and detoxifying aspects. But thsi ruby gem is not just another delicious (and low glycemic) fruit treat, grapefruit oil itself boasts all the purported metabolism and cleansing actions of the fruit while also acting as a mild antidepressant. In fact the oils of the whole citrus family are largely composed of limonene which gives grapefruit, lime, orange and bergamot cleansing and uplifting essences.
Last but not least is coconut oil which is righly nourishing to the skin as well as internal organs. It is antiviral antifungal, antibacterial, and high in vitamin E. The MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) lauric acid, caprilic acid and myristic acid among a few of the components of coconut oil which contribute the antimicrobial qualities of the oil. Don't worry about feeling "greasy" when using coconut oil on the skin- simply rub in and if desired rinse off 10 or so minutes later to leave your skin soft and supple. The skin being our largest body organ and membrane is quite permeable and absorbs any products which we apply. Since coconut oil is a whole food and free of tany man-made chemicals you can have your scrub and eat it too!