Health and Beauty, An Ancient History

As I talked about before, the green beauty movement may seem like a new trend, but really it is a turning back to the wise ways of our ancestors who walked this planet before us and used the plants around them for health and beauty long before modern science deemed them valuable or trends deemed it cool.

The Egyptians

The ancient Egyptians had a great love of their cosmetics and skincare and used oil, gems, clays, soot, and animal products to achieve their desired effects. Fenugreek was one herb they used for the appearance of youth. They had a method of taking fenugreek through a long process that resulted in an concoction (an ungent) that allowed the oils of dried fenugreek to be massaged onto the body. It was said to make one appear young again. The process was a complicated one that seems to be part magic and part cosmetic but even today fenugreek is used in many facial mask recipes for it’s anti-aging and rejuvenating properties. (1)

The Egyptians were also known to mix barley with butter to heal skin imperfections like acne and pimples, and use a mixture of chalk and oil to remove their make up. (yes women have been wearing make-up forever!) (2)

The Celts

But they were not our only ancestors to use the gifts of the earth for beauty and skincare, the ancient Celts were very familiar with the plants and herbs that grew around them and how to use them for skin care. It is known that the Celts used burdock for healing the blood understanding that the blood affected the skin. Celtic shamans used to give concoctions of burdock root to teenagers to help with acne thus enhancing their beauty. (3)

In the same neck of the woods the inhabitants of the Scottish Highlands were known to use Elder Flowers to heal and promote beauty in the skin through washes and face balms mixed with lard. Elder flower is used today in many formulas for its anti-aging and anti-oxidant properties.

The Greeks

The Greeks also had a love of beauty. They used cosmetics and took the time to care for their skin. They were a culture that had an understanding of the aging process so among their favorites were olive oil for keeping the skin soft and supple while protecting from the damaging effects of the sun. They also had a love of honey and used this in face masks and facial treatments. Both of which are still used today. (4)

The Eastern Indians

The Indians of the East have also been using herbs and plants for thousands of years to promote balance, health, and well being through their Ayurvedic traditions. Commonly used herbs of the ancient Indians were sandalwood, neem, turmeric, tusli and saffron. They would incorporate these into creams and masks to nurture and balance the skin. (4)

How did they know?

Without science and labs our ancestors understood the properties of the herbs that grew around them. How did they know the things they knew? They were observant. They understood the energies of the plants. They understood the environments that the plants grew in and how this translated to the properties the plant offered in healing. They were quiet in their spirits and used their intuition. And they observed the results of the herbs they used when they followed their intuition to use them. Of course they also passed the knowledge on others and shared what they knew for the benefit of others.

Today we are still using much of what our ancestors used for healing and beauty while discovering through science just how spot on they were.

Want more wildness? Join us!

References
1–http://www.touregypt.net/egypt-info/magazine-mag05012001-mag4.htm
2-http://www.thebeautybiz.com/67/article/history/beauty-through-ages-egypt
3http://www.megabored.com/beauty/ancient-herbal-secrets-of-the-celts/
4-http://www.annmariegianni.com/ancient-beauty-rituals/

Vanilla Infused Oil

Vanilla infused oil is perfect for a lot of things, it can be used skincare recipes like lotions, body butters, body oils, or in food recipes, but it also makes a wonderful homemade massage perfect for Valentine Days or other special moments.

You will need:

1 Vanilla Bean
1/2 cup of Vegetable Oil (non scented like almond or sunflower)
Mini-crockpot
Cheesecloth

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1. Slice your vanilla bean open and scoop out the vanilla paste, place in crock pot. Chop up the rest of the vanilla bean and place it too in the crock pot.

2. Pour your oil over this.

3. Turn the crock pot to the lowest setting and infuse for 2-3 hours.

4. Strain your oil through cheesecloth and bottle it up. You may have little brown specks of vanilla in your oil and that is fine.

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Tip: Don’t let your oil get too hot. Not all crock pots are the same, so check on yours too make the oil is not too hot. You will know it is too hot if it is bubbling.

If you don not use your vanilla infused oil right away store in the fridge, like all oils shelf life will vary.

Vanilla has been used through out the ages to inspire feelings of wealth and sensuality. It is an exotic aroma that has been used in aphrodisiac formulas as it tends to awaken the senses with its deeply rich aroma. Now you have your very own homemade exotic vanilla infused oil. Enjoy!

Be well!

Winter’s Essence Essential Oil Spray

We are half way through winter, which for some of us can be the hardest part. We started out strong. We started out loving our big comfy sweaters and hot chocolate, but now our longings have turned to flips flops and sunshine. Our internal sunshine is running low and our endurance and tolerance for the fickleness of coldness is running thin. Sure not everyone is like this, but those of you that are know what I am talking about.

This essential oil spray is for you. And for those of you whose endurance is still running high for cold air and slippery things I commend you but think you will still enjoy this winter essence spray.

This is an uplifting spray for the winter blues with essential oils that bring a combination of joy, warmth, and invigoration.

-Wild Orange is an essential used for it’s joyful effect on the emotions, it inspires happy sunny thoughts and feelings.

-Petitgrain is an essential oil derived from the small unripe oranges before they grow into maturity. It too is used for its happy factor.

-The Chamomile essential oil brings an earthy calming factor to the spray while encouraging feelings of happiness. It is a plant known for its ability to lift feelings of depression while giving one the lightness they need to keep going. It supplies an energy needed to endure and maintain a positive outlook at the same time.

-Cinnamon is included for its warming effect both on the body and the mind. I love cinnamon! It is amazing at increasing warmth in the body and comfort in the mind. Perfect for winter blends.

Mixed all together the essentials combine to offer warmth, happiness and an endurance that can be needed to keep on going through the darker, colder winter months.

It’s like sunshine in a bottle.

Winter Essence Recipe

1oz Witch Hazel
5 drops Wild Orange Essential Oil
3 drops Petitgrain Essential Oil
2 drops Chamomile (German or Roman) Essential Oil
2 drops Cinnamon Essential Oil

Combine all ingredients in a 1oz spray bottle.

Tip: It is a good idea to always clearly label your bottles with ingredients and the date. It saves a lot of confusion when you have a lot of bottles, can’t remember what you put in it, misplace it and find it months later, or for others that may pick up your homemade herbal products.

One of the best parts of making your own products is that you can tailor it to be exactly how you like it. Maybe you want to cut down on the Petitgrain and add more Chamomile. Experiment and have fun or buy it here.

Be well & stay wild,
Janet