Hello Everyone - Sorry for my "blogging absence", I didn't realize that it had been 6 weeks since my last post. I've been in the throes (and still am) of doing the last rounds of editing of the manuscripts and photography for 3 new books. Two that will be published in 2018 and 1 in 2019. I do so love writing, but the required editing processes can be daunting, plus I've never had to edit 3 manuscripts at one time. Live and learn! When all is said and done, the books will be awesome, though. Well worth the effort!
Regarding blogging, I've been wanting to share with you one of my favorite body oil recipes made with the ever-so-gentle chamomile flower. The original recipe is actually called, Chamomile Baby Massage Oil, and can be found on pg. 106 of my Hands-On Healing Remdies book (Storey Publishing, c2012). For today's blog, I've changed the name of the recipe (because it's really more than just a baby oil) and added Roman chamomile essential oil to the ingredient list to enhance the skin-healing properties of the flower-infused oil.
The photographs were taken in July of 2017 and the resulting infused oil was made using fresh flowers from my Maine garden (that I had allowed to wilt and slightly dry for 3 days prior to making the recipe), but you can always use dried flowers purchased from an organic herb supplier such as www.mountainroseherbs.com or www.jeansgreens.com - 2 of my favorite companies. The sensitive, dry skin of my face and body love this oil. Sinks right in with nary a greasy residue. I also frequently use it on my clients when performing facial acupressure and massage. I've never had anyone have a reaction to it - no matter what their skin type. Please try your hand at making a batch - your skin will thank you!
Gentle Chamomile Body Oil - Sensitive Skin Salvation
No matter what your age, if your skin is tender, fragile, or super-sensitive, it requires ultra-mild care to keep it soft, supple, conditioned, nourished, and healthy as an effective barrier to the outside world. The simple luxury of almond oil infused with chamomile flowers, with their anti-inflammatory and vulnerary (skin tissue healing) properties and apple-like relaxing aroma, is all that's needed to care for your delicate skin. It's also perfect for the new, young skin of an infant or the papery, thin skin of an elder.
If you grow only one herb in your garden, you must grow a patch of German chamomile flowers (Matricaria recutita; M. chamomilla). In addition to using them to make bath, facial, and massage oils, you can brew them for tea, make sleep pillows, and use the infused oil for sleep and dream balms.
- 2 cups dried or 3 cups freshly wilted (fresh picked & dried for 3 days prior to use)
- 3-4 cups almond oil (enough to completely cover flowers and fill the jar) - May substitute jojoba oil or sunflower oil if allergic to almond
- 20 drops Roman chamomile essential oil
- 2,000 IU vitamin E oil
Equipment: Widemouthed 1-quart canning jar, stirring utensil, plastic wrap, strainer, fine filter, funnel, glass or plastic storage containers
Prep Time: 1 month
Yield: Approximately 2.5 to 3.5 cups (depending on whether you used fresh or dried flowers)
Storage: Store at room temperature, away from heat and light; use within 1 year.
Directions: Place the chamomile flowers in a 1-quart canning jar. Drizzle the almond oil over the plant matter until the oil comes to within 1 inch of the top of the jar. The dried herb may pack in the bottom and the wilted herb matter will settle with the weight of the oil, so don't worry if it looks as though you don't have enough plant matter in the jar. Gently stir to remove air bubbles and make sure that all the plant matter is submerged.
Place a piece of plastic wrap over the mouth of the jar (to prevent the metal lid from coming into contact with the herbs) and tightly screw on the lid. Shake the jar several times to blend the herbs and oil thoroughly. Place the jar in a warm, sunny location such as a south-facing windowsill or outdoors during the warmer seasons. Shake the jar every day for 30 seconds or so.
After 1 month, carefully strain the oil through a fine-mesh strainer lined with a fine filter such as muslin or, preferably, a paper coffee filter, then strain again if necessary to remove all herb debris. Squeeze the flowers to extract as much of the precious oil as possible. Discard the marc (spent herbs). Add the vitamin E oil and Roman chamomile essential oil and stir to blend. The resulting chamomile oil will be golden in color.
Pour the finished oil into storage container(s), then cap, label, and store in a dark cabinet.
Application Instructions: After a warm bath or shower, pat your skin almost dry. Apply a small amount of infused oil onto your slightly moist skin, massaging it in with gentle, circular motions until it is completely absorbed. This oil can easily be massaged into dry skin anytime you desire - it sinks in so nicely. Allow oil to soak into skin for at least 5 minutes before dressing.
Note: This blog was written by Stephanie Tourles and recipe adapted from her book, "Hands-On Healing Remedies" (Storey Publishing, c2012). The information is true and complete to the best of her knowledge. All recommendations are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles and are for educational purposes only.