By Brenda Hyde
Moms never pamper themselves enough! You know this and so do I. In fact, a grandmother I know was sharing with me that even with her children grown she finds it hard to think of pampering herself. It seems to be a habit that we develop from the time our first baby is born, and it's hard to break!
One thing I've found that helps me to feel pampered is using homemade bath, skin and hair treatments. They are easy to make and very soothing. Plus if you set aside an evening once a month to pamper yourself it becomes a comforting ritual that you will look forward to each time!
Using Bath Teas
Herbal bath teas are VERY easy to make and use. Basically you are making a "tea" or an infusion that you then add to your bath. You can use small muslin bags that are premade or you can sew your own with a piece of muslin and tie it tightly at the top with string. A piece of finely woven cheesecloth will work also by placing the ingredients in the middle of a square, gathering and tying tightly. The most basic way is to steep your bath tea in a bowl or large mug, then it and add it to your bath. The key is to steep your herbs in boiling water, then add to your bath. I steep mine for at least 10-15 minutes, but longer is fine.
I use dried herbs for my bath teas, but you can also use fresh herb leaves from your garden. One of my favorite combinations is mint and lavender. I add about 1/2 cup of each to a muslin bag and I steep for about 10-15 minutes. I gather up a magazine, light a candle, brew a cup of regular tea for drinking, run my bath and it's time to add the bath tea. If you are using a cloth bag or bundle you can also add that to the tub. The nice thing about bath teas is the simplicity and the aroma. You'll need to experiment and find out what which herbs work best in your bath. These suggestions will get you started:
Use 1/2-1 cup of a combination of the following-
-dried rose petals
-ground oatmeal (in your blender)
As I mentioned don't be afraid to experiment. Perhaps try a 1/2 cup of mint, chamomile and lavender, but only a small amount of rosemary. Or choose 2 of the herbs and use 1 cup each, plus a cup of dried milk for a soothing milk bath. If you buy the dried herbs in bulk or dry or own they are not very expensive, and you can store them in a fairly cool cupboard in jars. I've also added baby oil to my bath while it's running and the bath tea for a messy, yet very moisturizing soak!
The bath teas are just the beginning. I sometimes save the bath for last after the kids are in bed. My husband will often play a board game with them earlier in the evening so I can have the bathroom to myself for some extra pampering. The following recipes will give you some to start with. Remember to also use good quality lotions afterwards. Relax and Enjoy!
Herbal Conditioning Oil
You will need:
1/2 cup dried chamomile flowers
1/4 cup dried rosemary leaves
1 cup safflower or sunflower oil
Place the herbs in the top of a double boiler and add the oil. Heat for 30 minutes. Pour into a wide mouthed jar. Cover with a piece of muslin secured with a rubber band. Let this stand in a warm place for about a week, stirring each day. Strain the oil into a clean jar. To Use-Warm about 1/2 cup of the oil, less if your hair is shorter, over VERY low heat for a few minutes. Rinse your hair with hot water and squeeze out excess water with your hands. Rub the warm oil into your hair and scalp. Cover with a shower cap, then a warm damp towel. Condition for 20-30 minutes then shampoo to remove the oil.
Easy Herbal Hair Rinse
Pour 2 cups boiling water over 2 tablespoons dried rosemary. Steep this for 15 minutes,strain and rinse hair with the water.
Honey and Cream Facial
Combine one teaspoon honey with two tablespoons of heavy whipping cream. Beat together and pat onto your face, rubbing gently and smoothing your skin as you do this. Leave on for a few minutes while preparing a cup of tea or your breakfast, then rinse with warm water.
Honey Lemon Facial
Combine 1/2 tsp. lemon juice with two tablespoons of honey. Blend together and spread over your entire face. Leave on for 15-20 minutes then rinse with warm water and gently pat dry with a soft towel.
Brenda Hyde is a wife and mom to three kids living in the Midwest United States. She is also the editor of http://oldfashionedliving.com.
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