Lavender has been revered universally through the ages for its classic, herbal, floral scent and its beneficial healing properties. Why not fill your next bath with soothing scent of lavender? If you have a lavender plant growing in your herb garden or flowerbed, you can incorporate the scented leaves and flowers into luxurious handmade spa-like bath and beauty products.
Its name is derived from the Latin verb, “to wash,” and ancient Greeks and Romans scented their soaps and baths with it, a practice we still do today.
Make Your Own Soothing Lavender Bath Products
Any of the following body care recipes would make attractive, fragrant gifts to share.
DIY Herbal Bath Bag
Step 1: Cut one round piece of durable muslin for each herbal bath bag. In the center, lay a mixture of flaked oatmeal, dried lavender, lovage, comfrey, rosemary, lemon grass, and chamomile or a mixture of these of your choosing.
Step 2: Gather the muslin up and wrap a rubber band tightly around the top. Tie a long strand of thin ribbon around the rubber band and tie a loop around the bathtub faucet. The herbal bag should be positioned to hang directly in the flow of the warm running water as it fills the tub.
Step 3: Relax! While soaking in the herbed bath water, remove the bag and rub it directly on the skin as a body scrub for additional benefits.
Note: Muslin bags with drawstrings can be purchased from herb suppliers, if you prefer not to make your own.
Garden Fresh Lavender Soap Balls
Step1: Grate white bath soap, homemade or commercial, by hand into a bowl and measure out 1½ cups soap flakes. Add enough very warm, soft water to moisten when stirred, approx. ¼ to ½ cup.
Step 2: Add several tablespoons of fresh rosemary leaves, lavender leaves, and flowers. Instead of the rosemary, you may add 2 fresh pansy flowers, cut into pieces and/or petals from 2 fresh rosebuds. Distribute flowers and herb leaves throughout with your fingers.
Step 3: Take about a tablespoon of moist soap batter and roll in the palm of your hand, as you would to shape meatballs. Lay on a sheet of plastic wrap or waxed paper to dry. Allow drying time of about 2 weeks. Roll in your palm every few days while drying to keep them round.
Use them in the bath or shower and enjoy the fragrance! Yield: approx. one dozen tiny soap balls.
Lavender-vinegar removes hair spray and other hair product build-up, giving the hair a healthy sheen. Only use lavender-vinegar on your hair once a week or less. Lavender-vinegar can also be added to bath water to soothe dry, itchy skin. Note: Vinegar may lighten color-treated hair.
You’ll need: Fresh cut lavender sprigs, slender glass jars, vinegar, corks, melted beeswax, raffia
Step 1: Insert one or two long clippings of fresh lavender into attractive, slender glass bottles. (Old vinegar, maple syrup, or other food grade glass containers work well. If recycling bottles, wash in dishwasher to clean and disinfect, before filling.)
Step 2: Pour in pure apple cider vinegar to cover. If desired, add several drops of lavender essential oil. Firmly cork each bottle.
Allow the contents to age one month before using or giving.
Follow these steps, below, to dress the bottles up for gift giving or craft sales.
Step 3: Dip the top of each corked bottle into a double boiler of melted beeswax, being sure to coat the entire cork, to seal. Allow the waxed seal to cool completely.
Step 4: Tie a raffia bow around the neck of the bottle and decorate with a sprig of lavender, if desired.
Step 5: Attach a tag to the bottle, with these instructions:
Dilute 1 to 2 tablespoons of this lavender-vinegar in a cup of water. Pour on and gently work through your hair after shampooing to give it a healthy, natural sheen. Use once a week.
Deborah Tukua is a natural living, healthy lifestyle writer and author of 7 non-fiction books, including Pearls of Garden Wisdom: Time-Saving Tips and Techniques from a Country Home, Pearls of Country Wisdom: Hints from a Small Town on Keeping Garden and Home, and Naturally Sweet Blender Treats. Tukua has been a writer for the Farmers' Almanac since 2004.