London is busking in glorious sunshine since few days. Parks are full of picnic goers, children, joggers, cyclists and it feels like real summer! This afternoon, I head again to the woods for a walk and for a little bit of foraging.
So what did I find? Elderflowers in full bloom! They smell amazing, sort of sweet honey smell. I remember my grandma was picking them up and making teas for cold. It must be in my genes then!
Elderflowers are popular in refreshing cordials and medicinal infusions. But these delicate, creamy flowers can be used for your beauty too. Flowers have anti-inflammatory and soothing properties; help for sunburns and all irritations too.
For this recipe, the best are dried flowers as they give that “crunch” to the scrub. You can grind them a bit so you have smaller pieces. Cover a handful of elderflowers with aloe vera juice and leave for about 15 minutes. Then add the ground rice or ground almonds. Then add a bit of plain yogurt and few drops of some essential oil, could be lavender or lemon. Mix it all for a paste and apply to your skin using circular movements.
I went for a walk into the woods today to pick up some nettles, had my rubber gloves with me! They say the best nettle are in early May before blooming. As it is mid-May, many of them were already blossoming but I managed to get some really good ones.The woods were beautifully green filled with birds singing. What a soothing balm for my mind and soul after the whole week of hard work! That should be my Friday treat, instead of going down to pub… this one maybe after the woods!
Back to nettles, it is said that nettles absorb all minerals and vitamins from the soil and store them in their leaves which become highly nutritious. You can then eat nettles leaves and put them into soups or salads. I prefer a nettle tea made from fresh leaves or dried ones. They really purify your blood and body.
Nettles are famous for hair care treatments. They prevent hair loss and a nettle hair rinse leaves it glossy, soft and also helps with dandruff. You can use the fresh leave or dried ones, fresh are stronger though.
I just spread mine on the sheets of newspapers and will leave them for few days to dry. Later on, I will grind them and mix with clays for face masks. So, don’t be afraid of the stinging beauty as it is a very powerful weed.
I bought a little 10 ml bottle of carrot oil few weeks ago because rich in beta-carotene carrots are famous for improving skin colour. I remember, in my teenage days, I used to grate raw carrots, squeeze them and then use the juice as a kind of toner to my skin. It was giving a nice tanned glow to my face! I used also few carrot creams and was always pleased with results and as a big fan of oils in cosmetics and home beauty treatments, I couldn’t resist trying carrot oil.
Carrot oil indeed has a wonderful, rich orange colour and is rich in beta-carotene and vitamin B, C, D, E. Wow, that’s a vitamin bomb! It is good for ageing skin but will do well for any skin, especially if applied overnight. I tend to add just few drops to my night cream for extra moisture and nourishment boost. You can also mix it with any carrier oil like jojoba or almond oil and use it all over your body to get that desired post-holiday look. As summer is approaching, I have just ordered another, bigger bottle!