I rarely review books since I just don’t have the time. However, when Jan of the Nerdy Farm Wife sent me her new book, “101 Easy Homemade Products for Skin, Health & Home,” I was thrilled. I always wanted to start making my own homemade products since I grow so many herbs. Avoiding synthetic chemicals in store-bought products is a plus in my book. Thanks to Jan, I have a new herbal bath soak recipe that I get to share with you.
Everyone needs a good bath soak whether you are a weekend warrior, obsessed gardener (who could that be) or simply need to relax.
Jan speaks my language. Her recipes are easy to create. She holds your hand through the recipe and explains in an easy to understand manner why she is using a particular herb.
Why should you make your own products.
Before I get to the recipe, you might be wondering why is homemade better?
Many store bought products contain dangerous chemicals. Listed below are some toxic ingredients that may be in your products.
● Coal Tar: It is used in anti-dandruff, lice, and dry skin products. It is a known carcinogen. (FD&C Red No. 6)
● DEA/TEA/MEA: Suspected carcinogen used in emulsifiers and foaming agents in shampoos, body washes, and soaps.
● Ethoxylated surfactants and 1, 4 dioxane: These chemical are by-products of adding ethylene oxide to the ingredients. These two by-products are not listed in the ingredients. Look for the letters “eth” as a dead give away something is hiding in your products.
● Formaldehyde: Probable carcinogen found in nail polish, hair dye, shampoos, and more.
● Fragrance/Parfum: Catch-all term for products that could contain phthalates. How many of you get headaches or dizzy from the smell of fragrances? Or is your asthma or allergies aggravated?
● Lead: known carcinogen found in lipstick and hair dye. Another ingredient that may not be listed since it is a contaminant.
● Mercury: known allergen. Found in mascara and some eye drops.
● Hydroquinone. Used to lighten skin. Banned in the EU and linked to cancer and reproductive toxicity.
● Mineral oil: prevents the skin’s ability to release toxins. It is found in baby oil, moisturizer, and styling gels.
● Parabens: used as a preservative. It is linked to cancer, endocrine disruption and reproductive toxicity.
● Polyethylene glycol (PEG): It is a penetration enhancer found in many products. It contains ethylene oxide and the contaminant, 1, 4 dioxane
● Silicon derived emollients: It makes products soft and linked to tumor growth and skin irritation.
I know. Yuck.
Never fear! Jan’s book will help you to ditch the store bought products, and make your own.
Just to give you a little peek, Jan’s book contains such recipes as:
● Honey, Rose & Oat Face Cleaner
● Cool Body Mint
● Basic Calendula Lotion
● Floral Salt Foot Scrub
● Elderflower Eye Cream
● Regenerating Rose Balm
● Thyme Flaky Scalp Spray
And so many more.
In addition, her book contains recipes for your house such as homemade laundry detergent, Thyme Counter Cleaner, Orange Pine Cleaner, homemade soap recipes, and pet care products.
As I mentioned, there are over 101 recipes in this book!
One of my favorite recipes was the fresh garden soak recipe.
As you know, I am a very hard working gardener and herb grower. Weeding kills my legs and back. Lifting a wheel barrow with weeds, compost, and dirt makes my back ache at the end of the day. And my shoulders and upper arms take a beating harvesting the herbs.
I need a good soak by the end of the day.
Herbal Bath Soak Recipe:
- ½ cup of chopped fresh herbs. (For simplicity purposes I used 1/2 cup of dried since not everyone has access to fresh herbs.) I used chamomile, catnip, lemon balm, lavender, and comfrey. You can easily double the recipe but make sure your herbs are nice and dry according to Jan’s instructions before you store your container.
- ½ cup of Epsom salt
- 1 tablespoon of baking soda
- A few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus (not an option for pregnant or young children)
- A reusable tea bag or a 12 by 12 muslin fabric and a tie
1. Blends the fresh or dried herbs with the Epsom salt in a food processor.
2. Lay the mixture on wax paper for 1 to 2 days to reduce the moisture in the fresh herbs. (No need if you are using dried herbs.)
3. Then pour the mixture into a bowl with the baking soda.
4. Either put your mixture in a glass container or in the muslin bag.
5. Either drop your mixture or your bag in the warm tub and enjoy.
It reminds me of that old commercial, “Calgon take me away.”
Why Did I Use the Herbs Listed Above?
The herbs mentioned above have several medicinal qualities but listed below are why I use them to help me sleep, relax, and soothe my tired body.
Chamomile–helps with inflammation, muscle relaxant, and sleep.
Catnip-helps with skin irritations and a relaxant. (Cats love this herb. Hence the name–catnip!)
Lemon Balm–(one of my favorites) helps with sleep, eases pain, stress and anxiety
Lavender–help relieves stress, insomnia, and anxiety. It also is great to help bug bites! (Read more about lavender HERE.)
Comfrey- helps heal wounds, relieves joint inflammation, swollen veins, and bruises.
Back to Jan…
I adore this book and so will you. You can buy it HERE. Her recipes make great presents for the holidays and birthdays. Once you start making your own homemade products from Jan’s book you will never go back to buying store bought products!
Join the Conversation:
Do you make your own herbal bath soaks?
***I am not a doctor and supplied this information for educational purposes. Please consult a doctor or holistic provider before using any herb.***
Disclaimer: There may be affiliate links or links to Anna Lee Herbs in this article. Thanks for your support in helping Green Talk and Anna Lee Herbs.