herb gel, and experimenting with GUM.
I thought I would fill you in on my latest discovery with “healing with herbs.” A magical ingredient that had taken a back corner of my pantry has stepped up to take my herbal treatments to the next level: Guar Gum. If you do a lot of gluten-free baking, you will probably be familiar with this gum (or it’s friend, xantham). Anyway, guar gum is a super thickening agent – basically it’s “thickening” qualities are about 8 times stronger than that of cornstarch, so a little goes a long way. I didn’t realise this, but it is actually used quite a lot in cosmetics. I stumbled across the idea of using it, when I was brewing up a herbal infusion, but wanted it to stick to my skin. It really does work a treat…. Guar gum is usually available at health food stores, or in gluten free sections – just ask.
There are no set rules with making a herbal infusion (well, I’m sure there are, but I’m not one to follow rules). I usually steep 1/4Cish herbs in 1C water that has been boiled, but left to cool slightly before pouring over herbs. Leave to step for anywhere from 1-10 hours.
- 1C herbal infusion*
- Essential oils of choice (about 5 drops)
- 1 + 1/2t (or up to 2t, depending on the thickness you desire)guar gum
- The easiest way to do this is actually in a food processor/blender. You can just use a whisk, but you are more likely to get lumps.
- Place infusion and essential oil in the food processor (or a large bowl if you are whisking) turn it on to get the liquid moving (or start whisking really fast!).
- Little by little, sprinkle in the guar gum (similarly to if you were adding oil while making mayonaise) until you reach your desired consistency.
- Store gel in the fridge and use within a few days of making it (there is no preservative in it, so it will probably go off pretty quickly) This makes 1C gel.
Yes, this particular blend (licorice root, calendula and lavender looks like snot).
I used this particular blend on my irritated skin…. stored in the fridge it was so cooling on my scratchy, sore skin…. plus created a “film” over the affected area which gave me some relief.
Next up, I wanted to try this method a a hair conditioning mask. Orange/lemon peel, rosemary and ginger. Infused for about 4 hours.
Still looks like snot, but anyway.
I used this on my hair, after washing with Dr Broner’s. I basically slopped about half of the recipe on my head (my hair is pretty long) and left it on for about 10 minutes while me and Misty bathed. Rinse and done. Now, this does NOT help with tangles… be ready to get out your comb. Otherwise I was left with silky soft, shiny hair. Success. It also works really well as a shaving gel (much less razor-clogging than my usual coconut oil). Another win.
***I am not a herbalist/professional and these are my own personal experiments, use this info at your own risk***