(Scroll down to view a video version of these instructions)
Growing up, I always adored shelves filled with bottles of potions, lotions and brews. I’ve always been drawn to cabinets lined with jars of herbs, colorful glass bottles, cork stoppers and wooden spoons. Now I am the proud owner of many of these things and there is nothing I enjoy more than creating a new home brew on a rainy Sunday morning.
On this drizzly Sunday morning, I bring you a recipe for a fragrant and oh-so-useful herbal floral water. This water can be used alone as a facial toner, astringent or aftershave, or mixed with additional ingredients to create customized, all natural skin care products.
I like to use the following herbs for my herbal floral water:
- 3 parts Calendula Flowers – natural acne healing and prevention, good for oily, blemish prone, combination and normal skin types
- 2 parts Chamomile Flowers – soothing for acne and blemishes, good for all skin types
- 1 part Yarrow – soothing for acne and blemishes, good for oily, blemish prone, combination and normal skin types
- 1 part Rosemary – especially good for oily and combination skin
- 1 part Sage – especially good for oily and combination skin
- 1 part Lemon Balm – especially good for normal skin types
- 1 part Rose Petals – any skin type, especially good for dry skin
- 1/2 part Comfrey Root – soothing and healing for acne and blemishes, good for all skin types
Here’s what you’ll need:
You’ll need to create a “still” using household and kitchen items that you may already have. It seems complex at first, but you’ll find it quite easy to assemble and use this system time and time again.
- a large/tall pot (without non-stick coating)
- a clean, sanitized brick*
- a small glass bowl (this bowl will need to fit inside of the pot, with about an inch of clearance from the edge, all the way around)
- a large stainless-steel bowl (this bowl will need to fit on top of the pot) filled with tap water, then frozen solid
- distilled water (approx. 4-5 cups depending on the size of your pot)
- fragrant, dried herbs or flowers (approx. 2-3 cups depending on the size of your pot)
- turkey baster (optional)
*Soak the brick in a 10 parts water to 1 part bleach solution for a minimum of 4 hours after each use to sanitize and cleanse it.
You can start this brew when you’re planning on baking in the kitchen for a couple of hours, or if you’re just spending a cozy afternoon at home curled up with a book. Your house will fill with the wonderful fragrance of your simmering herbs.
- Place the pot on the stove, then place the brick in the center of the pot.
- Carefully start to add your mix of dried herbs around the base of the brick. Do not fill more than 3/4 of the way up the brick’s sides.
- Pour distilled water over the herbs until it reaches the top of the brick. Do not cover the brick. If the herbs are floating, use a spoon to push them into the water so they absorb it and sink.
- Wipe excess herbs off of the top of the brick and place the small glass bowl on the brick, centered in the pot.
- Place the large stainless-steel bowl (with frozen ice block) on top of the pot. This will “seal” the pot.
- Turn the burner onto its lowest setting, creating a gentle simmer.
Don’t throw away that leftover water and herb mix! Use it to create an apple cider or alcohol based facial toner, like the one below. The spent herbs can be tossed into the garden or compost pile.
Additional Uses: pH Balancing Toner for Combination and Acne Prone Skin
Video tutorial demonstrating the steps above using different herbs: