Homemade Medicinal Herb Gifts

Not only will medicinal herb gifts help recipients get through the holidays, they're inexpensive — you can mix and package them yourself.

| December/January 1993

Making natural medicinal herb gifts for the holidays is an uplifting and affordable way to offer a bit of earthy wealth to the family and friends in your life. Best of all, you'll be able to shop for many of the ingredients right in your own kitchen or garden.

The ones you don't already own can be purchased from local health-food stores. (Ask the manager or clerk to order them for you if you can't find them.) I usually invite a bunch of friends over every year for a "gift-making" party; that way we can share our supplies and experience while gratefully avoiding hectic holiday shopping. Don't forget to make extra gifts for yourself. These herbal products are an ideal way to pamper yourself — something you'll probably need as the holiday season begins to wind down.

Herbal Bath Powder

This soothing and absorbent powder is excellent for all ages. It is also simple enough for children to put together themselves, providing they are old enough to run a blender and read measurements. It contains no talc, so it isn't irritating to mucous membranes if inhaled, and it can be scented with the pure essential oils of your choice.

Use equal parts (I recommend two cups) of:

- clay powder (absorbs and balances the skin)
- slippery elm powder (absorbs and soothes)
- cornstarch (absorbs)
- dried rose petals ground to powder (acts as an astringent)
- essential oils (adds pleasant scent)

Place dried rose petals in your blender (a small handful at a time) and blend at high speed until they become a fine powder. Repeat with another batch until they become a fine powder. Repeat again with the rest of the petals.

Into a large bowl, sift together all of the dry ingredients (powders of slippery elm, clay, roses, and cornstarch). Then sprinkle 15 to 20 drops of essential oil of your choice onto the dry mix, and work this into the powder until it is thoroughly blended. Sift again so that powders and oil mix evenly and then pour the powder into a glass jar for gift-giving. The jar should be airtight so that the essential oils don't evaporate or lose their potency. Place a large cotton ball or a fluffy powder puff on top.

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