How to Make Herbal Soap: Echinacea Soap

Learn how to make herbal soap with disinfecting qualities with this echinacea soap recipe.

| October 2014

Echinacea soap

Echinacea angustifolia is one of many herbs you can use to customize your soaps when you learn how to make herbal soap.

Photo courtesy Robert Rose

In The Best Natural Homemade Soaps (Robert Rose, 2014), Mar Gómez offers 40 recipes for simple luxurious soaps based on three essential ingredients: water, olive oil and caustic soda. Gómez adds a number of natural ingredients like beeswax, cocoa butter, essential oils and herbal infusions to help you customize a soap that’s perfect for you, and each soap recipe is introduced with the history and therapeutic uses of the distinctive ingredient. The following recipe is for echinacea soap.

Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia) is an herb that grows wild in the grasslands of North America, but it can also be grown in your own garden.

It is well known in herbal medicine because it helps the body’s immune system quite effectively. The roots and entire plant are taken in powder form, extracts or tinctures, and, to a lesser extent, in infusions or decoctions. Externally, echinacea has a certain antibiotic effect. It acts as a fungicide, bactericide and inhibitor of viral growth.

Native Americans placed echinacea on wounds to prevent them from getting infected and to accelerate the healing process. Settlers to North America learned of the plant’s properties from the natives, but in time attributed new qualities to echinacea that had not been demonstrated previously. In fact, settlers used the plant to treat syphilis and gonorrhea.

After some years, people stopped having faith in echinacea. In the second half of the 20th century, however, its true properties were rediscovered, including its action as a barrier plant against fungi, viruses and bacteria, both on the skin and in the immune system.

Echinacea Soap Recipe

• 7.5 oz mineral water
• 3 oz lye (caustic soda)
• 1.5 lbs extra virgin olive oil
• 0.35 oz beeswax
• A handful of echinacea flower petals (optional)
• 0.07 oz echinacea essential oil

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