Natural beauty doesn’t come in expensive cosmetic jars, but rather the herbs growing all around.
Renowned herbalist Rosemary Gladstar provides safe and effective, time-tested natural therapies and herbal remedies in Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health (Storey Publishing, 2013). This comprehensive recipe collection offers a potent prescription for energy, health, and vitality at every age. This excerpt was taken from chapter five, “Recipes for Radiant Beauty.”
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A mythical Greek goddess whose name meant harmony and balance, Cosmeos gave to mortals the gifts of herbs, flowers, and other simple pleasures to nourish the body and the soul. She personified radiant health that flowed from a core of harmony and balance. Cosmeos never sought to mask what she was or how she looked; rather, she fed her inner fire with the eternal gifts of the earth. Her natural beauty was as abundant as the flowers growing wild on the hillside and as powerful as the granite bones of the mountain.
The modern word cosmetic stems from the Greek word kosmeticos, meaning “skilled in adornment.” This is precisely what Cosmeos was all about; it was never her intent to cover up; she used her creations to revel in who she was. She is one of my favorite goddesses. I envision her as a wild woodland creature running freely through the forests with her sister herbalist Artemis, whose name also has been immortalized in the name of a plant.
Cosmeos, though much misunderstood in the modern-day world of beauty, still yearns to flower in each of us. Her life force is in the rare and unique beauty that resides in the heart, that inner sparkle of the eyes and the radiant glow of the skin. Her teachings are not about what makeup to paint your face with or how to arch the curve of the eyebrow but are, instead, lessons rich with the lore of plants, of health, and of playfulness.
Cosmeos has been a special teacher to me all these years. She has taught me to “take time to smell the flowers” and, furthermore, to rub the juice of those flowers all over me! From her I’ve learned not to take my herbal work too seriously, and that medicine is found in many expressions. The gentlest cup of tea can often be a potent remedy for the toughest medical cases. She has shown me that nourishing ourselves with lovely herb baths and medicinal oils is often just as healing as the swallowing of tinctures and pills. And, most of all, she has taught me that beauty is as personalized as the profusion of flowers found growing wild on the hillside.
Nowhere in the garden or in the wild do you find an ugly flower. There are odd ones, unusual ones, crazy and outrageous ones, bright ones, dull ones, loud ones, and shy ones. But never have I seen a collection of flowers and proclaimed a single flower in it less than beautiful. Each is unique and so perfectly divine that it has its own natural beauty. Why can’t we see this same unique beauty in one another?
Excerpted from Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health © Rosemary Gladstar used with permission from Storey Publishing, 2013. Buy this book from our store: Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health.