Home made spa treatments and skin care products can often be of a higher quality than expensive store-purchased treatments. The main key is not to skimp on the quality of the ingredients that you use, but how can you be sure you are getting the very best?
It’s important to know just how to properly harvest and dry the herbs and flowers you collect for your home spa and skin care products. Humidity and water need to be avoided during the collection of herbs and flowers. The key is to not harvest early in the morning or on humid days when moisture is present.
Avoid the Hot Weather
Another thing to avoid is hot weather. Herbs and flowers should be harvested just prior to the fullness of their bloom, when they are full of life. This way, you’ll be obtaining stock that are still rich with aromatic oils and goodness.
The perfect time would be to wait for a few hours of morning sun, say about 9 to 11am, to dry away any early morning dew.
Use a sharp knife to cut them just above the node or a blade, remember to only take as much as you can hang or store immediately. Now you are half way towards creating your own home made spa treatments and skin care products.
Hang long-stemmed herbs and flowers in bunches: Lavender, Mugwort, St. John’s wort, Peony, Baby’s Breath, and Borage- plus any flowering-top herbs- dry well if hung in bundles.
Gather your herbs in bundles and then secure them together using a rubber band or string. Rubber bands tend to be better than pieces of string because herbs will shrink slightly as they dry. However, if you prefer to use string, just be careful they don’t slip out during drying.
Hang your freshly cut herbs in a dark and well ventilated area. Ideal drying temperature is between 650F and 800F, so the best time to dry herbs in and flowers in most places is spring.
The required drying time for herbs and flowers can be anywhere from between two or three days for some, and up to several weeks for others. It is very important to store what you have collected in dark, covered containers after they dry to avoid mould. Mould and moisture can easily ruin a harvest, so sudden changes in humidity, like in a thunderstorm, can suddenly mean all of your work was for nothing.
Keep your herbs and flowers dry and crisp, but don’t go so far as to make them completely brittle. Follow these guidelines and you have all you need to begin creating your own home made spa treatments and skin care products.
Recipes & Uses
- Lavender Essential Oil: The Top Ten List of Healing Uses
Photo. Leah Kelley
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