The holiday season is upon us! As an herbalist, the holidays give me a great excuse to make an assortment of herbal goodies for friends and family. Each year I put together a bounty of gifts to hand-out to everyone. From the mail person to my daughter’s teachers to my best friend, almost everyone loves a little herbal something given from the heart.
This guide has complete instructions for how to make bath salts, aromatherapy spritzers, shea body butter and salt & sugar scrubs for gifting. There is also a little guide to essential oils included to help you with your blending!
With a bit of planning and preparation you can make your own magical herbal gifts to share with friends and family. Here are guidelines and instructions for making 4 different simple herbal body care gifts. Each of these gifts can be made in large batches and customized as your intuition guides you.
I love to make and use bath salts. These are so very easy to create! Following is a very basic recipe. You can add a multitude of things to this blend to change it up and add some personalization. I like to add flowers like lavender and rose petals or a pretty salt such as course pink Himalayan salt to make the bath look as gorgeous as it feels.
Ingredients & Supplies
makes 5 small gifts or 2 medium sized gifts
4 cups Epsom or sea salts
1 cup baking soda
20 to 30 drops of essential oil
1 tablespoon of carrier oil such as sweet almond, apricot kernel, or olive oil
Ideas for optional ingredients include rose petals, lavender blossoms, chamomile blossoms, milk powder, Himalayan salts, a bit of beet powder for color, and even small pieces of seaweed! Add these in small amounts.
For packaging your creation use jars, containers or nice plastic bags like you would get in the food supply section of your craft store.
ribbons or ties
Combine the salts and baking soda in a bowl. In a separate bowl combine the essential oil with the carrier oil and mix well. The add the oils to the salt mixture and stir well making sure to break up any clumps. Add any optional ingredients you have chosen, blending everything together well. Then put the bath salt into bags, tie shut, add a label and you are done!
Spritzers are so easy to make, user friendly and bring a bit of plant magic into life. Here are basic instructions for making your own spritzer.
Ingredients & Supplies
makes 1 spritzer
4 oz. bottle
atomizer (spray top)
water, distilled or filtered
10 to 20 drops of essential oil*
First get yourself set up by trimming the tube on the spray top to the proper length, just reaching the bottom of the bottle. Then, fill the bottle almost to the top with water. Be sure to leave enough room for the sprayer tube to insert into the bottle because the water level will rise a bit when you add the top. Then add the essential oils. Next shake up your creation, add a label and ribbon if you wish. That is it! So simple.
SHEA BODY BUTTER
I love shea butter. It is so rich and creamy. This super simple body butter is really fun to make and feels so good on the skin, it is a real treat.
Ingredients & Supplies
makes 10 small 2 ounce gifts or 5 larger 4 ounce sized gifts
20 ounces of unscented shea butter by volume
20 to 40 drops of essential oil*
5 round tins or squat jars, 2 or 4 ounce size
Prep your containers by placing them on your work space and taking the lids off. Place the shea butter in a bowl. You can then either start blending your essential oils into the shea with a spoon or fork.
Or if the shea is too hard to blend this way. Wait to add your essential oils and heat the shea very gently in a double boiler or in you oven on the lowest setting with the door open. Heat it until it is just malleable, overheating shea can cause it to become grainy! Then remove from the heat and add your essential oils. Waiting to add the oils until after you have removed the shea from the heat source will help to reduce evaporation of those lovely oils!
Scoop it into your containers. Don’t forget to label your containers.
SALT & SUGAR SCRUBS
Luscious salt scrubs are great for exfoliating away dead skin cells while moisturizing the skin. You could easily spend $20 for a small jar of high quality salt scrub at the store. Make your own to gift at a fraction of the cost.
Ingredients & Supplies
makes 6 small 4 ounce gifts or 3 larger 8 ounce sized gifts
2 cups of sea salt, fine Himalayan salt, sugar or brown sugar
1 cup high quality carrier oil like apricot kernel, almond, grapeseed, avocado or olive oil
15 to 30 drops of essential oil*
For packaging your creation use jars or plastic containers. I have had people tell me that they prefer plastic containers for their salt scrub to protect against breakage in case they happen to drop it in the shower.
Blend all ingredients thoroughly in a bowl. Spoon into jars or containers. Label and enjoy giving away this lovely present.
* A TIDBIT ABOUT ESSENTIAL OILS
The recipes above use essential oils both for scent and therapeutic properties. When I make a gift for someone who's preferences I don't know, I almost always use lavender essential oil. Most people love lavender and it is one of the safest essential oils.
However there is a whole exciting world of essential oils beyond lavender. Here are few common ones that you might consider using in your creations, including their emotional attributes and benefits in skin care.
Bergamot: Uplifting, eases anxiety & stress. Benefits oily skin
Atlas Cedarwood: Centering & relaxing. Helps oily skin
Frankincense: Calms & assists in meditation by deepening the breath. Helps dry, mature skin & wrinkles
Jasmine: Soothing & creates a sense of hopefulness. Benefits sensitive & dry skin
Lavender: Simultaneously relaxing & stimulating. Is cleansing and soothing to the skin.
Lemon: A refreshing & happy scent. Helps oily skin & acne
Neroli: Comforts, soothes depression & anxiety. Skin tonic and for scarring.
Sweet Orange: Happy, uplifting & refreshing scent. Use for oily skin
Rose: Emotionally comforting & heart soothing. Healing for all skin types
Rose Geranium: Balancing & relaxing to the emotions. Acts a a skin tonic
Rosemary: Refreshes a tired mind & aids memory. Nourishes mature, dry skin.
Sandalwood: Grounding & relaxing. Helps all skin types.
Spearmint: Lifts sadness, relaxes & ease fatigue. Helps congested skin
Ylang Ylang: Calming & aphrodisiac. All around good for skin care.
Cautions: Bergamot, lemon and distilled orange are phototoxic so do not use on skin directly before sun exposure. Avoid cedarwood and rosemary during pregnancy.
TIPS FOR EASY LABELING
It is important to label your creations. It lets you and everyone else know what is inside! Sheets of blank labels with sticky backs are available at most office supply stores. In a pinch I often use cardstock to create labels. After creating a label with card stock, I just punch a hole in the corner and tie it to my creation with a pretty ribbon. It looks really sweet and handmade this way. You can simply write your labels by hand or create them on your computer and print them off.
You may have noticed that all of these gifts are ideas for making body care items. The world of herbs is vast indeed and ideas for gifts certainly doesn’t stop with body care. Creations for the kitchen include tea blends, infused oils and vinegars, syrups, as well as herbal infused honeys, sugars and extracts. Presents to use around the home include dream pillows, sachets, wreaths fashions with herbs and more. There are so many ideas for creating herbal gifts. This really is just the tiniest peak. I hope you find it to be a great place to start.
Thanks For Joining Me!
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*Please Note: This post contains affiliate links visit my affiliate page for full disclosure.
- Aromatherapy, A Complete Guide To The Healing Art, by Mindy Green & Kathy Keville
Jeanne Rose Aromatherapy & All Things Herbal, Aromatherapy Course Home & Family: http://www.jeannerose.net/articles/25_essentials.html
The Encyclopadia Of Essential Oils, by Julia Lawless