DIY: Herbal Moisturizing Cream I
<em>Makes 2 cups</em>
<p>To add fragrance, try a few drops of rose, jasmine, or lotus essential oil. Men may prefer the scent of sandalwood or mint.</p>
<p>• 1 cup fresh rosemary leaves<br />
• 1 1/2 cups fresh comfrey leaves<br />
• 3/4 cup fresh lavender or patchouli leaves<br />
• 1/2 cup olive oil<br />
• 16 ounces anhydrous lanolin<br />
• Aloe vera gel, optional</p>
<p>1. With a mortar and pestle, bruise the herbs with a small amount of olive oil. In a nonreactive saucepan over low heat, melt the lanolin with the remaining olive oil. Remove the pan from the heat. Let the mixture cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then stir in the herbs and aloe vera gel. (Heat breaks down the allantoin in the comfrey, a substance that promotes new cell growth, and destroys the healing properties in aloe vera.)</p>
<p>2. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth and pour it immediately into heat-resistant jars. Thick blue, green, or brown glass jars protect the mixture from light and make attractive gifts. Store in the refrigerator.</p>
<p>3. Many of the ingredients in herbal skin creams have long histories of medicinal use. Until World War I, lavender was used as a wound disinfectant. Cleopatra is said to have used aloe vera gel to preserve her youth, and Alexander the Great used it to heal the wounds of his soldiers.</p>
<em>C. D. Kirkland, Lynden, Washington</em>
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