Thank you to Vicki Finn for contributing this month's craft tutorial! Learn more about Vicki and where you can connect with her at the bottom of this post.
Do you know how easy it is to make herbal soap at home? All you need is an all-natural solid bar of soap, some dried herbs and essential oil (optional). Herbs are so important for the body and for the senses, there are many benefits to bathing with them rather than your garden variety soap. Common herbs like lavender, chamomile, mint, lemon balm and rosemary can help greatly in topical treatment and not only in ingestion.
- Lavender is said to be used for treating insomnia, nervous stomach, and anxiety.
- Chamomile contains usefulness in treating minor abrasions, cuts and scrapes, and as a sedative and sleep aid.
- Spearmint inhalation can help relieve stress and lift the mood as well as increase mental alertness.
- Lemon Balm is known to be good for the skin.
- Rosemary is good for eczema as it helps stimulate blood circulation the skin.
1. Choosing Your Herbs and Mold(s)
I decided to use my heart muffin molds to make some cute heart-shaped soaps with lavender and chamomile flowers. I measured a total of one (1) tablespoon of dried herbs into the bowl and crushed them with the spoon.
2. Choosing and Grating Soap
It's probably best to choose a white or light-colored soap to work with, as your herbs will color it naturally. I chose a solid block of honey soap I already had on hand from the soapmaker and as you can see, it's a little bit dark in color. I used a cheese grater to grate the soap into small strips, but you can also use a utility knife if you prefer.
3. Steeping Herbs
Once you have pulverized your herbs, you should add 1/4 cup of boiling water and let steep for 15 min. Then boil again and add to shredded soap in the bowl. I also added 10 drops of hyacinth and heather essential oil, which is a light floral scent.
4. Setting the Mold
After stirring enough to mix the herbs and soften the soap, pour it into your mold(s). You can also use a square mold that can then be cut into bars. My silicone muffin pan provided easy release of the soaps even when soft.
5. Set the Soaps
Once soaps are set after a day or so, you can release them from the mold and let sit out for another day until they harden a bit more. My soap came out pretty dark, considering the honey soap block I used as a starter and the chamomile herb I steeped in the boiling water. However, they smell wonderful and a great to use in the bath! They also make a cute DIY gift idea.