Knowing this is very interesting because, in many cosmetic formulations for shampoos, soaps, creams, etc. it is much better if we have the powdered herbs to achieve a better integration of the components of our recipe.
There are several methods, and we will choose one or the other depending on where we live and the possibilities we have at our fingertips.
In many cases, and if we are lucky enough to live in a warm and sunny place, we will be able to use the solar method.
Method of solar dehydration: This method is so simple. Just to put the pieces of herbs or barks on a cloth or absorbent cooking paper in the sun for a few days and turn them around from time to time.
It works with many fresh herbs, even with some fruits, tomatoes, grapes, etc… Tomatoes and apricots are usually made strings to facilitate drying in the sun.
Method of dehydration with electric dehydrator: This method may be more appropriate if we live in a cold place with little sun. It is possible with a dehydrator to easily convert dehydrated vegetables into powder to flavor soups, stews and sauces. Cut the onion, garlic, carrot, celery, spinach or chilli pepper into thin slices and then dehydrate them. Our herbs and vegetables will come out of the machine completely dry and dehydrated, making it easy to grind them with a coffee grinder or a high-speed blender. This powder can last more than a year if properly dehydrated and stored.
Let’s look at an example for preparing turmeric powder, which is very useful for a lot of recipes, including whitening toothpaste. And also to color our soaps and preparations of a nice orange color. If we prepare rice dishes, it is the best substitute for natural saffron to give our dishes a little color.
With the use of gloves, we will peel each root and then cut it into thin slices that we will place in the dehydrator. We will follow the indications of our device in terms of temperature and time. Normally, with turmeric sliced, about 50ºC of temperature will be needed over a period of between 24 and 48 hours. Next, we can simply grind it with the help of a coffee grinder.
With a kitchen oven: It is also possible, although, logically, it is not as ideal as the dehydrator. Personally, I think if you live in a cold place like me it works much better to put herbs or barks in a cardboard box near the heating. Especially if it is central gas heating because that tends to dry out the environment and results are achieved in a few days.
If you opt for the oven: Spread the vegetables on separate grids at least 8 cm from each other. In the electric ovens, set the temperature to 70ºC degrees and open the door about 4 cm. In the gas furnaces, open the door only about 2 cm. Depending on the moisture content of the vegetable, the dehydration time will be between 4 and 12 hours. Also, be sure to rotate the grids approximately every hour.
ORANGE BARK POWDER
We have prepared our orange bark powder by the central gas heating method and it has worked perfectly. This method is as simple as not throwing away the skins and peels of the oranges that we usually eat to place them on absorbent paper in order to recycle them. Then, we leave them for about ten days near the heating, turning them from time to time.
And finally we used a coffee grinder to turn our bark into powder. We can now use it directly added in our cosmetic preparations. For example, to make natural soap with orange bark.
LEMON BARK POWDER:
We would follow exactly the same procedure. If possible, and we are in summertime or live in a sunny place, we will opt for the natural method of drying in the sun. The energy of the sun is an extra contribution of properties.
Lemon is very useful in natural cosmetic preparations. Lemon is a great whitener, disinfectant and helps to decrease the secretion of fat from the skin.
This is why it is used in facial preparations. For example, to prepare a facial tonic thanks to its astringent and sebum reduction properties. It is very effective at combating acne and skin spots. You can apply lemon juice directly on the spots with a cotton swab or scrub the bark carefully without touching your eyes and the lemon will contribute to its progressive whitening.
It is also interesting to include it in a foot balm as lemon softens the skin and soothes tired feet.
GREEN TEA POWDER (MATCHA TEA):
You must dry the leaves immediately after harvesting them. Spread the leaves, flowers, or roots on a mesh or tray so there’s plenty of air circulation. Make sure the leaves don’t stay too close because they can get moldy. Longer or clustered ones can be cut and tied in bouquets, covered with a paper bag, then hung upside down so they drain water better and dry more easily. Put them in a ventilated place.
The properties of green tea for skin and internal tissues are innumerable. Green tea is ingested for its antioxidant benefits, and is also used in face masks and cosmetic preparations to treat mature skin for the same reason.
Matcha Green Tea (powdered tea) contains 137 more antioxidants than normal green tea and up to 5 times more L-Theanine, an amino acid with psychoactive effects that stimulates the mind, relieves body stress and lowers blood pressure. It is also rich in vitamin C, magnesium, chromium, vitamin K, zinc, selenium, chlorophyll and natural fluoride. In fact, it is one of the best sources of natural fluoride (bioavailable) and it is known that Asians who consume it daily tend to have a lower incidence of cavities.
As I mentioned in another article, the opposite is true with mouthwashes and toothpastes to which synthetic fluoride is added as this type of fluoride is toxic to the body. Sodium fluoride salts, which is the most commonly used inorganic compound (i.e. synthesis) in toothpastes are also used against insect and rat pests.
With regard to the skin:
-Apart from its antioxidant properties, it is interesting to add green tea powder to our cosmetic preparations because it contributes to the synthesis of natural collagen which is what keeps our skin firm over the years, that is, it is a good firming of skin tissues.
-On the other hand, oily skin can benefit a lot from the astringent properties of green tea, which decrease pores and reduce sebum production (sebum is the skin’s natural oil). Applied topically, in the form for example of a face mask with some purifying green clay (bentonite) this results in a reduction of almost 60% in acne scars without the need to use other more aggressive products.
-Incorporated into natural toothpastes, provides anti-cavity properties.
And it is also very suitable incorporated into a recipe of natural deodorant because of its astringent capacity. Green tea regulates excess sweating, and for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory capabilities, prevents body odor without irritating the skin as with other substances.
Anyway, we hope that all this information has convinced you of how interesting it is to reuse the bark of oranges and lemons (in a forthcoming post we will talk about the recycling of coffee leftovers) and how useful it is to dry some herbs that we all have at home to add them to our preparations.
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