View Full Version : Excerpts & Recipes from 'The Herb Bible'

May 28th, 2009, 11:08 AM
I was browsing through 'The Herb Bible' (Peter McHoy and Pamela Westland, 1994) this morning and came across some interesting recipes and information. I have yet to try any of these, but thought I'd share them so we can try them together!

For those of you who have had a chance to experiment with some of these herbs or other herbs, for that matter, perhaps you'd like to share your findings with us!

Horsetail Shampoo

This all-in-one shampoo and conditioner combines the cleansing properties of soapwort root and the conditioning ability of horsetail, sometimes known as the 'hair gloss herb'.
7 TBS snipped horsetail stems
7 TBS grated dried soapwort root, soaked overnight and drained
1 gal soft water
Put the horsetail and soapwort into a pan, pour in the water and stir well
Bring to a boil, cover and boil for 15 minutes
Remove from the heat and leave the mixture to infuse for one hour
Strain the liquid into bottles, cover and label
Use about 1 cup of the shampoo each time

Garlic Conditioner

With its strong antiseptic properties, garlic is a useful air to healing scalp conditions and can put the sheen back into dull, lifeless hair. Shampoo your hair with your favourite fragrance after this treatment!

10 large cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 cup castor oil, hot
Stir the garlic and castor oil thoroughly, cover and infuse for two days
Strain into a bottle, cover and label
Massage the oil into the scalp, wrap the head in a towel, and leave for about an hour
Shampoo thoroughly

Peppermint Rinse

This aromatic hair rinse is especially beneficial for greasy hair.

10 TBS chopped peppermint leaves
2 pints soft water
2 pints apple cider vinegar
Put the peppermint leaves in a pan, pour in the water, and bring slowly to a boil
Simmer for 15 minutes, remove from the heat and infuse for one hour
Strain the infusion and stir in the vinegar
Pour into bottles, cover and label
Use about 1/2 pt of the rinse after shampooing



Decoctions are usually made to extract fluids from hard plant materials such as roots and bark. To achieve this, the plant material is usually boiled for 810 minutes in water. It is then strained.

Infusions are very similar to decoctions but are used with herbs that are more volatile or dissolve readily in water, or release their active ingredients easily in oil. Boiling water (or water of the appropriate temperature) is poured over the herb and allow to steep for a time, usually 15 to 30 minutes or until the mix cools. The mix is then strained, bottled, and refrigerated for future use. Quantities of the herb/water or oil mix will vary according to the herb or how strong the infusion is required to be. A common proportion used is one ounce of herb to one pint of liquid.

*Store herbal cosmetics in dark containers or away from damaging light.

May 28th, 2009, 11:14 AM
wow, I so have to try these...THANKS :D

May 28th, 2009, 11:56 AM
Yeah, I'm excited about them too!

I want to try to find some soapwort to plant in my herb garden. So far, I have chamomile, peppermint and catnip.

May 28th, 2009, 03:04 PM
The garlic and castor oil one sounds like a particularly good idea for hair loss.....might need to add another oil to it though as castor is so thick and sticky.
Thanks for posting these :D

May 29th, 2009, 11:15 AM
You're welcome!

Yeah, I might try it with equal parts coconut oil and castor oil.