Herbs For Health

Herbs For Health

by Sarah Furey

Local herbalist Sarah Furey on how to brighten and protect your skin and hair

We’ve waited a long time for the sun (and that Vitamin D) to arrive. While enjoying the sun’s healing benefits, why not think about how you can look after your skin and hair at the same time.

We all know the sun can be very drying. To combat this, I always use an infused oil on my skin and a different, more oil-based hair conditioner in the summer months.

Chamomile and rosemary oils both have anti-inflammatory properties and are very nourishing. They work on all but the most greasy hair. Rosemary is also a lovely conditioner – it will make the hair shiny and encourage growth. I infuse the herbs in almond oil, which is kind to the scalp, but coconut oil is a good alternative.

Nettles are also an excellent hair tonic. Use a couple of fresh nettle tops for each cup of boiling water, infuse for 15 minutes and use as a hair rinse to promote hair growth. Or try the tonic recipe below.

I was recently given a recipe for a wonderful body scrub. It stimulates the blood supply to the skin which, in turn, promotes healing and will make your skin silky smooth.

Face Toner or Hair Rinse


(herbs can be fresh or dried)

  • 4 parts lemon balm
  • 4 parts German chamomile flowers
  • 4 parts rose petals
  • 3 parts marigold flowers
  • 1 part rosemary leaves
  • 1 part lemon or orange peel
  • Organic wine vinegar or vodka to cover
  • A few drops of lavender or frankincense essential oil
  1. Crush all the leaves and flowers and slice the citrus.
  2. Place in a preserving jar and cover with the liquid.
  3. Shake once a day for 2 weeks.
  4. Strain and add the essential oils. Store in a cool dark place.

Body Scrub

  • 50g fresh mint leaves
  • 50g rosemary leaves
  • 50g chamomile flowers
  • Peel of 2 lemons
  • 300ml olive oil
  • 400g fine sea salt
  • 4 tsp Vitamin C powder
  1. Infuse the finely chopped herbs and lemon peel in the olive oil at a medium heat for about 5 minutes, then allow to cool and squeeze all the oil out of the herbs, using a muslin cloth.
  2. Mix the sea salt and Vitamin C powder into the oil. Put into a sterilised jar and label.
  3. Apply to wet skin in the bath or shower. Scrub and rinse off well with warm water.

Caution: Always consult a qualified health care professional if you are unsure of any medical symptoms