I thought I would share a fun and easy project with you. Yeah, I know, I write about weighty issues, feelings and shit but I think you will like this so…
A friend of mine, Dawn, often grows more lemon verbena than she can use. Last year when she offered me a bundle I meticulously cleaned the leaves, which you have to dry brush clean because water will wash away the fragrant oil that makes the stuff so potent and fabulous, and I ground up the leaves with cane sugar to freeze for use in shortbread cookies throughout the year. I still have a decent stockpile so I wanted to do something different with this year’s harvest.
I researched online and did not find a recipe using actual leaves, likely because the bits could clog drains, so I looked into infusions and there were a few suggesting infusing into an oil base. So I dove in…
Fresh Lemon Verbena Salt Scrub
2 cups Epsom Salts
2 cups Sea Salt
2 cup Coconut oil
1 Tbsp Jojoba oil
2 cups fresh Lemon Verbena leaves
12 drops lemon essential oil
Inspect your leaves to be certain they are free of any dirt and tiny bugs. Shred them up by hand or grind them in a food processor. (I have a coffee grinder that I use only for herbs) Be sure to get every last bit as the oily residue sticking to the sides of your grinder or food processor is where the real magic is.
Put the ground up paste into a microwave safe dish or a small saucepan. Add the coconut oil and heat until it is melted. Stir the mixture until combined. Leave overnight to meld.
In a large bowl, measure out your salts. You can use just sea salt and double the amount called for omitting the Epsom Salt but I like the health an beauty benefits of magnesium sulfate so I used both.
After the coconut oil has solidified, melt it again and then strain the oil through a piece of linen or an old, clean tea towel to remove the lemon verbena and leave only its essence.
Pour the oil into the bowl with the salts, add your jojoba and essential oils and stir, either with your hands or a spoon. Voila! Super awakening, awesome skin smoothing, magic lemony grime scrubber. I like it for elbows, knees, hands and feet. Give yourself a pedi and then soak in that Epsom goodness. I am putting a jar next to the kitchen sink to scrub off garlic and onion stench. Great in the recipe, peee-eww on the hands. Lemon Verbena to the rescue.
Package in plastic jars for people like me who cannot be trusted with glass in the shower. If you package it in glass jars I would recommend NOT taking that jar into the shower. Maybe spoon out a little into a plastic dish to take in with you. Another caution…the oils that benefit your skin and make this stuff so great to use will leave the shower floor hella slippery so hold onto something as well as use a good cleaner before the next poor sap gets into the shower.
My thanks to Dawn Craghead for the Lemon Verbena and Humboldt Herbals for the Jojoba and essential oils and the nice little blue plastic jars they carry for klutzes like me.