Here are a few fun recipes for creating and enjoying herbal delights!

Divine Sugar Scrub

Sugar Scrub

A sugar scrub is a fun, easy way to make a fairly inexpensive gift for yourself or others.  The tiny crystals in sugar scrubs gently exfoliate dry, dead skin cells, and the oils used to bind the sugar moisturize and hydrate to leave your living skin smooth and silky.

Here are some simple directions to make your own:

Fill a jar 3/4 full with organic unrefined sugar. Cover with oils (Jojoba, Sunflower, Olive, etc.) of your choice. Add a few drops of essential oils and stir it all together.

Elderberry Cordial

½ tsp whole allspice, ½ tsp cloves

1 piece stick cinnamon, ¼ tsp ginger

4 cups fresh elderberries, or 2 cups dried

1 cup cold water

16 oz. honey

1½ cups brandy


Tie spices in a cloth bag. Pick over and wash berries. Place in a stainless steel pot cover with water, and simmer until thoroughly soft; then strain. Measure, and to each quart of juice add 1 1/2 cups honey. Add spice bag and simmerl 20 minutes. Let cool, and measure again. To each quart of syrup, add 1 pint brandy. Bottle and cork tightly.

Will keep; improves with age.

Herbal Lip Balm

1 cup infused herbal oil (a combination such as the one listed in the Nourishing Lotion recipe is très approprié)

3/4 oz. beeswax

1 tsp. essential oil of choice (orange and vanilla are a delicious combination)

Grate Beeswax. Melt beeswax and herbal oil together on low heat in a double boiler. Add essential oil. Pour into a glass measuring cup and then into jars. This recipe makes about 32 ¼oz jars.

Herbal Lip Butter

1 cup combined Coconut oil, Shea Butter & Mango butter

1 tbs. Infused herbal oil

1 ¼ oz. Beeswax

1 tsp. Essential oil

Grate beeswax. Combine and gently melt the oils together with the beeswax. Add essential oils.

Pour into lip balm tubes.

Lemon Balm and Cashew Pesto

Lemon Balm and Cashew Pesto

*2 cups fresh lemon balm leaves, packed
*1 cup fresh parsley leaves, packed
*3 medium garlic cloves, peeled
*1/4 cup raw cashews
*1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
*1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
*juice of 1 fat lemon (seeded)
*fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Combine herbs, garlic, and cashews in food processor and pulse a few times.

2. With the food processor running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Turn it off and scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.

3. Add the lemon juice and grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Taste and salt and freshly ground black pepper, if you like.

4. Pack into glass jar(s) and top with a little olive oil for storing in the refrigerator (where it should last a few weeks). Or, use appropriate containers and store for a longer-term in the freezer (if doing this, I'd omit the cheese from the recipe and add it after you've defrosted the pesto).

5. Pesto is great on pasta, of course, but it is also lovely mixed with steamed or sauteed veggies, spread on cooked fish or chicken, mixed with beans, in sandwiches, on potatoes … it’s pretty much good anywhere.

-Adapted from From the Cook's Garden: Recipes for Cooks Who Like to Garden, Gardeners Who Like to Cook, and Everyone Who Wishes They Had a Garden
by Ellen Ecker Ogden

Lotion Bars

by Irene Lewis

Lotion Bars

4 oz. combination of Cocoa butter, Shea butter & Mango butter

5 oz. oils of choice (almond, apricot seed, jojoba, etc.)

4 oz. beeswax 

60 drops essential oils (rose, jasmine, ylang ylang, lavender, vanilla, etc.)

Melt the butters and oil together with grated beeswax in a double boiler. When cooled slightly, add essential oils. Pour into small molds (I like to ¼ fill re-used little yogurt containers). When cooled completely, you can put the containers in the freezer for a ½ hour and the lotion bar will pop out with ease.

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs

Follow the recipes below to make the dyes, using individual stainless steel, glass, or enamel saucepans for each color. Combine the ingredients and boil each color mixture separately for 15 minutes before dyeing eggs. The vinegar acts as a fixative — without it, the dyes won’t stick to the eggs.

  • Before dyeing, hard boil white eggs and let them cool.
  • For uniform color, strain each dye mixture through cheesecloth or a fine strainer.
  • For a mottled, tie-dyed or spotty effect, leave all the ingredients in the pans.
  • Trace personal designs with beeswax/white crayon before you color for a unique touch.
  • Use various leaves and flowers to make special designs.  Ferns work beautifully, as do long-petaled flowers like Shasta Daisies.
  • The longer the eggs remain in the dye, the deeper the color.
  • For special effects, dip half the egg in one color, the other half in another.

Natural Dye Recipes for Easter Eggs


2 cups beets, grated
1 tbsp white vinegar
2 cups water
Substitute: strong Red Zinger tea, or chopped fresh or frozen cranberries


3 large handfuls of yellow/brown onion skins
1 tbsp white vinegar
3 cups water
Substitute: strong chamomile tea, or 2 to 3 tbsp ground turmeric


1 pound frozen blueberries, crushed
1 tbsp white vinegar
2 cups water
Substitute: red cabbage leaves, coarsely chopped, create lavender


Mix combinations of the primary dyes (in separate cups) to make secondary colors: red and yellow for orange, yellow and blue for green, and blue and red for violet. The proportion of one color to the other determines the shade.

Nourishing Herbal Lotion

(modified from Rosemary Gladstar’s famous recipe)

First, infuse preferred oil (Jojoba, Grapeseed, Sweet Almond, etc.) with Lavender, Chamomile, Calendula, Rose Petals and Comfrey.  Strain, cool completely and set aside.


5 oz. infused herbal oil

1 oz. Jojoba oil

1/3 cup Coconut oil

1/2 oz. Beeswax



1 cup Distilled water or Hydrosol

Essential oils to your liking

Melt GROUP 1 gently on a low heat in a double boiler. Pour into a glass measuring cup and cool completely (65-70 degrees) Pour this cooled mixture into a food processor or blender. Turn the blender onto HIGH. Slowly pour GROUP 2 (Also at 65-70 degrees) into the vortex. When completely mixed together, it is a beautiful creamy color. Now it’s ready to pour into jars.

Rejuvenating Eye Tea

Equal Parts Elderflower, Lavender, Calendula

Seal into tea bags. Cover with hot water and steep until room temperature. Apply to tired or inflamed eyes.

Rose Beads


4 cups fresh roses

1 cup water

4 large or 12 small rusty nails

Grind the petals and mix with the water. Put into a cast iron pot with the nails and simmer for 1 hour. Leave in pot overnight. Repeat the simmer for 2 more days add a little water when needed. Grind again. The mixture should now resemble clay. Roll into marble sized balls. Set aside on paper towels for 2 to 3 days. String onto dental floss so they are not touching. Hang to dry, rotate the beads every couple of days until they become hard.


Spiced Elderberry Syrup by the Untamed Alchemist

Perfect for cough, colds & flu 

1/2 cup dried elderberries (or 2 cups fresh/frozen elderberries)
1 to 2 cups water
raw organic honey
5 whole cardamom seed pods (optional)
2-3 whole cinnamon sticks (optional)
10-15 whole cloves (optional)
5 slices of fresh, peeled ginger, about 1/4 inch thick each (optional)
Makes approximately 8 ounces of finished syrup.

a heavy-bottom sauce pan
a whisk or spoon for stirring
a large measuring cup
cheesecloth and/or sieve for straining
funnel for bottling
bottle(s) for storage
stickers/labels for bottle(s)

Place berries, 1 cup water, and spices in sauce pan and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring and checking often. Add more water if necessary; dried berries tend to soak up quite a bit and its important the syrup does not burn!
When the mixture has reduced, thickened, and simmered down, after about 20 minutes, remove the pan from the heat.
Pour the mixture through cheesecloth and/or a sieve into your measuring cup; squeeze the cloth or press into sieve with a spoon to extract as much as possible from the berries. Discard the berries and whole spices.
The amount of elderberry juice yielded is the volume of honey you will want to add to make your syrup. So, to 2/3 cup of strained elderberry juice you would add 2/3 cup raw, organic honey. To 1/2 cup strained juice, add 1/2 cup honey–to 1 cup juice, add 1 cup honey, and so on….

Stir the honey into the warm juice to mix completely. Cool before pouring through a funnel into clean bottle(s).
Label with description, ingredients, and date created. Store in the refrigerator.
Adults can take up to 2 tablespoons per day (children age 4+, up to 2 teaspoons per day) as a preventative and immune system support during winter months; it can be taken more liberally for a day or two at earliest onset of a cold or flu to encourage faster recovery.

© Kristina Bauer and The Untamed Alchemist, 2012 - 2015