Since early times human beings have used plant extracts to enhance their appearance and to disguise unpleasant body odours. Today, you can choose from a wide array of toiletries that are guaranteed to keep you feeling fresh and perspiration free.
If you are prone to getting a sweat up, an inexpensive herbal deodorant, which will control unpleasant odours without inhibiting perspiration, is all that should be needed. A light dusting of (aluminium free) bicarbonate soda under the arms is simple, safe and effective. Or a solution of bicarbonate soda and water can be poured into an empty refillable roll-on deodorant bottle and used.
An effective herbal deodorant can also be made with herbs and cider vinegar. It will have both a subdued perfume and antiseptic properties, and will keep you feeling fresh and odour-free. Herbs suitable for a liquid deodorant are rosemary, thyme, lavender, sage, lovage, eau-de-cologne mint, spearmint, scented geranium leaves (Pelargonium), eucalyptus, marjoram and honeysuckle flowers. The scented geraniums, which are easy to propagate and grow in most climates, provide a varying range of fragrances and are ideally suited as deodorant herbs. Some of the most common fragrances are spicy, nutmeg, rose, coconut, lime, apple-scented and peppermint.
To make your herbal deodorant:
• Place three tablespoons of dried herb or six tablespoons of dried flower petals in a ceramic bowl. If it is more convenient to use fresh herbs and flowers, double the quantity.
• Mix together 300 millilitres each of apple cider vinegar and distilled water and, in an enamel or stainless steel saucepan, heat to just below boiling point.
• Pour the liquid over the herbs, cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave to steep for 12 hours.
• Strain and dilute the herbal liquid 50/50 with distilled water if you find the fragrance too strong.
• Store in a bottle with a tight fitting lid, and after washing and drying under arms, dab on the vinegar and allow to dry.
One for the Blokes: Beard Care
Very seldom are men considered when it comes to natural homemade personal hygiene products. If a man wears a beard or moustache, it will require attention and regular grooming as part of his hygiene regime.
Beards and moustaches should be washed every time the face is washed by using the fingertips to massage the skin underneath the hair. Throughly dry the face, then apply a herbal essential oil such as basil, rosemary or sage. To apply the oil, rub a little of it between the palms of the hand and stroke a good quality hairbrush over them to pick up the oil. Brush through the beard and moustache – if the latter are too difficult, use a toothbrush.