Five Green Acres Mary Jo + Andrew Borchardt Poynette, WI
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We’ve got to be clean.

We’ve got to be clean.
April 21, 2008 Mary Jo

Happy Earth Week, everyone.  While I’m of the “Earth Day Everyday” sort of mind, I’m racking my brain for some nice ways to commemorate Earth Day this week.

To begin, how about this lovely green shampoo I whipped up this weekend?  If I had the (kick-ass) job of naming color swatches for paint companies, I’d call this one “Swamp Thing”.  Or, if I were the target demographic, I’d call it something like “Fern Frond” or “Green Goddess”.  Yeah, I would totally buy it then.  Joking aside, I love the homespun herb-y look it has.  And it was a really easy project (adapted from that same Herbal), so I’m sure I’ll be making more.  (Read:  if you’re on my Christmas List, you should cross your fingers and click your heels and spin around real fast and maybe you’ll get some)

How do you make shampoo?  Easy-breezy.  Start with an ounce of dried herbs.  I used burdock root, nettle, and yarrow.  Both burdock and nettle are wonderful all-around hair tonics and the yarrow is a bit astringent, for oily hair.   Simmer the herbs in some water for 15-20 minutes.  This is called a decoction in herb lingo, and is great for getting all the good stuff out of tough, woody, root-y things like burdock.   Strain the mix and incorporate some castile soap, then jojoba oil and your essential oils of choice.  I used Lavender, Clary Sage, and Tea Tree oils, which I had on hand.   And the smell?  Mmmn.   Even as the herbs were simmering on the stove, I got a “it smells real herb-y in here” remark, which I took as a compliment.

Why make my own shampoo?  Besides having a compulsion to MAKE THINGS?  Well, my itchy scalp has spent the last several months building up an immunity to our gianormous bottle of Aveda shampoo. It’s getting boring and running low and I can’t be bothered to give them all my money for a new bottle.  And I’m really sensitive to the kick-you-in-the-teeth fragrances in the “normal” shampoos out there.  And I’m studying herbs, after all.  And there are some people who question some of the additives in conventional shampoo.  But really, it’s just very satisfying.  To say “Hmmm.  Itchy scalp – what herbs might be nice for that?” And then take those herbs, which are pretty common, accessible ones, and begin the very sensual process of making the preparation.  Sensual in the See! and Touch! and Smell! sense, not the lets-hop-in-the-sack sense.

So, I’m going to be very busy now.  Busy washing my hair.

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