How to make your own vitamin water

Vitamins and water, they are both extremely good for you. But if you are like me, you don’t get enough of neither of them.

I like water, it doesn’t bother me that it has no real taste, but I usually just forget to drink it. Same with vitamins, which are mostly found in fruits and vegetables. I like fruit, all kinds of fruit, but I usually just forget to eat them (and OK, to be honest, I’m also a bit lazy when it comes to peeling fruits. Yeah, I know, it’s absurd, but it’s true. Give me some non-peelable fruits, like berries, and I’m fine. But well yeah, berries aren’t in season every day of the year…).

So when I saw bottled vitamin water in the grocery store, I was in awe. Such a clever idea; combining the two things everyone knows that they’re good for you and make them into something easy to consume and easy to take with you. But I’m not a big fan of plastic bottles… Neither am I of all the additional stuff, like flavors and colors. So I passed them by and the idea kind of went in to the back of my mind.

As I mentioned before, peelable fruits, like oranges and lemons, usually go to waste around here, and passing by the fruit bowl, glancing at it out of the corner of my eye, always made me feel a bit guilty. Such a waste of such perfect fruits… So I began thinking about other ways to use up all that fruit, besides just eating it. I already made a lot of smoothies out of bananas and kiwis, and some of the oranges made it to become juice. But there was still plenty of fruit left. And that was when the memory of the vitamin water came to mind!

Homemade, no additional stuff, no preservatives, no plastic bottles and super easy to make.

Here’s how:

  • Take the fruits of your choice (I picked lemons and oranges)
  • Slice the fruits into rounds and cut those rounds into half
  • Place the whole shebang into a pitcher
  • Fill the pitcher with water (you can also add ice if you like to)
  • Bruce the fruits a little with the back of a wooden spoon
  • Set in the fridge for at least 4 hours
  • Enjoy!

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Homemade vitamin water

You can also add herbs if you like. For instance, cucumber, lemon and mint might be a great combination for a refreshing drink during summer times. Or if you like your drink to be a bit more on the sweet side, try mixing up some variation of berries (if you would like your drink to have a bit of a pinch to it, squeeze in the juice of 2 limes and then just toss the limes in to the pitcher).

So, what kind of homemade vitamin water mixture would you make?

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Herbal rinses: What are they and how to use them

As many of you might already know; herbs can have many beneficial when it comes to healthcare. But what some of you might not know, is that herbs also can have a great effect when it comes to hair and skin care.

In yesterday’s post I already briefly mentioned herbal rinses, so today I’ll be telling you about how I use them to take better care of my hair.

So, about my hair: My hair is kind of a strawberry blonde and I really like that color. I don’t have much of a hair problem, besides some dryness at the tips of my hair and a bit of a lack of shine. It also has the tendency to go greasy very fast, although that’s already reduced a lot since I don’t wash my hair everyday anymore.

My herbal rinses usually contain these ingredients:

  • Birch leafs (for strengthening and against hair loss)
  • Catnip (to help with preventing split ends and to making the hair thicker)
  • Camomile (to help me keep the blonde tones in my hair and against oily hair)
  • Dandelion leafs (against hair loss)
  • Hibiscus (to bring out the red tones in my hair)
  • Nettle (to help strengthen my hair and to stimulate hair growth)
  • Peppermint (to stimulate the scalp)
  • Red clover (to help with thickening the hair and to help it grow)
  • Rosemary (for great shine, against oily hair, to prevent hair loss and to stimulate hair growth)

Overview herbs copy

These are the herbs I use for my herbal rinse

Those are just herbs that I have on hand and that I like to use. You can of course make the rinse entirely to your own liking.

What you need

What you need to make your herbal rinse, besides the herbs

So, how do I make a rinse out of these herbs and how do I use the rinse?

  • First, collect your herbs in a jar with a lit on it (I use an old Nutella jar). You need the lit to seal the jar, so the warmth of the water you’ll be adding will extract all the goodness out of the herbs.
  • Boil some water and pour over the herbs.

Before and after

  • Seal the jar with the lit and let the herbs stand there for at least 1 hour.
  • Make sure that before you use the rinse the water has been cooled off!
  • When you’re ready to use the extract, use a sieve to separate the water (which you’ll be using) and the herbs. Poor the water in another container (I use a measuring cup).
  • Go into the shower and just wash your hair like you would normally do. If you use conditioner, just go ahead.
  • When you’re all done, take the herbal rinse and pour it over your wet hair (I like to do that while I’m still in the shower, so I won’t make a mess). Squeeze the excess of water out of your hair and style like you normally would (for me that would be wrapping my hair in a towel for a while, take it off, model my hair with my hands and just let it air dry).

End result

The end result

When my hair is dry I always have a nice shine to it and I’ve noticed that after a few times of doing an herbal rinse, my hair starts to look and feel better.

So here’s a short overview of hair problems and which herbs you might want to use to help you to solve them:

  • Normal hair: Basil, Calendula, Chamomile, Horsetail, Lavender, Linden flowers, Nettle, Parsley leaf, Rosemary, Sage, Watercress
  • Dry hair and scalp: Burdock root, Calendula, Chamomile, Comfrey leaf, Elder flowers, Horsetail, Lavender, Marshmallow root, Nettle, Parsley leaf, Sage.
  • Oily hair and scalp: Bay leaf, Burdock root, Calendula, Chamomile, Horsetail, Lemon Balm, Lavender, Lemon peel, Lemongrass, Nettle, Peppermint, Rosemary, Thyme, Witch Hazel bark, Yarrow leaf and flower.
  • Scalp conditions (dandruff, sensitive skin, inflammation, itchiness, dermatitis): Burdock root, Calendula, Chamomile, Comfrey leaf, Eucalyptus, Horsetail, Lavender, Marshmallow root, Nettle, Oregano, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme.
  • Hair loss/thinning: Basil, Nettle, Rosemary, Sage.
  • Golden highlights: Calendula, Chamomile, Lemon, Sunflower petals.
  • Dark highlights: Black Tea, Black Walnut hulls (crushed or chopped), Comfrey root, Nettle, Rosemary, Sage.
  • Red highlights: Calendula, Henna, Hibiscus flowers, Red Clover flowers, Rose hips, Red Rose petals.

Source: http://www.herbfest.net/cosmetic-herbs/277-how-to-use-herbs-for-your-hair-color-and-conditon

If you would like to know why you should use certain herbs; here’s a short list of herbs and what benefits they might have for your hair:

  • Aloe vera: Hydrating, soft hair, brings shine, works as a natural gel
  • Amla: Conditioner, darkens, helps with cleaning the hair, anti-dandruff, stimulates hair growth, hair strengthener, brings shine
  • Basil: Improves general condition of the hair, helps with dandruff
  • Birch leaf: Darkens the hair, against hair loss, strengthens hair
  • Catnip:  Reduces split ends, increased hair thickness, increased hair quantity and helps against irritation of the scalp
  • Cedar: Stimulates hair growth
  • Chamomile: Against oily hair, dandruff, strengthens hair, makes color lighter
  • Cornflower: Helps with gray hair
  • Dandelion: Anti-dandruff, hair loss
  • Elderflower: Makes color lighter, soothes irritated skin, against scalp problems
  • Fenugreek: Conditioner, binder for henna, stimulates hair growth, stimulates scalp, against dandruff, strengthens natural hair
  • Hibiscus: Makes hair more reddish
  • Lavender: Soft hair, brings shine, against scalp problems
  • Marigold: Makes color blond/reddish
  • Marshmallow: Nourishing, hydration, binder for henna
  • Nettle: Strengthens hair, brings luster, stimulates hair growth, helps with dandruff and itching, stimulates scalp
  • Peppermint: Stimulates the scalp by allowing increased blood flow to the hair follicles
  • Red clover: Hair thickening, growth stimulating
  • Rosemary: Darkens the hair, brings shine, very good for oily hair, hair loss, dandruff and itching, stimulates hair growth
  • Sage: Darkens the hair, strengthens hair, brings shine, anti-dandruff, helps with scalp problems

If you already have some herbs lying around but don’t know what they can do for your hair, or if you want to know more about herbs, I recommend going online to search for information specified to your needs.

I bought my herbs at an online healthcare store, but you can also buy a lot of herbs at your local healthcare store and even find them in the nature surrounding you (make sure you know what you’re doing though! Never use something you picked out of the wild without being 100% sure what it is!).

Scalp treatments: Why you should start using them

Ever since I jumped on the natural haircare bandwagon I’ve been trying out a lot of things to replace “normal” (well yeah, define normal…) haircare products. Changed from normal shampoo to no shampoo to homemade black soap shampoo. Instead of using store bought hair mask, I now make my own. I also discovered a few new things and made those part of my haircare routine, like a herbal rinse after washing my hair. And a few days ago I ran in to another, for me, new thing; scalp treatments.

Ever since I’ve been hanging around on hair fora I learned a lot about hair and how to take care of it, so I knew that it’s important to take care of your scalp as well. I only didn’t really knew why and how. The only thing I could think of was to massage my scalp when applying my hair mask, shampoo of conditioner (the one thing I have not yet found an alternative for that I like. I tried ACV, but it doesn’t really work for me). But luckely, their is the almighty Google, which led me to a whole bunch of information

So, why should you do scalp treatments?

  • The most important thing: It removes product build up. Build up not only comes from stuff like hairsprays, gels, mousses etcetera, but also from shampoos and conditioners. Build up can cause a lot of scalp related problems, because it clogs up the hair follicles and.
  • It relieves dry, flaky, tight skin. Your scalp can get dry from using heat appliences such as blowdryers, washing your hair with water that’s too hot, but alsp from the cold during the winter.
  • If you suffer from dandruff, scalp treatments might work wonders for you.
  • By cleaning and massaging the scalp, you stimulate it to grow your hair a bit faster.
  • It can help reduce the amount of hair loss you have.

Seems legit to me, so I gave one of the recipes I found online a try. I tweaked it a bit to my own liking:

Mix together the following:

  • 4 Tablespoons of coconut oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Juice of half a grapefruit

Put in the microwave for about 30 seconds, or until the coconut oil is melted. After the coconut oil was melted I added some more ingredients:

  • A few drops of tea tree oil
  • A few drops of keratin

Of course you can make the treatment to your own liking.

You just apply this mixture to dry hair. It doesn’t matter if it’s clean or not. I had a brush to apply dye with lying around and used that to put the mixture on to my entire scalp. What was left of the mixture I applied all over the rest of my hair. My scalp and hair were smelling like a tropical paradise, yummy! When I was done applying, I massaged my scalp for a few minutes, put my hair in a bun and covered it all with a shower cap. I just left it on while cooking and eating dinner (so for 1 hour I guess), but you can leave it on as long as you like, as long as it’s no less than 20 minutes. I went into the shower, rinsed my hair a bit with water, applied a lot of conditioner to make it easier to remove the oil and rinsed the whole thing out. Washed my hair, used conditioner again, finished with a herbal rinse. And much to my surprise, I actually saw some results! My scalp really looks cleaner, my hair feels softer at the roots and has less of those fine little baby hairs showing. Even the beloved boyfriend noticed the difference!

I think I’ll be using this treatment once a month, because I don’t want to strip my hair and scalp from its natural sebum and oils.

So, what do you all use for a scalp treatment? Or if you just discovered the concept, like me, will you be trying it out?