Herbs are usually utilized in the kitchen to add to mom's cooking or used as tonics or balms (as they are also known for their medicinal properties). But did you know that you can also make homemade soap out of nature's wonderful herbs?
And contrary to popular belief, making simple yet effective herbal soaps are one of the easiest soaps to make. Herbal soaps are those that are mixed with natural juices, extracts, chopped or ground leaves (and sometimes, stems) of herbs. Though herbs are usually safe, be wary of these soaps if you have a family history of allergies, as you would be more prone to the itches since these may become irritants in your case.
But allergic or not, it would still be fun and easy to make these soaps since you have a lot of herbs to choose from. Plus, if you don't use them, you can safely give it to others as gifts, so you don't have to worry about the gift-shopping rush that Christmastime brings.
Usual herbs or plants that are used for soaps are the following: Mint or eucalyptus, lavender, calamansi and the infamous papaya (which are both known for their whitening properties), avocado, guava (the leaves have medicinal properties which are antibacterial and antiseptic in nature), rose petals, peaches, almond (specifically its oil), etc. These would commonly be dried and ground for easier preparation.
To make the soap, boil at least 1/4 cup of water, then add at least 2 tablespoons of your herb/s. Like tea, steep it for a couple of minutes, preferably between 10 to 15 minutes. Pour into double broiler and reheat the mix. Add the soap (should be grated or cut into really small pieces); let it melt. Colors or EOs (essential oils) may be put in at this time.
Your mold should preferably be in plastic as your herbs may possibly react to metal. Prepare the mold by brushing some vegetable oil for easier removal of the soap after.
Once melted, pour the mixture into your mold. Let it harden at room temperature. After a few hours, once hardened, remove the soap from the mold. Do not let it sit overnight because you will then have more trouble in separating the soap from the mold (even though you put some vegetable oil in the mold prior to soap setting). Let it harden for at least two days before using.
Over time, with diligence and patience (plus your willingness to learn), you will be able to make the perfect herbal soap. Who knows? You may even make a business out of it.