Bubble Bath, Hand Salve and Skin Cream
Many of today’s most trendy beauty products stem from oils, fruits and nuts grown and used during Bible days. I always equate beauty with good health, and people of Bible day ate very healthy, in season, without preservatives and pesticides.
Here are some Bible foods and plants good for beauty products:
Almonds and pistachios were mentioned in Genesis 43:11 as one of the gifts that Jacob sent down to Joseph in Egypt. Today one of the most popular facial scrubs using ground oats, finely ground almonds and some type of liquid, like milk, also mentioned throughout the Bible, almond oil or even rose water. And walnuts were considered a royal nut by the Romans. Walnuts are a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, and that helps prevent dry skin. You can add a little almond oil to your bath water and your skin will soak it up.
Red roses are symbolic of the blood Christ shed during the crucifixion, and yet they also represent the pure beauty of Mary. If you have fragrant rose petals, you can make a spritzer that is a good toner for your skin by steaming them in distilled water. Roses are astringent and good for firming up skin.
Olive oil was used extensively during Bible times for healthy cooking, and for lighting lamps. There’s a passage in Matthew 25:1-9 that talks about if you have no live oil, you have no light. Olive oil was used as an anointing oil, as well, and was rubbed on the skin to keep it supple. I still use olive oil as a skin softener and also to relieve the itch of dry scalps.
Moses use a blend of Biblical oils to both calm his people spiritually and also to prevent disease — I think he was the original aromatherapist! Research indicates that Moses used oil of cinnamon, hyssop, frankincense and myrrh, among other oils, as a base for a soothing oil. This was supposed to help protect the Israelites from the plague.
And Bathsheba, wife of King David, was said to use olive oil, myrrh oil, frankincense and other oils to scent and massage her skin after taking a milk bath. Cleopatra was also said to take milk baths. Milk not only soothes the skin but can help exfoliate it as well. Today you’ll find these oils and milks as ingredients in expensive skin products.
Fruits were also part of Bible beauty products. Both beet juice and pomegranate juice were used as a blush for cheeks and as a type of lipstick. Today pomegranate juice is one of the most popular juices because it’s full of antioxidants and is great for keeping skin healthy.
Honey, mentioned in Exodus 3:8 and many other Bible verses, is another ingredient in many beauty products. That Exodus passage — “a land flowing with milk and honey” — is such a visual one to me. Honey was used along with precious oils to keep skin soft. Raw honey was used during Bible days and that’s what we should be using today. It has all the vitamins and minerals still intact. If you get a bee sting and apply a little cider vinegar and honey to it, it may not even swell.
Honey is also very moisturizing. Whisk an egg white with a bit of organic honey and rub onto your face, avoiding eyes. Leave on for about 10 minutes, rinse off and this is a great natural firming face mask. Also add a spoonful of honey into some warm water and rinse your hair after shampooing with it. It’s a good conditioner. Be sure to rinse out!
BIBLE BUBBLE BATH
Almond oil softens the skin and the dishwashing soap gives oodles of bubbles. Kids will love bath time.
2 tablespoons almond oil
8 oz mild, unscented dishwashing soap, such as Ivory
Few drops essential oil (opt)
ST. JOSEPH’S HAND SALVE
As an herbalist, I love this simple salve for work-weary hands. Fun to make with kids.
6 tablespoons almond oil
1 tablespoon cocoa butter
1 tablespoon beeswax.
Stir, let mixture cool. Stir in several drops of peppermint oil or your favorite essential oil.
SOOTHING SKIN CREAM
So easy and great for dry skin. If you use the petroleum jelly, the cream will feel sticky at first, but will soak in nicely. Great for feet. I use a hand mixer and blend everything well.
1 cup favorite jarred skin care cream
2 tablespoons olive or almond oil
3 tablespoons petroleum jelly (optional but good)
Photo by Krzysztof (Kriss) Szkurlatowski; courtesy stock.xchng.
Rita Nader Heikenfeld writes a weekly cooking column and blog for the Community Press, appears every Thursday on the Son Rise Morning Show, and is the author of several cookbooks. An adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati, she is Macy’s Regional Culinary Professional (CCP) and is a Certified Modern Herbalist. She lives “in the sticks” outside Batavia, Ohio with her family, where they heat with wood, raise chickens for eggs, and grow their own produce and herbs. You’ll find all her previous recipes featured on The Catholic Beat here.
Rita’s Bible Foods segment airs on the Son Rise Morning Show every Thursday morning at 7:22 am (rebroadcast Friday at 6:02 am). Tune in to hear her discuss the history behind each recipe and the scripture verses that inspired it. And of course, for cooking tips!
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