Tulsi & Honey: a mask to center, ground and soothe
This mask was formulated for an event that I am doing for First Saturday's in St Joseph, MO. It is a monthly happening where local businesses partner each first Saturday of the month to feature artists, music and specials. For the 1st Saturday in April, I am offering mini botanical facials. I absolutely love being able to showcase facials and package them in a way that allows people to experience them from a holistic viewpoint. I am offering two different masks for clients to choose from that day and for one of them, Tulsi immediately came to mind. The scent alone of Tulsi could be reason enough for me to incorporate this into a facial. I grind Tulsi leaves into a fine powder for this mask, and inhaling the aroma is enough to evoke a shift in consciousness. This comes to no surprise as Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) or Holy Basil is revered as a sacred plant in India. Other names for Tulsi include: elixir of life, queen of herbs and mother nature of medicine. This is a plant of devotion in India and revered as a physical manifestation of the divine. (1) "The daily use of this herb is believed to help maintain the balance of chakras, and to bring out the goodness, virtue, and joy in humans”. (2) Tulsi is an aromatic plant which helps to relax the body and focus the mind. David Winston calls Tulsi a cerebral stimulant (3) and I really like this term as Tulsi is incredibly captivating to the senses. Because Tulsi is an aromatic, it is typically prepared as a tea. Be sure to cover with a lid while it's steeping to capture those volatile oils! As you sit with this mask on, having a cup of Tulsi tea to drink would be a lovely way to experience it's powers internally as well as externally. (If you do brew tea, be sure to set some aside to cool so you can use this to tone the skin with!)
I attended an Herbal Skincare Summit a couple months prior hosted by Rachel Pontillo and one of her guests was an author named Melanie Sachs. Melanie is a key figure with the incorporation of Indian and Tibetan Ayurvedic bodywork techniques in the spa and beauty industry. In it she said that, "As the skin is an organ of digestion, it actually tastes herbs. For each of the doshas, there are particular tastes that bring balance.” (4) When I apply this mask in the evenings, it feels so invigorating that it can refresh my mind and transition me into a gentle space before bed. I love the thought that my skin can taste it, too.
This mask features Ayurvedic herbs, but if you don't have some of these ingredients readily on hand, it can easily be modified to use herbs/spices that are likely to be found in your kitchen!
2 tbsp of Tulsi leaves
1 tbsp of Spearmint leaves
1 tablespoon of Powdered Shatavari
1/4 tsp of Turmeric powder
A pinch of Cardamom powder!
1 tsp of Yogurt
1 tsp of Raw Honey
Grind Tulsi and Spearmint into a fine powder. Get one jar that will be used separately to hold the powdered herbs. Add Tulsi, Spearmint, Shatavari, Turmeric and Cardamom to this jar. Label this jar and store with a tight fitting lid as you'll have extra powdered herbs that can be used to make this recipe again! (Powdered herbs have a shorter shelf life so you'll generally want to use them within 3-6 months.) Get a small bowl and take a teaspoon from your powdered herbs and add equal amounts of yogurt and honey (1 tsp each), blend together and apply to your face with clean hands. If you saved any extra cooled Tulsi tea, apply this after you have washed your mask off. Complete your facial ritual with either an oil or cream to moisturize.
1. Mase, Guido. The Wild Medicine Solution. Healing Arts Press, 2013.
2. Gladstar, Rosemary. Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide. Storey Publishing, 2012
3. David Winston and Steven Maimes. Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief.
4. Sachs, Melanie. #HerbalAha Moments and Other Highlights from the Herbal Skincare Summit. https://rachaelpontillo.com/herbalaha-moments-from-the-herbal-skincare-summit/
5. Thompson, Krystal. Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum). https://www.herbrally.com/monographs/tulsi/
6. Floret, Rosalee de la. Health Benefits of Tulsi. https://www.herbalremediesadvice.org/health-benefits-of-tulsi.html