Sometimes, what you’re meant to do just finds you.
It turns out that I’m The Beauty Forager. Who knew?
I never intended that to happen. In fact, when I first moved to England 6 years ago, my experience with foraging was limited to some wild strawberries and blueberries in our backyard. I remember my mother telling me to chew red clover buds for the sweetness, but I was always vaguely concerned that I would poison myself.
I’m not a botanist. I’m not even into hardcore outdoor pursuits. Maybe it’s the generations of great-grandmother’s wisdom that has finally found me, and helped me discover this world of using what grows abundantly around us to keep ourselves healthy and beautiful.
And so now, I forage for beauty.
It’s lucky I’ve moved to England because there is such a tradition here of picking from the hedgerows. Whether it’s blackberries for jam, nettles for soup, elderflowers for cordial and champagne, or sloes for sloe gin – there’s a ton of wild food around, and people still seem to pick it and eat it!
As we’ve talked about before, food is our medicine. And these wild foods can be used for so much more than just tasty treats. These wild foods formed the basis of our great-grandmothers’ pharmacy and beauty boutique.
Elderflowers smooth and lighten the skin, and elderflower water was a popular facial toner.
Nettles are filled with strengthening silica, giving you shiny hair and strong nails.
Cleavers is a lymphatic cleanser, helping to purify your skin from the inside out.
Of course, I buy ingredients too. Beeswax, coconut oil, cocoa butter, almond oil, and loads of essential oils. You don’t even need to forage to make amazing beauty products. But something about including a little of the wild bounty in our beauty products just feels magical.
We like to eat local, organic, and wildcrafted foods … why not include them in our health + beauty products as well?
I regularly give natural beauty workshops at Trill Farm in Axminster – 2.5 hours by train from London – where we’ll forage for beauty ingredients in their hedgerows and herb garden, and transform them into products you can take home. It’s an amazing place – a 300-acre organic farm in a beautiful setting and with delicious food – watch this space because I’ll announce my 2015 workshop schedule soon!