Sunday 4 May 2014

Herbal hair oil (மூலிகை எண்ணெய்)

In India, women endowed with thick, dark tresses are considered lucky! Every young girl loves to have dark, silky hair. Traditionally, women took great pains to prepare herbal oils and powders for hair care. My grandmother never allowed us to use 'shampoo' when we were young and always used homemade hair oil for hair care. She used to take great care to prepare this hair oil and send bottled oil for our use.

Coconut oil – 200ml (தேங்காய் எண்ணெய்)
Hibiscus flower – 5 no (செம்பருத்தி பூ)
Joy weed – a handful (கருப்பு பொன்னாங்கண்ணி)
False daisy with stalk – a handful (கரிசிலாங்கண்ணி)
Basil – a handful (துளசி)
Coconut milk – 50ml (optional)
Curry leaves – a handful (கறிவேப்பிலை)
Neem leaves – a handful (வேப்பன்கொழுந்து)

Method: Grind the flowers and leaves in to a smooth thick paste. While using the mixer-grinder, ensure that the contents do not get heated up. Mix the paste with oil and allow it stand for one day. On the second day, heat the mixture in a cast iron kadai on low heat, stirring continuously. While heating, the mixture makes ‘pat-pat’ noise (படபட சத்தம்). Once the noise subsides, remove the kadai from fire and allow it to cool. After the mixture cools down to room temperature, filter the oil through a clean white cloth.

How to store: Store the extracted herbal oil in a sterile glass bottle with a screw cap. Shake the bottle well before each usage.

How to use: You may apply little oil to the scalp every day. Alternatively, you may apply sufficient oil to the scalp by applying little by little, covering the entire scalp. Massage your scalp with finger tips and allow the oil to stand for 1-2 hours or overnight. Then wash your hair with mild shampoo or herbal hair wash. 

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