Having always suffered from allergies when growing up, especially when spring was in the air, my skin would become red, blotchy and itchy whilst constantly panting for breath! Luckily, I never had to depend on off-the-counter antihistamines because homoeopathic remedies always supported me through the season. Recently, I have needed further assistance as symptoms have worsened with unbearable itchy and puffy eyes and a constant streaming nose!
Fortunately, I have excellent herbal resources and can lean on my stash of herbal tea infusions to relieve my occasional maladies. Radiant tea (previously known as Beautiful Skin tea) is a brightly coloured tea that contains powerhouse herbs against seasonal allergies and skin complaints. The ingredients found in Radiant tea are believed to target symptoms related to allergies. These ingredients are marigold, chickweed, elderflower, nettle, chamomile and rose buds.
Marigold (calendula) is a skin remedy and can be found in many skin products and cosmetics. Its excellent healing properties help calm down itchy skin rashes and heal the skin.
Chickweed is known to soothe itchy and inflamed eyes, mainly when associated with allergies. Herbalists have used chickweed to help with psoriasis and other skin conditions. Chickweed is also known to be beneficial with symptoms of conjunctivitis and asthma.
Elderflower and elderberries are widely used in herbal medicine. The herb is known to be an excellent remedy for allergy symptoms presented in cold, cough, and seasonal flu cases.
Elderberry contains drying properties that help reduce the build-up of mucus. It is believed to reduce inflammation in the lungs, which leads to improved breathing.
Nettle, known as stinging nettles, may reduce symptoms of hay fever suggested by scientific research. Nettle is known to help with symptoms of allergic rhinitis and itchy eyes. Research is still ongoing.
Chamomile contains chemical compounds that are known to reduce inflammation. This could result in reduced symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Chamomile has soothing properties that may help with allergic skin conditions.
Rosebuds are known to contain anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce and calm down skin conditions and symptoms similar to conjunctivitis or pink eye.
Extracting the maximum health benefits from your cup of herbal tea
To get the most out of Radiant tea, brew it for 10 minutes or more in boiling hot water, allowing all the herbal healing properties to be released into the cup. The best time to start drinking Radiant is 1 month before the allergy season begins, and consume 3-5 cups daily.
Can I apply herbal tea to my skin?
Herbal tea such as Radiant makes a wonderful skin application to help with blemishes, skin rashes, healing wounds, and keeping skin hydrated. The best way to apply tea to your skin is by making a skin toner or a hydrosol which can be used as a skin mist.
Making flower water or hydrosol
How to make your own DIY facial toner and skin mist? Making your own handmade skincare products are rewarding, and they can be made in small batches to ensure freshness. To make this fantastic skin toner/mist, you will need to turn Radiant tea into floral water, also known as hydrosols. So, what is a floral water/hydrosol? They are simply waters infused with a fragrance of a flower/plant. They are gentler and don’t need to be diluted, unlike essential oils. They are simple to make at home, and you don’t need any special equipment.
To create the flower water/hydrosol, you must go through a distilling process. All this means that you will heat the water and Radiant tea leaves together, collect the steam and turn this back into the water, which will result in the flower water/hydrosol. This sounds more complicated than it is, but I assure you it isn’t!!
You will need the following ingredients and equipment:
¼ cup Radiant tea leaves
5 cups distilled water (or boiled water that has been cooled down)
Cooking pot with a lid (the lid will need to be slightly dome-shaped and peak at the top – this will be placed upside down to help collect the steam water without it escaping)
2 small heat-proof bowls (one to put at the bottom of the pot (upside down) and the second bowl to sit on top of the first bowl to collect the steam water. The idea is not to let the water and tea leaves at the bottom of the pot contact the steamed flower water.
Sterilised spray bottle with stick on labels
How to make Radiant flower water or hydrosol
In a bowl, soak Radiant tea leaves with 5 cups of distilled water for 2 hours.
Here’s how to set up your pot…
Insert metal stand or upside down glass bowl
Make sure the corresponding pot lid has a slight curve. Place it upside down so that the distilled steamed tea water falls into the glass bowl.
Now you are ready to start the distilling process…
Pour the soaked leaves and the water into the pot and place an upside-down heat-proof bowl/iron stand over the top. Place your second bowl the right way up over the first bowl so that it collects the steamed flower water.
Cover the pot with an upside-down lid and let it gently simmer. Keep checking that the water does not run dry by gently stirring the mixture.
The collected steam water is the flower water or hydrosol.
Once cooled, store it in a sterilised spray bottle. Radiant tea flower water or hydrosol will do wonders for your skin by helping to rejuvenate it and help tackle some problematic areas.
I like to store Radiant flower water/hydrosol in the fridge and use it constantly as a facial mist during the allergic season. I find the flower water mist very soothing and calming on my skin. I like to soak cotton wool pads with the flower water/hydrosol and place them in the fridge. When my eyes are extra puffy and itchy, placing the chilled flower water-soaked pads on my eyes offers relief and reduces the allergic symptoms.
Radiant tea leaves contain natural astringent properties, but you can add witch hazel water for some extra refreshing astringency. Witch hazel without alcohol is generally better, especially if the skin is sensitive or dry. Added alcohol might be beneficial for those who have very oily skin. Radiant tea flower water/hydrosol contains no preservatives, so the added alcohol might provide added shelf-life.
You can use a natural preservative eco or any other preservative to increase the shelf-life. I personally don’t add preservatives to my DIY products as I use them up quickly.
Instead of Radiant herbal tea, you can use green tea, full of antioxidants and other skin health-promoting properties.
I store my flower hydrosols in the fridge, but if you notice any discolouration or change in the way it smells…then you know it’s time to make a new batch!