This recipe is from Rosemary Gladstar and I got it from her book, Family Herbal, A Guide to Living with Energy, Health and Vitality. All the text below is from her book. For additional pictures of the process when I made it, check this post.
aQueen of Hungary's Water
This wonderful astringent lotion has been hailed as the first herbal product to ever be produced and marketed. Legend has it the early Gypsies formulated it and claimed it to be a cure-all. Whether or not it is I hardly know, but I do know that it is an excellent astringent for the fact (both rose water and witch hazel are light astringent tonics) and a great rinse for dark hair.
I think in some ways it is one of the world's finest cosmetic formulas. It combines gentle, common herbs in a masterful way, it's easy and inexpensive to make, and it's a very versatile formula that serves many purposes. The Gypsies claimed it was good as a hair rinse, mouthwash, headache remedy, aftershave, foot bath, and who knows what else! I have seen this same formula bottled in exotic little bottles and sold in expensive department stores for a fancy price. You can make it for the cost of a few herbs and a bottle of vinegar.
6 parts lemon balm (also known as Melissa)
4 parts chamomile
1 parts rosemary
3 parts calendula
4 parts roses
1 part lemon peel
1 part sage
3 parts comfrey leaf
vinegar to cover (apple cider or wine vinegar)
rose water or witch hazel extract
essential oil of lavendar or rose (optional)
1. Place all herbs in a widemouthed jar. Add enough vinegar to come to about an inch or two above the herb mixture. Cover tightly and let sit in a warm spot for two or three weeks.
2. Strain. Reserve the liquid. To each cup of herbal vinegar and 1/2 to 1 cup of rose water or witch hazel. Add a drop or two of essential oil, if desired. Rebottle. This product does not need to be refrigerated and will stay preserved indefinitely.