Natural cosmetics, like kings and queens Part 24, the flowers of Aphrodite
Myrtle, calendula and dittany, the plants sacred to Aphrodite are fantastic allies of beauty, useful in case of wrinkles, skin spots but also acne or irritation.
The myth tells that Aphrodite was born from the sea foam. The goddess of love and beauty emerged on a shell of mother of pearl in the waves and was carried by the spring wind, Zephyrus, to the shores of the island of Cyprus. When the goddess set foot on the ground, immediately around her, green and delicate grass, lush plants and wonderful flowers sprouted. And are precisely the flowers, symbol on the earth of beauty, and the plants that are all linked in various legends to the figure of Aphrodite. So let yourself be wrapped by these timeless stories and enter the realm of myth to bring magic into your life with small, simple, beauty products inspired by the flowers and plants of Aphrodite.
Dittany of Crete
According to the legend, when Aeneas, the son of Aphrodite, was wounded in battle, the goddess flew to Crete where he caught the dittany of Crete, or Origanum dictamnus or hop marjoram, a seedling with an aroma reminiscent of that of oregano. Thanks to the dittany, Aeneas' wounds healed completely. Beyond the myth, in fact, the dittany is a plant with proven healing, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties very useful in case of acne (Mitropoulou et al, Microb Ecol Health Dis, 2015). If you are lucky enough to have a dittany seedling at home you can prepare a mush of flowers and leaves, crushing them, and apply them as a mask on the face for ten minutes. Then rinse and continue with your daily treatment. Alternatively, you can find in the herbalist's shop, even online, the dried plant that you can use to prepare a herbal tea. Bring a cup of water to the boil, remove from the heat and add a tablespoon of plant, leave to brew for 15 minutes then filter. Once lukewarm, use it for face wraps.
The marigold flower opens in the morning and closes in the evening. There is a myth linked to this according to which Aphrodite had fallen in love with Adonis unleashing the wrath of Ares, her husband. Ares sent a wild boar to kill Adonis but Aphrodite saved her beloved by hiding him in a box that she entrusted to Persephone, the queen of the Underworld. But Persephone also fell in love with Adonis. Thus, to appease the two women, Zeus determined that Adonis would spend a period with Persephone and a period with Aphrodite. The moment of detachment arrived and when Adonis walked into Hades to spend the period with Persephone, Aphrodite wept and marigolds arose from her tears. Marigolds, like Adonis, alternate a period of life and one of death. Marigold contains powerful anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties, it softens the skin, leaves it toned, elastic and speeds up healing in case of chapped skin, wounds or acne (Kang et al, Toxicol res, 2018 - Arora et al, Pharmacogn Rev., 2013). The well-known herbalist Maria Treben in her book Health from God’s garden recommends a valid remedy based on marigold to counteract dark spots on the skin but also irritations. Collect fresh marigold flowers, leaves and stems, wash them and get their juice with a juice extractor. Then apply the juice to the skin for 15 minutes.
According to an ancient legend, a Greek merchant named Erostratus was surprised by a storm while he was on the sea. Desperate he appealed to Aphrodite, of which he had a statuette in his hand. The goddess appeared to him in the form of myrtle leaves sprouted from the statuette and this gave courage to Erostratus, who thus saved himself by reaching a safe harbor. But myrtle is a seedling that not only saves sailors in difficulty but also ... our skin. In fact, myrtle is very useful in case of acne, but also irritated skin and even irritated gums thanks to its anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antioxidant action (Hennia et al, Medicines, 2018). You can use myrtle water, you can find it in specialized shops, to be sprayed on the area or, alternatively, you can also prepare an infusion. Bring a cup of water to a boil, then remove it from the heat and infuse a spoonful of dried myrtle leaves. Wait ten minutes, then filter and once lukewarm use as a face tonic but also for gargling, mouth rinsing or for wraps on skin.