Thursday, September 10, 2009

Beauty at Home: Flax Gel

Beauty at Home

Much of my 'beauty care' - hair and skin care, 'spa' treatments and the like, are done at home. Very often they being done in the kitchen. So, as part of sharing our homesteading ways, I will occasionally post on the things I do to take care of myself and my family. This is the first. If you have ideas, or anything you'd like me to cover, please let me know!

Flax Gel

Flax gel is the mucilaginous or starchy part of the cooked seed. The flax gel was apparently used in the 20's by the flappers, to get those wonderful curls. I have been using this for about 6 months now on a daily basis, and have been very happy with the results.

2 cups water (4 parts)
1/2 cup flax seed (1 part)

Place in pot in stove over medium-low heat, stirring often. When the white foam starts to appear, turn the heat off. Place a strainer over a bowl that will hold 16 oz or so. Pour the contents into the strainer and let it strain, then stir the remaining seed and scrape the bottom of the strainer to get the last bit of gel. Clean up promptly (the gel will need to be soaked off if it dries, but if you do it right away it comes right off). Keep the gel in closed container - I use a jelly jar I like. I get 8 to 12 oz of clear gel per recipe.

Also, if you cook it too long, the gel will get too thick to separate from the seeds. It took a few batches for me to get this down :) but only takes about 15 minutes to make. The consistency will be about like melted cheese - the picture shows what I mean.

I tend to keep mine in the fridge. It will last at least two weeks - after that, I run out :) It will start to smell 'off' when it gets old enough. On the counter I've had it last one week to three weeks. I have no idea what caused the difference in time.

For a leave-in conditioner, it seems to work best when warm (right after you make it) but can be used every time you shower, cold is fine. I also use it every day to style my hair, and it works better than the commercial hair gels I’ve used before. It does seem to re-activate if I dampen my hair with a washcloth or damp fingers.

Questions are welcome!

1 comment:

  1. Then use the seeds in your favourite bread recipe, stir into oatmeal, grind and mix some into any recipe with the flour. They're very nutritious.