The Queen of Hungary’s Water – Recipe

Astringents are used to remove excess oil from the skin. In addition, they tone the skin and help prepare it for moisturizing. While they are especially appropriate for oily skin, any type of skin can benefit from using the pore-tightening effectss of an astringent.

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 face (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 worldís finest cosmetic formulas. It combines gentle, common herbs
in a masterful way; itís easy and inexpensive to make,
and very versatile. 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
4 parts chamomile
1 part 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 or witch hazel extract
essential oil of lavender or rose (optional)

1. Place all herbs in a widemouthed jar. Add enough vinegar to come about an inch or two above the herb mixture. Cover tightly and let sit in a warm spot for two to three weeks.

2. Strain. Reserve the liquid. To each cup of herbal vinegar add 1/2 – 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.

Excerpted from Rosemary Gladstarís Herbs for Natural Beauty, by Rosemary Gladstar. Copyright (c) 1999 by Rosemary Gladstar. Reprinted by permission of Storey Books.
Excerpted from Rosemary Gladstarís Herbs for Natural Beauty, by Rosemary Gladstar. Copyright (c) 1999 by Rosemary Gladstar.

14 comments

Jeanne R
Jeanne Rabout a year ago

TYFS

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Jeanne R
Jeanne Rabout a year ago

TYFS

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Jeanne R
Jeanne Rabout a year ago

TYFS

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Jeanne R
Jeanne Rabout a year ago

TYFS

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Jeanne R
Jeanne Rabout a year ago

TYFS

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Kat a.
Kathy L5 years ago

I'd like to try this.

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Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W6 years ago

This reminds me of a very bad translation in which, precisely, a countess asked for the Queen of Hungary's water, and the translator wrote she had asked the queen of Hungary for water.

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Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W6 years ago

thank you

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Mary L.
Mary L7 years ago

I did some research, legend claims a monk/alchemist/someone created Queen of Hungary Water, for, oddly enough, the Queen of Hungary. Which queen is in dispute although several are named as possibilities.

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Kelly Dyer
Kelly Dyer11 years ago

The original recipe of Hungary Water contained only alcohol, rosemary and thyme. You would let the rosemary and thyme soak in the alcohol, most likely wine because it was made from grapes, for 52 hours in a corked or sealed container, and then it was ready to use. I don't think it matters if you use dried or fresh herbs. I have used both and I cannot tell a difference between the two. It wasn't until 300 years later that they made the Hungary Water with lavender, mint, sage, marjoram, costus-also called spiral ginger, orange blossoms and lemon. An FYI: Hungary Water was considered the very first true cologne even though it was called a "water".

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