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Beauty recipes from my Indian wedding (that work EVERYWHERE in the world!)

Nine hours. That’s how long it took to apply the mehndi at the Indian part of my wedding, exactly 8 years back. I still remember waking up at 6 in the morning and sitting still for 9 full hours, while 4 women worked simultaneously on my hands and legs (so, that’s 36 woman-hours in total), sketching intricate designs from the tips of my fingers to the shoulders, and from the tips of my toes to the knees – both sides! And then waiting another 4 hours for it to dry, followed by the mandatory lemon-and-sugar rinse and leaving it overnight to assure a rich and dark colour. I think that’s when it finally dawned that I was about to get married – me, the girl who saw India as a cultural fantasy and had openly declared marriage to be the least sane of all institutions know to mankind. Well, love and all that… !!!!

My wedding mehndi

My wedding mehndi

Anyway, coming back to the mehndi (or henna), it’s so crucial to an Indian wedding that the two have become synonymous with one another. Mehndi brings luck to the new couple, while its colour is supposed to indicate the strength of the husband’s love: the deeper the hue, the stronger the love! And, most importantly, the bride is not allowed to work in her husband’s home until her mehndi fades completely (thereby making up for those 9 hours!).

And it’s not just about the mehndi, either. Today, it’s been 8 years since I got married and in true beauty junkie fashion, what I remember most about the wedding are those long, lush and totally indulgent hair and skincare rituals that I got to enjoy as a bride in a culture that elevates its beauty heritage to a ceremonial pedestal. My mother is still convinced that the only reason I traded my raggedy skinnies for a traditional Rajasthani lehenga (that weighed 41 pounds!) was to enjoy all the beauty goodies that hold ritualistic centre stage in an Indian wedding. She may well be right.

Thankfully, though, you don’t need to be a bride to enjoy some of these timeless beauty recipes that make you look good and feel good… the perfect combination, where I am concerned!

Indian beauty recipe #1: Sandalwood & almond face scrub

Rose water is purifying, while almonds and saffron represent fertility. But that’s just the ritualistic part. The reason Indian women have revered this scrub since the times of Ayurveda is because almonds contain essential fatty acids for smooth and super-supple skin. They are also packed with antioxidants, including vitamin E, to neutralise environmental toxins and keep skin healthy.

Rose water and saffron, in the meantime, are packed with skin soothing and complexion perfecting ingredients, like Vitamin C and polyphenols, which can erase fine lines, boost collagen, clear blocked pores, soften the complexion and hydrate cell tissues.

4-5 almonds
3-4 strands of saffron, dissolved in a few drops of warm water
few drops of rose water

1. Rub the almonds on a coarse stone with rose water till you get a paste

2. Mix this paste with the saffron water

3. Apply the mask to your face; let it dry, then rub it off with wet hands. Weeks of accumulated grime and dead skin will come off with the paste

Indian beauty recipe #2: Heal chronic acne

Sandalwood has potent antiseptic, astringent, anti-inflammatory and disinfectant properties that make it a treat for flawlessly glow-y complexions. It’s also superb at reducing skin scarring of all kinds. Vetiver is antiseptic and very effective in treating chronic acne. Added bonus: this paste smells divine!

1 small bunch vetiver
few drops of vetiver essential oil
2 tsp sandalwood powder
 

1. Soak the vetiver in a little water overnight

2. Next day, strain the water and mix it with the sandalwood powder

3. Add few drops of vetiver essential oil to the paste

4. Apply this paste on your face, paying special attention to the affected areas; wash it off once dry. Repeat daily till for 2-4 weeks; the left over paste should be kept refrigerated

This day, that year!

This day, that year!

Indian beauty recipe #3: Stop seeing spots

Masoor dal (whole brown lentils) is superb for lightening acne scars and hyper pigmentation, tightening the pores, nourishing the skin and bringing about a natural glow. Ghee (clarified butter) is an Ayurvedic staple used to deep cleanse and moisturise, while being one of nature’s most potent skin healers. In fact, Ayurveda calls upon ghee for everything from healing burns and tackling bruises or rashes to closing the skin post-surgery.

2 tbsp masoor (whole black lentils)
1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
 

1. Soak the masoor in filtered water for an hour

2. Throw away the water and grind the lentils and ghee together, till they reach a paste-like consistency

3. Apply this paste on freshly washed face; gently scrub off with wet fingers after half an hour

4. Repeat daily for a week and then once-weekly for best results

Indian beauty recipe #4: Traditional body polish

Used by women all over India, this gently body scrub literally shucks the dead cells and buffs skin to silky smoothness. How? Milk contains hefty amounts of lactic acid to loosen dead cells and grime; chickpea flour sloughs off dead skin; while turmeric is a natural cleanser and disinfectant.

2 tbsp chickpea flour
pinch of turmeric powder
enough milk to make a paste
 

1. Blend all the ingredients into a thick paste

2. Apply on slightly damp skin, then rub off in gentle, circular motions. Finally rinse skin clean with plain water

Indian beauty recipe #5: Whole body mask

This traditional body mask (called an ubtan) is applied to both bride and groom for seven days before the wedding. It’s messy but superb for making skin smooth, flawless and glow-y. Turmeric cleanses, disinfects and glosses; sandalwood is antiseptic, astringent and anti-inflammatory; gur (jaggery) is packed with glycolic acid for exfoliation and humectants to keep everything moisturised; yogurt’s lactic acid helps slough off dead skin cells; chickpea flour busts grime and toxins; and ghee deep cleanses, moisturise and heals.

2 cups besan (chickpea flour)
1 tbsp sandalwood powder
2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp gur (sugar cane jaggery)
2 tbsp yogurt
2 tsp ghee (clarified butter)

1. Mix everything together to form a paste

2. Apply the paste to clean skin; wait till it dries (approximately 15 minutes), then rub it away with wet fingers. Finally, rinse clean with lukewarm water

Playing dress up

Playing dress up

Indian beauty recipe #6: Sexy strands

It’s a well accepted fact that there couldn’t be anything better for your strands than coconut oil (read more about the beauty benefits of coconut oil right here). Add in amla (Indian gooseberry), one of the highest natural sources of vitamin C and powerful antioxidants that can penetrate the scalp to strengthen hair follicles right at their roots, and you have a potent potion to stop hair loss and promote the growth of stronger, healthier strands.

1 cup amla juice
1 cup coconut oil
 

1. Mix the coconut oil and amla juice; pour into a heavy bottomed pan and bring to a boil

2. Let it simmer for 5-10 minutes on a medium flame, till all the water has evaporated and you are left with a light brown paste

3. Take off the heat, cool and strain; store in a glass bottle

4. Massage well into your scalp, leave on for at least half an hour and then wash hair with a mild shampoo

Indian beauty recipe #7: Smooth & glossy hair oil

Every ingredient in this fragrant hair oil is chosen because of its blood-circulation-boosting and hair-root-nourishing properties. Try it once a week and you will see your strands getting thicker, smoother, stronger and way glossier than ever before.

half cup sesame oil
2 cloves garlic
small piece of dry ginger 
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp black pepper
 

1. Coarsely pound the garlic and ginger; you don’t need to crush it too fine, just a couple of whacks is enough to release their oils

2. Heat sesame oil in a small pan; once it’s hot, add the cumin and black pepper

3. Add the crushed garlic and ginger; let everything simmer together for a few seconds (the spices shouldn’t burn)

4. Let the oil cool and store it in a glass bottle

5. When you want to use the oil, warm it up to lukewarm (take care that it’s not hot enough to burn your skin) and massage it in your scalp. Let it soak for at least 15 minutes (an hour is ideal!), then wash it off with your regular shampoo

What’s a favourite memory from your wedding? Let’s share!

Royal fables: A tryst with Udaipur and its cult skincare recipes

The city: Udaipur, India. The most legendary of towns in Rajasthan, known as the “Venice of the East” due to its stunning lakeside location, rambling old palaces and stunning architecture painted in every shade of white known to mankind.

The quest: Soaking in the ancient beauty of the landscape and going to the very roots of the glorious indigenous beauty recipes that have originated in this land and been adopted by literally every brand, from Aveda to Estee Lauder.

The quandary: A missing camera that’s left sitting on my desk approximately 7,467 miles away. In a land that begs a photo at literally every turn of its winding paths.

The solution: Yes, thankfully there is one. In the form of the ubiquitous smartphone that’s almost surgically attached to my hand 24 x 7. Which is a blessing, it turns out, in more ways than one. Not only do today’s smartphones almost rival DSLRs in their photo quality (the Coolpad Note 5 comes with a 13 MP rear camera) but it’s also small and inconspicuous enough to get into tight spaces to capture a micro-detail, take candid shots without making people feel too self conscious and light enough to take literally everywhere without yoour shoulder falling off. And, of course, then there is the fact that I have yet to meet a camera that lets you take the perfect selfie, complete with a forward facing lens AND night mode to chase away the darkness (hello again, Coolpad Note 5, with your 8 MP front facing camera with flash!).

The result: A wealth of traditional beauty recipes that have made Rajasthani women some of the most revered in the world, along with a treasure trove of photographs that will make for the memories of a lifetime.

Enjoy them both here!

tbg15

Playing princess for a night 🙂 #CoolPadNote5

Indian beauty recipe #1: Sandalwood & almond face scrub

Rose water is purifying, while almonds and saffron represent fertility. But that’s just the ritualistic part. The reason Indian women have revered this scrub since the times of Ayurveda is because almonds contain essential fatty acids for smooth and super-supple skin. They are also packed with antioxidants, including vitamin E, to neutralise environmental toxins and keep skin healthy.

Rose water and saffron, in the meantime, are packed with skin soothing and complexion perfecting ingredients, like Vitamin C and polyphenols, which can erase fine lines, boost collagen, clear blocked pores, soften the complexion and hydrate cell tissues.

4-5 almonds
3-4 strands of saffron, dissolved in a few drops of warm water
few drops of rose water

1. Rub the almonds on a coarse stone with rose water till you get a paste

2. Mix this paste with the saffron water

3. Apply the mask to your face; let it dry, then rub it off with wet hands. Weeks of accumulated grime and dead skin will come off with the paste

tbg4

…. but simply can’t compete with the originals painted on the walls of the City Palace #CoolPadNote5

Indian beauty recipe #2: Heal chronic acne

Sandalwood has potent antiseptic, astringent, anti-inflammatory and disinfectant properties that make it a treat for flawlessly glow-y complexions. It’s also superb at reducing skin scarring of all kinds. Vetiver is antiseptic and very effective in treating chronic acne. Added bonus: this paste smells divine!

1 small bunch vetiver
few drops of vetiver essential oil
2 tsp sandalwood powder 

1. Soak the vetiver in a little water overnight

2. Next day, strain the water and mix it with the sandalwood powder

3. Add few drops of vetiver essential oil to the paste

4. Apply this paste on your face, paying special attention to the affected areas; wash it off once dry. Repeat daily till for 2-4 weeks; the left over paste should be kept refrigerated

Falling in love with the fabrics of the region

Falling in love with the fabrics of the region #CoolPadNote5

Indian beauty recipe #5: Whole body mask

This traditional body mask (called an ubtan) is applied to both bride and groom for seven days before the wedding. It’s messy but superb for making skin smooth, flawless and glow-y. Turmeric cleanses, disinfects and glosses; sandalwood is antiseptic, astringent and anti-inflammatory; gur (jaggery) is packed with glycolic acid for exfoliation and humectants to keep everything moisturised; yogurt’s lactic acid helps slough off dead skin cells; chickpea flour busts grime and toxins; and ghee deep cleanses, moisturise and heals.

2 cups besan (chickpea flour)
1 tbsp sandalwood powder
2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp gur (sugar cane jaggery)
2 tbsp yogurt
2 tsp ghee (clarified butter)

1. Mix everything together to form a paste

2. Apply the paste to clean skin; wait till it dries (approximately 15 minutes), then rub it away with wet fingers. Finally, rinse clean with lukewarm water

No wonder they call it the Venice of the East

No wonder they call it the Venice of the East #CoolPadNote5

A room with a view... at the Fatehprakash palace

A room with a view… at the Fatehprakash palace #CoolPadNote5

A peep through the arches

A peep through the arches #CoolPadNote5

Touched by the hand of God

Touched by the hand of God #CoolPadNote5

The beauty lies in the details... often made up of millions of glass mosaics

The beauty lies in the details… often made up of millions of glass mosaics #CoolPadNote5

Turmeric: The super skincare spice (and it doesn’t always turn you yellow!)

There is a reason turmeric is a core ingredient in beauty rituals and medicinal regimes all the way from Japan and Indonesia to Sri Lanka and India. Multiple reasons, actually: this yellow-colored spice is a potent anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antibacterial, antioxidant and detoxifier. It keeps skin soft and smooth, makes it glow, tackles acne and helps bust hyper-pigmentation. Turmeric paste is also prescribed in Indian medicine for various skincare issues, like puffiness, wrinkles and eczema.

Besides this, it is used for cuts and burns due to its antiseptic effect and ability to promote healing. In addition, turmeric boosts liver detoxification, so that pesticides and other environmental chemicals are safely removed from the body. And it can help to decrease muscle soreness after an intense workout. In fact, turmeric is currently even being investigated for possible benefits in Alzheimer’s, cancer and arthritis.

turmeric skincareSurprise: Turmeric doesn’t always stain your skin!

Many of us balk at putting turmeric on our skin for fear of looking like a character out of The Simpsons. I resisted it for quite some time as well – right until I attended an Indian wedding, where the bride was covered from head-to-toe in a mixture of turmeric, gram flour, sandalwood powder and mustard oil. It turned out this is an ancient bridal ritual to deep cleanse the body and impart a radiant glow. A similar tradition is held sacred in the palaces of Indonesia, where brides-to-be rub a mixture of turmeric and gram flour on their bodies on the morning of their wedding to give their skin a golden glow.

Which led me to think: brides wouldn’t risk turning yellow hours before their wedding, would they? Turns out, turmeric has got an unfair reputation. Pure, organic turmeric doesn’t leave a permanent yellow stain; rather, it’s the artificial dyes added to the supermarket stuff that stains skin with the unflattering hue.

If you want to be extra careful, look for kasturi turmeric (curcuma aromatica), which is intrinsically non-staining and is superb at clearing acne, inhibiting facial hair growth and brightening the complexion. However, it is not edible and should only be used externally.

Even if you can’t find kasturi turmeric, don’t worry. Just make sure there is a fair amount of milk in your beauty ritual – this cancels out the staining. And absolute worse case situation, mix some water with sugar and scrub your face with the solution. This will leave your skin super-clean and stain-free!

Now, with that sorted, it’s time to remember that this potent ingredient is even cropping up in leading skincare products like Ole Henriksen Visual Truth Eye Creme and DDF Anti-Ageing Restorative Advanced Firming Cream. So, it’s definitely worth a try in the natural form! Just note: whole turmeric (which you grind into a paste with a little water) trumps powder; and organic powder trumps the non-organic version in potency.

Turmeric as a deep cleanser

Mix chickpea (or rice) flour with turmeric powder in equal proportions. Add just enough raw milk or plain yogurt to make a paste. Apply evenly to the face and leave on for about 10-15 minutes; wash off with warm water.

Turmeric for acne

Mix one tablespoon of turmeric with a few drops of milk. Apply on skin for 15-20 minutes and then wash off with plain water. This will both reduce active acne and lighten the scars.

Turmeric as a skin brightener

Mix 2 tablespoons of sandalwood powder, a pinch of turmeric powder and a few drops of lemon juice. Add enough milk to make a paste. Apply this mask on your face and neck; wash off with warm water once dry.

Turmeric as a face mask for oily skin

Add 1½ tablespoons sandalwood powder and a pinch of ground turmeric to 3 tablespoons of orange juice and apply the paste to your face. Leave on for about 10-15 minutes, then rinse with lukewarm water.

Turmeric as a wrinkle buster

Mix turmeric powder and rice powder with equal amounts of raw milk and tomato juice to make a paste. Apply this paste to face and neck for 30 minutes, then rinse with lukewarm water.

Turmeric for facial hair

Mix kasturi turmeric with chickpea flour. Leave on for 10-15 minutes, then wash off in light circular motions.

Turmeric as a body hair remover

Make a paste of turmeric and sugar and apply it all over the skin. Leave on for a couple of hours and then scrub gently. A regular application of this paste discourages hair growth altogether.

Turmeric as scalp saviour

Add 1 tablespoon of turmeric to a cup of jojoba, olive or coconut oil. Massage this mixture into your scalp and leave on for 15 minutes, then shampoo as usual. This is a great deterrent for dandruff and improves the scalp’s overall condition.

turmeric skincare 3Turmeric as ‘longevity tea’

Dr. Andrew Weil notes that people in Okinawa, the Japanese island nation with the world’s longest average life span, drink turmeric tea daily. To make your own, boil 4 cups of water, add 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric, allow to simmer for 10 minutes, strain and add ginger and/or honey to taste.

And finally… the legendary Turmeric Elixir

Boil a half-inch piece of turmeric with half a glass of milk. Once the milk has turned yellow, remove from heat, let it cool slightly drink thrice a week, at night. You can add a tablespoon of turmeric powder in place of the turmeric piece. This will help you gain strength, protect the body against infections and strengthen bones (thereby reducing the risk of osteoporosis).

Have you ever used turmeric as a beauty ingredient?

How to make totally indulgent herbal compresses (Time: 10 minutes)

Through 8 years of marriage, Mr. TBG has realised that when I twitch with sore muscles or cry over a strained back it’s more conducive to call the spa before summoning a doctor. But I am not alone in my belief of massage before medicine: hot herbal pouches have travelled a long way since their origins in Ayurveda more than 5,000 years ago. Today, besides being a staple on luxe spa menus worldwide, they are also called upon by physicians, physiotherapists, dermatologists and even psychiatrists for everything from stress to muscular pains and the flu.

herbal massage pounchThat’s because the sensory experience of having these gorgeous, steaming parcels of aromatic herbs and spices pressing against your skin not only heals the body but also induces immense calm. The heat and herbs are absorbed by the body to reduce aches and pains, increase lymphatic drainage and condition the skin. Besides this, they also harmonise the body, loosen energy blockages and recoup deficiencies.

And because I am blessed with going through life in the most accident-prone manner, we have now learnt to stock up on a “first aid kit” of herbs and spices to brew up our own heat therapies right at home. Fragrant pouches of earthy goodness, soft muslin fabrics, dim lights, the comfort of my own home and hubby’s firm hands sweeping away the aches and pains… sigh! Wonder if he ever catches on that half the time I am only faking the pain to revel in the sheer indulgence of it all 😉

Hot herbal pouches: The basics

A hot herbal pouch is made by wrapping specific herbs, spices and flowers in natural cloth like a “dumpling” and then heating it to your preferred temperature (hot but bearable – don’t burn your skin!). Even though you can simply pop them into a microwave for 90 seconds, prepping them the old fashioned way – with steam – is more beneficial as it softens the compresses, releases the essential oils and intensifies the aroma. Prep two pouches for a session, keeping one heating on the steamer while using the other. Then massage all over your body, paying special attention to problem areas.

hot-herbal-pouch-5All the way from Bangkok

I don’t think there is a more perfect place to experience the indulgence of a hot herbal pouch than Wat Pho – the Temple of the Reclining Buddha – in Bangkok. In the past, only trained monks were allowed to practise treatments and prescribe medicines, so this ancient legacy dates back to the 14th century.

Ingredients: 3 tablespoons fresh ginger (grated), 5 tablespoons lime zest, 10 eucalyptus leaves (crushed), 1-2 stalks lemongrass (crushed), 1/2 tablespoon tamarind powder, 1/2 tablespoon camphor granules1/2 tablespoon rock salt, pure cotton or muslin square, cotton string

Method: Mix all ingredients together, wrap in the cloth and roll up into a tight pouch; tie tightly with string.

Laotian herbal compress

In ancient Laos, local herbs and plants were fashioned into compresses made from indigo-coloured fabric. Indigo is the spiritual color of Eastern medicine and is believed to enhance the detoxification process. Today, the color is optional but the treatment remains identical: steaming compresses thoroughly pounded over the body to relieve pain and fatigue, especially after playing a sport or doing hard physical work.

Ingredients: 3/4 cup cooked rice, 1/3 cup fresh lemongrass (crushed), 1/3 cup fresh ginger (crushed), 1/3 cup fresh basil, 1/3 cup fresh pepper, 5 cinnamon sticks, pure cotton or muslin square, cotton string

Method: Mix all ingredients together, wrap in the cloth and roll up into a tight pouch; tie tightly with string.

Balinese Boreh herbal compress

Jamu – the signature wellness therapy in Bali – is centred around the Boreh herbal compresses that are called upon to reduce muscular pains, improve blood circulation, relieve rheumatic symptoms and leave you with a warm, relaxed feeling.

Ingredients: 1 cup rice powder, 1/3 cup fresh ginger (grated), 1 tablespoon turmeric powder, 3-4 cloves, 1-2 sticks cinnamon, 1 tablespoon coriander, 1/2 tablespoon nutmeg (grated)

Method: Mix all ingredients together, wrap in the cloth and roll up into a tight pouch; tie tightly with string.

hot-herbal-pouch-4Indonesian herbal pouch

Inspired by the ancient rituals of Indonesia, these hot herbal pouches use medicinal herbs to restore physical and emotional balance. They are massaged over the body in circular strokes to stimulate circulation and reduce fatigue, insomnia and hypertension. Added bonus: cooked rice softens the skin.

Ingredients: 3/4 cup cooked rice, 1 tablespoon chamomile, 1 teaspoon dried ginger, 2 teaspoons sandalwood powder, 1 tablespoon lemon peel (chopped), 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon vetiver (optional), flannel or cheesecloth square, string

Method: Cook the rice and leave to cool. Add all other ingredients to a cup of water, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, cool and strain. Mix the rice with the strained mixture, heap onto the cloth and fashion into a tight pouch.

Maldivian versatility

Maldivian therapists have their own interpretation of the hot herbal compress and it’s probably the simplest: combine 2 cups of clean sand with 3/4 cup of dried herbs, fashion it into a pouch, heat and use all over the body. However, since it’s not easy to find sand everywhere, the The Ritz-Carlton Resort & Spa suggests this recipe instead:

Ingredients: 4 cups uncooked rice, 1/2 cup dried herbs, 1 pair clean socks

Method: Combine ingredients and pour into a sock (though personally, I think a fabric pouch is much more attractive). Knot the end, put into the other sock, knot again.

Which herbs? Lavender is the most popular because of its relaxing scent and anti-inflammatory properties. Other good options include the following.

Camphor: Has a strong antiseptic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect. It also stimulates the brain, heart and blood circulation. Besides this, it helps to ease stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia.

Cardamom: Has a spicy, exotic floral aroma and is a terrific pain reliever.

Cloves: Also good for treating chronic pain.

Elderberry flowers: Help rid the body of toxins, increases circulation and purifies the blood.

hot-herbal-pouch-6Ginger: Helps eliminate wastes and congestion, enhances circulation and acts as a catalyst for other herbs to increase their effectiveness.

Kaffir lime: A potent antioxidant, it’s called upon to banish colds and congestion, boost digestion and regulate blood pressure.

Lemongrass: Works as an anti-inflammatory, while also boosting digestion, releasing tension, curing colds and treating skin infections.

Mint: Calms the stomach, intestinal tract and the nervous system while cleansing the skin.

Myrrh: Highly favoured for soothing muscles and wounds, while also detoxifying the mucous membranes.

Tamarind: Has an antiseptic and blood purifying effect. It is used for constipation, colds and fever, as well as skin cleansing and refining.

Turmeric: Has antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is also used for relieving pain and has an anti-inflammatory effect.

IMPORTANT!

  • Before putting a compress on the skin, test the temperature by pressing it against your arm.
  • Don’t rest the compress on one area of the skin for too long – just touch, press firmly, lift and move in a constant and rapid motion. Each session should take 15-20 minutes.
  • Do not use essential oils. Most essential oils have a low flash point, so they will burn away rapidly when you heat the pouch. Not only does this make the pouch more flammable, it also means its scent will fade very quickly.
  • These hot herbal pouches can be used 3-4 times when dried completely. Store in the refrigerator after every use. Discard when the ball becomes very pale – or almost white – as this indicates that the herbs have lost their potency.
  • Information and advice contained on this website should not be used for the purposes of diagnosis or as a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your doctor or healthcare professional before beginning any new treatment.

Have you ever tried a hot herbal pouch compress? Liked it?

hot-herbal-pouch-2