Powders are made by combining and pulverizing different ingredients such as herbs, grains, nuts and seeds, then adding absorbent powders such as clay, cornstarch, baking soda or arrowroot. The powdering process is very simple, and often necessary when making face and body scrubs, foot, baby and deodorant powders and a variety of other products.
Directions for Homemade Powders
To make a powder, grind all the unpowdered ingredients in a coffee/seed grinder that you do not use for grinding coffee. Sift the ground ingredients through a mesh strainer into a large bowl. The finer the strainer, the smoother the powder will be. If you have partially ground particles remaining in the strainer, simply regrind and strain them again, repeating the process as many times as necessary until all the ingredients are ground to the desired consistency. Depending on the quantity of product, you may have to do the grinding in batches. A food processor or blender can be used to grind larger quantities of ingredients.
For formulas that call for clay, arrowroot powder, cornstarch and/or other powdered ingredients, add these ingredients after grinding the other ingredients, then mix thoroughly. If using essential oils, add them at this point, a few drops at a time, stirring well after each addition. Store in an airtight container. Save used powder canisters and salt and spice shakers, or purchase powder cylinders (see Resources) for powders that will be sprinkled on the skin.
Refrigerate the powder if it contains nuts or seeds and will not be used within a month. The nuts and seeds, once ground, are vulnerable to oxidation, which can make the powder go rancid.
Warning: Powders, even those made from natural herbal ingredients, should not be inhaled. When making powders prevent inhalation by handling them gently so they don’t blow into the air. If necessary, wear a handkerchief around your nose and mouth or make the formula outdoors.