Lotions and Creams

A Healing Herbal Balm


Herbs used:

  • Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
  • Plantain (Plantago major)

This sweet-smelling balm soothes and protects cuts and scrapes. And it’s so gentle you can even use it on diaper rash. Calendula and plantain are known for their ability to speed skin healing. Both soften skin, relieve pain, and are antibacterial.

First make an herb-infused oil. In a large glass jar, combine the following:

  • 2 tablespoons crushed Calendula flowers
  • 2 tablespoons dried Plantain leaves
  • 1/3 c of extra-virgin olive oil

Leave uncovered, and place in a pan filled with enough water to cover the lower half of the jar. Set the burner on very low heat and simmer gently for about 4 hours. Check the oil periodically to be sure it’s not scorching; don’t let it boil. (You can also make the infused oil in a Crock-Pot set on very low without a lid.) After the allotted time, remove the oil from the heat and allow it to cool completely. Strain away the herbs through several layers of cheesecloth and discard.

To make the balm, combine the following:

  • The oil you just infused
  • 1 or 2 tablespoon of grated beeswax

Put it into a small stainless steel bowl; set the bowl into a pot of water and heat just until the beeswax melts, stirring gently to help the melting. To test the consistency, insert a cool metal spoon into the balm and check the balm that sticks to the spoon; it should be spreadable but firm. If it’s too oily, add another few shavings of beeswax.

At this point, you can add a natural preservative to your balm to prevent spoilage. Vitamin E, squeezed from capsules, works very well. Rosemary extracts or oil might improve the aroma and antiseptic properties as well. You’ll need about 1/4 tsp. (two capsules) to preserve this much balm. After you’ve blended in the vitamin E, transfer your final product to a sterile glass jar. Use a clean spoon or small spatula to transfer the balm to avoid introducing bacteria to the jar.

How to use it:

Apply the balm to rashes, scrapes, and other small or superficial abrasions (don’t use it on deep cuts). You can also apply it regularly to help heal chronically chapped skin. Stored in a cool, dark place, the balm should keep for up to a year. Discard if it smells rancid.

Massage Oil Blend for Arthitis

older-black-woman-rubbing-her-hands-arthritis

Swollen, puffy joints, especially in the hands and knuckles are a sure sign of an active flareup. This blend of essential oils is formulated to cool inflammation and ease pain.

Ingredients:

  • 5 drops Chamomile Essential Oil
  • 5 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  • 5 drops Lavender Essential Oil
  • 5 drops Peppermint Essential Oil

Dilute with carrier oil for massage. For a very strong blend use 2 tablespoon of the carrier oil. For milder blends use more oil. A nice salve can be made by mixing these essential oils with a cup of warm Coconut oil, and then allowing it to harden as it cools.

Green Elder Ointment

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Elder leaves are used in the preparation of an ointment, Unguentum Sambuci Viride, Green Elder Ointment, which is a domestic remedy for bruises, sprains, chilblains, for use as an emollient, and for applying to wounds. It can be compounded as follows:

  • 3 parts of fresh Elder leaves
  • 4 parts of lard
  • 2 parts of prepared suet

Heat the Elder leaves with the melted lard and suet until the color is extracted, then strain through a linen cloth with pressure and allow to cool.

Source: A Modern Herbal

Elderberry Healing Ointment

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Here is an old but excellent herbal cooling and healing ointment:

  • 1/2 lb fresh Elder leaves
  • 4 oz fresh Plantain leaves
  • 2 oz Ground Ivy
  • 4 oz fresh Wormwood

Cut small and heat in 4 lb of petroleum jelly until the leaves are crisp. Strain and press out the ointment for storage.

Source: The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal

To Soften Rough Dry Skin

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Treat rough, dry areas of skin anywhere on the body with a mixture of equal parts of honey, lemon juice, and vegetable oil. This honey lotion should be rubbed into the dry area and massaged well for a few minutes. It will lighten the skin tone and add a new resiliency and softness to the skin if used regularly.

From: The Honey Cookbook

Marsh Mallow Ointment

il_570xn-279755744Marshmallow Ointment, one of the principal ointments used in herbal medicine, has a considerable proportion of Slippery Elm bark in its composition. It is made as follows:

  • 3 oz. Marshmallow leaves
  • 2 oz. Slippery Elm bark powder
  • 3 oz. Beeswax
  • 16 oz. Lard

Boil the Marshmallow and Slippery Elm bark in 3 pints of water for 15 minutes. Express, strain and reduce the liquor to half a pint. Melt together the lard and wax by gentle heat, then add the extract while still warm, shake constantly till all are thoroughly incorporated and store in a cool place.

Use for chapped dry skin, burns and abrasions.

Source: A Modern Herbal
For information on individual herbs visit: The Encyclopedia of Herbology

Elderflower Cream

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Ingredients:

  • 2 level tablespoons dried Elder Flowers or sufficient fresh Elder Flowers to be just covered by the oil
  • 1/2 cup Almond oil (or other oil)
  • 4 teaspons Lanolin
  • 1 teaspoon Honey

Warm the oil and lanolin in the top of a double boiler. Add the flowers and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and stir in the honey. Cool, pot up and label this emollient cream.

From: The Complete Book of Herbs and Spices
For information about the individual herbs visit: The Encyclopedia of Herbology

A Simple Lotion

homemade-lotion-or-cream-to-help-leg-cramps-and-growing-painsIngredients:

  • A handful of fresh Chamomile, Meadowsweet, Elder, or Lime flowers
  • 2 1/2 ounces warm Milk, Cream, Buttermilk, or Whey
  • Honey
  • Oatmeal, Bran, or Wheatgerm (optional)

Soak the flowers in the liquid in a covered pan for 3 hours. Strain, reheat and dissolve a little honey in the liquid. A spoonful of oatmeal, bran or wheatgerm will thicken the lotion. Keep refrigerated and use within a week.

From: The Complete Book of Herbs and Spices
For information about the individual herbs visit: The Encyclopedia of Herbology

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