modern herban wisdom
1 tablespoon Colloidal Oatmeal
1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons ground apricot kernel
2 oz oil (ex jojoba, sweet almond oil, apricot kernel oil, olive oil)
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons aloe or hydrosol *
10 drops essential oil
Mix everything together in a bowl and enjoy!
*If you are not making this for immediate use, do not add the aloe or hydrosol! It will not keep as well with these water based ingredients included. You can add them right before each use.
This is an easy one! Simply combine 4 ounces of an oil of your choice with 50-60 drops essential oil. Shake well and enjoy! The fun is in choosing your carrier oil and your essential oils. Here are some suggestions:
For sore muscles try an arnica or comfrey infused oil with spike lavender, roman chamomile, and rosemary. For a sensual massage use an almond, apricot, or jojoba oil with rosewood and jasmine. For scar tissue try rose hip seed, tamanu, or infused calendula oil with helichrysum, lavender, and carrot seed oil.
1 cup infused oil or olive, coconut, apricot, almond, jojoba, castor, sesame, grapeseed oil or shea butter (combine any of these for a total of one cup)
1/4 cup beeswax
20 drops essential oils (choose your favorite scents! I love lemongrass lipbalm!)
1 tbsp. of honey
Gently heat oil and beeswax. Do not boil! A double boiler (or two pots which stack) is the easiest way to make sure you don't burn your oil.* Whisk in honey making sure its evenly distributed.
When the wax melts, take off the flame. Add essential oils. Pour into 1 oz. containers or chap-stick tubes and let cool thoroughly before putting on the lids.
If you are making lip balm for extremely chapped lips, think of it as a medicinal salve for skin repair. That skin just happens to be the lips! Start with oil infused with calendula, plantain, comfry, or rose. Add essential oils such as lavender, helichrysum, rose, and carrot seed. Remember that the lips are sensitive so you still want to go easy on the essential oils.
* Once you melt your oil in a pot, it will never come 100% clean again so choose a pot that you are ready to retire. The pot should be made of stainless steel, glass, or enamel. When you are ready to clean your pot, put dish soap in and rub around BEFORE adding water. This will get most of the wax and oil out.
I'm an experimenter by nature, so I've given you my guideline for making a wonderful cream. If you prefer a concrete recipe, my favorite is Rosemary Gladstar's Perfect Cream from her book Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health.
1 1/8 cup oil
1 cup water
1/2 cup shaved beeswax (I like pastilles. If you are using a block of beeswax, freeze it for easier shaving!)
10-30 drops essential oils
- A medium to large bowl and a heavy, fine whisk OR a blender
- A double boiler (or two pots which stack)*
These are your basic ingredients and tools. The fun comes from choosing amongst various types of water, oil, and essential oil.
Water – For your water component you can use plain water, hydrosol, or you can make an herbal tea, for instance chamomile or rose. You may also want to use aloe vera juice, flower essences, and/or vitamin E in your water part (yes, vitamin E is an oil but you are going to heat your other oils and you don't want to heat the E).
Oil – You can choose liquid oils such as olive, almond, or jojoba. You may also choose from solid oils such as coconut or shea butter. Feel free to mix and match!
I like to mix solid oils (like coconut and coca butter) with liquid oils (like rose hips seed and jojoba) for my oil part.
Essential oils are added both for scent and for their healing properties. Tea tree and lemon are drying and antiseptic, lavender is soothing, rose and rose geranium are wonderful for mature skin, sage is good for troubled skin. If you are going to blend essential oils, hold all the bottles up to your nose and make sure that you like the way the smells blend before adding it to your cream! Mix your blend of oils together, shake 100 times, and add the blended essenital oils to your water part.
Okay, now that we have chosen our ingredients, let's begin!
- Prepare your water component adding essential oils.
- Over low heat, melt beeswax into oil.
- Let water and oil both cool to room temperature. The oil will start to congeal.
- Put water into your mixing bowl or blender.
- Pour the oil and beewax into the bowl or blender. If you are doing this by hand, grab your whisk, and beat like mad!!! OR pour oil and beeswax into the blender and whirr away until the blender makes slight choking noises.
- Put cream in clean jars and store in a cool place (in the fridge is fine)
If your cream is grainy this means that everything was not at room temperature or, if you used shea butter, that it crystalized. To keep this from happening stir the shea butter and beeswax constantly as they cool.
Because these creams are made from natural ingredients they are fragile and have a short shelf life. Make small amounts and use generously!
*Once you melt your oil in a pot, it will never come 100% clean again so choose a pot that you are ready to retire. The pot should be made of stainless steel, glass, or enamel. When you are ready to clean your pot, put dish soap in and rub around BEFORE adding water. This will get most of the wax and oil out.