Thursday, February 9, 2012

Happy Hands Healing Salve - Make Some Today!

Seriously, y'all, clear your calendar and make this stuff!  I have had it in the idea stage forever and a day, and I finally made some and I just love it to pieces.  It feels great, smells wonderful, and best of all, it works really really well.


There are all sorts of recipes out there for homemade udder balm, hand salve, body butter, lotion, etc.  I have read 3,592 of those recipes, and each time I read one, I am missing some little something that is called for in that recipe.  I decided to make some anyway, and it turned out just lovely.

Better yet, I didn't use any recipe.  None at all.  I just combined my ingredients, melted them, let them cool, then made adjustments to suit me.  You can do the very same thing when you make your....well....whatever it is that you make!

Here is mine.

First, I gathered up some beeswax, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, bitter almond oil (for the lovely scent) and a cleaned out 2 oz. 'diced pimentos' jar.  The olive oil and coconut oil were in my kitchen cabinet - they are the same ones we cook with.  I have a lot of beeswax on hand - I used to keep bees, and I have wax in just about every form - mostly, still needing to be rendered, but I got out some rendered beeswax for this little experiment.  The bitter almond oil was in my soapmaking stuff.  It is just about my favorite scent in the whole wide world. 

The ratios you use of the three main ingredients will affect the texture and feel of your final product.  If you want something that glides freely and is more 'melty', then you'll use more of the olive oil and coconut oil.  In fact, if you want to refrigerate your final product, you might leave the beeswax out entirely (or, if you don't have beeswax, you can refrigerate in order to gain a more solid texture).  I wanted something that won't spill.  I'm messy, and I have a little kid that likes to get into my stuff sometimes, so I used the beeswax in part to make my balm a solid at room temperature.  I also have a lot of beeswax.  Like, pounds of it.  So there's that.  Too much beeswax, though, and you'll have a lifetime supply of homemade chapstick, so that is why I suggest the following:

If you are 'working free' like I did, leave a bit of head room in your jar to start.  That way if your final product is too thin, too thick, too something, you have room to add more stuff and make adjustments. 

I made mine right in the jar.  Why not?  That way I know it will fit in there when I'm done.

I put some olive oil in.

Then I added some coconut oil.

After that, some beeswax.

Then I put my wee, tiny jar into my shallow double boiler. 

In a few moments, the coconut oil and beeswax were almost entirely melted. 

I pulled it out then and stirred it with a toothpick to finish combining the oils and wax.  I also stirred in my bitter almond oil.  Swoon!

It was a cold night, and I am impatient when I'm inventing stuff, so I put the little jar in the space between the back door and the storm door so it would cool quickly.  When it was cool, it was softer...oilier than I wanted, so I added some more beeswax and re-melted it.

I simply repeated what I had just done - put it in the double boiler, re-heated, stirred.  With a little more back and forth, I ended up with the texture and feel that I wanted.

My final product is slightly firm to the touch at room temperature, but gives under slight pressure.  As soon as I start to rub it into my hands the oils warm and it transforms into a smoother state.  I am amazed at how quickly it penetrates and moisturizes my skin, and I really love the blended scent of the bitter almond, the light honey smell of the wax and the fruity scent of the coconut oil.  I like it better than any storebought lotion, body butter, hand cream, whatever - that I have ever used.  It's just lovely.  I would encourage you to play in the kitchen and make something similar today!

Typing with smooth, soft, happy hands,
-Laura at TenThingsFarm
Shared at Homestead Barn Hop and Living Well Blog Hop

P.S.  If you've ever made something like this and shared a recipe (or experiment), please do leave a comment with a link!  And please leave comments anyway - I love hearing from you!!

Updates:  Comment #3 was so lovely that I finally came up with a decent 'name' for this stuff - thank you, and let me know if you have issue with me borrowing part of the name from you, Donna!  Also, goofball that I am, I took this with me to town today, and coerced my friend into trying it.  She wanted to know if she could keep it!  (I'll have to get more bitter almond oil and make her some!)


Carolyn Renee said...

I'm kind'a like you when it comes to recipes (for eatn' or slathering!) and I can never get the same thing the next time. Not that it's a bad thing, just confusing when somebody asks me for the recipe!

Ten Things Farm said...

I know just what you mean! I've made things before for supper and thought, 'Mmmm, that was good...I wonder how I got it that way?'

Donna OShaughnessy said...

Very nice! I like making my own balm but I call it "healing salve". my young GK calls it "heating sam" whatever...I also add some essentiol oil drops cause I am all about good smells. Lemongrass and lavender is my fav for my heating sam.

Ten Things Farm said...

Oh...I like that very much! Can I 'borrow' that? I'll call it 'Happy Hands Healing Salve'!!!

Kristi said...

Great idea! I'd love to make some, but mine will have to be a refrigerator batch since I don't have beeswax. I keep meaning to buy a bunch to have on hand for a long time, but it's kinda low on my priority list. Recipes like yours remind me that I need to buy that! Thanks for sharing!

Rose said...

I found your blog via the Blog Hop and really enjoy some of your practical and sustainable ideas. I have ingredients on hand to make a healing salve as well, but just haven't gotten around to doing it yet. You got me "itchin" to get it done.

Ten Things Farm said...

Rose, I hope yours turns out well too! You'll have to let us know.

Kristi, seems like we should be able to remedy that part where you don't have any beeswax. I'm going to email you and get some sent your way. :)

CrankyPuppy said...

Just curious...where are you getting your ingredients from? I've looked here in KC and am having problems, but I haven't hit the farmer's market yet. I might have to look online, so would welcome any clues as to where to find good deals. Thanks!

Ten Things Farm said...

Hey Puppy,

I am all about the good deals, so I know what you mean! I also make soap, so I had the scented oil from a batch of supplies I bought from another soapmaker who was moving and didn't want to take everything along, but when I'm buying scented oils and such outright, I have found good prices at wholesale supplies plus (dot com). Only thing is, the quantities are somewhat large, so you may want to try an essential oil more locally first to make sure you like the scent before you buy a big bottle.

The olive oil and coconut oil were from my kitchen. I think the olive oil was from a 'free admission' day at Sam's club, and the coconut oil is sold at Walmart in the baking aisle.

I used to keep bees, so I have lots of beeswax on hand. I'm actually thinking of rendering it and molding it to sell in my so-far-empty country store, right here on this blog.

Hope that helps. :)

Jo's Health Corner/ said...

I never thought about making the salve in the jar. I like to experiment and very often don't follow a recipe.
Thanks for sharing this on the Living Well Blog Hop!

Ten Things Farm said...

Thanks Jo! I like to think people will find me efficient, but I think I'm just lazy, hee hee.

The Adams Family said...

Im so glad that Im not the only one that 'invents' things! We just 'mixed' some fly/tick spray yesterday! Off to try your balm, thanks!


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