Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"B" Balm

I wanted to make a balm that would be perfect for anything my husband and kids would encounter on their exploring expeditions in the ravine as they pretend to "survive".  I should elaborate a bit here.

My kids' favorite show is Dual Survival.  You know, the show where two men from completely different backgrounds get dropped off in different locations and attempt to survive and find rescue.  In fact, last year, I had to MAKE them at least take shoes with us when we left the house in case we went somewhere that didn't allow bare feet.  They loved the show so much that they built a shelter in our yard and foraged our garden for food.  They used the corn stalks as a lean to up against the old smokehouse and made a table to keep their food on.  Under that tuna can.....are grasshoppers.  Apparently they are a great protein source.  *gross*

So anyway, I wanted to make a balm in a small lip balm tube that was easily portable, can stick in a pocket or backpack and that it was powerful enough to handle pretty much anything relatively minor that may come up on their little escapades.

And thus, the birth of "B" Balm.  It's perfect for any sort of "B"ump, "B"ruise, "B"ug "B"ite, "B"lister, "B"lemish, "B"urn, minor "B"leeding, etc.,  AND, it's "B"lack.  :)  I've tried it on mosquito bites and it takes the itch away very well!  I've tried it on scrapes, bruises, and unknown bumps and it really is a neat little balm.  It takes away the pain and helps relieve inflammation.   Better still, I've been battling "dry skin" for over a year.  The dermatologist simply said to wear gloves often, slather in vaseline (Ick!), wash my hands with soap less often, apply a steroid cream, and seal my cracks with super glue.  Seriously!  No joke here!  However, after only two weeks of applying this balm to my hands twice a day, my hands look better than they have in over a year!  For the first time since this condition began, I do not have a single crack in my hands or knuckles!  It is AMAZING!

I think in future batches I might up the beeswax so that it melts less easily.  The only reason this is a problem is because it's summer, we don't have air conditioning, and it is quite soft when I go to use it.  I don't mind, really.  But my youngest got a hold of my balm in the van, it had melted, and she poured it all down the front of her shirt.  :)  And because it is summer, a hardier balm would probably do better, but this would be perfect for winter use as is.  IF you make this and plan to use it for warm weather purposes, just up the beeswax to your liking.  NO need to adjust any other measurement other than the amount of tubes it would fill.

This recipe as is, filled 40 lip balm tubes.  However, you can certainly use something other than lip balm tubes.  You could use any kind of tin or container you want!  You can also make LESS of the recipe by halving it.  Or, maybe cutting it into a third would be doable.  It's pretty easy to find tubes though.  One place I like is - From Nature With Love .  I love ordering special oils and butters from them, as well as containers.  They aren't necessarily the cheapest for this particular product, but, they do have free shipping specials with a $75 order.  Or, at least they did when I ordered.  I also got my Karanja Oil from there that I used in this recipe as well (it also happens to be on sale for 50% off at the moment!).

Another cost savings alternative would be here - Mountain Rose Herbs.  Here, you can get 100 tubes for just $22!  However, you do have to pay shipping.  While you're shopping there, be sure to check out their fabulous selection of Certified Organic Essential Oils!   I used Tea Tree Oil, Lemon, and Lavender in this recipe.  Not to mention the numerous other herbs in this!  At least half of them were from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Ok, so here we go.  At the end, I'll write WHY I chose each specific ingredient.  But, lets get started.  Shall we?  :)

1/2 cup of Safflower Oil
1/2 cup Certified Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
1 Tablespoon dried Plantain leaf
1 Tablespoon dried Lemon Balm
1 Tablespoon Uva Ursi
1 Tablespoon Comfrey
1 Tablespoon Burdock Root
1 Tablespoon Calendula
1 Tablespoon Peppermint
1 Tablespoon Black Walnut Hull
1 Tablespoon Basil
1 Tablespoon Thyme
1 Tablespoon Sage

Infuse those all together on your stove on low for several hours.  Be sure it doesn't get too hot and boil as that can kill some of the good for you properties.  When you're done infusing, strain the oils from the herbs.  Be sure to wring out your cloth REALLY well to get all the concentrated oils from the saturated herbs.

Put this newly infused oil into a double broiler, or similar, then add in your Karanja Oil and Beeswax.  


1 oz. Karanja Oil - I chose this oil for it's medicinal purposes, but didn't want to "waste" it with the infusion process because it's rather expensive.  Therefore I added it AFTER infusing so that I wouldn't loose as much of it in the oils left in the herbs and cloth.

1/4 cup of beeswax - * add more for a firmer balm*  I prefer using the little beeswax pellets cause it's easy peasy, no melting or grating or anything else for measuring, just scoop and use.  Test your firmness by putting a drop on a plate that's been in the freezer for a few minutes.  If it's not firm enough for you, melt in some more beeswax til it's satisfactory. 

Once your beeswax is melted thoroughly, remove from heat.  Let it cool just slightly.  Not enough to start hardening, but just enough that it's safe to add our essential oils, but still be liquid enough to put into your containers.  Add in:

10 drops of Tea Tree Oil
15 drops Lemon essential oil
15 drops of Lavender essential oil

Mix well and put in your tubes, or other containers.

And there you have it!

Now, for the reasoning behind each item.

Plantain - heals wounds, cuts, and scrapes, repairs damaged tissue, and treats bruises.  Also does a good job of easing pain associated with poison ivy.

Lemon Balm - has an anti-histamine effect.  Which basically means it reduces inflammation associated with bites and stings.

Uva Ursi - is anti-inflammatory, anti microbial, and astringent.

Comfrey - in and of itself, it's good for burns, blisters, and bruises!  However, you should NEVER use straight comfrey on an open wound.  It's healing powers are so great that it can cause the top layer of skin to heal up over the wound, trapping the under layers of wounded skin beneath.

Burdock Root - is good for burns and is an anti inflammatory.  Burdock usually grows near Stinging Nettles and is it's remedy.  If you get stung with nettles, grab a leaf of burdock and rub on the affected area.  It neutralizes the sting like nobody's business.  Burdock is also good for other inflammatory purposes like arthritis, eczema, psoriasis, and even acne. 

Calendula - promotes healing of skin wounds and reduces inflammation.  Antibacterial and antiviral.  Used to treat everything from diaper rash to cancer.

Peppermint - Analgesic, antiseptic, antibacterial, great for burns and bites.

Black Walnut Hull - This is an excellent anti fungal.  A common treatment for ringworm. Can be used for many sores, blisters, or bites.

Basil - Basil is from the same family as peppermint and offers many of the same benefits.  Anti inflammatory and anti bacterial.

Thyme - Antiseptic and antifungal.

Sage - Antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory.  Helps the healing process, even for surgical wounds.  Great for bug bites, stings, and allergic responses.

Tea Tree Oil - sometimes known as the cure all.  It's antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial.

Lemon Oil - Good for bug bites and wounds.  Anti-inflammatory and antiseptic.

Lavender Oil - Great for bruises, burns, and bug bites due to it's analgesic properties.  Bonus that it's anti inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiseptic.

Coconut Oil - Too numerous for me to count, really.  Just google the benefits of coconut oil if you have any doubt to it's wondrous healing properties.

Safflower Oil - I prefer it over olive oil in most skin care recipes due to it's lighter consistency and fragrance, coupled with it's moisturizing abilities and high vitamin E content.

Karanja Oil - It's full of great benefits as well! It promotes wound healing, is often used for treatment of skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.  It's a cousin to Neem oil, but less aromatic.

Is it possible to have created something just as good with fewer ingredients?  mmmaaayyybbbeee  But I wanted a full bodied balm to cover many different aspects and for it to be a one balm cure all for any encounter.  So, I worked to have it full of lots of different herbs and therefore a variety of benefits.  

And there ya go!  :)