Balm

Warmer weather means spending more time outdoors soaking in nature’s majestic beauty and charm right along with its annoying reminders of who’s really in charge via those inevitable cuts and scrapes, bug bites and sunburns that get you no matter how much you protect yourself. Sure, you could lather up with store-bought skincare products loaded with toxic preservatives and chemicals… or you could make your own all-natural easy-peasy cure-all in just 4 steps for a fraction of the cost and none of the risk.

It’s pretty simple: Herbs heal. Chemicals do not. And, for many of us, some may even be growing right outside in the garden like echinacea, calendula, comfry, yarrow, rosemary, lavender, plantain, angelica and roses, which all have soothing and healing properties.

What You’ll Need

2 cups olive, sesame (untoasted), or almond oil

1/4 cup beeswax (or candelilla wax for vegan salves)

1-2 tablespoons of dried herbs (use 2 tablespoons if you’re using fewer herbs, 1 tablespoon if including more than 3). To dry herbs, bunch together and hang upside down until dry (usually several days to 1 week).

1/2 teaspoon of essential oils: lavender, grapefruit, lemon, peppermint or a combination (acts as a preservative and fragrance)

How You Make It

In a double boiler, combine the herbs and oil and heat on very low temperature for three hours. (The oil should be infused with the herbs and very green in color.) Let cool for 10-15 minutes or so.

Strain out the herbs through a cheesecloth or very fine sieve, pressing gently to make sure you remove all the infused oil. Return oil to double boiler and add wax, heating gently until the wax melts.

Add essential oils and mix well with a non-reactive spoon (wood or rubber works well).

Pour mixture into small tins, empty lip balm tubes or glass jars. Let cool before covering.

Use sparingly as needed on cuts, scrapes, bites, stings, rashes, burns and wounds. Share!

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Image: stevendepolo