I’m making a nice hand salve for Mother’s Day gifts this year. Almost every year, my sisters and sisters-in-law get together, at my oldest sister’s mother-in-law’s house, to celebrate Mother’s Day. We order P.F. Chang’s, which one of the guys picks up so no one has to cook, and I always buy or make a small gift for all the moms.
This year, I thought I’d make a nice hand salve for use after a hard days work in the garden, or really anytime. There are many recipes out there for this type of salve, basically combining beeswax and oils in varying amounts, depending on how thick you want the final product. Essential oils for healing properties and scent are almost always included. Still, many people go the extra mile and add a few other goodies. Some add honey,and some infuse their oils with calendula petals or comfrey, both of which are said to be extremely beneficial to the skin.
Originally I wanted to add jewelweed extract. You may remember from your Girl Scout (or Boy Scout) days that jewelweed, Impatiens capensis, aka Touch-Me-Not or Whistle Weed, has the ability to relieve skin irritations from insect bites and even poison ivy. If you notice, many commercial soaps and sprays have jewelweed as the main ingredient. However, since the extract is made with water and alcohol, I had a really hard time incorporating the extract into the salve. If I had any patience and lots of time, I could have probably boiled off the water and the alcohol but I don’t have either, so I stuck with the basics: oils, wax and essential oils.
Gardener’s Bliss Hand Salve
- 5 T. beeswax pellets
- 1 c. coconut oil
- 1 c. olive oil
- lavender & lemon essential oil (5 drops lavender/15 lemon) each
- 5 vitamin E capsules (acts as a preservative)
- 2 oz glass jars with lids (makes 8 or 4 – 4 oz jars)
First, place the wax, coconut oil and olive oil in a large glass measuring cup. Then place the measuring cup in a pot of simmering water.
Stir occasionally as the ingredients melt into a nice liquid.
While you are waiting, take the time to place the essential oils into your glass jars.
Once the wax and coconut oil are melted, dip a spoon into the liquid and then place it in the freezer for a minute, to see what the consistency is like. If you would prefer it to be thicker, you may want to add more beeswax. Add oil if you want it to be thinner.
Then, remove the container from the water and let it sit to cool for just a couple of minutes.
Next, add your vitamin E by pricking the capsule with a pin and squeezing the oil into the salve mixture. Stir and pour into the glass jars. This recipe filled exactly eight 2 oz. jars.
The possibilities for variation are many. You can find tons recipes on the web including ones that explain how to infuse your oils with dried and fresh herbs. The basic steps are incredibly easy and make for a great gift. You can go on from there to experiment and create a unique batch of your own.