Thursday, November 11, 2010

calendula lip balm

Buddy's lips became very chapped this weekend. Seems like anything I tried to put on him burned. We decided that it was the perfect opportunity to make our own calendula lip balm.

When I began setting out the supplies to make this and to start my vitex tincture on the window sill, I was thinking about how not too long ago, this is how life was lived. If you wanted an herbal tincture, you made it. If you wanted lip balm, you stirred up your own batch.

 There was an elderly woman that I grew up with who, on the first word that you weren't feeling well, made up a batch of "recipe". That's what she called it! "Recipe"!!! I called it voodoo juice. It was essentially honey, brandy and lemon juice. It was horrible. Oh how it burned. But you know what? It worked. There is something to be said for the grandma's who kept their families healthy with a batch of "recipe".

When I'm in the kitchen working up one of my herbal remedies, or homemade body products, I feel like I'm connecting with all of those strong women who were before me, caring for their families out of their own kitchens.  I love that feeling.

There is a basic recipe for making a balm.  It is essentially:

 one cup of herb infused oil (any combination you choose)
 one ounce of beeswax

 For this lip balm, I increased the beeswax to 2 ounces and used a mix of calendula oil and coconut oil.

Moonpie and Buddy helped grate beeswax from our giant 10 pound block we bought from a bee guy.  

We measured out one cup of calendula oil that I had made in the summer.  Making your own herbal infused oil is easy.  So easy!  To make this I bought a pound of dried calendula through my Frontier co-op I run.  I filled up the jar to the top and poured a good quality olive oil over it.  Put the lid on and let it sit for about 12 days, shaking daily.  That's it.  See?  Easy!

I don't have a double boiler or any junk pans lying around.  So to make the final product we poured the oil into a jar, and placed in a pot of water.  I turned on a low heat and waited for the oil to warm up a bit. Then I slowly added the beeswax, stirring every once in a while with a wooden skewer.  I used the skewer because it is long enough to be safely used by Moonpie as she helps.

After the beeswax melts and is sufficiently melted in, it is ready to be poured into containers.  I had some on hand that I purchased through Frontier.
Here is a tiny little picture for you!  I couldn't blow it up without making the resolution all crazy!

Then we set them out on the counter to solidify.

I love the feel of this lip balm.  It is so smooth and soothing.  And Buddy will actually use it (sometimes) because he made it.

1 comment:

Stacy said...

Love this post! Off to make some potions of my own...and buy my Julia some Calendula to set out on the balcony of her new apartment.