Saturday, March 30, 2013


My daughters are heading into the Track and Field season once again. My oldest daughter is concerned about people noticing some (and by some, I mean about 3) small acne-like skin bumps on the back of her leg when she's wearing shorts. (Did I mention they are both in middle school? Hence the assumption there will be a spotlight directly aimed at the back of her leg.) 

Go Wolverines!

Normally, in our family, if there are any types of skin irritations (bumps, bruises, scrapes, rash, bites, stings, eczema, "skin bumps") we apply a little calendula salve.  The reason for this is because calendula (also known as pot marigold) is very rich in anti-inflammatory properties and is also known to reduce pain.  It is also safe for internal use, so it can even be used on broken skin. We use this instead of a triple-antiobiotic ointment such as Neosporin. (Don't EVEN get me started on the overuse of antibiotics. That's a blog post for another day.) It's great for owies that take longer to heal as well.  However, we are running low on salve and it's time to make more.  We can't have our little runner distracted by a few skin bumps now can we?

The great thing about this salve is that it's super easy to make.
What you'll need:
300 degree preheated oven
 1oz Dried Calendula
 (Or any combination of calendula, plantain-the weed not the fruit-, and chickweed that equals 1oz.  Today I am using calendula and plantain.)
1 1/2 cups of Olive Oil
2-4 teaspoons of beeswax pastilles
(Depending on how "squishy" or firm you want your salve to be. Today I am using 2 teaspoons.)
1/2-1 teaspoon of Essential Oil of Lavender (optional)

Once you've measured out your herbs, you'll want to put them in an oven proof dish and cover them with the oil.  Give it a good stir and pop it in the oven for 2 hours, or you may also turn the oven off and let the mixture sit over night.

It's always important to weigh your herbs to ensure you are getting the correct potency.

Once your herbs are done infusing, remove them from the oven and let them cool.  When the herbs are cool, strain them.  Be sure to "squash" the herbs with a wooden spoon to get every last bit of oil out of those herbs.  The oil that is in those herbs is the most potent and you definitely want that in your salve.

I use a sieve, but cheese cloth is another great way to strain herbs.
Discard the used herbs and add your beeswax to the infused oil.  Place the oil back in the oven until the beeswax is melted.  Remove from the oven.  If you are using essential oil, let the mixture cool for a few minutes so the volatile oil doesn't evaporate out of the salve.  Once that's done, pour your mixture into a container (I use 2oz tins.  The size really depends on your preference and where you will keep it. Cabinet, diaper bag, purse, etc)

Freshly poured!

Once your salve is completely cooled, you can put the lid(s) on and label with the content and ingredients. (For the love of Pete, label!  Never leave things unlabeled!) This recipe yielded four 2oz tins, and one 1/2oz tin, but you can pour your salve into one large (heat proof) tub if you wish.  I like the "divide and conquer portability" of using tins.  One in each bathroom, one in the first aid kit, little guy in my purse, send one with the kids to camp... You get the idea.

You can find any or all of these ingredients, including the tins, at Mountain Rose Herbs, but you can also find most of this in your own kitchen as well!


And my daughter can hold her head high while sprinting, jumping and throwing!

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