Hello Fellow Homesteaders!
If you follow my Facebook page, you've seen me complain about Stitch's eczema flare-ups. I have used some very nice store-bought cream and some home-made salve bought from another homesteader that worked very well. But, being the homesteader that I am, I really wanted to find a way to make a good salve myself. I wanted it to be thinner and cost effective so I could use it more like a lotion over his whole body since his skin tends to be pretty scaly all over. (Ironically enough, his diaper area is always clear.) So, I started searching for home remedies for eczema and came up with several helpful links. I took these ideas and combined them to come up with my own concoction with what I had on hand and it is working well! I use it on him everyday and it has seemed to do the trick.
One of the first things I found was a recipe for Lemon-Balm Oil. I had a lot of dried lemon-balm, so I made this to use as my base. First I crushed up the leaves I had harvested and dried last summer. This bottle was full. (Like my fancy label? Hey, at least it's functional if not pretty...lol!)
I don't have a double-broiler, so I made my own with a small pan and a flat bowl.
Here I added some extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil. I probably would have used all coconut oil, but I was almost out.
And here it is after simmering for about 3 hours. It really added a great fragrance to the rest of the house too!
Then I read a great list of remedies HERE that included chamomile tea. I only had 2 bags left and I decided that if I could make lemon-balm oil, then perhaps I could make chamomile oil too. I made it the same way. I realize now that I probably should have taken it out of the bags first, but it still seemed to work.
Next, I strained everything and, on a whim, decided to add some lanolin while it was still hot. I had quite a bit of lemon-balm oil, so I have another jar full of that by itself.
After it cooled, I added some lavender oil and vitamin E oil to the mix. (Alas, I didn't measure it, just poured some in.) I put the lid on it and put it in the fridge to help it harden up a bit. (The scratches on the lid are there to show that I've already used this lid for food preservation canning so I won't try to use it for that again. I like to keep my old lids around for dry storage and crafts but do not want to get them confused with my new lids for canning.)
It's a lovely dark green color! Makes me feel very crunchy! This came out softer than I would have liked. I wish I had some beeswax to add to it, or perhaps I could have used all coconut oil to make it more firm. Either way, it did come out soft enough so that I could use a thin layer over his whole body with little effort. This little jar should last us quite awhile.
So, there you have it! I hope to have some calendula flowers saved this year and perhaps I will add that to the next batch. There are several options that you could use in something like this and I really like that. I prefer to use the things I have on hand instead of having to buy a bunch of specialty ingredients and having several options makes that easier. Do you make your own oils and salves? If so, share your link in the comments! I love home-made items!