Sunday, February 1, 2015

My Eczema Ointment Experiment

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!

Happy Homesteading!

Jen Hen

4 comments:

  1. interesting..... My sister suffers TERRIBLY from eczema; she may find something that gives her relief from time to time, but eventually her skin acclimates to it and she has to switch to something else (she had a system for a while where Argan Oil worked, and when it stopped working, Coconut oil did. When Coconut oil stopped, she switched back to argan, which would work again, and so on). Come summer (and the abundance of Lemon Balm it brings!) I may have to try this! Seems simple enough!!! :)

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  2. I hope it does! Lemon Balm can also be grown indoors in containers. That's where I have mine right now. I just trim it and dry it as it grows so I have a small stock of it when I need it. I hope to expand and have a good medicinal garden going year-round.

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  3. What a pretty green color it turned out to be! Thanks for sharing your recipe at the Homestead Blog Hop!

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  4. I've seen these advertised at stores and online, but thought they were too pricey for me. Thanks for the great idea!

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