This may seem a bit odd, cooking up lotions and potions instead of food but I wanted to share what I “cooked up” for homemade gifts over the holidays. As I grow older maintaining a state of well being and striving to live healthier takes work. What I want most these days are things that will make my life easier and more comfortable. My siblings also experience the aches and pains of growing older. Taking a pill or buying expensive organic remedies won’t cure all but there are things to try and experiment with to see what works and what doesn’t. My sister Kat has inspired me with her knowledge and willingness to try new things. She has influenced my way of thinking about organic and natural ways to feel better. For instance she gave me a pink himalayan salt lamp that proponents claim to have a calming aura which can affect your mood and wellness, as well as boosting blood flow, improving sleep and increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. And last year she gave me a diffuser with essential oils that I keep nearby when I’m working on the computer. I have been exploring the benefits of essential oils and found many bloggers experimenting with different oils and organic materials to make lotions and body butters that can help with anything from dry skin to painful joints to sore muscles. These are my picks that I feel are the best of the best. These bloggers have shared an abundance of information on how they are made, the benefits of essential oils, what products to use and even how to clean up after making them. I will provide the links to the original posts so that you might find some ideas on how a homemade remedy might be beneficial to you. Also I’ve added links to the products I ordered and used specifically for these lotions and potions.
First up is the Lavender Whipped Body Butter, my personal favorite. It smells wonderful and truly is like a body butter that makes your skin feel so good. If Winter makes your skin dry and itchy than this is the lotion for you. It really is like a butter in that as soon as it touches warm skin it melts like butter. Read the post by Organic Momma at Musely.com.
Many of the potions are made using the double boiler method. You don’t need a large pot. I have a bowl that fits just inside a 1 quart heavy bottomed saucepan. Boil just a small amount of water in the saucepan and then let it simmer until all the ingredients slowly melt.
Spoon into a glass jar and seal with an airtight lid.
Lavender Whipped Body Butter (adapted from Organic Momma)
1/2 cup Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
1/2 cup Sweet Almond Oil
1 cup Shea Butter
15 – 20 drops Lavender Essential Oils
Add coconut oil, almond oil and shea butter to a stainless steel or glass bowl using a double boiler method. Stir until melted. Remove from heat and place in the refrigerator to cool. Once solid, add the essential oils and use a hand mixer to whisk the mixture until it is creamy. Immediately spoon into a glass jar (pint size) and seal with an airtight lid. Makes approximately 2 cups.
Next up is Magnesium Lavender Cream. I found a great article on the “Benefits of Magnesium” that you can read here. I found it most insightful and convinced me to give this cream a try. It helps with reducing stress and anxiety, calming nerves and relaxes muscles. So for those with restless leg syndrome give this a try. Tiffany at “Dont Waste the Crumbs” shared a wealth of information on the best products to use plus how to clean your supplies.
You will need Magnesium Flakes, Coconut Oil, Beeswax Pastilles, Unrefined Shea Butter, and Essential oils such as lavender. You will also need an immersion blender, a cup to dissolve the magnesium flakes with boiling water and also a jar or deep bowl to blend it all together.
Pour the melted ingredients into a wide mouth mason jar or deep small bowl. Add the dissolved magnesium flakes to the jar and 5 – 10 drops of essential oils. Use the immersion blender to whip this into a lotion.
Transfer to a jar with a lid.
Magnesium Lavender Cream (adapted from Tiffany at Don’t Waste the Crumbs)
1/2 cup Magnesium Flakes
3 tablespoons Boiling Water
1/4 cup Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
2 tablespoons Beeswax Pastilles
3 tablespoons Shea Butter
10 drops Lavender Essential Oils
Measure magnesium flakes into a jar or large cup. Add boiling water to the cup and stir until the magnesium flakes dissolve. Set aside.
Fit a stainless steel or glass bowl into a heavy bottomed sauce pan filled with a small amount of water. Using the double boiler method, heat the water until it begins to boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Add the coconut oil, beeswax pastilles and shea butter into the bowl and stir the solids as they begin to melt. When completely melted, transfer the contents to a wide mouth mason jar or deep small bowl. Let cool for a few minutes. Add the essential oils to the contents and use an immersion blender to whip everything together. Move the blender up and down and around until all the ingredients have been incorporated and has the consistency of a creamy lotion. It will have a slightly waxy/butter feel because of the combination of magnesium and coconut oil. Transfer to a 1/2 pint jar with a lid. Makes approximately 1 cup.
This Capzacin Arthritis Cream comes from Dave DeWitt. He is the quintessential authority on chile peppers and has written many books and cookbooks focusing on chiles. I am a huge fan of Dave DeWitt, he helped launch Chile Pepper Magazine which I was a faithful subscriber to for years. Chiles are high in capsaicin which works as a pain reliever and now due to the popularity of chile peppers you will find any number of products on the market that contains capsaicin.
This is a very easy recipe. All you need is Grapeseed Oil, Beeswax Pastilles and any Chile Powder that is high in capsaicin based on the Scoville scale. Dave used Habanero Powder and Sunflower Oil but I think it’s just a preference on the oil and chile you use. The hotter the chile, the more sting you may feel when you apply it. Some will love the heat while others will not.
Add the oil and chile powder to a small saucepan. Stir the contents together and heat over the lowest setting for about 1 hour. Dave recommended a cooking time of 2 hours but this did not work for me. After 1 hour I smelled a distinct aroma of burning chile. I would go no longer than 1 hour based on my experience. Strain the chile through a folded cheesecloth and stir in the beeswax to melt.
Transfer to a 1/2 pint jar and seal with a lid.
Capzasin Arthritis Cream (adapted from Dave DeWitt)
1 tablespoons Cayenne Powder, can substitute Habanero Powder
1 cup Grapeseed Oil, can substitute Sunflower Oil or Canola Oil
1/4 cup Beeswax Pastilles
In a saucepan, combine the cayenne powder and the grapeseed oil. Cook over low heat for about 1 hour. Strain through a folded cheesecloth and stir in the beeswax pastilles until melted. Pour into a jar with a tight fitting lid and let cool. Makes 1/2 pint.
This muscle rub comes from Dr. Axe. He uses Ginger or Tumeric for their anti-inflammatory agents as well as Cayenne Powder for painful sore muscles. You might refer to the Muscle Rub as well as the Capzasin Arthritis Cream as a salve as they both melt on your skin and may feel a bit oily compared to those those made with the Shea butter.
You will need Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Beeswax Pastilles, Cayenne powder, Peppermint and Lavender essential oils as well as Ginger or Tumeric. Note that Tumeric tends to cause discoloration of the skin so I made this rub with Ginger powder.
Pour into a 1/2 pint jar and let cool completely. Seal with a lid.
Muscle Rub (adapted from Dr. Axe)
1/2 cup Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
1/4 cup Beeswax Pastilles
2 teaspoons Cayenne Powder
2 teaspoons Ginger Powder or Tumeric Powder ( Tumeric Powder can cause skin discoloration)
15 drops Peppermint Essential Oils
15 drops Lavender Essential Oils
Using the double boiler method fill a heavy bottomed saucepan with a small amount of water. Place a stainless steel or glass bowl on top of the pan so that it sits just on top of the warm water. Heat the saucepan just until the water begins to boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer. Add the coconut oil, beeswax, cayenne powder and ginger or tumeric. Stir the contents as the oils begin to melt. Mix until well combined. Allow to cool slightly, then add the essential oils. Mix well. Pour into a 1/2 pint jar and let cool completely. Seal with a lid. Makes approximately 1 cup.
This pain relief cream comes from Jillee at “One Good Thing” and uses Camphor, Peppermint and Eucalyptus essential oils. She uses it as a massage oil to help relieve pain. The smell of Camphor reminds me of Vicks Vaporub that we have all used that at one time or another.
I have already melted the Coconut Oil and Beeswax Pastilles using the double boiler method. Once you have this step down, let the oil cool slightly then add the essential oils. Jillee did mention that Camphor Crystals and/or Menthol Crystals could be used instead of the oils, however I was unable to find any locally or online.
Pour into a 1/2 pint glass jar and let cool completely. Seal with a lid.
Pain Relief Cream (adapted from Jillee at One Good Thing)
1 cup Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
4 teaspoons Beeswax Pastilles
10 drops Camphor Essential Oils (or substitute 2 teaspoons Camphor Crystals)
10 drops Peppermint Essential Oils (or substitute 2 teaspoons Menthol Crystals)
10 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oils
Using the double boiler method fill a heavy bottomed saucepan with a small amount of water. Place a stainless steel or glass bowl on top of the pan so that it sits just on top of the warm water. Heat the saucepan just until the water begins to boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer. Add the coconut oil and beeswax pastilles to the bowl and stir until completely melted. Let cool slightly, then add the essential oils/crystals. Pour into 1/2 pint jar and let cool completely. Seal with a lid. Makes approximately 1 cup.
Note: Here are some of the products that have been recommended from the bloggers referenced above that I used. They are all raw products or organic. Most can be found on Amazon.com and I have included a link for each one.
Essential Oils (may be purchased in Variety Pack or Separately)