Gardening can be incredibly rewarding work, but it can also be really hard on your hands! Between cuts and scrapes, and dryness due to repeated hand-washings, gardeners’ hands are often in need of a bit of extra TLC. This DIY “Gardener’s Salve” is the answer! It is infused with herbs that help to quickly heal cuts and scrapes, and it will leave your hands feeling silky smooth. Plus, it smells lovely, like a fragrant herb garden. :-)
The herbs in this recipe were selected for their skin-friendly properties. Comfrey is anti-inflammatory, and it contains allantoin that helps heal cuts and small wounds. Lavender smells great and is very relaxing, but it also has antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties. Calendula helps to disinfect wounds, plus it stimulates the production of collagen that helps heal wounds and minimize scarring. Chamomile soothes muscle pain, and is great for treating rashes and eczema. And finally, rosehips contain vitamin E, which helps to hydrate dry skin. Rosehips also contain omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, as well as vitamin C, which help to repair and prevent skin damage and aging.
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DIY Garden Salve
- 1 cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp beeswax pastilles
- 4 Tbsp shea butter
- 1 tsp dried comfrey leaf
- 1 Tbsp dried lavender flower
- 1 Tbsp dried calendula flower
- 1 tsp dried chamomile flower
- 2 tsp dry rose hips
Start by infusing your olive oil with the dried herbs. Combine the herbs and olive oil in a double boiler (or a glass bowl suspended over a small pot of simmering water). Ensure that the water is within an inch of the bowl or pot that your herbs and oil are in. Keep the oil and herbs over the simmering water for 2-3 hours. (Make sure you add more water throughout if it gets low.)
Note: An alternative, but more time consuming method, for infusing your oil is just to combine the herbs and oil in a sealed jar, then let the jar sit on the counter for about 3 weeks.
When your oil has been properly infused, strain the herbs away from the oil.
Return the oil to your bowl or double boiler.
Combine the remaining ingredients and stir them over the simmering water until the beeswax has melted completely.
Pour the mixture into a jar, and allow to cool.
You could use the equivalent essential oils instead of the dried herbs specified in this recipe. This method is just a different way to achieve the same results and it a good alternative for those with essential oil sensitivities.