August 31, 2012


Lavender flowers ready to harvest

A necessary piece of any homestead is effecitve hand moisturizer. This may be unexpected to some, or sound overly vain to others, but if you spend most of your day working with your hands, exposing them all sorts of elements, hand care, just like general body care, becomes paramount.

I have made a few batches of a simple hand salve that I will document here. The primary ingredients are olive oil, coconut oil and beeswax. In addition to being deeply moisturizing, each of these ingredients have healing properites such being antifungal and antibacterial.

I choose to add an aromatic herb, such as lavender, and have been experimenting with making oil infusions with other healing herbs from the garden or forest, such as comfrey or yarrow, and these can be added to the salve as well.

Ingredients (makes about 2 cups)

Olive oil, coconut oil, beeswax and lavender melting on the stove

In a small sauce pan, create a double broiler. In this last batch I used a small mason jar, but you can use a small metal bowl or any other appropriately sized, heat ready container. Combine the olive oil, coconut oil and beeswax into the bowl or jar. Heat over low-medium heat until the wax is melted. Stir the mixture thoroughly. Add in additional infused oils, aromatic oils, herbs or vit E. Remove from heat and pour into jars. Let cool.

Yup that's it. You're done! These salves make wonderful gifts for your friend or family member who works with their hands.

Pouring the salve mixture into the glass jars

If you are like me and using beeswax from your own bees, then the process invovles several more steps. But all similarly straightforward and just as rewarding.

Bees create little miracles every day. One of them is helping to heal the hands of people that tend to their nectar sources.