Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Herbal Baby Salve

With our new granddaughters arrival, I have been looking through books for helpful & healthful items to provide for her. Rosemary Gladstar's Family Herbal is a great book for herbal recipes for your family. The first one I'm going to make is for diaper rash, cuts & scapes & irritated skin.

Bottoms- Up Salve
1 part calendula flower
1 part comfrey leaf
1 part comfrey root
1 part St. John's Wort flower
Olive oil
Grated beeswax
1. Combine the herbs & salve & store in an airtight container. Make a solar infusion by steeping 2 oz. of the herb mixture in a pint of olive oil for 2 weeks. This will create about 2 cups of herbal oil.
2. At the end of the 2 weeks, place the mixture in a double boiler (or I use a crock pot) and warm for one hour over low heat. Strain.
3. To each cup of warm herbal oil, add 1/4 cup of grated beeswax. You may need to warm the oil a little longer to melt the beeswax.
4. When the beeswax is melted, check for desired consistancy; place one tablespoon of the mixture in the refrigerator for a few minutes. If the salve is too hard, add a little more oil; if too soft, add a little more beeswax. Pour it into a glass jar. The salve does not have to be refrigerated and will last for months (or years) if stored in a cool area.

About making solar infusions...this should be a warm, sunny spot. After the two weeks of steeping time, strain the oil through muslin or cheesecloth. When the oil has been poured off, put the herbs in the cheesecloth or muslin & squeeze throroughly, getting every last drop if you can. To make a doubly strong medicinal oil, add a fresh batch of herbs to the oil & strain again after two weeks.

Now not everyone has a warm sunny spot (especially in the middle of a Midwest winter) so you can use a double boiler or crock pot to speed the process along.Place the herbs & oil in the double boiler or crock pot & bring to a low simmer. Slowly heat for 30-60 minures checking often to be sure the oil isn't overheating. The lower the heat, the longer the infusion, the better the oil.

This is not a new process for me. I have made solar infused oils many times for different salves & lip balms.  It all depends on the herbs you use.

Jaelyn's hospital photo
I think I will make baby oil next. Stay tuned for that recipe soon.

This weekend we are going to the farm so there will be more progress going on there to blog about soon :-)


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful little girl. She looks so sweet and petite. What a neat idea to make home-made herbal baby salve! You are a good Gramma!!...debbie

JC said...

That is a fabulous first photo. My D was all red from crying and my son had a scratch on his face. (the nurse wouldn't cut his nails .. I had to do it myself .. had my H run to the store for baby clippers)

Anyway, cute baby ... let us know how the salve works out.

SkippyMom said...

That has to be the most beautiful first hospital pic' I have ever seen. What a gorgeous baby.

I never used store bought products on our kids - we were poor and we were told they would promote allergies [don't know if that was true, but my kids have never had an allergy] but I don't believe in salve for diaper rash as I think it suffocates the sores. I used straight cornstarch on all the babies and it worked like a dream [both in cloth and disposable diapers] - it was cheap and handy. It would clear it up almost immediately.

But the salve might be good for bites or something. It is interesting.

You are a good grandma :D

SkippyMom said...

...oops don't think I was clear. I know you are making this yourself, but it reminds me of a salve like Desitin - so that is why I like the cornstarch better.

Let us know how it works.

Barb and Steve said...

I forgot about cornstarch. My mother-in-law used it on Kristin when we were visiting their farm in Kansas. It did do the trick. I would be careful now though to buy only organic cornstarch due to GMO's and to keep it from being inhaled by the baby. I remember how my mom made a cloud of baby powder during my brother's diaper change. Really bad for respiratory health.

angie said...

Hi Barb,

Beautiful photo.

re: hops. Thought this might be of interest to you. http://www.crannogales.com/HopsManual.pdf

Barb and Steve said...

Thanks Angie...I'll check it out