Tuesday, January 22, 2013

An Icy Chill, Chapped Lips and herbal Lip Balm

It got bitter here.  The same time of year it gets bitter here every year, but this year it was 40+ degrees leading up to a dip with wind chill below Zero and air temps not far above Zero!  Now I know I shouldn't but as soon as I get outside in the bitter wind, I lick my lips.  I hate it when they feel dry.  I remember to put on a lip balm only after they start to crack and ache.  This year I actually thought ahead and made a lip balm which is in my purse, but old habits die hard.  I did not put it on today until I was on my way home from work after the cold weather had done its worst.

I still thought I should share the balm I made as it is very effective.

Lip Balm
The easiest way to make a lip balm is to infuse dried calendula petals with 2 parts cocoa butter melted with 1 part sunflower oil. When pour into cold jars, the balm will keep solid at room temperature. 

If you want to make something more elegant and ricchly scented, you can try this recipe.  I got it from Herbaholics Herbarium.  This is a UK site so be aware they use herbs differently there than we do in the US.

Rosebud Lips Balm
9fl oz. Calendua Oil
3 Tablespoons Jojoba Oil
1½ oz. Dried Alkanet Root
1oz. Beeswax, grated
12 Drops Rose Essential Oil (optional)

Gently heat both oils in the top of a double boiler for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the alkanet root and steep for around 30 minutes, to extract the color from the root. Strain the root from the oils through cheese cloth or a coffee filter. Return the oils to the double boiler with the beeswax. Once the wax has melted, remove from the heat and add the rose essential oil drop by drop. Pour into small sterilized jars. Allow to cool thoroughly before putting the lids on.

Notice when making balms or salves you generally use materials by weight not volume.  That is important to getting a stable salve or balm that hardens as you would want.

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