Infuse Bee Balm (Monarda fistulosa) flowers and leaves in oil, then combine with shea butter, to make a super-healing hand butter for dry, chapped, or achy hands.
Smooth this rich butter over dry, sore hands at night and wake up to softer skin!
Shea (or Mango) Butter – protects and smooths chapped or rough skin
Bee Balm (Monarda fistulosa) Flowers & Leaves – a common garden flower or wildflower in the mint family that attracts pollinators; also called Wild Bergamot; when used externally, it can heal damaged skin and wounds; can also be used for aching joints
Learn more about growing and drying bee balm, plus 8 ways to use it at our family site, Unruly Gardening: How to Grow & Use Bee Balm
Fractionated Coconut Oil – gives an overall lighter feel to the butter, but you can use more infused oil if it’s not available
Rosehip Seed Oil – exceptional for healing damaged skin
Bergamot Essential Oil – optional for scent, check that you’re using bergapten-free, furanocoumarin-free, or bergamot FCF essential oil, to avoid sun sensitivity
How to Make Bee Balm Infused Oil
To make this recipe, you’ll first need to make an infused oil.
You don’t need a lot of infused oil in this hand butter recipe, so you may wish to use the leftover oil to make Bee Balm Salve, and/or use the infused oil in the basic lip balm recipes in my article: How to Make Your Own Lip Balm Recipes.
To make infused oil, you’ll need:
- freshly dried bee balm flowers and/or leaves (see How to Dry Flowers & Herbs from the Garden for drying tips)
- the oil of your choice – apricot kernel, sweet almond, or sunflower are good choices
There are a few ways to infuse oil, we’ll cover a quick way, a medium way, and a slower way.
HERBAL SALVES & BALMS
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The Quick Infusing Method
This method works best if you don’t have the time or desire to wait a few weeks for infused oil.
- Fill a glass canning jar 1/4 to 1/2 of the way with crumbled up dried bee balm flowers and/or leaves.
- Fill the jar almost to the top with your chosen oil – sunflower oil can be good for most skin types. For a slightly lighter feel, try apricot kernel or rice bran oil. You can also mix and match your favorite oils.
- Set the uncovered jar down into a saucepan containing a few inches of water, forming a makeshift double boiler of sorts.
- Place the pan over a low burner and heat for around 2 to 3 hours.
- Don’t allow the water to evaporate out of the pan, and monitor the oil while it’s heating.
- Remove from the heat and strain out enough oil for your recipe when needed. You can top off the jar with more oil and allow it to continue infusing the slow way until needed again.
- Store the remaining infused oil in a dark spot or cabinet out of direct sunlight and heat. Shelf life should be about 1+ year.
The Medium Sunny Window Infusing Method
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 from above, and fill a jar with crumbled bee balm flowers/leaves and fill with oil. Put a lid on the jar.
- Place the jar in a warm sunny window for a week or two, then transfer to a darker spot to infuse another week or so. The heat from the warm sunny window helps gently speed up the infusing process a bit.
The Slower Traditional Infusing Method
- This way requires more patience and time, but results in a strongly infused and lovely oil.
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 above, and fill a jar with crumbled dried flowers/leaves and oil.
- Instead of infusing over heat, you’ll put a lid on the jar and tuck it away in a cabinet or on a shelf and let it infuse for at least 4 to 6 weeks, shaking occasionally as you remember to.
- Strain out the oil needed for your recipe.
Bee Balm Intensive Hand Butter
Now, we’re ready to make the hand butter!
- 2 tbsp (23 g) bee balm infused oil
- 1 tbsp (12 g) fractionated coconut oil, or more infused oil
- 3/4 cup (165 g) shea butter
- 1 tbsp (12 g) rosehip seed oil
- 30 to 40 drops bergapten-free bergamot essential oil
Directions to Make
- Combine infused oil, fractionated coconut oil, and shea butter in a wide mouth pint jar, or other tall narrow container.
- Place the jar in a saucepan containing a few inches of water, forming a double boiler.
- Heat over low heat, just until the shea butter melts.
- Remove from heat and cool for about 3 minutes.
- Stir in the rosehip seed oil.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 30 to 35 minutes, or until it starts solidifying.
- Using one beater in a hand mixer, whip on medium-high to high speed until light and fluffy.
- Add the essential oil and beat for another 30 seconds.
- Store in the mixing jar, or spoon into smaller jars.
Yield: fills about four 4-ounces jars
Hand butter can also be used on other dry areas, such as feet, knees, elbows, etc.
This recipe can also be found in my Big Book of Homemade Products!
You can find it on Amazon or at your favorite bookseller.