This balm is part of a basic first aid trio I put together for my kids to use while traveling.
They spent the summer adventuring and camping across the country and I wanted them to be prepared for any first aid needs they might run into.
So far, I’ve shared the recipes for:
Today, we’re making the final piece of the set – a balm for bumps and bruises using herbal infused oil.
It’s also great for treating sore muscles and achy legs that are unused to riding for long stretches in a car. (Don’t forget to get out and move around often too!)
Some herbs to consider using in your balm include:
- Arnica (Arnica montana) – an anti-inflammatory herb that’s excellent for bruising, sore muscles, arthritis, and pulled muscles. (Not for use on open wounds.)
- Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) – helps bruises, pulled muscles, broken bones heal faster. (Don’t use on deep, open, or puncture wounds.)
- Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) – the flowers act as a mild analgesic (pain reliever) and healing agent for painful skin.
- Purple Dead Nettle (Lamium purpureum) – its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties makes it a good candidate to include in salves, balms, and other products.
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Bumps and Bruises Balm
This balm has a 2% dilution rate and was designed for use on ages 2 or 3 and upward. (For extra oomph, adults could double the amount of essential oils in this short term use product.)
Instead of the lavender and cypress essential oil listed, you could alternatively try using a ready made kid-safe blend, such as Plant Therapy’s Grow Ease.
When making things for aches and pains, I often like to swap out a little bit of the infused oil for tamanu oil. (In this recipe, perhaps use a ratio of 0.25 oz (7 g) tamanu oil and 1.45 oz (41 g) infused oil.) It’s completely optional, but tamanu is a nice touch for these kinds of salves; it will also tint your salve a greener color, as shown in the above photo.
- 1.7 oz (48 g) infused herbal oil, see how to make below
- 0.25 oz (7 g) beeswax pastilles
- 12 drops lavender essential oil
- 12 drops cypress essential oil
- optional: If you’re worried about the salve melting from the heat of travel, you can add an additional 1/2 tsp (1 g) candelilla wax to the recipe.
To make this balm, you’ll first need to make an oil infused with herbs that are good for bumps and bruises, such as arnica, comfrey, dandelion, and/or purple dead nettle.
To make the infused oil:
Fill a half-pint canning jar about halfway with dried herb or herb combination of your choice.
Pour sunflower, rice bran, apricot kernel, or your favorite carrier oil over the dried herbs until you almost reach the top.
- To infuse the slow way: Cap, shake, and store in a cool, dark place for about four weeks before straining. The oil should stay fresh for about a year, if stored well in a cool place, out of sunlight.
- To infuse the fast way: Stir well and set the uncovered container of oil down into a saucepan containing a few inches of water. This will form a makeshift double boiler of sorts. Set the saucepan over a medium-low burner and indirectly heat the oil this way for an hour or two. If your water is simmering, you should turn the heat lower. Once it’s done infusing, strain the oil and store in a cool, dark place for up to a year.
To make the balm:
Once the oil is infused, strain and pour 1.7 oz (48 g) of it into a heat proof jar or recycled tin can. Add the beeswax (and candelilla wax, if using.)
Set the heat proof container down into a saucepan containing a few inches of water, just as you used above to infuse your herbal oil. Set the pan over a medium low burner until the beeswax has melted.
Remove from heat and add the essential oil.
While the mixture is still hot, pour into screw cap tins. (They are much easier to open than the push top kind!)
The recipe, as shown, will fill about one 2-ounce tins. You can buy them from Amazon or Specialty Bottle.
Print them out on sticker paper (I use this kind.)
If you don’t have sticker paper handy, you can print on regular copy paper and affix with a thin layer of glue. It won’t be as durable as sticker paper, but will work!
Apply as needed on bumps, bruises, aches, and minor muscle pains!