Herbal Intensive Lotion Bars
Lotion bars are of one of the best treatments around for repairing dry, calloused and sore hands!
They also make great gifts for those who work or play hard with their hands. In our house, they’re invaluable for healing the damage that being a rock mason does to my husband’s hands.
In this recipe, I combined 4 of my favorite herbs:
- arnica flowers – approved by the German Commission E for topical use for inflammation, bruises and joint pain
- comfrey leaf – a source of allantoin, which is a cell proliferant
- dandelion flowers – high in lecithin and act as a mild analgesic (pain reliever)
- goldenrod flowers – used in traditional salve remedies for aches & pains
but you can mix and match other herbs to create your own variation.
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Herbal Intensive Lotion Bars
(These lotion bars are made with equal parts, by volume, but can be remelted and adjusted to suit your climate and preferences.)
Ingredients for Lotion Bars:
- 1 tablespoon (about 14 g) shea, mango, avocado or cocoa butter
- 1 tablespoon (about 12 g) beeswax
- 1 tablespoon (about 10 g) herbal-infused oil (see how to make, below)
- a drop or two of essential oil (try lavender to relax muscles, or peppermint to cool pain)
- a pinch (about 1/16th of a tsp) arrowroot or tapioca powder (helps lotions bars have a silky, less-greasy feeling)
If you can’t find all of these ingredients locally, check online at Mountain Rose Herbs.
Directions to Make:
Combine the butter, beeswax and herbal-infused oil in a heatproof jar or container. (You can use a canning jar or upcycle a tin can for easier cleanup.)
If you’re adding tapioca powder, you can put that in as well. Set the jar down into a saucepan containing a few inches of water, forming a makeshift double boiler.
Place the pan over a medium-low burner and heat until the wax and butter are melted.
Remove from heat, stir well and add in essential oil, if you wish. Pour into a mold.
This recipe will make one large lotion bar, the size shown, weighing around 1.25 oz (around 35 g). You can double, triple, etc as needed, to make as many as you wish, or you can pour in smaller molds (like candy molds or silicone ice trays).
I used a beautiful Milky Way bee mold. It makes a lotion bar that fits perfectly into a 2 oz metal tin, for safe storage.
Some butters are softer/firmer than others – cocoa butter will make a harder bar, avocado butter, a softer one. If you find that your lotion bar is too hard, you can remelt it and add a little more oil. If your lotion bar is too sticky, you probably have too much butter. Melt it again and add a little more beeswax. If your lotion bar is greasy or oily feeling, you probably have too much oil or should look for a more absorbent oil (examples: rice bran or grapeseed). During cold weather or if you live in a cold climate, your bar might be firmer or may need a little extra oil. In hot weather or climates, add a little extra beeswax to keep it from melting slightly during storage.
You can always tinker with the recipe in order to get it just the way you like!
How to Make Herbal Infused Oil
First, choose one or more herbs that are known for healing chapped, dry skin like these:
- Violet Leaf
Or helpful for relieving aches and joint pain, like these:
- Dandelion Flowers
- Arnica Flowers
- Elder Leaf
Fill a half-pint jar around 1/4 to 1/2 of the way, with one or more dried herbs. Next, pour your chosen oil over them, until the jar is filled, almost to the top. (Sunflower, olive, sweet almond or avocado are a few good oil choices to start with.)
Stir to remove air bubbles, then either cover with a cap and tuck away to infuse for 4 to 6 weeks, or, for a faster method – set the down into a pan containing a few inches of water and heat over a low burner for around 2 hours or so.
Once infused to your satisfaction, strain the oil into a clean, dry jar. It will have shelf life of around 9 months to a year and can be used to make lotion bars and other items, at your convenience.
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