Plantain & Yarrow Dry Heel Balm

Apply this easy-to-make herbal heel balm to rough dry heels, or other areas that need softening and smoothing – such as hands, knees, and elbows.

small bowl of green herbal balm with fresh yarrow and plantain leaves

There’s an abundance of yarrow and plantain growing around my house right now, so it’s the perfect time to make a batch of this balm!

Why Yarrow & Plantain?

I included these herbs because:

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is helpful for soothing cracked and damaged skin.

Plantain (Plantago lanceolata, P. major) is a classic first-aid herb, useful for repairing and improving all sorts of skin conditions.

If you have fresh herbs: gather and dry them. (More information on this can be found in my article, How to Harvest and Dry Flowers & Herbs from Your Garden.)

If you don’t have fresh herbs available to gather, high quality organic dried versions can be found at Mountain Rose Herbs and will work equally well in this recipe.

Some links on this site are affiliate or brand ambassador links; this means that I may receive income from purchases or visits made. I only recommend products I personally use and enjoy.

wooden bowl with fresh yarrow and plantain leaves

Step 1: Make the Infused Oil

Before you can make this balm, you first need to make an infused oil.

Ingredients you will need:

Add the dried herbs and sunflower oil to a heatproof canning jar and infuse in one of the following ways:

For a quick infusion:

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 or 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.

For a slow infusion:

Instead of infusing over heat, put a lid on the jar and tuck it away in a cabinet or on a shelf and let it steep for at least 4 to 6 weeks, shaking occasionally as you remember to.

Shelf Life and Storage of Infused Oil:

Strain and store any remaining infused oil in a dark spot or cabinet out of direct sunlight and heat. Shelf life should be about 1+ year.

small wooden bowl of green herbal balm with fresh yarrow and plantain leaves

Step 2: Make the Heel Balm

Yield: approximately 2 ounces (60 ml)

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1/4 cup infused yarrow and plantain oil (from above)
  • 1/2 tbsp tamanu oil (or more infused oil)
  • 1/2 tbsp cocoa butter (or kokum butter)
  • 1 tbsp beeswax pastilles
  • 1/4 tsp lavender or peppermint essential oil
  • 3 drops tea tree essential oil

Directions to make:

  1. In a half-pint canning jar or other heatproof container (or a recycled tin can for easy cleanup), combine the 1/4 cup infused oil, tamanu oil, cocoa butter, and beeswax.
  2. Set the container down into a small saucepan containing a few inches of water, then place the pan over a medium-low burner.
  3. Heat until the cocoa butter and beeswax have melted.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the essential oils and place in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to cool, checking and stirring every 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from fridge and stir every 5 to 10 minutes as it cools, until a thick creamy texture is achieved.
  7. Frequent stirring as the balm cools is key to creating a soft spreadable consistency.

How to Use Heel Balm:

To use, generously rub over your heels and feet before bed, then cover with a pair of socks. After several days of use, you should wake up with noticeably softer feet!

Store the balm in a cool dark area away from high heat and direct sunlight. Shelf life is at least 6 to 9 months.

This recipe was adapted from my Big Book of Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health & Home. If you enjoyed it, or any of the other recipes on my site, I think you’ll love the book too!

Available from your favorite bookstore or the following book sellers:

Jan
 

Jan Berry is a writer, herbalist, soapmaker, and bestselling author of The Big Book of Homemade Products, Simple & Natural Soapmaking, and Easy Homemade Melt & Pour Soaps. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains with her family and a menagerie of animals, where she enjoys brainstorming creative things to make with the flowers and weeds that grow around her.

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