MAKE A HEALING BALM

If you are passionate about making your own remedies, here's a recipe that demonstrates how plant energy can work together to heal the body. It's very exciting to make up your own tinctures using infusions and healing salves. Plants have all kinds of healing energies that can positively affect the body. Applying your salve onto the skin means it can travel into the blood stream and start its magic. Spend some time learning the different qualities of herbs and soon you will know what to mix for specific healing remedies. The study of herbs is an ancient practice and is wonderfully rewarding. It's also a way to connect to the natural world.
DID YOU KNOW? In England in the mid-sixteenth century apothecaries had become the equivalent of today's community pharmacists, preparing and selling ingredients and formulas for healing purposes. It took some time before they were officially recognised as being separate from the Grocers. The London apothecaries, with their specialist pharmacy skills, petitioned for several years to secede from the Grocers' Company. Eventually, the 'Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London' was incorporated by royal charter on 6 December 1617. Use this as a basic recipe and add the herbs and oils you need for the specific healing qualities you are looking for. 1 cup of oil (use coconut or olive oil) '  cup of dry herb (if using 2 herbs use ' cup of each) ' cup of beeswax 50cm x 50cm piece of cheesecloth Glass jars or containers for storage 10 drops of essential aromatherapy oil 1. INFUSE This requires a double boiler. Put the herbs and oil in a pot over another larger pot of boiling water. Let the oil and herbs simmer for up to an hour. Make sure you don't get water into your herbal oil infusion. If you prefer, you can infuse the oils using sunlight. This takes much longer (about 4 weeks, depending on sunshine). For this, you need to seal your herb/oil mixture in a mason jar and leave it for up to 4 weeks in a sunny place. 2. STRAIN When you are satisfied the oil has received all the properties of the herbs, remove from the boiler or the sunshine and strain the herbs from the oil. Do this by putting a few layers of cheesecloth over a large jar or bowl. You can use an elastic band to keep the cheesecloth secure while the oil drains through. Squeeze the last drops of oil from the cloth and keep the herbs aside. Rather than throwing away the herbs, tighten the cloth in one corner, fasten with a rubber band and use this parcel of herbs in your bath. 3. ADD THE BEESWAX Put the beeswax in a pan on low heat. Add the infused oil and melt them together. Once they've combined nicely, slowly pour into a jar or jars. Let it cool then put it in the fridge to see how solid your mixture goes. The more beeswax you use the thicker and harder the mixture will be. If you want it quite soft then use less beeswax. 3. APPLY TO BODY Scoop some of your salve out the jar and use it to spread over your body. The warmth of your hand will soften the texture and make it easy to spread. Use it as a massage balm as well. Coconut oil just needs a little body warmth and it melts beautifully.   HERB GUIDE '       Calendula has a therapeutic action on dry skin. It heals wounds, rashes, and other skin irritations. '       Meadowsweet is anti-inflammatory and soothing especially when skin is irritated. It works well on elbows, heels and cracked skin. It's also great to relieve tense shoulders. '       Lavender is soothing and anti-inflammatory and calms both skin and spirit. '       Green tea has antioxidant flavonoids that are protective against damage from ultraviolet light (sunburn, skin aging, skin cancer). '       Licorice root has soothing and anti-inflammatory components. (Licorice gels are used to help with eczema).   REMEDY RECIPES Relieve Aches and Pains ' cup dried meadowsweet ' cup dried calendula 15-20 drops of chamomile essential oil Rejuvenate Winter Skin ' cup dried lavender ' cup calendula ' cup dried rose 15-20 drops of grapefruit essential oil  

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