Thursday, April 3, 2014

Handmade Herbal Cream

It's a long story on how this cream recipe came into my use but let's just say that I have it, in 2 different books, so that it will never be lost. The first one is, "Tasha Tudor's Heirloom Crafts". The second is Rosemary Gladstar's, "Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health".
The recipe is that of Rosemary's and my, oh, my folks. This recipe is a keeper. I only changed one thing in the recipe.
This cream is wonderful, non-greasy and so easy to make. Not to mention all of the goodness it has in it. Toss that yucky bottle of "chemical this" and "who could pronounce that?" that is in your cupboard and set aside an hour of your day to put a batch of this together.

Here's what you'll need:
First we'll start with some calendula. Fresh if you have it, but dried will work too.
Steep a small handful of calendula in 1 cup of water. (Bring the cup of water to a boil, turn off heat, add calendula, cover, and let sit for 30 minutes.)
The former is where I deviated from the recipe. The original calls for rose water. But it's early April here and I have no roses on any bushes as of yet to make my own.   So, a calendula infusion is what I used instead.
Calendula ~ Calendula officinalis: "This sunny little flower brightens most gardens. It is a powerful vulnerary, healing the body by promoting cell repair, and acts as an antiseptic, keeping infection from occurring in injuries." - Rosemary Gladstar

Next you'll need:
3/4 c Sweet Almond Oil
1/3 c Coconut Oil
1/3 c Aloe Vera gel
1/4 tsp. Lanolin
5-10 drops Vitamin E oil
 1/2 oz Beeswax
1-2 drops of an essential oil of your choosing
2/3 c calendula infusion (from above) or 2/3 c rose water
In a double broiler, melt beeswax. Add coconut, sweet almond and lanolin. Melt together and then remove from heat. Allow to cool to room temperature. The mixture will become thick and cream colored. You can hasten this process by putting it in the fridge for a few minutes.
In a cup, mix together calendula infusion, aloe vera gel, vitamin E oil, and essential oil.

Rosemary's directions were to use a blender but I don't have one. So I used my immersion blender instead. (I actually think this would make for easier clean up too.)
If you've ever made homemade mayonnaise then this process is essentially the same.
Take your cooled, creamy oil mixture and pour into a quart sized mason jar. Using your immersion blender on the highest setting, start mixing while slowly drizzling the liquid mixture into the oils.
Continue to mix all liquid in until the cream looks thick and white.
Pour into jars and store in cool location. The cream will thicken as it sets.

The finished result? Two 8oz jars of the most wonderful cream you've ever used!
I hope you enjoy it!

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I'm so excited to try this!

I'm reading many things on Rosemary Gladstar and am getting ready to purchase her beginners guide to medicinal herbs. Do you have that one?

I have all the ingredients on hand to make this. Do you think the recipe would do okay without lanolin?

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