I just love taking the time to make some beautiful, organic, holistic skin care for my self and my whole family. I draw inspiration from everywhere, the flowers in the field, the teachings of herbalists before me, grandmothers recipes and more. One of the people I draw a lot of bath and body inspiration from is Jan Berry, also known as The Nerdy Farmwife. Jan is a kitchen herbalist, who makes some amazing bath and body products, and creates some beautifully inspired recipes from many of the plants we know and love.
You might have heard about Jan here before, she has recipes published in a few of our past issues like Violet, Rose and Dandelion. She also has shared her recipe for Honey & Hemp Shampoo Bar on our blog last year, a recipe from another of her must-have books, Cold Process Basics & Recipes.
She recently released a beautiful book called 101 Easy Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health & Home. This book has all you need to make beautiful body butters, lotion bars, creams, lotions, soaps, scrubs, and so much more! She discusses some of our favorite herb friends like chamomile, dandelion, and rose, and their many uses for the skin. Jan shows us how to customize a recipe to make it truly our own. She even talks about how to harvest and process the plants for the best result and potency. This is a must-have gift for the body care loving plant lover.
I am about to share one of the beautifully amazing recipes in the book, but I wanted to also share with you my personal favorite recipe, which Jan has on her blog: Dandelion Magnesium Lotion. If you have chronic aches and pains, you have to try this delightful concoction.
Here is a glimpse at one of the recipes from her new book, 101 Easy Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health &Home.
This is an excerpt used with permission:
Lavender, Coconut & Honey Balm Recipe
The raw honey in this balm is a wonderful skin-regenerating agent, making it perfect for rubbing over rough, dry areas such as elbows, knees and feet. Coconut oil helps moisturize and protect skin while lavender adds a sweet scent and calming element. This balm might be slightly sticky when you first apply it and takes a bit of time to fully absorb, so apply a thin layer before bedtime and enjoy waking up to noticeably smoother, silkier skin!
YIELD: 1⁄2 CUP (120 ML)
- 1⁄4 cup (9 g) dried lavender flowers
- 1⁄2 cup (100 g) coconut oil
- 2 tbsp (20 g) tightly packed beeswax, grated or pastilles
- 2 tsp (10 ml) raw honey
- Lavender essential oil (optional)
- Infuse the lavender in the coconut oil using the Quick Method on page 17. Once it has sufficiently infused, strain the oil. You can store this infused oil for around 9 to 12 months before making the balm, if you’d like.
- When you’re ready to make the balm, combine the lavender-infused oil and beeswax in a heatproof container such as a canning jar. For easy cleanup, you can repurpose an empty tin can for this project. Set the jar down into a small saucepan containing a few inches of water, then place the pan over a medium-low burner until the beeswax has melted.
- Remove from heat and stir in the honey for 3 to 4 minutes. Allow the balm to thicken, undisturbed, for around 5 to 10 minutes, then stir thoroughly for several more minutes. This extra amount of stirring will help prevent the honey from separating out of the balm.
- If desired, add a few drops of lavender essential oil for scent, then spoon the finished balm into a glass jar. Massage into dry areas before bedtime and wake up to softer smoother skin.
Shelf life of the salve is 6 to 9 months, if stored in a cool location, out of direct sunlight.
Variation: Not a fan of lavender? Try using chamomile or calendula for their skin- soothing properties. If you’re allergic to coconut, try using another oil such as sunflower, avocado or sweet almond instead.