your natural self

Moms Make Life Beautiful! Celebrate Mom this Mother’s Day with Natural, Homemade Balms, Salves & Unguents

Mother’s Day is a special day to honor the women in your life. Being a mom is one of the hardest and most rewarding jobs in the world, so show the special women in your life how much you appreciate their efforts. Gifts that are made by hand communicate a depth of love and caring that can be hard to find in store-bought goods. While your days of making paper flower crafts for Mother’s Day are probably long behind you, you can recapture the pleasure of making Mom something from the heart with this trio of herbal salve and balm recipes that share nature’s vitality and she will be sure to love.

Tips Before You Begin:

  • All of the ingredients in the recipes below should be easy to find in your local health food store or online. You may also want to check out the bulk section at your local co-op for the small quantities needed in these recipes.
  • Although we have listed both grams and the ounce weight equivalents, the recipes below use small amounts that may be easier to measure precisely with a kitchen scale.

BEE BEAUTIFUL BODY BALM

home made bee body balm

Mother’s Day is all about pampering Mom, and what better way to luxuriate than with a creamy-textured body balm that smells like honey. This body balm recipe uses only six natural ingredients, most of them courtesy of bees.

Ingredients:

  • 67 ml (4.5 tbsp) organic olive oil
  • 25 g (0.88 oz) cocoa butter
  • 5 g (0.18 oz) beeswax (grated)
  • 10 g (0.35 oz) raw local honey
  • 1 tsp bee pollen (ground)
  • 80 drops (about 2 droppers full) Gaia Herbs Propolis extract 

Directions:

  1. Reserve 2-4 teaspoons of olive oil in a small bowl.
  2. Pour the rest of the oil plus the cocoa butter and beeswax into a wide-mouthed mason jar.
  3. Place the mason jar in a small saucepan filled with 1-2 inches of water and heat on medium-low for about 20-30 minutes, watching to make sure the water doesn’t evaporate and adding more water as needed.
  4. Meanwhile, add the ground bee pollen (you can use a clean coffee grinder or a mortar and pestle to grind) the Propolis tincture and the honey to the reserved oil. Blend together using a spatula or spoon, then whisk. (It will not perfectly combine and that’s okay.)
  5. Once the cocoa butter and beeswax have melted into the oil, remove the mason jar from the saucepan and let cool for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Add the oil-honey mixture into the cooled olive oil-wax mixture a little bit at a time, whisking to fully incorporate.
  7. Spoon into tins.
  8. Let set in fridge for 20 minutes. (Once set, it can be stored at room temperature.)

USNEA UVA URSI UNGUENT

Perhaps the best use for an herbal salve is for the inevitable abrasions of everyday life: the little sores, wounds and cuts that are bothersome but no big deal. Just as covering a wound can help it heal faster, so can treating it with an herbal salve.* This Usnea Unguent is a snap to make and may become an essential element of Mom’s natural first aid kit. Both Usnea and Thyme have long been treasured for their protective qualities.*

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Pour the oil plus the beeswax into a wide-mouthed mason jar.
  2. Place the mason jar in a small saucepan filled with 1-2 inches of water and heat on medium-low until the beeswax is melted, watching to make sure the water doesn’t evaporate and adding more water as needed.
  3. Once melted, add the Usnea Uva Ursi tincture.
  4. Remove the mason jar from the saucepan and add a few drops of thyme essential oil.
  5. To test the consistency of your salve, dip a spoon into it and watch it set. This will give you a good indication of the consistency of your final product. If it’s too thin, melt in more beeswax. If it’s too thick, add some more oil.
  6. Once you get the consistency you want, pour into tins.

ST. JOHN'S WORT GARDNER'S SALVE

woman gardening and digging hole for plant

Gardening is notoriously hard on the hands. That’s because dirt readily absorbs moisture, stripping it from the skin. Hand washing post-gardening doesn’t help either. But your mom doesn’t have to be a gardener to reap the benefits of this healing salve. Anyone who suffers from dryness, callouses, rough skin, or cracked fingers will delight in its moisturizing properties. Both the main herb, St. John’s Wort, and the lavender essential oil will help hydrate the skin.*

Ingredients:

Directions Part 1: Infuse Your Oil

  1. The following dried herbs are wonderful additions to a gardener’s salve: plantain, comfrey, calendula, lavender, and rose petals. Choose two.
  2. Fill up a wide-mouthed mason jar halfway with your herbs of choice.
  3. Pour olive oil over the herbs, stopping about one inch from the top.
  4. Screw on the lid and shake.
  5. Place the mason jar in a small saucepan filled with water (the water should reach about halfway up the jar) and heat on low for a few hours, watching to make sure the water doesn’t evaporate and adding more water as needed.
  6. Strain out the herbs and return the oil to the mason jar.

Directions Part 2: Make Your Salve

  1. Pour the oil plus the beeswax into a wide-mouthed mason jar.
  2. Place the mason jar in a small saucepan filled with 1-2 inches of water and heat on medium-low until the beeswax is melted, watching to make sure the water doesn’t evaporate and adding more water as needed.
  3. Once melted, add the St. John’s wort tincture.
  4. Remove the mason jar from the saucepan and add a few drops of lavender essential oil.
  5. To test the consistency of your salve, dip a spoon into it and watch it set. This will give you a good indication of the consistency of your final product. If it’s too thin, melt in more beeswax. If it’s too thick, add some more oil.
  6. Once you get the consistency you want, pour into tins.

CELEBRATE THE WOMEN IN YOUR LIFE

At the end of the day, it’s important to remember what Mother’s Day is really all about — a day to simply show the important women in your life that you love and care about them.

What are your favorite ways to show your love and appreciation on Mother’s Day? Share your ideas with us on Instagram and Facebook.

Happy Mother’s Day from all of us at Gaia Herbs!