Saturday, September 3, 2011

Jewelweed Anti-Itch Cream

I made an insane amount of jewelweed cream this time. I will just list the steps here, with pictures, without measurments, because I really don't think you'll be making as much as I did! I scaled the recipe down and wrote a printable recipe with measurments.

So, I started by gathering lots of jewelweed and plantain. A good picture of jewelweed can be found here, while you can see plantain here. (If I ever read about a plant and want to know what it looks like so I can find it, I just google images.) You can easily find information on the benefits of both plants, so I'll just stick to how to make the cream here!

After I gathered my weeds, (this is sorta starting to sound illegal, isn't it? Yikes. I said "weeds" not "weed"...) I chopped them up pretty fine. The way I see it, you can get more out of the plants if you chop them well! I just used the leaves of the plantain, but I used the stems, leaves, and flowers of the jewelweed.


After I chopped all of that up, I spooned lard over it, and started it heating. Now, I realize a lot of people have a problem rubbing lard on their skin, so you can use whatever oil you want. But keep in mind, my beeswax amount was based on the consistency of lard. For instance, the melting point of lard is 97*, the melting point of coconut oil is 76*, and the melting point of olive oil 21*. So, if you use coconut oil as your base (which would be wonderful for your skin...just not the wallet!) you'd need to use more beeswax. If you base this cream in olive oil, you'll have to use that much more. See how that works? You have to compensate for the solidity of your oil with your beeswax.

Yes, I am seriously lacking in pictures of the following steps...sorry!

I steeped the oil for a few hours, even leaving the plants in the oil overnight. It's only getting stronger. Then I strained it out through a handkerchief and cut up garlic into the oil. I then let it sit for a few more hours. After that, I warmed it up again, strained it again, and poured it into a saucepan. You need to make sure it's strained well, and it's a million times easier if you strain it through something you can throw away when you get done. I, for one, did NOT want to try to wash all that grease out! I used old T-shirts and handkerchiefs. (BTW, the handkerchiefs are ones we only use in the kitchen!)

Now I measured out my beeswax and added it to the warm oil, which was sitting over low heat.



I then added my other ingredients...vitamin E oil, aloe vera concentrate, grapefruit seed extract, and tea tree oil.





After it was all combined well, I poured it into tins...


This stuff really does work. I don't know about y'all, but at our house, we get bit up pretty badly in the summers. You know, the itch where you wake up at 2am unconsciously scratching? Keep a tin of this by the bed, and itch-be-gone! It works on burns, scraped, bites, even diaper rash. Once Rylie had a diaper rash and cried whenever we used anything other than this jewelweed cream.

Printable recipe with normal-people-friendly amounts! 

3 comments:

  1. Lovely recipe! This would definitely be very useful. Incidentally, jewelweed is about the only herb that really works on poison ivy, which is why I love having the stuff around. I spend way too much time digging around in the woods to be without it!

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  2. Im allergic to beeswax. Is there a substitution?

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