Hello Everyone! It's the 4th of July and summer is finally in full swing here in Maine. My red Russian and Toscano (blue dinosaur) kale plants are ready for harvest (yummy in raw smoothies!); "flashy troutback" lettuce is coming along nicely; and the rest of my veggies (excepting the winter squash and pumpkins), will be ready in about a month. My red and yellow raspberries, as well as the wild blackberries, will produce a bountiful harvest in late August, if all goes well. If only the weeds weren't so prolific! With organic gardening, you have to take the good with the bad . . . weeding keeps me sane, though . . . it's a good way to de-stress and get my mind off my heavy writing and book touring schedule.
Today, I'll conclude the "Natural Herbal Remedies For Scars" series by sharing with you a recipe that - if you love the aroma of lavender and cocoa butter - will have you reaching for this creamy product over and over again - it has myriad uses other than to help prevent and /or soften existing scar tissue, which are mentioned in the BONUS section below. This recipe and many other topically-applied healing remedies can be found in my best-selling book, "Hands-On Healing Remedies". Enjoy!
Skin-Be-Smooth: Lavender & Cocoa Butter Balm
Lavender essential oil and cocoa butter have long been used to help prevent scarring after an injury in which the skin is abraded, cut, or scraped. This formula combines these traditional herbal ingredients into one potent blend with antiseptic, vulnerary (tissue healing), anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and skin-cell-regenerating properties that will aid in healing the injury and rejuvenating the skin so that scarring is minimized. It is gentle enough to be used on children over 6 years old. The blend has a lovely lavender-cocoa cream smell and is readily absorbed into the skin upon application. The final consistency will be that of a firm balm - if you want it softer, add another tablespoon of jojoba oil. Remember, though, that cocoa butter melts at skin temperature.
Note: This is an extremely mild, yet aromatherapeutically concentrated formula, so use as directed.
To Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy: This balm acts as an effective stretch-mark preventive, but for safety's sake, please omit the lavender essential oil or use at your own discretion. Many women use lavender essential oil during pregnancy, as it is one of the absolute safest essential oils to apply to your body during this sensitive time, but I will not recommend it. Typical use for essential oils is a 2% solution, or 12 drops per ounce of carrier oil. This is a 2-ounce recipe. Some pregnant women would only use 12 total drops of lavender in this recipe - but, once again, it's your call.
- 2 tablespoons cocoa butter
- 2 tablespoons jojoba base oil
- 50 drops lavender essential oil
Equipment:Very small saucepan or double boiler, stirring utensil, 2-ounce glass or plastic jar or tin
Prep Time: 20 minutes to make the balm, plus up to 36 hours to synergize and thicken
Yield: Approximately 1/4 cup
Storage: Store at room temperature, away from heat and light; use within 1 year
Application: 2 times per day
Directions: Combine the cocoa butter and jojoba oil in a very small saucepan (a 3/4-quart, or smaller, works great) or small double boiler, and warm over low heat until the cocoa butter is just melted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes, stirring a few times. Add the lavender essential oil and stir again to thoroughly blend. Slowly pour the liquid balm into the storage container. Cap tightly and label.
This particular blend of ingredients can take up to 36 hours to synergize and properly thicken, depending on the temperature of your kitchen. If after 36 hours, it has not thickened to at least a soft salve consistency, then give it a good, gentle stir and place the container in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Remove the container after that time, and allow the product to return to room temperature before use.
Application Instructions: If possible, immediately after incurring an injury, clean the area and then massage a small dab (or more depending on the size of the injury) of this formula into the surrounding skin. Massage a small dab into the entire wound 2x per day as it begins to heal to prevent or at least minimize the potential for scarring.
BONUS USES: This gentle yet highly effective balm is wonderfully healing for minor to moderate cuts and scrapes, blisters, and poison plant rashes. I also like to apply a dab to each fingernail at night to gently condition my nails, soften cuticles, and encourage growth. It also makes a fabulous, rejuvenating "neck cream" when lightly applied to neck and chest after your evening cleansing. The lavender aroma encourages a good night's sleep, too.
NOTE: This article is written by Stephanie Tourles and adapted from her best-selling book, "Hands-On Healing Remedies" (Storey Publishing c2012). The information is true and complete to the best of her knowledge. All recommendation are made without guarantee on the part of Ms. Tourles. She disclaims any liability in the connection with the use of this information. It is for educational purposes only.