Between the weather changes, and my body’s evidence of how slow I was to learn the laws of gravity and inertia. I am adding more jars of the pain relief cream to my medical pantry. After I shot the staple into my palm I found my middle finger was very sore and swollen. Using the pain cream helped relieve the pain but I was very surprised that is also reduced the swelling in the finger. This not the first time I have had a foreign object puncture my skin but it is the first time I used the pain relief cream and noticed how it reduced swelling and seem to reduce the ordinary heat and redness you get from any sort of deep wound. Plus it took less than two days for all of the swelling to go down and never had much redness or hot spot with this puncture wound once I used the pain relief salve on it. In less than a week the puncture wound from the staple is pain free and I have had no problems with any sort of infection.
The dry skin salve is similar to the pain salve but I use Rice bran oil (naturally high in vitamin E) rather than the Coconut oil. I avoid using most citrus essential oils as my Mom and sister have a sensitivity to vitamin C/ascorbic acid. I think that using the natural beeswax adds a protective layer to the skin which helps the oil penetrate as well as keep the skin from drying out due to wind. Most commercial products seem to use petroleum based wax (paraffin) since it is relatively cheap, but I prefer the feel of beeswax on my skin. Another advantage of beeswax is I can buy it locally, rather than depend on store bought paraffin wax.
To make the salve rather than use just a carrier oil adding the 1-1.5 oz. of beeswax for every 8 oz. of oil is a good ratio that has worked well with Coconut, Grape seed and Rice Bran oils. Beeswax can be flammable so it is best to melt it slowly. To melt/blend all the oils and beeswax I use a small 1.5 qt. crock pot on low, but to make my comfrey salve I use one of the “little dipper” crock pots to keep from any cross contamination of medical salves. Crock pots are cheap at thrift stores and yard sales so I buy different sizes/colored crock pots for my different salves.
A jar of salve last me a couple of months and I use it daily on my multiple pain areas. I like using 1/2 pint wide mouth jars to hold the salves. If you use a regular pint jar it can be difficult to get to the salve in the bottom of the jar. I don’t seal the jars but wait for the salve to cool and solidify before I add the lid. What is great is the jars are reusable and you can leave a little salve in the jar you can just refill it!
If you can find a bee keeper willing to sell beeswax and you are willing to clean it, you will save a lot of money on your salves and you might even bring in a few dollars selling “clean” beeswax at the local farmer’s market. Cleaning beeswax is easy and all you need to do is setup the double boiler, keep the heat just high enough to melt the wax and keep an eye on it so the double boiler does not run out of water and the heat stays low enough not to ignite the wax. Keeping an eye on the wax melting is sort of like keeping an eye on your pressure canner. You want to keep a close eye on it to start so the temp. is correct but after that you just need to check it every 3-5 minutes to make sure everything is staying in the safe zone for heat. I use a single burner hot plate I set on low with a double boiler but a crock/slow cooker on low would probably work just as well.
I don’t use any chemicals to “bleach” or clean the wax other than the strainers. I pour the wax into silicone pans for candy size molds but small metal bread loaf pans work well if you want larger chunks of wax. After the cleaning the beeswax will be a dull amber color and have very mild, sort of sweet floral aroma. I get my beeswax for about $6.00-$8.00 per pound if I buy 10-20 pounds. I often see natural beeswax go for $4.00-$8.00 per oz. so you can see how much money you can save if you are willing to clean the wax yourself.
Quite a few people want both a side project of making some medicines via essential oils or herbs. Some are getting into beekeeping or need a way to use all that natural beeswax. It is amazing how people used beeswax before petroleum products became cheaply available. Real beeswax candles last longer than most commercially produce candles and the are simple to make at home. Do a search on the internet on the uses of beeswax and I bet you will be stunned that natural beeswax is a great multi-tasker.