Kids are born adventurers, and with adventures come occasional accidents. Bumps, cuts, scrapes, bruises, and other ouchies are likely to plague your little explorer on a near daily basis. Most such injuries only hurt for a minute or two and the pain can be remedied with a kiss from mom or dad, but it takes a little more to help sensitive skin heal.
To help your little one’s boo-boos fade into distant memory (and avoid scarring and infection), a gentle, homemade herbal healing balm is where to turn. This recipe is made from simple ingredients, and relies on oil infused with dried herbs—calendula, comfrey, and lavender—for its super healing powers. This balm treats garden variety bumps and bruises but can even be used to treat eczema and diaper rash, so it’ll become an essential part of your herbal medicine cabinet.
1. Infuse your herbal oil
For this recipe, I’ve infused about 3oz of grapeseed oil using 1 Tbsp each of dried calendula flowers, comfrey leaves, and lavender flowers. This allows for a little extra oil to be soaked up by the dried flowers, while providing enough infused oil to make my balm.
There are two possible methods for infusing oils with dried herbs: a steeping method using the power of the sun (which takes a few days) and a quick infusion method using a saucepan. To infuse gently, place your dried herbs in a glass jar, pack down slightly, and pour oil over the top. Screw on the top and place in a windowsill so that the sun can gently warm the oil and allow the plant matter to steep for a few days.
If you’re in a hurry, you can combine your oil and herbs in a small saucepan on the stove on medium heat. Heat just until oil is warmed through, and then cover and remove from heat. Allow to steep 30-40 minutes.
2. Strain your infused oil.
Press through a fine mesh strainer, discard the plant matter, and keep the infused oil.
3. Gather your ingredients and supplies.
- 2.5 oz grapeseed oil, infused with equal amounts of dried calendula flowers, comfrey leaves, and lavender flowers
- 1 oz coconut oil
- .75 oz vegan emulsifying wax or beeswax, grated (see note re: soy wax)
- 15 drops lavender essential oil
- glass bowl or measuring cup
- assorted tins/jars totaling 4 oz in volume
Note: If you’re using a soy-based wax, be aware that they are much softer than other types of wax, so less is required and a softer balm may result.
4. Melt the wax and coconut oil.
In order to get a smooth consistency in your final product, you’ll want to melt together your wax of choice with your pre-measured room temperature coconut oil.
You can do this in a microwave or in a double-boiler on the stovetop. For the microwave method, place your wax and coconut oil in a glass measuring cup in the microwave at 20 second intervals, swirling at the end of each heat zap. On the stovetop, place a glass bowl over a slightly smaller saucepan with a little water in the saucepan, and melt the wax and oil in the glass bowl until completely clear, stirring periodically.
Whichever method you choose, allow the mixture to cool slightly before proceeding with the other ingredients.
5. Add your infused oil and essential oil.
Carefully measure your reserved infused oil and add to the wax and coconut oil mixture. Lavender essential oil has fantastic healing properties for skin, especially on abrasions. Other essential oils, such as chamomile, can also be added if you like. Stir gently so that you don’t incorporate any air bubbles into the cooling wax and oil mixture.
6. Pour into containers.
Slowly pour your liquid balm mixture into clean containers. Metal tins, small glass jars, and lip balm style tubes all work well for this recipe. This recipe yields approximately 4oz of finished balm, and I like to use smaller containers so I can toss one in my purse, one in the diaper bag, give a few away as gifts, etc.
Leave the containers untouched while the balm solidifies. This will take as little as 6 hours or as much as overnight, depending on the temperature. I like to place an upside-down bowl or box over them as they set to prevent stray pet hairs from sticking to the balm. A loosely draped tea towel would work as well.
You may notice a slight oily spot on the top of the balm after it’s set, and that’s ok. There are some variations in texture among waxes and oils, but it won’t have an impact on the healing qualities.
7. Apply as needed.
This balm is truly all-purpose. It can be used to treat all manner of scrapes, scratches, cuts, bumps, insect bites, irritations, including diaper rash and eczema. For best results, use the balm within 2 months of preparing (or store it in the refrigerator to help it last a smidge longer).