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Making Your Own Balms
This is an instruction as to making your own balms as in Lip balm, Healing Balms, Callouse Balm.
You will need the following items for this spell:
Casting Instructions for 'Making Your Own Balms'
The basics of making a Balm are to extract the beneficial properties of herbs in oil, then add beeswax to harden the oil. You may also add other ingredients such as essential oils, or even flavorings in the case of making lip balms. In some recipes the process of infusing oils is skipped entirely and essential oils are used on their own with various carrier oils.
For each recipe below that does use herbs you will infuse your oil first. To learn more about infusing oils please see How to Infuse Oils. I like to leave my herbs to infuse on their own for at least one full moon cycle. Others may wish to use heat for a more rapid infusion.
Depending on the freshness and the type of herbs you are using you may wish to strain the oil and add more herbs once or twice. This is entirely up to you. I find that by using very fresh herbs in generous quantities that I do not need to do this. I also use essential oils in my balms very often, however, so you may wish to do the strain and add method if you choose to leave the essential oils out of the balm you are making.
Once your oil is ready you will melt your solid oils and any wax you are using in a pan over very low heat. Next add your infused oil and test for hardness as explained in the tips below. Cool slightly and add essential oils if you are using them. Pour into containers and label and you are all set.
Tips for Making Balms
If you intend to make your Balm using freshly collected plants, you will want to clean them first. Do this by shaking them to remove dirt then spread the herbs out to allow them to air dry for several hours (until wilted) to reduce the moisture content. Any herb that contains a lot of moisture could cause your Balm to spoil or even mold. For this reason I, myself, prefer to use dried herbs in my oil to avoid contamination and excessive moisture which may cause such spoilage.
Once you add your wax you will want to test to see if your Balm is the right consistancy. To do a simple test I dip a spoon into the mixture and set it in the freezer for a minute or two. You might also try is dipping the spoon into ice water for a few moments. If your Balm is too soft, add more beeswax and if it is too hard add a little more carrier oil.
You will want to pour your Balm into sterilized containers and label them accordingly. You may sterilize by simply washing in very hot water in the dishwasher with a detergent containing bleach or by using bleach in the rinse water if washing by hand. Air dry to avoid re-contaminating your containers and again causing premature spoilage.
Do not add any essential oils when your base oil is very very hot-it may very well destroy them in the process.
Be sure pans are non-metal such as glass or porcelin If you must use metal pans or utensils be sure they are not made of aluminum and they are not coated with a non-stick surface.
To add vitamin E, poke a hole in the capsule with a pin and squeeze out the contents. Discard the capsule.
Be careful when using some essential oils and even carrier oils. They can cause allergic reactions. For instance those who are allergic to nuts should be careful and avoid using almond oil or any other oil derived from nuts including peanut and walnut oils. Be sure when selling or giving gifts of balms to label them with all ingredients to avoid someone having a life threatening reaction.
You really should heat your oils and waxes over hot water in a double boiler.
Be very sure your containers are made for pouring hot liquids into. Many are not and there is nothing worse than spending a month making a lovely oil and getting your balm made and having your containers crack and spill it all over the counter top!
Proportions for beeswax are approximate. If you want a harder or softer balm add or subtract from your recipe accordingly.
You can also soften balm a bit by adding borax and water. The borax acts as an emulsifier and will allow the water and oil to mix rather than separate. I use 1 teaspoon of borax in 1 cup of water. Do not add the whole cup of water to your recipe! Add a few drops or a quarter teaspoon at a time at the most and then test your consistency. Keep doing this until it reaches the desired level. It will cause your balm to harden quickly so do this last.
The information below are provided for informational purposes alone and any use of these items is done solely at the discretion and risk of the individual using them. No claims or guarantees are made as to their effectiveness or safety. If you choose to use any oil here on the skin it would be wise to first apply a small amount to the inside of your elbow and wait 24 hours to check for reactions. If you are on any pharmaceutical medications or have a serious medical condition, are pregnant or nursing, consult your health care provider before using anything that you do not normally use, including herbs and over the counter medications.
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