Monthly Archives:

July 2017

Goat Milk and Honey Soap Recipe

Did you know making your own soap is easy, affordable, and really fun? It’s also a great way to ensure you and your family are putting wholesome, natural ingredients on your skin. That sounds so much better than unrecognizable, synthetic chemicals found in store bought soaps.

Besides that, making soap is a creative process with countless possibilities. Once you learn the basics of soap making you can begin to create your own recipes and try new ways of combining natural, skin-soothing ingredients. The basics is exactly where I am, right now.

But where should you start? How do you learn the basics?

Luckily, I can answer that!

The Natural Soap Making Book for Beginners by Kelly Cable has all you need to know about getting started making your own soap with natural ingredients. Kelly is the blogger behind Simple Life Mom, and has put together this beautiful, informative resource that I cannot say enough good things about. The recipe I’m sharing today comes straight out of her new book. In it you will get detailed information about ingredients, tools and equipment, and various techniques needed to craft gorgeous, body-nourishing soaps.

Better yet, if you pre-order her book you will receive access to the Soap Making Bonus Collection!

This includes:

  • 4 How-to Videos on soap making, how to create swirls in soap, ideas for labeling or packaging soaps, and Kelly’s favorite herbs to use in soap.
  • 4 Giveaways – Herbal courses, Natural Bath and Beauty products, Natural Soaps, and a surprise giveaway!
  • Soap Labels that can be downloaded and manipulated for your needs
  • An Essential Oil Blends for Soap – Reference sheet free download
  • 10 % Discount to use in the Simple Life Mom Shop where you’ll find 100% natural soaps, makeup, essential oil blends, and other natural beauty products.
  • A Bonus Soap Recipe!

You’ll need to hurry! The Natural Soap Making Book for Beginners will be coming out on August 8th. That means you only have two weeks to pre-order and receive those amazing extras in the bonus collection. Follow this link to head over to Kelly’s blog and find out how to access the bonus collection once you’ve pre-ordered the book.

My Soap Making Thoughts

In the past month, I’ve made soap twice! I followed Kelly’s recipe (below) for Goat Milk and Honey Soap. I was thrilled to be adding the goat milk and honey I purchased from local farmers into my soap.

But where do you go for other soap ingredients? 

Kelly covers this by suggesting various resources for your soap ingredients in her book. I shopped around a little bit and found that I could get everything I needed from Bulk Apothecary and Soaper’s Choice.

Market Leading Prices on Essential Oils and Natural Ingredients.

First, you will want to purchase the supplies and ingredients needed to create lavish soap bars for you, your friends and family. Investing in the health and wellness of those you love, including yourself, is always worth it, don’t you think?

A Note on Soap Molds…

I searched Etsy for a log soap mold, because they seemed to get the best reviews. However, I also didn’t want to purchase anything too expensive until I knew for sure soap making was going to become a regular hobby for me. I purchased a silicone soap mold, and it was nice to have the individual bars all made out all ready. The downside is that it can be difficult to get the soap out to cure without touching it and effecting it’s shape.

My mom fashioned this soap mold from some scrap wood and bag clips for our second round of soap making. It worked well, but we decided we needed some tried and true dimensions to get the shape we were looking to achieve. Many things can be used as a soap mold, which you can dig further into by searching for DIY soap mold instructions on the internet.

So today we are going to make soap and pour it in the log mold my dad built for us. (Crafting really becomes a family affair around here.) I was so impressed with it! I think it’ll work really well and we will get the desired shape and texture we are going for a lot easier than the silicone molds could offer. I’ll have to let yo know how that goes.

For now I will leave you with this recipe for Kelly’s Goat Milk and Honey Soap. Be sure to pay special attention to the ‘Prep Ahead,’ as there are a few things you can do an hour or more in advance to prepare for the actual mixing of ingredients. And don’t forget to have fun while enjoying the lovely feeling of doing something good for you and your family!

On to the Soap Recipe…

Goat Milk and Honey Soap by Kelly Cable

Yield: 3 pounds or twelve 4-ounce bars

Lye Discount: 15%

Label: Moisturizing,

Start to Finish Time: 2 hours, 24 hours in mold, 4 to 6 weeks to cure

Scent: Orange

Though a Castile bar was the first soap recipe I made, I dreamed of making a Goat Milk and Honey Soap bar. Well, here it is. Using milk and honey in a recipe means you need to be aware of a few more things, but it’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Enjoy the many nourishing benefits of this soap!

Equipment list:

Large stainless steel pot

large spoon

scale

bowls for measuring ingredients

thermometer

stick blender

small zip top bag

glass or plastic bowl for lye water

mold

parchment paper

rubber spatula

measuring spoons

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces olive oil
  • 8 ounces lard
  • 8 ounces coconut oil
  • 4 ounces sweet almond oil
  • 2 ounces beeswax
  • 4 ounces lye
  • 8 ounces filtered water
  • 4 ounces goat milk
  • 1 ounce orange essential oil
  • 1 Tablespoon raw honey

Safety First!
Remember to wear your safety equipment and mix the lye water outside.
Tell everyone you live with that where you’re working is off limits.
Give yourself enough time to complete the recipe.

Prep Ahead: Combine the water and milk in a large glass, plastic, or stainless steel container. Place milk-water into the freezer for 1 to 2 hours. It is okay if a slush forms, as long as it doesn’t freeze. The colder your milk-water, the lighter your soap will be after adding the lye.

Instructions:

  1. Heat the Fats/Oils: In a large pot over medium-low heat, combine olive oil, lard, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and beeswax. Heat until they are melted and incorporated. Remove from heat and allow to cool to 90-100°F.
  2. Mix the Lye-Water: Put on protective gear including a mask, gloves, and long sleeves. Outside, very slowly pour only ¼ of the lye into the milk-water and stir until dissolved. Let cool for 20 minutes. Repeat until all lye is dissolved into the milk-water. If milk still browns, don’t worry. Your soap will just be darker. Allow to cool to 90-100°F. If oil or lye water cool at different rates, you can use a cold or hot water bath in the sink.
  3. Prepare the Mold: While the oils and lye water cool, line the mold with parchment paper.
  4. Combine and Bring to Trace: When both oils and lye water are around 90-100°F, pour the lye water into the pot of oils. Use a stick blender or hand mixer to mix for 1 to 2 minutes and then let the mixture rest for 4 to 5 minutes. Repeat mixing and resting until light trace.
  5. Mix in Natural Additives: When soap reaches light trace, add essential oils and honey and blend for 30 seconds.
  6. Mold the Soap: Pour the soap mixture into the mold, cover with a lid or parchment paper for 24 hours. Do not insulate unless your house is below 75°F, then insulate by placing a towel around the outside edges to avoid a partial gel.
  7. Cut and Cure: Remove soap from the mold. If it seems too soft to remove, wait another 12 to 24 hours before removing. Cut the soap into twelve 4-ounce bars. Allow the bars to cure for 4 to 6 weeks.

Tips: Milk can scald when lye is added. Placing the milk-water in the freezer until it’s very cold helps prevent this. Be sure to add lye slowly. It is okay to really take your time, coming back every 20 minutes to add a little more. Adding milk can also make your batch get hotter than usual, so just insulate a milk recipe lightly with a towel if you’re concerned about getting a good gel for color. Honey can also make soap come to trace faster, so add it and blend really well right before pouring soap into the mold.

Be sure to head over to Kelly’s blog to find more soap making resources, and to get your Soap Making Bonus Collection! Please let me know how it goes if you try out this recipe. I’d love to hear how it turned out, and if soap making is a new hobby for you, too!

**This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small compensation when you click on the links and make purchases. This is at no extra cost to you. It simply allows me to collect a little change to put toward projects I share on the blog. Thank you for your support!

Liebster Award

Earlier this week I received a message from Jennifer over at the blog Oscoey. She had been nominated for the Liebster Award! (If you aren’t sure what that is, just keep reading.) In order to accept this award, she needed to nominate at least 5 other blogs to receive the award, too.

And guess what?! Jennifer picked WholeHearted Homestead as one of her nominations! I was extremely excited and eager to accept my nomination by writing this post (after I uncovered what the Liebster Award was, as I was not familiar with it.)

Thank you so much, Jennifer from Oscoey! I’ve been touched by your nomination, and I really enjoyed getting to check out your blog. Head over to Oscoey and find out more about Jennifer and her family’s adventures in strawberry picking, jam making, gardening, and much more. The pictures she posts are just gorgeous!

What is the Liebster Award?

So if you are like me, you don’t know anything about the Liebster Award. So, here is a little background…

The Liebster Award started out as a way to recognize other bloggers in 2011. Liebster means beloved, dearest or sweetheart in German and the term is used in the award to show which blogs people are fond of. It is a great way for bloggers to connect, get to know one another and to highlight new or smaller blogs.

My Favorite Blog

To accept the Liebster Award nomination, I needed to write about my favorite blog. So here it is…

My favorite blog has to be Piwakawaka Valley! And I have several superb reasons for that. I love Dana’s enthusiasm and creativity. And the best part is that she shares about many topics that are near and dear to my heart.

For example, she recently shared this great post on creating a first aid kit for rabbits. Now, I don’t envision raising rabbits for meat (although, if you are interested in that, Dana has many great resources for you.) I do want Angora rabbits for fiber some day. I am tucking that post away for when I do get some cuddly, furry rabbits around here.

Another aspect of Piwakawaka Valley that I love is that Dana encourages plastic-free living. I am pretty far from being completely plastic free, but I love Dana’s post about plastic-free gifts, and finding creative ways to gift-give without being wasteful. Even just a little here and there can make all the difference when it comes to eliminating plastics.

I am excited to use the tips outlined in this post at Piwakawaka Valley on woodstove cooking. I’m thankful for the details and considerations Dana outlines in this post. I made eggs on top of the wood stove last year, but maybe with these hints I can venture out a little further. I’ll also be venturing out to try a ‘no-poo’ method that works better for Dana than baking soda. I’ve tried the baking soda method and my hair tends to get too greasy. I’m eager to try this new method with a little more uumph, but that is still non-toxic. You’ll have to check out her post to find out what it is that works better than baking soda.

Lastly, I was happy to read some encouraging ideas for how to make money homesteading from the Piwakawaka Valley blog. I am always looking for new ideas and ways to make a little extra to help out around our home. These ideas are very helpful and remind me that if there is a will, there is a way. I admire Dana’s work ethic. Just looking at Piwakawaka Valley makes me want to keep on trying at this homesteading thing. I do hope you will take a minute to check out this blog that is a main source of motivation for me lately. Let me know what you think!

Now This is Where it Gets Personal…

The Liebster Award encourages bloggers to engage with their readers by sharing some random things about ourselves and answering questions posed by those that nominated us. I read this part and thought it was a really fun way to do something a little different. So here’s me!

10 Random Facts About Me
  1. I have an associate’s degree in early childhood education. I was going to be a preschool teacher before switching to social work and working in a crisis nursery.
  2. Blood and guts make me nauseas and dizzy. Shots and needles cause me great anxiety.
  3. My favorite tree is the willow tree, and my favorite flower is the peony.
  4. I once struggled with an eating disorder. You can read more about that here.
  5. I’ve never been on a plane that could carry more than 4 people.
  6. I am very sensitive and consider myself to an empath. I am learning to view this as a gift instead of a curse.
  7. I prefer to delicately place spiders I find in the house outside rather than smashing them.
  8. I have a dream to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain someday.
  9. I am a vegetarian. I don’t have the heart to kill animals. And I believe that if I’m not able to kill an animal myself, then I have no business putting meat in my body.
  10. My favorite TV show is Rick Steve’s Europe.

My Answered Questions

1. If you drink coffee, how do you like it?

I love coffee! I drink it black-no sugar or creamer. When I go to a favorite coffee shop, I order a cashew milk latte-no flavors or syrups.

2. Would you rather be able to fly or breathe underwater?

I would rather be able to breathe underwater and see all of the colorful, unique creatures that live there. All while not worrying about running out of air.

3. What is your favorite fruit?

Watermelon! From the farmer;s market that weigh more than a small car (just kidding about the weight part–but I do prefer the heaviest they have!)

4. What is your ideal, cheap vacation?

Visiting herb farms! I’d love to travel up the east coast camping or staying in small towns to visit the herb farms all along the way.

5. What is your favorite grocery store?

The local Farm-to-You Store. They sell everything from produce, meat, and eggs to wine, ice cream, and coffee all made in Missouri-where I live.

6. Would you rather have a flower garden or a vegetable garden?

A vegetable garden. I love growing what I eat.

7. What do you do first when you wake up?

I immediately start the coffee. Then my dog, Daisy and I go for a short walk while the coffee brews.

8. How many pairs of shoes do you own?

6…(flip flops, tennis shoes, dress flats, toms (2), and winter boots)

9. What is your favorite way to cool off in the summer?

Taking a cool shower and then lying on the bed with the fan pointed on me.

10. Are you into camping or glamping?

Tent and campfire, please! I’m a camper.

11. What is a favorite childhood memory?

As a kid, I lived near my grandparents. When cousins came over we’d always head to grandma’s and have the time of our lives playing. One time, during an intense game of cops and robbers, my brother, sister, twin cousins, and I locked ourselves in our grandpa’s workshop (the ultimate hiding spot) for upwards of three hours. The walls were made of concrete, so no one could hear our banging on the door to be released. There was nothing to eat and no bathroom.

Two hours in, one of my cousins tried to use a drywall saw to pry the door open while the other began to ration out our only sustenance…grandma’s birdseed. We didn’t know when we would be rescued. When grandma finely found us, she was less than happy. Needless to say, the lock on the door to grandpa’s workshop was switched around shortly after this escapade. When we are together, this story still makes us cry from laughter.

My Liebster Award Nominations and What to do If Nominated 

My Liebster Award Nominations…

  1. Piwakawaka Valley
  2. Unexpected Homesteader
  3. 7 Tree Farm
  4. Practical Self Reliance 
  5. Crunchy and Country 
  6. Muckboots and Munchkins 

WHAT TO DO IF NOMINATED FOR THE LIEBSTER AWARD

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award AND YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT, write a blog post about the Liebster award in which you should do the follow:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you. They will thank you for it and those who you nominate will also help you out as well.
  2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.) At the bottom of this post I’ve included a whole lot of images you can use for your 2017 Liebster Award.
  3. For the 2017 Liebster Award I will be shaking things up! Write a 150-300 word post about your favourite blog that is not your own. Explain why you like the blog, provide links.
  4. Provide 10 random facts about yourself. (This year I’m making this optional. If you wish to engage with your readers it’s a great idea to include random facts about you.)
  5. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 200 followers. (Note that you can always ask the blog owner this since not all blogs display a widget that lets the readers know this information!)
  6. Answer all 11 questions asked and ask 11 questions that you would like those bloggers to answer.
  7. List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste from here or simply link by to this post.) Once you have written and published it, you then have to:
  8. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post or mine if you don’t have all the information so that they can learn about it (they might not have ever heard of it! Post a comment in the comments below so I can view your post and check out your blog. I personally visit each and every one. I visited a few hundred last year!!

 My 11 Questions for Those I Nominated

  1. What is one of your favorite quotes?
  2. If you could pick any person to mentor you, who would it be and why?
  3. What did you want to be when you were a child?
  4. If you could live anywhere besides where you do right now, where would it be and why?
  5. Are you an introvert or extrovert?
  6. What is the one post made by you that you like the most, and why?
  7. What hobby are you most passionate about doing?
  8. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
  9. Can you share a tip for other bloggers or potential blog starters?
  10. What is one of your favorite books?
  11. What is a favorite family tradition?

Thanks again to Oscoey for nominating WholeHearted Homestead! This has been a really fun and different post to write, and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to do it.

Keep on Writing!

Samantha

 

Herbs for a Better Night’s Sleep

Today it is rather common to have difficulty falling or staying asleep. Our world focuses on perfectionism and obtaining quick results. We drive ourselves crazy trying to ‘be enough’ at work and for our families. We worry our minds and sacrifice taking proper care of ourselves in the process. This might work for a little while, but eventually we burn out.

One of the very best ways to show ourselves some love is to get adequate sleep. For many people that is more challenging than simply going to bed on time. Difficulty sleeping is most often due to fried nerves or an overactive mind. Our bodies and brains need time to wind down, relax, and be put in the right mood for sleep.

To prepare our bodies and minds for rest we can turn to sleep promoting herbs for help. Many of the herbs listed below have been used as sleep aids for centuries, if not for thousands of years. When taken consistently, these herbs will promote a calmer mind, relaxation in the body, and a good night’s sleep. (If you think an herb isn’t going to work for you, check out this post from Healing Harvest Homestead. It gives great insight into the way herbs work.)

Sleep Promoting Herbs

We are all familiar with the sleep promoting herb Lavender, yet, there are many others that can naturally encourage you to wind down at the end of the day, and promote a healthy nervous system. Are any of them familiar to you?

Skullcap

A member of the mint family, Skullcap is found in wooded areas throughout North America. It is rather particular about soil conditions, requiring moist, rich, and acidic earth. Skullcap contains compounds that soothe the parts of the brain responsible for regulating anxiety. It is thought that the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of skullcap calm the nervous system. Skullcap can be made into capsules, tincture, or tea.

Chamomile 

A sweet apple aroma is produced when the daisy-like flowers of chamomile are gently brushed. Chamomile is a spreading perennial that can be found throughout Europe and North America. The two most popular species grown in gardens today are English (or Roman) and German chamomile.

Chamomile has a host of benefits that primarily revolve around calming and soothing irritated systems of the body. Specifically called upon for digestive upset and skin conditions, chamomile also makes a soothing sleepy-time tea to calm the mind and set the body up for relaxation.

Make chamomile into a tincture, tea, or capsules. Chamomile can also be infused in oil for topical use. Definitely one of my favorites to include in the garden.

Valerian

A beautiful flowering plant with clusters of white or pink blooms atop stems adorned with lanced leaves, Valerian may be the most popular plant for inducing sleep. Valerian is native to Europe, and is now found naturalized in North America. Valerian root is where the natural sedative compounds lie. Like Skullcap, these compounds take action on the part of the brain that regulates anxiety—which is likely the root of the problem for insomnia sufferers.

Make valerian into a tea, capsule, extract, or tincture. It will likely be more effective when combined with other calming herbs like lemon balm, hops, or passionflower.

Passionflower

A spectacle observed in person, Passionflower has flower heads reaching three inches across. Passionflower has a variety of different benefits, and has been used for centuries to encourage sleep. Passionflower contains enzymes that relax an overactive brain while soothing the nervous system.

Take Passionflower as a tea, tincture, or in capsule form. Combining it with lemon balm or hops will increase it’s sleep promoting effect.

Hops

The plant material used to give beer its flavor and aroma was also used by Native Americans to help with insomnia. Hops is the fruit of a vining plant native to Europe, Asia, and North America. Hops, with many benefits for discomfort, pain, and digestion is often combined with Valerian to aid in nervousness and insomnia. Whether taken as a tea, capsule, or tincture, hops is sure to add a bit of relaxation to your life.

 

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm is one of the cheeriest plants in my garden, and one of the oldest plants utilized for restlessness and anxiety. A member of the mint family, Lemon Balm has light, fuzzy leaves that give off an aroma of sunny lemons. It’s no wonder bees are so fond of this plant, too.

For thousands of years Lemon Balm has been used to gladden the heart and aid in achieving a good night’s sleep. Take it as a tea, tincture, or extract to calm the mind and promote relaxation. It goes well with other calming herbs.

Hawthorn

Hawthorn is a great herb to strengthen the heart and to regulate it’s rhythm. Because it affects the heart in this way, it may indirectly help with developing positive sleep habits. In addition, nervous energy often sits in the chest. Hawthorn can benefit those that struggle with nervous energy by lowering blood pressure levels that add to the tightness and tension in the chest, therefore making it easier to rest.

Hawthorn prescribed as a sleep aid came as a surprise to me. I’ve always known Hawthorn to be the ‘heart herb.’ Hawthorn is a tree or shrub with many different species. Birds love hawthorn’s red fruits.

Make hawthorn into a tasty tea, tincture, syrup or extract for optimal heart and well-being.

The power of getting adequate sleep can reshape how we look at our lives, our situations, and everyday challenges that pop up. A lack of concentration, mood swings, and illnesses will be the result of not getting enough sleep. If you struggle with sleepless nights, looking to these herbs for help can get you back on track. Find a way to incorporate them into your day to day life. Rely on sleep promoting herbs consistently, and they will tone and soothe the systems of the body that are overworked and frazzled in today’s world.

What is your go-to remedy for sleepless nights?

Super Simple All-Purpose Healing Salve

Have you ever been attacked by mosquitoes? I’m not talking about one or two or even ten of them. I mean a full-on, head-to-toe attack! Obviously, it’s not pleasant. This past February my fiance, Ryan, and I took a trip to the everglades where we experienced an army of mosquitoes that nearly wrecked our trip. Luckily, I was wearing jeans and I had a jacket to wrap around my upper body. But, poor Ryan! He walked away looking like he had chicken pox.

Looking back, I wish I had some cooling, healing salve with us to take the edge off all of those bites. The good news is it’s never too late to reap the benefits of a homemade plant remedy-especially since we are only a month into summer and there is still plenty of garden work to be done. Today, I’m sharing a recipe for a healing salve to take care of those annoying pains, burns, and itches. Make this cooling, all purpose salve for minor cuts, burns, bites, stings, and scrapes. You’ll have an effective, all-natural, home remedy ready to go. I know I’ll be packing an extra jar for our trip to Florida next month!

The Goodies in This Recipe

Before we get to the recipe, I wanted to share just a little about the beneficial ingredients that make this a wonderful first-aid salve.

Plantain

A plant with drawing properties, plantain takes away the dirt or venom of a scrape, bite, or sting to heal the wound from the inside out. Plantain is also an herb of choice for signs of heat (redness, swelling, etc.). The cooling properties of this plant will draw the heat out and soothe the irritated tissues. If you’d like to learn more about plantain check out this posts on it’s healing properties.

Self-Heal

A while back I was delighted to find self-heal growing in the yard. Much like plantain, self-heal is an astringent plant that draws out infections. It even has the ability to halt bleeding, much like yarrow, which makes it a great first aid herb to include in a salve. Read more about self-heal’s place among medicinal plants.

Peppermint Essential Oil

I included peppermint oil to add a deeper cooling touch. Much like plantain, peppermint used on the skin can soothe itchy, inflamed skin. Not to mention, it smells delightful!

Vitamin E Oil

Using vitamin E oil in a salve is useful in prolonging the shelf life of the product, as well as providing added skin benefits. Vitamin E oil is helpful in smoothing and repairing scar tissue.

Beeswax

A popular ingredient in many skin care products, beeswax provides moisture to the skin without clogging pores. It also softens, heals, and protects the skin making it a fine choice for dealing with wounds and other skin complaints.

Making Your All-Purpose Healing Salve

Materials Needed: 

Plantain Infused Oil (Learn how to make it here)

Self Heal Infused Oil (Learn how to make it here)

Peppermint Essential Oil (My pick place for buying oils)

Beeswax

Vitamin E Oil

Medium Pot, Strainer or Cheese clothe, Jars or Tins, Spoon, Measuring Cup or Scale

  1. Gather your materials. I made this in steps. First, I solar infused the oils for several weeks. You can speed up the process by infusing the oils over the stove or in a crockpot. Or you can try to find these oils already infused with the plant material. It might be a stretch for self-heal and plantain, but you may have some luck looking on Etsy or simply doing a google search.
  2. Strain the oils using a mesh strainer or cheese clothe into a medium sized pot. Be sure to squeeze as much of the oil out of the plant material as possible. This will ensure you get as much of the plant’s goodness as you can. (Self Heal on the left; Plantain on the right)
          
  3. Add a 1/4 cup or 2 oz. of beeswax for every cup of oil you have. I had two cups of oil, so I measured out 4 oz. of beeswax. I prefer to use the scale when measuring beeswax to get a more accurate measurement. 
  4. Next, heat the oil and beeswax until the beeswax has melted, mixing occasionally. Once the beeswax has liquified test the mixture by placing a spoonful in a small bowl and placing it in the freezer for a minute or two. If the mix is not hardening, add more beeswax. And if it is too hard, add some more oil.
  5. Once you have the consistency you are looking for when cool, put 10-20 drops of peppermint essential oil and a tablespoon of vitamin E oil in the beeswax/plant oil mix. Give it a good swirl with a spoon, and then pour the hot oil/beeswax mix into your tins or jars. Label your jars with the date and store in a cool, dark place. It’s best to replace salves every 6 months to a year. Any longer than that, and your salve is likely to be rancid. 

Being Prepared Feels Good

I love the feeling I get when I make something like a simple salve. I used the plants that I could find near me to aid in the unfortunate event that someone I love (or myself) gets stung by a bee, scrapes a knee, or develops a summer heat rash. Better than having anything store bought, I can feel confident in knowing what is going on my skin. Now that you know all of the benefits to using these simple plants, and this easy but effective method of making a healing salve, I hope you will try it out and let me know what you think. How does it make you feel to make a super simple, natural home remedy for you and your family?

Healing Home Remedies for Summer Skin Chafing

The excitement of summertime can quickly be squashed by annoying (and often embarrassing) chafed skin. Those of us that deal with sensitive skin year round know that soaring temperatures and sticky humidity often leads to itchy, irritated skin (more than likely due to excess sweatiness).

The good news is that there are some inexpensive, easy, and effective ways to deal with this problem naturally. Depending on the severity of your skin concerns, you may need to call upon more than one method mentioned below. Doing a combination of these things will likely soothe and heal the skin more quickly.

Natural Remedies for Chaffing Skin

  • Aloe Vera and Other Plant Oils

Aloe is very cooling and drying. Applied to irritated skin, it will reduce inflammation and allow patches of chafed skin to heal rather than continuing to spread. That should be your first goal.

For me, the problem begins because of fungal infections. Some skin types are more likely to develop fungal infections than others. Irritated skin is often broken open allowing bacteria to freely enter the body. To prevent this from getting out of control, I turn to plants with antibacterial and antifungal properties. Calendula, lavender, and tea tree oil all fit that bill.

Add lavender or tea tree oil to some fresh Aloe pulp and apply topically. Or make a healing calendula oil infusion to have on hand. A cotton ball makes for easy application.

  • Turmeric Powder Reliever

Famously anti-inflammatory, turmeric (3 tsps.) mixed with water (1 tsp.) will form a paste that can be smoothed over the infected area. You will need to cover the area with a cloth in order to keep the paste from getting everywhere. After 30 minutes, wash the paste away with warm water.

(**Turmeric will stain. Be sure to use a cloth and to wear clothes that you don’t mind staining. It should rinse off your skin alright, but try it out before applying to your face or in a place that is regularly visible.)

  • Bath Soaks

Not my favorite thing to do in the summer, but soaking in a mix of healthy skin goodies is a great way to take care of larger areas of chafing. Use lukewarm water to prevent further inflaming the skin. Place 2 cups of baking soda, 10 drops of lavender essential oil, and 1 cup of rolled oats in the water. Soak for 20 minutes before stepping out and patting yourself dry.

  • Keep the Area Dry

This might be difficult to do in the summer. We all tend to sweat a little more. Without consistent air conditioning and outdoor chores that need attention, it may be challenging to keep an area of chafed skin from too much moisture. Do your best. Take breaks and allow a fan to dry the area. I like to wear dry-wic shirts when I have an area of chafed skin on my upper body. Try placing arrowroot powder over the area for a bit. The more you can keep the area from being further irritated, the faster the skin can heal.

Don’t spend your summer months with the discomfort of itchy, painful, and irritated skin.

Whether skin chafing is a constant summer struggle or a come-and-go concern, you now have ideas for natural home remedies to turn to for help. A handful of plants and a little conscious effort will take care of the problem. In addition you can feel the pride of being self-sufficient in making your own healing home remedy plan!

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