Monday, June 16, 2014

Granny Tackett's Healing Balm

Granny Tackett's Healing Balm
Several years ago, after spending months breaking up the ground for my first garden (we didn't have a tiller - ugh!), I desperately needed something to save my poor dry, chapped, and cracked hands. I love working in the soil, but I hate the "dirt" on my hands that dries up and sucks away all of the natural oils from the skin. (Yeah, I know "dirt" and "soil" are technically the same thing, but to me "soil" is something beautiful that nourishes and grows things, whereas "dirt" is dry and yucky and I can't stand it on my hands, in my fingernails, or between my toes. LOL

Anyway, after working in the soil breaking it up by hand, after turning first with a shovel, my hands were absolutely miserable looking and feeling. So I pulled out my "stuff" and went to work coming up with something to nourish and heal them quickly. This is what was the end result (after tweaking it several times over the next couple of years). ;)

I also use this balm for sore muscles. It has a warming & calming effect and reduces the pain.

Oh, and in case you're wondering who "Granny Tackett" is - that's me, my alternate ego. :)

Granny Tackett's Healing Balm

With plant materials pryor to letting "set" for several weeks before use.

Without plant materials, and after much use! ;)

Yes, the recipe calls for letting it "set" for a few weeks, but I used it plant materials and all for a while, at least until that planting season was over. Then I left it to "set" (for months actually), and then removed the plant materials.

Ingredients
3 Yarrow flowerheads (minimum)
1 Heal-All plant (including roots)
4 Plantain leaves**
1 tablespoon Rosemary Essential Oil
Emulsifier
1 cup Vegetable Shortening or Coconut Oil
1/8 cup Vegetable Oil (olive or sunflower being the best choices)
Mortar & Pestle
Small pot
Clean jar with well-sealing lid

Instructions
On a very low heat, melt the vegetable shortening (or coconut oil) & oil together.

Grind the yarrow & heal-all in the mortar & pestle. Most of it will powder, but some will not, don't worry about it.

Add the plant material and the rosemary essential oil to the melted oil in the pot, stirring to mix well.

Pour the mixture into the jar and let cool completely. The plant material will rise to the top.

Once totally cooled, stir thoroughly to completely mix the plant materials into the balm.

Store in a cool place for several weeks before use to "set".

After 3 - 4 weeks of "setting", place the jar in a double boiler and melt the oil down again.

Strain the plant materials out, squeezing out excess oil from the plants.

Pour back in the jar and it's ready for use!

Use for scratches, wounds, burns, as an ointment or on a warm, hot cloth as a poultice.

***
Notes:
**Another excellent plant that could be added (which I didn't think of at the time), is plantain.

The yarrow, heal-all & plantain plants can be wildcrafted from just about anywhere - which is free. Drying them is free. Most people have vegetable oil & shortening for cooking, in their kitchen. The rosemary oil is optional, so if you don't have it, don't worry about it. And a clean jar can be found by saving a jelly jar or baby food jar when it's empty.

So the cost for this excellent healing balm is basically free!

***
Yarrow:
Anesthetic, Anti-inflammatory, Antiseptic, Bleeding & clotting, Blood purifier, Colds & flu’s, Coughs, Fever, Headache, Pain killer

Heal-All:
Antibacterial action, inhibiting the growth of pseudomonas, Bacillus typhi, E. coli, Mycobacterium tuberculi, which supports its use as an alternative medicine internally and externally as an antibiotic and for hard to heal wounds and diseases; Antiseptic, Eye wash for sties and pinkeye, Styptic

Plantain:
Antimicrobial, Anti-inflammatory, Blisters, Coughs, Cuts,Fever, Headache, Hemorrhage, Hemorrhoids, Poison neutralizer, Scratches, Stings, Styptic, Wounds


*****
This post is participating in the Homestead Barn Hop (#163).

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