How to Make-Herbal Balms & Infused Oils
What is an Herbal Balm? How are Balms different from Ointments or Salves? Herbal Balms are healing, soothing skin conditioners made with herbs infused into oils, waxes and butters in various combinations. Balms, Salves and Ointments are made with similar ingredients and vary by ratio of fats/oils to hardeners/waxes, butters.
Ingredients used for Balms-
Oil (s) -Almond, Olive, Sunflower, Coconut, Jojoba, etc.
Waxes- Bees Wax, Carnuba, Emulsifying
Essential Oils- For Scent- Many to choose from
Butters- Shea, Mango, Coconut (hard)
Equipment: Double Boiler (or crockpot), Glass Measuring Cup, Metal Strainer, Cheese Cloth/Muslin/Coffee Filter
Herbal Infused Oils Are Made With Herbs &/Or Flowers Infused into a Carrier or Base Oil of your choice(next slides). 2 Ways
Infused Oils Make Your Balms & Other Products More Effective by Targeting Medicinal or other Healing Value. Add more delicate oils later in the process.
Use Fresh Herbs & Flowers when you can or dried ok too.
Leaves: Plantain, Comfrey, Chickweed, Strawberry, Mullein, Lemon Balm, Mints
Flowers: Calendula, Chamomile, Rose, Violets, Yarrow
Base Oils- For Balms, Cremes/Lotions, Cosmetics: Almond, Apricot Kernel, Camelina, Castor, Coconut Nut, Olive, Sunflower
Carrier Oils for Cosmetics to Add in Smaller Amounts or Those Sensitive to Heat: Argan, Borage Seed, Kukui Nut, Rosehip, Vitamin E
Oils Suitable For Cosmetics & Food (Edible): Borage Seed, Camelina, Coconut, Olive, Sunflower
Butters are botanical skin conditioning ingredients for making balms, soaps, creams and other DIY projects. They are usually incorporated into recipes by being melted or whipped adding a smooth, rich texture, rather than a stand alone ingredient.
If you have Tree Allergies- Kokum butter, should be avoided. Shea and Mango are from trees but there have been few if any reports of allergic reactions. Coco butter is from a palm- not really a tree- although the use may be limited.
Waxes are hardeners adding a solidifying texture for balms & salves; emulsifier for body care, household & many other products.
Beeswax is made from our friends the honeybees. I like to use bees wax as a binder and emulsifier for it’s fine quality, fragrance, natural moisturizer qualities. Use it along with other waxes, oils and butters. Pastilles possess the same properties as blocks, although local is best. Vegans use Carnuba wax instead.
Real “Essential Oils” Are Natural Plant Based Oils Extracted From A Variety Of Plant Sources Containing A Scent As Well As Therapeutic Actions. They Are A More Pure Additive Than “Fragrance Oils” Which Often Contain Harmful Chemical Solvents.
Essential Oils Are Concentrated, So You Don’t Need To Use A Lot. 10-20 Drops Per Ounce Of Heated Liquid Product.
Essential Oils Can Be Made Into Blends Prior To Adding Into Your Balm If You Desire. Wait A Day Or Two To Allow The Blend To Mix And Balance. The Scent Can Change Over Time, Smelling Different Then When You Originally Prepared The Blend.
Use Plastic Lip Balm Tubes & Deodorant Tubes – not just for lips- use for stronger balms like in my Spicy Ice Balm.
Glass containers are nice, but tend to be heavier. Metal are good for traveling or carrying in your purse or pocket. Tubes are useful.
Very Forgiving recipe. If it is too soft, add more waxes. Too Hard, Add more Oil. The Spoon Test will help- see below. Write down your recipe so you duplicate or avoid mistakes. Wash all containers and utensils prior to using.
Step 1. Heat Oil on low inside of your Double-Boiler. You can infuse the oil with herbs and add Essential Oils later. The amount of oil used depends upon how many jars you need to make, so start with ½ cup of Oil or 4oz. Add Coconut Oil with other oils if you are using it.
Step 2. Add Bees Wax and Cocoa or Shea Butter for firmness into the double-boiler. The amount you will use depends upon how hard you would like this which would be on the harder side for balms. After they melt inside the oil, use your stir utensil-Spoon to check the consistency by allowing the mixture to harden (set inside the freezer to speed up cooling). Add more wax if needed.
60% Oils : 40% Brittles 30% Liquid Oil (4oz) 30% Solid Oil (4oz) 20% Wax (2oz) 20% Brittle (2oz)
Ratio- 2 Parts Oil : 1 Part Butter : 1-2 Parts Wax
Step 3. Once you like your Consistency, pour your mix into a warmed measuring cup. Add your essential oils of choice and stir. Quickly pour into your containers or tubes. Once tacky dry, cover with paper towels to avoid contaminates. Allow to cool completely before adding lids- may take up to a couple of hours.
Herbal Balm (Blend of Herbs) Recipe
Infuse 1/2oz Mint, Calendula & Violet Leaves/Flowers into 6oz Carrier Oil-Sunflower
Strain flowers after a couple of hours. Should have about 4-5oz
Put oil back on heat, add 2 oz Coconut Butter & 1oz Shea Butter
Then add 2oz Bees Wax and 2oz Carnuba Wax (Vegans use 4oz Carnuba only)
When melted, do the spoon test to make sure it is hard enough. If not adjust. Then take off heat.
Pout into a measure cup, add 15-20 ea drops Mint, Rosemary, Tea Tree & Lemongrass Essential oil. Add into clean containers and label.