By Nina, Contributing Writer
I’ve always been pretty accident-prone. As a child, I was constantly running into things, getting scrapes or getting hurt in ways that would make my mom just shake her head in disbelief. (I even managed to knock one of the brackets off of my teeth with the freezer door when I had braces. My orthodontist didn’t believe me.) It seems that I’ve passed this trait along to some of my kids and, unfortunately, it’s never gone away for me.
Needless to say, we go through a lot of first aid ointment in our house.
Creating your own first aid ointment is easy. The herbs and essential oils help fight inflammation, ward off infection and heal wounds. With the coconut oil base, the ointment becomes antibacterial and antifungal as well. Here’s a look at the key players:
- Arnica: This herb boasts analgesic (pain-relieving) properties that work very quickly. It also speeds the healing of bruises and sprains.
- Calendula: This beautiful flower is a great healer. Its soothing, anti-inflammatory properties make it a great addition to ointments.
- Comfrey: A phenomenal healing herb, comfrey is great in ointments, infusions (strong tea) and poultices. Do not take internally.
- Yarrow: Stops bleeding quickly and repels insects when steeped with lavender. Taken internally, it acts as an antibiotic, but should be avoided during pregnancy.
- Melaleuca (tea tree) essential oil: Tea tree essential oil is well-known as an anti-fungal oil. It is also antibacterial, anti-viral and an analgesic. We also use it to treat ear infections and as an additive to cleaners.
- Lavender essential oil: Pure lavender essential oil is analgesic and anti-inflammatory. We also use this antimicrobial essential oil by itself for headaches and to promote restful sleep.
- Coconut oil: This is my favorite carrier oil for its antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties. It also moisturizes well and, because it’s solid at room temperature, I like using it because it means I don’t need as much wax.
Homemade First Aid Ointment
This ointment can be made in a few hours (the herbs are steeping most of that time). You’ll need a sauce pan, a mesh strainer or cheesecloth, coconut oil and the listed herbs and essential oils.
- 1⁄4 c Comfrey
- 1⁄4 c Calendula petals
- 1⁄4 c Yarrow flowers
- 2 T Arnica
- 1 1⁄2 cups coconut oil (+ more coconut oil to add after straining)
- Lavender essential oil
- Melaleuca essential oil
- 2 Tbsp candelilla wax or beeswax
Turn your oven on to 200 degrees. Heat the oil saucepan on medium heat until melted, then add the herbs. Stir it up, then pour them in an oven safe dish (only if your pan can’t go in the oven). Turn off your oven and put in your herbs, clean up your mess and go have fun for a few hours.
After 3 hours (or more) take out the herbs and strain into a measuring cup (if it solidified, just warm it up again before you strain), Add enough coconut oil in so that’s back to 1 1/2 cups. Add the infused oil back into your saucepan, on medium heat. Add your wax and let it melt. After I add my initial wax, I like to dip a spoon in and let it cool to see if I like the consistency. I don’t like my balms very firm so I go with a little less wax. Add more if you don’t like how it feels.
Pour the oil into your jar(s) and let it cool. If you check it then and don’t like the consistency, warm the jar in a pan of warm water so that it’s liquid again and add either a little more oil or wax. Label your jar(s) and store in a cool place.