Caring for my Hands

Posted on November 18, 2014. Filed under: Health | Tags: , , , , , |

Unguento de la IaiaEpsom SaltsHand bath

Winter in Wisconsin can be brutal in many ways, but the hands take a big brunt of the abuse.  This is because the dry air and extreme cold dry out the skin of the hands and inflame the small joints of the wrist, hand and fingers (29 joints in all).  The body knows it’s not good/normal for fingers to go numb and ache with cold several times a day and it sets up a cascade of discomfort.

This winter I have a new plan:  come in from the cold and immediately treat my hands.  Here’s what I am doing:

1.  Pour about 2 Tablespoons Epsom salt mix into a pan of very warm water.  My current mix includes anti-inflammatory essential oils of turmeric, black pepper, and lavender.  I half-fill a coffee can with Epsom salts and drip in the oils (10-20 drops each) then fill with salts, close and shake it up.

2.  Soak both hands together for about a minute, then one at a time for about another minute each to extend all the digits in the warmth and get the joints loosened up.

3.  Slather with my homemade body butter or with the homemade, “Unguento de la Iaia” I picked up in Spain last month.  This balm is designed for sore joints and the name means, “Granny’s Salve.”  I love this stuff and a future post will definitely be about my adventure trying to reproduce it.  The young gal who made it told me it was, indeed, an old family recipe and that’s got to be good!

As an aside, I apologize to my readers for the lapse in my postings.  I know I owe you promised pictures of my venture into painting.  It will come…

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Homemade Body Butter

Posted on April 14, 2014. Filed under: Health, Just Fun | Tags: , , , , |

My homemade body butter turned out great.  Here is the recipe for a luscious treat for your winter-battered hide!

Base Ingredientsbody butter 3

3 oz. coconut oil
3 oz. cocoa butter
3 oz. shea butter
1 oz. emulsifying wax
1/2 Cup organic olive oil

 Procedure

Melt ingredients together on stovetop lowest setting just until melted.  Put in freezer until it starts to harden – about 10 minutes.  Whip in mixer with wire whip for 5 minutes.  Stir in 3 Tablespoons vegetable glycerine.  Put back in freezer for about 5 minutes, then whip again for 5 minutes.  Stir in essential oils, if using, put in jars.

 

body butter 1body butter 2

By the way, using a small kitchen scale to weigh out the ingredients is a great way to make it very easy to measure solid ingredients like this.  You don’t have to try packing them tightly into measuring cups.  Just put the empty bowl on the scale, zero it out, and start adding clumps of material until the desired amount is reached.

I added essential oils of blue tansy (20 drops), lemongrass (40 drops), and lavender (40 drops).  Blue tansy helps to reduce inflammation and I love the smell, lemongrass is an analgesic and anti-inflammatory and I love the smell, and lavender is a soothing anti-spasmotic and I love the smell!  This threesome will be very powerful to rub into my hardworking hands, aiding my muscles and joints as well as keeping my skin soft and unbroken.

Sourcing

Mountain Rose Herbs – My favorite place for all the base ingredients

Aromatics International – A great source for essential oils.  They test every batch so you are assured of no adulteration.  Test results, use, and safety information all available on their excellent website.

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