So, I have some good news and I have some bad news. Which news do you want first?
The good news? Yes. That is what you want.
Crunchy Betty is getting a makeover! I’ve been diligently working with a lovely site designer over the past few weeks, and we should (hopefully) be ready to roll it out on August 1st. Better news? With the new design will come a new format, a new way of thinking, a new way of looking at our lives RIGHT NOW AS THEY ARE through what we do.
(I’ll fill you in more about the superb details later, but for now, let’s just say the new concept for Crunchy Betty is “Go Deeper.” Yeah, baby. Go deeper.)
Now for the bad news …
The bad news is, I can’t think of any bad news to tell you. Sorry I got your hopes up.
Until August 1st, I’m going to try to share a few little things I’ve learned over the last few years, to kind of tidy up the “old” Crunchy Betty and make sure you have all the information you need to solve a few little problems you may be having.
Today, I want to talk about a problem that’s pervasive – one I hear about occasionally, one I’ve solved one-on-one with several people, but I think it may help you with your baking-soda-based homemade deodorant – now or in the future.
(And here I was hoping I could never talk about deodorant ever again.)
Fixing Your Skin When Your Homemade Deodorant Leaves You Itchy
Without a doubt, one of the only complaints I ever hear about homemade deodorant goes like this:
“I’ve been using homemade deodorant with baking soda for about six months. The first week was awful. Like a million red ants were setting up a tent and picnicking on my skin. After a three days of preparing to gnaw my arms off at the shoulder, things got better. Much better. PERFECT, really. I wasn’t stinky, my skin was soft and smooth, and little birdies would alight on my head, thinking I was the origin of nature herself.
And then, last week, itching started. It’s not horrible, but it’s not comfortable. I don’t want to feel like this forever, so I might just give up. Help!”
And to these lengthy queries (which are always worded the exact same way, complete with the shoulder gnawing – I’m convinced there must be a copy/paste script out there), I give this possibility.
And all the feedback has been wonderful.
So, if you’ve ever experienced the itching, giving up, gnawing, and otherwise slightly irritating feeling that comes with homemade deodorant, I want you to try this remedy first, before you throw in the towel.
Balance Your pH with Apple Cider Vinegar, and Make Your Homemade Deodorant Work Again
The main problem with baking-soda-based homemade deodorant is that it throws your pH balance out of whack after some amount of time. You’re constantly applying an incredibly alkaline substance to your skin, and as a result you end up with raw, itchy irritated skin. Although some people can go a lifetime and never have the pH imbalance. I call these people SupHer Heroes, and there are a LOT more of you out there than you would think – in fact, I’d say 75% of the people I’ve talked to have never had an adverse reaction pH-wise to baking soda.
To bring some relief to the pH imbalanced skin, all you need are two things:
- Distilled or well-filtered water
- Apple cider vinegar
This is, perhaps, one of the easiest things in the world you can do.
Mix together water and apple cider vinegar.
No pHd required. (Get it? pH? D? Hilarity).
Anyway, here’s a great proportion:
One tablespoon ACV to 1 cup distilled (or well filtered) water.
Mix that together in a small container (if you have a spray bottle, this would be absolutely awesome as a little spray).
How to Apply Your pH Rebalancer
Before you apply your homemade deodorant, dab on a small amount of your sweet, simple rebalancer, and rub it all over your armpit area. Hold those arms up there and let it dry completely. Then, once it’s dry, apply your deodorant.
Protip: Don’t forget to wait 30 minutes to an hour to apply baking-soda-based deodorant (or apple cider vinegar) for that matter, if you’ve shaved in the shower. Nothing says ouch like applying either of these things to nicked, irritated-with-a-blade skin.
Now, if you’ve let things build up until you have rawness, you might want to take a total break from your baking-soda-based deodorant for about a week, and apply this pH rebalancer two times a day. In fact, you may even find that THIS (the apple cider vinegar and water mixture) is the only deodorant you need at this point.
But, either way, spend some time allowing your pH to come back to a good baseline (you’ll know you’re there when the itching and redness is completely gone).
From then on, you can just use the rebalancer before you apply your deodorant, as outlined above.
And that’s it! Simple enough, ain’t it?
But … But … Baking-Soda-Based Homemade Deodorant Made My Skin Dark
Okay, so this is a MUCH more infrequent complaint. When I first started hearing tell of this problem, I was pretty stumped.
And I won’t lie, I still am. I honestly have no idea why the deodorant gives some people an “armpit shadow.” But, everyone who’s had this problem seems to (and I may be 110% wrong about this) have one thing in common: They have darker skin to begin with.
It may have something to do with melanin and how it reacts with one of the main ingredients (coconut oil, arrowroot/cornstarch, or baking soda), but the “fix” I’ve found that works for most people who have this little issue is two-fold: Apply the pH rebalancer as described, but also make sure to exfoliate your underarms when you bathe (using a washcloth or a soft loofah).
And with this issue – or ANY ISSUE WITH HOMEMADE PRODUCTS – if you have a reaction that makes you uncomfortable, that you cannot solve easily, do more homework. Do more experimentation. And stop any time you experience prolonged irritation.
Don’t Fret – These Reactions Are Few and Far Between
I read a blog post recently that subjectively commented that almost everyone they’ve ever talked to has adverse reactions to baking-soda-based deodorant and that no one should ever use it (citing that it’s dangerous and encouraging the use of commercial deodorant in its place – heh). Subjectively, I’ve found most people have zero issues, ever. Once you get through the early phases of readjustment, for most people it’s smooth sailing.
But the possibility remains that you could, in fact, at some point experience some discomfort. So here is a quick and dirty list of tips for you to remember, to have and to hold, ’till stinkiness do you part.
- The first week or two may be rough. If it’s HORRIBLE, stop doing it. If it’s mildly irritating, remember that it will get better. If it does not get better, stop doing it.
- Never apply homemade deodorant (or any deodorant, for that matter) on open skin – this includes skin that has just been shaved. Let that skin repair itself first.
- Wait 30 minutes to an hour after showering/shaving before applying ANY deodorant. If you have open skin, you’re just inviting things to join your blood stream a little more easily (I’m looking at you, triclosan-containing commercial deodorant).
- Maintain your skin’s pH balance by using the distilled water/apple cider vinegar balancer before applying a baking-soda-based homemade deodorant.
- Make sure your diet is as free from foods with preservatives and other stink-causing foods as possible, and eat a fair amount of green veggies, and you may find you don’t need much deodorant at all.
- Don’t let anyone tell you that homemade deodorant is bad, dangerous, or otherwise stupid. Thousands upon thousands of people use homemade deodorant with absolutely magnificent effect. You may find it doesn’t work for you, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work for them.
And here are some homemade deodorant links you may find handy:
Now, my questions to you are this:
- Are you still using homemade deodorant? If so, tell me about your love for it.
- Have you had problems with homemade deodorant? ESPECIALLY, have you experienced the darkening of the skin? If so, tell us more about it, so we can find the common link and why it may be happening.
- HOW EXCITED ARE YOU FOR A NEW CRUNCHY BETTY?
I have to admit, I’m in a bit of a quandary.
Two days ago, I was all excited for the Three Days of Silence. I had lists and ideas, thoughts and plans.
And then the fires happened.
That is my Garden Tower with the fire in the background, taken about 5 hours after the fire started on Tuesday, June 11.
Our community, after going through this last year, is now faced with the challenge of dealing with Colorado’s most destructive fire ever. Last year’s Waldo Canyon fire was the last “most destructive fire,” which destroyed 346 homes.
This latest fire, the Black Forest Fire, has already taken 360 homes, is 0% contained, and is precariously close to neighborhoods with thousands more homes in jeopardy. Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated, many of which are camped in Walmart parking lots. The fire danger remains extremely high the next few days, with temperatures in the 90s and erratic wind gusts between 35-40 miles an hour.
In short, it’s an epic fire’s dream for spreading.
I, personally, am in no danger from this particular fire – with an entire city and 12 miles between my house and it.
What does this mean?
We’re Going to Postpone 3 Days of Silence While I Do My Part to Help Our Community
I’m not sure when we’ll reschedule (or, frankly, if we will). This fire has served to show me that, perhaps, a coordinated, dedicated “digital detox” may not be in our best interest. After all, there are definitely times that warrant an undetox – and this is one of them.
Going forward, we’ll talk sometimes about WHY a digital detox is wonderful, and things to do (so exactly the way we’d planned before), just without specific dates attached.
For those of you who are local to Colorado Springs:
One thing I’m assisting with is coordinating an “Operation: Neighbors Feeding Neighbors.”
A small group (so far) of us will be heading over to the Gathering Stones Community Church (near the Falcon Walmart, where many of the displaced are camping) and feeding them a home cooked dinner. IF YOU ARE LOCAL, YOU ARE INVITED TO JOIN. The more the merrier!
Just bring your yummiest potluck dish (first, visit this Facebook event page and join up to tell us what you’re bringing) and a hearty, warm smile for your neighbors. Set up begins from 4-5 p.m. this evening and dinner starts at 6:00 p.m., so be there or be square. You’re not square, I just know it. You’re round, but in a very aesthetically pleasing kind of way.
For those of you who are OUTSIDE of Colorado Springs:
If you want to help, the best way to do so is to donate a little coin to our local food bank – Care & Share. You can donate via the link I just mentioned (in the appropriate box, designate it as money to “fire relief”) or you can text DONATE to 41010 to donate $10 (which will be added to your phone bill) directly to fire relief via Care & Share.
I’ll Be Back Next Week – Until Then, Stay Crunchy
Between taking care of the Market and organizing/volunteering, I’ll probably be pretty tied up.
So, in the meantime, send your loving thoughts and prayers (AND YOUR RAIN) this way. I’ll keep you updated.
For now, I will leave you with this photo of the amazing lettuce growing from my Garden Tower. Because it’s green and lush (not burny) and it makes me smile (hey – anything it takes, amirite?).
So, well, um … if you haven’t heard, there’s quite a bit of buzz going around about our privacy (and not just the privacy of American’s, but that of the world).
It’s a slight bit unsettling, y’know?
Not just a little off-handedly, I suggested on the Crunchy Betty Facebook page that we should all take three days AWAY from our phones, computers, televisions, gaming consoles, and anything that could collect data on us, perhaps a little out of protest, but a lot out of reconnecting with everything we could be enjoying and appreciating instead.
The response was fantastic, but more than that, a deep, burning, integral human need became apparent.
We don’t know how to live without our digital devices anymore.
Not just, like, for forever. But just for three solitary days.
When the comments of “I could never survive!” came rolling in, I couldn’t help but envision a gaggle of dark-suited, vulture-like X-Files-Smoking-Man-esque men hunched around a table, their long, crooked fingers in an upside-down V over their mouths, crooning, “Yes, yes. That’s it, little ones. We have you where we want you.”
And what began as a half-joking social statement became what we’re going to accomplish on the blog over the next two weeks.
If I cannot convince you to take three days away from your digital communications and televisions by the end of it (and the beginning of our social statement turned personal challenge), then … well, I don’t know. I’ll eat crow. (There’s one on my roof right now, in fact.)
(By the way, if you own a blog and want to grab that graphic to share the idea with your readers, you are more than welcome to it. Down the page you’ll find a blog button and a FB photo to share, as well.)
What Are The 3 Days of Silence and Why Would I Want to Do This?
Do you remember the time before this? The time before constant updates, email notifications, Facebook pokes, Instagram hearts, telling everyone exactly what you’re doing at all times? Do you remember waiting by the door for the postman to bring a letter? Or spending an entire evening with the family without someone’s nose glued to a screen? Do you remember opening a real, live book with crisp pages and a new book scent and immersing yourself, laughing and crying, in the written word for hours? Do you remember any of that, without bells and beeps interrupting you? Taking you out of your moment?
The 3 Days of Silence are a tool to reconnect you with this world. The world that is right around you right now no holds barred. They’re a way to remind yourself that your digital devices are your tools and you are not their slaves.
If you want to use the 3 Days of Silence as a social statement about the NSA spying racket, you are more than welcome to do so. That will not be our focus here on the blog, though.
You see, I am a “make lemonade out of lemons” kinda gal. And what, to me, first appeared to be an outrage and something to get burning angry over (and I’m not saying you can’t – your beliefs and feelings are justified) quickly turned into an opportunity to explore – internally – just why this is so bothersome in my personal life.
We – all of us – are easier to scare, quicker to fear, and more personally powerless when we’re completely disconnected from ourselves because we’re chained to the digital world.
The 3 Days of Silence are about not just “showing the man,” but showing the person inside of us that we’re capable of living life without digital distractions if and when we so choose.
So What Does This All Entail?
The 3 Days of Silence is totally up to you, what you do, how you choose to spend it. You don’t even have to complete 3 days, if you don’t want, although I would recommend it as much as possible. The first day, you’re probably going to be thinking about what you’re missing, more than just being in the place you’re at. You’ll want the last two to fully experience your digital detox without the distracting thoughts of “I should just check my email … just once” and then 3 hours later you’re looking at pictures of monster trucks painted like ducks and you don’t even remember how it happened.
Here are three sample options:
- 3 Days of Silence: This is the way it’s meant to be. In this option, you will disconnect everything. You’ll tell your friends and family you’re disconnecting for three days, and you’ll make all plans ahead of time. Calls permitted: Only in an emergency. Otherwise, your phone is off and the battery is out. No internet, no computer, no television, no video games.
- 3 Days of Silence Lite: This is for those of you who are certain there will be some sort of emergency that will necessitate the use of your phone. In this case, you’re allowed to check your phone three times a day (and ONLY check, no mucking around) and keep it near you (but not ON you) if you think there will be a problem.
- 3 Days of Silence Hardcore: In this option, your 3 Days of Silence are REALLY silence. You won’t speak for 3 days. Not a word. Nothing. There is GREAT insight to be gained from taking a 3-day vow of silence, but we don’t all have to go that far … yet.
I – and my family – will be participating in the original 3 Days of Silence.
*If you have prior plans during the 3 Days of Silence that will necessitate not participating (say, you’re going to a conference about the internet where you all play video games while talking on your phones), you can choose your OWN personal 3 Days of Silence when the time is right for you. Those of you who do not have prior plans similar to the one above … well … hmmm … sounds like you don’t have an excuse. :p
Talking About the 3 Days of Silence Over the Next Two Weeks
So, from today until June 22, the first day of the 3 Days of Silence, here on Crunchy Betty, we will explore ways to fill your 3 Days of Silence.
- How to spend quality time with yourself (including some spa recipes)
- Delicious, healthy dinners to make
- Activities with the family
- Just exactly HOW you can take the things you learn during your 3 Days of Silence and apply them to your life once you turn the devices back on
- Exploring ways to spend a night out (with yourself or your significant other)
- And … at the bottom of this post, there is a comment box. I want you to fill all those comments with ideas that YOU have or things you’ve been wanting to try, learn about, and do that you think 3 days without digital communication will help you accomplish.
Remember, if you have a blog and want to challenge your readers to do this, as well, the graphic at the top is all yours (but feel free to make your own, too!). Here, as well, is a 150×150 blog button if you want to add it to your blog. Just grab the code under the graphic below and paste it into your widgets area (if you’re on WordPress) or wherever you put your buttons otherwise.
And for everyone – if you would like to share on Facebook, here is a graphic that’s the perfect size to Facebook or pin on Pinterest (just right click, download, and upload if you’re Facebooking, and link this post, or your own post if you’re blogging it):
You can also just share and talk about the page using any of the handy “like on Facebook” graphics at the top and bottom of this post.
ALSO? HASHTAG #3DOS if you’re going to tweet about preparing for it. I will retweet several of your #3DOS tweets throughout the next 2 weeks and hopefully we can build some communal excitement. Scintillating.
What Do You Want to Do During Your Three Days of Silence?
PLEASE – Leave a comment if you are thinking about participating (so I know how many people I’m talking to), even in the slightest. Even if you think you might just want to do it on your own time in a few weeks.
- What is something you’d like to try your hand at, during your days of digital detox?
- Do you already have some ideas about foods you’d like to cook … or books you’ve been meaning to read? Share which ones!
- Are there any questions you’d like to see answered, before we dive into a world without digital access for 3 whole days (whew – sooo long, isn’t it? heh)
Lastly, if you’re planning on – or even thinking about – participating, I highly recommend you sign up for the Crunchy Betty email list. You’ll receive the posts as SOON as they’re published to Crunchy Betty, so you won’t forget to prepare, or you won’t be tempted to just … you know … forget about it.
Are you on board? Waffling? Completely against the idea?
It’s dark-thirty, midnight, the house is silent.
And I just had a conversation with a lump of sourdough.
It may not have been as much me conversing with the dough, but the dough working magic – some alchemy of yeast and flour – pulling thoughts from my brain, through my fingers, and soaking them up with each push and turn. Its pale beige innards becoming outards with a twist.
My innards becoming outards in synch.
“Why,” I asked the sourdough, or the sourdough made me think I asked, “do I do this? Why am I up at 11:30 at night, pushing you around, when I could be tucked in bed, asleep with an empty cup of tea and a half-read novel?”
The sourdough said fshhh, fshhh, fshhh, as I mushed it into the granite. Because, you see, sourdough, like a lumpy Zen master pulling the truth from within you in silence, doesn’t talk.
Why, I thought again, and not in a consternated, unhappy way. More like cracking a door into a room in your house that you’ve never been in.
Why do I do any of this?
Why do I bake my own bread? Why do I spend more money in a year on oils and herbs than I’ve spent in the last 5 years on clothing? Why do I while away hours a day, pouring through books for obscure facts on natural healing, most of which I’ll never need in my lifetime?
Why do I have more shirts covered in dough and oil and dirt than I have shoes in my closet? Why do I know my kitchen scale is one-tenth of an ounce off, but I don’t even know what size of bra to buy?
Why did I spend what’s likely the equivalent of our entire summer’s food budget on a rooftop garden that will probably only feed us, solely, for two weeks? And why are there more mason jars in my house than there are things to put in them?
Why, oh why, did I ever have that one fateful moment where I thought, “Hm. Look at all this food. I bet I could put it on my face.”
I asked the dough, whose name I’d never even caught, all of these things. The dough continued to smile its revolving smile, saying nothing, so I just kept talking.
Why, I said, when the truth of the matter is, I don’t have small children to feed, little ones whose health is in my hands.
I live with a man and a 16-year-old who, I sometimes think, would be just as happy living in a tent on the golf course, eating Del Taco nightly in front of their phones, popping over to the laundromat to do undies in Tide. I tell myself that I do this partly for them, but that’s not true. They never asked for it. And I can’t even remember if I asked for it.
I’m 38 years old; I grew up in the ’80s, the womb of synthetic living. I am hard-wired for consumption and excess and, well, everything that’s not real. Lycra and neon. Plastic surgery, perms, and shoulder pads. Margarine and food coloring. Heathers.
Why do I spend my time with any of it?
Why do any of us spend our time baking bread, or blending oils, or growing veggies, or steeping herbs, or fermenting foods, or building anything?
All of these things, we could buy, if we wanted.
Why do we do it? I asked the dough one last time.
And finally, the dough, in its infinite wisdom and glorious, glutenous windowpane beauty – it told me without words. It just looked at me and I knew.
We have every option in the world at our feet. Every easy way out. Every boxed and branded, bagged and finished product you could shake a stick at. It’s slick and sleek, and it beckons us to its shiny synthesized reality at every turn.
It has everything we need, except for one thing. There’s one thing it’s been lacking all along, all this synthetic buzzing of stuff all around us.
It doesn’t have heart.
We’re humans – we’re alive, and part of nature, and there’s this innate pull to create from our hearts – a pull that will not be silenced by television signals and supermarket displays much longer.
The synthetic world, the facade that covers absolutely nothing of substance at all, doesn’t have heart underneath.
But, you see, it’s not just any heart that we’re missing. It’s our heart. We do it to see our hearts made visible, in front of us, in everything we do and touch and create.
The dough, which will go from flour and yeast and water, to a loaf of golden, chewy, fragrant bread, had in it an ingredient that no mass-produced product could ever have.
It had a little bit of my heart.
That, the loaf of bread said without words, is why you do why you do. Because in me, in everything you create, you see a little bit of yourself.
And we are delicious.
My father. Bless his heart, but for as much as he tries, he’s so predictably underwhelmed when he receives gifts.
If you give him a tie, with a crooked smile, he’ll say, “Oh. Wow. Okay. This is great. Thanks.”
If you give him a spice rack, with a raised eyebrow, he’ll go, “Oh. Wow. Okay. This is great. Thanks.”
If you give him a new car, he’ll go … well, okay, I don’t know how he’ll go. I’ve never given him a new car. But I’m pretty sure he’d go, “Oh. Wow. This is great. Was the store out of ties?”
The only time I’ve ever seen him excited about a gift is when my sister or I would give him a handmade gift as a kid. It’s that innate father’s pride, y’know? And as you get older, it becomes more difficult to make your dad a gift. No longer will popsicle sticks held together by glue and gummy worm residue cut it.
Well, if your father (or your husband or your brother or your mailman) is anything like my dad, here’s the solution. MANhand salve (sure to bring back that daddy’s-little-girl-pride):
It’s that perfect combination of DIY personal touch meets masculine practicality.
It’s strong enough for a man, and it’s made for a man. It also smells quite manly, but nourishes his work-worn hands in a way that will melt his heart in a very tender, unmanly kind of way.
But just for a second. Ahem.
How to Make MANhand Salve – Get On It, Father’s Day’s Almost Here
This is a two-step project, which you can start up to 4 weeks before it’s time to give
the manly gift of love. The gift of manly love. The gift to your man. (There.)
We’ll go over how to do it the long way and the short way.
STEP ONE – CREATE AN HERBAL INFUSION
What you need: An oil or two (I used sweet almond oil and avocado oil, but you could also use olive oil, sunflower oil, apricot kernel oil, etc.) and healing herbs (this recipe includes calendula and comfrey, but instead you could use chamomile, peppermint, or any other healing herb).
Always add more oil to your infusion than what you’ll need for the final recipe. You’ll lose some of the oil as it adheres to the herbs in your infusion. In addition, you want to add enough oil to your infusion to completely cover the herbs.
Here I added 2-1/2 c. sweet almond oil and 1/2 c. avocado oil to about 1 c. dried calendula and 1/2 c. dried comfrey:
It’s okay if you have more infused oil than you need. You can always make extra salve for yourself, or just pour more oil over the tops of the herbs and infuse even more for the next few weeks.
Or, if you’d like, just strain it out and pour it into a jar. Then, over the course of the next few months, use it as your super amazing healing oil whenever you have dry skin.
That said, the amount I made to begin with made enough for 24 (yes, 24) 1-ounce jars of salve. So here’s a better recommended amount:
- 1/2 to 3/4 c. herbs
- 1 to 1-1/2 c. oil
That should still yield a good amount, with a little extra left over for mama. Mama likes that.
Tip: Make sure your oil covers your herbs completely. That’s the most important part. Second most important – choose a jar that leaves little room for air once you have it filled up, if you’re going to use the long, let-it-infuse-with-time method. This helps inhibit moisture accumulation, which is something you’re trying to avoid.
Infusing oils with the long method: All you have to do here is put your oils and herbs in a jar with an airtight lid and let it sit for 2-4 weeks. It’s better to do this somewhere the temperature is relatively constant, often warm, and perhaps sometimes in the sun (the sun will speed and strengthen the infusion process).
Or, as the case may be right now, with Father’s Day right around the corner, you may choose the short, water-bath method:
The quick water-bath method: There are several ways to do a water bath, but this is how I often do it:
- Seal your oils and herbs into the jar well, making sure there’s no way for water to enter.
- Place a shallow, heat-proof dish (the one in the photo is ceramic) at the bottom of a pot full of water, so the glass isn’t in direct contact with the metal, helping to sustain constant temperatures around the herbs.
- Turn your burner on low to simmer, and let your jar full of oils and herbs “take a bath” for 1-2 hours. Do not let the water boil. It should be very warm, but not so hot that you can’t touch it.
- Occasionally shake the jar and place it back in the water.
- When you remove it, wipe it down very, very well with a clean towel and then leave it alone to completely air dry for 10-15 minutes (remember, we need to avoid all contact of water to the oils).
And that’s it! You know your oils are well infused with the herbs contained within feel a little bit crunchy if you stick a spoon in and press down.
Step 2: CREATING THE SALVE
It’s time to strain the oil from the herbs!
For this, you’ll need a sanitized glass, a coffee filter (or cheesecloth), and a rubber band.
Again, there are many ways to do this – this is just my personal favorite:
Attach the coffee filter or cheesecloth around the rim of your glass with the rubber band, making sure it’s secure. (If it’s not secure, you’ll either end up with a counter covered in oil or an oil full o’ herbs – in other words, right back where you started.)
Slowly pour the oil into the filter, allowing it to filter through before pouring more in. You may need to change filters or move your cheesecloth around a bit if it becomes clogged with herbs.
And that’s it! Then you have clear, but mega-herby-infused oil:
That right there is some strained oil, mama. Mama likes it that way.
Next, measure out your ingredients in your melting apparatus: For this recipe, we used 7 ounces each of herb-infused oil, coconut oil, and beeswax. Let it be known, as long as you use equal parts of each ingredient, you’ll be just fine. Though the consistency might be just slightly different, don’t be afraid to measure things out using cup measures (for example, 1/2 c. of each ingredient). Measuring by weight just helps with absolute accuracy.
To melt oils/beeswax: It’s best to use a double boiler, or a makeshift double boiler. For this recipe, I used a thick glass bowl we have that fits perfectly on top of a pot. Fill the pot about a quarter of the way with water, place your melting container on top, and turn the heat on the burner to medium low. The steam from the water will gently and evenly heat the ingredients above it.
(REMEMBER, make sure you don’t get water in your oil/beeswax mixture).
Stir your mixture a few times while it’s melting.
And snack on some strawberries or something. Have a mimosa. Get down to some Captain and Tennille.
Love. Love will keep us together. Think of me, babe, whenever … some sweet talkin’ salve comes along … singin’ a …
Um. We’ll stop there.
Once your mixture is melted, let it cool momentarily (but not too long) and drop in your essential oils if you’re going to add them.
You don’t have to, by the way. This salve would be perfectly wonderful without them.
But this recipe calls for 11 drops bay essential oil, 7 drops cedarwood essential oil, and 4 drops lemon balm (melissa) essential oil.
Stir it all together and pour it in your jar.
Let that cool. It’s going to look really weird for a minute. Like this.
Once it’s completely cool and solidified, pop the lid on it.
Give that lid an awesome label.
And pass that baby off to the man. (When you hand them their gift, it’s imperative that you say, “Crunchy Betty says you the man.”)
Here’s the whole darned printable recipe, in easy-to-read form:
MANhand Salve Recipe
- 1/2 c. dried calendula
- 1/8 c. dried comfrey
- 1 c. sweet almond oil (or olive oil, apricot kernel oil, sunflower oil, etc.)
- 1/2 c. avocado oil (optional)
- 0.7 oz herbal infused oil
- 0.7 oz coconut oil
- 0.7 oz beeswax
- 11 drops bay essential oil (optional, or your choice of essential oils)
- 7 drops cedarwood essential oil (optional)
- 4 drops lemon balm essential oil (incredible healing properties in this, but it is optional)
To make the infusion: Combine oils and herbs in a small jar (adding more oil or more herbs if necessary to fill the jar completely). Either close the jar tightly and leave in a warm place for 2-4 weeks, or use a warm water bath for 1-2 hours to infuse the oils.
To make the salve: Strain the oil from the herbs using a coffee filter or cheesecloth. Combine infused oil with coconut oil and beeswax in a double boiler (or makeshift double boiler). Melt completely. Let the mixture cool for a few moments, but not until it begins to harden, and then drop in the essential oils. Stir well and transfer to your glass container. Should keep, lidded, for 6-12 months (or more).
Apply to work-worn, dried, or cracked hands. Feel like a man. A man’s man.
Where to Buy …
For this recipe, all of our ingredients came from Mountain Rose Herbs, with the exception of the beeswax.
The beeswax pictured in this recipe is Frontier’s white beeswax beads, which melts really quickly and does the job faster than most (that said, I do also enjoy Mountain Rose Herbs beeswax). I purchased the Frontier beeswax beads at iHerb (if you place an order via that link right there, you’ll receive an automatic coupon of $10 off your first order of $40 or more, or $5 off your first order of anything less than that), but you can also find beeswax or beeswax beads at your local natural foods store.
If you just want to order the MANhand salve and don’t have time to make it:
I have a few left at the Crunchy Betty’s Natural Market (yay!). There aren’t too many left, so if you see this and want to order it, do it quick like a hairy, burly, manly bunny. It should be to you (if you live in the U.S.) in time for Father’s Day.
Click Here to Order the MANhand Salve from Crunchy Betty’s Natural Market
Do You DIY For Father’s Day?
Is it just me, or are men more difficult to DIY for than women? (That’s one of the reasons I looooove this salve – it’s so simple and practical for him, and fun to make, for you).
Do you, will you, or have you DIY’ed for Father’s Day?
If so, what did you make? (And feel free to link to a blog post in the comments if you have one, so we can all get more ideas!)