Multi-Purpose DIY Ointment - Everyday Essentials

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Everyday Essentials by Plant Therapy
Title image for Plant Therapy's Multi-Purpose DIY Ointment

Multi-Purpose DIY Ointment

Plant Therapy Multi-Purpose DIY Ointment

Recently, while we were playing with her favorite mouse toy, my frisky cat scratched my hand and drew blood. After I washed the wound with soap and water, I looked in vain through my medicine cabinet for some Neosporin®* ointment to help keep the area germ-free.  I thought how nice it would be have a healthier, non-petroleum based ointment that’s similar to Neosporin®, but had no idea how to go about making one.

Later that day, I saw that an aromatherapist friend had passed on a recipe she’d seen on the Internet– for exactly the kind of base product I was looking for! I was excited to see that the ointment had only three ingredients (and one was optional!), so I set out to replicate it.

The original ointment recipe made a whopping 17+ ounces  (500 grams) and I didn’t need nearly that much. So I reduced the amount by three-quarters, tweaking the recipe to end up with a bit over 4 ounces.  When changing the original recipe, my calculations called for about 0.3 ounces of beeswax (10 grams) but I found the consistency too “runny”.  I re-melted the ointment, adding 0.1 ounce more beeswax for a total of 0.4 oz (11.3 grams), and I got the desired jelly-like texture I was looking for.

Plant Therapy Multi-Purpose DIY Ointment with BeesWax
Too runny–I remelted and added more beeswax

 

Plant Therapy Multi-Purpose DIY Ointment with More BeesWax
After more beeswax added–just right! 🙂

 

For a fantastic alternative to petroleum-based Vaseline®* jelly, the plain base is made without essential oils. It’s perfect on chapped skin where a moisture barrier is required (like the diaper area or winter-ravaged skin).  This ointment is purposely very heavy; it’s not a lotion or cream which will absorb readily into the skin. It worked great on a raw, chapped spot I’ve had on my foot!

I made a second batch of ointment, this time using child safe essential oils (listed below in the recipe) that can help keep minor wounds “clean”.  You can also make an ointment using essential oils that are helpful in softening rough, red, chapped skin, like Plant Therapy’s KidSafe synergy Silky Soft. To avoid ruining good clothes or linens, I’d wear old clothes or cotton gloves after applying the ointment to hands or body.

I used a 1% dilution (36 drops total) of essential oils, which is safe for most children and adults. For very small children, halve the amount of essential oils to 18 drops total for a 0.5% dilution. For infants, I would leave out essential oils altogether.

The low percentage of lemon essential oil  will not cause a phototoxic reaction should you apply the ointment to skin and then get exposed to the sun’s rays.  Or, to be extra cautious, you can use Plant Therapy’s new Steam-Distilled Lemon Essential Oil, which carries no risk of phototoxicity.

Here is what you’ll need to make this recipe.  A weighing scale is necessary, as exact proportions are needed to achieve the right consistency.  You can find very reasonably priced scales online at Amazon.com (I found a company called MeasuRite that carries good quality, inexpensive scales.)

Natural Multi-purpose Ointment

  • Weighing scale
  • Small kitchen hand whisk
  • 4.1 ounces castor oil  (116.2 grams)
  • 0.4 ounces  (11.3 grams)  Beeswax Pearls
  • 2-3 drops of Vit. E liquid (1.25 grams)–*optional*
  • 36 drops (total) of child safe essential oils: Palmarosa, Lemon, Tea Tree, and Lavender.

For this recipe I used 12 drops Palmarosa, 10 drops Lavender, 8 drops Tea Tree, and 6 drops lemon. It smells amazing!) 

Plant Therapy Multi-Purpose DIY Ointment with Palmarosa, Lemon, Tea Tree, and Lavender
Melt the beeswax.

Heat the beeswax in a double boiler, microwave, or Wilton candy melter pot®* until melted.  Separately, heat the castor oil until slightly warmer than body temperature (about 100 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius).

Mixing with a small hand whisk, slowly drizzle the warmed castor oil into the melted beeswax.  The beeswax may start to immediately cool and harden.  If so, re-heat until completely melted; then remove from the heat.  As the mixture cools, continue to gently whisk until it reaches a jelly-like consistency (this can take 5-10 minutes).  After the first few minutes of whisking, you can set the container in the fridge to speed cooling; thoroughly whisk after removing from the fridge.

*Optional step:  Once a solid mixture starts to form, add the essential oils and Vit. E; continue to whisk until completely incorporated.  Spoon the cooling ointment into a small container (I used a 4 oz. “jelly” sized canning jar).  Let stand overnight.  The next day, if you find the consistency too “runny” after the addition of the essential oils, it’s easy to re-melt both the ointment and a bit more beeswax and whisk again to firm up the texture.  Since some of the essential oils may start to evaporate when re-heated, you might need to “top off” by adding a few more drops of essential oils.

It’s been 10 days since I made the ointment and the texture has held up beautifully without any separation.  Enjoy!

As always, we want to hear from you! Contact us by emailing [email protected] for any questions, concerns or comments that you have. Also, you can join our Facebook group Safe Essential Oil Recipes and participate in lively conversations with other essential oil users. We have your safety in mind – so come hang out with us to learn even more! We look forward to seeing you there!

*Neosporin® and Vaseline® have registered trademarks of Johnson and Johnson and Unilever, respectively, and have no affiliation with Plant Therapy. The Wilton Candy Melter® pot is a product of Wilton Industries and can be found in most arts and crafts stores.

FDA Disclaimer

 

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30 thoughts on “Multi-Purpose DIY Ointment”

  • Just made this today. So excited about it. Hopefully won’t have to use it. But nice to have on hand now!

    1. Since this product has no water in it, you can base the shelf life off of the oil with the shortest shelf life (lemon) so that would be 1-2 years if stored in a cool, dark area 🙂

  • Love this recipe. I put mine in lip balm tubes. The squeezable kind. Works great. also the portion for beeswax is 2 1/2 t. Also I use liquid vit e.

    1. Tiffany, that is fine if you do not have all of those oils. Or if you have other oils that help with dry, rough or red skin, you can add some of those 🙂

  • I made it this morning with 2.1 JBCO & 2.0 Baobab oils. After reading up on Manuka, I used that with Tea Tree and Lavender. So far looks good

  • Something looks funny – 2-3 drops of Vitamin E wouldn’t way anywhere near a gram (a gram of water would be about 20 drops). Otherwise looks GREAT and I’ll give it a try.

  • What kind of vitamin E do you use in a recipe like this? Do I just go to Wal-Mart (etc.) and purchase a bottle of vit. E capsules? Thanks!

  • Ki made this today and love the texture. It was just what I was looking for. Or so I thought…… Wanted to use to prevent diaper rash or help to heal diaper rash however bottle of castor oil states not to use on children, broken skin or areas affected by rashes. Thoughts on these warnings?

    1. Hi Chris, I am wondering if the bottle of castor oil you have is solvent extracted? Some castor oil is partially extracted with hexane…..I just took a peek at my bottle and it has no warnings on it, and it says “Hexane Free”. Could that be it? Otherwise, I don’t know.

  • Thank you so much for sharing. I will try it. I discovered Plant Therapy about two month ago and iM absolutely happy with it. Can’t wait for my birthday when I get to order more oils

      1. What exactly do you mean by protective? Or is that one of those wonderful (?) things the FDA regulates you saying?

    1. Hi Pat, the recipe makes such a small amount that I think the immersion blender might not have much to “blend”; also, I think that if you whisk well for 1-2 minutes and then put the bowl in the fridge to hasten cooling, it won’t take much time at well to “set”. Just make sure to whisk it well when it comes out of the fridge. 🙂

    1. Hi Michelle, it does not need refrigeration as it is an oil based product (no water to “spoil”). Plus, adding a couple of drops of Vit E liquid will help slow oxidation (rancidity).

    1. Hi Kris, we can often substitute in the essential oil world when making our creations. However, in this case, I don’t think subbing will work. Castor oil is a particularly heavy, viscous oil and I think that is what helps give this ointment its consistency. If you subbed another carrier, you would likely end up with a much softer salve-type consistency. We’re shooting for a very dense, thick, heavy ointment similar to Vaseline.

      1. I just made this without essential oils for my grandson’s chapped cheeks. Then I made another one for myself. Thank you for the recipe

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