Well loved and oh so beneficial lavender (Lavandula angustafolia) strikes me as a great topic as mother's day draws near. I must admit that I sometimes think of lavender as boring. But the truth is so many people love its aroma and its calming and soothing benefits. Recently I've been whipping up a lovely aloe shea cream that's perfect as an after sun lotion or to soothe garden worn hands. Lavender works beautifully in this cream to soothe skin that seen too much sun or hands that need a little love.
This is something you can easily whip up for yourself or mom.
So what's so awesome about lavender? It's everything soothing and calming. From helping you drift off to sleep to helping soothe irritated skin lavender is a must have essential. The hydrosol is equally awesome. It's gentle enough to use directly on the skin and can be used safely with kids.
So of course we all know lavender is calming and soothing -- research shows its major aromatic molecules linalool and linalyl acetate are analgesic (1), anti-inflammatory (2), and antispasmodic (3). That also makes lavender fantastic for soothing achy muscles.
And lovely lavender also has antimicrobial properties and can support the immune system. (4, 5) It acts as an overall tonic to the body and can help restore vitality.
So a soothing shea-aloe cream can calm skin irritations and support skin health, ease achy muscles, support sleep, support the immune system, and even gently kill germs. Yes we love you lavender! And we have even more reason to love you in this easy to make cream.
For the cream you'll need:
Glass jars (2 oz or 4 oz with lids)
Two Stainless steel or glass bowls
A pan or pot to create a double boiler
Rubber scraper and mixing spoons
Whisk, blender, or immersion blender
14 g (0.5 oz) of beeswax
56 g ( 1 oz) shea butter
14 g (0.5 g) cocoa butter
84 g (3 oz) jojoba wax
56 g (2 oz) aloe vera gel
28 g (1 oz) lavender hydrosol
Lavender essetial oil (if desired)
Orange essential oil (if desired)
(For the most benefits, its best to use organic and unrefined oils, butters, and waxes and organic essential oils)
1. Clean bowls and equipment with bleach then isopropyl alcohol to sanitize.
2. Fill the pan with water to create a double boiler and place on a heat source over medium to low heat.
3. Weight out oils, wax, and butter into one of the bowls and melt using the double boiler set up.
4. Weigh out aloe and hydrosol in the second bowl and set aside.
5. Once wax and butters have melted, remove from heat.
6. Add aloe/hydrosol mixture and whisk, blend, or use the immersion blender to emulsify the mixture (this is very cool!)
7. Add 10-20 drops of lavender essential and 10-20 drops of orange essential oil. For a stronger scented cream you can add up to 80 total drops of essential oil. Using 20-40 drops per 8 oz makes this 0.5% to 1% dilution (generally ok for kids and those with sensitive skin). Adding 80 drops makes this a 2% dilution and is generally ok for most adults and general topical use. You can also leave the cream unscented.
8. Spoon into the appropriate number of jars. Store in a cool place. Without preservation this cream can last one or two months. Although you could add a preservative if desired at the manufacturer's specifications to extend shelf life.
The oils and butters in the cream can be changed or the recipe can be halved -- just keep the ratios the same. The cream is a bit oily but sinks in and hydrates the skin beautifully.
So lavender yes you are very common, but well loved and oh so wonderful for so many reasons.
Try mixing up a batch of this luscious cream for yourself or as a gift (just remember to let the recipient know it's not preserved and should be used in a month or two) and be sure to comment below. If you change up the oils and butters be sure to share below.
1. Ou, M.C., Hsu, T.F., Lai, L.C., Lin, Y.T. and Lin, C.C. (2012) Pain relief assessment by aromatic essential oil massage on outpatients with primary dysmenorrhea: a randomized, double-blind clinical trial. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research 38, 5, 817-822.
2. Rivot, J. P., Montagne-Clavel, J. and Besson, J. M. (2002) Subcutaneous formalin and carrageenan increase nitric acid release as measured by in vivo voltammetry in the spinal cord. European Journal of Pain 6, 25-34.
3. Kang, P., Han, S.H., Moon, H.K., Lee, J.-M., Kim, H.-K., Min, S.S. and Seol, G.H. (2013) Citrus bergamia Risso elevates intracellular Ca2+ in human vascular endothelial cells due to release of Ca2+ from primary intracellular stores. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Article ID 759615
4. Edwards-Jones, V., Buck, R., Shawcross S.G., Dawson, M.M. and Dunn, K. (2004) The effect of essential oils on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus using a dressing model. Burns 30, 8, 772-777.
5. Cassella, S., Cassella, J.P. and Smith, I. (2002) Synergistic antifungal activity of tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) and lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oils against dermatophyte infection. International Journal of Aromatherapy 12, 1, 2-15.