Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hmmm... Eat It or Wear It?

I generally don't believe in coincidences. So I wasn't surprised when I bumped into a very good friend of mine who was in need.

She was stuck waiting a year for an appointment with a dermatologist, suffering greatly with itchy, scaly red patches on her upper arms. I'm an aesthetician and so I've seen a few skin conditions in my day.

It won't be confirmed until she sees the dermatologist but it sure looked like a classic case of psoriasis. Red, thick, raised skin that itches and hurts at the same time. She really was suffering and upset at how unsightly it looked.

She'd tried cortisone creams but they were thinning the skin too much. And so she waits and suffers, worrying because it won't heal or go away.

If you're a beekeeper I bet you knew what I told her to put on those sores. Yes, honey. And that's exactly what I said.

Doctors with patients with diabetic ulcers that won't respond to antibiotics are now returning to ancient medicine that really works--honey bandages. Honey - that anti-inflammatory anti-bacterial natural product that's an absolute God send. Made by little bugs. Amazing little bugs.

Here's a totally natural and edible recipe for a skin ointment to put on cuts, scrapes, wounds, acne, and sore skin (excluding burns which should have nothing put on them).

The focus is to stay away from anything that might irritate the damaged, inflamed skin so that meant no essential oils or perfumes or colours could be added.

Recipe:
Use equal parts of the following:

1. Raw unpasteurized honey
2. Olive Oil
3. Beeswax

Optional is Vitamin E caplets (cut open with the oil squirted into the mixture)

Several heat proof, preferably glass containers to put the ointment in. I really like to use the squat wide mouth mason jars that you can buy at the grocery store.

Directions:

First, get the jars ready to receive. Once that mixture is hot and ready to pour you need them ready. The mixture will cool amazingly fast the second it's off the stove.

Create a double boiler: This is easily done by using a 3" deep pot with water in it. Then place inside that a heat-proof Pyrex Mixing bowl or any other heat proof container such as a second pot.

Set the pot on a medium/mid-low temperature so that the water will boil but not overflow.

Add the 1/3 wax first and wait for it to melt, stirring occasionally. Remember that the flash point for wax is 170 Celsius so never let it get too hot or leave it unattended on the stove.

Once the wax is melted add the 1/3 Olive Oil and stir thoroughly. You'll probably see a colour change to a golden colour as it is added.

Finally add the 1/3 Raw Honey to the mix and stir until the whole is well blended. This could take a bit of stirring. Make sure you get all the lumps out and that the honey is blended in.

Once evenly mixed, pour immediately into heat proof glass containers and leave to cool thoroughly.

This ointment tastes great and is delicious to use as lip balm. It quickly heals up cracked knuckles caused by winter weather and the honey attracts moisture to replenish dry skin.

The thickness and spreadability of the ointment is reliant on how much wax and how much oil so there's lots of room to add a little more of one or the other to adjust the thickness of the cream. Careful though to not add too much wax or you'll be making a candle. (That happened my first attempt because I didn't measure the wax and used too much). It's easily solved by remelting everything and adding more olive oil.

For psoriasis - apply to the affected area 3 times a day for three weeks. BUT FIRST DO A TEST PATCH. It's just wisdom. Yes, the ingredients are very benign but just in case, start off by only treating a small area to see how it does.

You may want to even check the progress by taking before and after photos of the skin. Another way to test the results is to treat half the area and leave the other half untreated and then compare results.

And since you're melting wax, you may as well make another candle!!

We could all use a little light in our lives.
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