By: Gladys McKinney
What with the coronavirus outbreak and so many people becoming ill with COVID-19, I wondered what I could do to help, besides staying home, of course. The images seen across social media and press reports are heartbreaking, to say the least.
I wanted to respond with herbs. My sister, my daughter, and my niece are all nurses, and I have a number of family members who are also in law enforcement. So, they have to put on and take off their safety equipment many times throughout the day during this phase of the crisis. The images of our first responders with broken skin, where the safety equipment rubs, seemed to need a response from somewhere, and petroleum jelly was not going to do it. So, I created the following recipe for a healing moisturizer.
The end result has a whipped butter texture that, admittedly, is somewhat greasy when put on due to the oils that are in it. But, keep in mind that these are the healing oils that the skin will need after a long day. After washing your face at night, simply put this moisturizer on. Wash it off in the morning, and then apply whatever moisturizer you would normally use. The healing moisturizer can be used on hands, elbows, and knees in the evening as well. This is not a regular everyday go-to moisturizer, but a way of moisturizing skin that has been through a rough day.
Healing Herbal Moisturizer
First, fill a small mason jar with dried roses* and add enough almond oil to completely cover them. Let this sit for about a week. This creates the rose-infused oil needed in the recipe.
1 cup of shea butter
4 tablespoons of jojoba oil
2 tablespoons of rose-infused almond oil, strained from the roses.
2 teaspoons of honey
10 drops of vitamin E oil
10 drops of German (blue) chamomile essential oil
Chamomile is a favorite of mine. The flowers have a sweet apple scent that brings sunshine with each breath. Chamomile has been reputed to help with upset stomachs, colicky babies, insomnia, and soothing emotions. The reason for its application here is that chamomile has been noted to help with skin irritation, sores, and assist in wound healing.**
- Heat the shea butter and jojoba oil in a double boiler. Stir. Once melted, remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients.
- Place in the refrigerator. Once this is solid and creamy white, take it out.
- Whip this until it looks like whipped cream.
- I put the whipped moisturizer in clear 5 gram screw top containers and needed just over 50 of them.
You can give these out to the first responders in your life, drop them by facilities that you think would need them, or if you are a first responder, you can make this for yourself.
Thank you to all the first responders for their loyalty and love for their fellow humans during this time.
*Do not use florists’ roses as they may have been treated with chemicals during processing.
**Never take essential oils internally.
Sources for ingredients:
Note: This recipe’s ingredients can be modified with ingredients of your choice. Just keep in mind not to allow anything with water to touch what you are doing, because it creates an environment for bacterial growth.
While The Herb Society of America does not endorse one establishment over another, we’ve provided some sources to help get you started. Please utilize due diligence in locating the material of your choosing.
Mountain Rose Herbs (an Herb Society of America business member)
Author’s Note: As of this writing, Mountain Rose Herbs will be temporarily closed until April 24th, 2020. Please read their statement here.
Medicinal Disclaimer: It is the policy of The Herb Society of America, Inc. not to advise or recommend herbs for medicinal or health use. This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered as a recommendation or an endorsement of any particular medical or health treatment. Please consult a health care provider before pursuing any herbal treatments.
Gladys McKinney is The Herb Society of America’s Treasurer and lives in Cape May, NJ. She has six children, loves accounting and herbs. When not busy with accounting, her favorite things to do with her children and one grandchild include gardening, going to the ocean, and reading old herbal books.