Beeswax is an important component of creams, ointments and lotions because the unique characteristics of beeswax give solidity to emulsified solutions and increase the water holding capacity of ointments and creams. In many developing countries the sophisticated ingredients, rose water, olive oil etc. that area mentioned in books designed for people in developing countries are not available so the basic recipes offered are based on ingredients that are normally available. Additions of medicinal ingredients, colourings or perfumes can be added to the basic recipes with the number of products only limited by the imagination of the producer. In the west, where allergies are common, it is usually the addition of perfume, colouring, essential oils or lanolin that cause skin irritation.
Beeswax Ointment Recipe
- Place 50ml of sunflower oils and 15g of grated beeswax into a heatproof bowl.
- In a separate bowl, place 50ml of strained herbal infusion or decoction. Place both bowls in a roasting tin and fill it with water, ensuring that the water does not overflow into the bowls.
- Place the tin in a hot oven. When the water boils, turn down the heat. Remove the tin after the beeswax melts.
- Allow to cool slightly for easier handling. Slowly pour the infusion into the oil and wax, whisking with and whisk or blender. Pour into screw top, dark glass jars.
- Melt the beeswax and sunflower oil in the oven at the same time as you warm the decoction or infusion.
- Place 10g of grated or finely chopped beeswax and 100ml of unrefined olive oil into a heatproof basin.
- Place the bowl in a pan of water. Gently bring the water to the boil and let it simmer, stirring occasionally until the beeswax melts.
- Allow the mixture to cool slightly before adding 5-10g chopped herbs to the ointment.
- Pour the mixture into screw-top, sterilised, dark glass jars before the ointment sets.
- Wait until the mixture cools before tightening the lids.