Gardeners� Hand Cream

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Do your hands throb and ache after a day of weeding? Don�t give up on gardening! Instead, try this multipurpose hand cream. It contains black cohosh to ease arthritic pain, St.-John�s-wort to help reconnect nerve tissue, and plantain and calendula to heal nicks and scratches.

Ingredients and supplies

2 hanfuls each of fresh plantain leaf, calendula flowers (Calendula officinalis), St.-John�s-wort flowers (Hypericum perforatum), and black cohosh leaf (Cimicifuga recemosa)
Double boiler
Extra-virgin olive oil
Strainer
Linen towel, fine cotton handkerchief, or cheesecloth
Bowl
Glass jar
4-inch piece of Solomon�s seal root (Polygonatum biflorum) (optional)
1 tablespoon hexane-free castor oil
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 ounce (or more) beeswax, grated
Blender
1/4 cup floral water (lavender, lilac, or rose water)
1/4 cup aloe vera gel
Glass wide-mouth jar

Directions
1. Let the herbs wilt overnight to reduce their water content.
2. Place the herbs in the double boiler. Pour olive oil over the herbs until there are 2 to 3 inches of oil topping the herbs.
3. Heat the herbs and oil for about 2 hours with the lid of the pot slightly askew.
4. Allow the oil to cool to room temperature.
5. Line the stainer with the towel, handkerchief, or cheesecloth and pour the herb mixture into the stainer.
6. Let the oil drain into a clean bowl for several hours, squeeze out any excess oil.
7. Pour the oil into a glass jar, and label and date it. Set it on a windowsill at eye level.
8. After day or two, check for any water droplets in the bottom of the jar. If water is evident, pour off the oil into another glass jar, leaving the watery oil at the bottom. Water will cause the oil to turn rancid, so don�t forget this step. But don�t waste the watery oil. Mix it with some sea salt to make herbal salts for a soothing bath. It recommended mixing 3 tablespoons of the oil with 1 cup of sea salt and adding 1/4 cup of herbal salt per tubful of bathwater.
9. Place 1/2 cup of infused oil in the double boiler. (Also include 3 tablespoons of Solomon�s seal, if desired.)
10. Add castor and coconut oils and beeswax. Heat just until the wax has melted.
11. Let the wax and oil mixture cool to room temperature. While it cools, put the aloe vera and floral water into a blender.

12. Turn on the blender to its highest speed and slowly pour the oil-wax mixture into the blender.

13. Pour the finished cream into sterile wide-mouth jars.

14. To use the cream, dab some of it onto the backs of your hands and rub it into your hands and fingers until it is well absorbed.

Another plant with healing qualities is Solomon�s seal. It�s possible to extract oil from its roots to add to hand cream, especially for clients with tendon problems.

However, Solomon�s seal is abundant it some regions but endangered in others. Because you destroy the plant by harvesting the root, only harvest from a prolific stand on your own property.

Gardening Articles: http://organicgardenarticles.com/

Author: Albert Gillett
Albert Gillett is an herb expert. For information about herb growing visit HerbGardeningClub.com

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