(NaturalNews) Consumers are bombarded daily by pharmaceutical company hype over the promise of clear skin and painless backsides achieved by using ineffective and sometimes dangerous topical applications for everything from hemorrhoids to eczema and acne.
While people are emptying their wallets for Big Pharma's witch's brews, they could be making their own high quality ointments with healthy, natural ingredients. Instead of suppressing symptoms with medicines that dovirtually nothing, are expensive and may have damaging long-term effects, mix your own salves using effective, inexpensive and natural ingredients.
Most salves, ointments and lotions are simple to make from medicinal tinctures mixed with ingredients like lanolin, glycerin, cocoa butter, olive and coconut oil or aloe vera.
Lanolin is a rich emollient made from sheep's wool. It makes an excellent base for medicinal salves and naturally moisturizes skin. Lanolin has been used for thousands of years as an all-purpose vehicle for a long list of skin-care products for both medical and cosmetic purposes, including hypoallergenic preparations. The myth that lanolin causes allergies, is just that -- a myth -- and in actuality, the incidences of a lanolin allergyare negligibly low.
Glycerin is a byproduct of the soap-making process and provides a wonderful natural base for making medicinal lotions. As a humectant, glycerin attracts moisture to the skin. It's a naturally sweet-tasting, clear liquid which, when frozen, becomes a sticky paste. It mixes well with alcohol or water but not with fats or oils. Straight glycerin is dehydrating when used on its own; however, when diluted with water, it's an excellent skin-softening moisturizer.
Many medicinal tinctures can be purchased over-the-counter from homeopathic pharmacies. Some tinctures require a prescription from a doctor. Tinctures are similar to herbal extracts in that they are made from herbs and preserved with alcohol. Tinctures are not quite as strong as liquid extracts. Although extracts may be more potent, they lose their potency faster than tinctures and they contain plant matter suspended in the mixture, making them less desirable for use in topical applications. Tinctures are the preferred choice for making most medicinal salves and lotions. Ointments made from lanolin tend to be greasy. Glycerin lotions absorb into the skin in most cases, leaving no residue.
Percentages of tinctures to base ingredients vary; however, a safe guideline is to add 10 to 15 percent tincture to the mix. When making salves and ointments with lanolin, the texture may be too thick. In order to thin, add a small amount of olive or coconut oil. For example, try 2/3 lanolin to 1/3 olive oil, then add the tincture and mix by hand or in a food processor until well blended. Decant into dark glass containers and store covered in a cool, dry place.
Here are some suggestions for making ointments and lotions for personal use using tinctures and either lanolin or glycerin. Other natural bases and tinctures can also be used andexperimented with. Tinctures should be 1X potency if you can get them. If not, get the lowest potency available.
JB Bardot is an herbalist and a classical homeopath, and has a post graduate degree in holistic nutrition. Bardot cares for both people and animals, using alternative approaches to health care and lifestyle. She writes about wellness, green living, alternative medicine, holistic nutrition, homeopathy, herbs and naturopathic medicine. You can find her at The JB Bardot Archives at www.jbbardot.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jbbardot23 or on Twitter at jbbardot23 or https://twitter.com/jbbardot23
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