It is so difficult to begin writing after such a long break. The spring and summer of this year were one of the most challenging times for us all. We are still struggling through them and are trying to build a new normal, to imagine the post-Covid world and ourselves in this new reality. I wanted to write something wise and uplifting but I was betrayed by my words, by all the languages I can speak and write in and by all the thoughts that were fighting their own demons in my head. I haven’t written for weeks. I couldn’t write. Now I’m once more sitting in front of my computer and trying to pour my feelings through my fingers, through the keyboard and this blog right to you. And it’s proving to be quite hard. Gone is the flow and ease and what’s left is rigid and hard. Yet I’m going to try as this is me going back to my normal. And as my therapy room is still closed, this blog is my way of reaching out into the world; reaching out to you. Can you hear me? How are you? What is your way of reconnecting with the world?
It’s not only us adults who took part in living these historical moments, and fell victim to stress and anxiety, our children were affected in the same way. We couldn’t protect them from this knowledge or from the virus itself; it will be something they will remember for the rest of their lives. I wonder how much it will imprint itself in their future selves. But the world is carrying on. With summer holidays upon us, we will be able to take a break and look at many things with the much needed distance. But then, September will arrive and we will hopefully go back to schools, workplaces and the prelude of safety of being around each other. We’ll go back out, we’ll travel and we’ll see our families in foreign countries once more. Will the post-Covid world be the same place as before? I doubt it but only time will tell. Will we take any lessons from this experience? Well, again it’s something we will have to wait and see. Sadly as the human race we are not very good at taking lessons from history, but maybe the young generation will be different. Maybe they are already more awake, and certainly more hygienic than we have ever been. And that, after such a long digression, brings me back to the ointment recipe I would like to share here with you, because sadly in times of stress – eczema flairs up. Another reason why I made this ointment was my hands. Constant washing and using sanitising gels left my hands bone dry. This recipe is very easy and great to make together with your children. There is a great magic and healing in making remedies together.
For the ointment for dry skin you will need:
- 110ml macerated calendula oil (or calendula infused oil). (You can buy very good quality macerated calendula oil in Neal’s Yard Remedies, or alternatively you can check my earlier blog to find out how to make your own herbal infused oils).
- 20g cocoa butter
- 20g shea butter
- 15-20g coconut oil
- 15-20g beeswax
- 10 drops lavender essential oil
Heat all the oils, butters and beeswax in a double boiler until melted. Do not let it boil and keep mixing. When melted add the essential oil, mix well and distribute to clean and sterilised jars. Let it set in the jar and when it has set, cover the jars with lids. Label the jars with the name of your remedy and the date you made it. Store in a cool, dark place. Well stored it should last for 12 months. This recipe should be enough for 4 x 50ml jars.
Calendula oil (Calendula officinalis) has antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties. It hydrates and nourishes dry skin and relieves itchy and irritated areas.
Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii) has anti-inflammatory properties; it’s also a great moisturiser for dry skin.
Coconut Oil (Cocos nucifera) has anti-bacterial properties. It’s a great emollient and makes skin really smooth. It’s also very gentle on skin and has a pleasant, slightly nutty smell. Can be used by people with nut allergies.
Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula angustifolia, Lavandula officinalis) has anti-inflammatory properties. It’s soothing, relaxing and restoring.
Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao) is high in fatty acids and it hydrates and nourishes the skin, improving its elasticity. The fat in cocoa butter forms a protective barrier over skin to hold in moisture. It’s rich in phytochemicals. It heals chapped skin and fights aging.
Beeswax has antibacterial, antifungal and moisturising properties. Beeswax hydrates, conditions, sooths, and calms the skin. It exfoliates, repairs damage, promotes the skin’s regeneration, soothes itchiness and irritation.
Calendula may cause allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family.
If your skin is prone to acne, don’t add cocoa butter to your ointment.
Use on dry, itchy skin. When at home it’s my favourite dry hand treatment. The hand healing treatment will go a long way when you apply it to your dry and tired hands with a little loving self-massage.