Plants are amazing healing allies, and when used and prepared properly, can make natural, safe and effective medicines. I love herbal medicine and I also love Women, so this herbal remedy is crafted for the new Moms who seek relief from sore, painful, dry and cracked nipples that sometimes result from the miracle of breastfeeding.
The frequent contact and friction between your baby and your nipple can easily dry out and irritate the skin. This moisturizing and healing salve is crafted with both you and your baby in mind, using all natural, organic and non-allergenic ingredients.
The three herbs that I used are calendula, yarrow and marshmallow root. Calendula and yarrow are both famous vulneraries, meaning they promote wound healing. They also act on inflammation pathways to reduce pain and swelling. Marshmallow root is an emollient, which means it gives the salve a soothing, cooling and gelatinous essence that both immediately sooths the skin and moisturizes over time.
I used peppermint and lavender essential oils for their pain relieving, antimicrobial and relaxing qualities. They are mixed into the preparation at a dilution that is safe to apply to the skin, however I would suggest using this salve AFTER each breast feeding session, and making sure the salve has either totally absorbed or that the nipple is wiped or cleaned prior to the next round of breastfeeding. Although these essential oils are safe levels for mom, and most likely safe for baby, when it comes to essential oils, it is best to be safe and avoid possible ingestion.
Please note you can leave the essential oils completely out of the recipe to avoid this precaution. Without the essential oils, this preparation is completely "edible" for both mom and baby!
Cocoa butter is used as a solidifying agent, rather than bees wax, because it is food grade as well as a less common source of allergies. Vitamin E is added to the preparation to both promote skin health and also to act as an antioxidant in the salve itself, which works as a natural preservative. Olive oil makes the perfect oil carrier for this salve because this is the least allergenic oil and it also contains many healing properties on its own.
All of my herbal remedies are prepared mindfully, blessed with love, and intended to bring beautiful healing to all who use them! Below is the recipe and step by step process to create this New Mommy Nipple Salve. Making your own medicine, or making gifts for new Moms, are beautiful ways to tune in to nature, the spirits of these plants and to infuse the products with your sacred love and intentions.
1/4 cup (heaping) dried calendula (Calendula offinalis)- flower
1/4 cup (heaping) dried Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)- leaf and flower
2 Tbsp (heaping) dried chopped Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis)-root
1 1/4 cup of High Quality, Virgin Olive oil
1 1/2 cup of food grade cocoa butter
1 tsp Vit E (about 400 IU per cup of product- may vary) **
60 drops Peppermint essential Oil*
60 drops Lavender essential Oil*
6 2oz containers for final product
**Depending on the concentration of the Vit E you buy, adjust so that each cup of product has 400 IU
*Proper dilution for essential oils is 10 drops per ounce of carrier. I had 1 1/2 cups of carrier (productyield), so I added 60 drops of each, 120 drops total. If your yield is smaller or larger than 12 ounces, adjust properly. Too little essential oils is fine, but too much essential oils could be dangerous. Remember, the essential oils are optional!
- Please note that is important to keep all utensils and things used very clean and dry. You do not want microbes or water getting into your oil and salve. This will decrease its shelf life and make the product less potent.
- Begin by making the oil infusion:
- If you are familiar with a long digestion process, feel free to do that. Otherwise follow directions below:
- Set up a double boiler- I use a stainless steel metal bowl in a sauce pan filled with 1/4 way with water. You don’t want the water so high that it could splash into the metal bowl where your herbs and oil will be- remember- keep water away!
- In the bowl (dry portion of the double boiler), add the herbs and the olive oil.
- 1/4 cup Calendula
- 1/4 cup Yarrow
- 2 tbsp. Marshmallow
- 1 1/2 cup Olive Oil
- Turn on the heat source to medium low. You want the water of the double boiler to have bubbles, but not be boiling. That is about the right temperature.
- Let this macerate (soak at elevated temperature) for 4 or more hours, stirring occasionally. (The longer the better)
- After the oil has taken on the color and scent (and thus medicinal qualities) of the herbs, strain out the herbs using a cheese cloth and an herb press if accessible. I just use cheese cloth, a strainer, and my CLEAN hands to wring it out. You want to get as much oil as possible out of the herb.
- You should end up with at least 1 cup of oil yield.
- Now your oil is ready to make the salve!
- Adding Solidifying agents and other ingredients to make salve
- Place the 1 cup of medicinal oil back into the newly cleaned double boiler set up.
- Turn heat on low as before, and add 1 1/2 cups of cocoa butter.
- Stir until melted.
- Remove from heat. *Use frozen spoon method here to test consistency*
- Add Vitamin E and essential oils (away from heat source)
- Bless your final product with healing love and intentions! I even like to smudge my medicines with sage and cedar.
- Pour mixture into containers. Leave the lids off until cooled so that heat condensation doesn’t get water into the products.
- Label, use or give as gifts!
*Frozen spoon method: before beginning, place a spoon in the freezer. By dipping this spoon into your product before it has had time to cool, you can instantly see the consistency that it will be at when it cools. If you want the salve to be harder, add more cocoa butter. For this product it is ideal the consistency is more like an ointment, making it easier to apply and more soothing on the nipple.
Feel free to adapt this recipe as you see fit, and let me know if you have made any changes that you totally love! I would love to learn from you! Ask any questions if anything comes up, I am here in service of you!
May the peace of the Plants and their Spirits be in your heart and may your Nipples be soft, supple and abundant with food for your precious baby!