Teacher's Gifts

December_pictures_029Jennifer at Cozy as Spring is thinking about teacher's gifts. We are, too! Today is the day to assemble gift bags for the dance teachers. In each bag, Mary Beth will place a bar of saintly soap, a sachet of garden lavender buds, and a tin of homemade healing salve. It's a bag in keeping with the handmade pledge. The soaps are not handmade in our home, but they are handmade. I think the teachers will be very happy at this improvement over last year's soaps, which were made in our home:-). Trish's soaps are truly amazing and I think it still counts as homemade. I can only imagine how wonderful her Canadian home must smell.
The salve is becoming legendary. Recipients of last year are begging for more. I'm told it heals anything from diaper rash to windburn to hemmorhoids. I'm also told that some northern ladies were coveting some southern ladies' healing salve and I've been encouraged to skip sending teas this year and just send large vats of salve. Alrighty then!
Comfrey0001 We have a small crockpot that came with my large slow cooker. I think it's intended purpose was to keep dips warm.We've never used it for that. Truthfully, we'd never used it at all until last year when we discovered it to be perfect for making salve.
I put a handful each of dried plaintain, comfrey, calendula, and St. John's Wort in the crock and then fill it all the way with olive oil. I leave the herbs to simmer all Herbs0001day.
    At the end of the day, I drain the oil through cheesecloth, squeezing as much of it as possible out of the herbs. I toss the herbs into the garden. Then, I measure the oil and put it back into the crockpot. When it is warmed, I add one ounce of pure beeswax for every 8 ounces of oil. This seems to give it the right consistency when it cools. While it is still warm, I add a few drops of lavender essential oil, a few drops of tea tree oil, and I squeeze out the contents of two or three Vitamin E capsules. Don't skip the Vitamin E--that's the preservative. Stir it all until the beeswax is melted and it's all blended. Pour into containers of choice. Mountain Rose Herbs sells the dried herbs and a variety of containers. I think these little herbals sets would make nice hostess gifts, too. That's all for me today--I'm off to deliver teachers' gifts.