Children at school these days are hand-washing at least six times each day, and hand-sanitizing on top of that. When I asked the grades 1-2 class if they had dry hands, all of them started in with their stories and the majority showed me cracked and scaly hands.
So, we made herbal hand salve this week in Garden Club. This was a first for me, so I asked my friend Jennifer Keir at Ravenwood and stopped by NatureWorks for some advice and materials.
The recipe was 1/2 tbsp. organic beeswax pellets, 1 tbsp. organic olive oil, 1/2 tsp calendula & lemon balm-infused olive oil, 1/2 tsp vitamin E oil, and five drops of concentrated vanilla bourbon.
To make the infused olive oil, we used a mortar and pestle and ground the leaves and petals into the olive oil. What was left over is being solar-infused for next week's classes.
The children then selected their own flowers and herbs to add to their own, such as small rosemary blossoms, calendula petals, mint leaves, or primrose . Then, I heated them to about 180*F (probably too hot) and stirred them with a toothpick, cooled them, and voila!
We'll see how well they are liked by the kids! (It could be they're too firm and we could add more oil to get the mixture right.) I hope they help those tiny chapped hands heal!