Vanilla bean-infused balm: A delicious DIY

This is one of several signature self-care recipes that I published in Nourish: Ayurveda-inspired 21-day Detox. Infusing the whole vanilla bean gives this balm a natural, full aroma with the benefits of the bean imparted in the oil.

Step 1. Start by infusing your oil of choice with vanilla beans. Split the bean and scrape the ‘caviar’ into the jar, then drop the bean in as well. Two to three beans per 500 mls will produce a deep aroma.
Sweet almond, fractionated coconut and light vegetable oils work best as a carrier. The lighter the aroma of the oil, the cleaner the vanilla scent will be.
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Choose the best quality oil as this is what your body’s largest organ, your skin, will be drinking in.
Fill the jar to the top with oil, no room for air, and cap tightly. Allow to infuse for 30 days in a warm window sill or, if pressed for time, use a hot water bath to extract the essence.
This produces a delicious smelling oil that can be applied directly onto the skin as a luxurious body oil or poured into the bath for a relaxing soak.

Step 2. Pour the vanilla bean-infused oil into the top of a double boiler and add a good quality beeswax. I’m really not one to measure, however, the last batch I made used about 150ml of infused oil and 30ml of beeswax, a couple tablespoons, perhaps.

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Heat the mixture gently until the beeswax melts into the oil. Test the consistency by removing the spoon with a little of the mixture on it. It will cool quickly and give you an indication of how hard it will be once set.
If it is softer than you’d like, add more beeswax and continue to heat until melted. If it is too hard, add more infused oil and repeat the test until you reach the consistency you desire.

Remove the mixture from heat, making sure absolutely no water from the double boiler gets into your blend. Add a splash of vitamin E if you have it, for a natural preservative and pour the mixture into your clean, dry containers.

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Once cooled, cap them and they are ready to go.
A yummy treat for chapped lips, dry skin, cracked heels or a soft, natural perfume for wrists and neck.

Variations

1. Add a little sweet orange essential oil to create a scent that will make everyone feel like a kid again.
2. The addition of essential oil of lavender produces a most relaxing blend. Soothing to the skin and the senses.
Vanilla beans have anti-inflammatory as well as pain-relieving properties. An increase in both calmness and happiness has also been reported.

You now have two delicious creations for the skin: your sensual vanilla bean-infused body oil and the beautiful vanilla-infused bee balm.
Both make great gifts for someone special or a sumptuous treat for yourself.

You’re welcome 😉

French Country (15)

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