This year I created a new line of body products using the amazing abundance of Arnica that grows wild and free on my land. I harvested as much Arnica as I could throughout the month of June and still had more than I knew what to do with. Little did I know that my liniments, salves and oils would end up being so popular! As the summer winds down into fall, I have just bottled the last batch of Achy Joints Ointment for the year.
What is Achy Joints Ointment? I start with locally, ethically, sustainable and beautifully wildcrafted Arnica, Nettle and Juniper Berries. I gather equal amounts in a mortar and pound with the pestle until “juicy” and fragrant. Next, I set up this herbal mixture in a jar and cover with Organic Safflower Oil, poking out the air bubbles with a chopstick so it fills to the very top. Finally, I screw on the lid very tightly, take the jar down to the cellar where it will stay cool, dry and dark…and wait. The usual recipe calls for 4 to 6 weeks of infusing. When I can I set up my oils and tinctures in the new moon and decant after one and a half cycles on the full moon.
Decanting the Achy Joints Ointment is admittedly my favorite part, because this is where I get to indulge in my own medicine. The lid twists off with a “pop” and the oil has turned from golden blonde to deep green. Using only a 17 mesh strainer (the same mesh you see on a tea ball, for example) I strain the oil, and squeeze out every last precious drop by hand. I know there are more efficient ways to do this, using an oil press and cheesecloth, but I like having a little bit left over at the end to offer back to Mother Earth.
I also prefer to allow some of the plant material to remain in the infusion, because I believe in the power of whole plants – so you may notice some sediment in your oils. The last step involves supplementing the infused oil with liquid Vitamin E gel caps, enough to ensure each 2 oz bottle has 400 IU of Vitamin E. That’s it!
A little bit goes a long way. It only takes a few drops of this ointment on your “achy” spots to feel the warmth of stinging nettle, the deep penetration from arnica and the ability to reduce joint inflammation of juniper berries.
Together, these three herbs create a soothing, warming and delightful ointment for your hands, knees, elbows…and any other trouble spot that tends to become stiff and sore with the cold weather.
This is my last batch of Achy Joints Ointment for the whole year! My supply is very limited, orders are on a first-come-first-served basis. (I’m saving one for mid-winter, myself…)