On your hands, a herbal hand cream recipe

This recipe was originally published in February 2007, the first hand cream recipe I shared. A friend of mine, obsessed with gardening, had asked me to create a protective herbal formula to treat his tired hands. For this formula I used two herbs well known for their healing properties: Calendula officinalis (pot marigold), which was analytically presented in this post and Symphytum officinale (known as comfrey plant) the properties of which are presented below. 

Symphytum officinale

Symphytum officinale is a perennial flowering plant classified in the Boraginaceae family and growing in damp, grassy places, Its main constituents are mucilage, tannin, gum, allantoin, saponins, glycosides, sugars, vitamin b-12, protein, zinc. Comfrey roots contain also pyrrolizidine alkaloids *
Due to these constituents comfrey is considered to have strong healing, emollient, astringent, soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. It was traditionally used to relieve pain and inflammation caused by arthritis, burns, skin ulcerations, bruises, fractures, sprains, and other injuries. Healing properties of comfrey are attributable to allantoin, a chemical compound which is widely used as an active ingredient in cosmetics shown to have moisturizing effect, to increase the skin smoothness and speed up cell proliferation and wound healing. Comfrey accelerates would healing and it should not be applied to an infected open wound so as to prevent sealing bacteria inside it.

Info: David Hoffman, Herbal Medicine Guide, Dioptra (Greek) Edition

*The leaves and roots of comfrey are used in traditional medicine since ancient times. During the last years it was found out that comfrey roots mainly and leaves to a lesser extent contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids that cause serious damage to the liver (hepatotoxic). If you try to make your research to understand what is the real risk you will find yourself in front of conflicting information regarding the toxicity of this herb. A general recommendation is that comfrey leaves (and their) extracts can be used externally. If you have time for useful reading then visit the links below:

If you think you are threatened by the poor comfrey you can replace it with the dearest St John's-wort

To make this herbal hand cream you will need to prepare first herbal infused oils. You can find the "how to" steps in the links below:

The ingredients are measured in measuring spoons, 1 tbsp=15ml, 1 tsp=5ml

"On your hands", herbal hand cream recipe

Oil Phase 
- 1 tbsp cocoa butter
- 1 tbsp calendula infused olive oil
- 1 tbsp comfrey leaves infused olive oil or  St John's-wort infused olive oil
- ½ tbsp wheat germ oil
- ½ tbsp evening primrose oil
- ½ tbsp jojoba oil

- 1 tbsp grated beeswax
½ tbsp liquid lecithin
- 1 tsp stearic acid

Water phase
- 1 tbsp aloe vera gel
- 4 tbsps lavender hydrosol
- ½ tbsp vegetable glycerin

Active ingredients & essential oils
- 15 drops natural preservative
- 15 drops vitamin E
- 8 drops lemon EO
- 8 drops rosewood EO 
- 8 drops lavender EO
- 6 drops  myrrh EO

  • To make the cream follow the step by step tutorial in this link: how to make an all natural cream.
  • Vitamin Ε is oil-soluble and will be added to the oil phase when the temperature is under 35 C(95F). 
  • The beneficial synergy of calendula and comfrey infused oils produce a protective and healing cream suitable for chapped hands and irritated skin. Jojoba oil and wheat germ oil are full of the antioxidant vitamin E, evening primrose oil is rich in omega 6 essential fatty acids and has anti-aging properties. Cocoa butter and aloe are emollients and moisturize the skin whereas the blend of essential oils is protective with a charming scent.