None can know the pain of cracked nipples from nursing, and the overwhelming relief of good nipple balm unless they’ve been there. We’ve been there, and this herb-infused homemade nipple balm uses rich ingredients and soothing botanicals to help the new mother.
Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) root is one of the main ingredients in this herb-infused nipple balm due to its mucilage property. This sticky, sap-like substance is thought to aid irritated skin by forming a coating across the surface (Berry, 2019). The other main botanical is calendula (Calendula officinalis) flower, whose bright yellow petals contain antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that are thought to support wound mending by promoting new tissue growth (Cervoni, 2020). Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is also thought to play a role in wound repair (Bantilan, 2019) and plantain (Plantago lanceolata) leaf offers its mucilaginous properties (Herbal Academy, 2020).
Together, this botanical quartet is a powerhouse of mommy menders and a must-have for the breastfeeding new mom.
Homemade Nipple Balm
This recipe creates a wonderfully rich herbal nipple balm that’s ideal for small tin storage.
2 tablespoons calendula (Calendula officinalis) flower
2 tablespoons marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) root
1 tablespoon plantain (Plantago lanceolata) leaf
1 tablespoon yarrow (Achillea millefolium) flower
1 cup olive oil
1 ounce beeswax
cheesecloth for straining
- Place the herbs in a double boiler or bain-marie and cover with olive oil.
- Heat the mixture over very low heat for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally. Ensure mixture does not become too hot but stays slightly warm creating a mild fragrance.
- Carefully strain the herbs out of the oil using the cheesecloth into a dry sterile container. It will be hot.
- Wipe out the top of the double boiler with a clean, dry towel.
- Return the strained herbal oil to the double boiler and add the beeswax.
- Melt the beeswax and oil together over low heat.
- Stir the mixture carefully with a clean, dry utensil until the beeswax is completely melted and mixed.
- Pour the final mixture into prepared tins or jars.
- Allow to cool before capping.
You can find cheesecloth in the canning aisle of your local grocery store or at the nearest craft store. Local beeswax is always best and often found wherever local organic honey is sourced. Shop locally for soy wax alternatives if you prefer.
If this homemade nipple balm was just the thing you needed, then find more soothing recipes for new moms in 6 DIY Recipes for Gentle Herbal Support for New Moms.
Justis, A. (2017). 6 DIY recipes for gentle herbal support for new moms [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://theherbalacademy.com/gentle-herbal-support-for-new-moms/
Bantilan, C. (2019). 5 emerging benefits and uses of yarrow tea [Online article]. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/yarrow-tea#1.-May-enhance-wound-healing-
Berry, J. (2019). What are the benefits of marshmallow root? [Online article]. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324860#:~:text=The%20medicinal%20properties%20of%20marshmallow,skin%20and%20the%20digestive%20tract.
Cervoni, B. (2020). The health benefits of calendula [Online article]. Retrieved from https://www.verywellhealth.com/health-benefits-of-calendula-4582641
Herbal Academy. (2020). Plantain leaf benefits and recipes [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://theherbalacademy.com/plantain-leaf-benefits-recipes/