3 ounces Calendula Infused Oil (You can buy it pre-made at Mountain Rose Herbs or at your local health food store. Or directions to make your own are below. Or, if you are really in a pinch, you can use plain olive oil.)
(Optional) A few drops of essential oil (your choice). Lavender or Tea Tree Oil might be nice
To make the udder salve:
In a double boiler, melt the beeswax. I use a hillbilly double boiler setup:
I fill a small saucepan 1/2 way full with water and place a Pyrex measuring cup (or some other stove-top safe container) inside. I place the beeswax in the Pyrex, and allow it to melt over medium-high heat.
Once the beeswax is melted, add in the shea butter and coconut oil. Gently stir, incorporating everything as it melts. Add the Calendula oil, mix together, and then remove from the heat.
Store in a small glass or plastic container (if using plastic, allow your mixture to cool a little before pouring it into the container). Make sure you choose something large enough that you can reach your fingers inside to scoop out the salve.
Apply frequently. I like to use it every morning after milking.
A few notes:
Not sure where to find shea butter, Calendula, or beeswax? Check your local health food store, or order them from Mountain Rose Herbs.
I’ve seen several udder balm recipes calling for peppermint oil. I thought about including in my recipe, but then I also got to thinking that peppermint seems to make everything feel colder. I’m not sure that would feel the greatest on a wet udder when it’s already 20 degrees (or less!) outside.
However, many folks seem to think that massaging the udder with peppermint oil helps with mastitis. So, I would recommend adding a few drops of peppermint oil to your salve if you are having problems with that.
I do NOT recommend leaving this out in the barn when it’s cold… It will turn into a solid brick. I leave mine in our mud room and just slip it into my pocket when I head out the door to milk.
Don’t stress out over the measurements. Feel free to play around with the indgredient amounts- it’s pretty flexible. If you want it harder or softer, try adjusting the amount of beeswax you use. The more you add, the harder it will become.
This is wonderful for your own hardworking hands and feet, too!
If you aren’t in the mood to make your own, but would still like a natural salve for your critters, I highly, highly recommend Graham Garden’s Creature Comfort salve. It’s good for a ton of other animal ailments too, not just udders.