If you don’t have a double boiler, using a glass measuring cup and saucepan to make a double boiler is a quick and easy option. This is useful for small amounts of salve and lip balm and very easy to clean up. This MacGyver hack uses equipment you probably already have at home so you won’t need to invest in specialized equipment to get started in herbal medicine making.
Making your own double boiler means there is less mess to clean up when you are making small batch herbal recipes. The small quantity of oils and beeswax you are using will heat faster, making your salve and balm making easy and rewarding.
For a DIY Double Boiler you’ll need:
- A small saucepan
- A canning jar ring
- A 1 or 2 cup glass measuring cup
- Place the canning jar ring in the bottom of the saucepan. This protects the glass measuring cup from direct contact with the heating element of your stove and will prevent unexpected shattering.
- Place the glass measuring cup into the saucepan, on top of the canning jar ring. While glass measuring cups are expected to be heat safe, it is best to take precautions against breakage. Place your ingredients inside the glass measuring cup.
- Fill the saucepan with water just up to the halfway point on the measuring cup.
- Turn on the heating element to medium. Bring the water to a low simmer, inside the saucepan. Rapid boiling may introduce water into your salve or balm, creating the spoilage conditions, so we want to avoid that. You’ll only heat the water in the saucepan long enough for the ingredients in your glass measuring cup to melt fully.
- Stir the ingredients to fully blend them. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
As you are making herbal recipes, place the ingredients inside the glass measuring cup so it can gently melt. By placing the saucepan on a source of heat, the water in the saucepan will simmer and the measuring cup will heat, melting the butters, waxes, and oils together.
Caution: The handle of the measuring cup will be hot, so use pot holders when handling it.
Here are a few herbal recipes on Joybilee Farm that use a diy double boiler as part of the salve, lotion, and balm making process.
Gardeners Hand Salve with Lavender
Peppermint and Lavender Headache Salve
Arnica Salve to Soothe Bruises and Sprains
Dandelion Balm for Sore Muscles
Why not use the double boiler in your kitchen cupboard?
If you already own a double boiler you may still want to use this method of double boiler for creating your herbal medicine. The glass measuring cup can be cleaned out with a paper towel, and then washed with soapy water, leaving no trace of your herbal medicine making, nor smell from the essential oils. Pots are not so easy to clean of beeswax and essential oils.
How to clean up after salve or lip balm making
Wait till the glass measuring cup is cooled enough to handle. Wipe out the measuring cup with a paper towel. Squirt a little dish soap (washing up liquid) into the measuring cup and wash with hot water. It will come sparkling clean with no trace or odor from your herbal medicine making session.
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