Projects Between Trips — Home Remedies for Arthritis & Eczema

My homemade eczema treatment cream

My homemade eczema treatment cream

As always, I must have projects to keep me entertained and happy during the down time between trips.

This year I decided I would experiment with making my own home remedies for conditions that I’ve never found a satisfactory treatment for elsewhere.

Eczema, for instance.   The thick, nasty ointments and creams the doctors prescribe are downright disgusting.  You have to be really miserable to slather yourself with that stuff.  Alternatively, you can slather with cortisone-based cream.  A side effect is that cortisone makes me grow a moustache.  That’s almost worse than the skin problems!

Infusing cayenne and ginger oils for an arthritis cream

Infusing cayenne and ginger oils for an arthritis cream

So I did a little (okay, a lot) of research and found a recipe for an eczema cream I liked.  I tweaked it a little bit.  And I am absolutely delighted with the result.  It contains beeswax. coconut oil, safflower oil, aloe vera gel, Vitamin E and honey.  It was scented with rosemary and tea tree oil.  But I thought it smelled nasty, so I added some sweet orange essential oil.  Now it smells wonderful.

The honey was an odd addition, I thought.  But it must be the magic ingredient that makes this cream really special.  It is completely non-greasy and feels wonderful on the skin.  And the soothing protection lingers for hours.

I’ll make this again, but will wait until my shea butter order arrives, as I think it will make it even more healing.

Another project is finding a pleasant, effective treatment for osteoarthritis back pain.  Cayenne (capsicum, capsaicin) is widely used in OTC arthritis creams.  Ginger is warming and anti-inflammatory, so I think it will  boost the effect of the cayenne.

In researching home remedies, you run into so much garbage and ignorance, it is very difficult to sift fact from myth.  But I ran across an Israeli study that said that frankincense rubbed topically over joints for 7 days was an effective arthritis pain treatment.  I also ran across a Japanese study that said that orange oil rubbed into arthritic knees had proven beneficial to elderly Japanese patients.

I splurged on cute Japanese dishes -- in hopes they will help me limit my food portions!

I splurged on cute Japanese dishes — in hopes they will help me limit my food portions!

So, combining all of that information, I decided I would make a cream infused with cayenne and ginger oils, and add frankincense and orange oil to scent it with.  If nothing else, I love the smell of frankincense and sweet orange, so it ought to smell good!

I have to infuse the cayenne and ginger oils for 10 days first.  I’ll pour the oils into a clean jar then, let them settle, then decant them for use in my arthritis cream.  I am so excited to see if they really do help!

The oils will be combined with beeswax, almond oil, grapeseed oil and aloe vera gel, so they should not be irritating to the skin in the proportions I’m using.

A final project is trying to lose the massive amount of weight I’ve put on this past year due to the double whammy of quitting smoking and steroid COPD treatments.  So I bought myself a little Japanese dish set that will be so much fun to use — and will hopefully help me limit my food portions.

After Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, of course!  🙂




  1. Camilla

     /  November 27, 2013

    Gosh let me know if your concoction works! I’m pretty crippled up with arthritis – especially in these winter months and my meds just don’t cut it! I want to get out of bed!

    • Camilla, I believe that it will be somewhat effective, simply because the OTC capsicum based creams help some. I expect it to be more effective than they are. At best, I hope it will noticeably warm and soothe the joints.

      If I feel like it turns out to be a successful project, I will send you a small jar. 🙂

  2. Of course you tart after dinner. What other options could there possibly be?

    • uh, START after dinner. Tarts after dinner are another whole blog! 😉

      • I’m thinking I might ought to just give up and start after Christmas dinner! We’ll be spending it with my sister and there will be a lot of good food around!

  3. Julie

     /  November 27, 2013

    Isn’t Jan 1 when you are supposed to start new diets? But seriously, I’m anxious to hear how the arthritis cream works for you. Maybe you could pass on your recipe. Otherwise I’d never know where to start. Have a great Thanksgiving.

    • Yes, I guess I was a little premature on the diet plan. No way I could stick to it until after the holidays. Wishful thinking, I guess.

      If the arthritis cream turns out well, I will definitely post the recipe! 🙂

  4. Love how you are so full of great ideas…..and just go for what ever you desire to create! Hope the cream works wonders!

    Believe that you are going to be back on the road soon. Wishing you safe and comfortable travels!

    • Lynne, I do love my projects. Especially creative projects. I am really thrilled with my eczema cream!

      We hope to head for Texas around Dec. 16. I need to get our electric brakes fixed first.

      I got our mail handling set up with St. Brendan’s Isle in Green Cove Springs, FL, so we won’t be in any rush to get back home!

  5. I love your creative “projects” and really appreciate the research time that you invested in building the receipes. I’m looking forward to hearing how they work out for you. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Thanks, John! In any case, they are entertaining me and keeping me happily occupied! 😀

      Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family, too!

  6. Tanya

     /  November 27, 2013

    Hi. I recently made a body wash with honey. Also very nice. Can you please share your eczema cream recipe?

    • Tanya, this is my first attempt and I want to make a couple of improvements first. Then I will post the recipe. If you would like, I will try to remember to email you when I get my recipe the way I want it. Okay? 🙂

    • Tanya, I went ahead and emailed you the basic recipe that I am using as my inspiration. Hope it’s a good one for you!

  7. Sure hope this works for you and your sis and Camilla too. Let us know.
    Love your dishes.

    • Jo, I am sure it will help some. I’ll let everyone know after I’ve had a chance to try it.

      Glad you like the dishes. I am enjoying them!

  8. cozybegone

     /  November 27, 2013

    A woman after my heart….love creating some miracle cream from fresh ingredients…. you rocked it! You are so close to nature and the ,love of something non-commercial remedy! It’s on my list of things to do…you should start retail! Seriously…people would pay for it! I love my coconut oil ….fresh, organic and hard ready to warm up and smear all over my body. it’s so dreamy! Just like you….I want to hear what you are cooking up tomorrow… :O) Tell Mr. Ron hi for us !

    • Carla, I had never actually made lotions or creams before because I was afraid they would turn out greasy. But I’ve collected some great recipes that are not at all greasy and I will use them as a base for my home remedies.

      The quality is so far above anything I’ve ever bought–even expensive creams and lotions. Probably because I am using real ingredients instead of chemical substitutes for them.

      When I am satisfied with my recipes, I’ll post the final one for anyone to use. Not sure I would want to get into retail, but I will tuck that back in case I ever need to. 🙂

      We weren’t even going to do Thanksgiving dinner since it’s just Ron and I. But I caved at the last minute. Our freezer is going to be crammed with meal-sized turkey packages after tomorrow!

  9. Oh Tiny how I’ve missed you!! Back into my blogs and all the others I read daily. Your creams sound amazing!! I’ve recently started using Coconut Oil for lip balm and wrinkle cream with impressive results. I bet in a lotion it’s outstanding!!
    Hope you’re having a fabulous Thanksgiving!!

    • Kristy! You’re back! So glad to have you back on board!!!

      You must check out some lotion and body butter recipes!!! Make sure they say non-greasy. Or, if you like plain coconut oil, you might even like the greasy ones!

      I’ll email you a couple of recipes. With your knack for crafts, you will have a ball with them!!!

  10. Horst Kelly

     /  November 28, 2013

    Don’t know much about lotions and creams…I do applaud you for your effects…..Now smoking and COPD is something I can identify with…quit about 9 years ago….after 6 months got into the diet and exercise mode…now walk 6–8 miles per day…what I would say is just take it as it comes to you….it all will fall into place….having read your blog…if anyone has the “grit” to do this…you’re the person…Happy Thanksgiving to you and Ron…Horst sends

    • Horst, you have given me a great gift. I have been wondering how I am going to overcome this and regain my health — as much as I can. Your comment is the first thing I’ve heard that makes me believe that I can really do this.

      Thank you, my friend. 🙂

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