Thursday, March 28, 2013

Homemade Calamine Lotion

Homemade Calamine Lotion

Recipe #1

1/4 cup zinc oxide
1/2 teaspoon iron oxide
4 teaspoons bentonite clay
4 teaspoons baking soda or 2 teaspoons calcium hydroxide (“cal” can be found in Latino groceries)
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon glycerin (optional)
3-4 drops lavender essential oil or other antibacterial essential oil (optional)

Recipe #2

1/4 cup zinc oxide
4 teaspoons pink Kaolin clay
4 teaspoons baking soda or 2 teaspoons calcium hydroxide
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon glycerin (optional)
3-4 drops lavender, peppermint, camphor, tea tree, or other antibacterial/antipuretic essential oil (optional)


Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Store in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.
If you’d like to store it for longer than that, here’s an idea: Whisk together all powdered dry ingredients and store in a bottle or jar. When needed, place only as much as you need into a bowl and add water, glycerin, and essential oils. This way it’s fresh and effective!
Homemade Calamine Lotion from

The Ingredients

Zinc Oxide: Zinc oxide been used for centuries as a skin protectant and ointment, with references in medical literature showing up in India as early as 500 BC and in Greece in the first century AD.1 It is helpful in the treatment of skin wounds and traumas and doesn’t absorb into the skin, which allows it to be an effective topical treatment and promotes healing.
Iron Oxide: This is what gives calamine its characteristic pink color. The mixture known as “calamine” is a mixture of zinc oxide and about 0.5% iron oxide.2 We’re using more than that small amount in this recipe to make it easy, and it’s mainly here as a colorant rather for its medicinal properties.
Bentonite Clay: Bentonite clay is typically used for internal detoxification, but because commercial preparations of calamine use bentonite, I used it too. However, the pink kaolin clay I happened to find at my local soapmaking supply store actually produced a better color AND kaolin clay is more commonly used in topical cosmetic preparations because of its very gentle detoxification on the skin, so even though it’s not an exact reverse engineering of the store-bought stuff, I’d recommend the kaolin clay.3
Baking Soda: Baking soda is wonderful as an anti-itching agent, it’s cheap and plentiful, and it’s typically in every kitchen, making it an important part of this recipe. In store-bought calamine lotion, calcium hydroxide is what performs this function, but baking soda is definitely more common. If you’d like to try the calcium hydroxide, you can find it at Latin grocery stores under the name “cal” or “slaked lime,” as it’s used in the process of grinding corn for tortillas.
Glycerin: Glycerin is used in cosmetic applications as a skin protectant and a moisturizer. Even in the small amount used here, it makes the homemade calamine lotion a bit smoother and softer. It’s definitely optional, so if you don’t have it, don’t worry about it.
Essential Oils: Essential oils are included here both for the scent and the healing properties. Be sure to use the highest quality you can afford since this will be applied directly to the skin. Lavender, peppermint, camphor, and tea tree oil are all known for their ability to relieve itching, so those are certainly some of the most popular, but consult a knowledgeable aromatherapist if you want to get creative with your oils, as there are certainly others that would be helpful.

Where to Find Ingredients for Homemade Calamine Lotion

You can find ingredients at or the following places
Most of these ingredients can be found at your local health food store, including the bentonite clay.
Both clay and iron oxide can be found at any soapmaking supply store (iron oxide is typically used for tinting homemade cosmetics like blush and bronzer).
The zinc oxide I pick up for a dollar or two at my local  pharmacy.
And calcium hydroxide can be found at Latin grocery stores under the name “cal” or “slaked lime.”

Detoxifying Herbs and Herbal Combinations

"Detoxifying Herbs and Herbal Combinations"
by Lisa Leger - Parksville Pharmasave
**The Essiac Formula** most well known herbal tea for cancer, recipe from the
Ojibwa Indians via a Canadian nurse an alterative for degenerative conditions
Note: Don't obsess over the formula or brewing technique. Don't rely
completely on this or any other remedy; the use of Essiac should be one part
of a combined effort to detoxify the body and restore healthy cellular
Dr. Kaur recommends that people with breast cancer take Essiac throughout the
year and alternate back and forth between the Hoxsey Formula and a Lymphatic
Formula. For prevention, she suggests using one of the three formulas each
year for 2-3 months as a cleanse.
Sheep Sorrel (Rumex acetosella) marked influence on degenerative tissues,
traditionally used for fevers, scurvy, and inflammation, the leaf tea is a
folk remedy for cancer (no modern studies have been done), the fresh roasted
leaves were used to poultice tumors and cysts because of its high oxalic acid
content, it should be avoided in kidney disease and arthritis
Burdock root (Arctium lappa) depurative (blood cleanser) and bitter
(stimulates bile flow) promotes detoxification of kidney, liver, and bladder,
stimulates digestion and promotes bile flow dissolves deposits, removes
lymphatic congestion, helps break down tumors, clears toxins, reduces
infection, inflammation, relieves swelling
Slippery elm bark (Ulmus rubra) soothing demulcent, emollient, nutritive, and
antitussive (cough supressant), used to treat inflamed mucous membranes like
ulcers, or colitis traditionally used as a poultice to treat hard tumors and
Turkey rhubarb root (Rheum palmatum) laxative and purgative, helpful in
treating constipation, promotes intestinal cleansing, used in China to treat
high fevers avoid if suffering from arthritis, kidney disease of urinary
problems and during pregnancy
**Liver Tonics**
Any herbal manufacturer will have a liver tonic formula including such herbs
as: Dandelion, Burdock, Nettles, Red clover, Barberry, Burdock, Artichoke,
Sarsaparilla, Yellow dock, Milk thistle. Generally the herbs are bitters,
alteratives, and choleretics. They work by cleansing the blood and liver to
aid detoxification. It is a perfect spring tonic for everyone.
**Lymphatic Cleansers**
Marigold flower (calendula oficinalis) supports liver, heart, uterus, skin,
veins, lymphatic system and blood, clears toxins, reduces infection and
inflammation, relieves swelling, removes lymph congestion, reducing tumors,
cysts and cancer of the reproductive organs, breasts and intestines,
stimulates digestion and reduces liver congestion
Goldenseal root (Hydrastis canadensis), stimulates immunity, helpful in
bacterial, fungal, amoebic, and parasitic infections, reduces tumors of
reproductive organs, breasts, and stomach should not be used for more than
three weeks at a time
Cleavers (Galium aparine), promotes detoxification, dissolves deposits,
removes lymph congestion , reduces tumors and liver congestion, dissolves
clots, specific action on tumors of the skin, lymph, and breasts never boil
the herb, use freeze-dried or tincture form.
Echinacea root (Echinacea augustifolia) reduces infection and inflammation,
stimulates immunity, promotes detoxification, removes lymph congestion,
reduces tumors, increases interferon, promotes tissue repair
**The Hoxsey Formula**
a blood and liver alterative (cleanser), activates the cleansing functions of
the liver antiseptic, anti-tumor, and antioxidant activity, helps to alter
catabolic tissues and replace diseased tissue with healthy tissue, enhances
metabolic functions and promote drainage and elimination, used to break down
and remove metabolic wastes from the body used for lymphatic congestion,
tumors, cancer, glandular blockages
Red clover blossoms (Trifolium pratense) blood cleanser used to treat skin
Buckthorn bark (Rhamnus cathartica) stimulant and cathartic, used as a
laxative and bitter tonic for digestive problems
Barberry root bark (Berberis vulgaris) corrects liver function, promotes bile
flow, treats gall bladder inflammation and stones, used to reduce enlarged
spleen from congested liver and cleanses eliminative system
Burdock root (Artium lappa) stimulates bile flow and aids liver function
Stillingia root (Stillingia sylvatica) alterative (cleanser), acts on
lymphatic and secretory systems
Poke root (Phytolacca americana) cleanses the lymphatic glands, used to treat
mastitis Caution: large doses are emetic and purgative (causes vomiting)
Cascara sagrada bark (Rhamnus purshiana) laxative, treats constipation,
promotes peristalsis, tones digestive muscles
Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) anti-hepatotoxic, treats hepatitis and
cirrhosis, expectorant and anitinflammatory, used in cough and bronchitis
Prickly ash bark (Xanthoxylum clava-herculis) stimulates the circulation,
lymphatic system, and mucous membranes, treats ulcers and skin diseases
Naturopathic Handbook of Herbal Formulas, Herbal Research Publications, 1995.
Historical Perspectives: Essiac, Canadian Journal of Herbalism, 1991.
Handouts produced by Sat Dharam Kaur, N.D., for The Healthy Breast Class,