September 24, 2014

Upcoming Products: Formulating a Therapeutic Ointment

Back in late August and early September I had yet another flair up of carpal tunnel and what I now know to be the early stages of rheumatoid arthritis. I tried the usual over-the-counter creams and found them lacking. They helped, sure, but they burned, produced an exceedingly weird "cold burn" sensation, and left the skin feeling dried out and sticky.

Virtually all of them used menthol or capsasin as their active ingredients. Menthol is an anti-inflammatory agent found in members of the mint family such as wintergreen, spearmint, eucalyptus, and peppermint just to name a few. Capsasin is found in peppers and more of less just overrides the pain by producing a burning sensation. Knowing this, I decided to try and make a better anti-inflammatory cream.

Therapeutic ointment
Hubby demonstrating the texture of our lotion formula once we'd perfected it.
I studied up on different essential oils. I found several which are known to be powerful anti-inflammatories and then began experimenting with them. The first attempt worked, but the smell was like someone doused you in lemon Pledge. Plus the ointment left a greasy film behind, which I wasn't happy with either. Still, after three days of applying the ointment three times a day, my hands were back to their normal size and functionality. Since then, that first batch proved effective at relieving strained muscles, inflamed tendons, tension headaches, migraine, and dampening sinus pain long enough for decongestants to kick in.

For the second batch, I left out the grape seed oil I'd used as a carrier in an attempt to make the ointment less greasy. I also left out the rose hip seed oil and used a touch less eucalyptus and peppermint oil because I ran out of them both. I didn't have the cinnamon oil yet, so I used a little cinnamon fragrance oil just to see if it would help the fragrance at all.

Once again, the ointment worked, but this second batch wasn't as powerful as the first, which is to be expected I suppose since it was missing all or some of two key essential oils. Also, removing the grape seed oil altogether unbalanced the oil to water ratio enough to prevent full emulsification. The cinnamon did improve the fragrance, however, and the ointment no longer had a greasy feel to it.

I ordered more oils yesterday. Before I was just experimenting with the essential oils I had on hand in an effort to ease the pain, weakness, and numbness I was experiencing enough to get back to work. Once my shipment arrives, I should have the right essential oils at full potency to produce the formula I've been striving for these last few weeks. One that relieves and helps heal without burning, isn't greasy or sticky, and has a pleasant herbal smell to it.

Once I get the formulation just right, I plan to add "Ow, My Aching Everything" therapeutic ointment to Contented Comfort's products. I've also gotten ideas for other health and wellness products while studying essential oils and their uses. Depending on how this first item does, I may begin the process of formulating those as well.

Do you have items you want to see? Comment below. I try my best to fulfill requests.

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