Ancient Egyptians knew the value of beeswax and its versatile uses around the home. Around 1550 BC, beeswax during the embalming process of mummies and pharaohs, as well as keeping curls buoyant, protecting papyrus scrolls and paintings from sun exposure.
Now that we are in the modern age, there are many useful ways to use beeswax in your home just like the Egyptians did.
Beeswax is a natural substance produced by the worker bees that is organic, hypoallergenic, antimicrobial, and malleable, which makes uniquely useful for a variety of applications.
Many households since the 1950’s relied on clear plastic wrap to cover their foods. However, within the past decade, doctors urge consumers to choose alternative products because over 175 known carcinogens are leaching into our food.
Beeswax offers a natural, sustainable way to wrap our food without any harmful chemicals. Beeswax food packaging is antibacterial, reusable, and washable. These long-lasting products are flexible, yet breathable to keep air and moisture from ruining your food.
Keep in mind these products are not to be used with raw meats or heated in any way. To make food packing from beeswax: Preheat, the oven to 185 F. Cut 100% organic cotton to desired size and shape.
Place it on a cookie sheet. Grate the beeswax using a cheese grater and sprinkle on top evenly. Heat in the oven until the wax melts (about 5 minutes). Cool and it is ready to use!
Skin Infection Reduction
Researcher Al Waili (2003) equal parts of beeswax, honey, and olive oil and proved that proved more effective against Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans, which are responsible organisms that cause diaper dermatitis, plaque psoriasis, and eczema.
Additional studies also conclude that the beeswax mixture is helpful to reduce anal fissures, hemorrhoids, and deep second-degree burns (Moustafa & Atiba, 2015)
Researchers Molina, Mas, and Carbajal published a study that (2015) taking D-002 (50-100 mg/day), which is a combination of six beeswax alcohols improved patients OA pain compared to taking a daily NSAID.
Taking the D-002 provided more relief for patients and provided a protective factor for their gastrointestinal health. It seems the D-002 provided antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects compared to the NSAID, which was only anti-inflammatory.
Warm beeswax is hailed for its anti-inflammatory properties when applied to muscles, nerves, and joints. Bulgarian Doctor Potschinkova advocates beeswax has healing properties when applied warm to inflamed muscles, nerves, tendons due to colds and flu, lower back pain, and arthritis.
To make a beeswax packing wrap: dip a soft cotton cloth (such as an old t-shirt) cut according to the body size and shape desired. Place the cloth into liquid beeswax. Lay the beeswax-covered cloth flat to dry.
When warming, place in a warm oven up to 140 F on a cookie sheet using a Silpat or aluminum foil. Cover the body part overnight with a scarf or cloth to provide further insulation. The wax cloth is reusable.
In a review study, taking 5-20 mcg per day of plant-derived very long chain fatty alcohols from beeswax, unrefined cereal grains, and other foods lowered low-density lipoprotein (“bad”) cholesterol by 21 to 29 percent and raised high-density (“good”) lipoprotein cholesterol by 8 to 15%.
Subjects ingested C24-C34 alcohols, including octacosanol and triacontanol, which showed significant improvement in lowering cholesterol compared to no intervention (Hargrove, Greenspan, & Hartle, 2004).
Apitherapy (beeswax as medicine)
Beeswax is the most hypoallergenic bee product with medicinal properties. Research shows that when chewed the wax strengthens the gums and increases saliva from the chronic dry mouth and reduces gastrointestinal discomfort from gastrointestinal reflux disorder (GERD) (Potschinkova, 1992).
Skin Cold Creams
Beeswax does not cause irritation to sensitive skin will not clog pores or acne. As a result, beeswax provides a protective layer from the environment, improves elasticity, and simultaneously rids bacteria from the skin.
To make a cold cream at home, melt five parts beeswax in one jar and three parts coconut oil in another over a simmering pan of hot water until both reach 158 F then mix thoroughly.
Place the pot in cold water and continue stirring constantly. Transfer the cream to its final airtight container. The cream will feel solid, but cold yet melts in your hands as you rub it onto your face.
You may substitute olive oil or avocado oil for coconut oil if desired. Here is a three-minute YouTube video that offers an easy to follow step-by-step instructions on how to make facial products using beeswax in this video.
Homemade Facial Soap
Mix 1 part beeswax, two parts water, and three parts coconut oil (or another oil substitute) with one tsp borax. Bring the beeswax and oil to 160 F.
You may add any desired essential oils or perfumes, but oil until 140 F. In a separate container, heat the water and borax until they reach 158 F and mix until well combined. Allow the mixture to cool thoroughly before using. The borax combines the water and beeswax making a soap-like substance.
Since borax is alkaline and not acidic, it neutralizes the fatty acid contents in the beeswax when mixed, which produces a creamy oil-water consistency excellent for washing your face without stripping it of its natural moisture.
This recipe is excellent for chapped winter lips and better than any lip balm you can purchase in stores and will last longer too!
Combine two parts shredded beeswax with four parts coconut oil, one part glycerine (optional), two parts liquid honey, and four drops of essential oil flavor as desired (try almond, peppermint, orange, lemon, or lavender). Bring to heat, coconut oil, and glycerine to 158 F and then remove from heat.
Add the honey and stir until the mixture thickens and cools to 140 F then add the essential oil flavor, while continually stirring evenly. Allow the mixture to cool. Pour the mixture into an empty screw-top lip-balm container and let cool until set.
Beeswax candles have a higher melting point than traditional paraffin wax candles, which means that they last longer and are less likely to drip when burning.
Tips for optimal burning include:
- store beeswax candles in the freezer up to 1 year when not in use
- Thinner candles (less than 24 mm) burn more consistently than thicker candles and produce less smoke
- Thicker candles (greater than 24 mm) produce residue after a short period. To reduce the risk of sediment, shorten the wick with scissors before burning.
Homemade Leather Furnishes
It is easy to make a lotion to condition and waterproof your leather goods to keep them looking shiny and new. Combine 5-6 parts beeswax with eight parts tallow and eight parts neats foot oil.
Heat ingredients together until they reach 160 degrees F. Mix thoroughly and store in an airtight container. To use, rub mixture on leather using a soft cloth once cooled and wipe away excess.
To make a high-quality wood polish used on unvarnished wood, combine 1 part beeswax with 1.5 parts turpentine. Add fragrances like lemon oil, lavender, or peppermint oil.
To make the mixture dry faster, you may add Carnauba wax, which will make the wood harder and shinier. Store the mix in an airtight container. The polish is applied warm, so it soaks quickly into the wood. Wipe excess off with a brush or cloth and let dry.
When minding your beeswax remember all of the versatile uses for the home and body. Beeswax is an excellent product to keep around the house because it can keep your body and skin healthy and strong while providing a protective barrier for everyday things you have around the home like wood and leather.
Next time you think of you are considering purchasing a new facial lotion, lip balm, NSAID, or clear plastic wrap consider making an organic product instead from beeswax that has many living properties in it that will protect you and your family from harsh chemicals.
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