Making Homemade Ointments and Creams

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homemade ointment

Here you will find out how to make creams and homemade ointments for those remedies that can be kept in the first aid cupboard or the refrigerator ready for use.

They are very easy to make, they last for months and don’t contain any of those harmful chemicals you would normally find in the store bought creams and ointments.

There are some wonderful healing herbs to choose from lots of which can be easily grown in your own back yard.

So why pay for overpriced creams and ointments when you can make your own ointments and reap the benefits of using natural home remedies.

Making Homemade Ointments

Ointments are similar to creams but unlike a homemade cream that quickly absorbs into the skin, it forms a protective layer over the skin. homemade ointments do not contain water, just oils or fats and they are generally used where additional moisture protection is needed e.g. nappy rash.

Handy ointments to have in a first aid kit are;

Comfrey will speed up the healing process and encourage new cell growth. Only to be used on clean cuts and grazers as the rapid healing of skin may trap dirt.

Chamomile ointment is another handy one to have around. Treats stings, bites, wounds, itching eczema and anal irritation

What you will need

  • Either 9 oz (250g) petroleum jelly or soft paraffin wax
  • 1 oz (30g) dried herbs of your choice
Making homemade ointments


  1. In a bowl over a pan of boiling water, or in a double saucepan; melt the wax or jelly depending on which you are using.
  2. Then add the herbs, heat gently for about two hours.
  3. Pour the mixture into a jelly bag or a piece of muslin that you have fitted around the rim of a jug and secured with a rubber band or string.
  4. Whilst wearing rubber gloves (the mixture will still be very hot to handle) squeeze the mixture through the muslin or jelly bag.
  5. Transfer the mixture into storage jars while still warm.
  6. To avoid condensation allow the ointment to cool completely before securing with a lid. Finished colour will depend on the herbs you choice to use.
homemade ointments

Making Homemade Cream

Unlike homemade ointments, homemade creams are designed to soften and blend into the skin, and are made with a mixture of water fats and oils.

Homemade cream is particularly good for treating everyday cuts and grazes along with soothing a few aches and pains.

Creams made at home usually last for several months or even longer if kept refrigerated. For extra shelf life you can add a few drops of benzoin tincture to the cream.

Handy creams to have in a first aid kit are;

Calendula (marigold) is an antiseptic and antifungal cream that can be used on all sorts of cuts and grazers.

Chickweed is a very valuable cream to have around; it’s a first-class remedy for drawing out stubborn splinters and treating boils, stings, burns and scolds.

Arnica cream is very effective on sprains and bruisers but shouldn’t be used on broken skin as it can irritant it.

What you will need:

  • 5 1/2 oz (150g) emulsifying ointment (available from most drug stores)
  • 2 1/2 fl oz (70ml) glycerine
  • 3 fl oz (80ml) distilled water
  • 1 oz (30g) dried herb


  1. Melt the fats and the water together in a bowl over a pan of boiling water, or in a double saucepan.
  2. Add the herb and heat gently for three hours.
  3. Strain the mixture into a clean bowl and stir continuously until the mixture cools, this part is particularly important as the water and oil will start to separate if it is not constantly stirred until it has completely cooled.
  4. Transfer the cream into dark glass storage jars.
Angela Wills

About Angela

SavvyHomemade is a true passion for me and my family, its where we've been busy sharing inspirational DIY craft ideas since 2008! With over 30 years of handcrafting and creative experience, the dream is that this information will make life a little easier for others whilst also doing a little towards protecting our planet. More About Angela Wills »

7 thoughts on “Making Homemade Ointments and Creams”

Discussion (7 Comments)

  1. I am looking for a way to separare the ointment from the medicine I am highly allergic to it then i want to make it into a cream.Insurance will not cover a cream.This ointment gives me blisters which is not helpful.i know if i bring it to a boil then freeze it the oil will separate and float to the top then i will remove it and add my same amount of cream. I must try it as i need the medicine without the ointment.

    • Hi Vicki,

      Unfortunately, I don’t have any experience with separating ointments into their different ingredients, so I can’t offer any real advice in this context. I would recommend proceeding with caution, as some medicines cannot be applied directly onto the skin and must be diluted in specific quantities.

  2. To make an herb cream, why can’t you just add it to an existing moisturizing cream? It seems that emulsifying ointment is quite expensive on it’s own.

  3. Thank you for having such a GREAT website. I’ve been looking for recipes such as these for quite a while, and you’ve done excellent with the directions for helping them be simple and easy to understand. It’s all natural and good for the skin and purse too! Love the site!


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