Pull Up A Chair

By: Hettie Basil Lighttower

Mind your beeswax! Haha…. Have you ever been told that as a kid? That’s an interesting way to say “mind your own business”. I am not planning on talking about minding your own business, at least not today. But this phrase reminds me of when my parents gave me the opportunity to go to Ireland. They speak English but also Gaelic there and use language just a little different than we do. On spaces where we in America would have “WATCH YOUR STEP”, they have “MIND YOUR STEP”…. Meaning pay attention to where you are walking because there is a step up and you may trip if you are not paying attention. So the word “mind” and its uses fascinated me while I was there. Perhaps I’ll talk about the interesting phrases and fun twists on words that Ireland uses, but today I am actually wanting to get into ‘beeswax’.
I recently learned that if you use beeswax in a candle, when you burn that candle it naturally puts out negative ions into the air! Who knew? We need negative ions in order to restore our health! These ions are naturally found all around us. When the wind is blowing or there is a nice breeze…. there is …negative ions. In moving water, like the ocean, a stream, rain, snow and even a water fountain…. there is …negative ions. What’s so great about negative ions? Our bodies are positive and these things ground us and balance us out. So a simple thing like burning a candle made of beeswax can literally make us feel better. But let’s look at some other uses of beeswax!
You can use beeswax in your kitchen, home and garden! In your kitchen beeswax was the original plastic! I have a couple of locally made thin “wraps” made of beeswax. You just simply press it around the top perimeter of your preferred glass bowl or plate or jar and the warmth of your hands shape it enough to seal the container. It is naturally anti-microbial, free of toxins and chemicals, water proof and sturdy. It hardens and stays firm in the refrigerator around the item you sealed with it. These wraps can be washed with tepid soap and water, dabbed dry and stored in a cool place until you are in need of it again. You may also just wrap a half used vegetable in it! So if you cut half a cucumber up in your salad, squish and form the wrap around the rest of the cucumber and it stays fresh in the fridge and doesn’t dry out! Voila! Also, in the kitchen you can grease your cookie sheets, condition your wooden spoons and cutting boards, cheese waxing/preserving, season your cast iron skillets, and of course polish your furniture! But who talks about this stuff???? Do you know a bee keeper? It would be great to go make friends with one, or better yet become one. There are so many benefits that bees provide for us. They are not just pollinators. Why go shopping for products full of unhealthy chemicals when the bees buzz by us everyday sending us love and freedom for a healthy life?
Other uses are in cosmetics, lip balm, lotions, salves and skin care in general. Of course you need to melt the wax and mix it into the other ingredients for which product you desire to make. When you do this make sure to use a double boiler method and whatever jar or pan you’re melting it in, let it be your designated melting vessel because it may always have a waxy residue once the wax is melted into it. I have local friends that make the candles, make the wraps and also the balms and skin care products of beeswax. But I have dabbled in my own salves and lotions and added some wonderful essential oils and have been very pleased with the results. My skin is silky soft and I didn’t spend $200 on 4oz jar. Beeswax is very high in Vitamin A so it feeds our skin and also protects from the sun to a degree. It may also be used for mustache wax, scar salve and even used on your dog’s paws especially if your dog has to walk on a lot of sidewalks or pavement, or if you have taken a long nature walk on a good bit of rocks. This will soothe and help to heal the bottom of the paws.
Ok, in the garden….it can be used for aiding the grafting of trees, coating the metal parts of your garden tools and shovels to prevent rust, conditioning the handles of your tools, and you can even make a conditioner for your leather boots and gloves and make them water proof! There is a way to use a little melted beeswax on your mushroom plugs if you are trying to grow mushrooms, it will keep them from drying out. Mix with calendula oil and use to take the itch out of insect bites while you are outdoors. And of course at the end of the day and you are ready to burn that pile of cleaned up brush, you can use your handy-dandy beeswax covered pine cone as a great fire starter! And if you accidentally burn yourself in the process, beeswax to the rescue for that nasty scar to go away!
I hope you have enjoyed this and next week we talk more about those pesky bees and their uniqueness in providing so much more than we thought possible. As always feel free to send in your notions and comments to [email protected]. I will include them in the next available column as per their arrival relative to the publication deadline of Tuesday by 12 p.m. of the same week. If you wish to be anonymous let me know. Kindness is contagious~*