Hi Art –
I have just started using your lotion for my osteoarthritic fingers. I have Bouchard's nodes on the middle joint of the fingers of my right hand. The nodes are ugly but only mildly painful so far. Lately, it's difficult to clench my hand properly.
I use it every time I wash my hands (which is a lot these days). I dry my hands thoroughly then put a dollop of lotion and massage it into my fingers (especially the knuckles) quite vigorously.
I wonder if the massage is part of the effectiveness of the therapy lotion. I will also add lotion to my hands throughout the day for no other reason than it feels good and I love the smell.
I followed your protocol – except I did add birch essential oil.
- I use my coffee/spice grinder to grind up about 1/4 of a cup of borax (20 Mule Team) until it is a fine powder. That way I will always have a supply on hand.
- I use an unscented hand lotion with as few ingredients in it as possible. I got mine from the health food store.
- I added two teaspoons of ground borax to my 16-ounce bottle of lotion, shook it thoroughly and then let it sit until the next day. The borax was completely dissolved.
- I then added 17 drops of birch essential oil (that may be too much for a beginner but my skin can take it). For those of you who don't know about birch e.o., it smells like Lifesaver's Wint-o-Green (or wintergreen). Not even sure if they still make that flavor. It's also a very good pain reliever for me but your results may vary. Essential oils are optional.
I've also used this lotion to massage my ankles and swollen feet (it's hot here so I'm prone to swelling). It had a cooling effect and did reduce the swelling by about half (once again, maybe the vigorous massage was part of the effectiveness of the therapy).
I really like it (never would have thought of adding borax to a lotion) and will continue to use it for any future pain (like a stiff neck, sore muscles, even a headache) - certainly can't hurt!
Thanks again, Art!