Product Type: Badger in Health Therapies / Treatments
Newest Review: ... feels unfair to say it definitely doesn't. Any effect it has had, has been subtle. ~Ingredients~ All Badger products are 100% natural,... more
It's Not Black and White
Badger Sleep Balm
Member Name: noodlesandwich
Badger Sleep Balm
Advantages: scent, 100% natural product, handy sized tin, long lasting
Disadvantages: didn't help me sleep
I bought Badger sleep balm as part of a pack of three Badger balms. I must have been in quite a suggestible mood, wandering around 'Utility' in Liverpool's Bold Street, looking for a gift for a friend. I liked the look of the gift boxes with three badger balms in so much that I bought one for myself too. I chose the gift set for mums and babies which included a baby balm and body balm. At the time my daughter was one year old and I had hopes that a gentle, natural balm such as this might help her to settle through the night, no harm in trying anyway.
There are different sizes available, mine is the smaller 21g tin. It's a nice size to keep in your bag, good for travelling with, and it lasts for ages. It has a best before date on it, which mine has long since passed, (I've worked out it had about 18 months to go at the time of purchase, it's currently a year out of date). It's described on the tin as 'a calming sleep enhancer', so it's not making huge claims to cure insomnia, but suggests to me that it would be a mild sleep aid. It's suggested on the Badger website, (www.badgerbalm.com), that it be rubbed under the nose and on wrists, temples and other pulse points.
I like the scent of the balm and I like the handy little tin with the picture of a contented badger sleeping in the moonlight. I do recall that I could identify the Lavender quite strongly when I first bought this, and the Bergamot, but as time has gone on the Ginger has come to the fore.
The texture is a little bit like oily lard which may sound off-putting, but means it's easy to dig into and to smooth onto skin. It feels a touch greasy but for the use of tiny amounts on pulse points this really doesn't matter. If you were to use it as a hand cream, which I have done, then it can leave a clammy feeling on the skin for a few minutes after use. I suppose it's possible this could result in stains to clothing but I haven't noticed any.
I used this with my daughter by rubbing a little of it on her wrists and temples at bedtime. At the time of purchase we were staying with family in Liverpool which has always meant unsettled sleep for my little one. She enjoyed putting this on and liked the smell of it, but I can't say I noticed any discernible difference to her sleep patterns. I continued to use it because it was a nice part of a bedtime routine, a little bit of calming ritual.
I found the scent relaxing myself, but I'm not sure it's ever helped me to sleep either. I do occasionally have trouble sleeping, particularly if I've had to get up in the night I can find it very difficult to resettle.
If my daughter or I did get a good night's sleep I sometimes put it down to this helping, but it's something that's virtually impossible to measure. It could be that it's had a psychological effect on occasion; we thought it would help, so it did. I know there have been good nights and bad nights when this has been used, so it's definitely no miracle worker.
So, I can't say for definite that this works, but it feels unfair to say it definitely doesn't. Any effect it has had, has been subtle.
All Badger products are 100% natural, which is pretty impressive. Since my purchase they have also added certified organic symbols to most of their ingredients. There are only eight ingredients in this balm, three of these are used as carriers for essential oils; Extra Virgin Olive oil and Castor oil, as well as Beeswax which is used to thicken oil preparations and is also said to have therapeutic properties.
The essential oils used are:
Bergamot - this is often used for helping anxiety and depression. It is thought of as an uplifting oil, but relaxing rather than a stimulant.
Ginger - this spice is used to treat several physical ailments including colds and flu, but I can find little mention of it's mental and emotional effects. Some people claim it is an aphrodisiac and it is seen as a stimulant, so I wouldn't have thought that it would be a good addition to a sleep balm. (I notice Badger also do a 'clear mind' balm which contains citrus and ginger).
Balsam Fir - a complex essential oil that is alleged to have many properties, but again it is also a stimulant. It has a 'green' scent which could be part of the reason for it's use, but it is seen as a refreshing oil, something for use in the morning rather than at bedtime methinks.
Rosemary - is another oil used to clear the head, a decongestant, but yet another stimulant, possibly the most effective stimulant of these. I wouldn't use Rosemary oil if I wanted to get to sleep.
Lavender - Now this I can understand being in here. One of the most well known and widely used oils for relaxation. Lavender oil is known for its calming, sedative effects.
With three stimulating oils I think Badger haven't quite got the mix right. The fact that these oils have decongestant and 'mind clearing' properties would suggest reasons for their being there, but these are oils I would use to help me stay awake and concentrate, not to help me sleep. I could be wrong of course, I'm not an aromatherapist, but I do use essential oils and have read up on them over the years. I would have thought Lavender and Bergamot alone would have been enough, maybe with one of the other oils. Badger do a 'Night Night' balm for toddlers which sounds like it might be more effective to me from looking at the ingredients.
On the website Badger say that their sleep balm doesn't make you sleepy, rather that it quiets your thoughts so that you fall asleep naturally. Various testimonials are cited from people who claim it has worked for them.
Badger originated as a family run business which began in 1995 in New Hampshire, USA when, according to the website, founder Bill Whyte made a hand balm for himself using ingredients he found in his kitchen. UK outlets include Amazon.co.uk where a mini sleep balm such as mine would currently set you back only £2.91.
I like the smell of this balm. I like the fact that is made entirely from natural ingredients. Although I can't say it helped either myself or my child to sleep, it is one of Badger's best sellers and has rave reviews elsewhere, so maybe I am missing something. If it doesn't help you sleep, you could use it as a lip balm, or for dry skin patches, I've used it on my hands after doing the dishes. It's very long lasting, (although part of the reason I've had my tin for so long is that I lost it for several months). I probably wouldn't buy this particular balm again, but I like the Badger brand and would buy other products from them. It would also be quite easy to take a leaf out of their book and make one hundred per cent natural products from kitchen ingredients mixed with a few essential oils, just like Badger Bill.
Summary: relaxing scent, natural product but maybe not the most effective Badger balm
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