I’ll bet not a lot of my readers have ever heard of this product. It comes in a square green metal tin with a cow udder printed on the side and a cow’s head and flowers on the top. This is because it was developed – way back in 1899 – to soothe and heal cow’s teats when they become chapped and cracked from being pumped for milk. Bag balm smells heavily medicinal, not surprising since it is made from hydroxyquinoline sulfate, lanolin, and petroleum jelly. I was introduced to it by my Mom when I was pretty young, because I remember telling her that her hands had a yucky smell. Turns out the farmers who used it on their cows discovered it softened and healed their hands.
It has lots of other uses too: dry facial skin, cracked fingers, burns, zits, saddle sores, sunburn, pruned trees, bed sores and radiation burns. Not sure how it works on all that. It was also used by Allied troops in WWII to protect their weapons from rust and on the paws of cadaver sniffing dogs at Ground Zero after 9/11.
I used it on my babies’ diaper rash – they were too young to mind the smell and it worked wonderfully – and on my hands in the winter. Mostly it just reminds me of my mother. In a nice way.