I had a cold last week. I had run out of my homemade vapo-rub that I had concocted a while back, so I decided to whip up another batch. I was running low on the non-petroleum vegetable jelly that I used to make it and other ointments for my medicine chest; I decided to add some beeswax to the mix. I knew beeswax would be too solid in consistency, so I added in a bit of vegetable glycerin too. I put everything in a small container and microwaved it for a bit until everything was all melted together. I added my menthol crystals, camphor and eucalyptus essential oil, stirred it all up a little and put on the cap. The next morning I opened it up and sniffed - smelled right. It looked a tad hard though, more like a salve than a rub. I dug my finger in to try it out, only to discover that the glycerin had all separated out of the mix and was floating on the bottom. I was disappointed, but filed the failure in my memory for future reference - beeswax and glycerin do not mix.
In the spirit of curing my cold, I also decided to try a home cough remedy I had heard about from a friend. The recipe sounded decidedly unpalatable to me, so I was skeptical, but dove in anyway. The recipe is simple - chop up a small onion and put it in a glass bowl or jar, then cover the onion with honey. Put the lid on and let it sit over night. I mixed up my brew and let it be 'til the next morning. I then strained out and discarded the onion and left the honey behind. What I had left was a soothing honey cough syrup that did not taste a bit like onions. I was pleasantly surprised. I took it for a few days mixed with some lemon and it did help my cough. I would call this experiment a success.
So, there you have it. One cold, two experiments and two very different results. Don't be afraid to try new things. Even through the failures we still learn and you never know whether things will work out until you try.