I first got into herbal salve quite a few yrs ago… And the first one I used was Miracle Salve. I loved that stuff and used it all the time. But being the frugal person that I am, and the creativeness in me, I had to try to make it for myself.
So it’s been close to 2 yrs that I have been making my own salves. And I love being able to tailor them to my own needs and adding in what I have on hand, or whatever herbal oils I have already made.
There are 3 basic steps in making salves…
First step – Choose your herbs. I choose herbs based on what I need. I like to have an all-purpose salve made at all times. Mine contains plantain, Comfrey, Calendula and Echinacea. I also have salve’s with just Comfrey and just Calendula.
Plantain – Is a great ‘first aid’ herb. Fresh leaves chewed or crushed will stop the bleeding from an open wound. Plantain relieves pain and inflamation from bites and stings and from the itch of poison ivy. It’s good for many skin ailments, including diaper rash.
Comfrey – Is an awesome bone healer!! It is a contact healer for wounds and broken bones. It helps in relieving pain and rapid cell regeneration causing new flesh and bone to grow quickly. And it’s a comforting astringent for treating inflammation and bruising. (Be sure wound is properly cleaned before using.) Comfrey is great for broken bones.
Calendula – has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. It is good for wounds, burns and abrasions, in helping to rejuvenate the skin. And it overcomes abnormal skin growths.
Echinacea – (Leaf & root) It is an awesome infection fighter, as well as a powerful antibiotic. It stimulates the over all activity of the cells responsible for fighting all kinds of infections.
Research your herbs to find ones that fit your needs. Find some good salve’s and study what is in them.
Rosemary essential oil soothes sore muscles and acts as a strong anti-inflammatory to reduce swelling and inflammation of abrasions.
Some places to research herbs are Bulk Herb Store, and the book Be Your Own Doctor, which I can’t recommend enough!! Just dig, dig, dig, if you have an open mind to learn, you will learn!!! Oh, WellTellMe is another great spot to dig.
Step 2 – you need to extract the herbal properties from the herbs you want to use. If you have lots of time, just fill a small jar 1/2-3/4 full of herb (jam jars work great), then fill with the oil of your choice. I generally use olive oil, but have also used Sweet Almond Oil and Sesame, but they are a tad more expensive. Then let sit 4-6 wks. Shaking every day or so. Or you can speed it up with a crock pot that has a ‘warm’ setting. Place a rag on the bottom of crock, put in your jars and fill with water up to necks. Then keep warm for 2-3 days. You will also need to keep the water level up, and shake jars a couple of times a day. Don’t want to use a low heat setting, as it will cook your herbs and that isn’t what you want to do. I miss my crock pot with that setting!!! You want your oil to be a dark color, from the herbs.
3rd Step – When the herbs have been extracted into the oil, you are ready for the next step. Well, first strain out the herbs, using an old t-shirt or a couple of layers of cheese cloth.
Measure your oil and use approximately 1 oz of beeswax (by weight) to 8 0z. of oil (by volume). Place in a double boiler, and heat until beeswax is melted. You may test the thickness of the salve by dipping a spoon into the oil/beeswax, then cooling in freezer for a bit. Then add more beeswax or oil depending on what consistency you want it. (Remember it is a salve, you need to be able to spread it.) You may also add coconut oil, it has good healing properties as well. Just play around with your salve until you get the desired results. Pour into containers. And allow to cool and firm up.
You now have your very own salve. And this will keep for a very long time. My current jar is about gone and I know it is over a yr. old.
And if you want to see some video how-to’s check out Mountain Rose Herbs – How to Make Herbal Infused Oil and How to Make Salve. They also have LOTS more cool video’s and making your own things… You can check them out on their YouTube Page. I actually get my little plastic jars and tins through them. As well as a lot of my herbs.
Have fun learning and playing. What are your favorite herbs to use?? Or do you have other tips or thoughts to share?? We can all learn together.