Herbal Salve

Soothe your chapped, rough skin this winter with a home-made herbal salve! Decide upon a mixture of herbs, oils, and natural beeswax that is readily available ‘in your own backyard! There are many beneficial therapeutic effects of herbs… along with interesting folklore & history of use through time… that’s lots of fun to explore! 

I used a few organic cultivated  herbs from my garden in addition to several native ‘herbs’ growing in my surrounding yard. If you haven’t been harvesting herbs through the growing season for winter use/storage, there’s still time! As  you put the garden to bed, before the snow blankets the ground, put-up some herbs!

For this recipe, I gathered some plantain, medicinal/ white yarrow, calendula  and comfrey. I use both fresh-picked and dried herbs ~~~ make sure the fresh-picked herbs are covered with oil ~~~ when you make your infusion ~~~ to avoid mold!  

Ingredients & Materials List

Organic/pesticide-free calendula petals

Organic/pesticide-free comfrey leaves

Wild-crafted plantain

White yarrow

½ cup almond oil (available at most grocers)

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 large sterilized glass jars (to infuse oils)

Cheesecloth/funnel

Natural beeswax

Hand grater to grate beeswax

Wooden skewer to stir salve

Vitamin E as preservative

OPTIONAL: Essential oil of choice (I like tea tree & peppermint. HINT: Excellent for my milking goats’ udders too!)

Sterilized glass or metal salve container of choice

How-To
1. First, combine 2 parts dried calendula petals, one part comfrey leaves, one part yarrow and one part plantain. Chop finely; herbs should total about 1 – 2 ounces. Gently heat ½ cup olive oil and ½ cup almond oil just past lukewarm; remove from heat. Add the herbs and infuse overnight. Alternatively, add oil and herbs to clean jar & set aside in a dark, warm place (like a kitchen cupboard) and allow the herbs to infuse the oil for about 2 weeks. HINT: This makes a nice herbal base for soap too. Once infused, using a funnel lined with cheesecloth, filter oil into another sterilized jar.

2. In a double boiler, heat infused oil again just past lukewarm… too much heat could compromise infused therapeutic ingredients. Stirring with wooden skewer, add 1 – 2 ounces of grated beeswax (carefully, wax is flammable) until desired consistency. (I also added a dab of lanolin.) To test salve consistency, place a spoon into the oil and blow on it to see how the salve solidifies. It should be soft and spreadable.

3. Remove oil from heat and add 1/8 teaspoon of natural vitamin E (I just squeeze some into the salve from a Vitamin E capsule) while continuing to stir gently.

4. OPTIONAL: Add 3 to 5 drops of essential oil and stir to incorporate. HINT: You can customize this recipe to address specific skin conditions, personal preferences for scent, etc. by choosing various herbs, carrier oils and essential oil known for the healthful benefits YOU desire.

5. Transfer salve to sterilized container(s) ~ glass jar or metal tin work best ~  and allow to cool completely with the lid off.  Finally, attach a personalized label. Perfect for gift-giving!

Choose a label from a variety of ‘free’ graphics from The Graphic’s Fairy

Do a little herb research. Home-made herbal salve is a good thing!