Salves & Ointments

Salves & Ointments

To make your own salve, you need to extract the medicinal properties of the herbs in olive oil and then add beeswax to harden the oil.

In the following recipes you will be using parts rather than a specific volume of each herb. This allows you to easily adjust the recipe. If you want to make a small amount of salve, you can choose one tablespoon as the “part”. If you want to make a large amount of salve, you can choose 1/2 to 1 cup as the “part”.

The amount of olive oil needed to infuse the herbs is: Enough to completely cover the herbs, plus an inch of olive oil above the level of the herbs.

To determine how much beeswax is needed to harden the salve, you can approximate the proportions based on the following equivalents: one pint of oil will need about 1-1/2 ounces of beeswax, or for a smaller recipe, one ounce of oil will need about 1/2 teaspoon of beeswax. There are about 5 teaspoons of beeswax in an ounce.

If you intend to make your salve using freshly collected plants, you will need to clean them. Do this by shaking them to remove dirt, then spread the herbs out to allow them to air dry for several hours (until wilted) to reduce the moisture content. Fresh chickweed, for example, contains a lot of moisture and this water content could cause your salve to spoil quickly.

To make your salve, measure the desired amount of herbs into an enamel or stainless steel pan, or into a crock pot. Cover the herbs with olive oil. Use enough oil to cover the herbs plus another inch of oil above the level of herbs. Heat the herbs and oil over a low heat for several hours (about 3 hours). If you are using roots, you should heat the oil longer (about 5 hours). The best way to infuse the herbs is to use a crock pot because it operates at a controlled low temperature. If you don’t use a crock pot, use a double boiler. After heating, cool your oil for awhile. Strain the oil using a strainer lined with cheesecloth. When most of the oil has filtered through the cheesecloth, pick up the cheesecloth, keeping the herbs inside, and squeeze out as much oil as possible from the herbs and cloth. Next, add the appropriate amount of beeswax to the oil and heat it until all the wax is melted. To test the consistency of the salve, put a few drops in a saucer and then rub an ice cube on the underside of the saucer. It will cool down the salve quickly. When the consistency is right, put the salve in little glass or plastic jars.

You can add other ingredients to your salve, like cocoa butter, essential oils, almond oil, etc.

General All Purpose Salve
(Use for insect bites, itching, wounds, burns and fungal infections.)

1 part St. John’s Wort
1 part Calendula
1 part Comfrey leaf
1 part plantain
Olive Oil
Beeswax
Vitamin E (capsule contents)

Arnica Salve

Heat 1 ounce of arnica flowers and 1 ounce of cold pressed arnica oil for a few hours. This is useful for bruises, chapped lips, inflamed nostrils,
joint pain, skin rash, sprains and acne.

Goldenseal Salve
(To prevent infection and aid in the healing of wounds.)

1 part Goldenseal root
1 part Comfrey root
1 part Calendula
1 part Echinacea
Olive Oil
Beeswax
Vitamin E (capsule contents)

Chickweed Salve
(Use this salve to soothe itching caused by insect bites and rashes,
and minor skin irritations)

2 parts Chickweed
2 parts Plantain
1 part Comfrey leaf Olive Oil
Beeswax Vitamin E (capsule contents)

Chest Rub
(Used to relieve respiratory congestion.)

30 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
40 drops Camphor essential oil
15 drops Wintergreen essential oil
1 ounce Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Beeswax

Calendula Salve
(One of the best treatments for diaper rash. This can also be used for most other types of skin inflammation or dry skin, eczema, scalds and sunburn.)

1 part St. John’s Wort
2 parts Calendula
1 part Comfrey leaf
1 part Comfrey root
1 part Plantain
Olive Oil
Beeswax
Vitamin E (capsule contents)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *