Making Salves


The basic salve will be a carrier for the herbs that you add to it. The herbs will do the medicinal work, not necessarily the salve base. The basic salve can be made a number of ways.

Base One

* 1 part oil
* 5 parts beeswax

Base Two

* 1 part beeswax
* 4 parts lard or lanolin
* 1 part oil

Base Three

* 4 parts cocoa butter, shea butter, or a combination
* 1 part beeswax
* 1 part oil

To make a salve of any of these, melt over low heat, and stir until blended.

Herb Infused Oil

1 part dried herbs 2 parts oil

Mix in a container and leave in a warm place for two to three weeks to infuse. When herbs have infused into the oil, strain the oil and store, covered, in a cool, dark place. The longer the herbs stand in the oil, the more potent it will be.

Good oils to use are:

* Sweet almond oil
* Extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
* Extra virgin coconut oil
* Sunflower oil
* Apricot kernel oil (for facial salves)
* Grapeseed oil (for facial salves)
* Avocado oil

Always use cold pressed, organic oils for best results.

Healing Properties of Specific Ingredients

* Coconut oil is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. It is very good for the skin and is particularly good in diaper rash salve, salves for burns, hemorrhoids and the face.
* Olive oil makes a very greasy oil, which smells of olive oil. It is a superior moisture barrier that is best used in combination with other oils.
* Sweet almond oil helps relieve irritation, inflammation, muscular aches and pains and itching. It is a superior emollient.
* Avocado oil is a good base for salves that are used in treating cuts, acne, skin problems and burns. It is great for use with sensitive skin.
* Macadamia nut oil is good for burns, very fragile skin, bedsores and extremely dry, chapped skin.
* Shea butter has anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties and is helpful for dry skin.
* Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps with healing. It also is a natural preservative.
* Lanolin helps heal dry, cracked skin and keep it soft and supple.

Remember that essential oil is not the same thing as oil or herbally infused oil. It is a very concentrated form of the herb essence. Generally only a few drops of essential oil are needed in any recipe.

Specific Herbal Salve Recipes

Now that you know how to infuse the oil, and to make the base for your salve, it is time to add the proper herbs for specific use. Many of the herbs, like lavender, are used not only for their healing properties but also because they are fragrant herbs.

When using any herb for the first time, always rub a bit of the salve, or infusion of the herb, on the inside of your forearm to test for sensitivity. Some people who are sensitive to ragweed have an uncomfortable reaction to goldenseal. Doing this simple test can help to avoid such discomfort. Whenever possible, running a skin patch test is a good idea.

First Aid Salve

* 1 part goldenseal oil
* 1 part calendula oil
* 1 part comfrey oil
* 1 drop essential oil of lavender
* 1/8 tsp. tea tree essential oil
* 800IU vitamin E

Use as the oil in any of the basic herbal salve recipes. This is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and promotes quick healing. It is good for use on cuts, scrapes, infections, or just about anything.

Lip Salve

* 1 part lavender oil
* 1 part comfrey oil
* 1 part rose oil (be sure to use unsprayed petals)
* 800IU vitamin E

Use with the lanolin salve recipe. Coconut oil is a good oil to use with this.

Diaper Rash Salve

* 1 part calendula oil
* 1 part lavender oil
* 1 part comfrey oil
* 800 IU vitamin E

Use with the lanolin salve recipe.

Chest Rub

* 1 part rosemary oil
* 1 part thyme oil
* 1 part peppermint oil (not essential oil, homemade oil infusion)
* ½ Tsp. camphor essential oil
* ½ Tsp. eucalyptus essential oil

Use with any salve base recipe

Hemorrhoid Salve

* 1 part calendula oil
* 1 part comfrey oil
* 1 part nettle leaf oil
* ½ part marshmallow root oil
* 2 tsp. powdered myrrh
* 1 part lavender oil
* 800 IU vitamin E

Use with any salve base.


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