Salves are used to treat itchy skin, dry skin, boils, infections and even aches and pains depending on the herbs used. That lip balm in the little tin or tube? That’s a salve.
Making salves at home is relatively simple and you’ll up with as good (or better) a product than you can buy in the store.
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.
This recipe calls for 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 “. Just be aware than a cup of an herb is a LOT of herb, and if you are using several in your salve, you will wind up with a lot of salve.
I strongly suggest starting small, so as to guage how strong your end product is, and to allow for a wider range of experimentation.
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, rinsing them and shaking again, 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 (cold pressed extra virgin organic is preferred). 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 sterile little glass or plastic jars.
You can add other ingredients to your salve, like cocoa butter, essential oils, almond oil, etc.
1 part Goldenseal Root
1 part Comfrey Root
1 part Calendula Petals
1 part Echinacea Root
1 part Myrrh Resin – Powdered
Virgin Olive Oil
Beeswax (Natural Yellow)
This salve is used to prevent infection and aid in the healing of wounds.