Herbal salve is essential to have on hand to soothe the calloused hands and chapped lips of the working farmer. It makes great gifts and is super simple to make.
- Infuse your dried herbs and flowers in olive oil. Use what you grow. My favorites are calendula, comfrey and yarrow. Pack a glass mason jar with dried herbs and cover with olive oil. Close the lid. Store in a dark place for about a month, shaking every few days.
- Strain the herb infused oil using cheesecloth, leaving behind the plant matter.
- Melt the oil together with its thickener. Beeswax is a great local choice and is used at a 1:4 beeswax:oil ratio by volume. Shea butter is used at a 1:1 ration with the oil. Either way, melt the oil and fat together in a “double boiler” – that’s a small pan holding the ingredients placed in a larger pan of boiling water.
- Once melted, you can incorporate any essential oils you enjoy smelling. (optional)
- Pour the mixture into small jars, put on the top, and let cool and set. Enjoy!
Herbs for Salve
(courtesy Mountain Rose Blog)
You can make salve with a single herb or multiple herbs, depending on your needs. It’s useful to make a variety of herbal infused oils so that you can easily craft salve whenever you need it!
Arnica flowers: Can help treat physical trauma, bruises, strains, and occasional muscle pain. Use immediately after strenuous exertion or injury to prevent, relieve, and reduce swelling, bruises and pain.
Burdock root: For skin infections.
Calendula flowers: Wonderfully healing with all-around healing properties useful for a wide variety of skin irritations and conditions including wounds, insect bites, rashes, scrapes, abrasions, cuts, and much more. Suitable for sensitive skin and babies.
Cayenne Pepper: Warming, good for occasional sore muscles, alleviates occasional pain, and itching.
Chamomile flowers: Minor abrasions, cuts, scrapes, and wounds.
Chickweed: Soothing, helps with skin conditions, minor burns, and other skin irritations.
Comfrey leaf and/or root: Relieves occasional pain, swelling, supports muscle, cartilage, and bone. Assists with healing a wide variety of conditions.
Echinacea herb and/or root: Beneficial for minor sores, wounds, insect bites, and stings.
Ginger root: Warming, use for occasional sore muscles.
Goldenseal leaf and/or root: Useful for treating minor wounds and skin conditions.
Lavender flowers: Soothing, calming, relieves occasional pain, has healing properties beneficial for minor wounds and numerous skin conditions.
Myrrh Gum powder: Used for cuts, scrapes, scratches, and abrasions.
Nettle leaf: An effective herb for many skin conditions.
Oregon Grape root: Skin disinfectant for minor wounds.
Plantain leaf: Helps speed the recovery process, relieves and soothes insect bites and stings, poison ivy, itching, minor sores, bruises, blisters, and damaged skin.
St. John’s Wort: Craft the deep red-colored oil from fresh flowers. Beneficial for minor wounds, cuts, bruises, insect bites and stings, nerve support, scrapes, and minor burns.
Thyme: Used for cuts, scrapes, and occasional sore muscles.
Yarrow Flowers: Apply to bruises, minor wounds, cuts, scrapes, and areas with swelling and bleeding.