Herbal Salve

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Strain the herb infused oil using cheesecloth, leaving behind the plant matter.
  3. 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.
  4. Once melted, you can incorporate any essential oils you enjoy smelling. (optional)
  5. 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.