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Salves are not made to be ingested, but applied on your body or household. Please make sure you do not have a rection to such herbs and read the homeopathic herbal remedies page and the herbal correspondences page for more inormation.
What is a salve?
A salve is a remedial or soothing magickal substance for healing wounds and sores.
How to Make Salves
Moisture tends to cause medicinal oils and salves to deteriorate and spoil quickly so you will need to use dried herbs rather than fresh herbs. Of course you could dry your own herbs, as well.
The oils with the longest shelf life are coconut and olive oil. Both are very healthy oils. The seed oil are so unsaturated and the fatty acid are less stable. They breakdown with heating and form transfatty acid which have been shown to acutally cause heart disease and cancer. They will still work for medicinal oils but are not recommended.
The coconut oil is solid or semi-solid at any temperature below 78 degrees. Olive oil will begin to solidify at temperatures around 40. This make a difference in the constituency of the salve between winter and summer in most areas that have changes in their seasons. You will want to keep this in mind when making your salves and lip balms. A salve made from just coconut oil would be very soft during the summer if you made it during the winter, for example. But if has rich emollient and anti microbial properties and is a wonderful ingredient to use in salves.
To make a salve, begin by preparing a medicinal oil:
Place the herbs you choose in a glass jar, cover with extra virgin cold pressed olive and/or coconut oil and cover tightly.
Place this jar in either a warm sunny spot,
The warmer the spot, the shorter the time it will need to sit. Placing this jar in nice warm sand, or in the center of your garden in the sun you probably want to wait 2 weeks.
Now, you may strain the herbs and begin making the salve or you may strain and add another batch of herbs and repeat the first 3 steps. This will make an oil that is double strength, but takes twice the time. Place the bottled oil in a cool dark area.
Place the herbs in your crockpot and cover with extra virgin cold pressed olive and/or coconut oil.
Turn the heat on low and let the herbs steep 3-4 hours. You don't want the herbs to cook or fry. Instead you want the medicinal qualities to slowly diffuse into the oil. The lower the heat the longer you will need to steep the herbs and the higher quality the oil will be.
Strain the herbs and get ready to turn this oil into a wonderful salve that will greatly benefit your family. If you do not make the salve right away pour the oil in a glass bottle or jar and place in a cool dark area.
Using Your Oven
Place the herbs in a glass canning jar and cover with extra virgin cold pressed olive and/or coconut oil.
Put the jar(s) inside a pan filled half full with water.
Place in the oven and turn it on the lowest setting you can. Remember, the lower the heat, the longer the infusion time, and the better quality the oil. Most ovens have the first temperature markings somewhere around 175 or 200 degrees. I hang a candy thermometer in the oven and place the dial about 3/4 of the way there (in that area where there are no temperature markings) so the temperature is only 140 or so. At 175-200 degrees you will need to wait a few hours for your herbs to infuse. At 140 degrees you'll need to wait longer. Just keep checking it. The oil will turn a deep color from the herbs as they infuse.
Strain and keep in a cool dark place until ready for use.
Using a Double Boiler
Place the herbs and extra virgin cold pressed olive and/or coconut oil in a double boiler, covering them with a tight fitting lid.
Bring to a low simmer.
Slowly heat for 1/2 to 1 hour.
Check frequently to be sure the oil is not over heating. Be careful, you do not want french fried herbs! Oil heats up very quickly and you can go very quickly from a nice herbal infusion to fried comfrey leaves.
Strain thoroughly and bottle for use in the salve. Store in a cool dark place.
Now you are ready for salve making
Your pan and supplies must be moisture free. Place the herbal oil in a pan.
Add 1/8th cup of beeswax for each cup of oil and heat over very low heat until the beeswax is melted. If you wish for a softer salve add a little more oil or a little less beeswax. It is here that I add my liquid components such as Tea Tree Oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Vitamin E, etc.
Take a little of this liquid and pour into a container allowing it to cool. (You can cool it quickly in the refrigerator.) This is like a jelly test. When it has set up, check its consistency and add more beeswax or oil to adjust.
Once you are satisfied with the consistency remove it from the heat and immediately pour into small glass jars or tins. We have tins and jars available here if you need them.
It's as easy as 1-2-3! Keep the jars out of the sunlight and heat. Don't leave them in the car. They will keep their deep rich color and strong herby smell and work wonderfully then. We much prefer our salves to anything the medical system and drug stores have to offer.
Salves made easy
This is one of my favorite ways to use herbs. We keep a variety of them in our first aid kits and around the house. It is very easy to make your own salves. Start with 8 ounces of an herbal oil and place in a non-metal pan. Add about 1/4 cup of beeswax. Heat over a very low heat until the beeswax is melted. To check the firmness of your salve, place a few drops on a plate and place in the freezer. After a minute or two, check the consistency. If it is too soft, add more beeswax; if too hard, add more oil. When you have achieved the desired consistency, pour into clean, glass jars and cool completely. Stored in a cool, dark place, your salves should keep for a couple of years.
Wilderness Family Natural's Antifungal/Antibacterial Salve
(We use this for cuts, athlete's foot, diaper rash, infections, everything. You'll love this salve!)
1/2 cup Comfrey root (healing and soothing)
2 cups Plantain leaf (healing and soothing)
2-3 Tablespoons Goldenseal Root powder (antibacterial/antifungal)
Make this into an herbal oil. Then add to this oil:
2 Tablespoons Grapefruit seed extract (strong antibacterial/antifungal properties)
2 Tablespoons Tea Tree Oil (strong antifungal/antibacterial properties)
Now make the salve by melting beeswax into the warmed oil and pour into containers.
Salve for Arthritis
1 1/2 oz fresh Mint Leaf
1 1/2 oz crushed fresh Eucalyptus Leaf
1/4 oz crushed dried Bay Leaf
1/2 oz crushed or powdered dried Golden Seal Root
1/2 lb. Vegetable Shortening (in the "old days" lard was used) (if the fresh herbs cannot be found, substitution with dried herbs is OK)
Mix all herbs together. Melt the Vegetable Shortening in a pot on low flame, adding a little at a time to speed the melting process. When all the Shortening has been melted, turn off the fire, and slowly stir in the mixed herbs. When all is mixed well, pour the liquid salve into a jar. DO NOT USE PLASTIC!!! USE GLASS ONLY!!! (plastic will draw out the essence of the herbs...) Cap the jar and refrigerate until the shortening has become a solid again, and is cold. Will keep for about a week.
Gather a small amount onto hand and massage onto skin of afflicted joint. Let set for at least one hour. Repeat as necessary.
Eye Wrinkle Cream
Diminish creasing and smooth out lines. Use regularly . BLEND : 2 TSPS. Hazel Nut Oil
6 DROPS Evening Primrose Oil
3 DROPS Borage Seed Oil
2 DROPS Palma Rosa Oil
2 DROPS Lavender Oil
1 CAPSULE Vitamin E
3 DROPS Carrot Oil
Gently pat around eye area and blot excess. Use every night.
1 part lavender flowers
1 part peppermint leaves
Steep in 3 ounces of sunflower oil for 45 minutes.Strain. Melt 2
ounces cocoa butter or coconut oil in microwave or double boiler. Add
2 ounces of beeswax and melt together. Add strained sunflower oil and
mix thoroughly. When mixture cools, add 2 tsp. essential oil of your
choice. (I use peppermint and lavender) Pour into small soap molds or
small plastic container. Peppermint is cooling while the lavender is
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