Mother Earth Living

Herbal Salves: How to Make a Healing Salve

Treat itchy, dry winter skin with a homemade, herbal salve.
By Lesley Tierra
September/October 2010
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Homemade Herbal Salve

2 ounces dried herbs or 4 ounces fresh herbs
1 cup sesame or olive oil
1/2 ounce solid beeswax (shavings or beads)
1/2 teaspoon vitamin E oil

1. Bruise herbs by rubbing fresh/dried herbs between your palms.

2. Place bruised herbs in oil in a deep pan. On low heat, gently cook herbs, covered, until crispy, 30 minutes to an hour (cook roots first, then add leaves, then flowers last).

3. Melt beeswax over very low heat in a separate old pot (use one you don’t care much for; wax leaves a residue).

4. When beeswax is melted, pour into herbal oil. Mix well.

5. Stir in vitamin E oil.

6. Test salve for consistency: Blow on 1 teaspoon of oil/beeswax mixture until it hardens, or put a teaspoon of it in the refrigerator for a minute. When it looks solid, test it with your finger. If it’s too hard, you won’t be able to spread it on the skin easily; add more oil. If too soft, it will be runny and will not stay in place on the skin; add more melted beeswax.

7. When salve reaches proper consistency, immediately pour oil/beeswax mixture into a small jar or tin before it begins to harden to room temperature (this hardening process will begin immediately). Wash out pots with hot water as soon as possible. Put a tight lid on your salve container(s). Makes about 4 ounces and keeps for up to 5 years

To use:
Spread a dab on the desired area. Use herbal salves to soothe skin or to address specific conditions such as itching, dryness or cuts. Find a variety of salve recipes by searching “salve” at on the Herb Companion website.

Because salves are rubbed directly on the skin and not taken internally, there’s no dosage limit. However, too much salve can be messy.

Reprinted with permission from East West School of Planetary Herbology  .

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