In a healing salve, a combination of fats and oils is used as a base to carry the active herbs, allowing them to absorb through the skin, in addition to hardening agents for the desired consistency. Lard or other stiff animal fats were often used traditionally, but today are often replaced by food-type oils, such as almond, olive, lanolin, cocoa butter, wheat germ or vitamin E oils. Beeswax is often added as a thickener.
Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa is an adjunct faculty member in the botanical medicine department of Bastyr University. He is currently writing a book about Ayurvedic herbs.
Click here for the original article, Herbs for Health: Homemade Salves.
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