Herbs for Health: Basic Healing Salve

| August/September 2003

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.

  • 2 tablespoons chopped, dried herb
  • 7 ounces desired fat or oil
  1. Prepare a tea of the desired herbs. Strain and reserve the liquid tea (water extract). Mix the desired fats and oils together. Stir the herbal water extract into the fat/oil base.
  2. Simmer the mixture, lightly steaming, until the water evaporates completely (bubbling stops). Do not overcook. The herb is now integrated into the base.
  3. Add thickeners such as beeswax, if necessary. Gently melt into the base. Pour into a container and allow to cool. If a preservative is needed for a perishable base, such as lard, add 1 teaspoon of tincture of benzoin per quart of salve. Store and use for up to 6 months.

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.

Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds