Homemade Salves For Every Household: 5 Herbs for Healing

These five healing herbs make the base for many homemade salves.

| July/August 2016

  • calendula
    Calendula is gentle enough to use for babies and children.
    Photo by iStock
  • lavender
    Calming lavender also makes a great healer for cuts and muscle pains.
    Photo by iStock
  • plantain
    Plantain can be used as an antidote to some venomous bites, such as those from snakes or spiders.
    Photo by iStock
  • St. John's Wort
    St. John's Wort can help restore the musculoskeletal system.
    Photo by iStock
  • yarrow
    Yarrow is known for its wound-healing properties.
    Photo by iStock

  • calendula
  • lavender
  • plantain
  • St. John's Wort
  • yarrow

1. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Yarrow is a renowned wound healer; not only is it a vulnerary (promotes healing), but it can stop bleeding as a hemostatic and styptic, making it helpful for cuts and abrasions. As it’s also naturally antiseptic, this salve is my go-to Neosporin alternative. Its analgesic properties mean it can relieve pain. Yarrow grows wild, but it isn’t necessarily prolific. Using dried herbs may prove easier. Yarrow is easy to intentionally grow. Learn how: mother
earthliving.com/easiest-medicinal-herbs-to-grow.

Part used: Stems, leaves and flowers 

Actions: Anti-inflammatory, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, analgesic, carminative, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, hemostatic, hypotensive, tonic, vulnerary 

Salve: For cuts, scrapes and other abrasions; bug bites; bruising; and areas of pain,
including for rheumatoid arthritis 



2. Plantain (Plantago major)

Plantain is a star healer and was considered one of the nine sacred herbs by the Saxons. It’s a well-known antidote to venoms and poisons, such as spider and snake bites (seek medical attention for serious poisonous bites). Its detoxifying, anti-inflammatory and astringent qualities make it helpful for alleviating symptoms of bug bites and stings, including itching, and it’s also been used to prevent the spread of poison ivy on skin. Plantain’s cooling nature makes it excellent for burns and sunburns, and used as a poultice, it can assist in the removal of splinters and glass embedded in skin. Plantain is easily found in the yard. It often grows near water, and can be found cozied up near gardens, hoses and flowers.

Part used: The entire leaf and some stem






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