Reduce pain and tenderness associated with bruises, sprains and strains with a handmade salve of calendula and comfrey.
This calendula-comfrey salve will help reduce pain and swelling, as well as speed wound healing time.
If you grow calendula and comfrey, dry the flowers of the former and the leaves of the latter and store in separate jars in a cupboard. Alternatively, buy from an herb store or online retailer.
• 1-1⁄2 cups olive, apricot or almond oil 1⁄2 cup dried, crumbled calendula flowers
• 1⁄2 cup dried, crumbled comfrey leaves
• 1⁄4 cup grated beeswax
1. The first step is to heat the oil enough to release the plants’ active ingredients. Use one of two methods:
• Pour herbs into a clean, dry jar. Add oil until herbs are covered. Stir with a chopstick or wooden spoon. As herbs absorb the oil, add more oil to thoroughly cover herbs. Screw on lid. Place jar in a sunny window and shake daily for two weeks.
• Add herbs and oil to the top of a double boiler. Make sure herbs are completely covered with oil. Heat on low for 30 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Strain oil through cheesecloth into a glass measuring cup. This is an herbal oil. You can stop here, label the oil in a lidded jar and store in a dark place. Use it topically on cuts or skin irritation. Or follow the next steps to turn the oil into a salve.
3. Grate beeswax (or use ready-made beeswax pastilles). Combine oil and grated beeswax in a double boiler and heat just until beeswax melts. Stir to thoroughly combine.
4. To check the consistency, drop a small amount onto a plate and let cool. If too soft, add more beeswax. If too firm, add more oil. Pour immediately into a clean, dry jar or tin. Screw on the cap and label. The salve will solidify as it cools. Store in a cool cupboard or refrigerator. Apply as needed to bruises and small burns, scrapes and cuts.
Learn more about treating minor injuries, naturally, in Building Your Natural First-Aid Kit: Herbal Skin Healers.
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