Herbal Healing Salve
I’m not really sure what I’d do without my multi-purpose homemade healing salve. I use in on gardening-inflicted sunburns, martial arts blisters, the grandson’s chapped cheeks and hands, insect bites, and the dog’s scrapes and scratches. Herbal healing salves are gentle, soothing, balms made from natural herbal ingredients; generally speaking they’re safe to use on kids, pets and all people, and are naturally soothing and healing. In this sample recipe, herbally infused oil is chock-full of natural healing powers, Vitamin E oil contributes antioxidants and wound-healing abilities, tea tree oil provides antimicrobial, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, and lavender essential oil works it’s magic on burns (and adds a little soothing aromatherapy to boot!).
1 cup herbally infused oil
1 – 2 oz. Beeswax
10 capsules Vitamin E Oil
½ tsp. each tea tree and lavender essential oils
In a small pan, gently heat the herbally infused oil and beeswax until barely melted. Cut or poke the vitamin E capsules open, and squeeze the vitamin E oil into the beeswax/oil mixture. Remove from heat, and add the essential oils. Pour a tiny amount of the salve mixture onto waxed paper or into a container to cool. Test it for thickness – if you’d like it to be harder, add more beeswax. If you’d like it to have a thinner balm, add more oils.
When you’re satisfied with the consistency, pour the balm into clean jars and let cool. This all-purpose salve can be used for cuts, scrapes, splinters, diaper rash, burns, rashes, or for dry skin.
To make an herbally infused oil: In a saucepan, combine dry herbs and a vegetable oil (we like olive, but just about any kind will do). Specific proportions are not important – use a few generous handfuls of herbs and use enough oil to cover them. Heat over lowest possible heat for several hours – three minimum, we usually try for 12 or 15 – alternatively, use a crock-pot on the “low” setting. Strain out the herbs and use your herbally infused oil to make balms, or as a massage oil, bath oil, or as a great winter moisturizer. Herbs to try: chamomile, comfrey, plantain, St. John’s Wort, calendula.