I recently started making my own herbal healing salve. I originally wanted to make a salve for my Boxer/Pit mix Loki. Before I adopted him from an all breed rescue, he, so I was told was neglected and possibly abused. He was full of fleas, being fed a very low quality dog food, had worms but worst of all he had terrible scaring about 2/3 the length of his spine. It was thought someone used flea preventative on him which he had a bad reaction to, resulting in what looks like chemical burns. The injuries had healed but the skin was cracked, dry and itchy. I wanted to see if I could make a salve that soothed and conditioned the scar tissue. Within a week of using my salve his skin looked a lot better and the dry scaly skin improved. He never grew his hair back, and I didn’t think he would but the salve does help him and I continue to use it to this day
I wrote an earlier blog post on how to make herbal infusions. This included how to make teas, infused oils, infused vinegar and tinctures.. That post can be found here. I personally prefer the cold infused method for infusing oils. I believe it retains more of the medicinal benefits, but when you are in a hurry the various heat methods can be used. I also personally infuse my oils for 6 weeks minimum sometimes more. Sometimes I even strain the herb from the oil, place the infused oil back in the jar with fresh herb and double infuse for 2 more weeks. You can infuse for 2-4 weeks if you choose, but I would not go less than 2 weeks. Most times I infuse for a minimum of 6 weeks, but I have infused for 8 weeks.
The herbs I use in my healing salve are all organic including the beeswax and vitamin E. I will say the organic vitamin E is about twice as expensive. If money is an issue you can use a non organic vitamin E, I did on my first batch and actually saw no difference other than I knew it wasn’t organic.
Ingredients you will need:
Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Organic Beeswax(I bought the pellets because I didn’t want to have to grate a block of beeswax whichever you prefer)
A combination of any of the following herbs:
Organic Calendula Flowers
Organic Plantain(the weed/herb not the fruit)
Organic Mediterranean Oregano
Other herbs you can use are Chamomile, Comfrey, Catnip, Astragalus, Mullein, Oregon Grape Root, Nettle Leaf and Burdock. I infuse each oil in separate jars so if I choose, I can use the oils separately for other uses.
I must admit I never measure the herbs or the olive oil coconut oil mixture. I just put the herb of choice in a glass jar filling the jar about 1/3-1/2 of the way full, then pour in enough carrier oil to cover the herb completely but not fill the jar to the top. Make sure the oil while infusing is kept in a warm place but out of direct sunlight. The general rule is 1 ounce of herb to 10 ounces of carrier oil if you would prefer to measure. Also most salve recipes say 8oz of infused oil of your choice to 1oz of beeswax. So if you are using several different oils make sure the total is 8oz. Use about ½ tablespoon of Vitamin E for every 1 cup of infused oil. Vitamin E is good for the skin but also serves as a preservative for your salve. Most of my jars are repurposed spaghetti or pickle jars. You can use any jar including a mason jar whichever you prefer as long as it has a tight sealing lid.
To make the salve you will need these items:
Tins or small glass jelly type jars to store your salve in
Cheesecloth to strain the herb from the oil
Wooden spoon(I prefer wooden and don’t use metal spoons)
Good heavy pan for combining the beeswax and infused oil. You might want to use the pan only for making salves because of the beeswax is can be hard to clean but not impossible. You can do the double boiler method also if you prefer.
Put the infused oil(s) in the pan along with the beeswax on low heat. It doesn’t take long for the beeswax to melt so make sure you are watching closely and stirring with the wooden spoon. As soon as the ingredients are combined and the beeswax is melted, remove from heat and add the vitamin E. Some people like their salves on the soft side some not. Place a spoon in your freezer before starting to make your salve. Once the beeswax is melted put a little bit of the mixture on your spoon and place it in the freezer for 1-2 minutes. This will give you a good idea what your salve will be like once its cooled. If it’s too soft for your liking add a little bit more beeswax. It it seems too hard you can add some more oil. If it begins to harden in the pot before you get to pour it into your containers no worries just put it back on low heat to remelt. When you have it right pour your mixture into your tins/jars,allow time to harden, then store in a cool place. Make sure to label your salve with the ingredients and date. I actually store mine in my fridge although it is a bit harder because of the cool temperature. If properly stored salves can last 1-3 years
If you have leftover oil it can be stored in a cool dark place such as a cabinet or fridge away from heat and direct sunlight. You can use this directly on the skin for an extra boost, but you don’t need much only a few drops and it is greasy. Always store leftover herbs in a cool dry place away from direct light in tightly sealed and labeled/dated jars, the same with the beeswax.
If you don’t feel that adventurous, or you don’t have the time to wait for the oils to infuse, you can buy some of our all organic healing salve by clicking here.
I hope this explains how to make a healing salve and remember do some research there are other herbs out there that work well in salves depending on the condition. Happy healing!