You can create your own herbal salves for many different uses such as first aid, sore muscles, back pain, arthritis or burns; or you can make a mild all-purpose salve. There are many great articles out there on which medicinal herbs are good for different things, such as this one from Mountain Rose Herbs. It’s also the base recipe I used for my salve, and they have great bulk herbs, spices and essential oils if you’re looking for something that you don’t grow and can’t find locally.
You can also check out my last post on a few of my favorite garden herbs and their properties.
Herbal Infused Oil
The first step is to make an herbal infused oil. This is done by combining your herbs with a carrier oil of your choice and heating slowly until the oil takes on the qualities of the herb. Recommended carrier oils are olive oil, grapeseed oil or sweet almond oil.
Use crushed, dried herbs and glass jars. You can mix your desired herbs together, or used a separate jar for each herb and combine later for different uses. Add your carrier oil of choice, making sure to leave about 1-2″ of oil above the herbs because they will expand. Cap and place in a sunny window, shaking daily, until oil takes on the color and scent of the herbs (2-4 weeks). You should use a tinted jar or cover it, because you don't want to expose the oil to direct sunlight. When it is ready, strain using butter muslin.
Place your crushed, dried herbs in the top of a double boiler or similar contraption of your making. Cover with oil, allowing 1-2″ of oil above the top of the herbs. Heat over the lowest heat possible for 3-4 hours, stirring periodically, until the oil takes on the color and scent of the herbs. Strain using butter muslin and get ready for some salve making!
- 8 oz herbal infused oil
- 1 oz beeswax (soy or carnauba if vegan)
- 1 t vitamin e oil
- essential oils (optional)
- Place your infused oil in the top of a double boiler (or similar contraption) with wax. You can add more or less wax, depending on the desired consistency you want to achieve.
- Heat over low heat and stir until wax melts.
- Remove from heat, add vitamin e oil and essential oils if desired, and pour into your chosen storage container(s). The vitamin e acts as an antioxidant, and if you store your salve in a cool place it will be effective for up to 18 months. Just don’t re-heat after adding the vitamin e and essential oils.
You can also purchase salves here!