We use our homemade herbal salves for so many things. Often our volunteers ask about them, so here goes!
They very simple to make and yield such wonderful goodies for us to use…most from our gardens here on Herbhome. Good herbs, grown on the homestead, can add a lot to your lifestyle. We cook with them, use them in our soaps and Dream Pillows and make many teas, tinctures and salves, all out of our gardens and the woods on our place.
We garden organically, so our herbs are grown in healthy soil, without pesticides and , being the crazy granny lady, they are talked to pretty much daily😇
The wild plants we use are harvested responsibly. Many of our native plant colonies have been devastated over the last decade or so, due to the current popularity of herbal cures. We try to promote responsible foraging, only taking small amounts , reseeding and protecting these wild treasures. I usually will only harvest every third year, alternating between colonies.If one of the colonies seems weak, it is left in peace.
Our old timers all knew where the herbs were, and would harvest for sale, but most of them left the “medicine patches ” be. Just like a lot of us know where to look for items in a grocery store they knew where the plants were.
The process is very basic, just changing up the oils and herbs to match your needs. For instance, if I want a light, smooth salve, I will use something like grapeseed oil. I tend to use organic olive oil because it is so nice on my skin.
Most salves are made with certain proportions of oil to beeswax. I use all organics in ours. Just me bring pickey, but they are for my family 😁
I like to make mine with nine parts infused oil and one part beeswax, with one capsule of Vit E per cup as a preservative. Using a double boiling to prevent scorching, I melt the beeswax and slowly still in the oils. I add the vitamin E, and then pour into a sterilized jar or tin. Label, label, label!
To make the infused oil, I take freshly harvested herbs (you can use dried, if you need to) and macerate them (crush or break) filling a quart jar.Then I cover them with the oil of choice…using a dinner knife or narrow spatula to remove air bubbles. I seal, label and set them back for six weeks . Shake the jar gently daily, and if the level of oil drops, top it off.
When you are ready to make your salve, strain the oil for use.
If you want a stronger infusion, replace the herbs with frsh and let infuse several weeks more.
I make Comfrey, for bruises, aches and pains, Arnica for sore muscles, Chickweed and Plantain, for bugbites, Rosemary and Lavender with Yarrow for infection and Lemon Balm and Lavender for soft skin..
There are many other great combinations, but this is a good, basic collection for your herb cabinet! As always, we make no medicinal claims, these are just things we use.