Having salves handy is wonderful as they can protect almost any skin irritation, including bee stings and diaper rashes. There are salves that are available online, at local health foods stores, and the farmer’s markets. However, you can also make them yourself as they are quite easy to make. You have a ton of selections for the herbs to use, including:
- Arnica flowers
- Calendula flowers
- Chamomile flowers
- Cayenne pepper
- Ginger root
- Lavender flowers
- Nettle leaf
- Plantain leaf
- St. John’s Wort
Here are the steps on how to make your own salve at home:
1. You can make a salve with herbal infused oil, which you need to create first. There are two ways for this: the solar and the quick method. Of course, you can purchase herbal oils that are re-infused if you don’t want to create your own oil.
2. Of the two methods in infusing oils, the solar method is more preferred even though the other one is much easier. In this method, you need to place the botanicals that are already dried up into a glass jar. Make sure this jar is dry and sterilized. Crush or chop the herbs, but leave the flowers alone. Put extra virgin olive oil to promote shelf life. Place the jar in a sunny window. Infuse for at least two weeks.
3. If you like the quick method better, you can place the herbs in an electric yogurt maker, double boiler, or crockpot. Once again, place extra virgin olive oil before you heat the herbs. Make sure that it is very low heat (100 top 140 degrees F) for one to five hours, depending on the herbs you have. You’ll know that it is time to take the herbs off the heat when the scent and color are absorbed by the oil.
4. Once you have the oil ready, it is time to make the salves. You’ll need eight ounces of the infused oil, one ounce of beeswax, 10 to 20 drops of essential oil, and the containers for the salves. You can also use vitamin E oil if you want.
5. Once you have the ingredients above, use a double boiler for the infused oil and the beeswax and warm them over low heat. When the beeswax melts, turn off the heat and add the essential oil. If you’re using vitamin E oil, you can add it now as well. Pour the salve in the container as quickly as you can and let it cool before covering.
Depending on the herbs you have chosen, you can apply the salve you have made to some skin infections. For instance, if you used arnica flowers, you can use the salve to treat bruises, strains, and muscle pain.