Making Herbal Salves
With thanks to Herbs For All Seasons (1999)
Herbal salves are easy and fun to make. They are a great way to get acquainted with the skin care qualities of many herbs growing in your garden.
You will need the following:
Muslin or cloth (unbleached jelly bag will work)
1 cup oil (olive or sweet almond works well)
1 cup fresh herbs (see below for suggestions)
1/6th cup beeswax
A basic salve recipe consists of a cup of infused oil and 1/6th cup of beeswax. The process is: first pick the herb(s) you want to experiment with (see suggested list below) and let them wilt (out of the sun) for 24 hours; this will help decrease the water content. Use approximately one loosely filled cup of fresh-wilted herbs and place them in a double boiler; pour one cup of olive oil or almond oil over the herbs, use enough to cover the herbs completely. Use a wooden spoon to gently bruise the herbs. Let the herbs infuse on minimum for about three hours. You can turn the heat off and let it sit over night for a stronger infusion. Strain through a piece of muslin or cloth (an unbleached jelly bag works well). In a separate double boiler melt your beeswax. Place your cup of infused oil in a pot on the stove on minimum, warm gently (be careful to not overheat); add 1/6 of a cup of melted beeswax to this oil. Stir well and then pour into your sterile jars. It will solidify as it cools. When it is completely cool, cap and store in a cool dark place.
Herbs to use in salves:
First aid salve, try: plantain, calendula, comfrey, sage, thyme, marshmallow
Sore muscle rub, try: rosemary, peppermint, St. John’s wort, comfrey, thyme, lavender
Baby’s skin, try: calendula, chamomile, chickweed, lavender
For soothing dry skin and smoothing wrinkles try: roses (hips and flowers), violets, lemon balm, clary sage, scented geraniums, chamomile, calendula, lavender, marshmallow