Why would you want to take the time to make a healing salve? I can't say why YOU would want to you, but I can sure share with you why I choose to!
- I can customize exactly the type of results I am seeking by the ingredients I include in the salve.
- I have control of the ingredients and therefore know there is nothing harmful included without my knowledge.
- I prefer using naturally occurring plants and substances as opposed to pharmaceuticals synthesized in a lab.
- It is empowering and satisfying to make your own "medicine".
Why not give it a try?
I have been getting to know the common plants that grow wild around where I live. A few are quite well know for their healing properties such as dandelion, nettle and plantain - all of which grow in my area.
I wanted to create a salve that was good for healing skin, including cuts, rashes, bug bites and reducing inflammation.
I looked closely at many wild growing plants to see if they had the properties I was after. Like anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti inflammatory and for an affinity with the skin.
Once I had decided what plants I wanted to include in my salve I went and harvested wild growing plants. If you choose to do this be sure you are confident with your plant identification. Always harvest in an area that is away from roadsides and free of pesticides. To ensure the plant continues to thrive, don't over-harvest from any one plant. Harvesting plants in this manner is known wildcrafting.
Then the plants must be dried. There are a couple of different options from air-drying to drying in an oven at low temperature. I decided to let mine air dry. Once dry - you make an oil infusion with the plants that will be used as the main ingredient in your salve.
Once the oil has been infused with the plants/herbs use cheesecloth to strain out the herbs from the oil.
The plants I used in this infusion were: Chickweed, Comfrey (I cultivate this in my garden), Common Mallow, Nettle, Plantain, Red Clover and Yarrow.
I also added in some therapeutic grade essential oils. I let it cool slightly before adding the oils. I mixed the final concoction and poured into jars. I set the jars in the fridge to cool and checked the consistency of the salve. It was perfect!
I made medicine!
I will label and store in the fridge. The salve should be good for up to one year.
I've already used it on a nasty scratch I got from my raspberry bushes when I was picking berries. It worked very well, I was super impressed with how quick it the scratch healed up. Now I have this salve to use for general skin healing for myself and my animals.