Making your own remedies to support your pets and your own health is an empowering experience.
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!
Why not give it a try?
I have made herbal tinctures before, but this was my first time making a salve. I was excited to give a go!
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.
I used olive oil to make my oil infusion. I added my dried plants to a 2 cup glass measuring cup and poured in about one cup of olive oil. I placed the measuring cup in a larger pot filled with water and heated for around 3 hours. Do not boil the water. Another option is to let the oil infusion sit in a mason jar in the sun for a time. I am going to try this method next time.
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.
Now add some beeswax to the infusion to thicken it. I used about 1 oz of beeswax. Place this mixture back in the double boiler until the beeswax melts completely.
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.
Author - Jennifer Lee
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