We are all inventors, each sailing out on a voyage of discovery, guided each by a private chart, of which there is no duplicate. The world is all gates, all opportunities.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday: Homemade Herbal Salve

I mentioned in an earlier post about the salve I made for my dad this summer, but never typed up a tutorial. Well, since it was time to make a new batch, I figured I'd take new photos and post the recipe. It's surprisingly easy, and this salve can be used on wounds, diaper rash, sore nipples when breast feeding, and chapped lips/skin. Making it at home saves so much money and makes quite a lot. Also, with how versatile it is, we don't buy diaper creams or chap stick much any more.


Ingredients: Extra virgin olive oil, dried herbs and any additives. I forgot about my vitamin E and tea tree oil (both for healing and prolonging shelf life) until the last minute and added them before finishing, so that's why they aren't pictured.

To get a really great salve, you don't have to put anything other than oil and herbs, I just know this combo is super healing and we love it.

Close up of dried chamomile

And dried calendula. Both these herbs are really inexpensive and pack lots of benefits.

Over medium heat, add a large handful of each herb to your oil.
Heat until gently bubbling. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until herbs change color. You don't want to cook the herbs, just infuse the oil with the properties they carry.
Turn off heat immediately and strain. Be careful, it will be HOT!

Strain hot oil through cheesecloth or sieve into a clean container.
The reason I don't let it cool is so I can use the warmth of the oil to melt the beeswax.



Add 2 Tbs of beeswax for every ounce of oil and whisk in quickly to melt.


This is the point where I added 1/2 tsp each of tea tree oil and vitamin E.

To test the consistency of your salve, dip the back of a spoon into your oil and swipe a swatch of salve on a small piece of wax paper.
It will cool in seconds and you can add more beeswax if you want the mixture thicker.
TOP: First swatch. A bit too thin.
BOTTOM: Second swatch after adding a bit more beeswax. Perfect.

I bought a small candy tin because it was the perfect size for keeping salve in the diaper bag for any rashes during changes away from home. I had wanted to spray paint it a different color, but didn't get around to it. Oh well, it's diaper cream in disguise :)

Ladle your still warm salve into clean containers and leave it to cool completely before replacing the lids.
All done! 1 and a half jars of salve to ship to my dad and one travel sized tin for Baby Boy's diaper bag.


FUN FACTS:
Excerpt from Wikipedia- Calendula in suspension or in tincture is used topically to treat acne, reducing inflammation, controlling bleeding and soothing irritated tissue.


Go to this site to read about the many wonderful benefits of Chamomile when used topically or internally. 

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