An herbal salve is a natural healing ointment, much like an infused oil, but in a solid form. Visualize a moisturizing Neosporin of natural medicine or a therapeutic skin moisturizer. Salves are semisolid at room temperature and soften to spread upon skin contact. The addition of essential oils can make using a salve an aromatherapy delight. Typically, natural salves are made of herbs, oils, and beeswax. The beeswax serves as a protective, soothing emollient, and provides the needed firmness to form a solid salve at room temperature.(1)
Herbal salves can be used for:
Now that we have the infused oil (see Part 1: Making Your Own Healing Salve – Infusing Your Oil), we can get starting on salve.
Infused herbal oil
Double boiler, or saucepan with a glass bowl on top
Beeswax (grated or pastilles). This can be purchased at an herbal shop or on amazon.com
Glass measuring container for precise pouring (i.e. Pyrex)
Clean dry jar (approximately 8 ounces). Note: you may also split your mixture, and use multiple jars or smaller tins for different scents with essential oils.
Essential oils (optional). Lavender is wonderfully scented and has healing properties. Other great options include but are not limited to frankincense, helichrysum, lemon, peppermint, lemongrass, Thieves, and tea tree oil.
Use a double boiler, or a saucepan with water and covered with a glass bowl to melt the beeswax with low heat. Use 1-ounce (~1/4-cup) of wax for every 1-cup (8 ounces) of oil.
Once the beeswax has melted, pour in 1-cup of herbal infused oil. Leave on the stove for several minutes, until the mixture has completely liquified, stirring as necessary. It is very important to control the temperature to avoid burning the oil.
Using hot pads, pour the mixture directly into your glass measuring container. Work quickly as it will harden. If it hardens too fast, you may reheat as necessary.
Add the essential oils to the glass measuring container, stir and then fill your storage jar or container. If you are filling several containers using different essential oils, pour the mixture into the individual containers first, and then add essential oils. Use, approximately 1 teaspoon (~64 drops) of essential oil for every 1-cup or 2-drops of essential oil per every ¼ ounce.
Label your containers, with dates and ingredients! Consider using Avery labels, with templates available for download. https://www.avery.com/templates
Store the final product in a cool dark place. It will last from several months to a year.
Consider using small tins to for lip moisture. For lip balm, follow the same instructions, but double the beeswax, with 2 ounces for every 1-cup of oil.
These make great gifts!
About the Author: Cari Verde earned her Master’s degree in Applied Clinical Nutrition from New York Chiropractic College in August 2018. She is passionate about optimizing nutrition and wellness, as well as helping to identify and correct nutritionally related root causes of dysfunction within the body. She is an Army veteran as well as a military wife. She is currently earning clinical hours towards the Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS) credential under Kim Ross’s supervision and has already passed the rigorous CNS exam.
1. Gladstar R. Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use. Storey Publishing, LLC. 2012