Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mama's Magic Salve

I love to make things for my family, especially things that are cheaper, yet superior, to items that you would buy at the store.  One of these things is a wonderful healing salve.  It has plantain, comfrey, St. John's wort and calendula, along with olive oil, beeswax and lavender essential oil.
Here's how to make it:

Here are the ingredients.  I got the St. John's Wort and the Comfrey from Mountain House Herbs and the Calendula from Bulk Apothecary.  The plantain, I got from my yard!  How cool is that?  
Now, I am sorry, I forgot to take pictures of the process at the beginning.  I was so excited that it just slipped my mind.  I will do better in the future... I hope.   
Start out by putting 1 1/2 cups of olive oil in a double boiler, then add about a cup of the herbs.  I went heavy on the calendula and plantain because I know about their healing properties and that is what I was really going for.  Don't know too much about the other two plants, but it is on my list to research.  I will be planting comfrey and calendula in my garden in the spring so I won't need to purchase that any more.  Looking into if I can grow St. John's Wort in my area...  Any way back to making salve.  You let the oil and the herbs just warm on the stove - low medium heat - for 1 hour.  Give it a stir every now and again.  It is fun to watch and I think it smells like hay in the summer...  Ahhhh! 
After the hour, strain the oil through a cheese cloth lined colander.  This is what it looks like.  I pull the cheese cloth up into a pouch and squeeze all the oils out of it.  You will need at least 1 cup of the infused oil.  If you have extra (I did), just put it in a jar and you can use it just like the salve, only it is a liquid.  I am going to use it for sore backs and muscles, chapped hands and lips, etc.  

The oil goes back into a clean double boiler along with 1 ounce of beeswax.  The beeswax smells so good!  Heat until the beeswax is melted.
 I have my tins and jars ready for the pour.
Just pour the wax and oil mixture into your containers.  I use a spatula to get all the goodness out of the container.  I also pour it into a measuring cup with a spout, its easier to pour that way. If it gets too solid to pour you can set it back in the double boiler and let it melt again.  I have never had to do this though.  
Once you have poured the oil into your containers, add your lavender essential oil.  I put 4 drops in the 1 ounce tins, 8 ounces in the small jar, which is 2 ounces, 16 drops for the 4 ounce jar.  You can more or less depending on your preference for lavender.  
Clean up is my favorite part!  I know weird right?  I like it because I use my fingers and scrape or rub all the extra out of the double boiler (make sure it is cooled) and I rub it into my hands, my hubby's hand, the dog's paws, you get the picture.  It smells so good and softens your skin so nicely! 
I use this for bug bits, scrapes, cuts, chapped skin, anytime really.  It is a lovely salve for so many purposes and very easy to make.  I hope you will try it soon.  
What's happening on your homestead? 

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