This post is a continuation of the Herbalism 101 series. To read the first post about tincture basics, including info on some basic herbs and their medicinal properties, click here. To see all posts in the “Herbalism” category, click here.
Herbal salves are an excellent way to use herbs externally while taking advantage of their healing properties. Salves are great for the skin, including treating dry skin, irritation, small wounds, and rashes. The addition of herbs provides both magickal and medicinal properties, depending on the herb, and the smell of the infusion can affect the mental state.
To make a salve, you will need:
- 1 cup of coconut or olive oil
- Equal parts dried herbs
- a strainer or cheesecloth
- Jars or containers for your product
- 1 ounce shaved beeswax
- Essential oils (optional)
The first step to making your salve is to create the herbal oil infusion. To do this, we will use the double boiler method.
- Place herbs and oil together in a glass container (such as a glass measuring cup) inside a large pot of water. Careful to not get water into the herbal oil mixture.
- Bring the water to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling, turn the stove down to a simmer. Allow the herbs to infuse into the oil for about an hour.
- Once your herbs have infused into the oil, strain the herbs out of your infusion.
Now that you have created your herbal oil infusion, it is time to prepare the salve!
- Place your shaved beeswax in a pan over low heat, and then pour the oil in to melt together.
- Once the beeswax has fully melted, mix the salve in order to ensure the beeswax and oil have fully combined.
- If you’d like to add essential oils, you can add them now. I usually do 30-40 drops, and then mix to combine.
- Pour the mixture into your jars or containers.
- Place your herbal salves in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes.
- Leave salves out to cool and harden.
The more beeswax you use, the harder the salve. The less, the creamier the salve. These herbal salves are for external use only. To use, rub the salve over the desired areas of your body.
Now that you have the basics down, I’d like to share with you the recipe for my Deep Sleep and Tranquility salve. I created this mixture to help with my insomnia. I use equal parts:
- Lavender for its relaxing and uplifting properties. It’s also known to be anti-anxiety and great for insomnia.
- Vervain for protection from nightmares.
- Chamomile for its promotion of peace, love, and tranquility. Chamomile is also known for being a great aid to meditation.
I usually do 1/3 cup of each of the herbs to 1 cup of olive oil for my herbal infusion, and follow with the 1 ounce of beeswax for my salve with 30 drops of lavender essential oil.
Herbal salves are easy projects and fun to make, so give it a shot and let me know what herbs you use for your salves!