Making herbal salves is an easy and useful way to utilize beneficial herbs from your garden throughout the year. Salves can be made from any variety of herbs, carrier oils, and essential oils to suite your taste, or to treat your own ailments. Salves can be used as lip balms, massage oils, and for any skin ailments. There is lots of information online and in books about making salves, and the specific therapeutic functions of various herbs. I am not a doctor or an expert at any of this and will not profess any special knowledge except from my own experimentation. Here is my technique.
I have been an enthusiastic gardener, forager, and believer in the powers of beneficial herbs since childhood. I grow many varieties in my densely planted perma-culture garden including comfrey, plantain, mints, oregano, and more. To discuss the benefits of these plants could take several more hours but any and all of them are fantastic additions to bees wax salves. To incorporate the benefits of herbs into your salve start by making an oil extract of the herb. Coarsely chop the herb of your choice and loosely pack a wide mouth mason jar with it, a quart or pint will be fine to start with. Fill the jar with a carrier oil of your choice, olive oil is great, also almond oil, or avocado oil. I have found coconut oil difficult to mix into my salves but it has great therapeutic properties of its own, it must be heated to use for oil extracts. Let the oil and herbs blend for at least 48 hours than strain or place in the refrigerator. Oils can go rancid fast and should be stored in the refrigerator after mixing with herbs. To make your salve you will need 1 part melted bees wax to two parts strained oil. Melt the wax in a double boiler or microwave, add the strained oil, or plain oil, a few drops of your favorite essential oil (much more potent than the oil extract and made by distillation) stir vigorously, pour into tiny jars, let set up uncovered over night, and voila, you have a salve! a great gift item from your garden or to sell at the farmers market. Try adding two tablespoons of honey and essential oil of peppermint for a minty lip balm. Make your own tired muscle rub with a little cayenne oil extract, mint and comfrey. Ease sprains and help breaks heal with comfrey, plantain and oregano. There are lots of possibilities. To purchase jars look up UTNE packaging on line, they have a large selection. Essential oils are expensive but very concentrated, don’t buy scented oils, they are not the same. Home -made salves, have a very long shelf life and are stable without refrigeration because of the beeswax. Have fun, read, experiment, and share salve with your friends for informational feedback on your product.