Making a salve…

salveThis week I spent some time making a salve for our stand at the farmer’s market.  This salve is a great all purpose salve for bruises, minor scrapes and pains.  Herbs such as comfrey, plantain, calendula make this salve also great for bug bites, dry skin, eczema and other skin rashes as well.  Tea tree oil and lavender give it soothing and antibacterial properties.

Okay, let’s make a salve!  Making a salve is not very hard at all.  Your biggest challenge will be learning what herbs to use for the remedy you need.  Even that’s not difficult.  A little reading and you’ll learn that quickly enough.

Step 1:  Gather your supplies.  Make sure you have everything you need close at hand.  Once you get going the process speeds up and you don’t want to stop to go searching for your essential oils!

To make this salve I used:

  • comfrey oil
  • calendula oil
  • plantain oil
  • lavender essential oil
  • tea tree oil
  • beeswax
  • jars or tins

You will also need a double boiler or small pan with a very low heat source.

melt your waxStep 2:  Melt your beeswax.  It’s important to use a very low heat for this.  You don’t want to cook your wax and you don’t want to burn your oils when it is added.  Too much heat will destroy the healing properties of your herbs.  If your stove will not heat your wax without it boiling then definitely use a double boiler.  It will take a while for your wax to melt so I encourage you to stir it, walk away and go do something. Come back every couple minutes and stir it again.  You will be too tempted to up the heat if you just stand there.   Now where do you get beeswax?  At the Bulk Herb Store, of course!  No really, I like getting herbs at the Bulk Herb Store because they are great quality without the inflated prices of some other places I’ve shopped.  I can usually get everything I need there which keeps the shipping prices down.  Essential oils can be purchased at a store near you such as Whole Foods.

Add herbal oilsStep 3:  Add in your herbal oils.  Now you may be wondering where to get herbal oils.  You can read about how to make your own herbal oils using fresh herbs and olive oil here.  This method requires weeks of infusing.  Another quicker way to make herbal oils is the crockpot method.  ***This method is discussed in the dvd Making Herbs Simple vol. 1 which you can win a copy of here!***  I’ll cover this method soon in another post.

When you add your oils, the wax will harden again a little bit.  That’s DSCN0525okay and perfectly normal.  As the oil warms up the wax will re-melt.  Here again, you’ll need to wait.  Patiently. Go check facebook or your email or something.  Smile Once it’s melted, get ready.  You’ll want to work quickly.

Step 4:  Remove the pan from the heat and add in your essential oils.  Remember that essential oils are very potent.  Always work carefully with them and use very small amounts.

Pour in salveStep 5:  Fill your tins and jars with the melted mixture.  You’ll notice that it begins to harden right away.  If it hardens up too much just put it back on the heat for a little bit to re-melt it.   Once your tins are filled, you can let them sit with or without their lids to cool completely and re-solidify.  I like to cap them right away to keep any dust or other particles from contaminating the salve.  With five kids, you never know what may be flying through the air at any moment!

And that’s it!  Now you have a wonderful healing salve to keep your skin soft and healthy.




6 responses to this post.

  1. You are so domestically superb. And I love you. That’s all.


  2. Posted by Jenn on January 18, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    This might be a dumb question, but…How do you use the salve if it hardens up in the container? I always thought a salve was more gooey.


  3. Posted by Amy on June 25, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Hello! I was wondering what proportions you used? Such as: how much of each oil, etc…Also, I was wondering if you knew if I would get the same result using different carrier oils? (As comfrey/calendula/plaintain oils aren’t readily available in my neck of the woods) Thanks, Amy


    • actually the carrier oil in this case is olive oil. I made all of these herbal oils by infusing olive oil with the dried herbs. You can make them yourself rather than try to buy them. It’s very easy! 🙂 I use equal portions of the herbal oils for my salve.
      The oils and herbs will definitely give you a different salve. By studying the herbs and various oils, you can easily make a salve for a specific need. It just requires a little studying and patience.


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