How to Make a Simple Salve

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One of the great joys of herbs is making your own cures in the home.  I love making salves.  Maybe it’s that pioneer spirit in my veins that makes me feel like I’ve provided a necessity for my family.  Maybe it’s tinkering in the kitchen.  I’d guess it’s a little of both.  Today I’m going to let you in on how to make a simple salve for your own medicine chest.  You can experiment with different kinds of herbs (like chamomile) if you’re familiar with their effects, but for today’s I thought we’d do a calendula salve.  Calendula has many uses and it’s pretty safe as well as great for skin conditions.

Take a clean glass jar and dump in the dried herb; I’d say about an ounce of calendula.  Just cover the calendula with olive oil, then add the contents of one or two Vitamin E tablets to keep the oil from getting rancid.  Cap the jar and wait for two weeks.  (Yes, a little patience goes a long way to getting a good herb product!)  I usually give the jar a gentle shake every day or two.  After two weeks, strain the oil through a sieve and then some cheesecloth.  Measure out the oil and figure out 1/4 the amount for the beeswax.  So if you have 1 cup of oil, add 1/4 cup beeswax.  Put the oil in a pan (try and have one just for this purpose) and heat the mixture on a very low heat, stirring occasionally, until all the beeswax has completely melted.  Turn off the heat.  

To test the consistency, I like to take a teaspoon of the mixture and place it on a plate or in a little bowl.  I place it in the fridge for a minute just to let it solidify.  If the mixture is still too thin, add a little more beeswax.  Too thick and you can add a little bit of olive oil.  When the consistency is where you prefer, pour your mixture into a glass jar with a wide mouth.  I like glass storage bowls that come with airtight lids.  Only place the lid on after the salve has completely cooled.  Store your salve in a cool dark location.

It may look a little complicated at first blush, but truly, learning how to make a simple salve like this one is rewarding, economical, and happily chemical free!

One thought on “How to Make a Simple Salve

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