Making Herbal Salve


My 8 year old has always been interested in medicine (at one point she wanted to be a nurse), and lately she has become interested in herbs.  Together we put together a simple herbal salve, just for family use on minor scrapes and the like.  It was such a fun, easy project to do together.  I looked up a number of recipes online and created my own with what I had on hand.  Here’s what we used and how we did it.

¼ c. dried calendula flowers

¼ c. dried St. John’s Wort

¼ c. dried lavender buds

¼ c. dried comfrey leaf

(I ordered all these from Bulk Herb Store.)

We infused these herbs in 1 c. olive oil for about 4 hours on the oven’s lowest setting (I think it was about 170 degrees).  We did this in a glass bread pan.  Then we strained the oil through a thin cloth into a DISPOSABLE pan (because we didn’t want to get wax in a pan we wanted to use again), being careful of course—it was pretty warm!

We added about ¼ c. beeswax, chunked up.  (Next time I will use an inexpensive grater.)  Beeswax melts at a low temp, but the oil wasn’t quite warm enough to do it, so we put the whole mixture back in the warm oven for a little while.  Then we creamed the soft beeswax into the oil until it was dissolved (again, using a cheap spoon dedicated to beeswax projects only).  I could see it starting to thicken, so I quickly poured it into some small containers.  Baby food jars would be perfect, but I didn’t have any, so I used mini glad ware instead.  We let it cool completely and then put the lids on.  It smells really nice (thanks to the lavender) and is very soothing.  It makes great lip balm!

Based on what I’ve read, I understand that the herbs are effective for the following reasons:

Calendula oil keeps the skin soft, promotes healing, and minimizes scarring.

St. John’s wort is good for bruising.

Lavender is antibacterial.

Comfrey promotes rapid healing. (We made a batch without comfrey too…Herbalists have told me that you don’t want to use comfrey on deeper cuts and scrapes because it can cause the wound to heal so quickly that it traps bacteria inside).

How fun to make something so simple and useful!  I’m looking forward to trying other recipes and combinations.

Just a little disclaimer: I’m not an herbalist or any kind of doctor or medical professional, so all this is just what I understand from my own reading and isn’t intended to be medical advice of any kind.  Try any herbal remedies at your own risk after doing your own research.


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