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Homemade Herbal Balms And Salves:


Herbal oils form a great basis for salves and balms, or you can use a plain vegetable oil such as jojoba or olive. While homemade salves take a bit of practice, once you start making and enjoying them you will never go back to storebought.

  • Step 1. Heat the oil together in a double boiler with beeswax just until the wax is completely melted, but not boiling or smoking.
  • Step 2. Check the consistency by placing a few drops on a cool plate, the more wax, the firmer the salve. A good working ratio to start with is:
    • 2/3 cup oil to 3 tablespoons emulsifying wax for a spreadable body salve
    • 2/3 cup oil to 4 tablespoons emulsifying wax for lip balms
  • Step 3. When the mixture has cooled a bit, add essential oils if desired for increased fragrance and potency.
  • Step 4: Pour the melted oil and wax while still warm into jars or tins.

Quick Salve: (a bit tricky to make, but good when you need something fast )

  • Step 1:Fresh or dried herbs are covered with spring water, brought to a boil in a enamel or stainless steel pot.
  • Step 2: After the mixture comes to a boil, simmer for 30 minutes. Strain out herbal matter, and reserve liquid herbal infusion.
  • Step 3: Add to to remaining liquid an equal amount of olive or safflower oil. Return to the pot and simmer until the water is gone. You can tell when the water is gone, because the mixture stopps bubbling and spitting.
  • Step 4: Add enough beeswax to give a thicker consistency, heating just until beeswax melts. Stir and bottle will still hot.
  • Step 5. When the mixture has cooled a bit, add essential oils if desired for increased fragrance and potency.
  • Step 6: Pour the melted oil and wax while still warm into jars or tins.

Quicker Salve: Unrefined coconut oil is a ready made, spreadable body butter at room temperature. You can improve and build upon it by adding essential oils, vitamin E, and other oils, creaming them together with a kitchen fork. Store in closed container in a cool place. Coconut oil melts at 76 degrees, and but gets rock hard in the refrigerator, so storage temperature is important in retaining that creamy, easy to spread consistency.


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Looking for something you can read offline? Join our mailing list and get a free copy of Methods for Using Herbs. This free handbook includes instructions on how to make basic herbal preparations at home. It covers making herbal teas, herb infused oils and balms, tinctures, and more.

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