Homemade Salves

by Gramma Schneider

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Gramma here again with some great news on how to save money buying and making your own salves.

Have you ever thought you would like to make your own balms and salves and put the exact herbs in them that you would like to use? I will give you the basic recipe for making a salve or balm and you can make any herbal salve you would like to have.

The best way to save money making your own salves is to grow the herbs, but the second best way is to buy them in bulk. You can buy a whole pound of herbs in bulk for about the price you would pay at the health food store for a tiny fraction of that amount.

First you have to "infuse" the herb in pure olive oil. To do this, fill a canning jar (either pint or quart) almost full with your herb. Then pour pure olive oil over the herb. I like to let mine sit near a heat source, not hot, just warm for a couple of days to get the infusion moving. If you have a pilot light on your stove, you can sit it in the middle of the stove and let it soak up the heat. If not, a window sill in the sun is a good place to put it while it infuses.

After two weeks of infusion you are ready to make your favorite salve or balm.

You take some bee's wax; start with about two ounces or so in the top of a double boiler. Let it melt over slow heat, not to let the water boil, but enough heat to melt the bee's wax. Start adding the infusion to the bee's wax and mix. You will want to use the back of a saucer to "check" your salve or balm until it is the right consistency. Here is how you do it: Put a few drops on the back of the saucer and then rub a piece of ice on the other side of it..... it will cool down the salve quickly.

You can see if you need to add more bee's wax or more oil by feeling it. When the consistency is the way you like it, put it in little glass or plastic jars and use as you like.

You can add other things to your balm, like cocoa butter, shea butter, essential oils, sweet almond oil and a large variety of other ingredients, but the basic recipe is always the same; bee's wax with infused oil.

Some of the herbs you might like to consider are:

  • comfrey
  • black walnut
  • citronella
  • peppermint
  • eucalyptus
  • camphor
  • calendula
  • rosemary

I hope this will get you started on a saving some money on those very expensive balms and salves in the health food stores. Make it at home and save.

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