So, we’ve all seen all kinds of homemade salve recipes all over the internet. But, why make a bunch of salves to treat a number of first aid needs? Why not make one, super-duty, homemade salve to use for everything? I chose multi-functional herbs and essential oils and combined them with nourishing and skin soothing oils to create one salve that treats cuts, scrapes, splinters, burns, athlete’s foot, chiggers, mosquito bites, bee stings, wasp stings, spider bites, dry/cracked skin, promotes fast healing and helps to prevent scarring. It’s anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-septic, antihistamine, antibiotic, a moisturizer, and even doubles as a homemade udder balm for your milk cows or goats.
The Ingredients in a Super-Duty Homemade Salve:
Plantain: An herb most recognized as a weed, you can find it in your yard. If drunk as a tea it treats coughs, diarrhea, dysentery, bloody urine, bronchitis, and bronchial spasms due to colds. The leaves crushed and used as a poultice or infused treat blisters, sores, ulcers, reduces swelling, insect stings, earaches, and reduces the heat and pain of inflammation. Science has confirmed this herb as a mild antibiotic and anti-inflammatory.
Lemon Balm: Easily grown in your garden or purchased in bulk from a reputable source (like this one.) If drunk as a tea it treats fevers, painful menstruation, headaches, colds, insomnia, and is a mild sedative. The leaves if crushed and used as a poultice or infused treat sores, tumors, and insect bites. In Europe strong extracts of this herb are currently prescribed to treat cold sores. It is anti-bacterial, antihistamine and an antioxidant.(Where to Buy)
Lavender: Another one also easily grown in your garden or purchased in bulk from a reputable source (like this one.) Lavender is an anti-histamine, anti-fungal, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and regenerative. Lavender treats insect bites, cuts and scrapes, and its cell-renewal capabilities help to treat burns. I talk about a ton of lavender uses here. (Where to Buy)
Raw Honey is proven to create a moist healing environment which allows the skin cells to regrow across a healing wound flush with the surface of the wound, preventing scars and actually promoting the healing process. Not only is it extremely moisturizing and soothing, it is also anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. Note: this applies to raw honey only. Heated and filtered honey is turned pretty much into pure sucrose which takes away most of the nutritional value and all of the medicinal properties are lost in the process.
Beeswax like honey is also a natural moisturizer. It works by sealing in moisture keeping your skin moist and plump. (where to buy)
Olive Oil moisturizes the skin (Where to Buy)
Coconut Oil moisturizes as well, but is also a powerful microbial and a rich source of Vitamin E. (Where to Buy)
Melaleuca (tea tree) essential Oil is antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory (Where to Buy)
Lavender Essential Oil contains same healing properties of dried lavender (above.) (Where to Buy)
How to Make the Salve:
Infuse oils with fresh and dried herbs. Make sure you wash any fresh herbs you bring from outside and dry thoroughly. Cut/crush fresh and dried herbs and add to oils. You can use the traditional infusion method which requires you to place the herbs in a jar with the oils and infuse in a warm sunny window for 4 to 6 weeks, or take a shortcut and put them all in a small crock pot like I did. Simply add the oils and dried or fresh herbs to your crock pot and turn it on low. You may even want to use the keep warm setting if you have that option. You don’t want to boil all the beneficial characteristics out of your herbs, just warm them to infuse their properties into your oils. I don’t have a keep warm on my little crock pot, so I turned it on low for about an hour, then turned it off and allowed the herbs to sit in the warm oil overnight.
Strain oils and press herbs. The next morning I turned my crock pot on low again for about 30 minutes to warm everything back up. I then strained the oil through a flour sack towel (you can use cheesecloth or a wire strainer as well) into a mason jar.
Stir in beeswax until melted. You’ll need the oils to be pretty warm to melt the beeswax (why I turned on the crock pot again before I strained the herbs.) Add the beeswax to the jar and stir until melted.
Stir in honey and essential oils. If your mixture is too hot, let it cool a bit before you add these ingredients or they will lose their potency.
Pour into sterilized containers, stir every few minutes to keep honey from sinking to the bottom. Cool and allow to set up. Cover.
Store in a cool dark place.
This salve has replaced all of these products in my home: Neosporin, Benadryl cream, Chiggerex, Calamine Lotion, anti-fungal cream (for athlete’s foot,) and mederma. Do you have a homemade salve recipe that you rely on in your home? Please share in the comments!
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup dried lavender buds
- 1/3 cup fresh chopped plantain leaves
- 1/3 cup dried lemon balm
- 4 T. beeswax
- 1 T. honey
- 10 drops melaleuca (tea trea) essential oil
- 5 drops lavender essential oil
- Infuse herbs with oils and strain into clean mason jar.
- Stir in beeswax until melted.
- Let cool slightly.
- Add honey and essential oils.
- Pour into clean jars, stir every couple minutes until set so that honey doesn't sink to the bottom.
- Will set up in about 10 minutes.