DIY Homemade Herbal Salve

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If you're a big fan of herbs (like me!), then you just have to try your hand at making your own herbal salve.  It's surprisingly simple and so much fun!

The only ingredients you'll need are:

  1. herbs (I used plantain)
  2. bees wax 
  3. olive oil 
  4. small tins with lids
  5. a crock pot and a jar

This project goes together really quickly- just a few minutes of work over a period of a few days, and you're done!  

It's also a great way to give an inexpensive and creative gift!

  1. 4 oz organic plantain leaf
  2. 3 oz bees wax 
  3. 4 (.5 oz) tins and 5 (4 oz) tins
  4. olive oil 

For about $20, I ended up with 9 tins of homemade herbal salve for giving and using- not bad! 

1. The first step is to infuse your olive oil with the herbs.  To do this, pack your herbs into a canning jar (we used quart size) until the jar is three-quarters full.

2. Next, pour olive oil over the herbs until they are completely covered.  Leave about 1 inch of head space at the top, then seal with a lid.

3. Place a wash clothe in the bottom of your crock pot, and set the jar of herbs and oil on top.  Fill the crock pot almost completely with water.  Turn on "low" heat and let the herbs sit for three full days. Replace water as needed.  By the end of the three days, you will have an herbal-infused oil...

4. Like this!  Strain off the herbs and pour the oil into a clean container.  You can use cheese cloth or a clean piece of cotton (from an old t-shirt) to strain out the herbs.  (Discard herbs when you're done.)

5.  Place the herbal oil into a large sauce pan and add beeswax.  I used three 1-oz bars of wax for our salve.  Turn the burner on low heat and gently stir until the wax begins to melt.  The little things you see floating around in the oil are pieces of beeswax! 

At this point, you can also add 2 or 3 drops of grapefruit seed extract (as a natural antibiotic) and 2 or 3 drops of vitamin E oil (as a preservative) to your salve oil.   

6. If you have little helpers around, enlist them to stir!

7. Once the wax has completely melted, your "salve" is ready to pour into tins!  The oil should be smooth and completely lump-free before you pour it into your containers. 

8. Fill tins almost to the very top, then allow the salve to "set".  The tins will be very hot so be extremely careful if you try to move them before they're cool!  It only took a few minutes for our salve to cool and set.  This batch yielded five large tins and four small tins of salve.

And here is the final product- plantain herbal salve, ready to use and give!  

Plantain has wonderfully healing properties for skin irritations and rashes -- it makes a great gift for a mother with small children or babies!  I've been using it on my children's "boo boos", dry skin (including diaper rash).


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