One of the things that I enjoy most about being an herbalist is gifting to others the things that I have made. This week there were many special deliveries to friends in need. An iron tonic, a headache tincture, an immune glycerite, a liniment, and of course lots of salves. I hope that herbal products grown and processed with love are more effective in supporting healing that those bought in a store or made with artificial ingredients.
Salves are one of easiest things that I make. I usually start by infusing herbs in oil. I prefer to use US grown virgin olive oil as I will have no issue with mold, water, in my product. I use both dried herbs and fresh herbs. 1 cup of infused oil seems to be a good amount to begin with. I add about 1/4-1/8 cup of beeswax beads to the oil and melt it in a double boiler. I dip a spoon into the liquid and test it in the freezer for consistency. I tend to prefer my salves to be a little on the hard side.
The Bruise Salve is a proprietary blend of comfrey root, white oak or witch hazel bark, rosemary, and arnica flowers. Because comfrey heals from the inside out I prefer to save it for things where there is not an open wound.
My daughter gets chilblains every winter from going outside or in the garage in bare feet. They do not heal up until summer and look terrible. So I made the Chilblains Salve for her this year. It probably works well for any circulation issues in the feet. It is a proprietary blend of clove, ginger root, rue, rosemary and horehound. It is very warming and increases blood flow to the area, It is a preventative more than a treatment for.
I think I made 10 different salves this past summer. I have list of about five others that I want to try making over the next eight months. Winter seems to be the ideal time to make salves. There is no rush to get things out of the garden and it is nice to be in front of a cozy stove. Our winters are pretty dry here in the high desert so skin craves some extra care and moisture right now. Salves are 1)the ideal holiday gift 2) cheap and easy to make 3 )compact in size stored in a decorative container 3)Not likely to break or spill in transport and 4) I can give them to everybody without worry of contraindications. I do have to plan the harvesting and drying in advance and make sure the oils are infused by October.
Everyone seem to have favorite herb blend for salves. What is yours?