Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Home Made Lavender Salve

Herbal salves are a great way to take advantage of the healing properties of the herbs. They are used to treat minor skin irritations such as dry skin, burns, bruises and rashes. As many herbs contain antibacterial and antifungal properties they make an ideal way to prevent infection in minor scrapes and cuts.

The advantage of making your own salve is that it contains no artificial ingredients, no synthetics and no petroleum products. Everything is 100% natural and organic. As an added bonus, it is inexpensive and makes a great gift.

Almost any herbs can be used to make a salve, depending on their use. You can use either fresh or dried herbs when but if using fresh herbs, crush them first in a mortar and pestle to release their oils.

For this recipe, I’m going to use lavender as it is smells wonderful and makes a great soothing salve to treat dry hands and skin. This recipe makes approximately ½ cup salve.

Lavender Salve

¼ cup dried lavender flowers
7 drops of lavender essential oil
6 tablespoons of shaved organic (unbleached) beeswax
½ cup (125ml) extra virgin olive oil

Metal saucepan
2 Glass measuring cups
Clean and steralised jar
Rubber band
Tea towel
  1. Pour olive oil into the glass measuring cup and add lavender flowers. Stir to combine. Fill the saucepan with 2 inches of water and place the measuring cup in the water, double boiler style.
  2. Bring water to the boil and allow to gently simmer for approximately 1 hour, being careful not to boil dry. When the herbs look ‘used up’, remove oil from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Place cheesecloth over second measuring cup and secure with a rubber band. Strain the infused oil mixture into the measuring cup through cheesecloth, squeezing out any excess oil.
  4. Place the measuring cup back into the water in the saucepan and allow water to simmer. While the oil slowly warms, add 6 tablespoons of beeswax, stirring occasionally.
  5. When the beeswax has melted (approximately 10 minutes), remove from heat and stir in several drops of lavender oil.
  6. Pour into clean jar(s) and allow to cool completely before putting the lid on. This recipe is for a firm salve but if you find it is too hard reheat it and add a touch more oil. If it is too soft reheat it and add a bit more beeswax. Keep out of direct sunlight.
Congratulations, you have just made your very own herbal salve! This recipe can be adapted using different herbs but if you are wild harvesting your herbs, make sure you identify them correctly before using. If you are unsure, use dried herbs purchased from your local health food store. Happy salve making!

The finished product. This is my own recipe using Lemon Balm and Lavender. I love the vibrant green colour, it shows that it’s hand made.

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