*And/OR Olive, Sunflower OR Grapeseed oil---see directions
Place all the dried herbs in a crockpot. Cover herbs with oil, stirring with a non-metallic object to ensure all the herbs are coated with oil. If you have St John's and/or Chickweed infused oils, you can add however much you want to help cover the herbs (e.g., 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup, etc). If you only have a little, or none at all, that's fine. You can use Olive, Sunflower or Grapeseed oil, or even a combination of these oils. Put the crockpot on Low and let gently warm for 1-2 hours. DO NOT cook or boil! Your finished product will not be pleasant! You want to gently warm the oil so that the herbs' medicine can gently be released into the oil. Yes, gentle.
Let the oil cool, then put a nut milk bag in a bowl and pour the oil into the bag. Put the herbs in the bag and squeeze out as much oil as you can. Compost the spent herbs. Since there may still be herb particles in the oil, you'll want to filter them out. Line a sieve with an unbleached coffee filter, place or hold the sieve onto/over a pot, and pour the oil into the lined sieve so that the oil drips down into the pot.
Once done, add in grated beeswax (or pastilles) OR candelilla wax. The usual ratio is 1 part oil to 3-4 parts wax. Put on low heat to gently dissolve, stirring with a wooden spoon to ensure conformity.
Do the spoon test: scoop up a bit of the salve on a spoon and place it onto a plate. Put it in the freezer, wait 5 minutes, and then see if the salve is to your liking. Too hard? Add in more oil. Too soft? Add more wax. Then test again.
Once to your liking, you can add in Vitamin E and your chosen essential oil (EO), if using, to the pot, then pour into jars.
Another more interesting way is to fill ALL the jars with the liquid salve and to each jar, add in a different EO (1 type or a blend, as you prefer). Then, to each jar, prick 1 capsule of Vitamin E and stir it in. You can leave some jars without EO (recommended for use on sensitive bits). See Cat's Comments for uses.
This is a versatile recipe, but also a cheeky one using 9 different herbs! You don't have to use all 9, of course. Comfrey and Calendula are major vulnerary herbs, but so are the other herbs. And each herb has her own specialty that she adds to the mix:
Rose is emollient, vulnerary, astringent
Yarrow is styptic, vulnerary, antimicrobial
Plantain is cooling, vulnerary
Violet is cooling and emollient
Goldenrod is astringent, vulnerary
St John's helps with nerve restoration
Chickweed is cooling and anti-itch
Other alternatives: You could make an infused oil with several fresh herbs and then add the beeswax to turn it into a salve. OR, you could use some dried herbs and then use infused oils with fresh herbs--- really, whatever you have on hand. I find the salve to be pretty forgiving!
Some advice: I'd have my pots lined and up ready, because depending how much wax you've added (as well as heat and humidity in your home), it can harden fast. If you're using essential oils, I'd have those ready too. Have the Vitamin E capsules and a sharp knife to prick open the capsules, and several bamboo sticks for stirring (you'd want to using a different bamboo stick for each essential oil to avoid "cross-contaminating" the scents!).
What can you use this Salve for?
As always, Enjoy :)
Who loves free Herbal Recipes?
I do! I do!