When I first started learning about herbs and their properties I was captivated by the possibilities. I knew that if half of everything I was reading was true, a lot of people were missing out on the healing power of God’s plants. First I needed to test them for myself. I had to know if they really worked as well as the books claimed. So, with the little herb research I had done, I made a dark green herb salve and gave a quart of it to some missionaries who were heading to the mountains of Papua New Guinea with their five kids.
In a few months they wrote asking for more. They were living deep in the jungle among a tribe of people while learning to speak the language. It was a three-day hike to a dirt air strip where a little plane could transport them to a town—when a plane was available. A long way from medical help, they discovered that my green salve was very effective in treating a variety of ailments, from boils to rashes to ringworms and more. I was blown away. I did the research, but reading about the field-(jungle-)tested results was a whole new perspective. I was hooked, went back to the books—many books—and I have been an Herb Girl ever since.
1. Making a salve might sound difficult, but it isn’t. The thing that takes the longest is infusing your herbs with oil. The best way to do this is in a crock pot on very low heat.
2. Stuff a mason jar two-thirds full with herbs.
3. Fill jar with oil of your choice (coconut oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil, etc.), leaving at least one inch from the top of jar. Screw a lid on tight.
4. Put a wash cloth in the bottom of the crock pot. Put jar in the center of the pot (on the cloth). Fill the crock pot with water, one inch below top of jar.
5. Keep crock pot on low heat (oil needs to be very hot but not boiling) for 3 days. Water will evaporate out of the pot, so keep adding water as needed.
6. As the herb’s properties release in the oil, the oil will take on more color and smell like herb oil. With a cheese cloth (a cotton sheet or t-shirt will work too) strain herb solids out of oil. Now you have an herbally-infused oil. It is great for massage oil!
7. To make the oil into a salve you need beeswax. You need approximately 2 oz. of grated beeswax for 8 to 9 oz. of infused oil.
9. On low heat, warm oil and beeswax until wax is all melted.
10. Add a drop of vitamin E oil for every ounce of oil. This is a natural preservative.
11. While salve is still hot, pour into your container (widemouth jar, can, etc.).
12. Let sit overnight or until salve is hard.
13. Screw a lid on tight and label with name and date. Voila!! You have a salve!
~ If it is too soft for you, reheat it and add a bit more beeswax. If it is too hard, reheat it and add a touch more oil.
~ Salve is a thick oil that is used for cuts, bites, burns, rashes, boils, massage, and more. Salves can keep up to five years or more.
~ Keep out of light and extreme heat.
If I get a poisonous bite from a bug, bee, or spider, if there are fresh plantain leaves around, I grab a few leaves, chew them up and spit them on the bite. There is nothing faster or that works better to pull poison out. If you have activated charcoal around, you can mix that in the plantain chew and give it another boost in pulling out poison. After these fresh poultices, I continue to use salve until there is no sign of a bite.