Every year we can’t wait for the gardening season! Sunny days, birds singing, the sweet smell of flowers blooming, and our vegetable gardens flourishing. But nature has a mischievous side along with all this beauty….. cuts, scrapes, bug bites and the dreaded poison oak/ivy. Every single year without fail I get poison oak/ivy. I don’t know which one it is but I do know that I itch! Some years, it’s just a few little blisters on my fingers, and some years like this one it’s full blown allergic reaction.
It’s time to make my “go to” herbal salve for minor scrapes, burns, bug bites and skin irritations. I’ve made this for family and friends and they all agree it works! And I want to share it with you.
Herbal salves have been used for centuries as natural remedies for various skin conditions. By harnessing the power of essential oils, you can create a soothing and aromatic salve that can provide relief to many skin irritations.
For my herbal salve I infuse sunflower oil with dried calendula petals. Calendula is known as the skin care herb, because it has been shown to contain various compounds that possess strong anti inflammatory effects that help soothe and calm irritated skin.
To create an infusion fill a glass jar about 1/2 full of sunflower oil or oil of your choice. I like sunflower because it is inexpensive and is light on the skin. Fill the remaining half with dried calendula blossoms. Cap and place in a cool dark place for 4-6 weeks, shaking once or twice a week, being sure the petals stay below the oil.
If you need the infusion in a hurry, you can place the capped jar in a sauce pan that is filled halfway with water. Simmer on low heat for 4-6 hours. Strain the calendula blossoms from the oil and set the infused oil aside. The blossoms can go in the compost.
I chose the following essential oils to use in my herbal first aid salve for the these reasons.
- Lavender Essential Oil: Lavender essential oil is renowned for its calming and soothing properties. It possesses anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and analgesic qualities, making it ideal for treating skin irritations, minor burns, and insect bites.
- Peppermint Essential Oil: Peppermint essential oil provides a refreshing and cooling sensation, making it perfect for alleviating discomfort from itchy or inflamed skin. Its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties can provide relief from minor skin irritations, while its cooling effect can soothe sunburns and reduce redness.
- Tea Tree Essential Oil: Tea tree essential oil is known for its potent antibacterial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties. It can be highly effective in combating acne, fungal infections, and other skin conditions.
Directions for making your herbal salve: 4:1 ratio
- 4 ounces infused calendula oil
- 1 ounce beeswax
- 10-12 drops lavender essential oil
- 6-8 drops peppermint essential oil
- 4-6 drops tea tree essential oil
*Always remember to perform a patch test before applying any essential oil blend to a larger area of your body to ensure that you do not have an adverse reaction. The essential oil should always be mixed with a carrier oil, not placed directly on your skin.
This 4:1 ratio provides a soft consistency. A 5:1 ratio would be even softer and 3:1 harder. The first number is the amount of oil, the second the beeswax. The measurements are in ounces.
- In a double boiler or a heatproof glass bowl placed over a pot of simmering water, melt the beeswax pellets and the calendula oil you have strained oil together until fully melted and combined.
- Remove the mixture from heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Beeswax acts as a natural emollient, helping to create a solid salve once it solidifies.
- Add the lavender, peppermint, and tea tree essential oils to the mixture. Stir gently to ensure they are evenly incorporated.
- Pour the mixture into small, sterilized jars or tins. Allow the salve to cool completely and solidify before using. I put mine in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
- To use the herbal salve, simply apply a small amount to the affected area and gently massage it into the skin. Repeat as needed throughout the day.
Creating your own herbal salve is a wonderful way to harness the healing properties of lavender, peppermint, and tea tree essential oils. By combining these oils with beeswax and calendula oil, you can create a natural and effective remedy to calm irritation, cool inflamed skin, or treat minor skin conditions.
I’ve also created labels you can print out and put on your tins to give to friends.
To print just click on the link to open up PDF. Place your Avery labels in printer and print as color. Prints 12 labels at a time. I also have include a back label with directions.
I used the 2 ounce tins from Amazon but 2 ounce jelly jars may be found locally or tins at Michaels, Hobby Lobby or The Dollar Tree.
***Keep out of heat to prevent melting. Wash and dry hands before placing into the salve and avoid introducing water into the salve to prevent bacteria. Essential oils should not be used on children under 3 months and should not be used undiluted . Dilute with a carrier oil such as sunflower . For young children dilute the essential oil by 1/2. For any serious cut, bug bite, burn, or signs of infection seek care from your health professional. My poison oak reaction required a prescription cortisone cream AND a prednisone dose pack.
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