Simple Salve Recipe

Lemongrass Salve
Salves are very special to me.  They were my introduction to making my own body care products!

Since we are backyard bee keepers, we are blessed with richly scented, fresh, and beautiful beeswax!  (I’m sorry, I’m not trying to make you jealous. It’s just that a girl’s gotta brag about her ‘girls’ from time to time.  And by ‘girls,’ I mean the worker bees… get your mind out of the gutter)  🙂

With our first (successful) wax harvest, I began dreaming and scheming of ways to utilize my wax.  It would be a shame to let it sit idle, but, at that time, I really had no idea what to do with beeswax…

Isn’t that the stuff candles are made of???  If you are familiar with my blog at all, I have already told you numerous times that I am not a candlestick maker–so that was out…

What I did do was buy myself a scale, (that I now have to share with Husband the soap-maker), and launched head first into the world of body care products.  I started with a salve, that being the easiest for me, and I was hooked.  For life.

Making salves is easy and very rewarding.  The healing benefits of a given salve are endless, and the possible combinations of different herbs and oils in a salve are too numerous to list.

So.  Why not?

The most important part of a salve, in my humble opinion, is the infused oil.  Infusing herbs into oils is very easy to do, and I prefer the solar infusion, or cold infusion method.  If you are pressed for time, you can also make a hot infusion which is also perfectly acceptable as well.  I appreciate the solar infusion method more because not only is it simpler, but, you get to interact with the herbs more, whilst shaking the jar daily.  I think the healing power is stronger, since more of the herbal properties have infused the oil for a longer amount of time.  Call me dorky, but in using the solar method, I feel I have infused the herbs with love when shaking.  I also talk to my herbs. I tell them thank you! 🙂

I have made a hot infusion plenty of times with great success.  Annie’s Remedy writes a lovely post on this if you’d like more info on this method.

In a salve, there are  infused oils, beeswax and/or body butters, and essential oils.  The combinations you choose can make the salves serve different purposes.  For example, an arnica-infused oil would make a great boo-boo salve for bumps and bruises.  A plantain leaf-infused oil would make a great salve for itching.  (I am working on this one right now for my sweet grandma’s mild eczema).  I also make a salve with infused oils of lavender and calendula for my baby’s bottom.  I make one for myself that smells just the way I like it, so when I use it on my hands quite often, I get added aromatherapy benefits also.  I am planning a salve currently that includes raw honey that is great for burns and wounds.  There truly is a salve for every occasion, and I intend to make them all 🙂

Simple Salve Recipe: coconut oil

  • 8 oz. oil (any combination)
  • 1.5 oz. (grated) beeswax
  • 0.5 oz. skin butter (such as cocoa, mango or shea) optional
  • 15-30 drops essential oils, optional
  • 10 capsules vitamin E oil to extend shelf life) optional

*I weighed all ingredients on my kitchen scale*

Method: 

In a small double boiler– I use a Pyrex glass bowl atop of a pan– heat all oils, beeswax and butter.  (Hints: when selecting your tools, keep in mind beeswax is hard to clean, and this recipe can be stirred with wooden chopsticks.  They work great!)  Remove from heat and add essential oils and vitamin E if using.  Pour into containers and let cool on the counter top to harden.  (Hint:  the hardness of the salve can easily be adjusted.  Before pouring your recipe into containers, put a small amount of salve on a teaspoon and put in the freezer for one minute to harden.  Remove and check firmness.  For a softer salve, add more oils, for a harder salve add more beeswax).

salve on the stove

Here is the recipe for one of my favorite baby-bottom salves:

Sweet Baby’s Bottom Salve: cooling salve

*Note:  If you are having trouble finding beeswax locally, Honey Locator is a great resource!  Search by state to find local bee-keepers, honey and beeswax.  Not all bee-keepers sell their wax, but this is a good place to look.  Thank you for shopping local. 🙂

If you are new to salve-making, be sure to check out this post on how to infuse your oils.  It is the easiest way to infuse.

Also, if you need to order some herbal supplies, Mountain Rose Herbs can fulfill all of your bulk oils, butters, and dried herbal wishes.  They also carry a great line of packaging accessories if you are wondering what to store your salve in.  Their 1 oz. tin makes a great gift!

1 oz lemongrass salve tin

Check out my facebook page for more helpful tips and recipes!

Do you have a favorite salve recipe?  Please share it in the comments below!  🙂

Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links that provide a small commission to me when purchases are made through that link–-at no extra cost to you. I only affiliate with companies whose products I personally use and can whole-heartedly recommend. Thank you for supporting Sustain, Create and Flow.

Shared with:  Wildcrafting Wednesday, Sunny Simple Sunday, Your Green Resource, LHITS DIY Linky, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Frugal Crafty Home

 

 

 

 

Sustain, Create and Flow

32 Comments

  1. I love making salves. I have arnica and oil infusing for a bruise salve right now, and echinacea, comfrey and calendula infusing for a black salve.

  2. I am new to all this herbal salve making, how would you do arnica salve? Punkin62

  3. I enjoyed your blog post today and linked over from Frugally sustainable. I made a couple of quick salves today too, one with Calendula & Comfrey and essential oils for an allergic rash and another for pain relief.

    You’re so right it is very satisfying to make these products for my family!

      • I think the Arnica infused oil will be fabulous for your pain relief salve. I added Frankincense, Juniper Berry, Sweet Orange, Nutmeg and Neroli essential oils to mine for their analgesic properties.

        My salve is kind of hard & I’m thinking of remelting it in a pan of hot water so I can add more oil…

        Hey, my rash is almost gone today thanks to yesterday’s salve =)

        Have a great day!

        • Hi Jan,
          When my salve was too hard I scraped it all out and threw it back in the double-boiler and added more oil. It worked well. I now put a bit on a teaspoon and put in the freezer for one minute to allow it to cool to check the consistency before I put it in containers. I am so glad to hear your rash is gone! I am working on a salve for my grandma’s eczema. I think I will use plaintain as well. Thanks for sharing what oils you use in your pain salve. I need to some day spring for the Frankincense oil, but the one I want is spendy 🙂

  4. Hi. I love this. I’m so excited I found your site. I tried to click on the ‘this post’ to see how to infuse my own oil but it said the page could not be found. Can you please give me other directions to where I can find it. Thanks so much.

  5. Hi there! I enjoyed this post and found it through the Frugal days Sustainable ways blog hop! I started making salve about a year ago and have made just one batch which I use for EVERYTHING! It’s a Comfrey, St. Johns wart, Plantain and Calendula Salve! I have been wanting to try some other recipes though so I think this post will help me branch out a little. A quick question for you: Would salve be safe to use on baby’s under a year because of the Beeswax (and honey if you add it)? I have a 6 week old that has the occasional rash but I have been using A&D on him because I was worried about the wax. I have used my salve on my 2 year old for the past year with great success so I know it works..just new baby nerves! 🙂 Thanks again!

    • I can only speak for myself and what I did as a new mama, but I have used salve on my baby since she was probably 2 months old (or younger?) I have also used plain coconut oil. I think the contraindication with the honey is when it is ingested, and I have never heard of beeswax being an issue. (I am not a doctor though:)) I slather my baby with all sorts of salves with great success. Trust your gut, mama. You know what’s best for your baby. Congratulations!!!

  6. I’m just entering the world of herbs for healing. I have extremely dry skin in the winter and need something I can put on my poor peeling hands. What herbs would you recommend for such a salve? I also would like a simple muscle ache salve. I’ve seen a lot of herbs thrown around in here for a pain salve. What would a good starting place be?

  7. Have you got a drawing salve for boils etc, I would love one to have on hand.

  8. I made my first salve this week for a friend suffering with gout and a swollen ankle.

    I used a combination of juniperberry, litsea, rosemary and benzoin.

    Now to try a calming peaceful rest salve.

  9. Hi there!
    At the moment I am having a hard time finding the calendula flowers and my plants won’t be ready any time soon. I really want to use it in the recipe though. Can I use calendula herbal oil or the extract instead? If so how much should I use and which would be better? Thank you!

  10. Ive not run into that. Did you keep the wax over heat while you were adding your oil? Make sure the wax and oil stay warm and liquidy, and then put it into your container to cool. Your first attempt may not be wasted. Melt it all down and then repour it. Maybe you just have chunks of unmelted wax?? Otherwise, i’m not sure what the problem would be? Is it a good quality wax?

  11. Hi there, I am a newbie to making slaves…just wondering, if I follow ur recipe with add the butter will it be still scoopable in the cooler weather and not melt in the warmer weather?

    • Great question! The short answer is, “it depends.” 🙂 A quick and easy solution is just to add a bit more beeswax. 🙂 You can add it in slowly, and place a small amount in a spoon and put it in the freezer for a minute or two. This is a great way to test out your hardness. Warmer climates will use more beeswax as well. Happy salve-making!

  12. Having multple joint issues and many surgeries, I am looking for pain relief. I understand that arnica is good and I have pure arnica oil but no idea how much to use in a salve. I have organic shea butter & olive oil and looking for good beeswax. Do you ave any idea how many drops of arrnica are appropriate per 8ozs. of oil/butter.

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