Have you ever been attacked by mosquitoes? I’m not talking about one or two or even ten of them. I mean a full-on, head-to-toe attack! Obviously, it’s not pleasant. This past February my fiance, Ryan, and I took a trip to the everglades where we experienced an army of mosquitoes that nearly wrecked our trip. Luckily, I was wearing jeans and I had a jacket to wrap around my upper body. But, poor Ryan! He walked away looking like he had chicken pox.
Looking back, I wish I had some cooling, healing salve with us to take the edge off all of those bites. The good news is it’s never too late to reap the benefits of a homemade plant remedy-especially since we are only a month into summer and there is still plenty of garden work to be done. Today, I’m sharing a recipe for a healing salve to take care of those annoying pains, burns, and itches. Make this cooling, all purpose salve for minor cuts, burns, bites, stings, and scrapes. You’ll have an effective, all-natural, home remedy ready to go. I know I’ll be packing an extra jar for our trip to Florida next month!
The Goodies in This Recipe
Before we get to the recipe, I wanted to share just a little about the beneficial ingredients that make this a wonderful first-aid salve.
A plant with drawing properties, plantain takes away the dirt or venom of a scrape, bite, or sting to heal the wound from the inside out. Plantain is also an herb of choice for signs of heat (redness, swelling, etc.). The cooling properties of this plant will draw the heat out and soothe the irritated tissues. If you’d like to learn more about plantain check out this posts on it’s healing properties.
A while back I was delighted to find self-heal growing in the yard. Much like plantain, self-heal is an astringent plant that draws out infections. It even has the ability to halt bleeding, much like yarrow, which makes it a great first aid herb to include in a salve. Read more about self-heal’s place among medicinal plants.
Peppermint Essential Oil
I included peppermint oil to add a deeper cooling touch. Much like plantain, peppermint used on the skin can soothe itchy, inflamed skin. Not to mention, it smells delightful!
Vitamin E Oil
Using vitamin E oil in a salve is useful in prolonging the shelf life of the product, as well as providing added skin benefits. Vitamin E oil is helpful in smoothing and repairing scar tissue.
A popular ingredient in many skin care products, beeswax provides moisture to the skin without clogging pores. It also softens, heals, and protects the skin making it a fine choice for dealing with wounds and other skin complaints.
Making Your All-Purpose Healing Salve
Plantain Infused Oil (Learn how to make it here)
Self Heal Infused Oil (Learn how to make it here)
Peppermint Essential Oil (My pick place for buying oils)
Vitamin E Oil
Medium Pot, Strainer or Cheese clothe, Jars or Tins, Spoon, Measuring Cup or Scale
- Gather your materials. I made this in steps. First, I solar infused the oils for several weeks. You can speed up the process by infusing the oils over the stove or in a crockpot. Or you can try to find these oils already infused with the plant material. It might be a stretch for self-heal and plantain, but you may have some luck looking on Etsy or simply doing a google search.
- Strain the oils using a mesh strainer or cheese clothe into a medium sized pot. Be sure to squeeze as much of the oil out of the plant material as possible. This will ensure you get as much of the plant’s goodness as you can. (Self Heal on the left; Plantain on the right)
- Add a 1/4 cup or 2 oz. of beeswax for every cup of oil you have. I had two cups of oil, so I measured out 4 oz. of beeswax. I prefer to use the scale when measuring beeswax to get a more accurate measurement.
- Next, heat the oil and beeswax until the beeswax has melted, mixing occasionally. Once the beeswax has liquified test the mixture by placing a spoonful in a small bowl and placing it in the freezer for a minute or two. If the mix is not hardening, add more beeswax. And if it is too hard, add some more oil.
- Once you have the consistency you are looking for when cool, put 10-20 drops of peppermint essential oil and a tablespoon of vitamin E oil in the beeswax/plant oil mix. Give it a good swirl with a spoon, and then pour the hot oil/beeswax mix into your tins or jars. Label your jars with the date and store in a cool, dark place. It’s best to replace salves every 6 months to a year. Any longer than that, and your salve is likely to be rancid.
Being Prepared Feels Good
I love the feeling I get when I make something like a simple salve. I used the plants that I could find near me to aid in the unfortunate event that someone I love (or myself) gets stung by a bee, scrapes a knee, or develops a summer heat rash. Better than having anything store bought, I can feel confident in knowing what is going on my skin. Now that you know all of the benefits to using these simple plants, and this easy but effective method of making a healing salve, I hope you will try it out and let me know what you think. How does it make you feel to make a super simple, natural home remedy for you and your family?