Making your own salves can be a wonderful way to tailor the ingredients to your specific needs. Different herbs and oils have different properties that make them beneficial for particular skin types or issues, so by mixing and matching different ingredients it is possible to create a unique blend just for you. Moon Groove has included in this blog an easy way you can create your own salves, as well as an introduction to some well-known herbs and their uses.
What are salves? Salves are semi-solid herbal ointments used for a variety of skin applications and issues. They have many properties, such as moisturizing and soothing the skin, reducing inflammation, and providing pain relief, among many other beneficial effects. Salves are made by combining the herbs in oil to infuse and then adding beeswax to help solidify the oil. This makes it much easier to apply the salve over a larger area and it will stay on the skin longer. The salves that Moon Groove creates do not have any added essential oils, any smell is from the herbs themselves.
Common Herbs and the Benefits
Herbs are a key ingredient when making a salve. Here are some of the most popular and common herbs used to create salves:
• Calendula - calendula is well known for its skin healing properties, being anti-inflammatory and soothing to the skin.
• Chamomile - chamomile has anti-inflammatory and calming properties, making it a great choice for sensitive skin.
• Lavender - lavender is known to help reduce redness and soothe the skin, while also having an uplifting scent.
• Comfrey - comfrey is an herb that is known to have antibacterial properties and can be essential in helping to heal and soothe the skin.
Benefits of Different Oils in Salves Oils are also an important ingredient when making a salve as they add moisture to the mixture and help seal in the benefits of the herbs used. Here are some common oils used in salves and their respective benefits:
• Coconut Oil – coconut oil is known to be highly moisturizing, while also providing antioxidant protection. • Olive Oil – olive oil helps to lock in moisture and keep the skin hydrated while also being anti-inflammatory. • Avocado Oil – avocado oil is packed with fatty acids that help nourish the skin and restore its supple texture. • Jojoba Oil – jojoba oil has antibacterial properties that help to balance the skin while also providing a natural barrier to protect it from environmental damage.
Gathering Ingredients The first step in making your own salve is to gather the necessary ingredients. You’ll need a variety of herbs and oils, depending on the type of skin application or issue you are looking to treat. Once you have chosen your herbs and oils, make sure to purchase them in small quantities so that you don’t waste any ingredient. I would encourage you to look round you and see if there is something you could use in your garden or forest. This does require a bit of understanding of wild herbs in your area. Another place you could look into is a health food store, small market/farmstand or apothecary nearby. In a pinch I have found products I need online and in the tea isle. Mixing and Creating the Salve
The second step of making your own salve is to mix the ingredients together and create the actual salve. Start by melting the chosen oils on a double boiler, then add in the herbs and stir until everything is completely combined. (I have a specific double boiler I only use to make salves and add the oil right too it, you can use a glass in pan on the stovetop or crockpot on simmer all day (6 to 8 hours). If you use the stove top method (simmer) or crock pot (on low) It is important to be very careful not to get any water into your glass with the oil and herbs inside. I use the slow method, so my herbs are infusing between 6 and 8 weeks but the process does not differ.
With heat for 6-8 hours will allow the herbs enough time for the benefits of the herbs will be infused into the carrier oil. I would then strain the herbs from the oil with a metal strainer or coffee filter and then add the desired amount of beeswax to create my salves with a 1 to 1 ratio for example, if I have 1oz of oil I add 1 oz of beeswax. i would check and add some drops of the oil and beeswax to cool and see if it is too soft and oily, it's harder to come back from the salve being waxy but it can be achieved You can add additional ingredients to help enhance the effects of the salve, such as essential oils or beeswax.
I chose to leave out the essential oils to create a product from the herbs used. Once you have reached your desired consistency, pour the salve into a clean jar and allow it to cool before using. Making your own salves can be a wonderful way to tailor the ingredients to your specific needs and create a beautiful, natural product.
By understanding the benefits of different herbs and oils, you can make an effective salve that will help treat your skin issues. Don’t forget to have fun while creating your salves! Additionally, Moon Groove offers pre-made salves specifically tailored for various skin issues and applications. Check out our shop to find the ideal salve for your needs! Happy Salving!