One of the best ways to receive the benefits of herbs as well as alleviate dry skin is through the creation of a healing salve. The skin is one of the largest gateways on the body to receive the actions of the plants. Calendula, or Calendula officinalis, known commonly for its skin rejuvenating magic is a great herb to start with when making a salve. It is used for wounds, rashes, and other skin irritations. This time of year, dryness, and irritation can be prevalent due to the weather’s icy bite and moisture-sapping indoor heat.
- 1 cup of oil (coconut or olive oil is best)
- Equal parts dried herbs
- 1 ounce of beeswax (shaved)
- Jars or containers to store salve in – We recommend using glass or tin containers which you can find easily on Amazon. Containers can be purchased in a number of sizes based on personal preference.
- Essential oils are optional
How to Make a SalveCreate an herbal oil infusion: Creating an herbal oil infusion can be completed through the double boiler method:
- Place herbs and oil in Pyrex container or smaller pot, over top of a large pot with water about ¼ full.
- Bring water to a boil.
- Once water is boiling, you can then turn the stove down to a simmer and let the herbs and oils infuse in this double boiler method for 30-60 minutes.
- Take care not to splash water into your oil/herb infusion
- Place three layers of cheesecloth over top of a funnel or atop a bowl.
- Pour the infused oils over the cheesecloth to strain the oil and keep herbs separated.
- Once drained, gather the cheesecloth with your clean, dry hands and squeeze out the remaining oil.
Making the Salve
- Place your shaved beeswax in a pan over low heat, and pour the infused oil over top and melt together.
- Once the beeswax and oil have combined, pour the mixture into jars.
- Place your herbal salves in the refrigerator for about 10-15 minutes to determine the solidification of the salve.
- Using less beeswax will yield a more creamy salve, and more generous usage will yield a harder salve.
Once complete, you can simply rub fingers over the top of your salve and then spread over the desired area on the body, avoiding the eyes. One of the hidden benefits of salves is that they can make wonderful massage oils. Coconut oil is especially known for its ability to heat at lower temperatures, so it warms very well with natural body heat and the salve instantly becomes a massage-like oil. Use this opportunity, after a bath or whenever you are using your salves, to mindfully take time for yourself or your loved one and massage any worries or tension away.