I want to share with you my new recipe for an antiseptic herbal ointment packed full of germ-killing properties that is sure to help all of us hippie-folk treat everyday minor cuts, scraps, burns, bumps, and abrasions.
You can use this ointment just as you would a tube of that nasty chemical-laden, commercially-prepared stuff found in the box stores.
And the BEST part is…you can make it easily at home, and you control the ingredients!
…is super loaded with analgesic, anti-microbial, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-fungal goodness! I created it out of my desire to treat a broad spectrum range of skin ailments — and based on the chemical constituents of the plants + oils used in this balm, it has the power to heal:
- topical thrush
- minor surgical incisions
- cold + congestion
- slow-healing wounds
- cuts, scraps, and bruises
- bug bites and stings
- minor, superficial burns
- cold sores
My Hippie Healer’s Salve provides some of the most gentle, soothing and regenerative properties found in nature.
Properties of the Herbs
Making this salve requires the infusion of a few herbs into good-quality organic olive oil. Choose the herbs you have on hand or readily available.
- Calendula Flowers. This is one of the best herbs to use when attempting to treat ailments of the skin – such as cuts, burns, inflammation, bruises, minor open wounds, scrapes. Phytochemicals that are present in this flower work hard against bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
- Plantain. Plantain is an awesome plant and it’s actually a common weed that grows nearly everywhere. It has incredible medicinal properties and can heal a variety of different skin issues such as: eczema, psoriasis, bee stings, insect bites, poison ivy. Learn to identify this plant in the yard and you’ll never have to buy it!
- St. John’s Wort. The “feel good” herb is often known for it’s use in treating mild depression; however, when St. John’s wort is used topically it is wonderful in homemade salves for the treatment of bruises, wounds, and especially good for treating sunburn.
- Goldenseal Root. I love goldenseal root! The active constituents of the herb are some of the most potent natural antimicrobial agents found in nature. It’s broad-spectrum healing properties – anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antibiotic, and anti-viral — make it the perfect addition to this salve. Note: Always choose organically-grown goldenseal root as opposed to wild-harvested.
- Olive Leaf. Olive leaf may be one of the richest natural antiviral compounds ever! I love it for it’s skin-loving qualities and benefits in healing eczema.
- Comfrey Root + Leaves. Encourages the reproduction of cells therefore working to support the mending of sprains, bruises, swellings, burns and sores.
- Pine Resin. Native Americans used pine resin to seal and heal wounds + bruises. Pine resin carries incredible healing properties of antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial. Note: I purchase organic, hand-harvested pine resin here.
- Raw, all-natural honey. Raw honey provides tons of medicine benefits for this salve and is a well-known antibacterial agent. Honey is also highly nourishing, often reducing the risk for infection and scarring.
*Use organic ingredients whenever possible. I have linked to the products I use as a reference.
- 1 1/4 cup (10 fl. oz.) organic olive oil (this is the only olive oil I use in my all of my herbal remedies)
- 1/2-2/3 cup dried herbs (approx. 1 tablespoon each dried calendula flowers, dried plantain, dried St. John’s wort, dried goldenseal root, dried olive leaf, dried comfrey root + leaves, pine resin)
- 2-4 tablespoons (1-2 oz.) beeswax
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 2 teaspoons essential oils, optional
- 1/2 teaspoon non-GMO vitamin E oil, optional
I love using essential oils that hold broad-spectrum antiseptic properties. Generally I add to this salve essential oils of ravensara, rosemary, lavender, lemon, tea tree, clove, cinnamon, fir needle, and/or thyme. For maximum medicinal potency, I add them at a concentration of approximately 5% the total salve — in this recipe that equals approximately 2 teaspoons total. Choose the oils you have on hand or readily available. (I highly recommend the organic essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs…check out their extensive selection of oils here.)
1. Measure ingredients.
2. Prepare the oil infusion. You can do this one of three ways:
- Cold Infusion. In a glass mason jar, cover the dried herbs with 1 ¼ cup of oil. Stir to combine, and allow oil and herb mixture to steep for 4-6 weeks.
- Hot Oil Extract. In a glass mason jar, cover the herbs with 1 ¼ cup of oil. Stir to combine. Place the glass jar in a pot on the stove, or in a crock pot, filled with a few inches of water on lowest setting (Be sure to put a towel on the bottom of the pot.). Infuse the oil and herbs for 4-8 hours, a day, or up to 3 days. Note: Watch the pot and add water as it evaporates.
- Super Quick Extract. According to Rosemary Gladstar, you may also want to place the herbs and the oil in a double boiler and bring to a low simmer. Slowly heat for 30 to 60 minutes, checking frequently to be sure the oil is not overheating.
3. Strain the oil and herb infusion through a cheesecloth — squeezing to extract as much oil as possible. Be sure you collect at least 1 cup of herb infused oil.
4. In a saucepan, over low heat, melt 1-2 ounces (depending on how hard you’d like your salve) of beeswax into the herbal oil. I suggest starting with the lesser amount of wax — adding more if needed. Note: To check if the mixture is the right consistency, because the salve hardens as it cools, Rosemary Gladstar again suggests placing a “tablespoon of the mixture in the freezer for just a minute or two. If it’s soft, add more beeswax; if too hard, add more oil.”
5. When the consistency is to your liking, remove saucepan from heat.
6. Allow salve to cool on the counter.
7. Using a wire whisk, whisk until salve is cooled to approximately 100 degrees fahrenheit. Add raw honey, vitamin E oil, and essential oils. Whisk until well combined, creamy, and smooth.
8. Pour ointment into storage containers — click here to purchase new tins or jars. Salve will keep for 2-3 years when stored in a cool, dark place.
-For the herbs that I can’t grow myself, I love to purchase them in bulk from Mountain Rose Herbs or a local health food store. Mountain Rose Herbs is also my go to for medicinal-grade essential oils!
-Please watch my salve-making video tutorial for additional help in learning how to make medicinal salves.
+Because they work gently and effectively.
+Because you can grow many yourselves, right outside your front door or even in your kitchen.
+Because it’s our birthright to use the gifts of nature with respect and wisdom.
+Because up until relatively recently, at least in the western world, herbs were an integral part of taking care of ourselves.
Health doesn’t come from plastic bottles. Vitality grows naturally from the way you live your life. Deep down, people already know this.
If you want to learn more about herbs as medicine and as food, and if you’re just too busy to enroll in an in-person program, join the Herbal Academy of New England for a comprehensive and convenient online herbal course you can complete anywhere and anytime!
Learn what your great ancestors knew about the natural world and begin to build your own apothecary.
Start classes anytime! Click this link to learn more and register.
Ready to make your own salve? Ever tried a variation of this recipe?