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Herbal Salve Recipes

Do not copy or distribute any portion of this page without the authors written permission. 1996

Chickweed Salve Millie Fodor
2 part Chickweed
2 part Plantain
1 part Comfrey Leaf
Olive oil
Vitamin E


Notes - If 1 part equals 1/3 cup then you will need 12 - 14 ounces of oil and about 1 ounce of beeswax.

Use this salve to soothe itching caused by insect bites and rashes, and to aid healing of minor skin irritations.

Directions for Making Salve

To make salve, we extract the beneficial properties of our herbs in oil, then add beeswax to harden the oil.

My recipes are based on the Simplers' Method of calculating proportions. These recipes require you to use parts rather than a specific volume of each herb. This technique allows you to easily adapt the recipe. If you want a small amount of salve you can choose one tablespoon as your part, if you want a large amount of salve you might choose 1/2 - 1 cup as your part. The amount of oil needed is enough to completely cover the herbs, plus an inch of oil above the level of the herbs. The tricky part of this is determining exactly how much beeswax is needed to harden the salve. You can approximate the proportions based on the following equivalents. One pint of oil will need about 1 1/2 ounces of beeswax, or one ounce of oil will need about 1/2 teaspoon of beeswax. There are about 5 teaspoons of beeswax in an ounce.

If you intend to make your salve using freshly collected plants, you will want to clean them. Do this by shaking them to remove dirt then spread the herbs out to allow them to air dry for several hours ( until wilted ) to reduce the moisture content. Fresh chickweed, for example, contains a lot of moisture and this water content could cause your salve to spoil quickly.

To begin your salve, measure the desired amount of herbs into an enamel or stainless steel pan, or into a crock pot.

Cover the herbs with oil. Use enough oil to cover the herbs plus another inch of oil above the level of herbs.

Heat the herbs and oil over a low heat for several hours ( about 3 hours). If you are using roots you should heat the oil longer( about 5 hours). I strongly encourage you to use a crock pot for heating your oil because it operates at a controlled low temperature which is less likely to be a fire hazard. If you don't use a crock pot then use a double boiler.

After heating, cool your oil for awhile. Set up a strainer lined with cheesecloth then pour the oil through to strain. When most of the oil has filtered through the cheesecloth, pick up the cheesecloth, keeping the herbs enclosed, and squeeze as much oil as possible from the herbs and cloth.

Add beeswax to the oil and heat it until all the wax is melted. To test to see if your salve is hard enough, put some on a spoon and set it in a cool place for a few minutes. If your salve is too soft, add more beeswax.

If you are using essential oils or Vitamin E you can blend them in now. Finally, pour your salve into containers and label.


St. John's Wort Salve Millie Fodor
1 part St. John's Wort
1 part Calendula
1 part Comfrey leaf
1 part Plantain
Olive Oil
Beeswax .
Vitamin E

Great all purpose salve. Use for insect bites, itching, wounds, burns and on fungal infections.

Baby Salve Millie Fodor
1 part St. John's Wort
2 part Calendula
1 part Comfrey leaf
1 part Comfrey root
1 part Plantain
Olive Oil
Beeswax .
Vitamin E


Goldenseal Salve Millie Fodor
1 part Goldenseal Root
1 part Comfrey Root
1 part Calendula
1 part Echinacea
1 part Myrrh
Olive Oil
Vitamin E

Use this salve to prevent infection and aid in the healing of wounds.

Black Walnut Salve Millie Fodor
2 part Black Walnut
2 part Chaparral
1 part Myrrh
1 part Burdock
1 part Echinacea
Olive Oil
Vitamin E
Optional - Tea Tree Oil - 10 drops per ounce

This salve is primarily used to fight fungal infections such as, eczema, ringworm, and athletes foot.

Dreamtime Salve Millie Fodor
2 part Mugwort
1 part Rosemary
1/2 part Spearmint
1/2 part Calendula
1/2 part Sage
1/4 part Lavender
Olive Oil
Vitamin E

Apply Dreamtime Salve to your temples at bedtime to encourage imaginative dreams.

Eucalyptus Salve / Chest Rub Millie Fodor
30 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
40 drops Camphor essential oil
15 drops Wintergreen essential oil
1 ounce Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Beeswax

Melt the beeswax in the olive oil. Remove from heat and add the essential oils. Stir, pour into salve container and label.

Eucalyptus salve is used to relieve respiratory congestion.


Herb Reference

BURDOCK ROOT - ( Arctium lappa) Blood purifier. Useful for any systemic rash conditions, such as psoriasis. Antiseptic. Useful for bites, stings, animal bites and boils. For rashes, use internally and externally.

Internally, burdock is also useful for arthritic conditions, rheumatism, and many types of infections. It is the primary ingredient in ESSIAC TEA, a Native American cancer formula. Burdock is a plentiful "weed" in our area that we can harvest.

BLACK WALNUT HULLS - (Juglans nigra ) Antifungal. Use for athletes foot and other fungal infections, parasites, abscesses, and boils.

CALENDULA - ( Calendula officinalis ) This species of marigold is often cultivated in gardens. Calendula helps to soothe inflamed tissues, reduce pain and aids in quick healing of cuts and abrasions.

CHAPARRAL - ( Larrea divaricata ) Antibiotic and antiseptic. Useful against bacteria, viruses, parasites, and warts. Relieves itching of eczema, scabies and dandruff. Native Americans used chaparral to treat cancer.

CHICKWEED - ( Stellaria media ) Cooling, antiseptic herb used to treat inflammations, relieve itching, blisters, boils, and abscesses. Fresh plant is edible in salads or as a cooked green. You can find chickweed growing in your lawn, garden, or meadows.

COMFREY ROOT & LEAF - ( Symphytum officinale ) Prolific plant that is valuable in the treatment of all types of skin, bone, and muscle injuries. Comfrey helps wounds to heal quickly. Use for burns, blisters , broken bones, and inflammations. Used both internally and externally. Comfrey has a soothing effect on any organ it comes in contact with. Also used for respiratory and digestive system disorders.

ECHINACEA - ( Echinacea purpurea or E. angustifolia )This herb is the most widely consumed herb in the world today. It is used internally to activate the immune system when fighting colds and flu, or almost any type of infection. Lesser known is the fact that echinacea is beneficial for many topical applications. Echinacea can be used to treat infected wounds, psoriasis, and eczema. Echinacea stimulates the bodies defenses at the sight of the wound and aids in the development of healthy tissue. Also used as a wash to remove poison ivy oils from the skin. I prefer to use an alcohol based echinacea tincture if I need to remove poison ivy oils from my skin.

The root is the most powerful part of the plant. If you want to purchase echinacea for immune stimulation, avoid products that don't contain any root, or ones that do not list the echinacea species on the label. Two species, Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea angustifolia, are commonly used. Both species are powerful, but it is best to choose E. purpurea because it is the most abundant species. E. angustifolia is becoming rare in the wild. Many people cultivate echinacea in their gardens, commonly known as Purple Coneflower. To avoid further depletion of wild echinacea plants, try to buy only cultivated plants or grow your own.

GOLDENSEAL - ( Hydrastis canadensis )Antiseptic and astringent. Used for cuts, wounds, infections, bites, and stings. Goldenseal is also widely used internally for the treatment of sinus infections and other inflammations of the mucus membranes, including the stomach and intestinal tract. The medicinal part of the plant is the root.

Ohio used to be the most abundant habitat for goldenseal but over-harvesting has depleted the wild populations. Goldenseal is now scarce and should not be harvested from the wild. Try to buy goldenseal roots that are cultivated or grow your own if you have a rich woods

MYRRH - ( Commiphora myrrha )Antiseptic and astringent. Very effective antiseptic used in salves. Combined with goldenseal, myrrh is good for wounds, bedsores, abscesses, and hemorrhoids. Internally, myrrh is used to treat fungal infections, congestion, ulcers, and as a wash for sore gums.

PLANTAIN - ( Plantago spp.) Astringent, antiseptic, and emollient. Plantain helps to relieve pain of insect bites and is a wonderful remedy for cuts, and skin infections. For a quick relief, pick a leaf, chew it and apply it to the insect bite or sting. Plantain is the source of psyllium seeds, a bulk laxative found in many over - the - counter products.

Plantain can be found in lawns, meadows, and open woods. Plantain is abundant and can be harvested from the wild.

ST. JOHN'S WORT - ( Hypericum perforatum ) The salve is good for burns, wounds, bruises, sores, insect bites, fungal infections such as eczema, and itching. This is my favorite herb to use in salves! St. John's Wort is used internally for the treatment of depression and is currently being researched for possible use in the treatment of AIDS.

St. John's Wort can be harvested from the wild if you find large patches of it. I harvest a portion of the flower head and leave a portion on the plant to produce seed. If you pick one of the yellow flowers and rub it between your fingers it will stain your fingers red!

Animals develop photosensitivity when they consume St. John's Wort and there is some evidence that humans consuming large amounts of the herb may develop photosensitivity. When using a St. John's Wort Salve it is best not to use it before long periods of sun exposure.

Essential Oils

Essential oils are steam distilled concentrates of the natural oils present in plants, flowers, roots, and trees. They are 100 % pure and must be carefully used by the drop.

CAMPHOR - (Cinnamomum camphora) Used as a congestion clearing inhalant and muscle liniment.

EUCALYPTUS - ( Eucalyptus globulus) Used for rubbing on sore muscles, as an inhalant, and chest rub for colds. Decongestant, antibiotic, antiseptic and antiviral. Used as a topical antiseptic on sores and fungal infections such as ring worm.

TEA TREE OIL - ( melaleuca alternifolia) Very effective fungicide, antibacterial and antiseptic. Michael Tierra, calls Tea Tree Oil, "the first aid kit in a bottle." Use for cuts, pimples, boils, cold sores, burns, stings, ticks, athletes foot and other fungal infections.

WINTERGREEN OIL - ( Gualtheria promcumbens) Use as a salve to rub on sore joints and muscles. Harmful or fatal if taken internally.

Miscellaneous Ingredients

BEESWAX - A naturally occurring wax produced by bees. Beeswax is used in your salve to solidify the oil. Softens and protects skin.

VITAMIN E - Vitamin E also has the ability to preserve fats and aid in the healing of wounds.

OILS - For salve, olive oil is the preferred choice of oil because it is less likely to become rancid. It is better to choose cold pressed oils because they retain some of the nutrients and enzymes. If you plan to make a salve to use specifically on your face, then a light oil is best. Apricot kernel and grapeseed oils are very light.

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