salves in tins

There’s nothing more satisfying than making your own medicinal salves. You know what’s in your salves and just feel better using them than over the counter chemical laden medicines. Herbs are renowned for their ability
to soothe rashes, bug bites, minor cuts and other common skin irritations.

If you have an herb garden or access to herbs at your local market, why not try making herb-infused oils and salves to add to your family’s medicine chest?

What Is A Salve?

A salve is a blend of oil, herbs and wax, used externally to soothe and protect the skin. Depending on the herbs you choose, you can make an all purpose salve for cuts, dry skin, burns, stings and scrapes, or you can make salves for specific ailments such as bites, diaper rash and fungus.

First, you will need an infused herbal oil. This is easy to make, it just takes patience to wait 6 weeks for the herbs and oil to infuse! Or you can infuse the herbs in oil for several hours in a double boiler on the stove on very low heat.

Some Herbs For Salves

Calendula is useful for sunburns, itchiness, rashes, inflammation and slow healing wounds.

Plantain is useful for bug bites, cuts, scrapes and rashes.

Chickweed is helpful to soothe minor burns and skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.

Chamomile and lavender are calming and antifungal.

Comfrey is helpful for minor burns, rashes and insect bites.

Plantain is useful for bug bites, cuts, scrapes and rashes.

herbs infusing in oil

Infused Oil Recipe

To make an infused oil you first need to gather some herbs to infuse. You need to gather the plants on a dry, sunny day. Don’t use any diseased or bruised parts and don’t wash any of the plants.

Cut the top third of the plant and chop or cut it coarsely. Let the plant material wilt for a day so a lot of the moisture is gone from the plant.

You want to completely fill a clean dry glass jar with the chopped herbs. Then slowly pour the oil in the jar, poking with a stick or knife to release any air and to make sure the oil penetrates through all the herb. I use olive oil to make this as it’s a very shelf stable oil.

Add enough oil to completely cover all the plant material filling the jar to the rim. Put the lid on and label your jar with the name of the plant, the part used, the oil used and the date. This will be ready to decant in 6 weeks unless you use the heat method.

To decant the oil I use cheese cloth draped over a large glass measuring cup. Secure the cheesecloth on the measuring cup with a rubber band. Pour small amounts of plant material in the cheese cloth then squeeze and wring out the oil into the measuring cup.

Store at cool room temperature or refrigerate. You now have an infused oil ready to use as is or make into salve, lotions and other herbal preparations!

Salve Recipe


  • Small pan
  • Infused oil
  • Beeswax pastilles


  • Pour 1 ounce of infused oil into your pan and add 1 tablespoon of beeswax to the oil.
  • Use beeswax pastilles as these melt better.
  • The rule of thumb is for every ounce of oil you use, add 1 tablespoon of beeswax. So it’s a 1:1 ratio.
  • Place the pan on low heat stirring constantly until the beeswax is completely melted.
  • Then pour the liquid into your salve tins or jars and allow to cool and solidify.

If the consistency is too hard, remelt and add more infused oil. If the consistency is too soft, remelt and add more beeswax.

Depending on the condition you want to treat, you have many herbs to choose from. Research your condition to find which herbs will help you.

I recommend the Simplers Method to do this. What this means is using only one herb at a time, so you know what helps you or doesn’t help you.

Experiment and have fun making your salves and oils!



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