Oils and Salves

I love herbal oils. They’re simple to make. I use the Simpler’s method, by adding about 2/3 herb to a jar and cover up to the top with my oil of choice. If I’m using fresh herb, then I wilt them a little to get some of the water content out of them before pouring oil over them. Water content of fresh plants can dilute the strength of the infused oil. It can do the same with alcohol tinctures so I use Clear Springs when tincturing fresh herbs to offset any water content they might still have. I can always dilute with water or glycerin later to reduce the alcohol to a more manageable level. If I’m using dried herb, I tincture with 100 proof vodka. I should probably put that on the tincture page when I make one.

 

Neuralgia Oil

I made this oil by researching neuralgia. I sort of have it in my feet because of constant swelling over the course of thirteen years from RA.  St. John’s Wort and Vervain as nervines, act on the nervous system to control pain. Mullein flower deals with pain and inflammation. So, I put equal parts in a jar and covered them with grapeseed oil. Grapeseed is delicate and light and it absorbs into the skin well. I put the jar out in my sand bucket that I use in the summer for my infusions.

Some folks say to put it in a dark cupboard, but I like the solar infusion method instead. I try to remember to shake the jar every day. I typically have several infusions going at once so with them all in the same sand bucket, there’s a better than average chance that I’ll remember to shake them.

Anyway, the oil should sit there for a month or so, then strain it. Now, for the salve:

Neuralgia Oil Salve

Salves are ridiculously simple to make. Heat a cup of herbal oil. Add 1/4 cup beeswax. I use beeswax pearls instead of the slabs. I don’t like grating the slabs or even trying to cut the smaller ones. Eventually, my bees will let me have some of their beeswax, but we’re not there yet. Until then, I buy and use the pearls. They melt easily and it’s simple to measure them out.

When the beeswax is melted, do a spoon test. Dip a spoon into the mixture, taking out a small amount on the spoon. Put it in the refrigerator and if in 1-2 minutes it’s the consistency you like, then you’re good to go. Otherwise, either add a little oil, or add more beeswax. While you’re waiting, add a few drops of essential oil if you like.

When you’re happy with the consistency of the spoon test, then pour your oil mixture into containers. I like small round tins, but small jars work too. I get some of my jars in the canning section of the grocery store, and my tins and amber dropper bottles from Specialty Bottle. They have really cool stuff and it’s reasonably priced. And, where I live, it’s only a day away with ground shipping.

 

St. John’s Wort/Arnica Oil

Another oil for my RA..it’s great for pain and inflammation. St. John’s Wort and Arnica are wonderful infused into grapeseed oil. Almond oil is another oil that can be used. Apricot is another light feeling oil which absorbs into the skin well. I don’t like greasy oils that don’t absorb in. It’s one reason I don’t care for olive oil as well as grapeseed, although medicinally, it’s probably the best oil to use.

I blended equal amounts of St. John’s Wort and Arnica and filled 2/3 of the jar, covering it with grapeseed oil up to the top. Again, I shook it daily (okay, not daily) and set it out in the sand bucket for a month. It’s lovely, and the oil seems to help the pain I have in my elbow, but I haven’t made any salve yet, which I should definitely do.

 

General Herbal Oil for Salve

So this is what happens when I walk around my property. I begin gathering herbs. I can’t help myself. And then I bring them back and I infuse or tincture them into something. One afternoon, this is what I gathered:

  • calendula flower – good for rashes, promotes cell repair/growth, and heals wounds
  • comfrey leaf – heals tissue
  • mullein leaf/flower – bruising and pain
  • dandelion leaf/root – joint pain
  • plantain – draws toxicity, sooths inflamed tissue

I used almond oil for the menstruum, again fresh wilting the herbs to reduce their water content, then put them in a jar two-thirds full, and then covered the herbs with almond oil up to the top. I put it in the sand bucket with the other oils so that they can all wait together for me to remember to shake them. A month or so later I strained and bottled it. I haven’t made the salve yet.

So that’s enough for now..I’ll post some more later..