Saturday, October 23, 2010

Homemade Salve

I was working on some crocheted barrettes for Rachel today and managed to burn a hugh blister on my finger with the hot glue gun.   As soon as it happened I went to my "remedies" shelf and got the salve that I made this summer. 

I've been making plantain/aloe vera salve for several years now and have recently started adding comfrey as well.  Plantain grows abundantly around my mothers house so I always have plenty on hand.  I make some into salve and some into a tincture.  I also dry some to have it on hand in case I run out of the salve.  So far I've always seemed to have plenty, but this year we have been using it a lot more.  I think it's because the boys are finally convinced that it works as well as anything we have bought over the counter in the local pharmacy.  Caleb became convinced after his motorcycle accident a year ago when we experimented with some store bought antiobiotic ointments and creams versus our homemade salves.  Even though we used the homemade salves on the deeper cuts they still healed quicker than the ones we used store bought medicines on.    In addition to that, a  few months ago Heath had a cut on his hand, that wouldn't seem to heal.  It kept reopening and it was starting to interfere with his work as a mechanic.  He decided to try some of our salve and within a day he said that he could tell a difference.  Within just a couple of days it had healed enough that it no longer reopened and he was able to work better. 

Now, I fully realize that there is a time and place for pharmceuticals and we do use them when we feel there is a need.   I am also a firm believer in each person doing what works best for their own family, but as for our family, we are starting to use more and more herbs for medicinal as well as culinary purposes and are very satisfied with the results.  

For those of you interested in trying something new I thought I would share our salve recipe with you.  I'm actually posting two recipes, because I realize that some people prefer not to use petroleum products.  I have begun to use less of the petroleum jelly and more olive oil and beeswax myself.

Plantain Salve # 1

12 oz. jar of petroleum jelly (unscented)
2 handfuls of plantain leaves
1 large or 2 small aloe vera leaves sliced and crushed
1 handful comfrey leaves

Heat petroleum jelly on low until it liquefies.  Carefully drop the plantain and comfrey leaves into the liquid.  It will quickly produce a thick foam.  Add the aloe.  Simmer until foaming has stopped.  Pour through strainer into container.  If using a plastic container you may need to let it cool a few minutes, but not to long or the petroleum jelly will not pour through the strainer.  This salve works on bug bites, stings, cuts, sores, and mild burns.

Plantain Salve # 2

Fill a jar with crushed plantain leaves and comfrey leaves.   Pour olive oil to fill jar (covering leaves).  Leave it in a sunny windowsill for about 10 days, then strain.  Add 2 ounces of beeswax to 5 ounces of oil.  Melt together in pot on low heat.  You may add 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil and pour into jars for storage.  Use on bug bites, stings,  and cuts.  (This is runnier than the one with petroleum jelly).

1 comment:

  1. I know the salve worked on Rachel the day she burned her face. Thankfully, I was able to get some on her immediately, her pain lessened right away, and the burn healed within just a few days and with a very light scar you have to be really looking to see it.