On Saturday I facilitated a workshop on making medicinal salves and lipbalms. This is probably one of my favourite workshops to lead, as I love these particular herbs. We've grown them in our garden, harvested them, dried them, and they make such effective and wonderful healing oils yet are simple to work with. We talked about 10 important and fairly easy to grow (or wild harvest) medicinal herbs that are to be used for salves or balms. If you are going to start a medicinal herb garden using plants that grow well in our region, these are the best ones I would recommend for using in salves. (I have a few others I'd add for a medicinal tea garden, although there is quite a bit of overlap here): calendula, arnica, comfrey, yarrow, mullein, plantain, lavender, marshmallow, st. johns wort, nettle.
These particular herbs offer specific skin-related healing properties like healing cuts/scrapes (lavender), healing bruises (comfrey), soothing insect bites (plantain), healing burns and scars (st. johns wort), easing sore muscles (arnica), healing rashes and eczema (calendula), stopping bleeding (yarrow), soothing dry skin (marshmallow), and of course each of these herbs offers so much more! During the workshop I demonstrated making a medicinal herbal oil (either by solar infusion, or a faster double-boiler method); then straining the medicinal oil and using this to make a salve by adding pure beeswax, cocoa butter and pure essential oils; and finally how to make simple effective lipbalms with coconut oil, sweet almond oil, and pure essential oils. Thanks to everyone who attended! It's inspiring to get to share this herbal knowledge with an attentive audience!