Friday, March 13, 2009

Making herbal salves

The last two days I've been working on salves for our Homestead Herbals business. I prefer to steep the herbs in olive oil for 4-6 weeks in a solar infusion, but they can also be done if need be in a low temperature crockpot. Then the herbal oil is strained, blended with beeswax and other butters (cocoa butter, coconut oil, hemp oil, etc) depending on consistency and quality you want. Finally the melted oils are poured into jars and a few drops of pure essential oils are added to each container. It's satisfying to make our own skin salves and other herbal medicines, knowing that only pure ingredients go into the products, and how carefully the herbs have been grown, tended and harvested.

We make a range of salves to meet a variety of needs for the whole family: for everything from cuts & scratches (All Purpose) , to dry skin (Gardener's Hand), to sore muscles (Back Ache Balm), to diaper rash (Bottoms Up!) , to pregnant belly rub (Mama Belly Rub)! Even my husband, who is not a usual consumer of any cosmetic products, swears by the back ache balm for after hockey muscle pains, and the all-purpose salve and gardener's hand of which keeps his own personal jars handy!

We'll be hosting several herbal workshops this summer, including one on making herbal oils & salves with much more indepth information than this post. It will include a hands-on practical component where participants make their own salve to take home from calendula we harvest in our garden.

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