Sharing my all-purpose salve recipe!

Discussion in 'Health & Medicine' started by OldFashionedMama, Jun 27, 2009.

  1. OldFashionedMama

    OldFashionedMama Partyin' like it's 1699

    After receiving a sweet "Thank you, Mama" from my oldest son after applying some to a scrape tonight, I thought I'd share the recipe with everyone.

    4T dried comfrey (1c fresh)
    2c fresh plantain (broadleaf or lanceleaf)
    2T dried yarrow (or about 1/2c fresh)
    1/4c fresh chickweed
    1T dried goldenseal (please purchase from a responsible source-never wildcrafted!)
    6-10 drops tea tree oil
    raw honey
    olive oil
    beeswax (beads or grated)

    Place all herbs in a small saucepot with enough oil to cover 1 inch over the fresh stuff. Simmer gently for 1-2 hours. Place a small colander or large tea strainer lined with cheesecloth or a paper towel and pour the oil through it into a clean pot. Squeeze out as much as you can from the herbs in the cheesecloth until no more oil drips out. Add the tea tree oil, raw honey and the beeswax. At this point, dip a spoon into the oil and leave it on the counter for a few minutes to see what consistency your salve is taking on. If you want it to be thicker, add more beeswax. Quickly pour the salve into small, clean jars while its still liquid. It will solidify in a few hours.

    This salve was originally created by me to treat diaper rash with my sons, who had very sensitive skin as babies. It is fantastic for bug bites, cuts and scrapes, burns, and also excellent for perineal healing after childbirth. Because of the intense healing power of the comfrey, do not use this salve on deep wounds (such as those sustained by being sliced by your harvesting knife whilst harvesting said herb). A thin layer of skin will grow over the top of the wound, creating a potential for serious infection.

    I can't recommend this enough as a diaper ointment. My daughter gets the occasional rash, especially after eating acidic foods like tomato sauce, and she will start crying when I go to change her in anticipation of the sting from me wiping her. As soon as I apply the salve, she immediately stops crying. My boys were the same way, and they still calm down after getting scraped up outside once I apply the salve. I never seem to be able to harvest enough yarrow, but if you have a bounty of the plant, go ahead and add more to this recipe. I have no doubt that it contributes the most to the pain-relieving aspect.

    This salve will stay good for a year or more, probably longer if you're exclusively using dried herbs, but I like to make a new batch every year, as I'm sure it loses potency over time.

    I use old baby food jars to keep the salve, but you can find fancy cosmetic jars plenty of places if you like fancy things :p
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2009
  2. Expeditioner

    Expeditioner Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the recipe. I am definitely going to add it to my notebook. Will attempt to make a batch sometime this week.

  3. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing.
  4. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    Looks like I have something else to add to my list .. now to find the ingredients ..
  5. CVORNurse

    CVORNurse Well-Known Member

    Interesting sounding salve. My DD, now 6, was very prone to diaper rashes, wish I had had this then.
  6. northernontario

    northernontario Well-Known Member

    I'll have to set this aside for future reference to try... we're starting an apiary (keeping honey bees), and will have plenty of fresh honey and beeswax to work with!
  7. wolfwhisper

    wolfwhisper Active Member

    where can you find these ingredients? sounds like a great recipe for salve to have on had for first aid.
  8. OldFashionedMama

    OldFashionedMama Partyin' like it's 1699

    Holy thread bump, batman! LOL! Its okay. You will notice this is the 2009 recipe, which is a little different from the 2010 recipe posted in the other salve making thread. Comfrey grows in wet places pretty much all over the place around here. Yarrow can be found in grassy fields and also pretty much everywhere. Broadleaf plantain is in your own yard. You'll know it as that annoying thing that sends up stalks AFTER you mow the grass, making your yard look stupid. Lanceleaf plantain does this too, and their leaves can be used as well. chickweed is the little creeping thing in your yard with little white, star-shaped flowers. I stopped using chickweed because it took too long to wilt and seemed to make the salve watery. Goldenseal is ENDANGERED. Unless you are growing your own and have a lot of it, never pick it in the wild.

    Like I said, most of these ingredients are common plants found everywhere, most of them in your own yard. If you cannot find comfrey, go to a greenhouse that specializes in medicinal plants. Beware: once you plant it, it will go everywhere and have babies all over your yard. After a few years you'll want to thin things out to stop it from getting out of control. I just transplanted some wild yarrow into my medicine garden. The "yarrow" they sell for residential purposes looks nothing like wild yarrow (in my opinion), and I do not know if it has the same medicinal value as the real thing. Yarrow is everywhere, so don't be afraid to take some home.
  9. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    If anyone wants Comfrey plants, P.M. me and I'll send you some next month when I thin mine out. Little Comfrey plants are coming up all over the place around the raised bed where I have mine.

    There's tons of yarrow in the woods all around us, and I can hang some bundles to dry, then mail the dried yarrow to whoever wants it.

    OFM, your recipe calls for "Fresh Plantain", which is all over the place, but what if it was a different time of year, could you use dried? Maybe reconstitute it first? Or just plan ahead and make this recipe in the summer?!
  10. OldFashionedMama

    OldFashionedMama Partyin' like it's 1699

    I experimented with dried herbs last year, and I was not that thrilled with the outcome. The salve simply did not seem as potent, and I had to use a lot of it to get any healing effect. In a pinch, I suppose it would be a good idea to have the dried herbs on hand. My stepmom always has lots of dried comfrey and plantain around. As for dehydrating/reconstituting, I've never done that so I don't know how the herbs would hold up. My instincts would say that's a lot of processing and perhaps even more of the herbs' medicinal value would be lost in all the hoopla. I used all fresh things this year and I am much happier with how the salve turned out.

    *I think you might be able to overwinter plantain if you mulch it heavily. I mulched my thyme and was able to go out there and pull it right out of the snow and cook with it. Even when the big snows thaw in March and April, it seems like the first things you see are young plantain leaves. Might be worth trying...
  11. OldFashionedMama

    OldFashionedMama Partyin' like it's 1699

    Just added yet another use for my salve: stinging nettle relief. Lazy me hasn't weeded my herb patch in a long time, and there were nettles in there. My four year old son took an accidental tumble into the patch this evening. His arm brushed the nettles, and looked like he'd been stung by a swarm of angry hornets. My husband washed it immediately, and he didn't seem to be bothered by it. We went for a walk, and he rode his bike around the block a few times. After bathtime I put the salve on his arm and asked him if the burning feeling stopped and he said yes.
    I don't know what had more effect-washing his arm or the salve, and I'm not about to purposely brush myself with the nettles to find out :eek: Either way by the time he went to bed, his arm looked much, much better. And for pete's sake someone remind me to find my gloves and rip those darn things out tomorrow....
  12. dawnwinds58

    dawnwinds58 The Kentucky Lairkeeper

    If you have tons, how about some dried seed to grow it? I have a meadow that holds many of the plants I use, so it should find it nice and comfy there. How about spreading the love?