Making infused OILS & SALVES
Making your own salves is both cost-effective and surprisingly simple, and you can use them to sooth and heal burns, bites, rashes and more.
Making your own herbal salves is a great way to create natural first-aid treatments for the whole family. Salves are simply thickened ointments that are used to soothe and heal skin. Depending on the herbs they contain, they can be used to treat everything from burns and insect bites to rashes, chapped lips and inflammation or dry hands.
Salves are easy to make. All you need is an infused oil, beeswax and essential oil. The beeswax (or other solid) thickens the salve so that it’s easier to apply to the skin. You can play around with the consistency of your salve, depending on how you like it, by adding more or less beeswax.
The oil-soluble components of herbs can be extracted by infusing the herbs in oil, such as olive, sunflower or almond oil, for a period of time. To make a salve, first make an infused oil. The oil is then made thicker with the addition of beeswax, and a few drops of essential oil are added, if desired. Extracting the medicinal components from herbs is usually done by cold infusion. However, this will take several weeks. For a quicker option, you can buy infused oils from herbalists or online specialists.
Hot infusion is used for woodier or tougher plant parts. It is a much quicker method and can be completed in just a few hours. Hot oil infusions are often used for chillis and ginger, which can be used to treat sore muscles and stiff joints, or for when you want an infused oil quickly. However, you must heat the oil very gently, otherwise the active constituents may be destroyed. Beware that you can destroy the health properties if you don’t do it correctly.