Salve Making 101
by Cynthia Schell of www.greenbotanicals.com
Dry itchy skin has plagued humans since the dawn of time, and we humans have always looked for solutions. 120 years ago, the town doctor would also have a garden to create the medicines,while people alone in the wilderness,away from towns and Doctors would have to know how to make their own recipes. For everyday health problems the homemaker would have to know how to make a salve. To this day the monastic tradition of medicine making continues in Poland and other countries.We all descended from medicine makers, our ancestors had to create medicines with the plants available in order to survive, thankfully some of them had to be fairly accomplished at this task. You may be able to ask some of your grandparents or great grandparents about their family history of making salves.Many of the old farm remedies were made with lard, it was a readily available substance and when gently heated with plants it could easily become a salve. It would cool to a gel and was easy to use. Today most salve makers are using plant based oils that are hardened with bees wax.it is very easy to create your own healing salve. One of the most popular products made by the Amish today is a very simple Plantain salve. Plantain, it is easy to find and makes a great base oil. Gather 20 leaves, wash with water, then dry. Place in a small pan,add a cup of olive oil. Gently heat over a double boiler. Your temperature of the oil should not exceed 130 degrees. You can let the infusion sit for a few days, heating then cooling until the oil begins to absorb the plants properties. Plantain is a very mucilaginous plant, you will find the oil will absorb the same properties. Drain the leaves out of the oil, then thicken with bees wax.You can also add essential oils to increase the healing properties. Start with small batches, and infuse a number of plants, then test to see what combination is good for you. There are many books on the subject of plant medicine making, my favorite "The Family Herbal" by Rosemary Gladstarr.