My foray into salve-making (pronounced SAAAAAAV – the “L” is silent!) started a few months ago when I was looking for a super natural diaper cream option for Baby Kisses’ irritated bum (which I wrote all about in this post here). Making the salve was gratifying, fun and SO EASY. I couldn’t wait to take it up a notch and make an herbal salve which I only learned about from watching this amazing video when I was researching how to make Baby’s salve.
What’s an herbal salve? It’s when you infuse an oil with dried herbs or flowers which contain healing properties. By infusing, the healing properties of the herbs and flowers get transferred to the oil, and then to wherever you use the salve on your body.
Luckily I didn’t have to wait long for the most perfect excuse to come my way: making party favors for my soul sister’s baby shower.
I did some research and decided I would use calendula flowers and comfrey leaf for the herbal component because (1) they both contain lovely healing properties (2) they seem to be common ingrediants in herbal salves and (3) they are reasonably available (organic!) on Amazon.
I gathered almost everything I needed from Amazon with the exception of essential oils that I already own from Doterra:
- Organic olive oil
- Organic calendula flowers
- Organic comfrey leaf
- Organic beeswax
- these adorable 1.5 oz hexagon glass jars
First came the solar infusion: I filled up 2 large jars 3/4 way with a mixture of both calendula and comfrey. I then poured the oil over the herbs until they were well-covered, and sat the jars on my sunny windowsill for 4 weeks (I read 3 was the minimum). I stirred and smelled them every day for the first week, then every so often after that. It pains me that I never took a photo of the jars because they were quite gorgeous, and allowed for a fun guessing game when guests came over.
After 4 weeks, the salve-making fun began:
1) I first strained the oil by pouring the herb and oil mixture over a strainer/cheesecloth/large pot and gathered up the cheesecloth and wrung it out with my hands to squeeze as much oil out as possible.
2) I measured out 8 cups of oil and 8 ounces of beeswax to make 30 1.5 ounce jars with room for error (luckily Mr. Kisses has a food scale I was able to use):
3) I made a makeshift double boiler by putting the lid of a smaller pot in the bottom of the largest pot I own (because I was making such a large quantity), filled the bottom with water and brought it to a boil, and then sat my largest bowl inside and slowly started melting the wax:
5) While the oil and wax were melting, I put 3 drops of essential oils into each jar which I sanitized by running through the dishwasher. I used variations of Lavender, Geranium, and Lemon:
6) And now the fun (messy!) part: I dipped my measuring cup (because it has a spout) into the hot oil/wax mixture, put it over a small plate to catch the drips, and poured the hot mixture into each jar. Within a few minutes it began to harden:
The cleanup was a bit daunting… I used hot water and paper towels to wipe off as much wax as I could, careful not to let any go down our drain. A bit too wasteful for my liking but I’m not sure how to do it better.
Lastly, slapped some cute stickers on those little jars and BAM! – super awesome homemade party favors for my bestie!