How to Make Herbal Healing Salve: St. Johns Wort, Plantain, & Comfrey Herbs
The recipe for St. John's Wort Healing Salve is for one of my all-time favorite herbal healing salves. I even use it as a hand moisturizer after doing the dishes and because of this, never deal with those split and cracked fingers from working outside in the cold. It's pretty amazing stuff, whether you're using it on a burn, for rough gardener's hands, or as a knitter's salve. It's just a wonderful all-purpose herbal salve.
Salves are simple to make, and they can really do some fabulous things for your skin, depending on the herbs you choose to use, and why you are creating the salve. St. John's Wort Healing Salve is a general healing salve, safe to use, and smells wonderful too!
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About the Herbs in this Healing Salve:
**If you want to just skip ahead to the recipe, scroll on down---
St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum):
St. John's Wort is a powerful healing herb. You may be familiar with its name from the brief time it spent being hailed as a so called cure for depression a few years ago. In reality, it does and certainly can help improve and balance mood.
But for me, it's greatest powers lie in its ability to help heal wounds, burns, and skin issues. I once burned my finger pretty badly. I applied this salve, and lo and behold! The burn was gone within hours, and the pain almost immediately. I was amazed.
In Switzerland, where St. John's Wort grows quite profusely, it is a common household remedy, and you will find beautiful red oils infusing in the windowsills in almost every home. It's just a wonderful plant, with many uses.
Contraindications: There is evidence that St. John's Wort should not be used internally in conjunction with certain anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications. I have heard that it may also affect usage of hormone medications. St. John's Wort may cause sensitivity to light, although I have never actually heard of this happening or know about any actual incidences. I think this belief is mainly due to cases of livestock ingesting quite a lot of it, then having some photosensitivity problems.
I personally have never had a problem using this salve externally, and I use it almost daily for simple moisturization on my hands---which see a LOT of sun! With that said, you should consult a doctor before using or taking any herbs externally or internally. Always do your own due diligence, and check with your doctor before using any herb!
Plantain (Plantago major):
Long used as both an edible nutritive herb as well as for a great variety of health issues (lung problems, respiratory issues, urogenital infections, and many more), Plantain also is extremely helpful when it comes to calming and quickly healing skin ailments. It is very high in Vitamin K, which helps to heal wounds and stem bleeding.
Safety Factor: Plantain is considered safe, and is actually an edible plant.
Comfrey (Symphytum oficinale):
Comfrey is well-known as a skin healing herb. It's been used for thousands of years for healing cuts, sprains, bruises, and even helping heal broken bones more quickly. Some herbalists believe Comfrey should not be taken internally, a very few believe it shouldn't be used at all, and most believe it is just fine to use either way--externally or internally.
Personally, I have had great success using Comfrey externally. Since I have read that using it internally may cause health issues, I haven't tried Comfrey internally, nor do I plan to.
In this salve (used externally of course), it works extremely well in conjunction with the healing properties of the other herbs! At any rate, since it has such a long history of positive use, I feel it's fine for our personal external use on the homestead!
Contraindications: There is evidence that Comfrey, when taken internally, may be toxic to the liver. You should therefore not use on open wounds. At any rate, please do your own due diligence when using any herbal remedy and be sure to check with your medical professional first.
Lavender Essential Oil (Lavandula oficinalis):
I could go on and on about the medicinal properties of lavender. In fact, lavender probably deserves its very own post! (Coming soon). At any rate, I add Lavender essential oil to this salve because of its anti microbial properties and also how well it helps heal skin issues. Not to mention: It is calming and smells GREAT!
You can see that the combination of these herbal powerhouses in skin healing make this salve exceptional!
How to Make Healing St. John's Salve
NOTE: Enjoy pics of the whole process following the instructions!
Ingredients for St. John's Salve:
Organic Olive Oil infused with St. John's Wort, Plantain, and Comfrey. Find out how to make an infused oil in this article.
Double Boiler or a pan and quart Mason jar set up
***NOTE: I simply use a dedicated Mason Jar for each of the salves I make. I keep a lid on them when not in use, and to clean, I just wipe them out with a paper towel. You can use a double boiler if you choose, and there is a nice one in the link below--but I prefer the simpler Mason jar set up (see pics).
Directions for Making Salve
1) Pour 1 cup of the infused oil into your Mason jar or double boiler
2) Add 1/4 cup of beeswax
3) Fill the bottom of your double boiler pan with about an inch and a half of COOL water
4) Now place on the stove and turn on the heat to a low setting. Let the water come to a nice low simmer.
5) Occasionally swirl the oil and beeswax mixture around in the top of the double boiler to help evenly distribute the heat and help the beeswax melt more quickly
6) Once the beeswax is completely melted, remove the Mason jar or top of the double boiler to a heat safe surface. Let sit for a minute to reduce the heat somewhat
7) Now add the Lavender Essential Oil. Stir gently or swish the jar around
8) Pour into your Salve jars or tins and walk away! Seriously! It's so tempting to start messing with it! But trust me, you want to just leave it alone until it completely sets up so you have a beautiful smooth surface
That's it! :-) Enjoy your salve!
Where Do I Get My Herbs & Essential Oils?
I grow or wild harvest many of my herbs. For the herbs I cannot grow or forage, I buy quality herbs in bulk from Starwest Botanicals. Starwest Botanicals sells quality herbs gathered in sustainable ways at very good prices. Their shipping is fast and customer service excellent!
I also get my essential oils there for making salves.
Do you make salves for healing or moisture? I'd love to hear your experiences, comments, and questions---so please leave them in the comments section.
Hugs, Health, & Self-Reliance,
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Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor or medical professional. The information in this article, elsewhere on my website, and in my speech is simply my own personal opinion based on my years of study, experiences with plant medicines, and personal thoughts. In no manner is any cure, treatment, diagnosis, or preventative measure implied or stated. Please be sure to see a medical professional for advice on any health issue.