How to Make an Herbal Anti-Itch Salve or Balm (Great for Bug Bites; Dry Itchy Skin; Allergic Reactions; & More)
One of my readers wrote in a few days ago asking for an anti-itch salve or balm. I thought I'd go ahead and create a recipe for just this issue. Itching can be caused by LOTS of different things, including bug bites, skin rashes/infections, dryness, and other medical issues. I created this Anti-Itch Salve (or balm) to be a general purpose anti-itch remedy. The herbs, essential oils, and other ingredients used in this natural herbal anti-itch balm are proven to help with itchy skin and dryness.
Besides---I am just waiting for one of the yellow jackets flying around here to get me! I put my homemade bug spray on liberally when I go outside, and that seems to help, but honestly---these scary yellow and black insects freak me out! I'll be happy to have this salve just in case!
Also--This Anti-Itch Salve smells GREAT. Besides soothing the skin and itchy areas, it just smells wonderful. Hmmm....This could be a great anti-itch perfume!
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How to Make Natural, Herbal Anti-Itch Salve (or Balm)--A Remedy for Dry, Itchy Skin & Bug Bites
This particular recipe as written down will make about two and a half (possibly 3) 4 ounce jars of salve, depending on if and how much extra beeswax you add.
What's the difference between a Salve and a Balm, you wonder?
It's all about the hardness of the salve. A harder salve is considered a balm---kind of like a tube of chapstick. A softer salve is really more of an ointment. An actual salve is the sweet spot in between.
This recipe that is 1 cup oil to 1/4 cup beeswax makes a great "harder" salve, but it is not a balm, as it is still soft. With the honey added to it, it's really quite a soft salve. So...if you want a harder salve, by all means add the extra beeswax. It won't hurt the salve, but it will add extra protection for your skin.
Ingredients for Herbal Anti-Itch Salve/Balm
1 cup Calendula infused olive or almond oil
I always have a jar or two of Calendula infused oil going on. Even when we moved recently, I brought it with me. It's extremely useful for many things---especially dry, itchy skin. Calendula is soothing and anti-inflammatory. It also gives your oil the MOST beautiful golden color (see pics).
Now, if you don't have ready made Calendula infused oil, you can make it the fast method if you want (see How to Make an Herb Infused Oil). OR, if you don't have time to deal with it, just use regular organic olive oil or almond oil.
NOTE: You could also use Lavender infused oil too. You just won't have the Golden color in the salve, as that comes from the Calendula infused oil.
Another NOTE: I purchase my herbs (the ones I don't grow myself) at Starwest Botanicals. I love their shop so much I even buy my culinary herbs and spices & some essential oils there too. The quality is GREAT, and there are choices for organic and sustainably wildcrafted herbs. BTW, the links in the recipe are to Amazon, if that is more convenient.
1/4 cup Beeswax (plus up to 2 tbsp. more if you want a firmer salve)
2 tsp raw Honey
Honey is naturally healing and soothing. It's also anti-microbial, and will make this salve last longer than normal, which is still a pretty long time.
1 tsp finely ground Oatmeal powder
I only had steel cut oats available, and I was a little wary of using these. However, they ground up just fine, into a wonderful light powder.
15-20 drops Patchouli essential oil
Soothing, very anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial.
15 drops Frankincense essential oil
I included the Frankincense simply because it is one of the best essential oils for your skin. You can find out more about the skin benefits of Frankincense in these articles: Insane Things You Need to Know About Frankincense Essential Oil and The BEST Essential Oils to Use for Wrinkles and Scars.
10 drops Peppermint essential oil
Peppermint is soothing and cooling to the skin.
10 drops Tea Tree essential oil
Besides being a fabulous anti-fungal, naturally helping with itching, it also helps numb pain and discomfort to a degree.
10 drops Lavender essential oil
Lavender has been used as a skin soothing remedy for hundreds of years. It's one of the best basic healing essential oils.
Directions for Making Anti-Itch Salve
Step 1) Pour 1 cup Calendula infused oil into a wide mouth pint or quart Mason jar
You'll notice in my pictures the amount of oil is much greater than this. I doubled my recipe, as I'm planning to give some of these to family members.
Step 2) Add the beeswax to the Mason jar
Step 3) Set up your Double Boiler
Place the Mason Jar into a pan that has about 1 1/2 inch to 2 inches cool water and set the heat to low. This is your make shift double boiler.
Alternatively, use a real double boiler.
Step 4) Melt the beeswax into the infused oil
Use low heat for this. Your water should not come to even close to a boil, as it is possible the Mason jar may break. This hasn't ever happened to me, but it is a potential.
Step 5) Remove from heat.
Allow to cool for a few moments, but not too long. You don't want the oil/beeswax mixture setting up too soon, but you also want it a little cooler so the honey and essential oils aren't damaged.
Step 6) Now add in your Essential Oils and Honey.
NOTE: Your honey will probably not dissolve all the way, and some may stay at the bottom. Don't worry. This won't end up in your jars.
Step 7) Add in the Oatmeal powder
The oatmeal powder is heavier than the other ingredients (as is the honey). To prevent these ingredients from settling on the bottom of your salve, stir well before pouring into EACH tin.
Step 8) Pour into Jars or Tins
**I like to use amber glass straight sided jars or shallow stainless steel tins, but most of my things are still packed away from the move. So...jelly jars it is! These work great too! I've also found great jars at Hobby Lobby.
The shallower the better, for this salve, due to the honey and oatmeal, which are heavier. To prevent too much from settling, stir immediately before pouring.
If you are using a deeper salve container (as I am with these 4 ounce jelly jars), then pour about a third full in each jar. Wait a few seconds til you can just see the salve start setting up. Then pour another third.
Repeat until the liquid is completely poured in. Stir the mixture in the Mason jar well between each pour.
You may have some honey that is left in the Mason jar. This is fine. I didn't worry about getting all that into my salve jars, and I sure didn't want a glob of honey sitting on top. So I just poured the liquid until it got to the point it was pretty much honey left in the Mason jar.
Step 9) Allow to set until completely hardened.
Step 10) Place a lid on top, label the jars, and enjoy!
That's all there is to it!
An extra note on the honey: I have to admit I do hesitate to use honey in balms and salves because it seems there is always going to be an amount that sinks to the bottom and doesn't become integrated into the oils.
If you don't mind heating your honey (which will kill beneficial enzymes, etc.) your honey will be better incorporated into the salve. It just won't have quite the healing power if not heated.
Final Thoughts on Anti-Itch Salve
I don't get itchy very often, but I have had great results using salves in general on dry, scaly skin. Although I haven't actually used this salve for itching, all the ingredients in it are proven to help soothe and calm itchy skin.
If I happen to get that bug bite or develop an itchy rash of some kind....Ima going to be reaching for this salve! And like I mentioned earlier, it smells divine! :-)
You may also like these related articles:
- How to Make a Hard-Core Pain Relief Salve
- How to Make a Healing Salve (Good for burns, wounds, and skin issues)
- How to Make Lavender Salve
- How to Make an Herbal Infused Oil
- 20 Best Oils & Butters for Soap and Salve Making.
Do you make your own salves? I'd love to hear if you have other ideas for helping with itchiness!
Hugs, Health, & Self-Reliance,
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P.P.S. Are you interested in herbalism and learning how to make your own plant medicine? The Herbal Academy of New England has tons of classes from beginner to expert and everything in between. I hope you'll check them out if you have wanted to learn more about using plants for healing!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor. In no manner, stated or implied, is any wording in this article meant to heal, cure, diagnose, or prevent any disease or illness. The information in this article is for informational purposes only. Always consult with your medical professional for advice on treating health issues. Also, before using any essential oils or herbs, please seed advice from your doctor.