Herbal Healing Salve/ Foraging for wild medicinals.

I have been making an herbal healing salve for many years from medicinal herbs that I forage from our area.

The herbs that I used in this batch are plantain, chickweed, cleavers, and lilac flower.

I will take you on a walk with me while I gather them and tell you a little bit about each herb and their different properties.

The first herb that I have in my basket is the common plantain.  You can find narrow-leaf and broadleaf plantain all over the US.  When I was a little girl, we used to use it as lettuce when we made mud pies.

Plantain

Plaintain can help with a long list of skin ailments, including rashes, wounds, cuts, burns, eczema, cracked lips, poison ivy, mosquito bites, diaper rash, and blisters. It is also useful in drawing out the poison from bee stings, snake and spider bites

Native Americans have used plantain for years as a miracle plant, and its uses and medicinal properties are extensive.

Most commonly, it is used for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

Cleavers seem to be everywhere here in the southeast, and they are a sticky plant. Cleavers have small flowers that are white or green.  Some of the common names for cleavers are catchweed and goosegrass, and if you ever run through a patch of them, you will know why because they will stick to you.

Cleavers are good for the lymphatic system, but I used it in my salve because it is suitable for burns, particularly sunburns.

Chickweed is terrific for hot, itchy, rashy skin and can also be eaten as a salad.  It grows in many places too, and we have it in abundance on our land.

And last but not least are lilac blossoms.  Lilac helps to heal blemished skin and to treat rashes, minor cuts and scrapes, and sunburn. The scent is said to calm and ease anxiety.

If you are interested in foraging for herbs or wild edibles, my favorite book is the Petersons guide to wild plants.  All of the plants that we are using today are listed in that book.

After I have gathered all of my herbs, I check over everything to make sure there are no bugs or dirt on them, then I add them to my blender.  I don’t measure, but to give you a guideline, if I fill my blender half full of green material, I then use enough olive oil to cover the mixture.  Then I blend everything well.  After the blender has macerated everything, I pour the mixture into a clean jar and set it in a crockpot overnight or, if I am in a hurry, I will put it in the water on the stove for about 8 hours.

After 8 hours, I strain the mixture through a fine sieve and a piece of cheesecloth to catch all those tiny green bits.

I had about 3 ½ cups of herb-infused oil, and I like to add 1 ounce of beeswax per cup of oil.  SO I added 3 ½ ounces of wax to my herb-infused oil, set it in a pot of water to melt the beeswax.

After the beeswax is melted, you will want to be sure that your final product will be firm enough, so I dip out a little bit and put it on a paper plate to sit for a few minutes.  If I check and it is firm, I know it is time to pour into my glass jars.  Oh!  It has a strong green earthy scent, and I love that, but some people don’t, so I add about 15 drops of lavender essential oils to my final mixture.  Lavender has soothing properties and smells sweet, so it is the perfect essential oil to use.

Now -my family uses this for everything.   It is just a great all-purpose salve.  We use it on bug stings and bites, burns, chapped lips, I use it under my eyes at night, and my husband uses it because he gets a dry nose from his CPAP machine and it soothes his chapped nose.

It is a great salve, and I hope you make some for yourself.

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