The perfect all natural healing balm to keep in your first aid kit ready to smooth over any bumps and scrapes.
An easy and effective way to apply herbs topically is through oils. Often this is via essential oils, a very concentrated extraction of the volatile oils of aromatic plants or through infused oils. The latter of which is a lot easier to replicate yourself at home, there are two common ways to infuse oils with herbs - heat is required to draw out the properties of the herbs which can be done by the sun, by leaving the chosen plant in the oil on the windowsill over a few weeks. What I have done here is a much quicker method by infusing the oil over simmering water, for this balm recipe I'm making a Marigold (Calendula officinalis) infused oil for the specific healing properties Marigold possesses, especially for bruises and sprains.
To Make An Infused Oil (quick method):
Place a large bowl over a pan of simmering water and put 200 ml of your chosen oil ('bland'/carrier/base oils work best so they don't affect the final infused product too much I like almond, olive and grapeseed best, here I've used grapeseed). Add 20 g dried Marigold flowers or petals (dried is easier to ensure no water content contaminates the oil). Mix together and on a low heat, leave to infuse for an hour. (Keep checking the water doesn't dry out.) Take off the heat and strain through a muslin cloth into a sterilised glass bottle.
This method can be used for any plant with specific indications for external use. Common infused oils examples used for topical healing or cosmetics include plantain, rose, lemonbalm etc.
Healing Salve Recipe:
This creates quite a firm balm but melts easily once applied to skin and feels really soothing and moisturising. Balms are really easy to play around with; the more beeswax you add the firmer it is, you could even make a solid bar if you prefer, or add more oil if you want a more liquid consistency. Simply melt the balm down if you are not happy with the consistency once set and add more oil/beeswax accordingly.
I've chosen these particular ingredients as Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is an amazing healing herb, its alternative name is 'knitbone' as it heals broken bones and skin incredibly quickly. Using essential oils in general act as a mild preservative so this balm should last up to a year, I am using tea tree and lavender specifically as they are both anti-bacterial and anti-septic, making them perfect for first aid needs, just make sure whichever mild wound you are treating is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before applying. Hope you enjoyed this post, this all-purpose healing salve will soon be a staple in your first aid kit!
My name is Helen Davison and I'm a NIMH registered practising Medical Herbalist based in Ramsbottom, Lancashire. I've had a keen interest in herbal remedies since my early teens and would experiment creating my own balms and bath bombs using natural ingredients, which prompted me in discovering and pursuing a career in Western Herbal Medicine.