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How to Make Salves, Oils, and Tinctures with Herbs at Home

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Written by Pollyannawrites   

I love to read and study about herbs. I even grow a few in my home to use in cooking and healing. I was able to take a class about Herbs several years ago and learned a lot about them in the classroom and outdoors. I wanted to share some of the info. I learned with you all. I took notes. Here are some ways to make your own herb salves, oils, and tinctures that I learned about how to do. I wanted to share this on here in case someone out there is looking for a way to make their own herbal remedies at home. Read through everything first before beginning the processes. Have fun!


This is a very versatile generic recipe--you can use combinations of herbs, which make more powerful salves. NOTE: You Can use 24 herb plants in 1 salve.

For the Base: use one 48 oz. can solid vegetable shortening like Crisco. Take herb plant matter (i.e.--- Yarrow) and Cut it up fine. Use a measuring cup and measure out 2 quarts of plant matter. Slowly liquefy the solid shortening (use a buffet warmer-not a crock pot!) Use porcelain pans---no stainless steel. Add plant matter to liquid base. Keep on lowest heat. Keep hot. Don't let boil. Watch it periodically. Let the plant release its energy into the base. It takes about 8 hours to make a batch of salve.

NOTE: Yarrow salve will turn a light olive green. St. John's Wart salve turns a "butter-scotch-y" color.

Plant matter dries up till it is like dried grains of sand. Strain and separate the plant matter with a big strainer. Add 1 T. Benzoine. Stir in---not too much. Let set a few minutes. Pack in the small Gerber "First Foods" baby food jars. You can get about 24 jars in one batch. It can get rancid if not sealed properly. Salve lasts 10 years. Open 1 jar at a time.



Start with plant matter. Put dried St. John's Wort flowers in a blender to break up. Use extra Virgin Olive Oil and pour over plant matter. Strain plant matter after good color is present. Store in clear glass jars. For double infused oils, add more fresh flowers at this point and you will have a more powerful oil.

Use oil on tender areas where salve would be too strong. Use in massage therapy for back pain. Apply to muscles. You can add other oils to the base oil.



It is a simple infusion process: Cut the herb plant and chop it fine. Fill a clear glass bottle full with the herb. Pour 80% proof vodka into bottle. (Vodka is a preservative.) Use clear glass jar-fill full with the vodka. The constituents of the herbs break down and leak into the vodka.

NOTE: make Yarrow tincture with Rubbing Alcohol instead of Vodka.

Put clear plastic wrap under the lid.

Label and date the bottle. Put on porch railing 8-10 days in the sun (best to do in summer). Turn bottle upside-down to mix. If it is intensely hot outside, don't leave out so long. The liquid should look like dark tea.

Strain the plant matter out in coffee pots.

Drain through a coffee filter inside a basket for a very long time.

Put liquid in brown glass dropper bottles (you can get them online--- S & K brand is good).

You can Give them as gifts.

Put instructions on a card: 10 drops per glass of water = 1 dose. Shelf life lasts for years.

Do some research and read more about herbs to learn about their healing properties. Some people are allergic to some herbs. Be Careful. I am not a Doctor, nor do I make any miracle claims.

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