Making Herbal Salves at Home

Making herbal salves at home is a great way to create first aid creams for your family.

Herbal salves are great healers and are easy to make.

Making your own salves and creams has the added benefit of knowing what you’re putting on your skin.

Knowing what is in the product is important in our world of chemical overload. Homemade herbal salves are great for burns, burses and aches and pains.

Ingredients for Making Herbal Salves

Herbal salves are made with herbal infused oils and thickener/solidifiers. Different base oils make the base of your salve.

The base oils can be infused with herbs to extract the herbal properties. Herbal oils make your salves useful for healing. 

Wax and other thickeners are used to solidify the oil and thicken them into salves. The amount of thickener you use will determine the consistency of your finished salve.

Natural preservatives keep your salves from spoiling. These are added at the end before you pour your salve into containers.

Base Oils for Making Herbal Salves

Almond oil is the most popular because it has the least amount of fragrance. It is rich in protein and has good emollient properties. It absorbs into the skin for soft and smooth skin and is slow to go rancid. Almond oil helps relieve skin irritations, inflammation and relieves muscular aches and itching. 

Olive oil has more fragrance and can over power added essential oils. Olive oil is calming and is good for arthritis and skin ailments helps with healing wounds and scars and provides a great moisture barrier. It is very cost effective and stores well. 

Grapeseed oil is nice and smooth finish to your lotions and salves without the greasy feel is rich in vitamin E an antioxidant and has a low rancid factor. It can be purchased in the local grocery store. Grape seed oil helps in healing and can absorbs into the skin quickly.  

Herbal Salve Thickners/Solidifiers

Bees Wax is a natural thickener that allows the skin to breath. Use to thicken salves and lotions. Bees wax melts at 144 degrees F.

Candelilla wax a vegetable wax used as a substitute for beeswax. Use for this wax for a vegan option. Candelilla wax stiffens more than bees wax so I use about ¼ less. Comes in flakes that are easy to measure and use. The melting point is around 155 degrees F.

Carnauba Wax this vegetable wax is from the Carnauba palm that grows in northern Brazil. The melting point is around 188 degrees F.

Natural Preservatives for Making Herbal Salves

Benzion essential oil preserves and has antiseptic properties.

Essential oils are perfect as preservatives as well as increasing the healing properties to your creams and salves. Good oils are tea tree oil, and peppermint oil.

The basic proportion of oil and wax is 8 oz of oil by volume to 1 oz of wax by weight. The following recipe is a good base to start from. The oil can be heated in a double boiler or in the microwave in 30 second bursts.

Basic Herbal Salve Recipe

4 oz of infused oil or any combination of oils

½ oz wax

20 drops of Essential oil (optional)

4 drops of Benzion essential oil


Place Beeswax over a double boiler, and gently heat until the Beeswax melts. Add herbal Infused Oil. The wax will thicken again. Let the oil and wax melt again.

Remove from the heat when the wax is fully melted. Let the oil cool for a few minutes before adding Essential Oils. Stir in the oils.

Quickly pour into prepared tins or glass jars and allow the salve to cool completely. The salve will harden as it cools.

Start by measuring out the oil. Weight wax and add to the oil.

Heat until wax is melted. Add the essential oils and stir.

Pour salve into containers and let cool.

After the salve it cools you can put on the lids. Store your salves in a cool place in a cupboard or the refrigerator.

Follow the directions for infusing oils and use some of these herbs for Making Herbal Salves.

Calendula a healing herb for rough and damaged skin.

Comfrey healing and soothing. Speeds up cell renewal, good for rough and damaged skin.

Dandelion good for cleansing lotions for dry skin. Has emollient properties.

Elderflower a good herb for all skin types. Good for older skin, smooth wrinkles, fades freckles and soothes sunburn. 

Lavender heals and is a gentle cleanser.

Marshmallow heals and softens dry skin, chapped hands and sooths sunburns and reduces inflammation.

Mullein has wonderful healing properties. Heals wounds and is anti-inflammatory. 

Peppermint is an astringent herb that clears the complexion.

Rosemary a good tonic that has antiseptic properties and boost circulation. Deep cleans the skin.

Sage is cleansing and stimulating with astringent properties.

Thyme stimulates and gently cleans with antiseptic properties.

Yarrow heals and cleans with astringent properties. Yarrow heals wounds and stops bleeding.

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