How to Make a Pain Relieving Salve
If you’ve ever been in pain you know that it affects every part of your life. It is difficult to function if you are constantly stopping to rub a sore shoulder or knee. It can be quite tempting to reach for pain medications to get instant relief.
If you are like me, you’ll want to look for natural alternatives for pain relief. There are many! Look into acupuncture, homeopathy, and herbal remedies including essential oils.
Today I am sharing how to make an herbal pain relieving salve. Making salves is one of my most favorite things to do! It’s so rewarding to toss some herbs into oil, add beeswax and end up with a wonderful, medicinal salve that seems almost magical!
There are many herbs that will help relieve pain. I chose a few of my favorites for the salve. (I get my herbs here. Click on each herb for other purchasing options.)
Comfrey, also known as knitbone (for good reason) is wonderful for broken bones, sore joints and pulled muscles.
Solomon’s Seal can be used for arthritis and any other type of pain. It helps repair connective tissue to bones, cartilage and joints.
Arnica is renowned as a pain reliever. Often used as a homeopathic remedy, the herb itself can be infused in oils or to make salves. It helps reduce bruising and swelling like magic!
St. John’s Wort is a superb anti-inflammatory herb when used topically. It relieves pain and calms the affected area.
Sometimes I add cayenne to my pain relief salves (about 1 & 1/2 TBS per cup of oil). It adds heat and powerful pain relieving properties. Just don’t use it near the eyes!
The essential oils I chose for this salve are also known for reducing pain and inflammation. There are many more oils that could be used in place of or in addition to these. This blend brings both warm and cool elements to the injury for an icy-hot effect. If you would like information on choosing essential oil, please email me at email@example.com.
Basil warms the skin and acts as a muscle relaxant.
Peppermint cools the skin and acts as a catalyst to other herbs.
Wintergreen warms the skin and has a cortisone-effect on muscle and joint inflammation.
Marjoram is anti-inflammatory and a natural muscle relaxer.
Rosemary helps with circulation and relaxes muscles.
Vetiver has antispasmodic properties and warms the skin.
Lemongrass is wonderful for ligaments and tendons and can repair connective tissue.
Eucalyptus is anti-inflammatory and can help relieve soreness.
Vitamin E is added to lengthen shelf life as it has antioxidant properties.
Beeswax is also essential for salve-making. I prefer yellow over white as it is less refined.
Here is how to make a pain relieving salve.
- 1 cup organic olive or castor oil
- 1 oz of desired dried herb blend
- 1/2 oz beeswax
- 1/4 tsp vitamin E
- 1/4-1/2 tsp of desired essential oil blend
- Salve tins or jars
- To make your salve you will need a large glass measuring bowl and a pot (or use a double boiler).
- Fill pot halfway with water and place glass measuring bowl inside the pot.
- Turn heat on medium low.
- Add oil and dry herbs to glass bowl and simmer gently for 3 hours.
- Strain oil through a cheesecloth into a clean bowl and return to pot.
- Add the beeswax and let melt.
- To test for the right consistency, place a pea-sized amount on wax paper and place in freezer or refrigerator for a few minutes. Add more beeswax if not firm enough or add more oil if too firm.
- Remove from heat and add vitamin E and essential oils.
- Mix well (I use a bamboo skewer).
- Pour into tins or jars.
- Let cool and lid.
- To use: Rub a small amount into affected area as needed for pain.
- Make an infused oil by placing the herbs and oil in a jar and let it sit for 4-6 weeks. Strain and make salve per above instructions.
What are your favorite herbs and essential oils for salves?
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Shared at the Holistic Home Link Party.
Sarah is a wife, mom of 5, horse farm owner at Outlaw Acres Iowa, and real food blogger at Real Food Outlaws. She is also a Master Herbalist and owns 90210 Organics, an Eco-boutique and Apothecary. She holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Clinical Nutrition from New York Chiropractic College and is a Clinical/Functional Nutritionist and Advanced Nutrition Response Testing™ Practitioner at Natural Health Improvement Center of Des Moines, and owns Natural Health Improvement Center of South Jersey. You can often find her barefoot in the garden (or kitchen), or rummaging through a refrigerator (not necessarily her own).