Your DIY holiday self-care project.
It’s getting cold! Is your skin feeling a little tighter and dryer than before? You could go to the grocery store or Target to pick up some thicker lotion, but did you know you can save those dollars and use them to make a much more healthy, safe, and healing medicinal salve?
Salves are topical skin moisturizers that are great for cuts, burns, rashes, eczema, and psoriasis, or even just the occasional dry skin. They are typically made with medicinal herbs, beeswax, plant-based oil, and essential oils.
There’s a huge variety of medicinal herbs that can be used in a salve. Many of them are great for keeping your skin glowing and healthy on the surface, but others can actually penetrate the skin and get into the lower connective tissue layers for healing. Since the skin is the largest and most absorptive organ, herbs used topically can have a great benefit to our health overall. Some topical herbs have a cooling sensation on the skin that can help to reduce skin inflammation, lessen pain, or to soothe cracked dry skin. Peppermint is a great example of one of these.
Peppermint is a herb that many people love. It has medicinal uses that go far beyond flavoring candies. For the skin, peppermint helps to reduce dryness, and it even regulates sebaceous gland oil production thereby preventing bumps and pimples on the face and body.
Peppermint’s cooling menthol (it’s primary constituent) can reduce swelling, itching and irritation from bee stings, ant bites, poison oak, and poison ivy. It’s one of those herbs you grow yourself. You can easily find it at the grocery store, at a local nursery, and even in the wild. If you decide to grow your own, you’ll quickly find that it spreads like wildfire. Especially if the conditions are just right.
So, if you decide to get a little peppermint plant, or you already have one…what do you do with the fresh peppermint?
Here’s one suggestion…
You can make a Salve!
Here’s a simple Fresh Peppermint Salve Recipe for you to follow.
What You’ll Need:
- 3–5 ounces fresh peppermint leaves (stems are ok to add )
- 3 times as much organic olive oil(about 20 ounces or 3 cups)
- 3 Dry mason jars with tops
- a Knife
- Unbleached Cheese cloth
- Crockpot or Pot (to warm the infused oil)
- (optional) thermometer
- 0.5 to 1 ounce Organic beeswax
- Tin salve jars
- (optional) Wintergreen Essential Oil
What to Do:
- Chop your peppermint leaves
- Warm the oil in a crock pot on low or on the stove in a pot on low
- (optional) Check the temp to make sure it doesn’t get too hot (over 120 degrees)
- Allow to infuse for 3–6 hours at this temp
- Turn off the heat
- Stir the herb and allow to infuse overnight in the oil
- Strain the herb into second mason jar using cheese cloth
- Let the oil settle all day (up to 8 hours)
- Prepare the beeswax by melting it in a mason jar that’s inside a pot with boiling water. (leave a comment below if you need clarification) 🙂
- Warm the oil in the same pot, but in its own mason jar (or use a different pot, but set it up the same way)
- You want the oil and beeswax to be at about the same temperature
- Pour the oil into the beeswax jar and combine with a little swirl (be careful! Hot Wax!) or you can use a wooden chopstick (what I use)
- Try not to pour in the settled plant parts at the bottom, they will make for a rough salve.
- Remove the salve from the heat and aliquot (science term that means divide into equal parts) it into the tin jars.
- (optional) add 2 drops of Wintergreen essential oil (to bring out the mint scent)
- Allow the salves to cool with tops OFF!
- Place the tops on, add a label, and that’s it!
Congrats! You just made a fresh peppermint salve!
Want to learn more about preparing herbs?
Take my Intro to Herb Course Online! [←Link]
Originally published at yourbeautyinbloom.com on August 26, 2016.
Originally published at medium.com