Herbal Medicinal Oil & Salve Recipes

You must first begin by making a Medicinal Oil

Moisture tends to cause medicinal oils and salves to deteriorate and spoil quickly, so you will need to use dried herbs (like those we sell) rather than fresh herbs. Of course, you could dry your own herbs, as well.

To Make a Medicinal Oil follow the steps below:

Solar Method

Place the herbs you choose in a glass jar, cover with extra virgin cold pressed olive or coconut oil and cover tightly.

Place this jar in a warm sunny spot: The warmer the spot, the shorter the time it will need to sit. Placing this jar in nice warm sand, or in the center of your garden in the sun, you will probably want to wait two weeks.

Now, you may strain the herbs. You may wish to add another batch of herbs, and repeat the first three steps… which will make an oil that is double the strength, but takes twice the time to prepare.

Place the bottled oil in a cool dark area.

Crock Pot Method

Place the herbs in your crockpot and cover with extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive and/or coconut oil.

Turn the heat on low and let the herbs steep 3-4 hours. 
You do not want the herbs to cook or fry
: Let medicinal qualities slowly suffuse into the oil. The lower the heat, the longer you will need to steep the herbs… and the higher the quality of your oil will be.

Strain the herbs.

Pour the oil in a glass bottle or jar, and place in a cool, dark area.

Using Your Oven

Place the herbs in a glass canning jar and cover with extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive and/or coconut oil.

Put the jar(s) inside a pan half-filled with water.

Place in the oven and turn it on the lowest setting you can.

Remember: Lower heat + longer infusion = better quality oil.
Most ovens display temperature markings starting at 175° or 200°. I hang a candy thermometer in the oven, placing the temperature dial just before the first indicated number, so the actual temperature is only 140° or so.

At 175-200 degrees you will need to wait a few hours for your herbs to infuse: At 140 degrees you’ll need to wait longer. Check periodically: The oil will turn a deep color from the herbs as they infuse.

Strain, and keep in a cool, dark place until ready for use.

Using a Double Boiler

Place the herbs and extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive and/or coconut oil in a double boiler, covering them with a tight fitting lid.

Bring to a low simmer.

Slowly heat for 1/2 to 1 hour.

Check frequently to be sure the oil is not over heating.
Be careful: You do not want french fried herbs!
Oil builds heat rapidly, and you can go very quickly from a nice herbal infusion to fried comfrey leaves.

Strain thoroughly and bottle for use in the salve.

Store in a cool, dark place.

Examples of Medicinal Oil Recipes:

Ear Oil

We use this for ear infections. Warmed to body temperature and dropped in the ear, it quickly relieves the pain. The oil has anti-viral and antibacterial properties, as well as herbs which reduce swelling and help to deaden the pain.

1/2 cup dried Mullein flowers
1/4 cup dried St. John’s Wort herb
2-3 cloves of fresh garlic

Whiz the garlic in 1 cup of olive oil in your blender until the garlic is in tiny pieces. Pour this mixture over the herbs and use the solar method to extract the medicinal properties. Let it set for at least two weeks.

Insect Repellant Oil

Much safer than anything you buy from stores, this is as effective as anything commercially prepared at keeping those pesky insects away.

1 part Bay leaves
1 part Pennyroyal
1 part Rosemary
1 part Eucalyptus

Add enough oil to cover the herbs, plus an inch or two.
Prepare using any of the methods above.
Add a few drops of essential oils of pennyroyal and/or eucalyptus to strengthen the scent.

Sports Massage Oil

2 parts St. John’s Wort
1 part Hops
1 part Arnica
1 part Mullein leaves
2 parts camphor oil or crystals
Essential Oil of Wintergreen

Add oil to cover the herbs, plus an inch or two more.
Prepare using any of the methods above.
Add the camphor oil or crystals, adding enough Wintergreen oil to create a strong, pungent odor.

More information on making Medicinal Oils…

Moisture tends to cause medicinal oils and salves to deteriorate and spoil quickly, so you will need to use dried herbs (like those we sell) rather than fresh herbs. Of course, you could dry your own herbs, as well.

The oils with the longest shelf life are coconut and olive oil. Both are very healthy oils. The seed oils are unsaturated and the fatty acids less stable: They breakdown with heating, forming trans-fatty acid which has been shown to actually cause heart disease and cancer. They will still work for medicinal oils, but are not recommended.

Coconut oil is solid or semi-solid at any temperature below 78°. Olive oil will begin to solidify at temperatures around 40°. This make a difference in the consistency of the salve in most regions that experience significant seasonal temperature changes between summer and winter. You may wish to keep this in mind when making salves and lip balms. A salve made solely with coconut oil would be very soft during the summer if you prepared it during the winter, for example. The rich emollients and anti-microbial properties make coconut oil a highly desirable salve ingredient.

How to Make Salves from a Medicinal Oil…

  1. Begin by making a Medicinal Oil (see instructions above), then follow these instructions:

    Your pan and supplies must be moisture free.

    Place the herbal oil in a pan.

    Add 1/8th cup of beeswax for each cup of oil, and heat over very low heat until the beeswax is melted.
    If you wish for a softer salve, add a little more oil or a little less beeswax.
    It is here that I add my liquid components such as Tea Tree Oil, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Vitamin E, etc.

    Take a little of this liquid and pour into a container, allowing it to cool. (You can cool it quickly in the refrigerator.) This is like a jelly test. When it has set up, check its consistency and add more beeswax or oil to adjust.

    Once you are satisfied with the consistency, remove it from the heat and immediately pour into small glass jars or tins.

    It’s as easy as 1-2-3!

    1) Keep the jars out of the sunlight and heat.

    2) Don’t leave them in the car.

    3)They will retain their deep, rich color and strong, herbal aroma and work wonderfully!

    We prefer our salves to anything the medical system and drug stores have to offer.

Examples of Salve Recipes:

Antifungal/Antibacterial Salve

(We use this for cuts, athlete’s foot, diaper rash, infections, everything. You’ll love this salve!)

1/2 cup Comfrey root (healing and soothing)
2 cups Plantain leaf (healing and soothing)
2-3 Tablespoons Goldenseal Root powder (antibacterial/antifungal)

Make this into an herbal oil. Then add to this oil:

2 Tablespoons Grapefruit seed extract (strong antibacterial/antifungal properties)
2 Tablespoons Tea Tree Oil (strong antifungal/antibacterial properties)

Now make the salve by melting beeswax into the warmed oil and pour into containers.

St. John’s Wort Salve

This salve is healing and soothing for use for diaper rash, sunburn and skin irritations. It has now become our favorite salve and we use it for everything. It has taken care of Athlete’s foot, all rashes and healed cuts, scratches, and abrasions. It is quite amazing how quickly things heal when we use this salve.

1 part St. John’s Wort
1 part Comfrey leaf
1 part Calendula flowers

Follow the instructions above. First make the oil and then turn it into a salve!

Chest Rub

First make an herbal oil using equal parts of these herbs: Peppermint, Spearmint, Wintergreen, and 1 tsp. cloves. If you do not want to use the herbs you may use the essential oils.

Use about a Tbsp. of each oil and at least 2 or 3 cups of either extra-virgin, cold-pressed olive or coconut oil.

Once the oil has infused and is strained, warm the oil and add 1/2 tsp* menthol crystals (or menthol crystals with bees wax) to the desired consistency.

*in warmer climates you may need a little more; in cooler climates, less.

This salve is comparable to Vicks®, without all the petroleum hydrocarbons.

We recommend Wilderness Family Naturals products because of their integrity and quality. However, other online retailers and natural food stores may also carry similar goods. Whenever, possible we have tried to give you information on how to recognize superior products. Wilderness Family Naturals products can be found at: www.wildernessfamilynaturals.com or by calling (800) 945-3801.