Latest News

Herbal Salves to Nurture Your Skin

As winter blankets the landscape in its chilly embrace, our skin often bears the brunt of the season’s harsh conditions. The dry air, crisp winds, and fluctuating temperatures can leave our skin feeling parched, irritated, and in need of some extra TLC. In this season of self-care, we turn to the time-honored wisdom of plant medicine to explore the healing powers of herbal salves and balms. 

Throughout our history, communities around the world have turned to nature’s pharmacy for solutions to skin-related challenges. We’ll explore some herbal allies and remedies to support skin health during the cold months ahead and showcase how these botanical wonders offer a holistic and sustainable approach to nurturing and revitalizing the skin.

Herbal Salves and botanical-infused balms are fantastic things to have in your medicine cabinet. They can be used for a number of skin-related issues like cracked dry skin, chapped lips, skin irritations and rashes, burns, and insect bites. 

Today our awesome Herbal Village Coordinator Megan Kendrick shares 3 herbal remedies you can make at home – with a focus on herbs that soothe and heal cracked dry winter skin.

Winter Salve Recipes

Makes about 150 mls of salve

125 mls carrier oil (olive is an excellent choice as it is affordable, accessible, and has skin-supporting qualities but you can use any carrier oil of your choosing)

21 g beeswax 

Your choice of herbs from the combinations below.

All of these recipes are using a 1:6 ratio, which produces a softer salve. For a firmer salve you can up the ratio to 1:5 (medium firmness) or even 1:4 (which will be very firm).

The process for all salves is the same. 

Infuse the carrier oil 

Using a double boiler, add the herbs to the carrier oil. Heat on medium to medium-low for 1-5 hours, keeping the water below a simmer. Do not allow the oil to go over 140 degrees Fahrenheit. You can use a thermometer to check the temperature periodically. Be careful not to let any water get into the oil.

Strain the oil

Once the oil is cool, use cheesecloth to strain out the plant material, squeezing as much oil from the herb and cloth as you can. You can do a second straining using a coffee filter if there are very small particles or powders that you would like to remove.

Making the Salve

Using a double boiler, warm the oil and the beeswax together until the wax is completely dissolved in the oil. Once the wax is incorporated, pour the mixture into your container and leave undisturbed for about an hour, or until it is fully cooled and hardened. Your salve is now ready to use!

Warming Cayenne and Ginger Salve

This cayenne, calendula and ginger combo is excellent for creating a slightly warming sensation. In cold weather, the body’s natural movements are often slowed down, creating more feelings of cold and lethargy.

As circulatory stimulants, these herbs combine to help move the blood. This one is especially helpful to use on the limbs and extremities if you are experiencing chills from the cold weather. These herbs are also excellent for modulating inflammation and can be helpful in relieving pain. Additionally, the calendula can help soothe and heal any dry skin or irritation that can come along with the cool, dry weather.

4 g cayenne pepper powder

4 g ginger root powder

10 g dried calendula flowers

Pine needle Salve 

Pine makes a warming, slightly stimulating salve with pain relieving and drawing properties (great for splinters!). Pine has a delightful warm and slightly citrusy aroma, plus it’s available year round! If gathering fresh pine, I like to dry the pine needles for 5-6 days before infusing in oil or dry in a dehydrator.

25 g dried pine needles, roughly chopped 

Soothing Sleepy time Salve

Winter is the time of rest. With longer nights, cool days and less intense sunlight, it is a natural time to cozy up and take time to rejuvenate. This salve can help to soothe and comfort the nervous system and help ease us into a state of relaxation, perfect for bedtime! 

10 g dried Chamomile

10 g dried Lavender

5 g dried Mugwort


Like this article?
Share on Facebook
Leave a comment