It has been so very long since I have gotten to blog and I have so many things to write about! Fall is on its way out and with the arrival of the first snow I would have to say it feels like winter has fallen early. We are finally most of the way settled into our new homestead and I must say we are in love with our new house! It needs a lot of work, but with a smaller house and a larger yard there is plenty of room to imagine, plan, work, learn and serve together. We are working to clean up the inside but as we do I am already dreaming about what we could do in the yard come spring now that we have a little land and I must say that an herb garden is towards the top of my list! Along with a sheep, a goat, a vegetable garden, some chickens and a large greenhouse and herb shed. Well, maybe that is dreaming a little excessively for this year, but you never know!
The more I explore herbs and essential oils the more I am amazed at the provisions God has given us for our health right in our own back yards. Learning about essential oils has given me health benefits that I am so grateful for and adding in herbs is bringing this knowledge even more full circle. It has been so fun to explore herbs and oils and watch my children learn and ask questions as well! I must admit that I am somewhat of an oil/herb nerd. My children run for oils and now herbal salves whenever a bump, bruise or sickness comes along. With them being their ages and I being the klutz that I can be the bumps and bruises certainly seem to happen and adding in the sore muscles from moving inspired this Arnica Lavender Salve. It is very simple to make and is so effective in helping with bruising, inflammation, bumps, pain, relaxing, easing sore muscles and relieving pain.
A little about Arnica and Lavender:
Arnica: Relieves pain, inflammation, bruising and is relaxing to muscles. It is calming and can also speed the healing of injuries by increasing blood circulation to the area. It is good for arthritis pain as well as any type of pain, soreness or injury. The herb should not be taken internally but is generally safe to use on any age as needed though care should be taken to avoid applying it directly on an open wound.
Lavender: Is wonderful for relaxing muscles and calming. It is antibiotic, antiseptic, reduces inflammation, eases pain and helps speed healing and reduce bruising, not to mention that it smells wonderful! Essential oils are much more concentrated than the herb itself so can work a little faster and reach areas that the herbs cannot due to the small molecules. On the flip side herbs can work in ways oils can’t by providing the larger molecules that minister in different ways so having a salve with both is like having the best of both worlds!
I first learned how to make herbal infusions and salves on the Bulk Herb Store site which is where I purchase most of my herbs as well. I highly recommend their products and they have great information on their site as well.
To get started with this salve you need only a few ingredients and a little time. The salve itself is very simple to put together but it does take some time for the herbal infusion. You will need:
Arnica flowers (I buy mine here)
Lavender essential oil (I only recommend using Young Living as it has been proven to be the best quality oil on the market and is completely pure! )
Coconut or olive oil
You will also need:
A crock pot
A pint jar
A kitchen scale
Containers to hold your finished salve
To begin with you must make an herbal infusion. I did this with just the Arnica flowers and then included Lavender by using my oils. You could probably also use Lavender herb mixed in with the Arnica flowers though I have not tried this myself.
First fill your pint jar about 1/3 of the way with Arnica flowers.
Pour the coconut or olive oil over the top of your herbs filling it all the way to the bottom of the rim. Place a lid on tightly. I used coconut oil and it worked wonderfully!
Place a washcloth in the bottom of your crock pot to help prevent your jar from cracking. Place the jar on top of the washcloth and fill the crock pot with water up to the bottom of the rim of the jar. Place a lid on the crock pot and turn it to low. This is where the waiting comes in! You need to leave it on for 3 days allowing the herbs to infuse into the oil. You want the oil to be warm but never boiling so just check it periodically to make sure your crock pot doesn’t get too hot. Also the water will evaporate so just keep refilling it to keep it at the same level.
While the oil is still warm place a piece of cheesecloth over another jar.
Pour your oil into the jar including dumping all your herbs into the cloth. You can then pick up the cloth and squeeze all that herbal oily goodness into the jar. Your oil infusion is complete!
You will be able to see the difference as the oil will change color depending on the herbs used. This oil turned a beautiful golden yellow color. You can use this oil as is or continue to the next steps for the salve.
For the salve:
Weigh out your herbal oil and some beeswax. You may want to learn from my mistakes and start with a bigger container on your scale. You want about 8oz of oil to 2 oz of beeswax. I purchase beeswax in large chunks and have found that grating it is the easiest way for me to cut it up as it is very hard. I found that the one pint jar I made of herbal infusion was right about 8 oz which was perfect.
Melt these together using a double boiler or a metal bowl over a pan of hot water, until they are completely liquid.
Allow this to cool for just a few minutes. You want it to cool as much as possible before adding the Lavender oil but not too long so that it starts to harden. I let mine cool for about 5 minutes.
Drop in about 35 drops of Lavender oil. Mix this together and then pour into salve containers. I purchased the cute tins in the picture at the Bulk Herb Store, but I also used some small glass containers for some and you can also pour it into jars or whatever glass or metal containers you have handy. This amount filled 3 of these tins plus a teeny bit extra.
Now enjoy! This salve makes wonderful gifts, is great for children and is wonderful for adults as well! As soon as it was completed I of course had to test it on myself and promptly rubbed it on my sore neck and feet. I couldn’t believe how it relaxed my neck muscles and calmed my restless feet for bed and smelled wonderful! I also sadly had to test it on my baby girl when she ran into the table! This was a test I didn’t want to have, but thankfully we had the salve and it seemed to soothe the pain quickly and calm her down and her bump went down quickly with little bruising. I hope this gives your family an inexpensive and simple way to enjoy the healing blessings of God’s creation!
Disclaimer: None of the statements above have been evaluated by the FDA and are meant to diagnose, treat or cure any ailment, but are compiled of my own research from viable sources. Also any mention of products from companies are my own and I was not compensated in any way for these opinions.