Herbal Healing Salve Recipe

Homemade DIY Herbal Healing Salve Recipe Made With Tamanu Oil

This is my go-to healing salve recipe for soothing pretty much any scratch, cut, scrape, bug bite, dry skin patch, bee sting, hives… I have a relative who even likes to use it instead of an eye cream! Think of this as an herbal alternative to something like your typical store-bought, chemical laden antibiotic cream, without any of the nasty side effects that those can sometimes cause.

It takes a bit of pre-planning to make since you’ll need to infuse some oil with herbs first. You can do this one of two ways: the slow way (which I prefer) or the fast way.

 

Infusing Olive Oil with Dried Calendula Flowers

To infuse oil the slow way, place a few inches of dried herbs into the bottom of a mason jar. Pour olive (or sweet almond or sunflower) oil over the herbs until the jar is almost full, cap, shake and let sit in a cool, dark place for 4 to 6 weeks before straining and using. These will keep about a year if stored carefully.

To infuse oil the fast way, fill one-third to one-half of a mason jar with dried herbs then carefully cover with oil until the jar is almost full. Don’t cap the jar, but if you’re worried about flies or other insects, you can put a thin layer of cheesecloth over the rim and secure with a rubber band. Set this down into a saucepan filled with a few inches of water. Gently heat for 2 to 3 hours. Don’t let the oil get too hot; if it starts to smell like deep fried herbs, toss it and try again!

You can also buy pre-infused calendula oil HERE and use it to replace the goldenseal and plantain oils as well. (i.e. use 3 1/2 ounces calendula oil, 1 tablespoon tamanu oil, 1/2 ounce beeswax and so forth.)

 

Recipe for Herbal Healing Salve using Organic Oils

Herbal Healing Salve

  • 1 1/2 ounces Olive Oil infused with Calendula Flowers
  • 1 ounce Olive Oil infused with Goldenseal
  • 1 ounce Olive Oil infused with Plantain
  • 1 tablespoon Tamanu Oil (Where to buy)
  • 1/2 ounce beeswax pastilles (you can buy HERE or HERE)
  • 15 drops of tea tree oil
  • 20 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon of Rosemary Antioxidents (available HERE)

Combine herbal oils, tamanu oil and beeswax pastilles in a heat proof measuring cup or jar. Set down into a saucepan filled with a few inches of water. Allow the water to come to almost a simmer and gently heat the mixture until the beeswax has completely melted.

Remove from heat, stir in the tea tree, lavender and rosemary oils, pour into small tins or glass jars, cap and allow to cool before moving around.

If you want to make pretty labels, check out my tutorial on How to Create Your Own Round Labels!

 

Herbal Salve

Sometimes, I will have a limited amount of this salve in my Etsy shop, labeled as “Herbal Salve.”

Did you enjoy this DIY body care project? If so, let’s keep in touch! You can find me on Pinterest and Instagram or subscribe to my monthly newsletter HERE so we can keep in touch!

This salve was created for personal use by myself and my family. No health claims are implied for your own individual situation. As with all cosmetic items, if sensitivity occurs, discontinue use.

Links in this post may be affiliate links. That means if you click them and buy something, I get a small commission for sending you to their site. This doesn’t cost you any extra money, but does help support me and lets me keep doing what I’m doing! (Thank you!)

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58 Responses to Herbal Healing Salve Recipe

  1. Shirley says:

    Do you sell this salve? If so, please email me! Thanks.

  2. deborah345 says:

    me too I would like an email

    • Jan says:

      Hi there! What I emailed Shirley was that I’d look through my stock of supplies tomorrow and let her know – Since I’ve had quite a few requests, I think I could open my shop for a few weeks with a limited amount of items, including the healing salve, but need to do some calculations first to make sure. I’ll email you tomorrow also and let you know the status of that! :)

      • Tina says:

        Would like to get your information on how to make some salve to sooth sore muscles please. Thanks

        • Jan says:

          Hi Tina! You could infuse oil with arnica flowers for some muscle relief and use that in this salve recipe instead of the goldenseal, plantain & calendula oils. Tamanu oil could still help, so you might want to leave that part in. Instead of the tea tree oil, use peppermint oil instead. Start with around 15-20 drops and adjust to a level that’s comfortable for you. Peppermint is a mild pain reliever and it might help. Another idea is: Dandelion Salve. It’s great stuff for sore muscles! The recipe for that is: http://thenerdyfarmwife.com/dandelion-salve-recipe/ I also have an aches & pains recipe: http://thenerdyfarmwife.com/aches-pains-balm-recipe/ It’s a little more complex, but my dad and other people who have used it, swear it’s much better than anything they’ve tried before. I hope one of those ideas helps!

  3. Kathryn Schuuring says:

    If you do sell this could you also please email me the details.
    Thanks Kathryn

    • Jan says:

      Hi Kathryn! I emailed Shirley that I’d let her know tomorrow if I can make some available. I think I can offer a limited amount of items for a few weeks, just need to do some calculations and make sure! I will email you tomorrow to let you know if I will or not! Thanks! :)

  4. Debra Campbell says:

    I like the recipe, but I think I’m ultra sensitive to Tea Tree Oil. Also, I was wondering if you’ve ever used Comfrey oil in this salve?

    • Jan says:

      Comfrey leaf oil would work wonderfully in this! You can just omit the Tea Tree Oil also. If you do, you could up the amount of lavender a bit, if you wish. It should still make a great salve! The one thing I would leave in, if at all possible, is the tamanu oil. It has so many benefits and I really think it “makes” this salve.

  5. I would like to buy some too!

  6. So cool! The label and packaging is so pretty. Please let us know if you open up your shop! :)

  7. Marykaye Grams-Hill says:

    Hi Jan!
    First, I want to thank you for sharing your recepies!!! I cant tell you how much I appreciate it!!
    I have a couple of questions about the infusions. What size mason jars do you use (from the picture it looks like a 4 oz size jar, but not sure) and do you make seperate infusions for each herb? Wasnt too sure about that either. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge! Im a nurse, so, if theres anything I might be able to help you with, feel free to contact me! Anything I can help anyone with, I’m all about sharing knowledge too! Bless You Jan :)

    • Jan says:

      Hi Marykaye!

      For something like goldenseal, I use a 4 oz jar – it’s more expensive to buy the herb & something I use less of so I make smaller amounts at a time. For calendula, I grow my own and have tons of it, plus I use it in many products, so I normally make up quart size jars full. I only made the small jar of it up fresh, just for the post, so I’d have a pretty visual to go with it. :)

      I make them separate since I use them in different ways other than salve, but you can also make compound oils. I routinely infuse arnica and comfrey leaf together, since I always pair the two in pain salves, but I have a separate comfrey infusion too (for things such as lip balm where you wouldn’t want arnica on the lips.)

      I’m glad you’re enjoying the recipes; I have plenty more to come! :)

  8. Aldana says:

    Thank you for sharing your recipe! Is there a difference between using the dried herb leaves whole or in powder form? Just curious ;)
    Thanks!

    • Jan says:

      You’d probably want to crumble the whole leaves so you’d have more surface area exposed to the oil. Personally, I like crumbled, larger textured herbs over powdered, but that’s only because when it comes time to strain and clean my jars, they’re a lot easier to get out. :)

  9. Hi I loved your blog post today! I enjoy making salves, balms and soaps too, it’s fun to see how others make theirs =)

    I linked over from Frugally Sustainable

  10. Becky says:

    Our daughter’s diaper cream has calendula oil in it, so we really appreciate the soothing element of it for her. I may need to give salves a try this winter. Please feel free to swing by and link up with my Tuesday Greens linky for green living and gardening posts. Have a great week!

  11. Angela says:

    This looks like a great recipe! You have made salve making very approachable. I wondered how you make such awesome labels. Will have to check into Picmonkey and scrapbook programs. Thanks for sharing that great hint and for sharing on Natural Living Monday!

  12. Yet another thorough and easy-to-follow post, Jan. Hopefully, you have sufficient stock on hand to satisfy everyone! Happy holidays to all, from “Farmer Doug” @ Ladybug’s Mew.

    • Jan says:

      Hi and thanks! Feedburner had a hiccup and sent two old posts out, including this one – not sure why! Happy Holidays to you and yours also!

  13. Pingback: 9 Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas

  14. Anita says:

    Hi! This looks great! Do you sell this product? If so, I would love to order some. Thanks! :)

    • Jan says:

      Hi Anita! I’m not selling anything right now, though I may try to get make some items available around Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. You might want to check out http://www.poppyswap.com and see what types of salves they have. Some very dedicated herbalists sell the loveliest products there. If I was unable to make something herbalish, I’d head over there to shop! Thanks so much for your interest! :)

  15. Pingback: How to: Create Custom Soaps From A Single Recipe - The Nerdy Farm Wife

  16. gem says:

    hi jan, u are a miracle worker!!! thanku so much for ur step by step instructions with recipes and labeling, esp lip balms!!! ur an angel!!!! can u tell me how to design the round labels for the herbal salve in the blue cobalt and metal tins. will u do another tutorial for that?
    thanku so much!!! uve made life possible :)
    gem

    • Jan says:

      Hi Gem! That’s something I’d definitely like to work on. I have a tutorial planned for salve like I did lip balm and wanted to cover labeling as well. I use a Creative Memories scrapbooking program to make my round ones, so I just need to go into somewhere like picmonkey.com or ribbet.com and figure out the way to do it through there – since those programs are accessible to everyone. I’ll start working on that next week! Thanks for the suggestion! :)

  17. Annie Jane says:

    Wondering if anyone can help with this. As I was cooling the last batch of salve I made recently, spots began to appear. The dried finished product has lighter colored circles on the surface. Neither the texture not consistency is different. Do you know what happened and what I can do to prevent this in the future? It hasn’t happened to other salves I have crafted. I tried stirring as it dried, filling the container halfway,allowing it to dry, then filling the rest of the way, and with the house temperature colder. Nothing seemed to change the outcome.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Annie Jane! I haven’t had that happen before either. Was it this particular recipe or another? The only thing I can think of is that perhaps something is up with your beeswax or maybe if you used a solid butter like shea/mango/cocoa? Either they didn’t melt completely or they’re going off a bit??? If you have a heat gun, did you try smoothing the top out with it? These are just guesses – I wish I could be more helpful! I hope you figure it out or perhaps someone else will see this and comment as well!

  18. lizzy says:

    Do you keep the herbs or the oil from the slow process mixture??

  19. Abbey M says:

    I can’t wait to try this formula. Quick question:

    I take it that these measurements are in fluid ounces, not weight ounces?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Abbey! I usually measure everything by weight, but in the case of this salve, you could measure out your 3 1/2 ounces of oil by fluid ounce then add enough beeswax until the oil is pushed up to 4 ounces. Then add your tablespoon of tamanu oil. It’s not quite as precise, but with salves that’s okay. Once it’s made, if it’s too thin for your tastes, just remelt and add more beeswax or if it’s too firm (unlikely, since mine are designed to be on the soft side) then you can remelt and add more oil.

  20. nicole says:

    i love that you post all of these recipes….and i am especially interested in the natural body products and ones for aches and pains as i have cancer that has spread to my bones and a lot of pain lately….im really looking into making my own products and have looked at pricing of packaging/bottles, tins etc and oils and some of your ingredients….but for recipes like this one, i wouldnt even know where to get this stuff for cheap and it seems like it would be seriously expensive……and could u tell me how much each of some of the recipes would make??

    • Jan says:

      Hi Nicole!

      Indeed, there is an initial investment in buying the ingredients needed to make products such as these. I use a big chunk of our tax return and try to stock us up for the year. I know I answered you earlier in email as well, but forgot to tell you that http://www.brambleberry.com is another reputable place you could look for oils, butters, etc. They have good prices compared to many places, plus really nice customer service.

      As for how much each recipe makes, you can total together the ounces of ingredients called for in the recipe and from that number, estimate how many tins it would fill. Though most of the tins come in 1 ounce, 2 ounce, etc size, I’ve found that they don’t really hold quite that much.

      So, using the recipe above as an example:
      3 1/2 ounces of various infused oils
      + 1 tablespoon (factor as roughly 1/2 ounce) tamanu oil
      + 1/2 ounce beeswax
      = 4 1/2 ounces
      This should fill about 5 one ounce tins
      OR
      2 two ounce tins plus 1 one ounce tin

      This is a calculation that you can use for most recipes you come across.

  21. Sharon Savage says:

    I would love to get some of this salve. I went to your shop and you don’t have anything. Are you going to be making more of this and if so can I get some. Thanks

    • Jan says:

      Hi Sharon! I hope to have the shop restocked by the beginning of next week. So, if you check back then, I should have some available! :)

  22. Anna says:

    I love this recipe! I just ran out of my Burt’s Bees green stuff so I was looking for a recipe to try :) Have you ever heard of neem oil? It’s super stinky stuff but is an amazing antibacterial, anti-fungal, antimicrobial, plus some. I might incorporate it into this concoction, but the smell is extremely difficult to rival, yet the healing benefits are almost too good to pass up.
    I <3 tamanu oil, so I was thinking pairing the two up would create some sort of awesome cream of awesomeness? Hmmmm…. Maybe a drop or two of Rosehip seed oil?

    • Jan says:

      Oh yes, neem oil is super stinky! :) I made a dog shampoo bar with it once and went a little overboard with the neem component! Whew! But yes, it’s wonderful stuff!

      Tamanu oil is amazing. Probably my favorite ingredient that I stick in everything that I can. I think the two would make a powerful pairing!

  23. Hearher says:

    When you do the slow process and put the flowers in the jar with the oil, do you also add the goldenseal and plantain powders in the jar to sit for 6 weeks?
    Thank!

    • Jan says:

      I make separate jars for the goldenseal and plantain oils, since I use them individually in other recipes, but you can combine all of the herbs in one jar to make a compound oil if it’s easier for you! :)

  24. Nancy says:

    Thank you so much for the recipes, links and tips – as a new soap etc. maker I’m finding it overwhelming at times but your information has really helped understand so many things, again thank you so much….also can I email you some time with questions in case I hit a speed bump or two ?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Nancy, I can relate to that overwhelmed feeling – but you’ll be a pro in no time! :) If you have a question, feel free to use my contact form or you can ask right here so that others can see the answer. It sometimes takes me a few days, but I try to answer every question that makes it past the spam filters! I would LOVE to start a little series that covers some of the questions I get related to soap making. It’s on my to-do list; I just have to do it!

  25. Nancy says:

    Hey Jan, wow a little series like that would be great, but any of your tips would make a difference – thanks again :) Nancy

  26. Tara Epley says:

    I was wanting to see if I could purchase this?

  27. Emily says:

    Hi, I’ve heard that Tamanu Oil is good for healing c-section scars and stretch marks postpartum. Do you know if it is safe while nursing? thanks!

  28. David Ide says:

    would this work on diabetic ulcer on my leg? If so I would like to purchase a jar.

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