Bumps and Bruises Balm

Bumps & Bruises Balm with Printable Labels

This balm is part of a travel set I put together for my kids. They’ve spent the summer adventuring and camping across the country and I wanted them to be prepared for any first aid needs they might run into.

So far, I’ve shared the recipes for Boo Boo Balm and Bug Be Gone Salve.

Today, we’re making a bumps and bruises balm using arnica and comfrey infused oil. It’s also great for treating sore muscles and achey legs that are unused to riding for long stretches in a car. (Don’t forget to get out and move around often too!)

Note: Peppermint essential oil is not recommended for use on infants & younger children. For more information, check out this excellent article “Essential Oils for Babies & Kids”.


Each recipe has a corresponding printable label. You can print off sheets of one style (Bumps & Bruises Balm is HERE) or a combination of the three types (HERE.)

Printable Labels for Bumps & Bruises Balm

Bumps and Bruises Balm

  • optional: If you’re worried about the salve melting from the heat of travel, you can add an additional 1/2 teaspoon candelilla wax to the recipe. You can buy candelilla wax from BrambleBerry.com. You also might want to add a pinch of extra beeswax to make a firmer texture.


To make this, you’ll first need to make an oil infused with arnica flowers and comfrey leaf. If you don’t want to make your own, you can also buy these oils pre-infused from Mountain Rose Herbs.

To make the infused oil: Fill a pint or quart jar about 1/4 way with dried arnica flowers. Next, add dried comfrey until the jar is about half full. Pour olive or sunflower oil over the dried herbs until you almost reach the top.

  • To infuse the slow way: Cap, shake, and store in a cool, dark place for about four weeks before straining. The oil should stay fresh for about a year, if stored properly in a cool place, out of sunlight.
  • To infuse the fast way: Stir well and set the uncovered container of oil down into a saucepan containing a few inches of water. This will form a makeshift double boiler of sorts. Set the saucepan over a medium-low burner and indirectly heat the oil this way for an hour or two.  If your water is simmering, you should turn the heat lower. Once it’s done infusing, strain the oil and store in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

bumps & bruises balm label

Once your oil is infused, pour 3.5 ounces of it into a heat proof jar, pyrex measuring cup, or recycled tin can. Add .5 ounces of beeswax (and candelilla wax, if using.)

Set the heat proof container down into a saucepan containing a few inches of water, just as you used above to infuse your herbal oil. Set the pan over a medium low burner until the beeswax has melted.

Remove from heat and add peppermint essential oil.

While the mixture is still hot, pour into tins or glass jars. The recipe, as shown, will fill about three 2 ounce tins. You can buy those from Amazon.com or Mountain Rose Herbs.

Print out the sheet of Bumps & Bruises labels HERE or the combination sheet of all three travel tin labels HERE.

Print them out on sticker paper (like this kind.) If you don’t have sticker paper handy, you can print on regular copy paper and affix with a thin layer of glue. It won’t be as durable as sticker paper, but will work!

Use as needed on bumps, bruises, aches and other pains!


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Links to Mountain Rose Herbs and Amazon.com are affiliate links. That means that if you click on one and make a purchase, I earn a small commission for sending them a customer. This doesn’t cost you extra, but supplies me a small income that allows me to keep doing what I’m doing. Thank you! :)

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Jan Berry is a writer, herbalist, soapmaker, and bestselling author of The Big Book of Homemade Products, Simple & Natural Soapmaking, and Easy Homemade Melt & Pour Soaps. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains with her family and a menagerie of animals, where she enjoys brainstorming creative things to make with the flowers and weeds that grow around her.

  • Thaleia from Something2Offer says:

    This could not have come at a better time. My son has hurt his knee multiple times this week. I have comfrey but not arnica. Do you have a suggestion for substitution? I am thinking Goldenrod infused oil might work.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Thaleia, A blend of comfrey and goldenrod sounds like a great combo! I hope his knee feels better soon!

  • Kerstin says:

    Hi there! I have a question. I just made the infused oil- was yours kind of a chlorophyll-green color? Honestly, mine doesn’t look or smell that attractive, and I’m wondering if it’s just mine, or did it turn out the way it should.

    • Jan says:

      Hi Kerstin! That will depend on what type and amount of herbs you used. It sounds like you made a really strong infusion, which is fine to use. The peppermint oil should help the smell some. Sometimes, if an herbal infusion gets heated up too high, it will almost fry the leaves, making for a deep fried plant smell. Those tend to turn brownish instead of green though. To avoid that, heat the oil at lower temps.

  • Vashti says:

    Hi Jan.
    I’m really enjoying learning from you! I’m constructing a first aid kit for our trip to Sout Africa in March this year. I am currently in the UK and struggling to find arnica. Would you have a replacement suggestion, please?
    I would really appreciate your input.

  • Wendy says:


    In the Bumps & Bruises Balm is that 5 ounces of beeswax or 0.5 ounces?

    • Jan says:

      Hi Wendy! That is 0.5 oz. Sorry I didn’t see that I left off the zero, making it difficult to tell. Thanks for the heads up; I’ll go fix that right now.

  • Juli Moran says:

    Hi..just to make sure…is it 3.5 Oz each of Arnica and comfrey oil?

    • Hi Juli! You just want a total of 3.5 ounces of oil that’s been infused with arnica and comfrey. I see that I didn’t clarify that well in the ingredients list, so will go in and fix that. Thanks for letting me know! :)

  • Janet says:

    Hi. I would like to make this comfrey salve with lard or crisco instead of beeswax and add tea tree essencial oil to it. Have made a salve like this years ago but lost the receipe. It worked great to heal bruises. Do not remember if I made a strong tea infusion or an olive oil infusion. It was a soft salve and It was stored in the refrigerator. Lasted for years. Hopefully you can help.

  • Kelly says:

    Quick question, you mention to use comfrey flowers, but Mountain Rose Herbs only has leaf, root or root powder for sale. Are these interchangeable? Which would be best to use?

    • Hi Kelly, Oops! I meant to write arnica flowers and comfrey leaf. (Though sometimes I mix comfrey root and leaf together for these types of infusions too.) I just fixed it in the text. Thanks for letting me know! :)

  • zoe says:

    Hi I was just wondering which type of arnica I should be using? I went to purchase some seed to grow my own but there were two… Thanks Zoe

  • Sonia says:

    Hi, can I use Arnica essential oil to subs the arnica flower?

    • Hi Sonia! I’ve not studied or used arnica essential oil to be familiar with its strength or safety data, so I’m just not sure. If you have a way to contact the manufacturer/vendor of your oil, I’d double check with them & see if they have some advice as far as usage rate in a balm. :)

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