Echinacea (Purple Coneflower) Oil & Salve

This echinacea salve is made from the leaves & flowers of purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea). It’s simple to make & handy to keep in your first aid kit or backpack while hiking and camping.

dried purple coneflowers and salve

In his excellent book, Making Plant Medicine, herbalist Richo Cech mentions that a salve made with dried echinacea flowers and leaves is good for treating wounds, stings and venomous bites.

I like using it on bug bites and chapped irritated skin. The oil would also be nice in a lip balm recipe for chapped lips. (See my post on creating your own lip balm recipes HERE.)

I like using sunflower oil in salve recipes, since it’s effective at healing damaged skin, but you could also use olive, sweet almond, or another similar oil instead.

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Drying Echinacea Flowers and Leaves

Ingredients for Echinacea Salve

(Measurements are given by weight.)

Echinacea Infused Oil

To Make the Echinacea Oil

It’s difficult to recommend a precise amount of echinacea flowers and leaves, since they vary in size, but the petals from 4 or 5 flowers, plus several leaves, should be a good starting place.

Dry the flowers and leaves by spreading them out over a clean dishcloth or paper towels for several days. You could also use a dehydrator set to around 95°F (35°C). Once completely dry, place the petals and leave in a small glass canning jar or similar container.

I mostly use just the flower petals and leaves, though if a flowerhead is extra small and I’m sure it’s completely dried, will add the whole thing into the jar too.

Crumble up the leaves and flowers with your fingers, then pour the oil over the herbs, adding more oil if needed, to make sure the plant matter is completely covered.

Cover the jar with a lid, then set the oil aside for 4 to 6 weeks to infuse, then strain.

For a quicker infusion, set the jar down into a small saucepan filled with a few inches of water. Heat over a low burner for a few hours, keeping a close eye that the water doesn’t evaporate out. Remove from heat, cool until comfortable to handle, then strain.

How to Make Purple Coneflower (Echinacea) Salve

To Make the Echinacea Salve

  1. Strain the infused oil and weigh out 3.5 oz (100 g).
  2. Combine the 3.5 ounces of infused oil with the beeswax in a canning jar or heatproof container.
  3. Set the jar down into a small pan filled with a few inches of water, creating a makeshift double boiler.
  4. Place the pan over medium-low heat until the beeswax is melted. Let cool a few minutes, then add the lavender essential oil, if using.
  5. Pour into jars or tins. If you used a small canning jar for melting, you could just leave it in there for storage too, to save on cleanup time.

This recipe fills three 2-oz tins, when filled not quite to the top of each tin. Or, you could pour it right to the top of a larger 4-oz tin or jar.

Shelf life of this salve is at least 9 to 12 months, depending on storage and freshness of the oil used. Store in a cool area, out of direct sunlight.

Making Adjustments

You may prefer a softer or harder salve than what this recipe makes. Or, you may want a firmer product for hot weather and a softer one for cooler weather.

If you find the salve too soft or too hard for your needs, you can melt it again, adding more beeswax for a firmer salve, or more oil for a softer salve.




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  1. Lovely! I can’t wait to try this one. What are your thoughts on white echinacea vs your purple variety? The pallida variety, I think it’s called…

        1. Hi Shannon! I would give it a try! When infusing with powders, you don’t need as much – maybe a tablespoon of powder for every 1/3 to 1/2 cup of oil.
          Also stir it frequently if infusing by heating, or be sure to shake and stir it every day or two if infusing the slower way.
          The powders tend to settle to the bottom of the jar in a clump, so have to be mixed back in more often.
          If you give it a try, let us know how it goes! 😊

  2. Hi thank you for another great recipe. following the link to the dried echinacae does that listing include the flowers and leaves? thanks Kathy

  3. Wow, awesome! We have these in our garden, so it’s useful to know something you can make out of them.

  4. Hello! Thanks for the recipe, just started a batch today. I was wondering if there was any reason in particular that you used sunflower oil, or would other types of oil also work?

    1. Hi Linz! You can use all types of other oils like olive, sweet almond, jojoba, etc. I once read a study how sunflower oil helped repair skin for those with eczema and I guess it’s stuck with me all those years, so I tend to like sunflower oil in salves & lotions. :)

  5. Hey Jan , love all your info , was wondering your input on using this in a lip balm ?? Also have you ever used astralagous in an infused oil ?? Thanks

    1. Hi Tommy! This would make a fantastic lip balm! Astragalus root is one of my favorite herbs & I use it in broths & teas all the time; it’s also a main component of a powdered herbal mix that’s been fantastic for a family member who had low stamina. I don’t normally infuse it in oil though because from what I understand, the main benefits are in the water-soluble polysaccharides, best extracted through hot water (or broth). So while you could infuse it in oil, I’m not sure of the benefits. (Though there might be some I’m not aware of!) :)

  6. I just finished 2 batches of this. I infused my coneflowers for 6 weeks. Added 6 drops of lavender oil to the first batch and 4 each of lavender and frankincense to the second batch. Filled 16 small lip balm containers and 4 2 oz containers. Put about 1/2 oz.that was left in a 2 oz container for immediate use. Used some of the extra on my lips. Feels nice and tastes ok. Soothing. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Hi Heidi! It’s kind of hard to give an exact amount because the leaves and flowers come in all sizes. I just make sure the jar is filled about half-way or up to 3/4 of the way with a combination of dried flowers/leaves and then cover with oil. :)

  7. Thank you so much for having a printable version for free !!! Never have left a comment but leaving this now. You got a new permanent follower 💯✨👯‍♀️

  8. I’m definitely planning on making the salve, but is there anything you can do with left over oil as like a tincture to take internally?

    1. Hi Taylor! I save leftover infused oils and use them in other salve, lip balm, soap, body butter, lotion bar, and lotion/cream recipes.
      You could also apply it directly to your skin after a bath or shower to seal in moisture (though that’s a little messier form.)
      Herbal infused oils aren’t normally used internally.
      For that purpose, you can make a tincture – chop the flowers/leaves in small bits and combine with twice as much 100 proof drinkable alcohol. Cover, infuse for 4 to 6 weeks & strain.)

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