How to Make Pine Tar Salve
Old-fashioned pine tar salve has been traditionally used to treat everything from splinters, bug bites and boils, to patches of eczema or psoriasis.
This recipe combines herbal infused oil with the pine tar, for an added boost of effectiveness.
It’s super easy to make too!
- 2.75 oz (78 g) herbal-infused oil (see note below)
- 0.5 oz (14 g) pine tar
- 0.25 oz (7 g) castor oil
- 0.5 oz (7 g) beeswax
- 1/4 tsp activated charcoal
Notes & Tips
Before making, infuse the oil with a soothing herb such as plantain, calendula or violet leaves.
To make an infused oil: Fill a canning jar about half-way with dried herb/flower and pour olive or sunflower oil into the jar until almost filled. Cover and infuse in a cool dark spot, like a cabinet, for 4 to 6 weeks before use. For a quicker infusion, keep the jar uncovered, set it in a small saucepan containing a few inches of water (to make a double boiler of sorts) and heat over very low heat for 2 to 3 hours. Strain before use.
This recipe makes a very soft almost ointment-like salve. Increase the beeswax if you’d like a firmer texture.
Pine tar has a strong smoky campfire-like scent that some people find overwhelming. If you discover that you don’t care for the scent, try using my other drawing salve recipe instead (found HERE).
Pine tar is also included in soaps intended to soothe various skin conditions, or in shampoo bars designed for flaky scalps. (Check out my pine tar soap recipe HERE!)
Directions to Make
Pine tar is messy to work with. Because of this, I use an empty tin can for melting and mixing, then transfer to a glass jar for longer storage. I also line my work area with wax paper, to catch any spills.
Add the infused oil, pine tar, castor oil, and beeswax to the tin can or other heat proof container.
Set the can down into a small saucepan containing a few inches of water. Heat over a medium-low burner until melted.
Stir in the charcoal, then pour into a glass jar.
Shelf life is around 1 year, or longer.