How to Make Violet Leaf Salve

Here’s a recipe for violet leaf salve, which is especially useful for eczema, dry skin, and swollen lymph nodes.

a basket of fresh violet leaves, dried violet leaves, infused leaf oil, and finished salve

While violet flowers are almost gone where I live, the leaves will still flourish in shady spots around my house for months to come.

I’ve touched on it before, but wanted to highlight today just how beneficial those violet leaves can be!

a basket of wild violet leaves and flowers

Benefits of Using Violet Leaves in a Salve

Violet leaf is a wonderful soother of inflamed skin and can help tame rashes, hives & eczema. It’s also a cooling and moisturizing herb; great for dry skin.

My favorite use for it, however, is in making a salve or balm to help swollen lymph nodes or fibrocystic breasts.

I’ve personally used violet leaf salve (balm) in the past to help my daughter with a very sore throat condition and swollen lymph nodes that just wouldn’t go away.

Also, quite a few years ago, I used it to relieve the discomfort of my fibrocystic breast condition. I was broke and couldn’t afford any supplements my naturopath recommended, but did some research and discovered the wonders of violet leaf – which was free for the taking in my backyard!

violet leaf salve on the left is made more green by adding a splash of high proof alcohol to the herbs before infusing in oil

How to Make Your Salve More Green-Colored

Here’s a tip for making a super charged violet leaf oil: Do you see how green the salve is on the left, even though I used completely dried violet leaves?

The violet leaf salve/balm on the right was also made with just dried violet leaves and olive oil, and the same recipe.

The only difference between the two of them?

In order to make the color really pop, I splashed a bit of 151 proof alcohol (Everclear) into the dried herbs, then stirred, before adding the oil.

The high proof alcohol helps extract chlorophyll and other compounds into the oil; giving your salves a gorgeous deep coloring that you can’t easily get by infusing herbs in plain oil.

If you don’t add the alcohol, your oil and salve will be more yellow toned.

a woman's hand holding a jar of violet leaf infused oil

How to Make Violet Leaf Infused Oil

First, gather some fresh, unsprayed violet leaves. Be certain you have violet leaves. Here’s an article I wrote on my other website about identifying and foraging for violet flowers and leaves.

Spread the leaves in single layers over screens, clean towels, or paper towels and allow to air dry for several days.

a screened drying rack containing dried violet leaves

Fill a canning jar about halfway with dried, crumbled leaves. (Size of jar depends on how many leaves you have. I most often use pint jars.)

Optional, but recommended if you want a naturally green colored salve: Add a splash of high proof alcohol/Everclear – 151 or 190 proof. Stir well.

Next, add oil into the jar until it’s not far from being filled. Oil choices include olive, sunflower, sweet almond, rice bran, or your favorite oil combinations.

Now, we need heat. Set the uncovered jar down in a saucepan that contains a few inches of water and heat the jar of herbs/oil over a low burner for several hours (3 to 4+ hours). The heat will help any moisture contributed by the alcohol/Everclear evaporate out of the oil.

Once your oil is sufficiently infused and a rich, deep green color, strain out the violet leaves. You can either use this Violet Leaf Oil to massage over lymph nodes or dry skin, or you can further turn it into a violet leaf balm or salve.

a tin of salve made from violet leaves that can be used for eczema and dry skin

How to Make Violet Leaf Salve (Balm)

To make this salve recipe, you just need violet leaf infused oil and beeswax.

If you want a softer, looser salve, use a bit less beeswax. For a firmer salve, add more beeswax.

  • 4 ounces (113 grams) of violet leaf infused oil
  • 0.65 ounces (18 grams) of beeswax

Combine the two ingredients in a pyrex measuring cup or heatproof jar. Set the measuring cup/jar down into a saucepan containing several inches of water.

Place the saucepan over low heat until the beeswax in the cup/jar melts. Stir well. Pour into tins.

This amount should fill four 2-ounce tins. (I buy those online from Specialty Bottle.)

a top view of a jar of infused oil

Notes & Tips

This recipe is very customizable. For example: you can add other herbs to the infusion such as calendula (skin repairing) or cleavers (also great for lymph nodes), if you’d like.

If you are making this for eczema, I highly recommend replacing 1 tablespoon of violet oil with the same amount of Tamanu Oil in your recipe. It is fabulous stuff – great for so many skin conditions!

these salves have spots on them after they set up so will be remelted to become smoother

Troubleshooting Tip

If your new tins of salve develop spots on the surface, like the ones shown in the photo above, try placing the tins on a small pan in your toaster oven at 350 degrees for about 5 to 7 minutes, or until completely melted again. (Keep a close eye the whole time; never leave unattended because beeswax/oil can be flammable if overheated!)

After completely melted, turn off the toaster oven, open the door, but don’t move or disturb the pan or tins until they’ve completely hardened up again.

Your salves should now be nice and smooth!

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HERBAL SALVES & BALMS

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