How to make herbal salves

As a follow-up to yesterdays post on making your own herbal infusions (here), today, I’m showing you how I use those oils to make beeswax (or candelilla wax for the lovely vegans out there) salves and lip balms. So without further ado…balms away!

salves

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Gather all your goodies into one central location because this requires some hustling.
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Portion out some of your infused oil into a measuring cup. I like a 4 to 1 ratio of oil to wax. Some people on the internet suggest 2.5 cups of oil to 1 ounce of beeswax. However, the amount of beeswax depends on how hard you want your salve to be. The more wax, the harder it will be. It’s all a matter of personal preference.
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Create a double boiler by filling your pot with water so it reaches the same level as the oil in your measuring cup. Put the pot on the stove and begin heating your water and your measuring cup.
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Melt your wax or if you’re using wax shavings/pastilles you can skip this step and just throw them straight into your measuring cup with the oil.
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Add the desired amount of wax to your oil and stir like crazy until they begin to melt together. Then turn off your stove.
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Add a couple drops of vitamin E oil.
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Add a couple of drops of grapefruit seed extract. This and the vitamin E oil will help preserve your oils. These are optional steps though.
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Are there any essential oils you’d like to add? Or if you’re making lip balm, now’s the time to add a flavoring oil (you can usually find them in the cake decorating/baking aisle in the grocery store) and perhaps some stevia so it tastes yummy. This is all optional of course. Personally, I prefer mine without all the bells and whistles.
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Add a few drops of essential oil at the very end just before you begin to pour the mixture into the container(s). You don’t want to get your mixture too hot at any point in this process. You just want the oil and the wax to combine. If it gets too hot your essential oil(s) will evaporate.
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This is where the cold spoon comes in handy. Take your chilly spoon and dip it into your mixture. This will give you an idea of the consistency of the salve when it solidifies. Now is the time to tweak your oil to wax ratio if need be.
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Pour your salve into clean, dry containers. Let them sit until they solidify (like the two on the left). Now enjoy! You’ve just made something totally awesome!

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