If you have a friend or family member whose hardworking hands are often put through the wringer thanks to tough gardening, woodworking, or crafting projects, chances are those digits could use some TLC.
I've been making salve for the past three years, and my friends and family members always flip for it, saying that it's the only thing that gets their hands safely through the cold Winter months. It's also great to keep near the sink, since you can use it to moisturize your hands after you do a load of dishes. One of the cool things about this salve is that it's all natural, and made from easily attainable ingredients.
Here's What You'll Need
- Olive oil
- Vitamin E oil and/or aloe vera oil
- Slow cooker or double boiler
- Herbs to infuse salve with (calendula, lavender, or rosemary are some ideas)
- Clean small jars with lids for storing salve
- Strainer or cheesecloth
- Funnel, spoons
Find out how to make it when you read more.
Here's How to Do It
- If you are using fresh herbs, you'll want to shake them to remove any dirt or dust. Then, let the herbs dry out for a couple hours to remove some of the moisture.
- There are two methods you can use to infuse the herbs in the oil. You can either put the herbs in a big jar, fill it with oil, and let the jar sit in a sunny window for a week or more, or you can cover the herbs in oil and heat them over very low heat in a slow cooker or double boiler for three to four hours. If you use a slow cooker, you can just let the herbs sit, unattended, for this entire time.
- After the herbs have been infused in the oil, strain the oil through a screen or cheesecloth. Transfer the oil to a slow cooker. Depending on how large of a batch of salve you are making, you can add additional olive oil at this time. Turn the slow cooker on low, and slowly add your beeswax. You only want to add enough so the mixture is the consistency of slightly soft butter. Too much beeswax will make it impossible to use.
- To test the consistency of your salve, scoop up a small amount with a spoon and put a dollop on a plate. Put the plate in the refrigerator for a moment to let it harden. Take the plate out, and then test the consistency. If it is too hard, add a little more oil. Too soft? A little more beeswax. Continue experimenting until the consistency is to your liking. At the very end, add the additional oil (vitamin E and/or aloe vera oil). You only have to use a small amount of this additional oil. Test again for consistency.
- Use a funnel (or just careful pouring) to transfer the mixture to jars.
- If you like, you can add a cute label to your jar telling your gift recipients the ingredients in your salve, or any other bits of information about the present.
- Give as a gift, or keep for yourself, and enjoy!