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At some point you will injure yourself or get sick. It is part of life. You don’t need to run to the doctor for everything, and you don’t have to run out and buy an over-the-counter salve or medicine. There are several remedies you can grow, forage, and make yourself. This will be a brief overview, as each category could be an entire blog itself. Read all the way to the end for my best owie slave recipe.
First prevention is the best medicine. Feeding your body what it needs to fight off and heal itself before you become symptomatic ill. The best way to do this is to eat good food that nourishes your body. Avoiding processed foods and sugar is the biggest tips. Eating a much of a whole food diet as you can is the next.
Herbals are my next line of defense. This includes essential oils. Essential oils are essentially concentrated versions of the herbs. Quality matters here, especially when using them for medicinal purposes. I use the essential oils to help build and support the body fighting off whatever infection and assist in the healing process. A favorite in our house as well are hot teas. Perfect herbal remedies to sip on when feeling sick.
I buy my essential oils. I do not have the knowledge to properly distill them, so they have the most effectiveness. For my top pick on essential oil company for quality and experience, click here. The herbals for tea are a mix of purchased and home grown. Many herbs I simply do not have the ability to grow. So, I just need an easy button an buy a pre-mixed herbal blend. Top herbs to keep on hand for illness, cinnamon, lemonbalm and lemongrass (bonus these also repel bugs when alive), clove, rosemary, and lemon.
Tinctures I often use in conjunction with herbals. A tincture is a plant soaked in alcohol, then strained off. The benefit to these is they last nearly forever, where a dried herb is only good for 1-2 years. To use the tincture, a small amount of liquid is placed under the tongue and then held there for a few minutes. The herbs that are harder to acquire, or spoil quickly are made into tinctures for long term storage and use.
The part I’m sure most of you have been waiting for! My homemade owie salve. I use this salve on all kinds of owies, from cuts, to abrasions, to diaper rashes, to burns (after it has cooled off and the outer skin is healing. The best part is it is easy to make and grow. The two herbs in this salve are Calendula petals and Plantain leaves. You’ll also need olive oil for infusing, and bees wax to make the actual salve.
Step 1: Pick the calendula blossoms and plantain leaves on a warm sunny day (the resin is strongest then). Fill a glass jar with the leaves and blossoms, I like to pick them in about a 1:1 ratio.
Step 2: Fill the jar with olive oil to 1 inch from the top. Run a butter knife around to remove the air bubbles. Place in a sunny spot and let it sit for 3-4 weeks.
Step 3: Strain the oil through cheese cloth and squeeze out into a sauce pan.
Step 4: Warm the oil slightly (DO NOT BOIL). Add most of the grated bees wax to the warmed oil (approximately ¼ c grated beeswax per 1 cup of oil). Stirring to mix.
Step 5: As soon as the wax melts, put 1 Tablespoon of the mix on a plate and into the freezer for 1-2 minutes, until cool.
Step 6: Check for consistency. For a firmer salve, add more bees wax, for a softer salve, add more oil.
Step 7: Put the salve into small jars or tins and allow to cool
Step 8: Once cooled, tighten lids and store in a cool dark place for 1-2 years.