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How to Make Salves and Tinctures

Recipe for Salve Preparation

Salves are generally used to treat a variety of skin problems. These can also be used as lip balms, lotions and salves for wounds if made very thinly. Melted beeswax is useful in thickening tinctures that are too thin. If the salve is too thick, add some more oil to the mixture. Beeswax can be kept in jars and melted in the microwave when needed. It is not messy and will keep forever.
When preparing your salve, heat the oil based tincture you plan to use for it in a pan. Never use a pan made of aluminum as it will destroy the medicinal properties of many kinds of herbs. Add small amounts of melted beeswax at a time to reach your desired thickness. Let the mixture cool to test the thickness before you warm it again and add it to its new container. There is no need to add any preservative. Be sure to label the container with its contents and directions for use. Salves will keep for years and will not need to be re-prepared until you run out.

If you wish to make a salve from fresh herbs, just heat two cups of olive oil to almost boiling and add a large handful of the herb or herbs that you wish to use. Simmer the salve from 20 minutes to three hours depending on the herb. Some herbs will take longer to fully release their medicinal properties. Turn off the heat, cover the pan and allow it to sit until it is completely cool. Strain and then reheat the oil and add the beeswax and preservatives of honey or vitamin E capsules. Be sure you add a preservative to inhibit bacteria from forming in your salve. Let cool and test for thickness. Pour the salve into a sterile container and be sure to label it with its contents and directions for use.


Recipe for Tincture Preparation

Tinctures are used in salves or as is. Oils are used mainly as salves and alcohol based tinctures are used internally.
To prepare a tincture, gather a glass jar, the herb or herbs that you wish to use, and some alcohol (vodka) or olive oil. This will be prepared much like the flower essences above, but you will allow the flowers to sit for several weeks instead of several days.

Oil Based Tinctures
Place the herb inside the jar and cover it with the olive oil. Seal the jar and place it somewhere where it will receive sunlight for several weeks. Three, six and nine are good numbers of weeks to allow the tincture to sit. After you take the tincture inside, you can strain out the herbs if you like. Add several tablespoons of honey to the oil or two broken vitamin E capsules to the tincture to serve as a preservative. Be sure to label each bottle as to its contents and uses.

Alcohol Based Tinctures
Make the alcoholic tinctures the same way you would the oil based tinctures. Pour some kind of alcohol over the herbs such as vodka. Since alcohol is a wonderful preservative, you will not need to add any other preservatives. Pour the tincture into sterile glass bottles and label them with their contents and directions for use. Alcoholic tinctures are added to juice and teas as remedies for such things as headache, joint pain, cramps, cold, etc.