Herbal Wound Powder & Salve
Oregon grape contains berberine, the same antibacterial and antifungal alkaloid found in goldenseal. Although use of the latter is more familiar to most people, Oregon grape (or barberry) is preferred because goldenseal is still recovering from years of overharvesting. Other components of this formula are also known for their demonstrated antimicrobial properties. Aside from providing flavor for gin, certain compounds in juniper berries help to speed healing and counter inflammatory skin conditions, such as psoriasis and eczema.
1 ounce dried Oregon grape root
1 ounce dried rosemary leaves
1 ounce dried juniper berries
1/2 ounce dried thyme
1/2 ounce dried oregano
1/2 ounce dried comfrey root *
Sweet almond oil (if making salve)
* Omit if there is broken skin
Directions for Powder
Combine all ingredients in a food processor or a spice or coffee grinder and process into a powder. Follow with additional grinding by hand with a mortar and pestle until a fine powder is achieved. This powder can be applied directly to wounds, cuts and scrapes prior to bandaging. Store in a jar with a tight-fitting lid away from heat and light, or keep it in a freezer-proof container to ensure long-term freshness.
Directions for Salve
Place the herbs in a small crockpot or in the top of a double boiler. Pour over just enough sweet almond oil to cover herbs. Heat the herb-oil combination on the lowest possible setting for at least a few hours but preferably 6 to 8 hours. Be sure to check the water level often, if using a double boiler. Strain off the marc (compress the herbal material with the back of a spoon to get every drop of infused oil!) and discard. Pour the reserved infused oil into a heavy duty saucepan or the top of a double boiler. For each cup of infused oil reserved, add 2 ounces of grated beeswax. Gently heat until the beeswax is completely melted. Pour the oil mixture into clean tins or jars and let cool for 12 - 24 hours before using.