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All-Purpose Herbal Salve

All-Purpose Herbal Salve This salve is the perfect go-to treatment for minor cuts and scratches (but not puncture wounds), insect bites, poison ivy and even diaper rash. The herbs in this formula provide anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits, while the olive oil and beeswax naturally sooth and condition skin. Keep a tin of this salve in the bathroom medicine cabinet, in the kitchen, in the car and at work. Ingredients 2 cups extra-virgin olive 2 tablespoons comfrey 1 tablespoon calendula 1 tablespoon echinacea root 1 teaspoon thyme 1 teaspoon oregon grape root 1/4 cup beeswax pastilles 1/2 teaspoon vitamin E oil Directions First, infuse the olive oil with herbs. To use the solar method, place the herbs in a mason jar and cover with the oil. Cap and let infuse in a sunny location for 3-4 weeks, gently turning the jar around once a day. Then strain off the macerate (herbs), reserving the oil and composting the herbs -- but get every bit of oil out first by wrapping the botanicals in multiple layers of cheesecloth and gently squeeze and/or allow to drip. If you need your salve sooner, you can infuse the herbs and oil in the top of a double boiler set on the lowest setting for 2 or 3 hours.

I use a small crockpot that's reserved exclusively for this purpose. Just remember that whenever direct heat is involved to keep a close eye on things and be ready to stir to keep the botanical material from scorching, if necessary.

Okay, onward... Place the finished infused oil and beeswax in the top of a double boiler and heat on low until the beeswax is completely melted, stirring to blend. Add the vitamin E and stir again. Immediately transfer the mixture into small tins. Here's a neat idea: pour the mixture into lip balm tubes for easy application of spot-treatments, which eleminates the need to get fingers messy!

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