Friday, September 5, 2014

Healing Salves


My journey with healing salves started with me always having itchy skin - it was eczema. I had moved to Washington State in 1994 from Hawaii, and for most of my adult life in Hawaii, I always had itchy skin. I could never wear anything with long sleeves. I knew Washington was colder, so just before the move, I bought myself sweatpants and even wearing that was difficult. The fleece side of the pant irritated my legs so bad, I had to wear them inside out. I learned years later that it was my diet that caused my skin to itch so bad.

Fast forward to 1998, a local lavender farm, Purple Haze Lavender Farm was offering classes on making products with herbs. I love lavender and it peaked my curiosity to know that I could learn to make stuff with it. I attended the class and I learned how to make tinctures, salves, and infusions - it was so much fun, I was hooked. My oldest daughter Dawn, was starting Evergreen State College in Olympia around that time. Olympia is about a 3-4 hour drive from where we live in Port Angeles. Every year, we would make the trek up there to spend 1 or 2 weeks with her and got to know the town pretty well. At this one store called Radiance, they sold bulk herbs, books and other goodies that I just loved. During one of my first visits, I came across this book and I bought it. I immediately immersed myself in that book and learned everything I could and started making some of the recipes. That sent me on my way to making and loving salves.

The first bunch of salves I made were from single herbs that had specific healing qualities. At that time, I was having skin issues - I had eczema and would itch all the time. I found out that calendula was great for helping with itch, so the first salve I made was calendula, and I loved it - it worked so well on my skin. The next salve I tried was lavender. Lavender is great for burns and stress and what's so nice about this salve is that the lavender scent never leaves - even after infusing and making something with it, it still has that great lavender smell. I made comfrey salve for cuts, and that was a big hit. I have shared my salves with my family first, then friends and everyone loved it. Eventually I started selling my salves.

There are many carrier oils that can be used with making salve - coconut oil, grape seed oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, and others, but the carrier oil I use is extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). It is readily available and if bought in bulk, can be rather inexpensive, and I can get it locally from a natural food store - I always have some in my kitchen as I cook with it, but it is great for your skin also.

Now I'm venturing into making salves with multiple herbs and I have hit upon a jackpot. I make a Healing Salve - my best seller. It has turmeric, comfrey, calendula, and slippery elm. Turmeric is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and is great for fungal issues - it has cancer stopping properties. This spice is very popular in alternative healing. Comfrey as I said above, is also good with bruises, fungal issues, infections and sprains - not for use on infants and children. Along with helping itchy skin, Calendula is great for inflamed skin, fungal issues and is safe to use on infants and children. Slippery Elm has drawing properties that makes it great for acne and boils. I have put all these together into one salve. My husband tried it, he has personal itching issues and he loves it! It got him off of using Noxema. The only issue is staining (underwear), but that outweighs the healing property of what this salve does. I have one friend, Tracey, that I gave salve to as a Christmas present last year, and she has since bought three more for family members back east. They have tried it and wanted to get their own.   

Dawn now lives in Hawaii and has a friend who had a newborn infant and needed something for diaper rash. I researched and found that Calendula and Slippery Elm would work great for babies and I now have a Baby's Salve available. Baby's Salve would work great for adults, as well as infants and children, who have sensitive skin issues. This salve would work great for diaper rash, cradle cap, and eczema. 

I have in the planning, to make a salve for sunburn - which would have lavender and aloe infused in coconut oil and EVOO. I also want to add Myrrh to the Baby's Salve. Myrrh has antiseptic properties and it great for acne, boils and inflamed skin - that will be my Acne Salve. Both of these are on the back burner at the moment and will soon be produced.

All of my salves, along with other things I make (I sew bags and other small things), can be found in my Etsy Shop. Go take a look at what's there and see if anything interests you. Everything I sell has been handcrafted by me - I can custom make most of my sewn items. If you have any questions on my salves, custom orders or anything handcrafted by me, please ask in the comments section or email me and I will be sure to get back to you. Enjoy shopping in my shop and let me know if I can assist you in any way.

Thanks a lot for reading about me and my herbal journey. Hopefully this has interested you in trying one of my salves. I do have samples available and will have smaller sizes soon for sale.

Have an awesome herby day!!

Comments or questions are always welcomed. I would love to hear what you think of this post or any of my other posts. Please be sure that your email address is sited so you can receive my response. Thanks!

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