Herbal Skin Salves
Before there was a pharmacy on every corner and a doctor at the other end of your cell phone, traditional healers relied upon the natural world to harvest, combine, and formulate herbal medicines to heal what ailed the people. Whether to dress a wound, heal irritation and inflammation, or soothe a baby's rash, Mother Nature provides a plethora of flowers, fruit, seeds, leaves, bark and pulp from which to create topical remedies. Even today we see a resurgence, with an estimated 80% of people worldwide using herbal apothecaries and compounding pharmacies to provide natural remedies, among them herbal salves.
What is an Herbal Salve?
Herbal salves (or balms) are a combination of infused herbal oils combined with some type of wax, typically beeswax, which acts as a thickening agent. Salves are generally solid at room temperature. They can contain finely ground or pulverized material from a plant along with an essential oil (e.g., lavender, arnica, chamomile, rose) or Manuka Honey, depending on the reason for use. Salves work best when applied to bring relief to irritated and inflamed skin in a specific area of the body to which they are applied.
A salve is absorbed through the skin in a localized area allowing for concentrated and sometimes immediate relief. They can easily be used for everyday moisturizing of the skin, giving added protection without harmful chemical ingredients often found in cosmetic products. Additionally salves are a gentle, safe and effective first-aid treatment for skin conditions such as:
poison ivy or oak
*A rash that cover the body or blistering sunburn should be seen by a medical professional right away.
Spend some time exploring herbal salves and enjoy the relief they can bring to your skin, day after day, season after season. Check in with your holistic doctor to get their recommendations.
MedlinePlus.gov "Calendula." Accessed 3 June 2018: https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/235.html Herbal Resource. "Calendula: Health Benefits and Side Effects." Accessed 3 June 2018: https://www.herbal-supplement-resource.com/calendula-herbs.html Alnuqaydan, A.M., Lenehan, C.E., et al., "Extracts from Calendula officinalis Offer in Vitro Protection Against H2O2 Induced Oxidative Stress Cell Killing of Human Skin Cells." Phytotherapy Res (30 Sept 2014) 29:1, https://doi.org/10.1002/ptr.5236