Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Herbal Ally - Challenge #12 - Make a Salve

This challenge was to make a salve using our herbal ally oil we made previously.  I did not have any beeswax and was unable to get a hold of any for a while there, then a friend kindly gave me a few of the sheets of beeswax from her candle making kit.

I was at first unsure as to whether or not they were suitable and kept putting it off with worry as to whether it would work but after finally finding a great site online where I could order, the people were going to be away until the very day I happen to be booked to go away myself. I sent an email asking whether this would be suitable and they confused me a little more with quality etc. They did tell me however that about 15 sheets would be a kilo so I thought as I had never made a salve in my life and I really was a first timer that I would just go ahead and give it a whirl anyway.  I figured at least if I stuff up I am not wasting the more expensive quality wax anyway.

So armed with my instructions courtesy of James Green, I set to it.  I had to do a little creative maths to work out the amounts as I did not have a whole cup of tansy oil handy and I really did not have enough time to make some more as my slow cooker is busy with some Rosemary oil right now.

With the intention of using this salve as a rub for sore muscles, or rheumatism I set to it and I learned a valuable lesson through trying new things. This is what happened....

I grated up one sheet which I estimated to weigh just under 50g then measured out half a cup of the tansy oil. I added about 2/3 of the wax and put it on the stove on low heat and waited.

 I then did something on instinct (my lesson here) I added some powdered cayenne pepper to the mix (I now worked out this is a no no, I should have put it in the oil and strained it, which I am sure you all know but hey I'm new to all this!)

It melted away slowly and then I tested a little in the freezer and it was a little runny, so I added just a little more wax and waited again.

This time it was perfect and I poured it into a small jar, I do not have any salve containers as yet and then poured the left over into another jar. The smaller portion quickly set, the other was a little slower.

It was really interesting watching the salve set and seeing the lovely colour emerge as it did so.

It was all a bit magical really! Watching it creep up the glass second by second!

Until finally it was all set! And while I was most proud of my very first, lovely consistency salve! I had to have a good laugh at myself when I picked it up and saw the cayenne all nicely settled on the bottom! Never mind! Of course my first salve will be just for me! I rubbed some into my hands and my hands felt so soft and lovely afterwards! A fine first effort and a lesson well learned! Even if I do say so myself! Its been a great day for lessons for me today! :-)

I shall use my little jar of salve with love! 
I am so looking forward to getting more wax and some little jars and tincture bottles as I have also found some suppliers that are affordable to me! . 

I am glad I finally took the plunge and had a go! 

And really cannot wait till Spring when hopefully I will have more time to get back into my herbal ally adventures once more! 

Hugs and smoochies xoxoxo