In order to engage with the healing and metaphysical properties of a herb, we must prepare it in a way that we can physically use in a effective way. One of the ways we can do that, is through a ointment.
A ointment, sometimes called a salve or balm, depending on where you are from, is used primarily to form a protective layer over the skin. This is great for keeping in moisture and heat. If you are looking for something to be absorbed into the skin, try a cream, which I will show you how to make in my next herbalism post!
Lip balms are good examples of ointments we use daily. We use these to keep moisture in our lips, and stop them from going dry. (They also taste real good!)
Ointments are particularly useful for arthritis, rheumatism and burns because of their properties in which we use them. Apply ointments to the skin, on and surrounding the areas of aches, pains, arthritis, rheumatism, and burns.
Herbal ointments are made using infused oils, which I will show you how top make in a future lesson! Beeswax, which I will be using as a example, or any other form of solid fat are melted into the oil, and then poured into jars to be left to cool. At a point which I will explain in the actual steps, you can add in a few drops of any essential oil you like, as long as it corresponds with the need you are using the ointment for.
The average ratio of making a ointment is 1 cup of IO to once ounce of beeswax . This is what we will be doing.
The ingredients of your ointment will be different each time, depending on what you are making the ointment for; and which recipe you are following.
It is extremely important that you never, ever make anything out of a herb you have not researched on. Please, research the herb you are going to be using before you add it into anything!
Also, some infused oils are safe to be used on open wounds/broken skin, and others are not, so please take precaution and do research on that also.
How to Make a Ointment
REMEMBER TO USE THE RATIO LISTED!
Only heat your infused oil through steam.
You Will Need:
- Infused Oil (I will be using calendula for a example.)
- Essential Oil (Of your choice.)
- Solid Fat (I will be using beeswax for a example.)
- Steam Heater (Double boilers are perfect. )
1. For a method of heating using steam, take a pan and place water in it. Boil the water, and after it is fully boiled, take a glass or ceramic bowl and place it over the top. Add the Infused Oil into the bowl.
2. Place the beeswax (or solid fat of your choice) into the bowl or IO, and stir well until the beeswax is fully melted, remembering the ratio.
3. When fully melted, turn the heat off, and add drops of the essential oil that corresponds with the intended use of the ointment into your mixture.
4. Allow the melted ointment to cool. Quickly, pour it in to clean jars before it has time to set.
5. Ointments can keep up to anything from 3 months to a year (depending on the ingredients used), so store in a cool, dry place incase it melts.
6. Enjoy your home-made ointment!