First of all, how cute are these tiny deodorant sticks? I didn’t realize when I ordered them that they were 15ml sized, but I’m glad about that, because I probably would have looked for something bigger. These are the perfect size for your purse, or glove compartment, or wherever else you like to stash your much-loved salves. This week, I used them to make my Muscle Magic salve for pain.
This is the salve I made for our son to take to Alaska for the salmon fishing season. It’s been a life saver for him up there, and he tells me frequently how much it helps. Salmon fishing is relatively easy compared to King or Opilio crab fishing, when you break your back for twenty hours straight and then crawl into bed and try to sleep through the aches and pains for the four hours you’re allowed to rest. When a crab fisherman tells you it works, you know it’s true.
Are Salves difficult to make?
Not at all. Salves are actually very easy to make, but be prepared for a bit of a mess. That’s because it’s difficult to get the solidified beeswax/oil combo completely out of the jar you melted it in. For that reason, I suggest you dedicate a mason jar or clean tin for just this purpose. After each batch, you can just tuck all your supplies away until you make the next batch.
Once you understand the basic ratios and steps to making a salve, you can customize each batch to your own liking or needs.
Regardless of which carrier oil you choose to use or whether or not you’re going to use herb-infused oil, the ratios are the same:
1 part beeswax to 8 parts carrier oil
So for the recipe I’m sharing below, I used 2 TBSP beeswax to 1 cup of herb-infused olive oil. 1 cup = 16 TBSP, so 2 TBSP gives you the 1 to 8 ratio. (To learn how to make an herbal infusion, click here)
Here are the basic steps:
- In a mason jar or clean tin can, combine 1 part beeswax to 8 parts carrier oil (for this recipe, that’s 2 TBSP beeswax to 1 cup oil)
- Place container in a pot, fill the pot with water up to 2/3rd of the container, and simmer on low until the beeswax has melted into the oil. This takes a bit of time, because that beeswax is stubborn. But this is a good time to get out your jars and have them ready for filling when everything is combined.
- When the beeswax and oil is melted together, dip a small spoon in the mixture, place the spoon on a plate, and put the plate in the freezer for 3 minutes. Take out and touch check the consistency. If it’s too hard, add a little more oil to the pot. If it’s too soft, add a very small amount of beeswax to the pot. You may have to do this a few times to get the consistency to your liking.
- Remove the pot from the burner and add whatever essential oils you’d like. There’s a huge number of essential oils with pain-reducing qualities, so you can make your own combination from what you have on hand. Whichever essential oils you use, you’ll want roughly 100 drops total (I say 110 because there’s always that one giddy oil that wants to leap out faster than the others. So don’t stress over a few more drops). And if you have some of these but not all, you can just use what you have. All of these have pain-reducing qualities, so you can’t go wrong.
Here’s my recipe:
- 25 drops wintergreen
- 15 drops lavender
- 10 drops rosemary
- 10 drops ginger
- 10 drops “>cinnamon leaf
- 10 drops black pepper (the oil, not the real thing)
- 10 drops copaiba
- 10 drops Roman chamomile
- 10 drops peppermint
A word about those oils: if you’re starting from scratch and this list looks daunting to you, just buy a few. You can always pick up more along the way. That’s what I did when I first got into oils. I probably have 50 different oils in my cabinet right now, and I use them all, but some of them I use much more than the others. I only order the 32 ml size of peppermint now, and I have to order that a few times a year. Same with lavender. So if it looks like you’re buying all that for this one recipe, you’re not. You’ll use them in all sorts of concoctions, I promise. When everything is well-combined, pour into whatever containers you’re using. I’m going to start using the deodorant containers exclusively, because it makes the application so much easier, but you can also put these in amber jars like these. I like this set because you can make larger ones to keep at home and smaller ones for travel or to give to someone.
And that’s it! Let me know if you have questions or if I need to make something clearer. I hope you try this. And I hope it starts you off on a long salve-making journey. 🙂