Not everything I make in my kitchen is for eating. I also enjoy making medicinal things. Now I am going to turn that around now and say that not all that I cook is just for the reason of feeding my family. Sometimes it is to heal my family. I confess they are not always aware of it. I really get a joyful feeling when I make something I know is not only nourishment for my family but has a healing quality for them as well and they tell me how much they enjoy it taste wise. See not all medicine has to taste bad. Food can be a medicine as well.
Recently I made a salve. I really enjoy watching Shoshanna Easling of Bulk Herb Store and her videos on Youtube. She offers such great simple information anyone can do in their home. Why not see for yourself by clicking this link
Now I use to really make time for herbs and gardening and then I sort of got away from it as I had to much on my plate with teens and life in general. I noticed how much I missed it and and also how much my garden got away from me. Nice thing is some herbs are so easy to grow that even with a year or two of neglect (yeah I am that guilty) they are still there. Just at that point my garden markers were gone and I had to double check old notebooks (once I found them) to make sure things were what they were in the garden. I have to say keeping a little notebook with all my gardening and where I planted what was a helpful task I did just for fun one year when I really got my gardens going. See I have a neighbor whom means well but sometimes drops his extra plants on my doorstep. I have just found room and planted them never bothering to think what else is there or even sometimes what it is he gave me. I have one such bush in the garden now I need to figure out he gave me two years ago. No clue what it is and the one time I asked him he shrugged and walked off.
So last year I found my comfrey plants again. Not that they are hard to find. Unless you have sea grasses and other things near them. They were happy as ever and so I harvested the leaves, hung them in my utility room to dry and then broke the leaves up into mason jars till I figured out what to do with them. I did the same with some Yarrow as well. Now my youngest daughter is training to be a massage therapist and I gave her my last bottle of massage oil . I wanted more and thought I’d use my Comfrey & Yarrow to do just that. I also had ordered some Nettle for infusions and decided to make an oil of that too. Why not? All three each have their own wonderful uses for improving your skin and some skin conditions my family suffer from so it made sense.
So I took my jars with my herbs and poured in olive oil and cooked them on the stove for a couple hours and then let them cool overnight before I strained them.
Next I decided since I had this wonderful bees wax I’d make a salve as well my 11 year old son is not to keen on putting oil on his skin or staying still long enough for a massage. Though maybe this is just what he needs. So in a pot went a mixture of each of the three oils and some of the beeswax. I warmed this on a low heat till the wax melted fully then I simply poured into my clean jars you see below. I let that cool and I admit it was to hard to use despite my carefully weighing ingredients. It happens. Don’t worry if you have this result. It’s easy to fix. Just fill a large pot full of water, put a kitchen towel in the bottom, place your jars in (no lids) and warm everything up till the wax melts again. If you left room in your jars the first time you can just add a little more oil to each one. Now to avoid having to do this, test your salve by dipping a spoon into your salve after you melt the wax and let it cool for a few minutes and check the consistency. I learned this years ago but had forgotten it this time around. But hey we learn by our mistakes.
Now in my pictures you can see I have some oil left over that is in a pretty jar. If you went to Shoshanna’s Kitchen video’s on Youtube you will she used the same jar. It was to pretty not to and well at my local Walmart it was only $2. I couldn’t pass it up. I also bought the large mouth jars you see my salve in at Walmart as well. They were very inexpensive as well.
I keep my jars in easy reach for my family to use. One in the medicine cabinet to use as an oinment for bug bites, rashes, sunburns and another in the bathroom to remind me to use it for my own self care and enjoyment. Don’t forget once your salve has cooled and you put the lid on it to label and put a date on it so you know when and what it is you made.
I encourage you to grow some herbs in your garden this year and make your own healing concoctions in your kitchen for a fraction of the cost you can buy them in your local health food store. Learn what each herb’s healing properties are and try them out. You can get books at your local library to start out on herbs and herb gardens. Even some cooking herbs are great for remedies that can be used in your meals. I’ll share more about that another time. I found it best to start with one herb at a time. Always check to make sure you can use an herb if your taking medications so there is no interaction or with your own doctor before use. This information is not meant to be used as medical advice.
Till next time!