I did a bit of research on various herbs and came up with the concoction below. Himself says the salve is making a lot of difference in his pain levels. That is about as far as I will state, living in a country that punishes you severely for making any stronger of a statement about alternatives. (Land of the Free? yeah... right...) Please note the disclaimer after the recipe.
This makes more oil than you need for one 4 oz. jar and a 1 or 2 oz tin of salve. You can save the oil for future uses or make a larger batch, using 1 oz beeswax to each 8 oz of oil. That is my preference. I do not like hard salves. You can adjust the beeswax amounts to your preferences. I do not know how much to use of the beeswax substitutes since I do not use them. You will have to research that change yourself. You can use only olive oil if you wish. I prefer a blend of oils.
Aches and Pains Salve*
3 oz grapeseed oil
3 oz apricot kernel oil
3 oz coconut oil
3 oz jojoba oil
3 oz olive oil
1/4 oz dried arnica
1/4 oz dried chickweed
1/4 oz dried lavender
1/4 oz dried meadowsweet
1/4 oz dried white willow bark
1/4 oz dried yarrow
(optional: 1/4 oz dried comfrey)
(optional: 1/4 oz dried plantain)
1/2 oz beeswax
Mix together all of the oils, if using my blend. Otherwise, measure out 15 oz of olive oil or a blend of oils you prefer. Add the herbs and put on a very low flame, where the oils are warming, but not cooking. Do not cover. You will end up with moisture dripping into the oil. You can also use a double-boiler, but it is very hard to cook down the oils to half. That is not all that important to cook down like that, as long as you do not "burn" the oils. You want to gently warm them so the herbs infuse the oils with their properties. If you have a small potpourri or gravy crock pot, that is perfect to use for this step.
After the oils and herbs have infused for a hour or 4, let cool a short bit. The longer you infuse the herbs into the oil(s), the better. You can even strain the oil and add a new batch of herbs to double-infuse the oil. It depends on how much time you have and how much of the herbs you have for your salve. You must be vigilant while infusing the oils, making sure the water on the bottom of the double-boiler does not get too low, the oil does not get too warm or cook away entirely. When you are happy with your infusion, take it off the stove.
Strain well. (I have not tried the trick another blogger uses- a knee-high stocking. Clever!)
Measure out 4 oz of the oil. Set aside. Bottle the remainder of of the oil and label for future use, unless you are making a larger batch of salve.
Put the beeswax into a double-boiler, if you have one. Otherwise, a small non-aluminum pot. Over low heat, gently melt the beeswax while stirring, taking it off the stove when it is almost all melted.
Keep stirring while adding the oils. Mix well. You may need to put it back on the stove for a moment if the beeswax and oils are too far apart in temp. and the beeswax hardens after adding the oils.
Wipe the bottom of the double-boiler (if using) so no water drips into the jar as you pour. (Yes, I have done that before.) Pour into a 4 oz jar and a 1 or 2 oz tin. The beeswax enlarges the final amount of salve, normally filling one of those tiny tins. As it cools, use a small bamboo skewer to stir as it cools. You get a crust if you do not stir while it cools. No biggie, really. It is nicer without the crust when first using the salve. You can add a few drops of an essential oil you find helpful into the jar and tin at this stage. Never add essential oils while the oils are warming or while blending into the beeswax. Some have a low flashpoint and/or can lose their properties if exposed to higher temps. When it is creamy, (it takes a minute or two), let set up on its own. Label and you are done!
Apply to areas that are sore, achy, painful, etc. Do not put on open wounds.
*Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor or claim to be one. This recipe is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice. Always see your favorite Medical, Voodoo, Hoodoo or Witch Doctor/Practitioner, Old Man Tree, Mr. Toad, etc., when you are sick, broken or having a bad day. Always research something on your own. I claim no responsibility nor can be held accountable for any reactions and/or any other undesirable results one may have if they follow and use this recipe, including zits, warts, smelling funny, and so on.
Yes, my fancy "labels" are made of a snip of 1/2" masking tape. Most fancy labels are hard to get off the jars and tins. The tape is easy to remove when the jar is emptied. I use 4 oz canning jars and the plastic lids you can get for them. They are easy to clean and reuse over and over again.
I will post other recipes later.
Why did I make this salve? Himself either cracked or broke another rib. "They" cannot do anything for it. Wrapping is not easy. Most wraps are not wide enough for him. He is in good shape, but a big man. Most wraps are meant for tiny people. If it rolls up, it is like a rubber band on one's chest. Ow. The wraps do not do much good any way.
I love salves. They are easy and fun to make. I usually switch out at least half of the olive oil-base for more nourishing, less greasy, oils that tend to absorb into the skin without one feeling like an oil slick or had been slimed by a snail. My favorites are apricot kernel oil, grapeseed oil and coconut oil. I sometimes add a little jojoba oil. Jojoba oil is fantastic, but hard to find at a decent price lately.
Instead of that pain med merry-go-round, (we cannot afford the new, doubled rates for seeing a doc anyway), he opted for ibuprofen, a heating pad and one of my salves from my recent potion-making sessions. But.... I had only one that was for mild scrapes, light pain and soreness. It would not do. This salve does the job for us.
Have fun!, or not...