It’s easy to head to the store and pick up a bottle of over the counter headache relief medication, but this isn’t the healthiest option. While there’s really nothing wrong with using these products occasionally, and they are an important part of any medicine cabinet, there are many natural alternatives that are just as effective and much gentler on the body. One remedy that seems to work really well uses peppermint and pine. Look at the recipe below and see how easy it is to make your own batch in a few easy steps.
2/3 cup of sunflower or olive oil
½ ounce of beeswax
2 tablespoons of dried mint leaves
2 tablespoons of crushed pine needles
25 or so drops of natural peppermint essential oil
The first step is to make an infusion with the mint, pine needles and the oil. The best way, which is also the longest, is to mix the ingredients and place them in a mason jar, cover it, and let it sit in a cool and dark place for around a month. This will allow the special oils found in the ingredients to be drawn out naturally, and this can have a huge impact on the potency and quality of the finished product. If you have the time, it’s always better to make infusions the slow way.
However, you can still produce a quality and potentially-effective salve by infusing the ingredients over the stove. Simply place the items into a small saucepan, bring to a gentle simmer, stir occasionally, and let it cook for a few hours. In any case, once the infusion is finished, all you need to do is strain the liquid from the solids before discarding the material.
Preparing the Remedy
Once the oil has been strained, place it in a glass bowl, measuring cup or double boiler. Place it on a saucepan or larger pot, add about ¼ to ½ inch of water and bring to a low simmer. Add the beeswax and allow it to gently melt. Stir occasionally until the ingredients have been thoroughly blended. You want to keep the simmer low to prevent scorching and to limit the amount of nutrients that are cooked off during the process.
Once the wax has melted and you have a homogeneous mixture, remove from heat and let rest for a minute or so. Add in the peppermint essential oil and stir again. The salve will start to thicken pretty quickly as it starts to cool, so it’s important to be ready to pour the liquid into the storage containers when you finish preparing the product.
Carefully pour the liquid into small mason jars or appropriate containers and cover with some fabric, cheesecloth or paper towels until the salve cools and solidifies. Once cool, attach the lids, label and date the containers and store them in a cool and dry place. These can keep for up to a year if they are sealed properly.
To use the remedy, simply apply some of the salve to your temples, forehead or neck and gently massage it into the skin. Allow it to rest for about 30 minutes before rinsing. This won’t work on every headache, but a lot of people have experienced relief. Try it for yourself and see if it works for you. If not, there are plenty of other salve remedies to try until you find the best one. Salves are some of the best remedies out there, and they give many over the counter pain relievers a run for their money.