Ointments work great on cuts, abrasions, wounds and other forms of skin irritation. You can easily make your own salve with a few basic ingredients and ensure that you have supplies on hand during a SHTF situation when pharmacies may be closed. All you need is some olive oil and calendula along with natural beeswax to provide a stable, antiseptic mixture that is safe for the whole family. However, you can also add a variety of other herbals that have known healing properties to the mix as well.
Calendula is the primary ingredient that provides the antiseptic and healing properties in the medicine. The beeswax will act as an adhesive bonding agent that will help the ointment to stick to the skin. The olive oil helps to keep the mixture moist while also absorbing and distributing the calendula. As long as you have these three ingredients, and they are properly mixed, you have a basic medicine that can be used for almost any wound or skin problem.
The first step is to mix the calendula with the olive oil. You can purchase calendula extract, powder or obtain fresh flowers. Some recommend that you use the whole flowers and soak them in a jar of olive oil for a couple of weeks until they are fully infused. This method will give you maximum potency while also incorporating other elements of the plant into the mixture that are healthy as well. Extracts contain the bare essential ingredients, but they have already been processed beforehand, so some think this may impact potency to a small degree.
On the other hand, using extract is the fastest way to make the ointment since it doesn’t need to take much time to infuse with the oil. The powdered form of calendula should break down in the oil rather quickly, but you should let it sit for a few days prior to making the ointment. Keep these differences in mind as you plan ahead so that you allow yourself enough time.
Mixing the Ingredients
Set up a double boiler or place a glass measuring cup into a pot that has an inch of water in it. Bring to a simmer. Add two teaspoons of beeswax per cup of infused oil into the dry pot and allow it to soften while stirring the mixture. If you are using other ingredients in your olive oil mixture, or whole calendula flowers, make sure that you strain the oil prior to mixing it with the wax. You also don’t want to cook the mixture, rather just keep it heated enough that it liquefies and has the consistency of motor oil. It will harden a bit once it cools. If you think the mixture is too runny, you can always add more beeswax. If it is too solid, then heat again and add some more oil.
Once the mixture cools enough to be touched without scalding the skin, you can pack it in containers of your choice. Just make sure that the lids provide a tight seal so that air doesn’t get in or the medicine leaks out. You can also place a cotton ball on top of the ointment before placing a lid on it as well.
Other herbs and ingredients to consider adding include Aloe Vera, Vitamin E, Chamomile, Clove extract, Echinacia, Myrrh and even Lavender. Vitamin E is great for skin health, Aloe is one of the best medicinal plants on the planet and Clove extract has a strong pain-killing property. However, adding any herbs will alter the taste and smell of the finished product, which may not be to everyone’s liking.
Take some time to learn more about various herbal additives and do some experimentation until you find the ingredients that work best for you. But, the basic recipe is all that you need in order to create a healthy and natural supply of ointment that has a long shelf-life. The only drawback is that it doesn’t have a lot of the antibiotic properties that commercial products contain. However, this mixture will promote healing while also creating a barrier of protection against infection and contamination.