harvest to healing

Busy morning in the kitchen teaching a friend how to make tinctures, salves, and herbal vinegars.  We made Yarrow Tincture (for colds and coughs in the winter), Lemon Balm (for upset tummys and anxiety), Purple Basil Vinegar, and healing salve.

Healing Salve:

Cover herbs in oil (I never measure - I use what I have and cover it making sure to cut up any fresh herbs.  This salve has yarrow, plantain, calendula, lavender, and comfrey covered and rendered for 2 hours) 

Render herbs in oil on very low heat for at least 2 hours. Stir occasionally and ensure all the herbs stay under the oil while it draws. (I like to allow mine to steep for 4-6 hours if possible ensuring the oil does not burn)

Allow the oil to cool and strain through a cheese cloth - measure the amount of oil you made - I strain my oil directly into a measuring cup

While oil cools bring a double broiler of water to a low boil. (I did not know what a double boiler was the first time I heard the term - it is two pots stacked.  The bottom pot has water in it that comes to a boil and the inner pot is used for cooking).

Add the oil to the inner pan (you want to make sure there is no water bubbling or splashing into the inner pan.)

Once the water is boiling add the oil and begin heating it back up.  Also add 4 tbsp of beesbax beads for every 1 cup of oil.

Allow the beeswax to melt and mix with the oil stirring constantly.

Pour into airtight containers.  (You can add oils when you pour it if you wish - be sure to use oil that are safe for skin contact)

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