the herbal essentials

Apothecary Lesson #1: Herbal Salve

     Well, it was bound to happen at some point. Hello everybody, my name is Davide, and today, I’m going to teach you guys how to make a salve. Basically, a salve is an oil and wax mixture that people can use for a bunch of different reasons, ranging from dry skin to muscle rubs. They’re easy to make, if you’re patient, and their variability makes for endless possibilities. Just as a warning though, this will take a goddamn long time to make, and for you to read, so I suggest getting some tea and snackilackage before starting to read. Got it? Good, ¡vamos!


Part One: The Oil

     A key component of your salve is the oil, or more specifically, the herbs in said oil. There’s a plethora of different oils you could in your salve, but for this recipe, we’re using olive oil because it’s fairly hardy and difficult to burn. When it comes to what you should or could put in your oil, there’s waaaaaay too many things for me to mention, so I’ll give a basic rundown: 

  • Mint, Anise, Cinnamon, and Comfrey are good for muscle rubs
  • Calendula, Chamomile, Aloe, and Tea Tree Oil are good for skin
  • Ginger and Turmeric are good as arthritis pain relievers
  • Echinacea, Eucalyptus, and Hibiscus are antibacterial and are good for minor scrapes, cuts and bruises

Now that you’ve got an idea of some herbs to use, let’s get to how to make your oil 

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. Olive oil
  • 3-4 oz. dried and/or ground herbs

Utensils:

  • Double-boiler set up (can be a double-boiler, or a glass container in a saucepan filled with about 1″ of water) 
  • dark-tinted jar w/ label for holding your finished oil

Instructions:

  1. Into your double-boiler (the part without the water…duh), pour in your olive oil and herbs. 
  2. Set your stove/heating receptacle to low heat, placing double-boiler on heat. 
  3. Infuse oils for 1-2 hours (one hour for minimum infusion amount, two hours for maximum infusion amount before oil goes rancid) 
  4. Once oil is done, pour into your dark-tinted jar, and label accordingly
  5. Voila! You have yourself some bonafide herbal oil for the next part of your salve!

Part Two: The Salve

     Alright, now we’re getting to the good stuff–the salve. For this, you’re going to need 2 ingredients (three ingredients is optional, four is overkill): beeswax and your herbal oil. Without further ado, let’s get this over with! :D 

Ingredients:

  • 1 oz. Beeswax
  • 8 oz. Herbal Oil 
  • *Optional*: ¼ tsp. essential oil
  • *Optional*: the tears and/or blood of your enemies

Utensils:

  • Double-boiler system
  • Containers to hold your salve (the total amount of salve being made is approximately 9 oz., so for the containers, try to prioritize. Like, if you want three different jars of salves, use three 3 oz. jars. Math n’ shit)

Instructions:

  1. Set your stove to medium-low heat
  2. Into your double-boiler, melt your wax
  3. Once the wax has melted–it’s imperative that your wax has to be completely melted before adding the oil–add your herbal oil. 
  4. Stir fully (it’s not weird to see the wax immediately harden once you add the herbal oil, so wait until it fully re-melts)
  5. Once salve is all liquid, pour into your container(s). Do not cover your containers before they harden.
  6. Once salve has cooled at room temperature, it’s ready to use! Store in a cool, dry place. Apply to problem areas, or just lather it all over your body and have really weird sex (You do you boo boo)

Thanks for reading you guys! I’d enjoy a reblog, a reshare, or if you hated it, a strongly worded message to me and probably a few images of you flipping the bird. Have an amazing day/afternoon/night/time-between-night-and-morning

Artsy Witch Tip ~✰
  • Mix ground herbs, cascarilla powder, salts, essential oils, etc. into paint to give any artwork or painting a magickal correspondence.
  • Maybe you'd like to give a friend an artistic gift with calming properties, or create a painting for banishing to hang on a door to repel negativity ~ there are so many possibilities, and paint magick would also work well for secret witches! Some materials(such as salt) can even give you an interesting paint texture

Eucalyptus Vapor Rub Balm

Here’s a natural alternative to relieving colds, coughs, and flus! After making this, you’re going to want to toss that Vicks in the trash! This balm can be made many ways with other EOs to assist with the healing process of suffering from a cold, but the main ingredient that helps open up the sinuses and steer clear of bacteria is Eucalyptus!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon Beeswax (candelilla wax for vegan alternative)
  • 3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (or any other Oil)
  • 1 Tablespoon Shea Butter (or any other butter)
  • ½ Tablespoon Eucalyptus Essential Oil (depending on quality)

Everyone prefers different consistencies and depending on the temperature in your home, you may need to play around with the portion of the oils and wax.

How to make it:

Begin by adding all the ingredients into a double boiler. To do this, simply place a pan(with a little water in it), on the stove and add a pot, bowl or mug into the pan. With the stove on medium heat, start by adding the wax first (since it takes the longest to melt) into your bowl, then add Shea Butter, and then the oils. Stir until all ingredients are completely mixed and melted. Turn heat off, pour into containers and let cool! That’s it!

How to use it:

I like to wear this balm on my chest and rub onto my nostrils before bed. It can be worn during the day but be careful and be sure to wash your hands before touching your mouth or eyes after use.

About Eucalyptus:

Eucalyptus is widely known to be used for respiratory complaints, coughs, arthritic aches and pains because of it’s antiseptic, antibiotic, and expectorant properties. This oil forms Ozone, which specifically destroys bacteria, fungi, and viruses. An infusion can be made with leaves and taken internally to acute stages of chronic coughs, colds, and flus. Most commonly, the oil is rubbed directly on the chest or back for all respiratory problems. It can also be similarly rubbed as a liniment for the relief of arthritis and rheumatic pains.

-Jacqueline, the Plant Lady.

Third Eye anointing oil

Use this oil to open up your third eye during meditation, divination and shadow work practices to allow greater intuition and increased psychic ability :)

- A carrier oil such as Grape seed or Almond oil

- Rosemary sprigs to recall past lives

- Lavender flowers to sharpen the mind

- Rose essential oil to increase psychic ability

- Frankincense essential oil to increase psychic ability

- Lotus essential oil for opening the third eye and assisting with self development

In a small jar sprinkle lavender flowers and arrange some rosemary sprigs. Cover with your carrier oil and add several drops of each essential oil. How much to use depends on how much you want to make and how big your jar is. I just went with whatever felt right.

Also keep in mind that essential oils can be toxic if applied directly to the skin, so try to keep a healthy ratio going with your carrier oil to dilute the essential oils.

Leave out in the moon light over night if you want to imbue some moon energy to your mixture otherwise just apply to your third eye and meditate away!

Essential Oils Masterpost (part 1)

This is part one in my series of essential oils. Here, I talk about the basic essential oil starter kit and crucial things to know before you get started working with oils. If you have any questions or requests, please don’t hesitate to message me.

To see essential oil recipes in part two, click here.

How to get started
If you want to start using essential oils, but don’t know where to start, the following oils blend well and can be used for a wide variety of things ad makes a great starter kit:
Lavender
Roman Chamomile
Citrus oil (choose lemon, lime, grapefruit, orange, lemongrass)
Cinnamon
Peppermint

If you’re doing aromatherapy for pain relief, as well as the ones above you should check out these oils:
Black pepper (warming, stimulates blood flow and lymphatic system
Clove (warming, natural anaesthetic)
Garlic
Allspice
Parsley
Marjoram
Spanish sage (great for circulation)
Violet

You should also pick up some carrier oils:
Coconut oil - antibacterial, highly moisturising, good for massage, but can cause break outs on acne prone skin, quite costly
Olive oil - moisturising, affordable, great for skin, doesn’t clog pores
Jojoba oil - moisturising, great for sensitive skin, soothes skin problems (psoriasis, eczema, sun burn, acne) buy hard to find and can be expensive
Vitamin e oil - makes excellent addition to other carrier oils, amazing for skin problems, speeds up healing and leaves skin silky soft, but very sticky on own and a little pricey.

If you want to diffuse oils, it’s worth investing in either and oil burner (x) or oil diffuser (x). Be careful because some oils can be poisonous, so always research your oil before using. If you have asthma the diffuser can cause breathing problems and even trigger an attack so please avoid.

And finally, get yourself a good reference book. I recommend wholeheartedly ‘The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy and Herbalism’ by Julia Lawless. It’s available very cheaply on amazon (x).

Things to be aware of

  • Unless you know what you’re doing, you should never use oils neat, even the gentle ones like lavender oil. You can put yourself at risk of sensitization – when your skin develops a sensitivity to certain oils, so you won’t be able to use oils again.
  • Always research each oil thoroughly before using. Just because oils come from a natural source doesn’t mean they can’t be harmful or even deadly if misused.
  • You need to be aware of oils that can cause skin irritation or sensitivity: allspice, anise, bay Laurel, benzoin, black pepper, cassia, catnip, cinnamon (bark or leaf), citronella, clove, dalmation sage, fennel, fir, lemongrass, may chang, melissa, oakmoss, oregano, parsley, Peru basalm, spruce, tagetes, thyme.
  • Test drop of diluted oil on the patch of skin behind ear and wait 24 hours. If no irritation occurs, you can use the oil. Always know the risks of each oil and take proper caution to dilute appropriately.
  • As always, pregnant people should avoid use of essential oils, unless they’re recommended by a professional. Do not use essential oils on babies and children under 7. For children use a lower concentration of oils.
  • If you get any essential oils in your eye, do not rinse with water. Oils don’t dissolve in water so it won’t get rid of it effectively. Rinse with olive oil and then put some warm water in an egg cup, hold to eye and blink into it. Repeat until oil has gone. Seek medical advice as soon as possible.
  • Essential oils should always be kept in a glass container away from direct light as they can erode plastics and discolour over time.
  • Real sandalwood is extremely endangered so it’s very expensive and unethical to buy. You can get Amaris sandalwood, but it’s not real sandalwood, smells crappy and has none of the benefits. Do yourself and the earth a favour and don’t use sandalwood.
  • Pure rose oils are very expensive for a small amount. Rose absolute is cheaper, but is almost always diluted in liquid coconut oil. This is okay because it still smells amazing and has great benefits, plus it stops you accidentally using too much.
  • Don’t buy cinnamon leaf (unless you want it for specific benefits) instead of cinnamon bark oil because it’s cheaper. It smells weak and has none of the benefits that cinnamon bark has.
  • When massaging, you should always direct the flow of massage towards the lymph nodes. Look at this chart to see where the major lymph nodes are.
  • You can consume some oils (like peppermint and lemon), providing they are medical/food grade and in small amounts. Organic oils are usually safe to consume because they have no poisonous pesticides on them.  Research each oil thoroughly before consuming.
  • If you’re allergic to the plant, you will most likely be allergic to the oil.
Powerful Rosemary

A powerful healer that brings clarity! 

According to folklore Rosemary originally had white flowers; until however, they turned red after the Virgin Mary laid her cloak on the brush. Since the time of ancient Greece (1000 B.C.) Rosemary was burned as incense. Later cultures believed it warded off Devils, a practice that eventually became adopted by the sick, who then burned Rosemary to protect against infection. Rosemary may also be added to smudge sticks. 

Medicinal properties of Rosemary:

  • Liver-protecting
  • Antitumoral
  • anti-fungal
  • antibacterial
  • antiseptic
  • anti-parasitic
  • enhances mental clarity/concentration

Studies have found that Rosemary increases memory by 75%, when inhaled. Try “Young Living” Rosemary essential oil daily to help increase mental clarity, memory, and concentration. 

Rosemary also aids in recovery from long term stress and chronic illness. It is thought to stimulate the adrenal glands and used specifically for debility

Rosemary is an invaluable herb that raises the spirits! 

Herbal Headache Soothing Salve

Ingredients

½ oz beeswax * See bottom of post for info on vegan substitutions

4 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsps castor oil 

1 Tbsps magnesium oil

20 drops peppermint essential oil

10 drops lavender essential oil

10 drops citrus essential oil 

Instructions:

  1. Measure out extra virgin olive oil and set aside
  2. Weigh out about ½ oz of beeswax. (or vegan substitution see below) If you prefer a softer salve in general, use a bit less. If your beeswax (or sub) is in a bar and not pastilles, shred or shave so that it will melt easier.
  3. Place beeswax and carrier olive oil in a double boiler and melt. Use low heat to preserve integrity of the oil. If you do not have a double boiler or don’t feel like scraping the beeswax out of it later, simply place ingredients in a mason jar and hold over a pan filled with water.
  4. Remove from heat and add magnesium, castor and essential oils. Whip quickly with a fork and pour directly into a small glass jar or tin. Experiment with different size jars so that you have some for your home, and some smaller ones to slip in your pocket for on-the-go.
  5. Place the jar in the refrigerator or freezer to set. Remove when hardened (likely no more than 30 minutes). Apply to forehead, temples, neck, shoulders or wherever may need some cooling tension relief.

You can use Carnauba or Candilla wax as substitutes for beeswax in this recipe. 

The substitution ratio for both alternatives is: ½ oz per 1 oz beeswax (simply use half of whatever amount of beeswax is asked for).

                             Beeswax                 Carnauba Wax       Candelilla Wax
Melting Point            143.6-149 F            181.4 ºF                 155 - 165º F

Candelilla wax tends to be a bit more greasy than carnuaba wax so keep that in mind when making substitution decisions.

Fun and Easy Body Sigils

with opal-and-sage

-Write sigils on points of your body where your pulse can be felt- use your own heartbeat to charge your sigils!

-Use roll on perfume (or body-safe essential oils and a paintbrush) to paint sigils onto your skin (Hint: use herbs and scents that reflect your intent, such as rose oil for love, or lavender for calmness)

-Paint sigils on your body with body-safe paint or facepaint in colors that match your intent (yellow for happiness, ect.)

Sage

Sage’s Botanical Name is a clue to it’s medicinal importance. Salvia comes from salvare, meaning “to cure” in Latin. A medieval saying echoes this: Why should a man die while sage grows in his garden? Today Sage is an excellent remedy for sore throats, poor digestion, and irregular menstruation

Sage’s Key actions:

  • Astringent 
  • Antiseptic
  • Clears Mucous
  • Estrogenic
  • Reduces sweating 

Laboratory studies suggest that Sage may be useful in helping slow the onset of Alzheimers

Fresh Sage leaves may be used as a first aid remedy by rubbing them on stings or bites. 

Sage Tincture may be used for digestion, take 2 ml with water twice daily. 

Sage Essential oil may be useful in relieving menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and dizziness

Dried sage is very useful when smudging to removing negative energy from the home, also an ancient practice used for healing and energy clearing in  a way of using the smoke from burning herbs as a way to cleanse the body, an object, or a given area of negative influences