Gardeners Hand Salve Recipe

Gardeners Hand Salve Recipe

Gardening- Cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes! – Author Unknown

There are so many benefits to gardening besides just the fresh produce. Gardeners are known to live longer and I know many elderly people who still spend hours gardening each week… in their 90s!

It might be the abundance of Vitamin D, or the beneficial organisms present in the soil, the exercise or even just the time in nature… but gardening certainly has its benefits.

I prefer not to wear gloves when I garden so that I can feel the plants and the soil. I feel comfortable doing this since we use organic pest control and fertilizer options, but sometimes it can leave my hands dry or cracked.

What is a Salve?

A salve is a nourishing, oil-based ointment that is often infused with beneficial herbs and plants to speed healing.

I use salves often for various purposes. From my all-purpose healing salve, to the cracked heel salve I made for my hubby, the black salve we use to draw out splinters and even the pregnancy salve that helped me avoid stretch marks…. salves are a mainstay in my natural medicine cabinet.

Gardeners Hand Salve Recipe

This particular salve contains many soothing herbs that help nourish dry skin and quickly heal any small cuts from gardening. It also leaves hands silky and soft, even if you aren’t a gardener. The dark green color of this salve comes from the many herbs that are infused into the oils and it has a delicious earthy and medicinal scent.

I prefer to make salves with dried herbs, as this reduces the chance of spoilage since no water is introduced to the oils from the leaves of the plants. Salves can also be made with essential oils, but I’ve found that this infused version is more effective and less likely to sting eyes if you accidentally rub them. It is also much less expensive than an essential oil version.

Herbs to Use

Any herbs can be used in this recipe, but I used these:

Before You Begin: Infuse the Herbs Into the Oil

This is an important step for making this salve effective. It takes a while, and there are two ways to infuse the herbs, depending on how much time you have.

Option 1: One Day Option

If you want to make your salve quickly and don’t want to wait weeks for the herbs to infuse, you can speed up the process in a double boiler.

To do this, place 1 cup of olive oil in the top part of a double boiler. Add 1 inch of water to the bottom and turn on medium heat. Bring up to a simmer and reduce to low. Simmer for 3-4 hours or until the oil has turned very dark green.

Strain the herbs out of the oil using cheesecloth and keep the oil in a clean, air-tight container.

Option 2: Longer Option

If you have the time and patience, place the herbs and 1 cup of olive oil into a pint-size glass mason jar and add an air-tight lid. Leave for at least 3 weeks to give the herbs time to infuse. If it is warm enough, this mixture can be left in the sun to create a solar infused oil.

Strain the herbs out of the oil using cheesecloth and keep the oil in a clean, air-tight container.

Gardeners Salve Ingredients

Hand Salve Instructions

  1. Melt the beeswax, shea butter and herb-infused oil in a double boiler until melted.
  2. Remove from heat and add the lavender essential oil, if using.
  3. Quickly and carefully pour into a small glass jar or appropriate size tin.
  4. Store in a cool, dry place and use as needed. Store in a place cool enough that it won’t melt and re-harden. I keep in my pantry.
  5. Use as needed after gardening or anytime your hands are dry.

Do garden? Ever used a salve to help cracked hands? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. For the one day option, it does not say to add herbs. I assume that they are added to the oil at the beginning of the process.

    • No, always add herbs/spices after you have heated the oil up enough for infusion. Once the oil is hot enough, then remove from heat and toss them in. Now you are infusing!!

      • I disagree. You want the oils to infuse IN the oil over a long period of time. If you heat the oil and then place the herbs in after, it will cool too quickly to have much benefit. You warm the herbs and oil together, gently. I often will preheat my oven to 250, and while it’s warming up, I put my herbs and carrier oil in an oven safe container. I mix them a bit and once the oven is preheated, I place the container inside and TURN OFF THE OVEN. Do not open for 4-5 hours. They are now gently warmed and infused. Somwtimes, I repeat the process. For Arnica, I heat oven to 300 and then after I turn it off, don’t open the oven for 6 hours. I usually repeat, sometimes a couple times, sometimes with fresh herbs for a double strength oil. Regardless, you want to warm the herbs with the oil. 🙂

  2. I’m very instiered in home remedies in dry skin, stretch marks, mouthwash, anything made from the proudest in my home and safe a little money Im instead in. Thank You for time look forward to your information.

  3. I am just wondering where you get all the ingredients?

    • I just bought all the ingredients today from my local health/natural food store – a real one not one in a mall. They were really cheap – about $10 for the whole lot and there’s enough for making this recipe 20 times over. Have already infused the herbs into the oil. What a great idea this is.

  4. I’m making the body whipped soap but it’s not as fluffy as the picture all ingredients are right but it’s not fluffy

  5. What kind of oil did you use?

  6. Why do you start with 1 cup of olive oil, but only use 1/2 cup in the recipe? Does it reduce while it is infusing?

    Also, how much does this make? What size jar do I need to store this recipe?

    • It does reduce while infusing, as some sticks to the herb. I also keep any remaining amount to make a healing lip balm. I store in 4 ounce tins and it makes several.