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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