Wounds

A Healing Herbal Balm


Herbs used:

  • Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
  • Plantain (Plantago major)

This sweet-smelling balm soothes and protects cuts and scrapes. And it’s so gentle you can even use it on diaper rash. Calendula and plantain are known for their ability to speed skin healing. Both soften skin, relieve pain, and are antibacterial.

First make an herb-infused oil. In a large glass jar, combine the following:

  • 2 tablespoons crushed Calendula flowers
  • 2 tablespoons dried Plantain leaves
  • 1/3 c of extra-virgin olive oil

Leave uncovered, and place in a pan filled with enough water to cover the lower half of the jar. Set the burner on very low heat and simmer gently for about 4 hours. Check the oil periodically to be sure it’s not scorching; don’t let it boil. (You can also make the infused oil in a Crock-Pot set on very low without a lid.) After the allotted time, remove the oil from the heat and allow it to cool completely. Strain away the herbs through several layers of cheesecloth and discard.

To make the balm, combine the following:

  • The oil you just infused
  • 1 or 2 tablespoon of grated beeswax

Put it into a small stainless steel bowl; set the bowl into a pot of water and heat just until the beeswax melts, stirring gently to help the melting. To test the consistency, insert a cool metal spoon into the balm and check the balm that sticks to the spoon; it should be spreadable but firm. If it’s too oily, add another few shavings of beeswax.

At this point, you can add a natural preservative to your balm to prevent spoilage. Vitamin E, squeezed from capsules, works very well. Rosemary extracts or oil might improve the aroma and antiseptic properties as well. You’ll need about 1/4 tsp. (two capsules) to preserve this much balm. After you’ve blended in the vitamin E, transfer your final product to a sterile glass jar. Use a clean spoon or small spatula to transfer the balm to avoid introducing bacteria to the jar.

How to use it:

Apply the balm to rashes, scrapes, and other small or superficial abrasions (don’t use it on deep cuts). You can also apply it regularly to help heal chronically chapped skin. Stored in a cool, dark place, the balm should keep for up to a year. Discard if it smells rancid.

A Soothing Wash

149536-425x282-elm-tree

The bark from the most common European elm, Ulnus procera, can be used medicinally. A decoction, made by boiling 1 oz fresh, inner bark in 1 1/4 pints water until reduced by half, is an astringent, soothing wash for wounds, skin problems and for dandruff.

The fresh, bruised leaves can also be used as a healing poultice for wounds or infused and used as a rinse for scurfy skin and dandruff.

From: The Complete Book of Herbs and Spices
For information on individual herbs visit: The Encyclopedia of Herbology

Three Simple Poultices

leo-poultice-8

Herbal poultices, generally made from the bruised, fresh leaves of special herbs, are frequently mixed with Slippery Elm and boiling water sufficient to give the mass consistency. Slippery Elm poultices are sticky, so enclose in a clean cloth before applying to open wounds and poisoned abscesses.

In old gangrenous wounds, an excellent antiseptic poultice is prepared by mixing with warm water or an infusion of Wormwood, equal parts of Slippery Elm powder and very fine charcoal and applying immediately over the part.

A very valuable poultice in cases where it is desirable to hasten suppuration or arrest the tendency to gangrene is made by mixing the Slippery Elm powder with brewer’s yeast and new milk.

Compound Bran poultice is made by mixing with hot vinegar equal quantities of wheaten Bran with Slippery Elm powder. This is an excellent poultice for severe rheumatic and gouty affections, particularly of the joints, synovitis etc.

Source: A Modern Herbal
For information on individual herbs visit: The Encyclopedia of Herbology

A Healing Salve

ankle-second-claypackThe Red Indians have long used this viscous inner bark to prepare a healing salve, and in herbal medicine a Slippery Elm bark powder is considered one of the best possible poultices for wounds, boils, ulcers, burns and all inflamed surfaces, soothing, healing and reducing pain and inflammation.

It is made as follows:

Mix the powdered bark with hot water to form the required consistency, spread smoothly upon soft cotton cloth and apply over the parts affected. It is unfailing in cases of suppurations, abscesses, wounds of all kinds, congestion, eruptions, swollen glands, etc.

In simple inflammation, it may be applied directly over the part affected; to abscesses and old wounds, it should be placed between cloths. If applied to parts of the body where there is hair, the face of the poultice should be smeared with olive oil before applying.

Source: A Modern Herbal
For information on individual herbs visit: The Encyclopedia of Herbology

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