Growing a Salve Garden

dandelion flower salve

Growing a salve garden is a funeasy and inexpensive way to have the herbs on hand for making salves for your family's needs. It is so fulfilling to stock up your herbal apothecary all summer with salves you have grown and made with your own two hands. 


An added bonus is many of the healing plants to create salves are growing in your yard as weeds, plantain, dandelion and wild violets.



So what is a salve, and what is it used for? A salve is a healing herbal product made with simple ingredients: oil infused with healing herbs of your choice, beeswax, and perhaps some essential oils. Depending on the herbs used, these salves can help alleviate headaches, soothe burns and bug bites, help with joint pain, calm eczema and much more.   


Over the years, I have formulated over fifty salves and plan to make many more. A well-stocked family salve collection should include at least five salves. Salves are easy to make and have a long shelf life using the correct oil bases. 


 A salve garden should have at least four to six plants that can be grown in pots on windowsills or on a patio to full-sized gardens. Most of the suggested herbs are easy to grow and are very forgiving. Add some earth, sun and water, and your garden will blossom. 


One of the bonuses of salve gardens is you can use multi-purposed herbs. For example, you can use them as flavourings in your food, infused oils for cooking or massage oils, salves, cough syrups and tinctures. That is a whole lot of functions for so little effort and space!


I have recommended five herbs that would be great for a salve garden. These herbs are easy to find and grow; many will regrow next year or re-seed themselves. See below


Check out the SALVES & BALM courses available at our Here on Earth Academy

You will learn how to make infused oils, salves, and balms, what herbs for what functions,  and the many formulations available to make.


(c) Wendy Murdoch    


Lavender is so easy to grow and comes up year after year.  Made in a salve it is so soothing for burns especially sunburns and helps take the sting out of bug bites.

Peppermint salve rubbed on the temples is an effective remedy for headaches.  Also  use for gas & bloating, rub salve on your belly in anti-clockwise motions.  Good as a chest rub for colds.


NOTE:  only use infused peppermint oil NOT peppermint essential oils for children 


Rosemary has a deep pungent smell and is considered an antimicrobial (used against virus and bacteria) making it a powerful antiseptic salve for preventing or treating infected scrapes and cuts.  Especially effective if thyme and oregano are added

Thyme is an easy herb to grow and makes an excellent antiseptic salve for all of your cuts, and scrapes.  As mentioned before add some rosemary for some additional punch!

Calendula is an all purpose salve for many general skin problems.  It is handy to have around for the little bumps and scrapes of life with children in particular.  The flowers can also be eaten in salads.

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