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Using tinctures in a salve

 
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Hi all,

I'm hoping someone can help me out here, because my Google-fu has failed me miserably.  My father broke his back in four places recently (!)--he's going to be fine, no paralysis or damage to the spinal cord or neck, thank gods--and I'd like to make him a good bone-healing salve to apply to the area.  I already have comfrey to make a base oil, and I also have a tincture of boneset that I'd like to add, for obvious reasons.  But the tincture is alcohol, which I'm guessing will not incorporate well.  Any suggestions for how I should go about adding the tincture?  Or would it be better to just go and get some dried boneset herb and make an oil infusion to add instead?

All help appreciated--thanks!

Robyn M.
 
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Yes, it should work. If you incorporate it right (mix thoroughly), it should be fine.

Recipe for a salve made from tincture:


Medicinal Salve Recipe:

75 – 80ml infused oil
10g beeswax
10ml tincture
2 – 5 ml essential oil

Method: ....

http://whisperingearth.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/how-to-make-salves-ointments-and-balms/



Other:
http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/17636-adding-your-tinctures-to-your-salves

http://www.liferesearchuniversal.com/nature2.html
 
                                
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What's the alcohol percentage? If it is 95% alcohol, then it is not a problem to add some to a wax or oil base. If it's more, you can risk growing botulism when you add it to the oil or wax, since the droplets will be sealed from air. It shouldn't matter too much for a salve, but you would have to be careful that the person had no cuts or scratches where the salve was applied; otherwise, they might get wound botulism. Personally, I would warm macerate the herb in oil, strain, and use that. I have found that a rice cooker on warm is great for doing that. Just be sure to keep inside condensation wiped off or leave the lid off. A lidded jar in the sun works good this time of year too.
 
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jedimomma Hatfield wrote:Hi all,

I'm hoping someone can help me out here, because my Google-fu has failed me miserably.  My father broke his back in four places recently (!)--he's going to be fine, no paralysis or damage to the spinal cord or neck, thank gods--and I'd like to make him a good bone-healing salve to apply to the area.  I already have comfrey to make a base oil, and I also have a tincture of boneset that I'd like to add, for obvious reasons.  But the tincture is alcohol, which I'm guessing will not incorporate well.  Any suggestions for how I should go about adding the tincture?  Or would it be better to just go and get some dried boneset herb and make an oil infusion to add instead?

All help appreciated--thanks!

Robyn M.



Boneset and comfrey externally will do nothing for broken bones. If you want to give him herbs to heal faster, consider arnica salve externally and nettles and borrage internally as tea (one handful of herbs per liter). Add some peppermint to make it taste good. The nettles and borrage contain a wide spectrum of vitamins, minerals and protein in readily assimilable form. Additionally the nettles contains soluble silica which is incorporated into the collagen matrix of healing tissues and makes them stronger and more flexible.
 
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Paracelsus McCoy wrote:What's the alcohol percentage? If it is 95% alcohol, then it is not a problem to add some to a wax or oil base. If it's more, you can risk growing botulism when you add it to the oil or wax, since the droplets will be sealed from air. It shouldn't matter too much for a salve, but you would have to be careful that the person had no cuts or scratches where the salve was applied; otherwise, they might get wound botulism. Personally, I would warm macerate the herb in oil, strain, and use that. I have found that a rice cooker on warm is great for doing that. Just be sure to keep inside condensation wiped off or leave the lid off. A lidded jar in the sun works good this time of year too.



Could you please (or someone) explain a bit more about the risk of botulism in tincture-salve? Are you saying that if the alcohol percentage is ABOVE %95 percent you could get botulism? It seems to me that the addition of a high-potency alcohol, or a tincture rather than an oil infusion, would lower your risk of botulism. Isn't that bacteria coming from the plants themselves? It is my understanding that oil infusions could potentially harbor this because of the of the plant material already having it and then it getting transferred to the oil (so by that logic then all oil infusions are at a slight risk)...but a tincture? Alcohol doesn't just kill it?
I am getting ready to produce a salve that we are selling, so I'd like to make sure that I know a bit about these risks.
 
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I usually make base salves and add tinctures or ess. oils in later. I am always wanting to tweak a base salve for a patient or myself, so I add it as I need it. I add the tincture until it becomes a consitancy that is still thick enough but I know will become too thin if I continue. This has always been enough for my uses. I can get quite a bit in there as I simple keep stirring until it incorporates. If it sits around, it can come out of solutioin to some degree but generally since it has been made up for a particular situation it gets used quickly and this in not an issue.

Selling a product is entirely different. Now you are talking about having to check for shelf life as you need to have a pull date on it and keep product that you have tested for shelf life to prove your pull date. I would stick to adding essential oils which if they come out of solutioin will not cause an issue over time.
 
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Thank you that this info is here!  Am somewhat new to making salves. I have all this pig lard from my pigs and am finally using it. My goal is local business, sustainability, using materials foraged locally or grown myself so that I am not dependent on stores. So moving away from so much things like olive oil and coconut oil. Plus, we have seen firsthand how material may be grown organically, at considerable work and expense to the farmer, then completely adulterated and false advertising in the processing part by the company that packages it. So you organic eggs and veggies that you pay huge prices for? Well there might be 1 or 2 in there. Go "try" to tour a processing company. Prove me wrong. Please. I want to be wrong.

Anyways, get off my soapbox, I know. But that's why I go to all this trouble, bc what if suddenly Walmart or Amazon, or others aren't there or uber expensive, then what? Same for medical prescriptions. I don't like Walmart anyway.

So this info is useful. I have a pain salve I made up last night that seems kinda weak and I can either rework it and add a tincture capsaicin,  or try to put in more of the powder. Seems the latter would be more messy and I would rather heat the little jars and just add in some tincture. I got the mint part worked out just fine. Am making for my Dad, so I hope I don't burn anybody. The family may have a bit of mistrust  bc of my initial former forays into lye soapmaking....Ok, I'll say it. They think I'm crazy. lol. BUT, my aunt n uncle are now using tinctures for joint pain, and does yoga and got off insulin w diet and exercise alone, so... there is that. lol K, I'm gonna try to shut up now. I have work to do. Trying to get lard to not smell kinda wierd is my goal today. And I'm still canning up squash from Fall. Ugh ...
 
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Regarding adding the powder, tincture or capsaicin to the salve. I assume you are meaning Cayenne (Capsicum) tincture and powdered Cayenne or the capsaicin constituent. The tincture and the capsaicin (usually available as part of an ointment or part of an oleoresin) would mix in easier to the salve. Although you can add powders they are hard to mix in. If you do add a powder start with small amounts of the salve and mix it into the powder and then add more salve to that. It is much more difficult to get a smooth salve when you add the powder to the whole salve in the beginning. In my opinion the powder does not absorb well into the skin either. Using an herbal oil, essential oil, tincture or other liquid will usually blend better into a salve. Oils or fats will blend into the salve the easiest of course. The more water in the item you are trying to blend into the salve the harder it will be also. Additionally, the more water, the shorter the shelf life. Adding essential oils can lengthen the shelf life. Also adding vitamin E helps with shelf life. The essential oils and vitamin E are all acting as antioxidants.
 
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P Colvin wrote:Thank you that this info is here!  Am somewhat new to making salves. I have all this pig lard from my pigs and am finally using it. My goal is local business, sustainability, using materials foraged locally or grown myself so that I am not dependent on stores. So moving away from so much things like olive oil and coconut oil. Plus, we have seen firsthand how material may be grown organically, at considerable work and expense to the farmer, then completely adulterated and false advertising in the processing part by the company that packages it. So you organic eggs and veggies that you pay huge prices for? Well there might be 1 or 2 in there. Go "try" to tour a processing company. Prove me wrong. Please. I want to be wrong.

Anyways, get off my soapbox, I know. But that's why I go to all this trouble, bc what if suddenly Walmart or Amazon, or others aren't there or uber expensive, then what? Same for medical prescriptions. I don't like Walmart anyway.

So this info is useful. I have a pain salve I made up last night that seems kinda weak and I can either rework it and add a tincture capsaicin,  or try to put in more of the powder. Seems the latter would be more messy and I would rather heat the little jars and just add in some tincture. I got the mint part worked out just fine. Am making for my Dad, so I hope I don't burn anybody. The family may have a bit of mistrust  bc of my initial former forays into lye soapmaking....Ok, I'll say it. They think I'm crazy. lol. BUT, my aunt n uncle are now using tinctures for joint pain, and does yoga and got off insulin w diet and exercise alone, so... there is that. lol K, I'm gonna try to shut up now. I have work to do. Trying to get lard to not smell kinda wierd is my goal today. And I'm still canning up squash from Fall. Ugh ...




I just made some salves for joint pain, that would normally be a bit stinky, the infused oil base I made was stinky to me, but I used pure essential oils that served 2 purposes, first was to make the smell nicer and the other is that they are medicinal in their won right and help the other medicine to penetrate.  

I used a total of 2 1/5 teaspoons of a mix of essential oils to 3 1/2 cups of herbally infused oil.  I used safflower oil as my oil on this one, next one I will likely get sunflower oil.  I first wanted a USA grown oil and also did not want the heavy scent of coconut oil.  While I am not familiar with lard as a base, seems like it should work about like coconut oil that people use.  

I would rework, just scrape back out of the jars and re-infuse.   Add essential oils later right before putting in jars.  


 
P Colvin
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As far as lard properties, the lard makes a very nice, smooth, nice melting whatever you want to call it. Salve, I guess.  Since I mix beeswax with it, it's just dealing w that porky smell.  

I have tried 2 methods I read about to "clean" the lard- cooking a batch of peeled potatoes and the tossing the potatoes, and also adding baking soda and vinegar to the pot.of melted lard.  The latter took that smell out moreso, but I had problems with the whole thing bubbling over all over the place, like you do with making hot process soap. I have yet to isolate what is making that problem  whether it is one of the ingredients like the cayenne (didn't  have any EO or tincture in there yet) , or the water/oil reaction, since vinegar is water based and so is the one capsaicin tincture I put in there later. I noted that later when I added capsaicin tincture, it bubbled again. Oil and water don't  like each other. I forgot that.

So far I have made 2 batches of salve.  My "underboob" (skin healing) salve came out green and beautiful and works great, although it had kind of a wierd smell at first- porky, burnt herb kinda thing goin on even after adding tea tree oil. But it worked on my rashy skin so well I just dealt with it, and after a few days of settin in the jars, it has dissipated quite a bit and now mostly smells like tea tree oil and just a hint of something wierd. I also didn't "clean" this batch of lard. Thought maybe that was it.  So I been goin up to people, "Hey- Do I smell?"  lol

So... this second batch I cleaned the lard, as mentioned above. Went to watch a movie after setting the herbs to simmer like last time, and hubs says "What's  burning?" and I come in the kitchen to find most of the oil mixture all over my stovetop.   So THAT was a cleanup job, and perversely, my stovetop got clean as a whistle.

Oh wait. Brain fart. I just figured it out. At that point I had no essential oils in it yet, just dry herbs and my powdered  cayenne. And probly residual vinegar/baking soda. It was the oil and water reaction, then, w heat added to make it bubble.  Fun fire hazard. Yea, I kept a bucket of baking soda close by and was just in the next room checkin on it once in a while.

So I salvaged that stuff off the stove, strained it out, melted it, and then got happy adding capsaicin tincture, cinnamon EO,  and mint EO per the recipe I was mostly following. I was adding mostly cinnamon and mint to mask that porky smell as needed.  It doesn't smell bad.  Asking family members to smell me again and they say I smell like mint/cinnamon and not pork, so I guess that is good.

It set up and made a nice spreading and melting salve, but pain salve?  I dunno bout that. Recipe says it is a warming/cooling thing like Icy Hot, but it doesn't warm or cool very much. Does it eliminate pain?  I dunno. You are not supposed to put it on sensitive skin bc of the capsaicin but I didn't  even feel the burn until I put a little on my lips, finally. About like a medium hot pepper, nothing major.  And I have put so much of that EO in and capsaicin,  I'm a bit afraid to add more and burn somebody. Tested it out on hubs and my daughter when she came to visit.  Me and daughter both have sensitive skin.  Nobody screamed in pain.

So I am out of beeswax now  for a couple days, and now out of potatoes again too. I have another batch of just lard right now on the stove cooling that I have run 2 batches of potatoes through. The dog has been a very happy boy, eating fried potatoes. The stuff is still liquid and still smells moderately porky.  I have all this lard I rendered from our farm and it is an excellent hand moisturizer w how much I wash my hands all the time. I sure would like to use it up, and even pie crust requires non-porky lard.  Works great for working hands and just ansorbs into skin better than the coconut oil, I think.  But I mix half coconut oil/olive oil to half lard, for the healing qualities of the other 2 and I have found just coconut oil mixed w olive oil a good mix too.  I use that latter for hair.

Anyways, I know I'm wordy. Sorry. This info is very useful in my newbie forays. I'm writing all this down in a notebook as I go along.
 
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Hmm... maybe that answers some questions for me, I think. 2 1/15 tsp EO seems like quite a lot. I don't think I have quite that much in that one batch. About the same amount of base oil, and I wanna say 20 drops cinnamon 20 drops mint, maybe the same in capsaicin tincture, all added right before pouring into jars.  

What oils did you use in yours? I have read these wierd ingredients above in one recipe, and eucalyptus and cayenne in another.  Eucalyptus EO was gonna cost me $25 bucks, doggonit. I put that one back for now.

And I bet I'm having to use more EO bc I'm using that porky lard. Ugh. Can't  win fer losin. See, I know exactly what is in my lard, and I have a lot of it. Self sufficiemcy and frugality n all that.
Sigh...

Sue Reeves wrote:

I just made some salves for joint pain, that would normally be a bit stinky, the infused oil base I made was stinky to me, but I used pure essential oils that served 2 purposes, first was to make the smell nicer and the other is that they are medicinal in their won right and help the other medicine to penetrate.  

I used a total of 2 1/5 teaspoons of a mix of essential oils to 3 1/2 cups of herbally infused oil.  I used safflower oil as my oil on this one, next one I will likely get sunflower oil.  I first wanted a USA grown oil and also did not want the heavy scent of coconut oil.  While I am not familiar with lard as a base, seems like it should work about like coconut oil that people use.  

I would rework, just scrape back out of the jars and re-infuse.   Add essential oils later right before putting in jars.  ----


 
Sue Reeves
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P Colvin wrote:Hmm... maybe that answers some questions for me, I think. 2 1/15 tsp EO seems like quite a lot. I don't think I have quite that much in that one batch. About the same amount of base oil, and I wanna say 20 drops cinnamon 20 drops mint, maybe the same in capsaicin tincture, all added right before pouring into jars.  

What oils did you use in yours? I have read these wierd ingredients above in one recipe, and eucalyptus and cayenne in another.  Eucalyptus EO was gonna cost me $25 bucks, doggonit. I put that one back for now.

And I bet I'm having to use more EO bc I'm using that porky lard. Ugh. Can't  win fer losin. See, I know exactly what is in my lard, and I have a lot of it. Self sufficiemcy and frugality n all that.
Sigh...

Sue Reeves wrote:

I just made some salves for joint pain, that would normally be a bit stinky, the infused oil base I made was stinky to me, but I used pure essential oils that served 2 purposes, first was to make the smell nicer and the other is that they are medicinal in their won right and help the other medicine to penetrate.  

I used a total of 2 1/5 teaspoons of a mix of essential oils to 3 1/2 cups of herbally infused oil.  I used safflower oil as my oil on this one, next one I will likely get sunflower oil.  I first wanted a USA grown oil and also did not want the heavy scent of coconut oil.  While I am not familiar with lard as a base, seems like it should work about like coconut oil that people use.  

I would rework, just scrape back out of the jars and re-infuse.   Add essential oils later right before putting in jars.  ----




I hit the wrong key, I used 2 1/2 teaspoons of essential oils ( not 2 1/5, I think my brain mixed up which one I was doing 2 1/2 or 2.5 to get that !  No one measures out in 1/5ths ) That is 2 1/2 teaspoons for 3 1/2 cups of oil base.  

Yes, essential oils can be pricey, depends where you buy them and which ones you use.  Try Vitacost, they have a web presence, you can mail order the essential oils from them.  https://www.vitacost.com/essential-oils-aromatherapy-2/?ss=1
Eucalyptus essential oil is $3something for an ounce.  A fluid ounce is 6 teaspoons (2Tablespoons).  This is not expensive.  

I think if you use a higher amount of essential oils you will first mask the smell and then also get the healing or penetrating properties of the essential oils, so you will have a better product.  Pure essential oils are quite theraputic in their own right.  Yes, keep using the lard.  But, do buy some nice essential oils from Vitacost.  They keep for years.  I am so happy at christmas time when I have them on hand for soap and salve making.  

Yes, I did use eucalyptus, cassia(cinnamon), cloves, lemon, camphor, peppermint all at once.  It is not very scented at all at 2 1/2 teaspoon total, just right, and it realy does help medicinally which is the point.  Dont skimp
 
P Colvin
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That is helpful, thank you. A person can Google till the cows come home but nothin beats talkin to an actual human.

I put together another batch in a saucepan on super low last night (insomnia, so....) and discovered this morning that part of my "wierd smell" problem is that in doing that is that I'm scorching the bottom a little. Burnt pig lard is the "wierd smell". Sigh...

I didn't wanna drag out the whole crockpot for such a little amount of oil. I read about, also, putti g oil and her s in a mason jar and putting them in the oven for a few hours. Will probly try that one, simce I have surprisingly, burnt stuff on low in the crockpot, too. My stepmon has specifically requested an infusion if yarrow and  plantain for one of the grandkids' rash. Her daughter's neighbor i. Eastern Washington does this stuff and made a salve that worked really well for that, so she was asking me if I could make her some. I gave her a whole bunch of the yarrow growing in my yard. lol. But she said she doesnt have the time to make it and wants me to. lol
 
Sue Reeves
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P Colvin wrote:That is helpful, thank you. A person can Google till the cows come home but nothin beats talkin to an actual human.

I put together another batch in a saucepan on super low last night (insomnia, so....) and discovered this morning that part of my "wierd smell" problem is that in doing that is that I'm scorching the bottom a little. Burnt pig lard is the "wierd smell". Sigh...

I didn't wanna drag out the whole crockpot for such a little amount of oil. I read about, also, putti g oil and her s in a mason jar and putting them in the oven for a few hours. Will probly try that one, simce I have surprisingly, burnt stuff on low in the crockpot, too. My stepmon has specifically requested an infusion if yarrow and  plantain for one of the grandkids' rash. Her daughter's neighbor i. Eastern Washington does this stuff and made a salve that worked really well for that, so she was asking me if I could make her some. I gave her a whole bunch of the yarrow growing in my yard. lol. But she said she doesnt have the time to make it and wants me to. lol



set your pot of herbs/oil inside a larger pot that is partially full of water, you need to do a double boiler like this.  It is just as easy and you wont ruin your salve, and even still do not get too hot.  I often do totally cold oil infusions,  it just takes a month : ) The infusion I did last week, in an inprovised double boiler like I am recommending to you, I also let it sit for days on the stove, most of the time "off".  SO, I gently infused with heat for a few hours.  Let it sit and soak for a few days, then did another low heat infusion.  Scorching is bad, I would throw that out and start again.  Treat your medicine well to have a good product.  

A cold infusion of calendula/comfrey was not looking quite ready, house has been cold and chritmas is soon, so last week, I set the jars in a pot ( on top of a washcloth so the jar does not touch the bottom of the pot, or the jar will break.  SO, I am using the jars as a double boiler in the pot) took the lids off, set them in and heated the water for a while, maybe and hour or two, let it set heat off until the water cooled.  took out, put the lids back on and on the shelf to cold infuse for a bit more.  I will make this into ta salve tomorrow, most likely.  That short time of heat realy helped.
 
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Why not use rosemary infused in sunflower oil? Works great on joint pain and muscle ache and is quite easy to grow and propagate. Moneywise.. Can also make some comfrey root infused sunflower oil, although that takes a few year to grow big, but works very well.
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