Stay Healthy This Winter with Homemade Salves & Tinctures

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Learn how to take charge of your own health with all-natural homemade salves, oils, & tinctures…

One great way to become more self-sufficient is to learn to make your own home remedies for simple ailments and injuries. Many homemade salves and tinctures are surprisingly easy to make, and they are a great money-saving alternative to store-bought drugs, which often contain harmful chemicals and other ingredients which you may want to avoid. Plus, many homesteaders already grow a variety of healing herbs, so learning to make your own simple medicines is a natural progression.

Using your homegrown herbs in natural tinctures, salves, and infused oils is a great way to preserve the healthy benefits of your herbs for later use. And you can design your recipes to suit your own needs and preferences, giving you precise control over what you’re putting in or on your body!

Here are a couple of simple types of preparations you can learn to make at home:


Tinctures2) are highly concentrated liquid plant extracts that boost both the efficacy and shelf life of your herb collection. They might look like essential oils, but tinctures are made by soaking plant material in alcohol, apple cider vinegar, or even vegetable glycerin for several weeks until the beneficial compounds (called phytochemicals)3) infuse into the liquid. Once you strain this plant material out, the resulting liquid is your tincture.

This slow extraction process releases significantly more of the plant’s active compounds than you can ingest from eating them fresh, powdered, or infused into tea. (Nourishing herbal infusions are another matter, though, and can pack an enormous nutritional punch. Learn more about them here.) Taking an eye-dropperful (about 30 drops) of homemade tincture under your tongue lets these phytochemicals enter the bloodstream quickly. Some people also prefer to dilute their tinctures with juice or make them into a tea. Depending on the herbs you use, the tincture might start working immediately, or it might take several weeks for the levels to build up in your bloodstream.

Because tinctures can last for five years or more, they are an ideal way to store the potent properties of herbs that would otherwise need to be replaced each year, making them a cost-effective, space-efficient option for the home herbalist.


Salves are a simple way to treat dry skin and allow potent herbal properties to be absorbed into your body. Salves, balms, and ointments are all names given to herbal extracts that are infused in a semi-solid mixture of oils and waxes. Lotions and creams are a little different than salves because they also contain water.

Depending on the herbs you use, salves can be used to heal wounds, soothe skin irritations, and temper down aches and pains.4) While most are solid at room temperature, salves quickly melt when in contact with your skin, making them less messy and easier to apply than standard lotions. For this reason, salves are a great way to start experimenting with home herbalism.

Essential or Infused Oils

Essential oils are having a moment these days, and for good reason! These concentrated plant compounds have profound health properties that make them popular in high-end perfumes and cosmetic products, but it’s easy to break the bank buying them.

A more affordable option is to make homemade oils instead. However, be warned that it takes an enormous amount of plant material to make even an ounce of essential oil, so unless you grow your own, you might still be better off buying your oils premade.


If homemade essential oil sounds like too much effort, you might be better off making infused oils instead. This involves soaking plant material in oil to extract its medicinal properties. You can use the resulting oil on its own, or use it as a base for homemade salves.

Read More + Find Simple Recipe Suggestions at TheGrowNetwork.com


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