When most people think of using herbal remedies, they think in terms of swallowing supplement pills. And while this is a very common way to use herbs for various reasons, there is another lesser known use for them too. Herbs can be used to create topical salves, ointments, and packs which are applied to the body on the outside, and help to speed healing, ease pain, and reduce swelling.
To make natural healing salves, you must start by purchasing high quality herbs. The best kind of herbal supplements to buy, are those which are ground powder or flakes of the actual herb, packed into gel caps. Any kind of herbal supplement which is in hard pill form will not be dissolved easily – in external applications or within your body either. These also tend to have only a small amount of actual herb in them, mixed with many other miscellaneous ingredients that may or may not be good for you.
Buying the whole, ground or powdered herb in gelcap form makes it easier for your body to readily absorb and use the herbs when you swallow them. It also makes creating ointments quite simple and easy.
All you have to do is pull the gelatin capsule apart – it’s just two pieces that easily pull apart – then shake the herb powder onto a plate or container of some sort. Then you simply mix a liquid substance with the powdered herb, and you have a ready to use ointment or salve.
The liquid you choose to mix in can vary based on what you have on hand. Petroleum jelly is popular, but many commercial versions have additives you wouldn’t want absorbed into your skin. Pure aloe vera gel is a better choice if you have it on hand. Mineral oil or vinegar will work in a pinch.
Homemade Healing Salve
One of the best herbal salves I know of is simple GoldenSeal salve. Open a capsule of goldenseal root, and dump it out onto a small dish. Mix some aloe vera gel into the powdered herb until mixed well and not too dry. Then rub that salve onto affected areas as needed.
The goldenseal mixture normally stimulates healing even faster, because the aloe vera is able to penetrate all layers of the skin. By doing so, it carries the combined healing power of itself and the goldenseal deep within to start repairing damage more quickly.
This salve is excellent to use for healing cuts and abrasions quickly, usually without leaving any scars. It will make your skin a greenish yellow color, but it washes off easily with regular soap and water. For acne blemishes, add a few drops of tea tree oil to the goldenseal ointment and apply it to blemishes and let dry, then rise off.
GoldenSeal is an herb many herbalists keep on hand at all times to use for fighting infections for instance, but this herb is also a natural source of insulin, so you must be careful when giving it to diabetics or hypoglycemics. In some cases it can’t be used by them at all, and when this is the case, it can be substituted with Myrhh. Golden Seal can also be mixed with licorice to help counter the insulin lowering properties.
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