Monday, September 2, 2019

Apothecary: Yarrow Salve

Apothecary: Yarrow Salve

This year, my yarrow has grown and bloomed multiple times. I actually have three different types in my yard: pomegranate, yellow, and white. All of them are beautiful and the white yarrow in the backyard has started growing outside of the planter, which is totally fine with me, although the guy that mows my lawn mows right over it. Oh well!

Yarrow can be used for a variety of medicinal purposes, but today we are going to focus on how to make a yarrow salve. This salve is perfect for cuts, scrapes, bruises, bug bites and stings. Do not use this salve for burns as the oil will trap the heat.

Yarrow Salve

1 1/2 cups olive oil
2 cups yarrow leaves and flowers, roughly chopped
1/4 cup beeswax pellets (more if you want to produce a thicker salve)

Begin by gathering and cleaning your yarrow. Be sure not to confuse yarrow with hemlock, which looks very similar. Here is a great video helping you identify each plant. If you are unsure of what you are picking, order some yarrow online instead. Once the yarrow is dry, remove the stems and flowers and roughly chop. Place the chopped yarrow in an airtight container and cover the yarrow with olive oil. It should take around 1 to 1 1/2 cups to completely cover the yarrow. Seal the container and allow to infuse in a cool, dark place for about four weeks (1 month). This is a great salve to begin on the New or Full Moon.

After the mixture has infused for at least four weeks, strain the leaves and flowers from the oil into a saucepan. Add the beeswax and heat the liquid until the beeswax completely melts. Once completely combined,  pour the oil mixture into a sturdy salve container. I prefer glass as the plastic chemicals are not able to infiltrate the mixture if you use glass. However, if you go with plastic, choose a container with sturdy, thick sides, as the plastic will melt when you had the hot oil to it. Allow to sit, either at room temperature or the fridge, until the mixture as solidified. Use as needed. This should keep for about 6 months to a year, especially if you keep it in the fridge.

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