Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Antibacterial Four Thieves Salve

          Here's a recent favorite salve at our house!! And it's super easy and fast to make! If you are at all interested in herbs, you've probably heard the story of the four thieves, who supposedly were able to rob the dead during the Plague and not get sick themselves by using several herbs on their skin and clothing!

     These herbs, and their essential oil counterparts, have now been found in some studies to be effective against many bacterial, fungi and viruses without the risk of creating super bugs that develop resistance to conventional germ fighters.*

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     I blended my own version of the essential oils together by adding equal parts Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Clove, Cinnamon, and Citrus Essential Oil (I have used Lemon, Orange, and Grapefruit at different times) I use this blend in MANY ways. I make a room spray as I explained in this post, I add a few drops to a humidifier when someone in the house has a cold, rub it on their feet or chest (just a few drops with a carrier oil)  and I started to use it mixed with a carrier oil as a hand sanitizer when we went out.
     It was in this last capacity that made me start to wonder about turning it into a salve instead. It's difficult to get children to rub an oil on their hands without spilling some on their clothes, car seats, etc. And no matter what sort of container you use, oils tend to make a mess of your purse! So I decided to turn this into a simple salve and you can too!

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1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
scant 1/4 cup beeswax pastilles
Eucalyptus, Rosemary, Cloves, Cinnamon, and Citrus Blend of Essential oils

     You could use a different carrier oil other than Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but first let me make a case for why I made this choice.
     Firstly, Olive oil is excellent for your skin! Conventional hand sanitizers dry out your skin, which can make your skin more prone to infection! Dry skin and cuts are a perfect breeding ground for bacteria to hold on and then get in to your skin. Your first and best defense is to keep your skin, ESPECIALLY your hands, well moisturized.
     Secondly, Olive oil has antibacterial properties of it's own. You could use plain Olive oil and it will work fine, but the extra-virgin will have more of the beneficial properties of the Olive tree in it.
     Thirdly, it's one of the most readily available oils out there! Which makes it and easy ingredient to pick up!
     This recipe will take less than a half hour (usually only 5 or 10 minutes except for waiting for the oil to cool!)
     Heat the Olive Oil and beeswax in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat until the beeswax pastilles melt completely.  I stir occasionally as it melts.

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     Take off the heat, and make sure you have a thick enough salve by taking the spoon you stirred it with and placing it in the freezer for 1 min. Then check the thickness of the salve that's on the back of the spoon.

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     Let the oil sit out on the counter until it's cool enough that you can touch it without getting burned. (around 90 degrees F on a thermometer) It should still be completely liquid. Then add your essential oil blend. It's difficult to give you a precise amount since different oils may be stronger than others. I add about 60 drops, but I go more by smell. When the oil has a distinct smell of the oil blend, I stop. I caution you to not add too much! Cinnamon, in particular, can cause skin irritation if you use too much so better to add too little. You can always slightly warm the salve when it hardens in a hot water bath and then add more after. But it would be difficult to fix if you add too much!

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     Pour your finished salve into containers. I really like to use glass baby food jars for this. What's ironic about that is that I hardly ever fed my babies pureed foods! =) But I have actually bought several of the fruit purees and froze them as small ice pops for the bigger kids so that I can use these jars. (These ice pops are perfect for calming ouchies ;) )

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      I keep a jar of this in my purse and after we walk through a store each of us rubs a little on our hands The kids all love the smell and I'm happy knowing that they aren't using something filled with chemicals! I hope your family enjoys it too!

This post is linked up at Simple Saturdays!

- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1693916/ 
- http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1517-83822012000400003 

NOTE: I am not a physician and nothing I tell you about on this blog should be construed as medical advice. Not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease as according to the FDA. If you have specific questions about how any product/ingredient may interfere with a specific condition or medication, PLEASE ask a medical professional!

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