Several years ago, when I was having some lower back pain, I came across an analgesic salve made for back pain at Costco. It was made with herbs. It worked perfectly. It was soothing, pain relieving, and didn’t make me drowsy. Most of the over the counter pills for back pain made me feel like I was in a perpetual fog. I hated that feeling. When I went back to Costco to get a second jar, they no longer carried it. When you are relying on a supplier for your herbal remedies you may find that the supply dries up. When you make your own herbal salves you aren’t dependent on being able to find what you need at the store.
When your back is sore, your muscles are over worked, or your joints are a little stiff, warm them up with this quick to make herbal salve. Cayenne pepper salve is warming and pain relieving. I like to add Ginger for an increase in warmth. Ginger is anti-inflammatory, and pain relieving. St. John’s Wort Oil helps with shooting pains, and stiffness, making normal movement easier.
Salve making is one of the basic skills of home grown healing. Moms and Grandmas have been making salve in the kitchen from herbs gathered in the wild or from the garden for hundreds of years. You can make an herbal salve in 30 minutes in your own kitchen, while you are doing other things.
I used St. John’s wort oil in this salve. See here to learn how to infuse fresh St. John’s wort flowers in oil. While you can purchase ready-made St. John’s Wort oil, I highly recommend that you make your own from flowers growing close to home. Your oil will be more potent when made from herbs that are thriving under the same stressors that you yourself are living under.
St. John’s wort is anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and helps with mild to moderate nerve pain and shooting pains of all kinds.
Cayenne Pepper is warming and pain relieving. It increases blood flow and periphery circulation. There is a substance in cayenne pepper that blocks the pain receptors in your brain and relieves pain temporarily. It helps with all kinds of pain from arthritis, to muscle aches, menstrual cramps, and nerve pain.
Ginger is anti-inflammatory, pain relieving, and it increases warmth and blood flow to the area where it’s applied.
Rosemary Essential oil is anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-spasmodic.
Peppermint essential oil is cooling and pain relieving.
Let’s make salve!
Cayenne Pepper – Ginger-St. John’s Wort Salve
Yield: 2 – 2 ounce tins or 1 — 4 ounce jar
1 cup glass measuring cup
Saucepan to create a double boiler
Canning jar ring
Popsicle stick to stir the mixture
Reusable cloth tea bag
2 – 2 ounce tins or 1 — 4 ounce jar
4 tbsp. St. John’s wort infused oil
2 tbsp. cayenne pepper powder
1 tbsp. ginger powder
2 tbsp. Shea butter
2 tbsp. beeswax
20 drops of rosemary essential oil
20 drops of peppermint essential oil
Place St. John’s wort infused oil in the glass measuring cup. Spoon the cayenne and ginger powders into the cloth tea bag. Tie the top of the tea bag using a half hitch. Place the tea bag with spices into the St. John’s wort oil, in the glass measuring cup.
Create a double boiler using the saucepan and the canning jar lid. Place the glass measuring cup in the saucepan and simmer on medium heat for 30 minutes. Occasionally turn the tea bag over and press with the back of a spoon while the oil is warming, to ensure that the spice powders are moistened with the oil.
After 30 minutes remove the glass cup from the saucepan and allow the oil to come to room temperature. Remove the tea bag and press in a potato ricer, held over the cup, to remove the last drops of infused oil from the bag. Reserve the oil in the glass cup. Discard the pressed herbs. Empty and clean the bag for another use.
Place the glass cup back on the double boiler. Add shea butter and beeswax. Simmer over medium heat until the beeswax and shea butter is melted. Remove from the heat. Stir in essential oils.
Pour into containers. Allow to cool completely before putting the lid on the containers, to prevent condensation from getting on the lid.
This can be massaged into joints and muscles to provide warmth and pain relieve for mild to moderate pain.
Wash your hands after using this salve so that you don’t inadvertently get it in your eyes or mucus membranes. Avoid using on sensitive parts. If you are allergic or sensitive to any of the ingredients in the salve, they can be left out.
Where to Learn More:
Grab my eBook “Homegrown Healing, from Seed to Apothecary”.
Check out the amazing online herb schools that are eager to help you learn as much as you want to about Herbal Remedies and Herbology.
Disclaimer: The information offered here is for education and information only. It is not medical advice. If you have any health concerns please discuss this with your primary health care provider.