How to - The Healthy Gardener

Two all-natural beauty product recipes

Whip up a beauty salve and a joint and muscle soak using botanical ingredients

Long before modern science and technology, botany and medicine went hand in hand. Go back to basics with these all-natural recipes from The Home Apothecary by Cold Spring Apothecary founder Stacey Dugliss-Wesselman, featuring much-loved healing botanicals.

Beauty salve
Lavender is known for its amazing hydrating and healing properties when applied to the skin. Hibiscus is beneficial for softening the skin while firming and lifting.


  • 1 part lavender
  • 1 part hibiscus
  • 1/2 part rose petals
  • 1/4 cup (54 g) shea butter
  • 1 cup (235 ml) jojoba or rosehip oil
  • 1/4 cup (54 g) beeswax

Use all the ingredients to make a salve (see directions below).

To use, apply daily to face or to areas of concern, such as the lips, under the eyes, or the neck. This can even be used as a cuticle treatment or on the elbows and heels.

Yield: 1 1/4 cups (300 ml)

Salves (ointments)
Salves are great external medicinals. Storing a few salve blends in the
refrigerator or medicine cabinet not only ensures a cure for all that ails you, from skin problems to sore muscles, but also saves you a trip to the pharmacy. Salves are easy to make, and when properly stored can last for up to 2 years. They can be made using fresh or dried herbs, and the measurements depend on how strong or gentle you prefer the end result. Apply the salve to the affected area as often as needed, or 2 to 4 times daily.

1. In a double boiler, heat 1 cup (235 ml) of oil, add ΒΌ cup (54 g) of beeswax, and melt it. Oils that can be used may depend on the desired use, but olive oil is usually preferred when preparing medicinal salves.

2. Slowly stir in the herb of your choice; a fair amount of the herb is recommended. Let it macerate over low heat for a couple of hours. Using a double boiler keeps your oils and herbs from burning, but keep an eye on the water level, as it will evaporate quickly.

3. Remove from the heat. Place a cheesecloth or muslin over a clean container and pour the mixture into it.

4. Use a spatula or the back of a large spoon to press the herbs and get any liquid out.

5. Pull the sides of the cheesecloth together, then wring out any remaining oils.

6. Pour into a clean, sealable container.

7. Seal, label, and date.  Let stand until the ointment is cool and has solidified before use.


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