What are the Different Types of Herbal Salve?

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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 29 July 2019
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There are a number of kinds of herbal salve that are intended as topical ointments for ailments of the skin and muscles. Some salves are even used for aromatherapeutic purposes. The most common herbal salves are used to treat abrasions to the skin and dry skin. Most salves are made with beeswax, olive oil, or a combination of the two emollients. Some are even made with petroleum jelly. The differences in the uses of the salves have to do with the herbs and essential oils that are mixed in with the base emollients.

Herbal salve made with comfrey is a good first aid salve as it helps to soothe burns, reduce swelling and helps to accelerate the closing of wounds and the healing of bodily tissues. It can also be used to treat eczema. Salve made with tea tree oil, which is also sometimes called melaleuca oil is also a good herbal salve to have in a first aid kit. Tea tree offers antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that can be important for skin that has been broken or cut. For deep cuts, of course, it is important to seek the care and advice of a medical professional.


Lavender is often used in salves for its aromatherapeutic properties. It is often used to help cure sleeplessness and insomnia. It is also sometimes combined with chamomile, which has similar effects. This herbal salve can be applied to the temples and chest to assist with sedation and relaxation. It can be used by both adults and children before bed time in order to make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Salve made with eucalyptus oil is used to loosen phlegm in the chest and clear nasal passages and the sinuses. Herbal salve made with eucalyptus is commonly used during cold and flu season to help ease the symptoms of these illnesses and speed up recovery. Eucalyptus is also often used to help cure bronchitis, chest infections, and pneumonia.

Herbal salves can be purchased from myriad companies that specialize in remedies made with essential oils, herbal remedies, skin care, and aromatherapeutic products. They can also be made at home. This is especially useful for people who like to grow their own herbs or collect them from nearby green spaces or wooded areas. There are a number of recipes for salves that vary in terms of the consistency of the end product.



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