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What is Healing Salve?

By Sherry Holetzky
Updated May 17, 2024
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There are many different types of salve that are known as healing salve. Drawing salve is also commonly referred to as such, and is regularly used for minor injuries. Healing salve can be used to prevent infection and to reduce pain and is often used to treat sunburn and other skin irritations such as insect bites, scrapes, scratches, rashes, and minor burns or cuts. Some people use salve for poison ivy or athlete’s foot as well. As with any medical treatment, it is best to check with a doctor or pharmacist before applying healing salve.

Many homeopathic remedies include various types of healing or homemade salve. Some people swear by such remedies and some make their own formulas from a mixture of herbs or essential oils. Concoctions of comfrey oil, tea tree oil, and beeswax make up some of the popular recipes. Comfrey oil is said to help skin “knit” back together. Tea tree oil is used in many different instances for its suggested infection fighting properties. Beeswax is used to emulsify, or help keep the other ingredients blended together. Other combinations can include things like calendula for its suggested anti-viral, anti-inflammatory properties and vitamin E for antioxidant properties.

Before attempting to make a homemade healing salve, it is a good idea to do some research. Compare suggested ingredients in home recipes to those found in approved products. It is wise to consult with a health care provider to avoid adverse interactions.

There are many different types of minor injuries and irritants that can be treated with a healing salve that has antibacterial and antiseptic properties. Not only may healing salve help a wound heal more quickly, it is claimed that some remedies may also help prevent scarring or make it less noticeable. For best results it is advisable to clean the affected area thoroughly, apply healing salve, and repeat these steps every few hours. If the injured person will remain active, it may be wise to loosely cover the affected area with gauze, but it is generally preferable to leave the injury uncovered.

There are also some cases where healing salve is not recommended. These include cases of animal bites, embedded objects such as thorns or shards of glass, deep or large cuts, puncture wounds, or cuts with heavy bleeding that may require stitching. In cases of suspected blood poisoning or infection where there is redness of the surrounding skin, healing salve is not advised. With these or other situations which appear serious, it is best to seek medical attention instead of attempting self-treatment.

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