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What is Honey Salve?

Diane Goettel
Updated May 17, 2024
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Honey salve is a skin care product that is used to treat dry, chapped, and even broken or burned skin in cases of mild injury. In general, a salve is a product that is quite thick and is used to replace moisture and oil in the skin by the use of some kind of emollient. In some cases that emollient is beeswax and in other cases it is olive oil, to give a few examples. In honey salve, one of the key emollients is honey. However, other emollients such as beeswax and olive oil may also be used in the formula.

Depending on the formula of honey salve, it may be used for different specific purposes. For example, there may be a thick honey salve that is formulated specifically for use on very dry and chapped areas of skin such as on the knees, elbows, hands, and the heels of the feet. In other cases, a honey salve may be lighter and may be of use for most parts of the body, even areas that are just mildly dry. Some lighter formulas can even double as lip gloss.

Honey has been used for centuries to heal the skin as well as nourish the body. There are some honey salve formulas that are intended specifically for healing wounds. In many cases, this kind of honey salve is blended with a number of types of herbs and natural ingredients that are regularly used by herbalists to heal skin and fight bacteria and infections. Propolis is an herb that is sometimes used in honey salves that are intended for the treatment of mild burns and abrasions to the skin. All serious injuries, however, should be treated by a medical professional.

Depending on the formula, the honey that is used in honey salve formulas may be raw or not. There are a number of recipes for honey salve that can be found online and in home remedy books. Some of these call for raw honey and some call for pretty much any kind of honey that can be found in a grocery store. People who prefer to use raw honey while making their salves may have to go to a specialty store such as a health food store or order it online from a retailer that either specializes in health foods or in different types of bee products like honey.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Diane Goettel
By Diane Goettel
"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount Vernon, New York with her husband, Noah. They are the proud parents of a Doberman Pinscher named Spoon. Specialties: book editing, book marketing, book publishing, freelance writing, magazine publishing, magazine writing, copywriting,"
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Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel
"Diane Goettel has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College and an MA in English from Brooklyn College. Diane lives in Mount...
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