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Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Arnica Oil and Salve

I have a confession . . . AND a solution . . . and hopefully, it will benefit you as much as myself ~

I have the weirdest skin. :-/ From the neck up, I'm a grease ball; from the shoulders down, I'm so dry. To make matters worse, for last few years I get "winter itch." 

One of the blessings of being the health and beauty buyer at a health food, is that reps and vendors and home remedy-makers from all over come to me and give me (or send me) samples of their products to see it I will try it and want to carry it in the store. Let me tell you, that can be a blessing AND a curse. Most of the things I try (or give to a co-employee to try) are great things and then we have to decide whether we can afford it AND whether we can fit it into our very limited space.

About a year ago, I found out the hard way that I am, evidently, allergic to some forms of sandalwood. *sigh* A rep gave me a sample of a beautiful, creamy-but-not-slimy sandalwood cream. Oh . . . and it was LOVELY. It was a dreamy creamy consistency, soaked right in and didn't leave my hands icky-sticky in case I touched my oily face and the fragrance . . . mmmm . . . so yummy. Well ~ shortly after I started using it, my winter itch came in with a vengeance! I was scratching so much that I looked like I'd been attacked by a cat . . . or TWO. So, what did I do? Why, I slathered on more and more of my lovely new sandalwood cream, of course! After about 2 weeks, I realized that my lovely cream was CAUSING my terrible, terrible itchiness because it was only worse in exactly the places I was using it! OH, NO!

So, I have spent most of the last YEAR trying to reverse the reaction. I have used my own salves, lotions and balms and they have helped quite a bit, but now my winter itch is trying to creep back. It stays at bay by about 80% with my own products, but just . . . not . . . entirely. 

Something was missing.

I wish I would have thought to have taken before and after pictures, because even the last two weeks, alone, has been a time of great healing. I am SO relieved. 
I have used various Arnica oils and homeopathic pellets for pain, bruising, muscle massage, and for my skin, but nothing had started to work as well as something yet another rep gave me a few weeks ago ~ an Arnica oil by Life Flo. It was starting to work better than the other things I'd been using, but it only went 'so far.' What got my attention was that ARNICA was one of the few ingredients that I hadn't put in any of my own products . . . 
And you know me . . . since my sample oil was about to run out . . . off to do some research and experimenting I go.

I do believe I have hit upon THE recipe. I have played with the ingredients and love this blend. I can't tell you the difference in my skin. I have been using this AT LEAST twice a day ~ morning and night ~ and especially after a shower. My itchiness is WAY down and my scars are almost entirely gone, as well. 

You can make this into an oil OR a salve. If you want the salve (which is especially good for bruises, rashes, scrapes, and general boo-boos) use the coconut oil, if you are more interested in the oil (for moisturizing your skin, massaging sore muscles, etc.) use one of the oils listed, below.
You will need:

~1-1/2 c. coconut oil (for the salve)
~1-1/2 c. olive, almond or grapeseed oil (for the liquid oil form - I use grapeseed because ALL skin-types can use it, even oily/acne-prone)
~1/4 c. dried arnica flowers
~1/4 c. dried comfrey 
~1/8 c. dried rosemary leaves
~15 drops lavender essential oil
~10 drops frankincense essential oil
~5 drops peppermint
~5 drops wintergreen essential oil (gives a cool feeling, optional)
~an oven-safe bowl
~mesh strainer
~small bowl OR measuring cup with pour spout
~jar with a tight-fitting lid or a gasket lid (for salve) OR an amber bottle with a dropper or pump top (for oil)

1) heat your oven to 200* (F); once it reaches the temperature, turn it off
     ***if you are using the coconut oil, melt it - on low heat - while the oven is warming***
2) put the herbs and oil into an oven-safe bowl (NO METAL), mix well with your whisk, put into the oven and let it all steep for 4-5 hours.
     ***if you are using the coconut oil and it solidifies, simply GENTLY re-heat it to a liquid state at the end of the steeping time***
3) use your mesh strainer to strain the oil into a bowl OR measuring cup with pour spout; be sure to gently press the herbs so that as much oil as possible comes out; throw away used herbs
4) add essential oils and gently mix with the whisk
5) pour your salve into jars OR your oil into the amber bottles ~ the oil would also be nice in a roll-on :-)
6) To Use: apply as often as needed
Let me know how much you LOVE this wonderful product.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><


  1. It will take me a bit to collect everything I need, but I am definitely going to make this as an oil. Thank you so much for sharing, Kim. I'm going to "pin" this so that I don't lose track of it. ;-)

  2. Wow, that is an impressive formula. i tend to have dry skin; especially in the winter; so I will look closer at this one.
    I am glad you are doing better.
    Blessings for sharing this one!

  3. I have been a big fan of Arnica for years. Will try this soon just have to go shopping.


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