How to Make Balm of Gilead Salve
Making Balm of Gilead infused oil
The bud harvest is meager unless you have a huge plantation of Cottonwood trees. But use whatever you do harvest fully.
For 1 cup or less of buds, put the buds in a wide mouth pint size mason jar. If you have two cups to 4 cups of buds, use a wide mouth quart jar. Fill the jar to within 1 inch of the top with olive oil.
Put the jar in a warm spot. I put my jars in a sunny window where the warmth of the sun helps the buds to release their resin. Over a month or so, the resin will slowly move into the oil, giving the golden oil a deep reddish hue.
Shake the jar to distribute the resin, a few times a week, while you are waiting. When it’s ready to strain after a month, the oil will have the pleasant, Balm of Gilead perfume.
At this time, after a month of waiting, strain the oil into a clean, coloured glass bottle. Cap tightly and label with the date and contents, “Balm of Gilead.” You can discard the spent buds in the compost pile.
Making Balm of Gilead Ointment
Balm of Gilead oil is like gold around here. You can’t buy it. It is harvested by hand. The buds aren’t available in any herbal store. So if you don’t know someone who makes it or harvest your own you can get it on Etsy. It takes hours to harvest a small amount of buds, and while the harvest is a pleasant experience, no one does it to make money.
Knowing this, you will want to treat your harvest well, so that you don’t lose a single, precious drop of this healing oil. Add a ½ tsp. of natural source vitamin E oil to your final bottle of oil. This protects the oil from rancidity. If you keep it tightly capped, and in a cool dry place, your harvest should last 2+ years.
Balm of Gilead Ointment
4 oz. of infused Balm of Gilead oil
½ oz. of pure beeswax melted
2 oz. of coconut oil
1 oz. of cocoa butter
Melt wax, coconut oil, and cocoa butter together until liquid.
Add the Balm of Gilead oil and heat until the mixture is fully melted.
Don’t allow it to simmer though. Keep it just warm enough to make everything liquid.
Pour into two 4 oz. glass jars. Cap tightly while still warm.
Label and seal.
When to use Balm of Gilead Ointment
Balm of Gilead Ointment is:
Helps heal coughs
This magic balm relieves pain, especially the pain from sore muscles, arthritis, and broken bones. It also reduces swelling and inflammation.
It relieves pain at the nerve level and combined with St. Johns Wort infused oil, it can do amazing things where there are shooting pains, or injuries in the joints or even broken bones. Combine with St. Johns Wort for nerve pain and comfrey for bone healing.
Balm of Gilead can be combined with other anti-inflammatory herbs to relieve a variety of pains. When you make your herbal infused oils this summer, consider infusing Comfrey Leaf, St. Johns Wort Flowers, Calendula Flowers, Arnica Blossoms, Dandelion Blossom, Ox-Eyed Daisy Flowers, and Plantain. Use these oils in combination with Balm of Gilead for several analgesic, healing, and anti-inflammatory ointments and salves.
Balm of Gilead contains salicin, which converts to salicylic acid in your body. If you are allergic to aspirin or are taking blood thinners, check with your doctor before using Balm of Gilead oil.
If you are unsure, test it on your skin in an inconspicuous spot to make sure that you are not allergic. If you notice any heat or redness developing, don’t apply it to your skin.