Herbal Interests // Cold Sore Salve

Hey, y'all! How are you doing today? You know, it's been really dreary here. I think our entire family has a case of cabin fever, Tad won't nap because he's just been moping about all day, and to top it all off, I was graced with a massive cold sore a couple of days ago. I know. Gross. It wouldn't bother me so much if it wasn't so gosh darn painful!!! Every time I go to eat something, there is a lot of wincing involved, which hasn't really prevented me from eating... let's just be honest with ourselves here. I do love to eat! I thought I'd look to the lovely internet to see what kinds of herbal remedies I could find for cold and canker sores. I was happy to find a decently easy salve out there! But first, I need to get a little something off of my chest...

A little while ago I received a really intense email from a reader. You could definitely file it under the category of hate mail, and to be honest, it kind of broke my spirit. Essentially, that's the entire point of someone sending you hate mail, and I've had some time to sit down and think about why the person was so upset. They had tried to make my last herbal healing salve, and to make a long story short, the recipe obviously did not work out for them. After being told that my recipe and writing were worthless, it made me question everything I had written. I read over that recipe again and again trying to figure out what was wrong with it, what was wrong with me... You all know that I am not a professional herbalist. I write it as a disclaimer after every recipe; I did not get a collegiate degree in herbal medicine, and I happily make simple recipes as a hobby. Everything I know I've learned from some wonderful books! So, while I sat back for a moment in fear that I wasn't good enough, I remembered that I didn't want to be ruled by being afraid of what one person said. I read more up on salves, and I can be proud to say that I think they're fairly easy to make. Just a gentle reminder to be kind to others, give constructive criticism when needed, and also thanks for supporting our little blog! We love you guys.

Here is my recipe for a cold sore healing salve. I found a recipe here that I liked and based mine off of some similar ingredients! 

INGREDIENTS // 

  • Lemon Balm, dried, about 1/4 cup
  • Peppermint, dried, about 1/4 cup
  • Cloves, about 1 tbsp
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup jojoba oil (carrier oil)
  • 1/4 cup Vitamin E oil (carrier oil)
  • 10-20 drops Tea Tree Oil
  • Beeswax, less than 1/4 cup

RECIPE // 

  • Infuse your oils. You can do this two ways - the long way OR the short way. I went with the short way. Here's how to do both. If you need some photo guidance, check back on my last salve making post.
  1. Long Way. Fill a mason jar with your dried herbs. Pour your coconut oil, jojoba oil, and Vitamin E oil into the jar, over the herbs, and give it a little stir. Seal tightly with a lid and let sit in a dark, cool place for about 2-3 weeks. This will really get all of the goodness out the herbs!
  2. Short Way. In a double boiler over medium heat, bring the water to a boil. Heat the coconut oil, jojoba oil, and Vitamin E oil. Stir in the dried herbs. You want the ratios to be 2:1. That would mean 1 cup of oil to 1/2 cup of dried herbs. Heat the herbs over medium/low heat for 30 minutes, stirring semi-constantly.
  • You'll be using lemon balm as it is filled with wonderful anti-viral properties and aids in stress and tension, which why most cold sores happen. The peppermint will aid in scent and is extremely therapeutic. The cloves will help to be a pain reliever - don't use too many! 
  • nce your herbs have been infused, you'll want to strain them. Using a fine mesh sieve or a cheesecloth, strain the herbs over a bowl to collect the oil. Toss the herbs or compost them!
  • Heating your double boiler again, add the now infused oil and beeswax. My beeswax was already melted in my crockpot. I used about 1/4 cup, and my salve set up a bit too thick. I would suggest using around 4 tbsp of melted beeswax. Stir them together for about 5-10 minutes to make sure they are melted well.
  • Pour the melted beeswax + oil mixture into your desired container. I used two jam-size mason jars. Working quickly, drop in about 10-20 drops of tea tree oil and stir to incorporate. Make sure you use a wood stick or utensil to stir - beeswax is a pain to remove from metal. 
  • Place in the fridge for about 10-20 minutes or until set, mixing every now and then. Finished!

In the end, I was really satisfied with this recipe! The infused cloves WORKED. Dang! Truth be told, I made this salve yesterday, so I can't say that it worked a miracle and healed my cold sore, but it definitely has taken the pain away. I've been reapplying it every half hour or so and am loving the numbing agents within the cloves. Hoping that my little sore heals up sooner rather than later! Would love to hear how your salve making goes! 

***Disclaimer:  Again, I am not a professional. I make these as a hobby! If you require serious medical attention or are questioning using these ingredients, please consult with your doctor before making. Thanks!

xoxo Kayla