Salves & Natural Healing

From an essential oil powered headache eraser to hot tiger balms to herb-spiked salves, ditch the shop bought ointments for these recipes.

Making Substitutions

Don’t have the oil or butter called for in the recipe? Here’s a guide on how to choose a good alternative from what you do have.

What's with the waxes?

Beeswax, carnauba wax, candelila wax, bayberry wax—how are they different? Can you use one instead of another?

Help, I made a mess!

My best tips for cleaning up your DIY messes 🙂

Calendula Sunshine Salve

Today we're making a simple salve starring calendula, with a supporting cast of sea buckthorn and lavender. It's easy to make, and the end result is a lovely warm yellow salve with a gentle, calming scent. If your nose is sore from too much blowing, or perhaps your...

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Soothing Cedarwood Ointment

This soft, creamy ointment features an intoxicating blend of essential oils designed to soothe skin and nerves. It was inspired by a for-purchase essential oil powered ointment I spotted on Pinterest and after perusing the ingredients I quickly figured I could whip up...

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Manuka Kawakawa Salve

In December 2017 I visited beautiful New Zealand, and it was an absolute dream come true. Wonderful weather, breathtaking scenery, and everyone I met was downright lovely. On my last day I visited Melissa and Emmett at Pure Nature in Auckland, and I so wish I could've...

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Plantain Chamomile Ointment

Plantain (Plantago major—not the banana-like fruit!) is one of my favourite herbs, but not for the reasons you might think. I like it because I see it everywhere, growing in alleys and public parks, and I just think it's a fun thing to see something so useful thriving...

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Silky Chamomile and Shea Salve

On the face of it, this salve sounds simple. Chamomile, shea, some carnauba wax. Meh. Nothing fancy, right? But... oh. Oh my. It's so much more than you'd think from looking at the ingredient list. Smokey raw shea butter and silky, nutty macadamia nut oil are infused...

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Puppy-Sporin Salve for Scrapes & Scratches

These days it's not hard to identify me as a new puppy owner—my scratch and bite covered hands and forearms give me away pretty quickly (well, I've either got a puppy or a passion for naked arm wresting with rose bushes). I've heard puppy teeth described as staples,...

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Intoxicating Rose Salve

I am not sure I can adequately describe how utterly incredible this silky smooth, soft intoxicating rose salve smells, but I will try. It's rose-like, yes, but it's more than that. Deep and sweet, but not cloying... more of a rich sweetness. There's also something...

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Protective Pooch Paw Wax

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know I love dogs. I am that person who will always ask if I can pet a puppy I see at the park, and I've fallen in love with many the puppy in an instant. I also do a bit of dog walking here in Calgary, and if a pooch has longer...

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Bill’s Lavender Salve

Back in 2014, Bill wrote to me with a recipe request for a lavender salve he'd been really enjoying using. He described it as "terrific stuff, with a texture just slightly lighter than Vaseline, a quite pungent lavender aroma, and yellow in colour (like lemongrass...

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Herb Infused Belly Bar

Another year, more babies. The wife of one of my co-workers is due to have their first baby in the first quarter of 2016, so I thought I'd make her an herb infused belly bar to ward of itchy belly and stretch marks. It's wonderfully easy to make and just the thing for...

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Fireplace in a Tin

First I made Air Conditioning in a Bottle, and then Air Conditioning in a Tin, and now I’m making Fireplace in a Tin. Frankly, I can’t believe it’s taken so long as I am far more likely to require heating than cooling up here in Canada. Let’s not delay things any...

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Lady Cramp Salve

This lady cramp salve is for those days when your uterus is staging an in-body uprising. If you are not the proud owner of a uterus, perhaps you'd like to bake a cake or something instead of making this salve—of you could make a batch for your favourite uterus owner....

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Calm Balm

This balm was inspired by a recipe request from Phoebe, who loves Badger Sleep Balm. I liked the idea, but decided to head off in the "calming" direction instead of the "sleepy" direction. The resulting calm balm is addictively fragrant, with a complex,...

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Scar Salve

This scar salve is designed to help your scars heal up, and it's loaded with healing ingredients. The oil base features healing rock stars like pure Vitamin E, vitamin rich rosehip oil, and andiroba, tamanu, and emu oil—all traditional healers in their countries of...

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Air Conditioning in a Tin

I love my Air Conditioning in a Bottle, but it's not hugely travel friendly. In a world of liquid carry on restrictions and fees for checking any bags, I thought it was high time I developed a solid version; Air Conditioning in a Tin. This glossy balm is thickened...

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Healing Bee Propolis Cream

Bee propolis is a really amazing substance. In its raw form it looks like clods of dirt, and smells something like the air just before it rains. Made from essential oils, resins, saps, and the odd bit of dry grass, it is a powerful antibacterial and antiseptic healing...

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Healing Herbal Hemp & Shea Lotion

This herb spiked lotion features some of my favourite eczema fighting ingredients, making it perfect for the onset of winter. Instead of using plain water in this lotion, I’ve made an herbal infusion. With soothing marshmallow root and chamomile, and healing calendula...

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Simple Bandits Salve

Bandits oil is a fantastic all-purpose essential oil blend to have around. It's a powerful anti-bacterial/anti-viral/anti-fungal/anti-everything, it smells great, and it's really quite inexpensive to whip up a thieving little bottle of your own. This simple bandits...

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Cool & Clear Eucalyptus Balm

This silky smooth balm smells clear and fresh, and leaves skin feeling lightly cooled and refreshed as well as gently moisturized. It comes together quickly and easily, and it's vegan to boot.   Want to watch this recipe instead of read it? Watch Now Eucalyptus...

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Ice in a Tube

This idea came to me in yoga class. I'd already cycled 25km that day and was now lying on my mat, awaiting the start of a butt-kicking yoga class, and I was still a bit sore from previous athletic-type shenanigans. All of these things came together to make ice in a...

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Barefoot Balm

I think one of my favourite things about summer is ditching shoes and going barefoot. As a kid I'd frequently return home with totally blackened feet that grew tough and leathery over the summer months. Now, sadly, I don't have months-long summer vacations, which...

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Soothing Sunburn Cream

You only need to look at me for about half a second to know that I burn easily. I ate lunch outside the other day for about half an hour and ended up with a bright red chest, and while I was in Costa Rica my shoulders did a very convincing impression of a moulting...

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Chili Oil Tiger Balm

Before I left for Costa Rica with dreams of surfing real waves dancing in my imagination, I made a big jar of chili oil tiger balm. I was pretty sure I'd need it, and I was right. Surfing is hard work, especially when you yank your body out of winter semi-hibernation...

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Bandits Oil

Frankly, I'm a bit surprised I don't already have a recipe for, err, "Bandits" oil up here (apparently the more common name is trademarked and the owners aren't shy about threatening bloggers with legal action, which is just charming... hence the different name), and...

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