When creating an herbal ointment, it is important to note that they will contain oils and fats, but no water. Unlike a cream, they are not created to blend into the skin, but instead create a separate layer. When the skin is soft or already weak, an ointment works pretty well. This is why an ointment is used to protect skin from ailments such as diaper rash, where additional moisture is required. In the past, ointments were once created using animal fats, but today petroleum jelly and paraffin wax are the common ingredients of today.
Before you begin to create an ointment, gather the following equipment: glass bowl, saucepan (or double boiler), wooden spoon, jelly bag and string (or muslin bag and winepress), jug, rubber gloves, and sterilized airtight dark glass jars with lids. The parts of the plant that is used to make ointments can be both fresh and dried. The standard quantity to make an ointment is 500 grams of petroleum jelly or soft paraffin wax or 60 grams of dried or 150 grams of fresh herb. When applying an ointment, you should rub a little into the affected parts two to three times per day.
Making an Herbal Ointment
First, melt the jelly or wax in a bowl over a pan of boiling water or in a double boiler. Add the herbs and heat for two hours or until the herbs become crisp. The ingredients should not be allowed to boil in the pan. Next, pour the mixture into a jelly bag that is fitted with a string (or with an elastic band) that is placed over the rim of a jug. A muslin bag and a winepress are also used in making an herbal ointment. If you are using a jelly bag, then it is suggested to wear rubber gloves because the mixture will become hot.
You will then squeeze the mixture through the jelly bag until it collects into the jug. Lastly, quickly pour the stained mixture into sterilized, airtight dark jars while it is still warm and melted. Your ointments will last for about three to four months when stored in a cool place in your home.
A few herb selections to consider when making an ointment includes:
Aloe: long-term use remedy
Arnica: treats bruises, sprains, and frostbite (when only used on skin that is unbroken)
Chamomile: eczema and other skin conditions caused by allergies
Chickweed: irritant eczema, corns, boils, and splinters
Cowslip & Primrose: sunburn and skin blemishes
Elderflower: chapped hands
German Chamomile: the flowers of the plant are used to fight insect bites, wounds, itchy eczema, as well as anal or vulval irritation
Marshmallow: wounds and skin ulcerations
Melilot: swellings and varicose eczema
Plantain: the leaves of the plant are used to combat dry eczema, wounds, burns, and hemorrhoids
Red Clover: the fresh flowers treat lymphatic swellings
Self-Heal: bleeding hemorrhoids
Stinging Nettle: the aerial parts are used to treat hemorrhoids and eczema
Witch Hazel: cuts, scrapes, bruising, irritated varicose veins, and hemorrhoids