Epic Healing Salve

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I’ve been debating weather or not I should share this recipe. I adjusted another bloggers recipe to make mine, so its kind of from another blogger (which you should go read so you can decide which way works best for you!). But in the end, its just the most amazing salve ever so I decided you all needed to see how to make some!!

Epic Healing Salve

(Salve is pronounced sav, in case you didn’t know ….)

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This particular salve is made from the leaves of the plantain leaf. (Not the starchy banana looking fruit plant). Plantain (broad leaf or narrow leaf) can almost certainly be found in your yard or a nearby field. I used broad leaf plantain for my recipe but you could use narrow leaf plantain if that’s what you find.

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This is what the leaves look like. They are easy to identify by the thick veins that run through them in one direction and the flower stems are thick, green spikes out of the middle.

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The plant in its natural environment

This plant is really an amazing plant. You may think its a weed but its pretty awesome. Its edible (just like salad greens or cooked in a recipe in place of any greens) and medicinal. If you get stung by a bee just pick a leaf of this, chew it up and rub the poultice on the sting. It removes the stinger, stops the swelling, eases the pain and eases the itchiness.

How to make the salve-

You will need:

A mason jar loosely pack with plantain leaves* Organic Olive Oil Beeswax (Buy here) Coconut Oil (Buy here)

(*I didn’t put amounts because its how much you want to make. I used a quart jar 3/4 full of leaves and got a pint and a half of salve and half a pint of leftover infused oil. As far as beeswax and coconut oil go, use 2 tablespoons of each per 1/2 cup of oil.)

Process:

The leaves in the oil

The leaves in the oil

Add enough olive oil to your mason jar to cover your leaves (I used about 2 cups for my quart jar). Here’s where I do my own thing. Put the jar of oil in a cool, dark place. Take it out and shake it twice a day (or more) for 2 weeks. At the end of the two weeks strain the leaves out. Squeeze them in your fingers to get all of the oil out. You don’t want to waste any. Get rid of the leaves however you see fit (or save them and use them as a poultice). Put the oil in a sauce pan and melt the coconut oil ad beeswax into it over as low of heat as you can. You heat it on low heat so you don’t disrupt the nature of the beeswax.

Pour it into sterilized mason jars and let it cool. Its ready to use immediately. It lasts for a year stored in a cool, dark place.

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So what do you use it on??

Everything!!

Ok, not quite, but almost!

It stops bug bites from itching along with making them go away quicker, it helps stings, scratches, small cuts, bruises and poison ivy. It also really helps new tattoos and piercings. I recently got a new tattoo and its healing up very nicely. It was one of the most painful tattoos I’ve gotten and the salve really helps when it starts burning and itching.

Just because I mentioned it, this is the tattoo I got. It was a horrible, crappy, scratcher tattoo (just thick, black letters) that my favorite artist over at Inner Vision Body Art fixed for me =)

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Anyways, back to the salve, I’ve been rubbing it on everything. Its fantastic!!

So go make some!!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

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This post was shared on Thank Goodness It’s Monday, Natural Living Monday, Party Wave Wednesday, The Blog Strut and Wildcrafting Wednesday!

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Henna for Hair (Part 2!)

Now that you know all the benefits of henna on your hair from part 1 (What’s that?? You missed part 1! Well here it is), here’s how to reap the benefits and beautify your hair!

I’d like to reiterate the fact that you need 100% pure dried henna leaves, or it won’t have the same affect on your hair and it won’t be as healthy/healthy at all and it won’t be completely natural.¬†Mehandi is pure henna-

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Before you decide on a whim the day before a big event to henna your hair, just know it takes a few days to dye and for your hair to settle. It takes 12-24 hours for the dye to be ready, it has to sit on your hair for 2-4 hours and it takes 2-4 days for it to darken to a deep red (it starts out bright orange-ish).

In order to go from powdered leaves to hair dye you need a watered down acidic liquid. I used one part lemon juice to 4 parts water (ish). In a glass bowl (not metal, henna reacts adversely with metal and will ruin it) mix your watered down lemon juice with the henna until it reaches a slightly runny clay-like texture. Cover it with plastic wrap (I used an old grocery bag rubber banded on, since I don’t have any plastic wrap) and let it 12-24 hours. I mixed mine as soon as the mail at 3pm came and let it sit over night until I got around to doing it the next day around noon. It will look like a muddy cow pie and it will smell like a freshly cut hay field. I personally didn’t mind the smell, as I hail from farm country, but it does both some people. You can mix in some ground cloves to make it more fragrant (it will also enhance the red color).

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I mixed mine in 2 bowls only because I lost my large glass bowl when I moved and I couldn’t fit it all in 1.
I used a 100 gram pack of henna powder and had leftovers. 100 grams is supposed to cover short hair and 200 grams is supposed to cover shoulder length hair. I have half of my head shaved and the rest of it is almost shoulder length, so I just went with 100 grams. I’d suggest mixing a little more then you think you’ll need to err on the side of caution. You can freeze the mixed paste to save for later if you end up with too much.

The next day when your ready to dye, add a little more water until its a creamy, yogurty paste. If its too runny it will drip all over the place and stain everything, as well as be too diluted. Put on some gloves (unless you want bright red hands for a few weeks), and start slathering generous portions of the henna glop on you hair. Start at the base of your neck and work your way up and over your head.

When its covered you want it to be thickly layered on your hair. Not thinly. thickly. Like your head is covered in clay. Then, cover you hair in plastic wrap and let it rest for 2-4 hours. I let mine on for 3 1/2 hours. Wear an old shirt because it will drip at some point. I covered my head in plastic wrap and an old plastic bag tied super tight because I was leaking too much.
If you get any on your face, wipe it quickly so you don’t turn colors. If you end up with orange skin, you can rub a little rubbing alcohol on it to get it off. Just be sure to moisturize your skin after you put alcohol on it. As you can see, I accidentally dyed my forehead orange.

With henna applied, covered in plastic wrap, and 3.5 hours later before I rinsed it out

With henna applied, covered in plastic wrap, and 3.5 hours later before I rinsed it out

Rinse it out until your rinse water is clear, not red-ish brown.
Right after I rinsed mine out I looked in the mirror and saw this:

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I was scared. (I apologize if I’ve given any of nightmare from this picture, I am having nightmares too).

But seriously folks, it will be bright orange. But I PROMISE it darkens. It takes 2-4 days to darken and become red. You could already see a difference between when I rinsed it out at 4pm until I went to bed at 9:30pm. Here’s what it actually looks like after you rinse it-

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Now, its darkened quite a bit and has become a lovely shade or red. I expect it to get even darker by Sunday =)

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I will share a picture when it has completely finished darkening!

If you have any questions feel free to comment, Facebook or email me!! I love to help if I can!

Happy Henna-ing!!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Shared on LHITS DIY Linky!