The purpose of a drawing salve is to rid impurities or small foreign bodies from the skin. Drawing salves are often used to remove splinters, bee stings and the toxins in boils, for example. Though drawing salves can be purchased in stores, homemade versions offer you the opportunity to incorporate your favourite soothing agents and healing ingredients.
Prepare an infusion of plantain leaves and lavender flowers by placing the clean, dry herbs in a glass jar and filling it with oil. Plantain leaf is the active ingredient in the drawing salve, and lavender is an herbal antiseptic. You may also want to add other herbal ingredients at this point, such as echinacea, goldenseal or oatstraw. Allow the herbs to steep for a month before straining them, then discard the herbs and set aside the oil for use in the salve.
The base of your drawing salve can be made from one of two ingredients according to your preference: melted beeswax or melted vegetable shortening. Add 1/2 teaspoon of benzoin to each pint of salve after it has melted. This will act as a natural preservative.
Basic Salve Mix
You will blend your oil and base in a separate container. Mix them together well. You'll want the concentration to be about half oil and half wax or shortening. This will allow the salve to set when it cools without being so hard that it is difficult to apply to the skin.
While the salve is still warm and easy to mix you may wish to add a few drops of other beneficial essential oils. After all, this is one of the advantages of preparing your own homemade drawing salve. Add only two to three drops of each oil and mix them well.
Applying the Salve
After you have put the salve into its final storage container, it will stay fresh for weeks or months. Pay attention to the smell for indications that it has turned rancid. Apply it to the skin as needed by smearing it on the affected area and covering it with a bandage. The salve should work quickly to draw forth the infection, boil or splinter.