A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about foraging for Purslane and using it for fermenting, eating fresh, infusing into vinegar and finally making into a salve. This salve is inexpensive and easy to make as it makes use of a foraged weed for the main ingredient! It is good for soothing skin irritations and inflammation such as bug bites, rashes and burns.
First, I took several handfuls of fresh purslane, picked off the leaves and chopped it finely.
I put it into an oven safe container and covered with olive oil. Then I baked it in a 150 degree F oven for 2 hours. After the oil was cool enough to touch, I strained it through a flour sack towel to separate the purslane from the oil.
When using fresh plant material, usually there will be a bit of water that is extracted along with the oil during straining. It is important to separate it out since water will introduce bacteria and cause the oil to go bad sooner. To do this, I let the strained oil sit overnight to allow separation. Then I carefully poured (decanted) off the oil, leaving the water in the jar.
Now you have two options. You can pour off the oil into a clean dry jar to store and use later. Or, if you are making your salve right away, you can pour it directly into your saucepan or heatproof container.
In order not to get another dish dirty, I placed my pan directly on a scale so I could measure the amount of oil. This tells me how much beeswax to add.
After decanting, I still had some oil left in the jar as you can see. But I didn’t want to risk getting any water into the pan.
Since purslane is edible, I just took the leftover oil and water mixture at the bottom of the jar and made it into a vinaigrette salad dressing by adding vinegar, garlic and spices. Then I put the purslane oil vinaigrette on a purslane/basil salad. I love it when it comes full circle like that!
When adding beeswax, the ratio is 1 tsp beeswax per oz of oil. I had roughly 2.5 oz of infused oil, so I added 2.5 tsp of beeswax.
I put it on the stove and turned it on really low heat. This part takes patience. Mine took about 20 minutes to melt. While you are waiting you can make labels for your containers. Always remember to label everything! If you don’t, you will forget what it is. You might not think you will, but you will. I speak from experience on this one.
Once all the beeswax is melted you want to test your salve to make sure the consistency is right. You can put a spoon in the fridge or freezer for a few seconds and then dip it in the salve. Let it sit for a minute and then test it on your finger. If it is too soft you can add more beeswax or if it is too firm you can add more oil.
Once you are ready to pour the salve into your containers you can add essential oils.
I like to add it directly to the container. I usually use 10 drops of essential oil per oz, but this time I wanted a lighter scent. These tins are 1 oz and I used 3 drops of lavender and 2 drops of tea tree essential oil for each tin. Lavender and tea tree essential oils have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. The lavender is also calming and smells great. They are a great combination to put in healing salves.
Then I filled the tins, and was careful not the move or touch them until they solidified.
Once the salve was solidified and cooled down, then I put the caps on.
Purslane But Bite Salve
Fresh purslane, picked off of stem and chopped finely
Lavender essentail oil
Tea tree essential oil
-Take chopped purslane leaves and put them in an oven safe dish and cover with olive oil. Bake at 150 degrees F for 2 1/2 hours. Strain out purslane using cheesecloth or a piece of cotton (right after straining it is best to discard the spent plant material and scrub the towel with some dish soap to break down the oil before putting it in the wash). Put the oil in a clean dry jar and let it sit overnight for the water to separate from the oil.
-The next day, pour off the oil into a clean dry jar or saucepan for making salve. For every 1 oz of oil add 1 tsp of beeswax. Add beeswax to oil in pan and warm on low on the stove until the beeswax melts. Once all the beeswax is melted you want to test your salve to make sure the consistency is right. You can put a spoon in the fridge or freezer for a second and then dip it in the salve. Let it sit for a minute and then test it on your finger. If it is too soft you can add more beeswax or if it is too firm you can add more oil.
-Then prepare your containers and add essential oils to each container. You can use 5-10 drops of essential oil per oz of salve. Then you pour in the salve and give it a quick stir with a chopstick or spoon to mix and let it sit, uncovered, until they solidify. Then cap and store in a cool place.
-Use as needed on bug bites, or to soothe any inflamed skin condition like rashes, burns, cystic acne, etc…