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How do you make a salve? Answered

Origins used to make a cream called "Leg Lifts." It's loaded with menthol, Eucalyptus and a bunch of other stuff that makes your skin tingle. I would use it after really long bike rides and it was like a cooling chemical massage. They have now stopped making it and no more is available so I was hoping to reverse engineer it.
It was a smooth cream the consistency of ketchup or a heavy hair conditioner. I think I can work out the things that make your skin tingle, but I have no idea what to use for the suspension medium. I searched for foot creams and salves and what I found didn't seem like a good fit.
I figure once I come up with a suspension medium, I can just add powdered menthol, eucalyptus, tea tree oils and such until I get something that does the job.
What could I use for this suspension medium? It has to be pH balanced, hypoallergenic and edible.



Best Answer 8 years ago

I did happen to think of one other thing, aloe vera gel, and that pretty much taps out my home remedy portfolio.

 The Aloe Vera gel seems like the best thing going. The bee's wax idea is good, but will eventually go rancid without some sort of preservative.
Thanks all!

Im using arnica gel works great for pain bruises burns and minor scratches

Clear aloe vera gel is awesome for a base...but I have serious worries that you want something "edible" and will putting menthol and other essential oils into it. Are you really going to ingest this or are you just making sure it's safe for your skin? I have used the clear gel for a muscle cream base and if you shake it long enough, it combines with small amounts of oils. Good luck with your project!

Hi. If you are still looking, I can help. I'm pretty new, but this is an instructable I hope to make soon. Salves are an oil/wax mixture, much like what has been discussed. Oils that work well are olive, sesame, walnut, grapeseed, etc. All will go rancid over time...but you aren't supposed to put it on shelf and look at it! Use it up. Keeping them cool and dark helps, and you can add vit. E oil to help. Make small batches. Creams/lotions are magic! You need to mix "oil" and "water"! So, you need an emulsifier to maintain the suspension. Lanolin is my favorite. Not Vegan, but works well. Do not use liquid. Lecithin can be used, but tends to spoil the cream more quickly (in my experience). 1:1, water to oil is the general idea, but you can add more oil and/or wax for a stiff cream that stays in place, or more "water" for a lotion that penetrates. First make a salve base. Approx. 4:1, oil to wax. Heat your oil in a double boiler on low (you want it just warm enough to melt the wax...and this is why "med-high heat" oils are nice), add sm. bits of wax until all are melted. Set aside in a measuring cup to cool. Then mix your "water" portion. You can use distilled water. I like to add pure aloe vera gel here. It is cooling (so good for your purpose), and great for the skin. It will shorten the life of a cream a little. A little rose water or orange flower water can be added here to, is nice for a face cream, but a little goes a long way. You can also use herbal teas for the "water", but any organic components will shorten shelf life...however, horse chestnut, tea or tincture (alcohol extract...Instructable on it's way), is very toning to the vasculature, good for vericose veins and feels great on sore legs. I like to add my essential oils here, which is how I would recommend getting your eucalyptus/peppermint, etc. into the formula. You can add it to the oil, but never to hot oil, as they are called "volatile" oils for a reason, and will be in the air and not in your cream. When oil is cooled, but still pourable (oil is cloudy, setting up on edges)...Place the "water" portion in a blender, get it blending on high (this should be room temp or warmer). Give the oil a stir first. Then, with a spatula in one hand, pour the oil slowly and steadily into the vortex of the water. Keep pouring. As it thickens pull it down the sides with the spatula (don't get the spatula into the blades or you'll have to learn about cheese cloth). Keep pouring...keep pouring...until the oil is gone. You should then hear a glub, or burp shortly there after. It doesn't always happen, but it is a good sign you are done. If it happens before the oil is in, try to get a little more in (you have a thick cream). If it doesn't happen, you may have a thinner lotion. All are good. Store in sterile jars. Preferably in the fridge. Baby food jars work great. These make great gifts, as it is hard to only make enough for one. Good luck!!!

You can use a blend of beeswax and jojoba, sweet almond or olive oil,  or maybe your eucalyptus or tea tree oil, if you want to use it straight (which could get expensive quick). Jojoba oil lasts much longer without going rancid than the others, and is edible but non-digestible. See "olestra" for why that might be an issue.
In any case, just melt the beeswax in a double boiler and add your choice of oil until it retains the proper consistency when cooled. You'll have to experiment a bit to get the proportions you want.

 This sounds promising. Beeswax infused with tea tree oil. That sounds like a very good base.
Heading out to the beekeeping supply store now. Seriously, there's one about 2 miles from here and they sell beeswax.

Good luck, and do keep us posted on how it turns out. I have used the oil/beeswax base before (an arnica muscle & bruise cream), and it works very well. To get a creamy consistency, you'll most likely wind up using much more oil (or much less beeswax) than you think you'll need at first. At least that's what happened with me....

I'm not saying they'll work, but looking at base stocks for such things they seem to rely on things like Guar Gum, or things like methyl cellulose or agar, or carageenan.

My father has an ancient compendium of recipes like the one you're looking for. I can take a look at that for you if you like ?



I come up with gelatin, can be mixed to different consistences. The other things I was thinking of karyo syrup (a bit sticky)   wonder what it would do if you added cornstarch to it... Cornstarch is used to thicken gravy so, it should work with other stuff. You might want to check out Nad's hair creme removal, it is all natural and may give you an idea as to what medium she uses.
"What is the Nad's Natural Gel made from?

Nad’s Natural Hair Removal Gel has been created from all natural ingredients, such as molasses, lemon juice, honey and vinegar."
hope this helps.


8 years ago

I can think of two things, whip together petroleum jelly and distilled water in a blender and add your ingredients to it, my wife uses this as a moisturizer.
If you want a water soluble base, use KY Jelly or its generic equivalent and mix your additives with it.

Not bad, but I don't want it to be greasy or slippery. Excellent try though and may have uses elsewhere so thanks for that.