If you haven’t read Outlander… and thus the concept of a Outlander herbal salve makes no sense to you… I apologize. Pretend like this is just an herbal salve instead.
But if you have read Outlander (specifically Drums of Autumn, I believe) you may recall a scene in which Jamie and Clair spend time massaging each other’s callused and worn hands with said herbal salve. What may have seemed like a quite small and unimportant moment (especially considering the tidal wave of activity in these books) caught me at just the right moment.
The holding of hands. The beeswax melting with the body heat. The aroma of herbs. The companionship and service to the other.
Anyway. As soon as I finished the passage, I promptly ran out to the summer garden to grab all of the herbs and flowers mentioned: yarrow, rose, chamomile, lavender, calendula, and comfrey. The result was the most beautiful basket of colors and scents and the romantic in me was head-over-heels. The homesteader in me was equally excited, but more at the idea of having an herbal salve stored up to balm our hands and elbows with through the dry, harsh winter. Ain’t nobody want chapped hands while they’re milking the cow.
It’s the little things, my friends. The little things that give your spirit lift! Don’t overlook them.
Outlander Herbal Salve
As with most herbal salves, this herbal salve requires letting the herbs and flowers steep for a long period of time. Plan on making in the summer and finishing the salve off on the fall. If you cannot find the fresh herbs, dried herbs can be used as well at half the amount.
You will need:
1 cup fresh comfrey
1 cup fresh calendula
1 cup fresh lavender flowers
1 cup fresh rose petals
1 cup fresh yarrow
1 cup fresh chamomile flowers
16 ounces sweet almond oil, olive oil, apricot kernel oil, or oil of choice
1 cup beeswax
- Combine all of the herbs in a large glass jar. Press them down to release some of the oils and condense them a bit into the bottom of the jar.
- Cover the herbs completely with the almond oil.
- Put a lid on the jar and place it in a dark cupboard for 4-6 weeks.
- After the herbs have steeped in the oil, strain them out and reserve the leftover oil. Make sure to spend time squeezing out all of the oil from the herbs so that we capture as much of the oil as possible.
- Combine the herb oil and beeswax in a double boiler. Heat over low, stirring, until the mixture is completely combined.
- Quickly pour the herbal salve into whatever containers you like let cool.
Might I encourage you to spend some time rubbing this herbal salve into your loved ones hands. Massage their knuckles gently. Rub our fingers along their palm. Use the base of your hand to press firmly up their forearm. Work the salve in until the beeswax melts and absorbs into the skin.
This isn’t lotion, my friends.
This is Outlander herbal salve.
PS: If “old-world” is your thing, be sure to check out my old-world recipes released each month to my Cooking Community here.
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