Birch came to us with a few small, but painful looking, nicks on her teats. There was a yearling in the herd that she came from who thought she'd get some extra milk (round two!) with all the newly freshened mamas this spring. The yearling rendered many of the milky mamas a little beat up in the teats.
Sequoia and I set about making some healing salve for our sweet mama cow. It was a great science week for Sequoia's homeschooling - botany, chemistry and health in one week! She studied all and harvested most of the herbs we used for the salve. The only herb we were not able to harvest and dry ourselves is the echinacea root. The salve is so soothing and healing I have also been using it on Jade's teething-related rash. It has all but cleared up the rash in less than 24 hours!
- 4 tbsp dried and finely chopped plantain leaves
- 4 tbsp dried and finely chopped chickweed
- 2 tbsp dried and finely chopped comfrey leaves
- 2 tbsp dried and finely chopped calendula flowers
- 2 tbsp dried and finely chopped echinacea root
- approximately 1 cup coconut oil (enough to cover the herbs well)
- enough beeswax to get the consistency you want
- 3 capsules of vitamin E (the ones I used are 400IU's each)
- finely chop all your dried herbs
- measure out the desired amounts
- add all the herbs to a crock pot or double boiler
- add the coconut oil (adjust the amount accordingly so that your herbs are sufficiently covered)
- heat the oil/herb mixture for a minimum of four hours on very low heat, checking on it frequently to make sure that it is not too hot - the herbs should not burn or overheat or some of the medicinal quality is lost
- strain out the herbs through a cheese cloth, squeezing out as much of that liquid gold as you can get
- return the oil to the crock pot or double boiler and reheat over low heat
- add as much beeswax as you would like to get the salve consistency you want (you can take little spoonfuls out and put in the fridge to cool rapidly to check your consistency - adjust accordingly with either more beeswax or more oil depending on if you need it thicker or thinner)
- poke holes in the vitamin E capsules and squeeze the oil into the mixture
- at this point, you could also add any essential oils that you might want for fragrance or healing properties (I split our batch in half and left one half plain and added peppermint essential oil to the other half. Peppermint is good for mastitis. Plain is good for a nursing calf. Peppermint for her udder, plain for her teats.)
- once you have the consistency that you like, pour your warm salve into little jars. I used two 4-ounce canning jars.
- let your jars sit over night until the salve is thickened and set
- use liberally and enjoy!