Making Your Own Salves: How A Compounding Pharmacy Does It

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If you want to learn how to make your own salves, it is not difficult. In fact, many a compounding pharmacy makes salves to order. This is the same set of techniques that made salves for centuries is still in practice today. You can duplicate what the compounding pharmacies do and make your own salves at home. Here is how that works.

Start with Pure Petroleum Jelly or Bees' Royal Jelly

The base of all salves is the ointment vehicle. The ancient Egyptians used royal jelly, a byproduct of bees, produced to feed the queen and the larvae. This is often a little richer and less smelly than petroleum jelly, and it tends to cost more too because of the way that it is harvested. Petroleum jelly also works, but generally carries a less pleasant odor because it is a derivative of crude oil. Generally you should pick the one you are least likely to have a reaction to, since some people may be allergic to all things bee, while others may be bothered by all things oil.

Grind Herbs or Other Ingredients in a Mortar

Compounding pharmacies take certain herbs and other ingredients and grind them up into a paste or powder to use as medicine. Depending on what kind of salve you intend to use, you could use comfrey leaves to alleviate pain or peppermint oil to reduce inflammation and swelling. All of the ingredients you choose should be ground together in the mortar with the pestle. When it is a fine powder or thick paste, add several milligrams of the base jelly you have selected. Stir it and fold it repeatedly until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed into the base jelly. Now you have a salve.

Filling Tubes

Unfortunately, this is one step you cannot do at home. Your salve will have to be canned like most homemade products because it is not legal for anyone but a pharmacist to fill metallic or plastic tubes with salve, ointment, or medicinal creams. However, placing the salve in a little used tin with a lid is perfectly acceptable. You can then mark your tins or jars with labels so that you remember what is in them and other family members in the house do not attempt to eat something they mistook for breakfast jelly. You may also want to test your salve for efficacy before placing it into a tin or jar. It may need more of one ingredient to work properly. 

Contact a company like Camelback Compounding Pharmacy for more information about having a salve made.