Spicy Salve Recipe

This salve was created purely as an experiment, and somehow ended up doing exactly what I wanted it to first try. Rather than give it a dignified name, like such a lovely pain salve rightfully deserves, I continue to just call it Spicy Salve. Because it’s a salve. And it’s spicy.

A pinterest pin of a salve in a silver tin, propped up against a tree trunk. A bright red cayenne pepper rests against the salve on the lower left corner of the image, pine needles visible in the background and poking above the salve. The words "How to make Spicy Salve" are in white, along with white lines and decorations on the image. A strip of dark green is at the bottom of the image, with the words "unruly gardening' and plant decals in white.

Notes:

Because of the cayenne and ginger in this recipe, avoid getting it anywhere sensitive- eyes, mouth, general mucous membranes, any broken skin. Warming spicy feel on aching muscles = pleasant. Warming spicy feel on delicate/broken skin = Lots Of Discomfort. I speak from experience here.

Infusion

You will need

  • Rice bran oil
  • 1 tbsp dried dandelion flowers
  • 2 tbsp dried arnica flowers
  • 1 tbsp dried comfrey root
  • 1 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger powder
  • Mason jar or other lidded glass container for infusing

Measure all plant matter into the mason jar. If your jar has measurement markings on the side, fill it with the rice bran oil the rest of the way up to the 12 oz mark. Eyeball the amount of oil if there is no markings- it’s not going to ruin the batch if you aren’t precise.

Place the jar, without the lid, in a small pot of water on a stove top burner set to low, and let infuse for 1 or 2 hours, coming by on occasion and stirring it up. The ginger powder and cayenne powder will keep settling to the bottom- make sure to stir it up back into the oil each time.

After the stove top infusing, set the oil aside and let it cool off a bit. Lid the oil, label it with the contents and date, and set in a sunny windowsill, where it will need to infuse for at least two weeks. Shake the infusion vigorously x2 daily, making sure to get the settled ginger and cayenne off the bottom of the jar. Trying to use the oil before the full two weeks of infusing will result in a weaker salve that may not work as desired.

Salve

You will need

  • 3.50 oz infused herbal oil
  • .50 oz beeswax
  • 45 drops cypress essential oil

Weigh out infused oil & beeswax into a heat-safe container such as a mason jar. Set the jar in a small pot of water on a stove top burner set low to medium-low, and leave to slowly melt together. This usually takes a while, but can be sped up by occasionally stirring the oil-beeswax mixture with an old spoon (which will be condemned to beeswax usage forevermore).

Once completely melted, remove jar from pot. Add cypress essential oil, giving it a quick stir afterwards to make sure everything’s all mixed together. Pour into salve tins or jars, and let cool completely before closing with lids.

To use

Rub into aching muscles, or use as a massage balm for the same. Remember that it will take a while for salve to soak completely into skin, even on the hand/fingers you used to apply it!

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8 Comments

  1. Hi,
    This sounds great, but I’ve yet to include rice bran oil into my repertoire (becausethis is the first time I’ve seen it called for)! Is there a particular reason for using it, or would I be able to substitute a different oil?

    1. Rice bran absorbs into the skin relatively quickly, so it doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy! You can substitute for another light oil or just your favorite oil instead 🙂

  2. I assume after 2 or more weeks on window sill that you strain this with fine mesh strainer lined with cheese cloth as yours looks so smooth. I have made a salve with just the cayenne but it was stainable so had to be careful with it. I can’t wait to get my materials together to try this one, Spicy Save is a good name for it.

  3. I hope to be able to get this recipe where do you find rice bran oil? I really am in need of this salve. Thanks for sharing.

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