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Distanskurs i örtterapi.

Tar salve.

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I love the scent of tar.

I've made tar salve several times. It will help local circulation and is nice for abrasions, wounds and the like. A lady wanted loads of it after she'd applied it to a raw heel ... it healed overnight.

So here's how you make it:

Simple Tar Salve

Photo: Waterbath 1. 1 liter oil (about 2 pints) - I quite like sesame, but any organic cold-pressed should do
1 teaspoon tar - it doesn't matter if it's pit or barrel tar
130 g (about 5 oz) beeswax

Set up a waterbath. Pour the oil into the top part, add the tar, add the beeswax. Our beeswax usually comes in sheets, which are easy to tear into strips. I've seen mercan-style beeswax buttons - they take a bit longer to melt than the thinner sheets, but shrug.
Bring the waterbath to a full boil and leave on full boil until all the beeswax has melted. The wax will just sit there if you leave things on a gentle boil.
Pour your still liquid salve into jars (I use a 50 ml (2 fl.oz.) wide-mouth syringe - very handy, are syringes), let cool and congeal.
Add lids and labels.

There, that was easy, wasn't it? Here's a somewhat more complicated salve:

Calendula Tar Salve

Photo: Waterbath 4. 1 liter oil (about 2 pints)
1 teaspoon tar
dried calendula - petals or flowers, doesn't matter

Stir tar into oil.
Set up your waterbath and pour oil'n'tar into the top part. Add enough dried calendula flowers to make a spoon stand up. (It doesn't make sense to stint on the herb: the most expensive part of any salve is the jar, at least if you use small brown glass jars like I do. If you stint on the herb the salve won't work as well -- and your reputation suffers.) Heat the waterbath, and keep on a gentle boil for 1.5-2 hours.
Strain through a cloth, or pour your herb'n'oil into a sieve and let things drip overnight.
Add beeswax: 100 g (about 4 oz) per 700 or 800 ml infused oil. (100 ml = 1/10 of a liter)
Bring the waterbath to a full boil and let your oil'n'beeswax sit there until all the beeswax has melted.
Pour into jars, let cool and congeal.
Add lids and labels.

Congrats, you're done!