Making an Herbal Salve on This Last Day of November 2013

Chickweed flowers

Last year, I purchased Rosemary Gladstar's home study course, The Science and Art of Herbalism. About a month ago, I received an email from one of the teachers to all the students. The note mentioned that the recipients were probably well on their way to completing the course. The sentiment made me raise my eyebrows, as I had barely skimmed Lesson 1 and its Addendum.

I felt a bit discouraged, but in the following weeks readied my blood for the challenge. Things are a bit different than March, when I bought the course. Beren sleeps better (as of the past month), he also goes to school two mornings a week. One of those mornings Jared and I get to spend together, working on our nursery. The growing season and seed collecting season are over. It's amazing what the alchemy has created - restful evenings free to do not only chores and nursery-related computer work but a bit of reading and schoolwork.

Here and there, I'll be posting pieces of my homework. Some assignments include making herbal preparations and discussing my experience. Just like my apprenticeship and the Chrysalis Center, this is perfect for me. If you've read this blog before, you'll notice I don't mind writing about myself…in some ways.

Chickweed foliage. In our garden.
The Science and Art of Herbalism: Lesson Two. 
Making an Herbal Salve:

With winter here, my son (3 years on 12/2/13), Beren, has chapped cheeks. He's independent and does not like when adults wipe food from his face or add salve to it. He does respond well to participating in creating herbals (and chickweed is his plant, for now), so today I asked if he'd like to make a salve with me. "Yes!" he answered.

I set up the mini-crockpot that we use for wintertime infused oil/salve projects. I added a chickweed oil I had made in the summer. I chopped small bits from a large hunk of beeswax given to me by the beekeeper who tends hives on our landlord's property (also where we live). Beren added the beeswax to the crockpot and stirred, a bit vigorously at times.

We went for a walk outside, and when we returned the house smelled of beeswax. We ate lunch and tested our salves. They were a desirable consistency. Beren spooned his into an old, beat up and faded Nivea tin.

A month ago, I had given him this tin with a softer version of this salve in the same tin. I went off to do something and when I returned, the tin was nearly empty and salve was smeared all over his hands. He wasn't too happy with his greasy, slippery hands, nor was he happy when I wiped them off.

I hope this salve is a harder consistency and one he is more inclined to use on his face. I succeeded on the first task, but on my son, who is a Metal Tiger in the Chinese zodiac, he'll determine what goes on his face in a happy manner.