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DIY Gardener's Salve Recipe

Herbal salve tins sitting on a rock in the garden next to gardening tools

As the garden beckons, I’m reminded why I’m so thankful for herbal salves! Between planting, weeding, and pruning, my pampered winter hands are getting their typical spring hazing. Part of it is surely my own fault, as I tend to toss my gloves aside to feel the warm dirt on my hands.

I love this soothing gardener's salve for minor skin irritations, dryness, and occasional sore muscles. I’ve chosen herbs and oils that are well-suited for worn and tired skin including organic arnicaorganic ginger rootorganic lavenderorganic rosehip seed oil, and vitamin E oil.

 Hands holding mason jars pouring oil to strain arnica flowers from infusion

Soothing Gardener’s Salve Recipe



  1. Combine arnica and ginger oils and beeswax pastilles in a double boiler.
  2. Heat until beeswax has melted and mixture is incorporated.
  3. Remove from heat and add organic rosehip seed oilvitamin E oil, and essential oils. 
  4. Stir quickly to combine and remove from heat.
  5. Once removed from heat, work quickly or beeswax will start to solidify again.
  6. Pour mixture into tins with lid off.
  7. Allow salve to cool completely before storing with lid on in a cool, dry place.
  8. If stored properly, salves can last for 2-3 years. However, if you’re a hands-on gardener, these tins aren’t likely to be around for too long!

Hand holding cup pouring beeswax pastilles into double boiler to make arnica salves

Hand holding metal ladle with hot salve mixture pouring into tin

Tips & Tricks 

  • If you opt for DIY arnica and ginger oil, we found filling a 7 oz. pantry jar 3/4-full with the organic arnica flowers and another 7 oz. pantry jar 1/2-full with the organic ginger root was a good amount of herb for this recipe.
  • If gardening season snuck up you, organic olive oil can be used in place of the herb-infused oils, although the salve may not have the same effect.
  • If you don’t have a double boiler, a glass bowl placed over a pot of boiling water will do the trick.
  • This salve is easily adapted to suit your personal needs by creating your own herbal-infused oils or using your favorite essential oils.

Want to get even more Salve-Savvy?

Check Out Our Guide to DIY Salves!


Tin jars filled with hardened arnica lavender salve

Topics: Natural Body Care, Recipes, Herbalism


Written by Kiley on May 1, 2018

Kiley Gwynn, certified BJCP beer judge and Brand Director at Ninkasi Brewing Company, enjoys a wide variety of hobbies—but her deepest passion is homebrewing. She loves spreading the joy of homebrewing and over the last decade has become deeply involved in the Oregon homebrewing community. Kiley is an award-winning homebrewer who holds a seat on the executive committee of Cascade Brewers Society and is a member of American Homebrewers Association Diversity Subcommittee. She loves brewing herbally inspired beers at educational events like Learn to Homebrew Day. When she’s not working as a blog contributor at Mountain Rose Herbs or in her homebrewery, you’ll likely find her under a pile of yarn with a crochet project, in the kitchen working on her latest small batch canning adventure or chasing her rescued red heeler down the beach.

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