Do you spend a lot of time with your hands in the dirt? Me too, so I know how much we need relief from aching, scraped up hands! Today I’m sharing my tried and true DIY Gardener’s Hand Salve recipe that includes nourishing olive oil that I’ve infused with arnica flowers as well as a potent blend of essential oils for anti fungal action and healing! This salve is easy to make and you won’t believe how fast it relieves and heals your hands!
Gardening is a favorite past time for many people-I get it-you literally make life out of nothing! It’s so rewarding, yet can be so grueling! My husband has taken up vegetable gardening and I can vouch for the hard work it takes!
We live amongst A LOT of nature, some of which is not wild. Meaning-I’ve got a whole lot of weeding to do almost on a daily basis!
My hands get wrecked and ravaged after a day of gardening. I’m talking cuts, raw skin and rough dry patches. I’m sure you fellow gardeners know exactly what I’m talking about.
After a particularly rough day in the yard, I realized a healing salve was exactly what I needed to nurse my sad, painful hands back to health.
What Is A Salve?
A salve, also called a balm has a butter like consistency that is made up of oil and typically beeswax. Think of it as a solid oil.
You can add butters, essential oils and even herbs into salves. They are perfect for healing and soothing dry, damaged skin.
Gardener’s Hand Salve Ingredient Base:
Olive oil makes up the base of this salve. Olive oil is very nourishing and contains a lot of antioxidants. Plus, I just love the smell of olive oil when mixed with the essential oils in this recipe. You won’t be disappointed!
I have infused my olive oil with dried arnica flowers for added healing but it is not 100% necessary. Feel free to skip this step. However, if you’ve not gotten into infusing oils and herbs, it is an easy way to get even more of a personalized and effective DIY product.
Beeswax is what thickens up the olive oil. It also helps to form a barrier over the skin for added protection.
Infused Olive Oil for Added Benefits
You don’t have to use an infused olive oil-plain olive oil works great. However, infusing is a fun process and ups the soothing and healing properties of this salve considerably.
Infusing herbs into an oil is simple. I’ve written a detailed post on all the different methods you can use to infuse.
One of my favorite DIYs in my calendula eye balm recipe. Calendula would be a fantastic herb for this recipe.
There are many herbs that would be appropriate to use in this hand salve besides Arnica. Comfrey, chamomile, lavender, calendula and dandelion are just a few of the healing herbs that would be great in this DIY hand salve.
Find dried arnica flowers HERE.
I get high quality, organic herbs and Mountain Rose Herbs. They’re affordable and I can trust the quality.
Benefits of Arnica:
- Pain relieving
- Anti inflammatory
- Anti fungal/Antibacterial
- Stimulates the production of white blood cells
- Lowers oxidative stress
- Reduces bruising
Mountain Rose Herbs has actual Arnica Oil if you’d rather just buy it.
You might recall my Dark Circle Eraser Roll On recipe were we used arnica to fade under eye circles!
Arnica Infused Olive Oil How To:
- If you’d like to make extra infused olive oil, fill a large jar 1/2 way full with olive oil or only use 1/2 a cup to just have enough for this recipe.
- Add dried arnica flowers (or any other healing herb you have on hand) until there is enough to be submerged in the oil.
- Create a double boiler by filling a medium sized pot 1/2 way full with water and placing your jar in the water.
- Turn the stove top to low heat and heat for 4-6 hours.
- Place a strainer over a large bowl and place a coffee filter in the strainer. Pour your mixture into the strainer and coffee filter and allow to drip into the bowl.
- Use a spoon to press the herbs into the strainer to get as much oil as possible. See picture. You can also use a cheesecloth to strain the oil.
- Transfer to an airtight container or back to the stove with beeswax to make your salve.
The Best Essential Oils for a Gardener’s Hand Salve:
Essential oils are incredibly healing as well as antibacterial and anti fungal.
I’m pretty lax about wearing gloves so extra protection against fungus and bacteria is very necessary to keep issues like mold and infection at bay.
I have added quite a bit of Lemon Essential oil. This oil has been known to help lighten skin. I thought this would be a perfect addition for hands that have seen better days! Be sure to use this salve only when you are done being outdoors. Citrus essential oils on the skin, when exposed to the sun, can actually cause your skin to be even more sensitive to the light.
Eucalyptus essential oil is cooling and helps to ease tightness and pain.
Lavender and Cypress are powerful anti inflammatory oils. They also hare fantastic at killing microbes.
The blend of lemon, eucalyptus, cypress and lavender turned out to be a magical union because of the incredible scent. It’s earthy yet so light and fresh! Each of these oils is extremely affordable and I highly recommend using all 4.
My favorite brand of essential oils is Mountain Rose Herbs which is also my source for organic herbs. I often get asked if I like any brands on Amazon and my second favorite essential oil source is Plant Therapy or Eden’s Garden.
DIY Gardener’s Hand Salve Recipe:
- 1/2 cup Infused or Plain Olive Oil (find it HERE) or Arnica Oil (find it HERE)
- 1 heaping TBSP. Beeswax (find it HERE)
- 30 drops Lemon Essential Oil (find it HERE)
- 20 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil (find it HERE)
- 15 drops Cypress Essential Oil (find it HERE)
- 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil (find it HERE)
- Fill a medium sized pot half way full with water.
- Place a glass pyrex bowl with a spout in the water.
- Turn the stove to medium heat.
- Add Olive Oil and beeswax.
- Once beeswax is totally melted, remove from heat.
- Add essential oils.
- Pour into a glass jar. Find mine HERE.
This recipe makes 4 ounces.
How to Use a Hand Salve:
Because this DIY product does not contain water, it is powerful and you only need a very small amount.
After you’ve thoroughly cleaned your hands and nails, apply about a nickel sized amount to your entire hand with extra focus on nail beds and cuticles.
This salve works so well that I also use it on my legs and heels.
Feel free to use it anywhere you need extra nourishment, healing and moisture! You can even use it as a massage oil for sore muscles.
I hope you enjoyed this simple homemade hand salve! You’re going to love your new hand treatment-it seriously smells amazing, heals skin fast and moisturizes like nothing else!! Plus, you made it and it’s completely free of anything unnatural! Nature knows best!
I’m going to try
i need to make this for my husband
Sounds amazing..thank you so much for sharing..love..Carmel
(Living in Ireland)
Carmel-You are so welcome!