Herbal Salve and Summer Camp

So there’s this girl, Kate. She’s a super friendly ethno-biology teacher who forages for local edible plants, runs year-round outdoor educational camps for kids, and was ambitious enough to make herbal salve with my kindergarteners and first graders. My son was lucky enough to be one of those kindergarteners and I was lucky enough to witness the process. I was also granted permission to share her recipe with you. (Oh… and she’s a fellow Near-O Waster!)

KATE: my go-to guru for all things flora and fauna.

HERBAL SALVE for CUTS and SCRAPES by Kate Jaffe 

What you need: organic olive oil (bulk in your own jar), organic beeswax (unwrapped), wild plantain and wild calendula (which Kate foraged in Santa Cruz), organic yarrow and organic California sage (which the kids picked from our school garden), and (optional) lavender or fir essential oil.



1. Infuse your oil: fill a jar with the plantain, calendula, yarrow, and sage (torn into small bits), leaving a few inches of room at the top. Fill the jar with olive oil. Put the lid on and leave it in a warm window for a few weeks, shaking every so often.

2. Strain your oil: remove the plants and store the infused oil for up to a year.

3. Add beeswax (and essential oil, if using): in a glass jar, combine 8 oz. infused oil and 1 oz. grated beeswax or beeswax pastilles. Place the jar in a saucepan of gently simmering water and heat until the beeswax melts. Then stir in several drops of essential oil (if using).

4. Fill your jar(s): carefully pour the oil/beeswax mixture into an 8-oz. jar or four 2-oz. jars and let cool completely. Cap and store in a cool dry place. It should last a couple of years.


How to use: This salve is for external use only. It may be applied topically to any skin ailment such as cuts, scrapes, rashes, bruises, dry skin, insect bites, itchiness, and burns.

If you live in the Santa Cruz area, check out Kate’s program: Santa Cruz Kids in Nature

Sessions begin June 20th (for children ages 4-12) and they’re filling up fast…!




One thought on “Herbal Salve and Summer Camp

  1. Jessie Parker April 1, 2016 / 5:58 am

    Interesting activity for this summer, this will aware kids the use of our nature.


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