Herbal Salves & Botulism? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 06-06-2010, 09:07 PM - Thread Starter
aisling78's Avatar
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I posted this last night in the Health forum, but that may have been the wrong place for my question.

I just finished making my very first salve the day before yesterday, but since then I've stumbled across some conflicting information online that has me wondering if this is even safe to use.

I made a plantain salve -- I harvested the leaves from my yard and infused them in olive oil for several weeks. On Friday I strained the oil, added beeswax, and poured it into several small glass jars.

Last night I stumbled across information saying that it's dangerous to make infused oils at home, because of the risk of botulism. If the plant matter isn't completely, 100% dry when you add the oil, botulism spores could multiply. The more I looked around, the more information I found collaborating that fact in regards to infused oils meant for cooking. But while I could find nothing specifically about the risk of getting botulism from salves made with infused oils, there were references to botulism being contracted through open wounds...which concerns me, because the whole purpose of this salve was to use to treat insect bites, rashes, abrasions, etc.

I'm sure the risk is minuscule...however, I'm still apprehensive about using something that could inadvertently put my family at risk.

Does anyone have any information or insight on this? I'd hate to through away the whole batch, but I'm seriously considering it.

Aisling78 ~ Wife to Colby, SAHMama to Sean and expecting our second in March of '11
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#2 of 4 Old 06-06-2010, 09:27 PM
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Just to be sure, if you make something and want to to keep a while, add a preservative: http://www.brambleberry.com/Germaben...ive-P3972.aspx
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#3 of 4 Old 06-07-2010, 09:13 AM
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I have used dried plantain in the past (just bought the dried herb) and kept it in oil that way until I made the salve. I did that for years and didn't have a problem and it worked great.
I was thinking about putting dried plantain and oil together in a pot and very slowly heating it for several hours then continuing to make the salve. I haven't tried that way, yet, adn am curious how it will work out!

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#4 of 4 Old 06-27-2010, 08:56 AM
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I have put my herbs in a crock pot before with oil and slow heated them once a day for several days which sped up the process and continued on with adding the beeswax etc...
I have not had any problems with making salves before and botulism.
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