Herbal liniments are great to have on hand in your herbal first-aid kit or home medicine cabinet. They are used topically and can be formulated to provide instant relief from many common ailments.
This recipe for Rosemary & Yarrow Herbal Healing Liniment will make a great multi-purpose liniment to have on hand for yourself, and your family and friends. Rosemary and yarrow combined in liniment form make an excellent remedy for achy joints, inflamed muscles, nerve pain, wounds, bruises, swelling, inflammation and sprains.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) stimulates circulation and increases blood flow to the areas it is applied. It helps to relieve arthritis, sciatica, and achy over-worked muscles. Rosemary is known to speed healing of wounds and bruises, and reduce cramping. The liniment or essential oil, when applied to wrists or temples can help to soothe anxiety, depression, migraines, and tension.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is one of the best wound healing herbs that can be found in the garden. It is astringent and anti-bacterial and can stop bleeding very effectively. Yarrow is soothing to rashes, itching, and other skin irritations. It is anti-inflammatory for muscle aches and arthritis. The liniment can also be used as a chest rub to relieve congestion.
Rosemary & Yarrow
HERBAL HEALING LINIMENT
25g fresh rosemary leaves removed from stems
25g fresh yarrow leaves and flowers
100 ml isopropanol or 95% ethanol alcohol
Herbal liniments are very easy to make, and when properly stored in a cool dark place will keep for many years, almost indefinitely. To use: gently rub onto skin and allow to evaporate. Can be applied several times a day, use as often as needed.
1) Harvest and chop fresh herbs into very small pieces. Harvesting is best done in early morning if possible. If you do not have access to fresh herbs, then dried herbs are fine to substitute. Use the ratio of 1:5 (herb weight : alcohol volume) for dried herbs, and 1:2 for fresh herbs.
2) Place herbs in a clean glass jar. If using fresh herbs, the jar may be quite full and you may need to stuff the herbs in a bit.
3) Measure out the isopropanol (rubbing alcohol) or 95% ethanol and pour over herbs. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Place the jar in a warm area to infuse. When using dried herbs you will need to shake the jar daily, fresh herbs do not need to be shaken as they create their own osmotic current.
4) After 4 weeks or so, strain the herbs out using cheesecloth or muslin. Pour the liniment into dark glass bottles. If desired, you can now add a few drops of essential oil to enhance the healing properties of your finished liniment. Make sure to label the liniment for “External Use Only”, and list ingredients used and date made.
Here are a few other local herbs that are also useful as herbal liniments.
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) for sprains and broken bones.
Arnica (Arnica sp.) for bruising, pain and inflammation.
Sword Fern (Polystichum munitum) for aching joins and cramps.
Poplar Bud (Populus sp.) for inflammation and wound healing.
Cayenne (Capsicum annuum) for sore muscles and joints.
Calendula (Calendula officinalis) for wound healing and inflammation.
Oregon Grape Root (Mahonia sp.) for wound healing and infections.