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Healing Salve Making – May 25, 2024

This afternoon we welcomed Métis herbalist and educator, Lori Ann Bird (Lori Snyder), to lead a Healing Salve Workshop.

She began with a very generous welcome, inviting others in the room to introduce themselves. Which turned into a free flowing dialogue on nature and reconciliation.

“Instead of decolonizing, I prefer reclaiming my ancestory & sovereignty (I am responsible for my knowledge)”

“Plants hold water and water is the foundation of life”

“Our authority lies in our experiences”

“Ecosystem is my home”

Lori then guided us through the process of making salve from plants, “Don’t put anything on your skin you cannot eat”

First, you harvest the plants

  • plantain, calendula, st. john’s wort, and cottonwood buds are good medicine
  • usually you will gather the plants and dry them first
  • with Plantain, it is best to gather them before they go to flower (as, once they flower, the energy goes to the flower)
  • Plantain is good for bug bites and eczema

Secondly, you put the dried plants in oil or vodka

  • Be mindful when selecting oils, as some are grown in monoculture,or cause other damaging effects to the environment.
  • Lori prefers using sunflower oil
  • Cut up the plants into smaller parts to break open their cell walls
  • Mix 1 part plant to 2 parts oil
  • If you wish to make a tincture (consume the medicine via mouth), immerse the plant in vodka, rather than oil
  • Let the plant sit in the oil for 4 weeks

Thirdly, you melt bees wax in a double boiler

  • Be mindful when selecting bees wax, ask the source if they use pesticides to manage their hives.
  • Lori prefers to buy beeswax from a local bee keeper
  • You can also use spent beeswax candles
  • Melt the bees wax in a glass measuring cup, sitting in a medium pot.
  • Keep the temperature low, stiring frequently.

Fourthly, pour the plant/oil mixture into the bees wax.

  • If creating a salve, use a mixture of 1 part bees wax to 5 parts oil
  • If creating a lip balm, use a mixture of 1 part bees wax to 3 parts oil.

Finally, pour the mixture from the measuring cup into small glass jars

  • label the jars with the type of salve

Lori reminded us that “you are more than a physical body. You also have a spritual, mental, and emotional body. So, healing should consider not just the physical.”

In addition, if you wish to have a healthy body, you need to:

  • move our body
  • feel the cold
  • feel hunger

Part of experiencing being in our body is experiencing sensations within and the connection to nature outside of us.

Thank you so much Lori for sharing your teachings. We look forward to having you back for a future workshop!