Lemon Balm is such a powerful herb – it’s antiviral and serves to support healthy skin and help alleviate cold sores. Learn how to make Lemon Balm Salve in just a few easy steps!
If there is one thing I love it is growing herbs and using them to create body and skin products that help my girls alleviate their skin issues.
While not all of my 5 kids have problems with their skin, two of my girls routinely deal with dry skin, eczema and skin rashes. In fact, they were my inspiration for creating my own homemade cold process soaps, salves and herbal oil infusions over seven years ago.
However… this salve was created for me – selfish, I know 🙂 Ever since I’ve been a child, I have had the lovely pleasure of breaking out in frequent cold sores triggered by the sun. I ran throughout my teenage years, miles and miles every day on our old county road and every day, the sun would create havoc on my lips…
I tried, for a long time, to curb my outdoor exposure in hopes to alleviate the issues – but that did not do much to solve the dilemna. Once a runner always a runner… even when I’m sore and feeling my age, I still run. It’s a hard habit to shake. 😆😉
So to the store I went, and picked up every lip product known to man. I started with Carmex, and ended up with Abreva.
While Abreva worked rather well, the price tag was enough to cause sticker shock once I was out of the house and paying for stuff myself.
Being the kind of person I am, I thought “hey… I bet I can make a lip treatment for my cold sores”…
And I did, which is what brings me to this tutorial, today. Yay for that! 🙌🥳
I frequently find myself discussing plants and gardening tips with neighbors at my church and one of my favorite couples in my Sunday Bible study mentioned that they have lemon balm taking over their garden.
Since I do too… I shared this recipe with them (and a few others!) to give them ideas on what they can do with all their lemon balm.
By the way… if you don’t have lemon balm growing in your garden, it’s one of my favorite herbs to have – it’s easy to grow and there are a myriad of ways to use it!
Lemon Balm is Powerful
Cold sores are caused by a virus (herpes simplex type 1)... and while most of the population has it, it’s a virus that will never officially rid from your body.
Keeping your health and wellness under control is one way to help curb the frequency in which it cam affect you, and using this salve can also help alleviate the virus when cold sores appear.
Step 1: Make Lemon Balm Infused Oil
To make lemon balm infused oil you will need lemon balm – if you grow your own, you’ll know how quickly and easily it grows (and spreads!)
If you are using fresh lemon balm from your garden, dry out the leaves on a dehydrator (on the lowest setting) or… in a single layer on a paper towel covered sheet pan for a few days.
To a pint canning jar:
- Add 1/3 – 1/2 C dried lemon balm
- Cover with carrier oil (sunflower seed oil, or oil of choice)
Cap the jar and allow to sit in a dark place for 4-6 weeks, making sure to gently shake the jar every day.
Or, if you are eager to infuse quicker, you can cap the jar and set your jar in a crock pot filled with water (like a make shift double broiler) on low-medium for 3-4 hours. Avoid using too much heat or you can scorch your herbs.
Once time has passed, strain your oil and discard the plant matter for the compost pile. Then add the strained oil to a clean jar and label accordingly (there’s nothing worse than having tons of infusions that aren’t labeled!)
Store in your pantry (cool, dark place) or in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Making Lemon Balm Salve
I’ve made a variety of salves over the years and my favorite formula for salves isn’t too difficult: 1 part beeswax to 4.5 parts oil.
Here in Arizona, that recipe creates the perfect consistency on the salve that allows it to ship nicely through the mail (even in the heat) without it being too hard or too soft.
If you would like a harder salve, you can use a ratio of 1:4 (beeswax to infused oil). However, you want to ensure that your lip balm is soft enough to apply with your clean finger.
How to Make Lemon Balm Salve
Adjust the proportions to suit the needs of your containers. I love using these .5 oz screw top tins that I pick up on Amazon, but you can use what works for you.
- 4 oz lemon balm infused oil (I use sunflower and castor in my infusions)
- .90 oz beeswax pellets
- 15-20 drops of your desired essential oils (peppermint, lavender or camphor are great)*
*Optional — I prefer to avoid the use of essential oils simply because so many people can’t resist licking their lips – but feel free to use essential oils if you wish.
Melt all of your ingredients, with the exception of the optional essential oil, until completely blended. If using essential oil, add it at this time.
Pour the batch into .5 oz tins and allow to solidify. Cap, and store away from direct heat. This batch will make right around 10 small tins of lemon balm.
Lemon Balm Salve and Cold Sore Lip Balm
- 2 pint canning jars one for infusing your oil and one for storing your infused oil
- 1 glass Pyrex measuring cup for melting your oil and beeswax
- 10 half oz (.5 oz) screw top metal tins
Lemon Balm Infused Oil
- 1/2 C dried lemon balm
- 2/3 C sunflower oil or combination of sunflower, olive and castor, to fill the jar
Lemon Balm Salve
- 4 oz lemon balm infused oil
- .90 oz beeswax pellets
- 20 drops lavender, camphor or peppermint essential oil optional
To make Lemon Balm Infused Oil:
- Place the dried lemon balm in your half pint canning jar.
- Cover the lemon balm with your choice of carrier oil. Allow a bit of space at the top for possible expansion. Cap the jar tightly with lid and ring.
- For a stronger oil: infuse at room temperature for 4-6 weeks, shaking the jar daily.
- For a quicker infused oil: place the covered in a crock pot, add water. Place the crock pot on low and heat the jar (surrounded by warm water) for 4-5 hours.
- Strain out the herb from the jar and store in a clean, pint-size canning jar in a cool, dark place. Or, place the jar in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature prior to using for salve.
To make Lemon Balm Salve & Cold Sore Lip Balm:
- Combine the oil and beeswax in a glass Pyrex cup.
- Microwave at short bursts (15-20 seconds) until the beeswax is completely melted.
- Stir in the essential oils, if using.
- Pour into small tins and allow to set. Cover and store in a cool, dark area.
- Shelf life of the lip balm is up to 9 months.
This salve can be used for those suffering from cold sores – but you can also use it as a healing salve for minor cuts and skin irritations. Always try to apply with clean fingers, as using dirty fingers will contaminate your lip balm.
I hope you enjoy this lip balm/salve as much as I do and I certainly hope it provides a fair amount of comfort.
It’s always best to remember though that external treatments will only alleviate the symptoms. To prevent future cold sores, it’s a wise idea to reduce your stress level, drink plenty of water and get adequate rest.