Thursday, February 7, 2013

How to Make Cayenne Salve

I am signed up to receive a newsletter from Herb Mentor News.  In a recent issue there a great article about Cayenne.  Did you know that
Cayenne is famous for reducing many types of pain?  I did not know that.  It works by effecting your nervous system. Substance P is a neurotransmitter that relays information and results in what we call pain. Capsaicin, a major constituent of cayenne peppers, blocks substance P and therefore reduces pain. When cayenne is used topically it can relieve many different types of pain, from diabetic neuropathy, shingles, migraine headaches, back aches, arthritis, menstrual cramps and bruises.

The article included an interesting recipe by Rosalee de la Forêt on How to Make Cayenne Salve. It seems to be a very simple recipe and you will only need the following items which seems you can get at your local supermarket: 

1/2 cup olive oil
Two heaping teaspoons of cayenne powder (or 15 grams),
1/2 ounce of beeswax (Available at Mountain Rose Herbs, along with cayenne)

The equipment you will need: Double boiler and Cheesecloth

The directions are really simple. First you want to b
egin by infusing the cayenne into the olive oil in your double burner. Then heat the oil and cayenne until it is warm, turn off the heat and let it sit (warmly) for about 20 minutes, then turn the heat on again. Rosalee recommend doing this for at least one hour to a couple of hours, you could do it for 24 hours if desired. If you are afraid of infusing the oil for this long of period of time, you may want to consider doing this in a small crockpot.  Once the cayenne and olive oil have been infused, strain off the powder through a cheesecloth. Reserve the infused oil. Heat the beeswax until it is melted. Stir in the infused oil until the beeswax and oil have been thoroughly melted together and combined.Immediately pour this mixture into jars or tins. Let it cool and then label it.

Now that you have finished making this salve you are wondering how to use it? It can be used on aches and pains, from sore muscles and joints to bruises and even nerve pain. It is best for closed wounds and may sting a bit on open wounds. Even on closed skin you may feel a bit of burning or heat in the area where it is used. It should be applied externally only and used within 6 months for the best results.If using it for arthritic pain it may take up to a week or two to see results. In this case you want to use it daily to decrease chronic pain.

There is one word of caution. When cayenne comes in contact with your mucosal membranes or eyes it will burn! Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after touching cayenne or use gloves to apply the salve to the desired area. If you are using the cayenne salve on your hands, consider applying it at night and then sleeping with gloves on.

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