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  • Mandy Starnes

Mandy Starnes’ Homemade Bear Salve for aches and pains

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Posted by Mandy Starnes | Jul 2, 2020 | Foraging, Hunting, Recipes

The key to making salve is to let the essential oils diffuse out of your herbs – the longer, the better. I heated mine on the stove in an enamel cast iron pot, on the lowest setting, just enough to keep the bear fat liquefied.

Add all the herbs and oils to the grease, but not the beeswax.

The bear grease shouldn’t simmer or smoke. It should just keep warm. I heated mine for 4 hours, but you could let it sit all night in a slow cooker on low.

After you have let your bear grease heat with the herbs and oil, make sure to strain it with a sieve to get out any chunks of herbs or gritty pieces of juniper berries. Return it to the pot, and add the beeswax pellets. Heat it gently until the beeswax is fully melted, approx 15 minutes.

You are now ready to pour your salve into jars or whatever container you want. Glass is better than plastic, and tins would work too.

  • 1 quart bear grease

  • 1/2 cup crushed juniper berries

  • 2 cups crushed arnica

  • 1 cup crushed mint

  • 1 small 4ml vial cbd oil (you can definitely add more if you have it, I only had this amount)

  • 4 branches rosemary

  • 2 cups beeswax pellets

Arnica is a key ingredient in this bear salve recipe.Crush your juniper berries well!

If you don’t have a lot of bear grease, you can make a small batch of salve with one cup of bear grease, a smaller amount of herbs, and 2 Tbsp of beeswax.

I also made a skin treatment salve with a handful of fresh sage and yarrow using these proportions. Just rub a small amount into your skin on an aching joint. I use it mainly on my back and it really absorbs well into the skin.

The key to making salve is to let the essential oils diffuse out of your herbs for as long as possible.

You can order beeswax pellets on Amazon, as well as CBD oil, and even little cosmetic jars, like what I used!

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