Making a Hard Salve For Swollen Joints

Making a Salve For Swollen Joints - Marvy Moms

One of the recent blending exercises in my aromatherapy certification at Aromahead Institute was making a hard salve. The timing was perfect for making Christmas gifts, so I decided to make a salve that would help with inflammation. I did some research and came up with some oils that I had on hand. Since this salve was meant for gifts for three different people on various medications, I decided to leave out the essential oils in this one. Instead I chose fixed (carrier) oils that are anti-inflammatory on their own.

This was one of the exercises that I was nervous about doing. For some reason I thought making a salve sounded like something advanced that I wouldn’t do right. Turns out it was soooo easy!


  • 1 oz Tamanu oil
  • 1 oz Jojoba oil (although it’s actually a wax, it’s commonly labeled as jojoba “oil”)
  • 1 oz beeswax

The important thing here is that the ratio of oil to beeswax is 2:1. I could have used any combination of oils as long as that ratio was maintained. I considered using trauma oil, but wasn’t ready to use up my stash from Nature’s Gift just yet. Marge Clark of Nature’s Gift also suggested that oil infused with St. John’s Wort would be a good choice for its anti-inflammatory properties, but I don’t have any of that on hand.

Beeswax can be difficult to cut up and to melt. One option is to buy it in beads, pellets or small pieces so that the hard work is already done for you and it melts more evenly. You can also buy it in a bar and use a cheese grater to make it more manageable. I bought my beeswax at the local Farmers Market from the same vendor that I buy my raw local honey from. He did offer the bars for sale, but I was hoping to get pellets. He didn’t have those, but he did have some bits and pieces that I could easily snap to make into smaller pieces. Perfect!


  • Pyrex measuring cup (at least 2 cups, the one I used was 4 cups)
  • Pan filled 1/4 full with water
  • Stainless steel utensil or glass stir rod (I used a tool used for getting bits of meat out of crab legs— see video for a visual)
  • Tin, glass, or PET plastic containers totaling 3-4 oz (I used 3 1-oz PET plastic containers and 1 .5-oz tin)
  • I used a digital kitchen scale to measure out all the ingredients

Here’s What to Do:

  • Fill up sauce pan to be about 1/4 full with water
  • Measure out all ingredients into Pyrex dish
  • Turn on stove burner
  • Place Pyrex container into the pan
  • Bring water to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer
  • Stir constantly until all beeswax is melted

  • Use a hot mitt to remove the Pyrex from the pan
  • Pour mixture into the containers
  • Let containers stand until cooled
  • Cover containers and label

That’s it! I gave away the three larger containers and kept the small tin for me. I’ve been using it on my ankle and I’ve noticed a difference in swelling and pain. I’ll be making more of this soon, probably with different oils to experiment with, and maybe with some essential oils since it’s just for me.

I like the salve because although it is just composed of oils, it’s a lot more portable and less messy than liquid oil. You have to really dig in with your fingernail to get any out of the container and it easily melts as you work it into your skin. The fact that it takes a minute to melt as you apply it gives you the added benefit of a mini massage to that area, which can also help to relieve pain.

DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Only you and your qualified healthcare provider can decide the best treatment for your individual circumstances and condition(s). Please contact them for guidance. Read Marvy Moms full disclaimer for more information.

What have you used that works for pain and inflammation?

About Emily Carpenter

Emily is a Web Whiz, Blogger, Speaker, Student, and Mom. She is the owner of WhizBang! Web Solutions LLC, and the founder of Marvy Moms. She loves working from home so that she can be there for every possible moment with her son, JW. Learning as she goes, Emily breastfed, bought cloth diapers (but never used them), made her son’s baby food, had a family bed for nearly two years, and loves spending time with her son. Emily is a certified Level II Reiki practitioner and offers her services both in-person and remotely to people interested in this energetic healing modality. Emily is currently enrolled as a student at the American Academy of Homeopathy to become a Certified Classical Homeopath and has earned a diploma in botanical medicine at Botanical Medicine Institute. She is also a Certified Aromatherapist, and received her training from Aromahead Institute.